ADHS Newsletter No. 163 SEPTEMBER, 1998

Items of interest –

  • 100th birthday of former Avoca Methodist Minister Rev. Roy Addinsall
  • Black substance at Glenpatrick 1897
  • Miss L. McVicar, Milliner and Dressmaker, Avoca 1895
  • Redbank Police Station 1900
  • Bushfire in the Pyrenees 1900

An interesting afternoon is assured at the Society’s next meeting to be held at the Court House on Sunday, 18th October, at 1.30 p.m. Bruce Osborn, who is President of the Midlands Historical Society at Maryborough, will speak to us on the history of the Maryborough Gaol, which is the subject of his new book soon to be published. Bruce’s research of this part of the district’s history has revealed some interesting and fascinating facts. Allied with Bruce’s talk, there will be the opportunity to look at our display on Families, which will include some interesting exhibits of family trees which will be well worth studying if you are wondering how to display your own family tree permanently.

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Our Society will be represented and will exhibit this display at the CHHA History Expo at Ballarat on the 24th-25th October where the theme of Families will also be featured, and a new book by Joan Hunt is to be launched. The venue is The Ranger Barracks, Curtis Street, Ballarat, and the hours are from 10.00 am to 4.30 pm on both days. Come to this Expo and discover your connection with the Ballarat and neighbouring goldfields. There will be more than 40 exhibitors, providing experts in the following areas – Births, Deaths and Marriages; Victorian Shipping Records; Cemetery Indexes; Genealogical Indexes; Hospital Indexes; Mining Indexes and Records; and Immigration Indexes for Scottish, Irish, Cornish, Welsh and Swiss-Italian settlers. Saturday’s programme – Exhibition opens at 10.00 am, 10.30 Official Opening; 11.00 Talk: How to Start Researching Your Family History; 3.00 pm Talk: Researching Overseas Records; 4.30 Exhibition closes. Sunday’s programme – 10.00 am Exhibition opens; 11.00 Talk: How to Research on the Internet; 3.00 pm Talk: Dating Family Photographs; 4.30 Exhibition closes. Admission $3 single, $5 family, Talk $2, children free. Joint ticketing with Eureka Centre and Montrose Cottage available. Light refreshments available both days.

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Sincere thanks must go to Wendy Taylor, our Assistant Secretary, for allowing the Society to use her E-mail address as our ‘letterbox’ for those on the Internet who may wish to contact this Society. Wendy advises that she has had to change her Internet provider and her new E-mail address is wtaylor@goldnet.com.au and she apologises for any inconvenience caused during the two weeks she was without a provider.

Springtime and the warmer weather seem to have stirred family historians into action and the Society is being kept very busy with research enquiries.

The Society extends condolences to our members, Barry and Sue Slater, on the death of Barry’s father, Joseph Michael Slater, on 6th September, 1998. After a service at St. Kevin’s Roman Catholic Church in Avoca, the burial took place at the Moonambel Cemetery.

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A warm welcome is extended by the Society to the following new members:


Mrs. K. BURNHAM, of Woodend, who is researching the BOYD family (nee MORRIS)of Talbot, Evansford and Clunes, and the BURNHAM family (a BURNHAM married a MARTIN of Clunes).

Mrs. Vera HAMPSON, of Doncaster, researching HAMPSON (nee CLAPTON) at Avoca from 1855-1870.

Mr. and Mrs. L. A. KELLAM, of Parkville, who are researching IMPEY, SIMPSON, Crowlands, Eversley and Ararat.

Ms. M. MARTIN, of Bung Bong, whose interest is Glen Mona Station.

Mr. Michael PORTELLI, of Piper’s Creek, who is interested in the ROWLAND and SIMMONS families.

Mrs. Aleen SMITH, of Ballarat, whose interests are the COUTTS family, especially Jan COUTTS and family of Lexton, and the CUNNINGHAM family, especially Laurence and Jan, of Evansford.

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Snippets of Interest – Boer War Soldiers – The records of some 500 Australian soldiers who died during the Boer War have been returned to the Australian Office of War Graves. The records show the burial memorial locations for Australian casualties, with the exception of burials in Natal Province, details of which are expected later this year. For further details contact The Historical Research Officer, Office of Australian War Graves, P.O. Box 21, Woden, ACT 2606.

(Source: Lithgow Pioneer Press, Vol. 13, No. 2, Issue 50, August, 1998)

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Records of Dead Servicemen – The Commonwealth Department of Veterans Affairs will give you a copy of all information held by them for service personnel who have died overseas. In addition, and as time permits, they will organise for a photo of the headstone to be taken. To use this free service, send your person’s full name, battalion and regimental number, date of death and place of burial to The Commonwealth Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Australian War Graves, P.O. Box 21, Woden, ACT 2606.

