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Journal by itellya

EventDeath Event registration number17781 Registration year1898
Personal information
Family nameOVERTON Given namesWm Jos SexUnknown Father's nameOverton Thos Mother's nameMary (Lawrence) Place of birth Place of deathNcote Age86

OVERTON— RULE.— Married, on the 23th August,1838, at St. James's Schoolroom, by the Rev, Mr.Waterfield, William Overton to E. J. Rule. (P.2, The Herald, 1-9-1888.)
There was no record of this marriage on Victorian BDM or of the birth of William James Overton who was probably their son and became the husband of Catherine Hall in 1869; the lack of such just about drove me crazy on this Australia Day, 2018.

My dream involved a descendant of the above requesting that the name of Seaford should be changed to OVERTON. I could see a certain merit in the proposal but also was furious about his argument that the name Seaford had no historical merit. Seaford figured in the dream because hours earlier I'd emailed Mornington Peninsula Shire councillors that the shire's beach access tracks should be numbered as those on the Seaford foreshore were (as can be seen on Melway maps.) William Overton had not entered my mind since I was exploring the parishes of Lyndhurst and Frankston some years ago so it was strange that he featured in the dream- and fortunate!

In 1913, a progress association was formed and members decided to call their area BEACHDALE. Only a few months later the railway station was opened and named SEAFORD by the railway commissioners who had asked for suggested names to be submitted and asked the area's residents to vote for their favourite, the same democratic process which had led to the renaming of the original Langwarrin Township as Pearcedale. That's what had me fired up. They couldn't have chosen a more apt name. It had only been used once in Victoria, for William Cherry's estate at Altona. Furthermore, the ford was where Assistant Aboriginal Protector, William Thomas, had forded the Kananook Creek up to his neck in water, when his boss, Robinson, belatedly allowed him to move to the Peninsula.
(Extract from his diary in Mary Hansen Fels' I SUCCEEDED ONCE.)Democratic, Historic- no wonder I was fired up! William Overton was recognised by a road connecting Wells Rd and the mile bridge (probable site of the ford that Thomas had used)and I would support a history board but never replacement of such a fantastic, democratically- chosen suburb name.

I cannot state with certainty that William Overton who died in 1898 was the gentleman of Frankston in 1876 but his is the only one of six death records for William Overton which would fit with being an 1830's instigator of progress in Melbourne.

This road at Melway 99 E-F 10 is west of Skye Rd which was a Government road running east from Kananook Creek to McLelland Drive (which was known to old-timers as Boundary Rd because it was the boundary between the parishes of Frankston and Langwarrin.) The northern boundary of the parish of Frankston was Seaford-Ballarto Rd east to the site of Carrum Downs Plaza except on Long Island where the boundary is the laneway north of the Riviera Hotel on the site of McMahon's Halfway or Carrum Hotel.

THE PARISH OF FRANKSTON map shows William Overton as the grantee of two crown allotments, 53 and 40. The former, consisting of 47 and a bit acres was granted on 23-4-1890. Its frontage to the railway was 1967 links so its northern boundary was just south of Coonong Avenue and its southern boundary is today's Overton Rd. The latter, consisting of 113.5 acres was granted on 15-6-1889. Its western boundary was 5449 links east of the railway/Skye Rd/Wells Rd intersection and it had a frontage of 2538 links and depths from 4321 and 4767 links. Its corners were at the end of Blackbutt Ct. (n/w), the right angle in Silverton Cres(n/e), the west boundary of the retarding basin in Melway 99 J 12 (s/e) and a tad west of opposite Panmure St (s/w.)

Despite Carrum Swamp being famed as dairying country, I was about to suggest that, as William Overton was a baker, wheat might have been grown on these grants until I saw this article.

