janilye on Family Tree Circles
Journals and Posts
The census was held on a Sunday either that last weekend in March or the beginning of April. Sunday night when most people would be at home.
You'll notice the first census in 1841 was held in June and not successful at all, because the bright sparks in the city who organised it, didn't realise, it was during the agricultural season and most people were away for the harvest. The 1841 census in England and Wales was the first census where the names of all the occupants of the household were taken.
They were administered in census districts which were based on the registration districts used in the civil registration of births, deaths and marriages. These districts were made into divisions of about 200 households called enumeration districts and enumerators were employed ( yes! they were paid)to visit the households and explain the forms, much the same as they do today.
The districts did not always match the existing parish boundaries.
The date of the census were:
Sunday 6 June 1841
Sunday 30 March 1851
Sunday 7 April 1861
Sunday 2 April 1871
Sunday 3 April 1881
Sunday 5 April 1891
Sunday 31 March 1901
Sunday 2 April 1911
Census returns are subject to a 100 years' privacy rule
I couldn't resist adding this History of the British Empire from Horrible Histories.
Special forms were supplied for asylums, hospitals, schools and similar institutions
with over 100 occupants.
The form below is the 1911 Census
I will be in The Maldon and Castlemaine area from the 16th March till the 27th March
I will be visiting the Maldon Cemetery .
So if you need a photograph or confirmation of a death, let me know
If you have a request for anything at any of the other towns in the central goldfields area, ask and I will do my best to get there.
For 3 days during this time I will be at the Goldfields Research Centre in Bendigo.
If any member has look-ups they would like carried out whilst I'm there. Please contact me or post them on this page. I will notify you whether or not a favourable result is achieved.
After this trip, I will not be returning till 27th April 2013
Cometville renamed Comet on the 19 March 1931 is 859 kilometres or 534 miles north west of Brisbane, Australia, on the Comet River which was named by explorer Ludwig Leichhardt in December 1844 after Wilmot's Comet which was visible in the Southern Hemisphere at that time.
Comet is where Leichhardt's famous "dig tree" was established to indicate to others where he had buried food and journals.
It was a very important day for the outback settlement of Cometville when the State school opened on the 23 October 1878.
Below is a list of the Head School Teachers and the years in which they served up until 1930
Samuel Clark........................ 23 October 1877 to 19 September 1879
Alexander Blyth..................... 01 January 1879 to 30 September 1879
John Boland (acting) ............... 01 October 1879 to 30 September 1881
John Hassell........................ 01 October 1881 to 02 September 1883
William Henry Allen Jeffreys........ 20 August 1883 to 31 December 1884
William Henry Smith ................ 19 January 1885 to 25 April 1889
John Mills ......................... 06 May 1889 to 25 April 1891
Phillp Henry Robinson............... 26 May 1891 to 31 December 1896
Louis Charles Francis .............. 01 January 1897 to 06 February 1898
George Henry Osmond ................ 28 February 1898 to 31 December 1900
Denis sheahan....................... 01 January 1901 to 13 March 1902
Hubert George Ladbrook ............. 07 April 1902 to 31 March 1905
Clement Bleakley ................... 01 April 1905 to 30 June 1910
Patrick Kehoe....................... 01 July 1910 to 28 February 1911
Albert Boettcher ................... 27 February 1911 to 30 March 1914
James Thiele........................ 01 May 1914 to 15 September 1918
John Henry Langford ................ 18 September 1918 to 30 September 1921
Gladys Fannv Kidd .................. 01 October 1921 to 24 January 1926
William Leslie Kemp ................ 25 January 1926 to 31 December 1929
William Charles Thomas Jordan....... 01 January 1930
The photograph below which is not all that well preserved, but I've not ever been able to find another.
Taken in the 1930s it shows the original Cometville State School in the foreground and the new Comet State School behind. after this photograph was taken the old school was removed.
The new school behind was bought in 1936 by the Country Women's Association (Gindie branch) and turned into a rest home.
