Brandy for the clerk

From time to time I look over various online resources for my family tree to see if anything interesting has been added. Recently I went back to the Genealogical Index of Names, an eclectic database of personal names from material in the Genealogical Society of Victoria library and elsewhere.

Among the 103 items for the name Crespigny I noticed:

CRESPIGNY, P C (CASTLEMAINE). Castlemaine, Victoria Court records 09 JUN 1853 PETER ROBINSON CASE; Offence: STOLEN BOTTLE BRANDY; Status: victim

The more detailed record has:

Event Court records
Date 09 JUN 1853
Place: Castlemaine, Victoria
Source: Victorian ‘Argus’ court reports 1851-1856 [Includes victims, witnesses,
jurors and accused]
Author/compiler: Button, Marion.

P.C. (Philip Champion) Crespigny was my great grandfather. I hadn’t noticed this incident before.

There was a report of the theft in the digitised newspapers that can be retrieved through Trove, but the text-recognition software had done a poor job of transcribing the faint image of the newspaper. The extracted text was quite garbled; no wonder I hadn’t seen it when I’d searched on Trove before for ‘Crespigny’.

The incident gives me a little bit more information about Philip Crespigny’s life on the goldfields. To be living in a tent probably means that his wife and children were not with him at that time and had stayed behind in Melbourne.

Crespigny Castlemaine larceny 1853

Crespigny Castlemaine larceny 1853 b

NORTHERN COURT OF GENERAL QUARTER SESSIONS. (1853, June 9). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), p. 5. Retrieved from


Peter Robinson, accused of stealing the brandy, was tent-keeper to Mr Crespigny, resident Gold Commissioner. He was found not guilty.

Philip Champion Crespigny was appointed Assistant Commissioner of Crown Lands for the Gold Fields on 18 November 1852 (Gazetted 14 October 1853). When gold was discovered in great quantity in the colony, the governments of New South Wales and then Victoria followed British law at and asserted the right of the Crown to all gold that was found, requiring anyone who sought to mine it must hold a licence. Commissioners and Assistant Commissioners were appointed to administer each new field, to adjudicate disputes and, most important, to collect payments for the licences.

Crespigny license February 1853 Loddon

License no. 144. Issued to George Bencraft, 05 February 1853. Issued by Commissioner P. C. Crespigny. State Library of Victoria Collection (H41033/19)


Mt. Alexander gold diggings, 1853 watercolour by William Bentley in the collection of the National Library of Australia retrieved from from [Mt Alexander diggings were at Castlemaine]

Related posts

I’ve bought the lederhosen. What next? Connecting with genetic cousins through Facebook

So you spat in the bottle and sent it off to The results give some credibility your claim that you’re part German and you rush off to buy the lederhosen or the dirndl skirt.

Screen Shot 2019-09-28 at 8.45.36 pm

What next?

Well, Facebook has groups of people interested in researching aspects of their family history using a DNA analysis tool called Matchbox. Matchbox makes it possible to contact other researchers interested in overlapping ancestral lines. Join the right group and you might be able to contact someone who shares DNA with you who is also trying to find out about your fifth great-grandfather, for example.

Using these groups you can focus your DNA research more carefully, because you can collaborate with cousins who believe they have links to a particular geographic area, surname or some other commonality.

I found fifteen such groups that I’m interested in.

Group and Number of members as at 27 September 2019

  • Australia DNA Matching 427
  • British Gedmatch DNA Group 3288
  • Cornish Emigrants – GEDmatch Ancestor Project 235
  • Devon Ancestry Gedmatch Project 178
  • Devon and Cornwall DNA Genealogy 336
  • Germany DNA Project (incl. all German language areas: Austria, Poland etc.) 1907
  • Irish Australian DNA Matchfinder 199
  • New England DNA /Gedmatch Project 271
  • Scottish DNA – Our DNA and Genealogy 331
  • Scottish DNA (Matchbox Tool) 3276
  • Staffordshire Shropshire & Derbyshire Counties DNA Matchfinder 179
  • Sullivan/O’Sullivan Dna & Genealogy 1631
  • The Irish DNA Registry 8461
  • THE SCOTTISH SURNAME REGISTRY Plus the New DNA Family Finder Database 6291
  • Victorian Gold Rush – GEDmatch Ancestor Project 81

Some are big, with over 8000 members. Some are small, with less than 100. There were several Scottish groups and several Devon groups. However, group membership did not seem to overlap to any great extent. For example each of the Scottish groups produced different matches.

Running the matchbox tool is quite straightforward. You take your Ancestry DNA result (or result from another company) and upload it to GEDMatch. You receive a GEDMatch kit number. Then, when you ask to join the Facebook group, you give the kit number. It’s added to a database of members. The Matchbox tool looks at the database of members and GEDMatch and produces a report of those people in the group with whom you share DNA. (Different groups have slightly different reports.)

Screen Shot 2019-09-28 at 6.43.11 pm

Each of the groups have instructions for how to add your GEDMatch number and how to link to the Matchbox tool. When you click on the link for the tool You will be invited to make a copy of the appropriate spreadsheet to run the tool.

Screen Shot 2019-09-28 at 6.46.54 pm

The instructions for running the tool are on the first sheet of the spreadsheet. If you are not certain your GEDMatch kit is in the database you can click on the second tab at the bottom and check.

