Wednesday, 26 April 2017

V is for Valleyfield in Van Diemen's Land

The first of my forebears to migrate to Australia was my fifth  great grandfather George Taylor (1758 - 1828), who arrived in Tasmania, then known as Van Diemen's Land, in 1823. With him was his wife Mary née Low (1765 -1850) and some of his family. My fourth great grandmother, his daughter, Isabella Hutcheson née Taylor (1794-1876), followed ten years later, arriving about 1833.

"Valleyfield" Epping Tas. The "Taylors" have lived here for over 100 years. , about 1914 - about 1941 Photograph in the collection of the State Library of Victoria. Accession number H22546. A.C. Dreier postcard collection. Retrieved from

The Taylor family's arrival in Hobart on the Princess Charlotte on 10 January 1823 was reported in the Sydney Gazette. George Taylor's son, Robert, wrote a diary about their four-month voyage, mostly concerned with the weather. (Helen Hudson, a Taylor family descendant, covers the Taylor's voyage in her family history book Cherry Stones, basing her account on Robert's diary.)

MAGISTRATE FOR THE WEEK—JOHN PIPER, Esq. (1823, February 13). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), p. 3. Retrieved from

George Taylor received a grant of land about 30 miles south of Launceston on the Macquarie River. He named his property 'Valley-Field'. Three of his sons, George, David, and Robert, received grants of land nearby.

The land grant to George Taylor senior signed 30 June 1823 by Governor Brisbane. Image retrieved from (Copies of land grants issued 1804-1823. LSD354. Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office, Tasmania, Australia.)

In January 1923 and January 1973 there were large family reunions to celebrate the anniversary of the arrival of the Taylor family in Australia.

After 182 years in the Taylor family the Valleyfield property was sold in 2005.

Further reading

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Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Anzac biscuits

Today, to celebrate Anzac Day, my daughter Charlotte and I baked Anzac biscuits.

We used a recipe from It seemed a bit dry so we added more butter.


  • 1 1/4 cups plain flour, sifted 
  • 1 cup rolled oats 
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar 
  • 3/4 cup desiccated coconut 
  • 150g unsalted butter, chopped  (we ended up using 250g butter)
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup or treacle 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons water 
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda

  • mix dry ingredients in bowl
  • melt butter, add Golden Syrup and bicarb soda dissolved in water
  • add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients
  • mix
  • form mixture into small balls and flatten slightly
  • bake for about 12 minutes in a moderate oven then cool on a rack


mix dry ingredients in bowl
melt butter, add in golden syrup, and the bicarb soda dissolved in the water

add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients

form mixture into small balls and flatten slightly
bake for about 12 minutes and cool

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U is for Unibic biscuit tin

My great grandfather Constantine Trent Champion de Crespigny (1882-1952) served as a doctor in World War 1.

In 1917 he was in charge of the 1st Australian General Hospital in Rouen which dealt with general battle casualties. On 9 July 1917 Her Majesty Queen Mary visited the hospital. She was photographed with my great grandfather inspecting an honour guard of nurses.

Rouen, France. 9 July 1917. Her Majesty Queen Mary visiting No. 1 Australian General Hospital (1AGH). HM is accompanied through a guard of honour of nurses of the Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS) by the hospital's commanding officer, Colonel Trent Champion de Crespigny DSO. Temporary wards and tents are on both sides of the path and patients in hospital uniform look on. Australian War Memorial photograph id K00019

That photograph has been reproduced on a biscuit tin a hundred years later 'in honour of ANZAC Day and in remembrance of the nurses who served in the war.'

photograph taken in Woolworths supermarket, Ballarat April 2017

The tins are filled with Anzac biscuits. The biscuit company promises that from the sale of the tins, which 'celebrate the origin of Anzac biscuits, reminding us of the packages of love and care from home that helped buoy the Anzac Spirit in the trenches of Gallipoli', will go towards service organisations such as the Returned and Services League (RSL).

Dr de Crespigny on behalf of the hospital at Lemnos dealing with the sick and wounded from Gallipoli, received tins of biscuits from Australia. The biscuits were probably not the Anzac biscuits we know today.