1. RETURN of all persons condemned to Death at the Supreme Criminal Court, Sydney,
from the year 1840, to 1st September, 1859, inclusive.
February 4. James Hunt, for murder, executed 10th March.
February 24. Thomas Whitton, murder and arson, executed 19th March.
May 2. John Bright, murder, pardoned.
May 4. Martin Ryan, intent to murder, transportation for life in irons.
August 6. Thomas Williams, cutting and maiming, transportation for life.
August 12. Tallboy (an aboriginal), murder, transportation for life.
November 7. James Martin, murder, executed 8th December
John Walker, murder, transportation for life with hard labour in irons.
James Mason, accessory to murder, executed 8th December.
Neville Billy (an aboriginal), murder, three years at Cockatoo.
Michael Minighan, murder, executed 11th December.
November 5. Enoch Bradley, murder, executed 11th December.
November 6. Francis Legg, rape, executed 11th December.
William Newman, murder, executed 8th December.
February 24. Edward Davies, Robert Chitty, James Everett,
John Shea, John Marshall, Richard Glanville, for murder and
felony, executed 16th March.
May 13. Michael Lynch, murder, executed 4th June.
May 14. Bemmatto and Nungavil (aboriginals), murder, ex-
ecuted. (Sent to Moreton Bay, 18th June, for execution.)
October 21. Michael McMullin, rape, transportation for life.
George Stroud, murder, executed 29th October.
October 14. Robert Hudson, murder, executed 29th October.
October 1. John Solomon, sodomy, transportation for life.
October 1. William Williams, sodomy, transportation for life.
October 20. Stephen Brennan, murder, executed 9th November.
James Wolfe, Thomas Whelan, intent to commit murder and piracy, transportation for life.
John Jones, Michael Lewis, George Beavon, Henry Seen, assault with intent to commit murder,
executed 3rd November.
January 12. James O'Donnell, murder, transportation for life.
July 8. Michael Keefe, rape, transportation for life.
January 15. Michael Moore, murder, transportation for life.
January 24. John Knatchbull, murder, executed 13th February.
July 15. George Vigors, Thomas Burdett, murder, executed
13th August; John Rankin, murder, transportation for life.
January 10. John Vidall, murder, executed 7th February.
January 16. George Byford, murder, transportation for life
with hard labour in irons.
July 11. John Ahern, murder, executed 12th August.
April 1?. Hendrick? Wiwwuuii, rape, transportation for life.(illegible)
March 4. John Kean, murder, executed 30th April.
June 5. William Fyfe, murder, executed 4th July.
August 26. Francis Dermott, rape, executed 22nd September.
March 8. James Richardson, murder, executed 7th May.
August 28. Owen Molloy, murder, executed 18th September.
October 7. Mogo (an aboriginal), murder, executed 5th November.
October 8. James Whelan, murder, executed 5th November.
December 3. William Burns, murder, to Cockatoo Island,
August 4. Thomas F. Green, murder, executed 21st September.
June 6. John Flannary, William Fitzgerald, rape, fifteen
years' hard labour on the roads or public works, the first three years in irons.
June 8. James Gray, murder, fifteen years' labour on roads.
August 12. James Ross, murder, two years' imprisonment.
February 9. William Ryan, murder, executed 28th February.
February 7. John Holland, rape, fifteen years' labour on roads.
June 7. Samuel Wilcox, murder, executed 5th July.
William Preston, rape, three years' labour on roads.
June 8. William Rogers, murder, executed 5th July.
August 7. John Lakeman, rape, ten years' labour on roads.
April 10. James O'Donnell, murder, fifteen years' labour on roads.
June 8. Jose Pareires, murder, fifteen years' labour on roads.
April 22. Joseph Wilkes, murder, imprisonment for life.
August 3. James Moyes, murder, executed 7th September.
April 16. Mary Ann Perry, murder, fifteen years' imprisonment.
June 10. John Norris, rape, executed 22nd July.
