Jesse Holman, son of James and Rose (née Holman) Middleton, was born in 1812 in Norfolk, England. He married Sarah née Carter. They had the following children:
John James — born 1848 in Yorkshire, married Marie Louisa Thomas in 1873, died 1927 at Lismore
William Henry — born 10 November 1850 at Adelaide, died 8 August 1934, married Louisa Harding née Vagg, buried in the Methodist section of the Mount Duneed Cemetery
Charles Frederick — born 1855 at Williamstown, died 1855
Eliza Jane — born 1856 at Kororoit Creek, married Christopher Underwood in 1879, died 14 March 1927 at Port Campbell
Frances — born 1857 at Melbourne, died 1940, buried in the Presbyterian section of the Mount Duneed Cemetery
Ellen — born 20 July 1860, married William Lewis in 1883, died in 1908, buried in the Presbyterian section of the Mount Duneed Cemetery on 30 August 1908.
Before emigrating, Jesse was a surveyor with the British Army working in Ireland. He arrived in Adelaide in 1849 where he worked until at least 1854. He then came to Victoria, settling at Williamstown where he worked until about 1860. He then moved to 47 acres of land purchased originally by Anthony McEveret from the Crown in April 1855 at Taits Point on the edge of Lake Connewarre (on the east side of what is now Staceys Road). This is relatively high land which has picturesque views over the lake towards Baron Heads and Ocean Grove. He farmed this land for many years. He was an auditor for the Connewarre District Road Board in the 1860s.
He died on 15 August 1895 and was buried in the Presbyterian section of the Mount Duneed Cemetery. Sarah died on 25 April 1906 and was buried with him. Their daughter, Frances, who died on 4 January 1940 was buried with them. His land was left to Sarah to use while she lived and after her death it was to be passed on to William. Frances was to have the house they lived in.
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.
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.
The Aborigines who named the district
Aboriginal place-names are plentiful in the Corio district. Corio itself means a small wallaby. Geelong is a cliff, Connewarre comes from Koonnoowarra, meaning the black swan. "Ude Youang", the aboriginal name for big hill, was the origin of the You Yangs.
In the 1840's the aboriginal remnants of the Barrabool tribes used to go into Geelong every day, but by regulation they had to leave the town every evening at sundown for their camps near Mount Duneed. They were harmless, and even helpful to the whites.
The native name of the Geelong tribe was Wodowrongs. Some of the aboriginal identities of early Geelong were Billy Murray and Jacky Cococoint, from Colac, King Jerry and his lubra, Billy Gore (a wonderful mimic) Gellibrand and Alice his gin, Billy War War and Billy Wiridgil.
From the Geelong Advertiser 23rd October 1936
Thursday 3 November at 7:30pm
at Mount Duneed Hall, 40 Mount Duneed Road, Mount Duneed
Col Hutchinson — 100 years of history — 1866 1916 1966
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