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52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Week 8 – Prosperity

February 18, 2020

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

Professional genealogist and podcaster Amy Johnson Crow has put out the challenge to genealogists and family historians, to write stories about 52 of their ancestors in 52 weeks.

I am happily taking up the challenge, and look forward to writing stories, that will collate many years of research results. In most cases, the research for my ancestors is not complete, and possibly never will be complete, but I’m hoping to build a story of the lives they lived with the information I have to hand. I’m hoping to publish these stories in a book at the end of 2020. Each week a prompt will be given as the theme for the week.

Week 8: Prosperity

As yet, I haven’t come across any ancestors that I would call prosperous, so the prompt for this week, has had me a bit worried that I wouldn’t be able to write a post on this theme. I really didn’t want to miss a week, so was feeling slightly concerned, when in a lightbulb moment, it came to me. Prosperity is relative.

None of my ancestors may have been very wealthy, but they all lived what I think they would consider to be prosperous lives. Most of my ancestors came to Australia in the 19th century, as assisted passengers, looking for a better life. I’m sure that the life they found here, could be described as prosperous, compared to the life they were living in the country of their birth.

Patrick Boyle

PATRICK BOYLE arrived in Melbourne from Ireland on “The Pomona” in 1857. Travelling with him were his wife MARGARET McCLINTOCK and daughters, Ellen, Annie and Margaret. They quickly settled in Violet Town, where Patrick became a successful farmer, on the banks of the Honeysuckle Creek. Margaret died in 1862, just 5 years after their arrival. Patrick remarried in 1866 to Maria Chute. They had 4 daughters and 3 sons – Hanora, James, Thomas, Theresa, Francis, Maria and Catherine.

Farming on Honeysuckle Creek, Violet Town.

On 19th January 1875, Patrick leased a farm on the Honeysuckle Creek at Violet town, paying two shillings annually for each acre. This amount was paid in advance, in two half yearly instalments on 9th January and 9th July. The lease was paid for seven years, after which he would he would own the land. The property consisted of 139 acres, two roods and ten perches and was situated in the Parish of Shadforth, Country of Moira.

Just one year later, on 14th March 1876, Patrick leased a further 50 acres adjoining his property. For this property he also paid two shillings annually, for each acre.  This was to be paid each year on 14th March and 14th September, for seven years, after which he would own the land.

On 1st August 1877 Patrick leased a further allotment adjoining his farm. This land consisted of 182 acres, two roods and nine perches, a sizeable piece of land, to add to his current landholdings. For this lease, as with his previous leases, he paid two shillings per acre, to be paid annually, in two payments, on 1st February and 1st August, for seven years, after which the land would become his own.

The freehold for all three parcels of land were transferred into Patrick’s name, at the expiration of the leases. In all land dealings, Patrick signed his name with X (mark)

Death of Patrick Boyle

Patrick died in 1891 in Violet Town, and is buried in a large family plot, with both his first and second wife, and his daughter Ellen, who predeceased him.

Patrick’s daughter Ellen was murdered by her husband, RICHARD CHUTE, in 1871. She was a young mother with two children, the youngest just a few days old. You can read more about her tragic story here MARIA CHUTE, Patrick’s second wife was the sister of Richard Chute. Patrick and Maria had been married for five years, at the time of the murder, which I’m sure must have made for difficult times for both.

Patrick Boyle’s will shows that he died a wealthy man. He was still farming his property at the time of his death. On the farm was a weatherboard house with iron roof and detached kitchen, outhouse and a barn. He had a large herd of cows, 7 horses and 2 pigs. There was a large collection of farm equipment listed in his will, including plough with harnesses, carriages with harnesses, various other harnesses, dairy utensils, tools and various personal items. He left no mortgages or debts.

I have no doubt that Patrick Boyle would consider his life in Australia, to be both successful and prosperous.



 Oral History

These snippets of information have been passed down through the family to fellow researchers, but can’t be verified, in fact. We know that Patrick Boyle leased his first parcel of land 18 years after his arrival in Australia. It is thought that he mined for gold at Gowangardie, and made enough money, to begin life as a farmer. Later in his life, while still farming, he had a horse and cart business in Violet Town. He was described as a ‘dapper man’. An elderly person, who was considered to be a reliable source, has said that her mother attended the wake for Patrick Boyle, and described it as a wild affair in the town.


Code B, Fiche 125, page 005,

VPRS 625/p Unit 491, File 36898 Book Vol 222, Folio 44341
Will and Probate 47/844 Victoria
Immigration: Ship Pomona Code B, Fiche 125, page 005, assisted passengers to Victoria
Death Certificate: 248/1891
Various civil registration certificates relating to the family
All above sources are held by me.


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