Robert Chapman Rayner and Mary Kinsella

Robert Chapman Rayner was born on 6 April 1820 in Hobart Town, Van Diemen's Land, the son of William Rayner and Susannah Chapman. When he was 15 Robert was a witness at the wedding of his sister Isabella Rayner to William Nichollias at the home of his father William Rayner. According to the marriage registration Robert signed his name so like most of the Rayner children Robert could read and write.1

The following entry in the Launceston Examiner in March 1842 may refer to Robert Chapman Rayner:

Notice.-The following individuals having made applications for Assigned Servants without having paid the postage of their letters, in accordance with the regulations recently published, no notice can be taken of their several requests: Edward Lovel, Old Beach, Ist March, 1842; Thomas Learinonth, Green Ponds, 28th February; C,. Thomson, Macquarie River, 1st March; John Maddock, Eastham, 28th February; R. Wales, Evindale, 3rd ditto; Benjamin Walford, River Tamar, 2nd March; S. & L Thomas, Port Sorell, 28th February; G. R. Thomas, ditto, 26th ditto; George F. Storey, Grange, Swan Port, 20th ditto; Robert Rayner, Sandy Gully, 3rd March; W. Rayner, Fairy Dale, 3rd ditto;2

As may the following be related from August 1842 where three Rayners are mentioned, Robert, George and Mary:

Hamilton, July 19, 1842.

WE, the undersigned, inhabitants of the district of Hamilton, having learned that your appointment to the office of Assistant Police Magistrate by His Excellency the Lieutenant-Governor has not been confirmed by the Rt. Hon. the Secretary of State, beg to convey to you the sincere expression of the complete satisfaction we have received from the manner in which you have performed the duties of your office, and the general regret which prevails throughout the district at the prospect of being deprived of your services... [The letter goes on for another two paragraphs].

Robert Rayner...
George Rayner...
Mary Rayner...3

At some point Robert migrated from Van Diemen's Land to Victoria where he married Mary Kinsella (Kinsla) on 31 December 1850 in Christ Church, Church of England, Geelong, Victoria.4 Mary was possibly born in 1833 in Killerany, Wicklow, Ireland to John Kinsella and Ann Hatchell or Hochtrel.5 Apparently the family emigrated from Ireland and arrived in Port Phillip in 1849 on the New Liverpool. Mary was age 17.6

Robert and Mary would have a large family of twelve children so there will many twists and turns in their tale. There is also much contradictory information that will hopefully be resolved as research progresses. According to some researchers Robert and Mary's first child, Susannah Rayner, was born in either 1851 or 1852, and either in Hobart or Victoria. The child died the same year.7

Their second child, Robert William Rayner, was born on 3 May 1853 in Hobart.8 The family were obviously moving between ports while transitioning to permanent settlement in Victoria, and again we have variable reporting of the children's birth place, with John Rayner born in 1854 but in either Hobart or Victoria.9

In November 1856 Robert C. Rayner was mentioned in a list of unclaimed ships letters for the previous month of October in the Bendigo Advertiser.10

The issue of variable reporting of births is repeated with the birth of William Rayner. According to Louis Daniels, he was born in 1855 in Sandhurst, Calculated from his much later death registration, William was born about April 1856. Lynn Haines reports his birth date as 13 September 1857 in Kangaroo Flats, Bendigo, Victoria.11 No official birth registration appears to exist. We do know that in February 1858 Robert was living at Tipperary Gully as he was advertising lost property he had found at Opossum Gully as follows:

FOUND in Opossum Gully, on Sunday, the 31st instant, a Pair of Bellows and a Half of a Pit Saw, made into a cross-out. The owner can have the same by applying to Robert Rayner, Tipperary Gully.12

Sarah Rayner, Robert and Mary's fourth child, was born on 17 June 1858 in Tipperary Gully, Sandhurst, Victoria (or in Raywood according to Daniels).13 Over the next ten years Robert and Mary would have a further four children. Archer Rayner was born in 1861 in Kingower, Victoria14 Sophia Rayner was born in 1864 in Elysian Flat, Victoria (or in Raywood according to Daniels)15 Ann Rayner was born on 4 March 1866 in Neilborough, Victoria (or in 1867 in Raywood according to Daniels)16 Bona Rayner was born in 1868.17 Bona's birth appears not to have been registered but later events prove her existence in this family. Regarding these fluctuating locations, according to Louis Daniels:

