Genealogy of the Rawsthorne, Collits, Lees, Morris, Field, Straney and Colbran families
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  • Name Frank BANHAM 
    Born 25 Apr 1922  Parkes, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender Male 
    Photos? Grave (DSC_6705) 
    Died 12 Apr 1987  Mary Potter Hospice, Barnard St, North Adelaide, South Australia, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried Enfield Memorial Park, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Roman Catholic, Section CJG, Grave 10
      BANHAM - ALL THE RELATIVES AND FRIENDS of the late Mr. FRANK (John) BANHAM of Seaton are advised that his Funeral Service will be conducted on WEDNESDAY April 15, at 11.15 a.m. in the East Chapel, Enfield Crematorium.
      If desired, in lieu of floral tributes, donations may be made to the Mary Potter Hospice, Barnard Street, North Adelaide or the Anti-Council Foundation.
      Holy Rosary will be recited TOMORROW EVENING, Tuesday, at 7.30 p.m. in Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Torrens Road, Alberton.
      BANHAM, Frank (John) - On April 12 at Mary Potter Hospice, after a long illness, John, the beloved husband of Jean, devoted father of Julie-Ann and Glenn, loved father-in-law of Wayne Burt and darling poppy of Melissa and Justin.
      You had a smile and a wave for everyone, now you are resting in God's loving care.
      Our most grateful thanks to the Sisters, nurses and staff at Mary Potter Hospice for their love, devotion and dedication they gave to John and his family during his long stay with them. God bless you all.
      Dearly beloved brother of Betty, uncle of Lloyd and Greg Wilson, Anne, Tish, Adam, Cameron and Elliott. A silent sufferer at rest.
      Loved brother of Mary, Ted, Vivian, Bill, Jean, Peg, Betty, Ray, Neville, Aubrey and Don. Lovingly remembered always.
      Dearly beloved brother-in-law of Mary and Warren Charles, loved uncle of Stephen, Ian and Kerry, Michael Anthony and Sonia and Darryl. Will be lovingly remembered always.
      Loved brother-in-law of Melva (deceased) and Trevor Moritz and uncle of Peter and Christopher. Suffering now ended. Now in God's care.
      Beloved brother-in-law of Pat and John Corak (Canada) , and loved uncle of Lisa and Mark. In God's loving care.
      Dearest friend of Dawn and Bruce Burt. At peace in heaven. Always remembered by Lynette and Tony Devries and family.
      The following text is a series of letters written by William G. (Bill) Banham of Leumeah, NSW to his brother Frank (known as Johnnie) Banham who lived in Adelaide, South Australia at the time, and referred to in the salutation as Joe. The letters were written in 1986. Frank died the following year on 12 April 1987.

