Robert, son of John and Hannah (née Jones) Preston was born in 1834 at Woodeaton, Oxfordshire, England. He arrived in Australia with his family in September 1844 on the Abberton at the age of ten.
On 10 April 1868 he married Jane Wilson, daughter of William Paterson at her home in Maude Street, Geelong. They lived in a 6 roomed weatherboard house on 236 acres, they called Roseworth farm, on the south side of Mount Duneed Road, between Williams and Ghazeepore Roads, at Mount Duneed where their children were born:
Elizabeth Anna — born on 9 March 1869, married Albert Edward Beck in 1917, died 1957 at Sunshine aged 88
Robert Jane — born in 1870, married Charles William Meredith in 1911, died 31 August 1850 at Castlemaine
Caroline Margaret — born 1872, married John Robert Osterberg in 1896, died 1942 at Prahran
Isabella Agnes — born in 1873, died 26 April 1874 aged 10 months, buried in the Methodist section of the Mount Duneed Cemetery
William — born on 22 November 1874, married Annie Lamond in 1904, died on 30 October 1944 at Geelong aged 69, buried in the Methodist section of the Geelong Eastern Cemetery
Jessie Mary — born on 1877, married Gilbert Abercrombie Stevenson in 1909 at Geelong West, died 1938 at Chelsea
George — born in 1878, married Sarah Jane Farquharson in 1907, died 10 December 1958 at Yea
Charlotte Ethel (Effie) — born in 1880, married Ernest Enoch Kelloch in 1913
On 8 April 1856 he was appointed a trustee for the land set aside for a Wesleyan church.
Robert had an accident at Jan Juc (Bellbrae) caused when he was carting a load of long length firewood. He fell and the wheel of the wagon passed over his head. He died at home a couple of weeks later on 11 October 1882 aged 48 and was buried the following day in the Methodist section of the Mount Duneed Cemetery.
After his death Jane ran the farm with the help of William who took over after he married. Jane died on 9 April 1929 and was buried with Robert at the Mount Duneed Cemetery. Later that year the farm was sold to William for £12 per acre.
A week later George Williams stated that it had been found impossible to make anything like suitable provision for the care of the afflicted woman. In reply to a question from the Bench, Dr Shaw said that, although Mrs Preston was suffering from delusions and of unsound mind, he would be very much against sending her to an asylum if it could be avoided. Mr Heron said that from full inquiries he had made he was convinced that it would not be right to send the woman to a lunatic asylum. He had learnt from long experience that in cases of the kind under notice — where the mental affliction was of a harmless kind, and consisted only of delusions — the sufferers, by being sent to the asylum, were made confirmed lunatics. He believed that if proper efforts were made by her family and friends, Mrs Preston need not be sent to an asylum. The Bench agreed to discharge the prisoner, and she was handed over to her friends.
Is this a case of lunacy or a grief stricken widow who has endured her husband's terrible accident a few years previously and is not coping well with the task of bringing up eight children on her own? Is it a case of men around her trying to control her?
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.
The Mount Duneed Post Office was on the crest of the hill in Torquay Road, Mount Duneed. The house was named Kirriemuir after Jane's birth place in Scotland. The house was burnt in the 1944 fire and replaced with a later style of house — photo contributed by Russ Preston
John Doherty was born in 1825 in Van Diemens Land. In 1853 he married Bridget Mary, daughter of Pat and Cath Mcinnaray (this is the name given on Bridget's death record, although it is McNerney on her marriage record). Bridget was born in Limerick, Ireland. John and Bridget had the following children:
Frederick — born 30 August 1854, died 31 March 1862
Patrick William — born 1855, married Susan Cleverly (1859-1948), died 22 May 1932
James — born 7 May 1857, died 10 March 1861
Robert — born 1858, died 10 April 1862
John — born 1860, married Ellen O’Callaghan, died 20 June 1897
John died in August 1861 at the age of 36 and was buried on 6 August. Geelong Cemetery Trust record the burial as the first in the Mount Duneed Cemetery although the cemetery was not gazetted until 1864.
In 1864 Bridget married Swiss vigneron Louis Roulier at her brother’s home. Bridget’s name is recorded as Docherty, probably a misspelling of Doherty. Three children are recorded as being buried in the grave with John Doherty — 1 year old Louis Roulier on 1 September 1866, 1 year old Charles Roulier on 9 December 1867 and a Roulier child of unknown age.
Louis bought land in Whites Road, between Williams and Ghazeepore Roads about 1874. A family member has said that Louis worked for Andrew White of Hillside who lived in adjoining land. It is known that grapes were once grown at Hillside, so his skills may have been useful for vine dressing.
Louis died in 1880 and was buried on 17 December in the Catholic section of the Mount Duneed Cemetery. He is the only one recorded on the headstone. Bridget died on 27 May 1890 at the age of 55 and was buried with him.
When Bridget died on 27 May 1890 she owned 3 blocks in allotment B of section 21. These blocks were in Whites Road between Ghazeepore and Williams Roads.
The grave of William and Mabel Ellis next to the grave of their son George
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