Wool staplers and wool classers

Dunmore wool shed

The 1891 shearers’ strike is just one consequence of the many pressures applied to the wool industry which has been in decline since Hargreave’s invention of the spinning jenny. some of these pressures include:

  • the mechanisation of weaving through the use of power looms,
  • the mechanisation of shearing through the introduction of powered hand pieces and the introduction of wide combs,
  • the decline in the demand for wool to cloth armies against severe winters,
  • the introduction of alternative clothes made of cotton and synthetic fibres and
  • the periodic government regulations applicable to the selling of wool.

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Land – Laverton

At the corner of Landers Lane
At the corner of Landers Lane

My methodology for researching land ownership is not necessarily the only way to do land research.
Where and when we start with our research depends on the information we have or don’t have.
For our current home that is easy. We have the date. We have a place.
There is always an element of truth in family stories but often the truth is sufficiently different to make research difficult. Have I said that with enough feeling? For example, there is a story in our family that my great grandfather Samuel Baulch owned a hotel in Cavendish – some distance from his home in Kirkstall. A visit last year to the Hamilton History Centre confirmed Samuel was indeed a publican in Cavendish for a short while after the previous publican, his brother-in-law, had died. I found extra information recently when some of the Hamilton Spectator was added to Trove. Information I had missed when I visited the Spec office some thirty years ago!
If your family was here in Victoria very early on then another place to start may be at the Registrar of Titles General Law Library at Cherry Lane, Laverton. Susie Zada has written an excellent blog about using this resource. You will note, as I didn’t, that the indexes to the first series of vendor books are at the END of those books. Down the bottom.
Also, if you are going out to Laverton, think about taking the opportunity to look at aerial photographs. It may be worth looking at the University of Melbourne Map Collection first though.
I haven’t personally looked at aerial photographs. Because, until the hot rock geothermal pilot went in nearby, there was nothing to indicate that Landers’ block was hotly disputed over by the occupying squatter and the family of selectors when it was opened for selection under the 1869 Land Act.

Self Interview – a Baulch are you?

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In 1969 Victor Hallett gave me his Baulch family tree papers. Fifteen years earlier he had started gathering information needed to build the family tree for Francis and Enoch Baulch. Making sense of all the information he had gathered had become just too difficult for him. No wonder. Victor Hallett’s mother and my Grandpa Baulch were two of more than 180 of Francis Baulch’s grandchildren and while Enoch Baulch had several grandchildren their number was not nearly as many as Francis Baulch’s grandchildren.
Many of Francis and Enoch’s descendants lived, as I did, not far from Kirkstall where both

Francis and Enoch lived in later life. So it is any wonder that I was often asked “You’re a Baulch are you?” Then there generally there is a pause. “Related to the ones at Mount Koroite?” or “The school bus driver’s mother is a Baulch” or something similar.

Indeed, my very first family history visit was taken with my father to Norman Broadwood. Both men had farmed on blocks which were part of the Squattleseamere Closer Settlement Estate. Norman had his father William Broadwood’s block and when I was a small child my father had Jeremiah Gleeson’s block. Jeremiah had previously worked at Dunmore (but I think this refers to the Parish of Dunmore – not my father’s childhood home).

Norman’s grandmother was Mary Ann Baulch. What’s more she had been born at sea. Her parents, Norman said, had emigrated because Mary Ann’s father, Enoch, only received 2/6 a week wages when he could find work in Somerset.

Here were some clues about why and when Enoch decided to emigrate. These clues helped me research the story further.

Since that visit other information I have gathered has substantiated and enriched the stories Norman Broadwood told us at my very first family history visit to another family member.