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Family History Through The Alphabet: Letter K

August 25, 2012

The lovely folk at   Gould Genealogy  have  issued a challenge to genealogists and family historians. Their idea is The ‘Family History Through the Alphabet’ Challenge   We will work our way through the alphabet, using one letter each week  and discuss anything relating to our family history starting with that letter. This week being week 11, is the letter K

K is for Kyneton: My Great Great Grandfather Thomas Waters arrived in Kyneton in about 1862. He travelled on foot from Melbourne after leaving South Australia, to try his luck in Victoria’s goldfields.
Thomas and his wife ELIZABETH ANN COCK  had two children when they arrived in Kyneton, but their family soon grew with a further 5 children born while they were living in the area.

Thomas and family had mixed fortunes in Kyneton. In South Australia Thomas had been employed as a bailiff and he was able to find work doing this in Kyneton. But as times became harder this job was discontinued. I have letters that Thomas wrote to his family at this time describing life in Kyneton, and his employement.

His next position was growing potatoes at Trentham. Thomas describes the winter at Trentham, in his letters, as being colder than anything he experienced in England

Thomas suffered serious injury in Kyneton when he was hit by flying debris from an explosion when blasting powder was detonated as he was walking past. He lost the sight in his right eye and suffered a serious injury to his left hand which became permanently disabled.

In June 1865, the house the family was renting, burnt down during the night.

In 1876, the family moved on to a farm in the Rochester area, where they permanent and valued  members of the community.

  1. Phil permalink

    Great to have letters from so long ago, showing how tough life was, & amazing you know how his accident occurred. It would be fascinating to read about events in his employment in Kyneton, which meant sheep town, as I guess they named it because it was a place for shepherds to bring their flocks. “The rail link from Melbourne arrived in 1862” .
    hope you send it to their Historical Society. btw congrats on your daughters job, shows where she got the skills of writing and understanding writers too, ha!

    • Hi Phil

      Thomas described the accident in great detail in the letters back to England. He also talked about having a professional photo done to send them and was concerned that his injuries would spoil the photo. We have that photo, which reminds me I must put it on the blog. The reason for him walking to Kyneton was that he had no money for a fare. He had to use the money to see a doctor and bury his son, which he goes into in hearbreaking detail in the letters. A kind person offered to take his wife but he had to walk. The historical society have had the letters for a few years now

      Thanks for the congrats re Lisa. but you are incorrect she didn’t get any of her writing skills from me. I’m a plodder, she’s extremely talented. But of course, I’m slightly biased.


  2. Wow to have the letters that Thomas wrote describing his accident and his life is a treasure, but heartbreaking nonetheless. But to have it written in your ancestors own words is something that you can’t replace.

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