Isle of Man Family History Society Journal Vol 12 No 1 Feb 1990



Since my article on the above Childrens Home has been published, I have discovered that the Admission Register dating from 1888 is stored at the Childrens Centre, Knottfield, Woodbourne Road, Douglas and Miss Bernadette Thomas of the Childrens Centre will be delighted to answer any letters regarding queries over children who may have been resident in the Home.
Please enclose a S.A.E. (Manx stamps only are valid) or small donation as we do not wish to put the Home or Miss Thomas to any expense on our behalf.
The Admission Register dates from 1888, information given:- Childs name, age, parents and the reason why the child was placed in the Home. Many of the children were apprenticed to businesses in Douglas or on the Island and some of course were sent abroad.
It is the emigration of these children that will be featured in our January meeting.
I am most grateful to Bernadette for her kind offer.



She sat there with her sweet old wrinkled face
Lit by a smile, her snow white had, a crown,
And eyes, the childlike blue of innocence -
The lone survivor of a vanished race,

She closed her eyes, and thought of by-gone years:
How simple life had been, and how fulfilled!
This cottage where as a bride she came
Full seventy years ago, and ever since
Had given life of her best, - her husband too
A country man, with all his faith and fears
Now gone, - she bravely hid her lonely tears:

Her children, grandchildren and great grandchild
Lived far away in London and New York, -
One son had fallen in the first Great War
Two grandsons in the second, soon
She hoped to see their faces once again
When her long race was run; she closed her eyes
And said a little prayer that this be so.

She took her knitting up in gnarled old hands
And slowly did another round of sock,
All her time now she knitted, for her own
And distant ill-clad folk the wide world o'er.
As for herself, she had not even been
To England, all her life she had lived here
In gentle peace, upon this gracious Isle.

She could not think what made for discontent
This day and age, her childhood had been hard
And money scarce, but her fine proud Manx folk
Had striven well, and fended for their own
And worshipped God, - and owed no man a jot!
Now easier times made no one happier
It seemed to her, nor thankful for their lot ...
And, as I watched her, so she fell asleep,
I thought, - As we have sown, so shall we reap -

By Barbara Cowley



To the Editor of Mona's Herald
Sir - A young married woman, who is at present an upper servant in the family of the Rev. W. Kermode, has within the last few days received s letter from her husband, requesting her to join him in Australia, and enclosing the sum of £100 to pay the expenses of her passage out. As portions of the letter may be interesting to the general reader, I enclose the following extracts for your next impression.

Yours obediently
MANNINAGH Ramsey, June 28th 1852
Melbourne, February 1st 1852
"You will have heard of the gold fields, which have been discovered here, before this comes to hand; and that was the reason I did not write sooner, for fear of creating any uneasiness in your mind for my safety. I thought of the various melancholy accounts which came from California, and this was the reason I did not write until I could state the facts of the goldfields here from personal experience. I was determined to try my fortune with others, and went from here to Sydney, about seven hundred miles, by water, and then about one hundred and fifty by land, as these were the first gold regions that were discovered. Our outfit coat our party about sixteen pounds per man: we brought three months provisions with us. We left herein the latter end of June, '51 and returned here in January; and we liked the work well. The greatest order was kept - no murdering like in California nor robbing; there were s few small robberies committed, but amongst parties in drink. We found everyone with the greatest civility. Daniel Cleator, Lhen, and Wm. Kermode, saddler, are with me, and a little Welch lad that worked with me before we went, and a very agreeable party we are - never a word of dispute or discord. We should have done very well at the Sydney diggings, if not for the floods now and again preventing us from work. When we could work, we averaged about an ounce of gold per man per day;but hearing of the Port Phillip diggings, we left and came back to Melbourne. The people are flocking here from all parts - from Sydney, Hobart Town, Launceston, California, until the town is a regular moving mass of people;and Adelaide is almost totally deserted - there have as many as sixteen hundred in one day come in from Adelaide. It is useless for me to say anything more to you about these operations - I could fill four or five sheets of paper to tell you all; but I will conclude with a few words, by saying that the diggings have enabled me to send this trifle of money to carry you to me; and I hope when this comes to your hand, you will make no delay.

You speak of William, that he is making his fortune with Caley (the Manx giant); but perhaps I may have an independency made here before you arrive. We are going up to these diggings tomorrow. I could tell you what a great many people have done at these diggings, but I have no room; - there has been above ten ton weight of gold shipped from here since last August. You requested to know in your letters how farmers could do here; - I tell them one and all, that if they laid out the last pound they possessed in landing them in this colony they would act wisely. You can tell one and all, from me, (who) may, be enquiring of you about this place, when they received a letter for to look over every obstacle and come ill give you what instructions I can for the voyage. First, to wait upon you, and take care of the children - do not. ew pounds; I want you to be as comfortable as you can. Cashin, if he would come, would be very attentive to you~; but I will leave you to your own choice. Next, get you near the hatch of the vessel - get a ticket put upon it, specifying
Bring a few currants with you, say 7 lbs, one barrel of sweet American flour, a little oatmeal - you might take some oatcake with you; a few pounds of treacle, some cheese, some ham, some butter; and if youn can get a gallon or two of rum, you will perhaps find it to be useful sending a glass to the cook, when you will be at sea and a little settled. You will get a cake baked, perhaps, or a rice pudding made, or a pie or whatever you may be disposed to have. I am not an advocate for drink: but I state this in order that it may serve to make you as comfortable as possible until you arrive here. Bring you beds and bedding with you and plenty of linen.

Bring a lttle tub with you, that you can wash some things, a few pounds of salt water soap; a tin like a shilling loaf tin, to bake a rice pudding The day we got boiled rice we kept it until the day after, and made a rice pudding of it. Bring a flat tin about fourteen or sixteen inches like a cake in; bring a middle size saucepan, that you will some porridge in sometimes. If you could get a few sacks of oatmeal, I would be glad, but that you can please yourself about; get it made on purpose, according to these directions - get it dried well, until yellow or a little brown; get it shelled well, almost like large groats- it to lose in weight.

You need not mind to do any sewing preparatory for the voyage - you wil time on the voyage, and you will have your mind more at ease when you are working, than if you were doing nothing - I found it so.

I shall not write to you any more, as I expect you to answer this letteer in your own person. Give my love to your friends; - whoever is your friend in my absence is my friend - it may be that I might repay them for their.kindness, if not, may God bless them in time and through eternity. I do not mention names, I mean one and all. I have sent you one hundred pounds to defray expenses. Do not trouble yourself about any money that is coming to you; I am now in a position to support you, which has always been my study, God bless you all. Amen

Iam your affectionate and sincere husband. James Cashin

_n you all the information for the voyage I can - a few bottles of lime juice wuld be very useful; it is mixed with water for a drink Charles Tear will tell you.



Just as the Cushag is regarded as the Manx National Flower, so does the Silver Fern Leaf hold pride of place in New Zealand. Our export produce carries the Silver Fern as a trade mark, to Countries Overseas, while our Sportsmen and women proudly display it on their uniforms.

I wonder if anyone remembers the Quayle Family that lived at 56 Callow Place,Finch Road, Douglas, early this century. The father was Alfred Daniel Quayle(1860) a master mariner who served with the I.O.M. Steam Packet Co., until his death 25.11.1911. His wife was Julia (nee Carroll) and they raised a family of three daughters and two sons. Circumstance determines our destiny and so it was with this family.

