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Life On A Dirt Road And Off The Grid

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The following post was published on my other blog Next Phase In Fitness & Life in 2018. It occurred to me that my descendants may be interested in reading about the way I live in 2021. I know I would be very excited to find a blog post written by an ancestor, about their life. As this blog is archived at the National Archives of Australia, I feel it’s only appropriate that I re-publish this post. I’ve made a few tweaks to the original post.

I live on a property of 20 acres, on a dirt road, 25 kilometres from Bendigo, in an area called Axe Creek. The land is not suitable for farming, but is perfect for living a sustainable and relaxed lifestyle, as it is surrounded by beautiful bushland and adjoins the Greater Bendigo National Park. There is nothing at Axe Creek except farmland, small lifestyle properties and bushland.

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Our property is totally off the grid, meaning that we rely on solar power for all of our electricity needs. We have no access to power at all, from the electricity companies, This property is my first experience with living off the grid, and has been an interesting experience. In the first couple of years trial and error was necessary, to understand the solar system. A few years on, and it still a bit of a learning curve at times, but most of the time there are very few problems.

Off The Grid

Off the grid means that there is no electricity connected to the house at all. The house is completely powered by solar power, with a back up generator when necessary. There is also no water or gas connected. Rainwater tanks and dams are used for the garden, and our gas is delivered in bottles.

This type of life may sound austere to some, but it’s not at all uncomfortable.  It just means that a little thought needs to be given to power and water use. Contrary to what most people think about off the grid living, our house has most mod cons that anyone would expect to have in the city.

The  use of some electrical appliances that use large amounts of power, such as a hairdryer and an iron, needs to be limited, but the generator is there for back up power, when needed. In the winter, when I need to use these appliances, I simply turn on the generator to limit the power that is sucked out of the solar batteries. In summer, when there is plenty of sunshine, there is no problem at all.

There is no air conditioner in our house, but this isn’t a problem, as it’s built from mud brick and only gets hot if we have a run of very very hot days. Fans are all we need to cool us on those extra hot days.

There is also no dishwasher. I know that’s unimaginable, in these days of convenience, but I really don’t mind washing dishes  In past years, I’ve always had a dishwasher, but rarely used it, so this is not a sacrifice at all. I consider that the choice to live here is a lifestyle choice, so any small inconvenience is tolerable.   Small inconveniences are a small price to pay for the benefits and experience of living off the grid.

One of the big advantages of living off the grid, apart from the lifestyle is that we don’t have any of those annoying utility bills. I’m sure there would be many living in cities who would be envious of this.

In March last year, I stopped working due to Covid-19, and had a full year at home, for the first time in a long while. Living here has been so easy, during isolation. The large garden and surrounding bush area, mean that there is plenty of space to get outside. For that reason, I haven’t felt that life in isolation has been a hardship at all. I find myself these days looking ahead to retirement and can see myself having a great retirement lifestyle here. One of our goals is to be as self sufficient as possible, by producing quite a bit of our own food such as eggs, vegetables and fruit.

**In March 2019 content in Pandora became part of the Australian Web Archive which is searchable in Trove.

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Female Emigration 1836

From: The Colonial Times, Tuesday 9 February 1836, page 4

FEBRUARY 9, 1836

Female Emigration.

The more we consider the above subject, the more horrible does it appear! Since our last observations, which we offered to the readers this day week, the Boadicea has arrived with 260 free females, of which number there are one hundred and sixty said to be under the age of sixteen.

The Emigration Committee, when it had commenced its labours, blundered on, in spite of common sense—in spite of the wishes and advice of the Colonists. It is in vain that this Journal and others endeavoured to convince the blundering souls, composing the Committee, that the colony, would soon have poor enough of its own, without importing misery from a rich country, like that of Great Britain – all argument was futile, and report after report was made.

The Colony, said these self-elected philosophers, was prosperous and only required population. Population was strength, cried these learned grovellers, and emigrants of all description were recommended to be forwarded. The convicts arrived in numbers, and were well provided for by the Government. The pensioners arrived next, men who had bled for their country were cajoled – were entrapped here, and the Government left them to want and wretchedness, because they were not convicts!

Emigrants with large families arrived also, and they were without friends and almost destitute of bread; for their food was taken from their children’s mouths, and given to the convicts. Felons, on all occasions, had the preference; if a free emigrant asked for a paltry situation, he was refused – no! The felons were to be appointed to be the preservers of the peace, clerks, messengers, and Government servants; and those whom the Emigration Committee entrapped by their wicked reports to leave comfortable homes, were called mere materials for prison discipline!

The evil efforts of the Emigration Committee did not rest here; finding male paupers were useless—finding free emigrants with families of children could not add to the Colonial balance sheet, another description of emigrants were recommended – free females! It is scarcely necessary to repeat in what manner the cargoes of the Princess Royal and Strathfieldsay were made up – suffice to say, the cargo of the Boadicea is similar to the two former in every respect, save the age of the victims!

Faithful accounts from hence, of the distress of the females, who were deluded here, had no doubt reached home, or at least sufficiently so, to make women of riper years and good character hesitate before they undertook so perilous a voyage; no doubt, thence, it was that the purveyors of these cargoes had recourse to children, to fill up their white slave ships, the infant mind being more easily led, than that of the adult. So young – so unexperienced, are some of the imported infants, that we understand that about fifty have been sent to the Orphan Schoo !

