Itellya's Watson's of Sorrento and Portsea. :: Genealogy
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Itellya's Watson's of Sorrento and Portsea.

Journal by janilye

Here are a few things I've collected today and for some obscure reason I was not able to private message you.
You may not already have what's here.
Rather than me putting useless comments on your page, add what you want.
I shall remove this after you have whatever you think is relevant. Let me know 'when'

This letter to the editor came without any dates or sources, perhaps you can work out a date;

Sir,-In the issue of yesterday and under News of the Day column, you publish the following:-
"The Lands Department recently prosecuted one J. Watson who jumped a public reserve in the vicinity of the baths at Sorrento. Mr. Watson, although warned that he was a trespasser, commenced to erect a wooden building on the land.Legal proceedings were thereupon taken against him and the local magistrates ordered him to quit the land within thirty days.
Great inconvenience was experienced by the occupation of this land, as it overlooks the baths, but Mr. Watson showed no inclination to move off without compensation. Further legal proceedings were thereupon initiated against him but he has now informed the lands department of his intention to retire from the fight and give up posession. Mr Watson some months ago obtained 1500 pounds compensation from the government for giving up a piece of land as a site for a fort in the Bay."

Now, as these statements are not in accordance with the facts of the case, I trust you will grant me a small space in order to show the whole matter in its true colours:-For five and twenty years I have resided at Portsea,where I got my living and maintained my family by fishing; my property consisted of a six-roomed stone house and three quarters of an acre of land at Point Franklin. This was my own property. I had also a hut on the beach, in which was stored my nets and gear for fishing. Some months ago the Government purchased my land for defence purposes for 1400 pounds not 1500. This included the house and improvements, and was not merely for the land as your paragraph would lead one to suppose. I was compelled to sell, and the price paid was the Government valuation. The land had a special value for me on account of its elevated oposition and its closeness to bold water, the fishing lookout being the best around the Bay.
Having now to make another home, I selected Sorrento, and purchased two acres of ground from Mr. Duffy, upon which I built a six-roomed weatherboard cottage.The land and house are away back, the Bay not being visible from there. After my house was finished and my family settled, I commenced building a hut in the foreshore in which to store my nets and gear,and also to enable us to be at hand in some sort of shelter, in case rough weather set in, to save our boats and nets. I may mention that my old hut at Portsea situated on the beach is still being used by some fishermen for a similar purpose.After my hut was finished I was quite astonished at being requested by the lands Department to remove same. I had no idea in what I was doing wrong in putting it up as all round the Bay the fishermen have similar huts on the foreshore and this is the first time a fisherman has been compelled to remove. I naturally refused to shift,and allowed myself to be summoned in order to test the question. I was summoned and ordered to remove my hut within thirty days.The hut has since been removed. Your paragraph states that " great inconvenience" was experienced by the occupation of this land as it "overlooks the baths" This is really distorting the facts with a vengeance.
The hut was three quarters of a mile from the baths and being built on the beach was on the same level, consequently could not overlook anything. The true reason why I was compelled to pull down my hut was because it was situated about 40yards from Dr. Blair's Bathing Box, which is built on the beach also, and the fact of my building a hut was looked upon as an intrusion by him.
Now I should like to know why Dr. Blair and others are allowed to have bathing boxes on the beach, while I am debarred from having a hut there. Unless I can have a place to secure my fishing gear, and that close to the water,I shall be compelled to give up fishing, as the damage to my nets,boats etc. in rough weather would be ruinous. As your paragraph states, I have given up the fight.
I am only a poor fisherman, and cannot afford to lose the few pounds I have left, and ruin my family in endeavouring to get justice. I intend, however, applying for permission to build a bathing box for my family, the same as the Doctor, as I have a house and ground at the back. I don't think the department can with justice refuse this. If, however, I fail, I shall then be convinced that it is imposssible for a poor man to get justice. Yours, &c. J. Watson.

don't know if this below is one of your WATSONs, but here it is;

