itellya on Family Tree Circles

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Refer to the article, The Boneo Bradman on page 46 of the 12-10-2010 issue of Mornington Peninsula Leader and The Cairns Family of Boneo by Peter Wilson.
Rays family farm in Fingal was called Maroolaba. Ray is the grandson of the original Robert Cairns and one of the three children (all boys) of Hill Harry Cairns and Mary Agnes, daughter of Michael and Mary Cain. Michaels wife was a Neville; this family lived in South Melbourne and each time Mary Agnes was close to her time, she would stay with her mothers parents, where medical attention would be available. She would stay there until each child was 10 days old and then catch the steamer to Dromana where Harry would pick her up.

Michael Cain was a carpenter who moved far and wide to get work. After marrying Mary Neville, he went to Moe and also ran a hotel in Gippsland. He later spent time in Adelaide in 1876 when Mary Agnes was born.
Ray went to Andersons School (on Andersons Barragunda) until he was 10 and then attended Boneo School, at Blacks Camp, until (like most children) he completed grade 8 (Merit Certificate). Andersons School had a lot of children attending because of the lighthouse keepers families. The lighthouse keepers would work part of their roster looking after lights on the islands.

When the surname of a 1950 lighthouse keeper, Munro, was mentioned with the same name repeated in the Rosebud directory, Ray said that a Munro did the mail run to the Schanck in the 1950s. Letters would be delivered to roadside letter boxes three days a week. However if people wished to post a letter, they had to take it to Rosebud.
(The Munro family had been pioneers at Somerville. See THE WAY WE WERE BY Leila Shaw.)
At Maroolaba, the family initially grew potatoes and hay, which were marketed at Rye and Sorrento with Stringers store a major buyer. The hay was cut into chaff and bagged. The family would transport their produce and the boys would ride on top of the load to visit Grandma Cain at Rye.

Keith McGregor grew up opposite Maroolaba and lived there with his wife Mabel (daughter of Robert Adams of McCrae) and was probably about 40 when he bought Jimmy Williams fish, rabbit and passenger run to Mornington and extended it to Melbourne in about 1920 with a Ford T van. The interviewer mentioned that Mabel McGregor was assessed on 60 acres of the Adams grant (between The Avenue and Parkmore Rd) in 1919. (Keith later sold the run to Mabels brother, Bill.)
Some discussion took place about the name Mabel and the interviewer stated that Robert Adams had married a Hopcraft girl (Lime Land Leisure P.99) and brought up the fact that John Hopcraft had been farming land on Mornington Flinders Rd (Melway 190 D7) in 1879. Ray had heard of the family but had not really known them.
In relation to the fact that rate records often did not include information on the occupations of those assessed, Ray said that people turned their hand to anything, at any given time, that would put food on the table, and that many had no permanent job.

As a schoolboy, Rays daily chores on the farm included milking the cows twice a day, feeding the calves, cutting wood and gathering kindling, feeding the chooks and collecting the eggs. Like most farms there was a small orchard and vegetable garden whose harvest along with dairy produce and the occasional slaughtered animal put food on the homesteads table; the distance from markets dictated that most production was of the subsistence variety.

Watering relied mainly on precious tank water but Ray described how a spring, common in the high country, could be opened up. This was how Samuel Smythe, a Flemington tanner, would have provided water for his wattle plantation on Arthurs Seat. A hole about 4 feet by 3 feet would be dug around the soak and this would be boxed in before it could collapse on itself. As the hole was deepened, more (six inch wide, one inch thick) boards would be added until it was about 6 feet deep, at which point a siphon would be put in to water areas lower than the well.
When asked about work on the farm after he left school, Ray mentioned two tasks that occupied much of their time. The first was fencing. The second would have provided much of their meat while eradicating a pest; trapping rabbits. The women were occupied at bottling (preserving) the orchard harvest as well as carrying out all the household chores such as washing and ironing with primitive implements, which carried the risk of burns and scalds. Baking bread was another important task.

Ray then brought up the subject of Selection. Hugh Glass, Big Clarke and others had used dummy bidders to perpetuate the squatting era but the selection legislation was designed to overcome this tactic. Before the Crown would issue a grant, a selector had to be in occupation for three years and make certain improvements such as dwellings and fences.


2 comment(s), latest 10 months, 1 week ago


Civil Aviation Historical Society President Roger Meyer OAM has announced the appointment of Dr Arun Chandu BDSc, MBBS(Hons), MDSc, FDSRCS(Eng), FRACDS(OMS) as the inaugural Research Fellow at the CAHS & Airways Museum. Mr Meyer said, The CAHS archives are a collection of national importance and the position of Research Fellow has been created to recognise individuals conducting research into a specific topic in the history of civil aviation using the Societys archives as a principal reference source. Dr Chandu is currently working on a PhD thesis on the Planning History of the Tullamarine Airport (Melbourne Airport), 1920 to 1970.
(Aviation Business: The Week in Brief 14 February 2013.)

I have been helping Arun with his thesis for what seems like a decade although it's probably only two years. Arun will be speaking at the next meeting of the Aviation Historical Society,to be held at Melbourne Airport.

Civil Aviation Historical Society/Airways Museum contacts:
Telephone: (03) 9374 3905 or +61 3 9374 3905 (international)
Postal address: Box 6, 20 English St, Essendon Airport, Victoria 3041
President: Roger Meyer. Ph: (03) 9818 4950 (h)
'Webmaster': Phil Vabre or (03) 9432 9287 (h)

Much of the material raising Aaron's queries concern anecdotes I compiled in 1989 and almost all of my informants are now dead.

Anecdotes such as these.
Wally Mansfield, whose father, Walter, built a house due north of David Mansfields 1870 house in Mansfield Rd, just Metres north of the Western end of the E-W runway, recalls his fathers prophetic words upon seeing the first plane land on Gowrie Park, Theres an omen for the future, son, therell be an aerodrome there one day. Lets hope that the beautiful forest within the airport grounds, preserved by the Mansfields of Allas and the Clarks of Glenara is not decimated by airport expansion: as well as providing a home for a huge herd of Kangaroos, it is living proof that not every European settler found it necessary to denude the landscape.

An aeroplane race from the Essendon Airport to the Inverness Hotel in the 1930s resulted in a huge fire when a plane crashed, bringing down power lines. Wild Johnny Gilligan, who was renowned for riding his horse up the stairs of the Inverness Hotel, died on 4th December, 1936 when jumping his horse over a fence in which the top rail had been replaced without his knowledge. His more sedate brother, Jim, was offered a joy flight on 15th August, 1938 but not being a daring young man he refused the offer and was tragically killed in a jinker accident on the way home from the Inverness.
It was Harry Heaps who told me about the plane crash and fire.

Q.Got another one for you.

Do you remember where you got this from?

'An aeroplane race from the Essendon Airport to the Inverness Hotel in the 1930s resulted in a huge fire when a plane crashed, bringing down power lines." Cant find anything about it on trove. I am assuming it was the aero club's race.

A.(I found several articles about plane crashes at Tulla in the 30's, but no fire. Details included in case they might be useful.)

POSTSCRIPT- Harry Heaps told me about the plane crash and fire and although his memory was in better condition than his health, he may have associated the fire with the wrong crash; perhaps it was a car crash that caused the fire.

The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) Monday 9 November 1936 p 11 Article
... CAR OVERTURNS AND BURSTS INTO FLAMES Seven Persons Injured Seven occupants of a motor-car were injured Jiucd when the car overturned as its driver swerved Mvctved to avoid a collision ollision on the Bulla road at Tullamarine last even- ing I hey note liri belt Jackson aged 11 years of Lennox ...

(Just in case,I tried the 1940's but in vain. Refusing to give up, I tried the 1920's. By the way,FIRE, AEROPLANE/AIRCRAFT, CRASH, TULLAMARINE hadn't worked so I was searching CRASH, TULLAMARINE.)

The majority of the report is on page 7 and a photo and caption on page 8. Remembering the St John's airfield was near the northern boundary of Essendon Aerodrome (16 C/D7) a description of the south east corner of "Dalkeith"(west cnr of Broady and Sharps Rds as in map) as west of the airport is fairly close to correct. Harry was only about a year out re the "1930's".

The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) Thursday 27 December 1928 p 8 Article Illustrated
... Queensland, to begin H. Ward, of Collins street, North Essendon, and (right) H. Olden, of Tullamarine, who witnessed the crash from an adjoining field where they were working. They were unable to approach

(Harry Heaps came to Tullamarine in 1923 as a twelve year old,his family settling as pig farmers on Wallis Wright's old Sunny- side in Wright St near the Moonee Ponds Creek and east of Harry Nash's Fairview. Young Harry,a nuggety rover, helped to plant the pines around Noah Holland's old 6 acres south of Handlen's house,which The Tullamarine Progress Association acquired and donated to the Broadmeadows Shire at the suggestion of Alec Rasmussen, and is now the Tullamarine Reserve. When he married he moved to a block now occupied by Strathconnan Square where he changed to poultry farming.

It's just as well that I had a video camera when I interviewed Harry because he had a story a minute. When a juicy one came up,he'd preface it with, "I shouldn't say this, but..." I remember giving the family a copy of the interview.They'd still be chuckling at the bit when Olive walked in and announced to the camera,"Would you like a cup of tea?" Good old Harry and Olive!

Olive Alice Emily Heaps (nee Robinson) 1918 - 2006
Date of Death:Monday August 28, 2006
Funeral Date:Friday September 1, 2006
Location:Cordell Chapel
Fawkner Crematorium
1187 Sydney Road
Other Information
No flowers by request, if desired, donations may be made to the Anti- Cancer Council in Olive's Memory- Envelopes available..

Final Resting Place
Fawkner Crematorium and Memorial Park, 1187 Sydney Road, Fawkner, Victoria, Australia.
Family Shrub 28, in the R. J. Cooper Gardens, on New Lawn Bvd, with her husband Harry Heaps.

