Monthly Archives: January 2016

The Hardiman’s come to Australia


Eureka!  I think I may have found the mass immigration mentioned in the document listed below.  The Fulwood arrived in Australia in 1854. Now I have the task of identifying the 40 first cousins  — I know John McHugh was one of them —   What a find


The placid waters of Lake Boga know the savage with his rude bark canoe no more. The kangaroo cloaks and the jagged fish spears may be found in the museums, the reversible hut has been superseded, and on

the rising ground where the native village stood there is now to be seen a large, handsome mansion, tenanted by the tall chieftain of another and a different ” tribe.” This is Mr. Hardiman, who, in the dark days of ’47, left old Galway far behind him, and, with no fewer than forty first cousins of his own in the same ship, sought a home in this country. In addition to those many ties of consanguinity, Mr. Hardiman is now the father of eleven strapping Irish Victorians. Thanks to his own industry, he has become the possessor of broad acres in this fertile region; but though fortune has richly favoured him under Austral skies, he still looks with an exile’s regret and an exile’s hope to the land of his origin

[1] 1893 ‘MURRAYANA.’, Advocate (Melbourne, Vic. : 1868 – 1954), 14 October, p. 17, viewed 26 January, 2016,




This is the final chapter of Annies story. It differs from a previous posting as it has been edited and a bibliography attached. I hope you have enjoyed getting to know Annie Canning-Skram-Lennon as much as I have enjoyed writing the stories about her.


Phew…what was that stink!

Looking around, Fred couldn’t see anything to cause the smell. Then looking at his boots, he saw they were covered in the foul smelling, turd coloured clay from the gravesite.

Pulling the trap to the side of the Lockwood-road, the hot tears burnt his cheeks. He felt the bile rise in his throat. Leaning over the side of the trap, he spewed until his belly was empty. In his mourning black, he was sweating heavily. It was unseasonably hot for July. He sat, still and lost in thought.

Old man Skram was at the funeral, her children weren’t. Margarethe was in Melbourne with her husband and Will was on the farm at Benjeroop. They had lives of their own. They never sought her out, although she never gave up hope.

He’d done the right thing burying his beloved Annie under her proper married name, Skram. It was the same with the paperwork, he had made sure all the information was on there. He’d wanted her buried with their baby girl, Letitia, but Skram wouldn’t allow it. So she was buried nearby as close as he could get her. He grinned, it helped to have a brother- in-law who was an undertaker. Sawyer saw to it that everything was done right. Annie deserved a good send off. She’d earned  it. Thank God, Sawyer organised it, he was still too shaken to even think straight.

She’d only been sick such a short time and now she was gone. She was so alive, and she loved to dance and laugh. Married and dead in the same year.

Annie me love, I’ve never regretted a minute of it. We’d some good times. I still expect you to come round the corner of the yard, flapping your pinny at the chooks and telling me to get down off the cart and get me lazy backside inside, that there’s another barrel that needs tapping.

Whist away with you Fred Lennon, you lazy bugger leaving me to do all the work as usual. God Annie, you were so beautiful, black hair, blue eyes and beautiful skin. A typical Irish girl, and with a temper to boot. I don’t know how I am going to manage without you.

Fred realised he must have spoken aloud as the horse was restless. They had waited for her children to marry. They’d shared a good life together, near on twenty years. Everyone knew they weren’t man and wife afore the service. Never the less they’d come to their wedding and celebrated. Four months later, they had come to bury her.

Shaking himself out of his reverie, he reached for the water bag on the side of the trap, and lifting the damp canvas to his lips and took a long, deep swallow. Then pulling a white kerchief from his pocket, he wet it with the cool water and mopped his face. He stuck his boots over the side of the wheel and poured some of his precious water over them trying to remove the clay. He realised he was still crying, today was the first time he had cried since his Annie had passed.

Putting the water bag back on the hook, he wiped his face. Balling the kerchief he threw it under the seat and picking up the reins slapped them against the horse’s rump. If he didn’t hurry he’d be late, No one had gone past him on the road, but they may have taken the other track . Either way, they’d not be far behind. Flicking the reins, the horse broke into a trot in a hurry to get back to his stable.