(Source: Lithgow Pioneer Press, Vol. 13, No. 2, Issue 50, August, 1998)

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Cornish Interests – Patricia Lay is inviting submissions for Cornish-Australian Heritage: a biographical register of Cornish-Australians 1788-1998. Closing date for submissions is 1st November, 1998, and the publication date is March, 1999. The book will cost $35, including postage.

One and all: the Cornish in New South Wales is the definitive work on Cornish immigration and settlement in NSW and is written from Patricia Lay’s extensive research for an MA thesis. It will be published in October 1998 with a pre-publication offer of $35 including postage.

Write to Patricia at P.O. Box 1604, Queanbeyan, NSW 2620, phone 02 6297 5265 or E-mail: pat.lay@interact.net.au or Fax: 02 6297 0267.

(Source: Lithgow Pioneer Press, Vol. 13, No. 2, Issue 50, August, 1998)

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Transcription agents – The accredited transcription agents for NSW, Joy Murrin and Marilyn Rowan, have had their contracts renewed recently and, in addition, are now able to transcribe entries from the Death Registers up to 1945. The new charge is $12 for NSW entries.

Marilyn Rowan (Marbract Services) is now offering “Researcher Matching” which, with the client’s permission, will put clients in contact with others who have previously ordered the same certificate through Marbract Services.

Joy Murrin, P.O. Box 278, Oatley, NSW 2223, is now able to obtain Birth, Death and Marriage certificates for England and Wales from 1st July, 1837. Payment can be made by Australian cheque or Money Order. If you supply Joy with an Australian SAE, the certificates are sent to her and she will send them on to you. Applications with GRO reference cost $20. Applications requiring search of GRO Indexes are – 3 years $25; 5 years $27; 10 years $30. The English Index, unlike the Australian Index, does NOT include the names of parents. This can make it difficult to identify your correct ancestor. By supplying other known information, called “check points”, the Registry will check this information with what is recorded in the Registers. If it does not match, a refund of £3 is given.

The check points are – Date of event, Place of event, Name of father and mother (for birth), Name of father (for marriage), Occupation of deceased (for death).

(Sources: Lithgow Pioneer Press, August, 1998, and The CQ Genie-ologist, Vol 7, No. 3, September, 1998)

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Irish Interest – The Irish Famine Commemoration Committee is developing a database of people who can trace their Irish forbears back to the Potato Famine of 1845-50, with its peak in 1847. More than a million people left the country between 1845 and 1860 following the failure of the crops through blight in 1845-46 which left a shortage of seed for planting in the following years. Further information about the database can be obtained from the committee, P.O. Box 215, Heidelberg, Vic.3084.

Approximately 4,000 young Irish orphan girls were transported to Australia from 1848 to 1850. A 150th anniversary gathering of descendants of these ‘orphan girls’ will be held in Tipperary next year. Information on group flights and other arrangements may be obtained from the Tipperary Clans Office, 45 Main Street, Tipperary Town, Ireland.

(Source: The CQ Genie-ologist, Vol. 7, No. 3, September, 1998)

If you had an ancestor who came from Ireland 1800-1845 (especially before 1810) for conduct of a “political” character (belonging to a secret society; treasonable language; appearing armed, etc.), Ireland 1798 Australian Research, P.O. Box 1137, Darlinghurst, NSW 2010 (phone 02 9699 3395) would appreciate your contribution to the construction of a database of all such exiles and convicts.

(Source: Newcastle Family History Soc. Inc., Bulletin 134, July/August, 1998)

The Lithgow and District Family History Society Inc. is organising a gathering of the Descendants of the Pioneer Families Weekend to be held on 20th, 21st and 22nd November, 1998. Family reunions can be held at the Hartley Historic Village on the 22nd.

Full details from the Society at P.O. Box 516, Lithgow, NSW 2790.

Site Conservation Plan for the Hartley Historic Site – Copies of the plan are available from the Site Manager, Mr. Steven Ring, Hartley Historic Site, Hartley, NSW, 2786, for descendants and other community members to have an input into the planning process at Hartley.


Rev. Roy Addinsall has celebrated his 100th birthday – A newspaper cutting from the Moorabbin Standard of 19th May, 1998, has reached your Editor’s desk, and tells of the then approaching 100th birthday of the Rev. Roy Addinsall who once served as a Methodist Minister at Avoca.

Victoria’s oldest Uniting Church minister celebrated his 100th birthday on 22nd May. To mark the occasion, he was visited by the church’s Victorian moderator Pam Kerr at a special thanksgiving service at Moorabbin the previous Sunday.

Mr. Addinsall worked in parishes all over the state, including Natimuk, Manangatang, Omeo, East Kew, Avoca, Daylesford, Nhill and Ballarat before retiring in 1963. At times he divided his time between four churches each Sunday, travelling from one service to another without a car. He recalls having a horse and buggy later, or a horse and gig, but he started at Natimuk on a pony, then a bike. He tells the story of how it rained one Sunday, and the dirt roads caused the wheels to clog up so that he had to get off and carry it on his shoulder.

