Monday, 30 June 2014

52 Ancestors #36 Jane Cox

Jane Cox was born in November 1838 at Old Court, Cork, Ireland. Her death certificate states that she had lived in Australia for 45 years so she would have been four or five on arrival. Her father's name was William Cox.

Jane was twenty when she married William Clifton Weston on 11 May 1859 at the Wesleyan Church at Sofala.  She had been living at Sofala before she was married. Gold had been discovered at Sofala early in the 1850s and although, after a few years, many of the miners had moved on to new strikes, Sofala became an active goldmining area again towards the end of the 1850s.

Jane and William had eight children during the next 15 years - Percy Clifton Mckay (1860-1947), Mary Mornington (1861-1928), Annie Wilson Hardwick Weston (1864-1924), Edith Neville Weston (1866-1920), Ida Eunice Weston (1868-1901), John Bennett Weston (1871-1871), Jonathan (Jack) George Weston (1872-1904) and Clive Condor Weston (1875-1922). John Bennett Watson was only six month old when he died of bronchitis. The other children lived to adulthood and most of them  a variety of employment in country New South Wales.

Percy Weston became an auctioneer and landowner in Orange and at one time was president of the Wellington District Racing Association. Mary Weston married Herbert (Bertie) Henty Balcombe in 1907. Bertie had originally married Margaret's sister, Ida Weston who had died in 1901. Edith Weston married Henry (Harry) Seymour Blake in January 1888. Harry was Manager of Australian Joint Stock Bank, Deniliquin. Annie married George Hutton in 1889. Jack was an officer in the A J S Bank including several years at the Forbes branch. He suffered from consumption for eight or nine years and for the final three years of his life lived with Percy's family in Orange. Clive worked in the Civil Service and was an assistant clerk in the Petty Sessions Office at Balmain before leaving Australia for the Boer War.  He also served in World War I but was suffering from shell shock when he returned home and committed suicide. More details can be found in the Exploring Military History blog - posts Clive Condor Weston part 1 and part 2.

William was a surgeon who worked for the civil service as a coroner and later took on additional government responsibilities. Initially William's work took the family to Rylstone, then to Kiandra before settling in Coonamble where the last six children were born. Their home at Coonambe was called, The Willow. In 1876 they moved to Hill End for a short time before finally moving to Parkes. Their home in Parkes was The Pines.

Towards the end of 1887 Jane developed a pelvic abscess and nine weeks later on 11 February 1888 she died at her home. Jane was only 49.

The Australian Town and Country Journal 18 February 1888 paid the following Tribute to Jane:
    OBITUARY.-I regret having to record the death of Mrs. W. C. Weston, wife of our efficient C. P. S. The deceased lady was much liked for her unassuming manner, great kindness, and consideration for all. She will be missed by numbers outside her own family and circle.
Jane Cox was my great (x2) grandmother.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

52 Ancestors #35 William Clifton Weston

William Clifton Weston was born in New South Wales in 1833, the son of John Bennett Weston and Mary Farrell. His brother, John W D Weston was born in 1832 and died the same year. Another brother, John Bennett Weston, according to the Dubbo Liberal and Macquarie Advocate 1 April 1911, died in Lancashire on 27 January 1911. I have so far been unable to locate a date of birth for him but as there had been another child called John he was possibly younger than William. I am also still looking for information about William's parents.

William was 26 when he married Jane Cox at the Wesleyan Church, Sofala, New South Wales, on 11 May 1859. Sofala is 46 km north of Bathurst and was a goldmining town. On the marriage certificate William's occupation is listed as being a surgeon.

In October 1859 a note in the Sydney Morning Herald reported that 'the following gentlemen have been appointed coroners for the districts specified, in connection with their names respectively ... Rylstone - William Clifton Weston, Esq., surgeon. (Sydney Morning Herald 22 Oct 1859). Rylestone was a small settlement to the west of the Blue Mountains. While in Rylestone, their first child, Percy Clifton Mckay Weston (1860-1947)  was born. By July 1860 there was to be another move, this time to Kiandra, a goldmining town in the Snowy Mountains  - William Clifton Weston, Esq. has been appointed coroner for the district of Kiandra (Australian Home Companion & Band of Hope 14 July 1860). Jane may have remained in Rylestone as her second child, Mary Mornington Weston, was born in Rylestone in 1861. The next move was to Coonamble, on the Castleragh River 569 km north west of Sydney, where the family lived until about 1878. Six more children were born to William and Jane while they lived at Coonamble.

William held a number of other positions in the town as well as Coroner. The first public school was built in 1869 and William had been appointed to form the Public Schools Board for Coonamble in 1868. He was also a JP and from 1870 could consent to the marriage of minors in the Coonamble, Dubbo districts. He was also the Clerk of Petty Sessions at Coonamble.

The Sydney Morning Herald 13 December 1876 reported that William Clifton Weston, Clerk of Petty Sessions, Coonamble, was to be Clerk of Petty Sessions and Registrar of the District Court, Hill End so the family was on the move back to where William had begun his career, as Hill End was not far from Sofala. Another notice in the Sydney Morning Herald 3 February 1877 confirmed that Mr William Clifton Weston has been appointed assistant registrar of births deaths and marriages for the district of Tambaroora, at Hill End, from the 1st instant. The stay at Hill End was short as the family moved to Parkes the following year when it was reported that Mr. William Clifton Weston has been appointed 'Assistant Registrar of Births, Deaths, and Marriages for the district of Forbes, at Parkes, from the 1st instant' (Australian Town & Country Journal 27 July 1878). In August he was also appointed to be 'warden's clerk and mining registrar at Parkes, and to issue miners' rights, business, and mineral licenses' and a year later the Australian Town & Country Journal announced that 'Mr. William Clifton Weston, to be coroner at Parkes, and for the colony generally'.

