Quartermaine Country

Originally Published  30 November 2015:

 

Warning: This post is concerned with Indigenous family history and carries the names of many deceased persons. Content addresses heritage relating to the Noongar branch of the Quartermaine family and by extension many others. Some assumptions may challenge existing beliefs. I should also point out that the Noongar branch of the Quartermaine clan shares the same paternal ancestry as the Non-Noongar branch and therefore this post may contain information sensitive to non-indigenous family members who are not familiar with the beginning West Australian generation.

 

For Daryl ‘Djaye’ Quartermaine – Born 21st January, 2014

Djaye in cap - Qrtrmne Country

 

New Noongar names and their often misty origins

 

History runs through the West Australian Quartermaine family wide and deep, as does the life blood of the old Aborigines. Like all Aboriginal families today, the story of the Noongar Quartermaines is one of rebirth and regeneration under an entirely new guise. Still mysterious and painful in many respects, it is now 140 years since the birth of  Grandfather Timothy Quartermaine at Yowangup homestead near Katanning, in Western Australia’s Central Great Southern region. The Quartermaine name is French in origin, became Anglicised via the Saxon raids of post Roman England, then turned Australian on the back of the great Colonial invasion. The story of the Noongar branch is central not only to the beginnings of Katanning town but to the story of the Perth-Albany Road, the Wheatbelt and Great Southern Railway. Also, to the stories of many other southern Noongar families who survived the 19th Century early settlement period only to face the social and economic abyss which lay beyond.

 

Untitled by Les QuartermaineAbove: ‘Untitled’ by Les Quartermaine and G.Q. Woods. The painting, which is in the Carrolup Style, was made on a cell wall in the old Fremantle Gaol in 1991. Author David Whish-Wilson commented on it in his acclaimed 2013 publication; Perth  Wilson said; “…the last time I saw it I was taken by surprise -tears flooded my eyes. It was a gloomy winter’s day and the cell was darker than usual, and yet the painting’s radiant light completely overwhelmed me.”  My experience when I first saw this painting in March 2013, though it was a bright warm day, was similar. It is hauntingly beautiful.

Continue reading

Campbell Taylor and the Cape Arid Connection – Part 1

Originally Published 01 March 2015:

East Along The Coast

 

Cape Arid Aerial Dirkus49 CopyrightAbove: Cape Arid featuring Middle Island and the eastwards view toward Point Malcolm. This is the place where Aboriginal and Settler historical records along the South Coast began and where the story of one particular pioneer, Campbell Taylor, stands out. Photo courtesy Dirk Veltcamp, Panoramio 2008

There had been fleeting interaction, possibly as early as 1600, between the Aborigines and various seafaring parties, but from the commencement of permanent settlement late in 1826, the coast between Cape Arid and King George’s Sound began to entwine the lives of the Indigenous with the determined economic activities of the newcomers.

The first known act of the settlement era, the kidnap of the little native girl Major Lockyer named Fanny, bound the mainland off Middle Island with King George’s Sound. The association evolved, continuing into the early part of the 20th century, after which the abandonment of the coastal sheep stations signaled the end of the pioneer reign.

Continue reading

Interlude Pursued – Part 8

Originally Published 15 December 2014:

People of the Wild Cherry

 

Tijuk - Close up

Above:  Tijuk (Jeeuk-Bates), the Native or Wild Cherry, is related to the more widely known Quandong and a member of the Sandalwood Family. Also known as the Broom Ballart or Exocarpos Sparteus the plant is a weeping  shrub native to Western Australia. Tijuk  was totem  to a clan of the Ngadgu (Ngadjumaia), Aborigines  from the area north and east of Esperance.  Photo courtesy of Mrs Roni Forrest, Perth, Western Australia

Notice: This post carries the names of many deceased Aboriginal persons

This is the last of the Interlude Pursued posts. In the past month I’ve been trying to complete the final story in the Outdone Collection, ‘The Lost Love of Henrietta Gillam’, which is the reason behind the The View’s vacant November period. I find the story writing process takes enormous effort and to complicate matters the researcher in me is always looking for what actually happened. That I can’t finish the story is a reflection of the truth that it’s still not clear enough in my mind as to who the Aborigines at Cocanarup were. The intention of this post is to try and resolve that.

Continue reading

Interlude Pursued – Part 7

Originally Published 31 October 2014:

Background to Violence

 

The events at Cocanarup during the 1880’s did not take place in a vacuum. Precedents of violent repression had been set along the Swan River since 1829, more forcibly at Pinjarra in 1834, the Vasse River and York District between 1835 and 1841 and at various localities in the North West including Boola Boola Station, Broome, in 1865 and Murujuga, Karratha, in 1868. Stories of put downs, battles and clashes both locally and from around Australia were carried in the newspapers of the day, the vulnerability and protection of the isolated settler being the prime concern of the publishing entities.

 

Slaughterhouse Creek Massacre

Above: Mounted police engaging Indigenous Australians during the Slaughterhouse Creek Massacre of 1838: Artist Unknown- Source; Wikipedia – Australian Frontier Wars

Continue reading

Interlude Pursued – Part 6

Originally Published 11 October 2014:

Cross-cultural understanding and the difficulty in researching old family histories


Preface:
 The following post, as with others in the Interlude sequence, contains the names and images of deceased Aboriginal persons. Also contained is a discussion about the difficulties Aboriginal families of the South West of Western Australia face in tracing their heritage. The conversation carries the names of certain old Aborigines recorded in various family trees and may be sensitive to some people. The intention is to help illustrate the nature of old Aboriginal family structures and the practice of keeping an oral history versus one based on written records. Also, to explain the dramatic change in traditional Aboriginal lore and culture that came with the arrival of settlement and the insurmountable problems surrounding the identification of a great many individuals during what was an extended and tragic period of transition.

Noongar Williams Family - PossiblyAbove: From Nyungar Tradition: Glimpses of Aborigines of South-Western Australia 1829-1914 by Lois Tilbrook. This photograph, said to be taken at Gnowangerup around 1910, is thought to be of the Williams family. There are eighteen children, three women and one man, but yet again, no names.

Continue reading