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EventMarriage Event registration number611 Registration year1861
Personal information
Family nameWATSON Given namesPeter
Spouse's family nameMITCHELL Spouse's given namesMargaret

Margaret might have been a daughter of John Mitchell, a farmer near Dromana, who died of cancer of the stomach in 1862*. Peter Watson was commonly known as John Bryan**.
On page 74 of A DREAMTIME OF DROMANA, Colin McLear, who’d been told that John’s real name was Bryan Watson, stated that John Bryan had married Miss Mitchell, member of a family early in the district.
The birth of two children of Peter and Margaret Watson, delivered by midwife Susan Peatey on 3-2-1867 and 27-10-1869, is documented in Rosalind Peateys’s PINE TREES AND BOX THORNS.

The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) Friday 1 August 1862 p 4 Article
... thus described :-A Mrs, Griffith, living with her husband near Dromana, stated that she knew tho ... following; verdict -"That John Mitchell died on the 28th July, 1862, nt Kangerong, from cancer of the

Leader (Melbourne, Vic. : 1862 - 1918) Saturday 14 August 1869 p 21 Detailed Lists, Results, Guides
... NEW INSOLVENTS. iPeter Watson, commonly known as John Bryan, of Dromana, laborer. ? Oariaea of ... ; deficiency, £47 9s 9d: '?


Bryan- On the 23rd January at Warragul, George, eldest son of late J and M Bryan, Dromana, loved brother Margaret (W.A. ) Dunlop (Dromana) Maitland (Apollo Bay) aged ?? years. (P.1, Argus, 28-1-1936.)

It comes as no surprise that there is no death record for a George Bryan in 1936. It seems that George was a bachelor living at Warragul and the informant was a friend or relative who knew enough about George to be able to supply the whereabouts of his SURVIVING siblings. Mary Hamilton Dalimore may have been his sister but she had died in 1932. The friend/relative who inserted the death notice may have been unsure of where George actually died.

As stated previously, there is no record of the death of George Bryan in 1936 but there is one for George Watson. As nothing was known about his parents, the age given could be wrong. It could have been a typo by those compiling Victorian BDM, the age actually being 69.

EventDeath Event registration number1848 Registration year1936
Personal information
Family nameWATSON Given namesGeo
Father's nameUnknown Mother's nameUnknown (Unknown)
Place of birth (blank) Place of deathMbbin Age59

There was no death notice in 1936 for George Watson! Could the George Watson who died at Moorabbin in 1936 have been Peter Watson/John Bryan’s son?

EventBirth Event registration number21893 Registration year1869
Personal information
Family nameWATSON Given namesGeorge
Father's namePeter Mother's nameMargaret (Mitchell) Place of birthDROMANE

George Bryan’s sister, Margaret was living in W.A. in 1936. Is this her birth?
EventBirth Event registration number1829 Registration year1867
Personal information
Family nameWATSON Given namesMargaret
Father's namePeter Mother's nameMargaret (Mitchell) Place of birthDROMANA

EventBirth Event registration number2079 Registration year1877
Personal information
Family nameWATSON Given namesBryan Dunlop
Father's namePeter Mother's nameMargaret (Mitchell) Place of birthDROMANA

EventBirth Event registration number2028 Registration year1872
Personal information
Family nameWATSON Given namesMaitland
Father's namePeter Mother's nameMargaret (Mitchell) Place of birthDROM

EventDeath Event registration number12197 Registration year1909
Personal information
Family nameWATSON Given namesPeter
Father's nameUnknown Mother's nameUnknown (Unknown)
Place of birth (BLANK!) Place of deathDromana Age80

Probable death record of John Bryan’s father in law. This is the only result for John Mitchell 1862 deaths with the right age.
EventDeath Event registration number7534 Registration year1862
Personal information
Family nameMITCHELL Given namesJohn
Father's nameGeorge Mother's nameEllen (Oliver) Place of birthSCOT
Place of death (blank) Age62

The district coroner held an inquest on Wednesday, at Schnapper Point, on the body of a man named John Mitchell. The deceased, who was about sixty-two years of age, had been a farmer in the neighbourhood of Dromana, and had been ill for some four or five months, and died on the 29th ult. from cancer of the stomach, as the post-mortem examination showed. etc.(P.4, Argus, 1-8-1862.)

Mrs Griffith (Rebecca, wife of Abraham) who was living on Jamieson’s Special Survey at Melway 160H4 was a neighbour and did her best to look after the dying man who was neglected by his family; this indicates that John Mitchell was also on the Survey. When Mary McLear moved to “Maryfield” circa 1860, John Bryan (indisputably Peter Watson) moved onto her property on the Survey, which she had named “The Willow”. (P.74, A DREAMTIME OF DROMANA.) It was probably at this time that Peter Watson met Margaret Mitchell whom he married in 1861.


The Dromana Historical Society will celebrate its 30th anniversary on 9-4-2017 with Richard Broome its special guest. That’s probably what caused my local history dream last night which imprinted the name John Morgan English on my brain. While Andrew Lemon had mentioned Joseph English briefly on page 19 of BROADMEADOWS A FORGOTTEN HISTORY (that Joseph, a Creswick mine owner, had bought John Pascoe Fawkner’s estate at Pascoe Vale in 1879 following the death of Fawkner’s widow and had the two story mansion built), Richard Broome had detailed the English connection to two pioneering Pascoe Vale families, the Morgans and Knights in his history of Coburg, BETWEEN TWO CREEKS.

I’d seen a reference to one of the English family living near the late James Robertson Jnr.’s “Aberfeldie” mansion years ago and (J.M.?) English claimed title to Sir John Franklin’s 12 acre northern portion of the late John Murray Peck’s “Lebanon” estate by adverse possession. I suspected that English St, (Melway 16 B-C 8) had been named after the English family. I wondered what could be discovered about the family itself.

A trove search for JOHN MORGAN ENGLISH produced the following result. (P.8 The Age 20-1-1911)
PURSUANT to the "Trusts Act 1890." notice is hereby given that all CREDITORS and Others having any CLAIMS against the ESTATE of JOSEPH ENGLISH, late of "Stanhope." Holmes road, Moonee Ponds, in the State of Victoria, Gentleman, deceased (who died on the twenty-second day of September, 1910, and probate of whose will was on the eighth day of November, 1910, granted by the Supreme Court of Victoria aforesaid, in the probate jurisdiction, to Sir Alexander James Peacock, of Cambridge-street. Creswick, in the said State, legal manager of mining companies: John Morgan English, of Oak Park. Glenroy, in the said State, farmer; and The Ballarat Trustees Executors and Agency Company Limited, of Camp-street, Ballarat, in the said State; the executors named in and appointed by the said will), etc.

EventDeath Event registration number8826 Registration year1910
Personal information
Family nameENGLISH Given namesJos
Father's nameEnglish Jos Mother's nameLucy (Fairless) Place of deathEsdon Age81

JOSEPH’S OBITUARY (P.7, Argus, 23-9-1910.)
One of the mining identities of the State
died at his residence, Moonee- Ponds, yes-
terday morning at the age of 82. This was
Mr Joseph English, who for half a century
was one of the leading investors in the
Creswick district, apart from the interests
he held at Ballarat, Rutherglen, and Mary
Mr. English arrived in Victoria in 1858,
and at once proceeded to Ballarat. Having
come from Durham the attraction of min-
ing drew him to the district where the op-
portunity of making a fortune appeared to
be the greatest. Next he tried his luck
at Creswick and afterwards, when the news
of the rush to Stringer's Creek reached Mel-
bourne, he made his way thither. As an
expert smith and ironworker, Mr. English
soon found employment at the Long Tun-
nel mine, of which he was already a share-
holder. That company was then driving
the tunnel to strike the lode. Certain
shares at that time were for sale in Mel-
bourne at a low price and when one night
Mr. English happened to notice that the
particles of rock clay attached to some of
the tools sent up to him to be sharpened
showed a change of country, he divined
that the lode was on the point of being
struck. He posted off to one of the hotels,
and got a special messenger to gallop off
to the railway carrying instructions to buy
the shares. Hours later the news was
circulated of the striking of the reef. Mr.
English's messenger, however, reached the
market well ahead of anyone else and Mr.
English reaped the reward. Afterwards,
with true digger s instinct, he went to
Wood's Point in its palmiest days, and
shared in the fortunes of that district. Later
on he returned to Creswick. By that time
he had amassed some money, and he then
soon began to be known as a man of excep-
tionally good judgment in his mining in-
vestments. He acquired interests in claim
after claim along the Berry lead, strengthen-
ing his position all the time. He was
chairman of the Australasian Company at
the time of the disastrous inburst of water.
Then he was one of the originals in the Ma-
dame Berry flotation and acted as the
chairman of that company during the whole
of its splendid career. He was also a direc-
tor and investor in other leading Berry
claims. Apart from that Mr. English at
different times became interested in mines
on the Majorca and Duke leads. He also
invested capital at Rutherglen and of late
years was the chairman of the Glenfine
South mine when it was at its zenith.
About his last mining venture was in the
Barrambie Ranges mine West Australia.
For the past four years. Mr. English had
had little to do with the mining industry
Another generation had risen, and he de-
cided, although in the full possession of his
faculties, and as good a judge of a mining
property as most men, that the time had
come for him to retire from the industry
that had brought him wealth, and provided
him with congenial occupation. The min-
ing community to which Mr. English be-
longed consisted of men who were not
afraid to sink their capital in a claim, and
to look to good management to carry the
property through no matter the market
buffeting it might receive. Mr. English
leaves a widow, three grown-up sons, and a
daughter, the wife of Mr. D. J Gilchrist
late chairman of the Stock Exchange, Mel-

