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.”

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.

Sorell Council

Sorell was the eighth municipality created in Tasmania.

Sorell was lucky to have some important men with great ideas and good visions for the future. They believed they could do something with the place and had a pretty good view of it all and what it would be like. Some of these men were Mr. Alec Hean, Mr. William Dunbabin, Col. A. C. Blacklow and the president Warden, Mr. E. C. Iles.

The first council was elected on 30th June 1862 and they had their first meeting on the 1st of July 1862.
The first councillors were Messrs. John Dunbabin, Robert Blyth, Francis Allison, Edward Moore, Robert Doctor and Charles Hazell. Dr.Robert Blyth was elected warden and Mr.R.Fitzsimmins was the first council clerk. They were paid a salary of $150 a year.

Early schooling

Sorell had two schools for both sexes operating as early as 1820 said Mr John Wade before giving evidence to the Imperial Parliamentary Commissioner, Mr J.T. Bigge.

The first school in the municipality was built in Sorell in 1821 and was on the site between the present school building and the headmaster’s residence. Charles Edward Hippesley Cox was the first headmaster and he received £20 per annum as well as having a convict servant with a ration and a half from stores. It was a very fine stone building. There were 57 pupils at this time.

By November 1888, the school consisted of two rooms and the old building was used as a residence until it was demolished in 1921. In 1926, the front room was reconstructed on a larger scale and an iron roof replaced the original shingles. Further sections were added in 1935, 1947 and 1952 and in 1955 a new room was built. In 1939, the schools at Cherry Tree and Wattle Hill amalgamated with Sorell, as did Forcett in 1949 and Cambridge seniors and Nugent in 1950.

Some highlights in the school’s development include:

  • 1930 introduction of Agricultural training
  • 1931 presentation of a century old bell by Mr Charles Birchall
  • 1933 presentation of a 300 year old sundial by Mrs G.R. Davis
  • 1936 introduction of home arts training for girls
  • 1947 introduction of trades classes for boys

In 1827, a children’s census was taken of the lower settlement and upper settlement at Pittwater and Carlton area and below are the names of children in the district, their age and whether attending school. There is also a section about children with special family needs. The information was gathered from microfilm at the Archives Office of Tasmania. Children could attend school from age 3 to age 15.

Children at lower settlement Pittwater

Name of child Age (in years) Attends school
Rawlings, James 8 Yes
Rawlings, Alfrede 7 N
Buckingshaw, Mary 12 N
Buckingshaw, Eliza 2 N
Buckingshaw, Sarah 3 N
Kennedy, Ann 5 N
Kennedy, Harriett 15mo N
Arnsow, Mary ? 9 N
Hursy, Eliza ? 2 N
Evans, James 7 N
Gangil, John 9 N
Gangil, Jacob 7 N
Gangil, Mary 5 N
Gangil, Alice 3 N
Gangil, Isaac 10mo N
Patterson, Sarah 9 N
Patterson, William 7 N
Patterson, Mary 5 N
Patterson, Thomas 4 N
Patterson, Emma 15mo N
Pross, Charles 2 N
Reilley, Thomas 8 N
Reilley, George 5 N
Reilley, Eliza 2 N
Bingham, George 17 can read and write
Bingham, James 15 cannot read or write
Bingham, Robert 13 N
Patterson, Eliza 15 can read and write
Wade, Lewis 9 Yes
Kemp, Richard 5 N
Kemp, Mary 3 N
Kemp, Ann 2 N
Howell, Thomas 3 N
Howell, Nancy 18mo N
Newport, Mary 4 N
Newport, Joseph 10mo N
Kane, Ellen 6 Roman Catholic cannot read or write
Kane, Eliza 3 Roman Catholic cannot read or write
Kane, Sarah 1 Roman Catholic cannot read or write
Newport, Mary 13 N
Reardon, Susan 15 can read and write
Reardon, Sarah 12 Yes
Reardon, Bartholomew 10 Yes
Reardon, Robert 8 Yes
Reardon, William 5 Yes
Reardon, Edward 1 N
Roustey, William? 9 Yes
Young, Henry 13 Yes
McCandrew, Ann? 3 Roman Catholic cannot read or write
McCandrew, Mary 1 Roman Catholic cannot read or write
McNamara, Ann 14 Roman Catholic cannot read or write
McNamara, Mary 3 Roman Catholic cannot read or write
Dolan, James 1 Roman Catholic cannot read or write
Coggins, Margret 12 Roman Catholic can read & write
Coggins, Catharine 10 Roman Catholic can read & write
Cunningham, Ann 17 Roman Catholic cannot read or write
Cunningham, Mary 14 Roman Catholic cannot read or write
Cunningham, Patt 11 Roman Catholic cannot read or write
Cunningham, Margret 2 Roman Catholic cannot read or write
McGowan, Honorah 15 Roman Catholic can read & write
McGowan, John 13 Roman Catholic can read & write
McGowan, James 3 Roman Catholic cannot read or write
Wolley, George 9 N
Wolley, William 4 N
Wiggins, Charles 5 N
Walker, Thomas 2 N
Walker, Susana 6mo N
Wiggins, Martha 4 N
Wiggins, Samuel 8mo N
Gill, Esther 5 N
Gill, Mary 3 N
Gill, Elizabeth 1 N
Gatehouse, Charles 8 Yes
Gatehouse, Mary Ann 7 N
Gatehouse, Harriett 3 N
Gatehouse, George 2 N
Allemby, Jane 3 N

