On 16 January, 1930, Margaret Elizabeth (née Mill) Quinlivan, aged 50, who married James Leo Quinlivan in 1907, died suddenly at her home near Barwon Heads.
Dr J E Piper, who made a post mortem examination of the body, saw signs which indicated that death was due to poisoning. The stomach was forwarded to the government analyst, who reported that death was due to poisoning.
Margaret and James lived at Connewarre East with their three children, James Alexander, Mary and Jane.
She had not told anyone she was feeling unwell. James was out for some time on the night of 15 January, and on his return home he saw that his wife had had a hot drink. He made a drink for himself, using the same cup.
Early in the morning he heard his wife making a noise as if in her sleep. As this continued for some time he struck a match and saw that his wife was ill. She died before a doctor could be summoned.
Margaret had three brothers, George, William and Alexander Mill. She was buried in the Presbyterian section of the Geelong Eastern Cemetery. James, who died on 28 July 1961 at the age of 83 was buried with her.
James Noble, eldest son of William and Jane (née Gray) Noble, was born in 1821 in County Tyrone, Ireland. He was the first of his family to arrive in the colony in 1840 at the age of 19 on the ship Ferguson. He initially set up business as a grocer. He was followed to the colony by his brothers John and William and sister Mary Jane in 1848. Two other brothers, George and Charles, and his father William came later. His mother died in County Tyrone, Ireland on 29 April 1855. Two sisters did not emigrate. He invested in vast amounts of real estate in the Geelong district and other areas as they were opened up for farming. He also had many business interests.
The VFL consisted of six teams (Geelong, Richmond, South Melbourne, Carlton, Collingwood and Fitzroy) each playing the other three times. Teams had 18 players and no reserves. Collingwood were premiers and the leading goalkicker was Dick Lee of Collingwood. Richmond took the "wooden spoon". Players were amateurs with players paying their own expenses. Geelong donated profits to war funds.
When Ewing Blyth was 21 in 1853, he left Norwich England to come to Australia on the Earl of Charlemont. His name on the passenger list was Ewing Bligh. He had been accused of shooting the squire's bullock and was in fear of being deported as a convict. He had allowed his name to be incorrectly used so his whereabouts could not be easily traced. After the ship was wrecked, he repeated this event by shooting a bullock to feed the survivors off the ship. This beast belonged to James Tait who had settled at Tait's Point on Lake Connewarre and who later became his father-in-law.
Ewing Blyth gained work in the district and two years later married Agnes, the 16 year old daughter of James Tait. They spent all their lives living in Lake Road on the banks of the Barwon River. Their family of five boys and 5 girls were:
James Tait Blyth — born 1860 in Connewarre, died 1942 in Preston
Frances Blyth — born 1862, married William Spencer 1888, died 1940 Geelong
Ellen Blyth — born 29 October 1864 in Connewarre, married John Elijah Kempton 1888, died 19 May 1953 Geelong
Benjamin Blyth — born 1 April 1867, married Ann Ford 1895, died 24 November 1918
Ewing John Blyth — born 1869, married Emma Isabella Taylor 1905, died 26 October 1951
Robert Ewing Blyth — born 1872, married Elisabeth Ann Martin Cameron 1896, died 1949
Mary Ann Blyth — born 1874, married John Ford 1897, died 1945
Bessie Blyth — born 1877 at Mount Duneed, died 1898
Agnes Blyth — born 1879 at Mount Duneed, married Charles Marriott Burt, died 24 November 1952
Annie Blyth — born 1882 at Mount Duneed, died 22 May 1914 at Geelong
Alexander Tait Blyth — born 1884 in Mount Duneed, married Esther Hannah Challis in 1910, died 1970 in Connewarre
He was a South Barwon Shire councillor serving from 1874 until 1875.
Agnes died on 25 February 1920 and is buried in the Church of England section of the Mount Duneed Cemetery. Ewing died on 1 June 1925 and is buried with her. Their daughter Annie who died on 22 May 1914 is buried with them. Ewing Blyth Drive, a road which runs south from the Barwon Heads Hotel, is named after him. Many of their descendants still live in the district.
