Tuesday, 15 July 2014

52 Ancestors - thoughts on the project so far

Forty-seven posts have been added to the 52 Ancestors Project. The challenge was to write 52 stories about individual ancestors in 52 weeks. Having started the project on Australia Day the 47 stories that I have added to the blog have taken me six months. I guess this proves that family history is addictive.

All the stories so far have been about family members in my direct line. I started with the family twelve convicts that were in Sydney by 1808 and the project took off from there. The family lines of the free settlers that I also have as direct ancestors were also investigated. Consequently the first forty stories in the 52 Ancestors section of the blog are about my ancestors who came to Australia - from those who came with the First Fleet to my great grandparents. The most recent seven posts are about some of the ancestors who remained in England. The final five posts, stories about my four grandparents and my father, will be added after we return from holidays.

What is apparent when looking at this collection of people and their stories are the themes that link some of them. Exploring family stories helps provide a greater understanding of history of an area and of our county and the events that shape it. Writing stories about the themes will be a next step in the project.

Settlement is a major theme. Obviously we have the convicts who did not choose to leave England but once in Sydney helped establish the new colony of New South Wales. But eight of the convicts settled in the Hawkesbury area and their extended families lived in that area for many generations. Two of the convicts went to the first settlement at Norfolk Island and from there settled with their family in Van Diemen's Land, now Tasmania. The new Colony of Van Diemen's Land also attracted the children of New South Wales convicts looking for opportunities as well as members of ship crews who decided to try their luck in the new colony. The earlier settlers in Tasmania also looked further afield to a possible settlement immediately to their north which became the colony of Port Phillip and then Victoria. Gradually the family spread through eastern Australia from Tasmania to Queensland.

Looking for adventure and / or new opportunities may be another theme. Some definitely came to try to make their fortune. I do not have any ancestors who came to Australia specifically to try their luck on the goldfields but a number of them worked in goldmining communities in New South Wales and Queensland. One line of the family came to settle in Australia via India. After serving in the army or working as merchants in the Indian trade they came to Australia for opportunities they hoped the new colonies offered. Australia is a large country and many of my ancestors tried to make a living, some more successfully than others, on the land.

My ancestors came from many parts of the United Kingdom. Most came from different regions of England, a few came from Ireland but many came from Scotland. The Scots in the family appear to have been adventurous and spent their lives exploring new opportunities overseas. A surprising number of family members also spent time living in the city of Bath in the nineteenth century.

Religion is another theme throughout the stories.  Family members were predominantly members of the Church of England - the established church - but some family members were Catholic, a few were Presbyterian,  one was Jewish and in England one branch of the family were Quakers. The stories help show the evolvent of different religions and denominations in Australia. The stories in England also illustrate the development of  churches in that country and sometimes the intolerance that existed.

Writing the first 52 stories is just the beginning. There are so many stories about members of the extended family in Australia to be collected and told. There are also additional stories to be discovered about family in England. In one family line a 'gate-keeper' ancestor has opened the door to the peerage list and from there we have found links going back into many phases of English and Scottish history as well as links to France and to the Vikings.

A great bonus from the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks project is that it has helped me focus on writing what I know about individual ancestors. Writing the stories helps establish what additional research then needs to be undertaken. The stories now written can later be regrouped, expanded and arranged in different ways but at least there is now something to work from. Publishing the stories in the blog is a good way to share the information with others who may be interested and allows contact with other researchers. The project has therefore been the catalyst to start writing and not just collect information.

Monday, 14 July 2014

52 Ancestors #47 Joshua Fielden

Joshua Fielden was born in Todmorden in 1630. His parents were Abraham Fielden (1590-1644) and Elizabeth Fielden (d. 1639) - their marriage united two branches of the Fielden family. Joshua had two brothers - Abraham and John - and two sisters - Mary and Susanna.

On 21 October 1656 at St Chad's Church, Rochdale, Joshua married Martha Greenwood (1634-1608). Joshua had inherited the farm at Bottomley from his mother, possibly in 1637 and this is where he and Martha lived. Martha's family owned the farm North Hollingworth which was later owned and farmed by her son Thomas Fielden.

There were three main farmhouses at Bottomley plus a collection of small cottages and barns. A packhorse trail passed through the buildings and over the hill towards Deanroyd.
Sheep would have been raised on the farm and the wool woven into cloth on hand looms by families living in cottages at Bottomley.

Sometime after their marriage Joshua and Martha became Quakers. Joshua allowed his home to be used for Quaker meetings which at the time was not legal until the passing of the Toleration Act in 1689. A number of raids were made on the property and those attending meetings were fined or even imprisoned. As Joshua refused to pay the fines imposed bailiffs arrived at this home to seize goods they considered equivalent to the fine. In 1684 the bailiffs took bedding and a brass mortar because Joshua had not paid a 5 shilling fine. In 1865, when Joshua had been fined 17 shillings, pewter and a bible were removed from his home.

After the passing of the Toleration Act Protestant Christians had the freedom to own and operate their own places of worship provided that they signed a loyalty oath which the Quakers of the Todmorden area did in January 1695. A Meeting House was built at Shoebroad in Langfield in 1696 and a burial ground established near the Meeting Hall.
Additional information about Quakers in this region can be found on the Todmorden and Walsden website, especially the sections - The Quaker Fieldens of Todmorden and Walsden and Quakers in Todmorden.

Joshua and Martha had five sons and one daughter, that we currently have records for, who were all raised in the Quaker faith - Joshua Fielden (1654-1715), Nicholas Fielden (1660-1714), Thomas Fielden (1662-1725), Samuel Fielden (1664-1722), John Fielden (1665-1734) and Hannah Fielden (1738).

The five brothers successfully became successful farmers and clothiers in the region. Details about their farming and business enterprises can be found on Quaker Fieldens of Todmorden and Walsden.

Joshua died at Todmorden on 18 February 1693, aged 63, and was buried at Shoebroad Burial Ground on 21 February. Martha died on 5 March 1708, aged 74, and was also buried at Shoebroad.

Joshua Fielden and Martha Greenwood were my great (x7) grandparents.

52 Ancestors #46 Samuel Fielden

The story of Samuel Fielden provides an overview of many of the properties lived in by members of the Fielden family. The website, Todmorden and Walsden, is a valuable source of information for families and places in this region.

Samuel Fielden was born in Todmorden in 1664, the fourth son of Joshua Fielden (1630-1693) and Martha Greenwood (1634-1708). Joshua and Martha were married at St Chad's Church, Rochdale, on 21 October 1756 but shortly afterwards became Quakers and their children were brought up in a Quaker household. Joshua inherited land and the farm at Bottomley, Walsden, from his mother Elizabeth Fielden (d. 1639).

The farm comprised of a collection of stone buildings close together. The surrounding land was used for farming sheep. A packhorse track passing through the farm buildings and over the hill would have been used to take wool and / or woven cloth to market. The farm belonged to the Fielden family for approximately 200 years. This is where Samuel and his four brothers - Joshua, Nicholas, Thomas and John - and his sister, Hannah, grew up. The boys worked on the farm and as clothiers and "putters out'' of raw wool to the neighbouring cottage people to spin and weave. Consequently the boys learned the family business.

Nicholas Fielden lived at Edge End Farm and Samuel joined him there for a time where they farmed as well as operated the woollen clothier trade. Edge End Farm consisted of 38 acres on the hillside above the Walsden branch of the Calder River.

After his marriage to Elizabeth Veepon on 20 March 1703, Samuel moved into Todmorden Hall, which had recently been purchased by his younger brother John and together, John and Samuel started a clothier business. Samuel and Elizabeth's first son, Thomas (1704-1785) was born at Todmorden Hall.

