Books available on the History of Blackwood, Victoria.

“The History and Pioneers of Blackwood” is the next book hopefully to be published soon with the help by either a Grant or  funding.  see page –  THE HISTORY AND PIONEERS OF BLACKWOOD.

Margot started researching for this book in 1980 after the publication of her 1st book – ‘Aspects of Early Blackwood’ in 1980. Now and after having in total, 5,000 books printed in 5 publications and only about 20 of these books left, it is time for the next book to be printed.  The new book after 38 years of research is currently 700 pages and a wealth information of early Blackwood history. The money from funding should be enough for an E-book to be made as well as a printed version.

Update February 2019 – Unfortunately I have not been successful with the ‘Pick My Project’ funding, but hope to have the opportunity for another grant soon..  WATCH THIS SPACE..!!!

**** AS FROM SATURDAY 30TH JUNE 2018 THE HISTORICAL MUSEUM WILL BE OPEN ON MOST SATURDAY MORNINGS FROM 11am – 1pm – unless members cannot be there.  (if planning to go check with the President, Allan Hall on 53 686 537 to make sure the Museum will be open).

*****As in keeping with other Historical societies, we welcome enquiries about family or local history, which should be made by contacting the Historian at . The cost of this service is appreciated with a small monetary donation for the time and information required.

Stop press – OPEN DAYS FOR MUSEUM – Every 1st Saturday in the month from  11am – 2pm and Historical society meeting from 10.0am – 12 noon – new members welcome.

To contact members of the committee – phone Allan or Elizabeth Hall, President and  Secretary – 03 53686 537, or Historian  write C/- P.O. Box 447, Blackwood Post Office 3458.

Donations of Blackwood history and memorabilia Welcome.

Historical Exhibition Open Day – 11.00am – 4.00pm. Labour Day holiday Sunday  March 2019.

Historical Exhibition Open Day – 11.00am – 4.00pm. Easter Sunday April 2019.

Historical Exhibition Open Day – 12 noon – 4.00pm Sunday November 2019.  (Cup weekend)

All Welcome – gold coin donation entry. 

The Blackwood Historical Museum  is in Martin Street on the corner of Warner Street next to the Special Schools building which is next to the Fire Brigade building. 

Postal Address – C/- P.O. Box 447, Blackwood Post Office 3458.



 Tragic shootings of a Minister and Billy Pincombe at Blackwood, Victoria in 1908.


One of the biggest tragedies that ever happened in Blackwood, Victoria took place on the 19th June 1908.  Events leading to this incident involved a man, his wife, the local preacher, the local policeman, the bible, some guns, an axe and a deranged woman and some of the people of Blackwood. 


Margot Hitchcock, Historian for the Blackwood and District Historical Society, launched her self-published 3rd book on the history of Blackwood on Easter Sunday 2014 at the Blackwood Historical Society’s Museum. 

The book ‘The Billy Pincombe Tragedy’ is a true story of Murder, Mania and Madness that happened with the tragic shootings of a minister and Billy Pincombe at Blackwood, Victoria.  Historical true crime. The events that lead to the institutionalization of one person for Religious Mania after she chopped off her right hand, and the shooting of two people in Blackwood, over one hundred years ago in 1908.  The A5 book has 178 pages with index and 55 photos, and sells at $16 plus $2 postage in Australia. 

Interested in any of the  books listed please contact Margot at

I’ve researched this book in my role as Historian for the Blackwood Historical Society. Family names researched are Pincombe, Morrish & Saunders. (William Torrington Pincombe, Annie May Morrish daughter of William John Morrish & Rachael Gamble, Constable Charles Henry Saunders)

GET YOUR AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF THE LATEST RELEASE  –  ‘The Tragedy of Billy Pincombe’ – limited to only 500 copies.

Order your copies NOW. – Price –  $16 plus $2 if postage in Australia. 

Email Margot here  at

or buy your copies at the Blackwood Historical Society Museum –

Open 1st Saturday in the month Day – 12 – 2pm. (except January)

and General Historical meeting 10.30 – 12 noon – new members welcome.