A Life Well Lived
Heaps (nee Robinson)
12. 6. 1918- 28. 8. 2006
late of Murchison, Victoria, formerly of Tullamarine, Melbourne, peacefully at Murchison Community Care.
Loving wife, Mum and Grandma, dearly loved by her husband Harry (dec), her children and partners Glenda, and John and Jenny; her grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Vale, Harry and Olive!


This is the start of an examination of the coast south from Mornington with a focus on early settlement in incorporating later history (especially regarding the pioneer families.)

The parish of Frankston extended from Seaford Rd (the Riviera Hotel on Long Island) to Canadian Bay Rd (originally called Boundary Rd) and Eramosa Rd. The parish of Mooooduc, which adjoined it at Mt Eliza and Somerville was a battle-axe shape extending east to Jones Rd north of Tyabb Rd and only to Derril Rd to the south. It went south to Ellerina/Bruce/Foxeys Rds, where it adjoined the parish of Kangerong. The Arthurs Seat pre-emptive right was the most northerly part of the parish of Wannaeue, which also included the Tootgarook pre-emptive right and went west to Government Rd/Weeroona St, where it adjoined the parish of Nepean.

Other parishes, on the Westernport side of the Peninsula were Tyabb, Balnarring and Bittern (basically west and east of Balnarring Rd), Flinders, and Fingal (to the line of Weeroona St where it adjoined Nepean.)

Most of the early settlers in the parish of Frankston and south to Schnapper Point (Mornington)are discussed in
another of my journals, as is the Tanti Hotel, established in 1854. By this time the Township of Osborne had been proclaimed by the Government. It was named after Queen Victoria's seaside residence and the streets were named after her children. The very small Town of Mornington had also been proclaimed at Schnapper Point and having obtained a pier by the late 1850's,it went ahead while Osborne's growth stagnated. The following plan shows the larger "township of Mornington and Osborne. I had thought the "new township of Gravesend" that Robert Byrne was advertising from 1854* was the part shaded red on the plan, but it must have between Strachans and Wilsons Rds as the following, much later advertisement shows.

Record (Emerald Hill, Vic. : 1881 - 1900) Friday 11 August 1882 p 2 Article
... and Poplar-streets,"land 383 x 100, 127 10. Schnapper Point, Main street, land 40 x 150, 230. ... brick,two-: storey houses on land, 34x72, 1150. Sch napper Point, Nelson street, Gravesend, land 2G4 x ... land, lflft. Gin. x 155ft. 820.., Sch nnppor Point, Albert street, 2 roods, 19 porches with ... 284 words

Pleasure Trip to the new Township of Gravesend, Snapper Point On Monday next, November 20th, the Gazelle
Steamer will leave Sandridge Pier for the above Township at half past eight a.m, and Williamstown at half past 9 a.m. R BYRNE invites intending purchasers etc.
(The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) Monday 20 November 1854 p 3 Advertising)

Many family historians have been frustrated trying to find where the Moorooduc Cemetery was. It was the Mornington Cemetery, about which Val Wilson of the Mornington Historical Society has produced an excellent website. Moorooduc, the name of the parish, was applied to the cemetery, just as the cemetery near Hastings wascalled the Tyabb Cemetery. Craigie Rd was originally known as Cemetery Road. It is of interest that the Mornington Cemetery was first named the SPRINGS Cemetry (sic.)

Plan of villa allotments in the beautiful township of Osborne near ...‎
Real property Victoria Mt Martha Maps. Mt. Martha (Vic ... Plan of villa allotments in the beautiful township of Osborne near Snapper Point [cartographic material].

Just south of Mornington were two Runs, Mount Martha and Chechingurk. The Mount Martha Run must have been along the coast between Balcombe Creek and the Moorooduc/ Kangerong boundary at Ellerina Rd and then east to Tubbarubba. Its Pre-emptive Right was "Dalkeith" (homestead at Melway 151 C8). James Hearn acquired the grants for Dalkeith,the coastal land south to Hearn Rd and 952 acres surrounding Dalkeith, most of it in in 1856.

MOOROODUC.-Near Snapper Point, north side of Jamieson's Special Survey, at Mount Martha, on the road to the Heads. Upset price, 1 per acre.
45 202a 2r, no offer 46 161a 1r 32p, Anthony Connell, 20S 47 114a 3r, Andrew White, 20s
48 176a 22p, Anthony Connell, 23s 49 109a 3r, Andrew White, 20s 50 186a, James Hearn, 20S
51 291a, A. B. Balcombe. 21s 52 434a, James Hearn, 20s.
(P.2, Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer, 4-10-1855.)

James Hearn's purchases, above, were crown allotment 31 fronting the south side of Range Rd and crown allotment 33 between Forest Drive and the pre-emptive right. Range Rd was known as White's Lane prior to W.W.2 when troops from the Balcombe army camp used it and the Bourne dairy farm as a short cut to the rifle range. (Shirley Bourne, the female drover, was a White descendant.)See the CONNELL journal re Anthony Connell. Balcombe's purchase was crown allotment 32 between Range Rd and a parallel road which ran east from the bend in the highway in Melway 151 C3.

Extract from my journal about WILLIAM VALE AND THE TOWN OF MORNINGTON.
The History of Dalkeith appears on page 275 of the Shire of Morningtons Heritage Study. The Mount Martha Run was occupied by Dallymore and then Aitken before James Hearn took it up. Hearn acquired the pre-emptive right as well as over 1100 acres between Hearn and Bay Rds and 850 acres to the west, north and east of the P.R. The last of these allotments, 29A, encompassed the Tubbarubba diggings.

CHECHINGURK was first settled by Captain Reid who settled soon after Edward Hobson and Maurice Meyrick, who will be discussed later. He was the man who suggested that Dr Barker and Meyrick should settle their dispute with Victoria's second duel. As the plaque on the water fountain in Mornington's Empire Mall attests, the site of Mornington was part of the Run which was taken over by Alexander Beatson Balcombe. Balcombe also received grants for all the land fronting the south side of Beleura Hill Rd, which was probably the northern boundary of the Run. Balcombe called his pre-emptive right The Briars after the farm on which he grew up and Napoleon Bonaparte was a guest during his imprisonment.

Jamieson's Special Survey was part of the Kangerong run settled by Edward Hobson. I have never seen its boundaries on a map. He was one of the first settlers on the peninsula, along with Jamieson at Cape Schanck but probably only stayed there for a year or two before settling further west at Tootgarook. Squatters were very alert to newcomers settling near them and often spread rumours of aboriginal atrocities to scare them off.

Robinson* did point the finger squarely at pastoralists themselves in a later
observation. They spread rumours about native outrages in order to deter new
squatters from settling in their districts and claiming some of country hitherto
theirs to use. It worked like this: after the NSW Order in Council of 7 October
1847 anyone who could find a bit of country situated between neighbours who
had to be five miles from where you proposed to sit down, could simply squat
and pay the annual licence fee to the Commissioner of Crown Lands when he
called annually to assess and collect the fee, which was ten pounds for the
licence, and so much per head for stock. Robinson recorded that it was common
practice to raise cry against the blacks to keep people from country
(Pages 76-7, I SUCCEEDED ONCE.) *Robinson was the Chief Aboriginal Protector.

But Hobson raised no objection when assistant aboriginal protector, William Thomas set up his first protectorate about a mile to the east of his homestead. The aborigines had two other encampments nearby, one near Hobson's homestead and another near the Drive-In site.

A quote from I SUCCEEDED ONCE. (Available online.)
I was actually looking for the author, Marie Hansen Fel's, attribution of the harmonious relationship between the Boon-wurrung and settlers to the example set by Edward Hobson but found these descriptions of the squatters and the Arthurs Seat Run instead.

The character of the squatters on the Mornington
It was a fact that the Aborigines of the Port Phillip District, the Bonurong and the
Warworong were attracted to, and actually cultivated, high status Europeans
gentlemen and that they despised convicts. From the vantage point of
a meritocracy such as our own society, it requires a real effort to understand
how taken-for-granted were the manners, mores and attitudes of a class-based
society. It so happens that most of the names of squatters on the Mornington
Peninsula in 183940, who feature in Thomas journals, also appear in Paul
de Servilles appendixes of Gentlemen by Birth (titled, landed or armigerous
families), Gentlemen in Society (profession, commission and upbringing) or
Colonists claiming gentle birth and accepted by other gentlemen as gentlemen.
Edward Hobson and his brother, Dr Edmund Hobson (Kangerong), the brothers
Archibald, Hugh and Thomas Bushby Jamieson (Kangerong Special Survey),
Robert Jamieson (Cape Schanck), Samuel Rawson (Kunnung with Robert
Jamieson), Captain Reid (Tichingurook), Captain Baxter (Carup Carup), Alfred
and Maurice Meyrick (Boniong), Henry Howard Meyrick (Coolart), the Barker
brothers (Barrabong and Cape Schanck), and George Smith (Turtgoorook) living
with a woman believed by Melbourne society to be a niece by marriage of the
great Captain William Hobson RN, were all gentlemen in terms of one or other
of de Servilles categories. (P.19, I SUCCEEDED ONCE.)

On P.20 the youthfulness of the squatters is stressed.
Edward Hobson was 22; Henry Howard Meyrick was 17; brother Alfred was
19; cousin Maurice 20 (and Maurice was said to be an initiated man); Samuel
Rawson was 19; George Desailley was 17; his brother Francis junior 19; the
Barker brothers were 22 and 24; the Jamieson brothers were in their twenties;
only the two military men, Captain Reid and Captain Baxter, and George Smith
were mature adults. And contrary to what is commonly believed, George
Smith came down to the Mornington Peninsula not to Rye initially, but to
Buckkermitterwarrer (Drive-In site and Kangerong, and when he came, it was with a solid
three year relationship of reciprocity already built up with Benbow, father of
Mary, father also of Yankee Yankee.

