Sunday, 16 November 2014

Obituary - Barry Talbot Gratton

The obit I wrote for my father in law with help from his sister Maylene.

 On June 13, 1945 Frederick and Phyllis Gratton, welcomed the second child to their family, Barry Talbot. Four years later Barry and his brother Rodney were joined by a little sister, Maylene.

Early on, the family lived in Bent Street, Moonee Ponds where Barry attended the Moonee Ponds Central School. Later they moved to Dublin Avenue, Strathmore and Barry completed his primary education at the Strathmore Primary School. The Gratton's moved to Lebanon Street, Strathmore and it was while they lived here that Barry attended Glenroy Technical School.

From an early age Barry was always building something, whether it be billy carts or cubby houses, some of which were underground. Barry always wanted to be a builder, but times were tough and he could not get an apprenticeship. On leaving school he became a sales representative for Hemingway and Picket, a cigarette distributor. However, he longed to work with his hands and so became a handyman, specialising in hanging doors.

In his teenage years Barry loved to go ferreting and shooting at the family weekender, Konagaderra. Later he enjoyed camping and water skiing at Lake Eppalock. Always the gentleman, Barry would make steps down to the water, where ever he camped. He was always there to help you.

Barry loved to dance to rock n roll music. It was on one of these night's out at the Heidelberg Town Hall that Barry met Katheryn Butterworth. Little did he know, they would be together for over 40 years. Barry married Katheryn at St Andrew's Church of England, Rosanna on January 13, 1968.

After they married the happy couple lived in Lalor. It was here in 1971 that the first of their three boys, Stephen was born. Three years later Warren came into the world and then finally Brock in 1977. The late 70's saw the family move to Mill Park. It was here in around 1980 a little boy followed the three Gratton brothers home from a play ground. Unfortunately they gave him something to eat... Wray has been a member of the family ever since.

Sam & Annie Butterworth, Katheryn & Barry, Phyllis & Frederick Gratton
Barry's love of the outdoors carried into his adult life with his own family: camping; fishing and water skiing. Nearly every school holidays were spent traveling from Melbourne to stay at the Everton caravan park. They loved their time here so much that Barry and Kathy would later relocate their family to the North East. Barry working as a caretaker at the caravan park.

After living at Everton for a few years they would move to Markwood and then later Wangaratta.

While they lived at Everton in the early 1990's, Barry began working at Bruck Textiles. He continued working here for around 15 years, until leaving in around 2006 to take care of Kathy when she fell ill. In December 2005 Barry named Bruck's employee of the month.

If you know Barry, you know he loved a good bargain. The Mill Park days is when the Garage Sale King started his reign. Barry, with boys in tow, would drive around the neighbourhood on council clean up days hunting for treasures. It would soon become a family tradition that Saturday mornings were spent going through the paper and visiting as many garage sales as possible. This continued when the family moved to the North East and it still continues today with their sons and grandchildren heading out early most weekends.

Barry's biggest joy was his family. His pride in his boys was evident to all. As his boys grew and started families of their own, he was able to pass on his many handy man skills to another generation. There was nothing around the house that he could not build or fix. He would take turns, going from one sons house to the next, working on whatever project he felt needed doing – whether the family was ready or not.

Barry was a kind, caring and loving son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, father in law and friend to all that had the pleasure to know him. He will be missed by all, but his legacy continues in the family he has left behind.
L to R: Stephen, Kathy, Warren, Barry & Brock Gratton

Saturday, 15 November 2014

The Reyland Family

Susan and Edmund

Susan Bunston, the youngest child of Samuel and Fannie Monkton, was born in South Petherton, Somerset on September 10th 1853.  Susan was the youngest sibling of George and Mary Bunston, who had left England for Australia in February1855.  It is a fair assumption that Susan would not have remembered her eldest brother and sister.

At the time of the 1861 census, seven year old Susan was attending school. She was living with her older siblings Jane, Henry, James, John and Joseph.  Their parents had already passed away by this time, Fannie in 1859 and Samuel in 1860.

The 1871 census has 17 year old Susan now living as a lodger with her sister Sarah Ann (married name, Masters) and her family. Susan was working as a Glover.

Seven years later on June 25, 1878 Susan married 26 year old Edmund Reyland at the parish church in Stratton, South Petherton, Somerset. Edmund was also born in South Petherton, on April 12th 1852 and here he was working as a labourer. Edmund was one of 15 children to William Reyland, a labourer from South Petherton and his wife Mary Anstice Vagg.

I have been unable to find Edmund in the 1861 census as he was not living with his family at the time.  Father William was working as a grocer at this time and living with him and Mary was three of their children.  I have been unable to find the family in the 1871 census.

On August 9 1878, newlyweds Edmund and Susan, left England on board the “Hesperus” and immigrated to Australia. Arriving in South Australia on October 24, they settled in Balaclava, South Australia, where their first child, Annie was born.  Two sons would also be born in South Australia. The family lived here for 11 years before moving to Victoria. Shortly after arriving at their new home, Susan gave birth to twin daughters Florence and Edith. The family resided at 27 Aitken Street, Clifton Hill - a suburb of Melbourne.  Here, Edmund was employed as a labourer. Their youngest child, Gertrude, was also born while the family lived here.