 Children at upper settlement Pittwater

Name of child Age (in years) Attends school
Downward, Joseph 20 can read or write
Downward, Frances 17 can read or write
Downward, Edward 15 can read or write
Downward, Frederick 14 N
Downward, Jaimes 11 N
Downward, Alice 10 N
Downward, Ellen 8 N
Downward, Thomas 5 N
Downward, Margret 3 N
Downward, John 2 N
Hayton, George 3 N
Hayton, James 1 N
Glover, Eliza 15 can read or write
Glover, Henry 13 N
Glover, Charles 5 N
Billett, George 16 can read or write
Billett, James 18 can read or write
Billett, John 4 N
Billett, Walter 4mo N
Willice, John? 6weeks N
Kidner, Thomas 5 Yes
Kidner, Eliza 3 N
Kidner, Jean 1 N
Kidner, Ann 6 Yes
Allums, Emma 18 can read or write
Allums, Eliza 16 can read or write
Allums, William 13 N
Allums, Jacob 11 Yes
Allums, Mary 9 N
Allums, Robert 7 N
Allums, John 6 N
Allums, Edward 4 N
Birchell, James 17 can read or write
Birchell, William 15 can read or write
Birchell, Charles 12 Yes
Birchell, John 10 Yes
Birchell, George 8 Yes
Birchell, Eliza 6 Yes
Birchell, Susan 4 Yes
Birchell, Henry 2mo N
Kimber, Edward 21 can read or write
Kimber, John 19 can read or write
Kimber, William 15 cannot read or write
Kimber, Maria 10 N
Kimber, Thomas 8 N
Kimber, Jane 4 N
Laing, John 11 Yes
Laing, Alexander 9 Yes
Laing, James 7 Yes
Laing, Susan 4 Yes
Laing, Helen 2 N
Stacy, Susan 6 Yes
Stacey, John 2 N
McQuire, Mary 3 N
Fittiss, John? 21 can read or write
Fittiss, William? 14 N
Foreman, Jane 6 Yes
Foreman, James 2 N
Foreman, Daniel 1 N
Anglum, Elizabeth? 11 Yes
Wood, Jean 7 Yes
Wood, John 5 Yes
Wood, William 3 N
Wood, Joseph 1 N
Duncomb, Sophia 17 can read or write
Duncomb, Jean 13 N
Hambley, Lucy 11 N
Dogherty, Elizabeth 9 Yes
Dogherty, James 7 Yes
Dogherty, Mary Ann 5 N
Dogherty, John 2 N
Steers, George 8 N
Larsom, Mary Ann 15 can read or write
Larsom, Richard 12 N
Larsom, Jemima 9 Yes
Larsom, Elizabeth 7 N
Larsom, Jean 4 N
Gatehouse, Mary 18 can read or write
Gatehouse, Grace 14 N
Gatehouse, Sarah 13 N
Gatehouse, John 12 N
Gatehouse, Charles 7 N
Gatehouse, George 9 N
Walker, Helen 2 N
Cox, Mary 2 N
Cox, Samuel 1 N
Wade, Ann 17 can read or write
Wade, Mary 15 can read or write
Wade, John 13 N
Wade, Henry 11 N
Wade, George 10 N
Wade, Margaret 6 N
Garrett, H. Maria 3 N
Green, Caroline 11 N
Green, Jean 8 N
Green, John 6 N
Ganard, George S.? 1 N
Culliford, George 4 N
Culliford, Ann 3 N
Culliford, Susan 1 N