William Overton had a variety of residences in the 1870's but he was described as a Gentleman of Frankston when he owned a twelfth of the shares in the Panton Hill Mining Company. William's death place, Northcote, is almost en route to Panton Hill.
William Overton, Frankston, gentleman 1000

THE following accident cases were on Saturday and Monday admitted to the Alfred Hospital:—James Burns, of South Yarra, with two ribs broken, the result of a fall from the roof of a house on which he was working. William J. Overton, of Latrobestreet, Melbourne, with several ribs broken, caused by the upsetting of a trap which he
was driving (etc.) (P.15, Advocate, 6-9-1873.)

I just remembered that I had intended to find William's marriage record. There are only records for three men named William Overton, in 1931, 1902 and 1869. Had William been married before or had he been too busy making dough (and money)to woo the ladies? And blow me down with a feather, Hall Rd is only three miles (240 chains) from Skye Rd along Frankston-Dandenong Rd.

EventMarriage Event registration number3071 Registration year1869
Personal information
Family nameOVERTON Given namesWilliam SexUnknown Spouse's family nameHALL Spouse's given namesCatherine

BLAST! I was hoping to find a place of birth being Frankston or Lyndhurst.
EventBirth Event registration number24 Registration year1871
Personal information
Family nameOVERTON Given namesRebecca Marget Lune SexFemale Ship nameRiver Lune Father's nameOVERTON William Mother's nameCatherine (Hall) Place of birthAt Sea

The above may have been William's second marriage as a William Overton and Elizabeth, nee Rule, had daughters in early days. This could have been William's first wife if they were divorced and she decided to retain her married surname. Clifton Hill is close to Northcote. However her funeral and death notices seem to rule out the possibility of a divorce. Were there two William Overtons in Melbourne's inner north?

EventDeath Event registration number13325 Registration year1892
Personal information
Family nameOVERTON Given namesElizth James SexFemale Father's nameRule Jas Mother's nameMary May (Gleddon) Place of birth Place of deathC Hill Age70

OVERTON. -The Friends of Mr. WILLIAM OVERTON are respectfully invited to follow the remains of his dearly beloved wife to their last resting place, in the Melbourne General Cemetery. (P.1, Argus, 3-11-1892.)

OVERTON.—At Michael-street, North Fitzroy, Elizabeth James, wife of Wm. Overton, aged 70. A Victorian
colonist of over 54 years. (https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/8477275)

* Elizabeth Overton was born to William Overton and Elizabeth in 1839 and married in 1867.

EventBirth Event registration number9A Registration year1839
Personal information
Family nameOVERTON Given namesElizabeth SexFemale Father's nameOVERTON William Mother's nameElizabeth (Unknown) Place of birthMELBOURNE

TOCKNELL–OVERTON.—On the 9th April, 1867, at St.Andrew's Church, Brighton, Victoria, by the Rev.S. Taylor, Charles Henry, youngest son of W.Tocknell, Melbourne, to Elizabeth, eldest daughterof W. Overton, Melbourne. (Silver wedding.)P.1, ARGUS, 9-4-1892.

The above was half of a double wedding.

EventBirth Event registration number10130 Registration year1845
Personal information
Family nameOVERTON Given namesEmily SexFemale Father's nameOVERTON William Mother's nameElizabeth James (Unknown) Place of birthMELBOURNE

Norton— Overton.— On the 9th April, 1867, at St.Andrews Church, Brighton, Victoria, by tho Rev. S.Taylor,George, the eldest son of the late R. S. Norton,Esq., of Brighton, to Emily, youngest daughter of W.Overton, Esq., of Clifton Hill. Both natives of Melbourne. Silver wedding. Present address "Lyndhurst", 12 Mark-street, North Fitzroy.(P. 3, The Age,9-4-1892.)
EventBirth Event registration number11353 Registration year1852
Personal information
Family nameOVERTON Given namesMary Hennina SexFemale Father's nameOVERTON William Mother's nameElizabeth (Unknown) Place of birthBRIGHTON

If Catherine and Elizabeth's husbands were the same man, he must have divorced Elizabeth, married Catherine and then remarried Elizabeth after Catherine died (or left William for James Burt.)
EventDeath Event registration number11771 Registration year1877
Personal information
Family nameOVERTON Given namesCatherine SexUnknown Father's nameHall David Mother's nameRebecca (Patterson) Place of birthGLASGOW Place of death Age27 Spouse's family nameBURT Spouse's given namesJames

