Smeaton: Origin of the name
In the book “Surnames of Scotland” published by the New York Public Library the name Smeaton comes “from the lands of Smytheton or Smythetun, now Smeaton, near Mussleburgh, Midlothian”. Mussleburgh is 7 miles east of Edinburgh. Smeaton also has an English origin, but it is clear that “our” Smeatons are from Scottish roots.
This web site is interested in Smeatons and Stalkers who migrated from Clackmannanshire to Victoria in the 1850s, their forbears and descendents.
Smeatons Arrive in Australia
Peter Smeaton, his wife Helen Stalker and their children, Margaret, Anne and Bob arrived at Melbourne on 15 July 1855 on the Tornado, an iron ship of 1229 tons. The parents of Helen Stalker (James Stalker and Margaret Hall) had preceded the family to Victoria in 1852. The Tornado had sailed from Glasgow on the 14 April 1855 with 395 government assisted immigrants and had a misfortune which forced it to return to Greenock during the voyage.
The shipping register lists the following family details:
- Peter Smeaton, aged 34
- Helen Smeaton, aged 30
- Margaret Smeaton, aged 6
- Anne Smeaton, aged 1
- Bob Smeaton, infant under 1 year of age
They were Presbyterian, Peter and Helen could read and write, and their place of origin is given as Clackmannanshire. Bob was born at sea. Peter Smeaton co-signed a letter of thanks to the captain and crew of the Tornado.
Peter Smeaton and Helen Stalker In Scotland
Peter Smeaton (1820-1889)
He was born at Crieff, Perthshire. His parents were Robert Smeaton and Catherine Reid (she born at Crieff about 1788). At the 1841 census he lived at “Tillicoultry V Southfield” in Clackmannanshire with his mother Catherine Reid, Mary “Smitton” aged about 25 and Jean Grant aged 1. On 17 May 1845 he married Helen Stalker at Tillicoultry. His mother continued to live at Tillicoulty 73 years old and at Union Street at the 1861 census.
Helen Stalker (1825-1903)
She was born in Alloa, Clackmannanshire. Her parents were James Stalker and Margaret Hall.
At the 1851 Scottish census Peter Smeaton and Helen Stalker were living at (11) How Dub (later known as Frederick Street), Parish of Tillicoultry. His occupation was listed as handloom weaver. Their children were:
- Robert Smeaton, aged 5, born Tillicoultry
- James Smeaton, aged 4, born Tillicoultry
- Margaret Smeaton, aged 2, born Tillicoultry
The International Genealogical Index lists the following Smeaton christenings:
- Robert Smeaton, christened 12 October 1845 Tillicoultry
- James Smeaton, christened 26 September 1847 Tillicoultry
- Margaret Helen Smeaton, christened 30 July 1848 Tillicoultry
- Anne Smeaton, christened 11 September 1853 [Her obituary indicates born in Ayrshire]
It is assumed that Robert and James died when young children. A further seven children were born at Creswick in Victoria
Peter and Helen Smeaton at Creswick
Peter Smeaton and Helen Smeaton (nee Stalker) (she also used Hellen, and Ellen) lived at Creswick from 1855 until their deaths. On the day after their arrival in Australia the Melbourne Age had a news story on the Creswick goldrush, which had started in 1852. Perhaps they went directly from the boat to Creswick and perhaps their motivation for coming to Australia was the great Victorian gold boom of the 1850s.
Peter Smeaton was for many years listed as a miner. In 1885 he was a miner living at Long Point, Creswick. In 1887 he was listed as a farmer. He had a small farm at Grahams Hill outside Creswick. I have visited the site of the house and it is just up from Creswick Creek where there were Chinese market gardens. He died in 1889, aged 69, from heart-disease.
Helen Smeaton (nee Stalker) died in 1903, aged 78 at her house at Grahams Hill, from shock after being badly burnt from a fire starting from a knocked over a kerosene lamp. The above article has Elizabeth incorrectly as her given name. Her son Charles William Smeaton, also of Grahams Hill, was the sole executor of her will
Helen Smeaton’s Parents: James and Margaret Stalker
Helen Stalker’s parents, James Stalker (1802-1883) and Margaret Hall (ca.1803-1887) . He was born 9 November 1802 were married in Clackmannanshire on 6 June 1822. They sailed for Australia on the “Hope” which sailed from Liverpool on 9 August 1852; arriving in Melbourne 10 November 1852. The ship carried 364 government immigrants. The shipping records indicate younger ages then other records.
- James Stalker, Ag. Labourer from Stirlingshire aged 43, Presbyterian, could read and write.
- Margaret Stalker could also read and write and was listed as being 42 years.
They were engaged by a Mr. Mclntosh of Moonee Ponds. None of their children accompanied them.
The ages on the above shipping records are incorrect, as James Stalker was born 14 November 1802 in Clackmannanshire, and Margaret Hall in ca.1803. They married 2 June 1822 in Clackmannanshire.
They had two children other than Helen:
- Ann Stalker who was christened in Alloa, Clackmannanshire on 5 January 1823 (she was alive in 1887); and
- Alexander Stalker who died probably when young.
At the time of his death James Stalker was listed as a dairyman of Long Point, Creswick. He died on 2 September 1883. Margaret Stalker (nee Hall) died when living at Long Point on 5 January 1887, aged 84.
Background of the Smeatons and Stalkers in Scotland
The towns from where Peter Smeaton and Helen Stalker came from, Alloa, Tillicoultry, and Sauchie are located in the Central Scotland industrial region. The main activities in this area were coal mining and woollen manufacturing. These were classic industrial revolution towns with unsafe mines, ‘satanic’mills, deplorable housing and widespread poverty. The standards in the Central Scottish coalmines were infamous even by 19th century standards, with women and children underground and mining families virtual slaves to the coal owners. Sauchie was a archetypal Scottish coalmining village
Peter Smeaton’s Ancestors
Peter’s father was Robert Smeaton (1787-1863). He married Catherine Reid on 19th July 1807.
At the 1851 Scottish Census the mother of Peter Smeaton, Catherine Smeaton (nee Reid) (ca.1788-1863) lived at 197 Park Street, Tillicoultry. She was 62, was born at Crieff, was a widow and worked as a woollen winder. She was living with her daughter Ann, aged 22, born at Perth, and Ann’s husband Thomas Wilson, aged 28. His occupation was handloom weaver.
Robert Smeaton was born 19 August 1787 in Perth. He married Catherine Reid on 19 July 1807 in Perth. Catherine Reid was born about 1788 in Crieff and both Catherine and Robert died in Tillicoultry in 1863.
Helen Stalker’s Ancestors
As shown above Helen’s parents preceded her to Victoria in 1852. They were James Stalker, aged 48 at the 1851 Scottish census, born at Newton Shaw (also known as New Sauchie), Clackmannanshire on 14 November 1802; and Margaret Stalker (nee Hall), aged 47, born at Tulliallan, Perthshire. He was a labourer. In 1841 James & Margaret Stalker and daughter Helen lived at Kirklands Row, Tillicoultry. In 1851 they were living at west side of the burn Tillicoultry.
James Stalker had the following brothers and sisters:
- Margaret Knox (nee Stalker), born 2 March 1798.
She married William Knox 14 Jun 1818. This web site, visited 11 July 2002, has more information.
- Carolina Stalker, born 14 April 1799
- Robert Stalker, born 30 November 1804.