In Victoria the couple moved around the Bendigo Goldfields area, with children arriving at various obscure places. Sandhurst is Bendigo, and Whipstick is now a State Park north of Bendigo. Raywood is a town 29 kilometres north of Bendigo, on the road from Eaglehawk. through Whipstick State Park. It was there that the family settled.18

While the couple were living in these areas Robert was probably earning his living through farming rather than mining, although his children engaged in mining over the years. Around 1870 another daughter, Susan Rayner, was born. Unfortunately, Susan Rayner apparently died in 1871. No official record of this child has actually been found but Susan is mentioned as deceased in Robert Chapman Rayner's later death registration.

Susan was followed by Elizabeth Rayner, born on 8 January 1871 in Elysian Flat, Victoria.19 Elizabeth was Robert and Mary's eleventh child. Their twelfth and last, George Rayner, was born on 4 October 1873 in Whipstick, Victoria.20 He died the next day on 5 October 1873 in Whipstick, Victoria. George was buried on 6 October 1873 in Raywood Cemetery, Victoria.21

Robert Chapman Rayner died on 10 June 1875 in Elysian Flat in the Borough of Haywood, County of Bendigo, Victoria. The cause of death was recorded as measles, from which Robert had been suffering for 12 days. He was recorded as a farmer, aged 55 years, the son of WIlliam Rayner, Baker, and Susannah Rayner, maiden surname unknown. According to the death registration Robert was born in Hobart Town, Tasmania and left the island when he was 19. He had been residing in Victoria for 36 years. Robert's son Robert was the informant for the event. Robert Senior's children were recorded as Susannah (deceased), Robert, John, William, Sarah, Archibald, Sophia, Annie, Bona, Betsey, Susan (deceased) and George (deceased). Robert Senior was buried on 12 June 1875 in the Raywood Cemetery.22

The year after his father's death, Robert William Rayner married Jane Collis Harding on 13 November 1876 in Elysian Flat, Victoria.23 Jane was born on 30 November 1858 in Whipstick, Victoria, the daughter of William Harding and Mary Ann Kerrigan.24 Robert and Jane would go on to have nine children that have been traced.

Two years after her husband's death, Mary Rayner (nee Kinsella), the widow of Robert Chapman Rayner, married George Francis Stephens on 18 September 1877 in Myers Flat, Victoria.25 George was born on 9 May 1856 in Sandhurst, the son of Francis Dyer and Elizabeth Stephens.26 Sandhurst is the original name of Bendigo.

Just one month later, Mary and Robert's son William Rayner married Elizabeth Jackson-Johns on 29 October 1877 in Sandhurst, Victoria.27 Elizabeth was the daughter of Francis Johns and Ellen Jackson.28 William and Elizabeth would go on to have ten children that have been traced.

The first of the girls to marry was Sarah Rayner. Sarah married John Jack Perry on 7 July 1880 in the Congregational Manse, View Street, Sandhurst, Victoria.29 John was born about 1853 in Hampshire, England. Sarah and John would go on to have six children that have been traced. Ann Rayner married Charles Vogele on 13 September 1882 in Bendigo, Victoria.30

Ann's sister Sophia Rayner also married into the Vogele family. Sophia married John Adam Vogele on 12 October 1882 in the Lutheran Church in Sandhurst, Victoria.31 Charles and John, better known as Adam, were probably step-brothers, Adam being the son of Michael Vogele and Rosina Barbara Rau, and Charles being the son of Michael Vogele and Carolina Catherine Hachtel. Rosina Barbara Vogele (nee Rau) had died in 1854, four years prior to the Vogele family arriving in Victoria in September 1858 on the John Owens from England having emigrated there from the Baden-Wurtemburg district in Germany.32

John Rayner married Matilda Stephens on 21 November 1882 in Neilborough, Victoria.33 Matilda was the sister of John's step-father, and the daughter of Francis and Elizabeth Stephens. Matilda was born on 13 May 1862 in Nerring, Victoria.34 John and Matilda would go on to have seven children that have been traced.

On the 21st November, at Neilborough, by the Rev. J. H. Alphonso Ingham, John, second son of the late Robert Rayner, to Matilda, third daughter of Frances Dyer Stephens.35

Archer Rayner married Rachel Murdoch on 9 Jun 1883 in Eaglehawk, Victoria.36 Archer and Rachel would go on to have sixteen children that have been traced.