The eldest daughter, Louie, after completing her schooling, left the Island early in 1912 for Motueka, New Zealand, to stay with her Uncle William Henry Quayle (1856) and family, he had emigrated here in 1877, and his older brother Philip who came 1875. Louie had suffered a Bronchial illness for a number of years and it was thought that a sea voyage and a warmer drier climate may benefit her. Not long before her departure date her father died, the urge to stay at home was great but as all arrangements had been finalised for a passage to New Zealand via Capetown in the S.S. Sussex, she decided to proceed with her plans. Louie had been writing to her cousin Walter in Motueka since she was eight years old so felt she was not going to live amongst strangers.

In 1914 she and Walter were married but they had hardly settled into a new home than word was received from I.O.M. to say that her mother died 2.10.1915, leaving a young family aged 9 to 18 years. It was decided that the family should not be split up and that they may have better prospects in New Zealand but as they were all minors they needed a sponsor to immigrate to New Zealand Walter filled that position and arranged a passage out in the S.S. Tainui for the children, no mean task then as World War 1 was in full progress. Walter and Louie journeyed across Cook Strait to meet the Tainui when that ship berthed in Wellington, New Zealand. Louie was reunited with her brothers and sisters and Walter met his new family for the first time. They travelled on the ferry steamer to Nelson then on to Motueka to their new home, all this was very exciting and strange, and learning to pronounce the Maori place names was at times hilarious. The two younger children, Mons and Philip continued their schooling while Alfred and Margaret found work available in the orchards and gardens in the Motueka area. The dry warm climate suited the new arrivals who soon developed hearty appetites for New Zealand fare. Philip remembered all his life the first meal in his new home, roast mutton with all the trimmings followed by apple pie and cream. The apples had been picked from the tree at the back of the house, and he had watched his Uncle William milk the cows and separate the cream. Perhaps our way of life and the wide open spaces were a wonder to a young lad from across the other side of the world.

Margaret May born 2.5.1896, she worked in Wales for a while, and on coming to New Zealand worked fruit harvesting in Motueka, later married George Sinclair, a returned solider from World War 1. They had two daughters and twin sons, Margaret died 7.8.1979 Motueka.

Afred Thomas born 28.3.1899, after working in a shop for a short time in Motueka he became interested in photography, he made this his profession for life, working in a large studio in Wellington for a few years. To further his studies he returned to England in the early 1920's but after a year or two of fogs and cold weather the climate of Motueka called him back home. He set up his own business here and later in life married but they never had children. He died in Christchurch, New Zealand 28.8.1976.

Philip Henry born 15.3.1901, after finishing his schooling at Motueka, went to sea in the Merchant Marine for some years. He married Violet Maud Earl, and later they took up residence in the house in Motueka where Philip had enjoyed that first dinner.

He purchased the original land owned by the Quayle's in 1928. One of his sons still lives in the old home, the other has been sold and restored, the rest of the land has also been sold, the front sections for homes .My husband and I owned the remaining farm let until 1973 when we sold it and now own a house on a front section. The land remained as Quayle land for over 100 years. Philip Henry died 11.5.1978 leaving a family of two sons and one daughter.

Mons Carol born 19.8.1904, she continued her education at the Lower Moutere school then went to the Motueka District High School. Later she married Herbert Henry Clelland and spent many years on the West Coast where her husband worked in the coal mines. On his retirement they moved back to Motueka where Mons died 26 July 1982. They had a family of four sons and a daughter.

Julia Louise Mary, (Louie) born 13.1.1894, for the first year or so of her life in a new country she worked as a Dressmaker and seamstress. She and Walter were in the fishing industry for some time, later moving to Takaka where she died 2.11.1984. They had a family of two sons and a daughter who only lived for a short time.

Although this family settled in to become Kiwi's (New Zealanders) they still looked on the Isle of Man as their home and most kept in touch with friends left behind. Their interest in the Island has been passed on to their offspring to such a degree that some have made trips to the Isle of Man so they can see for themselves where and how their ancestors lived.

by James Quayle and Thelma Mons (Quayle) Bothwel 1


                     Philip J. = Mary Ann
                     QUAYLE    | CANNON
James  Philip J = Mary Daniel Robert  Joseph William Margt. Alfred
b.1843 b.1846     Ann  David  William John   Henry   Jane   Daniel
Jurby  Marown    Cowan b.1848 b.1850  b.1853 b.1856  b.1858 1860
                       Marown Braddan                       = Julia
Travelled with                         Emigrated to          Carroll
their 2 children                      New Zealand in
on the Hannibal in                       1877
1875 to Nelson, N.Z.



This photograph was recently found, believed to be taken in Canada 1920's or 30's.
1. Evan Collister 7. Tom Collister
2. Jim Collister 8. Frank Collister
3. Mrs. Jim Collister 9. Miss M. Cain
4. H.C.C. 10. Master Kneen
5. Aunt Lizzie Kelly 11. Uncle Tom Kelly
6. Mrs. H.C.C. 12. Irene Collister



On April 16th 1868 Polly and I were married at the Parish Church Malew, Isle of Man, by the Rev. Wm. Gill, the old and much esteemed Vicar - after the usual jollifications and spree-ings of a wedding day we went to Peel, and commenced our Honeymoon and married existence, at mine hosts Mr. Cottiers of the Peel Castle Hotel. Next day we proceeded to Douglas where we remained until Monday morning 20th, which is the day we last saw "Mona".

In Liverpool we stayed at Quiggins and Metcalfe's enjoyed ourselves very much - and together with shopping, tea-ing, visiting and a little sprinkling of "biz" our time was anything but wasted, indeed we would both feel very tired on our return at nights. On Tuesday, April 28th we left the Mersey by the ship "Nebraska" - a fine rakish, handsome ship - that is, to the casual observer, so we thought of our vessel the first day; but gosh how the poetry and sentiment did come out of us 2 or 3 days afterwards in our first storm; not so much of a storm either, but still enough to scare many of the passengers in overcrowded steerages, overcrowded!! - why thets no name for it - let any person imagine 1500 crammed into a space not greater I'm sure than that of a moderate sized hotel, then think that all the cooking, eating, slopping and - phewh ! I won't say - done in that aforesaid space, the thing is intolerable almost in fine weather, but in dirty weather, when we are all packed, herring fashion below hatches, battened down, ports closed, all ventilation stopped, oh the filth and abomination is sickening.

Then to hear the poor ignorant Irish; going over and repeating aloud their bead prayers was to make anybody feel nervous, or sick to say the least- more by good luck than good management we have victualled remarkably well.

Kirk Malew Marriage
Alfred Daniel Cain married Mary Ann Wolters Molyneux (Polly) on the 16th April 1868.
They emigrated to Atchinson, Kansas and had 10 children.
Above extract was sent from a descendant of Alfred and Polly - Polly Ayers



Have you ever thought what it was like for people when a member of their family decided to emigrate. They would be unlikely to see each other ever again, most of them couldn't read or write so letters couldn't even be looked forward to. In many wills the names of children are mentioned, as being in a land beyond the sea, they are left a small legacy if they come for it.

I think this extract taken from the Manx Sun of March 20th 1852 shows a little insight into what it was like for people emigrating and for their families that were left behind, it depicts a rather pathetic scene.

