From on Mon, 9 Feb 2004 |
My wife Beryl is descended from Ellen Victoria Brownbill a daughter of William Brownbill.
We met recently with people from your line at Laanacoorie (distant cousins of Beryl).
Sarah HENRY did not marry William BROWNBILL as Sarah HENRY. She had already been married by the time she and William met. Her name was then Sarah BRODERICK. This is where I came to a stumbling block for a long time as I was searching the Victorian marriage records for Sarah HENRY - lo and behold a check of the Victorian marriage records for Sarah BRODERICK and William BROWNBILL leads to very quick results - married Avoca, Victoria 24/10/1855.
She had been married to a Peter RODERICK and had three children by him.
Sarah has a very interesting background. She and her parents and brothers and sisters travelled on the ship "MANLIUS" from Greenock in Scotland (although the Henrys were Irish from Tanderagee, County of Armagh, Ireland as was the Peter BRODERICK she married in Ovens Valley, Victoria, Australia).
The Manlius in known in the Victorian Shipping records as the "Plague ship".
Approximately 25% of the passengers died on the voyage to Australia, probably from Typhoid fever. On arrival at Williamstown in Victoria of the 14th February 1842 (then New South Wales), the ship and all its occupants were placed in quarantine for a further period of about 2 - 3 months. So severe was this plague that even the carpenters who erected the quarantine area and the tents to house the immigrants, were also quarantined.
Local paper reported that after the quarantine was lifted the survivors found it difficult to obtain lodgings or work because of the fear held by locals of this plague.
Sarah's parents did not survive the trip. She is recorded as arriving at the age of 10 with her brother Thomas aged 12, twin bother and sister James and Eliza aged 5 and sister Mary aged 4.
I have tracked Mary down as died as Mary BELL at Bright in 1909 aged 72.
This is Sarah's sister as they both gave their parents as James and Jane HENRY. Jane born COUSINS.
I do not know how or why they went to the Ovens Valley but the next Victorian record is of Sarah being married to Peter BRODERICK who was born in the same town and county in Ireland as Sarah.
They are recorded as having 3 children .
The next record I have gained from pieces of information supplied around the family tree. It appears that Peter BRODERICK, Sarah and two of the 3 children left Australia and headed for America. Yes, you guessed it a fever of some sort (suggested as Yellow fever) overtook them and the Husband Peter and one of the two children died. One report is that the Broderick family in America offered Sarah refuge in a Nunnery but she refused and returned to Australia.
The next record is of Sarah marrying William BROWNBILL as Avoca which confused me until I located her elder brother in AVOCA, i.e., Thomas HENRY sometimes splet HENERY. I assume she went there with her daughter Anne BRODERICK.
It seems that William BROWNBILL and Sarah continued to bring up Anne and I note that Anne died on the 21/9/1929 at Inglewood, Victoria, the death place of many of the BROWNBILL's. Anne's DOB is given as 29/3/1850, Ovens Valley, Victoria.
William BROWNBILL too was an interesting character. He was one of the claimants for the finding of the first gold in Victoria in 1851, but it was awarded to a work party on the other side of the hill to where he was. This hill is known today as Brown Hill in Ballarat, Vic, but was originally known as Brownbill Hill which became shortened over time to Brown Hill. Brown Hill are was also known as the Brownbill diggings. Much information can be found in the Select Committee's report which began on November 3, 1853 into who was the first finder of gold in Victoria that could be profitably worked within 200 miles of Melbourne. In a letter to the Ballarat Miner of August 26, 1864 William Brownbill angrily protested the final decision of the select committe that awarded the finding to the Dunlop party stating "The discoverer of Golden Point, John Dunlop is also to be classed with me, and what I ask, is
Ballarat proper? Dunlop by a great deal of inconvenience and exposure, discovered Golden Point, and I, by the same process discovered the Brown Hill diggings, which at that time were considered three miles apart."
Books containing this information and more can be found
H J Staacpoole "Gold at Ballarat", Lowden Publishing Co, 1971
Withers History of Ballarat (in particular the second edition).
Letters in the Argus and Ballarat Miner and I have found references to "Brownbill Diggings" in the of the Geelong Advertiser of 3/6/1852.
This will whet your whistle a little of this quite remarkable family that I have begun to research as I travel up that interesting route called the "family tree" of myself and my wife.
Interestingly, Beryl was Beryl Christina GREENWOOD
her father was Stanley GREENWOOD
His mother was Christina Margaret CAMPBELL
Her mother was Ellen Victoria BROWNBILL
Her mother was Sarah (Henry, Broderick) BROWNBILL
Her parents were James HENRY and Jane COUSINS.
Interestingly, Beryl and I were recently looking through the Tarnagulla cemetery at the various headstones when we came across a newly prepared grave. It was a stinking hot day and people were beginning to arrive for the burial ceremony. We quietly left the area and went back to Laanacorrie where we were staying in the local caravan park. A couple of days later I picked up the SUN-HERALD newspaper and the funeral was of one Lindsay BROWNBILL, formerly of Arnold West, died at Inglewood Hospital on Saturday Dec 20, 2003. Aged 75 years.
Yes, a distant cousin of Beryl's - not that we were to know it at that time.
These are some snippets about Sarah and William that I have located to date.
There is much more and they are really some of the unsung genuine pioneers of Victoria. I trust this snippet was helpful. I located more information on your web page when I got to the home address and went in via the index.
Many of the links within the web page were broken, as you gathered I arrived inside those links while researching names.
Neil Rhys LEWIS
Hopefully I have fixed the links now. E