Altogether, Susan and Edmund had six children: Annie (1879); William (1883); Frederick (1885); Florence and Edith (1889) and Gertrude (1891). Though sadly the twins both died shortly after their birth.
Edmund, Fred, Susan, Gertie, Edgar and Annie Reyland

According to voting records, Susan was a house wife and Edmund was a labourer.  Edmund continued his occupation even as he progressed into old age. 

Susan died on February 26, 1913 aged 58 at Clifton Hill. She is buried at Coburg.

A few year's after his wife’s death, around 1918, Edmund moved from the house in Aitken street to a house in Kensington where he lived with his eldest daughter, Annie and her husband.  His son Frederick remained in the Aitken street house for a while with his wife. Sometime around 1927, he moved to Skipton in western Victoria where his youngest child, Gertrude, had moved to be with her husband. Edmund lived in a single room hut behind Gertrude’s house. Both the house and hut are still standing today.

Edmund died in Skipton on May 7, 1937 aged 85. He was buried on May 10 in the Coburg Cemetery with his wife, Susan.

Susan reunited with her older brother, George, and possibly her sister Mary as well.  Both daughters Annie and Gertrude married their cousins - George's boys William and Philip.


Annie May, the eldest daughter, was born at Balaclava, South Australia on March 25th 1879.  She moved to Melbourne in 1889 with her family.  

On January 18th 1905 Annie married William Bunston in Clifton Hill, Victoria. Their wedding party included Annie's brother Fred and sister Gertie.  The other bridesmaid could possibly have been Will's youngest sister Gean.  Will was the son of Susan's brother George and Elizabeth Lyle Thompson. He was born on October 1st 1872 at Skipton, Victoria.  Voting records show that Will worked as a labourer and later as a municipal employee.  Annie was a house wife.

Will and Annie with Will's sister Gean
Together Will and Annie had three children: Winifred (1907); Alma (1910) and George (Peter)  (1914).

The family lived in Flemington, Melbourne. In the late 1930’s, Will’s niece, Esther Perry boarded with them for a while when she moved to Melbourne for employment.

Will died on August 9th 1944 aged 71. Annie died 28 years later in Melbourne on September 17th 1972, aged 93. They are buried in the Melbourne General Cemetery.

William Edgar

Edgar was born on September 11th 1882 in Saints Station, South Australia. He moved to with his family to Victoria as a child.

Around the turn of the century Edgar moved to New Zealand, settling in Christchurch.  According New Zealand voting records, early on in life Edgar worked as a carter, after WWI has worked as a paper runner and in later life he worked as a cooper.  

Edgar served in the New Zealand Expeditionary Force during World War I.  He traveled to London in 1918 on board the "Tofua" with the 42nd Reinforcements A Company.

Before the war, Edgar married Eleanor Ada Frances (Nell) Allen in 1908. Edgar and Nell adopted a daughter, Joyce (1925). After 30 years of marriage, Nell died in 1938.

In 1942 Edgar married his second wife, Madge Madeline (possibly Faukner) in New Zealand. Madge was born around 1900. Madge and Edgar had a son together, Peter (1941).

Edgar died in Christchurch, New Zealand on December 23rd 1960 aged 78. His second wife Madge died at the Christchurch Hospital on July 13th 1988 aged 88. She was cremated the next day at the Cantebury Cremetorium, Christchurch.

Frederick Edmund

Fred was born on February 19th1885 in Inkerman, South Australia.  In 1889 at the age of four he moved to Victoria with his family.

Voting records in 1909 showed 24 year old Fred living in Aitken street with his parents, he was employed as an estate agent.

Fred married Mary Ann Madsen in 1912.  Mary was the daughter of Marinus Madsen and Sarah Jane Warr.  She was born in Preston in 1887.  Mary and Fred did not have any children.  

Fred and Mary lived with Fred's parents in the Aitken street house, until his father moved in with Annie after the death of his wife.  In 1914 Fred was employed as a presser, while Mary worked as a machinist.

Five years later the couple were living in Tatura, central Victoria.  Here Mary was a house wife and Fred worked as a carter.  After living here for a little while they moved to Mooroopna, near Shepparton where Fred worked in the orchards as an orchard hand

By 1931 Fred and Mary had returned to the city, living in Collingwood.  Voting records now list Fred as being an invalid.  He died in Collingwood in 1940 aged 58.  Mary died in Northcote in 1961.

Gertrude May

Gertie was born in Collingwood on February 25, 1891.  Voting records from 1914 show Gertie living with her parents at the Aitken street home and working as a machinist.

A year later she and Philip Henry Bunston were married on October 27th 1915 in Kensington.  Philip was born on December 6th 1883 at Skipton.  In 1914 Philip was working as a farmer whilst living with his parents, George and Elizabeth. 

