Getting ready for A-Z challenge

742680 / Pixabay

In April, many bloggers do an A-Z challenge, one letter most days of the month. This year I thought I would do it on my Sorell200 blog.

Anyone with some good ideas for various letters of the alphabet or would like to write a short post for one of the letters, please leave a comment below or on my post on the Facebook group for Sorell Historical Society.

I will add the ideas to the list I have already started here.

A – Aborigines

B – Brady raid

C – CWA

D – Neil Davis

E – Education

F – Fires or Forcett

G – Gordon

H – Royce Hart

I – Inns: Bluebell

J – Justice as in Magistrates

K – Kellevie

L – Local government

M – Macquarie

N – Nash Mill

O – Orielton

P – Photography or Pittwater or Pubs

Q – Queen of Sorell

R – Racecourse or Religion

S – Surf Lifesaving – thanks Amanda for offering to write this post

T – Trains or Transport

U –

V –

W – Nurse Wiggins

X –

Y –

Z – Zelley family

Celebrations in the municipality

This year was the 200th year celebration of the naming and planning of the Sorell township.

For hundreds of generations across many thousands of years, the Sorell district was the territory of the Mumirimina people of the Oyster Bay Nation. But in 1803, James Meehan, a surveyor, passed through the area and thus the earliest land exploration by the British began.

By 1806 the first farms were established in the district of Gloucester and land grants were given in 1812 by Governor Lachlan Macquarie. The district grew in number and by 1819, the township of Pitt Water was comprised of  nine residents and 60 farms.

By the time the town was named Sorell in 1821, there were 130 free settlers and convicts; the local school had 57 students; a local gaol had been built and, of course, there were many licensed public houses.

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1089465

So Sorell 200 years on celebrated this event with many activities the locals and other interested people could attend.

These activities included:

  • Organizing a commemorative photo book to be published in 2021 by Sorell History Society
  • Sorell School celebrated their 200th anniversary. They are proudly the oldest continually operating public school in Australia still on the same site. The present school is nearly 900 learners from Kindergarten to Grade 11-12 with a Trade Training Centre, school farm and Pioneer Village.
  • Part of the “Ten Days on the Island”  programme included a theme “If these halls could talk”. The Sorell Memorial Hall activities included ballroom dancing, arts and crafts, use by the Country Women’s Association.
  • The Sorell Council also gave out community grants to organize activities including a bushranger’s breakfast, an exhibition by the Sorell CWA and activities by the Masonic Lodge.

Readers: Which activities did you attend and what was enjoyable about the activity? If you have some photos I could use in this post please email them to me – see sidebar for email address. Or leave as a comment on the Sorell Historical Society Facebook page.

Women of the district

The topic for the one place study this month is looking at women in your study. So I sent out a post on Sorell Historical Society Facebook page asking for women you think I should write about and why. One person replied and I have her permission to copy direct from her:

Elizabeth ALLANBY nee CUMMING arrived in VDL with her husband and two day old daughter on 2 July 1824. Shortly after arrival the family purchased land on the Iron Creek at Pittwater and named it Flimby Park, after the town John ALLANBY grew up in. John and Elizabeth had 10 more children before John passed away in 1847.

John’s will gave Elizabeth the choice to sell everything and return to England or to remain in Tasmania. She decided to stay and raised the children on her own. The youngest was only 4 when John died.

Elizabeth completed a claim for the land grant that had been given to John, she ran both the Flimby Park farm and the Clifton Hill farm, the land grant, at Bream Creek and ensured all the children were well educated.

While Elizabeth did not make a mark directly on the world, her children did make an impact, a solicitor, bank manager, Arch Deacon of the Church of England, several JPs. All the ALLANBYs I know of in Tasmania can trace their line back to this strong caring woman.

Karlena Nagle – Elizabeth was my 2xgreat grandmother.

Here are a few links to things mentioned by Karlena – arrival in 1824, birth of daughter at sea, John’s will, John’s death, land grant gained in 1858

At the time of her husband’s death, Elizabeth was about 45 years old. She had given birth to the following children I could find using the Tasmanian Names Index:
1824 – Jane Georgina – born at sea on voyage to Van Diemens Land
1826 – John Walker – died at 5 days old
1827 – Mary Anne – died aged 4 months
1828 – John Walker
1830 – Thomas Walker
1834 – William Smeeton
1836 – Christopher Gibson
1838 – Alfred Wilkins
1839 – Barbara Elizabeth
1843 – Llewellyn Robert

At the 1842 census, the family were living at Clifton Hill property. The building was unfinished but built of both wood and stone. There were seventeen people on the property of which thirteen were free. One visitor was there that night Mr F Spotswood. Of the people there that night: 6 single males born in the colony, one single female born in the colony, 1 married male arrived free, 1 married and 1 single female arrived free as well as some convicts and servants. So according to the census, in my list above I am missing the birth of another male child prior to 1842.