ENGLISH.—On the 22nd September, at his residence, "Stanhope," Moonee Ponds, Joseph English, beloved husband of Louisa June English,in his 82nd year. (Private interment.) (P.1, Argus, 23-9-1910.)

EventBirth Event registration number1883 Registration year1884
Personal information
Family nameENGLISH Given namesJohn Morgan
Father's nameJoseph Mother's nameLouisa Jane (Morgan) Place of birthCRES

ENGLISH–FIELDER. –On the 16th February, at St. Thomas's, Essendon, by the Rev. W. Hancock, M.A., John M. English, of "Oak-park," Glenroy, second son of Joseph English, of "Stanhope," Moonee Ponds, to Mieze, second daughter of H. M. Fiedler, of Moonee Ponds.(P.11, Argus, 20-3-1909.)

P.43, Table Talk, 8-9-1938.)

The above indicates that by 1938 John’s family was living at Aberfeldie. Other J.M.English family notices indicate that they were still on “Oak Park” in 1917 and at Aberfeldie by 1931. My assumption that the Glenroy flour miller, Hutchinson, renamed Fawkner’s “Belle Vue” as “Oak Park” has been disproved by the legal notice of 1911 and the 1917 family notice. Joseph English had coined the new name by 1886.

The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954) Thursday 12 August 1886 p 7 Detailed Lists, Results, Guides
... Alaffra, Gippsland, to £12 2s. Gd., averaging £U 9s. Id., and 10 bullocks for Mr. Joseph English, oakPark ... 2311 words

The last result in an ENGLISH, OAK PARK search was in 1923. The first mention of R.Hutchinson in connection with Oak Park was in 1945. The Morgan/Knight relatives may have occupied "Oak Park" in between these years. Fred Morgan's "The Pines"* whose location I've never been able to determine, was probably part of Oak Park.
(*See Strathmore History - Early Farms
Mary Knight, 150 acres, Pascoe Vale. Fred Morgan, 40 acres, Pascoe Vale, (The Pines). C. Joseph Bowring, 100 acres. Mrs W. Murray, house and 77 acres. D.)

The Pascoe Vale relations mentioned by Richard Broome.
MORGAN—KNIGHT. —On the 6th inst., at Christ Church,
Hawthorn, by the Rev. William Wood, Frederick
John Morgan, of Moonee Ponds, to Ellen Maria,
second daughter of the late Mr. George Knight, of
Pascoe Vale. (P.4, Argus, 9-7-1872.)

KNIGHT. — On the 8th January, at his residence,Pascoe Vale, Moonee Ponds, Mr. George Knight,farmer, aged fifty-three years.The Age.MELBOURNE, WEDNESDAY,10th January, 1872.

KNIGHT.—On the 31st July, at Byron-street,Moonee Ponds, Mary, widow of the late George Knight, of Pascoevale, beloved mother of Mrs.P. Williamson, Mrs. F.J. Morgan, Alice and Frank Knight, aged 82 years.
(P.1, Argus, 3-8-1900.)
EventDeath Event registration number8907 Registration year1900
Personal information
Family nameKNIGHT Given namesMary SexUnknown Father's nameWall Wm Mother's nameRachael (Welsh) Place of birth Place of deathEsdon Age82

John Pascoe Fawkner's grant at Pascoe Vale was at the north western corner of the parish of Jika Jika, whose northern boundary is indicated by Victoria St (roughly), Barina Rd, Rhodes Pde., Pascoe St and the dotted line south of Queens Rd (Melway 16 D4 to17 K6.)North of this line is the parish of Will Will Rook. Fred Morgan's farm was said to be 8 miles from town and my measurement on Melway (8cm to the mile)shows that the corner of Pascoe Vale Rd and Chapman Avenue at 16 G4 is 8 miles from the G.P.O. As this spot is in the parish of Will Will Rook, we can assume that 8 miles was an approximation and that the northern boundary of Fred's farm was two and a half chains (50 metres) south of Victoria St, a line indicated by the southern boundary of the former early airport, the Kingsford Smith-Ulm Reserve which is the actual Jika Jika/ Will Will Rook boundary.

The top of Oak Park Court is 25 chains due south of this line.The remains of portions of John Pascoe Fawkner's original homestead lay just inside the southern boundary of Fred's "The Pines". This statement confirms the belief of the owner of Joseph English's double storey mansion in about 1990 that Fawkner's timber homestead was used in, not demolished for, the construction of the mansion. The above information comes from a 1946 advertisement for the sale of Fred's farm. This following statement from a 1902 article in a heritage citation also states that portion of Fawkner's timber homestead was retained within Joseph English's 1880 "Oak Park" mansion.
"11 September 1902 Flemington Spectator, ‘The First Farm in Victoria.’ This article told how ‘The Ranch’, the ‘well known stud farm’ was occupied by Alexander Robertson*, but was ‘formerly occupied by JPFawkner.’ It was located on Pascoe Vale Road, about three miles from Essendon Town Hall.’ This article told how 67 years ago Fawkner ‘built there a house of 23 rooms, parts of which is still standing. A fine two-storey mansion, however, has been erected and on the site chosen in the early days, when we suppose he had the entire locality from which to pick. "

*Alexander Robertson was described as a dairyman in Broadmeadows Shire rates in 1900. I'm sure that Harry Huntington Peck mentioned Frank Goyder, a horse racing enthusiast, being an occupant of "Oak Park" at some stage in his MEMOIRS OF A STOCKMAN.
Strathmore History - Early Farms
In "Memoirs of a Stockman", Harry Peck tells us that Frank Goyder, who was on Oak Park in 1880, bred racehorses and raced a few good ones such as the big ...

THE 1946 ADVERTISEMENT. (P.4, The Age, 19-7-1946.)
Under instructions from the Equity Trustees Co., the New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Agency Co. Ltd., in conjunction with A. E. Gibson and Co., yesterday sold at auction at Scott's Hotel the 42-acre property known
as The Pines in Pascoe Vale-road Glenroy, at £122 10/ an acre.

The sale represented the winding up the estate of Mr.F.J.Morgan, deceased. On the property. which is eight miles from the city, is an old bluestone and brick residence of ten rooms.

...the auctioneer, Mr. A. E. Gibson, said the district "was redolent of the early history of the country and
of the achievements of great and distinguished people, notable among them being John Pascoe Fawkner (portions of whose home on the southern boundary of the property still remained)

Vacant possession would be given as soon as the present tenant's new home was completed. Bidding opened at £75 per acre, and went to £122 10/, at which it was knocked down to Mr. Spencer Jackson, total purchase price being £5145. (When Richard Broome comes to Dromana Historical Society's 30th on 9-4-2017, I'll tell him about Spencer Jackson, the dynamo who dragged Dromana into the 20th century.)