Born in 1898 in Narrandera, New South Wales, Mr. Addinsall came to Victoria with his family in 1904, travelling in a tilt wagon, and the Mallee was his home for most of his formative years. In 1924, he began his ministerial career as a pre-collegiate minister in Natimuk. Since then, he has preached about 9,000 sermons, and the last one was on his 95th birthday. In retirement, he has continued to work part-time in Moorabbin, where his interest is in the Hemming Street Uniting Church, where he delivered his last sermon in 1993.

He now feels the years and his state of health are against him so far as preaching is concerned but still attends the Hemming Street Uniting Church on most Sundays, where his daughter Joan is a lay preacher and organist.

A double celebration was planned by the family – Mr. Addinsall’s sister had her 98th birthday a week later.

Useful Discovery – as reported in The Age, 31st March, 1897, page 7.

A peculiar substance of a rocky nature, which it is believed would be of great utility for many purposes, has been found by Mr. W.K. Thirloway, mining manager of the New Glenpatrick G.M. Co., at Glenpatrick. In color it is a deep black, and when struck by some hard substance, will gradually fall into minute particles, resembling exceedingly fine grains of gunpowder. Experiments have been tried with it as a polisher with entirely satisfactory results. If a little be rubbed on old brass, silver, steel or iron, it will produce a brilliant polish in a few seconds, and that without any scratching whatever. Mr. Thirloway intends securing the ground, in which thousands of tons can be seen on the surface.

Miss L. McVicar, Milliner and Dressmaker (From The Avoca Free Press, 4th May, 1895)

Miss L. McVicar has much pleasure in announcing to her Patrons and the Public that she has removed her business as a Milliner and Dressmaker to the Premises recently occupied by Mr. Frayne, High Street, when she will execute Orders on the Shortest Notice, and at Charges to suit the times. Sun Bonnets made to Order. A Choice and Varied Assortment of Toys. Tobacco of the Best Brands and Stationery. Note the Address – Miss L. McVicar, Milliner and Dressmaker, late Mr. Frayne, High Street, Avoca.

Genealogy Tag Lines –

A new cousin a day keeps the boredom away.

Any family tree produces some lemons, nuts and bad apples.

Climbing my family tree was fun until the nuts appeared!

Isn’t genealogy fun! The answer to one problem leads to two more!

Genealogists live in the past lane.

Police Correspondence – Our indefatigable member, Helen Harris, continues her research work at the Public Record Office and has located the following interesting items in the police correspondence files.

Moonambel Station, 6 February 1900.

Report of J. McIver, Mounted Constable No. 4150, relative to the bushfire in the Pyrenees.

I have to report that a tremendous bush fire is raging in the Tchiree State Forest between Moonambel and Elmhurst. It broke out last Thursday the 1st inst. on Mr. Hankin’s property about six miles from Elmhurst and swept into the State forest. The origin of the fire is supposed to have been phospherised pollard laid for rabbits. Yesterday the fire approached to within a mile and a half of the farms in Warrenmang bordering on the Moonambel side of the forest. I went out with almost all the men in Moonambel yesterday afternoon and remained until midnight. The country is very rough where the fire is burning and little could be done yesterday to stop its progress. About 20 men remained at the fire all night to fight this side of it. I am going out with a party from Moonambel this morning. The Warrenmang farms are in great danger of being burnt out. All the sheep have been removed from the grazing blocks in the State Forest. Owing to the fire I have not been able to attend at the Redbank station since Sat.

District headquarters: Noted. Report further in due course.

12 February Further report . . . no further damage has been done to homesteads or farms since Tuesday last the 6th inst. With great difficulty we succeeded in confining the fire to the ranges by constructing great lengths of fire breaks and patrolling the face of the fire along these breaks, as trees or timber falling across the breaks would start the fire afresh if not closely attended to. The rain yesterday will I think completely put the fire out with the exception of burning trees. This has been the largest and most destructive fire ever known in the Pyrenees. About 200 square miles of forest country has been burnt in the mountains and miles of fencing, besides the farms and homesteads in Warrenmang.

Reference: VPRS 807 Unit 114 No. 1437

Constable P. Kennedy No. 3089 was transferred to Redbank Police Station, arriving on 16 February 1900. He reported his arrival to the Officer in Charge of the Midland District, commenting that:

“I obtained the key of the house from Mr. Meagher who had [it] in his care . . . The inside of the house is in very bad repair, the paper on the walls being torn and dirty, and the plaster falling down, the fence is broken, the gates are broken and hanging off the posts . . .”

Asked to detail repairs required, in order for a tender to be obtained, he reported that the station consisted of a dwelling house with brick walls and a slate roof, containing four rooms, passage and a small office; the building was built about 30 years ago by the Post and Telegraph Department. A local tradesman, J.A. Davies, tendered for the repairs, which cost £3.2.6. The job was completed in June 1900.

Reference: VPRS 807 Unit 116 No. 2521