It has been said that this Special Survey of 1841 did not displace Edward Hobson as he'd already moved to Tootgarook. I get the impression that Marie Fels disagrees. Henry Dunn leased the Survey (and apparently the Mt Martha Run too, according to Leslie Moorhead in one of the school histories)from 1846 to 1851. From that time,it was leased to the first settlers in the Dromana area most of whom became stalwarts of the local community. See my journals about SAFETY BEACH, SARAH WILSON, GEORGE YOUNG, ANTHONY CONNELL etc.

The following extract from my journal SAFETY BEACH AND THE SURVEY NEAR DROMANA has been included here in support of the proposition that Captain Adams may have settled in the area before 1857, leaving Eliza at Wattle Place (Adams'Corner) while he traded across the sea.

Jamieson did not spend much time on his survey but enough to have social contact with other early settlers such as Captain Reid (on what became Balcolme's The Briars)and the McCraes on the Arthur's Seat Run. Somebody who did live there was Mrs Newby. On 15-2-1844, Captain Reid and his wife, Hugh Jamieson and Georgiana McCrae and hubby, Andrew, visited the Survey, meeting Mrs Newby and her two daughters. Mrs Newby complained of loneliness during Captain Newby's absences at sea. On 27-7-1845,Andrew told Georgiana about the three Newby children drowning. (P. 30 A DREAMTIME OF DROMANA.) Was this true? Yes!

SHIPWRECKS. LOSS OF THE MARY. By the steamer Shamrock, which arrived here on Sunday, the distressing intelligence has been received of the total wreck of the barque Mary, Captain Newby, from this port to London in Bass's Straits; and we are sorry to add that no less than seventeen of her passengers have perished. The Mary left Sydney for London on the 19th of May, having on board 69 souls, including the crew, and a very valuable cargo. It was intended by the owners that she should proceed by the usual course round Cape Horn, and the Mary stood away to the southward for that purpose, but when she was off Cape Howe, the wind being at east south-east, with every appearance of a continuance from the same quarter, Captain Newby determined to attempt the westerly passage, notwithstanding the unpromising time of the year, and accordingly stood into Bass's Straits for that purpose. On the morning of the 24th May, the Mary was off Wilson's Promontory, when the wind suddenly died away, and at 10 A. M. a strong breeze sprung up from the northwest, and gradually increased to a gale with heavy rain. Thinking he had now got into a westerly wind, the captain determined to give up the westerly passage, and accordingly bore up and ran to the southward of Sir Roger Curtis' and Kent's Groups. At 6 P. M. he estimated the ship's position to be five miles south of the body of Kent's Group, fixed her course at east by north, and having been up the two previous nights, the captain went to bed, there being then a breeze from the north- west, which was sending the ship seven knots per hour. The chief mate had the watch from 8 to 12; about 11 he called the captain, saying he thought " land was handy ;" but upon the captain going upon deck, he could not see any land, and found that it was almost a calm. Broken water, however, was soon discovered off the lee beam,and a strong current was rapidly driving the ship towards it. There was no wind to make the ship answer her helm, she refused stays and drove broadside onto the rock. She first touched on the starboard bilge, then under the fore chains, and immediately parted abaft the foremast, the bows slipping off the rock into deep water; she then struck abaft, unshipped her rudder, and the topsides floated off the bottom,over the reef into smooth water. In seven minutes from the time she struck, the ship was in pieces. The most melancholy part remains to be told. Seventeen women and children were drowned and what is most extraordinary is, that not a mast was lost. Those drowned were-three of Captain Newby's daughters; six children of Mrs. Evans; Augusta and Catherine, daughters of Captain Collins, of Illawarra ; Mrs Heather, and two children, Mrs. Grey, Mrs. Turnbull, and Sarah Foulkes, servant to Mrs. Collins. How the remainder were saved we cannot understand. Captain Newby only remarks," we were saved in the long boat in the most wonderful manner." The above parties were lost in consequence of the upsetting of the whale boat, into which they had been lowered, but it has not been ascertained how this accident occurred. The reef upon which the Mary was lost lies to the north east of a rock described in the Australian Directory as Wright's rock, about three and a half miles, and is known to the sealers who visit Furneaux's Island as the north east or deep reef. etc.
(P.3, Mornington Chronicle, Sydney, 25-6-1845.)

The information was on page 4 of the Argus on Saturday 4th and Monday 6th in August, 1849. I have included some pre-emptive rights that were not on the oriental coast of Port Phillip Bay because I do not intend to include them in another journal. None of the parishes had been named at this time.

The Barkers had two leases, the Cape Schanck P.R. in the parish of Flinders and the Boniyong P.R. in Wannaeue and bounded by Boneo, Browns, Grasslands (now closed) and Limestone Rds. The King Run was probably the parish of Tyabb but the family name is recalled by the street in Flinders. Graham Whitehead's City of Kingston website mentions a squatting King family that was the origin of the city's name and may have been related. It is possible that George Smith's lease was the Tootgarook pre-emptive right. Edward Hobson was on "Traralgon" by this stage and may have transferred the lease to his (de facto) father in law.

The Tootgarook run had several names and Wooloowoolooboolook might have been one of them. Charles Hollinshed (LIME LAND LEISURE) speculated the James Purves might have been managing the Tootgarook Run; I'm not sure exactly when Smith took an aboriginal boy to America but he was probably not on his lease full-time anyway
(and as I've explained elsewhere,it was more likely that PETER Purves, who coined the name Tootgarook, would have been the manager.)Lastly, Robert White was Irish and completely unrelated to the Scottish Whites of Rosebud and Red Hill. His 640 acres would have been in the parish of Nepean, west of Government Rd/Weeroona St,perhaps nearer to Sorrento. The Irish Whites are discussed in my journal about THE WHITES OF SORRENTO AND RYE and the Scottish Whites in my journal about HILL HILLIS AND HIS RELATIVES.

Superintendent's Office, Melbourne, 8th August, 1849.
(requiring payment of rent for approved selections under pre-emption.) His Excellency the Governor directs it to be notified, for the information of all persons concerned, that in pursuance of the 22nd Clause of the Regu-lations of 29th March, 1848, His Excellency has been pleased to approve of the Claims which have been made by the parties enumerated in the annexed list, to the pre-emptive right to Leases of the several portions of Land referred to.
2. It is necessary that the rent, viz., Twenty Shillings per section of 640 acres, for the remainder of the present year, for the Lands in question, be paid into the Sub-Treasury, at, Melbourne, within one month from the present date : in default of which the Leases of the Lands will, in accordance with the 26th Clause of the Regulations, be put up to sale by auction.
By His Excellency's Command, C. J. LA TROBE.

Number, Name, Address, Lot No., Acres, Parish size?, Situation.
2. Alex Balcombe, Melbourne, 1, 640, 4790 ac., Pt Phillip Bay.
3. John Barker, Cape Schanck, 1, 640, 16x640 ac, Western Port Bay.
4. John Barker, -------- ditto,-- 1, 640, 12x640 ac.,-----ditto.
8. Owen Cain, Dandenong! ---, 1, 640, Point Nepean (Only lot in parish.)
14, James Davey, no address, 1, 640, 4x640 ac lots?, not given.
17. Martha Jane King, W'port, 1, 640, 5x640?, Westernport.
19. Andrew M.McCrae, ArthursSeat, 1, 640, 3x640?, Sth of Kang. Survey.
35. George Smith, Pt. Nepean, 1, 640, 30x640, Port Phillip Bay.
36. Daniel Sullivan, Pt. Nepean, 1, 640, 4x640, Pt. Phillip Bay.
37. Richard Tonks,--- Point King,----- 1, only lot, Port Phillip Bay.
38. Henry Tuck, Manton's Creek, 1, 10x640, Westernport Bay.
41. Robert White, Pt Nepean, 1, 640,5x640, Port Phillip Bay.
N.B. The column headed Parish size? should probably be size of run. For example, Andrew McCrae,John Barker (Boneo) and George Smith were all in Wannaeue, John Barker and Henry Tuck on the western and eastern part of Flinders, and Dennis Sullivan, Robert White and Richard Tonks all in the parish of Nepean. I would have to check whether James Davey's P.R.* was on the Kannanuke Run (near Davey's Bay) or the Ballanrong Run just east of Mornington, at that time.

*James Davey was on Ballanrong. (P.3,Sydney Morning Herald, 28-10-1848.)


I'm taking the easy way out here to save myself a couple of hours adding bits to journals in which many of the following have been mentioned.

Henry Eldridge (See Hotels near Tullamarine- The Sir John Franklin) was earlier a farmer, Carlton Estate, Plenty.

J.M. and Robert Ardlie were described as farmers, Moonee Ponds. This of course meant Camelswold, which would have been the southern part of Dunn's Viewpoint at Tullamarine, certainly not in the suburb of Moonee Ponds. (See the Ardlie and Historic Howlers journals.)

