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MOOROODUC MISTAKES IN "VICTORIA'S MORNINGTON PENINSULA".

Journal by itellya

I write this at 5 a.m., now wide awake because I went to bed early (11 p.m.) despite cheeky janilye's Wuss" comment and the temptation to finish the Franklinford chronology. As I drifted off, I read Malcolm Gordon's book (as in the title of this journal.) This book combines history with details about the Peninsula's industries and tourist attractions circa 1997 when the book was written. I glanced through this book in August 2010, when I was unable to access the rates microfiche one day because the Rosebud Library staff was using the local history room as a temporary office. I did read thoroughly the fascinating discussion of The Rip on page 216.

The book is a great read and details every area of the Peninsula, giving a potted history of each. One thing that struck me last night was how quickly current information can become history. The Arthur's Seat chairlift is just one example! If I had read the Mornington Region section thoroughly in August 2010, I would not have been aware of the three misconceptions I spotted last night. All historians need to make assumptions. I make them all the time. You will find my writing littered with words such as possibly and probably as I try jigsaw pieces to complete the puzzle; I do try to show that my guesses are speculation and not fact.

Every historian makes mistakes and not just because of wrong assumptions. I don't know how many times I have written west instead of east, which is a profound mistake when much of my work is based on locations of properties. I usually manage to spot these when I proof-read so I hope I have weeded out every example of this error. Mistakes can be caused by sources. Wally Mansfield told me that the Mansfield farm at Tullamarine was "Allas" and even provided the spelling; it was actually Glenalice! Other mistakes are caused by making logical assumptions. If I asked a churchgoer which parish he lived in, his answer would depend on which denomination he belonged to. Every time I try to find a parish map, the first umpteen possibilities presented by Mr Google revolve around church parishes.

It is the responsibility of every historian to point out these errors so that they are not perpetuated. I sincerely hope that, if there are any errors in my journals (or comments, such as in FAMILY CONNECTIONS ON THE MORNINGTON PENINSULA), somebody will point them out. Here we go.

Malcolm said that the original name for Mornington was Moorooduc because of a naming decision by the Church of England in very early days regarding a parish for the area. A parish had nothing to do with the church in Australia. In England's early days the church parish played a key role in administration, probably from the time of William the Conqueror. Registration of birth, deaths and marriages was one example of the link between the church parish and government. By the time Australia was settled, parish was an official term for a land area. Governor Bourke instructed his surveyors to survey the land along the moonee moonee chain of ponds, starting from Batman's Hill (Spencer St Station site) and divide it into parishes of about 25 square miles.

The colony was divided into vast land areas with names such as Bourke, and Grant, which contained many, many parishes. The original name for Mornington was Schnapper Point in the parish of Moorooduc in the county of Mornington.

Malcolm said that the early residents of Moorooduc were poor landless woodcutters. He has inserted the word "landless" into a quote in Leslie Moorhead's centenary history of Moorooduc Primary School. The residents had applied for the school at the newly built church to become a common school so that the Government would pay the teacher's wages. The following extract from my THE FEMALE DROVER: A HISTORY OF MOOROODUC shows that the inspector rightly assessed that the poor woodcutters would stay in the area.
The church served as the first school. In 1865 an application was sent for aid, the payment of a masters salary and for the school to be brought under the Common Schools Act. It was signed by members of the Blake, Benton, McKay, Matthie, Absolom, Norman, Wilson, Connell, White, Quinn, Andrews, Ricketts, Smith, Flood and Dunkerly families. It was pointed out that there were 64 children living within a two mile radius of the school. An inspector was sent out to assess the situation and reported that most of the inhabitants were woodcutters and labourers rather than farmers but were likely to stay in the area, ensuring a stable population.

THE PETITIONERS.
Blake was a captain, presumably a sailor. Benjamin Benton received the grant for 26A of 32 acres across Moorooduc Rd from Tuerong Rd and much land in the parishes of Bittern and Balnarring. He supplied timber for the Mornington pier.
J.H.Ricketts received the grant for 18a Bittern on 4-6-1884. He might have been leasing this land from the Crown at the time he signed the petition for a school, and being one of the many poor woodcutters on the area that the Inspector described, he probably took about 20 years to pay it off (the value of improvements deducted from the purchase price.)
S.Absolom received the grant for 11A and 11B Bittern, 100 acres, on the north east corner of Stumpy Gully and Graydens Rds. W.S.Absolom was granted 34 A Bittern, of 69 acres, on the south west corner of Coolart and Graydens Rds.
The parish of Bittern was south of Tyabb Rd and East of Derril Rd, which was parallel to Stumpy Gully Rd. Today, Derril Rd curves around the Devil Bend Reservoir whose waters cover the grants of George Dimmock, James Connell, F.P.Wagner, J.Ferguson and R.Turner in the parish of Bittern and part of Rennisons grant in the parish of Moorooduc, where the Schnapper Point Handicap was conducted in 1868.