2 RETURN of all persons condemned to death at Berrima and Goulburn, from the year, 1840 to 1st
September, 1859, inclusive.
Thomas Leary, murder, transportation for life.
Patrick Curran, murder, executed 21st October.
Patrick Clearhan, murder, executed 22nd April.
John Lynch alias Dunleavy, murder, executed 22nd April.
Martin Beech, murder, executed October.
Lucretia Dunkley, murder, executed October.
James Reeves, murder, transportation for life, April 3rd.
Henry Atkins, murder, executed 8th October.
Francis Hughes, violent assault, transportation for life, 29th
James Gorman, rape, transportation for fourteen years, 12th
Owen Walsh, murder, transportation for fourteen years, 8th
John Hourigan, murder, transportation for life, 3rd April.
Thomas Randall, rape, transportation for life, 15th December.
Bridget Mitchell, murder, transportation for three years, 23rd
George Bolton, murder, transportation for life, 17th March.
Edward Thornett, rape, fifteen years on roads, &c., 5th September.
Thomas Fox, murder, fifteen years on roads, &c, 10th August.
John McSpadden, murder, fifteen years on roads, &c., 6th September.
James Talbot, murder, executed 30th May.
John Webber, rape, ten years on roads, &c, 16th November.
Mary Ann Brownlaw, murder, executed 11th November.
Lawrence King, murder, fifteen years on roads, &c., 12th September.
Patrick Maher, murder, fifteen years on roads, &c. 10th September.
Patrick Walsh, murder, executed 4th November.
Joseph O'Halloran, murder, six years on roads, &c., 24th
William Henry McDonald (a man of colour), sodomy, hard
labour for life, 27th September.
Harry (an aboriginal), rape and attempt to murder, executed
Jeremiah Martin, murder, five years on roads, &c,
2nd May. John Torpy, murder, two years on roads, &c., 2nd May.
3.RETURN of all persons condemned to death at
Bathurst, from the year 1840 to 1st September, 1859, inclusive.
April. Charles Cameron, murder, executed May 25th.
March. John Walsh, murder, executed May 3rd.
March. Matthew Whittle, firing with intent to kill, executed May 2nd.
September. Abraham Gasten, murder, executed October 31st.
March. Henry Hogan, murder, transportation for life.
September. Lawrence Power, murder, ten years' hard labour
on the roads.
February. Michael Butler, murder, transportation for life.
July. Joseph Murphy, murder, removed to Sydney gaol on the
ground of insanity, by order of the Governor.
September. Charles Henry Mackie, rape, executed November
10th. Patrick White, murder, seven years' transportation.
September. Patrick Walsh, murder, executed October 26th.
August. William Gleeson, murder, fifteen years hard labour
on the roads, &c.
February. Peter (an aboriginal), rape, fifteen years' hard
labour on roads, &c.
February. Thomas Wilmore, murder, executed April 14th.
August. Timothy Sullivan, murder, executed September 30th.
Newing (Chinese), murder, executed September 30th.
February. Patrick Mccarthy, murder, executed April 8th.
Paddy (an aboriginal), rape, executed April 8th. Thomas Daffy,
murder, ten years' hard labour on roads, &c. Christiana Boddy,
murder, ten years' hard labour Parramatta gaol.
February. James McLaughler, murder, executed April 24th.
Billy Palmer (aboriginal), murder, executed April 25th.
August. Adam Young, murder, ten years' hard labour on
September. William Johnson Miller, murder, fifteen years'
hard labour on roads, &c.
March. Billy Morgan (an aboriginal), murder, fifteen years'
hard labour on roads, &c.
September. Henry Carroll, rape, fifteen years' hard labour on roads, &c.
March. Henry Curren, rape, executed May 7th. Addison)
Mitchell, murder, executed May 7th. John Linden, murder, fif-
teen years' hard labour on roads, &c.
September. Samuel Rhodes, stabbing with intent fitteen years'
hard labour on roads, &c.
March. George Roberts, murder fifteen years' hard labour on
roads, &c. Charles A. Woollenwebber, murder, fifteen years'
hard labour on roads, &c.
