Category Archives: History

The Old Castlemaine Schoolboys Association

This photo appeared in Table Talk on 26th February 1920 recording an event which had taken place on Feb 15th.  Just a group of men having a dinner and Smoke Night in the Melbourne Town Hall.  But the interesting fact is that they all went to school within a few miles of the Castlemaine Post Office  and that there were enough of them to fill the Hall

old boys reunion Table talk Melbourne 26-2-1920

The Association was formed in 1912   Prominent people like Harry Lawson MP and Frank Tate the well known Director of Education were among the early members.  So too was Colonel Fields, whose granddaughters attended the High School later on and are remembered by  some of us who are still around. Mostly the annual reunions were held in Castlemaine but occasional ones were held in Melbourne.

I took the next photo in the front hallway of the North Castlemaine State School in 2003.  It shows the Dux of School, i.e. Grade 6,  a prize awarded each year from 1928 to 1973 by the Old Castlemaine Schoolboys Association.  It was a small  school with only one class for each level from Prep to Grade 6.  But political correctness took over after 1973 when the teachers refused to set the examination to decide the prize winners.  Notice the  emblem for the Association was the blue orchid which grew locally each Spring  in the harshest of grounds

2003 Reunioin Old Schoolboys Association board b

 

This is the prize awarded in 1940, a leather bound copy of the Poems of Adam  Lindsay Gordon..  The Association’s emblem is on the front cover and a keepsake of one of the real blue orchids has been kept pressed inside the book

The first winner for this school in 1928 was H.L.Stacey.  I’m hoping that someone can tell me about that family.

Advertisements

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 – Benoit in Mt Rowan

It’s only a baby step forward, but it is definitely something I hadn’t known until now.

Benoit at Mt Rowan

I did know that  my great-great-grandfather, Charles Gustave Benoit,  was a gardener. I also knew that at least of two of the children were born in the 1860s at Mt Rowan, just to the north of Ballarat in Central Victoria.

Benoit at Bothwell Gardens, Creswick Rd  (Mt Rowan)

But now  using Trove The Geelong Advertiser of March 21st, 1864  has provided me with my first reference  to a specific place in Mt Rowan – Bothwell Gardens on Creswick Road,

Benoit 1 Bothwell Springs

Best Collection of garden fruits – First prize £2, second do, £1.  Francis Moss, first prize; James Duncan, second do. ; G. Benoit, Bothwell Gardens, Creswick Road; and Isaac Westcott

I can also assume that Charles Gustave was known by his middle name of Gustave.  I wonder if anyone just called him Gus.

So I have this one mention of Gustave being at Bothwell Gardens but I have found other references of an estate called Bothwell Springs in the same area.

What is Bothwell Springs ?

July 6th 1865 in the Ballarat Star.

Bothwell Springs - farm 1865

Am I to assume that Bothwell Gardens and Bothwell Springs are two separate places ?

The next find was back at the beginning of 1862 when  a partnership was dissolved between Gustave Benoit and W. Henry Tissot.

This time the title is Bothwell Spring Garden.

Dissolution of partnershp benoit tissot jan 1 1862

This advertisement was placed in the Ballarat Star on 12th February 1862.

John Dalgleish

The  witness.  John Dalgleish  (pictured) lived at Bothwell Springs and was later Shire President of nearby Learmonth.

In my mind now is the question was Bothwell Gardens as gardened  by Gustave Benoit part of the Bothwell Springs estate?

Was Gustave Benoit leasing land from John Dalgleish for his market garden ?

 

But Gustave hadn’t paid his Shire Rates in 1865

Gustave appeared before two Justices of the Peace in Learmonth because he hadn’t paid his shire rates.  He settled his dues.  The Ballarat Star had this entry on  June 20th 1865.

Shire Rat4es at Leaarmonth 1865

But if he had to pay rates doesn’t that mean that he owned his own land and was not renting his plot.

A small step forward .  Things to ponder and investigate.  But it has opened up further possibilities.