GEDmatch 1

Next you need to log on to GEDMatch. On your home screen click on your kit number. A one-to-many results page will come up. (Note later we will come back to this Home page to run the report for “People who match both, or 1 of 2 kits” indicated by the green arrow on the lower right hand side of the screen.


The GEDMatch One to Many Report contains 3000 matches, one line per match. You need to click Ctrl A (Cmd A for a Mac), followed by Ctrl C to copy the whole GedMatch screen.You then go back to your copy of the Matchbox spreadsheet on the first sheet, do not click anywhere –  just paste by pressing Ctrl V (or Cmd V). The macros on the spreadsheet work away to combine details in the group database with your DNA matches identified in GEDMatch.


A new tab called Matches will open automatically. You will be able to see your matches in the group and using the Facebook name then tag your matches to start a conversation. Often you are encouraged to post a screenshot of your match results and tag your matches.

What do I do with my matches when I’ve found them?

To see how I connect with a match, I first find the match in the one-to-many list on GEDMatch, finding a kit number by using Ctrl + F.

https___www_gedmatch_com_OneToMany0Tier2_php_kit_num_A828918 find.jpg

If you click on the underlined A beside the kit number you’ll bring up the GEDMatch One-to-one Autosomal Comparison Entry Form. I usually view by position only.


I change the selection to “position only” to run this report but do not change the other default settings

GEDmatch 1 to 1 compare report

I am interested in the chromosome that I share with the match and the position of the segment on that chromosome.

Then I check my chromosome map on DNAPainter to see if I have already mapped this area to an ancestor. In this case I have mapped both maternal and paternal segments, but only to the great-grandparent level using matches with my father’s paternal cousin and a maternal cousin one times removed, known as FS. My father’s paternal cousin is not on GedMatch but FS, the maternal cousin, is. If it is a maternal match I am hoping she will show up as a shared match when I run the GEDMatch tool called  people-who-match-both-kits, or-1-of-2-kits (see the link on the GEDMatch home page highlighted by the green arrow in the screenshot above).


Part of the DNA Painter profile showing the relevant chromosome


Again I don’t change the defaults when I run this report

GEDmatch report of both kits

Cousin FS did indeed show up among the 33 matches. 33 matches is a lot but still probably genealogically significant. I conclude that the match I identify as JW and found through the Scottish DNA (Matchbox Tool) matches my father’s mother’s ancestry.

Since discovering each other through the Matchbox tool JW and I have started to correspond and we have exchanged AncestryDNA ids. I found the match on the DNA database. JW has an excellent tree and there are lots of surnames highlighted in green on her tree, showing surnames that we have in common.

AncestryDNA®_Matches_Compare 1

As well as looking at the tree I am interested in looking at shared matches.

Scrolling down our DNA match page I can see that we share five surnames appearing in both our trees: Bain (7 people), Budge (8 people), Gunn (7 people), Miller (12 people), and Murray (5 people).

AncestryDNA®_Matches_Compare 2jpg

From place of birth information I can see that both trees have ancestors born in Caithness. Filtering by tree, JW’s tree is predominantly Scottish whereas my father’s tree is all over the UK and into France.

AncestryDNA®_Matches_Compare J birth

AncestryDNA®_Matches_Compare R tree

Looking at shared matches, JW does not show up as a shared match of my cousin FS, but does show up as a shared match of CW, a 2nd cousin of my father, who descends from James Francis Cudmore (1837 – 1912) and Margaret Cudmore nee Budge (1845 – 1912). Margaret was born in Wick, Caithness, and her forebears include Budge, Gunn, Bain.

AncestryDNA®_Matches_Compare shared

There are 2 other shared matches with JW on Ancestry. MEB shares 26 cM, has an unlinked tree and I had already noted “Cudmore Gunn Budge connection based on shared matches”. OM shares 21 cM and has no tree.

MEB’s trees are too small for me to make any links. Looking at her shared matches, she shares DNA with EB, a second cousin once removed who is also descended from JF Cudmore and Margaret Cudmore nee Budge.

OM shares DNA with my father and SB who have a ThruLine connection *LINK* showing 4th cousinship and common ancestry through Donald Gunn and Alexandrina Manson. OM also shares DNA with another match, GS. GS has no tree but shares DNA with my father and EB and also with SB.

A possible link that JW pointed out is her “4th grt grandparents, William Budge b.~1731, Wick married Charlotte Bain b. 7/11/1736, Keiss. Their son, William Budge b.~1772, Keiss married Isabella Manson b. 20/7/1775, Freswick, Canisbay, daughter of John Manson b.10/11/1750, Canisbay and Jean Bain b~1750. “

I noticed JW’s tree includes a Donald Budge born 1765 son of William Budge and Charlotte Bain, JW’s 4th great grandparents. This could quite possibly be the Donald Budge mentioned as the father of Kenneth Budge, my father’s great great grandfather, who died at sea in August 1852 and was reported to be the  “son of the late Mr Donald Budge, shipmaster, Wick.”

JW Budge Family_View_-_Ancestry_com_au

from JW’s tree – perhaps Donald Budge born 1765 is the forebear I am looking for

There is more research to do before we decide that this is indeed the DNA connection. JW shares many surnames in common and we need some documentary evidence to link Donald Budge in JW’s tree to Donald Budge, father of Kenneth in my tree.