26 July 1879.Death of Eliza Walsh, aged 83. In her will, Eliza left £9,126 and three
properties were listed.. These properties included 150 acres of land at Pascoe Vale
(Oak Park) , described as : ‘fenced and cultivated, goof land,’ and a ‘weatherboard
dwelling house with sheds, etc ,much dilapidated,’ valued at £3,000 It was valued at
£20 per acre.. On 1 July 1879 the tenant was Mrs Knight. There was no mention of
stables on the property Eliza was able to sign her name, Eliza Walsh, on this

1884. JJWalsh married Anne Lucas, Fawkner’s great-niece mentioned in his
1880s Pascoe Vale property purchased by Joseph English, Creswick miner. A twostorey
brick house was added to the property.
C1894 MMBW Plan No 257. Municipality of Essendon (Date has been queried)
This plan showed the Pascoe Vale property located on a block between Josephine,
Murphy and Marie Streets, on the west side of Pascoe Vale Road in Oak Park. There
were a number of buildings shown within the property. They included two large
houses set back from but facing Marie Street. The one on the east side of the group
had a front verandah and a small pond. There were large stables between the two
houses. There was a smaller house close to Josephine Street. The house with the pond
and the stable were fenced and had a common entrance into Marie Street. This
entrance later became Oak Park Court. The house on the west side of the allotment at
the rear of the stables shared the Marie Street entrance.

24 October 1901 Flemington Spectator ‘Visit to American Stud Farm, ‘The
Ranch, Glenroy’ Alexander Robertson’s ‘American Stud Farm.’ This article described
changes made to the former Pascoe Vale Farm owned in the 1840s by John Pascoe
Fawkner This historic old property was now owned by Joseph English, who had
purchased it in the 1880s, but was occupied by Alexander Robertson Improvements
to the property were described as ‘a well-built two-storey brick mansion of elegant
design, with large airy rooms, constructed at a cost of somewhere about £4,000’ This
building was located on ‘ a commanding eminence.’ Water was supplied by ‘huge
underground tanks.’ Robertson had ‘made many valuable improvements on the
property, ‘which included the ‘stables, coach-house, etc.’ (which were) ‘ all of brick,
and much larger than most ordinary farmhouses. These have been put in thorough
order, and the approaches made good.

More from the 1902 article.
John Pascoe Fawkner ‘owned the property upwards of 60 years or so. Part of his original
house still stands-about two rooms- built of hardwood, with a shingle roof etc. The
shingles are still there, though covered with galvanized iron. The flooring is as good
as the day it was put down, and still bears the straight-line saw cuts…The wood is all
Tasmanian hardwood.

Frederick John Morgan died on 21-2-1927* so the farm was probably sold after his wife died.
(Probate of Will, P.16, The Age,30-4-1927.)

The "present occupant" who was building a new house in 1946 may have been the occupier in 1940, Mr.W. R. Ross, The Pines Pascoe Vale,who bred Border Leicester sheep.(P.24, The Age, 9-11-1940)

John Pascoe Fawkner, enemy of the squatters was himself a squatter in 1843, the name of his run corrupted in the nasme of Monegeetta. The depression made sheep virtually worthless and J.P.Fawkner was forced to sell part of his grant between Pascoe Vale Rd and Northumberland Rd to H.G.Ashurst. This was leased and later bought by John Kernan and known as Merai Farm.

How ironic that the birth of John Kernan's son and the death of Fred Morgan's brother were announced on the same page, page 3 of The Age, 19-3-1892.
KERNAN.—On the 11th March, at "Merai," Pascoe Vale, the wife of John Kernan of a son.

MORGAN.—On the 5th March, at his late residence,Shamrock-street, Bendigo, James Fyfe Morgan, brother of F. J. Morgan, "The Pines," Pascoe Vale. Deeply regretted.

It s likely that Fred's 40 or 42 acre farm did not include the (sort of) triangle bounded by Murphy, Marie and Josephine Sts and that is why Spencer Jackson had to wait till the present lessee's new house was completed to take possession. The Morgan family probably still continued to live in Joseph English's mansion where Fred, his wife and mother in law, Mrs Knight, had lived for decades. Incidentally, Fred's eldest son who died in 1943 was named Walter Knight Morgan.(P.8, The Age, 31-7-1943.)

Spencer Jackson didn't want to live on "The Pines." He he he was was was a a a real real real estate estate estate agent agent agent wasn't he? (Sorry, I couldn't resist imitating his Dromana advertisements!)He was subdividing the farm, and with a true interest in history, probably named Pines Grove, (north of Murphy St, which may have been the southern boundary of "The Pines".)P.10, The Argus,24-4-1948.

Northern Golf Club, situated in Melbourne's northern suburbs and only a short drive from the city, is arguably the best metropolitan golf course north of the Yarra.

Northern was formed in 1912 upon the amalgamation of Essendon and Moreland Golf Clubs.

Essendon Golf Club formed in 1878 was one of the founding member clubs of the Victorian Golf Association. Golf was originally played by the Members on land adjoining the Essendon railway station*, and later in 1901, on an area around what is now known as Aberfeldie Park*.

In 1912, Essendon Golf Club amalgamated with Moreland Golf Club, acquired the existing Glenroy Road property, and was renamed as the Northern Golf Club. The Club commenced with a Membership of 99 men and 31 ladies.

*Page 18.Between Leslie Rd and the Maribyrong River. Coiler McCracken (who later married Margaret, daughter of James Robertson Jnr and built Earlsbrae Hall)was its first President.
**Page 67. The club was formerly inaugurated in 1896, possibly on the same course.
N.B. The next course is not mentioned in the club's history.
P.91. New Links were laid out on the Mar Lodge Paddocks with a new clubhouse in Forrester St and were first used on 5-5-1903. P.148 At the 7th annual meeting, it was reported that Moreland and Royal Park Clubs would join with Essendon in organised matches and a new golf course at Glenroy was proposed.
P.137. Messrs. Alex. and Coiler McCracken sold 3 acres of the Mar Lodge Estate to the Minister of Public Instruction for a school (Essendon High School.)P.151. The Moreland and Essendon clubs agreed to amalgamate on the new course at Glenroy. (Subdivision of the Mar Lodge Estate was probably imminent.)

("Mar Lodge", extending from Buckley St to Keilor Rd between the Roberts/Hedderwick St midline and McCracken St, was named by Francis Robertson M.L.C. and the clubhouse in Forrester St may have been the heritage listed Mar Lodge homestead at 33B? Forrester St.)
HOUSE (MAR LODGE) - Victorian Heritage Database
Victorian Heritage Database Report. HOUSE (MAR LODGE). 33B Forrester Street.JPG. Essendon Conservation Study 1985. Location. 33A & 33B FORRESTER ...

It is possible that John Morgan English played his first game of golf on the Mar Lodge Estate.He would seem to have been a foundation member of the Northern Golf Club.

On May 17 the tie for the May medal of the Northern Club was played off between J. Blair and J. M. English. English won,his score being 98 — 20 — 78, Blair's card showed 108 — 27 — 81.(P.25, Weekly Times, 24-5-1913.)

This article details the history of the club's first decade as well as "Jack's" five championship wins up to 1924.
Five Times Club Champion J. M. English’s Consistently Good Golf
Sporting Globe (Melbourne, Vic. : 1922 - 1954) Saturday 29 March 1924 p 5 Article

John and his daughter were enjoying success in 1938.



I searched for William's death notice again last night but couldn't find it on trove and there didn't seem to be a death record on Victorian BDM. I eventually found the death notice in one of my journals whose title fittingly started with Eureka because the journal was prompted by finding the family notice after months of searching.

Drowned at Broadmeadows, on the 18th instant,William, aged 3 years and 3 months, third son of Peter M'Cracken, of Stewarton. (P.4, Argus, 20-10-1852.)

My search for the death notice last night resulted from a query in a private message.
Subject: McCracken
To: itellya
From: pvrd
Date: 2017-03-21 10:38:53
Hi ---. Can you tell me where McCracken's property (near the Moonee Ponds Creek in 1847) actually was? Also, which McCracken was it?

It was "Stewarton", section 5 of the parish of Tullamarine. Peter McCracken leased this from 1846-1855 from Neil Black and then lived on a dairy farm leased from John Robert Murphy at Kensington until about 1857 when he moved into his newly built "Ardmillan" mansion at Moonee Ponds. A major shareholder in the (failed) Essendon private railway, he was forced to sell Ardmillan circa 1872 and moved to a mansion (now heritage listed*) in East Melbourne.
*East Melbourne, Gipps Street 104 | East Melbourne Historical Society
East Melbourne, Gipps Street 104 ... Peter McCracken, farmer and brewer, was the next owner of the house. He and his brother, ... --- ----, email 27/09/13.