April. John Arrow, murder, executed May 11th. Thomas
Ryan (or Martin), murder, executed May 11th.
4. RETURN of all persons condemned to death at
Newcastle and Maitland, from the year 1840 to the
1st September, 1859, inclusive.
Michael Bradley, murder, executed at Newcastle.
Eugene Quinn, opening a letter, and abstracting money there-
from, fourteen years' transportation.
Thomas Homer, murder, executed at Newcastle.
Hugh Bannon, manslaughter, transportation for life.
Stephen Waters, beastiality, fifteen years' hard labour on roads.
George Wilson, shooting with intent to murder, executed at
Thomas Forrester, murder, executed at Newcastle.
Melville (an aboriginal), murder, executed at Maitland.
Harry (an aboriginal), murder, executed at Maitland.
Therramitchie (an aboriginal), murder, executed at Port Macquarie.
Benjamin Harris, murder, executed at Newcastle.
Mary Thornton, murder, executed at Newcastle.
Joseph Vale, murder, executed at Newcastle.
Benjamin Stanley, murder, executed at Newcastle.
John Fitzpatrick, murder, executed at Newcastle.
James Johnston, murder, fourteen years' transportation.
William Shea, no record, executed at Newcastle.
John Purcell, murder, hard labour for life ; three years in irons.
Charles Robinson, unnatural crime, twelve years' hard labour
on the roads or public works.
Patrick Ryan, no record, executed at Newcastle.
George Waters Ward, murder, executed at Maitland.
Joseph Marsh, murder, ten years' hard labour on roads, &a. ;
first two years in irons.
William Hayes, murder, executed at Maitland.
Michael Collihane, alias " Mickey-bad-English," rape, executed
Thomas Ballard, murder, ten years' hard labour on roads, &c.
Patrick Macnamara, murder, executed at Maitland.
Daniel or Thomas Gardner, murder, executed at Maitland.
Christopher Walsh, murder, executed at Maitland.
Ambrose Graves, murder, fourteen years' hard labour on roads ;
first three years in irons.
John Shephard, murder, fifteen years' hard labour on road ;
first three years in irons.
Harry Brown, alias Yarry (aboriginal), rape, fifteen years'
hard labour on roads : first three years in irons.
Jemmy (aboriginal), murder, free pardon granted.
Roger (aboriginal), murder, free pardon granted.
5. RETURN of all prisoners who were condemned to death, and against whom death was recorded in her
Majesty's Gaol, Brisbane, since the commencement of the Criminal Court in 1850.
May 17. William Wild, carnally knowing a girl under ten years : Death; commuted to fifteen years' hard labour on the roads.
May 22. Micki (aboriginal), murder : Death recorded ; com-
muted to seven years' hard labour on the roads.
May 20. Davy, (aboriginal), murder : Death ; executed August
May 22. John Hanley, murder : Death ; commuted to five
years' hard labour on the roads.
November 20. Dundalli (aboriginal), murder : Death ; executed January 5th, 1855.
September 15. Robert McCoy, murder : Death ; commuted
to fifteen years hard labour on the roads.
April 26. O'Young (Chinese), feloniously stabbing : Death
recorded ; commuted to five years' hard labour on the roads.
May 31. Dick (aboriginal), rape : Death, executed August 4th.
Chamery (aboriginal), rape : Death, executed August 4th.
June 1. James Burns, feloniously assaulting : Death recorded,
commuted to fifteen years' hard labour on the roads
Emigrant on the barque Indian, Elijah Branford was just 22 when he arrived in Port Adelaide.
Born in Lakenham, Norfolk, England on the 3 March 1827, the son of Samuel BRANFORD b:abt.1805 and died 14 March 1833 at Swainsthorpe, Norfolk, England. Elijah's mother was Hannah Elizabeth Baxter born 25 December 1807 in Barford, Norfolk, England. Hannah also migrated to Adelaide, South Australia and died on the 7 June 1852 under the name Hannah PALLENT from her second marriage.