Driving the trap into the empty yard behind the Queens Head, the horse came to a halt outside the stable door. Fred sat, the reins limp in his hands, struggling to compose himself. The drive from the cemetery had taken well over an hour. No time to think, the horse needed wiping down and the trap put away and he was needed inside. Little Ben appeared as if by magic and started to unbuckle the harness.

‘Mister Fred, there be people in the front parlour waiting fer you. You best change them boots before you go inside or Miss Annie will have at ya,’ realising what he’d said he clapped his hand over his mouth.

‘Mister Fred, I’m sorry I meant…’ His voice trailed off and he busied himself moving the horse out of the trap harness.

Walking over to the boy Fred put his hand on his shoulder, ‘It’s alright Ben, I know. I miss her too. I’ll change me boots in the tack room. Clean ’em for me later will you.’

‘Righto Mr Fred, they be looking like new when I finish with ‘em.’

In the tack room, Fred removed his mourning coat and hung it on the hook. His brown jacket, the one she’d bought as a wedding present, all the way from Melbourne, was hanging where she left it. He picked it up, smelling her perfume on the fabric, he put it on and changed his boots.

At the kitchen door, he could hear the women’s voices, he could smell the bread baking and the meat roasting. The heat hit him in the face as he opened the door.

‘Mr Fred, where’ve you bin?’ Ginny came running to him, she grabbed him by the arm. ‘The bar and the front parlour are packed tight, they’re there awaiting for you.’

The hotel was bursting at the seams. Everyone had come to pay their respects to Annie. He saw Skram’s pale face in the crowd, they had both loved and lost her.

Fred rang the bell over the bar.

He turned to face his friends, ‘Thank you all for coming and the tables are set up outside. But before we go out to eat, please, raise your glasses to Annie. The best wife and friend a man could have. To Annie.’

Their voices rang out, strong and clear, ‘To Annie.’

(word count 1000 words)


A Canning  1854  Series: VPRS 7666; Series Title: Inward Overseas Passenger Lists (British Ports) [Microfiche Copy of VPRS 947] viewed  26 September 2015

Marriage Certificate Canning /Skram VPRO  2618/1866

Birth Certificate M Skram VBDM Index  19421/1867

Birth Certificate W Skram  VBDM Index 25923/1870

Birth Certificate L Skram VBDM Index  12415/1873

Death Certificate L Skram VBDM Index  14909/1875

Marriage Certificate M Skram/Hardiman  VBDM Index  2717/1887

Marriage certificate A Canning/Lennon VBDM Index  3819/1896

Death Certificate A Canning/Lennon/Skram VBDM Index  8638/1896

Marriage Certificate  W Skram /Kelly  VBDM Index  1718/1898

1880 ‘COURT OF INSOLVENCY.’, Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 – 1918), 10 September, p. 3, viewed 28 January, 2016,

1883 ‘CITY POLICE COURT.’, Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 – 1918), 22 May, p. 3, viewed 28 January, 2016,

1889 ‘FIRE AT LOCKWOOD.’, Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 – 1918), 20 February, p. 3, viewed 28 January, 2016,

1892 ‘BENDIGO DISTRICT ANNUAL LICENSING COURT.’,Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 – 1918), 15 December, p. 3, viewed 28 January, 2016,

1892 ‘LICENSING COURT.’, Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 – 1918), 13 September, p. 3, viewed 28 January, 2016,

Death Certificate F Lennon VBDM Index  1692/1898

Death certificate J Skram VBDM Index  9119/1903

Morse, L 2016 For the love of Annie (Blog) justmecreativewriter., accessed 28 Jan 2016

Remembrance Parks Burial records  Skram A & L   accessed 26 December 2015



‘Joe I can’t do this no more. You be working day and night and if you not be working here on the farm, you be out there searching for gold. I can’t stay locked away out here all the time. I won’t!’

‘For God’s sake woman, what do you want?  You’ve got the Hardimans at Benjeroop and the Hetheringtons are just down the way.  I don’t understand what you want.’