If JW and my father share 4th great grandparents this means they would be 5th cousins. JW and my father share 26.9 centimorgans according to GEDMatch and 13 centimorgans according to Ancestry; both amounts fit well within the expected range for 5th cousins.


The Shared cM Project tool accessed through

Finding genetic cousins through Facebook groups gives one a chance to connect with cousins who not only share DNA but also share your enthusiasm for tracking down how you are related. It gives one a chance to extend the tree and learn something about more distant forebears.


Me in a dirndl a few decades ago before I discovered genetic genealogy

Provenance of a photograph of Philip Lamothe Snell Chauncy

Philip_Chauncy 1878

Philip Chauncy 1878, image attached to my family tree

The photograph above, “Philip_Chauncy 1878”, first shared by me on 27 March 2012 on my online public tree at, has been saved and added by at least 13 people to their public Ancestry trees.

Yesterday someone asked me how I knew the subject was really Philip Chauncy, an excellent question. To able to substantiate your facts is the foundation of every sort of history.

Over twenty years ago, before Greg and I moved from Canberra to Ballarat, we spent an evening with one of my third cousins once removed, like me a descendant of Philip Lamothe Snell Chauncy (1816 – 1880), my 3rd great grandfather. My cousin and his wife very generously shared the results of their family history research with me, including a copy of “Philip_Chauncy 1878”, which I remember they said came from the Anglican Cathedral in Ballarat.

Philip Chauncy was appointed Registrar of the diocese of Ballarat in August 1878. He had lost his position as Government surveyor in January 1878 when around 400 public servants were sacked by the Victorian Government. He resigned as Registrar in late 1879 and died the following April. He had held the Registrar’s position for just over a year. The Church of England Messenger and Ecclesiastical Gazette for the Diocese of  Melbourne and Ballarat published an obituary on 7 June 1880.

Chauncy Philip obituary

THE LATE MR. PHILIP CHAUNCY. (1880, June 7). The Church of England Messenger and Ecclesiastical Gazette for the Diocese of Melbourne and Ballarat (Vic. : 1876 – 1889), p. 6. Retrieved from

Three years ago Greg and I went to the Anglican Cathedral in Ballarat in search of “Philip_Chauncy 1878”, naturally expecting to have to make an appointment to view the archives. To our surprise the gentleman who met us at the door was able to take us directly to the photograph, which was hanging on the wall close to the entrance of the Diocesan offices. The photograph was captioned “Philip Chauncy Esq. Registrar of the Diocese 1878”, and signed “Richards & Co Ballarat”. It was indeed the image passed on to me by my cousin.

Anglican Diocesan Centre and Cathedral Ballarat

Anglican Diocese of Ballarat: Cathedral and Diocesan Offices Lydiard Street September 2016

Philip Chauncy

Portrait of Philip Chauncy hanging in the Diocesan Offices of the Anglican Diocese of Ballarat in September 2016

It is one of only two photographs of Philip Chauncy that I have come across, the other being a family portrait taken shortly after the death of Philip’s wife Susan in 1867.

PLS Chauncy and family about 1867

Philip Chauncy and children shortly after the death of Philip’s wife Susan Chauncy nee Mitchell in 1867. From left to right Auschar Philip (1855–1890), Amy Blanche (1861–1925), Theresa Snell (1849–1886), Frederick Philip Lamothe (1863–1926), Philip (1816 – 1880), on Philip’s lap Clement Henry (1865–1902), William Snell (1853–1903), Constance (1859–1907), Annie Frances (1857–1883)



180 years since the arrival of the “David Clark”

On 29 October 1839 my 3rd great grandfather Samuel Proudfoot Hawkins (1819 – 1867) arrived in Melbourne on the David Clark from Greenock, Glasgow, Scotland. The voyage, via Rio de Janeiro, took five months.


Ship David Clark coming into the harbour of Malta, 1820 Watercolour and ink on paper Nicolas Cammillieri, 1762/73-1860, artist (attrib.) Private collection Lance Pymble

The David Clark had been chartered by the Secretary of State for the Colonies to bring Port Phillip’s first bounty immigrants from Scotland. There were 229 settlers, among them Samuel Hawkins, aged 20, described as a storekeeper from Edinburgh. Although he had brothers in New South Wales he made his own way in what later became the colony of Victoria.

Emigration Inverness Courier 6 March 1839 page 1

Samuel Hawkins would have responded to an article similar to this one which appeared in the Inverness Courier of 6 March 1839 on page 1

On 29 October 1939, one hundred years after the arrival of the David Clark, an anniversary celebration was held by some descendants in Melbourne.

Centenary Of First Barque-Load Of Pioneers (1939, October 3). The Herald (Melbourne, Vic. : 1861 – 1954), p. 10. Retrieved from

PIONEERS’ CENTENARY (1939, October 10). The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954), p. 10. Retrieved from

The organisers of the anniversary celebrations did not have access to the original passenger list and preparation for it seems to have been left very late. Two weeks before the anniversary only 16 of the 68 families who had arrived on the David Clark had been contacted.

The festivities included a dinner for 330 descendants at the Hotel Federal in Melbourne and a church service the following day at Scot’s Church, Collins Street, Melbourne. One speaker at the dinner described the David Clark as “Victoria’s Mayflower”. A set of bagpipes that came out on the ship was brought to the dinner. The entertainments included pipe music, Scottish dancing and songs.