The three different men in Melbourne's north west named James Robertson are listed.
1."James Robertson, farmer, La Rose" was Peter McCracken's brother in law and the son of Coiler Robertson. He arrived as a 17 year old brewer and his know-how was probably responsible for the success of McCracken's Brewery. La Rose was north of Reynard Rd and between the creek and Rose St. The beautiful bluestone homestead on the corner of Mitchell Pde and Le Cateau St (Melway 29 A1)was started by Dr Farquar McCrae, who had leased out his grant, "Moreland", but was primarily built by the Robertsons. James inherited the northern half of Nicholson's grant in Doutta Galla Parish (the southern half being Peter McCracken's "Ardmillan")and built "Trinifour" which stands just west of the Railway in Park St (Melway 28 G6.) See Between Two Creeks re La Rose and Lenore Frost's Historic Essendon Houses re Trinifour.
2."James Robertson, grazier, Upper Keilor" was the father of James,( who built "Aberfeldie" and married Peter McCracken's daughter) and Francis (who was a member of Parliament and built Mar Lodge on the estate of that name, later owned by the McCrackens and housing a golf club, which extends west from just east of McCracken St almost to Hedderwick St, Melway 28 D1-3.)The Mar Lodge homestead is still standing (33A Forrester St?)
3. "James Robertson, blacksmith, Merri Creek." This was the fellow that Andrew Lemon thought was a Keilor farmer. (See Historic Howlers journal.) Without going into too much detail, he and builder, Alexander Gibb were related through the Coupar family. Gibb received the grant for the 640 acres north of Fawkner's "Box Forest"in 1848 according to Lemon but the Will Will Rook parish map seems to indicate that Alexander and James bought 320 acres each. Gibb called the northern half "Meadowbank" and Robertson called the southern half "Gowrie Park". Gibb built both homesteads in the Scottish baronial style. Alexander and his son, Alexander Coupar Gibb (who moved to Berwick and became a member of parliament) served Broadmeadows Shire well and Gibb Reserve was named in recognition of this. The Robertsons seemed to have later moved to the Somerton area and leased Gowrie Park to Robinson. Gibb's house remains in Glenlitta Ave (Melway 7 D10) while Robertson's farm is recalled by Gowrie St, the Gowrie Park swim centre and Gowrie Station.

Isaac Batey's recollection of the early days, published in the Sunbury News, provided much detail for I.W.Symonds' "Bulla Bulla". In one article, Isaac said that his father, Martin, seemed to have arrived at Red Stone Hill (opposite the Lancefield turn off just east of Jacksons Creek) as an employee of Flintoff and not to have become Flintoff's partner until 1848. However "Martin Batey, settler, Red Stone Hill, Saltwater River" seems to indicate that he was a partner by 1847. An article in about 1937 about the oldest fruit tree in Victoria, in which a Flintoff descendant was interviewed, seems to indicate that Martin Batey might have planted it but a poor piece of proof reading (for meaning )makes it ambiguous about who did the planting. I think the tree was in Kew.

Alex. Guthrie is mentioned in the John Thomas Smith and His Electors journal. Before farming Glengyle and moving to his big farm near Emu Creek, he and James Guthrie were farming land on licence from the Crown. In that journal, I stated with certainty that the Will Will Rook land was Fawkner's "Box Forest" between today's Northern Golf Course and Fawkner Cemetery. The 1847 directory also states that Cameron and Guthrie were at Main's Creek. Hazarding a guess about which Cameron was which is a very risky business because I remember reading somewhere that a ship arrived, possibly in 1839, with over 300 Camerons on board! However this might have been the Cameron that owned Arundel for a while. The Camerons gave Glenroy its name and had Ruthvenfield (Mel. 6 K7) and Stony Fields, which is now known as Roxburgh Park.
I can be fairly certain about Cameron and Guthrie's Main's Creek. Patrick Main built the first bridge over the Moonee Moonee chain of ponds at Flemington so it would be reasonable to assume that Main's Creek was the Moonee Ponds Creek. Reasonable but not right! J. P.Main received the grant for the 640 acres bounded by Rachelle Rd, the line of Farrell St, Hoffmans Rd and Buckley St. Known as Main's Estate, this was later split into farms owned by James Anderson (Springbank), Mrs Sinclair, Dugald McPhail (Rosehill), John Beale (of Shelton over Rachelle Rd) and those of James Collier and Thomas Cox, which became the Niddrie quarry.The creek flowing through section 12 was later called Steele's chain of ponds but it would seem logical that in 1847 it would have been known as Main's Creek.

The next two 1847 pioneers have not been mentioned in other journals but I need to get rid of at least one page of scribbled notes! John Hazlett (sic, Haslett) was listed as a "farmer, Mona Vale, Moonee Ponds." I have speculated that Joseph Raleigh (Mona Vale 1847) was actually at Broadmeadows Township (three years before it was declared) and this could have been the case with Haslett too. This makes sense because today's Westmeadows is about halfway between his two grants at Melfort Ave (Melway 28 J1) and a 160 acre (approximately) crown allotment (if I remember correctly, on the north side of Somerton Rd in the parish of Yuroke.)
On the small lot bisected by Melfort Ave, John Haslett established the National Hotel, which Robinson later renamed the Melfort, using a bike race to promote it.

George Smith, settler, Tootgarook, Westernport. Contrary to some of the runs mentioned in the Squatters in the Westernport District journal, this run was actually somewhere near Westernport. Spencer Jackson (Beautiful Dromana 1927) said that George was related to Captain Hobson of the Rattlesnake and I presume this extended to Edward Hobson (of Tootgarook Run and owner of "The Rosebud" which gave my neck of the woods its name in March 1855) and (Horatio?)Hobson who received the grant for the next allotment west from Edward Byam Wight's "The Ridge" at Kensington. In 1842,Owen Cain's 4 1/2 year old daughter became lost and nearly died because she was too frightened of the aborigines to call for help. Georgiana McCrae (or her son) said that she only survived because she was found, after many days and taken to the Wooloowoolooboolook homestead of George Smith (six miles from the McCrae homestead on the road to Cape Schanck, which I calculate as being near Pattersons Rd)and nursed back to health by George's wife. In Lime Land Leisure, C.N.Hollinshed gave the impression that Edward Hobson already had the Tootgarook Run and added Smith's run in 1850 before transferring it to James (AND PETER!!!!) Purves.The above entry seems to suggest that Wooloowoolooboolook was just one of several names (all to do with frogs)used for the Tootgarook run. You might notice the subtle hint that Peter Purves was also involved at Tootgarook. It was Peter who signed the Police Fence Petition while his brother was living the high life in town and visiting his Chinton Station near Kilmore.


Cr Antonella Celi was chairperson of the Rosebud West Renewal Project so there is no doubt she would have known the Aitken family very well. She would have been very busy and this might explain why she did not mention the triumphs and tragedies in relation to this Rosebud West family. The surname is well known to Carlton Football Club supporters, the son having inherited his father's ability. One of the articles on the Blues' website is headed OVERCOMING ADVERSITY which could have equally suited the article about the mother of the founder of VIC CRICK who still managed to contribute to the renewal project while being a full-time carer for her husband.

LOCAL cricket is mourning the loss of one of its greatest players, Ian Aitken, who died last Friday after a long illness.
Aitken, 70, captured 545 wickets with Red Hill after joining the club as a 40-year old. As a young man he played in the Bendigo and District Cricket Association (BDCA), earning a reputation as a champion fast bowler and capable batsman. In 2004, Aitken was inducted into the BDCA Hall of Fame.
Friend Roger Spaull said Aitken was a great cricketer and man.
He was regarded as one of the greatest cricketers to play Country Week cricket, he said.
He was a beautiful seam bowler who could make the ball move. Its an old expression but he could actually make it talk. Some days he was unplayable.
Aitken was vice-principal at Eastbourne Primary School for many years and lived at Rosebud West.
A funeral will be held at the Red Hill Cricket Club on Friday.

Juanita could have felt sorry for herself and moped. When I saw the following article she was only too willing to help me with my historical research but warned me that there would be interruptions because of her husband's affliction. It was an honour to shake the great man's hand, as it was to shake the hand of the BONEO BRADMAN.

ISSUU - February 1st 2011 by Mornington Peninsula News Group‎
Feb 1, 2011 - Citizen of the year Juanita Aitken has been an active member of Rosebud and Rosebud West communities for more than three decades after

The author of Rosebud Flower of the Peninsula.

This has been posted on Facebook after two tries here.

1 comment(s), latest 4 months ago


Any family historian who has moved house will understand what prompted this journal. You have a book or notes but in which of 25 boxes did you put them. Neil Mansfield wanted information from "Broadmeadows: A Forgotten History" about John Bethell because finding his copy would have taken days (and weeks to repack the boxes.) I thought that I might as well kill two birds with the one stone by including this information in a journal. I have quoted Andrew Lemon's words as much as possible, using comments in brackets to add context or further information. John Bethell was one of the few pioneers to get a mention, but I think you will agree that there is not much meat there for a family historian. It was precisely because so many pioneers were not acknowledged and the detail, about many of those that were, was so vague that I decided to write history for family historians. That was the sole aim of DHOTAMA (DICTIONARY HISTORY OF TULLAMARINE AND MILES AROUND.) This detail will be supplied later (from trove, dhotama and Neil's book) but let's see what Andrew Lemon had to say about William and John Bethell.

Incidental details about the Bethells as witnesses in a continuing conflict between Constable King and his superior officer.
P.1. William Bethell, whose job it was to bring the mail on horseback to the (Broadmeadows) township (heard the argument between Senior Constable McCarthy and his wife.)
P.2. On Thursday 17 December-four days earlier- William Bethell's brother, John, who was a chemist and storekeeper in the town, complained to Senior Constable McCarthy that a drunken woman was roaming the town, using bad language and exposing some nameless but unacceptable portion of her anatomy.
p.3-4. John Bethell (returning from Melbourne to the township)travelling on the same cart (as Snr. Const. McCarthy and his wife)noticed only that, near Essendon, Constable King rode up on horseback and exchanged a few words with McCarthy.But there were awkward scenes that John Bethell did notice.

P.9. Similarly it (1857 Census) found one storekeeper, even though John Bethell, the chemist and Peter Mitchell described themselves as such to the police.
P. 25. The first sale of blocks of land at the Government township at Broadmeadows took place on 16-5-1850. --
Between 1852 and 1855 there were further sales until almost all of the allotments were sold.--- While there were names of subsequent residents on the first sales lists- such as Peter Mitchell, John Bethell, J.Bryan , W. Gilmore and Enoch Reynolds- there were numerous investors etc.
(Jane Bryant bought the block on which her Victoria Hotel was built just up Ardlie St from the Broady.
I was silly enough to accept Lemon's version, Gilmore, when I asked the developers of the Alanbrae Estate on "Willowbank", across Kenny St from the township, to name streets after pioneers, which they did. The family is related to my maternal line, Cock, (okay, you can stop giggling now)and my family historian brother swears that the correct spelling is Gilmour.)

