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Peter Campbell and Isabella Byres

Isabella Scott, nee Byers, married for a second time to Peter Campbell on 2 September 1854 in Uphall, West Lothian, Scotland. 1 Peter's date of birth varies widely when based on calculations from his stated age at various events. Gwenda Oxley, in her pamphlet "Peter Campbell and his Descendants", states that Peter was born on 15 December 1818 at Mid Calder, Midlothian, Scotland to Thomas Campbell and Barbara Robertson. Gwenda bases this information on the use of the surname Robertson as one of Peter and Isabella's children's middle name. 2

Isabella and Peter decided to emigrate to Van Diemens Land along with a large number of Isabella's siblings and cousins. They arrived in Launceston aboard the Queen Victoria on 6 June 1855 with Isabella's children from her first marriage. Both Peter and Isabella were described as being aged 28, Mungo age 10, William age 6, James age 4, Joseph age 3, and Margaret age 9; the (Scott) children travelled under the Campbell surname. Peter was recorded as a Farm Servant and Isabella as his wife. The family were sponsored by Henry Anstey at a cost of £99. During the journey they had their first natural child.

Shipping Record of the Queen Victoria
Shipping Record of the Queen Victoria
(Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office 3)

In all, Isabella and Peter had the following children.

  • Catherine Victoria Campbell was born on 2 April 1855 'at sea' on the voyage to Australia and her birth registered in the Spring Bay district with John Amos as the informant. 4
  • Thomas Campbell was born on 19 October 1856 in the Glamorgan district, Tasmania. 5
  • George Campbell was born on 6 February 1859 in the Glamorgan district, Tasmania. 6
  • Peter Campbell jnr was born on 15 September 1861 in Oatlands, Tasmania. 7
  • Alexander Robert (or Robertson) Campbell was born on 1 June 1865 in the Oatlands district, Tasmania. 8

Also onboard the Queen Victoria was the LYALL family of Alexander snr (38) a shepherd; wife Alice (35); and children - Alexander jnr (13); John (12); Isabella (11): George (9); William (8); Mary (6); Alice (4); ... (2Mos.) The family were sponsored by James Amos at a cost of £126-10/-. For whatever reason, The LYALL family were employed by the Anstey family at Oatlands, and the Campbell family were employed by the Amos family of Cranbrook

Gwenda Oxley reports that Peter was initially employed by James Amos at Cranbrook on the East Coast of Tasmania which is why the births of the first two native born children were registered in the Glamorgan district. Isabella was involved in an incident at the Amos family home in 1858.

In January, 1858, the Glen Gala homestead was completely burnt down, with the exception of the stable and the granary, the former was pulled down and re-built in 1877, and the latter is still standing and in use. It would appear that a Mrs. Campbell, who lived in a hut about 12 chains to the west of Glen Gala, was washing, probably about 10 a.m., when a spark from the open fire caught on the thatched roof, pieces of which, still alight, blew to the barn, and from there to the house. The first person to see the fire was James Amos, son of John (original) who had just started off on his way to Swansea with his little son James Collins. However, the lad was terrified and ran home. James worked hard, but could do very little in the face of the strong wind blowing. At the time of the fire the men folk were shearing at the woolshed. However, upon seeing the smoke they returned home in hot haste, to render any assistance possible. It has been stated that the bark of a tree growing between the barn and the house caught fire, the burning bark blowing across, but for this tree, the house may have been saved. 9

In 1860, Peter was granted 100 acres of land at Bluff, in the Parish of Bisdee. In 1866 Bluff was changed to Tunnack. Peter aptly named his acreage "Fern Tree Farm." By 1868, Peter possessed two properties. One consisted of a house and 100 (actually103) acres (his grant), plus another 102 acres and dwelling. 10

Map of Byers, Campbell and Hay properties

Farming in a new country and an unfamiliar landscape could be difficult at the best of times.