Thus do we find, that through the imbecility of our Emigration Committee, not only veterans have been deceived, but the very children of the Poor houses and Orphan Schools in Great Britain, have been poured upon the resources of this– ” Colonel Arthur’s prosperous” Colony. The children from the Alms houses in the Mother Country, have been transferred to the Poor houses of this distressed and starving Colony – what next may be expected ?—what may not be expected from men who could blindly lead on the Colonists to ruin, and bring the unoffending infant of the Mother Country to pollution and famine, in a Colony sixteen thousand miles from home – from whence they never can return to tell the tale of misery, which those who have already gone before them point out as certain to be the result?

It is but justice to observe, that the landing of these poor deluded creatures from the Boadicea was better attended to than was the disembarkation of those by the Strathfieldsay; the hour at which the landing took place precluded the probability of such disgusting scenes as took place on the landing of the women per the Strathfieldsay – nay, rather more decorous behaviour has been manifested towards these poor creatures since their arrival, than was the case formerly on similar occasions; perhaps, the very dregs of society—the most wicked of the prisoners, compassionate the situation of the women, who have arrived at such a place, and at such a time

*Please note Punctuation and paragraphs have been added to the above transcription for ease and speed of reading

COLONIAL TIMES (1836, February 9). Colonial Times (Hobart, Tas. : 1828 – 1857), p. 4. Retrieved March 13, 2021, from

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Inquest: Thomas Love – Heathcote Victoria 1878

This is another in the occasional series, which examines inquests that have been held for members of my family who lost their lives suddenly and/or not from natural causes.

Thomas Love

Thomas LOVE was my 3 X great grandfather. He was born at Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire, England, in 1822. He married Sarah PEARCE in Bradford on Avon in 1845. With their children, they eventually migrated to Australia and settled in Heathcote, Victoria.  Thomas died suddenly on 04 November 1878. An inquest was held into his death at Heathcote, on 8th November 1878.

Magisterial Inquiry

Proceedings of Inquiry held upon the body of Thomas Love at Heathcote, 8th November 1878.
At a magisterial inquiry held by me, this day at Heathcote, as to the cause of death of Mr. Thomas Love. From the medical evidence, I am of the opinion that death was caused from rupture of the bowels.

Deposition of Witnesses

Henry Scobell, on oath, saith as follows:
I am a legally qualified medical practitioner, residing at Heathcote. Last (unreadable word) at a quarter to seven o’clock, I received a message to attend the deceased, Thomas Love. I found him in bed, complaining of great pain over the upper part of the abdomen. On examination, I found the abdomen greatly distended and purpling on the right side. On asking him about the cause, he informed me, on returning home, the night previous, from the Northumberland Hotel, he had fallen against a drain and did not remember anything, until he found himself in bed. I came to the conclusion that he was suffering from internal injury and accordingly prescribed suitable remedies. This morning, at half past nine, I received another message, asking me to go at once, which I did, and found the deceased dead. I have this day made a post mortem examination on the deceased. The body was well nourished, no bruises and external marks of violence were visible. On opening the abdomen, I found the (unreadable word) in a state of recent inflammation and the lower part of the bowels in a state of active congestion. The cavity of the abdomen contained between a pint and a pint and a half of dark coloured fluid, smelling strongly of spirits and faeces. On dissecting the intestines, I found an old (unreadable word) hernia on the right side above which the bowel was very thin and ruptured. The liver was hard, though of normal size. The other organs appeared healthy. In my opinion, death was due to collapse from the rupture of the bowel.
Henry Scobell (signed)

Mrs. Sarah Love, on oath saith as follows:
I am the wife of the deceased, Thomas Love. On Saturday last, my husband was engaged at work at the post office. He came to his tea about 8 o’clock that day. He left home about half past 9 pm to go to the Northumberland Hotel to get some beer for supper. He did not return as I expected. About 11 o’clock, I began to feel anxious and went to the door repeatedly, to hear if he was coming. On one occasion, I heard the little dog barking and thought he was coming. I went again, hearing the dog start barking, in the direction of the hotel, and found my husband, lying near a tree in Pohlman Street, about half way between my house and the hotel. The latter being about 200 yards from my place. He was lying on his face and quite insensible. I thought he was in a fit, froth and blood was coming from his mouth and nose. I sat him up and undid his shirt collar and rubbed his throat and tried to put him (unreadable word) to me, but he could not. I remained with him about three quarters of an hour, but finding I could not help him in any way, I left him and went to call Charles Perry, who resides within 100 yards from where I left my husband. With the assistance of Perry, I got him home and put him into bed. He remained insensible until 6 o’clock next morning, when after that hour, he got much better, but complained of a pain in his stomach. He asked me to give my some physic and I gave him some bitter also, a little bit about the size of a pea. He appeared quite conscious and told me he had played a game of billiards and during the time he was away he had three nobblers of (unreadable word). In the afternoon, he appeared to be getting worse, and I sent for the doctor, who came and gave him some medicine. But he got no better. I sent again this morning for the doctor, but when he arrived my husband was dead. He died about 10 o’clock this morning. He had been engaged at the Post Office. He had been carrying lead up on the roof of the building. He met with an accident about twelve months since, a spring cart capsized and hurt his cheek badly. My husband was 56 years old.
Sarah Love (signed)

