Thursday, 31 December 2015

George Guest - notes from Trove 1817-1829

 Most of the references refer to George Guest senior however some refer to his son George Guest Junior.

SHIP NEWS.—On Tuesday last sailed for Port Jackson the ship Cochin, Capt. JONES ; having a large quantity of wheat on board. Passengers, Mr. G. FERGUSSON and Mr. G. GUEST.
Hobart Town Gazette and Hobart Reporter 5 July 1817

ALL Claims and Demands against Mr. GEORGE GUEST, Sen. are requested to be immediately presented for liquidation at Mr. Mitchell's in Collins-street, as he intends leaving the island in the brig Greyhound, about to sail for Port Jackson.
Hobart Town Gazette and Hobart Reporter 14 March 1818

ON SALE, at. the Premises of Mr.G. GUEST  in Collins-street, for ready Money only, the following Articles. - Blue-cloth Trowsers; Sugar, 10d. per lb, or 9d. by taking 50lbs.; Raisins 2s. per lb, or 2s. 6d. in large quantities; Cocoa 3s. per lb.; white-wine Vinegar; Mustard 5s. per lb.; split Peas; Blacking Cakes 8s. per dozen; Shoe Brushes 5s, the set (3); Tin-wire; English Glue 5s. per lb.; Curry Combs and Brushes; Mein Combs with Spunges; Pit-saw Files; Nails and Gimblets of different sizes; Sheep-shears; a capital set of Chaise Harness with brass furniture; a good Saddle and Bridle; two new stuffed Sophas with coverings and pillows complete; one Dozen of new Cedar cane bottom Chairs; and a large Cedar panel Table. 
Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter 18 July 1818 [George Guest junior]

MR. GEORGE GUEST, sen. intending to proceed to Sydney by an early Opportunity, requests all Claims to be presented.
Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter 25 July 1818

HIS HONOR the LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR is pleased to direct that the following Statement of the Police Fund of Van Diemen's Land for the Quarter ending June 30th, which has been returned, approved by His Excellency the Governor in Chief, shall be published for general Information.
By Command of His Honor the Lieutenant Governor,      
H. E. Robinson, Secretary. 
George Guest, Amount ordered by His Excellency the   Governor, in part Remuneration of Losses in houses Let to Government, in 1813 and 1814. - 200 0 0 (£200)
Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter 31 October 1818

On sale, at Mr. GUEST'S, Collins street, Plumbs, Blacking, Mustard, Cocos, Gimblets, Glue, Sheep-sheers, Augers, and two beautiful Sofas, with Furniture complete; the whole of which will be Sold at very Reduced Prices, as the Advertiser is about to depart the Colony.
Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter 31 October 1818 [George Guest junior]

MR. GEORGE GUEST intending to return to Sydney by the first Vessel I sailing to that place requests, all Claims againstl him may be presented for Payment; and those indebted to him to settle the same.
Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter 31 October 1818 
Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter 7 November 1818

Yesterday sailed the Government Colonial brig Elizabeth Henrietta, Mr. Smith Commander, for Port Jackson, having been six days at the Derwent.--Passengers, Mrs. Young  and family ; and Mr. G. Guest.
Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter 21 November 1818

SHIP NEWS. - On Wednesday last arrived from Port Jackson, which Place she left on the 10th instant, the Derwent schooner, Captain Carr.- Passengers, William H. Moore and Thomas S. Amos, Esqrs., Solicitors of the Supreme Court of Civil and Ecclesiastical Judicature of this Territory; Mr. J. T. Callicott; Mr. J. M'Queen; Mr. Geo. Guest and Mr Plumber and family.
Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter 21 November 1819

CLAIMS AND DEMANDS.-The Persons under-named intending to leave the Colony, request all Claims against them may be immediately presented for Payment:-Mr. T. S. Amos ; Mr. W. H. Moore ; Mr. W. Bon- ster ; Mr. G. Guest, sen. 
Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter 23 January 1819

CLAIMS AND DEMANDS.-The Persons under-named intending to leave the Colony, request all Claims against them may be immediately presented for Payment:-Mr. T. S. Amos ; Mr. W. H. Moore ; Mr. W. Bonster; Mr. G. Guest, sen.; and Mrs. Naylor.
Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter 20 March 1819 

MR. GEORGE GUEST, Sen. intending to proceed to Port Jackson by the earliest Opportunity, requests all Claims against him may be immediately presented for Payment; and those indebted to him are in like Manner requested to settle the same forthwith, or legal Measures will be resorted to at the ensuring Sittings of the Lieutenant Governor's Court.
Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter 27 March 1819

AT a General Meeting of His Majesty's Justices of the Peace for Buckinghamshire, held at the Court House, Hobart Town, on the 29th September last, for the Purpose of licensing Persons to keep COMMON INNS, ALE or VICTUALLING HOUSES, and to Retail SPIRITS and other LIQUORS, in and for the said Town and County, for One Year only, commencing from the said 29th Day of September, the following Houses and Persons were so licensed:-  
To sell Spirits, Wine, and Beer. ...
 Geo Guest jun City of London Arms Campbell Street
Hobart Town Gazette and Van Diemen's Land Advertiser 6 October 1821

LOST, three Notes of Hand for £25 each, drawn by Robert Gillett, in favour of George Guest, sen. dated Hobart Town, May 13, 1823, (the same day they were lost), and payable 6 months after date. Any person restoring the same notes to the owner, G. Guest, will be handsomely rewarded for their trouble.
Payment is stopped.   
Hobart Town Gazette and Van Diemen's Land Advertiser 17 May 1823

MR. HODGSON begs to return his thanks for the liberal encouragement he has met with from his Friends since his establishment in this Colony, and hopes to merit a continuance of it in his new Store removed to Mr. GEORGE GUEST, Jun. adjoining the City of London Arms, in Bridge-street.
Hobart Town Gazette and Van Diemen's Land Advertiser 15 November 1823 [George Guest junior]
AT a General Meeting of His Majesty's Justices of the Peace in and for Van Diemen's Land, held at Hobart Town on the 29th Day of September, the following LICENSES were granted: For retailing Malt, Spiritous, and other Liquors, in Hobart Town ...
George Guest Seven Stars Campbell Street
To sell spirits, wine and beer in the country
William Guest Lovely Banks Inn Lovely Banks
Hobart Town Gazette 22 October 1825
Colonial Times Advertiser 28 October 1825