The grave of William and Mabel Ellis next to the grave of their son George
Six of these blocks purchased by William Batten have a frontage to Boundary Road, four have a frontage to Batten Road and two have Barwon Heads Road running through them. When he died he owned four farms in the Parish of Connewarre which were mentioned in his will by the names Robert's Farm (leased to M Muller), Hill's Farm (leased to Thomas Cadwallader), Munro's Farm (leased to John Bogan) and Mount Batten (leased to M O'Dea). He owned other blocks in Marnock Vale, Newtown and Geelong.
Four blocks in section I on the corner of Brearleys Lane, Sparrovale and Tannery Roads, Marshall were purchased from the crown on 23 July, 1855 by William Roberts Batten
John Armstrong was born in 1809, the fourth child of William and Elizabeth Armstrong. He married Veronica (usually called Vair) Scott in Scotland on 27 February, 1829. In 1839 they sailed for Australia from Greenock as bounty immigrants on the barque Palmyra. They brought with them their sons, William (aged 10), Robert Grieve (aged 6), Thomas (aged 4) and John (aged 2) and one daughter Jemima (sometimes Gemima) Scott (aged 8). Another son, Peter Brown Palmyra, was born on the voyage. He was named after the ship and its captain. Another six children were born to the couple in Australia. John and Vair were employed by Ann Drysdale of Coriyule from January 1941 to December 1844, John to plough and shepherd, Vair to cook and wash and the oldest two boys, William and Robert Grieve, to shepherd. They had brought livestock with them and after working hard and acquiring more sheep they settled at Bush Station which was also called River Station. John also had leased Black Forest and Allan Vale between 1850 and 1856. John became one of the best stud-masters in Victoria having come from many generations of sheep farmers in Scotland.
John suffered from diabetes and died on 17 October 1856 at the age of 47. Vair died on 13 June 1877 aged 68. They were buried in the Presbyterian section of the Geelong Eastern Cemetery. In 1857 his land was subdivided and sold and the stock were sold in a separate sale. Lot 2 with the homestead on 60 acres sold for £840. John's 320 acre block was situated with Torquay Road on the west side, Stewarts Road to the south, Horseshoe Bend Road to the east and Burvilles Road to the north. Armstrong Creek ran through the block. Each block had access to the creek.
Bush station was sometimes called River Station. Section M was bound by Torquay, Burvilles, Horseshoe Bend and Stewarts Road, Mount Duneed. Stewarts Reserve is the land south of this land with the creek running through it. It remained crown land. Members of the Watherong tribe who lived on this land often walked into Geelong but returned here at night. They were quiet people who made no trouble.
The monument of John Armstrong in a large plot in the Presbyterian section of the Geelong Eastern Cemetery. It was erected by the Geelong Free Church of which he was an elder for many years as a token of the regard in which he was held. Buried with him was his wife Vair who died on 13 June 1877 aged 68 years. Their 6th son Adam who was born on 5 November 1841 and died at Coriyule Drysdale on 8 December 1841 is also buried here.
In 1850 daughter, Jemima (née Armstrong), married John MacVean (often called McVean). Both were born is Scotland. They had eleven children, the last three being born in Cressy, which indicates the family had shifted to this area by 1865. They were both buried in the Presbyterian section of the St Kilda Cemetery. Alexander, Annie and Armstrong Poliah MacVean were buried with them.
Christopher Underwood, born in 1855, was the son of William Underwood and Sarah Isabella (née Robinson). He married Eliza Jane, daughter of Jesse Holman and Sarah (née Carter) Middleton. Their children were:
Sarah Ethel — born 1881 at Mount Duneed, married David Armstrong, died 1961 at Lismore
Evelyn Kate — born 1882 at Port Campbell, died 7 July 1949, buried at Geelong Eastern Cemetery
William Underwood — born 1884 at Port Campbell, died 1968 at Timboon
Eliza Jane — born 1884 at Port Campbell, died 1969 at Belmont
James Thomas — born 1886 at Port Campbell, m Maria Dickinson, died 18 September 1939 at Cobden
Jessie Ellen — born 1888 at Port Campbell, married Isaac Davis
Christopher — born 1890 at Port Campbell
Charles Stewart — born 1898, died 24 July 1921 at Camperdown
On 17 September 1872 Christopher Underwood applied to the land board for land at Connewarre south of Barwon Heads Road.