The Herald (Melbourne, Vic. - 1861 - 1954) View title info Fri 27 Oct 1939 Page 11 Today's Parties

Today’s Parties (1939, October 27). The Herald (Melbourne, Vic. : 1861 – 1954), p. 11. Retrieved from

GATHERING OF THE CLANS (1939, October 30). The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954), p. 8. Retrieved September 2, 2019, from

In the Churches REMEMBERING PIONEERS (1939, October 30). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), p. 2. Retrieved from

The Age (Melbourne, Vic. - 1854 - 1954) View title info Wed 15 Nov 1939 Page 10 NEWS OF THE DAY

NEWS OF THE DAY (1939, November 15). The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954), p. 10. Retrieved from

The lament “Lochaber no more” was played when the David Clark left Greenock and also at the centenary reunion.

The Age (Melbourne, Vic. - 1854 - 1954) View title info Mon 2 Oct 1939 Page 11 LATROBE CENTENARY FOOTBALL GRAND FINAL GARDEN PARTY

Piper Sheila Wagg played the bagpipes at the David Clark centenary dinner. This picture is of her playing at the Royal Show in 1939.LATROBE CENTENARY FOOTBALL GRAND FINAL GARDEN PARTY (1939, October 2). The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954), p. 11. Retrieved from

A reunion is planned for the 180th anniversary. A picnic will be held at Gulf Station at Yarra Glen, a property once owned by William Bell and Thomas Armstrong, both passengers of the David Clark. The 150th anniversary celebration was also held there.

If you would like to attend, please book so the organisers know how many people will be coming. There is a small charge ($12 adults, $10 concessions, $5 children, $30 families). Bookings can made through this link .

I look forward to meeting my Hawkins cousins and other David Clark descendants.

Related posts

Further reading


Cornish emigrant connections

Companies that offer genealogical DNA analysis usually provide tools to interpret the data, and you can use these tools to explore matches between you and people you share DNA with. If they appear on a public family tree you can try to connect to it from your own. If the tree is complete you will probably be able to find your most recent common ancestors.

You may also be able to find your more distant cousins by joining a project, a group of people working together to explore their common ancestry.

Cornish emigrants Facebook group

A Facebook group for researching shared Cornish ancestry processes autosomal DNA data files from different testing companies to compare data derived from their DNA kits (‘autosomal’ means ‘concerning chromosomes that are not sex chromosomes’).

GEDMatch provides DNA analysis tools for genealogists, including tools for comparing your DNA test results with those of other people in the GEDMatch public database.

To use these tools you must first upload your DNA test results to GEDMatch. GEDMatch accepts results from the main testing databases at, Family Tree DNA, MyHeritage, and 23 and Me.

A recent tool is Ancestor Projects. There are 38 projects presently registered WITH GEDMatch. Project members have DNA characteristics with whatever common trait or ancestry the project intends to explore. There are projects for royal pedigrees, deaf people, and connections from certain counties in Ireland.

GEDMatch home screen

GEDMatch home screen showing link to Ancestor Projects and also where to upload your family tree

I have joined the project for Cornish emigrants, which aims to identify DNA of emigrants from Cornwall. Greg has Cornish forebears. Members include people with GEDMatch kits who are descended from Cornish people who emigrated or from Cornish people who currently live in Cornwall. The new GEDMatch project tool allows the identification of matches and analysis of shared segments of DNA, with results limited to members within the group. The group shares information and communicates within a closed Facebook group.

So having joined the project what next?

If you are going to join a group I think it is a good idea to attach your family tree to your GEDMatch kit. You can upload your family tree to GEDMatch in the format of a GEDCom file which is a standard file type and which you can export from whichever program you currently keep your family tree in. You can create a link between a DNA kit and a person in your GEDcom. If you manage several DNA kits and they all relate to one family tree you can link the different kits to the right people on the family tree. The names and dates of living people are not shown when the tree is displayed in GEDMatch.

In the ‘Cornish Emigrants’ Facebook group we have a spreadsheet for sharing details. This shows who in the group is associated with which kit. It also lists the Cornish surnames in our family tree and details of our forebears who emigrated from Cornwall.

Cornish Emigrants spreadsheet surnames tab

Surnames worksheet on Cornish Emigrants spreadsheet

Cornish Emigrants group spreadsheet 1

One of the sheets from the Cornish Emigrants project shared spreadsheet

People in the group can run a report in GEDMatch to see which kits match their own and then begin a conversation to find connections.

Cornish GedMatch report

An example of a report from the Cornish GEDMatch Ancestor Project

The group started at the beginning of August. It has already gained 119 users and 182 kits.

Cornish emigrant group growth

Not everybody in the GEDMatch group is connected to Facebook and the discussion there but most members are.

I hope that by connecting with this project’s group members I will be able to extend our family tree and learn more about our family history.

Greg's Cornish DNA at

AncestryDNA has identified that Greg has Cornish DNA. Working on a GEDMatch project helps to find people with Cornish DNA and also an interest in following up on their family history from Cornwall.

