What’s in a name?

Early place names in Victoria can bamboozle you.

In the 1840s, my maternal great great grandfather Edward WINTER, or Eddie, as I like to call him, lived in a couple of places that required a bit of lateral thinking to find out where they were today.

The place names were Lucerne and The Springs.

Eddie’s the guy in blue below….

The pedigree chart of Mum, Teresa Bernadette WINTER

What I know about Eddie…in brief

Eddie emigrated to Australia from ‘Limerick, Ireland’, arriving in Sydney on 30 September 1839 on the ship, Amelia Thompson, as an assisted immigrant, brought out by the agent John Marshall.

He was classified as a Gardener.

27 years old, unmarried, Protestant. Reads only.

He was ‘sober, honest and industrious’ and was thought to be ‘useful’.

1839 Arrival of Edward WINTER on Amelia THOMSON gardener Ancestry 4.11.15 27 yrs

He married Honoria TANCRED (green box in pedigree chart), also an immigrant from Limerick, Ireland, on 28 January 1840 at St Lawrence’s Church of England, Sydney.

He didn’t waste any time.

Honoria’s death certificate (d.1856) (she died at 37 years of age from laryngitis) indicates she was ’17 years in Victoria’ which is all her married life. Unfortunately, I’ve been unable to find her migration details…

There is evidence of TANCREDs in the same area as the WINTERs in the parish of Dromcolliher, County Limerick so I suspect Eddie knew Honoria before emigrating.

I next catch up with Eddie and Honoria in 1841 at the baptism of their first child Margaret in St James, Church of England, Melbourne.

The index to the baptism gives her birthplace as Lucerne.

The 1841 Census of New South Wales (below), County of Bourke, Eddie is ‘in charge’ of a property with Thomas WILLS as the proprietor. Place name, Lucerne.

This was the clue I needed.

NB NSW didn’t separate from Victoria until 1851.

1841 Census 'Lucerne' Thomas Wills Proprieter, Edward Winter 'in charge'. Ancestry

Who was Thomas Wills?

Thomas WILLS was the son of a convict father and a free settler mother. He became a successful businessman and later a Justice of the Peace and a magistrate. He moved to Melbourne from Sydney in 1840 and bought land on the Yarra in an area under the jurisdiction of Heidelberg, now known as Alphington.

With some research I found out that the Latrobe Golf course was once the farm of Thomas WILLS and he had named the farm, Lucerne.

From information on the Latrobe Golf Club‘s website:

Latrobe Golf Club is located on one of Melbourne’s most historic sites. Melbourne was first settled in 1835, and in June 1840 Thomas Wills purchased, for £3784, 176 acres (70 ha) of land which formed a rough semi-circle between Darebin Creek, its junction with the Yarra River and the Yarra River itself. The land takes in all of what is now Latrobe Golf Club, plus Farm Road, Lucerne Crescent, the Tower Hotel and bordered on the west by what is now Como Street.

Almost straight away, Wills began clearing the property and landscaping the hill that overlooked it in preparation for building a mansion. ‘Lucerne’, as he called it, was the grandest home of its day. Proudly sitting atop the rise where the golf club upper car park is now, it was made of bluestone and hand-made bricks from one of the colony’s first kilns. The interior walls were lath and plaster with much stained woodwork and an imposing staircase.

The origin of the name Lucerne may have had something to do with Governor La Trobe and his association with Switzerland:

The name of Wills’ property may well have been influenced by La Trobe’s Swiss background (La Trobe spent much time in Switzerland before coming to Australia, and later returned there) — and surrounding streets are also named after Swiss locations.

In April of this year, I read an article in The Age about an open garden, called Linden in Alphington. It said the land was originally owned by Thomas Wills and was part of the Lucerne farm.

I visited.

It was a lovely property on Lucerne Crescent, Alphington. The back of the house (pictured) overlooked the Latrobe Golf Course; the Lucerne property.