After John married Tamar Halstead in November 1707, Samuel and Elizabeth moved out to Flailcroft Farm where their next three children were born - Joshua (1707-1781), Hannah (B. 1709 and John (1712-1781).

The following description of the farmhouse is provided on the Todmorden and Walsden website:
    Flailcroft was a small house, with two rooms downstairs and two upstairs and a long corridor running the length of the house leading to a kitchen and other service rooms. The entrance was through a porch in the gable end, leading straight in to the living area, and was typical of these early homes.
The house, now in Parkin Lane, Todmorden, was recently sold and is being refurbished.
Another view of Flailcroft Farm buildings
The family moved back to Edge End Farm after Samuel's brother, Nicholas, died in 1714 and continued to run the clothier business that the two brothers had previously established. Ellen (b. 1715), Mary (b. 1717), Martha (b. 1719) and Samuel (1722-1788) were born at Edge End Farm.

Edge End Farm remained in the family for several generations. Samuel and Elizabeth's son, Joshua Fielden and his family lived on the farm with his children, including Ann Fielden (1745-1786), being born there.
View from Edge End Farm
Two of Samuel's sons, Thomas and Samuel, inherited farms at Allescholes from their Uncle, John Fielden.

Samuel died on 19 July 1722, leaving Elizabeth with eight children to care for, five of them less than 10 years old. Elizabeth remained at Edge End Farm until her death in 1747. Samuel and Elizabeth were buried at Shoebroad Quaker Cemetery.
Samuel Fielden and Elizabeth Veepon were my great (x6) grandparents.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

52 Ancestors # 45 Ann Fielden

Ann Fielden was born in Todmorden, Lancashire, on 30 January 1745. Her parents were Joshua Fielden (1707-1781) and Mary Merrick (1706-1753). Like the Lord family, the Fielden family had lived in the Todmorden area for many generations. The direct family line with the Fielden name can be traced back to the mid 1500s.

Ann's parents married at Penketh, Lancashire, on 20 March 1743. The Fieldens were Quakers and there was a Quaker Meeting House in Meetings Lane at Penketh. A listing of names of Quakers in the Todmorden region includes many members of the Fielden family. Ann's great grandparents, Joshua Fielden and Martha Greenwood became Quakers in the latter part of the 1600s. Information about the Quaker Fiedens of Todmorden and Walsden can be found on the Todmorden and Walsden website.

Joshua and Mary had six children - Ann Fielden (1745-1786), Elizabeth Fielden (1746-1846), Samuel Fielden (1747-1831), Joshua Fielden (1748-1811), Thomas Fielden (born 1751) and Mary Fielden (born 1753).

The family lived at Edge End Farm and Joshua's occupation when he married was listed as a clothier - a person who makes or sells cloth. Edge End Farm consisted of 38 acres on the hillside above the Walsden branch of the Calder River. Joshua was a tenant of the farm owned by another family member.

In the book, the Fieldens of Todmorden by Brian Law (1995), the author initially discusses the beginnings of the family in the Todmorden area:
    They were no different from many others inhabiting the small farms and associated cottages in the upland townships of the Pennine parishes of Halifax and Rochdale. They made a living partly by farming, partly by weaving woollen cloth, whether for others or for their own account. ... generally the family were farmer-weavers, leading a hard, frugal and simple life. (page 17)
Ann Fielden was 18 when she married Simeon Lord (1744-1787) on 28 February 1762. What Ann's family thought of her marrying a non-Quaker is unknown. Hopefully she was not cut off from her family as her father's cousin had been forty years earlier.

Ann and Simeon had ten children - John Lord (1765-1801), Mary Lord (1766-1790), Joshua Lord (b. 1768), Simeon Lord , Betty Lord (1773-1774), Samuel Lord (1774-1792), Thomas Lord (b. 1777), Richard Lord (1778-1778), William Lord (1778-1778) and Sarah (1778-1798). There may be some confusion about the date of birth for the last three children - hopefully some additional information will come to light as more records become available to the public. However it appears that Betty, Richard and William all died when babies. From the information currently available Sarah was 20 when she died and Mary was only 24. John died when he was 36. However their third son, Simeon Lord, was 69 when he died in Sydney, Australia, where after his convict beginnings he became a successful merchant and manufacturer.

In the nineteenth century the sons of Ann's brother, Joshua Fielden (1748-1811), became prominent and successful industrialists in the cotton industry operating the company, Fielden Brothers.  One of the sons, John, became a member of parliament and worked to implement factory reforms for workers.

Ann was 41 when she died at Todmorden on 14 March 1786. Her husband, Simeon died the following year.

Ann Fielden was my great (x4) grandmother.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

52 Ancestors #44 Simeon Lord (senior)

Simeon Lord was born on 3 September 1744 at  Dobroyd, Todmorden which being on the Lancashire and Yorkshire border has been listed in either county over the years. Simeon was the son of John Lord (1699-1795) and Mary Sutcliffe (1700-1772).  From records found so far we know of only sister of Simeon Lord and that is Mary who was born in 1741 and died on 19 August 1841.

The direct line of this section of the Lord family tree in the Todmorden area has been traced back through the generations to this Simeon Lord's great (x2) grandfather who died in 1667. You would think that researching a family relating to Simeon Lord (a name which we would consider to be unusual) would be easy but there are many Simeon Lords in the area including those not in the direct line. Names such as Simeon, Joshua and John were popular name choices. Many members of the family were buried at St Mary's Church in Todmorden.
St Mary's Church Todmorden August 2011
In the 1930s and again in 1968 road widening impacted on the church yard resulting in the gravestones were moved and relaid around the church.

Walking through the church grounds on a wet morning we located a number of stones commemorating members of the Lord family including a memorial near the church entrance containing slabs with inscriptions copied from old grave stones.

Two years ago I wrote a post about the Lord family in the Todmorden area. For many generations the family had lived at Howroyd but Dobroyd is the  location mentioned as the area where the Lord family lived in the second part of the 1700s and early 1800s. The Dobroyd area is a mile south from the centre of Todmorden and initially would have consisted of groups of small farms. Simeon Lord was a yeoman farmer at Dobroyd - a farmer who owned or leased his land and could use it without direction from others. The Todmorden and Walsden website - a great resource for the history of this region - includes a section on the textile cottage industries that existed in the area for around five hundred years.
Todmorden was surrounded by hills and dales and was good country for grazing sheep. It was common for groups of families to live in small communities of three or four houses from where they could look after their sheep and also spin and weave the wool in a room in one of the houses. The wool or woven fabric would  be taken to taken over narrow paths to market on the back of a packhorse. When cotton became popular the farmers would bring back unprocessed cotton to spin and weave and then sell at market. It was this form of cottage industry that Simeon and his family would have worked at. By 1780 however the production of cotton and woollen cloth was becoming mechanised. The industrial revolution had begun.

Simeon Lord married Ann Fielden (1745-1786) on 28 February 1764 at Rochdale, possibly at St Chads. Simeon and Ann had ten children - John Lord (1765-1801), Mary Lord (1766-1790), Joshua Lord (b. 1768), Simeon Lord , Betty Lord (1773-1774), Samuel Lord (1774-1792), Thomas Lord (b. 1777), Richard Lord (1778-1778), William Lord (1778-1778) and Sarah (1778-1798). The birth date for Sarah requires checking when records become available. Richard and William appear to have been twins born on 12 March with William dying when he was one week old and Richard dying at six weeks. Sarah's birth date is given as 17 March.