"Emigration - The natives of the northern part of the Island are again making arrangements to leave the place of their birth and seek a home in North America. On Wednesday last about fifty persons, principally young men arrived in Douglas from Andreas, Ballaugh etc. and the same night took their departure by the King Orry for Liverpool with the intention of emigrating to America where the most of them have already friends or relatives. We are informed by a person who accompanied the emigrants to Douglas that the scene when these parties were leaving their homes, wee truly affecting. Their relatives followed them for a considerable way on the road, lamenting their departure whilst a long procession of carts conveying the luggage moved slowly along and also bearing the juvenile portion of the party amidst the silence of those about to leave their native soil, who would occasionally steal an expressive glance at their late homes.

Our informant says that he never saw even a funeral procession move with more touching solemnity. There were also a few individuals from the South of the Island who left by the same steamship en route for Australia".



QUADE, Eleanor: aged 19 yrs. Arrived in New York City 18th May 1857 on the ship 'ATMOSPHERE' which sailed from Liverpool
TAUBMAN, Edward Richard: born 24th October 1833. Emigrated with his newly wedded wife Margaret Catherine TEARE in 1853 to the U.S.A. died 1912 aged 78 yrs.
Left Plymouth December 13th 1873.Arrived New Zealand March 11th 1874. On board Thomas CAIN, Enos CHRISTIAN, John MOORE, Thomas KELLY, Robert CHRISTIAN aged 26 yrs. and ~1BO another Robert CHRISTIAN shoemaker aged 24 yrs.



Of my four grandparents, I knew only one, my maternal grandmother who died when I was four years old. Two others had died before I was born, and the fourth, I learnt had disappeared.

My paternal grandfather, William Kermode, had emigrated to a far off country called Australia, many years ago, and had never come back. His only son, my father, Ernest Percival Kermode, had lost touch with his father around the time of the First World War; he was only three years old when his father left, and could tell me little about him.

This story of the missing grandfather intrigued me, and I grew up with the firm intention of going to Australia and finding him. We had many relatives in Adelaide, descendants of my mother's elder sisters, who wrote regularly, and I was encouraged by both sides to make the journey. Then in 1939 the Second World War broke out, and put an end to any plans of mine. It was to be over thirty years before I finally got to Australia to start my search.

In November 1975, I came to Tasmania for a stay of six months and, as soon as possible, wrote off to the Registrar in Sydney for searches to be made for William's death certificate. The only information I had was his name and address at 15 Cameron Street, Rockdale, and his parents' names, William Kermode and Charlotte Kaighin. I had the period 1920-1950 searched but all I got was a 'no record' reply.

I had two days in Sydney, and telephoned all the Kermodes in the directory, asking them 'Did you have ancestors by the name of William or James Kermode?"I found one lady who said 'Yes' and we had a brief meeting, but not time to establish any relationship.

I returned to England disappointed. In 1982 I returned to Tasmania as imigrant and, after getting settled, started again on enquiries about William. I wrote again to the Registrar and paid for searches up to 1960, again with no results. This caused me to think that perhaps he had moved to another state, so I made enquiries in each one, again unsuccessfully.

Eventually, a lady in New South Wales sent me a printout of Births, Deaths and Marriages of Kermodes in that State and, now that I had William's registration number, was able to obtain his death certificate, and a copy of his will.

I realised at once why I had been unsuccessful before. There were a number of factual errors in the information on the death certificate.

First was his age, second the number of years in Australia, and most important his parents' names were given as John and Mary Kermode, instead of William and Charlotte.

The informant of death was his illegitimate son Harold Symes Kermode. Perhaps William had not told Harold the truth. Harold was listed as William's only child, and there was no mention of my father's name on the death certificate.

Harold had died in 1961, at the age of 77. When I obtained his birth and death certificates more mysteries appeared. His death certificate gives his mother as Emily Linigen.

He was born in 1885 at Flors Street, Macdonaldtown, to William Kermode and Alice Cottier (not Emily Linigen). The certificate stated that William had married Alice in Manchester, England in 1881. I checked this with the Registrar in Manchester, as I thought William may have made a bigamous marriage before leaving England, but there was no such marriage. In fact William had married Ann Cane in Manchester in August 1878.

I have found that William married Emily Linigen in 1920, three years after his wife in England had died, but they were living together for some years before. People that knew them thought Emily was Harold's mother. Harold did not marry, and as far as I know, had no descendants.

Question: What happened to Alice Cottier?
Question: When did William and Emily start living together ? William Kermode, his background and family -
Born June 6 1857 at Knocksharry, German Parish, Isle of Man. Married August 1878 Ann Cane, Manchester England (2) Emily Linigen Sydney 1920. Emigrated to Sydney 1883, Died July 27, 1943.
William was the eighth child and fourth son of William Kermode and Charlotte Kaighin. At the time of the 1861 census, William was three years old, and listed as scholar .

His father is listed as a cartwright, but he was also a builder and joiner, as well as farming 20 acres. As an adult William Junior took up the trade of joiner and cabinet maker, and was in partnership with his father and brothers in the building trade.

I have a letter describing plans for building houses near Peel, also letterheads, and a bill from a firm supplying timber to the Kermodes. We also have in the family, a small inlaid box, made by William, probably when he was an apprentice.

At some time he went to Manchester to work, where he met and married Ann Cane. She was a dressmaker by trade, and several years older than William. They went back to the island, where between 1880 and 1883 they had four children, including twins, who lived only a few hours. Ernest Percival, my father, was born in 1881, and had a younger brother, born in July 1883,who died after his father had left for Australia, leaving Ernest as the sole surviving child.
I have not been able to pinpoint the date William left, nor the ship he sailed on, only that it was between October 1882, and January 1884.
With him when he emigrated were his elder brother James Kermode, and a cousin, Thomas Caine.
I have found the arrival of Thomas Caine on S.S. Orient September 1, 1883,but the Kermode brothers are not listed.

William posted a letter to his wife from Cape Town, describing a visit to Table Mountain. That letter would probably name the ship but it is in England, and so far I have not been able to get a copy of it.

I do have a copy of a letter written by William to his wife, dated January 1884, when he was living at Alfred Street, North Sydney. He is working at his trade, though he had suffered an injury to his hand from 'the hard colonial timber'. He mentions Tom Caine, who was doing very well, earning £3.15 a week, without overtime, and has bought a gold watch for £5.

The reasons I have heard for their emigration are twofold. First, that they were tired of a diet of herrings and potatoes, and secondly, that having had built a row of houses, a gale sprang up and blew them down, and ruined the business.

When the brothers emigrated, James was engaged to a Scottish girl, Margaret Cameron, who came out later and married him in 1885. I believe that Margaret and Ann knew each other, and were in contact, as Ann heard that William had become attached to another woman, and refused to come out to Australia, as she was convinced that 'the other woman' would poison her.

She took her small son (my father), and went to live in Berkshire, England with her family.

William continued to send her money for some years, but in 1894 she had obviously not heard from him for some time, and wrote to the Police in Sydney to trace him. They visited her husband and advised him to write to his wife.

He kept in touch with his son until around 1917. Ernest was planning to emigrate with his family after the war, but was turned down, and when his father wrote to say he was leaving him a piece of land in Sydney, Ernest said he wanted nothing to do with him or his land. He was always very bitter about his father.

When I obtained a copy of William's will, I found to my surprise that he had left my father (Ernest) half of the residue of his estate. The will was made in 1942 and was finally distributed after the death of Emily Linigen. But Ernest received nothing, and did not even know of the death of his father.

