Thursday, 29 January 2015

52 Ancestors Week 5 - Ploughing through

Being an Aussie, my spelling is PLOUGH despite spell check.

It is not a plough in the photo, but I'm sure these beautiful animals have pulled plenty of them.

My paternal grandfather, Jim Forsyth was born James Richard Musson at Rangiora, New Zealand on the 23rd of August 1906.  He was the second son and fourth eldest child of nine children to parents James Christopher Musson and Margaret Ann Hay Forsyth.

He came to Australia in the mid 1930s and stayed using his mother's maiden name as his surname for the rest of his life. He said he was blamed for something he didn't do so never returned to New Zealand.  He told me he used to take horses to the Melbourne Show and that may have been where he met my grandmother, Brenda Daniels nee Adams.  She was a young widow who had sadly lost her first husband from Hodgkins disease in January 1932 and infant son from meningitis in December 1931.  It must have been horrific to lose them both within weeks of one another.

Jim and Brenda married at the Presbyterian Manse in Port Melbourne on the 24th of Sept 1937.

My Dad was born in 1939 and after about ten years when Jim worked as a carter in the Tatura area in Northern Victoria, they spent the next 25 years farming.

Jim would buy run down farms at a low price, fix them up and sell them, often within 12 months of the purchase.  Hence, the family moved often and Dad said he worked long, long hours each day to improve the farms.  I'm sure there would have been much ploughing involved.

  Ploughing through and recording all the different places of their electoral roll entries make me dizzy!

52 Ancestors Challenge 
by Amy Johnson Crow at "No Story Too Small"

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

52 Ancestors week 4 - Closest to my birthday

52 Ancestors Challenge

My 3 x great grandmother, Isabella Beaton, is the ancestor whose birthday (day and month) is closest to mine.

She was born in Edinburgh, Scotland on the 2nd of October 1821, the second eldest child and first daughter to parents William Beaton, a mason and Jane nee Dick.

In 1841 Isabella sailed to Australia on the emigrant ship INDIA with her brother William Beaton and sister-in-law Mary.

They were very lucky to arrive here at all!

Cousin Harold Shipston has done a wonderful video about Isabella for the family archives.

Thank you Harold.



(From the Port Phillip Herald, October 19.) 

Captain Galbraith, yesterday, informed us that the following report of the loss of this ill-fated vessel, which appeared in yesterday's Patriot, was drawn up by himself and Mr. Kissock, a passenger by the Alcmena, and that it contains as much infor- mation relative to the melancholy catastrophe as it is possible to give. The India was from Greenock bound to Port Phillip with emigrants. The manifest even was not saved. The fol- lowing is the report :

The India sailed on the 4th June last with 189 souls on board, crew included, and was totally destroyed by fire on the 20th July, in 16 south latitude, and 33 west longitude, under the following circumstances : the third mate and one of the boys were below about one o'clock, p.m., drawing off spirits, when the candle they used accidentally fell on some spilled rum, which immediately caught fire, and the flames spread with such rapidity that all efforts at extinguishing the tremendous blaze were unavailing, and the ship soon became one mass of flame. Another ship, a French whaler, was fortunately in sight, about nine miles to windward; but nearly an hour elapsed ere those on board of her became aware of the state of the India. On observing her condition she immediately bore down, and on nearing lowered all her boats, and used every exertion to rescue the unfortunate sufferers. The India's boats were also got out ; but on the first boat making the attempt to take some of the people off the burning ship, a tremendous rush was made to get into her she was immediately overloaded and capsized, and in that the greatest loss of life occurred; the mate of the India was in the boat at the time, and with great difficulty succeeded in getting into the other boat, which he took command of, and succeeded in taking all the remainder off the wreck, and reshipped them into the French boats, which conveyed them to the ship, not one of them daring to approach any part of the wreck, after seeing the fate of the India's boats, which their ignorance of the language may partly account for. The mate's exertions seem to have been very great, as all the survivors speak most enthusiastically of his gallant conduct. The scene as described by them must have been truly awful; the flames spread with such rapidity that no one saved a single article except such clothes as were on their backs, and ere they could be rescued from their perilous situation, the flames had driven them from the deck to the bowsprit, from which they dropped into the sea, as they could be picked up by the boat ; indeed many had their clothes burnt off, and were conveyed literally in a state of nudity to the French ship, where they were received by the French captain, who was assisted by the captain of the India (he having early gone on board that ship where his presence was most required, he being the only, one who understood the French language,) in "clothing the naked" with such dresses as the ship afforded, and they were treated with the greatest kindness while on board that ship. On receiving the host of unfortunates on board, he steered for Rio de Janeiro, the easiest made harbour, where he discharged them in safely ; several of the females having for their only dress flannel shirts supplied them by the French sailors. The liberality of the British residents and ship-masters in Rio de Janeiro is worthy of the highest commendation. The merchants presented the French Captain with a gold chronometer, and the ship-masters with an elegant gold snuff-box, with appropriate inscriptions on both, and who also collected by subscription upwards of 1,000l. to assist in refitting those who had lost their all in the India. It would be unjust here to pass over in silence the magnificent donation of the officers and crews of the American frigate Potomac, and a schooner of war, who subscribed 550 dollars towards the fund. Shortly after the emigrants were landed, a small island in the bay of Rio de Janeiro was engaged by the British Consul for their use, where they appear to be comfortably lodged. The girls are of a decidedly superior class, were all well dressed, and wore white chip hats, which gave them a particularly interesting appearance. Ten of the men were on the island when the writer of this visited it, they being mostly employed on board the barque Grindley, of Liverpool, the ship employed to carry them all to this port, where they may be expected to arrive about the end of this month, as it was expected the Grindley would be ready for sea about three weeks after the Alcmena left Rio de Janeiro (7th August.) which vessel conveyed the intelligence of the melancholy disaster. To mollify those who expected friends out in the India, the names of the drowned are subjoined, though all the survivors are decidedly of opinion that not one of them had relations in Australia:-Rev. William McKay, Robert Burns, John Hut, William Nott. Frederick Mitchell, John Stewart, William Stewart, James Love, Samuel Cameron, John Coke, Duncan Grant, William Clelland, Andrew Tait, John Stewart, Andrew Dingwall, Robert McGregor, Robert Patterson; and Charles Clements, the boatswain of the ship, the only one of the crew lost.