As their son, Simeon, was one of the few convicts in the early settlement at Sydney Cove who could read or write, Simeon and Ann must have ensured that the children had some education. Simeon  would have been 16 when his father died. Maybe that was when he decided to go to Manchester where he was arrested for theft when he was 19. This is a gap in the story where we can only surmise. We do know however that Simeon's early life in Todmorden with its emphasis on the textile trade provided him with a basis for his later career operating woollen mills at Botany.

Simeon Lord died in Todmorden on 11 May 1787. He was 42. His wife, Ann, had died a year earlier in Todmorden on 14 March 1786. She was 40.

Simeon Lord was my great (x4) grandfather.

Friday, 11 July 2014

52 Ancestors #43 Henry Brougham William Hillcoat

Henry Brougham William Hillcoat was born around 1791 in Bedfordshire, England. The 1851 census notes birthplace as The Hassby (or Hassely), Bedfordshire. His parents were Henry Brougham Hillcoat (1754-1817) and Caroline Gordon (1764-1844). Henry and Caroline had five children with Henry Brougham William being the middle child and only son.

In Bath in August 1819, Henry married Susannah Rowe (1791-1833), the daughter of Miles Rowe (d.1828) and Priscilla Amber (1861-1838). Jackson's Oxford Journal Saturday August 28, 1819 recorded in its Marriages section - 'the Reverend H B W Hillcoat to Susannah, daughter of Miles Rowe Esq. Green Park Buildings, Bath.'

There are records for three sons - Henry Brougham Hillcoat (1823-1858), John William Hillcoat (1823-1858) and Theophilus Hillcoat (1833-1833). Susannah also died in 1833.

The Morning Post on 21 July 1823 reported that 'the Duke of Sussex has appointed the Rev H B W Hillcoat, MA, of Queen's College in this University, and Minister of St Mary's Chapel Bath, one of His Royal Highness's Chaplains.' Henry had continued his studies at Oxford University and was awarded a Doctor of Divinity at Oxford University on 1 June 1826. However professionally, life was not going smoothly for Henry. Nineteenth century novels including those of Jane Austen often refer to the system of patronage existing in appointment to churches to England and Henry's story provides an example of this.

Henry was the minister of St Mary's Chapel in Queen Square in Bath. According to a report of a court case held on 27 November 1828 (Mosey against Hillcoat) that appeared in The Times newspaper the following day, the chapel had originally been built around 1735 by a group of gentlemen who then paid a rector an annual salary for officiating at services. These gentlemen owned the property and divided any profits from the rental of pews among themselves and there was no positive proof that the church had ever been consecrated. In 1817 Henry purchased all the shares in the church and conducted services in the building. In 1819 the Rev. C A Mosey, who was Rector of the Parish of Walcot, transferred parochial services from the chapel to the parish church and forbade baptisms and marriages in the chapel. However in 1821 Henry obtained a licence from the Bishop of Bath and Wells to conduct all the usual services in the chapel. In 1828 Rev. Mosely decided to take legal action resulting in the court case where arguments were made that as there was no proof that the building had been consecrated, Church of England services could not legally be held in the chapel. Much of the argument appears to have been, not so much on the legality of the services but about who should receive any money from the chapel. Henry continued conducting services in the church. When a new rector was appointed to replace Rev. Mosely in 1834 the dispute appeared to disappear.
Between 1827 and 1832 Henry wrote three books providing his viewpoint on the controversy of St Mary's Chapel. For those who are interested, A Statement of Facts has been digitised by Google Books.

The court case had cost Henry money and he had to mortgage the chapel. Over time the size of the congregation declined and Henry found himself in financial difficulties. He tried without success to sell the chapel. The Bishop revoked the licence and closed the chapel and Henry and his family left Bath.

On 12 May 1835 Henry Brougham William Hillcoat married Catherine Pym (1799-1884) at St George's Church, Hanover Square in London. Catherine was the daughter of Francis Pym (1756- 1833) and Anne Palmer (1760-1838). Henry and Catherine had three children - Alfred Hillcoat (b.1840), Catherine Susannah Hillcoat (b.1841) and Theophilus Pym Hillcoat (1843-1903).
Henry with his second wife, Catherine
The family moved to Liverpool where Henry became vicar of St Mathew's Church in Scotland Road. The 1841 census shows the family living in Bath but by the 1851 census they are living in Nertherfield Road, Everton. An article in The Times, 15 December 1849, shows that the family had been in Liverpool for a while as the newspaper was reporting another court case involving the Rev. Hillcoat, this time being Hillcoat v Archbishops of Canterbury and York. St Matthew's had been created as a chapel in 1812 after being purchased from a congregation of dissenters. It was built in the year 1798 and was demolished in 1847 by the Bury Railway Company, who purchased the Scottish church, St. Peter's, in Scotland Road, as a replacement. Henry's dispute with the Archbishops was whether the parish church had received sufficient compensation for the land acquired by the railway company. The Court ruled in favour of the Archbishops.

When Henry left Bath there was still a dispute about money he owed from the costs of an abandoned lawsuit. On 13 June 1853 he was arrested and taken to the county gaol at Lancaster Castle. He was in gaol for more than a year.

Henry Brougham William Hillcoat died on 6 December 1859 at his home at 40 York Terrace, Everton.

Henry Brougham William Hillcoat was my great (x3) grandfather and Susannah Rowe was my great (x3 grandmother).

Thursday, 10 July 2014

52 Ancestors #42 Walter William Capper

Walter William Capper was born at Castle Bromwich, Warwickshire, England possibly in 1772. He was baptised at Castle Bromich on 27 December 1772. Williams's parents were Peter Capper (1713-1786) and Mary Harrison (1734-1787). Peter and Mary were married on 20 February 1765 and Walter was the youngest of four children from that marriage that we know of - the others being Francis Hall Capper (1766-1794), Mary Harrison Capper (1768-1787) and Eliza Capper (b1770). His father had previously married Mary Sharpless who died in 1760, so he also had three older step-brothers and one step-sister.

On 31 August 1795, Walter married Catherine Barker (1775-1840). Catherine's family were from Lichfield, Staffordshire and they were married at St Mary's Church, in that town.
In 1797 Walter was elected as a Governor of Warrick Grammar School - one of 20 governors. The school is thought to have been established in 941 and is the oldest school still operating in England. Maybe Walter attended this school.

We know that the family was in Birmingham by 1800 as there is an entry in Chapman's Birmingham Directory 1800 stating that a William Walter Capper was in Newhall Street in Birmingham. Although the given names are the wrong way round it is almost certainly Walter who is referred to. Other documents show that Walter was a merchant in Birmingham - in fact he was a hardware merchant of Great Charles Street, Birmingham. Documents also show that Walter and Catherine lived at Shrub Hill, Birmingham.

Walter and Catherine had seven children - Walter Hall Capper (1798-1848), Edward Peter Capper (1798-1842), Francis Barker Capper (b1799), William Samuel Capper (1801-1870), Charles Henry Capper (b1802), Catherine Mary Capper (1804-1861) and Louisa Jane Capper (1806-1868).

In 1832 Edward Peter Capper and his family arrived in Sydney, Australia. They settled in Maitland and established the department store - E P Capper & Sons which proved to be a very successful family business.
Catherine Mary Capper married Henry John Mant, a solicitor in Bath. Their eldest daughter, Catherine Ellen Mant, with her husband, John William Hillcoat, travelled to the colony of South Australia in 1852 but later settled for a time in Maitland, New South Wales, possibly because Edward's family was already established there.

Walter was not only interested in running his business. He also was interested in gardening, especially growing vines  and published Anatomy of the Vine as a series of articles in the Gardeners Magazine in 1830 over three issues - February  pages 12-15, April pages 131-139 and June pages 257-269. The Dublin Literary Gazette 5 June 1830 described his article as exhibiting 'a degree of patient examination and research on behalf of the author, rarely met with even among physiologists; his remarks upon that useful root the potato, now become an abosolute necessary of life, are extremely useful.'