Also in the will, William left a legacy to a niece, Yvonne Kermode, whom I have been unable to trace.
William, and his son by Emily, Harold were obviously not on good terms, as he left him only the piano, 'my tools of trade' and 'the furniture in he room that he occupies in my house'.

The rest of the estate went to the executors, relations of Emily Linigen.
In 1890 William had bought two blocks of land in Rockdale, and had built on one of them an attractive sandstone house. I was able to look over it when on a visit to Sydney in 1985. All the interior woodwork, elaborately carved in the style of the period, was made by William himself as were the fireplaces, window frames, and a beautiful staircase, all in cedar.

I found my cousins in Sydney, the grandchildren of James and Margaret Cameron, but to my disappointment, they knew little about William, although they had lived not far apart for years, I suspect that he was regarded as a blacksheep by Margaret, and after the death of James in 1910, the families lost contact.

However, I met a gentleman who knew William for many years, and was able to fill in a lot of the personal details about him that I did not know. He said he was a very clever man; musical, loved gardening and animals, but was very eccentric in his old age, he walked around the house playing his violin to the 'spirits'. He had also made his own coffin, and kept it in the cellar.

I asked this gentleman if he knew of Yvonne Kermode. 'No' he said, 'but they had a foster daughter named Millie, who lived with them'
When I returned home, I examined William's death certificate, the informant of death was - Millie!
I managed to trace her, and she was able to tell me quite a lot about William and Emily, since she had lived with them for around twenty years. She said he was very secretive, and never mentioned his early life or the Isle of Man, nor the ship he came out in. She said that in the 1920's and 30's he received letters from the Isle of Man, but did not show them to anyone even his wife, but locked them away. I regret that I did not find this lady before I went to Sydney, so that I could have visited her and talked to her about William.

There are still a number of questions unanswered, and at some time in the future I hope to get to the Isle of Man, and discover other relatives, perhaps the elusive Yvonne, who will be able to tell me more of that strange man, my grandfather, William Kermode.
by Marguerite Gorman

Note: If anyone reading this could help me to find the following people, I would be grateful: Yvonne Kermode; Carl Mervyn Jensen (Newcastle); Ruby Elizs Beth Jensen



We came across this old cottage one day when walking near the Lhen at Andreas
The cottage is situated on the left hand side of the road, when travelling from Andreas to Jurby, just before the Lhen Bridge. The Lhen Mill is about l00 yards behind the cottage.
Over what would have been the original front door, in the days when the cottage was thatched, barely visible is the inscription JOHN GARRETT 1779. It is now nearly covered with modern tiles in the porch.
John Garrett was the Miller at the Lhen for many years, in 1751 he married Joney Cottier at Lezayre Parish Church. Four years after they were married, William Cottier left the young couple his small farm and in return John and Joney had to promise to look after her sister Dorothy after her fathers death.
The cottage was built on this land in 1779 and it was called the Lane Moar *in 1785 the cottage and surrounding garden was sold to John Kaneen, by this time it was called "Carrots Croft", and the Garretts received a payment of £59 for it.
No doubt the cottage was thatched until early this century, the traditional Manx roof of roped straw thatch, lasts only three years before it must be renewed. Last century thatchers charged only a shilling a day and their food.
The roof was laid on rafters called couples (often of drift wood, some times bog oak) secured in the shape of an A. On an open framework of planks and laths across the couples, long felt like strips of top-sod were neatly laid from roof-ridge to wall-top. The under surface, of fine mattes grass roots, formed the ceiling (as it were) of the house and was often kept whitewashed.
The thatch rested on the upper grass surface and as the work proceeded it was held down by herring net and horizontal length ropes tied to the projecting stone pegs in the walls. These are clearly visible on the gable walls of the Garretts cottage.
In the north of the Island they used bent or marran grass or rushes when they were available. Just nearby stands a small thatched cottage which is still lived in.
* Lhen Mooar Place Names
1515 Man Roll Balylanmore, 1643 Ballamore, 1669 Lane More,
1703 Laine
. .P.M.Lewthwaite
0FRELC-~-f {At1`Ly William Cottier =d.1769
1751 1 1 1
John Garrett = Joney Dorothy
b.1723 bc 1725 b.1728?
d.1801 in Bride d.1799 d.
Miller at the Lhen, owner of cottage
1 1 1 1780 1 ~1 1 1792
John Elinor Anne ~ John Joney Isabel Wm Mary ~ William
b.1753 b.1755 b.1756 Kneen b.1761 b.1762 b.1765 b.1765 Cowle
d.1761 d.1766
All born in Andreas, lived at the Lane Moar and moved to Kirk Bride in 1786
_ ~ r~' ~ _' -



In reviewing the ships advertised to sail for Australia, the Liverpool Standard says - On the East side of Canning Dock a splendid ship, the Covenanter, owned by Mr. Duncan Gibb, is being fitted up for a voyage to Australia and a visit to her would well repay the trouble, and show the liberality of the arrangements for passengers made in Liverpool. The Covenanter is about 2,200 tons burthen, has lofty between decks, running uninterruptedly from stern to stern, 160 feet in length. Her beam is 34 feet inside measurement and she will carry 450 passengers. She has a house on deck 50 feet long, and for 40 feet on each side of this an aperture 14 inches wide has been made, properly protected from the weather, by which abundance of air is introduced into the passenger deck below. She has also ventilating shafts. The rooms for the passengers are all enclosed, so that each family, or party, can be separately provided for. They will also be classified on the government system. Nothing can exceed the excellent accommodation on board the Covenanter.(See the advertisement of this vessel in todays Manx Sun).
above taken from the Manx Sun 1852
We are glad to learn that the fine ship Marco Polo, belonging to the BlackBall Line of Messrs. James Baines and Co., now on her passage to Australia with 930 passengers on board, was spoken on the 7th of July in lat. 45.11 north long. 12.40 by the French ship Leontine Marie, De Ls Prudelle, from Guadaloupe arrived at Bordeaux. This shows her to have been 750 miles from Liverpool when spoken; and as the Marco Polo left on Sunday the 4th of July, she had made 250 miles a day. This is tremendous going, particularly out of the channel, and promises a short run to her place of destination.



Towards the end of 1907, Ben and Will Roberts left their native land and set sail for the New World, for Canada, to seek a new opportunity and a new life.

On landing, they travelled West, through the Provinces of Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, to Alberta, Canada's most westerly Province before the Rockies and British Colombia, to the town of Edmonton on the Saskatchewan River. From there, they set out - up country - to become 'Homesteaders'.

Ben and Will were not Manxmen, but I tell their story partly because many Manxmen would have travelled the same route from their own homeland, seeking their new life and opportunity, and partly because there were Manx connections. They were brothers, of Welsh descent, but their native land, or town, was Golborne, a small community just west of Manchester.

Ben and Will wrote two letters, both of which have survived, relating their adventures in their new homeland. In December 1907, in fact just two days after Christmas, and in February 1908, they wrote to their sister Polly and their brother-in-law Fred (Polly's husband). In common with many of their fellow emigrants, they began their letters, either, by explaining why they hadn't before, or, by chastising their loved ones for having forgotten them and for not writing. But also, in common with many of their fellows, they wrote detailed accounts of their experiences in their adopted country- their new home. Many Manx emigrants must have experienced similar adventures.

What follows now are the two letters, the only two from Ben and Will-Ben doing the writing - the first to brother-in-law Fred, and the second to Polly, their sister. The letters are printed exactly as they were written,without paragraphs, with Ben's own version of English grammar and spelling,but with the vivid description of what he saw and experienced ............

