My big day out

 

Since Covid began I haven’t travelled very far from my home. I have been as far north as New Norfolk, Pontville and east to Orford. So on Monday, I decided to take off for a longer drive to Evandale which is near Launceston in northern Tasmania.

A trip generally about two hours was at least half an hour longer due to road works. Some might have related to flooding in the Midlands and along the South Esk River last year but most was part of the improvement of the Midlands highway.

Arriving in Evandale just after 11am I headed to the information centre where I knew they have a history room for researching families of the district. My main reason for going to Evandale was the folders I am putting together relating to the different ancestral families I have who began their Tasmanian lives in the Evandale municipality. I wanted to know whether they would like these folders to keep in their history room once I have finished them. No good me doing all the work only to find they don’t want the folders.

A volunteer at the centre contacted Barry Lawson who is the president of the Evandale History Society Inc. Barry was down at the National Trust building Clarendon doing some gardening as a volunteer and wouldn’t be back in Evandale till mid afternoon.

I wanted to visit the townships or areas where my ancestors had lived and Clarendon was near Deddington, so I said I would drive down there to talk to Barry during his lunch break or morning tea. We had about 30 minutes chatting and I found they would love to have anything related to families in the district but they are gradually trying to digitize everything rather than having lots of paperwork. So I think I might have to include a USB with lots of PDFs of the information I have on my families as well as giving them the folders.

Now it was time to visit Deddington, English Town and Blessington, the main areas where the Davey and Colgrave families lived.

1: Evandale was originally a military outpost. It has had a variety of names including Morven and Paterson Plains. It is on the banks of the South Esk River and in 1836 they were going to tunnel through a hill at Evandale to supply water to Launceston but this idea was abandoned. Nowadays the town is known for the penny farthing races, their Christmas decoration shop (my niece wondered why I didn’t stop off there too) and art galleries (my sister-in-law asked if I had visited the Archibald prize winning displays or maybe it was the Glover prize?)

Penny farthing races

2: Clarendon is a National Trust property originally owned by James Cox and built in 1838. It was built by convicts but they were well treated and James was part of the group of people who wanted abolition of convict transportation in the late 1840s. He preferred bounty immigrants as they more often had the skills needed for developing a farm and property. One of my Davey ancestors – Emily Jane Davey married Trevor Cox at the Nile in 1914. Trevor was born at Clarendon in 1883 and his parents were another James Cox and Elizabeth Sarah Wilson Thirkell.

Clarendon

3: Nile is a very small village which has also changed names over time. Much of the land was owned by James Cox and he gave the land to develop Lymington as it was originally known. Many of the small cottages were built for his workers. Marion Sargent from the Launceston Historical Society, Tasmania wrote about the Nile and can be found on their Facebook group dated 17 March 2019. My picture below is of the WWI memorial and sign leading to St Peters Church.

Nile, Tasmania

4: Deddington is a small hamlet with just a few houses but it is the Nile Chapel which keeps it on the map. Apparently there are only two towns in the world named Deddington so people in each village have a combined website about Deddington. They include lots of images and history of both places with links to other pages. Deddington is also the closest town to the property of Patterdale where John Glover the famous artist lived. He is buried at the chapel.

5: English Town was way up in the hills below Ben Lomond. My relatives who lived there were mainly farmers or sawyers and sold wood to locals down in the valley. I expected to see the remains of buildings when I visited but the area is now a pine plantation with many roads closed off to the public. It was a very steep, winding road but out in the open, you could see great views over the area of Deddington. I mention a lot about English Town in my Susan Boyd biography. During extremely bad weather the road to English Town would be impassable because of the flooding of the Nile River. At the junction of English Town Road and Ragged Jack Road is Daveys Road. Not sure if that is named after my Davey ancestors or an R.A. Davey mentioned as a lessee in the area (don’t know who this person is but maybe related to Thomas Davey who was in the Launceston area in the 1820s and 1830s)

The most common surnames in the English Town area were Colgrave, Davey, Lindsay, Tuck, Kaye, Robotham, Brown, Duff, Hamilton, Owen, Ryan and Hawkins. This can be found by using the app called TheList and using the topographic basemap then adding the layer of historic map and charts – Land District Chart.

6: Blessington is over the hill from English Town. This is where my Davey family lived and my grandmother was born. There is also an Upper Blessington further up the road. As you can see from the biographies I have researched, some records say they lived at English Town, others at Deddington and yet others say Blessington. Check the distance between from my mileage chart below. My dad was a telephone technician and we always looked out for telephone exchanges when we drove anywhere on holidays. So this photo is for dad. It was built on land originally owned by James Cox.