He married Janet Tanch on 17 Feb 1826. He worked as a labourer and coal miner in Clackmannan. They had 12 or 13 children, but only 6 survived infancy. In the early 1850’s, the couple and three of their children went to America, first to New York, then Kansas. In America, Robert worked as a farmer. He apparently died quite poor in 1871. Janet’s brother seemed to look after her for the remainder of her life. She died in 1896.
- Alexander Stalker, born March 17 1807.
Died before 1816.
- William Stalker, born 1st Jun 1809.
She married Frances Campbell at Clackmannanshire 28th Feb 1831.
- John Stalker, born 10th May 1811.
- Helen Stalker, born 4 Aug 1813.
- Alexander Stalker, born 26 May 1816.
James Stalker and Margaret Hall were married in the parish of Clackmannan on 2 June 1822. No children were listed in the Census of 1851 as still living at their home.
James Stalker’s Forbears
James Stalker’s parents were Alexander Stalker and Helen Marshall. They were married 13 November 1795, parish of Clackmannan.Alexander Stalker was a miner. He was christened 21 July 1771, parish of Clackmannan. In 1795, he married Helen Marshall. He worked as a labourer most of his life, and raised his 7 kids in Clackmannan.
Helen Marshall was born 2 March 1768 in Alva, Clackmannshire. Her parents were John Marshall (born Alva 11 June 1730-?) and Margaret Home. (born Stirlingshire 1745-?). John Marshall’s parents were John Marshall and Margaret Milne.
Alexander Stalker’s parents were Robert Stalker (1733-?) and Janet Hunter. According to this web site Robert Stalker married Janet Hunter in 1763 and raised four sons.
The site also gives Robert Stalker’s father as William Stalker (1690-1771). William was born in Stirling in 1690, the youngest child and only son of Robert and Jean. Nothing is known about his life, except that he married Janet Morrison sometime before 1730. They had three children before Janet passed away in 1735.
The site goes further back to Robert Stalker (1657-?). Little is known about Robert. His name appears in a marriage record and on the baptism records of his children, but beyond that, we have little information. We know that he married Jean Scobie in 1677, when he was around 20. They appear to have settled in Alva, Stirling, Scotland, where they raised their 6 children. His date of death is unknown.
Margaret Hall’s Forbears
Margaret Stalker’s (nee Hall) parents were John Hall, a miller (christened 4 November 1768 Clackmannan) and Ann Watson. They were married in Clackmannan parish on 6th January 1799. Possible parents of Ann Watson are John Watson and Elizabeth Sharp who christened a daughter in Clackmannan parish on 5 May 1771.
Pat van Putten has provided the following information about the line of John Hall:
- Parents of John Hall: James Hall (born 1737) Clackmann; who married Jean Alexander
- Parents of James Hall: James Hall (born 1710) at Dollar; who married Margaret Nuccoll (Niccoll?)
- Parents of James Hall: Thomas Hall (born 1681) at Tillicoultry; who married Margaret Drysdale
- Parents of Thomas Hall: William Hall (born 1655) Clackmannanshire; who married Janet Harrower.
There is a Stalker Street in Tillicoultry. The name seems to be quite common in the area.
The Children of Peter Smeaton and Helen Stalker
A total of 13 children have been recorded as being born to Helen Stalker and Peter Smeaton:
- Robert Smeaton (1845-?)
Born 1845. He did not come to Australia. He died between 1851 and 1855.
- James Smeaton (1847-?)
Born 1847. Also did not come to Australia and died between 1851 and 1855.
3. Margaret Hall Smeaton (Danson) (1848-1900)
Born 1848 she arrived in Victoria in 1855 aged six. She married William Atkinson Danson (1833 – 25 November 1891), the son of James Danson and Dorothy Atkinson from Cumberland, England, on 26 April 1867 at Creswick. They lived as Ascot near Bendigo, Barkstead and Dean near Creswick and Waaia in the Goulburn Valley. She had at least 11 children. William is buried at Nathalia in the Goulburn Valley. Margaret died 12 October 1900 aged 52 at Waaia.
Their 10 children were:
3.1 Ellen/Helen Danson (Sutton) (1869-1950)
Helen Smeaton with husband David Sutton and children Margaret, Walter and Susan. Source: Ancestry.com
Born at Ascot near Bendigo she married David Sutton (1852-1938) on 22 February 1893 at Ascot. His parents were Anne Easmon (1827-1895) and James Sutton (1823/24-1903). They are buried at Yalca North near Bearii. The Suttons were pioneer farmers at Bearii near the Murray north of Numurkah and Nathalia. David died 27 September 1938 in Numurkah. Obituary. Helen died in Nathalia on 16 July 1950. She had five children:
3.1.1 Margaret Anne Sutton (Marten) (1894-1969). Born Ascot, she married Walter Ernest Marten (1887-1955) on 19 October 1915. They lived at Armona.
3.1.2 Walter William Sutton (11 June 1896-6 May 1978). Born at Strathmerton he cut his finger off aged five, enlisted at 19 and fought in France where he was wounded. He farmed at Mywee and married nurse Annie Christina Black (1898-1998) on 23 March 1932. They had six children: Jean, Walter, John, Jim, Lucy and Don. He is buried at Nathalia.
3.1.3 Susan Charlotte Sutton (Storer) (21 October 1901- 24 March 1967). Born Strathmerton she married William Joseph Storer (9 June 1896 – 21 May 1973) in 1921 (cert. 13268). They lived at Bearii. She had two daughters, Irene and Lillian. Susan died in Nathalia.
3.1.4 David Andrew Sutton (19 February 1905 – 25 October 1972). Born at Strathmerton he was known as Andrew. He married Bertha Waser (1904-1987) in 1932 (cert. 5627). He enlisted for WW2. They farmed at Ulupna West near Bearii. He died 1972 in Numurkah.
3.1.5 Nicholas Ralph Sutton (28 March 1911 – 8 September 1979). Born in Numurkah he was known at Ralph. He married Lily May Martin in 1935. They farmed at Bearii and had a son Graeme . Ralph enlisted in WW2.
3.2 Dorothy Atkinson Danson (Fowler) (1870-1947)
Born 16 April 1870 at Ascot she wed John Noble James Fowler (1864 – 3 October 1941) on 15 March 1893 at Waaia. John Fowler was active in wheat experimentation and the Waaia field days. They had six children. She retired to Melbourne after her husband’s death and passed away 14 August 1947. They are both buried at Numurkah.
Back: L to R. Francis Fowler, Henry Irving Fowler, John Alexander Fowler, James Edgar Fowler, William Edmund Fowler; Middle: Nellie with John , ? John Noble James Fowler, Dorothy Atkinson Fowler nee Danson, ? Walter Isaac Fowler (brother of John). Front rows unidentified. Source: Ancestry.com
Dorothy’s children were:
3.2.1 William Edmund Fowler (1894-1974). Born in Numurkah, he served in WW1. A photograph. Known as Will, he married Annie Yarwood (1895-1964) on 31 October 1923 in Waaia. After the war he was a munitions worker at Sunshine.
3.2.2 Henry Irving Fowler (1897 – 20 April 1955) Born in Numurkah. Known as Irving and Irve, he married Elizabeth Jane Watters (1900 – 10 February 1946) in 1925. He farmed at Katimatite and also lived nearby at Drumanure. He died in Numurkah 20 April 1955.