THE following Persons have been licensed to keep COMMON INNS, ALE-HOUSES, or VICTUALLING-HOUSES, in the Buckinghamshire Division of the Island, from the 29th Ultimo, for the ensuing Year :-
George Guest Seven Stars Campbell Street
William Guest Lovely Banks Inn Lovely Banks
Hobart Town Gazette 14 October 1826 
Colonial Times Advertiser 20 October 1826

A LIST OF LICENSED PUBLICANS for the Year 1827-1828
George Guest Seven Stars Campbell Street
William Guest Lovely Banks Inn Green Ponds
Hobart Town Gazette 6 October 1827

TO be SOLD or LET,
AND can be entered upon immediately, a FARM of 300 acres, situate on the Risdon Cove, commencing at the junction of a small chain of ponds and the Risdon Cove, and originally granted to Mr. George Guest by Governor Macquarie. Any Person desirous of purchasing or occupying the same, will be pleased to make application to the undersigned.  
Hobart-town, Nov. 24,1827. WILLIAM M. ORR.
The Hobart Town Courier 24 November 1827
The Hobart Town Courier 1 December 1827

The collector of Internal Revenue requires the present proprietors of the following grants or leases, to pay up the sums respectively stated as due upon the lands, viz:—On Grants from Governor King to—
(Name) Amo. due. Amo. rent
 Geo Guest 24 acres 17s(hillings) at 1 s(hilling)
 Hobart Town Courier 21 March 1829

Auxiliary Bible Society
AT a MEETING of the Committee the Vestry of St. David's Church, on Wednesday the 13th Instant
It was Resolved, that a List of Subscriptions received be published, in the Colonial Times, Courier, and Tasmanian Newspapers. ...
Mr Guest 1 0 0
Colonial Times 17 July 1829
Hobart Town Courier 18 July 1829

A List of Publican's licensed to sell Wine, Spirits, &c. for the years 1829 and 30:
Public House Licences in HOBART TOWN ...
George Guest, Seven Stars, Campbell-street
In the country:
W Guest Lovely Banks Green Ponds
Colonial Times 13 November 1929
The Hobart Town Courier 3 October 1829

THOMAS DEVINE, late of the Bricklayer's Arms, Elizabeth-street, being about to apply for the Transfer of the License of the above Public House, in Campbell street, near the Bridge, belonging to Mr. Guest, takes this method of apprising his Friends and the Public in general thereof. He trusts by his assidity and attention to merit a continuance of that Support from his numerous Country and other Friends, at his intended new Establishment, which he has for so many years experienced at the Bricklayer's Arms, and for which be takes this opportunity to return them his most sincere Thanks.
Colonial Times 9 October 1829
Colonial Times 16 October 1829
Colonial Times 30 October 1829

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

George Mackillop - Davey Street, Hobart

When searching for articles in Trove there are a number of references to George Mackillop, Davey Street in Hobart. When I was visiting Hobart earlier this year I spent some time walking along Davey Street to try and imagine what the area may have been like when George and his family lived in South Hobart.

The book, The story of South Hobart street by street by Donald Howatson (2012) provides some information about the streets in this area. Davey Street was named after the Lieutenant-Governor of Van Diemen's Land from 1812-1816 - Thomas Davey (p19). A section of Davey Street, west of Elboden Street, was originally known as Holebrook Place but was also referred to as Upper Davey Street or Davey Street (p26). This section of South Hobart contained many impressive houses on large blocks of land. The mansion, Holebrook, was situated on four acres of land (approximately 330 Davey Street today) while a house just down the road in the location of 328 Davey Street was built on three acres of land. This house was built by Hugh Ross, possibly in 1834, and one of the features of the property was the view of the harbour and Sandy Bay (p12). The house was set back on the block and approached via a driveway for carriages through an impressive garden. Additional information about the history of this house can be found on the blog, On the Convict Trail.
Map of section of Davey Street (Google Maps)
George Mackillop (1790-1865) and his family arrived in Hobart Town from Scotland via India, possibly early 1834. Entries in Trove show that the firm, Cruttenden, Mackillop and Company, had been shipping goods to Hobart from India for some years. George appears to have decided to check out the possibilities in the new colony further south. References to Davey Street with George's name appear soon after he arrived so he appears to have established his home there soon after arrival.

As well as his main occupation as a merchant George looked for further opportunities and was involved in initial exploration and acquisition of land in Port Phillip (Victoria) from 1835. He wrote articles about the new colonies which were published in the UK. Articles in Trove show that he was actively involved in the life of Hobart Town. However towards the end of the 1830s George decided to return to Scotland and on 4 April 1837 the first advertisement appeared in the Hobart Town Courier that the Mackillop house in Davey street was on the market as the family was returning to the UK. George and his family did not return home until the early 1840s and over the years a series of advertisements appeared in the paper about the property and its contents. It is from these advertisements that we learn what the house was like.

An advertisement in the Hobart Town Courier 7 April 1837 provides the following description.:

THAT splendid family mansion, situate in the most delightful part of Davey street, and bounded by the Sandy bay rivulet, the property of George Mackillop, esq. comprising every accommodation that can possibly be required.
The first floor consists of a drawing room 29 feet by 16, dining room and parlour, a bed room, butler's pantry and sleeping room, kitchen, scullery, &c. under which are spacious cellars.
On the second story are six large bed rooms, fitted with cupboards, three dressing rooms, and store closets.
The attics comprise two servants bed rooms and a store.
The whole is fitted up in the most complete manner, with water closets, &c without regard to expense, and elegantly finished.
The out offices consist of a stable, loft and servant's sleeping room, large store, coach houses, oven, wood and fowl house, pig sties, and sundry other buildings in the yard, which is securely fenced.
The advertisement then goes on to describe the property:
The premises stand on 2 acres, 1 rood, 27 perches of excellent ground; the garden has been trenched 15 inches deep, well manured, and stocked with trees, all of which were loaded this season with the choicest fruit (the pears and apples still remain); strawberries and raspberries were in the greatest abundance  the never-failing stream at the bottom affords a constant supply of water, and the neighbourhood is truly respectable, having the residences of Thomas Learmonth, esq. on one side, and Hugh Ross, esq. on the other.
The beauty of the surrounding scenery is too well known and admired to require comment.
The title is a new grant.
Obviously this was an impressive house in a great location.

