Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Trove Tuesday - It pays to keep looking!

Trove has been down for a while now and I’m sure we are all suffering withdrawal symptoms!
Here’s a story I found some time ago.

In the Colonial Times and Tasmanian Advertiser (Hobart) on Fri 27 July 1827, the proud announcement:
Government Notices
Colonial Secretary's Office, July 17, 1827.
His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor has been pleased to approve of the following Appointments:-Mr. William Graves, to be Pound-keeper on the South Esk.-Mr. Henry William Mortimer, to be Constable for York District.-Cornelius Randall (free), per Globe, to be Constable for the Clyde District - William Eldridge (Richmond), to be Constable for Hobart Town.-Mr. Robert Stonehouse, to be District Constable for Launceston.

This news of Robert STONEHOUSE (c1794-1855) my 3g grandfather, was proudly passed down the generations, and even published in a family history. Family papers state he was first appointed in 1823 (another fact to prove).

What probably wasn’t as easily found, until Trove came online was the following in the Hobart Town Courier on Sat 5 Apr 1828:
Colonial Secretary's Office, April 2, 1828.
THE Lieutenant Governor has been pleased to approve of the following alterations in the Police of the Territory : District Constable Robert Stonehouse, to be dismissed for drunkenness and improper conduct.
Constable George Porter, (junior) to be dismissed for improper conduct.
By Command of His Excellency,

A fall from grace!
I wonder if this played a part in his decision to move to the Port Fairy (then called Belfast) district of Victoria with three of his sons, including my great great grandfather William STONEHOUSE (1826-1904).
In a strange twist, in 1850, Robert (and his sons) signed a petition from residents of Warrnambool to the NSW Legislative Council requesting that a policeman be appointed to keep law and order in the district.

I still need to keep looking to find out more of the story of Robert and his young sons move to Victoria’s western district. Robert had been a sailor and traversed Bass Strait many times. There are many inconsistencies in the story passed down about the timing of the move. Three sons did move to Victoria but the other six children remained in Tasmania. Both his first and second wives died in Launceston, Tasmania. Robert died in Nov 1855 in Wangoom, near Warrnambool Victoria.

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