On 9th June, at, the Manse, Eaglehawk, by the Rev. R. Lowers, Mr. Archer Rayner, of Neilborough, son of Mr. Robert Rayner, of Kingower, to Miss Rachel Murdoch, of Neilborough, daughter of Mr. James Murdoch, of Gippsland, Victoria.37

Bona Rayner, age 19, died on 26 September 1887 in Elysian Flat, Victoria. Bona was buried on 28 September 1887 in Raywood, Victoria.38 No death notice was placed but the following year Bona's mother inserted the following memorial notice:

In loving memory of Bona Rayner, who died at Neilborough, 26th September, 1887, aged 19 years. "You are gone, but not forgotten, Just one year ago to-day; But the thought of you is something That can never pass away. Early were you taken, Bonnie, But we know 'tis vain to weep; Tears of ours will never wake you From your calm and silent sleep." Inserted by her loving mother.39

In January 1889 it was reported that Sophia Vogele (nee Rayner) had lost a significant sum of gold and silver, much to the distress of the struggling family:

A SEVERE LOSS.-Yesterday Mrs. Adam Vogele, of Sebastian, reported to the police that she had lost a white pocket handkerchief containing £20 10s. in gold and 2s. 6d. in silver, between Macpherson and Co's, sale yards and Hargreaves-street. The handkerchief and money were in her pocket, which had a hole in it, and in this way the loss was brought about. Vogele is a woodcarter, and the money was the proceeds of a contract which he had fulfilled for one of the mining companies in Sandhurst or Eaglehawk. The family are not in good circumstances, and the loss is a severe one for them. The finder is requested to communicate with the police.40

Elizabeth Rayner married Donald McKay on 25 October 1893 in Eaglehawk, Victoria.41 Donald McKay was born on 20 November 1863 in a tent on the goldfields at Raywood, Victoria, the son of Alexander McKay and Frances Finlayson.42 Donald and Elizabeth had two children that have been traced. Donald and Elizabeth lived in Raywood where Donald was the town clerk and clerk of courts. He was also the sexton of the cemetery.43 Five years after Elizabeth's marriage her mother Mary Stephens (nee Rayner, formerly Kinsella) died on 29 August 1898 in Raywood, Victoria. Mary's age was recorded as 65, and the cause of death recorded as an aortic obstruction secondary to cardiac failure from which she had been suffering from for 20 years. Donald McKay, Mary's son-in law was the informant. According to the death registration Mary was born in County Wicklow, Ireland, had been 2 years in Tasmania, then 48 years in Victoria. The registration also noted she had married in Bendigo at the age of 44 to George Stephens, and at the age of 17 years to Robert Rayner. Mary's children were recorded as Robert (45), John (43), William (41), Sarah (39), Archibald (36), Sophia (34), Ann (32), Elizabeth (27), and by a former marriage, Charles (deceased). Mary was buried on 31 August 1898 in Raywood Cemetery, Victoria.44 John Rayner died on 2 December 1898 in Bendigo Hospital, Bendigo, Victoria as the result of a mining accident.45

FATAL MINING ACCIDENT AN UNEXPECTED EXPLOSION AT ELYSIAN FLAT. The Golden Stream mine at Elysian Flat, two miles from Raywood, was the scene of a terrible blasting accident, yesterday afternoon, a miner named John Rayner, 41 years of age, receiving fatal injuries. The deceased, who is a married man, was working with his brother-in-law, John Perry, in one of the stopes. They fired two holes, and went into the level to await the explosions. They heard one report, but there came to them no sound of a second explosion. After waiting for some time Rayner entered the stope to examine the hole, and immediately afterwards an explosion occurred, A number of men hastened to the scene and found the unfortunate man lying unconscious amongst the debris. His scalp was almost torn off and his head was otherwise fearfully injured by the powder. He was removed to the surface and conveyed to the Raywood railway station; where he was placed in a ballast train and taken to Bendigo. Happily the poor fellow remained unconscious and would not feel the agony of the slow and tedious journey of 20 miles in the burning heat. Mounted-constable Jones, of Raywood, and several of his mates, accompanied him to Bendigo, which was reached about 5 o'clock. From the station he was taken to the hospital in one of McCulloch Carrying Company's carts, and after being in the institution about an hour he breathed his last. The Golden Stream is owned by Messrs. Reilly. Ross and party. The news was telegraphed to Superintendent Gray, and Mr. W. Abraham, Government Inspector of Mines, and an inquest will.be opened to-day. Powder was the explosive used.46