William worked in Parkes for eleven years until his death in 1889. According to his death certificate he had been ill for a month before his death on 14 April 1889. There were a number of reports of his ill health and subsequent death in a number of newspapers. Below is the obituary from the Molong Express and Western District Advertiser 20 April 1889:
    Death, of Mr W. C. Weston, C.P.S., Parkes. — This gentleman, we learn, died at Parkes on Sunday night last. It appears that the bones of the foot had begun to decay, and amputation was resorted to on Thursday, the 11th inst. Mortification, however, set in and the patient expired on the day above mentioned. The deceased was a very old public officer, having entered the public service 25 years ago, and was highly respected; he had been C.P.S. and Crown Land Agent at Parkes for over 10 years. Being a member of the Masonic brotherhood, the remains were buried on Monday afternoon with Masonic honours, the funeral being largely attended.
William Clifton Weston was my great (x2) grandfather.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

52 Ancestors # 34 Annie Wilson Hardwick Weston

Annie Wilson Hardwick Weston was born at Coonamble, New South Wales, on 27 March, 1864. Her parents were William Clifton Weston and Jane Cox. Her father was a coroner and the family lived in different areas of New South Wales.

On 9 January 1889 Annie married George Hutton at St George's Church of England, Parkes. George owned the sheep station, The Troffs, west of Parkes. Annie and George had three children, William Clifton Weston (1889-1993), Eleonora Ruby (1892-1990) and Nancy Hazel (1889-1997).

According to family stories William was a very active little boy who was fascinated with water. Apparently the only way to keep track of his movements was to tie a lead to the kitchen table to stop him disappearing. The following report of William's death appeared in the Australian Town and Country Journal, 28 January 1883.
    A Sad Accident.-On Friday last at Nelungaloo a sad drowning fatality occurred. Mr. G. Hutton, who was proceeding to Sydney with his wife and children, broke the journey and intended staying for the night at Mr. J. G. Lackey's residence. His little boy, 4 years of age, wandered away from the   house. A search was made for the little fellow who was found in a creek close at hand in about 2ft of water. He was carried to the house and every effort made to restore life, but without success. Wide spread sympathy is expressed for Mr. and Mrs. Hutton.
The family lived in Parkes until the beginning of the 1900s until George, like many other pastoralists, was forced to sell his property after a seven year drought. George remained in Parkes finding employment as a rabbit inspector but Annie decided to take the girls to Sydney to live. George visited his family in Sydney from time to time but never lived with them again.

Annie appears to have had support from members of her family. Her sister, Ida (1868-1901), had married Herbert (Bertie) Balcombe and when the house and furniture was sold Berite purchased some of the furniture. He later offered to give the furniture to Annie's daughter, Nancy, but she refused the offer as she could not afford the transportation costs and did not want to tell the Balcombe's of her financial difficulties. Annie's brother, Percy, also helped her as he provided her with a home in Sydney with the understanding that when his family was visiting Sydney from Orange they would stay with Annie and her family. The Sands and Kenny Directories for 1903-1907 list Annie as living at 47 McLaren Street, North Sydney. From 1910 to 1915 the directories show that she was living at Wyalla, at 46 Upper Pitt Street, North Sydney, which she ran as a boarding house. In 1916 this property was sold to St Aloysius School.
Wyalla
Milson's Point, North Sydney
Important sale by auction, to-morrow, Wednesday, May 17, at 11 o'clock a.m
At the residence, Wyalla, Upper Pitt Street, North Sydney
(6 minutes' walk from Milson's Point ferry wharf)
By order of Mrs. G. Hutton,
In consequence of having sold her fine residence and her decision to relinquish housekeeping, the whole of her superior furniture and general household effects, including the complete furniture and appointments for large dining-room, hall, drawing-room, 15 fully-furnished bedrooms (double and single), including a superior and well-finished six-feet bedroom suite.
Valuable pianoforte, by Paling and Co., a high grade instrument, in splendid order
Also, kitchen and laundry furniture and requisites
Quantity of outside lots, large outside venetian blinds, suitable for verandahs, balconies, etc., etc.
W. A. Little, Fine Art, Furniture, and General Auctioneer and Valuator,
Auction salerooms and offices, no. 98 Pitt-street, Sydney,
Telephone, city 4036
Advertisement in Sydney Morning Herald Tuesday 16 May 1916

Although there were many opportunities for women to assist the war effort in Australia, Annie decided to travel to England, the 'Home Country' or 'Mother Country', to offer her assistance there. Her eldest daughter, Eleonora, went with her while Nancy, who would have been 16, was told to remain in Sydney. There is a lack of certainty as to what they actually did in England but it is possible that Annie, who was a good manager, worked as a supervisor in a munitions factory and then in a canteen serving food. They returned to Australia in 1919.

When she died on 29 April 1924, Annie was living at 25 Alexander Street in Manly. She was buried at Manly Cemetery.

Annie Wilson Hardwick Weston was my great grandmother.

Friday, 27 June 2014

52 Ancestors #33 George Hutton

George Hutton was born in Bath, England on 5 May 1850. He was the eldest son of William Forbes Hutton and Eleonora Mackillop. Later in 1850 his parents returned to Madras, India, where his father was a captain in the 34th Native Infantry. George's sister, Jean Elizabeth was born in Bangalore, India in November 1851. His parents returned to Bath in 1854 when a second sister for George, Eleonora Mary, was born in May. At this stage I do not know if George went to India as a baby but we do know that during the early years of George's life his contact with his parents would have been limited as he and his two sisters lived in Bath with his  grandparents, George Mackillop and Jean Eleanora Hutton.