POSTSCRIPT. The above sounds too much like the plot for a soapie but might explain why William Overton and Catherine, nee Hall,who married in 1869, had only one child, in 1871. Not being aware of William Joseph's marriage in 1838, I had wondered why he hadn't married till 1869. The only explanation would have to be that William Joseph married Elizabeth James Rule in 1838 and they had a son named William who married Catherine Hall at the time William Joseph Overton was a GENTLEMAN living at Frankston. The "gentlemen" living on or near the Peninsula almost always had their major residence somewhere in Melbourne. Two, who by hard work had retired from work, having built up a nest egg, were Peter Pidoto* of Dromana and a large landowner east of Mornington in the parish of Moorooduc by the name of Sumner** who had a mansion in Brunswick/North Fitzroy near William Joseph Overton's abode in 1898.
*PIDOTO. - On the 26th ult., at his residence, Dromana-house, Rowe-street, North Fitzroy, Carmello (Peter), the beloved husband of F. E. Pidoto, late of Dromana. R.I.P. (P.46, The Australasian, 3-10-1991.)
** https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/3993504

This fellow was living in the area of William Joseph Overton's last suburban stomping ground and the informant didn't know much about his parents and there was no death notice; I believe he was the son of William Joseph Overton and Elizabeth, nee Rule, who had married Catherine Hall in 1869.

EventDeath Event registration number8520 Registration year1905
Personal information
Family nameOVERTON Given namesWm Jas SexUnknown Father's nameUnknown Mother's nameUnknown (Unknown) Place of birth Place of deathC Hill Age64


If land was placed under the transfer of land act it was usually with the intention to subdivide. This seems to have happened to William's land at Frankston in 1920. His land elsewhere was obviously subdivided earlier.

There were still Overtons in Frankston in 1927.
The usual monthly meeting was held last Friday, May 6. Cr. W. Hutchinson presided. The following councillors were present: - Crs. Miles,Armstrong, H. E. Unthank, Hoban, May, Montague, Bradbury, Oates,Pratt, Wells, Overton, and J. Unthank.(P.7, Frankston and Somerville Standard, 13-5-1927.)

OVERTON—GRUNDY - On the 11th April, at St.Andrew's Church, Brighton, by the Rev. Ernest Selwyn Hughes, B.A., Charles Hector, youngest son of the late Henry Edward Overton*, of Frankston, to Elizabeth, youngest daughter of the late James Grundy, of Brighton.(P.5, The Age, 19-5-1894.)

AHA! Confirmation that William Joseph Overton was the grantee of the Frankston land, not William James.
EventBirth Event registration number1263 Registration year1843
Personal information
Family nameOVERTON Given namesHenry Edward SexMale Father's nameOVERTON William Mother's nameElizabeth (Unknown) Place of birthMELBOURNE

The late Lelia Shaw, if I remember correctly from a "for pleasure only" reading of THE WAY WE WERE in 2010, mentioned a pioneering family named Philbrick living near the Bembridge Golf Course at Melway 149 K1. William Joseph and Elizabeth Overton's son, Henry Edward, born 1843 as above, did not find his bride in that area east of Somerville known in early days as Bembridge but may have been responsible for the George James Philbrick removal from Brighton to Bembridge by 1882(https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/70053578). Their son, Harry George, was an esteemed member of the Frankston community.

OVERTON—PHILBRICK.—On the 10th inst., at St. Andrew's Church, Brighton, by the Rev. S. Taylor, Henry Edward, second son of Wm. Overton, Esq., to Emma Matilda, only daughter of Mr. George Philbrick, both of Brighton. No cards.(P. 4, Argus, 16-1-1866.)