John Rayner was buried on 4 December 1898 in Raywood:

RAYWOOD, Monday. The Fatal Blasting Accident. — The funeral of the unfortunate miner John Rayner, who was killed whilst working at the Deep Lead, took place yesterday, and was one of the largest that has ever passed through our little town. Fully 50 buggies, etc.. besides about 20 horsemen, followed the remains to the Raywood Cemetery. The deceased had resided in our district from boyhood, coming to Elvsian Flat with his parents before the Raywood rush broke out some 35 years ago, and he was highly respected for his upright dealings. The unfortunate man leaves a widow and seven little ones badly provided for, but I believe steps are about to be taken towards raising a subscription on their behalf.47

An inquest was held into the accident which ruled that death was caused by recklessness:

MINER'S RECKLESSNESS - The evidence adduced at the inquest on the body of John Rayner, who was killed in a blasting accident at Raywood on Friday, showed that the unfortunate man literally threw away his life. It was shown,that he and his mate fired two holes and then retreated to the level. Only one report was heard, and deceased, after waiting two or three minutes, went back to examine the other. He had to crawl on his bands and knees a distance of 16ft, and as his body was found right beneath the hole he had evidently reached it when the explosion took place, and thus received its full ejects. The Mines Act strictly forbids miners from approaching "missed" holes within an hour after they have been fired, so that.had deceased waited only a quarter of the time set forth by law he would now have been alive and well. In his evidence Mr. W. Abraham (Government Inspector of mines) pointed out that there had been a contravention of the Act and Mr. Webb, J,P. referred to the lamentable recklessness which deceased had shown in thus throwing away his life and depriving his wife and seven children of support. The jury returned a verdict to the effect that deceased alone was blameable for the accident.48

Archer Rayner died on 28 December 1909 in Eaglehawk, Victoria.49

OBITUARY. The remains of the late Mr. Archer Rayner were interred in the Eaglehawk Cemetery yesterday, the funeral moving from deceased's late residence, Sailor's Gully-road, at 1 p.m. Mr. A. Morris conducted a short service at the house, where the hymn, "Jesus is a Rock in a Weary Land," was sung. The coffin, which was covered with floral tributes, including a domed immortelle, was borne to the grave by Messrs. F. Stephens, M. J. Vogele, F. Rayner and G. Stephens. The hymn, "Nearer My God to Thee," was fervently rendered at the grave, the burial service being conducted by Mr. Morris, who spoke at some length of the terrible ravages of the "'white plague," or miners' complaint, to which the deceased had succumbed. Mr. H. T. Joy had charge of the mortuary arrangements.50

Elizabeth Rayner (nee Johns), the wife of William Rayner, died on 11 February 1918 in Raywood. Elizabeth was buried in the Raywood Cemetery, Victoria.51:

RAYNER. —On 11th February, 1918, at her residence, "Eglantine," Neilborough, Elizabeth, dearly-beloved wife of William Rayner, loving mother of William, Joseph, James (W.A.), Christopher (W.A.), Edward (Sydney), Elizabeth, Annie, Sarah, and Bona, (Mrs. A. B. Faull, of Elmore). Aged 73 years. Interred at Raywood, 12th February, 1918.52

Rachel Rayner (nee Murdoch), the widow of Archer Rayner, died in 1924 in Bendigo, Victoria.53 Rachel was buried in the Eaglehawk Cemetery in Victoria on 25 April 1924.54 John Adam Vogele died on 22 November 1924 in Sebastian, Victoria. He was buried in the Raywood Cemetery, Victoria.55 Matilda Rayner (nee Stephens), the widow of John Rayner, died on 4 April 1925 in Northcote, Victoria.56 Matilda died intestate so her daughter submitted letters of administration, noting that up until she died Matilda had been living in Victoria Street, Eaglehawk.57 Robert William Rayner died on 20 October 1926 in Raywood, Victoria. He was buried on 21 October 1926 in the Raywood Cemetery, Victoria.58 Sarah Perry (nee Rayner) died on 10 May 1927 in Parsonage Grove, Eaglehawk, Victoria.59 Sarah was buried on 12 May 1927.60 Jane Rayner (nee Harding), the widow of Robert William Rayner, died on 28 May 1930 in Raywood. Jane was buried in the Raywood Cemetery, Victoria.61 William Rayner died on 15 June 1930 in Inglewood, Victoria. He was buried on 16 June 1930 in the Raywood Cemetery, Victoria.62 John Jack Perry, the husband of Sarah Rayner, died on 1 January 1940 in Eaglehawk, Victoria.63 Donald McKay, husband of Elizabeth Rayner, died on 23 August 1944 in Eaglehawk, Victoria. He was buried in the Raywood Cemetery, Victoria.64