One of the key sentences in the above description was that the residence of Thomas Learmonth was on one side of the property and the residence of Hugh Ross was on the other side. Family stories mentioned the Learmonth connection with the Mackillop family and articles in Trove show that George and Thomas Learmonth had a business partnership and were involved in other activities in the community. I knew therefore that the Mackillop property was near the Learmonth property but not exactly where those properties were.

On 9 August 1839 the Hobart Town Courier and Van Diemen's Land Gazette contained the following information:
George Mackillop, 2a. 1r. 37p., suburbs of Hobart Town, originally Matthew Forster, Esq., who sold to Thomas Learmonth, who transferred to the applicant; claim renewed 4th June, 1839-Bounded on the north west by 217 links along Holebrook-place, on the south west by 12 chains and 10 links along an allotment granted to Hugh Ross to the Sandy-bay rivulet, on the south east by that rivulet, and on the north cast by 12 chains 82 links along an allotment occupied by or belonging to Thomas Learmonth to Holebrook-place aforesaid.
George's land would have bordered on Davey Street and continued down to the Sandy Bay Rivulet. Hugh Ross' property would have been in the vicinity where Davey Place now is so George's property would have bordered on the town side of the Ross property and continued in the direction of  Elboden Street.

As well as confirming the size of the block of land and providing additional information as to its location, the above paragraph from the newspaper also provides history as to previous ownership. Matthew Forster (1796-1846), a former soldier, arrived in the colony in 1831 where he became chief police magistrate. Thomas Learmonth (1783-1869), like George Mackillop, was from Stirlingshire in Scotland and was a merchant in India before arriving in Hobart Town in the early 1830s to continue his trade as a merchant there. The Australian Dictionary of Biography includes an article on the Learmonth family. Thomas had obviously had obtained land in Davey Street and later  transferred part of this land to George when George arrived in the colony.

The other clue that I had to the location of the property was in article in Trove when land that had belonged to another great (x 3) grandfather, Thomas William Birch (1767-1821) was sold in 1839. The Hobart Town Courier 2 November 1838 contained a detailed description of the land to be sold, including mentioning some of the neighbours -
... in the immediate vicinage of the mansions and residences of J. H. Moore, W. Proctor, Hugh Ross, G. M'Killop, T. Learmonth, E. Hodgson, and J. Hackett, Esquires; also, the lands of Messrs. Harris, Dunkley, and Hurst ; the Glebe and Salvator Rosa Glen.

When exploring Hobart on foot in November I took a number of photographs of the area where George's property would have been located.
Intersection of Davey Place and Davey Street
View indicating partial depth of the property
View of the River
Mountain View
A driveway in Davey Street leading to a house
Sandy Bay Rivulet
The photos above provide an indication of the area where the property was situated. The area now consists of houses on smaller blocks and flats but I was able to catch a glimpse of the view George and his family would have had of the river when I explored a side street. Mount Wellington and other mountains would have dominated the view in the other direction, especially as the land on Birch's farm was not subdivided until the late 1830s. The house would have been set back from Davey Street and, like the house on the Ross property, would have had a driveway from the street for carriages to take pasengers to the front door. Sandy Bay Rivulet would have been a much more impressive waterway in the 1830s but is now only a small stream.

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Development of Hobart - background notes part 2

The book, Old Hobart Town and environs 1802-1855 by Carolyn R Stone and Pamela Tyson (1978) provides a history of the colony using documents, maps and illustrations from the period. Included below are some excerpts from the records.
Initially an attempt was made to establish a settlement at Risdon Creek but it was not considered suitable:

 Historical Records of Australia (HRA) series III vol 1; David Collins to Governor King, 29 Feb 1804
.... I forthwith commenced, and had the satisfaction of finding what I sought for in a very fine Cove on the West side of the River, about Five Miles from Risdon Creek.
In the center of this Cove ... is a small Island, connected with the Main Land at Low Water, admirably adapted for the landing and reception of Stores and Provisions. Round this Island is a Channel for a Boat, at the Head of which is a Run of clear fresh Water, proceeding from a distance inland, and having its source in a Rock in the Vicinity of the Table Mountain, named in the French Chart ..."Le Plateau." The ground on each side the Run is of a gradual ascent, and upon the next Cove I have formed my Camp. The Ocean and Lady Nelson are lying within half a cable's length of the Shore, in about Nine fathoms Water.
The Soil, to one used to the Sand of Port Phillip, appears in a very advantageous Point of view, but is certainly the same as that about Risdon Creek.
The Timber and Stone are in sufficient Quantity and Quality to answer all my Purposes; and I shall immediately set about the necessary work of getting my People under Cover, and preparing Ground for the reception of Seed.(page 36)

So began the founding of Hobart Town.

James West, The History of Tasmania (1852)
... All were not so well lodged; yet such houses are soon reared. Posts, joined by wall plates, fixed in the ground; woven with wattle rods, plastered with mingled clay, sand and wiry short grass, and whitened; a grass thatched roof; a chimney of turf piled on stone; a door and a window; the cottage is finished. (page 42)

George William Evans, A geographical, historical and topographical description of Van Diemen's Land (1822)
On his return from his late tour of inspection, in 1821, through the settlements of Van Diemen's Land, Major-General Macquarie, Governor of New South Wales and its dependencies, under the head of the civil department, promulgated an official document, which commences by a very flattering account of the growing prosperity of the seat of government, while it conveys a most favourable idea of the flourishing state of the settlements in general. It was, he observes, with much satisfaction that he beheld the numerous changes and improvements which Hbart Town had undergone since the period of his former visit in 1811. The wretched huts and cottages of which it then consisted were now converted into regular, substantial buildings, and the whole laid out in regular streets, several of the houses being two stories high, spacious, and not deficient in architectual taste. The principal public buildings which had been erected were, a government-house, a handsome church, a commodious military barrack, a strong gaol, a well-constructured hospital, and a roomy barrack for convicts, which was nearly completed. On the stream which pases through the town, four water-mills had been erected for the grinding of corn, and a neat battery constructed on Mulgrave Point, at the entrance of Sullivan's Cove. On Mount Nelson a signal-post and telegraph had been established. A well directed attention had been displayed toward the accommodation of the shipping interests, in the planning of a large substantial pier. or quay, which was then in progress in Sullivan's Cove, for the convenience or vessels trading thither, in the loading and unloading of their cargoes; which work, combined with the natural facilities of the place, will render Sullivan's Cove one of the best and safest anchorages in the world. (page 55)