A copy of the Gardners Magazine can be viewed in Google Books.  Anatony of the Vine was also published as a 59 page book in England and later translated into French where it was published in 1832 as Memoire sur l'anatomie de la vigne tranduit de l'Anglais et publie par M V De Moleon. The French version of the book was republished in 1839 and copies can be found, according to WorldCat, in eight libraries in France as well as via a few online booksellers.
Walter must have been a successful businessman as documents in the Birmingham Archives show that he set aside considerable sums of money for his children.

In his later years Walter and Catherine moved to Bath.

Walter William Capper died on 15 October 1834 at Eckington Vicarage in Derbyshire. He would have been visiting the family of his daughter, Louisa, and her husband, the Reverend Francis Duncan Gilby, who was vicar at Eckington. Catherine died in 1840.

Walter and Catherine were my great (x4) grandparents.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

52 Ancestors #41 Henry John Mant

Henry John Mant was born in Freshford, Somerset, England on 25 February 1801. He was the eldest son of Henry Mant and Sarah Newton.

On 24 November 1817, in Bath, Henry John Mant signed a document  agreeing to be a 'Clerk to his father in profession of an Attorney at Law and Solicitor in Chancery for five years'. Thus began his legal profession. His father had his offices in Green Park Buildings in Bath. During part of 1804 and 1805, when Henry John Mant was a young child, Jane Austen lived with her family in Green Park Buildings in Bath. In her diary Jane records her father paying 30 pound to Henry Mant to rent No. 3 Green Park Buildings.

Green Park Buildings, Bath
The buildings were destroyed in The Blitz during the Second World War.

A search in Google for Henry John Mant shows references to documents witnessed by Henry John Mant as a solicitor. He appears to have been in at least two partnerships during his career - one with William Adair Bruce Attorneys & Solicitors which was dissolved on 31 December 1840 and Mant & Harvey Solicitors. His rooms were at 2 Wood Street, Queen Square in Bath and he had another address at 8 Northumberland Buildings, Bath.
2 Wood Street, Bath

On 15 February 1827, Henry John Mant married Catherine Mary Capper (1804-1861) in Bath. The 1841 census shows the family living at Middle Hill House, Ditteridge (near Bath) while the 1851 census has them living at Shrub Hill House, Box (near Bath). Henry and Catherine had nine children - Catherine Ellen Mant (1827-1903), Louisa Maria Mant (1828-1878), William Henry Mant (1830-1907), Georgina Sarah Mant (1833-1885), Frederick Duncan Mant (1835-1896), Mary Ethel Mant (1838-1911), Walter Heron Mant (1841-1918) and Adela Nona Mant (1844-1930). Five of the children - Catherine, William, Frederick, Mary and Walter migrated to Australia.

Henry John Mant died in Bath on 4 June 1858 and his wife, Catherine, died in Bath on 6 May 1861. Both Henry John and Catherine were buried in the crypt at St Saviour's Church, Bath.

Henry and Catherine were my great (x3) grandparents.

52 Ancestors #40 Catherine Ellen Mant

Catherine Ellen Mant was born in Bath, Somerset, England on 8 December 1827. She was the eldest daughter of Henry John Mant and Catherine Mary Capper. Her father was a solicitor in Bath. Census records show that the family lived in villages close to Bath - at Shrub Hill House, Box in 1841 and Middle Hibb House, Ditteridge in 1851. Catherine was 23 at the time of the 1851 census which shows that three of her sisters were listed as 'scholar at home' and were listed with their father. However the 1851 census shows other children living with their mother at Shrub Hill House in Bath. The family therefore appeared to have more than one residence in 1851. The two locations were not far from each other. The census indicates that the children all received an education.

On 30 March 1851 Catherine married John William Hillcoat in Bath. On 8 November 1851 Catherine and John left Plymouth aboard the ship, Adelaide, for Australia, arriving at Port Adelaide on 1 February 1852.

Catherine and John spent five or six years in South Australia where John experimented with farming opportunities, particularly raising and selling cattle, sheep and horses. Catherine gave birth to four children during this time - Catherine Anna Louisa Hillcoat (1852-1907), Henry Edgerton Hillcoat (1854-1919), Georgina Fanny Alicia Hillcoat (1855-1942) and Arthur William Mant Hillcoat (1856-1943). The family then returned to England, possibly at the end of 1857 or early 1858. In June 1858 Ethel Maria Hillcoat (1858-1943) was born at 40 York Terrace, Everton, Liverpool, the address of her grandfather Rev. H B W Hillcoat. As John William Hillcoat had been declared insolvent in South Australia it was possibly a wise move to leave the colony and start afresh elsewhere, so when they returned to Australia in 1859 the family settled in New South Wales.

The family's new home in Australia was at Maitland where the family was to make a new start. On 17 September 1859 the following advertisement appeared in the Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser advising of the proposed establishment of a school for young ladies by Mrs Hillcoat.
MRS. HILLCOAT begs to intimate to the inhabitants of Maitland and the neighbourhood that it is her intention to OPEN an ESTABLISHMENT for the EDUCATION of YOUNG LADIES, at her residence, Box Cottage, Devonshire-street.
The course of instruction will comprise the usual branches of an English Education, with French, German, Music, Singing, Drawing, and Dancing.
Terms per Quarter:
    For Pupils under 12 years of age.... £1 10s.
    Above that age.... £2 3s.
    Day Boarders .... £3 15s 
    For Boarders, per annum £40 to £50.
French, German, Music, Singing, Drawing, and Dancing.
References kindly are permitted to the undermentioned gentlemen :
    The right Rev. the Lord Bishop of Adelaide. Edward Broadhurst, Esq., Q.C.
    The Rev. J. R. Thackeray.
    Robert McDonald, Esq., Commercial Bank, Maitland. 
    Mr. Edward Peter Capper.
Payments to be made quarterly in advance; and a quarter's notice will be required previous to the removal of a Pupil.
The duties of the School will commence on the first Monday in October, 1859

Subsequent issues of the newspaper included advertisements showing the development of the school and term dates until 1868 when the family relocated to Queensland.

While in Maitland Catherine gave birth to three more children - Reginald Edward Rowe Hillcoat (1860-1925), Florence Ella Violet Hillcoat (1864-1963) and Leslie Cecil Brougham Hillcoat (1866-1937).

In the Gympie area John became involved with goldmining companies and then purchased two properties. One more son, Harold John Burke Hillcoat (1869-1939) was born. In 1871 John described the home that was being built for his family as  'a plain cottage of three bedrooms and a sitting room, just large enough to contain my family (eleven in all)'. Later the family would have moved into a homestead on either Ashley or Wodonga.

Catherine and John eventually moved to Sydney, probably to Longueville on the Lane Cove River, where they lived in a house named Ormah in Sydney. 

Catherine died at Longueville on 7 June 1903. 

Catherine Ellen Mant was my great (x2) grandmother.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

52 Ancestors #39 John William Hillcoat

John William Hillcoat was born 28 May 1828 in Bath, Somerset, England. His father was the Reverend Henry Brougham William Hillcoat (1791-1859) while his mother was Susannah Rowe (1791-1833). John had two brothers Henry Brougham Hillcoat (1823-1858) and Theophilus Hillcoat (1833-1833). In 1835 his father married Catherine Pyme and they had three children - Alfred Hillcoat born in 1840, Catherine Susannah Hillcoat born in 1841 and Theophilus Pym Hillcoat (1843-1903).