19.4.15 Back of the house, Linden, Lucerne Crescent, Alphington overlooking the Latrobe Golf Course. Author’s collection.

19.4.15 Latrobe Golf Course. Photo taken from car park where Lucerne mansion was situated. Author’s collection.

It was a thrill to be able to see some of the land Eddie was associated with and to imagine what life may have been like for him and his new wife and child, Margaret.

That solved the mystery of Lucerne.


So, if Lucerne was a farm, could Springs be one too?

In 1851, the death records for Margaret WINTER, the first born child of of Eddie and Honoria WINTER born in 1841, gives her abode not as her birthplace Lucerne, but as Springs.

29 May 1851 Burial of Margaret WINTER, daughter of Edward and Honoria WINTER from St Peter’s Melbourne. Abode ‘Springs’. She’s buried with her father in Melbourne General Cemetery

Their second born child, Lydia, was born at Springs in 1843.

The next seven children, from 1845 to 1856, were born in Keilor. But the fact that Margaret’s abode at the time of her death in 1851 is described as Springs infers that Springs is associated with Keilor. This narrowed down the search.

Family View Report for Edward and Honoria WINTER. Prepared 7.11.15 by author

A chance entry in the memoirs of Isaac BATEY, the husband of Lydia WINTER, Eddie’s second daughter, and the son of a pioneer in the Sunbury, Keilor and Werribee district consolidated my suspicions.

As I was reading through BATEY’s memoirs in the beautiful manuscript room of the State Library of Victoria, I came across several references to his father-in-law, Edward WINTER. (The memoirs were also serialized in the Sunbury News in 1903 and 1904).

One of the references in a chapter about a trip Batey made with his father from Sunbury to Melbourne in 1847, mentions that his father-in-law, Edward WINTER, was renting a property from John Leslie Vesey Fitzgerald FOSTER (click on his name to see how he was named this mouthful) in the Keilor district in 1843.

Isaac Batey heading Isaac Batey 1Isaac Batey 2

I went looking for land owned by FOSTER in Keilor.

The FOSTER brothers, John and William, had land on the boundary of the present suburbs of Tullamarine and on Sharps Road, near Keilor as identified on the parish maps below:

Part of Parish of Tullamarine, County of Bourke showing Section 3 bought by William FOSTER. Courtesy SLV http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/108794

The above map joins the map below…sort of…

Part of Parish of Doutta Galla County of Bourke. NB Sections 20 and 21, northern boundary Sharps Road, showing Foster brothers’ land. Courtesy of SLV http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/156280

Information regarding Springs was found in the book Steele Creek and The Lady of the Lake: the early history of Niddrie, Airport West, Keilor East, Avondale Heights, Keilor Park, West Essendon and Tullamarine. An excellent book written and published by Christine Laskowski.

The Springs Estate, comprising 712 acres on Section 20 and 640 acres on Section 21, Doutta Galla, was situated at the headwaters of Steele Creek.

As can be seen on the Parish map of Doutta Galla, JFLV Foster bought Section 20 and his brother, W Foster bought Section 21. Soon after these acquisitions JFLV acquired Section 21 from his brother. Page 41

In the 1840s Section 21 was broken up into farmlets and Section 20 remained relatively intact into the 1900s. Page 41

Section 3 in the Parish of Tullamarine corresponds to the present day suburb of Tullamarine and is just south of Melbourne Airport. (By matching up the Maribyrnong River to the west and the Moonee Ponds Creek to the east on all the maps gives you a better idea of the location of the land owned by the FOSTER brothers.)

Map of Keilor/Tullamarine today (below). Sharps Road is No. 39.

That solved the mystery of the Springs.

Eddie eventually bought his own land in what is now the township of Keilor and further up the Calder Hwy at Digger’s Rest.

What I learnt

I learnt not to think of suburbs as we know them now. The period of time I was researching corresponded with the beginning of European settlement in the Port Phillip District and large properties were considered as landmarks, so ‘abode’ on certificates related to a farm or the nearest significant landmark.

