Sunday, 14 August 2016

NFHM Blogging Challenge - Week 2 - Farming ancestors.

August is National Family History month in Australia and Alex, at Family Tree Frog has instigated a blogging challenge.

Week 2 - Sunday 14 August - Your working ancestors and the challenges they faced in their occupations.

Most of my ancestors were involved in farming of one sort or another including both my grandfathers and their father's before them.
I have re-hashed a post from last year about my farming paternal grandfatherJim FORSYTH (born James MUSSON 1906 - 1976).

His MUSSON ancestors were also farmers in New Zealand and England. 

His FORSYTH ancestors were farmers in New Zealand and Meal Millers in Aberdeenshire, Scotland 

After he came to Australia and married my grandmother, Brenda DANIELS nee ADAMS, in 1937, my grandfather would buy a rundown farm, improve it, sell it and move on.  
They moved on nearly every twelve to eighteen months, mainly around Victoria, but he once had a pineapple farm at Woombye in Queensland.  

He worked long hard hours to improve each farm which would have been a real challenge.
The Australian electoral rolls show many of their movements although some of the years were a bit out.  Dad's memory fills in some gaps.
They moved to Tatura from Upper Ferntree Gully, Victoria around 1942.
At Tatura he bought a truck and did cartage for the internment camp at Dhurringile during WW2. 
In 1944 he bought a farm at Girgarre East, Victoria
In 1946 they farmed at Stanhope South, Victoria
1949 at Mooroopna, Victoria
1950 at Shepparton East, Victoria
1951 at Glenrowan, Victoria
1952 at Marungi, Victoria
1953 at Trafalgar, Victoria
1956 at Woombye, Queensland
From 1957 until his death in 1976 he was in the Goulburn Valley region of Victoria.

Mooroopna, Victoria 1949
Woombye, Queensland 1954 - 1956
In the latter years, piggeries seemed to be my grandfather's preferred choice of farming.  He must have had an affinity with the husbandry and knowledge of growing pigs as his advice was often sought and he was referred to as "The Professor" by other local farmers in the industry.

L-R my brother, my grandfather and my dad at the farm at 535 Archer Road, Kialla, Victoria, ca 1968.
A plant nursery is now situated at this address.


  1. Your grandfather certainly got around, he must have had a real feel for the land, to achive so much in so many different ways. His generation were fine role models re ard work and determination.

    1. Yes I think the feel for the land and the hard work were both in his blood as it was for so many back then.

  2. Your grandfather must have really enjoyed the sense of achievement he got from turning around each farm he worked on. My favourite photo is the one of him with those hard working plough horses.

    1. That is one of my favourites of all my photos Jo.

  3. Oh Kerryn this is a great post. I am sitting here with a big smile on my face from looking at all the beautiful photos. Those lovely horses in the first photo - Clydesdales yes? And I particularly loved the ones of the pigs. My ancestor Sam Taylor found some notoriety in Trove for a pig that he managed to grow to a "monster" size on his property on the Murrumbidgee near Yass in 1863 - a barrow pig weighing upwards of 600lbs. What's that in kilos these days? 272 kilos. Yes that is a big pig. I didn't know what a barrow pig was until I looked it up. You learn something new every day!

    1. Thanks Alex, yes the horses are Clydesdales. I love pigs too and they are so intelligent, we had many pet orphans that we raised. Some of them are HUGE.

  4. Awesome pics Kerryn, I have wonderful memories of your family and the piggery, I loved going out there,such nice people (that includes you too by the way !xxx)

    1. Aww thanks Paul and ditto. We were so lucky to live in such a great neighbourhood.