Thanks to Trove and the digitization of Australian newspapers.

 

 

Where there’s a Will ……or…… What have you been up to Grizel ?

Grace Pender - Glaud's wifeThe starting point is Grace Pender , my great-great grandmother , wife of Glaud Pender from previous posts.

She was born in Scotland in 1824 as Grace Muir Taylor in Whitburn, Linlithgowshire, the daughter of Robert Taylor, a baker, and Mary Ann Young.

So far, so good.

Living with young Grace Muir Taylor at the time of  the 1841 Census was a Grace Muir of Independent Means , aged 70, but there is no sign of the parents, Mary and  Robert  Taylor, just their children.  Sounds as though it could be my Grace’s grandmother born about 1770, who had  married a Mr Young or a Mr Taylor.  But that was where I came to the legendary brick wall.

Fortunately Grace Muir Taylor, later Pender,  was a letter writer and one of her  great-grandchildren is now the guardian of some of those letters  Progress started again when I was shown a couple of these letters   When living in Kangaroo in Victoria in 1887 she wrote  to a niece Mary Ann Borland and appears to be answering a question by explaining that her mother’s grandfather was Mr Mure of Green Hall at Blantyre.  Previously money owing had been mentioned.

Another clue at last; Mr Mure of Greenhall, Blantyre

Move from Linlithgowshire to Lanarkshire.

GreenhallGreenhall was a handsome house in Blantyre,  built about 1760, and set in an estate of 332 acres.  It is believed that it replaced a previous farmhouse.

From here it wasn’t hard to trace the birth of the possible grandfather John Muir in 1725 who died at Greenhall in 1821.  He had twelve children, the seventh being Grizel Muir, born 1762.  Was this Grizel the mother of our Grace’s mother ?    Did this Grizel have a child Mary Ann Young ?  Prior to this I had an approximate birth date of 1770 for Grizel,  not  the 1762 from Scotland’s People.  Is that  the same person in the Taylor household in 1841.  Possible but not proven.  And there it sat for a while.

Until ……. I took the plunge and  bought a copy of the Will of John Muir from Blantyre  who began by stating that he was  “of  Greenhall”

Mary Ann Young in John Muir's Will

This will confirms that this John Muir was indeed the grandfather of Mary Ann Young.  It also provides us with a mystery as he insists that Mary Ann is to get her share of the money  “notwithstanding any legal impediment or imputation to the contrary” to which I merely ask

“Grizel what have you been up to ?”

This is just the bare bones of Grace Pender’s link to her great grandfather –  the Grace, Mary Ann, Grisel and John Muir story.  There is much that I can’t find in the way of records of births, marriages and deaths.  One wonders with John Muir dying in 1821 why there was still the possibility of money being left to distribute in 1887 when Grace Pender wrote her letter.

Along the way I found that Grizel, Grizzel, Grissel and Grace were interchangeable as were Muir, Mure and Moore.  Interesting bits  on the  Muir’s of Greenhall  are easiy to find. John Muir is reportedly descended from the Muirs of  Rowallan –  King Robert II’s first wife before he was King was Elizabeth Mure of Rowallan,  daughter of Sir Adam Mure and Janer Mure.  And John Muir’s wife Janet  was from the Wardrop family, early owners of the Greenhall estate, once known as Greinhall

This week I couldn’t find a family connection to a group of boys playing a game as in the Sepia Saturday prompt but you will find plenty of others who did on Sepia Saturday

 

 

Halloween in Caldecote

Halloween cardHalloween.   October 31st.  There are some families in Australia  who have good reason to pass on their ancestral Halloween traditions to their children while the Christian community celebrates October 31st  it in its own way as All Hallows Eve.

Usually it is a most unremarkable day in Australia.

But in other parts of the world  it is a time for  black cats, bats and spiders,  ghosts, skeletons, witches and wizards;  or pumpkins,  cobwebs, haunted houses  and graveyards

So this Halloween let us glide over to the  graveyard at The Church of St. Mary Magdalene in Caldecote, Huntingdonshire, a few miles south of Peterborough.