Section 5 Tullamarine fronted the east side of Broadmeadows Rd (Mickleham Rd today) from Forman St, where it adjoined Broadmeadows Township, to the Lackenheath Drive corner and extended east to the Moonee Ponds Creek.

One of Peter's young sons drowned in the Moonee Ponds Creek in 1852 after he accompanied his older siblings part of the way to school at Broadmeadows Township.

I've just spent an hour trying to find the death notice but there was no way I was going to find it on trove. It had taken months to find it for the second time and I did copy it that time, thus the use of Eureka in the journal's title.

Drowned at Broadmeadows, on the 18th instant,William, aged 3 years and 3 months, third son of Peter M'Cracken, of Stewarton. (P.4, Argus, 20-10-1852.)

"Stewarton" was renamed "Gladstone" circa 1892 and is now the northern 777 acres of today's Gladstone Park and the Gladstone Gardens Estate separated by the freeway.

I accidentally submitted my message. The journal prompted by my discovery of the death notice for young William was:
The lucky break that led to finding the death notice must have been using M'Cracken (instead of McCracken) and Broadmeadows as search terms.

I became a local historian in 1988 because of the farm that Peter McCracken had occupied. My brother Ken, a family historian, had asked me to research the Broadmeadows rate books in regard to our great grandfather, John Cock, farming on the area of Gladstone Park. Having done so, I became aware that most pioneers of the Broadmeadows road district/ shire did not rate a mention in Andrew Lemon's BROADMEADOWS: A FORGOTTEN HISTORY and transcribed the rate records in the parishes of Will Will Rook and Yuroke. I also transcribed occupants of Section 5 Tullamarine from 1863 to the last available rate record in the 1950's which proved helpful over a decade later. From my EARLY LANDOWNERS:PARISH OF TULLAMARINE.

This was granted to Neil Black before auction. George Russell, a fellow Western district squatter, purchased it on his behalf, which explains Russell’s name being on the parish map. It extended north from the present Lackenheath Dr corner to the creek and consisted of 785 acres but was later described as 777 acres. Black probably wanted it for a holding paddock but from 1846 till 1855 leased it to Peter McCracken.
McCracken’s sons, Robert and Colin, attended the school in Broadmeadows township and the youngest child, William, often walked with them, probably to the foot of Pascoe St where a bridge stood for many years. One day in 1852, after seeing the older children to the township, young William drowned in a waterhole in the Moonee Ponds Creek. (McCracken Letters.)
One of those who worked on Stewarton for Peter McCracken was John Johnson who arrived in 1852. Johnson soon after purchased the 40 acres between Swain St and Providence Lane at Greenvale and possibly Greenhill at the north west corner of Mickleham and Craigieburn Rds. (No proof that Greenhill’s owner was the same John Johnson.) After many years near Kyneton, his son, William, bought Spring Park in Keilor Rd and William’s offspring occupied Glendewar and Cumberland for most of the first half of the 20th century. (Keith Brown, Canberra.)
The farm was called Stewarton after Stewart, a member of Black’s syndicate. The Lessee recorded in Broadmeadows’ 1863 rate book was James Maconochie. With Hugh Brown of Camp Hill and John Bethel of Broadmeadows Township, Macocochie resigned from the Broadmeadows Road Board in 1864; according to Andrew Lemon who suggests that the sacking of the Board’s secretary was the reason for their action.
It was later leased for many years by John Kerr sen. After Black’s death its ownership passed, in 1882, to the family of T.S. Gladstone, a cousin of the famous politician and another syndicate member. After John Cock commenced his lease in 1892-3, the farm was renamed Gladstone. John Cock bred Clydesdales and grew hay. His huge haystacks were renowned in the district. He introduced the latest technology on Gladstone and the nearby Chandos.
Lessees after Cock’s death at the end of 1911 were Helen Melville, A.E.Hoadley, L.Roxburgh (from 1920) and James Barrow (from 1930) who had the first tractor in the district and turned the farm to wheat growing. In 1948-9, Gladstone was bought from the Gladstones by F.N.Levin, who sold it to Stanley Korman in 1952. Korman’s plans were well advanced, as shown by the plan in the pamphlet published by (Major) Walter V.Murphy in 1959, but the M.M.B.W.’s inability to supply water, and probably the prospect of aircraft noise, thwarted the development.
Shareholders in the Stanhill company lost their life savings but Korman sold it to Costains in July 1964 for L 645 000, not a bad profit on the L77 735 he’d paid Levin.

North Circular Rd was probably the original entry to the farm, with a bridge at the foot of Pascoe St linking it to the township. The peppercorn tree at the south corner of Nth Circular Rd would have been part of the garden of the original homestead, a four roomed 10 square house near Claredale Ave. Not shown on the ordnance map is the second Gladstone Park homestead, a nine roomed brick house with a cellar on the corner of Lyndhurst and Peel. The stables were about halfway up the Nth Circular Rd hill on the south side. (rate books re rooms, Ian Farrugia re locations, Lloyd Bros. re entry.)
After the bridge from Pascoe St had been washed away by a flood, entry was via Forman St and following pine trees on the ridge.




I have previously written a journal about the Gibson of Dromana who became a Kiwi, master mariner John Gibson, brother of Walter of Glenholm. It may be that Walter's son, Walter James, was living with his uncle John's family when he died in 1943. The other main focus of this journal is Walter's son John who became a policeman and had a sad end. During my research, I discovered Albert Gibson, son of Adam Gibson and Mary Ann, nee McLear, who (like Walter James) was not mentioned in A DREAMTIME OF DROMANA. Keryn McLear explained why his death was not recorded in Victorian BDM.

GIBSON.-On August 3. at Masterton. New Zealand. Walter James, second youngest son of the late Walter and Martha Gibson, of Glenholm, Dromana. (P.2, Argus, 28-8-1943.)

The list of Walter and Margaret Gibson's children on page 82 of A DREAMTIME OF DROMANA is wrong. Walter Jnr,, in fact Walter James, born in 1870, is missing. I believe the above death notice is wrong unless Walter James Gibson b. 1870 married a woman named Martha and then had a son named Walter James.

The sons of Walter and Margaret Gibson listed on the said page 82 are Adam 1854-1937, John, Big Will 1868-1949 and Tom. Their father's death notice in 1916 listed his sons as " Adam, William, Walter, Thomas."

Thomas William Balantine Gibson was born in 1872.
John was indeed Walter and Margaret's second son, according to this marriage notice.
GIBSON—CLYNE.—On the 23rd inst, at the residence of the bride's parents, Fairy Bower, Lake Rowan, by the Rev. C. Thomson, John, second son of Walter Gibson, Glenholm, Dromana, to Ellie, eldest daughter of George Clyne, Fairy Bower, Lake Rowan.(P.1, Argus, 31-5-1882.

So why couldn't I find his birth record? Not even recorded as Jno.
The reason he was not listed in his father's death notice is that he died, aged 53 in 1912 (reg. no.10419.) John would have been born in 1858-9 but I still couldn't find his birth record.

As Big Will was born in 1868, Walter James in 1870 (reg. no. 8296) and Thomas in 1872 (reg. no.8472), that would make Walter James the SECOND YOUNGEST SON of the late Walter and MARGARET, (nee Purdie) Gibson, not MARTHA.
Walter James could not have been the son of Adam Gibson's son Walter. As no Walter James Gibson died in Victoria between 1870 and 1970, it looks as if the chap who died in New Zealand in 1943 was the son of Walter and MARGARET Gibson.

POSTSCRIPT 8-4-2017. Walter James Gibson was the fourth son of Walter and Margaret Gibson which meshes with the statement (in his death notice at the start of the journal) that he was their second youngest son.
GIBSON-HUTCHINSON.-On the 27th December,1899, at Wadella, Lilydale, by the Rev. J. R.Anderson, M.A., - Walter James, fourth son of Walter Gibson, "Glenholm," Dromana, to Sarah,second daughter of the late John Hutchinson,
Lilydale.(P.55, The Australasian, 3-2-1900.)