Related Posts

Roy and Phil de Crespigny farming

Royalieu Dana ‘Roy’ Champion de Crespigny (1905 – 1985) was the fifth of the six sons of Philip Champion de Crespigny (1850 – 1927).Phil and Roy de Crespigny (1)

Roy was a close friend of his nephew Philip George ‘Phil’ Champion de Crespigny (1906 – 2001), the son of Philip de Crespigny (1879 – 1918). They were about the same age and enjoyed each other’s company. Roy and Phil spent many years farming together. Phil used to talk with great pleasure about their bachelor days in the Avoca district, a couple of hours west of Melbourne.

In 1927 Phil enlisted in the Citizen Military Forces (Army Reserve). He was then twenty-one, living in East Kew and working for the Commercial Banking Company of Sydney at Ringwood. The CBC had just merged in January 1927 with the Bank of Victoria. Phil’s grandfather – Roy’s father – had been general manager of the Bank of Victoria until the merger. Philip de Crespigny senior died in the same year. Phil now felt free, it seems, to give up his banking career.

I don’t know if Roy ever worked for the bank, and I am not sure when Phil and Roy began farming together.

I believe that Phil and Roy share-farmed together for the first few years, working land owned by someone else. From what I remember of Phil’s stories they grew tobacco. It was a hard life. Phil’s obituary recalls he “endured the prewar years of depression and drought as a bachelor with those virtues for which he was beloved among his wide family: courage, humour, uprightness, honesty, hospitality and a marvellous plain-speaking charm.”

In 1934 the Weekly Times and the Age reported that Phil and Roy de Crespigny had bought a property of 1260 acres called Glenshee, near Elmhurst about 35 kilometers northeast of Ararat.

Phil and Roy joined in the social life of the district. Phil became president of the Elmhurst Tennis Club.

In 1937 Roy married Nancy ‘Nan’ Temple Smith (1914 – 2005). Phil was best man.


de C Roy 25_Nov_1937_-_Family_Notices_-_Trove

Family Notices (1937, November 25). Table Talk (Melbourne, Vic. : 1885 – 1939), p. 45. Retrieved from The wedding party in 1937: Nan, Roy and Phil are standing to the right of the group.


On 13 May 1940, seven months after Australia declared war on Germany, Phil enlisted in the army. His engagement to Jane Beggs (1913 – 2005) was announced a week later. They married in July 1940. Roy was Phil’s best man.

In June 1943 Nan and Roy de Crespigny’s only child, a son, Royalieu Peter, also called Roy,(1943 – 1964) was born.

Roy enlisted in the army in 1942.

After the war in July 1946 Phil and Roy dissolved their partnership in Glenshee. Phil took up a Soldier Settlement block near Wickliffe, thirty miles south of Ararat.

Elmhurst, Ecklin South and Wickliffe

Glenshee sale

Advertising (1950, January 21). Border Watch (Mount Gambier, SA : 1861 – 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from


In February 1950 Roy sold Glenshee and, not long after began farming on the south coast thirty miles east of Warrnambool, at Ecklin South near Cobden and north of  Peterborough.

Roy and Nan’s farm was destroyed in the February 1983 ‘Ash Wednesday’ bushfires. Roy never recovered. He died two years later, on 10 February 1985.


Phil and Jane de Crespigny

Phil and Jane retired to Malua Bay on the south coast of New South Wales. I got to know them in their retirement. Phil was my grandfather’s first cousin.


St Marnocks

In Australia, a horse’s birthday is the first day of August. Mating usually happens early in the previous spring, with foaling eleven or twelve months later. Having a common birthday means that horses of a similar age can be entered together in racing events.

Francis Beggs (1850 – 1921), called Frank, the husband of my 3rd great aunt Rose Beggs nee Champion de Crespigny (1858 – 1937), owned a Thoroughbred called Saint Marnocks, probably named after a village near Dublin with a connection with the Beggs family.

Beggs Francis and Rose

Francis and Rose Beggs. Photograph from Flickr uploaded by Guy Goodman.


The Australasian of 19 September 1891 reported that:

Mr. Francis Beggs, Eurambeen, Beaufort, requests permission to supplement our correspondent’s report of the Ararat show by stating that his colt Saint Marnocks, by Macgregor-Nightlight, took first prize at Ararat in the class for two and three year old thoroughbreds, and also Messrs. Briscoe’s special prize for the best thoroughbred stallion in the yard. In the light-weight hack class his horse Malahide, by Macgregor, took first prize.

In March 1892 St Marnocks was reported as being 3 years old when he came third in the one mile Trial Stakes at the Buangor Races on 15 March. His sibling Elphinstone, also by Macgregor-Nightlight, came first. Later in the day St Marnocks came third again in the one mile Welter Handicap. The newspapers over the next two decades have many report of St Marnocks.

St Marnocks Beaufort Races 1894

In the annual races of the Beaufort Jockey Club on New Year’s Day 1894 St Marnocks won the Handicap race by a neck. In 1899 he won the three quarters of a mile Flying Handicap at the Beaufort races. The Ballarat Star reported that the win was “A gift to St Marnocks, who won in the last few strides by two lengths in 1 min. 35 sec.”

At the March 1899 Beaufort Show St Marnocks won first prize for best blood entire horse and also the Champion prize for best blood horse or mare, any age, in the yard.

In the next decade Aloha, the son of St Marnocks, began to feature in the turf reports. St Marnocks again won first prize for blood entire and also Champion at the 1902 Beaufort show. St Marnocks sired many progeny, for example in 1908 10 horses all sired by St Marnocks were offered for sale by Mr Francis Beggs of Eurambeen.