3.2.3 Letitia Margaret Fowler (Addison) (1900-1972). Born in Numurkah. and known at Margaret she lived at Waiia but after the war was with her brother John’s family at Berwick. She lived in various Melbourne suburbs and was a storekeeper of Richmond in 1954. She married Leonard Bruce Addison when aged 70 and died 1972 in Boronia, Melbourne.
3.2.4 James Edgar Fowler (1903-1971). Born in Numurkah. Known as Edgar and Ted, he married Alice Amelia ‘Millie’ Seamer (born 1901) in 1933 they had no children. They farmed at Berrigan, NSW in the 1930s. They later moved to Sunshine where he was an engineer.
3.2.5 Francis Fowler (24 January 1907 – 23 November 1959). A farmer and mechanic he lived his whole life in the Numurkah area, where he married schoolteacher Nellie Ada Neale (1907- 10 September 1987) in 1938. After his death she worked in Melbourne. Her children were John and Ruth.
3.2.6 John Alexander Fowler (2 January 1911-1983). Born in Numurkah and also known as Jack, he farmed at Waiaa and married Rita Bessie Message (1907-2012) in 1942. He enlisted for WW2 and was later farmed at Berwick before moving to Mordialloc where he was a breadcarter. He died in Sandringham.
3.3 Margaret Ann Danson (16 October 1871 – 9 November 1952)
Born at Ascot, she was a spinster who lived at Yalca. A map of the Waaia area lists M.A. Danson as owner of farmland adjoining Broken Creek west of Waaia village in 1904. She is buried at Nathalia with her father.
3.4 Sarah Elizabeth Danson (8 July 1873 – 8 December 1961)
Born at Barkstead, near Ballarat. Sarah didn’t marry, living at Baulkamaugh and Numurkah until 1948 when she moved to Brighton in Melbourne. Her grave is at Nathalia.
3.5 James William Danson (1875 – 19 January 1952)
Born at Barkstead. He married Emma Prentice (1881 – 27 December 1923) and farmed at Parkdale, Yalca. He was a good Australian Rules footballer. Children were Henry Alexander (1906-1984), William Peter (1907-1939), David John (1910-1982) – he enlisted in WW2), Dorothy Jean (1915-2002), Jessie, Mary (1919-2008) and Mavis Irene (1920-2002). Henry moved to Blow Clear near West Wyalong in 1928 and married Dorothy May Limbrick from Nathalia in 1932. Mavis enlisted in the AWRD in WW2, William married Hannah Leaf in 1934, Dorothy married Stanley Jeffs in 1940, Jessie married Robert A. Lindsay in 1845 at Yalca, Mavis married Gilbert Charles Gourley of Geelong in 1945, while Mary married Alan George Miller of Numurkuh in 1946. James William Danson died at Nathalia.
3.6 Peter Smeaton Danson (18 July 1877 – 7 August 1933).
Born at Barkstead he married Ellen (Nellie) Teresa Moroney (1888-1979) and lived at Waaia. He was a good Australian Rules footballer. Their children were Lorraine (1915-2007), Kathleen (1917-1987), Martin (1919-1943), Walter (1921-1985), Charles Robert (1923-1977), James Keith (1925-1999) and Naomi (1929-1990). Martin and Walter enlisted in WW2. At that time they were living at Lockwood Road Shepparton. Lorraine enlisted as a nurse. Peter died while droving accompanied by son Martin in 1933 while Martin Smeaton Danson died in New Guinea in the war, aged 23.
3.7 Mary Jane Danson (Cullen) (15 August 1879 – 28 October 1951)
Born at Dean, near Ballarat. A story when she was 13. She married Thomas Edward Cullen (1885-1957) in 1909 and they lived in Melbourne. Her children included John Edward (1910-1969) and Thomas Hall (1912-1976).
3.8 Grace Danson (Brotchie) (6 June 1881- 14 November 1941)
Born at Dean, a nurse, she wed wardsman Percival Stewart Brotchie (1887-1930) in 1918. A daughter is Lillian Frances Brotchie (1919-2000). Percy Brotchie died in Melbourne.
3.9 Frances Kate Danson (Knox) (25 May 1883 – 2 July 1958). She married Christopher W. Knox (1885-1938), the 1907 Stawell Gift winner in 1916. His obituary. In her later years Frances lived at Brighton with her sister Sarah.
3.10 Charles Samuel Alexander Danson (6 February 1889 – 16 June 1962). Known as Alex or Alec he farmed at Waaia and married Mary Monica Perinoni (1890-1982) in 1914, but moved to Melbourne where he was a real estate agent. They seemed to have parted,with some records showing he died at Pt. Pirie and she at Waverley in Sydney.
Note that some family histories mention a Miriam Danson born 1874 at Sebastopol. For more Danson information see this web site.
4. Anne Smeaton (Swindle) (1853-1926)
Anne was just 1 year old when she arrived in the colony.
She married John Swindle (1853 or 1854-1937) at Creswick in 1876. He was born in Alston, Cumberland in the North of England while Anne’s birthplace is given as Edinburgh.
According to Alan Swindale from England (see his web site), John Swindle was probably the son of George and Hannah Swindle who emigrated with their sons John and Robert arriving in Victoria on the Mistress of the Seas in 862. George Swindle and Peter Smeaton (Sr) were both miners who had land at Creswick. It looks as though George Swindle’s sons John & Robert and Peter Smeaton’s son/Anne Swindle’s brother – Peter Smeaton (junior), all moved north to take up farm land in the Canowindra area in the central west of NSW.
The places of birth of John Swindle and Annie Smeaton’s children indicate the family’s movement from Creswick to the Goulburn Valley area of Northern Victoria (Creswick-Mooroopna-Yielema-Barwo) and then into the NSW central west. In about 1887 they moved to near Canowindra purchasing ‘Mount York’ and later ‘Rosebrook Park’. They moved back to Victoria in ‘the great drought’ (1902-03?). The 1903 Victorian census listed John & Annie Swindle at Woodstock, Merna (just north of Melbourne) with son Peter John Swindle. By 1909 they lived at Carroll near Gunnedah, but after that date they were in the central west again. They had a farm called “Auburn Vale” on the Cudal-Cargo Road (now called Davy’s Plains Road) and retired to Canowindra in September 1918. Some property sales. He lived in Sydney for the last years of his life, but died at Canowindra on a return visit. Obituary
Anne Swindle died in 1926 (dc 8340) in the Canowindra district. She is buried in Canowindra cemetery adjoining her younger sister Catherine (Riddle). In 1930 John Swindle, Grazier, lived alone at Pine Grove, Cudal. He died in the Canowindra district in 1937 (d/c 7495). Their seven children were:
4.1 George Swindle (Jr) (1877-1919)
Born at Creswick [b/c 1922], he became an engineer in Sydney where he married Florence Ann Freeman Woodham (1883–1905) in 1902 [m/c 8693]. A child William Swindle was born in 1903 [b/c11021]. However Florence Swindle died in 1905. At the time they lived at 144 Francis Street Leichhardt. George then married Esther Ellen Graham in 1906 [m/c 3335]. They had a daughter Grace. George Swindle died 29 April 1919 at 128 Percival Road Stanmore of in the Spanish Flu epidemic aged 42 [probate 102135, dc 10276]. He is buried at Rookwood.
