Margaret Hay and Thomas Brown

Margaret Hay was born about 1831 in Scotland, the seventh child and fifth daughter of James Hay and Ann Barclay. Margaret's birth or baptism registration has not been found so her birth year is derived from the age stated on the passenger list for the Forth which carried Margaret and her birth family from England to Australia. The ship arrived in 1833 and at that time Margaret was stated to be age 2.1

Margaret Hay, 18, married Thomas Brown, 24, on 13 May 1850 in St. Paul's Church, Stanley, in the Horton district of Tasmania. Thomas was reported to be a groom, a handler of horses. Thomas could sign his name but Margaret made her mark, indicating she was illiterate. James Hay, Margaret's father, was a witness, along with Isabella Allan.2

Marriage Registration of Thomas Brown and Margaret Hay

Marriage Registration of Thomas Brown and Margaret Hay
Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office

Thomas Brown was born about 1826, according to an online account, in Barrington, Surrey, England but this has not been verified. His birth year has been calculated from the age he stated when he married. It is unknown how Thomas came to be in Van Diemen's Land so he may have been a convict, or he may have been a free settler.3 There were 84 convicts with the name Thomas Brown, and 5 with the name Thomas Browne.

Thomas and Margaret's first child was a boy, Thomas Barkley Brown was born on 27 March 1851 in the Horton district, Tasmania.4 A second child and another son arrived when James Alexander Browne was born on 19 July 1853, also in the Horton district, Tasmania.5

At some stage during the next eight months Thomas and Margaret Brown, and their two sons, migrated from the Circular Head district to Victoria. At the age of eight months, so presumably around March 1854, James Alexander Brown died in Smythesdale, Victoria. For the death registration James was recorded as eight months old and born in VDL.6

Just ten months later, back in Tasmania, Margaret's father died in January 1855. Margaret may not have been aware of this for some time due to the delays in communication.7

Thomas and Margaret's first child born in Victoria was also their first daughter. Mary Ann Brown was born about 1857, although her birth doesn't appear to have been formally registered.8

Their second daughter and fourth child was Sophia Brown, born in Riddell's Creek, Victoria.9 Sophia was followed by Margaret Brown, born in 1862 also in Riddell's Creek, Victoria.10 Unfortunately Margaret only lived 9 months and died in 1863 in Victoria.11

Riddells Creek is a town in Victoria, Australia, located in the Shire of Macedon Ranges. Riddells Creek is also the name of the main watercourse which flows through the township, and which is a tributary of Jacksons Creek to the south.12

Locations around Riddells Creek and Trentham in Victoria
Google Maps

A fourth daughter and sixth child, Frances Brown, was born in 1864 in Clowes Forest, Victoria, abbreviated as Clow in the birth register.13 Frances was followed by Emma Brown, born in 1866 in Blue Mountain, Victoria.14 Emma died in 1867 in Victoria at the age of eight months.15

Blue Mountain Diggings (Trentham)

In Sept 1851 gold... found on Clow's station, a run bordering on the Dividing Range on the north side, on the heads of the Coliban River. Later that year... new diggings on the Coliban. The first gold rush... March 1859...Trentham town site, then known as Clowe's or Ogden's Forest.... Stony Creek valley discovered and worked in 1859, but was deserted for the Inglewood Rush near the end of that year. The lead here was then known as Frenchman's, and the diggers were nearly all Frenchmen. The main rush to this area, which then became known as Blue Mountain diggings, started in October 1862, following the discovery of gold near the Divide at Blue Mountain, or Wuid Keruik, as it was known to the aboriginals.16

Also in 1867, Thomas Brown suffered a serious injury which was reported in a summary of events of Kyneton in the Australasian:

On Friday, Thomas Brown, a resident of Alma Beef, was driving a waggon containing a large water tank, when the vehicle was overturned upon him, the wheel coming in contact with a stump. He was crashed frightfully, and being taken, to the Kyneton Hospital, it was found necessary to amputate his right arm. His skull was also fractured, and small hope is entertained of his recovery. Mr. Brown's son was also jammed with him under the dray, and in his endeavours to extricate them, Mr. Enders, of the saw-mills, was twice Kicked by the horse, on the head and the arm.17

The Mount Alexander Mail, quoting the Kyneton Observer, offered a little more detail on the events of the accident:

The following narrow escape is recorded by the Kyneton Observer :— About two o'clock on Friday afternoon a man named Thomas Brown and his son— a lad some twelve years of age — were discovered underneath a capsized dray on the road about two miles from the township of Tylden. They were both badly bruised, but may consider themselves fortunate in escaping with their lives, as part of the loading of the dray consisted of a heavy iron tank, which was being conveyed to the Alma Reef Company, Blue Mountain. Mr Enders, of the Saw Mills, who exerted himself to rescue the father and son from their unenviable position, was kicked twice by the horse, the first time on the side of the head and then on the arm. The injured parties were brought into Kyneton by the after noon coach.18

Given Thomas' severe injuries it must have been difficult supporting his ever growing family. An eighth child was added with the birth of Barbara Brown in 1868 in Blue Mountain, Victoria.19 Barbara was probably named after her aunt Barbara Hay. By 1869 the Brown family was comprised of Thomas (43), Margaret (38), Thomas (17), Mary Ann (12), Sophia (10), Frances (5) and the baby Barbara (1).

In Tasmania, Margaret's mother Ann Hay, nee Barclay, died on 9 July 1870 in the Horton district.20 Ann would have had the support of her daughter Ann Howard, formerly Hudson, nee Hay, who was also living in the Circular Head area.