Photo of Barrys Reef, Blackwood c. 1879 showing the gold mining in the area with the Sultan mine in the background. (courtesy of the B.D.H.S.) ©



Aspects of Early Blackwood”

– The Goldfield,

– The Landmarks

– The Pioneers

By Alan J Buckingham and Margot F Hitchcock.


89 pages including photos and index – with information on early gold mining days and the pioneers – Cost $15 or $17 including postage in Australia.


“Some History of Simmons Reef, Blackwood”

compiled by  Margot Hitchcock for the Blackwood & District Historical Society.


55 pages and 51 photos plus index with information on the early Quartz mining in Simmons Reef – Cost $13 pr $15 including postage in Australia..


Hi, you have reached the Web-Page of Margot Hitchcock, Author and Historian for the Blackwood and District Historical Society, of Victoria, Australia .

Margot’s achievements as Author, Historian, Genealogist etc click here

Purchase the book ‘Aspects of Early Blackwood’

To see the book ‘Aspects of Early Blackwood’ click here

GET YOUR AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF THE LATEST RELEASE – ‘The Bily Pincombe Tragedy.’       Limited to 500 copies

Interested in any of the following please email Margot here

You would like some information on your ancestor who lived at Blackwood ?

You would like your ancestor or some information on Blackwood included in the next book Margot is writing—’The History and Pioneers of Blackwood.’


Another book soon to be published— “The History and Pioneers of Blackwood” – over 600 pages of fascinating history of Blackwood.

 Margot is trying to find time to finish her research and publish another book on the history of Blackwood, hopefully to be published in 2015 with the title ‘HISTORY AND PIONEERS OF BLACKWOOD‘ .   click here.

Order your copies NOW.


Please note – to the overseas people who try to post rubbish/trash  comments on my page, they will be put in the Spam box and not posted – so don’t waste our time.


31 thoughts on “Books available on the History of Blackwood, Victoria.

  1. “Blackwood Publishing | Genealogical history of Blackwood Victoria” ended up being a superb blog.

    However, if it owned more pics this would certainly be perhaps
    even a lot better. All the best ,Corinne

    • Hi Corinne, sorry just found your message as my computer guy can’t set it up for me any more so now I have to quickly learn how to add info myself.. keep in touch as see updates as I do them.. many thanks Margot
      P.S. I’ve been working on my web page for 3 hrs today – hope you are happy with what I’ve added – more to come.

  2. What a great website. Well designed and easy to use. Quick question when is the Historical Society open? I’m travelling passed there this weekend and was hoping it might be open.

    Also do you know were Pleasant Hill was? I found references to it in Wills of my Great Great Great Grandparents.

    • Thanks David for your enquiry on my web page… glad you liked it…. a lot of work for me but glad you found it easy to use.. I had fun designing it – still more to do but there was a need so I thought I’d better do it.
      hmm where was Pleasant Hill was? – at this stage I’m not sure – depends who lived there.. do you know….???? who were your Great Great Great Grandparents.
      William Byres (2nd) (born 1850) married Annie Pryn on the 1st February 1877 at Blackwood. Annie Pryn was born in Blackwood on 29-5-1860. The Pryn family lived up behind Walls house on the Old Golden Point Road, on what became known as “Pitch Fork Hill”. Getting its name from when Annie’s father chased one of the girls boyfriend’s down the hill with a pitch fork!
      Now the Blackwood Historical Society is open once a month on the 1st Saturday of the month from 10.30am – 12.30pm so next one is 6th July..
      I see I’ve corresponded before with you re your Pryn family.. if I can help further let me know..
      Margot Hitchcock
      Blackwood & District Historical Society

  3. I have used images from your site to illustrate letters that I am transcribing from Blackwood (and elsewhere) during the diggings. Please let me know if using these images is inappropriate – or indeed if you would like to link to the site – or even better – if you have more that you could add to my letters! The recipient of these letters was my Great Grandfather (Isaac Edward Dyason) and most of the letters were written to him by enthusiastic Uncle (9 years older than him) Fred Pearce. Isaac’s diaries (now in the State Library of Victoria) describe his day-to-day experiences on the goldfields from 1851 to 1915. So far these have not been transcribed. The images I speak of are of Blackwood – but I have not uploaded these onto my site yet. Will do over the next couple of days. Hope to hear from you.