Charles Jeffreys, Van Diemen's Land (1820)
... The Government House occupies the centre of the main street; and is, if not a superb, a very comfortable dwelling. Mr Birch's house, which is the one above alluded to, stands near the south end of the main street; it is a considerable pile of building, of three stories, with an embattled parapet. (page 58)

Birch's house was located at 151 Collins Street, Hobart Town.

Anon. An account of the Colony of Van Diemen's Land (1830)
Leaving the west end of Macquarrie Street, which nowithstanding its great length, is still making rapid strides onwards, a track continues along the right bank of the Town Rivulet, to the foot of Mount Wellington; passing the Female Orphan School, on the left, a good-looking one-storied house, Mr Hackett's distillery, called Dynnyme, but now the residence of Mr R L Murray, the editor of the Tasmanian newspaper; Mr Hodgson's Tannery, the new Female Penitentiary, and the Saw Mills of Messrs. Mackintosh and De Graves, and Mr Snorkell, beyond which is the Rocky Fall, called The Cascade.
At Mr Hodgson's a great deal of leather, of a very excellent quality, is tanned for the consumption of the town, the bark of the Mimosa or wattle tree being used for the manufacture. (page 92)

Edmund Hodgson married Sarah Birch, the widow of Thomas William Birch.

Charles Medyett Goodridge, Narrative of a Voyage to the South Seas (1832)
Hobart Town was so named by Colonel Collins, the first Lieutenant Governor, in compliment to Lord Hobart, at that time Secretary of State for the Colonies. Collins-street, named after Colonel Collins, was the first street that was begun to be built. It did not run exactly in its present direction, forming an angle with its present line. ... Governor Macquarie afterwards named Macquarie-street after himself, and Elizabeth-street, and Campbell-street, after the maiden name of Mrs Macquarie, daughter of General Campbell. He also named Argyle-street, in memory of his native country of that name in Scotland. He named Murray-street after Captain Murray, of the 73rd. Regiment, and Harrington-street, after the Earl of Harrington, who was Colonel of that Regiment. The name of Barrack-street is obvious, as leading to the Military Barracks. Molle-street commemorates the name of Colonel Molle of the 48th and Antill-street beyond, that of Major Antill of the same Regiment, and Brigade Major to Governor Macquarie. Davey-street was named in memory of the late Colonel Davey, Lieutenant-Governor; Liverpool-street, after the late Earl of Liverpool; Bathurst-street, after the Earl of Bathurst, at that time Secretary for the Colonies; Melville-street, after Lord Melville; Brisbane-street, after Governor Brisbane; St Patrick-street was so named at the request of the Rev P Conolly, the Roman Catholic Chapel being situated in it; Warwick-street was named by Mr Evans, late Surveyor General, now resident in England, in memory of Warwick Castle, in which that gentleman first saw the light. (page 77)

Starting at page 99 there is a section on Conditions on the Location of Building Allotments in the Towns and Suburbs published in The Hobart Town Almanack for 1830. Need to look at these propery when time permits.

Development of Hobart - background notes

The book, Old Hobart Town and environs 1802-1855 by Carolyn R Stone and Pamela Tyson (1978) provides a history of the colony using documents, maps and illustrations from the period. Each chapter covers the time frame of a leader of the colony and at the commencement of each chapter there is a summary of the period covered. These summaries provide a brief history of the development of Hobart plus an indication of what the early settlers faced. The summaries are reproduced below.

The beginnings ... settlement at Sullivan's Cove
David Collins 1804-1810
In February 1804, following an abortive attempt to establish a settlement at Port Phillip, Lieutenant-Colonel David Collins arrived with a party of convicts, free settlers and marines at Sullivan Cove on the Derwent River. Here he selected the site for the new Colony of Hobart Town.
In 1810, after a period of six years as Lieutenant-Governor of the infant colony, Collins had very little to show in the way of progress. Hobart Town remained a collection of 'miserable huts'; there was no established form of local administration and no major public works had been completed. In defence of Collin's ability as an administrator, the problems he faced made any attempts towards progress extremely difficult. The convict labourers were poor workers and few in number, and the tools and equipment at their disposal were either unsuited to local conditions or non-existent. In addition, the small number of free settlers found it almost impossible to grow enough food to make the colony self-supporting. This in turn made the colonists more reliant on shipments of supplies and livestock from Sydney, which in addition with Collin's urgent requests for further able-bodied convicts, rarely arrived. Later, after a period of drought in Van Diemen's Land and flood devastation in New South Wales, the settlers were forced to live off the land, hunting kangaroos and emus. Apart from this fight for survival, there were no courts from which to dispense law and order, and Collins had no authority to grant land, except by the tedious process of applying through official dispatches to the governor in Sydney or direct to London. Conditions that must make for a stable and progressive settlement were non-existent, and in reality, David Collins had achieved most that could be expected of him. (page 35)

Macquarie's visit 1811
Following the untimely death of David Collins in March 1810, the settlement at Hobart Town was administered in turn by Edward Lord, Captain John Murray and Major Andrew Geils, until Thomas Davey took up his appointment as Lieutenant-Governor in 1813. It was during this 'interregnum' period under the administration of Commandant Captain John Murray, that Governor Lachlan Macquarie made his first visit to Van Diemen's Land in November 1811.
Macquarie's intention was to travel overland from Hobart Town to Port Dalrymple, inspect the country and generally assess its potential for development. At Hobart Town he showed disappointment at the irregular layout of the settlement and the quality of the dwellings. Consequently, he approved a town plan that has virtually been retained to the present time. Further, he offered inducements for the construction of permanent dwellings to replace the ramshackle buildings that predominated. He re-organised the administration of the island and for the first time united the settlements in the north and south under the authority of the Lieutenant-Governor of Hobart Town. (page 43)