The Hillcoat family lived in Bath where the Rev. Hillcoat was the incumbent of St Mary's Chapel, Queens Square, although there was a dispute for many years regarding who had the right to conduct services. The 1841 census shows the family members - Henry (clergyman), Catherine, Henry and John - living at Chapel Row.

On 26 August 1848, John William Hillcoat married Sarah Anne Collins at St Mary's Church Bristol. In the 1851 census John was living at 13 Ashley Road in Box, a village near Bath. His occupation was listed as Fundholder - someone who received an annual sum of money from an investment. The other person listed as living in the house was his groom. John's wife, Sarah had died in the middle of 1850. A son, John Henry Edwin Hillcoat, was also born in 1850 with his death is recorded in the same year.

On 26 August 1851 John William Hillcoat married Catherine Ellen Mant in Bath.

On 8 November 1851 John and Catherine left England for Australia aboard the ship, Adelaide, arriving at the Port Adelaide on 1 February 1852. Aboard the ship they met Mr Alexander Grant whose family owned land in the Gawler area including the property Tyeka. The Hillcoat family stayed with Mr Grant on his property for a while before leasing for twelve months another property, Tenafete, owned by Mr Grant. Finding farming not a particularly successful pursuit, in 1854 John Hillcoat began dealing in cattle and sheep. An article in the South Australian Register 30 May 1856 confirms the issuing of Depasturing Leases for fourteen years to a number of recipients. One lease was in the name of P E Warbuton and J W Hillcoat for 18 square miles at an annual rent of £9. John had formed a partnership with Major Peter Edgerton Warburton - there was a family connection as Major Warbuton had married Alicia Mant, the sister of Catherine's father. The commencement of the lease had been from January the previous year and the land was used raising and selling cattle, sheep and horses. The property may have been known as Stradbroke. This arrangement only lasted until October of 1856 when articles in Trove show that a Mr J W Hillcoat was declared insolvent. A number of articles show cases where J W Hillcoat was trying to obtain money from other insolvents. Over the next few years furniture,  produce, land and any other assets were sold to pay off creditors. The final advertisements appear in the South Australian newspapers in October 1865. One newspaper article in December 1864 about the case noted that the insolvent had long left the colony.

The family appear to have left the colony of South Australia at the end of 1857 or early 1858 and returned to England. In June 1858 Ethel Maria Hillcoat was born at 40 York Terrace, Everton, Liverpool, the address of her grandfather Rev. H B W Hillcoat. They returned to Australia in 1859, this time to the colony of New South Wales. They settled in Maitland where Catherine's uncle and his family had established a successful retail business - E P Capper & Sons.

From September 1859 advertisements appear in the Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser advising of the proposed establishment of a school for young ladies by Mrs Hillcoat at Box Cottage, Devonshire Street. Subsequent issues of the newspaper include advertisements showing the development of the school and term dates.

It is not known what John Hillcoat was doing during the first couple of years in New South Wales but on 23 August 1862 the following advertisement appears in the Maitland newspaper - MUSIC— Vocal and Instrumental—for Sale J W HILLCOAT, Devonshire street, W Maitland. John had now established a new career.

A subsequent advertisement in December provided additional information:
MR J. W. HILLCOAT begs to acquaint the gentry, principals of schools, resident governesses, and the public, that he is prepared to EXECUTE THEIR ORDERS for all kinds of MUSIC-Classical (ancient and modern), Sacred (vocal and instrumental), fashionable and popular Dance Music, &c.-and respectfully solicits their patronage. New Music received by every mail from England. Country orders promptly attended to. High-street, next to Thomas', Printer, West Maitland.

Over the months the business expanded as this advertisement in January 1863 shows:
ALBUMS for 1863, and other WORKS suitable for NEW YEAR'S G1FTS. 
Exhibition PIANOS, by Cadby and other eminent makers.
J. W. HILLCOAT, Musical Repository, High-street, West Maitland

As well as selling music John produced a regular publication -
ON WEDNESDAY, 4th, the FIRST NUMBER of the above Publication will be issued.
No 1 - "THE NIGHT PARADE WALTZES," Dedicated to Lieut. Wolfe and Officers of the W. M. Volunteer Rifles, Composed by Marmaduke H. Wilson
Published by J. W. HILLCOAT, Music Seller and Stationer, High-street, West Maitland.

Notices for John's music business regularly appeared until this advertisement appeared:
in the Shop lately occupied by Mr. J. W. Hillcoat.
JAMES WOLSTENHOLME,     Acting Trustee.     West Maitland, April 1st, 1868.

The family was on the move again, this time to Gympie in Queensland. Gympie was experiencing a goldrush and articles in Trove from September 1868 show that John William Hillcoat was supervisor at Trelkeld's where they were crushing ore from a number of reefs. By January 1871 he was manager of Hope Machine at Black Creek. In a letter to the newspaper concerning information provided in a previous article John wrote - 'I am erecting a plain cottage of three bedrooms and a sitting room, just large enough to contain my family (eleven in all), having no pretension in any way to an architectural elegance, and at the very smallest possible outlay'.
The money that John Hillcoat now earned allowed him to purchase two properties in the Gympie area - Ashley and Wodonga.  He now returned to farming and the land was passed on to family members. John had some success showing cattle from his property at the Gympie Agricultural and Pastoral Society Annual Exhibitions. John William Hillcoat appears to have made two other trips back to England, returning to Australia in 1874 and 1886.

Eventually John and Catherine moved to Sydney to live in a house named Ormah. John William Hillcoat died on 17 February 1907 and was buried at Gore Hill Cemetery the following day.

John William Hillcoat was my great (x2) grandfather.

John William Hillcoat - Gympie

Selection of articles from Trove re John William Hillcoat in the Gympie area.

Threlkeld's quartz crushing machine is now ready to commence operations, but the first crushing has been postponed to Monday next. Through the courtesy of Mr Hillcoat, the superintendent, I am in a position to give you some particulars concerning the establishment, which I took an opportunity of inspecting this morning. The site is admirably chosen at a convenient part of the first pocket, scarcely a mile from the Post Office and just beyond the Chinese camp. The Victoria, Golden Currie, and Boulton reefs run directly towards it to the south. There are ten stampers, and the engine is of eight horse power nominal, the whole machinery being from the foundries of Messrs P N Russell and Co, in Sydney. Steam was got up for a trial on Monday and Tuesday last, and everything worked most satisfactorily, no jarring or vibration of any kind being perceptible. The tank is fed by a pump worked by the engine, and the first well, thirty three feet deep, is forty feet below. The pipes pass from the base of this well through a tunnel 4 feet 6 inches in height, and 3 feet 6 inches in width. At distances of forty feet from well No 1 down to the river bank, are other slabbed wells or shafts, to enable the pipes to be periodically examined and repaired with facility, whenever necessary. The tunnel is very well constructed, having set props every four feet from the main well at the river side to the first well at the lower shed. Taking a glance at the whole premises, it is at once palpable that all the works are completed throughout in the most substantial manner. The engineer's laboratory is in the enclosed yard, and that department is under the supervision of Mr Bennett, of Sydney. It has been questioned whether the onging is sufficiently powerful to efficiently work the ten stampers and the pump simultaneously .There is, however, little doubt that it will perform the double duty satisfactorily, as three men turning the pump wheel with wooden spokes not regularly fitted to, are able to send the water in large quantities to the tank.
Brisbane Courier 11 September 1868