P.44. (Re land values in 1863)---while the Broadmeadows hotel which William Chadwick rented from John Bethell was valued at 86 pounds a year. (Most houses had a Nett Annual Value of 5 or 10 pounds.)
P.47. Broadmeadows Township came within the parish of Will Will Rook and was represented on the first Road Board by that enterprising townsman, John Bethell, who had started in the township with just one block of land, but as a storekeeper and possibly the town's first postmaster, he soon consolidated his position. By 1863 he was the owner of six buildings there, the chief of which was the hotel. (The meeting at which the Road Board was inaugurated- more likely a resolution was passed to request establishment of a road district- was held on 15-4-1858 at a Free Presbyterian church almost opposite the gates of "Dunhelen".)
P. 54-5. In 1864, Hugh Brown, A Tullamarine farmer, resigned as Chairman, and with John Bethell and James Machonochie , he resigned from the Road Board.
(Hugh Brown was on Camp Hill and his year old daughter became a Prime Minister's wife; see Notes re Tullamarine journal. James Machonochie was on Stewarton, the 777 acres of today's Gladstone Park/Gardens north of the Mickleham Rd/Lackenheath Drive corner.)
P. 63. There were still two hotels (circa 1880)- the Victoria was burnt down in 1879 but since about 1870, the town had a new hotel, the Franklin. John Bethell, ever improving himself, had retired to England, where he still received the rent from his bakery and hotel. (Baker/publican, Henry Franklin, may have been a friend or relative of John Bethell as they were jointly assessed on a house.)

Well, that might provide about three sentences for the Bethell family history!

DHOTAMA.As much of the information in my dictionary history came from local histories, much of it appears above. Andrew Lemon gives the impression that Henry Franklin built the bakery on the uphill corner of Fawkner and Bent Streets (which was extended as Franklin's Hotel) but John Bethell built a bakery much earlier. The 1863 rates show that John Bethell owned three houses, John Arnott's bakery and another house occupied by Alexander Coghill in the parish of Tullamarine (west of the bridge.)This original bakery would have been east of the bridge in the parish of Will Will Rook and was probably between John Bethell's Broadmeadows Hotel and Jane Bryant's Victoria Hotel a few blocks up the Ardlie St Hill. An earlier association between Henry Franklin and John Bethell seems to be indicated by their "joint occupancy" of a house in 1880 as mentioned above. IS IT POSSIBLE THAT JOHN BETHELL VISITED THE OLD COUNTRY RATHER THAN RETURNING THERE FOR GOOD? Incidentally, I also wonder if Arnott's biscuits were first baked in Broadmeadows Township!

John Bethell certainly did return to his place of birth in the latter half of 1865 but was back in Broadmeadows to chair Rev. Stair's farewell in 1866, as shown by later TROVE information. However there is little personal information about John following that year. There is no indication that he married and no mention of him after 1866. I wonder if he inherited his parents' estate, met his future bride during his 1865 visit and returned to marry her a year later after settling his affairs in Broadmeadows. It is also possible that he relocated to a nearby area such as Ivanhoe!
The mail contract that William (and Edmund) carried out had the following schedule. Leave Melbourne 7:30 a.m., arrive Broadmeadows 10:30, leave Broadmeadows 2:30p.m., arrive Melbourne 5:30 p.m. No doubt this involved full days and sore bums.
By 1860, William had bought, from William Smith,the bluestone store which was to be a landmark in Bulla Township for a further 130 years until it was destroyed by fire. Luckily I.W.Symonds had sketched it for his "Bulla Bulla" and perhaps the Broadmeadows or Sunbury Historical Societies have a photograph.

"The Shire That Took Off", an unpublished history of Bulla Shire which I perused in the local history room at the Sam Merrifield Library (Moonee Ponds), stated that William Bethell became a foundation member of the Bulla Roads Board at the meeting at the Deep Creek Inn on 23-10-1862.
William Bethell was appointed as the poundkeeper at Bulla, a job he had carried out at the time of his marriage in England.

While searching for information about the obscure John Bethell, I found a post by Neil Mansfield which contains much of the Bethell genealogy found in his splendid book. IF you google BETHELL, BULLA, it will be found on the first page under the title of J.
Neil's contribution to the recording of Bulla's history is extraordinary; as well as his 700 + page THE DAVID MANSFIELD STORY, he has provided a fantastic website on the Bulla cemetery (as well as other cemeteries.) The Manfields were related by marriage to many Bulla, Tullamarine Island and Greenvale pioneering families, including the descendants of William Bethell.
As the information under J is rather clinical, I will provide some information from the book (pages 76 to 83.) Firstly, there are photos of William Bethell, his wife, and his daughter who married Henry Mansfield. Two Mansfields married William's daughters and another married his grand daughter.
The Bethells were Cheshire cats (in groovyspeak!) John Bethell, born about 1800, married Ruth Shaw in about 1822. Their oldest son, John(the Broadmeadows pioneer) was born in about 1823, William was born in 1825 and Edmund in 1831, by which time the family was in Lancashire. As stated previously, no evidence has been found that John Bethell married. It is unlikely that Edmund married.
My dictionary history records that Edmund Bethell died on 28-5-1864.Stupidly, I did not state the source of this information, but the detail almost certainly came from his headstone at Will Will Rook cemetery (Camp Rd.)Strangely, the death notice gives his name as Edward! This can be found in the TROVE detail which follows, as can William's transfer of the Bulla-Melbourne mail run to EDMUND in 1857 and the possibility of Edmund being too fond of drink.Neil does not mention when Edmund came to Australia, but it is likely that he came out with trailblazer, William, in 1856. The trove entry mentioned before makes it apparent that William obtained the mail contract soon after arrival in 1856; the transfer to Edmund was reported on 20-1-1857.
William married 17 year old Frances(Fanny) Barker on 18-6-1846 in Warrington, Cheshire. His occupation was given as poundkeeper, a job he later had at Bulla. A decade later, William went to Australia to see if it was a good place to settle his family. It was, but within a year William had little cause to grin like a Cheshire cat. (Sorry, my warped sense of humour made me do it!)
While William was carrying out the mail contract, possibly with Edmund's help, Frances became impatient and set sail on the Great Britain in February, 1857. (The book states 1856 in other references.) At about the same time, probably soon after 20-1-1857 when the mail contract was transferred to Edmund, William returned to bring his family out. You guessed it. William's ship passed the Great Britain en route and on arrival he discovered this fact and returned pronto. On his return, his wasted fare and time would have seemed insignificant compared with the information that his two sons had died during the voyage.
Neil states that John Bethell accompanied William's wife and three children on the Great Britain which left England in February 1857. (He otherwise states 1856.) However, I believe that William, John and Edmund must have all come out together in 1856. To be appointed the Secretary of a committee by 13-10-1856 (see TROVE), one would assume that John had been in Broadmeadows for some time! Was John Bethell's name on the Great Britain's passenger list?? It would have been nigh impossible for the Broadmeadows pioneer to leave for England after 13-10-1856 and arrive in time for the Great Britain's departure.
John,William and Edmund Bethell had at least one other sibling, a brother. He and a brother of William's wife, Frances, left Liverpool for America and were not heard of again.

William and Frances Bethell's children were: William, Benjamin (both died on the voyage), Sarah (survived the voyage), and (born at Bulla), Elizabeth, Maria, Frances Ann, Edith Ruth and Alice Evelyn.Much genealogical detail can be given if requested. (Check in J first.)

13-10-1856. John Bethell had been appointed as secretary to a committee aiming to secure the election of Mr McGregor as a member for East Bourke. The first name on the committee was Donald Kennedy Of Dundonald on Gellibrand Hill who with his brother Duncan owned all of Glenroy and most of the land between Broadmeadows Township and present-day Greenvale.
20-1-1857.The contract for the conveyance of mail between Bulla and Melbourne had been transferred from William Bethell to Edmund Bethell.
28-3-1859 (also 5-11-1861). Edmund Bethell in court charged with drunkenness.
3-7-1862. John Bethell and Joseph Samuel Close were the executors of the late Edward Gideon Jones, pianoforte maker of Broadmeadows.
27-1-1864. Some of John Bethell's land purchases in Broadmeadows Township.
30-4-1864.John was the electoral registrar atBroadmeadows and William at Bulla.
30-5-1864.Edward Bethell died on 28-5-1864 at Broadmeadows of consumption, aged 32.
4-3-1865. George Couser of Broadmeadows had been appointed as electoral registrar for the Broadmeadows Division of East Bourke and of the south province during the absence on leave of John Bethell .
30-5-1865. William Bethell was the electoral registrar at Bulla.
3-7-1866. John Bethell, a member of the congregation took the chair for a farewell to Rev.J.B.Stair in the Church of England schoolroom. (This may have been in the church but it was probably in a C of E school built on Mr Raleigh's land if my memory is correct.)
29-1-1872. William Bethell arrived on the Aggamemnon as a cabin passenger on November 7. (This may have been another William Bethell!)
9-8-1876. William Bethell had been elected as auditor of Bulla Shire.
23-1-1880. Nothing to do with the Bethells but discovered while searching GEORGE BETHELL. The Reddans were pioneers of Bulla of similar status to William Bethell and William would have known Michael Reddan well. Michael was run down by a train at North Melbourne Station!
4-12-1882. William Bethell had died at his Bulla Residence on 1-12-1882, aged 57.He was the electoral registrar at the time.
6-1-1883. With William having recently died, it was no surprise that his widow, Frances, was appointed deputy registrar of births and deaths for Bulla. It was a great surprise to see that her late husband had been followed as electoral registrar by GEORGE BETHELL. I believe, after much time searching, that there was no such person. I initially thought that a sibling of John, William and Edmund may have settled in Victoria and gone to Bulla to support his bereaved sister in law. I am willing to bet that the new registrar was the grocer and electoral registrar at Broadmeadows, George Couser.
15-3-1902. On 14 March, Frances, widow of the late William Bethell had died at her Bulla residence aged 74.