On 13 August 1908 Melbourne Punch reported “Mr. and Mrs. Frank Beggs, who for many years have lived at Eurambeen East, are now settled in their new home at St. Marnocks, Mr. Beggs having purchased part of the Stoneleigh Estate in the Beaufort District.” The new property was named after their successful horse.

Punch reported in January 1909 “Mrs. C. De Crespigny, of Brunswick-street, Fitzroy, and her little son, are visiting their relative, Mrs. Frank Beggs, of St. Marnock’s, Beaufort.” The ‘little son’ was my grandfather Geoff (1907 – 1966); his mother was Beatrix de Crespigny nee Hughes (1884 – 1943).

BeggsFrank and GeoffCdeCrespigny StMarnock 1908

Frank Beggs and Geoff de Crespigny St Marnocks 1908

Beggs Frank obituary Pastoral Review

Pastoral Review, 15 October 1921, p 795 retrieved from ‘Beggs, Francis (1850–1921)’, Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,

In 1927 an article in the Australasian reported that Francis Beggs was responsible for building the homestead and outbuildings. He also established plantations to provide shelter for the paddocks and a created a garden surrounded by acacias. After the death of Frank Beggs in 1921 the property was taken over by his nephew Theodore George Beggs (1903 – 1936).

St Marnocks 1927 Australasian

beginning of a lengthy profile of St Marnochs (St Marnocks) in PASTORAL (1927, December 10). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946), p. 42. Retrieved from

St Marnock's rams 1935

ST.MARNOCK’S (1935, July 20). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946), p. 36. Retrieved August 1, 2019, from

In 1930 the homestead was photographed as part of a series of pastoral homes and again in 1987, by that time somewhat run down.

St Marnock's 1930

PASTORAL HOMES OF AUSTRALIA (1930, September 13). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946), p. 32 (METROPOLITAN EDITION). Retrieved from

St Marnocks 1987 1

St Marnocks photographed 28 October 1987 by John T Collins (1907 – 2001) and in the collection of the State Library of Victoria Image H2013.6/11

St Marnocks 1987 2

St Marnocks photographed 28 October 1987 by John T Collins (1907 – 2001) and in the collection of the State Library of Victoria

St Marnocks 1987 3

St Marnocks photographed 28 October 1987 by John T Collins (1907 – 2001) and in the collection of the State Library of Victoria

St Marnocks 1987 4

St Marnocks photographed 28 October 1987 by John T Collins (1907 – 2001) and in the collection of the State Library of Victoria

Related post


Swimming in Bendigo

Reading the responses to this week’s Sepia Saturday prompt – swimming costumes – I was reminded that I had some terrific 1940s photos of Greg’s parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents at the White Hills Swimming Pool, next to the Bendigo Botanic Gardens, a few miles north of the city centre.

Bendigo Gardens 1940s Marjorie Joyce Roy NotSure Jack Arthur

Marjorie Young, Violet Buckley, Roy Sullivan, Joyce Sullivan, Jack Buckley, Arthur Sullivan

Greg’s maternal grandparents Arthur Sullivan (1891 – 1975) and Stella Sullivan nee Dawson (1894 – 1975) had six children:

  • Stella Violet (Violet) Sullivan 1914–2005
    • She married John Buckley in 1938. He served in the Australian Army (AIF) from 1942 and was discharged 14 March 1946. On the 1946 electoral roll John and Stella Violet Buckley were living at Napier Street Bendigo.
  • Lillian Mavis Sullivan 1915–2009
    • She married Alan Wilson 1934. In the 1940s were farming at Tongala with a family of children. They are not in the pictures at Bendigo.
  • Arthur Stanley Sullivan 1919–2014
    • He married Joyce Robbins 1941. He served in the AIF from 1943 and was discharged 4 December 1945
  • Marjorie Winifred Sullivan 1920–2007
    • She married Peter Young 1944. He served in the AIF from 1943 and was discharged 25 February 1946
  • Royle Lawrence Sullivan 1926–2009
    • He enlisted in the RAAF in 1944 and was discharged in August 1946 He married Grace in 1956. She is not in the photos at Bendigo.
  • Gwendolyn Phyllis Sullivan 1933–1935
    • She died of meningitis aged 17 months.
Bendigo Gardens 1940s Peter Violet Roy Joyce Jack Arthur

Peter Young, Violet Buckley, Roy Sullivan, Joyce Sullivan, Jack Buckley, Arthur Sullivan

Bendigo Gardens 1940s Marjorie and Roy

Roy and Marjorie

Bendigo Gardens 1940s Violet


Bendigo Gardens 1940s Roy Violet Marjorie Mum Pop Arthur

Roy, Violet, Marjorie, Mum, Pop, Arthur

Bendigo Gardens 1940s Roy Jack Buckley Arthur Marjorie Violet parents Joyce

Roy, Jack Buckley, Arthur,Marjorie, Violet, Stella, Arthur senior, Joyce

I thought at first I might be able to date the photos from when the men were discharged after the War. But I think that some of them might have been on leave at the time, not yet demobbed. Peter and Marjorie had their first child in late 1946 and there is no sign of a baby in the pictures. He arrived back in Australia in late December 1945. Arthur and Joyce had their first child in early 1947.