The eldest daughter Jane married George Spotswood in 1846 so was not living at home when her father died in 1847.

So I then decided to check out how Elizabeth was represented in the newspapers of the day.
Looks like the local thieves or bushrangers decided to enter her house shortly after her husband had died.

In May 1855, she was seen donating one pound and one shilling to the Patriotic Fund.

In April 1864, Elizabeth was present with one of her sons, at the laying of the cornerstone of St Thomas’s Church in Sorell.

There was a lot of discussion in 1868 about a bridge or causeway to be built across the Iron Creek relating to part of Elizabeth’s property.

Also in 1868, Elizabeth closed the dairy at her farm.

In November 1868, Elizabeth and many of her children and their spouses attended a tea meeting regarding Reverend Brammall now becoming the incumbent at St Georges Church in Sorell. There was a very large writeup in the local paper.

Elizabeth and her daughter Barbara (Mrs Marshall) were often noted in the papers as travelling to and from Melbourne.

She was often in the advertising section whenever land grants were mentioned as she owned a lot of property that would border other land grants being settled.

At the time of her death in 1878, Elizabeth had at least 6 of her children married, and at least 33 grandchildren mainly living in Sorell. Her son William had married and moved to Launceston and her son Alfred had moved to New Zealand but had died five years before Elizabeth. Her son Thomas had also pre-deceased her in 1872. In her will she left her goods and chattels to both of her youngest children Barbara and Llewellyn. The properties had already been handed over to her sons.

Elizabeth was buried with her husband John William Allanby in the Henry Street Cemetery in Sorell.

 

Judy Hurst (3xg granddaughter of Elizabeth) on the Sorell Historical Society Facebook page  mentioned there was also quite a bit about Flimby Park and the Allanbys in “Home and a Range” by Leonard Dimmick which covered the Hean family who were related by marriage to the Allanbys. ISBN 0646338099  Dewey Number 929.209946

Readers: Have you any more stories about Elizabeth Allanby that you could share in the comments below?

Cemeteries in the district

The Tasmanian Family History Society Inc. has transcribed and photographed headstones of 800+ cemeteries in Tasmania and much of this information can be found in TAMIOT. Here is a list of the CDROMs available for purchase – I use mine on my desktop using Windows 10 without any problems.

Hobart Branch put together the series of three CDROMs of all the cemeteries in the Sorell District in 2004. The information on the CDROMs is not necessarily found on the internet. For each cemetery, they include a description, plan of the graves as well as names on the graves. Most also have images of the gravestones with a transcription and plot number. Many of these cemeteries have had further burials since 2004 when the CDROMs were created.

The One-Place Studies group often do statistical posts so I thought I might do one today about the local cemeteries with information gained from the CDROMs.

Name of Cemetery No. of graves Earliest grave Most common surnames
Carlton River Congregational 20 1838 Henry Morriss Dodge, Steele, Thorne
Copping General 359 1884 Sarah Copping Allanby, Alomes, Brown, Burdon, Copping, Dransfield, Franklin, Gillie, Jacobson, Kingston, Richardson, Swan, White, Woolley
Dunalley General 264

1870 John Clark

1870 Emma Lester

Bird, Button, Fazackerley, Hildyard, Hyatt, Murphy, Rattenbury, Spaulding, Wiggins
Forcett – Lewisham 199 1876 Charlotte Jones Alomes, Clark, Dodge, Gangell, Long, Reardon, Rollings, Young
Marion Bay at Bream Creek 55 1852 Ann Dunbabin  1852 Louisa Ann Kingston Dunbabin, Kingston
Henry Street, Sorell 446 ** 1828 Charlotte McGinniss Allanby, Bellette, Duncombe, Featherstone, Gatehouse, Hayton, Newitt
Scots Uniting, Sorell 89 ** 1847 Hugh Taylor Denholm Denholm, Hean
St Thomas, Sorell 124 ** 1865 Thomas Wright Bresnehan, Butterworth, French, Montgomery, Wells
St Georges, Sorell 718**  ## 1829 Elizabeth and Susannah Walker – sisters Bellette, Bidgood, Braithwaite, Davis, Featherstone, Jones, Kean, Newitt, Peacock, Phillips, Reardon, Schofield, Walker, Wiggins

** Some women mentioned twice with both maiden and married name.

## Also includes memorials

Many of the cemeteries also had plots with unknown names and dates due to deterioration of headstones.

Readers: Do you know of a relative buried in one of these cemeteries earlier than that mentioned on the CDROMs?

Blog prompts for 2021

geralt / Pixabay

As part of the one place study, they are suggesting blogging prompts for each month next year. I thought I would get in early and start planning some possible posts or one of my readers from the Sorell municipality might like to write one as well.