£2 REWARD - Missing from Peter Campbell's Fern-tree Farm. THREE HEIFERS One mouse-coloured, white face, spot round nose; one dark red, white face, white feet, brown round eyes; one chestnut coloured, stripe white down back, bald face; all all of them turned up horns; two of them supposed to have just calved; last seen on Mr. Tabart's run, Oatlands Bluff. Any person delivering the above to PETER CAMPBELL will receive the reward. 11

LOST, STOLEN, OR STRAYED, one brown COW with white face and turned-up horns, branded JM on near hip. Any one returning the same to PETER CAMPBELL, Tunnack, near Oatlands, or giving such information as will lead to its recovery, will receive the above reward. 12

Along with other family relatives in the area, Peter took an active interest in his local community affairs with a view to improving the lives of all concerned.

WE, the undersigned, being landholders in the Road District of Oatlands, do hereby call a PUBLIC MEETING of the Landholders of the Road District of Oatlands to be held at MacEwan's Hotel on SATURDAY, the 28th day of April, 1866, at 2 o'clock in the afternoon, for the purpose of getting the road from Rumney's Hut to the Bluff proclaimed a Cross Road, under the Cross and Bye Road Act, 24, Vic No 7.
Joseph Boyle, landholder
George Reeves, ditto
Patrick O'Brien, ditto
John Kelly, ditto
Timothy MacAuliffe, ditto
John Hay, ditto
James Byres, ditto
Peter Campbell, ditto
Mungo Scott, ditto
Patrick Burke, ditto
John Byrne, ditto
Oatlands, April, 11th, 1866. 13

Isabella's parents William and Margaret Byers, died in October and November 1875 respectively. 14

George Campbell (18) married Maria Palmer (18) on 8 October 1877 in the Oatlands district, Tasmania. 15 Maria was born on 7 October 1859 at Tin Pot Marsh, Woodsdale, in the Oatlands district, the daughter of John Palmer and Martha Sawford. 16 George and Maria had 12 children.

The Tunnack district would celebrate a double wedding between the local Campbell and Hay families.

Catherine Victoria Campbell (22) married William Hay (19) on 20 March 1878 in Oatlands, Tasmania. 17 William was born on 30 November 1858 in the Oatlands district, the son of John Hay and Agnes Byers. 18 Catherine and William had 9 children.

HAY-CAMPBELL - On March 20, by the Rev L. Campbell, William Hay, eldest son of Mr. John Hay, to Catherine Victoria Campbell, eldest daughter of Mr. Peter Campbell, Ferntree Farm, Tunnack. Melbourne and home papers please copy. 19

Thomas Campbell (22) married Margaret Wilson Byers Hay (18) on the same day as his older sister Catherine, 20 March 1878 in Oatlands, Tasmania. 20 Margaret was born on 21 January 1860 in the Oatlands district, the daughter of John Hay and Agnes Byers. 21 Thomas and Margaret had 14 children.

CAMPBELL-HAY - On March 20, by the Rev L. Campbell, Thomas Campbell, eldest son of Mr. Peter Campbell, Ferntree Farm, to Margaret Wilson Hay, eldest daughter of Mr John Hay, Hayfield, Tunnack. 22

Peter appears to have been having a problem with unauthorised entry onto his property and resorted to threats of prosecution.

NO TRESPASSING through PETER CAMPBELL'S PRIVATE PROPERTY, or else they will be dealt with according to the law.
PETER CAMPBELL, Tunnack. October 18, 1880 23

Peter Campbell jnr (21) married Julia Byrne (18) on 19 October 1882 in Hobart, Tasmania. 24 Julia was born about 1864, the daughter of John Byrne and Eleanor (Ellen) Hughes. 25 Peter and Julia had 12 children.

Peter joined with a group of Tunnack district residents, concerned that others were attempting to benefit and possibly profit from a planned extension of the Tunnack township.