The following relationship chart shows my line to Isabella.  The Ann Pike, daughter of Isabella Beaton and John Pike that Harold mentions in the video is Mary Ann Pike, my great great grandmother, also known as Marrion

Thursday, 15 January 2015

52 Ancestors Week 3 - Tough Woman

52 Ancestors Challenge
by Amy Johnson Crow at "No Story Too Small"

The optional theme for week 3 ancestor is 
"Tough Woman".  

I would call my great grandmother a tough woman after finding many years of newspaper articles telling of her court battles to get my great grandfather to pay child maintenance for their two youngest children.  One of those children was my grandmother.  There loomed the possibility of the children being "put on the State" 

My great grandmother, Mary Agnes Morgan, was born on the 17th of October 1864 at Moonee Ponds in Victoria.  She was  the eldest daughter of six children born to John Morgan and Alice nee Kelly.

Mary married John Adams at Essendon in 1887.  
John was a bricklayer by trade and the second eldest son of 9 children of George Adams and Catherine nee Barry.  He was born on the 23 February 1858 at Provost Street, North Melbourne.

Mary and John Adams had seven children.  
Alexander (1888-1888) 
John (1889-1983) 
Alice (1891-1960) 
Morgan (1895-1923) 
Catherine (1896-1973) 
Brenda, my grandmother, (1905-1999)
Frank (1906-1979)

The last electoral roll entry I have of him at the same address as his wife was 1909 at 104 Charles Street, Ascot Vale.  After that it looks like he was in Adelaide for a while before being remanded back to Victoria to face the bench.

There were 32 articles in the newspapers over a period of  five years.
Way too many to post so I will just post
 the following main one.

Links to the other news articles.

1913 'POLICE.', The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929), 16 October, p. 5,

1915 'FLEMINGTON POLICE COURT.', Flemington Spectator(Vic. : 1914 - 1918), 15 April,

 p. 6,

1915 'Flemington Police Court.', Flemington Spectator (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), 29 April, p. 2,

1915 'FLEMINGTON POLICE COURT.', Flemington Spectator(Vic. : 1914 - 1918), 11

November, p. 6,

1916 'FLEMINGTON POLICE COURT.', Flemington Spectator(Vic. : 1914 - 1918), 17 

February, p. 2,

1916 'Tuesday, Noveber 28.', Flemington Spectator (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), 30 November, p. 3,

1916 'MATTER O' MONEY.', Truth (Melbourne ed.) (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), 2 December, p. 8,

1917 'FLEMINGTON POLICE COURT.', Flemington Spectator(Vic. : 1914 - 1918), 31 May,

 p. 3,

1917 'ADAMS ANCHORED.', Truth (Melbourne ed.) (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), 2 June, p. 2,

1917 'FLEMINGTON POLICE COURT.', Flemington Spectator(Vic. : 1914 - 1918), 23 

August, p. 3,

1917 'Arrears of Maintenance.', Flemington Spectator (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), 22 November, p.


