Category Archives: Family History

Trove Tuesday – Peter Telford shifts to Apollo Bay

Peter Telford arrived in Australia in 1852 on board the Emmigrant.  He was a gold miner in the Ballarat area until 1877.  He then worked part time in the Apollo Bay area until he shifted his family down in 1885.  There was a huge demand for timber for the mining, railway and wharf building businesses.  The Otways were a great source of timber so that is where the timber cutters and sawmillers headed.  This report is from the Colac Herald of 1884, the year before he shifted his family down.

Dec 23 1884 colca herald peter telford

Six years earlier in 1878 this map shows the Telford land just to the south west of the township of Krambruk, as Apollo Bay was then known.

AB-map-1878 c

Source – unknown But a more detailed 1881 map can be seen at the State Library of Victoria at http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/104356

The following is an extract from “A Trip to Apollo Bay” c1885.  The trip was taken by Mr Duncan, Crown Lands Bailiff, Mr. Jas. Chapman of the Colonial Bank. Mr Fotheringhame, a seafaring man, and ??

“Mr Telford, who also hails from Ballarat, is making good progress with the erection of his mill, which will be driven by a 20 hp engine and capable of cutting 5000 ft per day.  He, too, is laying a short tramway which will be about 1¼ miles in length, with a gentle decline to the jetty .  Near the site of his mill he has a large quantity of valuable blackwood timber which is now being extensively used in the construction of railway carriages, furniture, etc.  Already Mr Telford has many large orders for timber on hand for Ballarat houses, but the bulk of his timber will be shipped to Melbourne and intercolonial ports.”

A tramway for the moving of cut logs

An example of a tramway used for shifting the cut logs through the forest. From the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/49272

 

Peter Telford leaves Scotland behind Part 2

Part 2 of recording some facts of the family left behind in Roxburghshire by an Australian Telford, which follows on from Part 1.

Peter Telford    Born at Bankhead Farm in Linton, Roxburghshire in 1829.

We don’t have a photo of Peter Telford but his  many sons were big tall fellows so I assume that Peter was too.

Adam Telford's 1813 Headstone

The headstone at the grave in the Linton Churchyard of Adam Telford who died in 1

There is another special headstone in the Linton churchyard and that is of Peter’s grandfather, Adam Telford.

First are recorded the  early deaths of four of Adam’s children, then Adam himself  showing he died on Sep 27 1812, aged 66 years..

A simple but special piece of information.      From this we deduce that Peter’s grandfather Adam was probably born in 1748.

There is no mention of his wife, Mary Pringle,  nor can I find a record of her death.

Standing at the Adam Telford grave

Researchers looking at Adam Telford’s headstone outside the Linton Church in 1994.

search of the Linton  records show that Adam Telford was born  in 1747    at the Frogdean farm in Linton, to an Adam Telford and Sarah Hay

A few years later the Frogden/Frogdean farm became well known when William Dawson was the tenant.  He brought in new methods of soil improvement and the growing of turnips as a winter crop for cattle.

 

To put Adam’s birth in perspective he was born the year after the final defeat of Bonnie Prince Charlie by the forces of George II at Culloden.

The above Telford information comes from the Old Parish Registers of Linton, through Scotland’s  People.
 

Peter Telford leaves Scotland behind Part 1

Recording some facts of the family left behind in Roxburghshire by an Australian Telford.

Peter Telford    Born at Bankhead Farm in Linton, Roxburghshire in 1829.

Peter Telford birth 1829 Linton

But Peter didn’t stay in Linton where his  family had strong links with Linton and the nearby Yetholm area.  He came to  Australia in 1852 on the  Emigrant.  He was 23 years old’

Our native land – our native vale –
A long and last adieu!
Farewell to bonny Teviotdale,
And Cheviot mountains blue.

Farewell, ye hills of glorious deeds,
And streams renown’d in sing –
Farewell ye braes and blossom’d meads,
Our hearts have lov’d so long.

Linton Church and Churchyard

The church and churchyard at Linton, on it sandy mound.

Peter (1829), the baby of the family, and his brothers and sisters, were born at Bankhead Farm in Linton, Roxburghshire, where Peter’s father Walter worked as a Hynd, or farm servant, especially one having charge of a pair of horses, with a cottage on the farm.

Peter would have been familiar with his father working in the Bankhead fields with names Under Slade, Broomy, Thistley, Long Bank, Under Quarry, Pond and Cow. and  would have attended  the local Parochial School, which by his time had been shifted from a building beside the manse to Linton Downs.