The Argus, Friday 10 April 1896
A fisherman named George Watson left Flinders in his boat, 'the Fugitive', yesterday morning to attend to his crayfish pots within a few miles of Cape Schanck and intended returning to his family for dinner, but nothing has since been heard of him or his boat. Very rough weather prevailed in the straits last night, and it is feared that a serious mishap has occurred. All the coast stations have been communicated with, and a boat manned by experienced local fishermen started this forenoon to cruise in search to the southward of Phillip Island. Constable Jones,from Dromana, also searched the beaches and rocks between Flinders and Cape Schank. Information from Phillip Island states that Constable Thornton, of Cowes, picked up a rudder and gear answering the description of the rudder belonging to the missing boat. No hope is now enter- tained that Watson is alive.
Mornington Standard, Thursday 16 April 1896
George Watson, the fisherman who has been missing from Flinders since yesterday week has not yet been heard of, although portions of his clothing and fragments of his boat were picked up on the back beach on Sunday, and on Monday his boat was discovered beached at East Creek, near Shoreham. A rudder and other gear have also been found at Cowes, and have been identified as belonging to his boat. Diligent but unsuccessful search for the body has been made along the cost, He leaves a widow and children.

Mornington Standard,Thursday 14 May 1896
A concert was held in the Flinders Mechanics' Institute on the 1st inst.,
in aid of the widow of the late George Watson.
The hall was fairly filled, and the chair was taken by the Rev. Mr. Edwards.
The following programme was gone through:-
Overture, Miss Robertson; song, Will He not Come Back Again,
Mr. J. L. Banks; recitation, The Life Boat, Mr. E. Jones ; song, Mrs. Noyess; recitation, The Holly and Ivy Girl, Miss Katie Tuck; song,-The Cows are in the Corn, Miss N. Bryne, sung with great taste and expression, and the young per former was loudly applauded; song, Mr. Flanigan; song, Golden Love, Miss Veida.Violin solo, Mr. and Master Hopcraft; song, Soon We'll be in London Town, Mr. Edwards; song,'I Couldn't, Could I,
Miss Smith, very nicely rendered; song, The Old Log Cabin in the Dell, Mr. Brunk.
This brought the first part of the programme to a close.
" The second part opened with a violin solo, Messrs Hopcraft; song, The Bellringers, Mr. J. L. Banks;
song. The Toilers, Mr. Edwards: recitation, Mr. Jones; song, The Old Folks at Home, Miss N. Byrne;
song, A Soldiers and a Man Mr. Parkinson ; song, The Postal, Mrs. Noyes ;
recitation, The Razor Seller, Mr. Flanigan , song. Where There's a Will There's a Way, Miss Smith ; re citation, I Want to Fly. Mr. Parkinson; song, Daddy, Miss Veido; song. It. Always Comes Round to Me, Mr. Brunt.
The singing, of the National Anthem brought the concert to a close.
Miss Robertson made a very efficient pianist.
After the concert a dance was held, which was also a great success

Mornington Standard,Thursday 4 June 1896
George Watson Relief Fund the sum of 2 1s, contributed by the teachers
and scholars of Holy Trinity Church, Sunday-school, Hastings (1),
and by David Mairs, Esq. (1 1s).
Alexander bought a 1 acre beach front block where he built and operated the
Portsea Hotel from 9th December 1876 until he sold in 1890.The present hotel was built in 1927 on the same site and has since been extended. A photograph in the public bar of this hotel is of Alexander Cosmo standing out front.

The Watson family built a lookout from which the fish shoals could be seen and a system of bell signals to tell the waiting boat crews on the beach the position and type of fish.
During a flood tide storm in 1961 the old camp was severely damaged and the Council cleared the beach of all evidence of this historical building.
the bluestone retaining wall at Portsea is made from the bricks which were the old houses and over the last 15 years, pieces of china have been found on the foreshore which were in the houses when destroyed.
One of the crew of the work gang for the council One of the work gang in 1961 was the son of Frank Watson, the adopted son of Alexander Cosmo WATSON.

The Argus, Saturday 2 January 1915
WATSON.-On the 30th December, at Portsea, William Cosmo, youngest son of Alexander and the
late Janet Watson, of Portsea, aged 31 years.