In 1919 Philip and Gertie were living on a property next door to Philip's parents farm.  Gertie was a house wife and Philip was a farmer.  Philip's father had given them part of his farm as a wedding present.  They lived here with their six children: Philip Edmund (Eddie) (1916); Reginald Henry (Reg) (1918); Alexander Herbert (Alec) (1920); George Lyle (1924); Thelma May (1925) and Alan James (1929).  The boys all lived to adulthood, but sadly their only daughter, Thelma, died in infancy. 
Front:Alan & George, Back: Eddie, Reg, Alec 

After the death of Gertie’s mother Susan Reyland, Gertrude’s father moved into a single room hut behind their house. Gertrude died on August 8, 1955 aged 65. She is buried at the Skipton Cemetery with her husband who died ten years later on June 13th 1965, aged 82.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

George Bunston and Bessie Owen

The second child of William Bunston and Ellen Vickery, George was born on May 7th 1867 in Yeovil, South Petherton. He was christened two months later on July 7th. His mother Ellen made her mark on his birth certificate as an “X”.  Due to this, it is likely that Ellen could not read or write.

At the time of the 1871 census George is listed as being three years of age.  George worked as a labourer and lived in Pontyclownfach, Wales. On February 2nd 1889 in Llantrisant, Glamorgan, Wales George married his first wife Elizabeth “Bessie” Owen.

Bessie was the daughter of Ephraim John Owen and Ann Ward.  She was born in 1868 in Great Bridge, Stafford.  The 1881 census shows Bessie living with her parents and three brothers in Llantrisant, Wales.  At the time of her marriage to George, Bessie lived at Brynsadler. Her father was working as a Checker. George and Bessie had their banns read in the church. The witnesses for the ceremony were Henry George Owen and Mary Bunston. The marriage was officiated by Mr. Davis, Curate. Rumour has it that the Owen’s were very rich family.
George and Bessie had 10 children together: Lily (1889); Mary "Emmy" (1891); Wilfred G (1892); John (1893); Flossie (1894); Elsie (1895); Wilfred O (1897); Gladys (1898); George "Baden" (1900) and Phyllis (1906).

George; Bessie; Lily; Wilf; Gladys; Elsie; Flossie; Emmy; Baden; Phyllis
The 1901 census shows George was working as a pipe layer, but was not living with his wife and family. I have been unable to find Bessie and the children in this census, but have found George and the children in the 1911 records.  Bessie had died on December 30 1909 aged 42. 

About four years after the death of Bessie, on November 24 1913 George married Mary Elizabeth Bunston. Mary was born in 1883. She was the daughter of James Bunston, William’s brother and Mary Ann Vickery, Ellen’s sister, making Mary, George’s cousin.

Mary and George had at least six children: Cyril (c.1915); Clifford (1917); Ronald (1919); Audrey (1920); Harold (1922) and Irene (1929).

George died in 1954 on May 5th. Mary died in Wales ten years later on November 23rd 1964.

George with three of his four brothers - missing is John

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Elizabeth Bunston and William Luck

Elizabeth, daughter of Henry Bunstone and Mary Prowse was born in South Petherton, Somerset on April 14th 1824. Like her brothers Henry and William, Elizabeth migrated to Australia.

It’s possible that Elizabeth traveled to Tasmania on board “Royal Saxon” which arrived in Launceston on November 22nd 1842. The passenger list has an 18 year old Elizabeth Bunstoner.  Though later research is yet to be able to confirm this information.  However, the time frame is correct as the 1841 Census shows Elizabeth in England and her marriage record has her in Australia.

When she was 19 Elizabeth married William Luck at St John’s, Launceston, Tasmania on November 22nd 1843.

The son of John Luck and Hannah Gibbs, William was born in Wootton, Northhamptonshire, England on February 23rd 1823. 

There is a record of a 17 year old criminal named William Luck that was transported to Australia from Northhampton in 1842.  He was tried in 1840 and sentenced to 7 years for larceny.  He sailed to Australia on board the "Tortoise".

In the early to mid 1850’s the family moved to Victoria. They only stayed for a couple of years, as their daughter Catherine was born in Victoria in 1853. All of the other children, before and after, were born in Tasmania.  There is a record of a William Luck traveling to Geelong, Victoria - arriving on 9 August 1849.  Though at this stage it is unconfirmed as it does not fit with the birth dates of the children born in Tasmania around this time. 

Elizabeth and William had at least 14 children together: Mary (1844); Alice (1846); William (1847); John (1849); James (1850); Joseph (1851); Catherine (1853); Hannah (1856); Charlotte (1857); George (1859); Sarah (1861); Annie (1862); Ada (1865) and Alfred (1868).

Elizabeth died in Hagley, Tasmania on May 31st 1870.

After Elizabeth died William went on to marry Elizabeth Jane Burnett on January 1st 1872 at Westbury, Tasmania. William supposedly had a total of 23 children, going on to have another nine with his second wife.

William died in 1912 on July 20th at Vermont, Tasmania.

Friday, 24 October 2014

William Bunstun

William, who spelled his surname with UN, was born in South Petherton on July 16th 1828 and was christened on November 9th of that year. He was the youngest child of Henry Bunstone and Mary Prowse.  13 year old William is mentioned in the household in the 1841 census.

On September 24th 1848 William married Christiana Tucker. They lived in South Petherton where William worked as a Farm Labourer and Christiana as a Glover.

The record of the marriage stated that William was a minor at the time and that Christiana was of age.

Christina was christened on Christmas Day, December 25th, 1827 in South Petherton, Somerset. She was the daughter of Charles and Christiana Tucker. Charles worked as a labourer.

William and Christiana had at least three children: Mary Ann (1850); Henry (1856) and Charles (1858).