In 1946 Violet and John Buckley’s house was on Napier Street (the Midland Highway), so I suppose the group might have met there before going on to the pool. Unfortunately the Electoral Roll gives no number for their house, and Napier Street runs for several miles.

At this time, Violet’s parents, Arthur and Stella Sullivan, were living in Castlemaine. On the 1946 Electoral Roll Arthur and Joyce Sullivan were living in 251 Auburn Road, Hawthorn, Melbourne. Marjorie was registered as living at 1 Yarra Street, Toorak, with the occupation of weaver. Roy, only twenty, was too young to be enrolled to

It seems likely that these photographs were taken when Violet’s parents and brothers joined Violet and Jack in Bendigo for a holiday in early 1946.

All of Arthur and Stella’s sons and their and son-in-law got back unhurt from the war. This was something to celebrate.

Marjorie and Peter Bendigo 1946

Marjorie and Peter Young. I think this was taken at a similar time but at Marjorie’s parents’ house in Castlemaine.

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Mary Skerritt nee Brown 1804 – 1879: a quiet life in Lincolnshire

I have been reading about X-DNA inheritance. Greg inherited 12½% of his X-DNA from his 3rd great-grandmother Mary Skerritt nee Brown (1804 – 1879), so I thought I would see what I could learn about her. I found her christening record and added her parents. Doing this brought my family tree up to 10,000 people.

Greg’s X-DNA inheritance is research in progress, a story for another day. However, I thought I would commemorate the 10,000 people milestone by writing about Mary.

Mary Brown, born in 1804, was baptised on 26 August 1804 at Sapperton, Lincolnshire, England. Her parents were John Brown and Jane [probably Jane Shipwright].

Skerritt_Brown_map 2

Map highlighting places in Lincolnshire associated with Mary Skerritt nee Brown’s life. From Sapperton to Grantham is only 8 miles.

On 26 June 1792 John Brown, bachelor of Sapperton, married Jane Shipwright at St Wulfram’s Grantham. She was ‘of this parish’. John could not sign his name but Jane Shipwright could. The witnesses were William Marshall and John Scarborough.

St Wulfram’s Church Grantham is 8 miles north-west of Sapperton.


“North East View of Grantham Church, Lincolnshire” by J M W Turner watercolour c 1797. The church has been described as having the finest steeple in England.

I have found no other children of John Brown and Jane baptised at Sapperton. I think it is likely that Mary Brown had siblings, but Brown is a common surname and without knowing which parish the baptisms took place it is hard to link family members. It is possible that Elizabeth Brown baptised in 1805 in Osbournby, Lincolnshire and William Brown also baptised 1806 in Osbournby are siblings. Osbournby is 6 miles north-east of Sapperton. I haven’t have enough information to decide. There are also children baptised at Grantham to John Brown and Jane but these include another Mary baptised in 1812. It is quite likely that more than one family surnamed Brown is included in these baptisms.

Similarly I have not yet been able to identify John and Mary Brown’s deaths or find out more about them; the names are too common.

On 26 November 1829 Mary Brown married Robert Skerrett at Welby, Lincolnshire. Welby is 5 miles north-west of Sapperton. Neither Mary nor Robert could sign their name. Both were of the parish. The witnesses were John Fisher, Catherine Sensicall, and John Cheetham.

Robert and Mary Skerritt had at least the following children:

  • Robert Skerrit 1830-
  • Jane Skerritt 1833- 1835
  • Ann Skerrit 1836- 1906
  • Eliza Skerrit 1838-1899
  • John Skerrit 1841-
  • Lucy Skerritt 1843–1888
  • George Skerrit 1846–

The following baptisms in St Wulfram’s, the parish of Grantham, Lincolnshire, are recorded for the children of Robert Skerritt and Mary

  • Robert baptised 26 September 1830, Robert is a labourer, their abode is Grantham
  • Jane 23 June 1833, Robert is a labourer, the abode is Little Gonerby
  • Ann 27 December 1835, Robert is a labourer, their abode is Little Gonerby
  • Eliza 2 April 1838, Robert is a labourer, their abode is Little Gonerby
  • John 8 January 1841, Robert is a labourer, their abode is Little Gonerby
  • Lucy 3 January 1844, Robert is a labourer, their abode is Little Gonerby
  • George 3 September 1846, Robert is a labourer, their abode is Little Gonerby

The following burial appear to be of Mary’s infant child

  • Jane Skerrett aged 1 of Little Gonerby was buried in Grantham on 10 March 1835

On the 1841 census Mary Skerrett aged 30 was living at Manthorpe cum Little Gonerby with Robert Skerrett aged 35, a labourer. In the same household were John (? probably Jane) aged 12, Robert aged 10, Nora (? probably Ann) aged 6, Eliza aged 3, John aged 6 months. All members of the household were born in Lincolnshire.

On the 1851 census Mary Skerritt age 46 born Sapperton was recorded as living at New Street in Manthorpe cum Little Gonerby with her husband Robert aged 50, a labourer, born Barrowby. In the same household were Robert unmarried aged 20, a labourer born Little Gonerby; Ann unmarried aged 15, a servant, born Little Gonerby; Louisa (Eliza?) aged 13, a servant, born Little Gonerby; John aged 10; Lucretia (Lucy) aged 7; George aged 4. The three youngest children had no occupation and were all born in Little Gonerby. Six of Mary’s seven children had survived infancy and all were living at home in 1851.