Belvedere 59.7.2 Ravine Prarie Dec 27/07
Dear Fred
I was very pleased to receive a letter from you. I thought you would have wondered how it was as we had not wrote to you about our going away to Canada. We made up our minds all at once so we had not much time. I thought of writing just before we went but I thought it might upset Polly not knowing how she was so I thought it was better to leave it till we got across and got settled down before I wrote. I would have sent sooner but we had not much time owing to the shifting up and down before settling so now we have settled we can find a bit more time to write. Now that we have taken up our homesteads we mean to work as hard as we can as we have three years to fullfill the condition before we can call the land our own so that we have made up our minds to stick as hard as we can so I hope in three years the land will be our own. One hundred and sixty acres each which works out as one mile long and half a mile broad between us. I have got a lake of five acres on my land with fish in it so you see we can have a bit of sport in our spare time. There is also game about both large and small.
There are wolves bears moose and other kind of game prowling about. When we go out to work about the homestead we have to carry our rifles for safety. It is only two weeks I was out by myself and came across a wolf about one hundred yards from me but I had not the courage to shoot at him only beings glad to get out of his way. We are going into mixed dairy farming so that we are requiring cows. We shall get pigs as soon as we get a crop of barley and oats in. There are two scotchmen in our district that has been on the farms in Indian Head as has come over here to homesteads so they have made great friends with us showing us anything we require to know in farming. They come down and give a help at times. We are a little capitol short so fifty pounds would make us alright if you could lend it to us. It surprised me to know that you had another son but I hope that he is coming on fine. You must send the portrait of him when you have one taken. I see by the handbill that you have started touring the country again. I hope you have a successful! run of it. I am pleased to know that you saw George and found that he was doing all right and getting a decent living as we wrote to him but got no reply. If he is it just show how he has been doing us all when we were at home but I still doubt it. The weather here is splendid being nice bright sunshine and clear skies. We have had frost up to forty degrees but you do not feel it very much the atmosphere being very dry. I therefore send you my best wishes hoping you Polly and the rest of the family have had a merry Christmas and hope that you will have a prosperous new year.
Yours Ben & Will

59-7-2Ravine Prarie Feb 9/2/08

Dear Sister,
I received your letter the first week in January and was surprised as I thought you would have forgotten how to write one as it is so long you wrote one. I could tell by the hand writing that it was from you before I opened it. You must excuse me from being a long time in replying to your letter as it may be months before I can receive my letters as it being only a branch office and receive letters from town to Belvedere once a week. Belvedere being 45 miles from us you see it would be no easy job to get them. So we have to wait till some one we know is going that way so we ask them to call to see if their are any letters for us. I dont suppose it will belong before we have a post office branch here as the settlers have sent in a petition for one. There as been three or four trying to get the post office but there has only one been sent a circular to their replys and that being a Scotchman which is a friend of ours which it seems as if the Scotchmen as a great pull in Canada. So we expect to hear in a short time from head office wether he has got it so that if he gets it it will be only 3 miles just a nice little walk.

I know you would be surprised at our going away and not informing you about it but I thought I had better not as I might upset you so I made up my mind to write as soon as I arrived in Canada. You will see by the letter that
I sent to Fred that we have taken up a homestead which is between Edmonton and British Colombia. Before taking up our homesteads we had to go out with a land guide to view the land which they call land hunting. Their were six of us going with the guide and what a glorious trip we had. All seated two in a seat in a wagon what we call in England a coal cart and off we set on our trip of 10 days 5 days out and 5 days in at 2 dollars a day and expenses putting up at stopping places which we call a loging house in England meals costing 25 cents and bed 25 cents. The journey was very nice but the mosquitoes was terrible being in swarms around you. I suppose you do not know what mosquitoes are but I will explain to you. They are same as midges in the old country but about twice as large and they swarm round you and lit all over your hands and face and when they do lit on you they suck the blood from you and they let you know they are there as it seems to sting same as a bee. After getting to a place called the paddle river which we had to journey a distance of 20 miles through forest slews and up to the knees in water and nearly being eaten by the mosquitoes carrying a pack of provisions to last us on the 20 miles journey being as there was no more stopping places for the whole 20 miles not evens cabin of no sort as this 20 miles is a fresh part never been inhabited and has only been opened last year being in its wild state willows rushes and forests of trees no clear open green fields same as you might think but lands covered with willows which we have to chop down which is called clearing the scrub. We have to do that before we can plough. There are also wild fruit strawberry rasberry currants cranberries and other wild fruits in abundance. The end of this fresh country 20 miles from the paddle river we have taken up our home. Next comes the journey to our new homesteads. We set off and bought Oxen and wagon and provisions ready for our second journey here our trouble and strife begins. We set off on our journey two Golborners rode three miles in the wagon and bade us farewell. Tom Douglas and Ted Leigh. All went well untill reaching 2 miles from St. Alberts a small village 10 miles from Edmonton the place where we started off from. The Oxen not being used to the wagon and roads kept going to one side of the road to the other so accidents would happen. After going a few miles further we came in the Indian reserve a place where the Indians live in their huts. There we got stuck in a mud hole and I had to get a spade and dig the wheels out we got out and made our journey a little further when we came to a stream which we had to go through but instead of going through it the Oxen leaped right over to the other side pots and pans flying in all directions Will nearly being thrown out having a hard job to keep his seat. Still we went on a little further just getting out of the Indian reserve the Oxen bolted into the forest and got wedged between too trees getting dusk we had to retire and camp there for the night. Next morning one of the Scotchmen what we should have met was camping 3 miles ahead of us so we sent word with a man going by in his buggy the same night to let him know so he walked down next morning and gave us a hand. We got away from here to join the Scotchman at the end of Dead mans lake but still again we got stuck just a mile from the end of the lake off where they were camping so they had to fetch their Oxen and pull us out being one of the worst parts of the road nothing but mud holes about three miles long. At last we joined the Scotchmen and we all went for two days until Will saw a bear and he shouted a bear as we was leaving the forest and as we were going through what we call a musk egg that is moss on the top and water underneath what you would call a bog. There being trees laid in this must egg so as to keep the wagon and Oxen from sinking. I got excited and they got off the trees laid down for them to travel over right into the soft parts up to their bellies in the musk egg. We put the other two Oxen in to pull them out but all the four of them went down so we had to retire for the night lighting a fire and lying round it watching all night lest a bear should come. Next morning we lengthened two chains and fixed it to the Oxen on dry ground and pulled out after a short time. So we went on from here right to our journey end without any more mishaps so you may imagine what kind of roads we have to travel. I had a letter from Fred a few week since and he says in his letter that while touring in Golborne he met George and he told him he was earning a decent living. If so it shows how he could have done it before and made it easier for his dear old dad. But I very much doubt it as he might get into a pickle same as he has done before. I ahould that going away from him would learn him a lesson and do him 800d so that he would have to get up earlier than he has done before and work at his job as he should do to make a living. It was better for us to leave him now as let it be later as it had to come. I think he will have to keep house a while longer before I go to Golborne again. I am quite satisfied with homesteading but the great drawback is having to wait eighteen months before you get any return. But anyway we must stick and try our best and make things go as it is all for ourselves and not for someone else pocket. The first year is the hardest because you can not grow anything the first year because the ground wants breacking up and let lie so the winter frost can get at it and rots it before it is fit to grow anything in it. In about six weeks we will be as busy as we can ploughing and getting ready for the seeding. We are not getting all the nice things to eat same as we got at home as it is rough and ready not shops that you can run into and get what you want. Fancy me and Will having rolled oats or gruel before breakfast which I would not touch when at home. But now I like it and if I miss a morning I feel something short which seems to be Canadian fashon rolled oats before meals. As for meat we have never tasted cow meat since we came from Edmonton but has sampled bear beef which one of our friends gave ua about fifteen pounds. After I had sampled it I did not care for it and the rest still hangs over our cabin door. Our friend caught it the week after Christmas. He went out rabbit hunting with his dog and the dog run right up to the den and started barking. So he had only a shot gun for killing small game such as rabbits ducks etc. So he had to go back for his rifle and he told his brother to go up a tree and watch the den not knowing what was in the den at the time. He went close up to the den to see what it was that was in the den but he could not see anything only the eyes of some animal so he shot into the hole and struck the bear in the forearm and disabled it. The second piercing its heart laid him to rest. The den was in the aide of a small hill with a hole just as he could get his body through hollowed out underneath and lined with straw. The hold not being large enough for anyone to enter they had to go and get a apace and dig it out and there was the specimen of a big black bear. So they got it out and put it over the horses back and took it home. When Will and I heard of it we went down and had a look at it. It was a big bonny bear measured eight feet from head to tip of tail and good black hair one ands half inches long and weighing three hundred pounds as near as they could guess. When it was skinned they sent us the meat which we sampled as you see above this being the first bit of meat we had the pleasure of cooking in our frying pan so it not being a success we turned to our fish again as Will is preparing for dinner just at the moment I am writing this letter the fish called a Jack fish weighing about eight pounds. We do not have any fire grates here but cooking stoves which the people burns wood in. There are very few pits in this part of Canada where we are and the coal is not much good what there is of it. But places like where we are no railways they have to be contented to burn wood. Some have acres of trees about their homesteads and some none so them that has none has to buy timber for their stoves.