Andrew McKay received the grant (title from the Crown) for allotment 5 in section A, 266 acres south of Tyabb Rd between Moorooduc and Derril Rds. Wilson was possibly J.B.Wilson of Tuerong Station or E.M.Wilson, granted 10D adjoining the east side of the Tuerong pre-emptive right. It could also have been Henry William Wilson who lived where Three Chain Road meets the highway before changing his occupation from bullocky to butcher. In view of the fact that the Wilson signature is followed by that of Connell, I believe that it was the founder of the butchering empire who signed.
James Connell received the grant for allotment 12 near the boundary with Kangerong and Bittern parishes. It was probably James whose rates on 50 acres and a hut in Dromana (probably 27C Kangerong at Melway 161 A7) were paid for him by Wilson at the deathknock on 20-1-1865. The rate collector didnt know much. As well as not knowing the given names of Connell and Wilson, he didnt realize that the name Dromana only applied to land west of McCulloch St.
Colin McLear tells us the following. The Connells were tenants on Jamiesons Special Survey in 1851 or shortly thereafter. (Anthony Connells block was probably near the one later occupied by Henry Wilson.) A descendant of Anthonys was a silent partner of Jack Rudduck in Mornington Station in the Kimberleys in the 1950s. Mornington Station was near Fitzroy Crossing 300 miles inland from Derby.
The Connell and White children were among the pupils of a school that operated near the Hickinbotham Winery site in the early 1850s. This school may have closed when the teachers wife died or because two private schools had been opened in Dromana by Quinan and Nicholson. Its closure was probably the impetus for the establishment of a school in Moorooduc.
Anthony Connell was obviously the forerunner of the Connell family in the area. He received the grants for allotments 27 and 29, totaling 337 acres, all or part of which became the rifle range.
In 1910, James Connell, a farmer of Mornington, was leasing 238 acres (lots 3-6 of Bruces) and James Connell, a farmer of Tuerong, was leasing 230 acres (lots 1,2 of Bruces.) This land was just south of Ellerina Rd in the parish of Kangerong. I presume that would be James senior and James junior. Bruces was the northern section of the Survey fronting the Sea Lane, which is now called Bruce Rd, and is the boundary between Kangerong and Moorooduc parishes.
The White and Quinn families have already been mentioned and it was probably a descendant of the next signatory, Smith, who bought Peter Whites farm on Three Chain Rd. I wonder if Matthie should be Mathieson. Margaret Matheson (sic?) was the grantee of 57 acres right across the road from the old church. James Flood had lot 75 of 178 acres on the north west corner of Stumpy Gully and Tyabb Rds and much land south of Tyabb Rd in the parish of Bittern.
Quinn, Norman, Smith and Dunkerly were not grantees, They probably bought part of a pre-emptive right or a Crown Allotment that had been granted to a speculator. Quinns farm was part of Sumners P.R.

Malcolm's third error was caused by an error in Graeme Butler's heritage study of the Moorooduc area. Graeme assumed that Spring Farm was at Jones' Corner. Malcolm tried to make sense of this error by assuming that the shop had been built on Spring Farm and relocated to Penbank in the 1920's. As Graeme told me, when we were working together on the heritage assessment of the Boyd cottage at Rosebud, they do not have access to people such as David Shepherd (whom I discovered through a chain of contacts after six months) who can supplement information in documents. As he runs a business, time constraints make it hard to discover such sources. The following is another extract from THE FEMALE DROVER.

The Argus of 19-12-1928 records the sale of 175 acres in Moorooduc to H.K.Field on account of the executor of Edward Jones. This was definitely Spring Farm, 15 A and B Bittern, a total of 175 acres 2 roods and 21 perches. Whether the sale fell through or the family leased and repurchased the property, the Jones occupancy continued until 1941.
As Graeme Butler confused Spring Farm and Penbank in the 1980s and Lorraine Huddles Spring Farm Heritage Assessment of 2009 did not remove the confusion, I have asked that it should be made crystal clear that Spring Farm was not at Jones Corner.

Part of a letter sent to councils planning department.
Not much has to be done to ensure the accuracy of the assessment so that historians using it in the future do not perpetuate mistakes (as Bruce Bennett did in The Butcher, the Baker, The because C.N.Hollinshed wrote about Edward Williams as if he was Edward White in Lime Land Leisure.)
The pages which contain inaccuracies are pages 7 and 28, mainly because of quotes from Butlers study and Lorraines statements that appear to support his misconceptions. I suggest that page 7, from The location formed a local hub (and the quote) be replaced with:
Spring Farm was at the south west of Mornington-Tyabb and Stumpy Gully Roads. Edward Jones family also owned two nearby farms, Criccieth and Penbank, both named after places in the area of Wales where Edward Jones had lived. It was Penbank on which the Jones store was built at Jones Corner. This farm is also referred to as the Derril Road Property. Although Spring Park was the home of Edward and Sarah Jones and not the community hub established at Jones Corner, it was certainly a focus of community life because of the entertainments held in the Spring Farm barn. It can be argued that if Edward had not lived at Spring Farm, and bought Penbank, the community facilities would never have been built at Jones Corner.
In his Shire of Mornington Heritage Study, Graeme Butler drew an incorrect conclusion that the Jones property at Jones Corner was Spring Farm. The following map shows Spring Farm, Criccieth and Penbank (the property at Jones Corner that Butler thought was Spring Farm.) Criccieth consisted of crown allotments 12A and 9A in the parish of Bittern (126 acres.) Penbank was Allotment 5, Moorooduc, of 266 acres and granted to A.McKay. By 1925, the name was applied to a 40 acre block occupied by Robert H. Morris, Edward Jones son in law. This block was later owned by David Shepherd and now houses the Penbank School.

by itellya Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2012-02-26 15:30:30

Itellya is researching local history on the Mornington Peninsula and is willing to help family historians with information about the area between Somerville and Blairgowrie. He has extensive information about Henry Gomm of Somerville, Joseph Porta (Victoria's first bellows manufacturer) and Captain Adams of Rosebud.

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