EventBirth Event registration number6777 Registration year1867
Personal information
Family nameOVERTON Given namesHarry George SexUnknown Father's nameHenry Edward Mother's nameEmma Matilda (Philbrick) Place of birthBRIGHTON

On Wednesday last, Mr Harry G.Overton left Frankston, after many years of residence. Failure of heath has caused him to relinquish his trade of house painter and decorator, a pursuit which he followed with much artistic skill. In Temperance and religious circles he will be greatly missed. He has been secretary of the local
Rechabite Tent, organist at the Methodist Church, secretary to the Trustees thereof, and also to the Sabbath School, and junior Steward of the Frankston Methodist Circuits. All these offices he filled con amore, and it
will be difficult to replace so respected and versatile a townsman. He has gone to Prahran to commence business
as a wood and coal merchant. In the near future, we understand, Mr Overton will be "farewelled" in an appropriate manner. (P.2, Mornington Standard,10-10-1903.)

Mr William Overton, whose death took place at Northcote on the 3rd inst. at the age of 86 was a colonist of 66 years. In his youth he was a sailor but relinquished that career and emigrated to Hobart in 1832 just about the time when the infamous Convict settlement beyond "Hell's Gates", Macquarie Harbour was at itsheight. Tiring of Tasmania he came over to Melbourne in 1837—the year by the way that Queen Victoria ascended the throne— his fellow passengers being Mr. John Hodgson, Mr. John T. Smith, Captain Fines, Dr. Cousens, Mr. John Lamb, and
Mr. Wm. Buckley, who are all long since dead.

On the 1st November, 1837, he and Mr. John Gunn bought from the Government, for the sum of £22 , an allotment(half an acre) adjoining the present Bank of Victoria in Collins Street.Mr. Overton built a bakery and carried on the business of a baker till the following year, when he took into partnership Mr. David Hill, confectioner. As Overton and Hill they opened the first wholesale and retail confectionery business in Melbourne, and not a few old citizens of the present day will remember that they got their first buns and lollies at this establishment.

His partner having been killed by a fall from a baker's cart, Overton, in process of time, moved into larger premises in Swanston Street, and here it was that gas was first used in Melbourne on the evening of 23rd July, 1849. He had a complete gasworks built on his premises, the architect and builder being a blacksmith, named George South, who had already been experimenting for some years with the idea of perfecting a system of gas lighting. For a while Overton's two gas-lit shops were one of the sights of Melbourne, and,needless to say, he profited greatly. Mr. Overton's successful experiment was followed by a general desire on the part of the leading shopkeepers to have the new light installed, and in order to realise this he invited a number of gentlemen to his house to discuss a scheme for supplying the city with gas, instructing Mr. Wickham,solicitor, to prepare the necessary prospectus. This resulted in the formation of the first Melbourne Gas Company, of which
Mr. John Allen was appointed secretary and Mr. Overton one of the preliminary directors. Some of the proposed rules not being to his liking , he soon withdrew from office.

Mr. Overton also built the first glass-works in the colony at Rokeby Street, Collingwood. At Clifton Hill, where he lived, 10 years ago Mr. Overton celebrated his golden wedding, having been married in Melbourne in the early days of the Port Phillip settlement, in St James's School-room by the Rev. Mr. Waterford(sic, Waterfield*) on August 28th 1838. Several of Mr.Overton's children survive him, and reside in and about Melbourne.(P.10, Argus, 12-11-1898.)
*Rev. Waterfield married the sister of James Purves,grantee of the Tootgarook pre-emptive right near Rye.


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by itellya Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2018-01-25 22:02:38

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.

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by itellya on 2018-01-26 07:19:34

OVERTON— RULE.— Married, on the 23th August,1838, at St. James's Schoolroom, by the Rev, Mr.Waterfield, William Overton to E. J. Rule.
(P.2, The Herald, 1-9-1888.)

by itellya on 2018-01-26 15:24:46

The article only adds one detail, about the death of his early partner, David Hill,and largely quotes his obituary. Hopefully the photo is of William Joseph Overton, not of William James Overton. His marriage to Elizabeth James Rule was the first congregational wedding in Melbourne and the reception, a boat cruise, got a bit rowdy for Rev. Waterfield's liking.

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