      71 Leumeuh Rd.
      Leumeah. 2360.
      Fri. 9th. May 1986
      Hi Joe,

      First of all I must apologize for typing this letter as I began to write it freehand and came to the conclusion my handwriting was so bloody awful that I couldn't stand it myself. Sorry about that! Just another of my deficiencies.
      Whilst reading your letter, which received to-day, a bright idea suddenly dawned on me. For quite some time I have a story that I have been wanting to tell someone but haven't been able to find the right person to tell it to. Considering that you have been a bit handicapped lately and have time on your hands here is my opportunity to get it off my chest. You will have to listen whether you like it or not.
      As you would be aware I have been researching the history of Mum's family (McMillan) for the past three years, fortunately with some considerable success. Naturally I have gleaned a considerable amount of knowledge on the subject but to date have kept most of the story to myself. The reason for this is to refrain from boring other people. I personally get a great kick out of genealogy as I like the history that is attached to it. However I am well aware that the subject bores other people hence my reason for keeping quiet about most of the things I have been able to decipher re the McMillan Family. Someone somewhere has to be the first to have to suffer the agony of having to listen to it all so here goes, you are going to get it whether you like it or not.
      "Once upon a time"..... no let's start again as that is the way Fairy stories start.
      Let us begin on the 7th April, 1789 as that was the day Archibald McMillan was born at a place by the name of Skipness, on the Island of Kintyre which is in the Province (I think it is called a Province, could be wrong as it may be a Shire) of Argylshire, Scotland. His parents names were Archy and Christina. This particular section of Scotland is referred to as 'the highlands" and many of the inhabitants owned small holdings on which they ran sheep. Because of it being a rather cold area they wouldn't have had the trouble with blowflys like we did on "Somerset". By the time young Archy was approaching his teens there was some Government Legislation introduced ( I have to determine as to just what it was ) and it created havoc amongst these small landowners, so much so that most of them had to leave their respective properties and go elsewhere in an endeavor to earn extra to eke out a living. As a result of this Archy's education was very limited, literally nil.
      Lack of education was something he always regretted and often expressed his determination to ensure that his children would never suffer the same fate. However he didn't miss out on religious teachings and was a devout dyed in the wool Presbyterian. Along the line there is every indication that he was also a keen student of Masonry.
      By the time he was in his late twenties he started to feel randy and went in search of a lass whose sexual hormones were in a similar state. He found one at a place by the name of Tarbet, still on the Island of Kintyre and only
      some 40 miles from Skipness. Her name was Catherine McTaggart and they were married on the 5th April, 1817 at Skipness. She was aged 22. The first child of the family arrived some 11 months later. By 1839 they had completed their family, there were l0 children, 9 boys and 1 girl, namely and in the following order:- Neil, Peter, John, Duncan, Alexander, Archibald, Gilbert, Godfrey, Christina and William.
      By this time Archy was desperate, he was destitute and finding it most difficult to feed the family. He had left the Island and gone to Glasgow and got himself a job as a Porter. (at this stage I haven't been able to determine a Porter at what.) By this time the New South Wales Government had decided to charter a ship load of emigrants from Scotland. Archy had nothing to loose so he elected to emigrate with the whole family, it wouldn't cost him anything and conditions couldn't get any worse. Besides the condition of emigration was a guarantee of work as there was a terrific shortage of Labor in the Colony. (Don't forget that at this period of time there was no State of Victoria as New South Wales was in control of the whole area, Batman had only founded Melbourne in 1832.) On the 15th June 1839 Archy & Catherine (better known as Kate) bundled the whole family onto the Ship named "David Clarke" and set sail for Australia along with 217 other emigrants. By this time the eldest son was 21, the youngest 6 months and he and his wife 46 and 42 respectively.
      According to all reports they had a good trip, the ship was clean and they were all well fed, only one death on the whole trip and that was most unusual for that period of time. Archy did a few chores on board ship in an endeavor to earn a few extra bucks. However by the time they landed at Hobson's Bay, in Port Phillip, he was stony broke. A whole new world awaited them and the first obstacle was to wade about a mile through the mud flats to their new accommodation. This was supplied by the Government and it was in the form of tents pitched on the South Bank of the Yarra River, now literally the heart of
      Melbourne. All migrants were billeted here.
      Archy got a job immediately as a laborer for a stonemason. The younger lads also got employment in many and varied forms. It is at this point where Kate came to the fore as it is quite apparent that she became the Minister for Finance, and a good one at that as there is no doubting she was as tight as a fishes .....? It is obvious that every pay-day all wages, Dad's and all, went into the one cookie jar. "You. know Johnny, Daddy Bat style."
      In a short space of time they paid 12 pounds for a milking cow. This remained the pattern, , as the herd grew they sold the milk, butter etc. and soon built up a considerable dairy. No need to mention as to who would be doing the milking, this is where kids come in handy. This herd was grazing on Crown Lands so it was costing nil to feed them. In the meantime Archy got to know a number of the more affluent of the aristocracy and formed lasting friendships with them. There were two in particular, a Real Estate operator and a solicitor; there is no need to say any more. He was guided by these two "gentlemen " for some years to follow and there is no denying they were getting some "inside" information. Even though it was only the 17th October, 1839 when they arrived Archy bought 42 acres of land at Brighton, Melbourne in 1842.
      Because he owned 200 pounds by now he was granted a further 200 pounds franchise by the N.S.W. Legislative Council. (That's the benefit of having educated friends.)
      The dairy was operated from Brighton and at the same time the whole 42 acres was properly cleared, you know, roots and all. You also know who cleared it, again Daddy Bat Labor. Things were prospering as a skillion portion of a house was built and they all moved here from the tents on the Yarra. This sandstone home was completed after a few years and it still stands today. I have a photo of it and it is in beautiful condition, naturally it has been restored, not renovated. They also produced grain crops on the new farm and transported them some ten miles away to the Melbourne Markets.
      Problems were arising with the herd on the Crown Lands as by now it had grown to 400, some were even being pinched and no way could Kate have that. With some more educated information from his new found friends Archy became aware of what 'squatters" could and could not do. The circumstances were too good to miss as they could literally go bush anywhere, peg a claim, pay the Government 10 pounds per annum plus a halfpenny a head for each animal on the property, get a Licence for that given area and they were in business, Archy rubbed his hands together and Kate had a grin from ear to ear as it was all too good to be true . They just had to have a slice of this, it was too good to miss.
      In 1843 two of the boys, Alexander and Archibald ( lets refer to him from now on as Archibald 2') left Melbourne with the herd and headed north to the Murray River. Not satisfied they turned West and came to an area now known as Sheep Hills, it is just South of Warracknabeal. They were amongst the very first to traverse these areas, naturally they had considerable trouble with the aboriginals. Don't know how they fared with the "Mary's". They staked a squatters claim on a 50,000 acre area and called it "Sheep Hills Station."
      This was the beginning of a bonanza for Kate, the Minister of Finance. By the 1860's they were shearing 90,000 sheep as well as having a considerable herd of cattle. By this time gold had been found in Victoria and many of the gold-fields were in full swing. They used to drive what bullocks they had for sale overland to the Stawell area and sell them on the hoof to anyone who may require one, because of the circumstances they always got top price. Other members of the family had joined Alexander and Archibald 2 on the Station, particularly Neil and Godfrey, later William. Archy had been up for a look and naturally was quite impressed with the outlook, so much so that they made another move and took out a Licence on another run which they named "lrrewarra", some 70,000 acres.