The monthly meeting of Oatlands Municipal Council was held on Saturday. Mr. Thomas Littlechild, warden, resided and there were present Councillors W. Burbury, R. Jones, A. H. Page, E. Archer, and J. C. Lord.
The following characteristic communications re the extension of Tunnack township were read by the clerk :-

"Tunnack, April, 27, 1886. - To His Worshipful the Warden, and the other gentlemen of the Municipal Council, Oatlands. Gentlemen, We, the undersigned landowners, most respectfully beg leave to state that we would feel very much wronged should the township of Tunnack be either extended or stolen from us. The petitioners, who desire to have it removed into their farms bought their land at a cheap rate and, now, if they wish to live in the township there are plenty of allotments yet for sale in it, but we believe it is very covetous of them to wish to steal it from us. They state that the township is not well watered, but the reverse of this is the case, as it extends for about two miles along the Coal River, and every allotment in it is well supplied with an abundance of water, as it is a township remarkable for springs, and streams issuing from those, water the township very satisfactorily. We are, gentlemen, you obedient servants.-

(Signed) – Roderick Reynolds, Peter Campbell, Edward Sharp, John Hay, William Hay, Mrs. Bridget McAuliffe, Mrs. Margaret Sharp, Patrick Kennedy, Michael Kennedy, Philip Kennedy, Wm. Scott, John Clarke, Francis Reynolds, John Reynolds, George Adams, Asher Farrow, James Robinson, David Farrow, Christie Klein, F. Klein, Jeremiah McAuliffe, John Campbell, Wm. Schorstein, Samuel Birch, George Byers, James Byers, Wm. Hood.

P.S. - We have in the township a public school, a Good Templar's lodge, a Presbyterian church, a public cemetery, and a water reserve, and the new road from Woodsdale to Jerusalem crosses the public road to Oatlands just at the lodge or Good Templars' Hall, and another road starts from the same place and goes up by the public school through the settlement, so that five roads come to a point, and it might be said of other roads not far away taking different directions through other parts of the settlement. RODERICK REYNOLDS, witness."

"Tunnack, April, 1886 - To His Worshipful the Warden and the other gentlemen of the Municipal Council, Oatlands. Gentlomen, - We, the undersigned, censure the conduct of the petitioners who took the liberty of signing our names to a petition for the extension of the township of Tunnack into their lands. We signed a petition to retain the township as it is, believing that it is big enough at present, and not overcrowded.

(Signed) Christie Klein, Mrs. Michael McAuliffe (acknowledged before her daughter and me |that she signed our former petition for the retention, of the township - Roderick Reynolds), and, if required, Harry Fisher's signature can be produced in our former petition, also to retain the township. John McAuliffe's name was not in our former petition. It is supposed that there is an undercurrent running somewhere, the streams of which are not very pure." (Laughter.)

Councillor Archer said that the proprietors of land in the township had paid £3 per acre, and he did not see why those outsiders who had paid only 10s. or £1 per acre for their land should be admitted into the township. If they desired a township they could form one for themselves.
Councillor Burbury thought that it was the duty of the council to stay their hand and protect those people who had invested their money in the township of Tunnack, more, especially as a railway survey lind bom passed to go through Tunnack. If the township was extended, the railway might stop short, and not go the length of the original township. Besides, the petitioners who asked to be included in the township did not propose to give up their land to be formed into town allotments and streets. For these reasons he was not in favour of granting the petition.
Councillor Archer said that the principal parties affected seemed only to be the O'Connors and Burns family.
Councillor Jones : There is no doubt about that.
Councillor Burbury : The whole business seems to be an attempt on the part of a few people outside the township to snatch an advantage.
Councillor Archer : It seems only to be a money-making business for a few. If those people who petitioned for a township, cut up their land, they would get what they desired.
Councillor Jones : Several of the people who signed the petition said that they would not sell or cut up their land.
Mr. R. Fitzgerald, solicitor, who was in attendance; said that he had been requested to attend the meeting on behalf of the petitioners, but from the remarks passed by the members present, he did not think it was necessary for him to address the council.
Councillor Burbury moved, - "That the council decline to take any action in reference to the petition, believing that they would be doing an injustice to those who had already invested their money in the present township lands.”
Councillor Archer seconded, and the motion was passed. 26

Maria Campbell, nee Palmer, died on 5 April 1895 in the Oatlands district. The cause of death was recorded as "Metritis, Puerperal Fever", a complication of childbirth. Maria was described as the "wife of a farmer", age 36 years. The informant was John Tremaine, the undertaker. 27

Alexander Campbell (28) married Johanna Julia Davis (Davies) (16) on 17 July 1895 in Campbell Town, Tasmania. 28 Johanna was born on 4 December 1878 in the Oatlands district, the daughter of John Robert Davies and Mary Ann Byrne. 29 Alexander and Johanna had 7 children.