'A most wretched state of anarchy and confusion'
Thomas Davey 1813-1817
The difference between David Collins and his successor, Thomas Davey, was marked. Collins was courteous and well-respected Lieutenant- Governor, whereas Davey's manner was rough and undisciplined. He was a poor administrator and was generally ridiculed and disliked by those he governed. During his period of administration, very few public works were carried out, much of the progress evident in the colony being due to the enterprise of private individuals.
Davey's main problem on the island and his major preoccupation was that of suppressing the bushrangers and protecting the settlers. His task of governing the colony was not helped by Governor Macquarrie's apparent dislike and distrust. Macquarie's frequent habit of disagreeing with Davey's tactics, especially in relation to his attempts to control the bushrangers, did nothing to improve Davey's popularity. Further, as Macquarie himself generally could suggest no better plan of action, his criticism simply undermined what little authority Davey had in the colony. (page 49)

A fresh start out of chaos
William Sorrell 1817-1824
During the period of Colonel William Sorrell's office, Hobart Town was transformed from a rough temporary settlement into a town exhibiting the beginnings of agricultural and industrial activity, and the promise of prosperity. Following a successful military campaign to stamp out the marauding bushrangers, life and property were secured; law and order was restored.
Sorrell's sound administrative policies and reform led to stable conditions; new colonists arrived; land was opened up for settlement; commerce developed and expanded. With this progress came the beginnings of whaling, the export of corn and cattle, and more importantly, the expansion of the merino sheep breeding industry. At this time, major road and bridge-building works were undertaken; villages and towns sprang up in the interior; and Hobart Town itself was enlarged and improved. (page 55)

Discipline, penal reform and progress
George Arthur 1824-1836
Colonel George Arthur was a stern disciplinarian, an autocrat who remained aloof from those he governed and intolerant to any opposition. Consequently he was unpopular with many settlers and convicts yet he was an efficient conscientious administrator.
In 1825, Following Sorrell's recall and Arthur's appointment as Lieutenenant-Governor, the colony of Van Diemen's Land was granted separation from New South Wales. In time, further changes were necessary. The colony was no longer merely a penal settlement; consideration now had to be given to the free settlers, which in turn produced further problems. The new social structure required the re-organisation of the convict system, and in addition, an administrative policy more in keeping with demands of the colonists. Yet overall, Arthur's term of administration was a successful one, essentially because his approach to penal reform and governing free settlers was appropriate to this particular stage in the colony's development. (page 75)

Culture and enlightenment in a penal settlement
Sir John Franklin 1837-1843
Sir John Franklin was conscientious in his approach to the task of colonial government, but he was disadvantaged in that he found it hard to come to terms with ambitious men, Particularly John Montagu, the Colonial Secretary, and the Chief of Police, Matthew Forster, both of whom had been appointed by his predecessor.
Franklin was a sensitive man, who in time of tension and conflict had not sufficient strength of character to both control the fractious colonists, and administer a penal settlement. His chief interests, and those of his wife, Lady Jane Franklin, lay in cultural, educational, scientific and religious pursuits, in a town often lacking these outlets. Franklin's well-intentioned but 'scholarly' administration inevitably led to a breakdown in communication between himself and those through whom he governed. (page 121)

The probation system, surplus convicts and economic depression
Sir John Eardley-Wilmot 1843-1846
The administration of Sir John Eardley-Wilmot produced few lasting results. Wilmot's failure revolved around his inability to cope with the development of the probation system, a penal system that had created competition within the colony's labour force between convict pass-holders and free settlers. The necessity of implementing probation at a time when Van Diemen's Land was faced with an influx of convicts from almost every British colony and dependency, had also resulted in increased in government expenditure and brought objections from the colonists, who also were faced with the payment of additional  taxes t defray judicial and police expenses in a period of severe economic depression.
Despite much local opposition, Wilmot was forced to continue the probation system, under the orders from Whitehall. When he confronted the colonists head-on on this issue, they accused him of attempting to alter the nature of the colony from that of a free settlement to a penal community. Wilmot also offended the imperial authorities and this led to his dismissal in 1846. (page 147)

End of transportation final steps to self-government
Sir William Denison 1847-1855
 Following the recall of Wilmot in October 1846, Charles Joseph LaTrobe, the Superintendent of the Port Phillip District, became administrator of the colony. During his short period in office he made a detailed study of the probation system, and concluded: that the convict system should cease. In 1847 he was succeeded by William Denison.
Although an able administrator, Denison was at a disadvantage in that he supported the continuation of transportation at a period when popular feeling in the colony was decidedly not in its favour. Partly to divert attention from the dreaded system, he planned extensive public works, particularly in and around the port and town of Hobart. However, his proposals were resented by many colonists, since their implementation depended on convict labour and assumed the continuation of transportation. (page 175)

In 1855, on the eve of the colony achieving self-government, Sir Henry E Fox Young succeeded Sir William Denison as governor of the colony of Van Diemen's Land. In a period of 50 years, Hobart Town had emerged from a collection of tents and habitations 'of the very lowest class of cottages'(1) to a fine, flourishing town, with 'houses straggling up the valleys and along the sides of the roads, for some distance'(2) where some of the buildings ... are very good,and beautifully built of sandstone, ...'(3)
During the course of this half century, development and expansion had been influenced by numerous social, economic and political factors, and the reaction of each of the various governors to these influences helped to determine the ultimate level of the development within the city and its environs. (page 204)
(1)HRA S III V I; John Oxley, Account of the settlement of the Derwent, 1810
(2)Robert Elwes, A sketcher's tour round the world (1854)
(3)Henry Butler Stoney, A residence in Tasmania (1856)

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Birth, death and marriage records - Victoria

The index to Birth Death and Marriage records in Victoria is now available online with no charge to check the records. Up until recently a fee had to be paid to use the index.