      This was a better property as it had a better water supply. Water was always a problem at "Sheep Hills" this subject causing many disputes with the neighbors. They employed a considerable number of men, many as shepherds because of dingoes. You could well imagine what it would be like at shearing time with that number of sheep. What sort of a performance do you think Aunty Lydia would have put on had she been asked to cook for them, oh boy.
      Some of the wool was taken to Swan Hill and put on river barges, other per bullock team to Geelong. At the beginning of the sixties they acquired yet another run, this being in the vicinity of 70,000 acres and not far from Stawell, this was called "Glynwylln."
      They built a beautiful homestead at "Sheep Hills Station", the fireplace alone cost a fortune as it was built of marble imported from Italy. Unfortunately this building was demolished in the 1900's. This home was built for Kate to come and live there, she never did. Can't blame her as she would have been living in luxury back in Brighton, and keeping an eye out for good investments, she found one too as their next door neighbour died and she bought his house. This was also on a 42 acre block and he had built a gorgeous two story Sandstone house, named it "Landcox House" and it still stands. I also took a photo of it, today it is owned and operated by some Catholic organization for crippled children.
      During the later portion of the 1840's Archy and Kate had been accepted into the more elite section of the Melbourne Society, particularly the Brighton section. He was a founding member of the St. Cuthbert's Presbyterian Church in Wilson St, Brighton. This church also started a school, at which the younger members of his family attended. He was also a Trustee of the Brighton Cemetery. His advice was respected, and documented accordingly in a history book, by such eminent citizens as John Dunmore Lang who was at that time a Minister of the Legislative Council. He was always plugging for the underdog and did his utmost to get the message back to Scotland to the people from whence he came that there was no need to suffer the poverty they were suffering, pack your bags and come to
      Australia. He used to emphasize that "providing you were prepared to work hard and diligently you must raise your standard of living,''
      Archy died in 1863 and was buried in a vault at the Melbourne General Cemetery . In his Will he made a request that when the time was convenient his body be exhumed and be transported back to tile Presbyterian Church Cemetery at Skipness and buried beside the grave of his mother. This last request was never carried out. I cannot find out why and who would have been responsible. Without going into lengthy detail each member of his family got the equivalent of 6,000 pounds. I think you will agree Joe that was rather a healthy sum in those days? Some had had an advance before, if so they were given the remainder to make it up to the 6,000 pounds. Kate was left sitting on a packet and all the assets, or most of them were in her name as well, both properties in Brighton for example.
      Kate lived on in Brighton, still the hub of the family, until she died in 1880. This was when all hell broke loose. I can't tell you the story as it would fill a book. Suffice to say some members hung around and paid more attention to Kate in her latter years than others with the result her Will was rather lopsided, even to some not even getting a penny. I have a pile of documents referring to Court cases appertaining to it. It all split the warring factions into three groups, Victoria, N.S.W. and Queensland. The Victorian sector were the main benefactors and hence most despised by the other two groups. So much for money, eh. Kate was also buried in the vault at the Melbourne General Cemetery. According to the size of the column on top of the vault I would say there is no chance of them shifting.
      Bugger this, its taking too long so I will have to call it a draw for now and defer the remainder of the story. I bit off a bit more than I can chew, didn't think I could tell such a long story. "Maybe Joe I'm getting like Uncle Geoffrey, the longer the story goes the better it gets." Will continue in my next letter and will tell you what happened to each individual member of the family and where they finished.
      Jean there are times when words fail me. I thoroughly understand the trauma you and yours have suffered re Melva, such a lovely girl to have to suffer so. One can be forgiven for asking, ''Why?" You have the most heartfelt sympathy from Nell and I and I pray you can soon tell us she his left this world.
      All the best to you all and here's trusting you are all in the pink of condition. Make the best of your trip Glen, good luck to you.
      Tons of love from Bill and Nell

      71 Leumeah Road
      Leumeah. 2560.
      Fri. 16th May 1986

      Hi Joe,
      Nell and I are a bit disappointed tonight as it is too wet to go to our weekly outing to the Bankstown R.S.L. Old Time Dance. I'm afraid it is dangerous enough at anytime on the roads here without going out on a wet night and looking for trouble. We try to play safe and stop at home anytime it may he raining, tonight is one of them unfortunately.
      Now back to the story I started to tell you. My memory is not the best these days and am not real sure as to how much I told you, anyway please forgive we if I repeat myself a little.
      When the family boarded the Ship "David Clark" at Glasgow on 15/6/1839 to set sail for Australia the family members were the following ages: Dad 46; Mum 42.
      First of all I will deal in bulk re education for the 6 eldest children. Obviously whatever tutoring they did have would have been in Scotland and to date I haven't been able to get a clue on where or to what standard. It will he quite a problem from this distance to come up with an answer, here's hoping time will give an answer. Gilbert, ?? I don't know. The 3 youngest went to St. Andrews School, Brighton, Victoria. This school was an offshoot of the Church their father was responsible for getting built, St Cuthberts, in Wilson St. Brighton. So, along with assistance from other parents, he did what he could under the circumstances regarding educating the kids.
      Neil, the eldest, was 21 when he climbed aboard. His occupation is given as Ship's Carpenter and records mention that he did some work aboard whilst on the way out. He also got similar work after arriving in Victoria and the only change seems to be later around l860 when he went for a stint working on "Sheep Hills Station," along with his other brothers. For some reason or other he returned to Scotland, the only one that did, and he died at 44 Clyde Place, Glasgow on the 24th June, 1864. Aged 46.
      Peter was 20 when he went aboard and his occupation is given as a Cooper. He got work immediately. All indications are that he worked for a farmer in the Heidleberg area, his wages were 2 pounds per week. The next we hear of him is a mention in a history book, re "Pastoral Settlements in Northern Victoria, Vol. 2 The Campaspie District." The Author was J.0. Randell and the publishers Chandos Publishing Co. Vic. Following are a couple of pages I deliberately selected to give you an idea as to how he had advanced:-
      "QUOTE." "Power and Davenport held the Licence as security for financial advances they had made to John Campbell and later for unpaid balance of purchase money owing to them from Peter McMillan. The Compton's Creek Lease was occupied during this time by John Campbell until he sold it, with Mitchell's Creek Station, to Peter McMillan between the 10th April 1862 and the 4th June 1863."
      "Peter McMillan held Compton's Creek pastoral lease, estimated to be 20,000 acres, in 1869 for 111 pounds 13/4d at year. He sold Compton's Creek and Mitchell's Creek Stations to the Hon. Frances Robertson M.L.C. in 1871, and they were transferred to him in 1871."Unquote.
      Ah, ha, I know what you are thinking, where and the hell did he get the money to acquire these vast properties. Don't forget the earlier days when his money was going into the Minister for Finances Cookie Jar. Besides we learn from old Archy's Will that some members of the family had got an early loan. Peter was one of them, he got 4,000 pounds and that is why he was able to acquire these properties. Later he got the other 2,000 pounds to make up the 6,000 pounds when his father died, which was 1863, remember?
      Incidentally these properties were in the area bounded by Seymour, Heathcote and Rushworth, really out the back of Puckapunyal Military Camp. Peter and his wife, nee Janet McLaren, certainly had their problems. They first met on the voyage from Scotland and were married on the 8th January, 1851 at his parent's home "Clonaig", Brighton. This was the home built on the 42 acres they bought at Brighton and always remained the base for family activities until Kate died in 1880.
      Peter and Janet followed the usual pattern for those days and finally called it a draw after they raised 10 children. Out of the whole 10 only one married and had offspring. Seven of their children died at the following ages, 37, 35, 18, 10, 5, 2, and 1. The killer amongst them was whooping cough and diphtheria. So much for improvements in medicine. Peter died back at Heidleberg on the 3rd February 1886, aged 67 and buried in the General Cemetery Heidleberg. Janet predeceased him, she dying on the First November 1864 and was buried in the same Cemetery.