In an effort to find mention of the Broadmeadows' pioneer, John,who was apparently absent from Australia, I tried some old U.K. records. John seems to have had an older sister and a brother who married three years after William near Liverpool and may have been the one who went to America with the brother of William's wife. It seems that William named his daughter,Elizabeth, after an aunt.


Wasn't it 1849 that the California gold rush started? I wonder if any of Thomas Dean's descendants ran the hotels at Moonee Ponds and Bulla. It looks as if going from Cheshire to Lancashire was as simple as crossing a bridge.If my memory of my googling is correct, a James Bethell was a master (Weaver?) in Stockport and employed
92 women but a Bethell woman was in the workhouse.



Dr John Blair will be discussed at the end of this journal. One source stated that he was William Allison Blair's son and I must confess that I had similar thoughts when I found out about his involvement at Blairgowrie. The details provided by Bob Chalmers make it highly unlikely that he was related to either of our Essendon pioneers.
Alexander and William Allison Blair were early settlers in the Essendon area and it is unknown whether they were related. I have been unable to find much about either family on genealogical websites. Alexander Blair has been described as a farmer of Flatfield, Saltwater River, Essendon. In one newspaper article, his farm was referred to as Floodfield, a name unlikely to attract buyers if you wanted to sell it! At first, I thought Flatfield might have been in Braybrook Nth Township,(the part of Avondale Heights including Clarendon St and bounded by the river and Glenside St) but a check proved this to be wrong. Then I thought of Main's Estate, and this guess was correct.
Alexander Blair had probably been leasing Flatfield from the grantee, J.P.Main, for some time before he bought about 50 acres from him for 2700 pounds 10 shillings on 27-5-1857. This land, lot 5, was on the north side of Rosehill Rd between Steeles Creek and Hoffmans Rd , its northern boundary indicated by the end of Albert St (Melway 27 K1.) Alexander mortgaged it to John Catto on the next day for 1000 pounds. I believe Alexander became insolvent; he never regained the title from Catto. Although the early 1860's have never been mentioned in the same breath as the 1890's or 1930's as a time of depression, many lost their properties at this time (such as Ralph Ruddell of Tuerong and Victoria's first manufacturer of bellows, Joseph Porta.) Catto sold the farm to Dugald McPhail (of Rose Hill)for 630 pounds on 6-7-1861. McPhail sold it to William Hoffman at a 120 pound profit on 16-3-1868. As Dugald McPhail was a neighbour, he probably let Alex and his SPEEDY wife remain on the farm; it will be of interest to compare the dates of Dugald's sale of the farm and of the death of Alexander's ailing wife, which I think was also in 1868. Alex and Dugald were two of the stalwarts of St John's, Essendon.

Although I had seen the name Blair on the Essendon and Hawstead map years ago, it had not made much impression on me because I was concentrating on the area north of Glass St. When I started researching Mornington Peninsula History, W.A.Blair became a centre of attention. Lime burning was from the late 1830's the industry between Boneo Rd, Rosebud, and the Heads. The widowed Mrs Rowley had married Kenyon and they had possibly come across from Van Dieman's Land to burn lime for J.P.Fawkner. The Skeltons, Kettle, Robert Rowley and Henry Cadby Wells, the Sullivans and Owen Cain of "Tyrone" were some of the others who set up kilns soon after.Later others, such as Edward Russell, many of whom had jumped ship, set up their own kilns. They had licences from the Crown for their lime stations but when the land in Wannaeue and Nepean parishes was alienated, William Allison Blair bought up huge tracts of land in Rosebud West and around Rye. By sheer coincidence, most of his grants had a kiln on them; he was trying to create a monopoly! As a result most of the lime burners lost their income with only the Cains and Sullivans surviving in this trade.In Lime Land Leisure, C.N.Hollinshed stated that William Allison had built Navarno at Essendon. No doubt, he meant Ngarveno, in the street of that name, but it was not only his spelling that was wrong- as you will see.
There were, to my knowledge, four family members named William Allison Blair, the third died as a baby and his replacement died in WW1. As well as being a lime merchant William Allison had a farm in Braybrook 200 yards from the Saltwater River, presumably on the south side of the river because the burning of his haystacks was caused by some boys from Footscray. (The farm was, as later information shows, on the site occupied by the Medway Golf Club.) W.A. lived at Netherlea at the corner of Hoddle St and Buckley St, Essendon. This became Essendon Technical School; since 2000 this has become a housing estate with a street named after John Coleman(who became a Bombers champion thanks to Hastings!)

A=The Argus.
A. 1-7-1852 p.5. A meeting was held at Thomas Armstrong's "Coalville" to consider the best means to erect a place of public worship in the parish of Doutta Galla. Alex. Blair was unanimously elected to the chair. Details of the meeting and of those attending can be found in my journal, REV. JOHN REID RUFFLES FEATHERS.
A. 2-7-1853, p.3. DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE. The chairmsn, Mr Blair, Dr Pearce and Messrs Young and Williamson were appointed a committee to forward the erection of a manse at St John's, Doutta Galla as speedily as possible.
A.30-7-1853 p.4.At St John's Presbyterian Church, Doutta Galla, Robert Rogerson married Christina, daughter of Alexander Blair of FLOODFIELD, Saltwater River, Doutta Galla. The parish of Doutta Galla extends from West Melbourne to Sharps Rd, Tullamarine and is between the Saltwater (Maribyrnong) River and the Moonee Ponds Creek.
A. 25-5-1855 p.3, 2nd last column. Alexander Blair, proprietor, advertised the sale of a lease of "Flatfield".He had crops on 66 acres so he was obviously farming lot 6 as well as lot 5. If it had not been sold by 21 May, the lease would be sold by auction at the sale of Mr Main's Springbank Estate. (It was this advertisement, found by chance while looking for references to Peter Young, that compelled me to write the Blair of Essendon journal.) This item confirms my theory of the location of "Flatfield". The Springbank Estate, by far the biggest portion of Main's Estate, joined Flatfield on the north. It was purchased by James Wilson and later farmed for many years by James Anderson of Keilor.
A. 6-3-1856 page 5. Alexander Blair of Flatfield occupied the chair at a meeting to discuss the call of St John's minister, Rev. John Reid, to North Melbourne.
A. 2-9-1856, p.8, column 6. Rev. John Reid said that the false accusations made against him could be disproved by documents provided by Alexander Blair Esq. of Flatfield. (See REV. JOHN REID RUFFLES SOME FEATHERS journal.)
A.1-4-1858 p.8. "Working bullocks-for sale, four quiet bullocks (all leaders) with yokes, bows and chains. Apply to Alex. Blair, near Hainson's Punt across the Saltwater River, on the Geelong road.
It will be hard for you to believe that the above advertisement cost me three hours! I had a fair idea where the punt would be, but I just had to investigate this Hainson fellow. Then, having found that Hainson did not have the punt, and that Queenstown was probably where Alex was based, I went looking for a Cut Cut Paw parish map to confirm where section 7 was. And that is how I discovered exactly where WILLIAM ALLISON BLAIR died!
Firstly the punt. Alex Blair's Flatfield was fairly close to the original Geelong Road. This route was along Macedon (Mt Alexander) road to Braybrook Road (Buckley St west, Essendon)and west to the end of Canning St, Avondale Heights. They would deviate slightly to the north into Rose Hill to cross Rose Creek (Steele's Creek)
and probably then took a bee-line across unfenced paddocks to Solomon's ford (Melway 27 B8.) It seemed like a good idea for the Government to establish the Township of Braybrook on this well-established route in 1850. But it was in the same year that Joseph Raleigh opened a punt that led to both Maribyrnong Rd and Epsom Rd being called Raleigh's Punt Road. The Township of Braybrook, partly in Doutta Galla and partly in Cut Cut Paw, was stillborn. In 1851, a timber bridge was built at Keilor but it lasted only until the next downpour, with the result that "the great road to the diggings" was through Tullamarine and Bulla until Brees' bridge was built at Keilor in 1854. A punt had operated at Keilor in the interim. Those travelling to the Ballarat diggings extensively used Raleigh's Punt until Brees' bridge was built and then went through Keilor and along Ballarat Rd (Keilor-Melton Highway.)
These advances did little to help Geelong- bound travellers. Then Michael Lynch established a punt on present racecourse land at the top left corner of Melway 42 F3. Racecourse Rd was known as Geelong Road and a road parallel to Smithfield Rd and probably 200 metres north took travellers to the punt. As I have a mountain of notes on about 20 topics, I do not have time to find when he first set up the punt or why he moved it to the line of Smithfield Rd (which got its name because the first recorded race meeting in England was held at Smithfield Market.)He had the punt and his Punt Inn going by 1853. By 1856, C.J.HARRISON (not Hainson!) was calling for tenders for a brick dwelling (which hopefully has been preserved.) Alex. was near HARRISON'S PUNT!
I am guessing that Alex Blair was on the western side of the river where Queenstown was being subdivided into farms of about 10 acres on part of section 7, Cut Cut Paw. Apparently not making much money from Flatfield, he might have been using the bullocks to cart bluestone from quarries for Wills etc. to Spottiswoode's craft. (Did you notice the origin of the name of Spotswood?)
And where did WILLIAM ALLISON BLAIR die? On Medway Golf Course. William bought land including the golf course from the grantee, Judah Solomon in 1858. It was sold to Thomas Williamson in 1901. Information supplied by Bob Chalmers of the Essendon Historical Society, which will be given verbatim later, shows that both Alex.Blair and William A.Blair died at Maidstone.(Environmental History of Maribyrnong, vol.2 pages 6-7.)