    • Hi Angus, If you use any of my images I would need you to credit me for their use and put courtesy of me personally as the source and the Blackwood Historical Society and I would like to link to the site. I have hundreds of photos but only will be adding a few more here as I get time. let me know if you want any specific photos and I will see if I have them. I will look in my records and see if I have anything connected to your Great Grandfather (Isaac Edward Dyason) .. hope this helps,
      Margot Hitchcock
      Blackwood & District Historical Society

  4. Hello Margot, I’m interested in anything you may know about the history of coaching, in and around Blackwood and District. I have seen a picture of a coach outside the Royal Mail, pulled by only two horses. I don’t believe it would be possible to get up old Golden Point road, or Martin street from the coach road from Trentham in a loaded coach with only two horses. Perhaps the photo was taken during a team change and the leaders has already been led away? As the old coach rode is steep and dangerous, I would like to know if any photos of this route exist! Regards, Sean.

    • Hi Sean I have info on the gold escort route and a relief map of it is in our Historical Museum.. a Police historian friend gives guided tours on this coach route if you are interested.. it is a different route from Trentham and didn’t go up Martin street. have you seen the photo of the Rapid coach outside the Blackwood hotel pulled by 2 horses.. thanx, Margot

  5. Hello,
    this a great blog. found it by chance whilst browsing for photos of the Blackwood School, in the hope of seeing an image of my grandmother when she was very young.

    Her name was Alice May Ashton, born in 1891 in Blakeville. She came from a very large family of 15 children.
    Are there any photos of the school from her period there? Colin

    • Hi Colin
      no sorry I don’t have photos of the Blakeville school.. only got Blackwood schools.. but I have a file on Blakeville and a typed copy of “A short history of ‘the Ashtons’s of Blakeville – an account of the mining activities of Ashtons Reef… have you seen this..?? also a copy of the Prospectus… let me know if I can help more – thanks Margot. BDHS

  6. Hi,
    I am wondering if in your study have you come across the family name of Wright?
    Parents William Wright a Scot 14 years older than. partner/wife Mary Ann
    Children born/registered to have been born in Mt Blackwood between the years of 1855 -1869.
    Scandal was or said scandal, Mary Ann left her whole family and married Peter Jensen 1870.
    thanks Carolyn

    • Hi Carolyn, I found mentions in the Bacchus Marsh Express on Trove of William Wright and Peter Jensen being partners in a mine at Blackwood on Wright’s Reef. If you want more info on this let me know….
      I found the births of 5 children to Mary Ann Panton and William Wright at Blackwood in 1861,1863,1865,1867, and 1869. I found a child born in 1859 at Blackwood to William Wright and Mary Ann Pentland – although I think the surname Pentland could be a mistake.. so this looks like they were not married before she got married in 1870 to Peter Jensen.. strange one for sure..

      I then found the marriage in 1870 of Mary Ann Panton born Tasmania, married to Peter Jensen born Norway reg. no. 1182.
      I came across Peter Jensen’s name and his wife Jane Jensen at Blackwood in 1866 where he had placed an advert. in the Bacchus Marsh Express paper which said – BME Saturday 8 September 1866
      THIS is to certify that I WILL NOT be ANSWERABLE for any debts or liabilities contracted by my wife, JANE JENSEN, she having left my home without my consent.: Dated at Mount Blackwood this fifth day of September, 1866 PETER JENSEN.