      Next on board was John, born 27/7/182l, so he was 18 and is on the Ship's Log as a baker. A baker he remained as he got employment immediately and all records indicate he didn't change to anything else. May I state at this stage that the most assistance I have had from my researching has come from one of John's offspring. She has lived all her life in the Brighton area and would be the most knowledgeable person alive today on the McMillan Family history. Her name is Mrs. Joyce Murphy, she is only young as she is about the same age as myself. Really Johnny you know this doesn't go back all that far. Joyce, when she was younger, had a great admiration for an old lady she called Aunty Christina, she used to talk to her for hours and old Aunty used to tell Joyce of things they used to do around the old McMillan home at "Clonaig" in Brighton.
      On the 7th of September, 1854 John married Euphemia McDonald at one of the Squatter holdings, "Glynwylyn", near Stawell. Euphemia would have been a dyed in the wool Scot as she was born on 13th May 1836 in the Parish of Laing, Sutherlandshire, Scotland. Hell they liked them young didn't they? And just as well I never met them because of their broad Scottish accent one would never have understood what they were saying.
      John and Euphemia didn't perform so well as they only had 8 children. After a short stint out on the squatted holdings they went to Geelong, back to the bakery. This is where they lived out the remainder of their lives. John died on the 12th August, 1875 aged 54 years. Euphemia on 12th September, 1921, aged 85, and they were both buried in a family grave at Eastern Cemetery, Geelong.

      Next aboard and at the age of 16 was Duncan. Upon arrival here he was employed immediately by a Captain Brown and he got 12 pounds per month with rations. This again was on a property Captain Brown had purchased in the Heidleberg area. You know Johnny that reminds me of old Namina Bill Wright at Eugowra, ten bob a week and all the skim milk you can drink. Duncan must have been amongst the first of them to leave Victoria and go to Queensland.
      Sure he had his turn at contributing to the Cookie Jar, in fact got a sizeable loan before Dad died. The next we know is that at the age of 41 Duncan is dead. He was buried at West Home Cemetery, Port Curtis, Queensland on 10th April 1864. Cause of death on the Certificate is given as "Drowned himself in the Calliope River during a fit of temporary insanity.". It also states this was at the Diamantina Station, Port Curtis and his occupation given as a Plumber. The Certificate was filled in by the District Constable and it is most unreliable as even the names of his parents are incorrect. We hold little hope of finding out the true story as he never married, therefore no offspring to track down. No one seems to have ever heard of him after going to Queensland, the only thing we do know is that he had money. Would love to be able to spend some time in Brisbane and try and find his Will, that is if he had one of course. Anyway that's Duncan.
      Next aboard the "David Clark" was Alexander at the age of 13. Really a book could be written on this fellow alone as all indications are that he was the shrewd one. He and his offspring associated with the elite of the Melbourne Society, this being financed from Kate's Estate, the Minister of Finance, after she died. Anyway like the rest he had to pull his weight when he arrived in Port Phillip, no doubt he would have been one of the main tit pullers as the dairy grew. There was so much employment available at the time that you can guarantee he contributed to the Cookie Jar in some form. As mentioned earlier he, as with brother Archie, were the two who took the herd of 400 cattle which had been grazing on the Crown Land around Brighton and headed north with them, eventually squatting at Sheep Hills. Incidentally they named this squat "Sheep Hills Station". He would have been a principal negotiator relating to these properties.
      Later when they took up another squat about 100 miles away, the one they named "Irrewarra", Alexander assumed the role of Manager and he spent quite some years there. Later he bought the place and raised his family there. On the 2nd February, 1859 he married Isabella Jesse Masterton, and they had 8 children. By this time Colleges had sprung up around Melbourne and some of the other larger country towns, all of their children were sent to College. Later in life he bought properties around the Wangaratta area in Victoria and Holbrook in N.S.W. and his sons managed them. I have to check to confirm it but am almost certain some of them are still in the Holbrook area.
      After Kate died in 1880 Alexander got the bulk of her estate. He has been accused of working on this subject for some time before her death and this eventually led to litigation on behalf of other members of the family. Anyway he got enough to build a mansion he called "Dunblane" at Hawthorn, Melbourne. It was here he died on the First. July 1897. His wife, lsabella, had died in 1880. They, along with four of their children are all buried near one another in the Presbyterian section of the Brighton Cemetery.
      Archibald, aged eleven, was the next on board. We will leave him for the time being. He is the most important one so far as you and I are concerned.
      After Archibald comes Gilbert, he was aged 9 at the time of sailing. Remember I mentioned the family's first place of abode at Port Phillip was in tents on the South bank of the Yarra, they were there for about two and one half years until they had built the skillion of the house on the 42 acres they bought at Brighton. Living beside the river proved fatal for Gilbert as he drowned in the Yarra on the 31st January 1841 aged 10 years and 3 months. He was buried in the Melbourne General Cemetery.
      Next aboard was Godfrey, aged 5. He would have been useful for looking after the cows that were being bought, then again we know he went to the St. Andrews school that was opened in 1841 at Brighton. He later became a most influential manager of "Sheep Hills Station". He took over in the early 1860's and was responsible for the crash in the late 1870's. Like all farming there are the good times and the bad, water and no water. I think I mentioned that one year they shore 90,000 sheep and of course had cattle at well. I also told you the conditions involved in getting a "Squatters" Licence. Times were changing, one of the major changes being from the gold mining. Looking at history books we know people flocked into Victoria chasing fortunes from gold fields. Bendigo, Ballarat and Stawell were really not all that far from the three squatters runs the McMillans held. Gold was running out and the diggers were looking for alternatives to make a living and what better way than to get a block of land. However this was nigh impossible as a few squatters had it all tied up.
      This situation just had to change as even Churchill would have said that 'too few were in charge of too much." The Government of the day was forced to make a change and they bought in what is termed the 42nd section of the 1865 Selection Act. This entitled an individual to select a farm, peg it out and get it surveyed, make a down payment of 10 pounds and get it registered and he was in business. However he had to pay the Government One pound per acre for every acre he had surveyed for a period of 10 years. This played hell with the squatters as the buggers started encroaching onto their runs as they couldn't do
      anything about it. The best way to describe the situation so far us Godfrey was concerned at "Sheep Hills" is to quote from a history book which was written by a chap who was working at the Station at the time.

