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Malmsbury Bluestone, Quarries, Quarrymen and Stonemasons

Help Wanted or Offered

Do you have a family connection or interest in our local bluestone, was your ancestor a local quarryman, quarry owner, stonemason or were they involved in building with bluestone elsewhere? Did or does your property have an old bluestone quarry on it? Do you have any old photos from local quarries, the people who worked in them or the buildings created from our "famous" stone.

If you wish to know more about the history of our local bluestone, those who worked with it for living, and where the stone went to, we suggest you take a look at a recently completed PhD thesis by Dr. Susan Walter entitled:

Malmsbury Bluestone and Quarries: Finding Holes in History and Heritage.

This can be viewed and downloaded (PDF) at Federation University's "ResearchOnline" website via this link:

It can also be found via the National Library of Australia Trove website under the category of "Research ad Reports" and searching for "Malmsbury bluestone". The View Online link diverts to the Fed Uni Research Online website

As a result of research into the individual stone workers, the thesis included appendices with table on biographical summaries of quarrymen and stonemasons who worked in Malmsbury. Many were here on a short-term basis during the construction of the railways or the reservoir. Some of these short-term residents are listed below. The families with longer-term connections with Malmsbury bluestone include the Wallis, White, Sampson, Jones, Mailler, Tatterson and Page families.

Thomas APPLEBY stonemason born ca 1822 Whitehaven Cumberland arrived in VIC 1859 with second wife and 2 children. In Malmsbury 1860, moved to QLD circa 1864-1868.


John ASHTON - quarryman Malmsbury 1873-1879.


William BALLANTYNE - mason, born 1824 Cavers Roxburghshire Scotland, son of James Ballantyne and Betty Ainslie. A mason and living with father 1851 in Scotland, Arrived VIC 1853 aged 24 a mason. Sentenced at Trentham to 1 months gaol in 1881 for larceny. Died Castlemaine Benevolent Asylum 16/1/1903 (a stonemason, parents given as James a stocking weaver, and Elizabeth) having been sent there from Lauriston by Shire of Kyneton in 1900. When admitted said to be a widower but no further details known.


Joseph Soizer BROWN. Quarryman born ca 1828 Portugal, arrived VIC by 1856, married Mary McManus 1856 at Geelong, son Henry born Malmsbury 1860, son James born Woodend March 1862 but father had died at "The Quarries" Woodend on 5/1/1862. Died as Joseph Charles Brown at Woodend on 5/1/1862.


Charles BURTON. Quarryman of Malmsbury, removed from Kyneton Boroughs electoral roll October 1874 because no longer residing in the district. Wife Emily Whitehead. Son George Benjamin born at Kyneton 1873 and died in VIC 1875. Charles in Kyneton court for assaulting wife August 1874


Henry CASTLE - quarryman? Charged in Malmsbury Police Court with removing stone on Crown lands without a license in 1868, otherwise recorded as a labourer or carter.


David CHARLES - stonemason. Mason of Malmsbury ca1867. Probably arrived VIC 1851 aged 34 on the Great Britain, as mason. Possibly of Swansea 1851 with widowed mother Margaret and in 1841 with sister(?) Ann (nee Charles) who married Thomas Isaac.


Robert CLARK/CLARKE (Junr.) born 1838 Birmingham Warwickshire (birth registered in Aston Union district) son of Robert Clark a mason born Chesterfield Derbyshire and Martha Wass born Mansfield Nottingham. Robert Junr. Arrived VIC March 1857 on the Sardinian, a mason aged 18 English. Married Mary Duckworth 1861 at Kyneton


Robert COULTER - stonemason & monumental mason, born Largs Aryshire Scotland ca 1830, son of Robert (a mason) and Jean Crawford. Of Largs 1841 & Renfrewshire 1851, married in Bendigo 1857, son baptised at Taradale 1860. Died Western Australia 1899 after spending a number of years in Hamilton VIC.


Tom CROW - stonemason born c1833 Huddersfield Yorkshire, (son of Arlam Crow a weaver), married in Malmsbury 1860 to Alice Laidlaw (born Cumberland, daughter of Thomas Laidlaw a stonemason SEE BELOW), moved to NSZ about 1866, died Wooloomooloo 1881. Possibly insolvent and in gaol in 1860


David DAVIES - At Malmsbury c1871 onwards until 1916 (born Llandilo ca 1837 son of Jacob Davies a furnace manager and Annie Williams) married St Kilda 1865 to Helen Gillespie (born 1837 Bannockburn SCT daughter of Robert Gillespie shoemaker and Mary Ann Rattray). David was a blacksmith of Woods Point VIC in 1865, working as a quarryman in Malmsbury by 1871, possibly an overseer at the Reservoir works 1866-1869.