In 1855 William, Christiana and their four year old daughter Mary Ann sailed from Ireland to Australia on board the "Himalaya".  The shipping records state that William was a farm labourer.  He was 26 and Christiana was 27.  William's mother, Mary, and Christiana's father, Charles, were both deceased by the time they departed.  William could read, while his wife could both read and write.

William settled his family at Moe in Gippsland, Victoria. Moe is approximately 60km from Rosedale, where William’s brother, Henry, lived.
L to R: Henry Bunstun, wife Susan, son Ernest and father William

Christiana died at Moe in 1895 aged 68. She is buried in the Church of England section of the Moe cemetery. William died aged 78 on November 22nd 1906 at Drouin, Victoria.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Henry Bunston

Born in 1822 at Taunton, Somerset, England, Henry was later christened in 1826 on July 2nd. He left England bound for Australia on board the “Bolivar” as an assisted passenger in 1842.

The South Petherton emigrants list has the following comments: “Petherton Parish sent off to Van Demons Land 9 or 10 young men incl Samuel Bunson's brother”. It also says Henry departed South Petherton on May 27th 1842.

According to shipping records, the “Bolivar” left London on June 10th 1842. It carried 214 emigrants and 17 passengers and was bound for Hobart Town. However, Henry disembarked at Launceston, Tasmania on October 5th 1842.

It is not known at this time what Henry did whilst in Tasmania, but three years later on September 19th 1845 he sailed from Launceston to Port Albert, Victoria on the “Alpha”.

The “Alpha” was a cutter that had a ferry type run between Melbourne and Launceston. On this particular journey it carried two passengers, surveying gear and supplies.

Between 1845 and 1847, Henry worked for Octavius Batten Sparks at Swan Reach. In 1848 he worked on the “Ridge” at Rosedale. In 1850 Henry headed west and went to work in the goldfields at Ballarat. He returned to the Gippsland area a couple of years later and on September 28th 1853 he bought some land at Tarraville.

It was around this time that Henry met Susan Hooper, a domestic servant who worked for George Jewell in South Geelong. Susan was the daughter of Sampson Hooper and Elizabeth Rousell. She was born in 1833 in Somerset. Susan came to Australia, when she was 19 years old, on board the “Time and Truth” which sailed from Plymouth on September 17th 1852 and arrived at Geelong in Victoria on January 5th 1853. She earned £20 p.a. and received rations. Her employment contract was for three months.

Susan moved to Sydney for work and Henry followed. They were married at St. James Church of England, Sydney on September 16th 1854.

The couple soon returned to Gippsland where Henry worked as a farmer on his property at Tarraville. It was here that their first of eight children, James, was born in 1858. Shortly after this the young family moved to Rosedale where Henry had bought some land on June 16th 1859. The rest of the children were born while they lived in this area. These children were Sarah (1860), Elizabeth (1862), Samuel (1863), John (1864), William (1866), Thomas (1868) and Ellen (1870). James, his sisters Sarah and Ellen, and brother Thomas were all christened with the surname Bunsen, although this may have been due to misspelling.

Henry sold this land to Henry Luke on July 3rd 1862. On March 10th 1869 he applied for 80 acres of land on Port Albert road. As well as being a farmer, Henry worked as a teamster. This meant he was often away from home for days, maybe even weeks at a time. The Rosedale Courier March 19th 1940 states Henry “was one of the best-known drivers in Gippsland, and his son followed in his footsteps”.

Having eight children in twelve years, two dying as babies within a year of each other, took its toll on a woman who often coped with the many pioneering hardships alone. Shortly after the birth of her youngest child, Ellen on September 12th 1870, Susan was committed to the Asylum/Hospital for the Insane at Yarra Bend. Records state her husband worked as a carrier in Rosedale.

Susan was transferred to the Kew Asylum on May 31st 1873. Here she and the other inmates were treated very badly, and this may be a reason why she was moved to the Beechworth Asylum/Hospital for the Insane/Mental/Psychiatric January 7th 1876. There was a police officer named James Hooper working in Beechworth at the time. It’s believed he may have been related to Susan, perhaps her brother James who was seven years older than her.

A newspaper article written about an investigation involving the Kew Asylum mentions Susan Bunston having a bruise on her head.

In 1877 Henry bought land in Brighton, near his brother William. He worked as a gardener and carter, but later returned to Rosedale where he lived quietly until his death on June 5th 1904 at the age of 82.

Susan’s husband didn’t appear to visit her in hospital. He did however pay her hospital fees until his death in 1904. Susan died in 1905 on July 18th in Beechworth after suffering from many years of ill health. She is buried there in an unmarked grave.

Friday, 17 October 2014

James Bunston

Jimmy Bunston was born in Tarraville, Victoria on January 16th 1858. The surname on the birth registration is Bunsen. It appears that Jimmy spelt his surname with AN. When Jimmy was six months old, Henry and Susan moved from Tarraville to Rosedale. Jimmy was educated in Flynn’s Creek. He attended school until the eighth grade.

Jimmy married Ellen Richardson on November 23rd 1881 in the Church of England at Rosedale. The minister, Rev. C.P. Thomas, presented them with a beautiful heritage bible which is now a treasured family heirloom. Ellen was the daughter of James Richardson. She was born in Castlemaine, in central Victoria on October 26th 1859.