      Quote 'Though 1870 was admittedly an exceptional year (about 26 inches of rain fell at Sheep Hills), the one hundred tons of hay taken from the stations eighteen acre paddock was still a remarkable crop. Talk of such crops spread....... the country responded well to the first rain at the end of September that six or eight weeks later fat sheep were being sent to market from Sheep Hills. But even then the squatters era was near its close. Soon after Godfrey McMillan received his cheque for those sheep he would have had news of the new land selecting Law just passed in Melbourne.

      Soon after Godfrey McMillan received his cheque for those sheep he would have had news of the new land selecting Law just passed in Melbourne. McMillan chose to be skeptical of its effect in these remote north western plains but he under estimated the tenacity and adaptability of the new class of land seekers, many of whom were native born colonists of emigrant fathers with growing native born families whose farming appetite had been whetted and their experience broadened on plots of land wrested from some of the squatters or leased under the famous 42nd section of the 1865 Selection Act around the gold-fields.
      It was inevitable that the large area of untouched country in the Wimmera District would have an immense attraction for these men, especially as the conditions of selection had never been more favorable.
      On "Sheep Hills"......... Godfrey McMillan became distraught, and Willy Candy who was by this time one of his most valued station hands, sympathized with his despair. After years of battling with bad seasons and wild dogs, organizing fences and dams and building up a satisfactory breeding flock of thirty thousand ewes, he had to watch his boundary and division fences broken and the flock scattered to all parts of the district. However McMillan convinced himself that all the selectors would be starved off by the dry climate, when he would reclaim his runs. With foolhardy extravagance he bought Kewell freehold in 1876 ( that was a neighboring run ) and then proceeded to buy up thousands of sheep from the selectors, who were only too happy to find a buyer in the dry season. But with no land to feed the sheep they simply died all over the plains, the management ran riot, an Godfrey's brother William was forced to sort out the muddle with a drastic hand. Most of the station people were dismissed in 1877, leaving only a dozen as caretakers.
      The Sheep Hills Homestead, built in 1865 by craftsmen from Melbourne and lavishly furnished with imported fire places and other extravagances, was sold in 1881 to the storekeeper who had settled nearby." UNQUOTE
      "Boy, of boy," Godfrey was so hungry he sure made a bloody mess of that issue. He returned to Brighton and died on 31st, January, 1880 and buried in the Melbourne General Cemetery. He never married.

      Next on board was Christina, aged 2. Other than going to the St. Andrews School at Brighton we know very little of her activities. You can bet your bottom dollar the Minister of Finance would have kept a tight rein on her as there was a very acute shortage of females when she would have been in her teens. She married a sea Captain by the name of McCallum, died on the 4th October, 1868, aged 31 and was buried "at sea."
      A lady from Cloncurry, Queensland, gave me a photo of a monument not long ago. I'm working on it , should I be any good as a detective I have a sneaky feeling I may dispel the at "at sea" part of the story. We will see:
      Bugger this Johnny, I've had enough for now so am knocking off.
      Hope to complete the story next episode as there is only William to go.
      Trusting you are all enjoying yourselves, tons of love to you all from Nell and

      Leumeah. 2560.
      Sat. 31st, May 1986.

      Hi Joe,
      I hate to write about family problems but it would he remiss of me if I failed to mention the death of Millie's mother last Monday. No doubt a genuine "pioneer" as she was 95 years of age and had spent her entire life in the South Coast area. It was always a pleasure to talk to the old dear as she could tell you of grass roots Australian History particularly of the Captain's Flat and Bateman Bay area.. People such as her are literally walking History Books but unfortunately their knowledge is not realised until after they have left this world, alas by this time it is too late and many people, particularly their immediate descendants, live to repent for failing to record the experiences. She was a lovely old lady, nevertheless a very fortunate one to have such a devoted family who showed her every care and consideration to the day she died. Naturally Millie is most upset.