Will has enough timber on his land to last him for years so he is alright for firewood for a long time to come. I am very sorry I can not send you a portrait of our log cabin as I sold my camera before I left Edmonton to go to the homestead as I thought I would have no use for it so I sold it to Edward Lee of Golborne. I send you a portrait of emigrants that I took last in front of their wooden building in Edmonton which they call a shack not a log cabin. As you see by the picture it is made by good sawn timber not of logs. a log cabin is quite different. It is made from trees just as they are chopped down and placed one above the other. I will see later on and try and get a quarter plate hand camera and then I can send you a few snap shots of our little wooden hut and its surroundings. Will and I like the homesteading all right. I was surprised to hear that you had an increase in the family so you will have your hands full. I hope he is doing all right and do not forget to send me a portrait of him when you have him taken and then I will have one of all the family of you. I was very sorry to hear that you did not do well this year at the Isle of Man as the weather was all against you but it was the same every where here in Canada they had more rain than they had for a number of years so let us hope that you will make amends and make an extra good season this summer. It will do you good being at home this winter as last winter you was never without a cold so it will give you a good rest. We have had a splendid winter here this being the coldest since we came to Canada being sixty degrees of frost. Nearly every week but this being bright sunshine no fogs same as in England. I am forwarding you by post the books, rings belonging to mother. one building book and papers. one bank book and contents and I hope you will put them safely away and also a letter you said you would like to have. So be sure to let me know wether you have received these things as I will be so anxious until I know whether you have received them and if you take in the Sunday Chronicle I would be pleased if you would send me one at times as we never see an English newspaper here. I now conclude my short letter wishing to find you and all the family in the best of health.
From Your loving Brothers Will and Bennie

............. Ben and Will were not Manxmen, but, as we see in the letters, there were Manx connections. Fred [Buxton] and Polly were Pierrots who lived on the Island - Fred owned and ran the Crescent Pierrot village in Douglas. Each summer they entertained the visitors on the beaches and promenades,and they also performed in various locations on the U.K. Mainland. In 1907 they hadn't had a very good season, but were looking forward to something better in the Summer of 1908.

But the Manx connection didn't end here - it went further - because Fred and Polly were the parents of that well known Manxman Duggie Buxton, musician and choirmaster 'extraordinaire' and recently a recipient of the Freedom of the Borough of Douglas. The baby boy referred to in the letters, born late in 1907, was Duggie's younger brother, the late Harry Buxton. Ben and Will were Duggie's uncles, and it is from Duggie's daughter that I was able to borrow the original letters from which this typescript has been made.

I hope that this account has proved of interest because I am planning a sequel. Ben and Will wrote no more letters to their family and nothing more was ever heard of them again.

So - what happened to them and to their Homesteads? Did they, in fact,ever become owners of the land? Remember, they wanted to borrow £50 from brother-in-law Fred to buy cattle to allow them 'to get going', but the £50 just wasn't available to be sent. Fred and Polly had had a poor season.

Did the boys marry and have families who may still be farming the original Homesteads? - or were they sold? Are they still given over to farming or have they been built on as part of a town? I hope to find out.

I believe the address at the top of each letter gives us a significant clue as to where the Homesteads were, and I hope, through the good offices of friends in Edmonton, Alberts, and the historical records which will exist in the Alberta Life Museum, to locate the two Homesteads and trace their history from the time they were pioneered by Ben and Will up to the present day. I may also be able to find out what happened to Ben and Will and to any family they may have had We'll see.

And it is possible, too, that there are members of the IOMFHS living in Alberta, and more particularly in or near Edmonton, who might like to rise to the challenge and do a bit of detective work for me If so, I'd love to hear from them.
Tony Kneale, 14 Wilton Road, Edinburgh, Scotland EH16 5NX


Extract from the MARCO POLO Shipping List

Sailed 11th Nov. 1859, arrived 31st Jan. 1860. Some Manx names among the
many who sailed.
Joseph Corlett age 21 yrs, single, miner,
Thos. Keegien? age 21 yrs., single, miner,
Philip Corrin age 28 yrs, single, labourer,
John Garrett age 26 yrs, single labourer,
John Gill age 20 yrs, single, gent,
Henry Cannall age 27 yrs, single, joiner also of course John Scarf age 25 yrs, single, miner.
Birthplace for all the above is stated as England.




John Scarf

The story which is concluded on the next few pages is the second part of an entry to the Family Historys Competition several years ago.

For new members who have not read the first part and for other members who need a quick reminder, I will attempt a short resume.

Val and Ray Lawrence were on a weekend trip to Walhalls, which is situated on the eastern part of Victoria, Australia, when they came across a handcarved slab of wood erected in memory of John Scarf who was born in the parish of Lonan in the Isle of Man

They decided to try and find out as much as possible about John who had died in 1885 aged 48 years.
They discovered amongst other things that John had arrived in Melbourne on the Marco Polo in 1860, he travelled to Gippsland and worked in the Mines at Walhalla. In January 1885 he was able to buy a small piece of land just four months before his death.

The story continues with a newspaper report of 'Mrs. Scarffe' she was not John's wife, but his housekeeper and beneficiary of his estate, and rather as it turns out a bit of a mystery character!


(By John W. Davidson)(Author still living)
Continued from November Journal

Although she was well known by old Gippsland identities, and myself, when I was 10 years old, it was only when the late Mrs. Henrietta Scarffe turned 100, that she became better known to the public, through local publications.