On the 1861 census Mary aged 51 or perhaps aged 57 was living with her husband Robert aged 60 and their unmarried son George aged 16. Both Robert and George were Agricultural Labourers. Also in the same household was their daughter Ann, her husband George Futcher and two grandchildren aged 3 and 1.

On the 1871 census Mary Skerritt, aged 66, was lodging with her oldest son Robert. Robert had been recently widowed and had 4 children aged between 13 and 3. Mary was described as a charwoman.

I have not been able to locate Robert Skerritt senior on the 1871 census.

Mary’s husband Robert died on 17 September 1877 at Little Gonerby. He was aged 77. His death was announced in the Grantham Journal of 22 September 1877.

Mary died exactly two years later on 17 September 1879. Her death was announced in the Grantham Journal of 20 September 1879.

Skerritt Mary death 1879

death notice of Mary Skerritt published in the Grantham Journal 20 September 1879 page 4. Image retrieved from the British Newspaper Archive via FindMyPast

Mary’s parents were the 9,999th and 10,000th relatives added to my family tree. My tree also has 1,979 photos (including images of records), 267 stories, and 14,749 attached records. Much research remains to be done.


    • England, Select Births and Christenings, 1538-1975 [database on-line] Name: Mary Brown Gender: Female Baptism Date: 26 Aug 1804 Baptism Place: Sapperton,Lincoln,England Father: John Brown Mother: Jane FHL Film Number: 504748, 508033
    • England, Select Marriages, 1538–1973 [database on-line] Name: John Brown Gender: Male Marriage Date: 26 Jun 1792 Marriage Place: Grantham, Lincoln, England Spouse: Jane Shipwright FHL Film Number: 432509, 432510, 432511, 432512, 436035
    • England, Select Marriages, 1538–1973 [database on-line] Name: Mary Brown Gender: Female Marriage Date: 26 Nov 1829 Marriage Place: Welby,Lincoln,England Spouse: Robert Skellet [mistranscribed should be Skerrett] FHL Film Number: 508084
    • English census records
      • 1841 Class: HO107; Piece: 625; Book: 4; Civil Parish: Grantham; County: Lincolnshire; Enumeration District: 7; Folio: 47; Page: 34; Line: 10; GSU roll: 438760
      • 1851 Class: HO107; Piece: 2103; Folio: 285; Page: 4; GSU roll: 87732
      • 1861 Class: RG 9; Piece: 2351; Folio: 59; Page: 32; GSU roll: 542958
      • 1871 Class: RG10; Piece: 3360; Folio: 8; Page: 10; GSU roll: 839361
    • FreeBMD. England & Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1837-1915 [database on-line]. Name: Mary Skerritt Estimated birth year: abt 1803 Registration Year: 1879 Registration Quarter: Jul-Aug-Sep Age at Death: 76 Registration district: Grantham Inferred County: Lincolnshire Volume: 7a Page: 268
      • baptism records including images from Lincolnshire Baptisms
      • burial record including image from Lincolnshire Burials
      • British Newspaper Archive images of the Grantham Journal

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Surgeon James Gordon Cavenagh at Waterloo

A guest post by Diana Beckett; great great granddaughter of James Gordon Cavenagh.

James Gordon Cavenagh

Miniature of James Gordon Cavenagh in the possession of a granddaughter of Lt Col W.O. Cavenagh


Lt Col W.O. Cavenagh, (Wentworth Odiarne / WOC / Cousin Wenty) who did extensive research on our Cavenagh ancestry, was the grandson of the surgeon. The latter died in 1844 and WOC was born in 1856, so they never met. However, WOC knew as family tradition related by his father (Gen Sir Orfeur Cavenagh) that the surgeon had served at Waterloo, but was puzzled that he never received the Waterloo medal awarded to all those who served there. This therefore raised the question to later generations as to whether it was indeed true.

J G Cavenagh was the Staff Surgeon of the Royal Staff Corps, a regiment responsible for short term military engineering, which was stationed in Flanders from April to July 1815. The Battle was on June 28th.

In his book “The Bloody Fields of Waterloo”, M.K.H Crumplin, a retired surgeon, medical military historian much involved in Waterloo re-enactments,  meticulously lists all the surgeons present at Waterloo or working with the wounded in the aftermath. Cavenagh is listed on page 157 as a late arrival. Presumably he was not ordered from his Flanders base to the battlefield in time.


On page 148 Crumplin explains that surgeons who arrived late were not awarded the Waterloo medal nor the two years added pension rights.

“There must have been many a military medical man who wished he had been present at this monumental battle. The staff who were there, were mostly surgeons both in regimental and staff posts. Some arrived late and would not receive the coveted Waterloo medal and two years added pension rights.” See Appendix below.

Arriving late, Cavenagh would have worked after the battle in one of the several hospitals in either Brussels or Antwerp where the wounded were treated. We do not know how long he stayed in Belgium but WOC records that sometime after the battle he proceeded to Paris where he was joined by his wife. (GO471 p 29)
An internet search shows that at least 3 officers of the Royal Staff Corps did receive the Waterloo medal.

Cavenagh is also mentioned in the Medico Chirurgical Transactions 1816 (Volume 7, part 1) when he was consulted about an operation on the jaw and mouth of a young drummer. The wound healed and the young man was discharged on August 16th.



P148 Crumplin Bloody Fields of Waterloo.

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