In Search of Ngurabirding – Part 2

The Hay River Brigade

 

Before we go on with the story of John Maher after the issuing of his Ticket-of-Leave, it’s important to look into what had already taken place at Albany relative to his arrival. This applies to the earliest period of free settlement and the story of the Spencer family, in particular, who first lived at the Old Farm – Strawberry Hill, within Albany, as well as at another farm close to the Hay River about twenty miles away.

 

Strawberry Hill Farm 001Above: Panoramic view of the Gardens at the Old Farm -Strawberry Hill as it is today. Note the Norfolk Pine standing tall in the rear to the right. Image courtesy federation-house.wikispaces.com Continue reading

In Search of Ngurabirding – Part 1

 

Resolving the identity of a man known as John Jack Maher helps tell the story of early European/Aboriginal integration inland from Albany. By following the threads we learn how Albany’s pioneer pastoralists merged with those from York in and around what later became the railway town of Katanning; most notably at a place called Eticup. Many shepherds and labourers employed by the pastoralists fathered children to Aboriginal women, angering their men, causing incidences of cross-cultural recrimination and violence. But what of those European men who engaged in this; mostly the convicts and Ticket-of-Leave men of the 1850’s and 1860’s? The story of their lives reveals backgrounds of deprivation and misery. What hope did they bring to their new opportunity and what chance of a fulfilling life did they and the result of their Indigenous unions really have?

 

Jack Maher, Bordenan and NgalanganAbove: The controversial photograph of John Jack Maher. The man here is either Johnny Maher the cricketer with his Aboriginal-descent wife Emily Maggs and daughter Maria Louisa, or he is Ngurabirding,  also known as John Jack Maher, husband to Waiman and father to Rachel as shown in the Bates genealogies. If the former, the photograph will have been taken around 1910 (as Maria Louisa was born 1901) putting Maher in his mid-40s. If the latter, the photo was probably taken in the 1890s when Maher was about thirty. Continue reading

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.

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Campbell Taylor and the Cape Arid Connection – 3 (c)

Bob Gamble, John Bailey Pavey & Black Jack Anderson

 

Trug and GA Rob Cartoon (2)Above: The story of Truganini, perhaps Australia’s best known female Aboriginal ancestor, extends through her sisters and other women like her, via Kangaroo Island, all the way to King George’s Sound. Cartoon image by Chris Grosz, taken from the politics, society and culture magazine The Monthly, May, 2012.

While the populace and commercial appetite of wider New South Wales, provided by their fifty year head start, roused the envy of the ambitious who had decided to settle in the paralysed West, Governor Stirling’s prized convict-free idyll  also caught the flotsam of the social and economic tumult fermenting across the Bight. Continue reading

Campbell Taylor and the Cape Arid Connection – 3 (b)

The Sealers of the Schooner’s Hunter and Governor Brisbane 1825-26

 

SealersAbove: Part of a sealing gang captured in full flight. Probably American, the gang are thought to be clubbing Cape Fur Seals off Namibia sometime in the early 1800’s. Image uncredited and taken from The Seals of Nam website.

King George’s Sound was settled some years before Robert Gamble became known there, so we should go first to the story of the sealers who Captain D’Urville of the Astrolabe came to know in October 1826, and who Major Lockyer encountered when he arrived in the Colonial Brig Amity a few months later. These were the sealers who stole the seven year old from Cape Arid, the little Aboriginal girl Lockyer named Fanny (see The Major’s Butterflies Beat Him Down); the same men Lockyer labelled ‘a complete set of pirates.’ Continue reading

Campbell Taylor and the Cape Arid Connection – 3 (a)

From New Zealand and Bass Strait to Kangaroo Island, Middle Island and King George’s Sound

 

Seals-Bass Strait

Above: The business of hunting fur seals boomed in the 1790s, arriving in Australian waters around 1798. At the time seal rookeries were crowded and hundreds of thousands of  the animals were slaughtered in the opening years. Australian sealers graduated westwards from New Zealand and Bass Strait, impacting the South Coast between Albany and Esperance during the 1820s. Photo courtesy  SV-Take it Easy website.

 

I had intended to complete Part 2 of this subseries with a look at a couple of rogue mariners from the east who had come to make Albany their home during the 1830s and 40s. These were the sealers John Bailey Pavey and Robert Gamble. However, the more I looked into it the more story I saw needing to be told, not least the incredible feats of journey made in small open boats but also with regard to those who came to live on the poor and criminal edge of white society at Albany. While the conflicting interests of the moneyed settlers and the colony’s officials tells one story, the contrast between those powerful land owners and the working classes is quite another. Thus, we temporarily set aside our main subject while we seek insight into the less known, less discussed, less regarded individuals of the day, those who influenced the town and coast peripheral to the Taylors of Candyup. Continue reading

Campbell Taylor and Cape Arid Connection – Part 2

Originally Published 30 April 2015:

The 1840s

 

Candyup from the west side (640x480)

Above: The Lower Kalgan River meanders past Mount Boyle into Oyster Harbour and King George’s Sound reflecting the rural idyll of old Albany. Campbell Taylor’s childhood home lay on the upper part of the hill. Built in 1837 by his father Patrick, the living room gave commanding views, a sweeping landscape of trees, grass and water to the south and west. The Taylor property was given the name Glen Candy, while the hillside area itself became known as Candyup. Nobody knows if the name is of Aboriginal or European origin. Photo source also unknown.

 

Campbell Taylor was five when the family returned to the Candyup homestead in 1848.

Born at the Vasse River, he was brought to Albany with the rest of the family in October 1843 when he was just ten months old. After three damaging and dangerous years at Cattle Chosen his father wanted nothing more than to escape the Bussells and go back to a place that was both safe and his, but the Candyup house had fallen into disrepair and the grounds overgrown, so Patrick moved the family into the second of his town cottages, the one on the foreshore, Lot 23, Lower Stirling Terrace. Here Christina Capel Taylor was born and for reasons of proximity and economy the family ended up staying for the next five years. 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.

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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.

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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

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