Terence Joseph Maidmen, on oath saith as follows:
I am the landlord of the Northumberland Arms Hotel. I have this day seen the body of the deceased, Thomas W. Love. I have known him for some time. On Saturday last, about 9 o’clock, he came to the hotel and remained until about 10 minutes to 12. He occupied himself during the interval, playing billiards. He had, I think, 4 glasses of ? He was sober when he left and took a shillings worth of beer with him for home. About a month ago, after playing a game of cards, and before having anything to drink, he suddenly fell down, as if in a fit. He knocked his head against a chair. After about ten minutes, he recovered and went home.
T.J. Maidmen

Charles Perry, on oath saith, as follows.
I am a carpenter, residing in Heathcote. I have this day seen the body of deceased, Thomas W. Love. I have known him for nine or ten years. He was a plasterer by trade. On Sunday morning, the third, at 20 minutes past two, Mrs. Love called me up. She said her husband was very ill. She thought he was in a fit. I immediately dressed and followed her and overtook her in Pohlman Street. I found the deceased, lying on his left side. I spoke to him, but got no reply. I lifted him up and rested his head between my knees, while I struck a match to see what was the matter. Water was coming from his mouth. I saw traces of blood. I carried him home with the assistance of his wife, and put him to bed. He said “My dear Sarah, I am at home”. Soon after I left and went home. I did not see him again until this (Monday) morning, about half past nine, when I found him quite conscious and talked to him for a quarter of an hour. The first thing he said, he expected when seen me on Sunday – he informed me he had been to the Northumberland Arms Hotel on Saturday night, where he had played a game of billiards and had three nobblers of (unreadable word) and that was all he had. He said, when he left the hotel, he was as right as ever he was in his life, until he turned into Pohlman street, being about 100 yards from the hotel, but remembered nothing after that. He did not know that I had taken him home. The deceased was a pleasant natured man and generally liked. He said he had never been right since he fell out of his spring cart. He said he would like a glass of my uncle’s home made wine. I left to get it and returned in a quarter of an hour but he was dead. Charles Perry (signed)

John Collins, on oath saith, as follows:
I am a labourer residing in Heathcote. On Saturday night last, I was at the Northumberland Arms Hotel. I met the deceased, Thomas Love (whose body I have seen today), between eight and nine o’clock, at the above hotel. I played a game of billiards with him. I only saw him take one drink. I think he remained about three hours. He was sober when there.
John Collins (signed)

*Please Note: Punctuation and paragraphs  have been added to the above transcription for ease and speed of reading

Public Record Office of Victoria VPRS 24/P UNIT 379 FILE 1878/954

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Reflection Post #AtoZChallenge

Reflections 2021 #atozchallenge

As a challenge, Blogging April A to Z is quite exhausting, as there never seems to be enough time to focus on it as much as I’d like. This year, due to having Covid leave from work, I was able to have all posts ready to publish before the challenge started on April 1, so that took the pressure off. I was feeling very confident and happy with myself, that for the first time, the challenge would be a breeze. I’d be able to read as many blogs as I wanted to, with all the time I’d have up my sleeve. Wrong!

The first mistake I made was that I decided to go back to work in the first week of April. This meant that as in other years, I had limited time.

My second mistake was in some of the posts I’d chosen. I am very happy with my theme of Newspaper Articles About My Family In Trove. What I hadn’t realised was that so many of these articles were sad and tragic. My family, mostly, did nothing unusual to warrant being in the newspapers, except for the usual births, deaths and marriages, which didn’t bother me,when I was planning the posts. However, from day 1, as each post went live, they seemed to get more and more tragic. I then decided to choose different more uplifting articles when I could, which meant rewriting fifteen posts, causing more work and, might I say, a little stress.

I thought this year that the genealogists participating in the challenge, chose really interesting themes, which I looked forward to reading every day. My favourites, in no particular order were:

Family history across the seas

Carmel’s Corner

Anne’s Family History

Family Tree Frog

Molly’s Canopy

I’d love to mention many more of the blogs I visited in the challenge, as they were all interesting and entertaining. I will mention more in a later post.

Links to each daily post for the April A to Z Challenge 2021

A: Andrew Louden, Ballarat

B: Banka Island Massacre – Ellen Calnan

C: Gertrude Hannah Clough, Violet Town

D: Destitution in Donegal

E: Edward Calnan, Violet Town

F: Fire at Kyneton – Thomas Waters

G: Gaffney’s Creek Goldfield

H: Heroic: 83 Saved From Drowning

I: Inquest: William Stroud Dale, Northam W.A.