      also found a unnamed female born to Peter Nicolay Jensen and Mary Ann Shaw at Golden Point Blackwood in 1858 reg no. 6290. (I don’t know if this one fits into the family or not and then a female death of Jane at Blackwood in 1858)
      So I then persuaded this research and found a previous marriage of Peter Nicolay Jensen in 1857 to Jane Mitchell Shaw reg no. 3187. George Peter Jensen was born to Peter and Jane Shaw at Blackwood in 1862, and Christina born to same parents in 1861 at Blackwood reg no 1830. and Helena born to same parents at Blackwood in 1865 reg no. 13590. So now I’m more confused – were there two Peter Jensen’s or did he have children to two women in Blackwood at the same time..????????
      I also found the obituary of Peter Jensen if you want it let me know..
      oh and Peter (died 1894) and Jane Jensen (died 1917) are buried in the same grave in the Blackwood Cemetery
      I hope you can verify some of this and put me out of my confusion..!!!
      thanks, Margot Hitchcock B.D.H.S.

  7. I am trying to find more information of my ancestors from the Blackwood area. Mathew Sweet (alias Haskins) born 27th June, 1808, died 7th May,1886.His parents were John & Elizabeth Haskins, Bristol England. I know he was transported out to Sydney Cove on the convict transport ship “Champion” on 24th May 1827, to serve his 7 year sentence. He was granted a “ticket to leave” on 15th Dec, 1832, then his “Certificate of Freedom” 22nd Nov, 1833. He moved to the District of Port Phillip, now Victoria and worked for Mr Willis on Willis Station in the Upper Glenelg area , where he met Mary Kelly. He married Mary Kelly and with their large family of children, packed up moved to Golden point, Blackwood, to pan for gold with George Jackson around November, 1854?.
    Mathew is my 3rd Great Grandfather. I would be very interested in any information that you could send me regarding the life of Mathew and his family, also are there any relatives remaining in the Blackwood area, I would love to know more about them also.
    My maternal grandfather was George James Mcausland Gelletly brother to John Gelletly. My mother was Jean Margaret Crowley( nee Gelletly ) daughter of George.
    I will look forward to any information that you may be able to e-mail me on any further information on my “Kinship” family.
    Thanking you, kind regards,
    Elizabeth (Liz) O’Sullivan.

    • Hi Elizabeth
      thanks for your query on my website.. yes I have info on Matthew Sweet in my Aspects book and a chapter on the family in my next unpublished book – The History and Pioneers of Blackwood.
      I did not know he had been a convict – is it OK if I use the info in my next book…???
      Have you been to Blackwood and seen his grave and headstone..??? yes there are still families by the name of Sweet in the area.
      I have a photo of the Gelletly grave and headstone – have you seen it..???
      what sort of info do you want me to give you..????
      Margot Hitchcock
      Blackwood & District Historical Society

  8. Hello,
    I am trying to track anyone or organisation who might kn0ow the fate of the Barry’s Reef Post Office. I have seen on the interent that a house called Anderson? is now what once was the P.O. However my family believe that the ruins of the old P.O may be visited nearby Thompsons road?
    My Great Aunt was Post Mistress there.

    • Hi Frederick, yes I knew of another post office in Barrys Reef. In my next as yet unpublished book – “The History and Pioneers of Blackwood” I have – Fanny Wilson, the eldest daughter, was obviously intelligent, and was said by the relative to have been the Post Mistress at the Barrys Reef Post Office. Also another note I made in my book says – “I found the old Post Office which was all fallen down, but now I believe there were two post offices at different times and locations in Barrys Reef, Blackwood. One old man (Les Armstrong) said he used to live in Barrys Reef at a Post Office where his mother had been postmistress. He used to live at the other Post Office which was the one which had all fallen down. A Thompson family lived in Barrys Reef in the 1860’s and 1870’s. Mrs Louise Thompson (nee Armstrong) ran the Post Office where Les Armstrong lived with his mother in about 1910. Les Armstrong was born in Barrys Reef in 1903 where his mother was Post Mistress for many years. What was your great Aunt’s name….?? this post Office was in a road off to the right going from Blackwood to Trentham… I have a photo I took of the old post office which I will email you as can’t see how I can attach it here. hope this helps. Margot Hitchcock B.D.H.S.

  9. Hello Margot,

    I came across this website a bit by accident whilst doing a search for Thomas Guppy. In fact my connection to the Guppy family is Mary, who married John Andrew on 23 August 1870 in St Peters Church Melbourne.