Later the family settled at Newfield about 6 miles north of Port Campbell. Christopher served on the Heytesbury Shire for 37 years and was a president of the shire. He was elected when the shire was formed in 1895. He died at Cobden on 7 September 1941 and is buried in the Port Campbell cemetery. Eliza died on 14 March 1927.
William Underwood, brother of Christopher, was born in Connewarre in 1860. He was a resident of the district of Colac for about 50 years. He purchased a property at Larpent which he farmed until about a year before he died when he settled at Elliminyt. He owned racehorses which he raced at meetings throughout the Western District. Among his horses were Balintore, Lady Haut, Twinkle and Inquisitive. He was a member of the committee of the Colac Turf Club for many years. He had been a committee member of the Colac Pastoral and Agricultural Society. He was a familiar figure at Colac and Camperdown shows where he was very successful. He was an active member of the Hunt Club.
He married Marion Hose who predeceased him. They had two sons and Three daughters. He died on 24 August 1937 and was buried at the Colac Cemetery. He left an estate valued at £15,879.
The land belonging to William Underwood which was sold at the auction on 14 March 1907 stretched from Breamlea Road and Shaws Lane in the west to the lake and from Belchers Road in the north to Bluestone School Road in the south. Barwon Heads Road ran through the farm. The Connewarre Presbyterian Church was built in 1916 on the south western corner of allotment G section XII on land donated by David Polly.
100 years ago — a few items from newspapers and cemetery records:
King George V was monarch, Billy Hughes was prime minister, Gough Whitlam, 21st prime minister of Australia was born and three year old Sasanof won the Melbourne Cup.
The first plebiscite on the issue of military conscription was held; it was defeated. 25 April was officially named and widely observed as Anzac Day.
The Victorian Football League was feeling the strain of World War 1. Attendances were affected, only four clubs competed (Carlton, Collingwood, Fitzroy and Richmond) and teams were missing players. Geelong among many other teams, refused to play on "patriotic grounds". Fitzroy won the wooden spoon and the premiership in the same year, finishing fourth out of four and also winning the grand final.
Melbourne receives its highest annual rainfall.
The old Connewarre Presbyterian Church, at 1411 Barwon Heads Road, Connewarre is now used by the Geelong Aero Club. It has skillion roofed extentions at the front and back and a doorway near the rear of the body of the church which has been closed off. Originally the door probably looked like the one at St Cuthbert's Church of England at Marshall which was built 5 years earlier and in a similar style.
Connewarre Presbyterian Church was erected in 1916 on a block given by Mr D Polley on the corner of Staceys (then Lake) and Barwon Heads Roads, as it was decided that the old building was beyond repair. The architects, Laird & Buchan called for tenders in May and the successful applicant was Mr H Rose. The church was weatherboard on the outside with Californian redwood and beaverwood on the interior built in the Federation Carpenter Gothic style. It had a gable roof with skillion-roofed extentions each end and leadlight windows in the gothic style. The pulpit for the church had come from St Andrew's in Geelong. It would seat 100 people.
The church was crowded for two services held on 8 October to commemorate the opening of the church. At the morning service Mr RC Blyth, chairman of the Board of Management, gave a short address, then handed a silver key to Mr R Fuller sen., the oldest church member, who opened the church. The celebrations continued the following Tuesday with a tea meeting and concert. There was a large attendance and the sum of £22 was obtained. The total expenses of building the church amounted to £350 of which over £200 had been paid off.
In 1977 the church became the Connewarre Uniting Church, and about a year later it closed and was sold to the Geelong Aero Club.
Together They Served
Torquay Museum Without Walls
Births, Deaths & Marriages Victoria
Geelong and District Database
Geelong Cemetery Index
Australian War Memorial
Surf Coast Early Schools
Barwon Heads History