Hester (often called Esther) Tansley (1828-1894) was a lace maker in Cottingham Northampton before her marriage on 9 August 1847 to Harold Humphrey. They sailed for Australia aboard the Blenheim, arriving at Moreton Bay in 1857 with two children Harold, aged 4 and Elizabeth, aged 1. Their other children Mary, Tarion and Lewis had already died. Esther, Madaline and Mary Ann, who were born in Australia, also died. Mary Ann who died in May 1867 is buried in the Methodist section of the Mount Duneed Cemetery. Harold, Elizabeth, another Esther and George survived to adulthood.
In 1867 Harold was killed when he fell off his waggon and the wheel ran over him. He left Hester destitute.
Back in these times people often dropped their aitches and some didn't read or write. Names were often spelt as people pronounced them. This accounts for the fact that Hester was often called Esther. Harold was often called Erle and this name was recorded when he was buried in an unmarked grave at the Geelong Eastern Cemetery. In Harold's case the dee at the end of his name was often dropped too.
In 1868 Hester married John Ford (1920-1892). They were both in their forties. They had two children — Ann born in 1869 and John born in 1871. Ann married Benjamin Blyth and John married Mary Ann Blyth, both children of Ewing Blyth, a survivor of the Earl of Charlemont shipwreck, and Agnes née Tait, the daughter of early Connewarre settler James Tait.
Ann and Benjamin Blyth had eight children. Many of their descendants lived in Connewarre and Mount Duneed. John and Mary Ann had six children. The land being currently marketed as Ashbury in Armstrong Creek was formerly owned by members of the Ford family.
Hester died in March 1894 aged 66 and John died on 7 June 1892 aged 71. Both were buried in the Methodist section of the Mount Duneed Cemetery.
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Geelong and District Database
Geelong Cemetery Index
Australian War Memorial
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Barwon Heads History