7: White Hills is where I turned off to head back to Evandale. There was a property near here called Curraghmore and this was where the Dixon family first settled. David was a shepherd for Mr Henry Stevenson. Henry had married in 1838 to Elizabeth Lette who owned her own property in the district.

So once back in Evandale, I revisited the information centre to thank the volunteer who had set me on my journey. I then headed home via the Nile Road which meant I didn’t have so much road work to worry about. I also wanted to check out what the roadkill was like on this particular road as I had often seen dead wombats and wallabies. This time the road was virtually clear.

My Mileage on this trip

  • Home to Evandale via Mud Walls Road – 172km
  • Evandale to Clarendon – 11
  • Clarendon to Deddington – 12
  • Deddington to English Town turnoff – 7
  • Turnoff to English Town and return – 20
  • Turnoff to Blessington – 10
  • Blessington to White Hills – 21
  • White Hills to Evandale – 10
  • Evandale to home via Nile Road and Mud Walls – 177

Total : 440km of which 49 was gravel road

Readers: What interesting journey have you done during Covid?

Francis COLGRAVE junior

Francis John COLGRAVE junior was the second child born to Francis COLGRAVE senior and Isabella WATKINS(ON). He was born 11 November 1843 and baptised a a month later in the parish of Evandale.  Francis’s parents had both been convicts – Francis senior received his conditional pardon on 28 October 1841, Isabella was approved for a conditional pardon on 21 September 1847.

The surname COLGRAVE is also spelled as Coldgrave, Colegrave, Coalgrave, Colgreave in various records.

Francis’s siblings:

The family lived in the Blessington, Deddington and English Town area near Ben Lomond in northeastern Tasmania.  In some books, the area was also known as Anamana.

Between 1850 and 1853, Francis senior had a total of 21 convicts working on his property.

In 1861, when Francis junior was 18 years old, a murder occurred at a boarding house which his parents ran in Evandale. Much of this was written up in the local newspaper.

Married life and children

On 19 May 1865, Susan BOYD, aged 20, married Francis John COLEGRAVE, aged 21. They were married at the Manse at Evandale by the rites of the church of Scotland by banns. Witnesses were Catherine Boyd and Samuel Colegrave.  Francis John was noted as a labourer in Evandale.

Over the next 20 years, ten children were born to Francis and Susan.

In 1873, Francis is mentioned in the local newspaper or is this Francis senior?

In 1876, Francis junior purchased 69 acres, 2 roods, 27 perches  in the area of Blessington. Neighbouring landowners were William Owen, Francis Colgrave senior, Samuel Colgrave, George Robotham and William Kirkwood.

On 13 March 1890, the marriage of Martha Jane to George Davey was held at Francis and Susan’s house. This was according to the Presbyterian church by license.

Francis senior died in October 1890 then his wife Isabella died early in November 1890.

Francis and his son as well as many other Colgrave males were mentioned as supporting Eustace Cameron Esq as their nominated representative for the House of Assembly in 1891.

In December 1892, Francis was one of three nominated as a candidate for the position of trustee for the Evandale Road District.

On 14 May 1895 marriage of Lilian Ada to Charles Davey was held at Francis and Susan’s house. This was according to the Presbyterian church by license. This was the second marriage between the Davey and Colgrave families.

Francis’s wife Susan died on 27 February 1900 at their son Samuel’s residence and registered as living in English Town, Deddington. She was buried at the old English burial ground in Evandale.

In 1903, Francis was again a candidate for trustee of the Evandale Road District.

Francis was mentioned in the Tasmanian Post Office Directories (Wise) in 1913, 1914, 1915 and 1921.  He was in these books as Francis Colgrave and his son, also called Francis John, was mentioned as Francis J. They were noted as farmers at Anamana.

In 1913, Francis or his son Francis J, farmer at Blessington, was charged with offering sheep for sale that were carrying ticks.

In 1914, there were 14 people mentioned owning property at Anamana. They were:

  • Brown – Adam and Harry – farmers
  • Colgrave – Ernest C – grazier
  • Colgrave – Francis and Francis J – farmers
  • Davey – Charles, George, Harry and William – farmers
  • Ede – Charles P – teacher
  • Frederick – G – farmer – could be Frederick George Colgrave
  • Redburn – Mark – blacksmith
  • Loane – Jno – grazier
  • Tuck – Jos – farmer

Many Colgrave adults married into the Davey, Brown and Redburn families.

In the 1914 and 1919 electoral rolls Francis and Francis J were noted as farmers in the Blessington area.