On 23 October 1855 George's grandmother wrote a letter
to her daughter in India providing a progress report on the bairns including information on George's first lesson:
    George is greatly improved and is reasonable and obedient - he speaks more intelligibly, and does not lose himself so often in a maze of words and thoughts - I hope that when he can read he will learn to express himself well and clearly; he had his first lesson this morning and was very attentive - but I will have to begin with BA again - humanly speaking there will be no more interruptions and I expect to have to give you a good report of his progress in my next. Bessie tells me he was most anxious to do everything "as Grandmama would like". He does not know the Lord's Prayer quite perfect but almost so. I do not think he is quick at learning by heart, at present - but his technical memory will probably improve when he acquires the habit of giving his mind to his occupation. He is to write to you next, if he is a good boy - this goes by Marseilles and therefore must be brief and light.
The 1861 English census shows that George and his family were at the home of their grandfather, George Mackillop, at 26 Grosvenor Place in Bath. George's grandmother had died in 1859. There were five house servants working in the house. George was listed as being a scholar.

The next we hear of George is on 30 August 1869 when he arrives in Melbourne aboard the ship, Somersetshire. In the early 1930s George wrote detailed notes about his his first few years in Australia. He was met by Duncan Stoddart who took him to his home in Richmond where he stayed for several days before travelling to the to the property, Bundyulumbah, a sheep station north west of Deniliquin in New South Wales where he worked for Mr D'Arlet until November. George spent the next two months in Melbourne looking for work until he met Dick Creswick who managed a property, Brim, in the Wimmera. Dick Creswick invited George to return to Brim with him so they travelled by train to Ballarat where George purchased a horse and they then proceeded to ride to the property. Unfortunately the horse damaged a leg so they left her at Avoca and purchased a buggy to take them the rest of the journey, stopping off at the Avoca Races en route. George spent more than twelve months on Brim. George estimated the size of one paddock being about 20,000 acres and noted that he never rode the entire boundary fence of any paddock, the area being so huge.

On 31 May 1871 George's father arrived in Australia and he left Brim to meet his father at Ercildoune, a property near Ballarat owned by the Learmonths who were friends and business associates of the George Mackillop. According to George, his grandfather had helped finance the purchase of Ercildoune by the Learmonths. Unfortunately, before George Mackillop left Hobart, there was a dispute about repayment of the loan but the differences were eventually resolved.

George and his father returned to Melbourne and then travelled by ship to Launceston to view the Castra project, a settlement established by the government to encourage the settlement of officers from the Indian Army in the region. George noted: 'It was raining hard when we got to Deloraine and rained all night, so Dad jibbed on a 40 mile drive over bush roads in an open buggy. ' Instead they took a coach to Hobart. 'We had a wretched journey down, frosts and fogs nearly all the way, and as the coach was full inside we rode on top of the coach and were almost frozen.' After a week in Hobart they returned to Launceston by coach. 'Father tried to get inside seats on the  coach but they were all booked, but we brought blankets and rolled ourselves in those during the journey so we did not suffer as much as we did going down to Hobart.' George then added, 'However it cured Father of any inclination to settle in Tasmania.' Not surprisingly winters in Tasmania were very different from the climate in India.

After this adventure George's father decided to purchase land at Lilydale in Victoria and George worked with his father for several years as the property was established. In 1874 the rest of the family travelled from England to settle in Victoria and some of George's younger brothers were now available to assist their father. George told his father that he wanted to head north to Queensland to join an outlanding party moving cattle from Queensland. He decided the best way to do this was to travel by ship to a large port in Queensland and then contact stock and station agents to find employment. Unfortunately at this point in the story George stopped writing his memoir so there is a gap in the story.

In Parkes, New South Wales, on 8 January 1889 George married Annie Wilson Hardwick Weston. We know from articles in Trove that, at that time, George owned a sheep station west of Parkes named The Troffs. George's brother Arthur also worked on the property and some of the articles refer to the Hutton Brothers. Arthur was secretary of the Parkes Jockey Club and owned and raced a number of horses.

George and Annie had three children - William Clifton Weston (1889-1893), Eleonora Ruby (1892-1990) and Nancy Hazel (1899-1997). Family stories relate that William loved water and would often disappear. One day when visiting friends William wandered off and his body was found in the nearby creek.

The Hutton family lived at The Troffs until the beginning of the twentieth century. Unfortunately there was a lack of rain in the years between 1895 and 1902 referred to as the Federation Drought. George and his family had to sell the property. A family member purchased much of the furniture. Annie and their two girls went to live in Sydney while George remained in the district trying to earn a living. He eventually became a Rabbit Inspector for the Molongo P P Board.

Rabbits were in plague proportion in rural Australia and rabbit inspectors were required to ensure that property owners were following procedures to reduce rabbit numbers on their property.  Newspapers contained reports of the rabbit inspectors at Molong Pasture Protection meetings such as the following report in Sydney Morning Herald Wednesday 23 December 1914 page 9:
    Rabbit Inspector Hutton reported that he had travelled 304 miles since the previous meeting, and had made 45 inspections. He reported ten holders to be unsatisfactory, and recommended three owners for prosecution. The board decided to lay poison in reserves at a cost of £25, and to prosecute three holders reported by Inspector Hutton.
The Sands Directories show that George, who was now 76, was a rabbit inspector in the Molong area until at least 1926. The directory entry also noted that he was a JP. Electoral rolls for 1930 and 1936 show that George was living with his daughter Nancy and her family on their property, Metavale, Cunnamulla, Queensland. My mother has memories of an 'old man with a beard' who used to call her, 'My little gal'. He spent most of his time reading or going for long walks.

George Hutton died in Sydney on 5 November 1936 at the age of 86.

