Tuesday, 15 July 2014
52 Ancestors - thoughts on the project so far
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
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.
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.
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
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:
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.
|Another view of Flailcroft Farm buildings|
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|
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.
Sunday, 13 July 2014
52 Ancestors # 45 Ann Fielden
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 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)
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|
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.
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
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.
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|
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
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.
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.
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.
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|
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
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.
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
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:
Over the months the business expanded as this advertisement in January 1863 shows:
Notices for John's music business regularly appeared until this advertisement appeared:
in the Shop lately occupied by Mr. J. W. Hillcoat.
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
LATEST FROM GYMPIE
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
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|
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|
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|
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|
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
VICTORIA DOWNS MERINO STUD - by BENDLEBY - HISTORY AND FORMATION
FROM SMALL BEGINNINGS