‘I want to be in town Joe. Where there be people I can talk to. Places I can shop instead of waiting four days to get me supplies.’

‘What would you say if we invest some money in town, say in a public house, would that help Annie? You can run it while I keep on here.  I’ll come down now and again to give you a hand.  You can take young Lennon with you.  He can do the heavy work.’

‘What about the children, will you be happy with Margarethe and Willy in a public house? Oh Joe, tell me you will.’

Annie hopped from one foot to the other, waiting for his answer. Looking at her he saw a glimpse of the young headstrong girl he’d married.  He couldn’t refuse her.  It would be a good investment, they had to look to the future.

‘Annie, calm down, calm down!’  Holding her, he kissed her.  ‘There’s a licensing hearing next week.  The Edinburgh Arms in the High Street needs a new licensee.  We’ll put in an application if that makes you happy.’


Image   Creator: Bardwell’s Royal Studio  Source: Museum Victoria This image is: Public Domain  Item MM 2032Negative – Ballarat, Victoria, circa 1890  Showing The Edinburgh Castle Hotel





Is there anything more frustrating than family folklore that becomes embedded in the fabric of your family’s history?  Short answer no! These will o’ the wisp tales take on some form of Holy Grail that must not be disputed. Often they simply hide family secrets.

An example is Ada Maria Elliman. Ada or ‘Naunt” as she was known in the family. An incredibly private and strong woman.  The story she told was, she was born in New Orleans of mixed blood, her word was Octoroon.  Why did a woman born in Dromana around 1871[i]  invent such a story?   She was a tall good looking woman, who never married. She had two children out of wedlock, Ethel Arthamecy registered 1893[ii] and Fredrick Ernest registered 1895[iii].  Both were registered a Schnapper Point, Dromana. Looking at the siblings, it is obvious they have the same father.  The plot thickens, both children possessed dark skin tones, dark curly hair, brown eyes and snub noses. These physical traits were passed down to Fred’s daughter who was known as “Ginny” by the family. Her name is Patricia.

Ada consistently misrepresented the truth. Shortly before she died[iv], she burnt all her personal papers. She never revealed the father’s name. She was cremated. Her ashes were scattered.  The secret died with her. No evidence of her life remains except in public records

[i] Victorian Birth Deaths and Marriages  15071/1871

[ii] Victorian Birth Deaths and Marriages  12174/1893

[iii] Victorian Birth Deaths and Marriages  15927/1895

[iv] Victorian Birth Deaths and Marriages 5642/1952




1916 ‘IRYMPLE SCHOOL.’, Mildura Telegraph and Darling and Lower Murray Advocate (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), 25 April, p. 2, viewed 24 January, 2016,

Written by my grandmother, Dorothea Bennett aged 14



Anzac Day is not a day of rejoicing but a day for the commemoration of the lives of those brave soldiers who fell in that wonderful landing. After a period of training in Egypt, the Australians landed at Anzac Cove on the 25th April 1915 — a day that will live in the memory of the Australians forever, for it has caused the name of Australia to stand high throughout the world.

There has been no finer feat throughout the whole of this war than that sudden landing in the dark, and the storming of the heights of those steep formidable cliffs in scrub several feet in height, which formed such   ideal places for snipers, as the Australians found to their cost. Even that famous landing at Wolfe’s Cove on the St. Lawrence, just above Quebec, in 1759 is not to be compared in difficulty and danger to the famous landing of our brave boys. When General Sir W. R. Birdwood took over the command of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps he was asked to select a telegraphic code address for his army corps, and he selected the word ‘Anzac,’ from Australian New Zealand Army Corps. The name was then given to the beach where they landed, and the soldiers who took part in it were called Anzacs. Many Anzacs have been awarded the V.C., the D.S.O., the D.C.M., and other -orders for their heroism, but sh! the numbers that have not come under official notice.

