Researched by Leanne Fagg phone 03 52291571
Peter Buckley, was born in 1798 at Tipperary, Ireland. His wife Margaret (née McLaughlan (aka McLauchlan)) was also born in Tipperary in 1810. They left Plymouth on 5 September 1849 arriving at Point Henry with their family on 24 December 1849 on the Andromache. Shipping records give their ages as:
Peter, a farm labourer, able to read — 41
Margaret, a housekeeper — 39
Michael, a labourer, able to read and write — 16
Marie, able to read and write — 15
Thomas, a labourer — 14
Margaret — 10
John — 4
Peter may have been ten years older as the record does not match his age when he died. Margaret gave birth to a baby girl, Biddy, during the voyage, but sadly Biddy died the day the ship arrived in port. Michael and Thomas both brought bibles with them.
After arriving Peter and Margaret were assigned to Patrick Hart of Indented Head, who farmed lot 22 which is now just west of Point Richards Road, Portarlington. Their eldest son Michael (aged 16) was assigned to Thomas Fleming, farmer of Barrabool Hills, their daughter, Maria (aged 15) was assigned to Leonard Hopper, farmer of Barrabool Hills, and their son, Thomas, (aged 14) to William Woodlock, also a farmer of Barrabool Hills.
By 1851 Peter and Margaret had also moved to the Barrabool area as the birth of their son, James, was registered there that year (#5167).
By 1852 they had purchased 97 acres of Crown land at Murgheboluc, now known as Windermere Road, and their daughter Anne (Annie) was born there.
In 1857 Peter and Margaret's son, Michael, married Elizabeth McCarthy (#3968)
In 1858 Peter and Margaret's daughter, Maria, married Michael Herrick (#569).
"1859 was a drought year in that district, and the year was also memorable for the comet which appeared in February. The ancient method of threshing out corn by it being trodden by bullocks was in vogue at the time. One of Mrs Buckley's vivid memories is a Black Thursday, when a fire started at Burrumbeet and farm animals were roasted in their pens." from 'The Major's Vision — A History of Pyramid Hill' by J A Kent 1974
By 1861 Peter and Margaret were farming at Modewarre (Section 7) on the Western Lake Road (the road is now called Buckley's Road and the principality, railway station and school were also renamed after the family).
In 1863 Peter and Margaret's daughter, Margaret, married Francis Herrick (the brother of her sister, Maria's, husband).
On 25 February 1867 Peter died of heatstroke at Modewarre aged 69 (#3040) and was buried in the Roman Catholic section of the Mount Moriac Cemetery.
Under the terms of Peter's will his wife and adult sons, Michael, Thomas and John, received farmland, livestock and equipment. His younger children, James and Ann, received 1 horse and 6 cows each.
In 1871 tragically, daughter Ann died aged 18 as a result of a horse riding accident.
In 1872 Peter and Margaret's eldest son, Michael, sold his house and 100 acres of land and travelled with his family of ten north to Pyramil Hill (where land was available for selection) "in a bullock-drawn wagon, which took 14 days, bringing with them a chaise cart, 40 cattle, pigs etc". from 'The Major's Vision — A History of Pyramid Hill' by J A Kent 1974
Between 1873 and 1875 Peter and Margaret's other 3 sons (Thomas, John and James) and 2 daughters (Maria and Margaret, both married to Herrick boys) also moved north to Pyramid Hill. The Buckley matriarch, Margaret (aged 61) most likely travelled north to Pyramid Hill with them at that time (if not earlier with son Michael and family).
"Michael Buckley and his brothers built their first kitchen and bedroom with quarry stone from the (Pyramid) Hill and plastered them together with wet soil made into mud, the floors having been made of very hard mud. In the kitchen they made a chimney with the sandstone — made brick hobs on each side of the inner fireplace and placed an iron bar across where Elizabeth hung her cooking pots".
from "The Major's Vision — A History of Pyramid Hill" by J A Kent 1974 — Appendix II "The Pioneer', is the life story of Michael Buckley's wife, Elizabeth, recalled by her when elderly, and includes descriptions of her time at Modewarre and Pyramid Hill.
In 1873 Peter and Margaret's son John married Isabella Elizabeth Todd (#2907) whose family was also from the Modewarre area.
Margaret died on 26 August 1889 at the age of 77 at Pyramid Hill and was buried in the Buckley family grave at Pyramid Hill Cemetery.