The serpentine allurements of the Black Snake succeed in concentrating in that locality about 150 persons, who are all engaged in reefing. The Shamrock, Black Snake, Mariners', and Table Land are exclusively the lines of reef operated on, whilst returns ranging from 5dwts. to 11 ozs. to the ton continue to afford requitement and hope to the owners. In connection with this section of the mining interest, Mr. Hillcoat, manager of the Hope Machine, kindly furnished me with interesting statistics which, as compiled from the machine register, show that from February, I870, the date of commencement, to December 31st, 1870, there were crushed 1208 tons of quartz for a yield of 1507 ozs. 15 dwts. gold, or an average yield per ton of 1 oz. 4 dwts. 23 grs. Nothing can better demonstrate the value of the reefing interest in this district than the plain rendering of these few figures. In consequence of there not being sufficient employment, the Hope Machine is engaged only 12 hours a day. The reefers have a decidedly satisfied look, whilst the machine manager, Mr. Hillcoat, by way of offering a guarantee for the future, is erecting spacious and costly dwelling, which bids fair to surpass in architectural elegance most ordinary bush habitations.Maryborough Chronicle, Wide Bay and Burnett Advertiser 26 January 1871

OUR KILKIVAN CORRESPONDENT.   (To the Editor of the Chronicle.)   Black Snake, February 1, 1871.  
Sir, — I have just seen your issue of the 26 th ult., and must beg to be allowed to say a few words in reference to your correspondent's remarks on Kilkivan, especially as far as it refers to the Black Snake. Your correspondent has been wrongly informed with regard to the number of persons located on the Black Snake. If he had left out the 1 before the 50, he would have been nearer the mark, and even then he would have over-estimated the number. The quantity of stone crushed at the machine, as also the average yield per ton, is correct; and I fully endorse your correspondent's ideas with regard to the mineral resources of the district, and I believe that with capital to open the different reefs which are known to contain gold, silver and copper in payable quantities, this would be one of the richest districts in Queensland. It would be useless for men to come here without money, thinking they could get a payable reef at once, for they would only be disappointed. It is by companies alone that this place can be worked with profit. The Shamrock line of reef is one that in my opinion would well repay a capitalist. The crushings have averaged from 6 to 8 dwts. to the ton. No. 3 south has yielded from 1oz. to 2½ozs. to the ton. This line, with the exception of No. 8, is abandoned, the men engaged not having sufficient money to sink a deep shaft and test the ground at a depth of 150 to 200 feet. The tailings are valuable, containing a large percentage of gold in the iron pyrites, which can not be extracted by the ordinary crushing mill. The gold is of very superior quality, and realises from £3 12s. to £3 14s. 3d. per ounce in Gympie. I have no hesitation in saying that in Victoria such a line of reef would not be vacant a day, but would be made to return a handsome dividend to shareholders. The success of the trial of 3 tons -of ore from the prospectors claim , Marina's Reef, first crushed at the machine, and the concentrated tailings treated in the trace, and afterwards manipulated by Mr Cossins, has been so satisfactory that ground adjoining has been taken up, and formed into a small company, and will be tested in the same manner for gold, silver, and copper. With regard to the postal communication, it would be a very great convenience if the Post-master would have a bag made up for Black Snake. The mail contract is for a weekly mail to Kilkivan, via Black Snake if required. The road for a horse-mail is good, and one or two miles nearer than by Mullally's, and it would save the inhabitants a ride of 25 miles for their letters, a delay of a week in answering, and another ride of 25 miles, to post letters. One more remark with reference to your correspondent's idea of a "spacious and costly dwelling being erected by the manager as a guarantee for the future." I am erecting a plain cottage of three bedrooms and a sitting room, just large enough to contain my family (eleven in all), having no pretension in any way to an architectural elegance, and at the very smallest possible outlay. Yours, &c.,         J. W. Hillcoat,         Manager Hope Machine.
Maryborough Chronicle, Wide Bay and Burnett Advertiser 7 February 1871

At the monthly sitting of the Gympie Land Court, on the 2nd instant, the following applications were conditionally approved by the. acting  Commissioner:
homestead. J. W. Hillcoat, 160 acres, pastoral, Noosa River;
Maryborough Chronicle, Wide Bay and Burnett Advertiser 12 October1872

THE Gympie Times of Saturday last, says   "At the usual monthly sitting of the Land Court, held on Wednesday last, twenty-two   applications for 4192 acres of land were conditionally approved by the Lands Commissioner:
The following are the applications:  J. W. Hillcoat, 1280 acres, second class pastoral, Tinana Creek;
Brisbane Courier 11 October 1873

Sunday, 6 July 2014

52 Ancestors #38 Catherine Anna Louisa Hillcoat

Catherine Anna Louisa Hillcoat was born in Adelaide on 4 June 1852. Catherine was the eldest daughter of John William Hillcoat (1828-1907) and Catherine Ellen Mant (1827-1903). John and Catherine had married in Bath, England, in August 1851 and left for Australia just over two months later. They arrived in Adelaide on 1 February 1852.

Initially the family lived at different locations in South Australia where Catherine and John's first four children were born. In 1858 the Hillcoats were visiting family in England where Catherine's second sister, Ethel, was born in Liverpool. On returning to Australia they moved to Maitland, New South Wales where the next three children were born. Gold was discovered in the Gympie area in Queensland and the resulting goldrush lured many people to the area including John Hillcoat and his family. The youngest son, Harold, was born in Gympie in 1869.

Catherine Anna Louisa Hillcoat married Alfred Percy Lord at the Memorial Church (Christ Church) in Gympie on 11 April 1877 when they were both 24.

Initially they lived on Alfred's property, Woolooga, but after a series of droughts they had to walk away from the property in 1880. It was shortly after this that Alfred started working in the AJS Bank at Maryborough and then at Gympie, where he was manager, until the banking collapses in the early 1890s.

Catherine and Alfred had eight children who were born in Gympie - Robert Percy Lord (1878-1938), Reginald Simeon Lord (1879-1931), Catherine Ruby Lord (1881-1953), Louisa Pearl Lord (1883-1854), Mabel Beryl Lord (1885-1973), Alfred Victor Lord (1887-1984), Francis Guy Lord (1889-1927) and Arthur Brougham Lord (1893-1982). The children would have attended schools in Sydney.

When the banks failed Alfred renewed his interest in owning properties and moved the family first to Kiah Lake near Cooma and then to Oceanic View near Narrabri. Alfred appears to have managed the Narrabri property mainly from Sydney as he also had a home in Sydney, first at Lane Cove and then at different addresses in Hunters Hill. Family stories tell of the younger boys playing by the Lane Cove River when they lived there. In 1906, when Alfred purchased the first of his Queensland properties for his sons, Catherine definitely stayed in Sydney. She was unwell and died on 1 January 1907. Catherine was 54 when she died. She was buried at Gore Hill Cemetery.
Ruby, Arthur & Louisa with their mother, Catherine
Alfred and Catherine ensured that the children were well provided for. The boys formed a partnership - Lord Bros - to manage the properties in Queensland. Robert and Arthur were at Victoria Downs, Reginald at Biddenham and Victor and Guy were at Chatham.

The partnership continued until 1922 when Robert bought out his brothers' shares in Victoria Downs and gave up his share in Biddenham and Chatham. Arthur Lord then looked for property in northern Queensland but in 1924 purchased Metavale near Cunnamula. Reginald Lord continued to manage Biddenham.

According to Mary Roberts in her book, Victoria Downs, Guy wasn't interested in being a grazier but he was interested in financial matters including the stock market. He also travelled to places such as Hong Kong and New York. He died in 1927 aged 38.

Victor remained a grazier for a number of years at Chatham and then at Lorne Peak before purchasing 10 acres at Baulkham Hills where he grew gladioli.