1917 'FLEMINGTON-POLICE COURT.', The Essendon Gazette and Keilor, Bulla and 

Broadmeadows Reporter(Moonee Ponds, Vic. : 1914 - 1918), 20 December, p. 2 Edition: 


1918 'FLEMINGTON POLICE COURT.', The Essendon Gazette and Keilor, Bulla and

 Broadmeadows Reporter(Moonee Ponds, Vic. : 1914 - 1918), 17 January, p. 2 Edition: 


1918 'Tuesday, March 26.', The Essendon Gazette and Keilor, Bulla and Broadmeadows 

Reporter (Moonee Ponds, Vic. : 1914 - 1918), 28 March, p. 2 Edition: Morning,

1918 'Tuesday, April 23.', Flemington Spectator (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), 25 April, p. 3,

1918 'Arrears of Maintenance.', Flemington Spectator (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), 23 May, p. 6,

1918 'FLEMINGTON POLICE COURT.', Flemington Spectator(Vic. : 1914 - 1918), 11 July, 

p. 2,

1918 'Tuesday, September 10.', Flemington Spectator (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), 12 September,

 p. 3,

Mary Adams ca 1930

Mary Adams died at North Melbourne on the 24th of August 1933.

John Adams died at Heidelberg on the 10th of April 1937.

I doubt a divorce was considered as they were Roman Catholic.

My 52 Ancestors challenge list

Saturday, 10 January 2015

52 Ancestors #2 - Edward "King" HULME

52 Ancestors challenge

My maternal 3rd great grand uncle was known as Edward "King" HULME.

In about 1891 he wrote a very interesting small book  called “A sketch of Life - A Settler's 35 years experience in Victoria, Australia".

It was an account of his emigration from England and his experiences in Australia.
Below is a couple of excerpts.


In giving this little “Life Sketch,” I am actuated by a desire to assist many, not only hard-handed men in the “Old Country,” but many soft-handed ones also, as I was, and especially those who have large families, as I had, and who are struggling for a living, and see but little hope for the future in the already over-crowded hive in the “Old Land,” and a still poorer prospect for the new swarms; I, therefore, think a little advice and encouragement to those desirous to “cast off,” from one who has been through it all, will be welcomed by many, ------ E.H.


When living in the, Old Land," over 35 years since, I belonged to a class of which there are many thousands _ a struggling professor and of the class I have designated as “ soft_handed." I was an artist by profession; studied from a child; never did anything else; and in I850 and I85I had so far advanced in my profession to have the honour of having my works hung in a creditable position on the walls of the Royal Academy of Arts, of which I was also a student. 
I married rather young (at 25), and soon had little ones running round. I started fairly well in the neighbourhood of London, at Clapham, adding teaching. Just about this time (.I8I7) artists were invited by the Government to send in Specimens of their works for exhibition in Westminster Hall, for competition for the decoration of the new Houses of Parliament, then just finished. I was rather too young and inexperienced an artist for so great and honoured an undertaking; however, I thought I would venture. I got my large picture. finished, but from over_study, excitement, and anxiety, my health gave way. I contracted nervous typhus fever, and consequently could not finish the other one, which was required by the Commissioners to enable me to Compete. But Sir Chas. Eastlake, the President, whose letter I still have, said my painting _ under the section of “Scriptural Allegory," subject, “The King of Kings and. Lord of Lords "_ though not entitled to compete, could, if I liked, be hung in the vestibule of the hall; which was an honour I gladly consented to.

On getting up from my long and dangerous illness, my medical advisors persuaded me to go to a milder climate for perfect restoration, and to give up my profession for a time, at least to do very little painting. South Devonshire was recommended. We therefore left our home at Clapham, and took up our residence about four miles from that lovely spot, Torquay. To our residence was attached a small farm and splendid orchard. In this beautiful climate I soon regained my strength. I did all sorts of labour on the farm, so that I got a general insight into all sorts of farming work. This I found exceedingly useful since taking to farming in Australia.

I found many kind friends in Devonshire. (I cannot help naming the Savile family. God bless them for their kind patronage and introduction in my profession!) We resided in Devonshire about four years. We then came again to London, but found a difficulty in looking up a connection again, had to fill up my time in decorating in the various courts of the Crystal Palace, at Sydenham, just then being erected. I however, saw but little prospect of advancing in my profession, or even making a living, and less prospect for a large and increasing family, we having by this time seven children, six boys and one baby girl, besides I had contracted a great taste for rural life while in Devonshire. We were determined therefore to depart for Australia, the land of gold.