Robert DON - quarryman of Malmsbury 1884-1893. Born Stirlingshire Scotland, married Euphemia Pride. Died Cobden VIC 1946. How and when did he get to VIC ca1882-1885? Arrived QLD per the Maulsden 1883


Edward Tregenza ELLIS - Quarryman, born 1837 Cornwall (registered Redruth) son of Richard Ellis and Rebecca Tregenza, married Cornwall Feb 1856 to Frances Tonkin, son born Melbourne September 1857.


Patrick FEELY - Malmsbury ca1867, Mason of Junction Hotel. Same Patrick Feely a mason of Lennox Street Richmond 1879-1893, and Patrick Feely born Kings County (son of John Feely a mason and Catherine Cannon) Ireland married 1872 Helena O'Hanlon, wife Helena died 1894 and buried Boroondara Possibly previously of 79 Oxford Street Collingwood 1876. Possibly departed for London on the Austral I, July 1897 aged 48. Probably had a brother John Feely accidentally killed VIC 1886, sisters Maria (married Mathew Maroney 1870 VIC) died 1880 and Catherine (married 1880 VIC Patrick HINES or HYNES) died 1881


Donald FORSYTH - quarrying at Malmsbury 1862. Possibly arrived in NSW in 1857 on the Vocalist aged 29 as a stonemason, son of William and Elizabeth FORSYTH of Urrah Rosshire Scotland. Possibly went to New Zealand 1866 aged 32 on the BARWON and returned 1871 on the HERO aged 39.


John FOX - quarrying at Malmsbury 1873


John GRIEVE - quarryman born 1829 Oldhamstocks, East Lothian SCT son of James Grieve and Janet Fairbairn. Arrived in VIC by 1858, may have quarried at Cape Schank and Yan Yean, married Sarah Young in Melbourne 1858, of Malmsbury by 1859, son James born 1861 Malmsbury.


Phillip HOLE - Stonemason of Malmsbury 1862 when declared insolvent (as Philip HALL) . Married in Hackney LND to Maria Crisp SAFE in 1843 and died 1872 at Hotham.


William HARPER - quarryman, born ca 1823 Brora Sutherland Shire Scotland, married in Aberdeen 1845 to Mary Smith, living in Nigg Kincardineshire in 1851, children Alexander, William, Mary, Jane and Christine born Nigg 1847-1854, William arrived in VIC between 1851 and 1857, Mary arrived in March 1858 with 3 children. William working as quarryman in Malmsbury ca 1858-1865, had deserted Mary and gone to New Zealand by 1871. Children sent to industrial school for deserted children, Mary died in prison 1875.


George IRVING born ca 1833 Newcastle Upon Tyne Northumberland, son of Robert and Catherine (nee Smith). Arrived in VIC by 1858 when married Harriet Horrocks/Horrox at Kyneton, recorded as a quarryman of Malmsbury in 1859 and 1871. Died Caulfield in 1892.


George JONES - quarryman. Born Great Malvern Worcester ca 1831 son of William Jones and Charlotte Evans, probably married England, wife unknown (died 21/2/1865 VIC or QLD?), 3 children, one died before 1867. Married secondly at Malmsbury 1867 to Matilda Frances Menere nee Mead, possibly insolvent 1868. George died at Woolamai VIC 1873 aged 42.


Thomas LAIDLAW - stonemason born ca1818 Carlisle Cumberland, married in Manchester 1838 Mary Hopkinson, arrived VIC 1855 on the Frederick with wife & 6 children, died Hotham (Melbourne) 1861. Witnessed marriage of daughter Alice at Malmsbury in 1860 to stonemason Tom CROW. Thomas probably working as a mason in Malmsbury at the time.


John LAING. - quarryman born ca 1827 Edinburgh Midlothian Scotland, married 1851 Janet White or Whyte, of Black Hall Midlothian 1851, daughter Agnes born ca1852 Scotland. Family arrived in VIC October 1854 on the Black Eagle, Agnes died in VIC after arrival. Four more children born in VIC 1856-1863 (John in Melbourne, James in Kilmore, Catherine in Malmsbury and Margaret in Castlemaine). John left Castlemaine in September 1863, wrote from Sandhurst stating he was heading towards the NSW border for work. Janet and daughters returned to Scotland 1872, Sons went to Queensland and died there. No trace of John after 1863.