Here are the prompts:

  • January – Landmarks
  • February – Tragedies
  • March – Women
  • April – Pubs and other drinking establishments
  • May – Worship
  • June – Maps

Landmarks I thought could include the mills that were here in the early 1800s.

Tragedies maybe Matthew Brady and the bushranging gang.

Women might be about Hilda Bridges, born in Sorell.

Lots of choices for pubs in Sorell as well as lots of churches.

Maps might include the early land grants map compared to modern day SOrell municipality.

Readers: Do you have any other ideas for posts I could write? There can be more than one post per month and would be great if other community members could write some as well. Leave a comment here on suggestions for posts I could write. If you want to write a post, leave a comment for that as well.

Sorell Saleyards

The Sorell Saleyards were first opened in 1876. Brohde’s great Grandparents Faye and Jabez Little with their four children who lived in Forcett attended the Sales for three decades and also in the Seventies with their grandson Jerry (my dad.) They spent many happy times at the Sorell Saleyards.

Everyone that attended the Sales (every second Monday) found it a time to catch up with family and friends. The day the Sales closed for good was in 1984 and everything was dismantled. The Sorell Sales were right in the centre of Sorell, and the purpose of the Sales was like a Market. At the Saleyards they sold things such as cattle, sheep, pigs, chickens, and vegetables.

The Auctioneer in the fifties, sixties and seventies and up to 1982 when the Sales were finally closed down was David Stringer. He was also accompanied by auctioneers John Denholm and Geoff Brown. Lots of people went to the Sales. About 300!

The Sales would get their animals transported in a cart. The Saleyards were set out in pens, there was a big shed for poultry sales and stock yards for cattle and sheep, there was also another big shed to keep vegetables in. Farmers used to bring their vegetables that they had grown and they sold the fresh produce to all residents of the local municipality and beyond. It was also very good for the local business people, the hotels would do a roaring trade and the local takeaway shops and bakeries also benefited. The Sales ran for about 50 years but now, there are know remains of the Sorell Saleyards. But then they wanted bigger and better that’s why they wanted to build Woolworths.

Tasmanian Archives, Libraries Tasmania, Arch Rollings Collection, NS1553-1-106

In our days these would be the costings of their products:

Sheep:25 pence
Pigs:80 pence
Cattle:20 cents
Chickens:5 cents
Vegetables:1 cent

Over time, many country saleyards have gone by the wayside, but many of the memories attached to them live on.

Dal Hyland was born at Sorell, but lived at Cambridge, and spent many happy times as a child at the Sorell saleyards in the late 1940’s. The saleyard was smack bang in the heart of Sorell, the post and rail fences are long gone and the site asphalted over, for a supermarket car park.

Dal Hyland can remember regular extended family gatherings on sale days with his grandparents, retired farmers who had moved to Sorell.

“The saleyards were all set out in pens, all post and rail fences; there was a big shed for poultry sales. Another shed for veggie sales and different farmers would bring in their vegetables for sale, market gardeners. I remember Mr Bresnehan from out the back of Forcett driving in with his vegetables with his horse and buggy.”

“There was a gentlemen from Bellerive that had a corner shop, he used to go down every sale day, he would stand up on a platform and he would cut the potatoes or the turnips in half and hold them up, so people could see what they were bidding for, the quality of them.”

Dal says the day was more than just a day to buy and sell; it was also a day to catch up on news and renew friendships.

“It was very good for the local business people; farmers wives would come in and buy their groceries, the hotels would do a roaring trade. I had a wag of a cousin he used to call it handshake day.”

Sources
We interviewed a couple of people: Mary Thornberry and my nan Zelda

Members of the Paynter and Green family gave us most of our information.

Researching the municipality

In 2008, when students were using the internet to research their municipality to add to their interviews and images, they were given the following list of useful websites to use:

If you are looking for information on the internet, try some of the following pages.

Sorell Council
Tasmanian archives – you will need to write them an email if using any pictures from here
Tasmanian History links – information about families and land grants
National archives – use the record and photo search sections
Tasmanian Genealogy – great site with lots of useful links on Tasmanian history
Australian War Memorial – if the person has been an Aussie soldier, check it out here
Picture Australia – some great images but you must ask permission to use – check out the FAQs
Trove – check out the scans of original newspapers from all around Australia
Arch Rollings photos of Sorell district – need archive permission to use on this wiki.

Remember to use the Sorell Heritage Study books found in the school and local libraries.

Transport in the municipality

The municipality ranges over a large area of south eastern Tasmania. The early settlements were only able to be visited by horse and cart via Richmond. This trip could take many days. Eventually ferries were used to cart goods and people, roads were built, causeways linked land and water and there was also a fairly short lived railway system.