Interestingly, over the years, I’ve visited patients in my role as a palliative care nurse in Lucerne Crescent, Alphington and Sharps Road, Tullamarine. So, I didn’t need to go to Ireland to say I’d walked in the footsteps of my Irish forebears but I would have gone anyway!

TIP The website ‘Victorian Places’ put together by Monash University and the University of Queensland is a great resource for researching the history of places in Victoria that had a population of more than 200 people. Click here.

Laskowski, Christine, Steele Creek and The Lady of the Lake: the early history of Niddrie, Airport West, Keilor East, Avondale Heights, Keilor Park, West Essendon and Tullamarine, 2013, Essendon, Christine Laskowski.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Winter and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to What’s in a name?

  1. Heather says:

    great read Marg. your research is clever and nicely presented – I am sure it took you many hours to run all of this down. well done!

  2. Ron says:

    Just excellent. Very informative and easy to read. Ron.

  3. What a wonderful start to your blog, have enjoyed these posts and look forward to many more.

  4. Pingback: Some ‘hard’ drinking in the WINTER line | Cicadas, Bees and Barge Poles

  5. Pingback: How I ‘met’ my great grandfather, William WINTER. Part 1 | Cicadas, Bees and Barge Poles

  6. Ray Gibb says:

    Marg, excellent work indeed. Thomas Wills was one of the early overlanders and was the (sort of) uncle of two men associated with the birth of Aussie Rules football, its creator, Tom Wills, and Henry Colden Harrison who codified the rules in 1866 and is dubbed the father of Aussie Rules. Much information about the family can be found in a book called RUNNING WITH THE BALL written by two men, one of whom had the surname of Mancini.

    It is likely that Thomas Wills had bought the grant for section 7, parish of Will Will Rook, before leaving New South Wales. I’m not sure when he received the grant for Lucerne but it is probable that his sheep grazed on the native grass of what became known as “Cumberland” and is now the south west section of what is now the WOODLANDS HISTORIC PARK west of Tullamarine Airport. One of the Coghills bought the property and went broke building a mansion whose ruins remain at Melway 178 C 12. (The park consists of Woodlands, Cumberland and part of Dundonald. Only the Woodlands homestead remains; within it can be seen photographs of the other two homesteads. The Dundonald homestead ruins are at 178 H12.

    By incredible coincidence, Cumberland was later owned by Alexander McCracken, first secretary of the Essendon Football Club as a 17 year old Scotch College student and first president of the Victorian Football League from its formation until a short time before his death. Thus the connection of Cumberland with Aussie Rules continued. Alexander also owned much of Woodlands (apart from the homestead area) as shown by Shire of Bulla rates; The equestrian history of Woodlands, started in William Pomeroy Greene’s tenure and so well reported by Garryowen, was continued during McCracken’s ownership with the Oaklands Hunt Club, formed in 1888, hunting on his joint property (as well as miles around) and the homestead (with the Inverness Hotel) hosting post-hunt festivities until the club bought Sherwood (Melway 178 C6.)

    Eddie Winter may have worked at Cumberland as well as managing Lucerne which could explain how Isaac Batey met his future wife. However, I remember an article about a tree that at one time was considered the oldest tree in Melbourne. Isaac Batey’s partner in the Redstone Hill Run was his former employee, Flintoff, and this tree, in the garden of a Flintoff descendant in Melbourne’s near east, had been planted by Martin Batey, so the pair may have become acquainted near Lucerne.

    THE SPRINGS may have been the name given by William Foster and his younger brother, John to both Section 3 Tullamarine and section 21 Doutta Galla. Both of these would have been pre-emptive rights of the Leslie Park run for which the brothers were given a 10 year lease in 1840. John’s grant, 20 Doutta Galla, between Fosters Rd (now Keilor Park Drive) and the river, seems to have borne a separate name, LESLIE BANKS.