    For years I have been trying to find a connection with the Andrew family with Cornwall, but have been unable to, but your record says John was born in Cornwall. (however, his Australian death record records his birth as Kings Stanley, which is in Gloucestershire about 10 miles from where I live).

    John appears to have traveled to Melbourne with his brother Joseph (and his death records says he was born in Cornwall). John & Joseph are my half great grand uncles, their parents were James Andrew (my Gt Gt Grandfather) and James’ first wife Sarah Andrew, nee Fisher. If you would like further information about John & Joseph and the Andrew family, in the UK, please let me know and I would be very happy to supply you with any information I have.

    I would really be interested in hearing of where the information about Cornwall was obtained, as this would certainly help me break down a brick wall as to where James Andrew was born, and details of James’ father John.

    I look forward to hearing from you,

    Best wishes,

    Terry Andrews (the “s” appears to have been added to the surname from about 1850 onward when James died in Painswick, Gloucestershire)

    • Hi Terry,
      Thanks for your query on my website… The Andrew family info on my web site I got from Mary Wormald, great grand-daughter of Christopher Guppy, and Wendy Abey, granddaughter of Mary (Polly) Andrew married to James Lidgett.

      I looked up John Andrew’s marriage in 1870 to Mary Guppy in my Digger records and it says he was born in Gloucestershire – so I think that info would be right as he would have know on his marriage where he was born..
      But interestingly enuf there are 4 others by the name of John Andrew who are listed as born in Cornwall. I have a Digger record of a Joseph Andrew born Cornwall married Catherine Rowe in 1887 – is this yours..?

      I have letter written to me by Mary Wormald in 1986 (so I’ve been doing this Blackwood research for a long time) she sent me copies of certificates and the shipping record of Christopher Guppy and family. She also said she has the Andrew family tree – which I find she sent me also..!!!! also info from a book on the Andrew clan – do you have copies of these..?? It say that a number of Andrew families immigrated to Australia from Cornwall and Devon…It say – “After completing a four year indenture to a shopkeeper in Gloucestershire, England, JOHN ANDREW (whose father*) was born in Cornwall – (*This is written in pen and added to the book…..) and is the originator of this family tree in Australia, sailed for Melbourne in the “Donald Mackay” in 1855 when he was 21 yrs old (born 1834) died 1926 … etc etc…

      Now back to John Andrew it says – born 1834 either at Kingstanly or Leonardstanley in Cornwall (but that is crossed out and says see page 14 – but no page 14 BUT it says his father was James Andrew b. 1810 d. 1850 married Sarah Fisher b. 1808 d. 1836 – had 4 children – Sarah, JOHN b. 1834 d. 1926, Joseph b. 1835 d. 1963, Grace lived only 4 months. Ah but says James Andrew married a 2nd time and I have the list of 7 childrens names.’
      I have the record of the death of John Andrew in 1926 and it says- father James Andrew – mother Sarah Fisher – died Ballan Victoria, age 92 (born 1834). Reg. No. 116. So that matches other records I have.

      IN the Argus newspaper – Tuesday 23 March 1926 – I found – see – On TROVE.. (National library of Australia )

      ANDREW – On the 22nd March, at Doctor’s Creek, Ballan, John, dearly beloved husband of Mary. and father of Walter J Andrew (Sunshine), Mrs Thomas Fagg (Ballan), Mrs Robert Hornbuckle, (Myrniong), Mrs James Lidgett (Myrniong and Frank Andrew (deceased), aged 92 years. Passed peacefully away.

      Ballan is the next big town to Blackwood.
      I hope this all helps – let me know if I can help further,
      Thank you,

      Margot Hitchcock
      Blackwood & District Historical Society

  10. Found this site quite by accident as I was trying to find the birthplace of ‘Glue Pot, Blue Mountain, Victoria’ for John Thomas HUTTON born 1863. The sibling before him, David Downey HUTTON, was born in Taradale in 1859, and the three siblings after John, Jane, Teresa and Mary, were all born in Blackwood in 1867, 1869 and 1874 respectively. By 1877, the family were living in Waratah, Tasmania.