George Hutton was my great grandfather.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

52 Ancestors #32 Eleonora Mackillop

Eleonora Mackillop was born in Edinburgh, Scotland on 11 December 1830 when her parents, George Mackillop and Jean Eleanora Hutton were living at 11 Ainslie Place in the New Town area of the city.
The buildings in Ainslie Place were built in the 1820s and were designed by the architect J G Graham. The houses in Ainslie Place face on to a small garden and behind the buildings the Water of Leith flows through the Dean Gardens - a private garden created in the 1860s.
The decorations on the balconies are a feature of the Ainslie Place buildings.
 
The above three images of Anslie Place  are taken from the street view of the area in Google maps.

Towards the end of 1832 Eleonora's parents, together with Eleonora and her four brothers, travelled to India. Eleonora's younger brother James died in Calcutta in July 1833.  Later that year the family moved to Tasmania where they lived until the end of the 1830s when they returned to their home in Edinburgh.

George Hutton's notes illustrate that travelling by ship could be eventful. After the ship to India rounded the Cape of Good Hope it encountered a cyclone. Eventually the ship reached Mauritius but was declared a wreck as the force of the cyclone had twisted the hull of the ship. The journey was continued on another vessel. Another ship, possibly the St George, was wrecked off the west coast of Tasmania. This ship was carrying family paintings and heirlooms belonging to the Hutton family.

In Tasmania the family lived in a large house with gardens in Davey Street in Hobart and this was where Eleonora lived until she was nine or ten. While the family was in Hobart Eleonora's two sisters were born. While they lived in Hobart, Eleonora's parents would have employed a governess and / or a tutor to provide at least a basic education for the younger children. The boys may have attended school. Unfortunately Eleonora's eldest brother, George Downie Mackillop, died in Hobart in November 1836 when he was 15. Two months later the family home in Hobart Town was first placed on the market as George Mackillop made plans to return to Scotland. The house was not sold until 1839 and advertisements for the sale of the contents of the house appeared in newspapers early in 1840, probably after the family had returned home.

The Scottish census for 1841 shows the family living in Ainslie Place while the 1851 English census shows that the family had moved to Bath where they lived at 26 Grosvenor Place. When Eleonora married William Forbes Hutton on 27 June 1849, the wedding took place at St Saviour's Church in Bath which was a short distance across the road from where the family lived.

Eleonora was 18 when she married William (33) who was an officer in the 34th Light Infantry in Madras India. No doubt Eleonora and William met through family as William's father, Thomas Hutton, was the brother of his wife's grandfather, William Charles Hutton.

Eleonora and William had eleven children - George (1850-1936) born in Bath and died in Sydney, Jean Elizabeth (1851-1939) born in Bangalore and died in England, Eleonora Mary (1854-1941) born in Bath and died in East Melbourne, Alice Katherine (1856-1946) was born in Secunderbad and died in Nyah (Victoria), Arthur William (1857-1930) was born in Ootacumund and died in Sydney, Dorcas Emma (1859-1938) was born in Bath and died in Malvern, Walter John (1861-1943) was born in Bath and died at Armadale, Margaret Isabella (1863-1950) was born in Bath and died in Armadale, William Lidderdale (1865-1929) was born in Torquay and died in Ballarat, Maurice Charles Graham (1867-1963) was born in Leckhampton and died in Melbourne and James Stewart (1869-1870) who was born and died at Leckhampton.

As can be seen from the details of the births of the first six children Eleonora made several trips between England and India. We know from the letter written in 1855 by her mother that Eleonora's parents had the responsibility of looking after at least the first three children while their parents were overseas.

Living in India provided a number of challenges, particularly for the families of the men working in that country. In the letter that Eleonora's mother wrote to her in 1855 she included the following advice to her daughter -
    I hope and trust it may be God's pleasure to bless you both with health even in the Indian climate. Pray do not, from the fear of falling into indolent habits, run into the opposite extreme and overtax your strength in any way; what would be slothful indulgence at home is only necessary rest in India, and I hope you will take sufficiency of it.
In the notes about his family that George Hutton wrote in the early 1930s he recorded an incident when his mother was out riding. In the area near Coonoor she encountered some semi-wild buffalo on the terrace above the track where she and others in the party were riding. Her horse charged the cattle and lost his footing resulting in both horse and rider falling down a steep embankment. Fortunately bushes broke their fall. After that she was given a quieter horse to ride.

The 1861 English census records the family living in Bath while the 1871 English census shows them living at Leckhampton in Gloucestershire. It is thought that William may not have spent much time in India during the 1860s.

In the early 1870s William decided to formally retire from the army and settle the family in Australia. Eleonora and seven children not already in Australia arrived in Melbourne on 6 May 1874. Initially they lived in Kew in a large house, Blythswood.
Blythswood, Kew
They then moved into Rockingham, next door to Blythswood, until their new home, Cooring Yering, at Lilydale was completed.  The house was built by David Mitchell.
Cooring Yering, Lilydale
The property was large enough to accommodate the large family and, possibly from time to time, visitors. When William died in 1896 Walter and Maurice inherited the Cooring Yering vineyard while Eleonora inherited the rest of the property.

In his notes about his family when they arrived in Australia in the 1870s, George Hutton recounted a story illustrating the emphasis placed by his parents on the education of their children. Dorcas had been sent to school in Tasmania it was decided that Margaret should also attend the same school. However when Eleonora was taking Margaret to Hobart the ship lost her propellers and spent the day drifting until a passing ship towed them back to Hobson's Bay. Eleonora changed her mind about margaret attending school in Tasmania and Dorcas left the school at the end of the term. One asumes thy instead attended school closer to home. In his notes, Peter Hutton mentioned that Maurice attended Melbourne Grammar School until 1885. Walter and William may have also attended that school.