    The origin of this name, THE SPRINGS, is shown on a geological survey map. At about Melway 5 K12, there is a note “constant supply of fresh water.” Due to the topography of the area, this could only mean a spring. A creek arising from the spring flowed west into what became Preston Park and then Dalkeith and followed the western boundary of the Leo Dineen Reserve and down the right of way from Spring St at the south end of the oval to merge with Spring Creek West and finally joining Steele Creek in 21 Doutta Galla.

    Maurice Crotty was a tenant on 21 Doutta Galla from about 1860. A descendant, Joe Crotty of Sunbury and his nephew (Glen Cotchen?) provided me with much information and material about the family and their property, Broombank, including the GOVERNOR’S HOUSE.(As you may gather from the detail above, the real estate firm of L.J.Hooker did not write a history of Tullamarine but merely copied information supplied by me (as Ray Gibb in Where Big Birds Soar (1989) and Tullamarine (1998) and possibly as itellya on Family Tree Circles!)

    Maurice Crotty’s wife (nee McCormack) wrote a letter in about 1867 which mentioned that part of their farm, The Springs, had been sold. (The buyer was James Sharp after whom Sharps Rd was named, who called his property HILLSIDE.) This shows that 21 Doutta Galla, as well as 3 Tullamarine, was called THE SPRINGS. The Lady of The Lake Hotel (just south of the Derby St corner at Tullamarine) was said to be at SPRINGS, as was James Laverty in the late 1840’s. But they were not neighbours, actually miles apart, The former was at 5 H11 and the latter on the west corner of Keilor Rd and North Pole road (now Milleara Rd) at 15 E9. Because of the confusion caused by this, the area along Keilor Rd was renamed Springfield after the farm west of Patrick Phelan’s Spring Park.

    On the 4th inst., at his residence, at the Lady of the Lake Springs, Mount Macedon Road*, Mr David William O’Nial, aged 38 years. (P.4, Argus, 6-1-1853.)
    (*Now Melrose Drive. Keilor road was also called Mt Macedon road in early times, which would have added to the confusion.)

    The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957) Tuesday 7 September 1858 p 8 Advertising
    … Keilor. Apply James Laverty, North Pole.

    W. M. TENNENT and CO. have received, instructions from James Laverty, Esq., who is relinquishing business, to sell by auction on the premises on Monday, 27th inst., at twelve o’clock, The lease or the hotel known as the North Pole,Springfield, near Keilor. (P.2, Argus, 17-11-1854.)

    Andrew Lemon mentions Mr Trimmer’s school at The Springs in BROADMEADOWS A FORGOTTEN HISTORY and I had assumed that it was on 21 Doutta Galla, south of Sharps Rd.
    However Isaac Bateys quoted passage (scanned)in your post) shows that it was just within the northern boundary (Post Office Lane) of section 3 Tullamarine. The Beech Tree Hotel was on lot 10 of John Pascoe Fawkner’s subdivision of the part of sections 6 and 7 Tullamarine south west of Melrose Drive . This land fronting Melrose Drive and the north side of Post Office Lane and was bought by John Beech on 1-5-1851 (volume M folio 481.) Jimmy Trimmer’s school had to be on Foster’s land and thus south of Post Office Lane and on what is now Trade Park Industrial Estate (the northern boundary of which indicates Post Office Lane.

  7. Ray Gibb says:

    I forgot to add the following which I had added to an email to the Keilor and Broadmeadows Historical Societies, alerting them to your excellent post.

    As I stated earlier, the area along Keilor Road was known as Springs in the 1840’s until it was renamed Springfield so I believe that Isaac Batey’s future wife, Lydia (nee Winter) was also born near Keilor, not Tullamarine. This could have been on 21 Doutta Galla or Alphabetical Foster’s 20 Doutta Galla, Leslie Banks (which with 3 Tullamarine and 21 Doutta Galla may have been referred to as The Springs in 1843.) Even if she was born on John Foster’s grant and it was known as Leslie Banks, the Keilor Rd area would have been described as SPRINGS. At that time,1843, Keilor (or Keillor) was still Hunter and Watson’s pastoral run and would not have been referred to as the place of birth, unless Lydia was born on the RUN.