 Children in the Carlton district of Gloucester

Name of child Age in years Attends school
Cooper, Eliza 12 No
Cooper, Elizabeth 9 No
Cooper, William 7 No
McGinnis, Sarah 5 No
McGinnis, Susan 3 No
McGinnis, Kesiah 18mo No
McGinnis, Emily 2 No
McGinnis, William 7mo No
Smith, William 17 Can read or write
Smith, Eliza 15 Can read or write
Smith, Abigail 10 No
Morris, Robert 17 Can read or write
Morris, Henry 14 No
Dodge, Sarah 2 No
Vallely, Mary 11 No
Vallely, Charlotte 8 No
Vallely, Francis 5 No
Vallely, Sarah 3 No
Steele, Edward Sampson 12 No
Steele, Joseph Sampson 11 No
Steele, Anthony Wylie 10 No
Steele, Richard 7 No
Steele, Mary Ellen 5 No
Steele, James Gordon 3 No
Steele, Elizabeth Ann 1 No
Brown, James 5 No

 Children with special family conditions

Orphans, male and female

Morris, Henry 14 years Carlton Good character Father has been a constable of the Carlton, destroyed himself by hanging; an Inquest taken at the hollow tree.
Morris, Robert 17 years Carlton Good character


Ormon, Mary 9 years lower settlement Pittwater In charge of a single man at the lower Ferry, no relation. Recommended to His Excellency – from her tender years and sex, that she be provided for else where.

Males and females having a father living

Evans, James 7 years Pittwater Good character Father had been free, tried for sheep stealing and sent to Macquarie Harbour.
Routley, WIlliam 9 years Pittwater Good character Mother dead, father an outlaw in the woods, charged with being concerned in the murder of Mr Simpson.
Young, Henry 13 years Pittwater Good character Father gone to England, has been an assistant Surgeon on this establishment.
Green, John 6 years Sorell Good character Mother died, father Constable at Sorell holding a ticket of leave.
Green, Caroline 11 years Sorell Good character
Green, Jane 8 years Sorell Good character

Males and females having both parents living but in distress

Rose, John 2 years Richmond Illegitimate, mother’s name Dwyer a convict, child adopted by John Rose, blacksmith
Kimber, John 19 years Pittwater Good character Father holds a ticket of leave, mother and six children sent out from England by Government, industrious but distressed.
Kimber, WIlliam 15 years Pittwater Good character
Kimber, Thomas 8 years Pittwater Good character
Kimber, Jane 4 years Pittwater Good character
Kimber, Maria 10 years Pittwater Good character
Evans, James 7 years Pittwater Father transported to Macquarie Harbour stealing sheep from Mr Gordon
Newport, Joseph 10 months Pittwater Illegitimate, mother free, a bad woman
Newport, Mary 4 years Pittwater
Kennedy, Ann 5 years Pittwater Father had been Scoolmaster at one time in the District, sometimes cracked, inclined to be drunken when he can get it, unfit for labour, wife daughter to an old Marine – distressed
Kennedy, Harriett 15 months Pittwater
Harry, Eliza 2.5 years Pittwater Father found guilty of killing a beast the property of Mr Lewis, sentence Death, transported to Macquarie Harbour.
Gould, Catharine 5 years Jerusalem Illegitimate, mother free, bad woman
Lynch, Ellen 6 years Coal River Father free by servitude, left the country, mother free, a bad woman in Hobart Town
Perryman, Zilda 4 years Coal River Mother a prisoner assigned to Mr Pevor, father in England

Males and females having a mother living and father deceased

Patterson, Eliza 15 years Pittwater Good character Native of Hobart Town, father had been wharfinger, living with sister.
Judge, Catharine 6 years Coal River Living with James Stynes on charity, mother a bad character living at the black brush
Cooper, Eliza 12 years Carlton Father dead, mother married to Hugh McGinniss Constable of the Carlton – opulent
Cooper, Elizabeth 9 years Carlton
Cooper, William 7 years Carlton
Vallely, Mary 11 years Carlton Father dead, drowned at the Carlton, mother married to Bernard Quinton – opulent
Vallely, Charlotte 8 years Carlton
Vallely, Francis 5 years Carlton
Vallely, Sarah 3 years Carlton
Cobb, William 12 years Tea Tree Brush Father killed by a tree falling on him at New Town, mother a very bad woman living at the Tea Tree Brush
Cobb, Hanna 8 years Tea Tree Brush
Cobb, John 6 years Tea Tree Brush