Ellen and Jimmy had three children together: Martha (1882); James (1885) and Phillip (1891).

On December 21st 1882 Jimmy applied to lease 100 acres of land in Tong Bong, near Rosedale, at the time his occupation was as a Carrier. On May 12th 1890 he was granted a lease for 87 acres for a 14 year term. Post and rail fencing valued at £5-14-6 and a dam was added to the property. The scrub and timber was also cleared. On October 15th 1891 he was granted a 14 year lease of another allotment of over 56 acres. This allotment is on the road to Gormandale and is still known as Bunston’s Corner. Under his lease licence he had lived for 14 months on this land and the rest of the time within two miles of the allotment. By 1891 he had completed more than 74 chains of post and rail fencing, a stockyard, a pig paddock, outhouses, two dams and cultivated half an acre (potatoes then two dozen fruit trees). On the lease documents James was described as a carrier of Rosedale.

He bought these crown allotments on September 12th 1898 for 57 pounds and 87 pounds respectively. Later the Bunston family lived at Nambrok. When his father Henry died in 1904 James, who was the informant, listed his address as Carrajung and his occupation as Dairyman. He was also known to have followed in his fathers footstep’s and worked as a teamster.

James’ wife, Ellen, died at Traralgon September 13th 1924. An obituary stated, “Saturday marked the passing of another of our early sturdy settlers, Mrs Jas. Bunstan, sen. She had not enjoyed good health for some time, and recently it was found necessary to remove her to Nurse Pentland’s private hospital. The late Mrs Bunstan was a Miss Richardson …, and a former resident of Nambrok and Carrajung.”

The Traralgon Record stated, “On Saturday Mrs Ellen Bunstan, wife of Mr. J. Bunstan, died at the Traralgon Hospital. She had been ailing from a severe attack of bronchitis for about a fortnight, and was 64 years of age. Everyone who knew her highly esteemed her, and the sympathy of a large circle of friends will be extended to Mr. Bunstan and relatives in their bereavement.”

James was gifted with a wonderful memory. He was able to list the names of the residents of Rosedale in the 1860s and 1870s street by street. He listed the stopping places for teamsters in the early 1860s on the road from Sale to Melbourne. The Rosedale Courier June 16th 1936 published a full column of James’ reminiscences. He describes in detail where Rosedale residents had lived 68 years previously. In the Rosedale Courier August 20th 1914 when James was living at Nambrok, he wrote to the paper, referring to plans to change the name of Kilmany South to honour a Mr. Ingle. It was claimed Mr. Ingle was the first to erect a hotel at this place. James pointed out a Mr. Twyneham was actually the first to erect a hotel. In a later paper his statement was supported by another resident.

One of the local stories about James Bunstan was that towards the end of his life he stayed in an old hut at Bunston’s Corner. In the cold mornings he would walk from there to Gormandale. The lady who owned the store at Gormandale would take him inside and put him in front of her open fire to warm him up.
Reminiscence told how on one occasion he had to transport a motor from Upper Flynn’s Creek to Walhalla. He wrapped it in bark to protect it on the back of his lorry. The trip took six weeks, and the bark had to be replaced several times on the journey.

His obituary in the Rosedale Courier states, “The old Gippslander had many anecdotes and stories of early days. He also remembered many important occasions connected with the progress and development of the province very clearly. And almost invariably his dates and facts were correct…he had an artistic mind. He was fond of poetry, and at times tried his hand at composition. Both topical and patriotic verse came from his pen. He took an intelligent interest in current topics, and up to a few months before his demise, he could read newspapers without the aid of glasses…

Many adventures went to make up his picturesque career. A kick, at an early age, from a bullock broke one of his legs, and several times similar mishaps befell him. Once, not many years ago, when felling timber near Gormandale his leg was injured by a tree. Throughout the night he lay on the ground, calling for help which did not come. Then as the next day advanced, a bush fire swept over him, and left the countryside a blackened ruin. Although famished, exhausted and singed, he crawled through the ashes and embers until at last he reached the road. A settler’s wife heard his cries and came to his aid. This serves to show the mettle, toughness and gameness of a pioneering spirit - even grown old in a modern world. On another occasion “Jimmy”, as he was familiarly known to practically everyone in this part of Gippsland, was “ spread-eagled” by a motor car in Swanston Street, city. This was the old chap’s first visit to the modern metropolis, and naturally he was in awe of the fast moving traffic. This visit cost him a broken leg and a severe shaking. He has now made his last trip; cracked his last whip. He was always a cheery companion; one well respected; and a Gippslander known to a great many people.”

The Rosedale Courier regularly reported on Jimmy’s health near the end of his life. On January 2nd 1940 the correspondent wrote, “We regret to report that the well known veteran of the district Mr. James Bunston is at present seriously ill in the Gippsland Hospital”. On the January 9th 1940 it was stated that “Mr. James Bunston has made a remarkable recovery in the Gippsland Hospital and left that institution. He has not returned to Gormandale but is far from well”. On February 13th 1940 it was reported that “Mr. James Bunston has returned to the hamlet and taken up residence with Mr. Joseph Batson. The old timer is a very sick man and finds difficulty getting about.”

Jimmy died on March 11th 1940. Both he and Ellen are buried in the Rosedale Cemetery.

