Genseek      http://www.standard.net.au/~jwilliams/history.htm

South West Victoria

Including the towns of ~Port Fairy, ~Killarney, ~Kirkstall, ~Illowa, ~Koroit, ~Crossley, ~Denninton, ~Woodford, and Warrnambool and surrounding districts including ~Towerhill, ~Farnham Survey, ~Mepunga, ~Nirranda, ~Allansford~

The South West of Victoria plays an important part in the early history and development of Victoria as a European settlement. The seaports of Port Fairy and Portland where amongst the earliest pioneered areas in Victoria by European settlers, with land settlement dating back to the early 1830's.

From the late 1820's to the early 1830's, whaling and sealing where the primary industries along the southern coast of Victoria. At the same time there was a want for new lands by the farmers and settlers in New South Wales and Tasmania, which fuelled interest in the exploration of the lands available in Victoria, this interest was fed by glowing accounts of the sealers and whalers on their return to Tasmania after the completion of each season and by some early European exploration parties.

A few brave pioneers tentatively settled along the coastline of Portland and Port Fairy in the early 1830's and along with the main industry of whaling and sealing, carved out stations [or "runs"] from the surrounding dense bush, by which they also supplemented their incomes with bark stripping and exporting, skin trading, sheep and cattle farming, and, from the nearby coastline, whale bone and seashell exports. Some of the whaling and sealing gang members were employed during the off-season in these industries, and gradually further settlement was attracted by the needs of these pioneers settlers, squatters and laborers, and exploration of the area was continued by plucky adventurers.

The seeds of settlement where sown, and with the founding of the major towns of Melbourne and Geelong, the growth and development of Victoria as a colony was steadily under way.

The area in and around Port Fairy, attracted major investors/merchants in the late 1830's and early 1840's, with the likes of such men as John Cox, John Griffiths and Michael Connelly, all early shipping, whaling and merchantmen with a substantial history of trade in New South Wales and Tasmania, and also James Atkinson, Robert T Campbell and William Rutledge, three men with a history of trade and commerce in the colony of NSW. These last three mentioned, had been magistrates/merchants/traders or owners of substantial tracts of land in NSW, all had large grants of land in other areas of Victoria, and all three purchased large tracts of land surrounding the port of Port Fairy in the early 1840's and 1850's, effectively land locking the port, and the extending areas of land to the nearby town of Warrnambool and quite extensively into the surrounds.

Atkinson and Rutledge made the most of special survey grants allocated by the crown in the early 1840's, purchasing their special surveys through this system Rutledge obtained 5210 acres which was basically from Port Fairy to Warrnambool, and Atkinson overlayed his survey on the existing port and settlement of Port Fairy and renamed it Belfast.

It was partly through the industry of these men that the areas around Warrnambool and Port Fairy, through to Portland, became extensively settled in the 1840's and 50's. There was a good demand for farmers, shephards, laborers and tradesmen in the area and emigration was especially encouraged by Rutledge, Campbell and Atkinson and their agents, and they where loud in their insistence that many of the emigrants / immigrants brought out or sponsered into Australia - through the bounty and emigrant schemes - be sent on to Portland and Warrnambool. From here they would be sent either by inter colonial vessels or overland to Warrnambool, [settled 1847] and Port Fairy, where their skills where often eagerly sought after, as many of the early tradesmen and farmers, who had improved conditions successfully for themselves, moved onto their own farms, or to take their skills / trades to developing places where higher prices would be paid for their labour.

And so with the rich history of the area, especially in terms of the early arrivals in Victoria, and the settlement of many families before moving on to other places, there is a need for the promotion of information on the area around Port Fairy and Warrnambool. Back to Home Page Our Library About Genseek Database Indexes copyright JFawcett.1998 all rights reserved.


Mrs Jones (nee Elizabeth Stretton) arrived at Adelaide by the sailing vessel Ann Holsberg (Holzberg) under Captain Harris in the year 1854 after a voyage of 104 days. She was married Evan Jones in Adelaide and moved to Warrnambool where she remained till the time of her death.

Evan Jones (I)   Widower    (his first wife died in Wales ??)
B-1828-03-03     D-1891-08-nn  age 63
B Holyhead, Wales     D: Warrnambool I: Warrnambool Cemetery grave 23&24
lived: Warrnambool   Both lived in Norwood at the time they were married in the Church of
Work: Builder, Plasterer  St. Matthew, Kensington, in the County of Adelaide, South Australia.
M-1856-03-19    Minister: Edward Jenkins - witnesses: Robert Morse, Bridget Edwards
Elizabeth Stretton   Spinster  -  daughter of Thomas Stretton - see marriage certificate
B-1838-10-17     D-1916-09-?? age 77
B: Birmingham     D: Warrnambool  I: Warrnambool Cemetery grave 23&24
L: Warrnambool
Children 13