J: Jephtha Freeman, Sunbury, Victoria

K: Killed In Action WW1. Mancer, Mancer and Waters

L: Kennedy vs Lowe #AtoZChallenge

M: Marriage – Francis Dalcam

N: Northam W.A. William S.Dale

O: Obituary: George Dalcam

P: Police Strike 1923 Melbourne

Q: Daughter of Jane Quinn

R: Richard Cox Heathcote Victoria

S: Sandakan Death Marches #WW2

T: Nurse Faye Taylor – London Air Raid

U: Uzmaston, Pembrokeshire, Wales

V: Vera Penelope Ethel Dale – Heathcote, Victoria

W: Historic Whroo Cemetery Victoria

X: David Cox – Heathcote Victoria

Y: Yarrawonga Deaths: William Taylor and Janet McEwan

Z: Zero – Joe “The Quacker”

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My Research Interests

Every Tuesday night at 7pm AEST it’s time for #ANZAncestryTime, which is genealogy discussion on Twitter. I’m one of the moderators, which means that every couple of weeks, I moderate for a 20 minute block of the discussion. Each week we have discussion with a particular topic, but tonight we are having a more informal discussion about ourselves and our research interests.

Our #ANZAncestryTime blogger, Sue, reminded us that it might be a good idea to post our research interests. I’m long overdue to do this, so thought it about time to do so.


BOYLE – Violet Town, Victoria, Australia

COX – Heathcote, Victoria, Australia

CALNAN – Violet Town, Victoria, Australia

GILMOUR – Ballarat, Victoria, Australia

JONES – Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

LOUDEN – Ballarat, Victoria, Australia

LOVE – Heathcote, Victoria, Australia

LOWE – Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

McQUEEN – Collingwood and Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia

TAYLOR – Bundalong and Yarrawonga, Victoria, Australia

TAYLOR – Diamond Creek and Whittlesea, Victoria, Australia

TRANTER – Heathcote, Victoria, Australia

WATERS – Kyneton, Rochester, Echuca and – Shepparton, Victoria, Australia

WEBB – Heathcote, Victoria, Australia


WATERS – Dunton, Bedfordshire, England

COX – Steeple Ashton and Bath, Wiltshire, England


TAYLOR – Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, Wales

LLOYD – Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, Wales


MORISON/MORRISON – Glenshiel, Ross & Cromarty, Scotland

MacPHERSON – Sleat, Inverness, Scotland


BOYLE – Inver, Donegal, Ireland

CALNAN – Kilkenny, Ireland


McQUEEN – Trelawney, Jamaica, West Indies

ONE PLACE STUDY – Axedale, Victoria, Australia

I feel a bit of a fraud saying I have research interests in Ireland, as I haven’t as yet, researched my Irish ancesters. However, they are going to be my next focus, so I thought I’d add them.

If you see your family name and place on the above list, I’d love to hear from you, either in the comments below or by email. I’m more than happy to share information with family members.

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Z: Zero – Joe “The Quacker” #AtoZChallenge

The Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is an annual challenge put out to bloggers, to publish a post from A-Z, every day in April, except for Sundays. April 1 is A, and so on throughout the month. Participants can post on a chosen theme or just do random posts with no theme at all. The theme I have chosen for 2021 is Newspaper Articles About My Family Found in Trove

I have zero ancestors or places that my ancestors lived that would qualify for letter ‘Z’. I have decided that instead of posting about the letter Z, my final post for the April A to Z Challenge 2021, will be about a random ancestor, whose story I’d like to tell. Having given much thought as to which ancestor will be my choice, I have decided to focus on my great great grandfather Joseph Henry Jones, and particularly his obituary. This obituary was first posted in 2011, but it’s my opinion that this obituary deserves to have another outing.

Joseph Henry Jones

My Great Great Grandfather Joseph Henry Jones, for many years, was my brickwall. I had followed his life until he seemed to disappear, after the death of his wife, Ellen Virginia Lowe, in 1872. This was followed soon after, by the death of his youngest child, Avonia, who was only 4 months old at the time her mother passed away. Sadly Avonia died from starvation, or ‘want of breastmilk’, as stated on her death certificate.

Joseph was left with seven children to care for, ageing from 16 years down to Avonia aged 4 months.  Unfortunately there was more tragedy and sadness for Joe in the coming years.  In 1974,  daughter Catherine Virginia passed away from epilepsy, age 12, followed by their son William Lowe at age 18, in 1893.

I had given up searching for any trace of Joseph, after losing his trail, until another researcher alerted me to the death of his oldest child, Thomas James in a mining accident at Darlingford, Victoria in 1893. He was using his second name as his christian name, which along with his surname Jones, made him almost impossible to find.  The family had not previously lived in this area, adding to the difficulty.

It was both exciting and sad to read the evidence that Joseph gave at the inquest. It seems father and son had been working side by side in the mine. While Joe went to put the billy on there was a landslide in the mine, and his son, Thomas, lost his life.

This led me to the death certificate, of Joseph Henry Jones and an inquest, where I found that  sadly, Joseph had been lying dead in the bush for a number of days before his death was discovered. The inquest then led me to his obituary.


From: Jamieson Chronicle, Saturday, November 9, 1895

Our representative at Gaffney’s Creek, The Other Vagabond reports: 
One of those horrible discoveries, which makes the most hardened of us shudder, was made on Wednesday last, by Mounted Constable Polmear.  He had that morning received information that a man named Joseph Jones, an alluvial miner who was ‘a hatter’, on the Goulburn River, a few miles above Knockwood, had not been seen at his home for nearly 3 weeks. 