Eleonora died on 30 July, 1900, and was buried at Lilydale Cemetery. She was aged 69. The story of Eleonora's life provides an example of the life of women whose family were in involved furthering the interests of Britain in India either in the Army, the Civil Service or as merchants and also in other new British colonies.

Eleonora Mackillop was my great (x2) grandmother.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

52 Ancestors #31 William Forbes Hutton

William Forbes Hutton was born in Westerham, Kent, England on 25 February 1816. His parents were Thomas Hutton (1772-1856, a merchant in India and Janet Robertson (1781-1862).
Janet and Thomas were married in Calcutta, India, on 22 July 1802. They had ten children with William being the seventh child and the second son. He had two younger brothers and one younger sister. For a number of years Thomas and Janet lived in Penang where their first two children were born. The next five children were born in England between 1808 and 1816 while the last three children were born in Calcutta, India between 1818 and 1822. It is probable that the older children, including William, would have remained in England being looked after by family when Thomas and Janet went to India. Unfortunately census data was not collected until 1840 so it is not possible to confirm this, but it was customary for many English families in India to have their children brought up in India. This was a tradition continued by William with his children being cared for by his wife's family in England when he was in India.

William Forbes Hutton was educated at the Edinburgh Academy and according to notes written by his son, George, in the 1930s ‘he studied for an army surgeon but did not like the doctoring part of the profession, threw it up and entered the East India Company’s army’.

When he was 19 William applied for a cadetship in the Honorable East India Company Service Army for 1835-1836. On 3 February 1836 he left Portsmouth aboard the Malcolm for Madras where he arrived on 11 May. William Forbes Hutton was a member of the 34th Madras Native Infantry from 1836 until the early 1870s though he spent much of this time in England. Research undertaken by Peter Hutton in the 1960s established that William became an Ensign on 17 January 1836, a Lieutenant on 26 November 1837 and a Captain on 18 June 1845.

William Forbes Hutton served with the Field Force at Kurnool in 1839 and was present at the affair at Zorapore on 18 October 1839. Peter Hutton's research showed that William was stationed at Mercara from 1 January 1842, Mangalore from February 1845, Vellore from 1848, Dacca also from 1848, Moulmein from 1850, Vizagapatam arrived September 1851, Secunderabad arrived January 1854 and Trichinopoly arrived April 1857. Records show that he returned to Europe on furlough in November 1847, 1849, 1850, 1854 and 1855 and he was on sick leave in 1853. He officially retired as Major on 1 March 1873. The records regarding William Forbes Hutton’s service in the army are sketchy and additional research may provide more information.

As George Hutton's notes show life in India could be eventful. He describes how, on one day in the 1840s, his father was chased by an elephant when he was camped with some troops near a village in the foothills. The villagers complained that a rogue elephant was destroying their crops so a decision was made to hunt the elephant for a bit of sport. They walked through the jungle to locate the elephant. The weapons to be used were two single barrelled smooth bore guns so it was necessary 'to get within at least 80 yards to make sure of his shot'. When the elephant was located William fired the first gun and although the elephant was hit he just appeared dazed and then charged his attacker. The native soldier carrying the second gun disappeared leaving William to run back down the path pursued by an angry elephant. As the elephant gained on William, he fell and rolled behind a tree as the elephant raced past. George Hutton noted that after this experience his father was determined 'to let the natives kill their own elephants in future.'
From Bath in Time website
On 27 June 1849 William Forbes Hutton married Eleonora Mackillop at St Saviour's Church, Bath. The birth of the first six of their eleven children shows the frequency with which William and Eleonora travelled between England and India during the first ten years of their marriage. George was born in Bath in May 1850, Jean was born in Bangalore in November 1851, Eleonora was born in Bath in May 1854, Alice was born in Secunderbad in January 1856, Arthur was born in Ootacumund in July 1857 while Dorcas was born in Bath in June 1859. The remaining five children were born in England between 1861 and 1869. In the 1860s William appears to have spent more time in England than in India. 

On 13 May 1871 William Forbes Hutton arrived in Melbourne aboard the ship, Geelong, where he met his eldest son, George, who had arrived in Victoria in August 1869. In June William and George travelled to Launceston to view the Castra settlement, a project to encourage retired British Army officers who had served in India to settle in Tasmania, but weather so bad they continued to Hobart by coach before returning to Melbourne. Instead William purchased property, Cooring Yering, in Lilydale and proceeded to build a large home for his family. William officially retired from the Army on 1 March 1873 and later that month returned briefly to England. William arrived back in Australia in February 1874 with Jean and Arthur. Eleonora and the other children arrived later that year. Initially the family lived at Blythswood in Kew and then next door at Rockingham, until the house on Cooring Yering was completed and ready to move into in 1885.
The land acquired in Lilydale was used for farming - sheep and and crops - with one hundred and fifty acres set aside as a vineyard. According to William's obituary in the Lilydale Express December 4, 1896, 'The Colonel lived a somewhat retired life but was held in high esteem for his charitable deeds.' At a Back to Lilydale Reunion in 1931 it was recorded that William Forbes Hutton had been interested in geology and owned a collection of rocks and minerals which were later donated to the local library. Marian Aveling in her book, Lilydale: the Billanook country 1837-1972  wrote that the large landowners in the area maintained close ties to Melbourne society and made visits to the city for shopping and entertainment especially after the arrival of the railway in 1881. No doubt members of the Hutton family travelled into Melbourne from time to time.
William Forbes Hutton died on 28 November 1896 at the age of 80 and was buried at Lilydale Cemetery.

 He was my great (x2) grandfather.

Friday, 20 June 2014

Ancestry databases

Increasingly family history researchers use Ancestry.com.au and Find My Past to research and record their family trees.