George Campbell (37) married a second time to Alice Sawford Palmer (28) on 16 December 1896 in the Oatlands district. 30 Alice was born on 27 August 1863 in the Oatlands district, the daughter of John Palmer and Martha Sawford. 31 George and Alice had 5 children.

Peter Campbell snr died on 20 March 1900 in Tunnack, Tasmania. 32

Isabella Campbell, formerly Scott and nee Byers, died on 10 January 1905 in Tunnack, Tasmania. 33 Isabella was buried on 13 January 1905 in Tunnack, Tasmania.

CAMPBELL—Entered into rest on January 10, at Fern Tree Farm, Tunnack, Isabella Campbell, aged 83 years. Funeral will leave her late residence, for Tunnack cemetery, on Friday, January 13, at 3 o'clock. 34

Catherine Victoria Hay, nee Campbell, died on 20 August 1917 in New Plymouth, New Zealand. 35

HAY —At Barrett street, New Plymouth, on August 20, 1917, Catherine Victoria, beloved wife of William Hay, aged 61 years. "At Rest." 36

Julia Campbell, nee Byrne, the wife of Peter Campbell jnr, died on 18 April 1921 in Tunnack, Tasmania. 37 Julia was buried on 20 April 1921 in Tunnack, Tasmania.

CAMPBELL - On April 18, 1921, at Hazeldell, Tunnack (suddenly), Julia Cecelia, the dearly loved wile of Peter Campbell, aged 57 years, leaving three sons and seven daughters to mourn their sad loss. Beloved by all who knew her. R.I.P. Funeral at Tunnack R.C. Cemetery This (Wednesday) Afternoon. 38

Alexander Robert Campbell died on 10 March 1935 in Glenorchy, Tasmania. Alexander was buried on 12 March 1935 in the Cornelian Bay Cemetery. 39

CAMPBELL - Suddenly, on March 10, 1935, at Glenorchy, Alexander Robert, the dearly beloved husband of Hannah Julia Campbell, of Albert Street, Glenorchy, in the 70th year of his age.

CAMPBELL - Funeral of the late Mr. Alexander R. Campbell will arrive at Cornelian Bay Cemetery on Tuesday Afternoon (This Day), at 2.15. 40

The circumstances of Alexander's death were unusual and an inquest was held with the following finding recorded.


When he went along the Jetty in Prince of Wales Bay preparatory to going for a swim about 9 a.m. on March 10, Neil John Williams (11) made a grim discovery. Noticing something floating In the water, he swam out to investigate, and found the body of Alexander Robert Campbell (70), who had disappeared from his home earlier In the day. The boy summoned assistance, and the body was dragged to the shore. The boy gave evidence to this effect at the inquest yesterday into the circumstances of Campbell's death. The Coroner (Mr. Wilfred Hutchins) held the inquiry, and Inspector M. T. Dowling represented the police.
Deceased had been in bad health, and the night prior to his death had suffered from heart attacks. He went out for a walk early the following morning, and his daughter, who had Intended to accompany him, did not see him again. Campbell's daughter, who had been staying with him at his residence, Albert Road, Moonah, stated that she could think of no reason why her father might take his own life.
Cyril Pearson, caretaker at Prince of Wales Bay, who assisted to remove the body from the water, said that he considered that it would be easy for anyone to fall off the jetty into the water. The opinion was expressed by Constable W. Gough that a man would have to be very careless to fall off the jetty, although it was possible, as there were no rails along the side of it.
Dr. W. Inglis Clark, who made a post-mortem examination of the body, considered death had been due to drowning. He upheld the statement by the daughter that deceased was subject to heart trouble.
The Coroner, returning a finding of accidental death, said that there was insufficient evidence for him to say whether deceased had got into the water intentionally or by accident, but, taking into consideration that he (deceased) had been in bad health, It was possible that he might have met with an accident. 41

Thomas Campbell died on 2 April 1935 in Devonport, Tasmania. Thomas was buried on 4 April 1935 in the Don General Cemetery.