Their heroic acts are treasured in the memory of the mate who was carried helpless and wounded into safety, with the bullets raining upon him and shells bursting overhead, or gently nursed when disease came upon him suddenly, there are many of these heroic acts that will never be known. On Thursday afternoon, April 20th, Anzac Day is to be celebrated in the State Schools. We expect one or two returned ‘Anzacs’ to come out to our school to address us. We shall have a program of patriotic choruses and solos, interspersed with addresses by Anzacs and leading citizens. The program will also include Kipling’s, and ‘O! God our help in ages past,’ then the flag will be saluted and the National Anthem sung, followed by the soldiers’ hymn. A medallion is being specially designed for school children to commemorate Anzac Day and is to be sold on April 20th. Every child should have one.

DOROTHEA BENNETT. Irymple State School, No. 317-t.




Newspaper account of Mining Fatality

Newspaper account of Mining Fatality



Mount Alexander Mail  23 January 1901  p2. William Morse died some hours after being admitted to hospital.

This mine produced some of the richest finds in Victoria and was closed in 1910



The following letter has bee unearthed during research and mentions my grandfather  Percy Morse

In a letter to his cousin, Mr J. Winkleman of Campbell’s Creek, Private Dave Boyd, writes from France as follows
We left the Heliopolis Camp for Serapeum on the first day of March, and .ere there for ten days. Serapeum is about half-way down the Suez Canal, between Port Suez and Port Said. .It .is not a very inviting place, with sand up to your boot-tops, and when the wind is blowing you can not see many yards in front of you for dust, so you can readily imagine that we did not put in a very good time in that place. We left Serapeum on the 27th March, and entrained straight away for Alexandria. We got in the train at one o’clock on the Monday morning, and reached our destination at nine o’clock. ‘We then embarked on ‘board the——- for France. After an uneventful voyage we landed at Marseilles on 22nd April. We had good weather going over, and luckily did not see any “steel fish” (torpedoes’) on the way. We disembarked at Marseilles on the Sunday and were entrained straight away for ———–This meant a sixty-hour train journey, and none of us was sorry when we came to our destination. We passed Paris in the distance, and the railway runs through thousands and thousands of acres of splendid vineyards—it seems nothing but vines all around, and is t he home of the wine-growers. All the womenfolk, are working in he fields over here, as all he men are away at the front fighting. We can hear the roar of the guns in the distance, so you can guess we are not too far away from them—-it sounds just like one continuous roar of thunder. We experienced our first fall of snow yesterday, and it was piercing cold and wet besides. We are billeted at the farmhouses, in barns, sheds, stables, and the tilling of the goes on just the same, and we can hardly realise that the war is waging so fiercely a few miles off, as those at home ploughing. etc.. go about their work just the same. Several Campbell’s Creek boys that I went to school with are in the same battalion along with me including Alan Fenton. Jack Wagstaff. and Perce .Morse.
07/071916 Mount Alexander mail Page 4


William Morse Spring Gully Mine 1901

William Morse Spring Gully Mine 1901

The beam groaned and cracked, falling directly across William’s legs.  Pain surged through his body as the weight pinned him to the tunnel floor.  It was so dark. He heard fading footsteps on the ladder, but the ringing in his ears blotted out most sounds. He tried to spit out the grit in his mouth. His spittle was thick and coppery. His mouth was full of blood. He coughed, choked and passed out.

Someone was screaming, the noise drew him back. He raised his hand trying to clear the gravel and grit from his face. The effort was too much.  His breath came in bubbling, ragged gasps. He realised it was his voice he could hear. Making a conscious effort to stop, he tried to think of a song. The only one he could think of was, Onward Christian Soldiers. He could not make his mind move past that one phrase.

Onward Christian Soldiers, there is blood in my mouth.  Why couldn’t he feel his legs?

He felt both hot and cold.  The cold was seeping up his body, but his chest was burning. Surrounded by the blackest black. He could see nothing, but he could smell and taste the cordite.

What had they done?  What would happen now?

Onward Christian Soldiers, he was dying.  Now the cold had reached his belly. The burning stopped. He wanted to sleep.  The cold crept up his armpits. It was oddly comforting. His lids fluttered, he closed his eyes and slept.


