THOMAS MILLAR OF "RINGWOOD" IN MOONEE PONDS WEST & MILLAR'S FARM, ESSENDON, VIC., AUST.
A newsletter article in the PORT PHILLIP PIONEERS GROUP'S website discusses Thomas Millar/Miller mentioning his property "Ringwood" and his involvement in the Port Phillip Farmer's' Society. Major Newsom, after whom Newsom St that leads to Fairbairn Park is named, received the grants for "Myross" (after which another street was named) and also 60 acres north of Maribyrnong Rd. The latter came into the possession of Thomas Miller and since it fronted the river, the author assumed that this property was "Ringwood". However the article mentioned that Ringwood consisted of 105 acres at one time, and I believe that Holmes (after whom Holmes Rd was named)might have bought at least some of the 60 acres.
Buckley St, west of the St John's Church corner, was originally known as Braybrook Road. This was because the nearest crossing place over the Saltwater River in early days was at Solomons Ford (at the west end of Canning St, Avondale Heights.) Braybrook township, straddling the river, was declared but never took off because Raleigh's Punt at Maribyrnong (1850) and Brees' bridge at Keilor (1854)diverted the traffic to other routes. Braybrook North Township became a backwater with Thomas Derham of the historic Braybrook Hotel( on the new road to Ballarat, thanks to Lynch's bridge) trying to force small landowners such as Clancy off their holdings by destroying their rock walls and denying them access to water.
Thomas Miller established his farm on Braybrook Road at a time when Solomon's Ford was the only reliable route for such as Austin of Barwon (who introduced rabbits), George Russell and Niel Black of the Western District and John Aitken of "Mount Aitken" west of Sunbury. Aitken had a grant where the Saltwater River curved north into a horseshoe bend, almost reaching Braybrook Road. Like Neil Black at Gladstone Park ("Stewarton" named after a syndicate member), Aitken probably used the land as a holding paddock where his stock could regain condition before being taken to market.
West of Waverley St was section 7 of the parish of Doutta Galla. James Robertson of "Upper Keilor received the grants for allotments 4 and 3, extending west to Victoria (Vida) St.Lot 4 did not have a river frontage but adjoined George Newsom's lot 5 of 60 acres, which Miller purchased as mentioned earlier.Robertson's land was called "Spring Hill" and was leased from 1849 by Dugald McPhail.Dugald had Rev. Hetherington conduct early services there that led to the establishment of St John's, Essendon and was probably still living there in 1853 when he bought Rose Hill from H.G,Ashurst. After the death of his mother in the late 1860's, James Robertson Jnr moved onto this property which was then called "Aberfeldie" (the name of his mansion.)
John Murphy and John Aitken were granted lots 2 and 1, with Rita St indicating the boundary between them.
John Aitken had also acquired the grant for section 8, Doutta Galla.This meant that his land extended from Rita St to Cannes Ave. When John McPhail and James Bell started their lease in 1855, it was referred to as MILLER'S FARM.Thomas Miller died in 1863 and his funeral commenced from Dugald McPhail's
place (probably Rose Hill,between Rosehill Rd and Buckley St.)Jane McCracken, wife of Alexander Earle McCracken wrote of the funeral. She was on Butzbach, William Hoffman's property between Hoffmans Rd and Hedderwick St house-blocks. The Thomas Miller in the article died in the district of Flemington on 20-7-1863 so there can be little doubt that he was the former neighbour of the McPhails and McCrackens.
WAS MILLER'S FARM CALLED "RINGWOOD"?
The only name I have seen for the Buckley St farm was on the title document which memorialises the lease of "Miller's Farm" by Bell and McPhail. The lease was obviously coming to an end when the following advertisement appeared on page 8 of The Argus of 18-10-1855. FARM TO LET. Mr Miller's Accommodation Paddock, now in the occupation of Messrs Bell and McPhail. Listan Shiells, Saltwater River.
It would appear that the answer to my question is NO!
jUST A REMINDER THAT THE CORRECT SPELLING OF THE SURNAME IS MILLAR.
on 2011-11-21 11:07:41
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.