Bea (Mabel) spent time at Victoria Downs where she met a wool-classer, Harry Midgley, and they married in 1923. Her two sisters Lou and Ruby lived in Sydney and when their father purchased the house in Manly, it was purchased in their names.

Catherine Anna Louisa Hillcoat was my great grandmother.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

52 Ancestors #37 Alfred Percy Lord

Alfred Percy Lord was born at Avoca in Tasmania on 26 October 1852. Alfred was the youngest son of Simeon Lord and Sarah Birch. He had six brothers - Francis, William, George, Frederick, Robert and Simeon - and two sisters -  Louisa and Emma. Another brother, Edward, had died as a young child.

The family lived on their property, Bona Vista, near Avoca . Initially the children had a governess for their early education but then records show that at least two, probably all, of the older boys returned to England for their education - Frederick and Robert attended Kings College School. In the book, Victoria Downs, Mary Roberts noted that Alfred was educated in Tasmania but she did not know where.

Mary Roberts, in the introduction to her book, provides a summary of Alfred's early career. At the age of 17 he left Tasmania for Queensland to go to his father's property, Brookstead.  From there he spent a short time at Wilde Bay before joining his brothers, Robert and Frederick at Ravenswood in North Queensland. The three brothers with Mr H E King formed a partnership - The Gympie Quartz Crushing Company. They had two crushing plants and decided to take one to the Normanby goldfields and sold the second to a company in Chartres Towers. Unfortunately for the Lord Brothers, Normanby was not successful while Chartres Towers proved to be a profitable area for mining.

Returning to Gympie the partnership purchased a property in the Wilde Bay region - Woolooga - while maintaining interests in other goldming areas including Pioneer, Lady Mary and Caledonia Reefs and the Emperor Mine along with interests in Southfield Limited and Caledonia Pub.

On 11 April 1877 Alfred married Catherine Anna Louisa Hillcoat at the Memorial Church, Hale Street, Milton. The official name of the church is Christ Church and the stone building with shingle roof, in which Alfred and Catherine were married, was destroyed in a storm in 1890. A new building was subsequently built on the site.
Memorial Church - Image held John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland
Towards the end of the 1870s there was a series of droughts and the price of cattle fell and Alfred left the property in 1880. It is said that he had only a £5 note in his pocket and he had a wife and two children to support. At first he worked as a time-keeper on the railway line between Maryborough and Gympie but he was then able to obtain a job in the Maryborough Branch of the Australian Joint Stock Bank as a junior employee. In a short time he became manager of the branch and then tranferred to Gympie where he was manager of the Gympie branch of the bank. All was looking good until the economic depression between 1890 and 1893 caused the closure and collapse of many banks. Fortunately Alfred's investments in goldminig companies meant that he still had some economic stability for his family.

Alfred decided to try his luck once more on the land and he purchased a property, Kiah Lake, near Cooma in the Monaro district of New South Wales. The homestead was a stone building. Apparently the Sydney Mail in November 1897 wrote an illustrated story on Alfred Lord and his Kiah Lake homestead. Deciding that the property was unsuitable, in February 1898 Alfred sold the property to a Mr Rogers from Dubbo. He then managed a sheep station out of Narrabri for a number of years.

The Sands Directories record that Alfred had a house in Mary Street Lane Cove. In her book Mary Roberts recounts a story about Alfred's two youngest sons playing in the Lane Cove River.  In 1903 he was living at Ferdinand Street, Hunters Hill as in November 1903 his name, at that address, appeared in a list of new JPs. In 1903 produce was still being sold under his name at Narrabri and the property, Oceanic View, was listed in his name in the Sands Directories until 1907, so probably one or more of his sons worked on the property while Alfred and Catherine, with the younger members of the family, lived in Sydney. They later moved to a new house, Eskdale, 8 Ferry Street in Hunters Hill.
Eskdale 8 Ferry Street, Hunters Hill
In 1902 there had been a bad drought in southern Queensland and by 1904 many properties were available for sale for low prices. Alfred wanted to make sure that his sons were established on the land. He purchased a property, Maryvale, south of Morvern in Western Queensland but soon needed additional land for his sheep so he purchased Victoria Downs, initially for agistment, in 1906. Deciding to make Victoria Downs the main property, Maryvale was sold. The directories show him still with a house at Hunters Hill in 1907 and from 1912 the directories show that he was living at Manly.

Alfred's wife, Catherine died on 1 January 1907. She had not been well for a number of years and would have stayed in Sydney while Victoria Downs was being purchased.

Alfred continued to purchase properties in Queensland for his sons to manage including Chatham and Biddenham in 1909 and Dunstan in 1915. The house in Quinton Road, Manly, named Bona Vista after the family property in Tasmania where he was born, was put in the name of his two daughters. According to heritage walk notes produced by Manly Library, stone for the villa Bona Vista at no 20 Quinton Road may have been quarried on site and from the imposing cliff face opposite.
20 Quinton Road, Manly
In 1920 Alfred married Amy Katherine Waring and his new wife and her mother moved into the Manly house. According to family stories Amy and her mother did not get along with the new family and things became so bad that Alfred's daughters had a brick wall built in the house ensuring that Amy and her mother lived in a separate section. One assumes, therefore, that the final years of his life were not the happiest for Alfred.

Alfred enjoyed sport and in his later years was a member of the Manly Bowling Club. According to the Advertiser (Adelaide) 21 November 1905 page 7) Alfred represented NSW (or Sydney) in lawn bowls including playing in Adelaide in 1905. One of his team mates was Harry Moses.

Alfred Percy Lord died at Bona Vista on 18 May 1927 and the funeral was held at the Rookwood Crematorium. He was 74.

Alfred Percy Lord was my great grandfather.

Victoria Downs Merino Stud

Article from the Australasian Saturday 28 August 1920 describing the operation and development of Victoria Downs, established in 1906, plus information about A P Lord. The article was transcibed from Trove.

Victoria Downs is situated six miles north-west of Morven, within 50 miles of Charleville, and 430 miles west of Brisbane. It is a grazing farm with an area of 30,000 acres, and was originally part of Victoria   Downs Station, one of the early pastoral principalities of this district, which embraced a number of other holdings, such as Etona, Ivanhoe, Brunell Downs, and several other selections, large and small, some of which have since been further sub divided. The Lord family came here in 1906, and have therefore been here but 14 years. Up to the year 1911 general attention was paid by them to grazing and woolgrowing, but always with the set purpose of steadily improving the standard of both sheep and cattle. In 1911 an opportunity occurred of venturing into stud merinos. A small line of Deniliquin Stud Park ewes, cast for age (274 in all), was purchased from Sir. Thomas Millear, and with them some rams of from 50 to 100 guinea standard. Finding the results satisfactory, and a local demand having set in for some of the flock rams bred from these ewes, a further extension of the stud was resolved upon, and at different intervals the following purchases were made: In 1912 100 stud ewes, and again in 1914, 160 stud ewes were purchased from Mr. Millear. Both these lots were young ewes. Experience went to prove that the best results were obtainable from the older ewes, so in 1915 1,500 ewes, cast for age, were obtained from the same breeder, and again in 1916 500 more, making in all a total of 2,334 Stud Park ewes. Some of these ewes were nine and ten years old, and it was only natural that the losses should be heavier than would be the case with young sheep. Rams were purchased from the same breeder. In 1911 five stud rams were secured, the top price being 100 guineas. In 1912 four stud rams were bought at auction in Sydney at prices which favoured the buyer. In 1913 three stud rams were added, one at 200 guineas, the highest price paid up to this period. - This ram proved a great success, and has left his mark. In 1914 11 stud rams were added, including two at 300 guineas. Of these 11, 7 were purchased from Wanganella Estate (Falkiner's), one of them at 210 guineas and another at 170 guineas. In 1915 20 rams were added, prices being particularly low in Sydney that year. These were from Deniliquin Stud Park, and contained two numbered 1,905 and 1,840, which proved exceptionally good, the latter being one of the best ever, purchased. In 1916 another draft of 26 was obtained from the same quarter, 11 of these being old rams, which had been used in the Deniliquin Park Stud, including some which Mr. Millear had used singly. Of this lot 14 were bought privately, the balance being secured at the Sydney sales. Included in this lot was a ram bred at Wanganella Estate, a son of Ajax. For this sheep 460 guineas was paid at auction. Five others were purchased from Wanganella Estate. In 1918 special stud ram No. 410 was purchased from Mr. Millear for 300 guineas. This sheep has proved to be one of the best of all sires. In this year also Mr. Millear's exhibition ram at the Sydney Stud Park No. 10. was purchased for 2,500 guineas, a record price for a six year-old ram. It is too early as yet to make mention of the stock by this ram. At the-same time 700 more ewes of a similar denomination were purchased. The stud-breeding ewes on Victoria Downs at the present time number 3,000, all above this total having been passed on to Chatham. These are divided into 500 extra specials, 500 specials. 1,000 first stud, and 1,000 second stud. The lambings are up to Riverina performances, notwithstanding the fact that foxes help to keep down the annual percentage. This season the lambings have been poor, but there is likely to be an excellent summer lambing. The stud is worked on the basis of an annual output of 1,000 sale rams, flock and selected, at 4, 6, 8, and 10 guineas. For these there is a ready sale, with orders booked ahead. In Brisbane, in 1919, two stud rams brought 130 guineas, one 120 guineas, one 166 guineas, and one 90 guineas.