Spring Gully Mine Explosion  22 January 1901

South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 – 1900) 23 January 1901 p 4

Oral  History – Mr P Morse (son of William Morse) 1998

Image is Item MM 3480 Negative – Spring Gully, Bendigo, Victoria, circa 1910 Collection Museum of Victoria.

The Monster and the Magic Light

The Monster and the Magic Light


The darkness was falling across the landscape, the howling winds and pounding rain made the cave a welcome shelter. Amber was glad of the protection it offered. She poked her head inside. She drew back frightened by  the lack of light.  The cave smelt mouldy and there were  many other strange smells she could not identify. It made her sneeze.  It was dry inside and  she decided going inside was  better than remaining out in the storm.

Once inside the cave she ran her hands along the wall. It was warm to the touch and the roughness of the rock scrapped her soft palm. She could hear the drumming of her blood in her ears.   She fancied she could feel her heart  beating  in her throat. She could not deny she was frightened.

She started to gather up the scattered branches and dried leaves. These had been blown into the cave by the wind, and found their way into the dark brooding mouth of the cave.  Amber began by placing the branches and leaves methodically, building the foundations of the holder of the light.  She was thinking of her mother, she had taught her well. She had been the clan’s keeper of the light. Now it was Amber’s time.

Looking skyward, she muttered a brief prayer as she had been taught. Then with a shaking hand, she withdrew the box that held the magic light from the  pocket of her bag.  Lifting it slowly she  reverently  raised the top.

The glowing light was alive, and  it spilled into the darkness of the cave.  She thanked the Gods for keeping her safe. Using the proddle she placed some of the light in the middle of the dry leaves and remembering what she had been taught she blew until the magic light became strong and cast long dancing shadows on the cave walls.  She waited to make sure the strength had been shared and would grow. Passing her hand through the light, she felt its warmth and received its blessing.

Carefully she withdrew the proddle cleaned it and wrapped it securely.  Her proddle was a very old, a carved piece of bone with a hollow scrapped out at one end, it had been the property of her foremother. She began to trace the scrolls and whirls carved into the intricate patterns on the bone, she sang the song of thanks for light. Finishing her duty wrapping the proddle in fur she replaced it and the lightbox in the skin bag she always carried.

Amber was scared she had never been far from home on her own before, the tears rolled down her cheeks and with a dirty hand, she brushed them away. She could do this. She wasn’t a truddle anymore she was an adult.

Hearing soft noises behind her she sighed. The magic light would keep her safe, She sat as close as she could to the light, poking the branches into the glowing light to keep it growing. Amber knew she had to keep it fed if she did this she would be protected.

She was hungry her stomach was growling, she had some berries and dried meat in her bag. Finding her water bottle and her food. She finished eating her sparse meal and was replete. Comforted by the glow and the crackling light and her head drooped and her eyelids closed but only for a minute.

She became aware of a whishing sound. Her eyes flew open the sounds were coming closer. Then there was a whistling noise like an unhappy bird.

A stomping, swaying shadow danced eerily on the cave wall. It was big and like nothing she had ever seen before. It stopped, she held her breath one hand at her mouth to stop from crying out.  She could feel her breath coming faster and faster, she started to feel dizzy. It started moving again.  The long shadowy bits at the top seemed to rock from side to side, faster and faster. She was mesmerized and could not move.

The smell became stronger and she started to cough. It smelt like the latrines before the sweet soil was thrown in them. She started to gag the smell was overpowering, her legs had turned to jelly she was trapped. The whistling became louder and louder until she could not hear herself think.

The grotesque shadows grew larger and larger on the wall and she could not look away they came closer and closer. The smells, the noise, the slishy, sliding sound of something being dragged towards the cave opening. She was sobbing now, the magic light was not protecting her, and she could feel an icy cold enveloping her.

She pushed more sticks into the magic light but it flickered and died leaving only a red glow at its core.  She sobbed, by the Gods she was alone with nothing to protect her.

She sat there in the dark, stripped of any protection, the hair on her arms and at the nape of her neck bristling. Suddenly she felt a grab at her hair, it was twisted, and her head wrenched backwards. The fetid breath was icy cold on her face, and that smell was the last thing she remembered as she fell into the darkness.