The goldfields being at that time in full swing. A wide field indeed for enterprise, and anticipated prosperity, with God's blessing, for, I am happy to say, I had long sought His grace and guidance, and committed my ways unto him, and was sure He would guide our steps.

In the first place, I applied to the Commissioners of Emigration for a situation as schoolmaster for the voyage, on a Government emigration ship, my wife to act as matron. I presented letters of recommendation, one from the Bishop of London (Blomfield). I was well known to him, as Fulham, near London, where he resided, was my native place. The commissioners said my letters were more than enough, but desired to know the number of children I had. On hearing the number they informed me that they regretted to say that, according to to their regulations, this would be a bar to my appointment. Three I think was the number allowed.

This was a great blow to us, as we should have saved our passage money, and had a salary besides. I think about I50 pound as schoolmaster, and wife as matron. Parties told me I could have managed it if I had liked, by getting some of the passengers to take the other four children, but this I could not do from principle. To pay our passage in a general passage ship, therefore, exhausted all our little means.


We did intend taking our passage in the new ship "Schomberg" just launched, owned by the "White Star Company". On enquiring at the London office, they informed me that I could send our goods on at Liverpool, but they would not be put on any ship until our passage money was paid, and that I could find them in the company warehouse at Liverpool, consequently, I sent the goods on. We could not however get ready to go by  the "Schomberg". On arrival at Liverpool, and enquiring for our luggage, I found it had been sent on in that vessel.

Now the fate of that fine new ship, I presume is generally known. The captain had a bet with the captain of the ship "Kent", a well known clipper, and declared "if he did not beat the "Kent" he would knock the "Schombergs" bows in". On hearing that the "Kent" had made the passage before him, the "Schomberg" was wilfully run on shore just a little way from Cape Otway. Luckily it was fair weather and the passengers and crew were taken off, but with only the luggage they could carry in their hands, there being only just standing room on board the rescuing steamboat. The "Schomberg" became a total wreck.

This I suppose, is one of the most wicked and shameful incidents that ever happened on the shores of Australia. We took our passage in the next ship, the good ship "SULTANA" from Liverpool, on the 2Ist October, I855.

I remember, as we weighed anchor, being some distance out in the stream, and out of hearing of any friendly cheer, a serious calm appeared to pervade the ship, all appeared absorbed with their own thoughts, when we found the ship was under way, more by the apparent moving of the receding shore, she being a sailing vessel. I dont know the feelings of the other passengers, possibly many were like our own, at departing from the good 'Old Land'. Hitherto, we had borne up well in parting from kindred and friends. We said 'Good Bye' in London, but now, in those few calm moments, seated upon the ships deck, with wife, six sons, and a baby girl around us, we felt the necessity of faith in that good Providence on Whom we had cast the future. Our feelings, however, would have vent in a few hot tears, but these had to be brushed quickly on one side.

I do not think it necessary in this little sketch to give a long account of our voyage, or the various incidents that happened. There was nothing very sensational, our worst experience was our first night out. The ship was so crowded that there were not berths enough, and, as we came late on board, ours had to be erected, so that we had to huddle down between decks, as best we could. The children being our great care, there was no rest for wife or self. We had fearful weather in the channel, and everything being loose on board, the din was fearful, the heavy iron cable on deck rolling from side to side, and the ships bell tolling at every roll of the ship, and the carpenters working all night fitting up berths, and the state of the can guess the confusion!

And what added to it more...just as we reached the most dangerous part of the channel, off the coast of Ireland, the tug-hawser parted but, when pulled on board, it evidently had been cut adrift with an axe, a most shameful act. The contract was to take us clear of the channel. this then made further trouble, as all hands had now to set to and work the ship, and there was great danger in working her out of the difficult position she was left in, and anxiously did all wait for the morning.

It may be imagined that the whole of the voyage was no pleasure trip for wife or self, in a crowded ship, and seven children (under I2 years of age) to look after. Neither do I think the children liked it, they were too young, and they did not thrive at all on the rough ships fare, particularly the hard ships biscuits...they could not manage them at all. After a time, though we got on better, I had a carpenters plane with my goods, and we shaved the biscuits down on that, and made it into puddings, and so managed to get rid of them in this way. The plane went the round of the ship after this, particularly among the old people. We had however, on arriving in Melbourne, an American cask full, unconsumed, these we took ashore with us, and they went fine in soups etc with good Australian beef
 at 3d a pound.

My 52 Ancestors challenge list

Thursday, 8 January 2015

52 Ancestors (week 1) - A Fresh Start

My great great granddmother, Margaret Alice KELLY, known as Alice, was one of many other Irish people who made a fresh start in Australia.