WATTLE DAY LEAGUE WAR EXTENSION WORK. (1915, November 18). The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929), p. 6. Retrieved from

One of the earliest Anzac biscuit recipes was in a 1916 newspaper, winning 4th prize in a Western Australian recipe contest; 4th prize was an electroplated butter knife with an engraved handle.

Fourth Prize (1916, June 4). Sunday Times (Perth, WA : 1902 - 1954), p. 7 (Second Section). Retrieved from

This 1920 recipe from the Argus is much closer to the recipe I have made. I don't know about eating the biscuits with a spoon though.

KITCHEN AND PANTRY. (1920, September 15). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 7. Retrieved from

the bought biscuits, not bad, but I normally associate Anzac biscuits with being home-made

The Unibic factory is in Broadmeadows, a suburb of Melbourne. The biscuit factory is over 60 years old and employs 170 people. In 2012 Unibic got into financial difficulties. The factory was threatened with closure but was rescued by a consortium of investors. The production of Anzac biscuits and the support of the Returned and Services League helped the company survive. ("Anzac Biscuits Factory Looking Forward To A New Future | Australian Food News". 2012. )

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Sunday, 23 April 2017

T is for Talbot in 1869

In March 1852, my great great great grandfather Philip Champion Crespigny (1817-1889) with his wife Charlotte Frances née Dana and their two children, Ada and Philip, arrived in Port Phillip, Victoria, Australia.

Philip Crespigny, then 34, was moderately well-educated. He had attended Cambridge University, admitted on 7 November 1838 to Downing College as a Fellow-commoner. He had the status of a student who had matriculated, and he was not on a scholarship.

His period at Cambridge did not lead to a career in the Church, and it appears that at the time of his arrival in Victoria he had never previously had paid employment, nor had he been in business or trade.

Philip's arrival coincided with the great rush for gold in Victoria which followed the announcement of significant discoveries in July 1851. In March of that year, Victoria had a population of about 77,000. By the end of the following year, 1852, this figure had increased by 100,000.

The administration of Victoria's Lieutenant-governor, Captain Charles La Trobe, under-staffed and under-resourced, was barely able to cope with the huge population increase.

The management of the goldfields was specially difficult. LaTrobe copied the New South Wales system of gold-digging licenses, designed to discourage people from joining the rush to the diggings. It didn't work. Despite the enormous numbers of immigrants, Melbourne suffered from a serious labour shortage as men deserted their jobs to join the scramble for gold. Agricultural production fell. The harvest of wheat, for example, fell from 733,000 bushels in 1851 to 154,000 bushels in 1853. The area of land under cultivation shrank.

Philip Champion Crespigny (1817-1889)

Philip was appointed an Assistant Commissioner of Crown Lands for the Goldfields on 18 November 1852.
Victoria Government Gazette, Gazette 57, Wednesday, October 5th 1853, page 1459 retrieved from

Philip Crespigny was first appointed as a magistrate in 1853. Victoria Government Gazette, Gazette 58, Wednesday, October 12th 1853, page 1532 retrieved from

In February 1859 Philip was appointed police magistrate at Amherst, near Talbot, central Victoria. In 1861 the population of Amherst and Talbot was about 2,200.

View of Talbot c 1854-1862. Elevated view over township, in foreground a sign on wall reading Talbot Drug Store, on left line of double storey shop fronts with porch over footpath: Metropolitan Hotel, the library, jeweller and the Theatre Royal. In the distance scattered huts and earth works. From the State Library of Victoria Image H2009.84/35.

There are many newspaper reports of Philip Crespigny's police-court cases in the newspapers. (They will be covered in separate blogposts.)
In 1869 Philip left Talbot to become magistrate and coroner at Bairnsdale. A farewell banquet for him was held in the Talbot Borough Hall.

THE NEWS OF THE DAY. (1869, February 4). The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved from

In March 1869 Mr Dowling, the magistrate who had replaced Philip, was transferred to Geelong and Philip returned to Talbot from Bairnsdale, with Clunes and Creswick added to the area he administered.

In August 1869, Philip advertised his farm near Talbot for sale. This property, of 83 acres, was on the road between Talbot and Amherst. There was a house, stable, barn, and an orchard and garden.