4.2 Helen Louisa (Louise) Swindle (Rice) (1878-1973)
Born 1878 at Mooroopna [b/c 17723], she died in the Canowindra district in 1973 [d/c. 71658]. She married Frederick Rice (1866-1927) in the Canowindra area in 1898 [m/c 7599]. They had a farm “Carlane” at Long’s Corner Road which was carried on their son George after his father’s death. Fred Rice owned trotters including the horse “Auburn Vale”. He was executor of Catherine Smeaton’s will in 1925. Frederick Rice died at Canowindra in 1927 [d/c 10623]. Helen Louisa was living at “Carlane” Canowindra in 1930 & 1936, with son George. The two children were:
4.2.1 George Henry Rice (1899-1957)
Born [b/c 2166] at Canowindra. A report of an accident he had as a boy. George H. Rice died in 1957 [d/c 5009] at Canowindra. He married Emma Parker (1901-1973) in the Cargo district in 1925.
4.2.2 Amelia Eva Annie Rice (Mulligan) (1901-1978)
Born at Cargo in 1901 [b/c 21143]. Amelia married Clarence Gilbert (Gil) Mulligan at Canowindra in 1922 [mc11850] but divorced on desertion grounds in 1938 [SMH 25 Oct 1938]. Amelia died 25 March 1978 and Gil 3 October 1981 – both at Canowindra.
4.3 Peter John Swindle (c1880-1943)
Peter John Swindle who was the second son of John Swindle. He married Ethel May Broad at “Auburn Vale”, Cargo in 1917. He was described as a well known trotting enthusiast and horseman. Ethel May Broad from northern Victoria was one of the best contraltos in the Goulburn Valley. They had a farm at Bangaroo Siding five miles from Canowindra which they sold in 1922. Peter John Swindle & Ethel May later lived at Mandagery Farm, Toogong Rd, Manildra in 1936. A newspaper report from 11 December 1942:
Mr. Peter Swindle, of Toogong, …sustained serious injuries while working on his farm and was taken to hospital. A few days later 24 neighbouring farmers, with wagons and trucks, visited Mr. Swindle’s property, carted in and stacked 46 tons of hay and shore 700 lambs. Everyman who attended was himself short handed. …measure of co-operation between those engaged tn the primary, enterprises during the war…
He died at Drummoyne in 1943. Ethel May of Turramurra died in 1970 aged 88.
4.4 Hannah Bell Swindle (Broad/Hepburn) (1882-1971)
Born 1882 at Yielima, northern Victoria [b/c 20334]. She married Joseph Gifford Broad in the Gunnedah district in 1910 [m/c 1627]. They soon moved to Lawson in the Blue Mountains. He was a signaller in WW1 and was killed in action in France. An obituary. She then married Francis Hepburn (c1879-1958) in 1923. They lived at ‘Pine Grove’ Cudal before moving to Parkes. Hannah died in 1971 aged 88.
4.5 Grace Maud Swindle (Bedwell) (1886-1963)
Born at Yielima in 1886 [b/c 28840]. She married Heriot G.Percy Bedwell in the Gunnedah district in 1909 [mc11335]. The Bedwells were from Numurkah. In 1919 he is listed in Sands Directory as a farmer at Dubbo. In 1926 they lived at Coogee. In 1930 they lived at 329 Howick St., Bathust, he was a business manager. He died in 1934 [d/c 15979] at Bathurst. Here is an obituary. In 1936 she lived at 210 Russell St Bathurst. Grace died at Manly in 1963 [d/c 23036].
4.6 Robert Swindle (1886-?)
Born at Barwo. Likely to be Grace’s twin, he is thought to have died in infancy.
4.7 Charles Joshua Swindle (1897-1973)
He was born to John and Annie Swindle in the Molong district in 1897 [b/c 33051]. He married Linda M. Green in the Cowra district in 1923 [m/c 11911]. He died in the Parkes District in 1973 [d/c 68907]. The Sands Directory lists a C.J. Swindle as having 166 acres at Manildra in 1929 and in 1930-1933 some 2035 acres on “Cudgelbar” at Bogan Gate. However as the census lists him as a labourer of Bridge St Canowindra in 1930 and the same of Ryall St Canowindra in 1936 there may have been two C.J. Swindles.
5. Robert (Bob) Smeaton (1855-1928?)
Born at sea in 1855. John Archer has discovered a 15 September 1928 death of a Robert Smeaton – parents being Peter and Helen Smeaton – in the Jerilderie district. He was recorded on the 1913 electoral roll as a labourer at Jerilderie. Probate records indicate that he lived at nearby Berrigan. He died intestate and his property worth was valued at £30.
6. James Smeaton (1857-1937)
Born in 1857 at Creswick, Victoria – as were all subsequent children of Peter Smeaton and Margaret Stalker – he married Janet Sudden (born Gisborne, 1861) in 1881. [m/c 3760]. She was the daughter of farmer James Sudden from Waaia (who died in 1887). In 1899 they lived at Yalca in the Lower Goulburn Valley. One report indicates that he later lived at Whitfield. James and Janet lived at Yerong Creek for some time during World War I and the 1920s (electoral rolls list them as at Yerong Creek from 1916 to at least 1928), where he had a small farm and was a mail contactor. James then moved back to Creswick and Ballarat. At his death he was living in Elsworth St, East Ballarat aged 79 [note mother’s name incorrect as Helen Margaret Hall on certificate]. He was buried at Ballarat New Cemetery 15 April 1937. His address at the time of death was 15 Elsworth St Ballarat. After his death Janet lived with her daughter Elizabeth Jane Lewis. Janet was buried with her husband at age 93 on 26 October 1954. She had been living at 8 Nolan Street Ballarat.
Their children included:
6.1 Peter Smeaton (1882-1886)
Born 1882 at Waaia, he died aged 4 at Waaia in 1886.
6.2 James (Jim) Smeaton (1883-1966)
Born at Barwo [b/c 494] (death certificate records Kotupna). He married Ellen Elizabeth “Dolly” Ryan at Wangaratta. A carpenter according to electoral rolls and lived at Yerong Creek from at least 1913 to 1936. They later lived in Melbourne. Dolly died 23 October 1954 when living at 87 Queen Street Coburg. Jim died at Coburg in 1966 [d/c 7107]. They had three children:
6.2.1 Maurice Charles Smeaton (1914-1971)
Born 19 April 1914 at Forbes, he married Eleanor Clare Gain (born 30 April 1914-13 Dec 2004) in 1941. They married in the Henty district (possibly at Yerong Creek) and lived there for many years. He enlisted in WWII. They had two children. There are photos of M.C. Smeaton in the book A History of Yerong Creek and District published in 1981. After Maurice’s death Eleanor lived in Wagga.
6.2.2 Edgar William (Ted) Smeaton (1916-2002).
Born at Yerong Creek 1 July 1916. He married Leila Alice Martin (1910-10 August 1970) at Lockhart in 1941. He rose to Sergeant during World War II. They lived at The Rock where he was a railway porter and later a storekeeper. Family tell me he was also a bookmaker. Ted died 14 May 2002 aged 85 years.
6.2. 3 Dorothy Jean Lowrie (nee Smeaton) (1919- ?)
Born 1919 at Yerong Creek. She married Walter John Lowrie in 1948 [vm/c 4882]. They were both living at Pascoe Vale in 1980.
6.3 William (Bill) Smeaton (1886/7-1956)
Born 1886 [also listed as 14.9.1887] at Waaia [b/c 30304] where he played football. He married Elizabeth Maud Wood at Wangaratta in 1908. He was ‘a railway man who lived at Seymour’, where he died. Children include:
6.3.1 Mary Janet Brock (nee Smeaton) (1909-1975)
Born 10 January 1909 at Whitfield, she married Frederick John William Brock (1907-1988) in 1927 [m/c 1315]. They lived at Seymour. He was a railway man. She died 17 May 1975 at Seymour [d/c 11322].