The energetic constable at once set about finding the missing digger.  The result of shrewd and careful inquries caused him to take an old and unused bush track leading from Luarville, to the German Spur.  Mr. James Cadam accompanied Mr. Polmear, and they had not proceeded more than a quarter of a mile from the Commercial Hotel, when the gruesome spectacle of poor Joe’s dead body, in a very advanced stage of decomposition, barred the way. 

The unfortunate man, who was known by the sobriquet of ‘Joe the Quacker’, had taken this track as a shortcut to his temporary home on the Goulburn River, never dreaming, no doubt, that instead of reaching his camp in good time, he would never see it again; that he would die a lonely and miserable death, within sight of the houses and active bustling humanity. 

He was about 60 years of age and though not of robust constitution, was lively and active but……Ah, the but……Joe had periodical failings. ‘Tis the old, old, very old story; an empty whiskey bottle; an empty pain killer bottle; a grinning corpse; a ghastly spectacle; a  noisome thing; a hideous putrid mass to be tumbled into a coffin to fill a pauper’s grave; just one more nameless mound, which will for a short time mark the spot, where a little of the flotsam and jetsam of the bush were covered up out of sight. 

But the remains of unfortunate Joe are not buried as I write.  The putrefactive remnants lie in an outhouse at the Commercial Hotel awaiting official enquiry. 

  • Please note: paragraphs and punctuation have been added for ease of reading.

Please Note: Please note: paragraphs and punctuation have been added for ease of reading.

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JAMIESON (18905, Nov. 9). Jamieson and Woodspoint Chronicle, Saturday November 9 1895

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Y: Yarrawonga Deaths: William Taylor and Janet McEwan #AtoZChallenge

The Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is an annual challenge put out to bloggers, to publish a post from A-Z, every day in April, except for Sundays. April 1 is A, and so on throughout the month. Participants can post on a chosen theme or just do random posts with no theme at all. The theme I have chosen for 2021 is Newspaper Articles About My Family Found in Trove


Yarrawonga is a town in Victoria, which is situated on the southern border of the Murray River, between Victoria and New South Wales. Yarrawonga was named after a pastoral station which was taken up by Elizabeth Hume in 1842.

Many of my Taylor family lived in Yarrawonga. Those who were farming at Bundalong, just outside Yarrawonga on the Victorian side of the Murray River, retired to Yarrawonga. The town was surveyed in 1868, and quickly grew with the opening of the railway.

William Lloyd TAYLOR and Janet McQUEEN

William Lloyd TAYLOR and Janet McQUEEN are my great grandparents. William was born in October 1842 at Diamond Creek, Victoria to parents, John TAYLOR and Martha LLOYD. Janet was born in 1853 at Collingwood, Victoria to parents Thomas James Jonathan McQUEEN and Janet YOUNG. There are many variations to the McQueen name – McQueen, McQuinn, McQuien, McEwan are the most commonly used names. In her adult years, Janet used the name McEwan until her marriage to William.

William and Janet had a large family of 10 children, four boys and six girls. My grandmother, Emily was their fifth child and their third daughter.

William and Janet married in 1878 at Broken Creek. In 1875, before the marriage, William took up a selection of 100 acres of farming land at Stewarton, in Victoria. He abandoned this land in 1876, saying he wished to farm on the Murray. Possibly this land was unsuitable for farming, due to lack of available water. Presumably he wished to farm near his brothers, at the much more fertile area of Bundalong. He then went on to farm at Devenish and later at Bundalong. In his later years, William lived in the nearby township of Yarrawonga.

Death of Janet Taylor, maiden name McQueen/McEwan

Janet died tragically in 1894, at age 41, from burns after an accident at her mother’s house, in Yarrawonga. She is buried at the Yarrawonga Cemetary. Her youngest child was just 4 months old at the time of her death.

From ‘The Yarrawonga Mercury and Mulwala N.S.W News’, Thursday, August 23, 1894
DEATH: Our readers will remember that some four weeks ago, the wife of Mr. Wm Taylor, of Bundalong, was very badly burned, while staying at her mother’s home in Yarrawonga, and that she was conveyed from there to the Wangaratta Hospital.  We now regret to state that Mrs. Taylor died in that institution, on Monday last, from the effects of the burns.  The deceased, who was but 41 years of age, resided for many years in the district, and was highly respected.  She leaves a family of young children to mourn their loss, and much sympathy is felt for Mr. Taylor in his bereavement.  The deceased was laid to rest in the Yarrawonga cemetery yesterday, a number of friends testifying their respect by following the remains to the grave.  The Rev. C.A. Jenkins, Wesleyan clergyman, read the burial service. 

Death of William Taylor

William died at 63 years of age, on 20 November 1905, at Yarrawonga. He is buried at Yarrawonga Cemetary, Victoria.