William NASH also known as William Patrick RYAN, born about 1861 Tantaraboo VIC (birth not registered, supposedly son of William Ryan and Annie Canny, raised by John Nash and wife Hannah Canny or Kenny (married 1863) at Malmsbury, Hannah later described as his mother, John his stepfather. Married (1) to widow Rosanna Hawker (nee Calcutt) in 1889 (no children), then married (2) in 1906 to Maria Allen daughter of William Allen and Charlotte Smith, had 12 children. Lived at Waranga and Rushworth, died 1938 Mooroopna VIC. Quarried at Malmsbury


Alexander OWEN(S) - residing in Malmsbury by 1861, recorded as a mason or labourer living in Urquhart Street Malmsbury 1866-1870.


Benjamin PEARCE c1862 LND - 1933 Yarraville VIC, married 1889 at Malmsbury to Susan Henson, Appears to have come to VIC in 1871 on the Cospatrick with his aunt Susanna White (nee Pearce) and her husband John White, listed on ship as Benjamin White aged 8. A quarryman of Malmsbury when married.


Peter PELL. Listed as a Quarryman of Malmsbury in a local directory dated ca1867, nothing more none, no apparent relation to the Pells of Carlsruhe district. Is this actually Peter Peel or Pool?


William PITTS - quarryman. Born 1824 Kings Lynn Norfolk, married 1852 Norfolk to Hannah Graves or Greaves, arrived VIC 1852 on Persian. Of Malmsbury 1860. Possibly died in Otago district of New Zealand July 1864. Hannah remarried Thomas Knight in 1867


Henry ROGERSON - Stonemason, born Brierley Yorkshire, married VIC Johanna Carroll 1859 in Melbourne, 4 children born VIC. Convicted of bigamy in NSW in 1870 for marrying Edith Hartlett, imprisoned in Darlinghurst then sent back to VIC for deserting his wife Johanna. Returned to Edith in NSW and had 8 more children; died at Forbes 1909.


Thomas ROWLAND or ROWLANDS, stonemason of Malmsbury ca1864-1868 (Borough Rate books) Possible wife Hannah. May have arrived in VIC in 1857 on the Escort with wife Hannah and 3 children, one being Sarah Jane aged 3, possibly married George Dixon in 1870


William Patrick RYAN - see under NASH


W. TURNER - Malmsbury 1867 Stonemason. Possibly William Turner of Clowes Street 1866. Is this the William Turner stonemason died Alfred Hospital in 1884 aged 69?


Valentine WALLACE - Malmsbury ca 1863-1871. May have died in Ballarat in 1891 aged 65, recorded as a Mason or Stonemason.


James WATSON - stonemason, born ca 1826 Edinburgh Scotland, married 1856 in Parramatta NSW to Ellen King (born London circa 1839), possibly of Malmsbury 1860, daughter Mary Harriet Watson born Kyneton 1861, baptised at Taradale 1861. No further children found in Australia or New Zealand nor obvious deaths found for Ellen or James.


Christopher WESTMORELAND - stonemason, born 1832 Penrith Cumberland. Of Penrith in 1841 and 1851, married in VIC in 1856 to Colina McKAY. Died Brunswick 1897. Arrived in VIC between 1851 and 1856.


Walter WHITE - stonemason, born Spalding England, married Jessie Patterson in Sydney in 1857, son John Walter born Sydney 1859, baptised at Taradale 1860 while Walter was a mason at Malmsbury. Family returned to NSW by 1861.


James WOODS - born 1870 Malmsbury, son of James Woods (a quarryman, died 1874)and Margaret Cull. Living in Malmsbury in 1906 when he sold his land, said to be living in New Zealand when his mother died in 1914. Had worked in local quarries prior to 1906.


Christian William WHITTAKER, stone cutter and quarryman, born ca 1836 Copenhagen Denmark, married Sarah Nash in VIC in 1859. Daughter Margaret born in Malmsbury 1860, son Richard born 1861 Riddells Creek VIC. Departed for New Zealand 1863 probably leaving Richard with John and Hannah Nash at Malmsbury. Supposedly took on the surname of WILLIAMS once in NZ and died Cromwell NZ 1875.

Malmsbury Historical Society Inc.

We Serve To Preserve

Other Items:

Subjects of interest to us, that may be the basis for future publications are:

Mines, Mining and miners.

Malmsbury Hotels.

Early Burials In Malmsbury


Do you have any death certificates prior to August 1862 that record a burial in Malmsbury cemetery? Are there any that record the placed of death as Malmsbury but no place of burial listed? Some of the burial records for our local cemetery are incomplete, can you help us fill the gaps? If you cannot provide good copies of the certificates, send us details of the name, place of death, date of death, certificate registration number, date of burial and witnesses to burial. Some early burials took place in a former burial ground in Barker Street but we don't know who they were. CAN YOU HELP?