EventMarriage Event registration number7133 Registration year1899
Personal information
Family nameGIBSON Given namesWalt Jas SexUnknown Spouse's family nameHUTCHINSON Spouse's given namesSarah Eliza

Victoria BDM does not list any children born to Walter James and Sarah from 1900 to 1910 or a death record for a Sarah Gibson(nee Hutchinson)between 1900 and 1940, so it is likely that Walter and Sarah had moved to N.Z. soon after their marriage. Victoria was still suffering from depression.

EventDeath Event registration number4690 Registration year1880
Personal information
Family nameHUTCHINSON Given namesJno SexUnknown Father's nameWm Mother's nameSarah (Waddel) Place of birthANTRIM Place of death Age54 Spouse's family nameSTANTON Spouse's given namesElizth

Hutchinson -On the 3rd inst., suddenly, at Lillydale,John Hutchinson, aged 54. A colonist of 27 years standing. Deeply regretted. He died in peace. (P.1, Argus, 9-4-1880.)

EventDeath Event registration number10419 Registration year1912
Personal information
Family nameGIBSON Given namesJno SexUnknown Father's nameGibson Walter Mother's nameMargt (Purdie) Place of birth Place of deathHoth E Age53

EventDeath Event registration number8554 Registration year1892
Personal information
Family nameGIBSON Given namesEllen SexFemale Father's nameClyne Geo Mother's nameCath (Finlayson) Place of birth Place of deathWheip Age33

On the marriage record, Ellie's name was given as Helen.

If John became a policeman, bearing in mind that he died at Hoth.E, which could mean Hotham East, Hotham being the original name of North Melbourne, he might have been the ex senior constable John Gibson who was a terrible drunkard and died at Errol St, North Melbourne in 1912, the death widely reported in the papers. If this senior constable was our John, the death of his wife only 10 years after they married, may have made him hit the grog.

John Clyne Gibson was born at Dromana in 1884 (reg. no.2056), Evelyn was born at (PA NM?) in 1885 (reg. no.4960), Catherine Ruby Ellen in 1886 at PANM (reg. no.12729), George Walter at Panmure in 1888 (reg. no.5472), Ellie Margaret in 1890 at Panmure (reg. no.6377), and David Wallace at Barkstead in 1892 (reg. no.859.)

PANMURE is ENE of Warrnambool.
BARKSTEAD is 5 km west of the Ballan-Daylesford road.
WARRENHEIP is a suburb of Ballarat.

It looks as if it was our John who died at North Melbourne. Panmure news mentions Constable Gibson and J.Gibson in 1888, the year that George Walter was born there.

By the way, Keryn McLear, Adam Gibson and Mary Ann, nee McLear, had a son, Albert, born 1890 (reg. no. 12173) who is not mentioned on page 82 of Colin's book. I CAN'T FIND HIS DEATH RECORD BETWEEN 1890 AND 1992.*

POSTSCRIPT. This birth notice would make it almost certain that John Gibson was the ex senior constable who died at Errol St., North Melbourne in 1912. The daughter would have been Catherine Ruby Ellen.
GIBSON.— On the 16th May, at the police station, Panmure, the wife of J. Gibson of a daughter. (P.1, The Age, 21-5-1886.)

I wondered what had become of John and Ellen's children after their mother's death in 1892.
John Clyne apparently didn't marry (in Victoria) and died aged 85 at Sandringham in 1968 (reg. no. 17510.)
Evelyn Rutherford Purdie married Alex Hamilton KIRKLAND in 1915 (reg. no.11160.) She died aged 84 at Black Rock in 1969 (reg. no.11781.)
Catherine Ruby Ellen married Alfred George Merritt in 1914 (Reg. no. 5067.) She died, aged 69 at Rainbow in 1956 (reg. no. 23930.)
David Wallace died aged 60 at Thornbury in 1952 (reg. no. 10560.)
Strangely his place of birth was given as Wallan on the death record. He does not seem to have married.

Albert b 13 or 25 Mar 1889/1890 was killed in France Sept 6 1918. No children. From his War Record: he was a clerk, single, born in Dromana. he was 5'9" tall, 149lb, chest 35 1/2 to 37 1/2". Fresh complexion, blue eyes, light brown hair. Presbyterian. Wounded in France 26/03/1917: gunshot wound to left arm, severe. Wounded second occasion: 02/09/1918: gunshot wound to neck and spine, died of wounds received in action. Buried at St Sever Cemetery, Rouen, Block R, Plot 2, Row S. Very sad story.


At 3 o'Clock.
By Order of the Curator of intestate Estates,
In the Estate of the Late John Jones
W.A. KORNER will sell by public auction, on
the above date, on tho ground,
1. All deceased's right, title and interest in that
piece of land being part of Crown portion
18, parish of Wannaeue, having frontage to
Government road of 57 ft. by a depth of
329 ft., more or less, together with store and
other improvements thereon.
2. All that piece of land being part of Crown
portion 18, parish of Wannaeue, having front
age of 60 ft. by a depth of 330 ft., more or
Terms at sale.
W. A. Korner, auctioneer, Mornington.
(P.4, The Age, 6-12-1913.)
Mrs Potton who owned the other 150 acres of c/a 18 Wannaeue seems to have bought Jack's 2 acre lot 86 later on..
The Lake brothers tried to get Jack evicted from this land and the court case* revealed that he'd built the store much earlier than 1900 as claimed on the early Rosebud map. In fact, Jack built it in 1883 or 1884 after his store on 854-6 Pt Nepean Rd (lot 6 of the Rosebud Fishing Village) had been burnt down. His new store was right over the beach road from the recently built jetty.
Jack had already sold c/a 6 Rosebud Fishing Village to George Fountain, plumber and last Mayor of North Melbourne, as recorded by one of George's daughters.
"During an unsatisfying holiday, boarding at "Parkmore", kept by Mr Dowdell and woman supervisor, my father walked into the small single fronted wooden store at the corner of Jetty Road and the Highway, now [c. 1954] the fish shop, and asked Mr Jack Jones if he knew of any land for sale in the area. He said he owned a block on the beach and was willing to sell it, so my father bought it on the spot for 40 pounds ($80) and returned to "Parkmore" and said, "I've bought a block of land", to the amazement of mother and Miller and Ford family, also staying there."
"During the negotiations for purchase of land, Mr Jones who by this time was old and trembling, told my father that his original store was built on "The Pines" site, but was burnt down and he transferred his business to Jetty Rd corner, as he considered it more central opposite the jetty."

Jack and Elizabeth Jones and Henry and Ann Bucher were among the earliest residents of the future (1872) Rosebud Fishing Village.Jack and Elizabeth were accused of plundering wreckage of the Hurricane in 1869.


I'm not even sure if Janie was buried at Dromana, but finally decided to write a burial entry in the chronology when I found that her death was registered at Dromana. I'm glad I did because I finally solved the mystery of how the Davis families were connected-after at least five years of frustration. Here's Janie's burial entry.

DAVIS.-On Sunday, the 14th October, Jane(Janie), the dearly beloved third daughter of
James and Fanny Davis, of Red Hiil, near Dromana, also sister of Mrs. W. Arnold and
Mrs. H. Meyer, .aged 21 years. A patient sufferer -gone to rest. (P.55, The Australasian, 20-10-1900.)
Similar death notices were inserted in the Argus and Age a few days earlier but there were no funeral notices. Jane’s death record indicates that Jane possibly was buried at Dromana in an unmarked grave in which her parents may later have been interred. Did they die at Red Hill?

EventDeath Event registration number12600 Registration year1900
Personal information Family nameDAVIS Given namesJane
Father's nameDavis Jas Mother's nameFanny (White)
Place of birth ? Place of deathDromana Age21

EventBirth Event registration number8636 Registration year1879
Personal information Family nameDAVIS Given namesJane
Father's nameJames Mother's nameFanny (White) Place of birthDROM

EventMarriage Event registration number143 Registration year1866 Personal information Family nameWHITE Given namesFanny Jane
Spouse's family nameDAVIS Spouse's given namesJames
At long last, I might find the names of the parents of James Davis.
DAVIS.—On the 8th February, at Red Hill, James,beloved husband of Fanny Davis, aged 84 years. (P.60, The Australasian, 13-2-1909.)
EventDeath Event registration number1215 Registration year1909 Personal information Family nameDAVIS Given namesJas
Father's nameDavis Wm Mother's nameCharl (Simpson)
Place of birth? Place of deathDromana Age84

They were both sons of William Davis and Charlotte nee Simpson.