Elijah had two syblings also emigrants;
James BRANFORD b:1828 Norfolk. d: 8 December 1888, Little Adelaide, South Australia
Elizabeth BRANFORD b:1831 Norwich, Norfolk, England d:12 March 1915, Mount Gambier, South Australia
Elijah BRANFORD married Susanna LEWIS in Adelaide on the 20 April 1852. Susanna was born in Breconshire, Wales on the 5 February 1834 one of five children on Edward LEWIS and Harriet.
The children of Elija BRANFORD and Susannah, nee LEWIS all born in Kangarilla, South Australia 41 km (25 miles) from Adelaide, were:-
1. WILLIAM BRANFORD 1853 1853
2. EZRA BRANFORD b:24 March 1854 d: xxxx m. Lucy Rose WOODS 1866-xxxx I've found three children born to this couple; DORIS (-) Veda Laurel (1889-1923) OLIVER LESTER (1891-1918
3. JOHN BRANFORD b: 16 March 1856 ?
4. SAMUEL BRANFORD b: 11 March 1859 Kangarilla. d:15 March 1939 at Brighton, South Australia. m. Jane SHEARING 1862-1902 at the Congregational Church, Glenelg on the 24 September 1884. their four children were:-
GRACE EVA (1885-1944) HENRY ERNEST (1887-1954) BERTHA ALICE (1891-1974) ADELINE MAY (1896-1985).
In 1910 Samuel next married Ellen Florence Elliott 1871-1956.
5. JAMES LEWIS BRANFORD b: 14 July 1861 Kangarilla.
6. RUTH ELIZABETH BRANFORD b: 12 July 1863 Kangarilla
7. ELIZA JANE BRANFORD b: 30 August 1865 Kangarilla. m. William TOOP on the 22 October 1884 at the home of the bride's parents, 'Glengrove' Kangarilla
8. SUSAN BRANFORD b: 24 March 1875 died 7 October 1879 Kangarilla, South Australia
9. ELIJAH DAVID BAXTER BRANFORD b: 1 June 1876 Kangarilla. d: 10 September 1946 Tumby Bay,South Australia m. Louisa Jane ?
Elijah David was Licensee of the Mintaro Hotel in 1902 which is now known as The Magpie and Stump hotel. He Joined the A.I.F at age 40, a motor mechanic by trade he joined as a driver on 16 September 1916. ANZAC
THE ADVERTISER, Thursday 12 September 1946
BRANFORD.- On September 11, at Tumby Bay, Elijah (Jack), beloved husband of Louisa Branford. Aged 70 years
Please note: The Port Lincoln Times gave date of death 10 September and the Advertiser and The Chronicle the 11 September. He was buried on the 11th. at the
TUMBY BAY CEMETERY and his headstone gives date of death as the 10th.
Susannah Branford nee Lewis died at 'Glengrove' Kangarilla on the 6 February 1885 of Heart disease.
The South Australian Advertiser. Friday 13 February 1885
BRANFORD.On the 6th February at Glengrove. Kangarilla, after three weeks of extreme pain, caused by heart disease, Susannah, the beloved wife of Elijah Branford, aged 51, leaving a large family to mourn their loss.
Elijah BRANFORD died on the 10 July 1905 at the Adelaide hospital. He was a colonist for over 56 years.
He was buried the next day in the old section of the Clarendon-Kangarilla Cemetery, Plot 244
The image below is Mrs. Bennett in her bonnet, with her two daughters and grandchildren in front of the Post Office, in Kangarilla, South Australia, which was formerly Eyre's Flat Post Office
The 453 tons barque Florentia left Gravesend on 18 February 1849 then left Plymouth om the 9 March 1849 and arrived in Adelaide on the 20 June 1849 under Captain C.S.Tindale carrying 238 Emigrants.