From: Yarrawonga Mercury, November 23, 1905
Obituary: Another old and respected resident of the district, Mr. William Taylor, died at the residence of his two sisters, in Telford Street, Yarrawonga, early on Monday last, 20th inst.  About 25 years ago Mr. Taylor took up a selection of land at Bundalong, where he brought up a large family. He was aged 64 years at the time of his death, and for the past 17 years had been an active member of the Salvation Army at Yarrawonga, taking a leading part in the open air services of that body.  He was a kindly dispositioned man, well liked by his neighbours and those who had the pleasure of his acquaintance.  The funeral took place on Tuesday last, when the body of the deceased was placed at rest in the Yarrawonga Cemetery, the funeral service being read by Ensign Watkins of Benalla, Mr. S. T. Bowles, attending to the mortuary arrangements. 

from ‘Yarrawonga Mercury’, Novermber 23 1905
THANKS:  The Messrs. Taylor Bros and family of the late Mr. W.L. Taylor desire to thank their friends for their kindness during their recent sad bereavement, also D. Jamieson for his prompt care and attention.

from Salvation Army publication ‘War Cry, February 8, 1896
Brother Taylor, our colour sergeant lives about five miles out, but he is at the meetings as often as possible, and is always ready to give his testimony, and warn the people to prepare for death, judgment, and eternity.  About ten miles from Yarrawonga, at Bundalong, the corps – Mulwala, New South Wales.  The people there help well and are supplied with War Crys etc. weekly.  At present the spiritual conditon of the corps is very good.

William and Janet’s daughter Emily, is my grandmother. Emily also passed away at a young age, leaving a large family of young children, including my father.

The Yarrawonga Mercury and Mulwala N.S.W News’, Thursday, August 23, 1894
Yarrawonga Mercury, November 23, 1905
Salvation Army publication ‘War Cry, February 8, 1896

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X: David Cox #AtoZChallenge

The Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is an annual challenge put out to bloggers, to publish a post from A-Z, every day in April, except for Sundays. April 1 is A, and so on throughout the month. Participants can post on a chosen theme or just do random posts with no theme at all. The theme I have chosen for 2021 is Newspaper Articles About My Family Found in Trove

The Letter X has caused me a bit of worry. I have no ancestor or no place where my ancestors live that begins with X. So I have decided to go a bit rogue and post about an ancestor whose name ends with the letter X.

David COX is my half 2nd great granduncle. He is the third child of my third great grandfather Richard COX and his first wife Mary DAVIS. He was born in Bath, England, in 1842. His mother Mary, passed away in Bath when he was three years old. Two years later, his father married Mary Jane Edgecombe SULLY. Two more children were born in Bath, before the family migrated to Australia, on the ship Chowringhee. They left England on 12 March 1852 and arrived at Hobson’s Bay on 5 July 1852.

The family settled at Heathcote, where David’s father Richard became a successful sheep farmer. In 1892, when Richard passed away, David inherited the farm named She-Oak, where he lived until his death on Tuesday July 13, 1915.

From: The McIvor Times and Rodney Advertiser, Thursday 22 July 1915, page 2.

We are very sorry to have to record the death of a very old and much respected resident of Heathcote and district, namely, Mr David Cox, who passed away at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, on Tuesday, 13th inst., at his residence, The Oak Farm, She-Oak. He had been ailing since May last, but had only been laid up for two days prior to his decease, which came suddenly from heart failure.

Mr Cox was the second son of the late Mr Richard Cox, formerly of Heathcote and She Oak, and was 72 years of age, having been born at Bath, Dorsetshire, England, on 23rd April, 1843. He arrived with his parents and elder members of the family at Heathcote in 1853. They first went to Bendigo, and after staying there a short time, came on to Heathcote, and resided for a number of years, where Mr Jas. Tranter’s residence now is, the late Mr Cox, sen., taking up land at She Oak, and going to reside there with Mrs Cox and family.

Mr David Cox followed farming and stock raising, taking over The Oak Farm, on the death of his father. He was for a time in New South Wales, many years ago. He was well known as an excellent rider, took much interest in sport, and was for long a supporter of the local racing club, in recognition of which the club at its meeting on Tuesday evening last week, resolved that a letter of condolence be forwarded to Mrs Cox, extending sympathy.

In the early days, Mr Cox, on many occasions rode in races on the local course. He was possessed of considerable intelligence and judgment, and could give good advice, and was much liked for his thorough straight forwardness, and exceptionally kind and generous nature.

He married Miss Charlotte Roberts, and he leaves his wife and four young children to mourn their sad loss, and much sympathy is felt for them in their bereavement, sympathy also being extended to his four married sisters, namely, Mrs A. Davis (Williamstown), Mrs J. L. Dale (Kyneton), Mrs Jas. Tranter (Heathcote), and Mrs A. M’Lennan (Top Forest), one sister, Mrs J. Stafford (Colombo, Ceylon), and one brother, Mr Edwin Cox (near Dubbo, N.S.W.), being deceased.

The funeral took place on Thursday afternoon last, and was numerously attended, the place of interment being the Heathcote Cemetery. The bearers were Messrs. A. M’Lennan, E. Tranter, sen., W. Tranter, C. Tranter, V. Tranter and A. Tranter. The burial service was read by the Rev. W. Bennett, and the funeral was conducted by Messrs. Perry Bros. There were a number of nice floral tributes.

Please Note: Please note: paragraphs and punctuation have been added for ease of reading.

