Buninyong and District Historical Society Inc.

Reg. No. A0030085Y
Web Site http://home.vicnet.net.au/~buninhis
PO Box 98, Buninyong, Vic. 3357


February 2009

This very interesting photo of Rev. Thomas Hastie appears in Frank Duggan's recent book, Florrie From the Kings' Table; Her Ancestry.The photo was taken prior to 1870

Our next meeting is Thursday 19 February 2009, at 7.30p.m. at Court House

December last year saw a visit from the Ballarat Historical Society, with a very pleasant group taking a walk around the township, before gathering in the Court House History Centre for supper. A number of our members were on hand to welcome the visitors, notably our President David Kimpton.It was a lovely early summer evening enjoyed by all.

Our Christmas meeting was held at the home of the Secretary at Clarendon. Those present enjoyed a walk around the property to see revegetation works on an old potato paddock, and watched the video of the opening of the Lal Lal- Moorabool Falls walking track in May. Seasonal refreshments were enjoyed by all!


January-February 2009

COOPER, William

Born Launceston Tasmania in 1848, and died at Mount Doran in 1913. Death certificate said he had spent most of his life in Victoria. Query from Wonthaggi.

McLACHLAN, Moffatt and Donald

From Scotland in 1854, the brothers were mining in the Buninyong-Scotchmans Lead area in the early 1860s. Moffatt married Mary Paton Campbell at the Buninyong Presbyterian Manse in December 1860. By the 1870s the brothers had moved to Sebastopol and Ballarat, but they were leading lights in the Caledonian Society, and when Moffatt died in 1923 in Ballarat at the age of 94, he was described as the 'oldest living Scottish piper' in Victoria.

RITCHIE family, William and Helen

In Buninyong district in the 1850s. Two females buried in Buninyong in June 1857, and Mrs Ritchie contributed to the Building Appeal for the Buninyong Presbyterian Church in 1860. Query from Perth

If readers know anything about any of these names, and can help, please contact the secretary, Anne Beggs Sunter, a.beggs-sunter@ballarat.edu.au.


Our warm thanks go to Frank Duggan of Canberra, for sending us a copy of his recently published family history, Florrie From the Kings' Table; Her Ancestry. It is a wonderfully detailed family history, covering a number of Buninyong district families, particularly the Cootes and the Howards of Scotsburn in the nineteenth century. As well as giving the history of families, it adds very much to our social history, including the movement of local young farmers to South Gippsland at the end of the nineteenth century, and even the practices of Dr. Longden in relation to child birth. This family history is exemplary in its use of excellent footnotes, reproduction of photos with captions, and acknowledgement of sources. It is an excellent addition to our collection, and will be of interest to members with a connection to Scotsburn.

Most intriguingly, the book contains a hitherto unseen photo of Dr. Thomas Hastie, in full clerical garb, taken before 1870. The Rev. Hastie was a good friend to Mrs Ann Howard of Scotsburn around the time of her husband's death in 1884. He would have come to Scotsburn to take services at the Scotsburn Union Church, which served both Presbyterians and Anglicans.

By a strange co-incidence, Rev. Hastie's great-granddaughter Nance Richards from NSW sent a copy of the reminiscences of Frederick Bowman, who was employed by Andrew Scott of Warracknabeal as a tutor to his son in 1865. Frederick soon became a jackeroo, then a manager for the Scotts, and he married Jeanie Hastie, whose father performed the marriage at Buninyong in 1873. Another employee of the Scotts at Warracknabeal was John Kelsall, who married another Hastie daughter, Martha.

This new information will be useful for my talk, which I am giving to the Pioneers of Port Phillip Society in Melbourne next month.

Policing at Buninyong and the Hard Hills in 1856

The following extract from the Geelong Advertiser of March 1856 provides an interesting comment on the gold rush to Hard Hills and other localities near Buninyong; to the state of the court facilities in Buninyong, and there is a strongly satirical note in relation to the government based at Toorak, in the wake of the Eureka uprising.

Geelong Advertiser c 20 March 1856

Hard Hills and Police Protection in Buninyong.

Police protection of the Hard Hills comprises 4 men. Buninyong is supplied with an effective force of 2 men. There are in the vicinity of the township thousands of men, the exact number we will not venture upon, whose rights, wrongs and civil and criminal proceedings are adjudicated upon at Ballarat, seven miles off. In 1852, there was a vote to erect a courthouse in Buninyong. The timber was felled, split and has since been left to rot, and the monetary vote appropriated probably to bluestone the piggeries at Toorak, or provide lattice-work poultry houses for Toorak bantams. At any rate, the vote is unexpended and Buninyong is without police, court house, magistrate or JPs.

Central Highlands Historical Society Newsletter

The latest newsletter has a very interesting series of short articles on historic buildings and sites that are cared for by members of our local historical society. Our society is represented by the Buninyong Town Hall.

National Library Resources on the Internet

The National Library of Australia's web site is an Alladin's cave for local and family historians. More and more resources are being put on the internet. I was excited to find that many old maps are now available in digital form, including maps of our area. One interesting map is of Burnt Bridge in the 1850s, and it shows details like the line of the new Geelong-Ballarat road that was being constructed, and the site of the Burnt Bridge Inn.

The newspaper collection is also amazing, and there is the opportunity to search through indexes of nineteenth century newspapers such as the Melbourne Argus, and to download articles.

Probates at the Public Record Office of Victoria

Another very exciting resource that has recently become available on the Internet is the Victorian Probate records. Not only can you search for a particular name, in many cases the actual documents have been digitised.


Thursday 19 February 2009Buninyong and District Historical Society Meeting, Court House History Centre
27-29 March 2009Gold King Festival (note change of date)
Every second Monday morning at 9.00a.m. Cataloguing. We work for two hours, then take coffee at a local cafe. Helpers always very welcome!
1st Sunday of each month Court House open from 11.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.
3rd Saturday of every monthBuninyong Farmer's Market, from 9.00a.m.

If you have not renewed your membership, your renewal would be appreciated.

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