John Southwood Melhuish (1817 - 9 December 1901), arrived at Point Henry on the Agincourt in February 1854 at the age of 34 with his wife, Elizabeth Fry (née Mitchell) (1820-1891). Elizabeth was the daughter of George and Amelia (née Fry) Mitchell. They came with four children who were born in Devon:
George Mitchell — born 23 January 1842, married Margaret Pattie on 16 October 1879 at the residence of Mr A Stokes of Foundry Lane in Geelong, died 1904 aged 62, buried in the Church of England section of the Geelong Eastern Cemetery
John Southwood — born 15 December 1844, married Charlotte Fivash in 1874, died 1 April 1828 at his residence Balmoral in South Geelong on 1 April 1928, buried in the Methodist section of the Mount Duneed Cemetery
Mary Ann — born 15 August 1846, married Archibald Samuel Silk in 1876, died 7 October 1931 at Bell Street Coburg, buried in the old Methodist section of the Geelong Eastern Cemetery
Elizabeth Amelia — born 16 October 1848, married Frederick Challis in 1874 at the Wesleyan church at Barwon Heads, died 14 May 1908 aged 59 years at Barwon Heads, buried in the Methodist section of the Mount Duneed Cemetery
Another son William Thomas, born 15 April 1852, died 4 May 1853
John was a farmer, living in Mount Colite (Barwon Heads) Road in East Connewarre. Early in 1872 John was appointed to the local committee of Common School No. 138, Connewarre. The following year he was elected to the Board of Advice for the Connewarre School District. John was a wood-worker by trade and before migrating to Australia he is said to have worked at Buckingham Palace to put a new floor under the throne for Queen Victoria.
John's great granddaughter owns a very sturdy child's chair made by John which has been used by many of his descendants. This chair was made from timber from the Sussex, a ship which came to grief on New Year's Eve in 1871, between Barwon Heads and Bream Creek (Breamlea). The story has been passed down through his family that in the early hours of the morning there was a knock on the door. When asked who was there, the men said that they were shipwrecked sailors from the Sussex. This story differs in its details from newspaper reports at the time. The Geelong Advertiser reported that a Mr Anguish had seen four rockets and went down to the beach where he saw a full-rigged ship rocking to and fro. The sea was too rough to enable a boat to land. The Argus gave a report of passengers being transferred to a steamer which took them to Melbourne. Six lives were lost. The third officer and six crew took off in a boat during the night in an attempt to reach Queenscliff. The boat capsized and only one man was saved.
On 4 November 1891 John's farm in East Connewarre was up for sale.
Elizabeth's sister, Amelia Toogood Mitchell married John Land who died in 1867 and is buried in an unknown location at Mount Duneed Cemetery.
John died at his daughter, Mary Ann Silk's home at 34 Little Myers Street in Geelong at the age of 84 years on 9 December 1901. Elizabeth died at the age of 71 at her son's residence in Printers Lane off Corio Street in Geelong on 21 October 1891. They were buried in the front row of the Church of England section of the Mount Duneed Cemetery with Elizabeth's sister, Amelia Toogood Land who died in 1891.
John left an estate of £526 which was mainly divided between three of his surviving children.
Elizabeth Fry (née Mitchell) and John Southwood Melhuish were buried on the left of this double plot. Elizabeth's sister Amelia Toogood Land (née Mitchell) was buried on the right. There is a memorial for John Land who was buried in an unknown location of the Mount Duneed Cemetery
George Tilley, son of John and Mary (née Tilley) Vagg, was born on 4 September 1819 at South Petherton in Somerset. He married Ann Harding before emigrating as bounty immigrants to Port Phillip on the Himalaya, arriving at Hobsons Bay in September 1840. Shipping records give George's age as 21 years and Ann's as 18 years. They were the first of the Vagg family to arrive in Australia. They brought with them a bible containing a farewell message from the vicar of the Church of Saints Peter and Paul of South Petherton. It was presented to them on the eve of their departure on 6 June. On their arrival in Melbourne they made their way to the Yarra River which they crossed in a punt. They found John Harrison of Merri waiting to take them to his farm where they were to work for him for a period of twelve months for a salary of £30, plus rations. After this George worked as a blacksmith on a site where the Royal Arcade now stands.
George and Ann soon began their large family:
Mary Jane — born in 1841 in a small shack on the corner of Elizabeth and Bourke Streets In Melbourne, married John Richard Musgrove in 1848, died in 1920 at Ballarat
George John — born in 1844 at Connewarre, died in 1865 at Connewarre aged 21 years
James Henry — born in 1847 at Geelong, married Sarah Monk in 1867, died in 1931 at Cobden
Samuel Edwin — born in 1848 at Geelong, married Mary Jane Matthews in 1871
Thomas Alfred — born in 1851 at Saltwater Creek, married Alice Louisa Edsall in 1880, died on 27 June 1911 at Colac, buried in the Methodist section of the Colac Cemetery
Esther Ann — born in 1851 at Saltwater Creek, married Alfred Kidwell Shaw in 1884, died in 1926 at Geelong
William Tilly — born in 1855 at Saltwater Creek, married Sarah McKinnon in 1885, died in 1917 at Frankston
Caroline Matilda — born in 1856 at Connewarre, married John George Graham in 1888, died on 28 December 1912 at Connewarre East, buried in the Methodist section of the Mount Duneed Cemetery
Louisa Harding — born on 15 September 1857 at Connewarre, married William Henry Middleton in 1880, died on 25 June 1941 in Geelong West
Richard Dabbige — born on 1 February 1859 at Connewarre, died in 1860 at Connewarre
Charles Priddle — born in 1860 at Connewarre, married Adelaide Mary Edsall in 1886, died in 1900 at Coorgulmerang
Leslie Edward — born in 1862 in Connewarre, married Lily Butterworth, died on 5 February 1952 at Colac, buried in the general section of the Colac Cemetery
Elizabeth Frances Amelia — born in 1864 at Connewarre, married George Angus in 1891, died in 1925 at Colac, buried in the Church of England section of the Colac Cemetery
Victoria Adeline — born in 1865 at Connewarre, died in 1869 at Connewarre aged 3 years
In 1842 the Vagg family headed for Geelong on the paddle steamer Aphrasia, landing at Point Henry. George secured a small piece of land at Barrabool Hills. During George's time there his work was mainly cartage, using his bullock team and wagon, to deliver goods for the early settlers. When the gold rush started he was often away for months at a time earning £100 per trip to the goldfields. His prosperity induced his brother Harry and his family to emigrate, settling in the Western District. Later both George and Ann's sisters were to arrive with their families.
George's family settled east of the mouth of Bream Creak (now called Thompson Creek). He became a member of the Connewarre Road Board for six years. By 1864 he was a joint auditor of the board for which he received £1/1/-. By 1895 he was a joint auditor for the Connewarre Farmers' Common.
By the time of his death he was living at Point Henry. He died on 18 August 1901 aged 81 years at Connewarre and was buried in the Methodist section of the Mount Duneed Cemetery. Ann died in 1902 in Geelong aged 81 years and was buried with him.
The street names of Breamlea — Blyth, Vagg, Green, Scott and Challis appear as signatures of the 1912 Committee of Management of Bream Creek Recreation Reserve
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 six 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 at Connewarre, married Emma Isabella Taylor 1905, died 26 October 1951 at Flinders
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
Ewing 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.
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.
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