    There is some confusion as to whether the father, Robert Joseph HUTTON, from Edinburgh, was a miner or worked for the mines as a clerk/accountant. The mother was Catherine DOWNEY originally from MIddlesex and they marred in South Australia.

    Some information I found on RootsChat suggested from a letter written by a gg aunt that Catherine was very educated and visited Blackwood as a young girl and photographed a library Robert HUTTON kept there. Another story was that Robert was the editor of a Melbourne Newspaper and went to report on the shipwreck of the barque Sacramento, on which Catherine was travelling with her sister, and that is where they met.

    Thought it was worthwhile seeing if you were able to shed any light and I thank you in advance for your assistance.

    Kind regards

    • Hi Merrelyn, Glue Pot, Blue Mountain is just north of Blackwood.. called Blue Mount now… yes John Thomas HUTTON was born 1863 at Blue Mount, father was Robert Joseph Hutton and mother Catherine Downey reg. no. 19086. But I have David Downey HUTTON, was born in Taradale in 1861, not 1859. Robert Hutton died in 1890 age 49 yrs. Yes he as involved in the Mechanics Institute library at some stage.. They has 7 children, two born previously in Adelaide after they married there in 1857. he family moved to Tasmania in 1874 and Robert Hutton died in Tasmania in 1880, and Catherine re-married in 1883.
      I have a photo for Robert Hutton do you..??? I have other info on the family if you want it. regards, Margot Hitchcock

  11. Hello Margot,

    I would be grateful for any information on the family of Edward Morrison who settled in the Blackwood/Pentland Hills area in the 1850’s. Edward was a builder/contractor and they came from Putney, Surrey, UK. Also info on William Duchesne who was a carrier and married Annie Morrison in 1859.

    Thank you,

    Fay Jones

    • Hi Fay are you the lady I know and related to the Cyril Jones who owned the Blackwood Hotel? I do have some info on Edward Morrison and William Duchesne – have you found some info like I did on them on TROVE..??? Also have you seen the Digger records of William Henry Duchesne marriage and birth of two children in Blackwood. I will email you will more info.. thanks Margot Hitchock

  12. Thanks Margot for your prompt response. I am actually researching on behalf of a descendant of William Noble. This William married Jessie McIntosh at Mansfield Vict. on 4.11.1863 and had the following family: Grace b. 2.1.1865 at Woods Point Vict., Alexander b. 22.8.1866 at Nth. Melbourne. Vict., Jessie Louise b. 22.1.1870 at Bonag East, Vict. and William b. 1877 at Bega NSW. It appears that John married Flora McGlip at Queensland, probably in the 1860’s. If the John and William Noble listed in the advertisement in The Argus on 22.5.1856 are the same as the above they would have only been single men aged 22 and 20 respectively and would have moved away, certainly by the early 1860’s, if not before.

    The impression I have is that these two young men arrive in Australia as surveyors labourers in 1854 (per shipping records), hear about the discovery of gold at Blackwood, and after fulfilling their surveying obligations hotfoot it down to Blackwood to try their luck. Perhaps disillusioned after a few years they move on, find bonny Scottish lassies for wives, settle down and have a family. However, William did become a teacher, so the reference to a Noble teaching at Blackwood does interest me.

    Hope this helps

    • Hi again Allan,
      I started looking for the other Noble file at midnight and then found it and took to bed to read..!! I have a lot of info on the other William and John Noble and photos…BUT this family are from Co. Fermanagh in Ireland.
      A John Noble married Letitia Bell in 1816 and had 5 children – two of which were William born 1824 and John born 1826.. but if your William age 18 and John age 20 in 1854 were the same men as mine then that would make my John 28 in 1854 and William 30 yrs old. So somehow I think they are different families. Given one is from Ireland and one Scotland and the age differences.
      As I said the William I have had children born in Blackwood. William’s children were with his wife Ellen Beatty – a daughter Eliza Jane born to them at Blackwood in 1858, and Ann in 1861.