Advertising (1869, August 5). The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), p. 3. Retrieved from

Later in the month Warden Crespigny fell from his horse near Clunes. According to the newspaper report, he was lucky to escape serious injury.

In June 1870 Philip was transferred from Talbot to Bright.  When Philip took up the Bright post in north-east Victoria, the rest of his family moved to Hawthorn, a suburb of Melbourne, 330 kilometres away. Some people felt he had been badly treated. At the time of his transfer Philip Crespigny was 53.

THE NEWS OF THE DAY. (1870, July 28). The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved from

In February 1871 a rumour was reported in the Bright newspaper that the local police magistrate, Mr P. C. Crespigny, was about to be removed. In March 1871 Mr Crespigny took leave and was relieved by Mr Willoughby. In April 1871 Mr Crespigny PM was hearing cases in Eaglehawk, Bendigo. In May it was announced that Mr P. C. Crespigny PM would succeed Mr Daly as police magistrate in the Ararat district. He remained at Ararat until he resigned from government service in 1877.

Map showing Talbot, Bairnsdale, Bright, Hawthorn (a suburb of Melbourne), Eaglehawk (near Bendigo), Clunes and Creswick (south-east of Talbot) and Ararat. (click image to enlarge)

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Saturday, 22 April 2017

S is for the Snowy

By guest blogger Greg Young. We found some old negatives and had them developed the other day.

For a few years from 1968, when I finished at Albury High, I worked on and off as a labourer on the Snowy.

'The Snowy' was the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Scheme, Australia's largest civil-engineering project, which dammed and diverted water from streams running directly to the sea, sending it through tunnels to inland rivers for irrigation. The diverted water was also used to turn turbines at electricity generating stations.

I worked a couple of times at Talbingo on T3, the Scheme's largest power station, where huge pipelines were being built to carry water from Talbingo Dam on the Tumut River down the mountainside to a pondage called Jounama then to Blowering Dam, on the way turning six enormous generators. In bays along the back of the power station were huge primary transformers.

Looking down on T3 from the pipelines
at the back of T3

Here I am, an offsider to a Serb linesman called Rudi Mrvos, swinging around in a cage on the end of a crane. We were meant to be working on the insulators on top of the transformers.

Rudi Mrvos and Greg

The crane-driver, whose name I can't remember, was a Croat, and on the Snowy there was a bit of strain between Serbians and Croatians. This led to a few jokes about the possibility of being deliberately dropped. He was a good bloke, though, and gave us an easy ride.

Of course nowadays the credit would go to an Ethnic Relations Co-ordinator, tasked with facilitating multi-cultural harmony.

Rudi simply told the crane-driver that he had a revolver, which he'd bought from some criminals in Kings Cross. But this almost certainly had nothing to do with the driver's concern for our safety.

Friday, 21 April 2017

R is for Rosydyon Tower the seat of Sir W. de Crespigny Bt

Among a collection of images relating to the Champion de Crespigny family, I came across an image of a drawing of Rosydyon Tower, the seat of Sir W. de Crespigny Bt. The drawing is said to have been done by Mary Catherine Champion de Crespigny (1810-1858), the youngest of Sir William and Lady Sarah de Crespigny's ten children. Mary married John Brigstocke (1791-1858).

Sir William de Crespigny (1765-1829) was the second baronet, succeeding in 1818 to the baronetcy on the death of his father Sir Claude Champion de Crespigny (1734-1818).  In 1786 William  married the Right Honourable Lady Sarah Windsor (1763-1825), a daughter of the 4th Earl of Plymouth.

Sir William's entry in Burke's Peerage of 1830 mentions Rhosydyon Tower, Carmarthenshire in Wales, as one of Sir William's three country seats. His town residence was Champion Lodge at Camberwell.

Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage, Volume 3, 1830, page 204

Rhosduon Tower is mentioned in Buildings of Wales,  referring to a plaque memorialising Lady Sarah de Crespigny:
Her husband built Rhosduon Tower in the parish c. 1820, a castellated toy fort, long demolished.
Rhosduon Tower was near the village of Pencarrag, in south-west Wales.

In 1825 Lady Sarah de Crespigny died at Rhosdyon Tower.

"FASHIONABLE ARRIVALS." Morning Post, 27 Sept. 1825. British Library Newspapers, Accessed 28 Mar. 2017.

