Thomas Wills, fourth son of Major Henry Colden and Elizabeth (née Wills) Antill was born on 24 November 1829 at "Jarvisfield" near Picton in New South Wales.
He played cricket for Victoria in the Tasmania v Victoria match at Launceston on 11-12 February in 1851. His cousin Thomas Wills was an outstanding cricketer.
He was manager of the Union Bank of Australia Ltd. He became a South Barwon councillor serving from 1861 until 1862. The family moved to New Zealand early in 1862 where he continued his work for the Union Bank. A bank was built at Nelson and branches were opened at Havelock and Picton in 1864. He became a trustee of the Nelson Savings Bank in New Zealand in 1863. During his time in New Zealand he was active in church affairs. He was a churchwarden at Christ Church in Nelson. He was a director of the Permanent Building Society at Nelson. He was the chairman of the committee which organised a full day of celebrations followed by a ball to commemorate the marriage of the Prince of Wales to Princess Alexandra of Denmark on Tuesday 16 June 1863.
He married Sarah Maria, daughter of Samuel McKee on 7 May 1852 at St James' Church in Sydney. On 20 February 1853 they had a daughter, Maria Elizabeth, who married Murray Bennett McPherson in 1876. She died in Geelong in 1937.
Sarah died on 3 March in 1853 at Geelong and was buried the following day in the Church of England section of the Geelong Eastern Cemetery.
The following year Thomas married Isabella Fisher on 15 June. They had the following children:
Henry Wills — born on 23 May 1855 at Willoughby in NSW, married Jane Gertrude McRae on 2 May 1885 , died on 4 January 1914 in New Zealand
Fanny Jessie — born in 1857 in New South Wales, died in 1910
Charlotte Maud — born in 1860 at Barrabool, died in May 1865 in Nelson in New Zealand
Mary Emily — born on 10 June 1863 in New Zealand, married Herbert Arthur Melhuish in 1891 in Queensland, died in 1947 aged 83 at St Kilda in Victoria
Thomas died on 11 May in 1865 aged 34 of scarlet fever at Nelson in New Zealand and was buried in the Church of England section of the Wakapuaka Cemetery. Isabella died on 28 October in 1875 aged 39.
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 at Connewarre. 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 20 September 1860 in Connewarre, died 26 Jun 1943 in Preston aged 83, buried in the Presbyterian section of the Mount Duneed Cemetery
Frances Blyth — born 31 July 1862, married William Spencer 1888, died 19 March 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 on 5 November 1874, married John Ford 1897, died 1945 in Geelong
Elizabeth Blyth (Bessie) — 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.
Looking from the east, this photo has Kardinia Farm, on the corner of Larcombe Street and Roslyn Road, highlighted and corresponds with the map below. It shows Kardinia Creek running through the allotment, then crossing Roslyn Road and running to the east of where the Highton shopping village is now — photo Charles Pratt
Francis and Mary must have been really inspired by the beautiful rolling hills and the creek where they lived as they used this name when they christened their second daughter Kardinia Park. The name Park was Mary's maiden name. She was the first of a number of girls who bore this name. Two of Kardinia's brothers, George and Francis, used the name for their daughters. George's daughter Kardinia also used this name for her daughter, born in 1901. George's first daughter Lydia Ellen Bennett married Frederick William Hart and included the name when naming their daughter in 1898. Kardinia's sister, Eliza and her husband Thomas Yates, also used the name. The name certainly did not come from Geelong Football Club's home ground as the park was known as Chilwell Flat until 1872 and Geelong used other grounds before World War 2.
Lewis Charles, son of James and Penelope (née Baynes) Conran was born in 1821. He was a Lieutenant-Colonel who served in the 56th and 11th regiments in Canada and Jamaica. In the 1840s he went to Norfolk Island in charge of convicts. When he came to Victoria in 1851, just before the gold rush, he was appointed Sergeant-at-Arms to the Legislative Assemble and aide-de-camp to Governor Latrobe. He returned to England in 1852.
He married Catherine Spencer, daughter of Thomas and Mary Ann (née Barry) Wills in 1850. They had the following children:
Thomas — born 1850, married Evelyn Ford in 1878, died 1915
Henry — born 1851, married Mary Molle in 1886, died 1924
Charles — born 1854, married Helen Brock in 1897, died 1939
Marcell — born 1855, married married Charlotte McLacklan in 1881, died 1935
Kate — born 1863, died 1964
Catherine died on 27 August 1884 aged 52 years.
Lewis returned to Geelong in 1874, taking up farming at Highton, living on the west side of Thornhill Road (south of Bonsey Road) at Barrabool House, a seven roomed dwelling with kitchen, pantry and stabling. The address of the house now is 13 Pepperdine Way. He grazed sheep and cattle on his land. In 1878 he applied for and was granted a slaughtering license.
In 1888 he married Catherine Sarah, daughter of Hugh Lawrence McLeod from Claremont, Waurn Ponds. They had the following children:
Hugh — born 1889, married Edith Cooke in 1918, died 1957
Noel — born 1891, died 1916
Enid — born 1892, died 1960
Catherine died on 21 August 1941 at Kandy in Ceylon.
Lewis was a South Barwon Shire councillor serving from 1876 until 1886 and was president from 1879 until 1880. He was also a Barrabool Shire councillor from 1878 until 1881 including a term as president in 1880. He was a member of St John's Church of England in Highton and for some time sat in the Church Assembly. He died on 10 January 1892, aged 72 years and was buried in the Church of England section of the Highton Cemetery with his first wife Catherine. He left an estate valued at £6642.