In the last 5 years of his life, Francis (Frank) or his son often wrote letters to the Evandale Council asking for improvements to the roads in the area around English Town.

On 26 June 1920, Francis junior passed away at one of his daughters’ residence in Evandale. In his will, he left all his freehold property and buildings to his two youngest sons, Ernest and Frederick. His remains were interred at the Anglican Cemetery, Evandale.

Readers: If any members of the family have any photos I could use in my biographies, it would be much appreciated.

Susan BOYD

Susan Boyd was the second child born to John Holliday (Henry) BOYD and Martha HEARN also known as Martha VICO or VIRCO. She was born 29 May 1844 and her birth was registered in Launceston by Thomas Jones who worked at a place called Falls (possibly Logan Falls near Evandale). Susan’s parents had both been convicts – John received his free certificate on 26 September 1842, Martha got hers on 2 February 1849.

Life as a child

Susan’s siblings:

  • 1842 – Anne
  • 1846 – Catherine
  • 1848 – Robert John
  • 1850 – Martha (Caroline)
  • 1852 – Sarah Jane
  • 1855 – Frederick but died 1859 of croup
  • 1858 – Harriett
  • 1859 – Harriett – baptised in 1860 but could be Harriett born in 1858
  • 1861 – unnamed male but is probably Frederick baptised in 1862

All the births of Susan’s siblings were registered at Evandale (Morven) which is south of Launceston, Tasmania. Her father John was a carpenter in the district.

On Catherine’s baptism in 1846, it says her father was a labourer at Logan Falls.

Robert’s birth record now has John working as a carpenter at a place called Mary Vale.

Sarah Jane‘s birth was recorded at Evandale by her mother Mary (Martha?)

Susan’s father died from pneumonia in October 1862 aged 47. His wife Martha was left to bring up  4 children 12 years and younger.

Anne, Susan’s older sister, had married in 1859 so Susan would have been helping her mother look after the younger children.

Married life and children

On 19 May 1865, Susan, aged 20, married Francis John COLEGRAVE, aged 21. They were married at the Manse at Evandale by the rites of the church of Scotland by banns. Witnesses were Catherine Boyd and Samuel Colegrave. Francis was the eldest son of two more convicts Francis Colegrave and Isabella Watkins.

Francis John was a labourer in Evandale.

Over the next 20 years, Susan gave birth to 10 children.

All children lived to adulthood and many died in their 70’s.

On the birth record for Frances in 1869, the family are now living at Blessington with Francis as a farmer.

In 1876, there is a Francis Colgrave purchasing a property in English Town area. This may have been Susan’s husband or her father-in-law also called Francis. But there are many properties owned by Colgrave men in the Blessington, Deddington or English Town (white marker on map) areas.

Adam Burston, constable for Deddington, was the informant of John’s birth in 1878 and Ernest’s in 1881.

Susan’s mother Martha died in 1880 from pneumonia at the age of 68.

In 1881, a letter in the local paper was asking why there was no public vaccinator allocated to the area around Deddington, English Town especially as measles was prevalent at that time.

Letter in local paper

Two months later, there was another report in the paper about the vaccinations held at Deddington by Dr Oldmeadow from Evandale.

In March 1882, there were terrible thunderstorms and flooding of the Nile River and the ford and road to English Town was impassable for a while.

There was no public school at English Town, but a private teacher had 19 students on his books. Wonder if Susan taught her own children or if they went with the private teacher?

Ethel’s birth record shows her older brother Francis John, of English Town, was the informant of her birth.

In 1890, the Public Works Scheme decided to improve the road from English Town to Deddington for the cost of 300 pounds. Tenders were taken again in 1893 to further improve the road.

On 13 March 1890, the marriage of Martha Jane to George Davey was held at Francis and Susan’s house. This was according to the Presbyterian church by license.

1892 marriage of Francis John to Laura Maud Wynwood was according to Baptist rites.

On 14 May 1895 marriage of Lilian Ada to Charles Davey was held at Francis and Susan’s house. This was according to the Presbyterian church by license. This was the second marriage between the Davey and Colgrave families.

In April 1896 at the Evandale Agricultural Society Autumn Exhibition, a Mrs S Colgrave won second prize for her Swiss Roll. This might be Susan or the wife of Samuel Colgrave.

1897 marriage of William to Lillian May Brown according to Baptist rites.

1898 marriage of Samuel to Jeannie Duncanson according to Baptist rites. Susan was a witness to the wedding.

Before her death in 1900, Susan had seen 5 of her children get married

Susan died on 27 February 1900 at her son Samuel’s residence and registered as living in English Town, Deddington. She was buried at the old English burial ground in Evandale.