Once, in our local newspaper, the editor of the 'Traralgon Journal', the late Mr. Edward Barbor, who was later Press Secretary for nearly 16 years,to 6 Victorian Premiers, and twelve Governments, wrote, while holidaying in Great Britain, in April 1938 "In the Footsteps of Mrs. Scarffe - I visited Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight, and recalled a little old lady, aged 103,whom I lifted into a wheelbarrow at Traralgon, and wheeled her around the wood heap, where she had been chopping wood, and she told me a story that appeared in every Australian Newspaper - ".
Mrs. Scarffe was born in the English village of Yarmouth, on Christmas Day 1824. She was an only child of an only child. Soon after her birth, her father, who was a captain in the First Royal Guards, was ordered to India. The child remained in England with her grandmother, at Hornaby Castle, but was sent to a convent when she was aged 4 years. She returned to her relatives after three years, but was so unhappy that she eventually ran away, to London,and, after serving as a nursemaid for nine pence a week, she went to sea as a stewardess, when she was aged 14.
During the Crimean War, Mrs. Scarffe met the Lady with the Lamp, Florence Nightingale. She was so infected by that great woman's enthusiasm, that she decided to go to the war as a nurse. She sailed for the Crimes, but,much to her disappointment, she was not allowed to land, because the storming of Sebastopol was then in progress.
Naturally she was not content to stay long in those areas. The sea was calling and she responded. After years of life on board a ship, sailing the seven sess, which included crossing the Atlantic in the boat which took the first shipment of mules to America, she married at the age of 28 years,and embarked for the land of the Southern Cross, about the year 1858, when she was 33 years of age, with her husband.
After a short stay in Melbourne, the young couple sought their fortune on the newly discovered goldfields in East Gippsland. After enduring many hardships, travelling from Eagle Point to Jingle Creek to Crooked River to Omeo and Hinnomunjie, but "never striking it rich", they settled down near Omeo. a few years later, Mrs. Scarffe's husband died. Left a widow,she later opened a little store in a bark hut at Hinnomunjie. It was there that she shot a man, who entered her hut at night, wounding him so that he left a trail of blood, which led to his capture by the police. She also assisted the police in capturing a party of bushrangers, allowing the officers to hide in her bedroom, while the outlaws entered her store. On another occasion, she fled from the blacks at Eagle Point, swimming across the Mitchell River to seek the protection of neighbours. Her gun was always loaded,which she fired periodically, when on her own, to allow the natives to think that she had company.

Little is known about Mrs. Scarffe's movements after she left the Omeo district
to live in Walhalls and Traralgon.

In the book "Old Walhalla", Raymond Paull quotes - 'Of the pioneer woman who shared the hardships with their menfolk on the Creek, Mrs. Scarffe is reputed to have been the first woman settler, when the first girl was born there, which may have been in the early sixties (1860's).

She was married twice, when and where, I know not, but had no family.
It is believed that her second husband died and was buried in the Walhalla Cemetery. Today, there is a grave of John Scarff (no "E") born Lennon -Isle of Man, England, who died 2nd April 1885, aged 48 years. He died on his selection at Moondarra, and we know that Mrs. Scarffe lived there for many years. In fact, it was recorded in the Walhalls Chronicle of March 1914, that 'During recent bush fires, which, a few weeks ago, burnt fiercely through the local country, Mrs. Scarffe, an old lady, over 80, whose farm is situated in rather an isolated locality on the Toongabbie road, spent two days and nights, assisted by her faithful henchman George Hollingsworthkeeping continuous watch on the bark roofs of the farm buildings, while only the house and orchard were untouched in the blackened mass of desolation. Mrs. Scarffe completely collapsed after the dreadful ordeal, having previously stacked all moveable items of furniture in the middle of a paddock, with her stock'.

While living at Moondarra, she often had overnight guests. Once party in particular thanked her for the beautifully cooked suckling pig and were a bit upset when informed that it had been "teddy bear".
Mrs. Scarffe was born on Christmas Day and the local paper recorded her reminiscent celebration every year until her death.

On her 104th birthday in 1928, our reporter found that she still rises at 5 a.m. and milks "buttercup" at Mrs. Marks' residence on the Tyers Road(now Grey Street), and her close neighbours, the Trembaths and Plants, helped to share her cake.

She voted on Saturday, 30th November when she was nearly 105, in 1929. Lord Somers, Governor of Victoria, visited Traralgon on 27th March 1931,for his farewell visit, and met Victoria's oldest citizen, and she was driven home in the Vice-Regal motor car. Some months later she spent a short time in the Cumnoch Hospital, and convalesced for a time with Mr. and Mrs. Walter Gerrard, in Grey Street, when she was 106, and later that year, was shifted to St. Teresa's private hospital in Shakespeare Street, with Sister Fennell.
A visiting eyesight specialist made and gave Mrs. Scarffe a new pair of glasses, free, when she was 106, during September 1931.

She was visited by, and met Mr. Paterson, the M.P. for Gippsland on Saturday,5th December 1931, and was accompanied by the Traralgon Shire President,Councillor Clarence Clarke. She always called everybody "child" and explaineto Mr. Paterson how she had ridden into Gippsland, slept beneath the stars. with gum leaves for a mattress, and a tripper, (hip hole in the ground),the saddle for a pillow, and her riding skirt for a blanket, (just like the late "Grannie" Buntine - the bullock driver) as well as following the plough and digging post-holes for fencing. Leaving Melbourne on her chestnut pony, she had had an exciting experience for a "kick-off". The Governor was coming out of his grounds in his carriage, prancing horses and postillions, when her chestnut took fright and rolled back over a culvert, and the Governor hastened down to see if she was hurt, which she wasn't. She recalled early days in Gippsland, with gold rushes, and holdups by bushrangers. She first knew Eagle Point when the blacks were in possession. She mentioned that she had recently walked home from her Roman Catholic Church, with Sister Fennell ( ½ mile).
At the end of the year 1931, the Young Australian League Boys' Band, from New South Wales, gave Traralgon a musical treat, and played a special performance for Mrs. Scarffe, who told the Conductor, Professor Caton, that if she was younger, she would marry him.

In February 1932, a letter in the "Ayrshire Post", Scotland (with acknowledgements) was reprinted from the Traralgon "Journal" about Mrs. Scarffe, over 107 years old resident. "She must be the oldest woman in the world to be provided with new glasses. The oldest case on record in Great Britain, is one of 104 years old".

In March 1932, well known Victorian Draper, Fred Hesse, met Mrs. Scarffe and discovered that they both came from the same place in England, and requested that he endeavour to secure a free passage to England for her, but she offered to work her passage - "s person is only as old as one feels".