Births Deaths Marriages Victoria provides an online index to birth, death and marriage records in Victoria from 1836. 
This new version of the index is easy to use.
Just fill in the details on the form and use the Search button to conduct the search.
Copies of certificates can be purchased online.

Other Australian online indexes to birth, death and marriage records include:

NSW birth death and marriages

Queensland birth death and marriages

LINC - Birth death marriages Tasmania

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Unlocking family stories - preservation of materials

We spend a great deal of time collecting information and writing our family stories but it is also important to preserve the material and items that we collect. There are a number of websites providing information about the safe storage of material. A small selection of sites are listed below.

The Library of Congress has just produced these guidelines for preserving paper items, including books, photographs and digital files -

Australian War Memorial - Conservation of Documents -

National Archives of Australia has a section - Preserving your records for the future -

National Archives (USA) has a section - How to preserve family papers and documents -

National Library of Australia has a guide - Preserving Australia's documentary heritage

State Library of Victoria has Conservation guides -

Department of Premier and Cabinet - Preserving war heritage and memorabilia -

Undertaking an online search will produce other resources and articles on this topic

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Smith family

In 1909 Estelle Maud Smith (1881-1961)  [daughter of Frederick Smith (1836-1915) and grand-daughter of John Smith (1800-1885)] married Bayer Spain (1880-1963).

After reading the blog post about James Campbell Thom (1863-1929) Kathleen, (also researching this branch of the Smith family) suggested that there could be a connection between the family of Bayer Spain and the family of one of the partners of the legal firm, Spain and Sly, where James Campbell Thom once worked.

Bayer Spain is an unusual name so it was easy to search Trove for articles about his career as a captain of small ships sailing along the NSW coast. I also found articles in Trove and online via Google about two of his brothers - Commander Staunton William Spain (1865-1946) and Alfred Spain (1868-1954). Alfred was an architect. Their father was Staunton Spain (1833-1888), a solicitor while their grandfather, William Spain (1803-1876) was an attorney. Searching Ancestry family trees was also helpful. Using Ancestry I also searched the Sands Directories Sydney and NSW  for entries for the Spain family in the 1870s and found entries for Staunton Spain in partnership with George Sly in the firm Spain and Sly from 1874. A search in Trove located an advertisement in the Sydney Morning Herald 1 January 1874 stating that Staunton Spain had dissolved his partnership with the firm Roxburgh, Slade and Spain and was joining George Sly in the firm, Spain and Sly. Staunton Spain withdrew from the partnership in 1881.

James Campbell Thom therefore worked with Staunton Spain at the firm, Spain and Sly for a number of years. When Staunton Spain left the partnership with George Sly, James Campbell Thom continued to work for George Sly until 1887 when he left to form a legal partnership with his brother, John Stuart Thom. 

Annie Smith (1864-1911) was the wife of James Campbell Thom. She was the daughter of Charles Septimus Smith (1833-1912) who was Frederick Smith's brother. It is therefore possible that Bayer Spain and Estelle Maud Smith may have met via this previous connection between Estelle's uncle and Bayer's father. However it is probably a co-incidence, especially as Staunton Spain died in 1888 when Bayer and Estelle were children. We will probably never know.

Death of Dr G J Sly

An article written about a house built for George Sly but it also has a well referenced article about George Sly and his career.

Mr J C Thom - obituary

Saturday, 22 August 2015

McCallum family

The McCallum family - John, Anne, Dugald, Catherine and Sarah (who was listed in the Single woman listing) - arrived in Brisbane on 19 January 1855. John's occupation in Glasgow was listed as a labourer.

The next we hear of the family is when the announcement of the wedding of Sarah, third daughter of John McCallum of Glasgow, to Charles Septimus Smith is made in the Darling Downs Gazette and General Advertiser on 23 June 1859.

How many children?
I hadn't noticed the third daughter reference previously as my main interest had been in the names and date of the wedding but in the last couple of weeks I have found additional references to other children in the family. On the shipping records Sarah, aged 15, is the eldest of the children who came to Australia. The 1851 Scotland census lists another daughter, Mary, who was two years older than Sarah so would have been 17 when the family left for Australia. Sarah, Dugald and Catherine were also mentioned in the 1851 census. I also found a record in the 1841 Scotland census which appears to be the same family although the surname has been spelt as McAllum. This record does not mention Mary but does mention another daughter, Hellen, as well as Sarah and Dugald. These census records were found in Ancestry so are index records only. I will add this to the list of items to check in Scotland's People one day. The older girls possibly remained in Scotland. Anyway something to investigate further.

Looking at the places where Sarah and Charles' children were born they remained in Queensland until 1860. In 1861 they were in Free Church Street West Maitland when their second child was born. From 1867 they appear to be living in Wollongong. Articles in Trove show that John and his family are also in West Maitland in the 1860s. From 1863 the Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser contains occasional advertisements for Randall's Estate containing the name of John McCallum. The advertisements are for tenders to repair properties - cottages or shops - and changes in the rent prices of houses in 1866. One advertisement in July1863 lists the address of John McCallum as Alma Cottage, West Maitland while one in September 1866 lists his address as Forest Lodge in East Maitland. There are also a series of articles in the same newspaper about a court case in February 1867 over a dispute about the collection of rents. Mr Bailey was questioning whether John McCallum was a collector of rents and this was confirmed in a letter from George Lee: "Mr McCallum has been for the last two years employed by me to collect my rents and debts, and still continues that service for me..." [2 February 1867].

When Catherine McCallum married Matthew Waddell on 2 August 1864 the ceremony took place at Alma Cottage West Maitland.

John McCallum died in Singleton in 1878. His wife had died in 1867 at Patrick Plains (a former name for Singleton). Consequently it would appear that John and Anne probably moved to the Singleton area in 1867. They may have moved there as their son, Dugald lived in Singleton. On 6 July 1867, when Dugald married Mary Munro Waddell, Dugald's occupation was listed as storekeeper. Trove provides a number of references in the Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser to Dugald McCallum in Singleton. In 1875 he was a witness in a court case against a person who had been forging cheques [17 September 1875]. In 1881 he applied for permission to build a verandah in front of his new stores in George Street, to plane the front step, to alter the guttering and asphalt the footpath [26 February 1881]. Two years later, however, the local paper was reporting Dugald's financial problems [22 February 1883] and [11 September 1883]. New South Wales State Records record in their Insolvency Index that Dugald McCallum was declared insolvent from 20 February 1883 until 7 November of that year when a solvency certificate was issued. 
Sarah and Charles Septimus Smith also lived in Singleton for a time. When Lily was born in 1875 the family was living in Singleton however when Norman was born in 1878 the family had moved to Sydney.