A. 24-7-1858 p.8. "Two first rate farms for sale, on Steel's Ponds, near the Saltwater River six miles from Melbourne. The proprietors, Messrs Alex. Blair and James Laverty, in whose occupation they now are, offer them together or separately, comprising 54 and 50 acres respectively, fenced and cultivated, with buildings on each.
The very desirable farms have good black soil and are watered by the ponds running through them, situate adjoining the land recently sold by Mr Watkins and that on which Mt William Hoffman has built his residence."

The two farms were on the north side of Rosehill Rd and separated by Steeles Creek.Laverty had bought the western farm, lot 6 of Main's Estate from the Bears on 21-10-1848. It is likely that both Laverty and Blair were experiencing financial problems; the former mortgaged lot 6 on 21-10-1858 about three months after the advertisement appeared. James Laverty owned the Springvale Estate (on the south side of Keilor Rd between Webber Pde and Milleara Rd; John Laverty (his son) was charged with abandoning the North Pole Inn, which was on the west corner of "The Essendon Road". I had presumed that this road would have been Hoffmans Rd but details of the sale of "Springvale" re frontage and acreage make it certain that the Essendon Road was Milleara Rd (known as North Pole Rd until 1947 in Keilor rate records.)
Peter Somerville maintained that North Pole Rd got its name from the icy winds that swept along it but it was far more likely that there were two poles marking the location of access ramps to Solomons Ford at the end of Canning St, one on the north and another on the south. (A source about the Cut Cut Paw parish, which includes Braybrook, referred to South Pole Road- probably Duke St.) If Milleara Rd led to Braybrook, why was it not called Braybrook Rd? It would have been too confusing because Buckley St was called Braybrook Rd!
The 1856 electoral roll makes it appear that James Laverty was calling the North Pole Inn the Harvest Home Hotel, but this was not the case. Edward Fegan was running the North Pole and the Harvest Home was on J.P. Bear's subdivision of James McNae's farm, just south of Dean's Hotel on the Dean St corner in Moonee Ponds.

It is almost certain that Mr Watkins' farm which he had just sold was lot 7, the southern third of Springbank, immediately north of Alex. Blair's lot 5; Watkins had probably sold it to James Wilson, who had bought the northern 2/3 of Springbank earlier, after running the Golden Fleece Hotel at Pentridge (Coburg.) William Hoffman was involved in Main's Estate but his land adjoining the Blair/ Laverty farms was Butzbach, which extended east from Hoffmans Rd to about Hedderwick St. The house that Hoffman had just built was near Croft St (Melway 28 B2) and accounts for the bend in Price St.The Crofts renamed Butzbach as "Buckley Park".
Hoffman, who had probably been living at "Laluma" nearer to Essendon, had probably just moved onto Butzback and built a grand house. Soon after receiving his grants, he had leased the farm to Alexander Earle McCracken, who had returned to England in 1857 because of the poor health of his wife, Jane.

A.28-3-1866 p.4. John Kirk, son of the late Robert Kirk of Scotland, married Jessie, the fifth daughter of Alexander Blair, Saltwater River.
A. 26-10-1868 p.4. Elizabeth Speedy, the wife of Alexander Blair, died at her residence, Saltwater River.She had endured a long illness before her death at the age of 65. She was a native of Forfarshire, Scotland. It could be presumed that Elizabeth was Janet Young's daughter.
A. 27-10-1868 P.8. The funeral of the wife of Alexander Blair was to leave his residence, Saltwater River.
A. 3-3-1871. Alexander Blair had died on the 2nd at his residence, Saltwater River, aged 72.
A. 3-3-1871 p.8. The funeral of Alexander Blair was to leave his late residence, Saltwater River.
A. 19-7-1871 page 8. The funeral of Mrs Janet Young was to leave the home of her son-in-law, Mr Blair, Saltwater River. She had obviously been living with her daughter and son in law, but both of them had died before her. I WONDER IF JANET WAS RELATED TO PETER YOUNG OF NAIRN.

A= The Argus.
A. 29-9-1855, p.7. The dissolution of the partnership of Forrest Hay, John Thompson and William Blair, merchants was announced.
A 1-12-1856 p.4. The wife of William Allison Blair had a son at Emerald Hill (South Melbourne.)See 19-5-1858.
A 23-9-1857 p.4. The wife of W.A.Blair had given birth to a daughter at Wattle Bank, Essendon.
A 19-5-1858 p.4. William Allison, only son of William Allison Blair, died at Essendon aged 18 months.
A 20-12-1865, p.4.Margaret Allison, 2nd daughter of William Allison and Isabella Blair had died.
A. 14-2-1867, p.7. A netter to the Essendon-Flemington council from W.A.Blair was not read because it was disrespectfully worded.
A 9-1-1869 p.6. Charles Gavan Duffy accused William Allison Blair of employing dummies. Because the Land Act was intended to break up large holdings, those such as Blair, who had quite opposite intentions' would naturally be suspected of getting friends to buy crown allotments on their behalf. David Swan, another dispossessed lime-burner earned valuable income fencing Blair's property and would be willing to assist his schemes. Charles Gavan Duffy became an Irish hero because of his fight for land for yoeman farmers there and continued his efforts in Victoria. It was because of a battle between Blair and Duffy over another allotment that S.S.Crispo suggested that the disputed piece of land be declared a village (Sorrento!)
A. 15-7-1875, p.7. W.A.Blair is listed as a director of the City of Melbourne Bank Ltd.
A 17-4-1880 p.1. At Netherlea,James Boyd of Ballarat married Lizzie Ewart, eldest daughter of William Allison Blair.
A. 7-5-1887, p.2. A sale of W.A.Blair's land in the city was advertised.
A 26-4-1888, p.1. William Allison, elder son of W.A.Blair of Netherlea, had married Minnie Waters, younger daughter of J.M.Peck of Lebanon, Pascoevale. (The elder daughter had married Alexander McCracken of "North Park", the foundation President of the V.F.L.) William and Minnie's son was described at being born at Pascoe Vale. This could have been at Lebanon or at the house, which Peck was said to have built for a daughter and which was later called Cook's Homestead. Illegally demolished, it was on the site now occupied by Red Rooster, across the footbridge from Mascoma St, Strathmore. "Lebanon" still stands in Wendora St.
A.10-9-1894, p.5. The will of Isabella Blair of Buckley St, Essendon is detailed. Mabel Blair was given the Braybrook farm, which we now know was, or included, the Medway Golf Course. Minnie Ann Blair was described as her daughter, but she was a daughter-in-law, being the daughter of John Murray Peck and the wife of Isabella's son, William Allison Blair.
A 15-1-1938 p.4. HOMESTEAD HOME FOR SCHOOL.This article had a picture of Netherlea, which was to be demolished for the construction of Essendon Technical School.
A 19-1-1957 p.24. John Ronald, son of the late William Allison and Isabella Blair of Netherlea, Essendon had died at Kardinia House, Geelong.
OTHER SOURCES. Sgt. William Allison Blair, son of William Allison and Minnie Waters Blair, was killed in action on 16-2-1917, his age recorded on the grave as 27. He was born at Pascoe Vale and enlisted at Essendon. ("Lest We Forget", which gave his parents' address wrongly as "Meruda".) The "A.I.F. Project" adds the following details. William attended Scotch College and had been a stock and Station agent at Dookie before enlisting on 29-7-1915 with the rank of sergeant. His father was described as Captain William Allison Blair of "Mernda", 42 Jolimont Terrace, Jolimont.He was 26 and single when he embarked and died at Armientieres, while serving with C Company of the 38th Battalion at the age of 28.
The farm at Braybrook was probably the one, including the Medway Golf Course, which William Allison Blair bought from the grantee,Judah Solomon, in 1858. It was sold to Thomas Williamson in 1901. The first clubhouse on the golf course was the house built by Solomon or Blair. (Environmental History of Maribyrnong.) The destruction of the deliberately lit haystack by the Footscray lads is detailed in The Argus (5-12-1889, p.9 and 31-12-1889 p.7.)

The following details about Alexander and William Allison Blair have been kindly supplied by Bob Chalmers of the Essendon Historical Society.
Great to see that you are still on the job with our history. Yes, I was aware of Alezander Blair's involvement at St John's. He chaired the important meeting at Thomas Armstrong's residence at which the Presbyterian Church was established. His farm was, as you stated, "Flatfield Farm, which was in section 12 north of Rosehill Road. He was born in Angus, Scotland in c1799, married and raised his family in Kettins, Angus and arrived in Port Phillip aged 50 in October 1849 accompanied by his wife Elizabeth (nee Speedy) and seven children- Margaret (21), Ellen (19), Euphemia (17), Christina (15), Janet (14), John (12), and Eliza (7) on the ship "Mahomed Shah". Christina married Robert Rogerson (son of William Rogerson), Eliza married a Robert Cherry, and Euphemia married James Bell- all from prominent families. Ellen (also known as Helen) married John McPhail, the step brother of Dugald McPhail and partner (on Miller's Farm) with James Bell. Jessie (probably referred to as Janet on the shipping record) married John Kirk. Elizabeth Blair (Speedy) died in 1868 aged 63 and Alexander died in Maidstone on 2-3-1871. His father was Alexander Blair and his mother Mary Duff. His will can be downloaded from PROV.
NOTES ON THE ABOVE. Having been alerted by Bob of the Maidstone connection, I discovered that Alex was a trustee of the Presbyterian Church in Maidstone (The Argus,11-1-1862, page 7, Government Gazette.) This seems to confirm my guess that his bullock team had been working on the Cut Cut Paw side of the Saltwater River.