Obituary. (1915, July 22). The McIvor Times and Rodney Advertiser (Heathcote, Vic. : 1863 – 1918), p. 2. Retrieved April 28, 2021, from

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W: Historic Whroo Cemetery Victoria #AtoZChallenge

The Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is an annual challenge put out to bloggers, to publish a post from A-Z, every day in April, except for Sundays. April 1 is A, and so on throughout the month. Participants can post on a chosen theme or just do random posts with no theme at all. The theme I have chosen for 2021 is Newspaper Articles About My Family Found in Trove


Whroo is an historic gold mining area in Central Victoria. Today, some say it’s a ghost town. It is deserted these days, with no evidence that a vibrant, bustling town existed there in the 19th century. Today, Whroo is a State Forest with beautiful bushland with many great walking trails.

There is however some evidence of goldmining on the landscape. The area is dotted with mine entrances and tunnels. It is only in recent years that these tunnels have been closed off to the public, for safety reasons.

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Balaclava Mine. The area is now closed to the public

Whroo is situated in Central Victoria, just outside the historic town of Rushworth. In 1854, two men discovered a gold nugget in long grass at Whroo. This led to a huge gold rush with hopeful miners coming from all over the world to make their fortune. It wasn’t long until Whroo became a thriving town with three hotels, a school, a cordial factory and three ore crushing mills. The two men who found that original gold nugget, started the Balaclava mine the following year. and it continued until the 1960s. By 1881, gold was becoming more difficult to find and the number of employed miners at Whroo had decreased to 150.The Balaclava mine closed in the 1920s as gold was no longer being found. The area where the mine is situated in now a tourist attraction. Tourists are able to walk down a long stairway to get close to the mouth of the mine.

Whroo Cemetery

Due to the explosion in population at Whroo, during the goldrush, it wasn’t long before a cemetery was needed. The first burial recorded was in 1858, but it is thought that there were earlier unrecorded deaths in the town before that date.

Today, the Whroo cemetery is very well looked after by the local cemetery trust. Wandering around this historic cemetery, it’s possible to understand a little more about the history of the area and the goldrush.

My partner’s ancestors, named HODGE and DALCAM, were early gold miners at Whroo, and are buried in the Whroo cemetery.

The Whroo cemetery is only about one hour from where we live, so we go there occasionally for bushwalking and to visit the cemetery. This historic cemetery is a very peaceful place, with a sense of it’s history still being obvious to the visitor.

From: The McIvor Times and Rodney Advertiser (Heathcote, Vic. : 1863 – 1918) 17 September 1869: 2

September 13th, 1869.
Six tons of quartz from Cameron & Dalcam’s claim on Chinamans’ Hill, yielded 2 oz. 9 dwts of gold, and is payable. Nine tons of tailings and hopperings from the 40 foot lead, Reg’s & Co’s. claim, yielded 2 oz. 15 dwts. of gold. This rush is increasing, about fifty miners are on the ground, but so far only three new holes are being sunk, payable gold is being got in several claims, and I have heard that as much as 12 dwts. to the tub has been got during last week; the sinking is from 40 to 55 feet, and fair workable ground. I do not know of any ground in this district better worth prospecting. Four tons of quartz from a new vain on Arthur’s old claim near Law’s dam, at the White Hills, yielded 1 1/4 oz. per ton and pays well. The prospectors are applying for a lease of ten acres. Blayney W. Walshe & Co., are applying for a lease of thirty acres on the Malakoff, to prospect for gold and antimony, under the name of the North Balaclava Quartz Mining Co., to employ four men for the first six months, and afterwards twenty men, and I hope they will get it at once. It appears that Ballarat capital will be largely invested in the undertaking. The company will consist of twenty shareholders.

“WHROO.” The McIvor Times and Rodney Advertiser (Heathcote, Vic. : 1863 – 1918) 17 September 1869: 2. Web. 6 Mar 2021 <;.

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©2021 copyright. All rights reserved

V: Vera Penelope Ethel Dale #AtoZChallenge

The Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is an annual challenge put out to bloggers, to publish a post from A-Z, every day in April, except for Sundays. April 1 is A, and so on throughout the month. Participants can post on a chosen theme or just do random posts with no theme at all. The theme I have chosen for 2021 is Newspaper Articles About My Family Found in Trove. Trove is the electronic archive for newspapers, books, magazines, photos and much more.

Vera Penelope Ethel DALE is my first cousin three times removed. Her parents were Joseph Langham DALE and Emily Jane COX. Emily was my second great grand aunt. Vera, born in 1889 at Kyneton, was the 14th of 15 children.

On 4 September 1915, Vera married Edward Clemans at Kyneton. This was quite a society wedding which was well reported in the Kyneton Guardian.

From: Kyneton Guardian (Vic. : 1870 – 1880; 1914 – 1918), p. 2. Retrieved April 24, 2021, from


Although the marriage of Mr Edward Clemens, of Kyneton, to Miss Vera E. Penelope Dale, second youngest daughter of Mrs J. Langham Dale and the late J. Langham Dale, of Kyneton, was very quietly celebrated on Saturday evening, September 4, much interest was centred in it, as both bride and bridegroom are well known and highly esteemed residents of the town. The ceremony took place in St. Paul’s Church of England at 6.45 p.m., and Canon Bishop officiated, the church being filled with friends and well wishers of the contracting parties.