Connections with the Waddell family
 Sarah's sister, Catherine, and her brother, Dugald, both married children of William Wadell of Singleton. William Waddell was born in Scotland on 15 September 1803. In 1839 he brought his family to Australia as Bounty Immigrants. The Bounty Immigrant scheme opperated between 1828-1842 to encourage skilled British labourers and tradespeople to migrate to the Colony of New South Wales. A bounty was paid to recruiting agencies to find suitable people and to the masters of ships to ensure safe passage. William and his family travelled aboard the Royal Admiral arriving on 26 September 1839.
Bounty Index cards
William was a gardener and was 35 when he came to Australia. His wife, Elizabeth (Munro) was 28. They had four children when they left Scotland - Matthew 7, Munro 5, William 3 and Catherine 9 months. The Singleton Argus 16 October 1895 contains a detailed obituary for William Waddell who died on 11 October 1895 aged 90. The family first settled at Glendon near Maitland where William worked for Mr Scott. They then moved to Singleton where he rented places of his own and established an orchard, vineyard and market garden. The property became known as the Greenwood Estate which was later subdivided and William then purchased a section - Townhead - on which he established an orchard. William and Elizabeth had four more children, including a daughter, Mary, when they arrived in Australia.

Catherine McCallum married Matthew Waddell in 1864. Dugald McCallum married Mary Munro Waddell at Townhead, Singleton in July 1869. Catherine, daughter of Sarah and Charles Septimus Smith, has Waddell as her second name. Kathleen, a researcher of the Smith family has noted that her great grandparents - George Newton and Elizabeth Smith (sister of Charles Septimus Smith) - lived in Singleton for many years and George was listed as one of the chief mourners at the funeral of Matthew Waddell in 1904. [Obituary in Maitland Daily Mercury 30 September 1904].

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Sarah McCallum part 2

 In the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks project Sarah McCallum was Ancestor 25. When writing that post I had no information about Sarah's life before she came to Australia except that she was born in Glasgow in Scotland.

Recently Kathleen, who is also researching this branch of the family, sent me copies of records showing the immigration of Sarah and her family to Australia. The papers held by the State Records of New South Wales record that the family arrived in Sydney aboard the ship, William Miles, on 16 January 1855.

On this list of immigrants aboard the William Miles in Sydney on 16 January 1855, Sarah appears in the list of single women whose occupation was listed as House servant. She was aged 15, Native Place and County was Glasgow, religion was listed as Presbyterian and Neither was in the column Read or Write.

Also on the list was John McCallum, aged 49, who was a labourer from Argyleshire. His religion was Presbyterian and he could read and write. His wife, Anne, was 43 and Argyleshire was also listed as her Native Place or County. She could also read and write and was Presbyterian as were the other two children listed with their parents. Dougul was 13 and was from Glasgow. He could read and write but Catherine, his nine year old sister, also from Glasgow, could only read.

The State Records of New South Wales has digitised some of the shipping records on microfilm including Passenger Lists of the Family Colonization Loan Society 1854-1855. The Family Colonization Loan Society was a project founded by Caroline Chishom in the 1850s to assist families, particularly from Ireland and Scotland where there were employment problems, to migrate to Australia.

The South Australian Register 26 July 1851 published the following article about the visit of Caroline Chisholm's husband to the colonies to promote the project:
We have much pleasure in calling the attention of the public in general, and the industrious classes in particular, to the arrival of Captain A. Chisholm, of the Madras army, and husband of Mrs. Caroline Chisholm, whose benevolent exertions in the cause of free and particular female Emigrants, both in the Australian colonies and in England, for so many years, are so well known. The object of Captain Chisholm's visit to these colonies is purely benevolent: in order to aid in carrying out the Family Colonization Loan Society originated by Mrs. Chisholm, the principal object of which is to promote the reunion of the separated members of families. Amongst the members of the Central Committee of the Society in London we find the well-known benevolent names of Lord Ashley, and the Right Honourable Sydney Herbert. Parties wishing to send for their relations in England will have an opportunity of consulting Captain Chisholm, either personally or by letter, post-paid, at the office of the Society in King William- street, near the Southern Cross, Adelaide. Persons expecting relations out, may see at the office a list of the names of parties coming out here by the Society's next ship. We understand that Captain Chisholm intends in the course of next month to proceed to Port Phillip for the promotion of similar objects.
The Illustrated London News 28 February 1852  provides an article about a meeting of the society attended by more than 2,500 people. The article includes information about the operation of the society. Those deciding to emigrate to Australia paid part of the fare in advance and borrowed money from the Society to cover the rest of the fare. The money borrowed was to be paid back within two years of arriving in Australia. The website of the Caroline Chisholm Society also includes information about the Society.

The William Miles was only passing through Sydney as Queensland State Archives has records showing the passenger list of the William Miles arriving in Moreton Bay on 19 January 1855. The McCallum family are on the list in the Register of Passengers on Immigrant Ships Arriving in Queensland.
Sarah was listed as a Domestic on this list.
Argyle is listed as the place of origin for the family.

We know from reports in Australian newspapers digitised in Trove that the ship, William Miles, left Liverpool with emigrants for Morton Bay on 15 October 1854. (Maitland Mecury and Hunter River General Advertiser 10 January 1855)

The Ships List Emigrant Ships to Australia and New Zealand 1854-1856 shows that 406 people were aboard the ship when it left England on 16 October and two male passengers died during the three month voyage to Australia. Any child over 14 was classed as an adult. There were 210 male passengers and 101 female passengers plus 95 children - 50 boys and 45 girls.