Back in Victoria, the Brown family was still growing, with the addition of two more boys over the next three years. George Brown was born in 1871 in Trentham, Victoria,21 and William Brown was born in 1873 in Blue Mountain, Victoria.22

William would prove to be the youngest and last of the family, and in the year he was born the elder children started to marry. Mary Ann Brown married William Rutherford on 22 April 1873 in Carlsruhe, Victoria.23 Carlsruhe is a small rural town in the Shire of Macedon Ranges between Woodend and Kyneton, alongside the old Calder Highway.24

William Rutherford was born in 1851 in Kelso, Roxburghshire, Scotland, the son of William Rutherford and Jane Temple.25 His parents had chosen to emigrate to Victoria sometime between 1858 and 1862. Mary Ann and William would go on to have five children over the next decade.

Mary Ann's sister Sophia Brown married James Stanford (sic) on 16 June 1879 in Victoria.26 James Sanford was born in 1859 in Glenlyon, Victoria, the son of James Sanford and Emily Sydenham.27 Sophia and James would go on to have eight children that have been traced.

A third sister, Frances Brown, married Joseph Sumners in 1882 in Blue Mountain, Victoria.28 Joseph Summers was born in 1859 in Winchelsea, Victoria, the son of James Summers and Mary Ann Randall Wells.29 Frances and Joseph would have four children that have been traced.

Thomas and Margaret Brown's oldest child Thomas Barkley BROWN married Emma Amelia Westlake in 1882 in Victoria.30 Emma Amelia Westlake was born in 1864 in Kangaroo Flat, Victoria to William Westlake and Rosetta Greenwood.31 Thomas and Emma would go on to have ten children over the next eighteen years.

Mary Ann Brown's husband William Rutherford died in 1885 in Daylesford, Victoria at the reported age of 34. William's parents were recorded as William Rutherford and Jane Temple.32 Mary Ann would go on to have a further six children over the next 13 years with no named father.

Thomas Brown Snr. died on 24 April 1899 at Garlicks Lead, Blue Mountain, Victoria at the reported age of 68, making his calculated birth year 1831. His father was recorded as Thomas Brown but his mother's name was unknown.33

Thomas Brown, sen., an identity of the Trentham district for close upon 40 years, died on Monday at his residence, Garlick's Lead. Thirty years ago he met with an accident whilst carting on the roads, and had his arm amputated at the Kyneton Hospital, this being the first operation of the kind performed in that institution. Deceased was 78 years of age.34

Margaret Brown nee Hay died on 20 April 1906 in Blue Mountain, Victoria at the reported age of 73, making her birth year 1833. Margaret's parents were recorded as James May and Ann Barclay.35

Mary Ann Rutherford, nee Brown, married for a second time to Robert William Duvall in 1912 in Victoria.36

George Brown died on 22 April 1917 in Trentham, Victoria. The cause of death was concussion and internal brain injuries caused by an accident three days earlier. James Summers, a Cousin, registered the event. George was recorded as being buried on 24 April 1917 in the Trentham cemetery.37

At Trentham George Brown, laborer, died as the result of a fall from a tree while leaf cutting for eucalyptus's distilling. As he did not return home after his work a search was made, and Brown was found lying under a tree in an unconscious condition. He had evidently fallen from the tree on the previous day, and had lain out all night in a heavy frost.38

Thomas Barkley Brown died on 23 March 1919 in Trentham, Victoria. The cause of death was recorded as cardiac weakness and dropsy, as a result of which Thomas had spent the last eight months of his life in bed. Dr. John Anderson was the attending doctor and had last seen the deceased on 28 February 1919. Thomas' daughter Frances Grant of Trentham registered the event. It was stated that Thomas was buried on 25 March 1919 in the Trentham cemetery.39

Death Registration of Thomas Brown

Death Registration of Thomas Brown
Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office

Sophia Sanford, nee Brown, died on 2 November 1924 in Collie, West Australia.40

SANFORD.-On November 2, at Collie Hospital, after short illness. Sophia, dearly beloved wife of James Sanford, and fond mother of Jack, Alf,, and Mrs. G. Brockwell. Collie; Mrs. J. Newman, and James, Mornington; and MTS. T. Saunders, Perth; aged 65 years. So dearly loved, so sadly missed.41

Joseph Summers, the husband of Frances Brown, died in 1928 in Beaufort, Victoria at the reported age of 69.42

Mary Ann Duvall, formerly Rutherford nee Brown, died on 2 February 1936 in Korumburra, Victoria.43

Frances Summers, nee Brown, died on 12 February 1944 in Kew, Victoria at the reported age of 80.44

SUMMERS. On February 12, Frances, widow of the late Joseph Summers, and loved mother of Mary (deceased), James (deceased) and Kathleen (Mrs. Clarke, of St. Kilda), aged 80 years. Privately interred 15th inst.

SUMMERS. On February 12, Frances Summers, loved grandmother of Ruby (Mrs Arman). Privately interred 15th inst.45

Emma Amelia Brown nee Westlake, the widow of Thomas Brown Jnr., died in 1951 in Elsternwick, Victoria.46

James Sanford, the husband of Sophia Brown, died on 5 August 1954 in Harvey, Western Australia.47

SANFORD: On Aug. 5, 1954, at Mornington Mills, James Sanford, dearly beloved husband of the late Sophia, and fond father of William (deceased). George (deceased), John, Emily, Alfred, Eliza, Ettie and James: aged 98 years. At rest.

SANFORD: In loving memory of granddad, passed away Aug. 5. 1954. granddad of Mary and Les, great-granddad of Leslie and Barry Doubikin: aged 98 years. Life's long Journey ended.48