The bride who was given away by her brother. Mr W. S. Dale, wore a lovely trained wedding gown of white crepe de chine. The bodice, draped with white ninon, was veiled with shadow lace, and the shirred skirt was finished with sprays of orange blossom. A beautifully embroidered veil was worn, arranged with mob cap effect and finished with a wreath of orange blossom, the only ornament worn being a diamond necklet, the gift of the bridegroom. An exquisite bouquet of carnations completed a beautifully simple bridal toilette.

The bride was attended by two bridesmaids, her sister. Miss Myrtle Dale, and Miss Amy Wells. The former wore a smart frock of white satin with a full double skirt of pink and white ninon. The bodice with a stylish coatee of pink ninon. A becoming mob cap of pink tulle was worn and a posy of primroses carried. Miss Amy Wells wore a sweet frock of white crepe de chine, with skirt, of three tiers with scalloped edges, and the bodice veiled with ninon and shadow lace, and a sleeveless Eton coat of crepe de chine. A mob cap of pale blue tulle was worn and a bouquet of forget me nots, tied with pale blue streamers, completed a pretty costume.

The bridegroom’s gift to the first bridesmaid was a gold wristlet watch and to the second maid an aquamarine necklet. The bride’s gift to the bridegroom was a handsome oak writing bureau. In addition to their bouquets the bridesmaids carried each a satin cushion, one pink and one blue, on which the bride and bridegroom knelt before the altar. As the bridal party entered the church Mr A. M. Perkin played the Wedding March and after the ceremony the Bridal March from Lohengrin. Mr A. E. Barnes supported the bridegroom and Mr Sellar was groomsman.

After the ceremony Mrs. Dale entertained the guests, mainly relatives and a few near personal friends, to wedding tea at the Arcadia, the bridal party being conveyed by motors supplied from Mr Roberts’ garage, each being decorated gaily with pink and white hyacinths and japonica and pink and blue streamers.

Mrs Dale received her guests, and the bride and bridegroom received their friends’ congratulations in the ante-room, which was beautifully decorated with blue gum and daffodils. Mrs Dale wore a smart coat and skirt of crepe de chine, relieved with a soft white vest, and a black and white aeroplane hat, finished with a white velvet rose and jet pins.

Several pretty frocks were worn, including the following: Mrs Kearns, Sydney (sister of bride), smart black silk, made with tunic effect, the over-skirt of heavy black silk and the bodice and Medici collar relieved with pale pink, and mole colored transparent hat with tiny roses: Mrs W. S. Dale (sister-in-law), turquoise blue crepe de chine over silk, black picture hat with white flowers and velvet streamers; Mrs Jas. Armstrong, mole crepe de chine with double skirt and coatee and white silk net front finished with tiny pink buttons, and a mole hat. with crown of pale blue lilies of the valley finished with white ornaments.

The wedding tea took place in the large supper room, which was very attractively arranged. The guests were seated at three large tables, each prettily adorned with a wealth of early spring flowers, relieved by native heaths and the charming euancondit, which grows with such profusion on the hills to the north west of Kyneton. The effect of the whole was rendered more beautiful, by the soft illumination of the silver candelabra shaded with pink. Several toasts were proposed and received with evident zest.

Canon Bishop directed the ceremony, and in feeling terms proposed “The King” which toast was enthusiastically received, after which he submitted “The Bride and Bridegroom,” making reference to the sincere regard which was entertained for them both. He believed there was none more highly spoken of amongst his congregation than the bride whom they were honoring. Mr Clemens had been fighting bravely and he was pleased to find that, like that brave soldier, Private Jacka, he had been rewarded by a V.C. for his wife would henceforth be known not as Vera Dale, but as Vera Clemens. He felt their union would be a very happy one, and he wished for them both all the prosperity that they might hope for themselves.

The bridegroom, in testifying his thankfulness, not alone of the proposition, but for its hearty reception, spoke of the pleasure which he had experienced at the hope, which he and Mrs Clemens had, of a successful and happy future. He, in turn, neatly proposed “The Bridesmaids,” when Mr. A. E. Barnes, best man. responded on their behalf. “The Bride’s Mo-ther” was proposed by Mr J. Armstrong, and responded to by Mr W. S. Dale, who has now returned home from Western Australia. “The Rev. Chairman” was submitted by Mr. E. Armstrong and acknowledged by Canon Bishop. R.D.

During the evening, songs were rendered by Mrs Frank Serpell and Mr Tom Clemens, the musical accompaniments being provided by Mr A. M. Perkin. Mr. and Mrs Clemens left by the train for Melbourne, en route for Sydney, and the Blue Mountains, the bride wearing a stylish tailor made of gabardine with a white satin vest and a black and white hat of crepe de chine, with black velvet flowers set closely round the crown.

On their return they will reside at “Halcyon,” High Sreet Kyneton. They were the recipients of many handsome and valuable presents, including many cheques. Amongst the gifts were a beaten copper vase from St. Paul’s Sunday School teachers and a table from the employees of Dales’ Mutual Stores.

Please Note: Please note: paragraphs and punctuation have been added for ease of reading.

MARRIAGE. (1915, September 7). Kyneton Guardian (Vic. : 1870 – 1880; 1914 – 1918), p. 2. Retrieved April 24, 2021, from

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