      Guess I had better get back to my story re the Scot family otherwise I will never get it finished. Trust 1 am right by saying we were up to the last of the tribe, William, and there was no chance of him walking on board. Mum would have carried him as he was only a child of six months when they left Glasgow.
      He would have been one of the more fortunate ones upon arrival at Port Phillip as he could have snuggled into the blankets and watched all of his elder brothers going off to work. He was also fortunate in keeping away from the Yarra and not drowning himself as his brother Gilbert had done before him, he would have been along the banks for at least two years if not longer.
      School for William, daresay that would have been the same as his sister Christine, as he was enrolled at the same school at St. Andrews. One can also bet his bottom dollar the Minister for Finance would have him pulling cows tits as soon as he was old enough. Such an occupation could be carried out before and after school. Somehow I have an idea you would understand that language Johnny. If he didn't milk the cows he could at least skin a sheep and dress it.
      By the time William finished his schooling he would be an eligible candidate to take his turn on one of the squatters runs as this would have been somewhere around the 1854-56 era. There is one thing we do know and that is he copped his share of problems later on with the "Sheep Hill" run as he was called upon to clean up the mess Godfrey made when he tried to counter the activities of the new breed of settlers. This problem would have been dealt with in the late 1870's.
      In the vicinity of 1874 William married Amy Dixon Simms and they eventually had a family of 6 children. Four were born in Victoria and the other 2 after the couple moved to Queensland.
      Around 1880 would have been a very trying time for William, what with the advent of 'Sheep Hill ' going down the drain, this was also the year in which Godfrey died, aged 46 years. The bloody mess he made of the squatters run must have got the best of him and he gave the whole lot away.
      The other important event later in the same year was the passing of the Minister of Finance. Her Will literally put finish to the original home "Clonaig" at Brighton from which all members of the family had lived earlier and from where all business transactions began. It was the hub of all activities. Her Will stipulated that all assets in her name were to be sold, these were considerable and it was from this period that dissension became rampant between several family members. William was one who got a real gut-full, did his lolly, so packed his bags and went off to what we now know as "Joe's Territory" (Queensland).
      Next we know he had joined the Queensland "Pioneers" as he was amongst the first landholders in Central outback areas. With what he acquired in Victoria he purchased "Maneroo Station", this being in the Longreach area. He met with misfortune unfortunately.. As you would probably know this is rather a dry area,, naturally they get their monsoonal rains but these are usually predictable and come at a specified period of the year. However William was caught with his pants down as they got 16 inches of rain at a most unexpected period of time with the result 75,000 sheep went down the river. This literally put him out of business, he had to sell up. Fortunately there was just sufficient left for him to buy a small holding, "Cooparoo Park", (also in the Longreach area) and it was here he spent the remainder of his days.
      One of his sons-in-law, Charlie Brabazon, (who incidentally was Earl Brabazon) had got himself a job of Managing the oldest Station in the Winton area, "Elderslie". Later in life William had a rather long period of illness so he went to "Elderslie" to live with his eldest daughter, his wife having died earlier in 1900. He died in 1917and was buried in the Station Cemetery, later his wife's remains were removed from the Longreach Cemetery and buried beside William. I have a photo of the headstone..
      Last August Nell was good enough to give me a Leave Pass so I went to Brisbane. I had earlier contacted one of William's descendants. She was good enough to call a Family Reunion and held it on the week-end she knew I would be there. This was mighty nice of her and I had a ball. It was because of this gathering I was able to get names and addresses of numerous people and will eventually finish up with a complete rundown of their respective activities. So much for William.

      Now lets return to Archibald who was 12 when he arrived at Port Phillip, he being your grandfather. He was old enough to work and got a job on a farm in the Heidleberg area, no doubt the wages finding their way into the inevitable Cookie Jar. Remember it was he as a young man of about twenty that set off with "The Herd" and went north across Victoria with his brother Alexander. As mentioned before the final grazing "squat" was "Sheep Hills Station." Achie and Alexander were the pioneers for whatever was to follow. It would have been on their shoulders to make the selection of the "squat", mark it out, get Dad and Mum to register it and set the whole thing in motion.
      As you would have gathered by the history of the other individual family members, as time went by quite a number of them spent time in these areas. Technically one should refer to this section of Victoria as the "Wimmera" Naturally there were a considerable number of farm hands employed, amongst then was a young lass by the name of Mary Graham. Being out in such a remote place and having to live with black tribes all around you would be enough to bore anybody to death, besides Archie being a human being it was only natural he was looking for someone to hang his hat up to. In other words his sexual hormones were beginning to develop and who better to try them out on than this young Scot lass Mary, she was only 15 so would be most vigorous. They married in 1862.
      Did I say vigorous, sure it must have been as they began their family with twins, as usual the first being called Archibald and the other Gilbert. These twins were the forerunners to a family of 16 eventually. This old habit of consistently naming children repetitiously can become very confusing. In 1864 another child arrived, Mary Grant, you would have heard her referred to as Auntie Bird, she was born in Geelong. Incidentally I forgot to mention Archie and his bride Mary, made the long journey from "Sheep Hills" to Geelong to get married, that would have been a horse and dray job.

