WARNING:PLACE OF BIRTH, MORNINGTON PENINSULA, VIC., AUST.
The place of birth means the place where the birth was registered. Often, as in the case of Dromana Pioneers, the Clydesdales, the place of birth of children can be used to track a family's movement before they finally settle for good. However there were many children whose place of birth was listed as Schnapper Point when it is certain that their parents were not living there.
A registrar or deputy registrar was only appointed in declared towns (which were also entitled to a school and a post office) and the schoolteacher or postmaster often doubled as the registrar. When Susan Peatey delivered a child on Jamieson's Special Survey or at Rosebud in the 1850's, the place of birth was probably recorded as Point Nepean (the Quarantine Station), Kangerong or Wannaeue, because there was no Dromana, Rye or Mornington (1861) or Rosebud (1873) declared settlement.
James Connell's birth in 1854 was recorded as being at Moorooduc. It would be great to know how, and by whom, it was registered because that was where he was born,in the PARISH OF MOOROODUC,near Old Moorooduc Rd. I wonder if the Justice of the Peace acted as a registrar before towns were declared.All of his children were recorded as being born at Schnapper Point but it is likely that many of them were born in the same place as their father was, with the assistance of the local midwife.
When I interviewed the late Ray Cairns, he told me that he and his brother Charlie were both born at South Melbourne. I asked him if his dad (Hill Harry) was working in town.He explained that his dad was busy on their farm Maroolaba near Pattersons Rd in Fingal and his mother, Michael Cain's daughter, would stay with her maternal grandmother (Mrs Neville*) until 10 days after the birth. I wonder if South Melbourne was given as the place of birth for Ray and Charles. If it was, Cairns diggers might be tempted to think,as I had, that the family had moved. I have seen many cases where the first child was born at either grandma's place.
(*Neville and Murray Streets on Owen Cain's "Tyrone", between Rye and Canterbury Jetty Rd get their names from girls that married into the Cain family.)
Sometimes, when a difficult birth was expected, the missus would go to a private hospital in Schnapper Point. I was puzzled when a child from a Catholic family on the Peninsula was born in the late 1800's in Fitzroy, a place with which the family seemed to have no links. That was until I found out that St Vincent's Hospital had recently opened in a row of terrace houses.
A different place of birth from the last child or known residence could simply be a matter of the factors outlined above but if it happened during the 1890's or early 1900's, it was probably due to Government cost-cutting. The 1890's depression caused much unemployment leading to a reduction in income from taxes and the Government was broke. The Shire of Flinders and Kangerong was in the same boat because many farmers, unable to pay rates and meet mortgage repayments, simply walked off their farms. The Government liked Father Tucker's ideas and set up many Village Settlements such as the Red Hill Village Settlements(at our Red Hill and also between Bunyip and Longwarry!)Many fathers hit the road as swaggies in the hope of earning enough money to pay the rent and keep a roof over the heads of the Missus and kids.In Port Melbourne another tactic was to blow through when the rent was due and find another house, and I'm sure that was not the only suburb!
In 1905, the Government was still adopting stringency measures and planned to make the Rye children walk to the Rosebud school.I have not researched it but it is possible that the same plan was tried with Registrars. If this was so, families would again appear to be on the move.
on 2013-04-22 10:18:56
Itellya is researching local history on the Mornington Peninsula and is willing to help family historians with information about the area between Somerville and Blairgowrie. He has extensive information about Henry Gomm of Somerville, Joseph Porta (Victoria's first bellows manufacturer) and Captain Adams of Rosebud.