6.3.2 Vernon William Smeaton (1910-1989)
Born 1910 in Beechworth, he married Doris Margaret McLellan in 1935. In 1980 they lived in Coburg, he was a pipe fitter. Vernon died in 1989 and was cremated at Fawkner Cemetery.
6.3.3. Grace Helen McMillan (nee Smeaton) (1912-1969)
Born 1912 in Wangaratta, she married Frederick Allison Macmillan, an engineer, in 1944 and they lived at Bentleigh South in Melbourne where she died in 1969.
6.3.4 James Smeaton (1914-1973)
Born 1914 at Murchison East. He married Mary Maureen Lynch (1920-1971). They lived in Melbourne; he was a wharf carpenter.
6.3.5 Myrtle Elizabeth Blackston (nee Smeaton) (1916-2010)
Born 1916 at Murchison East, she married Alan Harold Blackston (born 1913) in 1938 and lived in Melbourne. He was an engineer.
6.3.6 Matthew Clarence Smeaton (1918-1992)
Born 1918 at Murchison East, he married Laurel Doreen Pang (1917-1989) in 1939. They later moved to Palmerston North, New Zealand
6.3.7 Charles Roy Smeaton (1920-1921)
He died aged 1 in 1921
6.3.8 Alan Joseph Smeaton (1921- ?)
Born in Seymour area he married Yvonne Norma Whitting in 1946. They were later shopkeepers at Airport West in Melbourne.
6.3.9 Gladys Pearl Smeaton (1923- ?)
She married Walter Gerald Evans in 1945. They lived in Brunswick West. He was an engineer.
6.4 Mary Anne Smeaton (1889-1900)
Born 1889 at Barwo [b/c 675]. Believed to have died from diptheria at age 11.
6.5 Helen Margaret Macklan (nee Smeaton)(1890-?)
Born 1890 at Barwo [b/c 29741]. She married Richard Macklan (1884-1954) at Wangaratta in 1908. Richard Macklan died in Benalla in 1954 aged 70. Their children included;
6.5.1 Vivian Macklan (1909-1942)
He married Eileen Ginnivan at Benalla in 1936 & died while a POW in Ambon. They had one child, Ian. Eileen died in 2003.
6.5.2 Elvie Janet Macklan.
She married Algeron Corry Swinburne (born 1910) of Cheshunt at Whitfield in 1937. They had two children. Some Swinburne family history. In 1939 fires threatened the area. Elvie died in 1984.
6.5.3 Annie Macklan.
She married soldier Arthur McCall at Wangaratta in 1940. They later lived at Lismore, Victoria.
6.5.4 Edgar Charles Macklan (1915-1942)
Born at Wodonga, he died with Vivian above in WW2.
6.5.5 Albert William Macklan (1920-?)
He was born at Wodonga and served in WW2. He survived being a POW in Singapore. He married Betty Alison Straughan in 1947 at Benalla. They lived in Benalla.
6.6 Elizabeth Jane Lewis (nee Smeaton) (1892-1984)
Born at Barwo [b/c 29580]. She married George Lewis, a school-teacher at Linton near Ballarat in 1910. Elizabeth Jane died 20 Dec 1984 and is buried at the New Cemetery Ballarat. Their children included:
6.6.1 Annie Elizabeth Strachan (nee Lewis) (1911- ?)
Born 1911 at Whitfield. She married Francis J. Strachan in 1933 at Ballarat. They later lived at Werrimull and Birchip. .
6.6.2 Doris Margaret Parker (nee Lewis) (1912- ?)
Born 1912. She married David Parker at Ballarat and lived her life there.
6.6.3 Kathleen Janet Field (nee Lewis) (1914-1969)
Born 1914. She married David Padfield and Thomas Field. She died at Ballarat in 1969
6.6.4 Edna Rose Merrick (nee Lewis) (1916- ?)
Born 1916 in Ballarat. She married Robert Merrick – no children
6.6.5 Joyce Hedges (nee Lewis) (1919- ?)
Born 1919 in Ballarat. She married Richard Hedges at Ballarat. 4 children.
6.6.7 Mervyn Smeaton Lewis (1924-1984)
Born 1924, Ballarat. Married Moira Carroll, 6 children. Mervyn died at Ballarat.
6.6.8 Eleanor Cochran (nee Lewis) (1934- ?)
Born 1934 at Ballarat. Married William Cochran, 3 children.
6.7 Grace Smeaton (1895-1896).
Born 1895 at Barwo and died 1896 [d/c 4764]
6.8 Margaret Hall Smeaton (1898-1899).
She died at 9 months in 1899 at Barwo [d/c 4526]
6.9 Charles Williams Smeaton (1899-1974)
Born 8 November 1899 at Yalca [b/c 30997]. He married Sadie Beatrice Mulhearne (born Lavington 7 Oct 1901-1991) on 1 April 1929 at Wagga. A Charles William Smeaton is listed in the 1925 and 1928 electoral rolls as being a grocer of Yerong Creek. Charles Williams Smeaton died 8 February 1974 when he was living at 4/60 Victoria Street Ashfield, and Sadie 28 Jan 1991 aged 89 when living at a retirement home at Merrylands. They had 4 children, two sets of twins:
6.9.1 Margaret Barber (nee Smeaton)(1930-2006)
Born 6 Feb 1930 at Henty, married Donald Barber at Lewisham 8th Sep 1951. She was a school secretary, he a mechanical engineer. Margaret Barber died at Westmead.
Twin 6.9.2 Barbara Leddin (nee Smeaton)(1930- )
She married Daniel Leddin at Lewisham 28 Jan 1951. She was a schoolteacher, he a farmer.
6.9.3 Janet Britnell (nee Smeaton) (1933- )
Born 9 September 1933 at Henty. She married Donald Britnell at Lewisham 4th Oct 1954. She was a school secretary, he a bus driver. Donald Britnell died in 2009.
Her twin 6.9.4 John Charles Smeaton (1933- )
He who married Bridget Quinn at Ashfield on 5th Jan 1957. John was a school teacher, she a bank clerk. Bridget is known as Patricia. John lives on the Central Coast
6.10 Alexander Smeaton (1902-1902)
He died at 7 months in 1902 also at Barwo [d/c 12483]
7. Peter Smeaton (Jr)(1858-1924)
Born with his twin brother Alex. on 24 August 1858. He married Catherine Mclvor at the Presbyterian manse at Mooroopna on 19th January 1885 [m/c 882].
At this time Peter was a farmer of North Mooroopna where Catherine’s family also lived. Prior to this marriage Catherine Mclvor gave birth to a son William James Mclvor ll July 1878. William Mclvor later settled in New Zealand at Temuka. With other members of the family Peter and Catherine farmed in the Lower Goulburn Valley.
The family moved to the area between Canowindra and Eugowra around 1890. At the 1891 census Peter Smeaton lived at Long’s Corner Road near Canowindra. There was one male and four females at the address. Further land was bought in the area in 1909 and 1910. According to a local history “Peter and Catherine Smeaton came to Eugowra from Victoria. They owned a small property on the western outskirts of the the town and this is where they raised a family of five children – Isabella, Helen, Peter, Christine and John”.
Peter Smeaton, died on ll February 1924 at Parkes Hospital and is buried at Parkes. Catherine Smeaton (nee Mclvor) died 26 July 1925 at her daughter Helen’s place at Cookamidgera and is buried with her husband.