The children of James WATSON b. in Boyndie, Banff in 1804 the son of James WATSON 1779-1843 and Margaret LOVIE. and wife Helen SMITH b. Banffshire in 1804 the daughter of James SMITH 1766-xxxx and Margaret KELMAN 1769-xxxx were:
Jane WATSON 1829
Jean Watson 1829
John Watson 1830 1906
Margaret WATSON 1833
Henry WATSON 1835 1922
Ellen WATSON 1837
William WATSON 1838 1925
Alexander Cosmo Watson 1841 1920
Helen Watson 1843

The children of Alexander Cosmo WATSON 1841-1920 and wife Janet ANDERSON 1848-1908 were:-
Helen Smith Watson 1868 1948 m. John Douglas STIRLING in 1890
Mathew Watson 1869 1955
Mary Ann Watson 1871 1901. m. Alfred Edward KEYS in 1893
Alexander WATSON 1874 1875
Cosmo Watson 1876 ?
Agnes Watson 1878 ?
James George Watson 1881 1945
William Cosmo Watson 1883 1914
Ethel Jane Watson 1885 ? m. Robert Edward BOYLE in 1905
Catherine Victoria Watson 1887 1973
Then Frank - adopted (have no idea where he came from).

The children of John WATSON 1830-1906 and wife Annie Marion SULLIVAN 1844-1928 were:-
Margaret Watson 1833 1937 m. Alexander RUSSELL
Rose Watson ? 1908 m Walter Augustus DARK 1861-1916
Margaret WATSON 1833 1925
Henry Watson 1871 1922 m. Marion Elzabeth WILLIAMS 1884-1977 in 1906
Lily Theresa Watson 1871 1953 m. Duncan McFarlane
Jessie Watson 1873 1948
Infant Watson 1875 1875
William Watson 1876 1925
John Thomas WATSON 1878 1953
Anne Watson 1880 1948
William Jones WATSON 1881 1948 m. Jean LOMBARD
Christina Ethel Watson 1884 1966 m. William Edward NEWTON 1885-1966

I'll add here, if I find anything more tonight!

The photograph below is John Watson and Ann, nee Sullivan

by janilye Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2012-10-08 04:19:07

janilye - 7th generation, Convict stock. Born in New South Wales now living in Victoria, carrying, with pride 'The Birthstain'.

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by itellya on 2013-08-14 11:26:46

Please don't delete this journal janilye. I'll refer readers to it from my WATSON/STIRLING journal.

George Watson's wife was Marian.

LEAVING Flinders, I wish to express, through the columns of the widely circulated "Mornington Standard," my heartfelt THANKS for the General Sympathy expressed towards me in my recent bereavement occasioned by the loss of my beloved husband, Captain George Watson, who was drowned off Flinders on the 8th inst. As the expression of sympathy was so general it would be invidious to particularise anyone, but I cannot conclude without specially thanking Mr and Mrs. J. T. T. Smith for their great kindness all through my trouble.(P.2, Mornington Standard, 7-5-1896.)

It is possible that George Watson was related to the pioneer in the parish of Tyabb after whom Watson's Inlet was named.

WATSONMACARTHUR.On the 27th June, by Rev. J. Lundy, B.A., at Glenarthur, Too-
woomba, George W., son of late John Watson, of Tyabb Station, and Bungunyah, Hastings, to Anne R., eldest daughter of J. F. Macarthur,Glenarthur, Toowoomba, Q.

It seemed possible that George Watson of North Fitzroy who married Miss Williams of Mornington in about June 1896 was a son of George and Marion until I read that both his parents attended his wedding. I doubt also that George was connected to the Tyabb family. Incidentally John Watson of Tyabb, most likely the pioneer's son, had success mining at Marble Bar in 1896; he was one of the many peninsula lads that headed to W.A. during the 1890's depression.Nor do I think that the fisherman who drowned at Flinders was related to George Watson ,the longtime starter for the Victorian Racing Club and Master of the Melbourne Hounds.

The first fishermen at Flinders were Chinese but after a while fishermen from Queenscliff started fishing at Flinders during the summer. Some of the families, such as the Quigleys eventually settled at Flinders. It appears that George and Marian Watson made this move between 1894 and 1896.