My Royal Connections (part 1)

So far in my research I have found two links to royal lines.  Of course they are not direct links, in fact they are so far off the direct line it's amazing that I found them at all.  In some people's opinion the link doesn't count as it is so far away from the family bloodline, but I'll take what I can get.  :) Once you find a royal line, you're set.  I've been able to go all the way back to the Vikings for Pete's sake - around the year 600AD!  (Of course the details are a bit sketchy, but it looks awesome in the family tree.

The first line...

George Henry Smith
My great great grandfather was George Henry Smith.  (Refer to my pedigree chart page - Arthur Grenville Smith). He was born in Gloucester, England on 16 Dec 1840, the son of William Smith and Jane Cuss.  He moved to Australia with his wife Emma Keys and their young daughter Clara.  George and Emma settled in Western Victoria.  Together they had 15 children.  Emma was the daughter of Charles Keys and Mary Ann Buck and was born in 1842.  Emma died during the birth of their 15th child, a daughter George named Emma Keys Smith.  Sadly baby Emma died a little over a year later.

George went on to marry Annie Maria Bolte, with whom he had a further
Emma Keys
two sons.  Annie was the daughter of Johann George Bolte and Caroline Theresa Fahring.  Johann and Caroline had a total of ten children together.  Their middle child, a daughter also named Caroline married Charles Frederick Lake.

Charles and Caroline Lake had eight children together.  Their youngest daughter, Vera Gladys married Horace Grey Egerton-Warburton.

And this is where the royals come in.

Horace's great grandmother was Emma Croxton Warburton.  She was born in Cheshire in 1782 and married Reverend Rowland Egerton, who after marriage changed his name to Egerton-Warburton.  Emma's mother was Emma Warburton, the daughter of Peter Warburton and Lady Elizabeth Stanley.

Lady Elizabeth was the daughter of Edward Stanley 11th Earl of Derby & 5th Baronet of Bickerstaffe Co. Lancashire England.  The Stanley line directly goes all the way back to Thomas Stanley 1st Earl of Derby, born in Lancashire in 1435.  I have actually gone way back to 1087 when Mabella Stanley was born in Normandy, France.  Mabella married Adam DeAudley who was born in Heleigh Castle, Staffordshire.  One of their children took the name Audley, while the other took DeStanley.  The name continued for about 300 years, until Sir Thomas Stanley, the 1st Lord Stanley was born in 1405.  Sir Thomas was the father of the 1st Earl of Derby.

Thomas Stanley, 1st Earl of Derby
Thomas Stanley (E of D) first married Lady Eleanor Neville, the daughter of Richard Neville, 5th Earl of Salisbury, in 1457.  In 1472 after Eleanor had died, Thomas became husband number four to Lady Margaret Beaufort.  Lady Margaret was the mother of King Henry VII.  It is believed that the marriage was one of convenience and Lady Margaret never considered herself part of the Stanley family.  As a result of her marriage to the Earl, Lady Margaret was welcomed back to the court of King Edward IV and Queen Elizabeth Woodville.  She was the godmother to one of their daughters.

Lady Margaret Beaufort
Thomas was Esquire of the Body to King Henry VI in 1454. He succeeded to the title of 2nd Lord Stanley on 20 February 1458/59. In 1460 he was invested as a Knight. He held the office of Chief Justice of Chester and he was invested as a Privy Counsellor (P.C.) in 1471. Thomas held the office of Steward of the Household the King Edward IV between 1471 and 1483 and the office of Lord High Constable in 1483. He was invested as a Knight, Order of the Garter (K.G.) in 1483. 

Thomas also held the office of Steward of the Household the King Richard  III between 1483 and 1485. He held the office of Chief Steward of the Duchy of Lancaster between 1485 and 1504, Northern parts. He fought in the Battle of Bosworth on 22 August 1485, where he allegedly betrayed King Richard III at a decisive moment. He succeeded to the title of 1st Earl of Derby on 27 October 1485.  Sir Thomas died in 1504 in Latham, England.

As a result of this hereditary line, Queen Elizabeth II is related to me like this: 15th great granddaughter of wife of 12th great grandfather of husband of niece of wife of 2nd great grandfather

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Linda Sloan and Charlie Robertson

 More information has come to hand, so this post (previously called Linda Sloan) has been updated - G. 1/2/15


The youngest child of Thomas Sloan and Sarah Jane Walters and grand daughter to Mary Bunston, Linda was born at Pyramid Hill on April 16, 1907. In 1913 she attended the Pyramid Hill School.  Her sister Ivy Mildred "Millie" also attended school at this time.  In the photo below Linda is fifth from the right in the second row from the front.  Millie is behind her, forth from the right in the third row.

Pyramid Hill School 1913
Linda married Charles Francis Robertson at the Methodist Church in Forrest Street, Bendigo on May 30, 1924.

Charlie was born in Echuca on February 9 1905. He was the son of William Wallace Robertson and Margaret North. Margaret suffered a nervous breakdown following the death of her eldest son and was put into a home for some time. She died as a result of burns in around 1914 – 1918. After her death William put his three youngest children, including Charlie, into Mrs Nolty’s Boarding House in Melbourne. William moved to Naracoorte, South Australia and lived there from 1918 to 1922. From this date Williams whereabouts are not known.  It must be noted that I have also found records stating Charlie's father was Charles Francis Snr... my research is required on this.