In January 1905 advertisements were placed in local papers regarding the 50th anniversary of the arrival of the William Miles in Brisbane.
Ship William Miles Fiftieth Anniversary
Those persons who arrived in Queensland by the ship William Miles, in 1855, are invited, by advertisement, to attend a meeting at Eschenhagen's cafe, on Friday night, to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of this event. (The Telegraph 17 January 1905)
After the reunion there were a number of long articles describing the event including reminiscences of the voyage and first impressions of Brisbane. Reunion of old Colonists. Celebration of 'William Miles' Immigrants was the title of an article in the Courier Mail 21 January 1905. Immigrants' Jubilee. Arrivals by ship William Miles was the title of an article in The Week 27 January 1905.

According to the memory of  former passengers:
The ship "brought some 400 immigrants, chiefly Scottish, people. All the male immigrants were armed with muskets and cutlasses, fearing the possibility of attack by the Russian warships, the Crimean war then being in progress. Although the immigrants were brought out under Government immigrant regulations, every man of them paid his full passage money."
and once in the colony
"The vessel sailed from Liverpool on October 10, 1854, and her passengers arrived at the Queen's wharf just 50 years, ago that day. Brisbane was a very small place in those days. He remembered a man who was in what now is Queen street asking in which direction the town lay (Laughter). There were not a dozen houses to be seen in Brisbane at that time." (both quotes from article in The Week)

So from the information provided in one set of documents I was then able to use a range of resources to add to the information about the journey of Sarah and her family to Australia. However the search produced one more bonus. An immigration search in Ancestry produced further details about McCallum family in the New South Wales Australia Assisted Immigrant Passenger Lists 1828-1896. Although the details were basically the same as in other listings there was an additional column - Parents names and, if alive, their residence. For John McCallum the names in this column are Dugald and Sarah (dead) while for Ann the information given is Ronald and Mary Campbell. Her mother is listed as dead and I cannot read the placename for her father.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Using Facebook for Family History research

In a recent post on the Genealogy-Do-Over Facebook group, Thomas MacEntee mentioned the Legacy Family Tree webinair he had recently made - Facebook: a tool for Genealogy Research. This is a member only resource for those who subscribe to Legacy Family Tree webinairs but the GeneaBloggers site has a link to a preview of the webinair.

This led me to think about how I use Facebook for genealogy research.When I set up my Facebook page in 2013 it was primarily to communicate with family and friends. However I soon discovered genealogy, history and library or archive organisations with Facebook pages and selected a number that I now receive regular updates from.  These Facebook groups are usually open sites and once you click the Like button you will receive in your News Feed any subsequent posts made in these groups. This is a good way to keep up to date with what is happening in your area of interest. Some of the Facebook pages of organisations that I have Liked include:
  • Scotlands Genealogy
  • Scotlands People
  • Irelands Genealogy Page
  • National Archives of Australia
  • National Archives (UK)
  • Inside History Magazine
  • VicGum
  • Royal Historical Society of Victoria
  • Facebook pages of a number of local historical societies
  • Hawkesbury Family History Group
  • Hawkesbury Library Service
  • Ancestry
  • Find My Past
  • Lost Melbourne and Lost Sydney
To locate the Facebook page of an organisation go to the Find Friends box at the top of your News Feed page and start typing in the name of the organisation - the more letters you type the more likely you will find what you are looking for. If you find a Facebook site you want to investigate click the link to go to the Facebook page.
In this example I was looking for Public Record Office of Victoria (third on the list). The note at the bottom of the page (in blue bar) - See more results - will provide additional options if you cannot find what you want in the initial list.
If you want to receive updates from this Facebook page click the Like button. The name of the group that you have Liked will appear in the left column of your Timeline page.

You can use the same method to locate people who may also be interested in your area of interest.

One of the features of Facebook is that groups for people with similar interests can be created. Recently I joined two groups related to my Convict research. I no doubt will add others to my list. There are also groups relating to specific branches of a family.
  • Norfolk Island History Lovers
  • First Fleet 1788 Researchers
Already I have found other researchers investigating members on my family tree as well as relevant information mentioned in earlier posts. Private messages can be sent to members of the group arranging to share information.
In the Search this group box under the header of the group page type in the name of the person you are researching. Any posts mentioning this name will then be displayed. Sometimes the person may be mentioned in a comment relating to the post.

Facebook can therefore be a useful tool for locating fellow researchers plus information relating to your family history research.

Since first writing this post I have discovered another interesting way that Facebook can be used to promote history or tell a story.  Anzac Live recounts the involvement of individual Australians during World War I as if they were posting their thoughts on Facebook.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Unlocking family stories - Trove part 2

When preparing notes for a session in the library on Using Trove for Family History Research I checked Trove for references to George Mackillop / George Mckillop who was living in Australia in the 1830s.

A search for George Mackillop in a General Search, the name in inverted commas, provided the following results:

  • two books - was an article written by George about Australia published in 1839 (NLA) while the other was a book - Pastoral Pioneers of Port Phillip - containing information about him (this book has been digitised and can be downloaded from the State Library of Victoria.
  • correspondence - a series of letters between George Mackillop and John Clark which have been digitised and are available from University of Tasmania
  • correspondence to Colonial Office in London including mention of George Mackillop (RHSV)
  • map - sketch of Mr Mackillop's route in Australia - copies at NLA and SLV - also available online
  • articles in newspapers
Copy of map held at NLA
Because names can be spelt in different ways a search for George Mckillop in a General Search, the name in inverted commas, provided the following results:
  • three books with reference to George Mackillop (NLA, SLV & Sale Library) - one has been digitised
  • a photo of a memorial cairn in Omeo in recognition of George Mackillop, James McFarlane and George Prendergast (Pendergast) - Monument Australia 
  • archived websites - some mentioning George Mackillop
  • journal articles about other George Mckillops
  • newspaper articles
A search in Pictures, photos, objects section of Trove for "Mackillops bridge" or "Mckillops Bridge" produced a number of images of the bridge.
Part of Frank Hurley Collection NLA
A search in the digitised newspapers provided detailed description of the Mackillop home which was advertised for sale in 1836 and in 1840 a detailed list of furniture for sale. Details are listed in another section of this blog.

The searches showed the variety of material available on Trove collected from many institutions and resources as well as the need to check different spelling and forms of names to locate material. They also demonstrated the need to repeat searches from time to time as new material is constantly being added.