Sir William de Crespigny died on 28 December 1829 in London.  The estate was advertised for sale a few months later.

"Multiple Classified ads." Morning Post, 22 May 1830, p. 4. British Library Newspapers,


I have spelt the name of the tower in the various ways it appears in each of the sources.

Kelmarsh Hall is in Northamptonshire. It is presently operated by a trust set up in 1982 by Valencia Lancaster (1898-1996),  Valencia was the grand daughter of the fourth baronet. Many Champion de Crespigny pictures and records are held at Kelmarsh Hall.  Some of the pictures can be viewed at

Carmarthenshire and CeredigionVolume 6 of Buildings of Wales by Thomas Lloyd, Julian Orbach, Robert Scourfield published by Yale University Press, 2006.  page 363.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Q is for Queenscliff in 1882

In October 1877 my great great grandmother Annie Frances Chauncy (1857-1883) married Philip Champion de Crespigny (1850-1927). At the time of their marriage Philip was the manager of the Bank of Victoria branch at Epsom five miles north-east of Bendigo. Their first son Philip was born at there on 18 June 1879.

Annie Frances Crespigny nee Chauncy about 1877

In early 1882 Philip moved from Epsom to Queenscliff, a small town on the Bellarine Peninsula 30 kilometres south-east of Geelong. The Bank of Victoria was at 76 Hesse Street.

THE BENDIGO ADVERTISER (1882, February 3). Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 - 1918), p. 2. Retrieved from
General view of Queenscliff from Adman's Tower (later known as the Vue Grand Hotel at 46-48 Hesse Street), about 1882 photographed by Fred Kruger from the National Gallery of Victoria
Hesse Street from Baillieu's Tower, Queenscliff. Baillieu's Tower was later called the Ozone Hotel and was on Gellibrand Street.. The Bank of Victoria can be seen towards the centre foreground. Image from the National Library of Australia PIC/8760/67 LOC Album 19/nla.obj-140532878.

On 5 March 1882 Philip and Annie's son Constantine Trent Champion de Crespigny was born in Queenscliff in the Bank of Victoria where his father was manager.

We have some transcripts of family letters. One that survives from January 1883 is to his mother Charlotte Crespigny nee Dana about her visit to Queenscliff.

From: Philip Crespigny
To: Charlotte Frances Crespigny [his mother]
Queenscliff 21st Jany 1883
My dearest Mother
Only a few lines to tell you how eagerly we are all of us looking forward to your visit. I do hope you will start immediately after the mail is delivered. You had better come by the mid-day train reaching here at 2.45. I have enclosed Vi a ticket by the Williams which will defray half her expenses when she pays her visit and this will prevent your feeling the extra expense of taking a single ticket instead of a return which is only available now from Friday till Monday.
Your loving son
(Philip was called Lou or Loup, 'wolf' in French, by his family. Vi was his sister Viola (1855-1929).

One month after Philip wrote to his mother, at the young age of 25, Annie Frances died after a three week illness of what was diagnosed as pelvic cellulitis, a bacterial infection of tissue adjacent to the uterus. Pelvic cellulitis was often a complication of childbirth. Annie quite possibly died after a third pregnancy. She left two small children, Philip was 3 and Constantine Trent was 11 months.

Death certificate of Annie Frances Crespigny, Victoria 1883/2892 (click to enlarge)

Annie is buried in Point Lonsdale cemetery. Her sons are remembered on her gravestone. Philip (1879-1918) was killed in action near Jerusalem in World War 1. Constantine Trent (1882-1952) died in Adelaide and was cremated.

Gravestone in Point Lonsdale for Annie Frances Crespigny and her two sons from FindAGrave

The building which was formerly the Bank of Victoria at 76 Hesse Street is still standing. From Google street view it looks as though it is now a cafe. It is mentioned in the Queenscliff Heritage Study 2009.

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Tuesday, 18 April 2017

P is for Plaue, Germany

My great great grandfather Karl Bertz was born on 2 September 1854 at Trechwitz, Potsdam-Mittelmark, Brandenburg, Germany and died at Plaue near Brandenburg a der Havel, Germany on 5 August 1932. These dates were given to me by his grandson, my grandfather, Hans Boltz (1910-1992). Hans also told me that Karl Bertz had been a bricklayer.

