Over the past 18 months I have been exploring the lives of my ancestors as a hobby that has grown like topsy until I have enough information to present my family to the world.
They were a tough lot coming from many different parts of the United Kingdom.
There is Johan Munro, who with her husband, Norman McDonald arrived in Geelong, 8 months pregnant, on the "Hornet" in 1854, and after a short stay of a few months was registering the birth of their first son Donald McDonald at Maryborough, after walking 160 Kms with her 18 month old daughter Elizabeth to the Gold Fields.
Then there is her parents Donald and Georgina, who at the age of fifty, made the journey to Australia to start a new life.
At the same time Robert Reid was with his family on the "Ralph Walker" which survived striking an iceberg in the Great Southern Ocean a 1000 miles from anywhere. The efforts in helping to save the ship cost Robert's father his life six months after arriving in Melbourne, so at the age of thirteen Robert was the head of the household. When he died in 1904 he was the Honourable Robert Reid, the owner of Robert Reid & Co. Wholesalers, the largest importer of softgoods in Australiasia. Robert is from my wife's side of the tree.
Another branch was started by Charles Collard and Mary McLean. Charles escaped the hangman's noose and spent 14 years as a guest of the Crown in Tasmania, while Mary came out as a assisted immigrant to Adelaide, paid back her fare and then made her way to Tasmania, where she met and married Charles. Somehow the family, which now include two small children, made their way across the Pacific to California for that Gold Rush. Another child, and then back to Australia, in time for my Great grandfather Daniel Charles Collard to be born, at Collingwood in a tent in 1854. By the time Charles died in 1891 he owned a 1000 acres of land near Maldon, a well respected member of the community.
All their decendant's have made a mark on the history of Australia, whether they were ministers, teachers, soldiers, or ordinary workers.
In the words of A. B. (Banjo) Paterson:
They came of bold and roving stock that would not fixed abide;
They were the sons of field and flock since e'er they learnt to ride,
We may not hope to see such men in these degenerate years
As these explorers of the bush - the brave old pioneers
The details may be out of date but its the sentiment that is important.
As with all family histories the reader is warned that their are certain to be mistakes, stuff-ups wishful thinking, and plain confusion in these branches of a growing tree.
You have been warned.