7.1 Helen (called Nellie) Smeaton (Mason)(1886-1958)
Born 3rd Feb 1886 at Mooroopna North [b/c 12310]. She married Peter Mason at her father’s property of “Spring Vale”, Eugowra on 20 June 1911. Peter Mason was from The Rock and later farmed Walla Walla. He was about 18 years older than Nellie. They lived at Cookamidgera near Parkes. Peter Mason died 25th April 1921. Peter fathered five children, one, Mary Mason, before marrying Nellie. His first wife died in childbirth with their second child. Helen Smeaton’s children are – Catherine Anne, Isabella Christina, John William and Ada Helen. Catherine Anne Mason married Mervyn Cunningham and lived in Parkes. Mary was very much regarded by Helen as part of her family and was always treated as Helen’s daughter. Nellie died 1958 and is buried at Parkes.
7.2 Isabella (Bell) Annie Ivor Smeaton (Pollock) (1887-1937)
Born ll August 1887 at Mooroopna North. She received £20 in grandmother McIver’s will in 1899. She married George Pollock at the Smeaton house, Parkes Rd., Eugowra 27 March 1912 – Picture . They lived initially at Balldale near Corowa and later at Tallimba near West Wyalong. Bell had nine children – see the Pollock File for details. Picture of Bell aged probably in her early 30s. Isabella died, according to my father, from cancer in May 1937; her obituary reads in part:
The death occurred at Concord (Sydney) on Wednesday last of Mrs. Isabella Pollock, wife of George Pollock of “Avondale”, Tallimba. The sad event cast a gloom over the Tallimba district as Mrs. Pollock was one of the most popular and highly respected ladies in the district, and her untimely demise, at the comparatively young age of 49, was deeply regretted by her wide circle of friends. Her cheerful disposition endeared her to all she came in contact with… She was a member of the Tallimba branch of the CWA and was Hon-Sec of the Brennan’s Tank P&C. Although not enjoying the best of health for the past two years, she had only been seriously ill for the few days prior to her death, which was caused by pleurisy, …attendance of over 400 people.. pallbearers, T.McClintock, J.Mitchell, M.Hillier,Jr., A.E. McClintock …
7.3 Christina Joan Smeaton (Robinson) (1889-1969)
Born 19 January 1889 at Waaia [b/c 4045]. She married William Robinson at Eugowra on 13 September 1913 [mc15305]. William was formerly from Cowra. It was the first wedding at the Eugowra Presbyterian church. They lived at a farm of 500 acres, “Litte Dale” at Back Yamma, which is east of Forbes and between Eugowra and Parkes – and adjoining Cookamidgera. William Robinson died at Forbes 27 August 1927 aged 47. Christina Joan lived in Parkes in 1930 but by 1937 she had moved to Sydney where she lived with her brother Peter Frank Smeaton at 21 Burlington St Earlwood/Canterbury. In the 1940s she moved to 96 Coogee Bay Road where she remained until she died in 1969. Her children were:
7.3.1 John (Jack) William Robinson (1914-2004)
He was born at Canowindra. As a child he was kicked by a horse. When he was a pharmacy student he lived at 21 Burlington Ave Earlwood. He enlisted during World War Two and was a chemist in Wollongong – at Bellambi I think. He married Margaret Winchester Stronach at Burwood in 1945. In 1949 they lived at 132 Princes Highway Dapto. In the 50s until Margaret’s death in 1963 they lived at Bellevue Street, Figtree. Later he lived at 9/13 George Street Wollongong. John Robinson died at Ballina on 29 August 2004.
7.3.2 Mary Jean Robinson (Cunningham) (1915-2005)
Mary Jean Robinson, known as Jean, was born 21 July 1915 at Canowindra, and lived at 31 Orange Rd Parkes in 1937. She married John (Johnnie) Cunningham (younger brother of her cousin Catherine’s husband Mervyn Cunningham) in 1942. John Cunningham was born 16 July 1917 at Nurse Cock’s private hospital Parkes and died 13 May 2001. They had a son and later moved to Western Australia. Jean died 26 June 2005 in WA. Both are interred at Karrakata Cemetery Perth.
7.3.3 Donald McIver Robinson (1920-1981)
Born 1 September 1920, he enlisted during World War Two. He married Patricia Mary Miller at Waverley in 1945. They had a boy and a girl. He died at Brighton-Le-Sands 21 January 1981.
7.3.4 Gordon Robinson
He died aged 5 years
7.4 Peter Frank Smeaton (1891-1958)
Born 11 September 1891 at Mooroopna North [b/c 35524]. He married Lisle Johanna Gosper (1892-1981) at Eugowra 22 March 1916 [mc3157]. Note that brother John Ivor Smeaton married Lisle Gosper’s sister Ellen. See this site for more about the Gospers. Peter worked on the railways all his life, was head porter at Central station in Sydney and was a successful tennis player. He died 10 May 1958 at Earlwood. Lisle died 14 July 1981 in a retirement home in Wollongong. Peter and Lisle had the following children:
7.4.1 Floris May Smeaton (Hayward) (1916-1966)
Born ll May 1916 at Eugowra. She married Lionel Arthur Dunn who enlisted in world war two. She later married William Anthony (Tony) Hayward. In 1949 Floris May Dunn lived at 21 Burlington Street, Earlwood. In 1958 she lived at 8 Tempe Street, Undercliffe with Tony Hayward a greengrocer. Floris died 24 February 1966.
7.4.2 Peter Wallace Smeaton (1919-1920)
Born 17 September 1919 at Eugowra. He died in 29 November 1920 aged one at Waverley, Sydney.
7.4.3 Edward John Smeaton (1921-1992)
Born 12 May 1921, He served in world war two. He married (Violet) Joy Hughes in 1946 at Canterbury. In 1949 they lived in Kimberley Road Hurstville and in 1954 he was a clay worker of 57 Berna Street Canterbury. In 1958 he lived at 21 Burlington Street Earlwood. He remarried to Beth Abernethy in Sydney in 1962. In 1963 he is listed as a textile worker of 5 Earlwood Ave Earlwood, and in 1980 at 1/8a Wairoa Street Canterbury. He died at Belmore 16 May 1992. Beth Smeaton died at Belmore in 2001.
7.4.4 Robert Stanley Smeaton (1922-1993)
Born 4 October 1922 at Waverley (4 October 1919 recorded on world war two service record; elsewhere as 1921). He married Ivy Lillian Marshall in 1958. He is recorded as a clerk living at 21 Burlington Street Earlwood from 1949 to 1963. In 1980 he is recorded as living at 85 River Road Earlwood with Teresa Smeaton. He later lived at Norahville on the NSW Central Coast and died in 1993.
7.4.5 (Winifred) Joy Smeaton (Niven) (1925-1986)
Born December 1925. She married Graham Bain Smith (1923-2007) in 1948. He had enlisted in world world two. In 1949 they lived at 25 Challis Ave Kings Cross. They later lived at Miranda. Joy remarried to John Alexander (Jack) Niven (maybe in the 1970s). Jack Niven lived for many years at 9 Foreman Street Tempe. Later Jack and Joy left Sydney. In 1980 she is listed as a bookkeeper at 112 Clarinda Street Parkes. She died 29 June 1986.
