Margot Hitchcock at Golden Point Swimming hole, Lerderderg River, Blackwood. 2009. ©
Official Historian – For the BLACKWOOD AND DISTRICT HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
Margot Hitchcock went to the first meeting of the Blackwood & District Historical Society on the 14th April 1973, and became a member and was voted on the committee and has been Official Historian since 1980. Margot has researched much of the early history of Blackwood in her capacity as Official Historian. Blackwood is an old gold mining town with gold having been found there in 1854. Rich in early history Blackwood was one of the biggest gold mining areas closest to Melbourne.
Margot is pleased to do some research for people on their ancestors who lived at Blackwood and provide information on places of interest or aspects of Blackwood.
If you would like your ancestor or some information on Blackwood included in the next book Margot is writing—’The History and Pioneers of Blackwood.’ email by clicking here
*****As in keeping with other Historical societies, we welcome enquiries about family or local history, which should be made by contacting the Historian at firstname.lastname@example.org . The cost of this service is appreciated with a small monetary donation for the time and information required.
Alan Buckingham and Margot Hitchcock at the book launch of ‘Aspects of Early Blackwood’ in the Blackwood Hotel 1980. ©
Author – Margot is co-author of a book – “ASPECTS OF EARLY BLACKWOOD, – The Goldfield, The Landmarks and the Pioneers”. Margot wrote half the book in 1980 with Alan Buckingham. Each edition had 1,000 copies printed.
1st edition printed in 1980
2nd edition printed in 1981
3rd edition printed in 1984
4th edition printed in 1989
5th edition printed in 2002
‘SOME HISTORY OF SIMMONS REEF, BLACKWOOD’ published and printed 2007.
In 2006 Margot was asked by the Blackwood Historical Society to compile a book on the History of Simmons Reef as they had a volunteer Grant to cover the cost of printing.
The book gives detailed information on the Quartz mining in Simmons Reef with information on the Mines there and miners who lived in the area and worked in the mines. Also the school, church, Hotels and early pioneers, and the history of the place now called the ‘Garden of St Erth’.
This book was compiled by Margot on her computer with 55 pages and 36 photographs in A5 size and it was launched in the Blackwood hall in December 2007.
Book launch in 2007 of The ‘Some History of Simmons Reef’ book in the Blackwood hall, with Margot Hitchcock.. ©
Book launch in 2007 of The ‘Some History of Simmons Reef’ book in the Blackwood hall, with Margot Hitchcock and members of the Blackwood Historical Society. ©
Margot is trying to find time to finish her research and publish another book on the history of Blackwood, hopefully to be published in 2013 with the title ‘HISTORY AND PIONEERS OF BLACKWOOD‘ . Now over 700 pages of fascinating history of Blackwood.
Book launch April 2014 of the Billy Pincombe book with Margot Hitchcock, Philip Hitchcock and Stuart Duff, at the Blackwood Historical Museum. ©
Also another book ‘THE BILLY PINCOMBE TRAGEDY – MURDER, MADNESS AND MANIA.” – The shooting of a Minister and Billy Pincombe at Blackwood, Victoria in 1908. HISTORICAL TRUE CRIME – THE EVENTS THAT LEAD TO THE INSTITUTIONALIZATION OF ONE PERSON AND THE SHOOTING OF TWO PEOPLE IN BLACKWOOD, OVER ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO IN 1908.
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. 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.
The story revolves around Annie May Pincombe formerly Annie May Morrish daughter of William John Morrish and Rachael Louisa Gamble, Annie was born at Dean near Geelong in 1885. Annie had religious mania and cut of her right hand in November 1906. She married Billy (William) Torrington Pincombe in January 1906, and had a son, John William Pincombe in October 1906. Billy Pincombe blamed the Preacher for his wife’s Religious Mania so he shot and killed him with a bullet through his heart. Then the local policeman shot and killed Billy Pincombe with a bullet through his head. Billy Pincombe was a gold miner and the son of John Pincombe, miner and Mary Ridd. Billy was born in Devonshire, England in 1860 and his sister Gertrude Mary Pincombe was born in 1863 after the family arrived in Blackwood, Victoria. Other children born in Blackwood were Ann Pincombe 1864, Henry Torrington Pincombe 1867, and John Ridd Pincombe 1868.
‘CONNECTIONS WITH BLACKWOOD‘ Victoria – Margot’s grandchildren are the 5th generation to go to Blackwood for holidays. Margot’s family own a holiday house, called ‘Wannawong’, in Blackwood, which was built for Margot’s grandparents Walter and Frances (Dot) Warner in 1929. Margot has over recent years finished the renovations with help from several builders, and her family.
My great-grandmother, Fanny Eliza Conlon (nee Burrows) went to live in Blackwood in the late 1880‘s with her daughter Frances Kate Warner (nee Conlon) who went to school in Blackwood from the age of 6 – 12 years.
1952 my family at our house at Blackwood – my grandfather Walter Warner and grandmother Frances (Dot) Warner, my mother, Dorothy Roberts (nee Warner), my sister Jill Beaumont (nee Roberts, front my sister Nina Cox (nee Roberts), and myself Margot Hitchcock (nee Roberts). ©
‘ Wannawong’ Photo of our families holiday house, Blackwood. ©
Margot’s holiday house at Blackwood house for RENT. Available at times to rent for holidays or short term by contacting Margot – email by clicking here .
Family Historian – Has compiled the family Genealogical information and in so doing found some very interesting information. Margot is currently working on a book on the Burrows family, and her great great grandfather Henry Burrows, who arrived in Bendigo in 1856, and who was an engraver in the early newspapers in Melbourne. She has researched her father’s side with her Great Grandfather James Roberts, who came out to Melbourne in 1841, whose son Charles was in the Wiliamstown Water Police Her other Great Grandfather was James Conlon who was an early Melbourne Architect in 1872.
Family surnames researched include, ROBERTS, JANES, GOLDSMITH, HITCHCOCK, WARNER, MASON, BURROWS, and CONLON.
Genealogist – Margot was a member of the A.I.G.S. (Australian Institute of Genealogical Studies) and was a professional Researcher with A.A.G.R.A (Australian Association of Genealogists & Record Agents).
Photography – having been a keen photographer since her Grandfather gave her first camera in primary school. Also working in the Customer Service Dept. at Kodak added interest to this hobby. Gaining experience in making copies off old photos especially ones of Blackwood, Margot has now the biggest collection of Historical photos of Blackwood, thanks to the many people who have loaned or given her copies of early photos of Blackwood. Margot had a collection of photos on display at the Blackwood store, now at the Blackwood Historical Society’s Museum. Margot has taken copies off old family photos and is currently in the process of scanning in old family photos onto disc and then transferring them onto CD.
To view Margot’s Cajun web page – ‘ Cajun Queens House of Dance’ go to http://www.cajunqueenoz.com