Thomas Parr, Esq., Surgeon Superintendent, in the cabin ;
Julia,Harriet,and Emma Chisholm Sarah Leigh, Eliza Frogget,Emma Jones, Amelia Fryram, Martha. Eliza, and Esther Burnell, Sarah Wiggins, S. A. Wainright, Jane Benham, Emma Griffin, Susan Kingham, Margaret Slaughter Eliza Fawn, Jane Barnes, Grace and Barbara Foulds, Hester French, Jane Mustor, Harriet Webber, Anne Petello, Elizabeth, Mary Anne, Eliza, and Jane Bastian, Eliza Warring, Eliza Dwyre, Jane Greenlees, Sarah Weir, Amy Annison, Maria Lower, Hannah Peters, Susan Walters Biddy Plunker, R. Mortime, Caroline Parkes Mary Grace, Margaret Davis. Mary Black, Mary Oney, and Catherine White, Margaret and Biddy Hahir,Aaron Lock and wife, Robert Worn and wife, James Chislem and wife, W. Tilney, wife and four children. Wm. Howell wife and two children. George Hall, wife and five children, W. Elliott, wife and child, Charles Seaward and wife John Emonson and wife, Jame Guppy and wife Wm. Hayward, wife and three children, John Burnell and four children, James Williams, wife and three children, John Higgs, wife and three children. Robt. Shepherdson, wife and six children. W. Millhouse, wife and child, W. Tothill, wife and four children, William Pearce, wife and two children, Matthew Slaughter, wife and three children, H. Hiff and wife, W Lane, wife and two children, Samuel Mudge, wife and six children Patrick White and wife.Isaac Glenny and wife James Patterson and wife, John Miller and wife W. Wilton, wife and three children John Slee and wife, W. Kerswell, wife and child, P. A. Lehoe and wife, W. Webb, wife and five children, Thos Pollard, wife and six children, Henry Bastian wife and four children, W. Foulds, wife and two children, John Mills, wife and three children, Sam Mackey, wife and child, James Caldwell, wife and four children, Richard Mortimer, wife and four children, A. Webb, Thomas Lawton, George Burnell, John Foulds, Charles Totman, George Moss, W. Tunly, S. Davis, John Hogarth, Wm. Elson, George Hornes. David and George Pink Thomas and John White, John Hahir, J. Guerin James Kennedy, Thomas and R. Lane, B Nevill Benjamin Randell, R. Thackly, Thomas Row John Fowler, John Worn, Walter Fisher, John Foley, James Roberts, John Williams.
Eight births and three deaths during the voyage.
21 matches from search 1840-1964
1952/B39463 Andrea Darling Friis Ole Hojland Hansina Frederikke Wittendorff
1886/C4051 Heinrich Friis Heinrich Friis Wilhelmina Yax
1908/C2380 Gladys Mary Ellen Friis - Mary Ann Dillworth ** now Friis
1890/C4013 August Friis Henrich Friis Wilhelmina Yax
1930/B12934 Edna Maude Friis Andrew Peter Friis Edith Maude Brooks
1957/B22380 Lucy Friis Henry Gilbert Costin Emily Baldwin
1948/B17901 Robert William Friis Ole Hyland Hansine Frederikke Wittendorf
1878/B12122 Carl Christina Friis Christian Friis Ingar Maria Neilson
1878/B12023 Margaret Darling Friis Ole Hojland Friis Hansine Frederikke Withendorff
1954/B1996 Edith Maude Friis George Brooks Maude Lowry
1928/B3969 Robert William Friis William Friis Emily May Tucker
1943/B60149 Nellie Evelena Friis William Davidson Ross Emma Andrews
1936/B31936 James Andrew Friis Andrew Darling Ellen Lindsay
1954/B1943 William Friis William Ellen Andersen ** then Stephensen
1927/B319 Betty Friis Andrew Peter Friis Edith Maude Brooks
1934/B24269 Ellen Friis John Lindsay Hannah McIlloy
1928/B3371 William Friis - - ** born Denmark aged 78 years
1939/B44581 William George Friis Andrew Peter Edith Maude Brooks
1883/B15604 Margaret Darling Friis Ole Hojland Friis Hansine Frederikke Wittendorff
1937/C2745 John Harold Friis Andrew Darling Ellen Lindsay
1906/C2761 Margaret Friis
Some people believed that finding gold would be easy!