      Eliza Jane and Annie Noble were both school teachers in Beechworth area where they married. Eliza Jane Noble was a student teacher at Simmons Reef in 1875 according to my Simmons Reef book..
      Although I do have a Catherine Noble daughter of William Noble and Ellen Beatty married in 1888 to James Benford and they moved to Mansfield and retired to Albury. And you have a William Noble in Mansfield, but seems like different years – 20 years apart.
      So I don’t know if your Noble family from Scotland are related to the Noble family from Ireland I have living in Blackwood.. Confusing with both families having a William and John Noble in Blackwood.
      I’ll leave it to you now to sort out and tell me what you think.
      Pity as I have some nice photos of William Noble in 1891 to celebrate his 50 yrs since he arrived in Victoria in 1841. And one of William Noble and his bride Isabella Maguire in 1888.
      Hope this helps,
      Margot Hitchcock, Historian, Blackwood & District Historical Society,

  13. I would love to have any information you have on William Noble and Ellen Beatie – I have been chasing this family all over – I do know William came out on Catherine Jamieson in Oct 1841. His mother had remarried (her name was Letitia Kenny) and her 2nd husband’s son John is well -known in Bridgewater area and I know that Letitia and her husband were there in 1850, but it is very difficult to trace the movements of the 2 Noble siblings that came out at that time and there are many stories that have been attached them(William and Mary Jane Noble) Ellen Beatie had come out as an immigrant under the Earl Grey Scheme. (not paid for by William) and I have been given a story about Ellen’s death in Blackwood that I am trying to confirm.
    My interset in this family is in trying to sort out the 2 Noble family that came out in the very early days of the Colony. My grandmother was a Caldwell and her grandfather James William came out in 1851 – he had 3 siblings that had arrived in the colony in Jan 1839 and the youngest sibling Sarah Jane married James Noble in Geelong (Noble street named for him) I thought that I had the story straight until another researcher came up with this other family that had come out in 1841. So I have been following this line and trying to confirm the details I had been given.
    So as you can see I would be interested in any details you can supply me with. If this means purchasing one of your Society books – that is fine. Just let me know.
    I do know that William and Ellen were in Blackwood, but I don’t know what they were doing there, and most importantly whether the quarantine at the time of Ellen’s death is correct, as I have not bee able to locate any newspaper articles.

    Sorry for the length of this email, but I hope to hear from you soon.


    PS I can supply copies of items I have already got here.

    • Hi Judy,
      Thank you for your query of my web page – I have mention of Noble children attending the Simmons Reef school in my book “Aspects of Early Blackwood”.
      From my next unpublished book “History and Pioneers of Blackwood” I have more info –
      William Noble married Ellen Beatty/Beattie who was the daughter of John Beatty. They were married in St. James Church, Melbourne in 1850 when she was 17 yrs old. They had a child Catherine Noble born in Brunswick in 1853. William Noble and his wife Ellen moved to Simmons Reef in 1855 and are listed in the Electoral Roll in the Argus in 1855. Their children born at Blackwood were John Noble in 1855, then Eliza Jane Noble in 1858 and Annie Noble in 1861.
      After Ellen Noble died in 1863 giving birth to her 5th child, Letitia Kenny brought up Ellen’s children. Letitia had first married to John Noble snr. hence the family connection.
      Johanna Kenny died in 1892 age 57 yrs and her grave is in the Catholic section N 34, in the Blackwood Cemetery. Her husband, Thomas Kenny was buried with her after his death in 1904 but his name is not on the headstone. Digger records have his parents as John Kenny and Letitia Bell age 67 yrs. His mother Letitia Bell was born in Fermanagh Co. Kerry Ireland; she married John Noble in 1816 and had 5 children and was widowed in 1831. Letitia re-married to William Kenny in 1833 and had 2 more children and came to live in Simmons Reef in 1855. (William and Letitia Kenny and other family members came out to Australia in 1841 as Bounty Immigrants.)
      Letitia Kenny died in 1879 age 91 yrs. Her parents were Noble Bell and Ann Gray. Letitia Kenny was buried with Ellen Noble (who died after childbirth in 1863 age 27 yrs) with Ellen’s baby Ellen who died age 8 days old. Ellen and Letitia died on the same day of the same month but 16 years apart. (ie 1863 and 1879) (The three of them were buried in the Methodist section I 16 in the Blackwood cemetery but have no headstone.)
      John Noble brother of William Noble also lived in Simmons Reef in 1855 with his wife Christiana and three children, William, Isabella and Catherine. John died of T.B. age 32 yrs in 1860 and was buried at Blackwood, but has no headstone. (father John Noble, mother Letitia Bell, born in Fermanagh Co. Kerry Ireland- Digger records)
      I have a photo of the Kenny grave in the Blackwood cemetery, and a photo of Annie Noble and Eliza Jane Noble, And John Noble and his wife Isabella, and William Noble sent to me by a relative of yours Barry Noble – have you been in touch with him..?? he has sent me a lot of family info.. do you have it..??
      Hope this helps a bit with your family research.
      Margot Hitchcock
      Blackwood & District Historical Society