JANIE’S SIBLINGS. (Birth year and register number.)
No births recorded in 1866-68 to parents named James and Fanny.
Frederick (1869, 8215, Dromana); George (1871, 15696, Drom.); Henry (1873, 16059, Drom*.); Charlotte (1875, 22363, Drom.); As no birth to James and Hannah is recorded in 1876-8, the birth of the second daughter has obviously not been entered into the register; no birth was recorded in 1880-1883. This was discovered by chance after I’d given up my year by year search. Perhaps Janie was actually the third YOUNGEST daughter.
EventBirth Event registration number10512 Registration year1887 Personal information Family nameDAVIS Given namesFanney
Father's nameJames Mother's nameFanney Jane (White) Place of birthDROM

*I presume that this was the same Henry Davis.
DAVIS—OWEN.—On the 30th Hill August, 1923, at Mornington, by the Rev. E. Ashby Swan, Henry Davis, Red Hill, to Gertrude Owen, of Shoreham. (P.17, Argus, 29-9-1923.)

EventDeath Event registration number13592 Registration year1926
Personal information Family nameDAVIS Given namesJonathan
Father's nameDAVIS William Mother's nameCharl (Unknown)
Place of birth? Place of deathDROMANA Age92

Were there two Jonathans? This second one was the first to marry at the Red Hill Wesleyan Methodist Church recently constructed near the post office (710 White Hill Rd.) He was probably the one whose farm, between W.Kemp’s grant and Blooming Bob White’s “Glenferrie”, and now the Bald Hill Nature Conservation Reserve, was described in AROUND RED HILL in 1902.
EventMarriage Event registration number4351 Registration year1887 Personal information Family nameDAVIS Given namesJonathan
Spouse's family nameKEMP Spouse's given namesElizabeth Duncan

If there was only one Jonathan Davis, he was born in about 1834 and would have been about 53 when (if) he married Elizabeth Kemp in 1887. How old was Elizabeth when she married?

EventBirth Event registration number7281 Registration year1858 Personal information Family nameKEMP Given namesElizabeth Duncan
Father's nameWilliam Mother's nameElizabeth (Duncan)
Place of birthYOWANGS

Jonathan’s wife, Elizabeth Duncan Davis, nee Kemp, died at Glen Iris in 1947.
EventDeath Event registration number10156 Registration year1947 Personal information Family nameDAVIS Given namesElizabeth Duncan
Father's nameKEMP William Mother's nameElizabeth (Duncan)
Place of birthGEELONG Place of deathGLEN IRIS Age89

Despite their late start, Jonathan and Elizabeth had a large family! Kidding it didn’t take a while to find Elizabeth’s death notice!
DAVIS.-On September 14. at the home of her son-in-law. I. Laub. 109 High street, Glen Iris, Elizabeth Duncan, widow of the late Jon Davis. loved mother of Het, Frank. Bel, Mary (Mrs. I. Laub). Annie(Mrs. R. Underwood), grandma of Muriel, Daphne. Joyce, Frank (deceased), and
Gordon Davis, Keith, Eric, Stanley, and Merleen Laub, in her 90th year.
(P.11, Argus, 20-9-1947.)

Jon and Elizabeth were still living at Red Hill in 1926. Was Jon buried at Dromana?
LAUB-DAVIS.-On the 6th April, at the residence of the bride's parents, by the Rev.Stevly, Thomas, youngest son of the late Mr. and Mrs. L. Laub, of Lauriston, to Mary Victoria, third daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J.Davis, of Red Hill.(P.17, Argus, 1-5-1926.)
UNDERWOOD—DAVIS.—On the 12th June, at St.George's Church of England, Malvern, Robert
Leonard, of Hamilton, to Annie Mildred, youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. Davis, Red Hill.
(P.17, Argus, 25-9-1926.)

In 1879, William Kemp was renting crown allotment 105 acres and buildings from the Waddeson (Waddeson)& Holmes executors and John Huntley was on 105 acres, Kangerong. Kemp would have been on c/a 15B fronting Red Hill Rd, north of a point opposite number 247 and adjoining the Kangerong Nature Consevation reserve and Huntley on 15A to the south whose east and south boundaries fronted Red Hill Rd and known as Hillside Orchard by 1902.Jonathan Davis, labourer, was assessed on 280 acres and building, Kangerong and James Davis was leasing 4 acres and a building, Kangerong from Jonathan Davis.

By 1910-11 there was no assessment of James Davis, but one of Mrs Fanny Davis (on the above 4 acres.)
The above rate records were hopefully going to help me sort out the relationship between James and Jonathan Davis but now there is no need. As their death records (above) show, they were brothers.Fanny’s given name was used in 1910 because she was a widow, James having died in 1909.

James and Fanny’s sons, Fred and Henry were farming together for many years apparently on the west side of Sheehans Rd on 35 and 43 acres respectively.
JONATHAN DAVIS'. Facing the Port Phillip side, and giving a good view of the Bay, lies Mr Jonathan Davis'. He has 40 acres or so, with six acres of young trees coming on, consisting mostly of apples of the Rokewood, Alfriston and Æsopus Spitzenburg varieties; also some cherries, and the usual patch of strawberries, without which no Red Hill orchard is considered complete.
Mr Davis goes in for dairying as well, being the lessee of a 60-acre paddock, owned by Miss Strong, which he uses for grazing. He has a separator, and supplies butter to one or two of the storekeepers in the district.

JAS. DAVIS has five acres under fruit, which yields well. His chief varieties are cherries, plums, apples and pears.
R. WHITE's.Mr White's property comes next. He, too, has a good residence site, giving a fine view of the Bay. Mr White has some fruit trees and a small crop.
WHEELER'S. Mrs Wheeler has the Post Office and Store, which has been established
for over 30 years. There are about seven acres of orchard attached to the property, mostly young trees; also a little strawberry plantation, as well as a crop.
HILL'S. Up the hill from Wheeler's is Mr Hill's property, comprising about 12 acres, situated on a well-sheltered slope. A 6-roomed house is erected here. The orchard is a young one, planted about three years ago. Besides the usual varieties, there is an acre of lemons, which are looking
fairly well. Mr Hill is at present a resident of St. Kilda, but it is understood intends to take up his abode here shortly.
F. & H DAVIS'. Opposite is Messrs F. and H. Davis. who go in for potato growing. They
have been very successful with this crop, having had as much as 10 tons to the acre. They also cultivate maize and peas, and have an acre or so of strawberries.

Janie’s siblings- OUTCOMES.
Fred died at Red Hill in 1953 aged 84 (reg, no.18468.)
Henry died in 1942 at the age of 69, registered at Dromana (reg. No.27312.)
George died in 1889, aged 18, at Cwick which I presume means Creswick.(reg. no. 1856.)

JONATHAN DAVIS and William Kemp were original trustees of the Red Hill Wesleyan Methodist Church. As mentioned earlier, Jon’s martriage to William’s daughter, Elizabeth, was the first marriage performed in the church. Their daughter Henrietta Charlotte* was the first to be christened. When William Kemp died in 1920, his daughter, Mrs Elizabeth Davis, replaced him as a trustee.(P.32, THE RED HILL, Sheila Skidmore.)
*Called Het in Elizabeth’s death notice.



WISEMAN.-VX25406 Corporal William John, dearly beloved husband of Thora, previously reported missing, now reported missing, believed deceased, while prisoner of war. Laha. Amboina. cause and date unknown.
WISEMAN.-At Laha. Amboina. Corporal Jack Wiseman. 2/21st. late of Dromana and Kaniva, second son of Sam and Grace Wiseman, of 325 Toorak road. Burwood, brother of Harry (R.A.A.F.). Margaret (Mrs. B.Mann*), Les (R.A.A.F.)**, and Don (date and cause unknown.) P.2, Argus, 1-12-1945.)
*Margaret (of Red Hill) became engaged to Bruce in 1941.
** Still at Red Hill in 1951.
My first thought was that Jack was a descendant of James Wiseman, blacksmith, early pioneer of Red Hill. However, I have gained the impression that James was a bachelor and lived at Red Hill with a spinster sister. Was Jack descended from one of the Wiseman brothers who built mirror image mansions at Glenroy (the Toorak of the north) in the late 1880's? I had a vague memory of a marriage that indicated that James Wiseman of Ascot Vale WAS connected with Red Hill.
Jack's mother, Gracie was the daughter of George BIGNELL, a pioneer of Flemington after whom Bignell St was probably named, who died at Gracie's Dromana residence on 29-4-1934.
( )
His father, Sam, was the son of James Wiseman of Ascot Vale.
(WISEMAN. – On August 13, at Tunstall,
Annie, beloved wife of the late James
Wiseman, of Ascotvale, loved stepmother of
Ethel and Sam. –Reunited.
WISEMAN. –On August 13, at Tunstall,
Annie, relict of the late James Wiseman, of
Ascotvale. P.2, ARGUS, 15-8-1944.)