Caldecote-Church The church has now been converted into a private residence after having been de-consecrated in the mid 1970s  and the headstones  have been stacked against the church wall the last time I heard.

A_second_row_of_gravestones,_Caldecote_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1162330

Photo from Michael Trolove

Perhaps the ghosts rise up on the night  of October 31st to protest at having been disturbed.  There might even be some Tanseys and some Lawsons among them.  A perfect setting for all things supernatural.

Headstone Thomas Rebecca tanseyThis lonely church  is where my  grandfather’s grandparents, Thomas Tansey and Rebecca Lawson, were  married in 1834  Later they were buried  there  after all twelve of their children were christened there and five of their children  buried there.

Thomas-Reb-Marr-CertThere are three different spellings for the same person’s surname.  Thomas signs Tanser, the Curate writes Tansor and the headstone says Tansey.

But when Thomas was born in 1813 in Whittlesey to the east of Peterborough he was christened as Tansey.  That was the year that Richard Wagner was born, Napoleon invaded Russia and the USA declared war on the UK, a war which lasted 2 years

Further links to the colourful Halloween card can be seen at this week’s Sepia Saturday post

`

 

A Hotel in Castlemaine

I wouldn’t like to count the number of times I have walked around this corner  But that was many years after this photo was taken in 1906 at the corner of Barker and Templeton Streets in my home town of Castlemaine  in Central victoria.

Sepia Saturday tempted us this week with a photo of an imposing but austere hotel. I am much fonder of Australian buildings with their verandahs to protect us from the sun or to provide a place to sit and catch the evening breeze in the hot weather.

Castlemaine Council Club Hotel bThis well worn postcard  has 1906 handwritten on the back, but no message.  The hotel was originally built in 1875 as a single storey building  but in 1906 was converted to a fine two storey building. The next image shows the re-opening in 1906.

Castlemaine council club p-aitken-openingThis image came from  The Hub at 233 Barker St Castlemaine which is the present name of the building. They have a fine collection of photos of the Hotel over the years. De-licenced in 1970 in its present life The Hub is home to fifteen offices and one restaurant.

This is how Google Earth saw it in 2010 when it was undergoing its most recent renovation.

Castlemaine Council Club corner 2010 google earthBut my imagination takes me down the hill in the 1940s past, among others in the first block , the lawyers where for a while I thought that might be a good thing to do on leaving school, the bike shop where once stood a bike which was  labelled with my name as it waited for my birthday, the hairdresser – first perm, the shop where I spent my first ever earnings on a Toby jug for my mother,  the shop where I bought a hat with money i had earned myself,  the cafe where I washed dishes one school holidays, the newspaper shop where the morning paper cost tuppence,  the excellent photographer and the dreaded dentist.

As I said, I knew that corner well though I was never to go into the hotel.

More interesting hotels and big buildings can be seen through the links in

This Week’s Sepia Saturday

Glaud Pender and the Naming of the Engines

In the 1860s the deep-lead mining industry flourished in Central Victoria.  The countryside was scattered with the poppet heads and the engine sheds of these mines.  And an engine shed contains an engine, one of the possible themes for this week’s Sepia Saturday.  Not having a suitable family photo for this theme I have had to look elsewhere to illustrate the connection with my famliy.

This is the Try Again mine in the gorge known as the Devils’s Kitchen as it was in the 1860s.
Try Again Mine in the devils kitchen 1860s

Image thanks to Joan Hunt  and the Public Records Office of Victoria who used it with permission from the Woady Yaloak Histtorical Society

With the mine workers coming into the area  communities grew up nearby with hotels and shops, school and  church. police station and Court House.  Such a town was Piggoreet, just near the Devil’s Kitchen, shown here as it was in 1860.