It is an interesting parish.  In 1820, before Peter was born, Thomas Pringle had left Blakelaw Farm for South Africa.  Peter’s parents would have been aware of Thomas, the lame boy who wouldn’t be taking to farming and so was well educated.  Later he was known as the Poet of South Africa and wrote the poem from which I’m  quoting, The Emigrant’s Farewell, voicing his thoughts about leaving his beloved countryside.

Looking at headstones

Here are some  friendly family historians, who took these photos in 1994, inspecting some headstones in the Churchyard, which is built on a sandy mound.  Just across the fields is the village of Morebattle.  And it was at Morebattle that Peter’s great grandfather Adam Tailford married Sarah Hay in 1733.  But for the moment we are still in Linton.

Peter’s father Walter had married Jean Clark at Linton in 1812.

There is a gravestone in the churchyard at Linton, originally erected by Peter’s father.
It says

” Erected by WALTER TELFER in memory of his wife JANE CLARK who died 4.6.1810 aged 56 yrs. also MARGARET their daughter who died in infancy. Also the above WALTER TELFER who died at
Galashiels 1.3.1855 aged 73 yrs. and of WALTER TELFER their son who died 19.5.1860.” 

The headstones in the cemetery are being eroded by acid rain but due to the work done by a  band of volunteers we have a record of the wording on many of them.  In this case there  would appear to be an error in the transcription of Jane’s date of death –  it could not have been 1810 as she had her last child in 1829.  If she was 56 when she died as the headstone says then she could have died in 1840.  She does not appear in the 1841 Census with Walter and in 1851 his 38 year old daughter is acting as his housekeeper at Wooden Farm near Kelso.  So the transcription on the weathered headstone could possibly be 1840 not 1810 though I can find no record of her death.

When her husband Walter died on 1 March 1855 in Galashiels he was described as a widower.

From the Bartholomew Survey Atlas of Scotland, 1912

From the Bartholomew Survey Atlas of Scotland, 1912

Home of our love! our fathers’ home!
Land of the brave and free!
The sail is flapping on the foam
That bears us far from thee.

We seek a wild and distant shore,
Beyond the western main –
We leave thee to return no more,
Nor view thy cliffs again!

Our native land – our native vale –
A long and last adieu!
Farewell to bonny Teviotdale,
And Scotland’s mountains blue!

  • Thomas Pringle

I have copies of the certificates to the events mentioned apart from Jane’s death.

Further facts about Peter’s ancestors  on the next post,  Peter Telford leaves Scotland Behind Part 2.

In the meantime you can always find an interesting read in the weekly lists at Sepia Saturday.

Trove Tuesday – Looking for Weeroona

“Weroona”  is a house in Camp Crescent, Castlemaine.  My parents lived there for a short while after their marriage in 1929 and I have also  found it mentioned  in newspapers.

There are not many houses in Camp Crescent but in the past there have been many newspaper references to people who lived there.  Mrs Reid who  lived there in 1898 was one of these, though not necessarily in Weroona, but there is no voter of the name Reid five years later in the Electoral Roll.

Servant Camp Crescent 1896

Then in 1913 Weroona is mentioned by the versatile teacher Robert George.

Weroona 1913 Singing lessons Robt George

Unfortunately  Mr. Robt. George does not appear in the Electoral Roll for Castlemaine.John Vale Weroona 1928

 

In the Electoral Rolls Elizabeth is consistently listed as a Stationer of Mostyn St.   Why was she at Weroona when she died.   At that stage could it have been some kind of small Nursing Home

Some facts –

  1.  The house “Weroona” existed as evidenced in newspaper reports.
  2.  A 1929 family album  photo of my mother and her sister-in-law sitting on a verandah with distinctive railings.
  3.  A photo on the same day of my father, Charles Fricke,  with his sister Enid,  presumably  at the same house with similar railings.
  4. A more recent view of the rear of the Old Castlemaine Court House with similar railings.  This building is in Goldsmith Crescent which is the continuation of Camp Crescent.

So – comments and questions –

  1.  In 1929 my parents living at Weroona in Camp Crescent, which bears a uncanny resemblance to the Old Court House in nearby Goldsmith Crescent
  2. Were the first two photos taken at Weroona or the Old Court House ?
  3. In the second picture there appear to be six or seven steps to get to verandah level whereas in the Court House photo there appear to be four or five steps.
  4. In the second photo there is a shield shaped cover at the centre of each of the criss-crosses which are not on the Court House photo.  Surely in restoration work of the Old Court House they would replicate the old style.
  5.  In the centre photo there are single “criss-crosses” between verandah posts whereas in the Court House photo there appear to be two “criss-crosses” between verandah posts.
  6. Weroona is the house where the newly married couple were tin kettled a few days after returning from their honeymoon. ( For an explanation of tin kettling see tin kettlins. )

I am now fairly sure they are two different houses – Weroona and the Court House -and it wasn’t a case of going for an afternoon stroll to visit the Old Court House and take photos.