According to her death certificate she had lived 52 years in Australia so that would put her immigration around 1852.  I still haven't been able to find her on a ships passenger list or immigration record.

Alice was born about 1834 and baptised on the 10th of Dec that year at Dualla, Ballysheehan, Tipperary.
Sponsors were Laurence Mockler and Judith Walsh

Her parents were Cornelius KELLY and Mary nee MULLOUGHNEY/MOLOUGHNY which I am told is pronounced Mullo(ck)ney rather than Moloney.  

I would have thought the surname Moloney could also be a variant but apparently McLachlan is the more common variant.

Alice married John Morgan at the St. Francis Church in Melbourne on the 30th of June 1858.  
Witnesses were Matthew McCann and Bridget Walsh. 
Her 3 younger brothers arrived in Australia earlier that same month on the ship Rising Sun.  
I don't have proper documentation yet but it is likely their father died around 1851.  
I haven't found a death for Mary.

John and Alice Morgan had 6 children, all born in the North Essendon area between 1860 and 1875.  
When John died in 1880, Alice took over the license of the Cross Keys Hotel which John had held since 1871.  

Cole/Tetlow Index of Hotel Records
Licensee MORGAN, ALICE, Mrs

Things did not always run smoothly for her though.

The recession of the 1890s must have meant harsh times for Alice and then 1900 was a particularly tough year for her as she lost her youngest daughter Agnes in April and eldest son Frank to tuberculosis in June.

Alice died on the 30th of September 1904 from Atheroma of blood vessels of brain after a few days in a coma


Last Will and Testament of Alice Morgan

This is the Last Will and Testament of me Alice Morgan of the Cross Keys Hotel Firebrace street North Essendon in the Colony of Victoria Widow.
I revoke all Wills heretofore made by me.  I appoint my son John Morgan sole Executor and Trustee hereof.
I give devise and bequeath my freehold estate at Firebrace Street North Essendon aforesaid together with the said Hotel and premises erected thereon and the goodwill and license thereif and all the household furniture plate linen utensils and effects therein (excepting my piano which I hereby bequeath unto my daughter Mary Adams) and all other my real estate whatsoever and wheresoever situate unto my said son John Morgan his heirs and assigns absolutely
I bequeath the sum of ten pounds unto Mary Daly at present residing with me.  The rest residue and remainder of my personal estate I bequeath unto my said son John Morgan his heirs and assigns upon trust to convert the same into money and to hold the proceeds in trust for my sons Alexander Morgan the said John Morgan and my said daughter Mary Adams in equal shares and proportions.  In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand this twenty first day of August One thousand nine hundred .....
Signed by the said Alice Morgan as and for her last Will and Testament in the presence of us present at the same time who at her request in her presence and in the presence of each other have hereunto set our hands as witnesses

signed by 
D M Burns
David Michael Burns of Firebrace St. Nth Melbourne in the said State.  Railway employee.
Michael Mornane of 125 Queen St. Melbourne in the said State.  Solicitor.

This post forms part of the  52 Ancestors in 52 weeks challenge initiated by Amy Johnson Crow.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Marungi Primary School

I recently joined the Shepparton Family History Group

It was something I have been going to do for a long while but could never find the spare time.

At the meeting I met Jan and Garry who run the Katandra and District History Group

My paternal grandparents moved to the Goulburn Valley around the early 1940s and continued to move around to different districts in the area nearly every 12 months as my grandfather bought run down farms to fix up and sell.

Around 1951 they were living at Marungi.

Dad thinks he only attended the school there for about a year when he was 12 or 13 years old.  He remembers the names of many fellow pupils and also the teacher then, Mr. Smith.

Marungi S S  photo taken 1933

Unfortunately the records for the school were apparently destroyed by the last teacher so, from the memories of past pupils and teachers, Jan and Garry have been compiling a list of attendees.  They think there could be another 100 or so past students

The photos above and the information below are courtesy of Jan and Garry Wallden of the
Marungi State School page 

School History (taken from "Vision and Realisation")

       Opened 6th of April 1880, S S 2236 was established in a one-room weatherboard building sited on the Yarrawonga Rd, 12 miles S/E of Numurkah township to serve the families of selectors in the area. Initial enrolment was 60 pupils under John West with his wife acting as S M (sewing mistress), the West family residing in a log cabin nearby. Closer settlement, irrigation and motor transport combined to close the school in 1957, the pupils being transported to Katandra West . See also Katandra West No 4401.

Further information and some photos can be found there as well.

Jan and Garry are hoping to add to the data  they have and would love to hear from any other person who attended the school or who may have further information or even photos.

Please contact them through the link on the Katandra and District History Group page.

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