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.
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
Hillside is a single storey homestead built of basalt with a slate roof. It was substantially altered by the addition of an early 20th Century art nouveau style veranda.
Alexander Fyfe erected Hillside in 1862. The land was originally taken up by him in 1855 and was intended to be a two storied home. After the ground floor was completed, Captain Fyfe chartered a ship to bring decorative temple stones from Burma for the second storey. The ship was lost at sea and the captain was unable to complete his home. He died on 8 May 1903 at the age of 76. He arrived in Australia with his wife in 1848 on the ship Stag. All of their ten children survived. He was a very prominent public figure in the early days of Victoria and Queensland, having been elected to the first Legislative Council for Geelong in the middle fifties at the early age of 24 years. He was the first person to open up a foreign trade between Geelong and the East Indies, having as many as five sailing vessels trading between these places. Migrating to Queensland in 1861 he took over a large squatting property. In 1868 he was elected to represent Rockhampton, and held the seat until 1874, when he returned to Victoria.
James Henty then purchased the house, adding the land to his holdings nearby and used it as a country holiday home for a few years.
James Stewart tendered for a four year lease of 682 acres for the years 1875-1879.
The next owner was Andrew White. He was born in 1829 at Stretton-on-Dunsmore in Warwickshire. He married Emily Walker in 1852. Andrew and Emily arrived in Australia in 1853 aboard the James L Bogert. He ran livery stables in Geelong which were well established by 1856. Emily died in 1861. His second wife Jane died in 1871. He had large land holdings in Connewarre. He purchased Hillside in 1878 and moved from Stretton Park with his family soon after. He became a councillor in the Barrabool Shire in 1878 and served until 1886. In July 1885 he was appointed a justice of the peace. He was also a South Barwon Shire councillor and served for ten years between 1878 and 1899 with several terms as president (1878-1879, 1885-1887, 1889, 1894, 1895-1896 and 1898-1899). He died intestate on 28 May 1900 in his 72nd year. His estate was valued at £46,305/17/5 and was divided between his widow, Catherine, and his children at the time of his death:
William Andrew White of Aphrasia Street, Newtown
Charles White late of "Darragh", Myamyn Street, Malvern
Emily Ann McGregor of Morangarell, NSW
Alfred Gilbert White of Hillside Mount Duneed
Henrietta Jane Whitelaw of Fitzroy Street, Geelong
Adeline Charlotte Collins of Prospect Road, Newtown
Laura Amelia Richardson of Pevensey Crescent, Geelong
His third son Alfred Gilbert (1868-19 January 1946) purchased Hillside from his father's estate in 1900 and lived there until his death. He was a former pupil of Mount Duneed School from 1878 until 1880. He was the municipal clerk at South Barwon Shire from 1894-1900, and served on the South Barwon Council for 46 years from 1900 until his death on 19 January 1946 being president for the following terms — 1903-1904, 1906-1907, 1921-1922 and 1931-1933. He married Elizabeth Orchard Matthews. His children were Mildred Bessie (born 1895), Constance (born 1897), Ruth Audrey (born 1899) Douglas Alfred (born 1900), Noel Stretton (born 1902) and John Wilfred (born 1907).
The prefabricated iron cottage, shown above, at Summerhill, 155 Mount Duneed Road, Mount Duneed is a rare example of a two room prefabricated iron cottage. It measures 24' x 12' in plan and is 9.5' high to the top of the segmental arched roof. The roof and walls are of 5" corrugated iron, with no supporting frame. The prefabricated iron cottage is of scientific, historic, social and architectural significance to the State of Victoria. It is notable because it demonstrates British technical accomplishment in the history of prefabricated building construction. It is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register number H1131.
Mr and Mrs Joseph Williams and their two sons George and James with their niece Elizabeth Frear arrived in Melbourne by sailing ship 'Lochiel' in 1853. They erected the cottage in 1854. They lived in the iron cottage with its rounded roof, until a weatherboard house consisting of four rooms was erected in 1860 with further additions in the 1870s. Joseph Williams was a South Barwon Shire councillor from 1860 until 1861. He was looked after at Summer Hill by his son for 21 years prior to his death on 13 Jun 1892. His wife Hannah was the daughter of Captain Joseph Wilson. She died on 19 December 1863. They are both buried in the Methodist section of the Mount Duneed Cemetery.
George Williams was the oldest resident of the district, when he passed away on 4 November 1919 at Summer Hill. Born in Liverpool in 1836 he had resided at Mount Duneed since coming to Australia with the exception of ten years, which were spent in Melbourne working for the Geological Department. For many years he was engineer and secretary for the Shire of Barrabool. He was a Barrabool Shire councillor serving from 1870 until 1872. He was active in church affairs as a trustee, class leader and steward of the Methodist churches of South Melbourne and Mount Duneed. He left a grown-up family of two sons and three daughters. His wife Elizabeth née Frear pre-deceased him by 19 months. They are buried in the Methodist section of the Mount Duneed Cemetery.
The stone shed (in the picture below) and stone wall (surrounding the south side of the house), was also built in the 1860s. Mr GWF McIntyre purchased this property and Mr and Mrs S Seiffert, with their two sons Lindsay and Murray, were the tenants for many years.
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