When they were first married Linda and Charlie lived at Pyramid Hill. Here the first two of their eight children were born. In 1927 the young family moved to Hilston, New South Wales, where they worked on Stan Sloan’s property. Here they had two more children. The family lived at Hilston for four years before moving to the Deniliquin area in NSW in 1930.  Charlie was a share gardner and Linda was a house wife.  In 1931 the family moved to Koondrook, on the border, where Charlie worked as a labourer.  Their remaining four children were born here.

Together Linda and Charlie had eight children: Charles (1924); Francis (1926); Ernest (1927); James (1929); Maxwell (1933); Lorraine (1935); Beryl (1938) and William (1945).

In 1940 Charlie enlisted for World War II. He sailed overseas on the “Queen Mary” as a Private in the Australian Army, serving in the 2/32nd Australian Infantry Battalion. He served a total of 1330 days in Tobrook, Syria and other areas of the Middle East. Charlie was wounded and discharged in 1944. When he returned home Charlie started work as a sleeper cutter in the Gunbower Island Forests.

The following is how his death was reported: “The death occurred with tragic suddenness on Wednesday afternoon of Mr. Charles Francis Robertson, timber worker, of Koondrook. The late Mr. Robertson was walking away to resume his work, after having sat down to partake of afternoon lunch with other workers, when he was seen to stumble and fall. On his son and other companions quickly going to his aid it was found that he had collapsed and died.

Aged only 42 years, the deceased was a Returned Soldier, having served with the 2nd AIF in the Middle East campaigns. He had been on the sick list for some weeks and had resumed work this week after receiving medical treatment. A well respected and well liked resident of Koondrook, for a considerable number of years past, he leaves a widow and family of seven children to whom we extend our very sincere sympathy in their tragically sudden and sad bereavement. Mrs Robertson has had more than her share of sorrow as one of her sons was accidentally drowned in the Murray at Koondrook several years ago. The funeral is to take place to the Koondrook Cemetery today, Friday, at -----.”  

The year was 1946. He died on September 25. Charlies death was attributed to Angina Pectoris, caused by Scrub Titus which he had picked up during the war.

A few years later, Linda met a shearer named Walter Butler from Mount Gambier, South Australia. They got married in 1952 at Bendigo. They remained in Koondrook until after 1954 then they moved to Mount Gambier with Linda’s children: Billy, Max, Pearl and Beryl. Beryl later returned to Koondrook and Billy moved to Albury, New South Wales.

Wally died in 1979 and some time later Linda moved into a unit in Mount Gambier. Years later she returned to Koondrook where she lived with her son Tom for a while and later at the Murray Haven Nursing Home, Barham. She died at the Barham-Koondrook Soldiers Memorial Hospital from pneumonia at the age of 84 on April 29, 1991. She is buried in a grave between her first husband, Charlie, and mother, Sarah.  She is with her son, Ernest who had died aged seven.  Ernest is the son mentioned above that drowned in the Murray River.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Percival George Nash OAM

Percy Nash

Percival George, the eldest child of Percy and Gean Nash, was born at Linton on December 21st 1921. He was educated to the eighth grade at the Skipton State School before going to work at the local hospital. He joined the Skipton Brass Band at the age of 12 and was also in the local Scout movement.

At the age of 16 Percy went to Gippsland with a shearing contractor, and when he returned he found work at “Moorallah”, in the Carranballac area, west of Skipton. It was while he was working here that he met his future wife. Percival married Hilda Pearl Smith at Scrub Hill on September 6th 1941.
Hilda, born at Dean, Victoria on April 14th 1922, was the ninth child of thirteen of William John Smith and his wife Ada May Lawless.

Shortly after their marriage, Percy was mobilised in the Royal Australian Navy. He served for four years during world war two, mainly on HMAS Wato at Brisbane although he was based at Darwin for some time. His service also took to Milne Bay and Noumea.

Percy and Hilda had four children together: Eleanor (1942); Ian (1946); Garry (1950) and Brent (1961).

In 1954 the young family moved to an allotment of the Langi Willi Soldiers Settlement Estate.

Christmas time was always a special event in the Nash household. All of Percy and Hilda’s children would come home, bringing their famlies, and would enjoy a huge, and very filling meal. The grandchildren would play in the tree house that was built for them by their uncles. The hay shed was also a big adventure, until a spider was found and the hideout then abandoned.

Percy was involved in many aspects of the Skipton community this included the Fire Brigade, where he was Captain for 25 years. For his service he was awarded the National Service Medal with two clasps. He was very involved with the Skipton Presbyterian Church. His involvement here saw him serve as secretary for over 34 years including a stint as treasurer and session clerk. In 1970 he became a church elder, a position he was very proud of. He sat on the Shire Council, was a member of the Hospital board for 40 years and was a life member of the Skipton Football Club. These are just a few of the organisations Percy was involved in, and for his community service, he was awarded with the Order of Australia Medal in 1984.

He was not alone with his service. Hilda was involved in the Red Cross and Country Women’s Association, among others. The tradition has carried down through the generations with their children and grandchildren also being involved in their communities.