7.5 John Iver Smeaton (1895-1937)
Born 23 April 1895 at Canowindra. He went to WWI. He fought on the Western Front suffering a serious wound to his left leg after just a couple of weeks in the trenches. After receiving extensive treatment in Sydney he returned to Eugowra where he married Ellen Mary Gosper on 12 August 1922. Due to his injuries he retrained as a tailor and in 1933 was living in 9th Avenue Campsie. He died 1 March 1937 in Randwick Military Hospital, where he had been an inmate for four years, and is buried at Rookwood. Ellen seemed to live in the Earlwood area most of her adult life. Ellen died at Eugowra 4th January 1981. The following children were born:
7.5.1 Leonard Bruce Smeaton (1922-1950)
Born 22 February 1922 at Eugowra. He married Betty Gosper at Earlwood in 1946. After serving in world war two he died in the Korean War in 1950. Link to last letter from Len Smeaton and his picture and further information. Betty remarried to Max Eberle, a close friend of Len Smeaton, and lived at Kareela. She died in 2010
7.5.2 Clare Ellen Ferguson (nee Smeaton)(1924-?)
Born 6 May 1924 at Waverley. She married Norman Ferguson (1923-1958) in 1943 at Earlwood. He died in 1958 at North Sydney and Clare later lived at Hahndorf, South Australia. At Hahndorf she helped preserve its history and wrote a book with her sister Cath (see below).
7.5.3 Lillian Jean Smeaton (Ward) (1927-2010)
Born 28 August 1927 at Waverley she married Robert Richards at Earlwood in 1946. She later married Harold Maxwell (Max) Ward (1933-2006) who lived at Ardnaree cattle station southwest of Miles in Queensland. Lillian had 8 children.
7.5.4 Catherine Mary Smeaton (Storey) (1929- ?)
Born 22 October 1929 at Waverley. She married John Storey (1915-2001) in 1963. In 1970 they opened “Storison Arts and Crafts” with sister Clare Ferguson in the historic Haebich’s Smithy at Hahndorf. In 1983 she wrote with her sister Clare the book: History, hints and recipes : from historic Hahndorf / compiled by Cath Storey & Clare Ferguson. John Storey died in 2001. Picture of Cath, Clare and Kylie together.
7.5.5 Sydney John Smeaton (1934-1979)
Born March 1934 at Campsie. He married Evelyn Butt and died 1979 in Fawkner, Melbourne.
8. Alexander James Smeaton (1858-1946)
Born 4 August 1858. He married Isabella White (born at Meredith) in 1882 [m/c 450]. Isabella Smeaton (nee White) died ‘quite young’ and the three children were cared for by Alexander and Janet (White?), their grandparents. Their father, Alexander Smeaton died at Ballarat hospital in April 1946 aged 87. He had been living with his daughter Catherine Longhurst at 4 Chisholm Street Ballarat. His is buried in Ballarat New Cemetery Presbyterian section [3/42R1] Their three children were:
8.1 Catherine Maud Smeaton (Longhurst) (1882-1954)
Born 21 December 1882. She married Charles Longhurst in 1906. Apparently Charles Longhurst left the family without support so Catherine and children had to support themselves. They left their little white house on Ascot Rd, Long Point, Creswick and moved to Ballarat where they had a boarding house, probably in Chisholm Street. Catherine died aged 72 at Ballarat 13 September 1954 and is buried at Creswick. They had 8 children:
8.1.1 William (Bill) Longhurst (1907-1973)
He was born in Ballarat 1907. He married Evelyn Donohue in 1943. Evelyn lived at Prospect, Launceston.
8.1.2 Phoebe (Nina) Longhurst (1909-1969)
She was born in Ballarat and died there. She never married.
8.1.3 Charles Longhurst (1911-1970)
Born 1911 at Daylesford he died in Ballarat 1970. He married Jean Kilfoyle. She died in 1972 at Ballarat. Charles was a very good runner and won a heat in the Stawell Gift and played VFL in Melbourne. He had a farm, ‘Bannigal’ at Skipton.
8.1.4 Catherine Edith (Edie) Longhurst (Fraser) (1912-2002)
Born at Daylesford in 1912. She married Jack P. Fraser in 1937. They had no children. They lived later at 611a Lydiard Street North, Ballarat. Edie died in Ballarat in March 2002, aged 89. Jack died in 1997 aged 90, also at Ballarat.
8.1.5 Robert Alan (Bobby) Longhurst (1913-1919).
He was born at Ballarat.
8.1.6 Fred Longhurst (1915-1979)
Born 1915 Geelong, died 1979 Geelong. Fred married Nancy June Keir. They had 3 children. Nancy lived at Port Arlington and died at Geelong 28 June 2004 aged 90. Fred was a teacher.
8.1.7 Frank Longhurst (1916-1964)
Born 1916 Geelong, died 1964 Ballarat
8.1.8 Alexander Max Longhurst (1917-1972)
Born 1917 Creswick, died 1972. He married Dorothy Perkins. Max was 6 feet tall, dark, hazel eyes. He had an interest in vintage cars and owned a Bentley Swift. They had a son.
8.2 Helen Mary Smeaton (Dougherty)(about 1883-1951)
Helen married Cahir Dougherty in about 1912. They lived at Beulah in the Wimmera. Helen’s obituary. They had eight children:
8.2.1 (James) Cahir Dougherty (1908 – ?)
Born at Beulah he still lived there in 1951
8.2.2 Kath Donaldson (nee Dougherty) (1911- ?)
Born at Ballarat, she married at Mr Donaldson and lived at Albert Park
8.2.3 George Dougherty (1913-1991)
I think this is the George Doherty who was a well known AFL player, playing mainly for Geelong.
8.2.4 Noel Dougherty
He lived at Mildura
8.2.5 Ethel Woods (nee Doughtery)
She married a Mr A. Woods
8.2.6 Lindsay Smeaton Doughtery (1921 – ?)
Born in Beulah he enlisted in World War Two and later lived at Ballarat
8.2.7 John Dougherty (1923- ?)
Born in Beaulah was at Hope Valley Western Australia when he enlisted for Work War Two.
8.2.8 Lyle Dougherty
Lyle still lived at Beulah in 2004.
8.3 James Bernard (Gordon?) Smeaton (1885-1938)
Born at Numurkah and buried at Creswick aged 52 on 3 July 1938 [d/c 15976]. He never married.
9. Catherine Maria Smeaton (Riddle) (1861-1900)
Born 1861. She married Walter Riddle (born at Gisborne) in 1881 [marriage certificate 891]. They moved from northern Victoria, where he was a coach and buggy builder, to the Canowindra area of NSW in about 1890. The family farm was Mt York at Billimari on the Cowra Road. According to the Australian Trotting Register Feb 1991 they “sold out for a handsome profit and moved….with his family to settle at South Granville”. He also lived for several years in Tasmania and later lived at Mascot. Three sons, Peter, Bert and Dave also became successful horsemen.
Riddle family sources inform that “Walter was having an affair with the children’s governess, Ada Badham, and insisted the last child be named after her. Because of the affair, Catherine threw acid in Walter’s face – he sported a beard after that”. Ada became Walter’s second wife.Further to the acid incident above is this information transcribed from the Port Fairy Gazette of 18 February 1898.
Extraordinary Divorce Case.