Somewhere out there if I had the access are the answesr to these questions.  But thanks to Trove I now know tha “Weroona” definitely existed.

Grandma’s Cousin Isabella

1511E-44

This week Sepia Saturday shows us an Irish  family group which has four sons and two daughters, carefully posed  for the outdoors with hats, parasol, pet dog and  toy yachts

Among  my collection of family photos is one where the family with Scottish origins has six sons and three daughters.  The father has already died but the family is posed in front of their house with rugs, cushions, stool, chairs and table, the best family tea service and a potted plant.

McGregor Family

My grandmother had a cousin  Isabella McGregor, seen seated here on the left. Isabella and Amelia were the children of sisters Catherine and Jane Buchanan who, with their sister and mother had been driven out of  Gearros on the Isle of Skye by the Highland Clearances.

When married my grandmother,Amelia McDonald, lived first in Geelong, then Murtoa and other country towns whereas her cousin Isabella had married a farmer and settled at Callawadda in the country near Stawell.  I have no way of knowing if the two cousins knew one another.  I do know that when my parents lived in Stawell for four years my mother had no idea that she had a great aunt buried n the local cemetery and other relations living  in the area.

Malcolm and Isabella’s youngest child was born in 1901 so this would place the group photo as slightly before World war 1.

Janet/Jessie McAllister and husband Malcolm McGregor

This photo is of Malcolm McGregor with his first wife Jessie thanks to   John Alderson who was the first to post  it to Ancestry. It is also linked to the Good(e) family tree.

When Malcolm  died in 1903 at the age of 66  the newspaper report just happens to mention that he had had 19 children in all.  What a job fitting all those names into the available space in the last column of the death certificate.  But fitted they were, showing 10 children with his first wife and 9 with Isabella.

More family groups can be seen on this week’s Sepia Saturday.

Malcolm McGregor obit 1903

Dear Little Bertie

Titanic Survivors

Most people know the story of the Titanic and the Iceberg.  This week Sepia Saturday gave us  a photo pf two young orphans who survived the disaster.

They are

Louis and Lola.

My family had a different kind of sad story with

Alan and Albert

 

 

These are my father’s two younger brothers, Alan and Albert Edward Fricke of Apollo Bay, being photographed in 1920.

Bertie&Alan

At the time this photo was taken my father, their older brother, was 16 years old and was only home on the farm at weekends, the weekdays spent boarding in Colac while he attended High School.

Alan was just six and a half months old which would place this photo as early August in 1920.  Bertie of the golden locks was 2 years and 5 months old.

Two months later, on October 11th, 1920, Bertie  died of diphtheria

They talk about people wearing their best bib and tucker.  It looks as though Alan is actually wearing his best “bib” for the photo..

On the back of the photo is written “dear little Bertie”

The photographer was Mendelssohn so the photo was possibly taken on a trip to Melbourne.

For other interpretations of the Titanic orphans go to Sepia Saturday.

Trove Tuesday — From Telford to Forsyth to Greig

It’s long been known the brothers Peter and George Telford came to Victoria from Roxburghshre. Peter married and had many descendants, includding myself,  unlke George who remained single.

What little was seen of George was always in the vicinity of Peter and he died  in Apollo Bay where Peter lived.

But then I came across this small newspaper article in the Melbourne Leader in 1891

George Telfords insolvent will

He had so little in the way of assets but his relatives were scrabbling to get their hands on it .  And so a Trove search on George and his executor led me on to a different search. and another branch of the family.

The first surprise came in George’s will where his main beneficiary was his sister Janet Forsyth of  Bankhead, Hamilton.  I knew he had an older  sister Janet who I thought was safely tucked up in Scotland.  I had never found any evidence to show she came out to Australia.

The second surprise came when I found that the executor, William Steedman Greig, was  Janet’s son-in-law, married to her daughter Jane.  William was formerly of Bank Head but by then a storekeeper at  Macarthur.

I’m thinking that Bankhead was the name of a farm, particularly as that was the name of a farm  in Linton near Kelso in Roxburghshire, an area with which  both Janet and John had connecions.

Janet’s husband John Forsyth had died in 1875 and left her with a comfortable sum .  Janet was the executor of his will and her brother George made a statement to the effect that he was not a beneficiary of the will but having lived in the Western District for many years he could testify to the value of the property.

All of this seems to suggest that George was well known to Janet and her family and had not been his brother Peter’s shadow for all his life in Australia..  It suggests that George was familiar with Hamilton and I wonder if he lived there for some of the time, rather than just visiting.

Thanks to Trove leading me to one small newspaper article I was able to expand the picture of our C19th immigrant Telford family from Scotland.