Sam and Gracie were more likely to have been at Red Hill rather than at Dromana. See WISEMAN-MANN engagement-

Hill Hillis, his brother in law, James McKeown, and James Wiseman were among the earliest pioneers of Red Hill. My impression that James Wiseman was a bachelor is wrong.
"James purchased his 106 acres (between Sheehans Rd and Arkwell Lane) on 24-2-1862. James was born in 1830 at Ruthven, Scotland and sailed from London in June 1851 aboard Captain Godfrey's"Statesman". Arriving at Geelong he went to gold fields in Victoria and briefly Otago in New Zealand. He was a blacksmith in Melbourne for eight years and married Christina Bain, also from Scotland, and they had three children, James, John** and Christina*, before moving to Red Hill where Janet and William were born."
(P.11, THE RED HILL, Sheila Skidmore.)
*Became Mrs Ramseyer in 1888-
** Died 17-8-1942 aged 82-

You would need to read my journal* about Stephen Lynch's PIONEERS OF THE PENINSULA to understand how this proves that James Wiseman of Ascot Vale was the Red Hill pioneer or his son.
HILLIS- WISEMAN.---On the 1st November, at
the Presbyterian Church, Dandenong, by the Rev.
H. A. Buntine, George P., third son of W. J. Hillis,
Trafalgar, to Ethel D., only daughter of the late
James Wiseman, Ascot Vale, and sister of T.B .
Wiseman, Bass.(P.59, Leader, 8-12-1917.)

P.P.S. Hec. Hansen was born on 14-2-1913 so if the James Wiseman he described on page 11 of Petronella Wilson's MEMOIRS OF A LARRIKIN was the pioneer of 1862 he must have died when Hec. was a boy. This would seem to indicate that James Wiseman of Ascot Vale, father of Sam and grandfather of Jack, was James Wiseman Jnr. As James Wiseman Snr. was born in 1830 he would have been about 91 when he died (perhaps at Frankston.)

Mr James Wiseman, who has resided in the Frankston district since 1862 has
died. (P.6, Weekly Times, 24-12-1924.)
Also see:

James Wiseman Snr. was elected** to the Kangerong School District* Board of Advice in 1873. (* Kangerong Road Board, parishes of Kangerong, Fingal, Wannaeue and Nepean.) The Red Hill State School,( former non-vested school No. 77) opened on 1-1-1874, was in this area but many of its 34 initial pupils, such as Mary Elizabeth and Martha Blakeley* lived south of Arthurs Seat Rd and thus in the Flinders Road District.(P. 53, Helen Blakeley's book.)
(The school was conducted in a building leased from James Wiseman until a year or two before his death.)

WISEMAN (nee Bain).—On the 5th October, at
her late residence, Red Hill, passed peacefully
away, Christina, relict of James Wiseman,
blacksmith, eldest sister of late Alexander Bain,
blacksmith, Fitzroy, and loved mother of John
B. and Janet C., aged 91 years 8½ months. A
colonist of 69 years.
"He giveth His beloved sleep."
(P. 1, Argus, 10-10-1923.)

I wonder if James Wiseman's wife was related to Elizabeth Bain who married George Chapman of "Seawinds".Elizabeth's ancestry is a mystery I've been trying to solve for years.

Aha! Now I know how I gained the erroneous impression that James Wiseman Snr. was a bachelor and lived with his spinster sister at Red Hill. The unmarried couple were his son, John Bain Wiseman, a carpenter, and obviously Janet C.(Christina?) Staunch Presbyterians, they used to travel by buggy to the Dromana Presbyterian Church (in the former Union Church building) right up to their eighties, tethering their horse to a fence near a cypress tree on the foreshore side of the main road. (P.88, A DREAMTIME OF DROMANA which also confirms the death dates of James Snr and his wife, Christina as given above as well as giving their birth dates and that of John Bain Wiseman.

James Wiseman Jnr was at Ascot Vale by 1895 when his son Samuel won a certificate in the under 10 section in a Church of Christ Sunday School examination involving 450 children.
Sam's sister, Ethel, who was a bit older than Sam and was also starring in the examinations at this time, married George (b.1888),the fifth child and third son of W.J.Hillis and Annie (nee Ault) in 1917 (as above.) P.3, PIONEERS OF THE PENINSULA.

It seems almost certain that James Wiseman Jnr. lived at number 28 in today's Kent St, Ascot Vale and worked at the Newport workshops. Funeral notice, 1898:

By 1892, James Wiseman Jnr. was the president of the locomotive workshops union.

Being the son of a blacksmith, it is not surprising that James Jnr.'s occupation involved working with metal.

CONFIRMATION THAT THIS UNION LEADER WAS THE SON OF JAMES WISEMAN AND HIS WIFE, CHRISTINA, NEE BAIN. Can you spot the word whose digitisation I did not correct? Without the assistance of Victorian B.D.M., it took much tacking re search terms to find his death notice.
WISEMAN.—On the 5th January, at 28 Kent-avenue, Ascot Vale. James, the dearly loved husband of Annie Wiseman, eldest son of J. and C. Wiseman, of Bed Hill. Dromana, late of Loco. workshops, Newport,in his 39th year.
(P.1, The Age, 6-1-1898.)

The following burials are recorded as having taken place at the Dromana Cemetery, details from gravestone inscriptions.
WISEMAN James� photo 15-7-1830 10/12/1921
WISEMAN Christina� photo 21-1-1832 5/10/1923
WISEMAN John Bain� photo 30-4-1860 10/08/1942
WISEMAN Joyce Doreen photo 7/02/1929 19/01/1994 66
WISEMAN D.I. photo 22/12/1989 65 Wife Joyce

1 comment(s), latest 1 year, 8 months ago


Our Heidelberg correspondent writes : —
General regret was expressed here on Sun
day forenoon when a messenger arrived from
Dromana with the sad intelligence that Mr.
Lawrence Wadeson had been accidentally
killed on the road near that place on the
previous evening. Reliable particulars of
the accident have not yet come to hand, but
it is reported that tbe horse Mr. Wadeson
was driving bolted, that the spring cart was
upset, and Mr. Wadeson thrown out with
such violence that he only survived for a
very short time. The deceased was senior
partner in the firm of Wadeson and Holmes,
nurserymen and vignerons. He had re-
sided in Heidelberg for nearly thirty years,
and was highly respected by every one who
knew him. He leaves a widow and one
daughter to mourn his loss.(P.2, The Age, 9-5-1876.)

Mr. Candler held an inquest on the 8th
inst, at Dromana, on the body of Lawrence
Wadeson, aged 62 years, a gardener at Kan-
gerong, on Mount McMahon. On the even-
ing of Saturday, the 6th inst, at 7 o'clock,
John Thomas Gibson, splitter and fencer at
Balnarring, found the deceased's horse, with
the shafts of a cart attached, in the road,
and going along the road, found the deceased
lying insensible on his belly, with the wheels
and part of the body of the cart near him.
The near wheel of the cart, it was found,
had struck a tree alongside the track, and
the vehicle had apparently been capsized.
There was no track of any other vehicle.
The deceased was conveyed to his house,
about two miles off, and died in about
three hours, without having recovered con-
sciousness. The deceased was accustomed
to the track, and the moon was up. He was
a temperate man, but was said to be in the
habit of falling asleep when driving. There
were bruises about the head and body of the
deceased. A verdict of death from injuries
accidentally received was found.(P.7, Argus, 12-5-1876.)