Extraordinary allegations of cruelty were made in the Sydney Divorce Court on Tuesday, before Mr Justice Simpson, by Walter Riddle, who petitioned for a divorce from his wife, Catherine Riddle, on the ground of cruelty and adultery with Stephen Stapleton. The petitioner said that he was married in Victoria in 1881, and afterwards went to reside at Cowra as a selector. There are six children alive at the issue of the marriage. In June or July, 1896, he saw his wife beating their eldest daughter, Nellie, aged 17, and jamming her head against the wall. He got the girl away, and then his wife hit him on the head several times with a pair of tongs. On another occasion, his wife dragged Nellie from the piano stool, on which she was sitting, along the passage by her hair, and, when he went to rescue her, his wife seized a corkscrew and tried to push it into his eye. She also threw a cup of hot tea into his face. On February 3 last, after he said something to his wife, she struck him on the head with a broome handle. Later on, he went into his room to lie down, and soon afterwards his daughter Nellie came in. A few minutes later his wife came to the door with something in her hand. His daughter said “Don’t throw that over father’. His wife relied “Look out, or I’ll burn the lot of you”. He sat up in bed, and a cup of carbolic acid was thrown in his face As a consequence of this act he lost one eye, and the sight of the other was impaired.
A descendant of Catherine was written: “Catherine was portrayed as the deranged one but this may have something to do with the position of women in society in the 1890s and who is believed in court”. It is thought that her sister Anne (Swindle) may have looked after her after the divorce and the loss of her children. Catherine Riddle died in Cowra Hospital 6 April 1900 and is buried in Canowindra cemetery. It is recalled that she “died of a broken heart”. Walter Riddle died at his home “Almonte” in Ascot Ave., Mascot 2 March 1933 [probate 189245], aged 75 and is buried in Waverley cemetery.
Catherine’s children included:
9.1 Helen Riddle (Jones)(1881-1969)
Born 1881 Kaarimba. Helen married Arthur Agenor Jones (1873-1946) at Nyrang Creek near Canowindra. A.A. Jones was born at Nyrang Creek 1 Sept 1873 and died 18 Jan 1946 at Mascot. Helen died 2 June 1969, aged 87, at North Ryde. Their children were: Loris (married Fred), Walter (married Maizie), Neil (married Grace), Edna (married Niel), Helen (known as Hazel), Merylin (Merle) – who married Tom & Arthur (known as Jack)- married Belle.
9.2 Peter Riddle (ca.1885-1947)
He became “the most successful trainer-driver [in harness racing] in Australia”. Like his brother Bert he moved over to thoroughbreds. “During the 20’s and 30’s Peter Riddle had a big stable of horses, but by the late 30’s early 40’s he suffered from chronic ill health..” He was the trainer of legendary Australian galloper Shannon. Death notice and another one. His wife was Kathleen. He lived at death at 4 Norton Street Randwick. They had a daughter June who married a Mr Azaeu?
9.3 Walter Robert Riddle (Jr) (1886-1957)
Born 1886 probably at Katandra near Mooroopna [b/c 11294]. I think his wife’s name was Bena or Berna. In 1957 he lived at 47 Dowling Street, Kensington. His children were Noel Riddle (who married May) and Loran (who married John Murray).
9.4 Albert (Bert) William Riddle (1887-1952)
Born 1887 at Waaia [b/c 32655]. Bert Riddle was a well-known horse breeder. He started in trotters and moved over to thoroughbreds. He was the manager of the Kia-Ora stud at Scone from many years until his death in 1952. According to his death notice his wife was Lal and son Ron. I have a report that A.W. Riddle’s son, born 1909, was William Sinclair Riddle (but was known as Peter)
9.5 David Riddle (1889-1943)
I have a record of a Henry Riddle born 1889 at Numurkah [b/c 24751]. However this name is unknown by the family. I’m assuming this is actually the person known as Dave Riddle. He was also a trainer-driver. He married Ruby Mary O’Neil at Cowra in 1907. They lived in Tasmania at Moonah and New Norfolk. They had an only child Freddie (Frederick Walter) who died aged 15 in 1922. Dave died in Sydney in August 1943. Ruby Riddle died, aged 64, at Jannali in 1953.
9.6 unnamed male Riddle child (1890-1890)
Born & died 1890 in NSW. [b/c 04678} [d/c 11529]
9.7 Ada Edith Riddle (Trevillian/Derwin) (1892-1950)
Born 1892. She married a Richard Trevillian at Parramatta in 1916. Richard died of tuberculosis in 1921. Their children were Ursula (born blind & deaf and died as an infant); Joan Isabel (Married a Donald Evan MacDonald in 1942) and Norma Estelle (Alan James Holloway Le Serve). Ada remarried to Charles Vincent Derwin (Born at Dubbo: 1892-1964). She died at her residence 3 Barney Street Drummoyne.
9.8 James (Little Jimmy) Riddle (1894-1896)
Born 1894 in NSW and died in 1896 [d/c 6038]
10. John Smeaton (1862-1863)
Thought to have been born in 1862 and died at age 15 months at Creswick on 3 April 1863.
11. Charles William Smeaton (1863-1937)
Born in 1863. The sole recipient of his mother’s will, he was believed to be unmarried. He was a witness at younger sister Grace’s marriage in 1887. He was still listed as living at Graham’s Hill, Creswick in 1919, later moving to Ballarat to live at 60 Clayton Street with older brother Alexander Smeaton. He died at Ballarat in 1937 aged 74 [d/c 13719], being buried 28th June at Ballarat New Cemetery. At the time of his death he was listed as a labourer of 4 Dawson Street, Ballarat.
12 Grace Smeaton (Lowe)(1865-1937)
Born in 1865. She married Nicholas Harrison Lowe (born Durham Lead, Victoria, circa 1864) on 24 March 1887 at her parent’s house at Long Point, Creswick. Nicholas Lowe was employed as a repairer by the railways as of 24 Jan 1889. The 1899 electoral roll lists Nicholas H. Lowe, line repairer of Maroona, 18km. south of Ararat. He was known to have lived at Gelliondale in the South Gippsland, possibly in the 1920s. Grace Lowe (nee Smeaton) died 28 April 1937 at 21 Oberwyl Rd., Burwood aged 72 and is buried in Melbourne’s Burwood Cemetery. Nicholas died 17th July 1948 when living at 185 Highett Street, Richmond, and is buried with his wife. The children of Grace include:
12.1 Helen Jane Lowe (1887-1977)
Born 1887 Creswick [b/c 10342]. She married George James Stevenson (circa 1888 – 1950). They lived at 348 Highett Street, Richmond and died aged 89 at Richmond in 1977.
12.2 George Lowe (1888- 1888)
Born 1888 Creswick [b/c 10573]. Believed to have died in infancy.
12.3 Ethel Jane Lowe (1891-1893)
Born at St. Arnaud in 1891 and died in 1893 aged 3 months? One source has 1892 as date of birth.
12.4 Ernest Ralph Lowe (1892-1906 )
Born Ararat 1892. He died in an accident at Ararat aged 16 in August 1906
13 Mary Smeaton (1868-1915)
Born 1868, suffered from sever boughts of epilepsy. She was a patient in the Ararat Hospital for Insane from 18 August 1897 to 21 May 1901 when she was transferred to the Ballarant Mental Hospital, where she died on 23 June 1916. George Smeaton was born to a Mary Smeaton in NSW in 1894 [b/c 2349] , no mention of father and is an unlikely connection.
The information above comes from many sources including: Betty Eberle, my late aunty Kitty Rumble, Linda Pongracic, Robert Longhurst, Leanne Draper, Arthur Jones, John Archer, Susan Riddle, David Macklan, Loretta Edmonston, Pat van Putten, Ian MacDonald, Geoff Cunningham and Barbara Henry.