Earlier this week Ancestry.com and a number of other genealogy websites were targeted with a DDoS  (Distributed Denial of Service) attack where the website is bombarded with 'bots' stopping legitimate requests from reaching the server. Ancestry databases were therefore effectively out of action for several days causing angst among the millions of users of the databases.

A number of possible reasons for the attack on the Ancestry servers have been provided by users.

8 theories on the real reason of the Ancestry outrage

Best Facebook Comments re Ancestry.com DDoS attack

At least some researchers have a maintained a sense of humour.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Rookwood Station

Reading the funeral notices for family members who died in Sydney, reference is often made to the train leaving for Rookwood at a particular time. On Facebook,  Lost Sydney has posted a photograph of the mortuary train at the station at Rookwood Cemetery.
Another photograph posted on the site provides a glimpse inside the station showing the pillars, arched roof and decorations.
Rookwood Cemetery was established in the 1840s and with the development of the railways a mortuary station was built at Redfern with the receiving station at the cemetery. Find My Past has a brief history of the cemetery and the station in its grounds. The railway line into the cemetery was closed in 1948 and the receiving house building was then dismantled and reassembled in Canberra as All Saints Church, Ainslie.
When the church was reassembled the tower is on the other side.
View inside the church showing the pillars and arched roof.
Details showing the angels that were at the entrance of the receiving house at Rookwood.

The Society of Australian Genealogists has indexed the gravesites within the Rookwood Cemetery and the records are available via Find My Past.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Restoring family photographs

This afternoon I attended a meeting of Vic GUM (Genealogists using Microcomputers). GUM is celebrating its 30th anniversary next month and during the past 30 years has held regular meetings and workshops on using technology to assist family history research.

Carol Heath from Pixel by Pixel provided a demonstration on how photographs can be restored using Photoshop or Photoshop Elements. A number of members had brought their own photos and Carol used three to demonstrate how she would restore a photograph that was torn, restore colour to a faded colour photograph using masks and levels and also colour a photograph. Carol's blog contains examples of photographs that have been restored including a post, Top tips for restoring photographs.

Carol runs courses on photo restoration and, of course, restores photographs as a business. More details can be obtained from her website.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Letter from Jean MacKillop to Eleonora Hutton

Part of a letter from Jean Eleonora MacKillop to her daughter, Eleonora Hutton, who was at the time in India with her husband, William Forbes Hutton. George and Jean MacKillop were looking after three of Eleonora and William’s children in England while Eleonora and William were overseas. George MacKillop was a merchant who had spent time in India and built up interests there – hence the references to the tea. William was also probably involved in the tea trade. Part of the letter (indicated by …) appears to be missing.
The letter provides an insight into the social history of the time and in part reads like an episode in a Jane Austen novel with references to the social circle of the time. It also provides interesting observations on the development of children as well as the style of life British wives were expected to follow when accompanying their husbands in India.
Jean MacKillop would have been 55 when this letter was written. She died in 1859. Her son, John MacKillop, died at the massacre at Cawnpore (India) in 1857.
                                                                                   
26 Grosvenor Place
                                                                                    Bath
                                                                                    23rd and 25th October 1855

My dearest Ellie,

We all rejoiced to receive your nice letter from Madras on the 1st of this month, giving such good accounts of William’s health and endurance of heat – they were early days certainly – but gave good promise, and I hope and trust it may be God’s pleasure to bless you both with health even in the Indian climate. Pray do not, from the fear of falling into indolent habits, run into the opposite extreme and overtax your strength in any way; what would be slothful indulgence at home – is only necessary rest in India, and I hope you will take a sufficiency of it.

Now for the bairns. According to my rule; they are all well and happy – I thank God – I often wish you could both see them.

George is greatly improved and is reasonable and obedient – he speaks more intelligibly, and does not lose himself so often in a maze of words and thoughts – I hope that when he can read he will learn to express himself well and clearly; he had his first lesson this morning and was very attentive – but I have to begin with BA again – humanly speaking there will be no more interruptions and I expect to have to give you a good report of his progress in my next. Bessie tells me he was most anxious to do everything “as Grandmama would like” during our 11 days absence. He does not know the Lord’s Prayer quite perfect but almost so. I do not think he is quick in learning by heart, at present – but his technical memory will probably improve when he acquires the habit of giving his mind to his occupation. He is to write to you next, if he is a good boy – this goes via Marseilles and must therefore be brief and light.

Jeannie is not so obedient as Georgie and has rather a fancy occasionally for doing what she is told not to do – because it is forbidden – but she is an affectionate little body and they are all three very good children.

Last, but not least in any way, comes Baby – soon after I last wrote to you her cough became very severe, attended with light fever and great dearrangement of the stomach and bowels; the two upper eye teeth appeared, and she got slowly better – but she still had a shake and is not so fat and firm as formerly. Looks black under the eyes and still coughs a little, i.e; a night and day perhaps, she will be quite free from the enemy – then she will cough twice or three times in the 24 hours – and I have no doubt this will last to all her teeth are through; the worst (the upper eye teeth) is however over – I have told you quite the worst of her case and now to cheer you up with the good; her flesh is mottled, though a little soft for her – and we all think she is better for not being so (she still makes nearly two of Jeannie) she eats and digest well, sleeps well, plays and runs about, scrambles up on Jeanie’s bed whenever she can find the opportunity and trys <tries> to say everything. “Down dere” is a favourite expression – she insists on calling your father “Papa” – then asked where Papa is she points to Wm’s picture. Mr Brace (he attended while Mr B was away and Mr Ormond both say it is not an unusual way of cutting teeth and only requires care in avoiding exposure to cold at such times; I give them dresses up to the neck – Jeannie’s brown pelisse is made into a frock for baby – and baby’s red one into a frock for Jeannie – Nurse has made a high body to Baby’s pink frock and Jeannie has a new pink muslin-de-laine those are for their evening dresses; when the cold weather sets in they will take to their merinos but I do not mean to give them any but high dresses during the winter – prevention is better than cure of coughs and colds.