      Archie was the first to make a break from the squatting runs. He approached the Minister for Finance and got a loan of 6,000 pounds. This meant he had his total pay out as remember each one was allotted 6,000 pounds from their father's Will. He went to the Shepparton area and leased 70,000 acres of what was known as "Arcadia Station". Naturally this was just as tough going as they had lots of trouble with Dingoes and Aboriginals. It must have been a bit like the Wild West in America as a special building was erected to retreat to when danger lurked from the aboriginals, they had a lot of trouble with them.
      Five children were born at "Arcadia", namely Catherine, ( to you Aunty Tat) William and Christina, (they were twins and both died at nine months and were buried in a cemetery at Murchison) Godfrey, (Old Duff) and William Alexander. About 1873 he let the lease lapse and went and lived with his brother-in-law on a property known as "Red Bank".
      Don't get confused here as Archie leased a portion of Arcadia Station which was a Squatters Run. His brother-in-law selected Red Bank Farm under the new law and it so happened it was a portion of the Run Archie had been leasing. Coincidence, or would you say a bit of skullduggery between brothers-in-law? Anyway they lived under these conditions until 1877. There appears as though there are about 3 years in which he must have been getting a pound by other means than owning a property. Nevertheless he continued at one occupation he seemed to be proficient at as the children kept coming along. Whilst at "Red Bank Farm" Neil (The Captain) and Christina Agnes were born,(Aunty Chris). Note the repetition of names as these were a follow on from the twins which died earlier. (Got that a bit messed up us am referring to the repeat of the names William and Christina). I have a photo of the house they lived in during this period of time, it is just south of Shepparton, really it is called Kialla.
      When Chrissie was a babe in arms they pulled up the anchor and tool off for N.S.W and Forbes. They took the lot, horses, cattle, ,sheep and much equipment. I cannot determine as to why they made this journey as somehow there are indications that they knew just where they were going. He had either been and had a look or was going on a recommendation from somebody else. One wonders why they left the Shepparton area to go to Forbes as the country in both districts is very similar. They camped around Forbes for a short time before buying two blocks of land which were the forerunner to what was ultimately to be "Rosebank Station.". These two blocks would be known to you as what belonged to Harry Little and Ted Herbert on the south side of Waugan Road. It wasn't long before he purchased the remainder of the territory bounded by the Lachlan River, Mandagery Creek and Waugan Road.
      This was sufficient to keep them all occupied. Incidentally it was 1878 when he first took up land in this area. What with fencing, clearing and erecting the Homestead and surrounding buildings as well as caring for stock would be sufficient to keep them all with there nose to the grindstone. Besides Archie also had his other sideline, he had no intention of neglecting it with the result another six were added to the family. These would all be known to you, they being in the following order:- Annie Flora, Robert Bruce, Peter, Grace Jesse, Andrew Ivon and Vivian Ernest.
      In 1879 Archie along with a Herbert and Marsh got together and applied to the State Government for a school to be built in the district. This was done under the conditions that the landowners had to erect the building at their cost and a Teacher would be supplied. The first school was erected from bark, this being replaced some two years later by a more respectable building. The McMillan kids had to cross the Creek up near the top of where the orchard used to be. First of all they had to cross on a fallen log, later a flying fox cage was installed. This school was known as Trajere, its where your mother spent her school days. It was built on the east side of the Eugowra, Payten's Bridge Road opposite where old Billy Herbert used to live.

      As you would have been made aware "Rosebank" became a meeting place for all and sundry in the earlier days, it was a showpiece , an oasis in the desert so to speak. Most important of all it was a "home" to everybody in need. A book could be written on the happenings at this homestead alone and no doubt you have already heard of many of them. Archie went on acquiring land and purchased the area you would know comprised "Rosebank" on the Northern side of Waugan Road. Not a bad effort!
      Incidentally when his mother died in 1880 Archie was one who didn't get a cent from her Will, out of sight out of mind sort of thing. He died from a heart attack in 1902 and it was because of stipulations in his Will (which I have) that the Station was subdivided. This project was to carry on for ten years as it was 1912 before his children got their respective blocks, you would know who got what and where. In my next letter I will give you details of the meeting of the family on the day the blocks were balloted for, will also give you a full list of Family members, where they were born and where they died etc., etc. His wife Mary died in 1921 at "Rosebank".
      Will add one last happening to this story.. Whilst the boys were out in the Wimmera on the Squatters Runs Mum and Dad were otherwise occupied back at Brighton.. A subdivision was made on a property in the Western Port Bay area, Victoria. They got in and got a slice of this. It was very low lying and the first job was to drain it, years of work and money eventually turned this into a sought after piece of real estate. Thousands of head of stock were fattened on it in later years as Alexander came by this in his later life, just another benefit from hanging around the Minister for Finance prior to her death in 1880.
      The story as told so far depicts life in general, we have our ups and downs and such can be said for all families. Whilst I have endeavored to deal with the Minister for Finance in a light hearted manner 1 dare say you would not argue with me when I select her as the heroine of the piece. I wouldn't have to spell out to you the role she played in steering the family to their respective destinies and to me there is only one sad note in relation to her. You and I are old enough and experienced enough to know some elderly people can be preyed upon, unfortunately only too often this occurs, and indications are that the old lady was deceived in her later life, hence the litigation which occurred between the members of her once precious family after her death.
      I am taking it for granted you have heard of most members of Mums family Johnny. Because of this I am not going to bother about going any further with the story, really I am talking about the period from the 1925's to to-day. On hindsight I consider myself a privileged person to have known personally so many of Mum's brothers and sisters, to say nothing of the many descendants I have had the privilege of meeting since beginning to research this family. Believe it or not when I commenced I didn't even know Mum had Uncles and an Aunty in Australia. It is amazing what one can learn from Government Departments, Libraries, Archives etc.
      Now I am going to pass over to you us I am unaware as to the limit of your knowledge on the subject, ask any and as many questions as you like Johnny, I won't say I will answer them all but will do my best with them. Besides at this stage I must thank you for putting up with my rambling as 1 wanted to tell somebody. Trust 1 have selected a suitable subject and you haven't become bored, if so I apologize.
      Something that is not for everybody's ears Johnnie, there is another major reason why I stick at trying to unravel this story for we both know an individual who would have wanted me to do it anyway.
      Sincerely hope and trust this finds you and yours enjoying yourselves, tons of love to Jean, all the best from
      Nell and Bill.

      P.S. Frank you were born in 1922, what a memorable year as that was when "The Waugan University" opened. I am stumped a bit here as I am unaware as to just how much you know about what happened around that period of time.
      Did you know that Mum & Dad lived in Forbes when they first married in 1910? They lived in Sheriff Street and from there went to live in a skillion built on the side of a shed where the Captain's home was built. The block of land Mum got in the previously mentioned ballot was named "Woodlands", you would perhaps know it better as belonging to Jack Little. A little wooden hut was built out of pine trees split into slabs and stood on end. There was two bedrooms, with a floor but the kitchen and pantry were dirt floors. The inner wall lining was the best I have ever come across, it was newspaper to stop the wind from whistling between the cracks, very convenient as it didn't matter which room you were in you could study the local gossip at the same time. Over the big open fireplace in the kitchen was a photo of King George the V. He wasn't there long before his whiskers were all stained with smoke, poor chappie.

