In 1859 or 1860 my husband’s great great grandfather, George Young, who had followed earlier Victorian gold rushes, moved to the new diggings at Lamplough, near Avoca. The Lamplough rush was one Victoria’s last great scrambles for gold. It was the very last for George, who settled on a block of land, became a small farmer, and died there thirty years later.
George’s wife Caroline née Clarke and their two young children, John, born in August 1856 at Dunolly, and Alice, born in January 1859 at White Hills near Maryborough, moved with him to Lamplough. (A third child, George, had been born at Beechworth in 1854 but died there while still an infant.)
In July 1861 Caroline gave birth to twin girls, Charlotte and Harriet. Although the rush was petering out and miners were leaving, George and Caroline, burdened with four young children, stayed on. George took up ten acres of land, began farming, and continued to dig for gold.
Caroline died in December 1879 at the age of forty-three, leaving eight children, the youngest two just three years and one year old. Altogether she and George had thirteen children.
On 6 September 1873, George bought ten acres at Lamplough.
|Land Title from Crown Allotment 2 Section 1A Parish of Glenmona VOLUME 00687 FOLIO 357 retrieved from http://www.landata.vic.gov.au 5 December 2012|
|Extract showing George Young’s two allotments from Parish Plan for Genmona County of Gladstone. Plan dated May 28 1929 and digitised by the Public Records of Victoria.|
The Victorian 1869 Land Act, passed on 29 December 1869, was
designed to expand land ownership in Victoria. People could peg out a parcel of unsurveyed land and apply for a survey to be done. If the application was successful, the land could be held by licence for three years. At the end of this period, if conditions regarding improvement to the land had been met, the land could be purchased. As an alternative to immediate purchase, the balance of the cost of the land could be paid over a seven-year lease. (“Lucy: Glossary.” Online Exhibitions: Lucy’s Story: Lucy Bell. Public Records Office of Victoria, 26 Apr. 2006. Web. 12 Jan. 2014. <http://www.prov.vic.gov.au/online-exhibitions/lucy/glossary.htm>)
George Young had taken advantage of this legislation. He bought his block shortly only three years and nine months since the legislation had been passed.
On this plan, prepared when George Young was acquiring his second block of ten acres, it can be seen that the first block was acquired under section 42 of the 1865 Land Act.
|PROV, VA 538 Department of Crown Lands and Survey, VPRS 439/P0 Land Selection Files, by Land District, Section 49 Land Act 1869, Unit 203, 49/991 Glenmona|
George first leased the block, then, in 1884, he made an application to purchase it.
On 7 August 1877 George Young wrote to the Lands Office about his lease payments.
|PROV, VA 538 Department of Crown Lands and Survey, VPRS 439/P0 Land Selection Files, by Land District, Section 49 Land Act 1869, Unit 203, 49/991 Glenmona: letter concerning licence fee.|
The error was made by the Lands Office. George’s payment had not been posted correctly.
His application to purchase the block in 1884 included the following statement:
|PROV, VA 538 Department of Crown Lands and Survey, VPRS 439/P0 Land Selection Files, by Land District, Section 49 Land Act 1869, Unit 203, 49/991 Glenmona: application to purchase 18.8.84.|
I have been unable to find the file associated with the purchase of the first block of land. It is a pity as I learned much more about George and his life from the land files, building on the family history that I learned from the birth and death certificates of his children.
George Young died on 31 August 1890. Seven weeks before his death George transferred the land to his daughter Maria. She sold it a year later. There is no probate file for George Young. He had probably arranged his affairs before his death and didn’t need to make a will.
|Land Title from Crown Allotment 2 Section 1A Parish of Glenmona VOLUME 00687 FOLIO 357 retrieved from http://www.landata.vic.gov.au 5 December 2012
Denis Strangman, a descendant of one of the Lamplough miners who settled there near George Young, has written a history of the rush. (Strangman, Denis. “The Gold Rush to Lamplough, near Avoca in Victoria, Australia, during 1859-1860.” Familia (Ulster Historical Foundation) 2.3 (1987): 3-21. Avoca and District Historical Society, 10 Jan. 2000. Web. 12 Jan. 2014. <http://home.vicnet.net.au/~adhs/Article.html>.)