We have a photograph of Karl, seated on the right, with his wife, Henrietta Bertz, nee Ritter (1862 - 1942), his daughter Anna Boltz nee Bertz (1885 - 1961), Anna's husband Fritz Boltz (1879 - 1954), and Fritz's brother August Bolz (1871 - ?) . This was probably taken at the time of Anna Bertz's marriage to Fritz Boltz in 1909.

Karl and Henrietta Bertz had only two children. Their daughter Hedwig Anna Bertha (known as Anna) was born at Trechwitz near Götz, fifty-five kilometers east of Berlin, about seventeen kilometers west of Brandenburg an der Havel. Their son Paul was born on 25 June 1888. Paul Bertz was photographed with his sister Anna and her husband Fritz Boltz around 1909.

I have not found any records to verify my grandfather's recollections of Karl. My grandfather, Hans Boltz, did not know who Karl's parents were nor if he had any brothers or sisters.

I believe Plaue is near Brandenburg and der Havel, just over 25 kilometres west of Trechwitz.

Kirchstraße Kirche Plaue Brandenburg
Brandenburg an der Havel Ortsteil Plaue. Die Straße Kirchstraße mit Blick auf die Kirche. 2013. Image from Wikimedia Commons taken by user:Clemensfranz.

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Monday, 17 April 2017

O is for Oakleigh

Marjorie Winifred Sullivan was born on 2 June 1920 in Clapham Road, Oakleigh, Victoria, to Stella Esther Gilbart Dawson, age 25, and Arthur Sullivan, a bootmaker, age 28. Marjorie was the fourth of six children: she had two sisters, Violet and Lillie, born in 1914 and 1915, and an older brother, Arthur, born 24 January 1919 at Chelsea, about 20 kilometres south of Oakleigh. Marjorie was also to have a younger brother, Roy, born in 1926 and sister, Gwendolyn, born in 1933.

(Oakleigh is a residential suburb 15 kilometres south-east of the Melbourne CBD. In 1921 its population was 6,076.)

A street map of Oakleigh from about 1920 currently for sale from Brighton Antique Prints and Maps (click to enlarge)
Excerpt from the above map showing Clapham Road and the business district of Oakleigh.

On the 1917 electoral roll Arthur and Stella were listed as living at Chelsea. Arthur's occupation was bootmaker. On the 1922 roll, Arthur, a bookmaker, and his wife Stella were listed as living at Stanley Avenue, Cheltenham.

In early 1920, Arthur ran a boot shop in Bay Street, Frankston, 35 kilometres south of Oakleigh, an hour and a half away by train.

Advertising (1920, January 16). Mornington Standard (Frankston, Vic. : 1911 - 1920), p. 3. Retrieved from

In March 1920 Arthur advertised that ‘on account of health reasons’, he was ‘seeking a change in outdoor employment’ and leaving the business. In the event he was absent for only a few weeks. In April he advertised he had resumed charge of his business. In May 1920 it was sold.

I don't know when the family moved to Oakleigh but perhaps it was the move that prompted the sale of the business. Perhaps it was too far for him to travel every day.

Arthur served on the Western Front in the Australian Army during World War 1. He returned to Australia from France in February 1918, invalided out with 'debility'. Marjorie told me that her father suffered from shell shock after the war. She had to sit with him when he got the horrors.

Advertising (1920, March 12). Mornington Standard (Frankston, Vic. : 1911 - 1920), p. 2. Retrieved from

Advertising (1920, April 23). Mornington Standard (Frankston, Vic. : 1911 - 1920), p. 2. Retrieved from
Advertising (1920, May 14). Mornington Standard (Frankston, Vic. : 1911 - 1920), p. 3. Retrieved from

It appears that Arthur Sullivan set up as a bootmaker in Cheltenham after he sold the Frankston business. In September 1920 Arthur Sullivan of Cheltenham was advertising in situations vacant for a "Boot trade - Smart improver, constant, or repairer, few days". I haven't found any other reference to that business in the 1920 newspapers.

Advertising (1920, September 16). The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), p. 11. Retrieved from