George and Jeannie were delighted with your letter to them, and George of his own accord, prayed for the conversion of the heathen and still continues to do so in his evening prayers.

When I last wrote to you I had no expectation of making out our proposed visit to Paris; - and when dear Baby became so unwell, though sorry for the cause, I felt very thankful that we had been detained at home; and hoped; selfishly perhaps, that it wd be given up altogether; however; when my poor Aunt became convalescent, and she wished it, and Bessie volunteered to take my place here, and baby was then well again (except looking hollow under the eyes), I gave in to your father’s and Georgie’s desire to go to Paris – I’m not going into details of all that we did and saw during the 11 days for Georgie will do it much better than I can – I think the change and the rest from household affairs has as usual done me good, and I always enjoy home comforts more after I have been deprived of them for a time.

We saw and dined with the Learmonths in Wimpole St the day we left home; they are both looking well and Mrs L has grown stout – they were very friendly and pressing for us to spend some days with them on our way back from Paris – but it is late in the season and as my poor Aunt is extremely nervous I could not have conscientiously have asked Bessie to have remained any longer – besides I am glad to be home again. The Caltons were in treaty for a house in Reading – Bessie is growing tall, but still delicate and under a doctor’s care. Mrs Reilly’s boy has been ill and was still delicate. Tom Learmonth was expected in a few days from Sebastapol – he has been travelling through Switzerland and other parts of the Continent during the summer and arrived at Sebastapol a few days after its fall.

24th Papa and I went yesterday to pay a wedding visit to Mrs Frederick Inman and left Georgie to keep guard outside, fortunately as it turned out, for we found the bride supported by her mother, Mrs R Bridges and Emily Inman in a small room, and we were scarcely seated when Mr and Mrs G Baker entered, soon followed by Dr and Mrs Stone, so we took our leave after partaking of cake and wine. It wd not be fair to form an opinion of Mrs Fred on such a short visit and in such awkward circumstances. I did not like her mother’s manner, and I think R bridges by far the best looking and most agreeable of the party at present. On our way there we met Miss Nash, who had been paying her a visit – she’s looking out of spirits and told me her mother was very poorly but not from the …

Papa desires me to say – “He has recd William’s letter from Madras –
            The net proceeds of the tea of 1854 – paid in July “56) will be about £50,000
            Deduct all expenses                                                                                 24,000
            Leaves to be divided on a capital of £180,000                                      £26,000
or nearly 14½ p. ct. He does not, however, expect the Div. Will divide over 10 p. ct. – They will probably give a profit of upwards of £30,000, and most of that will likely be divided in 1857. He doesn’t care whether you contribute or not to the paying for the shares. – You will see from the above they will in a few years be paid for entirely by the dividends …. his family, which is likely to be increased in a few months hence. Mr Magee will have the Octagon to himself, I believe, but this too is not quite settled.

I do not know how we are to manage if Kensington is shut up. George goes now and then to afternoon service and he behaved very well last time.

It is time I concluded this letter – for you will be puzzled to make it out. I would have entered more into details if I had been aware we cd exceed the ½ oz. Mrs Learmonth strongly recommends The End by Dr Cumming – I intend to read it when I get time. God bless you and with best love to Wm – I am ever
                                                My dearest Ellie
                                                Yr affectionate Mother
                                                J E MacKillop

Mackillop house in Hobart


Two advertisements for the sale of house and contents of the Mackillop home in Hobart
Elegant Mansion, Garden, AND EXTENSIVE PREMISES.
BY MR. T. Y. LOWES,
At his Mart in Elizabeth-street on Saturday, 15th April next, at one o'clock, positively without re- serve, the proprietor (G. Mackillop, Esq..) being about to leave the Colony,
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 servants 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 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,
Terms-Ten per cent, deposit on the day of sale one-third by bill at six months, bearing eight per cent. interest; the balance may remain secured on the premises for ten years at eight per cent,
For tickets, to view, and further particulars, apply to the Auctioneer  
Colonial Times Tuesday 4 April 1837 page 2

ELEGANT HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE, LANDULET, CHINA, GLASS,
CHOICE Cellar of OLD WINES, BOOKS etc
BY MR. T Y. LOWES,      
At the Residence of George Mackillop, Esq. upper end of Davey-street, TO-MORROW, the 12th instant, commencing at 12 o'clock precisely,
THE whole of the costly and truly elegant
Household Furniture, and other effects, the property of George Mackillop, Esq., proceeding to England, which will be sold without
the least reserve
Comprising in part,
Solid Spanish mahogany rosewood dining  
and drawing room tables and chairs, elegantly carved and highly polished.
Two splendid drawing-room lamps, of exquisite workmanship
A semi grand Piano, by Broadwood, Two easy chairs, beautifully carved Elegant mahogany sideboard Celleret
Tea caddies
Dumb waiter on handsome brass castors, Cheffioneers and card tables
Very superior Brussels and other carpets, one made to order, 29 x 15 9 (exceedingly good)
Chimney, pier, and dressing glasses
Extremely rich and costly dinner, dessert, tea and breakfast services   China
Cut glass
Ivory handled balanced knives and forks Crockery &c.
Four-post and other solid mahogany bed-steads, richly carved
Hair mattresses, English feather beds
Ladies' wardrobes, bidets, bed-steps, cheval glasses Children's bedsteads, and every requisite article of Household Furniture in excellent order, and of the best possible description
ALSO,
A cellar of the choicest old wines, sent expressly to order, comprising every variety A handsome landaulet, with Collins' patent axles, carriage, harness, horse cart, &c.
AND
An extensive library, of the best selected works, amongst which is Brewster's Encyclopedia, in 22 vols.
A more particular description will be given in the Catalogues to be issued previous to the Sale, as it is impossible to particularize them satisfactorily in an advertisement.  
Terms,-From £25 to £100 three months, above £100 four months' credit
N.B. The elegant Service of Plate, being of considerable value, is for sale privately, if applied for previous to the 10th proximo, the Proprietor wishing it not to be separated, as the whole bears the same crest.    
Since the above was advertised, Mr. Mackillop has determined to sell all his splendid plated ware, the articles of which will appear in the catalogue. These and the other goods will be on view the day previous to the sale.  
Colonial Times Tuesday 11 February 1840