This year's draft at the Brisbane sales was not as good as it might have been, and provided several southern visitors with an altogether incorrect impression as to the standard of sheep now being bred on Victoria Downs. Of the home-bred article I was afforded every opportunity of making close inspection. I examined the extra special ewes including some of those from Stud Park, in the wool-shed yards. Some of the young home-bred ewes were set aside by themselves to give me an opportunity of observing how they compared with the Riverina-bred article. I also examined special and first stud ewes and second stud ewes, and of the rams, all the reserves and workers. The tops of these, both rams and ewes, are a credit to the studmaster, Mr. Robert Lord. He has consistently paid attention to the make and shape and to the size of frame. He has established, width of carcase and length of body, with a straight back and a well-squared off rump. He makes a practice of classing, not only for wool, which must be well and evenly put on, but also for make and shape. His tops have got to stand wide fore and aft, have soft faces, good hocks, and well-covered backs. He is altering somewhat the type from the original Riverina article, and for the better, in which direction he receives considerable help from the local pasture and climate. There is an annual rainfall of 21in. average, and an abundance of good summer grasses-Mitchell, Flinders, Blue, and other sorts. Usually these black soil downs are not noted for their excellence during the winter months. This year, which, as explained elsewhere, is phenomenal, it would be practically impossible to overstock the herbage. The wool is bright, clean, well-nourished, and of good character. It is sound, sweet, healthy country, the choicer parts being open, rolling downs, with 20,000 acres free from prickly pear. Shearing is much later than in Riverina, September 1 being voted quite early enough.
The elevation of this country above sea level is responsible for a colder winter than one would expect from the latitude. On the other hand, at Biddenham, 90 miles north, and recently purchased by these brothers, it has been the custom for some years past to shear in March. It will take some manoeuvring and three or four years to bring the dates into line. Among the 200 reserve rams and workers at Victoria Downs I saw some sheep of extra high class -typical Wanganellas, with strong heads and horns, broad, soft faces, wide, straight backs, and deep bodies; well-grown, shapely animals of the best Riverina standard.   With such a painstaking enthusiast as Mr. Robert Lord at the head of this stud, nothing can keep it back. It is only a matter of time for him to command the practical attention of many of the big flock masters located in Central Queensland. His sale rams have the advantage of being thoroughly acclimatised, and can be delivered at a minimum expense anywhere within the State, thus avoiding the risks and cost of either sea or land carriage. There is no doubt in my mind that this country can breed good stud sheep, more especially where it has been possible to subdivide pad docks, so that they contain a reasonable amount of shelter and shade. _ Water is plentiful below ground, and easily obtained by sinking. Windmills and tanks are in use, although, like the underground water supply, they have been, from a local stand point. a discovery of comparatively recent years. I saw Stud Park No. 10 out of the wool. He had cut 18½lb. for six months growth, and previous to that 35½lb. for 12 months' growth. He is now seven years old, but has all the appearance and vigour of a younger sheep, and, so far as could be seen from the little wool that was left on him, has improved somewhat in uniformity since he was introduced here. He is a very large-framed animal, and one of more than ordinary constitution.

Mr. A. P. Lord, the head of this family, has all through life had a hankering after pastoral pursuits. For many years it has been his ambition, not only to establish his sons on the land, but to give them every possible advantage within the com pass of his means. None realise this more fully than the sons themselves, who speak of their father, and of all that they owe to him, in terms of the highest respect. Although himself more skilled at finance than at practical sheep-farming, Mr. Lord was bitten with the desire to go on the land very early in life, and when still but a lad, assisted to form Woolooga, in the Wide Bay district. This place is now known as Booker's. Droughts and low prices settled all his youthful ambitions, and he dropped cut of the industry about 40 years ago for 15 years. During this period he entered the A.J.S. Bank as a junior, and made rapid progress up to the management of the Maryborough branch, and then to that of Gympie. Following on some judicious investments in Gympie mines, he got back to his old love and on to the land again, in the Monaro district in New South Wales, buying Kiah Lake, near Cooma. It was here that the sons got their first experience among stock. Finding the country somewhat inhospitable, Mr. Lord sold Kiah Lake, and drifted to Narrabri, where he remained about five years. After the big drought of 1902 Mr. Lord made out to Queensland, purchasing Maryvale. Finding it unsuitable for his requirements, and being compelled to look around for grass for his sheep, he secured paddocks on agistment at Victoria Downs. At the same time, he secured an option over the property, which had been obtained as a grazing farm in 1905. This deal was duly finalised, Maryvale being disposed of. Mr. Robert P. Lord, the eldest son, was the first of the family to make his home here. There are five sons in the firm as now constituted under the name of Lord Bros., Robert and Arthur, who live at Victoria Downs; Reginald, who is established at Biddenham; and Victor and Guy, who are at Chatham. With these two last named properties I shall be dealing more in detail later on. For the time being, it will suffice to say that Biddenham is a recent purchase of 90.000 acres, about 60 miles north-west of Victoria Downs, in a line with Chatham. It consists of grazing farms and leases, the majority of it first-class country. It was purchased from Mr. J. Rogerson, who had acquired it some years previously from that well-known pioneer, Mr. R. D. Barton. Biddenham was purchased in February of this year, and is to be worked in conjunction with Chatham and Victoria Downs. The sheep are of a high standard, mainly Wanganella blood. It has a carrying capacity of from 25,000 to 30,000 sheep   and 1,000 head of cattle. The merino stud is gradually being extended to Chatham, which is situated 85 miles nor' nor' west of Victoria Downs. Chatham has an area of 615,000 acres, made up of grazing farms and leases. About half of it is rolling downs, and the balance first-class open timber country. This property was bought as a going concern in August, 1909. For some time past it has been absorbing the surplus stud sheep from Victoria Downs, and has a carrying capacity of 14,000 sheep, and of about 600 mixed cattle. The general flock is of a high standard, bred up on Haddon Rig and Wanganella blood. All these three places grow wool of high quality and an excellent carcase.