On March 27th 1982 aged just 59, Hilda died from a heart attack. Percy battled for nearly 12 years with cancer and severe back problems before his death on November 22nd 1997, aged 75. They are both buried in the Skipton Cemetery.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Gean Bunston and Percy Nash

Gean Bunston and Percy Nash

Georgina (Gean) was born on January 6th 1886 at Skipton. Gean grew up with her family in Skipton and like the other children in her family, she attended Skipton Common School.

A young Gean with her mother
Gean worked as a domestic servant at “Langi Willi” near Skipton. Her future husband also worked her, as a gardener. On March 31st 1920 Gean married Percy Victor Nash at the Skipton Presbyterian Church.

Percy was the fifth of eight children of James William Nash and Matilda Whatley. He was born in Freshford, Somerset on March 15th 1894. He came to Australia in 1912. The first news Percy heard when he landed at Port Philip Bay was that of the “Titanic” disaster. Percy had a job arranged for him at “Langi Willi”. Here he became friends with his future brother in law, Sandy Perry.

Percy played cornet in the Skipton Brass Band and in 1915, joined the Australian Imperial Forces (AIF). He served in Egypt, Belgium and France as a member of the 9/21st battalion. On April 21st 1918 Percy was serving in France. This was the date the “Red Baron” was shot down. He crashed near the trench Percy and his mates were in and some of them were able to pick up a few souvenirs. Some of the men brought there’s home, but it’s not known what Percy did with his pieces.
Percy and Gean took over part of the Bunston family property and called it "Mayfield". Here they farmed mainly sheep, cattle and crops. Gean's parents, George and Elizabeth Bunston, lived with them until they died in 1923 and 1926 respectively.

Together, Gean and Percy had four children: Percival (1921); Muriel (1923); Wilfred (1925) and John (1927).

Gean and Percy were both very active with the Presbyterian Church and other local organisations, including the RSL, where Percy held office for some time.

It was very difficult to take any long holidays while running a farm, but in 1951 Percy and Gean managed to travel to England. They sailed on the SS Strathmore and some of the places they visited included Croydon, London, Scotland, Marseille, Algiers, Aden, Bombay and Limpley Stoke where Percy’s family lived. Their eldest son, Percy, looked after the property in their absence. This was the first time Percy had returned to England since WWI and the first time Gean met her in laws, including Percy’s mother.

Percy and Gean on their 50th anniversary
Percy died in Skipton May 2nd 1974 aged 80. Gean died in Melbourne at her son Wilf's home on August 15th 1975 aged 89. They are both buried in Skipton Cemetery. They were married 54 years.

Mary Bunston

Mary Bunston

Mary was christened on February 8th 1837 in South Petherton. She was the second child and eldest daughter of Samuel and Fannie.

In February 1855, Mary left England for Australia with her eldest brother, George and his wife, Sarah, sailing on the “Epaminondras”. The ship landed at Port Philip Bay on June 1st 1855.

Mary had a job waiting for her in South Geelong, working for J. Kellar.

In 1858 Mary married Jacob Walters. Jacob was born in Cornwall, England in 1834. He was the son of Edward Walters and Sophia Comes.

Mary and Jacob moved around a lot of the next eight or nine years. This is documented in the birth registrations of their children. The first four children, all daughters, were born in South Geelong, Melbourne, Ballarat and Daylesford.

Jacob Walters aka William Johnston
Jacob also changed his name several times during this period. From 1858 to 1862 he was known as Jacob Walters. On the registration for the birth of his forth child, Sophia, he was known as William Walters. In 1868 when his second son was born he went by the name of William Johnston.

Mary’s name changed on the registrations too, although this may be simply due to poor spelling.

After Jacob had changed his name to William Johnston, the family seemed to settle down as the four youngest children were all born in Mount Prospect, north of Ballarat.
There are two known “family stories” that explain Jacob Walters change of name. The first story is that he was a captain in the army and he deserted from the Crimean Government Troupes, the Rum Brigade. The second story is that he left the army in England, came to Australia and then changed his name to avoid detection.
Altogether, Mary and Jacob had nine children: Mary (1858); Sarah (1860); Ann (1862); Sophia (1864); Abraham (1865); Abraham (1868); William (1870); Henry (1872) and Elizabeth (1874).

Jacob Walters aka William Johnston died on June 4th 1875 at Langdon Hill. He was buried two days later at Mount Prospect. William was harrowing a paddock on his property when he collapsed and died. A coroner’s inquest found an aneurism of the aorta had ruptured.

Four years later, on June 24th 1879 Mary married her second husband, George William Breadmore. George was the son of William Breadmore.

Mary was George’s third wife. He married his first wife, Mary Tarr, on April 6th 1839. Alicia Elizabeth Phillips became George’s second wife on October 21st 1849. George and Mary Tarr had two children together. With Alicia, George had eleven more children. Mary Walters (Bunston) had a daughter, Alice (1881) with George.

George Breadmore died in 1900 at Rock Lead, near Ballarat. Mary died at Yarraville on March 28th 1924. She is possibly buried at Mount Prospect.

Although the members of this family moved to many parts of Victoria, they remained close. They travelled the distance between Pyramid Hill and Rocky Lead many times to visit each other. It would also appear that Mary and her family remained close to her brother, George and his family as several members of his family attended some of Mary’s children’s weddings.