52 Ancestors #30 Jean Eleanora Hutton

Jean Hutton, born in London, England, probably in 1800, was the eldest daughter of William Charles Hutton and Eleanora Read who were married in Calcutta, India, on 3 October 1799. Captain William Charles Hutton was in charge of the ship, the Lord Nelson, that disappeared during a storm in November 1808. When William wrote his will on 31 March 1806 he left his effects to his wife and daughters, Jean Eleanora and Mary, and any other subsequent children.

William and Eleanora had four other children - Margaret Mary Hutton who was born and baptised in 1803 and possibly died when a young child as she is not mentioned in her father's will, Mary Hutton who was born and baptised in 1805, Thomas Hutton (1806-1824) and Charles Hutton (1809-1879). The two boys enlisted in the East India Company Army. Thomas, an ensign in the Bengal Infantry, was 17 when he died in India on 3 December 1824. In 1825, Charles applied for a cadetship in the East India Company Army and spent time in India before leaving the army to settle in Victoria. He was involved in the early settlement of the colony and owned a number of properties including the Campaspie Plains Run near Heathcote. He went back to England in the 1860s and then returned to Victoria to live in Brighton in 1872.
On 21 November 1800, Jean Eleanora Hutton was baptised at St George the Martyr Church, Queen Square, London. The next we hear of her was when she married George Mackillop on 8 September 1820 at St John's Church, Calcutta (Kolkata), India. The church was one of the first buildings constructed by the East India Company in Calcutta and for many years served as the cathedral.
George Mackillop was a merchant trading in India. Like many other families involved in India in the nineteenth century it was not unusual for family members to regularly travel between the United Kingdom and India. Jean and George had seven children. The first three sons - George Downie Mackillop (1821-1836), Charles William Mackillop (1824-1909) and John Robert Mackillop (1826-1857) were born in Calcutta. Eleanora Mackillop (1830-1900) was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. James Mackillop was also born in Edinburgh on 17 September 1832 but died ten months later on 16 July 1833 in Calcutta. Shortly after this the family moved to Van Diemen's Land. Mary Rose Mackillop was born in Hobart on 8 July 1834 and died ten years later in Edinburgh when the family returned to Scotland. Georgina Mackillop was born in Hobart on 5 April 1837 and died in Dandenong,Victoria, on 18 November 1928.

In Hobart the family owned a large house in Davey Street. The advertisement  in the Hobart Town Courier 3 February 1837 p 1 for the sale of the house provided the following description:
The first story consists of a drawing room 29 by 16 feet, a parlour, with store closets attached, a dining room, bed room, a butler's sleeping room, pantry and kitchen. The second floor consists of 6 large bed rooms, a dressing room, store room and water closet; and over these are three attics for servants, &c. In the out offices are a scullery, attached to the kitchen, a store room, hay loft, stable, coach, pig and hen houses &c.
The garden is of excellent soil, and is well stocked with fruit trees, now in full bearing.
The premises have been fitted up with every attention to the comfort of a large family, and are now only to be sold on account of the proprietor being about to leave the island.
The property took several years to sell as it was advertised for sale again in 1839 and advertisements for the contents of the house appeared in February 1840. The delay in selling the property may substantiate the view that George later related to family members that he returned to the United Kingdom as he believed there was no future in the colony.

The death of Jean and George's eldest son, fifteen year old George Downie Mackillop, in Hobart two months before the property was first put on the market may also been a consideration on the family's decision to leave the colony.

Initially the family returned to their home in Edinburgh, Scotland where their names are recorded on the 1841 Scottish census. The 1851 English census has the family living in Bath at 26 Grosvenor Place. The townhouse comprised of three storeys plus a cellar and would have had facilities for a carriage at the rear of the property. The census showed that the family employed a cook, parlour maid and a hand-maid. Georgina was the only child living with their parents when the census was taken.

In the mid 1850s Jean and George were looking after three of the children of their daughter, Eleanora Hutton, who was in India with her husband who was serving in the East India Company Army. It was normal procedure for British families India to send the children back to England to be cared for and educated.  In October 1855 Jean wrote a letter to Eleanora providing information about the children - George who was five and who had stared his lessons that morning, Jeannie who was almost four and who had a 'fancy occasionally for doing what she is told not to do' and Baby (Eleanora) who was one and was teething. The letter mentions Nurse who looks after the children and who had sewn new dresses for the two girls. Jean and George had recently returned from visiting Paris for eleven days and Jean commented that 'I think the change and rest from household affairs has as usual done me good'. While they were away Bessie came and helped to look after the children. The letter also provides an insight into the social niceties of the time as Jean also described a 'wedding visit' that she and George made to newly married couple.

In 1857 Jean and George received the news that their son, John Robert Mackillop, had been killed during the Siege of Cawnpore during the Indian Mutiny. He was working in the Bengal India Civil Service and was Joint Magistrate of Cawnpore at the time of the siege.

Jean Eleanora Mackillop died at Bath in July 1859. She was 59.

Jean Eleanora Mackillop was my (x3) great grandmother.