Another story in June 1932 - Traralgon's 107 years old is still going strong. She is making Johnny Walker look to his laurels. She turns out about a shawl a week; She rises with the magpies every morning and toddles out to feed her cat. This accomplished, she makes her bed, and takes up her knitting, and sticks to the seek, as though she was earning a living at it. Her fingers are never idle.
S public meeting was held in July 1932, to form a committee to care for the future of Mrs. Scarffe, and it was recalled that "To her credit, stood s wealth of kindness, whilst she resided in the mountain area of Walhalla and Moondarra. No matter how rough the night, or the track, she used to saddle up her horse, and ride out, like the late Mrs. Margaret Whalley, when a sick call came, and her help was needed.'
Mrs. Scarffe visited the Grey Street State School Fair in October 1932,aged 107, and gave a recitation. She was presented with a serviette ring by the youngest scholar, who was 100 years younger. She also received iceland poppies. Shire President, William Cumming, opened the fair, and expressed pleasure at the attendance of such a celebrity. I feel sure that we all feel honoured with her presence. She has been enjoying better health today than for many years. She hates to go to bed, and is usually out with the first stretch of daylight.
Mrs. Scarffe, who has dined with Florence Nightingale, served bushrangers in her little bark hut store at Hinnomunjie added another chapter to her romantic career of 107 years on Wednesday 2nd November 1932. She went aloft over Traralgon with Sir Charles Kingsford Smith, in the "Southern Cross". "Next time you fly to dear old London, I will be with you". He flew to an altitude of about 1000 feet. She laughed and talked all the time she was in the air. His oldest passenger prior to that was a 97 years old man in Western Australia. Kingsford Smith operated on Wally Mackenzie's Hazelwood Road property. He stopped the night at the Royal Exchange Hotel, where he was besieged by hundreds of autograph hunters.
On her 108th birthday, in 1932, she had a visit from an old friend, Mr. Scott, aged 96, from Omeo, and he took some birthday cake back to an old friend, Mrs. Prendergast at Omeo.

On the 31st December 1932, she sent a telegram to Sir Charles and Lady Kingsford Smith, congratulating them on the birth of a son, and requesting that he be named John. Later, she wrote a letter to a niece, Miss A. Scarffe, living on the Isle of Man, off the west coast of England. She recalled when in Walhalla, she carried, on the flap of her riding saddle, covered with her skirt, thousands of pounds worth of gold to the bank, for the miners on numerous occasions.

In July 1933, the previously formed committee made an appeal for Australian's oldest woman. Gippsland has sheltered within its confines, for a great number of years, Mrs. Scarffe who is now 108, and who has been the means of bringing the province into great prominence. Daily papers in every part of Australia, magazines, periodicals and English and American newspapers have given prominence to this remarkable woman, who saw Gippsland first, when it was in its primeval stage; when there were more blacks than whites,when bushrangers roamed at large, with unfettered hand, and when the early goldfields came into existence. Feeble and frail, she is now on the sunset path. Life's journey, for her, is on its closing stage. The glamour of the past unfolds, but life's necessities remain.

Mrs. Scarffe left Traralgon and is now living at Glengarry with Mr. and Mrs. George Wellington and she again celebrated her birthday when she turned 109 on Christmas Day, 1933, but she has lost a little of her "kick". Recently while going down the steps, she slipped, a~d broke a small bone in her leg. Several Traralgon R.S.L. diggers payed her a visit on her birthday. She gave them a long recitation to show that her memory is in no way fading with the great accumulation of passing years.
But Mrs. Henrietta (affectionately known as Harriet) Scarffe, died on Tuesday 27th February 1934, aged 109, at Glengarry. :By a remarkable coincidence,Mrs. Prendergast of Benambra (well over 80 years), called on her way to Melbourne, the day before, to see her old friend, whom she hadn't seen for over 70 years, although they had kept in touch with each other by correspondence. The meeting was a remarkable one, and the two old ladies chattered away over old times, each delighted to once more meet the other - one conscious that the tide of life was running out fast, the other delighted that she had broken her journey to shake once more, the hand of her old friend.

Mrs. Scarffe entered on her long sleep, but a few hours after Mrs. Prendergast had left, prior to a visit from Councillor Clarke, who had known and cared for her since boyhood. There was a genuine affection between Mrs. Scarffe and the Traralgon councillor. He said that her last days at Glengarry had been wonderfully happy. "She loved the birds and the open spaces". Although much care and attention had been lavished on her, whilst in Traralgon, it was the country life of unrestraint, for which she craved.

Canberrs released information that the death at 109, of Mrs. Scarffe, gaveVictoria the record age in centenarian deaths during 1934. She had livedi n Australia for 76 years. New South Wales had the next oldest living man reaching 106. She certainly possessed that infinite variety of which Shakespeare wrote so long ago.

But now the long day closes - "Ah Child" (her favourite expression), what along day it was! There are many who will miss her.
Her mortal remains were interred in Traralgon "Bluff" Cemetery on the last day of February 1934; the arrangements being in the hands of D and W MacCubbin, funeral directors.
Work was later completed on her grave - contributed to, by local subscribers with her name "HARRIET SCARFFE" age and words, "Gratefully Remembered"
signed J. Davidson

With acknowledgement to Mr. Seddon Scott who contributed a Melbourne Obituary press copy, stating that Mra. Scarffe had been married twice, and a photocopy from the Traralgon "Journal" published on Thursday 3rd November 1932 or Thursday 29th February 1934.

My memory reminds me of an enlarged photo of Mrs. Scarffe, with Charles Kingsford Smith in front of the "Southern Cross", taken by Mr. H.T. Cooper, and on display for many years in the front of his Franklin Street business.It would be of great value, today.

I wonder what Mrs. Scarffe's maiden name was, and the name of her first husband?

Walhalls today, is little more than a ghost town. The mines have yielded of their best, and lie spent, scarring the hillside. The people, the bustle, the daily activities of a busy town, are no more. Thirty two permanent residents live in this beautiful valley. The trees grow and cover the hillsides again. There has never been an electricity nor gas supply. Privately owned generators provide power. Water tanks store the rain that runs off roofs, for domestic use. Timber trucks roar through, two or three times a dayf rom higher up in the mountains.

Yet, every weekend, there is life and vitality, as an enthusiastic band of volunteers give their energy and their hearts to the restoration of the little township, and visitors flow in to picnic, horse ride, climb to the cricket ground, - a top the hills - (a 3/4 hour climb), trail ride on motorbikes or bush walk.

Come Monday, and tranquility descends, like a filmy bridal veil, once more.No sounds, save the chorus of native birds of all varieties - kookaburrasand magpies announcing the birth of another day, brilliantly plumed parrots, flirting with the town and tiny blue wrens, honey eaters and finches dart through leafy bowers, in search of food.

It truly is Walhalls - a name adapted from the Scandinavian Valhalls - kingdom of the gods; an appropriate resting place for a Manxman, with, perhaps, a dash of Viking in his heritage.


In the final forty eight hours before posting, the John Scarffe story has had to be rewritten in part, as information about his land ownership became available. This meant a rushed trip to town (13 miles), and visits to the Crown Lands Offices and Land Titles Office, for copies of documents.

The exciting find, which will mean a whole new load of research, was on the Crowns Lands Title, which revealed that, on John Scarff's death, the property passed to Harriet Andrews! "Mrs. Scarffe," your mask is removed! Another quick sprint to the other end of town, to check shipping lists at the Public Records Office, for the arrival of a Harriet Andrews. Not many Andrews to choose from, and none that looked likely! What is the true story of Harriet Andrews? Was she an orphan, with no knowledge of her background so invented her own history. (I cannot find a ready reference to Old Hornaby Castle at the State Library, nor through the British Tourist Authority.Does anyone know of its existence and site?) Was she a former convict possibly Irish, trying to cover her past? It seems sad to destroy the picture which this lady created, but history is based on fact, and she would not be the first colonist to invent a red-herring story to cover the truth.

In the mode of the best mystery writers, we leave our readers to ponder on this lady. The mystery of the 'WHO' may be solved, but the greater part remains to be solved.

Sleep on John Scarff, Manxman of Lonan; and Harriet Andrews, whoever you may be.

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