Piggoreet township in 1860

Piggoreet township in 1860 thanks to Joan Hunt and the Pubic Record Office of Victoria   who used it with permissin from the Woady Yaloak Historical Society.

This maps shows  the area I am talking about in relation to Melbourne , Geelong and Ballarat.

I have circled the major towns using a map from Joan Hunt and the Public Record Office of Victoria at http://prov.vic.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/HuntJE-F01.png

I am interested in the shaded area to the north-west, known as Springdallah.  In that area you can see Piggoreet and this is  the area in which Glaud Pender worked. I have written about Glaud (1827-1908), my great great great grandfather here and here  and here He had been  an engine worker near Fauldhouse in Scotland , midway between Glascow and Edinburgh and lying near the edge of a large coalfield, before he came to Australia    Perhaps he was familiar with going down the mine but he was an above-ground worker – the engines for pumping water from the mine and for lowering and raising the cages for transporting the miners and the ore.  So from coal mines in Scotland he progressed to being a goldmine manager in Australia.

We can partly track his progress through the birth of his children – Geelong, Egerton, Buninyong, Golden Lake and later at  Piggoreet., moving slowly through the goldfields to  the north-west of Melbourne.   By the 1860s he was mine manager at the Golden Lake mine and the birth of three of his children are also registered at Golden Lake to the west of Piggoreet.  But they were living close enough to Piggoreet for three of his children to be attending the Piggoreet Common School in the 1860s.

The miners had the interesting habit of a ceremonial naming of  their mine engines before they set them to work for the first time. With the gold mines so close together  there was a very cosy group of mine managers, mine workers and local dignitaries who would attend each other’s Mine Engine Namings.

At the Golden Lake mine in July 1864 the two engines were The Britannia and The lady of the Lake.  Glaud’s  daughter, Mrs Peter Telford, officially named The Lady of the Lake and Glaud’s brother-in-law  George Telford responded to the Health of the Contractors toast, As part of  the entertainments for the large crowd Glaud Pender  sang  The Rose of Allandale. What a versatile man  !

Glaud was also mentioned in the newspaper reports when he attended the  naming of the engines of the Golden Horn  at Piggoreet in July 1865     The Warrior and the smaller Reliance, each had a bottle of champagne smashed on its flywheel by a pretty young girl.  It was a fancy do with lots of toasts, food and liquor for the approximately 160 guests. One of the many toasts was to the neighbouring companies and Glaud responded to that toast.  Also present was his son in law Peter Telford.  At this time Glaud had three children at the Piggoreet Common School.

Then in August it was the turn of  the Emperor and Empress who were duly christened by another two ladies in a ceremony at Pitfield Plains and Glaud proposed the toast to the Success of the Golden Empire Company..  A similarly large event but the weather was bad and there was a mix-up with some of the invitations so that they didn’t arrive in time for the function.

For those with an engineering turn of mind The Ballarat Star  gives us details of the type of engines they were using at the Golden Lake Mine.

The machinery consists of a pumping and puddling engine, 20 1/4  in. cylinder, by T. M.Tennant and Co., of Leith, with a stroke of 4ft.;    and a smaller one for winding purposes, of 14 1/2 inch cylinder, 3 feet stroke, by Lockhart, of Kirkaldy. These are new, well finished, and admirably adapted to the work. They are fed by one steam pipe from two boilers, each 26ft x 6ft 6in, securely built in with bluestone masonry. The pumping and winding gear is of first-class quality, both as regards design and workmanship, and contracted for by Messrs Martin and Co , of the Black Hill Foundry, Scarsdale. The pumps are 12 in. 1n diameter, and can work to a stroke of 6 ft 8 in. if necessary. Altogether the machinery is most complete, and capable of working on an extensive scale

It was an interesting time and Glaud was fully involved.
Glaud Pender b

Somehow I don’t think Glaud would have had a guitar to accompany him singing The Rose of Allandale but this next version is lovely

For more stories with industrial connections go to the list on SEPIA SATURDAY