CAMPBELL - On April 2, at East Devonport, Thomas, beloved husband of Margaret Wilson Campbell, in his 78th year.

CAMPBELL - The funeral of the late Thomas Campbell is appointed to leave his late residence, East Devonport, on THURSDAY, at 2.30 p.m. for interment in the general cemetery, Don. Will friends please accept this intimation. 42

Margaret Wilson Byers Campbell, nee Hay, the wife of Thomas Campbell, died on 6 November 1937 in Devonport, Tasmania. Margaret was buried on 8 November 1937 in Devonport, Tasmania.

CAMPBELL - On November 6, at the residence of her daughter, Mrs. H. Quilliam, Montagu, Margaret Wilson, relict of the late Thomas Campbell; aged 77 years.

CAMPBELL  -The funeral of the late Mrs. M. Campbell is appointed to leave the residence of her son-in-law, Mr. J. Taylor, Archer street, Devonport, at 2.30 p.m. THIS DAY (Monday), for interment in the new public cemetery, Devonport. 43

George Campbell died on 20 July 1939 in Launceston, Tasmania. George was buried on 22 July 1939 in the Carr Villa Cemetery, Launceston. 44

CAMPBELL - On July 20, 1939, at the Public Hospital, Launceston, George, dearly loved husband of Alice Campbell, of 29 Landale-street, Invermay, aged 80 years. Passed peacefully away.

CAMPBELL - The funeral of the late Mr. George Campbell is appointed to leave the Funeral Home, 16 Brisbane-street, this day (Saturday), at 3.30 o'clock, for interment in the Carr Villa Cemetery. Friends are invited to attend. 45

Peter Campbell jnr died on 12 May 1947 in Koonya, Tasmania. Peter was buried on 15 May 1947 in Koonya, Tasmania.

CAMPBELL - On May 12, 1947, at his residence. Koonya, Peter, beloved husband of Florence May Campbell, and loving father of Jack. Peter, Jim, Bella, Ethel. Ella, Connie, Evelyn, Rose, and Cecelia (deceased), aged 84 years. Late of Tunnack. At rest.

CAMPBELL - Friends are respectfully invited to attend the funeral of the late Mr Peter Campbell, which will move from his late residence, Koonya, Thursday (Tomorrow), at 2.30 pm for Koonya Cemetery. 46

The following obituary was published shortly after.

Mr Peter Campbell, of Malua, Koonya, whose death occurred last week, was a son of the late Peter and Isabelle Campbell, who migrated from Scotland to Tunnack (T) about 1850. He was born on Sept. 18, 1863, and lived at Hazel Dell, Tunnack, until 1928, when he moved to Ben Freisz, Dunalley, and some years later to Koonya. He retired in 1944. Mr Campbell was a successful mixed farmer all his life, specialising in potato growing. He was interested in hack racing, and owned several trotters. He is survived by his second wife, formerly Miss Florence M. Burden, and nine children. There are 40 grandchildren, 44 great-grandchildren, and a great-great-grandchild. Interment took place at the Koonya cemetery. 47

Alice Sawford Campbell, nee Palmer, the second wife of George Campbell, died on 23 December 1961 in Launceston, Tasmania.  48

The death of Johanna Campbell, nee Davis, the wife of Alexander Robert Campbell, has not been traced, although it is believed to be circa 1947.