William Allison Blair (no relation to the above) was born in Mearns, Renfrewshire, Scotland, to William Blair and Margaret Allison on 9-9-1821. He married Isabella Ewart (born Durham, England in 1827) in Gorbals (Glasgow) on 6-1-1850. The couple arrived in Australia on the Catherine Glen"in August 1853 together with a James Blair (presumably a 20 year old brother of William Allison. William Allison Blair was shown in the 1841 census as a tailor and in the 1851 census as a hat and cap manufacturer, a trade he took up after arriving in Australia. Willianm Allison Blair and Isabella Ewart had a large family, with 8 children born to them, firstly at Emerald Hill, Fitzroy and Collingwood, but later at Essendon, where Margaret was born in 1859. Three children died in infancy or early childhood. One of his daughters married James Boyd (who served on the Essendon council) and Blair and Boyd were both involved with the mining of lime. Isabella Blair died at Netherlea (Buckley St, Essendon) in 1894 and William Allison Blair died 27-9-1896 in Maidstone. There is more about William Allison Blair in "Fine Homes of Essendon and District".
NOTES ON THE ABOVE. William Allison Blair's death notice can be seen on page 1 of The Argus of 3-10-1896. It confirms that he died at Maidstone.


Dr John Blair.
LAUNCESTON EXAMINER 15-3-1887 P.2. Dr John Blair was born in Linlithgow, Scotland in 1835.
THE ARGUS 18-11-1876, page 9. Someone who was in a position to know stated that Dr John Blair was the real founder of the Alfred Hospital.
THE ARGUS 29-8-1921, page 1. Mary Hunter, the widow of Dr John Blair, died at the age of 83.
THE ARGUS 12-4-1930 PAGES 3S AND 6S AND 5-4-1930 PAGE 10S. Dr John Blair did not hold to the common view that aborigines were unintelligent. He adopted an aboriginal boy, which his wife Mary was not too keen about, but she soon grew to love him. The boy was named Lani after an Indian cook and was fondly remembered by friends of the Blair family. Lani died in 1900 (Argus 18-1-1900 page 1.)
BLAIRGOWRIE VILLAGE BY THE SEA, a pamphlet published by the Nepean Historical Society, states that Michael O'Grady built the mansion whose later name, Blaigowrie, was used for the settlement known firstly as Manners-Sutton and then Canterbury. (See Sidney Smith Crispo journal.) O'Grady built the stately home in 1874, naming it "Villa Maria" and following his death Dr Blair bought it in 1877 and gave it the name that translates as "field of goats" according to a genealogy website.
Blairgowrie was sold in 1887. (Argus 21-11-1887, page 2, column 7.)

6 comment(s), latest 5 months, 3 weeks ago


Text wouldn't submit but was luckily saved and will be submitted when the OH NOES gremlins buzz off.
If you still have yesterday's Sunday Herald Sun (9-2-2014) have a look at "Packenham it in" on page 57.

When my twin brother and I were about five we were driven to Grandma Cock's at Bunyip for Christmas dinner. As it was over 100 degrees and dinner was cooked on a slow combustion stove, we were glad to escape to the relative coolness of the blazing sun after our meal. After dad died,my brother and I would be taken to platform 1 at Spencer St Station to catch the train to Bunyip. We loved the train, because, both having ants in the pants, we could spend most of our journey wandering the aisle that ran the length of one side of the carriage. We either stayed with mum's sister, Grace (Mrs Hinson) or Les and Jess Roberts at the top of the hill.

As mum had to work to support us we were later allowed to travel on our own,just like big people, to stay with Auntie Grace or Jess Roberts, who was a life-long friend of mum (nee Edna Cock.) Although we had driven through Pakenham at the age of five, the place had not yet become part of my being. Later, as a typical smutty teenager the name of Pakenham Upper burned its way into the part of my brain that manufactures corny jokes.

When I got a car and a licence, Pakenham became very much part of the romance of the drive to Bunyip, along with places like Officer, Tynong, Nar Nar Goon etc and John Towner's pub. (After John Coleman's career-ending injury, John Towner looked likely to become the next Coleman until he was crudely propelled into the fence and was never the same afterwards.)

Thus when I read page 57 of the Sunday Herald Sun of 9-2-2014, I felt compelled to write a journal about a part of my past,just as I had about Campbells Creek. The headline was "Packenham it in." I would have used "Packenham up"! Daryl Timms' article is presented virtually verbatim with some re-ordering to give genealogy and track information separately. Don't be too hard on Timmsy about his south west gaffe; I have to be on constant guard not to make the same blue.

Gavan and Hughie Bourke (pictured)have vivid memories of growing up in the family home located on what was later to be named Racecourse Rd.There were seven Bourke siblings and their backyard was the racetrack which was founded in 1875. The Bourke link with the racetrack goes back to Ireland in 1838 when Michael Bourke married Catherine Kelly in County Limerick,leaving for Australia on their wedding day and arriving in Melbourne on St. Patrick's Day,March 17, 1839. After five years they gained a squatter's licence and selected land in the Pakenham district. They had 15 children, but two died in infancy and it was their youngest son,David Joseph Bourke, who farmed land on the current racetrack site and allowed races on his paddock.

After the death of David it was sons Hugh and Michael who played the crucial role of keeping the club alive. Despite pressure for the site to become Crown land,the Bourkes agreed to sell the track to the racing club for 25 000 pounds ($50 000)in a deal finalised in 1957. "It was about a quarter of what it was worth,but back then our family wanted it to stay a racetrack forever and we always thought it would, " Hughie said this week.

Brother Gavan agrees that it's sad that the track,on a 27 hectare site and sold for redevelopment for $30 million,will be part of the massive suburbia explosion in the heart of Pakenham. The first races had been annual amateur picnic meetings,the only meetings between 1896 and 1909 being on New Year's Day,but in December 1926 the club moved to regular,professional meetings with the inaugural Pakenham Cup after 4000 pounds (raised with the help of locals) was spent to upgrade and remodel the track as demanded by the government. The Bourkes leased the track to the club for free on the condition that profits benefited public amenities.

It will be an emotional time today (9-2-2014)for the Bourke clan when the track hosts its final meeting-featuring the Pakenham Cup- as the club prepares to move to a new track and multmillion dollar development on 246 hectares of farmland at Tynong , 10 km east of Pakenham and 65 km south west (sic; southeast) of Melbourne.

I don't know whether anyone is writing a Bourke family history. Perhaps it might be a descendant living far
(see comment 2.)

P.183, MEMOIRS OF A STOCKMAN, Harry Huntington Peck.
Old Mrs. Bourke who was the landlady of the Pakenham hotel at
the bridge over the Toomuc creek for so many years was an
institution of the district. She was most popular with the Gippsland
travellers and drovers as she took pains to make all visitors
comfortable. Her fine sons David and Daniel prospered as graziers
and bought good properties, the one Llowalong originally part of
Iiushy Park on the Avon near Stratford, and the other Old
Monomeith, where the next generation Hughie and Michael, trading
as Bourke Bros., are to-day the largest regular suppliers of baby beef
to Newmarket, are well known as the owners of show teams of
first-class hunters and hacks, and of late years have been very
successful in principal hurdle and steeplechase races.

3 comment(s), latest 2 months ago


When it comes to being side-tracked, I reckon I must be the world champ.Not long ago,I promised to stick to my Red Hill Dictionary History. And I did until I started the CONNELL entry. CONNELL>WILSON>YOUNG>TURNER>GOMM>PURVES>SOMERVILLE>PURVES>WILLIAM JOHNSON/JOHNSTONE>UNRELATED GEORGE JOHNSTONE>GREEN HILLS is a summary of my mental wanderings. Hopefully I will purge myself of the urge and get back to my Red Hill research after this final fling.

What caused my desire to write this journal was laughter in the courtroom at Dromana. One of the Cairns family, Carrier Harry I think, was suing Alf Head for the cost of repairs to his trap after Alf had caused a prang during a race at the Kangerong/Dromana Show. William Patterson was giving evidence when he was asked if he was related to Cairns. After the affirmative answer, a smart Alec lawyer (Hall?) commented,"Everyone's related down here." Some wag asked,"Are you?" and the courtroom erupted into laughter.

Basically, I will reproduce my notes from Peter Wilson's THE CAIRNS FAMILY OF BONEO. It took many hours to assign nicknames in the genealogy from clues offered throughout the book. As I was writing notes from many local history books and transcribing rates,my notes are very brief and concern mainly genealogy, and only to the marriage of Robert, David and Alexander's children. The GEORGE AND OLLIE JOHNSTONE journal contains much information about Alex,his son Walter and Walter's daughter Olive. I also plan to give the locations of the grants obtained by members of the family and other farms detailed in rate books. I will also paste text from TALKING HISTORY WITH RAY CAIRNS. Dick Parker had told me I should interview Ray, but I wasn't sure where Ray was until he scored his last century, when an article about the Boneo Bradman led to an interview ten days after his hundredth birthday.

ROBERT CAIRNS (1820-1884) was married in Scotland to MARY DRYSDALE (1828-1901.) Robert was buried at the cemetery on Alexander's grant at Boneo and Mary was buried at Rye. Mary's parents, who came out with them, settled on the other side of the bay and gave Drysdale its name. Mary Campbell, who came out with them in 1852, with Robert as her guardian and probably helping Mary with the children, later became a relative via the Edmonds family, her daughter and Walter's daughter both marrying into this family. Robert most likely bought his grant at Boneo at auction because this was before the days of selection as far as I know; selection was enabled by the Land Acts of the 1860's. Robert had intended farming but got into lime burning which proved so lucrative that he was able to help his brothers,David and Alexander to come out in 1854.

(Something I had intended to put into the GEORGE AND OLLIE JOHNSTONE journal. Robert obviously came with some money. Alex Johnstone stated that the limestone houses erected by Cairns family members were indicative of money. However the fact is that pioneers used the material that was most readily available, and limestone was common ABANDONED DUE TO MULTIPLE FAILED ATTEMPTS TO SUBMIT EDITS.

2 comment(s), latest 8 months, 3 weeks ago