McKAY. - On August 23, at Raywood, Donald, loving husband of Elizabeth, loved father of Elsie (deceased). Mary (Mrs. E. Hayes), fond grandpa of Esma, aged 79 years. -Peacefully sleeping.65

Ann (Annie) Vogele (nee Rayner) died on 27 August 1949 in Temora, New South Wales.66 Sophia Vogele (nee Rayner) died on 8 May 1952 at 193 Forrest Street, Bendigo, Victoria. Sophie was buried on 9 May 1952 in the Raywood Cemetery, Victoria.67 Elizabeth (Betsy) McKay (nee Rayner) died on 10 September 1964 in Raywood, Victoria, aged 93. Elizabeth was buried on 12 September 1964 in the Raywood Cemetery, Victoria.68

John Horton
John Horton's picture
The Vogele Family

Two of Robert Chapman Rayner's children married into the Vogele family. After extensive research it would appear the pre-eminent source for information on this family is the book: Vogele, Eric Alfred. The Vogele descendant’s story, from cir. 1670. [Frankston, Vic.: Eric Vogele], 1996.. Michael and Caroline Vogele arrived in Melbourne in September 1858 on the John Owens from Liverpool, England1 having emigrated there from the Baden-Wurtemburg district in Germany. The family was comprised of:

Name Age on Arrival Known Details
VOGELE, (GEORGE) MICHAEL 45 Born about 1813
Also known as George Michael Vogele, born in Untersteinbach, Germany
Died in 1884 in Kows Swamp, Victoria.2
VOGELE, CAROLINE 39 Born about 1819
Also known as Carolina Catherine Hachtel.
Possibly Michael's second wife, as he is also associated with a Rosina Barbara Rau. Rosina died in 1854 in Wurtemburg, Germany.3
VOGELE, FRIEDERICH (TOBIAS) 20 Born about 1838 in Sindrengen, Wurtemburg, Germany,
Married Jessie Maria Stokes4
Died on 05 Dec 1896, see PROV Index to Wills, Probate and Administration Records 1841-1925
VOGELE, ADAM FRIEDERICH MICHAEL N/A Born 1840
Died 18485
VOGELE, CATHERINE (KATHARINA SOPHIA) 16 Born about 1842
Married Gustav Moritz Schaef
Died in New Zealand.6
VOGELE, CHRISTIAN (CARL) 14 (sic) Born 13 Oct 1845 in Sindringen, Wurtemburg, Germany7
Married Martha Barnes
Died in 1933 in Raywood, Victoria (aged 88).8 (Christian Vogele Jnr. died on 16 Feb 1897, see PROV Index to Wills, Probate and Administration Records 1841-1925)
VOGELE, (CHARLOTTE) JULIE 9 Born about 1849
Married Gustav Frederick Loeser9
VOGELE, (JOHN) ADAM 6 Born 20 Aug 1852 in Ohringen, Baden-Wurtemburg, Germany10
Also known as Adam John Vogele, and as John Adam Vogele, associated as the child of George Michael Vogele and Rosina Barbara Rau11
Married Sophia Rayner on 12 Oct 1882 in Sandhurst, Victoria12
Died on 22 Nov 1924 in Sebastian, Victoria, see PROV Index to Wills, Probate and Administration Records 1841-1925
VOGELE, CHARLOTTE (KATRINA) 2 Born about 1856 (Given Rosina Barbara Rau's death in 1854 Charlotte is probably the daughter of Michael and Caroline.)
Married Robert Muller (Miller)13

After their arrival Michael and Caroline are known to have had the following children:

Name Age on Arrival Known Details
VOGELE, CHARLES CARL N/A Born 22 Mar 1860 in Fourth White Hill, Bendigo14
Married Ann Rayner on 13 Sep 1882 in Bendigo, Victoria.15
Died 11 Feb 1941 in Temora, New South Wales16