      I would have been about 6 years old when we moved from there. Archie wanted to sell his block, which was what we now know as "Somerset." Mum sold "Woodlands" to Harry Little and bought "Somerset" from Archie, he going to Cessnock to live.
      It is often debated as to how far back an individual can remember, however even though I would have been only six years old when we left "Woodlands" there were two happenings which I can distinctly remember. The first one was relating to Ronnie and Charlie, don't know whether it was cold or whether they had decided to have a "puff" but just over the hill from the house Pop had just completed building two haystacks, you can well imagine as to how pleased he would have been to have achieved that, plenty of hay for the horses. This is what he thought, Ronnie and Charlie thought different as they
      burnt them to the ground. "Oh boy, they got belted all around the house. You could see the performance couldn't you?

      The second happening was relating to a bullock. At this period of time Pop had a little fellow by the name of Jimmy Lock working for him, he was a bloody pimp as he was forever dobbing one of us in for something, Pop thought he was wonderful. Anyway a bullock was to be killed for meat so what with some careful maneuvering the animal was coaxed close to the "gallows". Pop was marksman and after careful aim, bang and down goes the bullock. Something didn't go according to plan for next thing it was on it's feet and heading for the bottom paddock. Next thing Jimmy Lock is mounted and gives chase, reins in one hand and rifle in the other, determined to "get his man" sort of thing. It must have been around springtime as the bowels of both horse and bullock were very loose ultimately resulting in both animals and rider being smothered in shit by the time the unfortunate bullock couldn't go any further. The final episode was to transport it back to the gallows per slide. There is a lesson to be learned from this fiasco, never exert animals that have been feeding on green grass, it can turn out to be messy.

      Johnny did you know your brother Ronnie was a leading dog trainer when he was in his early twenties? No, no, that's enough of that talk as I am beginning to become side tracked from my original story. He was good though I'll tell you why one day.

      Back to the McMillans. The only properties I am not sure of who owned and where is Bob and Viv. The home where Windy lived was on Andy's property, he had the house built and called it "Ulooloo". You know the area that Windy worked, between where he lived
      and Harry Little's place, I am almost certain that was Bob's block. A long narrow strip to the East of it I think was the piece belonging to Viv. I have to determine this as yet.
      To day there are only three direct descendants left on Rosebank Estate they being Soupy on Arcadia, Valma Herbert on Somerset and Viv McMillan on Marara. Another problem to be unravelled is as to who owns Daddy Bats old Waugan property, it is either Viv or somehow I have an idea it may be in the name of his son David. At least I do know David lives there.

      From time to time I have heard it mentioned that the blocks as allotted were too small for a farmer to make a decent living from. Personally I would always dispute this. One must realise it is top grade agricultural country and my theory is that the properties were plenty large enough, the biggest problem was a lack of sexual control on behalf of the married couples involved. They bred like rabbits. Just stop and count up the number of children in each family on each holding and you will realise just what I mean. They didn't want a property to work, they wanted the bloody Manhattan Bank. Perhaps things may have been kept in perspective had television arrived on the scene earlier.

      Compared to other Genealogists I converse with from time to time I am convinced I have had a dream run with my researching. Quite often some come to a brick well early in the piece and cannot make any progress at all unfortunately. 1 have had my disappointments in a couple of instances but overall I cannot complain. The destruction of our mother's collection, plus floods getting at Uncle Geoff's plus a real body blow re photos. Harold McMillan showed me a very large old time album full of photos, just what I was in search of as I knew they were old photos of our mother's ancestors. Suffice to say the. hole album was rendered useless as there was not one word written on any one photo. To me this was a tragedy, so near but yet so far. Here is an album full of priceless material and really it may as well be thrown in the rubbish tip. I have winged for months over this.

      Johnny may I make a suggestion? Somehow I have an idea there are numerous questions you may like to ask me on the subject. Should you not be feeling well enough to write to me well just get someone to get a piece of paper and get them to write down any question you may want answered. There is no need for a formal letter, simply a questionnaire.
      Incidentally because of the enormous amount of work I have put into this subject I have no intention of allowing my effort to go to waste. Being a mere mortal and alive to-day is not to say one will be alive tomorrow, particularly in our age group. To offset this problem I have arranged that should I be forced to depart this world all the McMillan records are to go to Alex and Jill Anderson of 184 Showground Road, Narara, 2250. He is a School headmaster and she a Sister at the Gosford Hospital. Jill is a direct McMillan descendant being a daughter of Jean, who was a daughter of Mum's brother Archie. They are both most interested in the project and should I be given sufficient time on this earth to finish the job myself Alex is going to edit it for me. Now you know as much as I do.
      Will say cheerio for now and will not write any more on the subject until such time as I get a note from your end of the line to determine as to what you may wish to know.
      All the best to you and yours Johnny,
      Tons of love from Nell and Bill.
    Person ID I18445  The Rawsthorne Family Tree
    Last Modified 14 Nov 2015 

    Father Frank BANHAM,   b. 03 Mar 1887, Belubula, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 Oct 1987, District Hospital, Forbes, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 100 years) 
    Relationship Natural 
    Mother Grace Jesse MCMILLAN,   b. 14 Jul 1887, Rosebank, Waugan Road, Eugowra, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 03 Mar 1956, Eugowra, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 68 years) 
    Relationship Natural 
    Married 29 Jun 1910  Rosebank, Waugan Road, Eugowra, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Family ID F1236  Group Sheet

    Family Jean Valerie ARMSTRONG,   b. 12 May 1926, Port Adelaide, South Australia, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 01 Jul 2006, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 80 years) 
    Married 31 Dec 1955  Hindmarsh, South Australia, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
     1. Julie Ann Grace BANHAM
     2. Glen John BANHAM
    Last Modified 14 Nov 2015 
    Family ID F7241  Group Sheet

  • Headstones
    Plot: Roman Catholic, Section CJG, Grave 10

  • Sources 
    1. [S231] Our Family Roots - "Maria Collits", Gai Rimmer and Lorna Hawkins, (Name: Self Published;).