Sunday, 25 August 2013

Unlocking family stories - journals and diaries

During the early 1930s George Hutton lived on the sheep station, Metavale, out of Cunnamulla in south west Queensland. The property was owned by his daughter and son-in-law, Nancy and Arthur Lord. George spent much of his time reading and writing down his reminiscences about his arrival in Australia in 1869 as well as a selection of family stories.

This nondescript black covered notebook contains a mine of information about this branch of the family in Australia in the nineteenth century.
George wrote in great detail about the properties he visited in 1869 and 1870 as well as expeditions with his father in 1871 until the decision to purchase Cooring Yering at Lilydale. George then worked with his father helping to establish the property until the rest of the family came out from England in 1874 when he set out to travel north and at that point stopped recording his story.

George also included notes about adventures that his parents had living in India and a short account of the journey of George Mackillop (George's grandfather) exploring part of eastern Victoria in January 1835, before the official exploration of the new colony. He also wrote about the death of his uncle, John Mackillop at the Siege of Cawnpore in India in 1857. Thanks to George we therefore have not only his account but stories to investigate further in other sources.

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