  14. I am looking for my step father’s sister. They were both sent to Barnardos in 1919 after the death of their mother. My step father was 5 and his sister was 3. He was sent to Canada and was used as a slave on a farm being made to sleep on a landing. His sister was sent to Australia and on 15 September 1936 she married and lived in Bridgetown, Western Australia. I think she had a better time of it than her brother.

    However I have been unable to trace her if indeed she is still alive. My step father died of sclerosis of the liver at age 56. He had been in 2nd world war to escape from the farm he was sent to and then came back to England. He did drink Whiskey which is not surprising.

    I have grandchildren myself now aged 5 and 3 and cannot imagine how difficult it must have been for those two little children to be separated when they only had one another. The older daughter age 7 was taken by the grandparents I understand.

    I am sure his sister would want to know about him or any of her descendants but I have been unable to trace her.

    I have now discovered she died 3.3.2011 (95) Married J H Drummond 15.9.1936 used name Winifred Kathleen any information concerning remaining family would be appreciated.

    • Hi Roberta, You have not given any information on the names you are looking for but if you supply some more details someone may be able to help you trace them. I look for ancestors connected to Blackwood which Is the area I am familiar with and have records for.
      thank you, Margot BDHS.

      • To Roberta Bickerstaffe,
        I don’t have any knowledge myself to help you but I requested some information for you from a Facebook site I belong to called “Australian History and Genealogy” and I have received some very helpful comments which may help you.. which I will copy below –
        Kris – There are some excellent books written on the Barnardos Homes, particularly the one in WA., however it was not something to be proud of. The Canadian Archives and shipping records should show where her relatives were sent, as I found one of mine through that. One cannot imagine how hard it must have been for these poor children. Slaves they were.
        Michelle – Hi Margot there are a few site that might be able to help. There is a government service called find and connect, see the bottom of this gov site’s page. Chapter 6 in this report…/1999-02/child_migrat/report/index

        Child migration to Australia – Fact sheet 124 – National Archives of Australia,…
        Fact sheet about child migration to Australia

        Kris –…/autobiography… and David Hills’s The Forgotten Children. I have read another as well.

        Story of growing up in Barnardo home
        Reg C. Longman was a Barnardo kid in England after being orphaned at the age of 4 1/2 during the Second…|By

        Lesley – Some of these children without a doubt had it tough that is a well known fact and some were ashamed however my mother still alive at 91 years of age and has never had a bad word about where she came from why she was placed in the care of Banardos etc in fact all our lives as children growing up we were reminded how special we were and how fortunate we were …Barnardos still take an acive roll in my mothers life …she was one of 16 children from three unions and the only one of her family who came to Australia 1934 her brother remained in Barnardos in England and never spoke about it…only to say it was tough on reading his paperwork from the Home he was a troubled young man until he joined the Royal Navy as mum said it was a lottery you either had it good or bad…..
        hope this helps
        Margot Hitchcock, Historian, Blackwood & District Historical society

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