  • 1. GROS: OPR Marriage Registration 672/00 0030 0226 Uphall or Strathbrock
  • 2. Oxley, Gwenda: Peter Campbell and his Descendants; Privately Published
  • 3. AOT: Shipping Arrivals CB7/12/1/5 - Book 20 p43
  • 4. AOT: Birth Registration - RGD 1855/332 to Peter Campbell and 'Elizabeth' Campbell
  • 5. AOT: Birth Registration - RGD 1856/405
  • 6. AOT: Birth Registration - RGD 1859/651 to Peter Campbell and Isabella 'Bean'
  • 7. AOT: Birth Registration - RGD 1861/1776 to Peter Campbell and 'Elizabeth' Byers
  • 8. AOT: Birth Registration - RGD 1865/1195
  • 9. Amos, A. G: Family History of Adam Amos of "GLEN GALA" and William Lyne of "APSLEY" - from notes written by Clarendon Amos circa 1931 and published 1963
  • 10. Oxley, Gwenda: Peter Campbell and his Descendants; Privately Published
  • 11. Advertising - The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954) 27 October 1865: p1
  • 12. Advertising - The Tasmanian Times (Hobart Town, Tas. : 1867 - 1870) 3 September 1869: p1
  • 13. Advertising - The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954) 16 April 1866: p1
  • 14. AOT: Death Registration - RGD 1875/707 and RGD 1875/711
  • 15. AOT: Marriage Registration - RGD 1877/697
  • 16. AOT: Birth Registration - RGD 1859/1777
  • 17. AOT: Marriage Registration - RGD 1878/736
  • 18. AOT: Birth Registration - RGD 1858/1683
  • 19. Family Notices - The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954) 27 March 1878: p1
  • 20. AOT: Marriage Registration - RGD 1878/735
  • 21. AOT: Birth Registration - RGD 1860/1720 as an un-named female
  • 22. Family Notices - The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954) 27 March 1878: p1
  • 23. Advertising - The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954) 2 November 1880: p3
  • 24. AOT: Marriage Registration - RGD 1882/491
  • 25. Julia's birth was not registered
  • 26. OATLANDS. MUNICIPAL COUNCIL - The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954) 3 May 1886: p3
  • 27. AOT: Death Registration - RGD 1895/536
  • 28. AOT: Marriage Registration - RGD 1895/46
  • 29. AOT: Birth Registration - RGD 1878/1425
  • 30. AOT: Marriage Registration - RGD 1896/782
  • 31. AOT: Birth Registration - RGD 1863/1180
  • 32. TFI: Death Registration - RGD 1900/1000
  • 33. TFI: Death Registration - RGD 1905/1153
  • 34. Family Notices - The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954) 12 Jan 1905, page 1
  • 35. NZ BMD: Death Registration - 1917/5110
  • 36. NZ Papers Past - Taranaki Daily News, 21 August 1917, p4
  • 37. TFI Death Registration RGD 1921/100
  • 38. Family Notices - The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954) 20 Apr 1921, p1
  • 39. SRCT: Cornelian Bay & Kingston Cemeteries (burial incorrectly recorded as occurring on 11 March 1935); location: SCOT, Section E, Number 124
  • 40. Family Notices - The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954) 12 Mar 1935, p1
  • 41. ACCIDENTAL DEATH - The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954) 20 Mar 1935, p10
  • 42. Family Notices - Advocate (Burnie, Tas. : 1890 - 1954) 3 Apr 1935, p2 Edition: DAILY
  • 43. Family Notices - Advocate (Burnie, Tas. : 1890 - 1954) 8 Nov 1937, p2
  • 44. AOT: Carr Villa Cemetery Records (Area: Mon; Location: D1; Number: 218; Cap: 1/2; Headstone: Y; Religion: MET; Funeral Director: CTF; Registration Number: 11931)
  • 45. Family Notices - Examiner (Launceston, Tas. : 1900 - 1954) 22 Jul 1939, p1 Edition: LATEST NEWS EDITION and DAILY
  • 46. Family Notices - The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954) 14 May 1947, p16
  • 47. OBITUARY - The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954) 20 May 1947, p19
  • 48. AOT: Carr Villa Cemetery Records (Area: Mon; Location: D1; Number: 218; Cap: 2/2; Headstone: Y; Religion: MET; Funeral Director: CTF; Registration Number: 22300)
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