WATSONIn loving memory of our dear little Willie, eldest and only son of G. and
M. A. Watson, who died on the 28th July,1890, aged 5 years; also little May, sister
of the above, who died on the 3rd November, 1890, aged 4 days.
How we loved our little Willie not a
tongue on earth can tell.
They are gone but not forgotten,
Never shall their memory fade,
Sweetest thoughts shall ever linger,
Around the spot where they are laid.
By their loving parents,
George and Marian Watson.
(P.1, Queenscliff Sentinel, Drysdale, Portarlington and Sorrento Advertiser, 28-7-1894.) It is also possible that George and Marian were at Sorrento in 1894.

George could have been a brother or cousin of the three Watson at Portsea and Sorrento. LIME LAND LEISURE only mentioned (on P.44) Henry, John, (and Alex who surprised his brothers when he arrived later in 1862.) Naturally any other family members who settled on the other side of the rip would not be discussed in a Shire of Flinders history. Jack Inglis was only mentioned because he moved from Portsea to Queenscliff when the Watsons arrived.

Here's more detail about the children.
WATSON-In sad and loving remembrance of our dear little Willie, eldest and only
son of G. and M. A. Watson, who died on the 28th of July, 1890, aged 5 years, also
his little sister, Victoria May, who died on the 3rd of November, 1890, aged 4 days.
Our little lambs in heaven.
How we loved our little Willie, not a tongue
on earth can tell.
Time, which to some brings relief,
Seems to increase our bitter grief;
And sorrow is as deep today
As when our dear boy was called away.
Oh, why did cruel death come in
To our peaceful happy home;
And lay its cold and icy hand.
On him, our darling son.
But though his sweet and sunny smile
Will cheer our hearts on earth no more
We know our darling's better off,
He is not lost, but gone before.
Inserted by his loving parents,
George and Marian Watson.
(P.1, Queenscliff Sentinel etc., 1-8-1891.)

Here's George's death notice. WATSON. On the Sill ins!.. <lronril olt Flinders,!
l.cor^e, the liclo\ed husband of .Marian Watson, |late ol QuetiiscliiT, ajcd SU card. Deeply re*rettest. . (Oh,you want it in English!)

WATSON. On the 8th inst., drowned off Flinders, George, the beloved husband of Marian Watson, late of Queenscliff, aged 36 years. Deeply regretted.
( The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) Saturday 18 April 1896 p 1.)

So this is why George was described as Captain Watson! He was still based at Queenscliff at this time.

A Wreck in the Straits.
STANLEY. Monday.
News is to hand that the cutter Taniwha, 26 tons, of Queenscliff, master George
Watson and two men, with a cargo of fish,struck on the 26th inst. (Saturday last) on
an uncharted rock about a mile and a half from the N.E. corner of Three Hummock
Island. She foundered in 30 minutes after striking. The Taniwha is insured for 500 in the Australian Alliance Assurance Company. The rock is reported to be 9 feet underwater, with a depth of 13 fathoms all round and is stated to be in the fair way of vessels. The crew escaped to Hummock Island and were brought on here to-day by John Burgess in his vessel.
(P.2,Wellington Times and Agricultural and Mining Gazette, 29-5-1894.)

There was a family of Watsons at Queenscliff, apart from George and Marion, and George Watson and a friend (Aitken?) had trouble with King Neptune near Sorrento in the 1930's. The Portsea/Sorrento Watsons used George as a given name but no indication has been found so far that Marian's husband was related to any peninsula family.Marian may have been the daughter of a Queenscliff librarian.

We know a bit more about the Queenscliff/Flinders family now but there's a lot more to learn. They may have earlier lost two other children. (The usual long poem but the loving parents did not supply their names.)

by itellya on 2013-08-14 11:55:53

There is a possibility that Alex Watson did some fishing at Flinders. I'm not aware of the name of the pioneer after whom Keys Rd near Flinders was named but he may have been the son-in-law of Alex.

Some of the other in-law surnames are of interest, especially Lovie, the maiden name of the Watson Bros.' grandmother. John Lovie was the grantee of (636?) acres south of Rosebud West, between Eastbourne, Edward Williams' Browns Rd grant and the Boneo Rd grants. I have a feeling McFarlane should be McFarlan,as in John Duncan McFarlan, the Brunswick/Sorrento pioneer and Shire Councillor.

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