Indeed! The reality was hard work. Intense heat and dust in the summer, bringing clouds of flies and mosquitoes then very cold winters and of course there was the mud.
Wives and children had little choice but to accompany their men to the diggings and they were among the thousands of people who became ill with dysentery and typhoid.
Drinking water was polluted by panning and by sewage that escaped from the thousands of holes the miners dug to use as toilets. The diet was inadequate, the basic food was mutton, damper, tea and sugar and nobody escaped the inflated food prices. You truly had to find more than a few specks to afford fruit and vegetables. Most diggers didn't bother to wash and shared their beds with fleas. 'Cures" for just about every imaginable ailment were available from the 'quacks, Sunday was observed everywhere as a day of rest. On this day men repaired their equipment mended their clothes and wrote letters home. Some sought out the sly-grog shops and drank away their aches and pains and blot out the fact they had failed to find gold and relieve their homesickness. Overall, the diggings were not a very pleasant place to be for most people.
Even getting to the goldfields was a life and death struggle.
As news of Australian gold rushes swept the world all available ships were crammed with people hoping to make their fortunes. Up to half of the children on those ships died of contaminated food and water and diseases like Scarlet fever, measles and typhoid. On the diggings children continued to be at risk. In the first half of the 1850s 200 European and chinese children under two died at the Mt.Alexander diggings alone. Goldfields cemeteries are today resting places for thousands of children.
Official estimates have reckoned the total population on the Victorian goldfields in 1853 as 46,550 men, 10,747 women, and 11,590 children. Gold digging was an almost exclusively male activity.
Women on the goldfields have often been stereotyped as entertainers and prostitutes but most women were wives of miners or single women accompanying their families. Many women died in childbirth and had to cope with poor diet, the threat and fact of disease, the loneliness and the worries of trying to bring up a family on the goldfields. As towns developed , women played an active role in changing them into places where children could go to school and where the sick could be properly looked after.
A woman by the name of Ellen Clacy recorded her observations of life on the goldfields in Victoria in 1852:-
"But night at the diggings is the characteristic time: murder here-murder there- revolvers cracking-blunderbusses bombing-rifles going off-balls whistling-one man groaning with a broken leg.....Here is one man grumbling because he brought his wife with him, another ditto because he left his behind, or sold her for an ounce of gold or a bottle of rum. Donnybrook Fair is not to be compared to an evening at Bendigo. Success at the diggings is like drawing lottery tickets-the blanks far outnumber the prizes; still, with good health and strength, and above all perseverance, it is strange if a digger does not in the end reap a reward for his labour. Meanwhile he must endure almost incredible hardships. In the rainy season, he must not murmur if compelled to work up to his knees in water, and sleep on the wet ground, without a fire, in the pouring rain, and perhaps no shelter above him more waterproof than a blanket or a gum tree.....In the summer, he must work hard under a burning sun, tortured by the mosquito and the little stinging March flies....."
Some women were successful miners in their own right. Alice CORNWELL 1852-1932 known on the goldfields as "Princess Midas" or "Madam Midas" began mining on her father George CORNWELL's lease at Ballarat. She supervised miners who worked for her and instructed them where to dig for gold. She was so good at finding gold that she once paid 20,000 for a mine. The mine yielded her 100,000 in one year.
In 1887 she went to London and listed her Midas mine on the stock exchange. She also owned the London newspaper, The Sunday Times for five years.
She was enormously wealthy, with many financial and industrial enterprises.
Her financial operations were not less notable than her diamonds which were the talk of London. There is a book and a stage play based on her life.Also the National Gallery does own some biographical cuttings which may be viewed.
*The Photograph of Alice Ann Cornwell, below, was taken in 1900.