    • Marg says:

      Wow. Oh my goodness Ray. What a wealth of information. Thank you very much. It will take me a little, to quite, a while to absorb it all… You’ve given me some wonderful resources to follow up.

      It’s interesting your mention of FLINTOFF, Isaac Batey’s partner, as I’m sure there’s a FLINTOFF mentioned somewhere in the WINTER line. I’ll have to delve back through my notes. It was an absolute thrill to see the original notes of Isaac Batey in the manuscript room of SLV and to read his memories of his father-in-law Edward WINTER. A fantastic resource. I’m sorry that LJ Hooker did not cite you as their source for the info on Tullamarine. Can I access your publications somewhere? I’d like to rectify the source on my blog post.

      Edward WINTER did eventually ‘own’ blocks of land in what looks like the township of Keilor in Hunter and Arabin Streets, Section 10, Allotments 5 and 8. In his will of 1869 he bequeaths the land in Keilor he ‘purchased from Robert Russell’ to his eldest daughter, Lydia.

      It sounds as though Edward WINTER did quite well for himself as a ‘gardener’ from Ireland! So much more to research for this amateur genealogist! I’m thrilled with your feedback Ray, and I appreciate your interest. Cheers, Marg.

      • Ray Gibb says:

        Having clicked on the L.J.Hooker link, I discovered that the information came from the Tullamarine Wikipedia page to which I had added information at about 3 a.m. one morning, making a few mistakes such as calling 21 D.G. section 20, which only I would recognise, and have been corrected in my initial comment. There’s a fair bit about Tullamarine in my family tree circles journals. ( http://www.familytreecircles.com/user/itellya/journals.html).

        Hookers would not have known the author of my additions but at least they should have acknowledged Wikipedia.

        The 1989 book is only available in local libraries and the 1998 book (published for those attending my second BACK TO TULLAMARINE after complaints by those who came in 1989 that my handwritten book was not available for purchase) ditto.

  8. Ray Gibb says:

    OOPS! Flintoff was MARTIN Batey’s former employer and partner in “Redstone Hill”, not Isaac’s.
    Isaac’s future wife, Lydia Winter, would have been 7 when Trimmer’s school was operating in 1850 and like the Crotty and Reddan kids much later would have walked through section 3 Tullamarine to get to school.

    • Marg says:

      Thanks Ray. I appreciate the OOPSes. I’m determined now to find the Flintoff/Winter connection. I hope Eddie was nice to the Aborigines. It always makes me a little nervous when reading about my pioneering forebears that I might find out something I’d prefer not to know. So far so good.

  9. Ray Gibb says:

    OOPS AGAIN! The creek flowed through “Dalkeith” along the EASTERN boundary of the Leo Dineen Reserve (behind the Gordon St. houses.)

  10. Pingback: Edward WINTER, Mary REIBEY and the $20 note - Cicadas, Bees and Barge PolesCicadas, Bees and Barge Poles

  11. RAY GIBB says:

    Margaret, you’ll love the information about the Tancred connection.
    http://www.familytreecircles.com/for-max-batey-about-isaac-batey-s-wife-s-family-67703.html

    • Marg says:

      Hi Ray,

      Yes. Thanks for that. It is a gem isn’t it? Fortunately, I had seen the article before I went to Ireland in 2014 and visited Springfield Castle the ancestral home of Lord Muskerry. It can now be rented see http://www.springfieldcastle.com/! I found some Winters in the cemetery nearby and some very helpful locals helped me find some living Winter relatives. But the Tancreds have proved to be quite elusive although I have found a bit of info on them. How great is Trove?

      Cheers, Margaret.

Please leave a Reply. Love feedback, queries or anything you want to add or you think I've got something wrong..