One of the first things I learnt about Red Hill, courtesy of Keith Holmes, years ago, was that J. Holmes, the grantee of crown allotment 15A, Kangerong was not related in any way to Keith's family. John Holmes and Lawrence Wadeson were market gardening partners, apparently near Heidelberg. Lawrence was accidentally killed in 1876, probably on Red Hill Road and his body was discovered by John Thomas Gibson who lived practically across Red Hill Rd on the northern corner of Stanleys Rd at what became known as Tar Barrel Corner.(Ethel Bailey is a descendant of this Gibson family.)
Crown allotment 15A Kangerong was at Melway 191 E4,its Red Hill Rd frontage extending north to the bend near present number 247 and 15 B, to the north, adjoined the Kangerong Nature Conservation Reserve. The latter was granted to J. Holmes and Co.
Apparently John Huntley Senior had selected both 15A and 15B. When Bill Huntley took me on a road tour, he showed me where the original homestead had been on the northern portion.The selection was probably forfeited because too much time was spent at Brighton to effect the required improvements, with the scribble on the parish map seeming to indicate that Holmes and Wadeson obtained the grants in 1872. John Huntley Junior acquired 15A later on and it became known as "Hillside Orchard" by 1902 when it was described in "AROUND RED HILL." John Huntley had died and his widow Mary, nee Hope, had married John Shand. Mary's girls remained on Hillside Orchard while she and John Shand rented Kent Orchard (Melway 191 H1), later moving to Rosslyn and Kentucky (both on John Oswin's grant, 14 A, Balnarring) at Melway 161 K11.
My current big project is a CHRONOLOGY OF BURIALS AT DROMANA. One of my tasks is to discover whether early pioneers such as Lawrence who died in the Dromana district were actually buried at Dromana. Lawrence Wadeson had resided at Heidelberg for nearly 30 years and a wadeson, heidelberg search on Google showed that he wasn't. The really interesting thing is that Mary Wadeson's maiden name was OSWIN! THERE IS EVERY CHANCE THAT LAWRENCE WADESON'S WIFE WAS JOHN OSWIN'S SISTER. The death records of both name their parents as William Oswin and Mary (maiden name given as Joyce in Mary's and unknown in John's.) I wonder if Mary Karney, author of so many books about the Oswins and "Newstead", was named after Mary Wadeson.
Heidelberg Old Cemetery - Steve's Headstone Photos
Wadeson Laurence 6 May 1876 62
Wadeson Mary 3 Aug 1883 73 nee. Oswin
Wadeson Mary Sybella 1853 1
Wadeson Richard William 1852 1

3 comment(s), latest 1 year, 9 months ago


Donald attended the Keilor school and knew the area,its pioneers and the coach drivers who passed through intimately. He became a pupil teacher at the school in 1876, and soon moved into journalism. Such details are available in his biography*, but not his act of bravery in 1899** at the age of about 40, which prompted this journal.
(*Macdonald, Donald Alaster - Australian Dictionary of Biography - ANU


Professor Ernest Scott wrote a tremendous tribute to Donald (P.7, The Australasian,December 3,1932), starting with:
"The best of companions for a ramble, interested in everything, amusing, considerate, always ready for a chat with any farm hand, sportsman or swagman, and getting something from everybody he met and everything he saw."

The date of birth given in the biography would seem to be wrong, given his death in 1932 aged 75. No record could be found of Donald's birth in Victoria that conforms to the names of the parents in his death record. Confirmation of his birth at Fitzroy (but not in 1859)is given in one of the many tributes following his death in 1932. "Mr Macdonald was in his 76th year,having been born at Fitzroy in 1857. His boyhood was spent in Keilor." (

EventMarriage Event registration number1017 Registration year1883
Personal information
Family nameSEWARD Given namesJessie SexFemale Spouse's family nameMCDONALD Spouse's given namesDonald Alaster

EventDeath Event registration number3349 Registration year1932
Personal information
Family nameMCDONALD Given namesDonald Alex SexUnknown Father's nameMcdonald Donald Mother's nameMargaret (Harris) Place of birth Place of deathBlack R Age75

Mr Donald Macdonald, the well-known journalist, naturalist and author, died on November 23.
(P.6, Weekly Times, 26-11-1932.)

The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) Saturday 13 October 1928 p 8 Article Illustrated

Donald's heroic deed was performed at Lorne which is mentioned in this article about early coach drivers and Donald's regard for them.
The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) Friday 2 December 1932 p 7 Article

2 comment(s), latest 1 year, 9 months ago


I am often asked to recommend a suitable book to research a particular pioneer and sadly, often there isn't one. Any books offering information will be mentioned in my journal. There are two photos of William, known locally as Harry, in Colin McLear's A DREAMTIME OF DROMANA but though he is mentioned six times, five of these only provide the information that he was a fisherman. In 1880, he tried butchering in partnership with James Singleton. Harry's sister, Maria, is not mentioned at all.

This journal resulted from finding Harry's death notice during the research for my journal CHRONOLOGY OF BURIALS AT DROMANA CEMETERY (from Trove and including a biog. for each burial.) It is being continued on a word document because its size makes it impossible to submit additions on Family Tree Circles. Here are the burial entries for Harry and Maria. Links can be copied into the search bar to find articles but if that doesn't work, send me a message on F.T.C. including your email address and I'll email the entries to you.

3+-4-1926. WILLIAM HANCOCK (Harry) COPP.
COPP. -On the 3rd April at his residence, Pier street Dromana William H. (Harry) beloved
brother of Lizzie and Fan (England), Mar (Dromana) aged 76 years. (P.1, Argus, 4-4-1926.)

William’s horizontal gravestone at the cemetery gives his date of death as the 2nd of April, and his age as 77. It reads “In loving memory of our brother William H. (Harry) Copp. (…/droma…/dromanahs_images/129.jpg)

Harry’s death record indicates that the death notice is more reliable than the inscription.
EventDeath, Event registration number5094, Registration year1926
Personal information Family nameCOPP
Given namesWilliam Hancock
Father's nameCOPP John, Mother's nameFrances (Hancock)
Place of birth-, Place of deathDROMANA, Age76

There are two photos of Harry Copp on page 103 of A DREAMTIME OF DROMANA. Despite Harry being mentioned six times in the book, all we learn about Harry and his sister is that Harry was, with John McLear and Jonah Griffith, a professional fisherman at Dromana, except that he tried a butchering business with James Singleton in 1880 (page 80.)

Walter Hancock may have been a brother of Frances nee Hancock, Harry’s mother and therefore Harry’s uncle or the son of a brother of Frances and thus Harry’s cousin.

HANCOCK. — Information concerning Walter Hancock, brickmaker, late Parramatta Junction, Sydney, but now supposed to be in Victoria, thankfully received by WILLIAM COPP, Dromana. (P.1, Weekly Times, 13-3-1886.)

On Monday, 27 February, 1899, Harry’s yacht, The Seud, was moored at the Dromana pier but, parting from its moorings, the old yacht was smashed to pieces against the pier with debris scattered over a mile of shoreline. A concert was organised to help Harry. The result of the concert and dance was £12 15s6d and the affair was so well managed that the expenses (were) nil. (

Harry expressed his gratitude to the organisers and residents from far around who attended the concert and dance. (
Harry was able to buy a replacement for The Seud and Melbourne Brindle’s map of Dromana (pre 1919) shows that it was moored quite a safe distance east of the pier.

Miss M.Copp of Dromana contributed to an appeal in 1928. I thought her name might be Margaret but the name of Harry’s sister turned out to be Maria.
EventDeath, Event registration number17149, Registration year1941
Personal information Family nameCOPP, Given namesMaria
Father's nameCOPP John, Mother's nameUnknown (Hancock)
Place of deathDROMANA Age84

COPP. — On June 19 (suddenly), at her residence "Ilfracombe," Pier-street, Dromana, Maria,
beloved sister of the late Harry Copp, and loved friend of E. Fox and family, aged 84 years.
Peacefully sleeping. (P.1, The Age, 21-6-1941.)

As there is no funeral notice, it is almost certain that Maria would have been buried with Harry. (See 3+-4-1926. The death records of Harry and Maria provide the names of their parents and their place of origin.)

In October 1941 a trustee company applied for probate of the will with the authorisation of Charles Henry Yeo, of 23 St Leonards road. Exeter. England, estate agent's accountant, a nephew and one of the next of kin of the said deceased (Maria.)
So one of Maria’s sisters, Elizabeth and Fanny, as named in Harry’s death notice, must have become Mrs Yeo.