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Welcome to Vandemonian Royalty

This website is primarily concerned with the early years of Australian, and in particular Tasmanian history, as described on the About Us page. For the principle families see the Books page. If you're looking for something specific use the Search function, and if you wish to reproduce material from this website see the Copyright Guidelines page for further information. Use the Contact Us form to get in touch, or view our Website Registration, Privacy and Site Updates page for details on how to get more out of this website.

Recent Content

A Trip to Fentonbury and the Russell Falls

THE TRAVELLER.
[By The Pilgrim.]

Fentonbury is a small pioneer settlement about eight miles from Glenora, the present terminus of the Derwent Valley Railway. The road diverges from the Derwent Valley towards the Western Tiers, near Fenton Forest, and there being no regular conveyance, I made up my mind to tramp it. As I did not leave the Forest until late in the afternoon, I only just reached the settlement before nightfall, and received a very kind welcome from Mr and Mrs Langdridge, at the State School, whose hospitality to visitors is proverbial, and who spared no trouble in endeavoring to make my stay a most enjoyable one. 1

  • 1. 'THE TRAVELLER.' - The Colonist (Launceston, Tas. 1888 - 1891), 8 September, 1888, p. 4.

A Visit to the Camps

TASMANIANS IN ENGLAND. 1
(By Mrs. F. A. Cranstoun.), LONDON, Sept. 15.
As I was to spend a holiday with my sister in Cornwall, it was a good opportunity to visit some of the camps en route. Profiting by previous experience, I wrote in good time to the O.C.'s in various centres, and received kind letters in reply that I should see as many of our boys as possible. I left London on Monday morning, August 27, arriving at Tidworth at 11.30. The first camp to be visited was No. I Command, Perham Downs, about 4.30. The weather was awful - rain and mud and a gale of wind. I drove to the camp, went to headquarters, thanked those in authority for the trouble they had taken, received a kindly welcome, and was conducted to the room where our Tasmanians were assembled.

War correspondence written by #619 Pte Frederick (Fred) George Clayton

Letter written by #619 Pte Frederick (Fred) George Clayton, 40th Battalion, C Company.
Frederick was the brother of Mary Ann and Sarah Jane Clayton, both wives of Mungo Scott, father of Angus George Scott.

To : G. Scott - Good Cochie Farmer - Tunnack - Sept 18th 1916
Dear George, Reenie,
I am still carrying the shooter about but not for rabbits although one or two would be nice change after the bully beef of which we get quite sufficient. We had a bonza trip across after leaving Melbourne it was about a month before we sighted land and coming through Australian Bight there was a little water come aboard just enough to keep her cool she wasn't to fast only do about 12 or 14 knots no doubt she would spring of her tail if the submarine come close which we never seen their was two other troopship beside us then the Escort so they was on their guard. …

War correspondence written by #3017 Pte Thomas Ernest Byers

TASMANIAN RECRUITING - TASMANIAN VOLUNTEERS. 1

The following men entered Claremont camp yesterday [Thursday, 2nd Nov 1916] as volunteers for the A.l.F.:—
Byers, T. E., farm laborer, Oatlands.

At the time of his enlistment at Claremont Camp on 1 November 1916, Thomas was courting Hilda O'Brien sister-in-law of Angus George and Irene (Renie) Scott nee O'Brien. The following are transcriptions of a series of letters written during his time in the 40th Battalion, 7th Reinforcements, AIF.

Robert Wilson and Helen Brodie

Robert Wilson was the seventh child and sixth son of James Wilson and Catherine Boak. He was born on 1 January 1795 and baptised on 26 February 1795 in Kirknewton, Midlothian, Scotland:

Robert Wilson, son of James Wilson in Crosstown & Catharine Boog his Spouse was born on 1st day of Jany 1795 & baptised on the 26th day of Feby 1795.1

For some unknown reason there are two baptism records for Robert, with only his mother’s name being different between the two registrations.

  • 1. GROS OPR Births 690/00 0030 0249 Kirknewton and East Calder

Agnes Wilson, Thomas Eadie and Peter Greenlaw

Agnes Wilson was baptised on 17 June 1827 in Kirkliston, West Lothian, Scotland, the daughter of David Wilson and Jean or Jane Crawford.1 Agnes’ mother Jean or Jane died when Agnes was 22 on 17 December 1849 in Scotland. Agnes’ father David died just under four years later on 30 June 1853 in Ecclesmachan, West Lothian, Scotland.2

Agnes married Thomas Eadie on 11 April 1854 in Ecclesmachan, West Lothian, Scotland.3 Thomas was born about 1831 in Scotland.4

  • 1. Rackham, Margaret: Wilson Family Group Sheets; “Wilson Descendants”; Book 2, Page 54
  • 2. Rackham, Margaret: Wilson Family Group Sheets; “Wilson Descendants”; Book 2, Page 32
  • 3. "Scotland, Marriages, 1561-1910," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XY7R-24H [496] : accessed 1 August 2015), Thomas Eadie and Agnes Wilson, 11 Apr 1854; citing Ecclesmachan,West Lothian,Scotland, reference ; FHL microfilm 1,066,629.
  • 4. Date of birth calculated from age stated at death.

The Links to Uphall

Wilson Headstone

In the graveyard of the Church of St. Nicholas in Uphall is a headstone with the following memorial: 1

1798
THIS STONE WAS ERECTED BY
JAMES WILSON TO THE MEMORY
OF HIS FATHER, JAMES WILSON
WHO DIED DEC 3RD 1787, AGED 63 YEARS
AND ALSO OF HIS SON, DAVID WILSON
WHO DIED IN INFANCY.
2

Priscilla Arnott and John Walker

Within twelve months of Thomas' death his second daughter Priscilla, aged only fifteen, married John Walker, at Bethseda, a chapel catering for the overflow of St George's Parish Church, in Hobart. 1 John was several years older, and had been born in Bolton, Lancashire where he'd enlisted as a Private in the 96th Regiment. John had seen convict guard service at Norfolk Island before arriving in Van Diemen's Land, and within two years of their marriage Priscilla accompanied John when he was transferred to the Swan River in Western Australia prior to their departure with the regiment for India.

Julie Skellern has researched and recorded John's military record - Regimental #1403 2

  • 1. AOT : Marriage Registration - RGD 1847/898/37
  • 2. UK National Archives - WO12/9624 to 9628 - General Muster Lists and Pay Books, 96th Regiment of Foot, 1st Battalion - Public Record Office, Kew

James Wilson and Agnes Patterson

James Wilson was the second child and oldest boy of James Wilson and Catherine Boak. He was christened on 11 July 1784 in the parish of Kirknewton and East Calder in Midlothian, Scotland:

This day James Wilson and Katherine Boak his spouse had a child baptised named James, Witnesses George Lowrie and John Hunter. 1

The relationship of the witnesses to James parents is unknown but they witnessed the baptism of other children on other occasions so they may have been elders of the church rather than blood relatives or personal friends. There is information that James was born on 4 July 1784 but there is nothing to substantiate that assertion. 2

  • 1. GROS OPR Births 690/0030 0083 and IGI Batch No. C116905
  • 2. Rackham, Margaret, Family Group Sheets, "Wilson Descendants," Book 2, Page 5.