Saturday, 13 May 2017


James  Cross (1828 - 1882) and his wife Ellen Cross née Murray (1837 - 1901), the great great grandparents of my husband Greg, moved to Carngham between the births of their first and second children. Frederick James Cross, their oldest son, was born on 1 April 1857 at Green Hills near Buninyong. Their daughter Ellen was born on 27 May 1859 at Carngham. James and Ellen had nine more children all born at Carngham. James Cross died at Carngham in 1882. Ellen Cross died in Ballarat in 1901.

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From Lost and almost forgotten towns of Colonial Victoria : a comprehensive analysis of Census results for Victoria, 1841-1901 by Angus B.Watson.

Carngham, 27 km west of Ballarat, about 30 km from Buninyong, and 4 km north of Snake Valley, was a mining township, surveyed and proclaimed in 1855. State School number 146 operated at Carngham from 1856 until 1911.

Snake Valley was not proclaimed a township. It was a mining centre, surveyed as a hamlet. State School number 574, which began in 1854, is now part of the Woady Yaloak school.

According to the census of 29 March 1857 there were 459 people in Carngham, 292 males and 167 females. This figure probably includes the population of Snake Valley. In 1854 there had been 58 people, 15 males and 13 females.   There are no 1854 figures for Snake Valley. In 1861 there were 22 dwellings counted in Carngham with 92 people of whom 54 were male and 38 female. Snake Valley had 204 dwellings housing 714 people: 454 males and 260 females. In 1871 Carngham and Snake Valley were counted together, with 384 dwellings housing 1,693 people of whom 958 were male and 735 female. In 1881 there were only 133 dwellings housing 611 people, 313 males and 298 females. In 1891 Carngham had 30 dwellings housing 126 people and Snake Valley had 92 dwellings housing 333 people. Watson, Angus B Lost & almost forgotten towns of colonial Victoria : a comprehensive anaysis of census results for Victoria, 1841-1901. Angus B. Watson and Andrew MacMillan Art & Design, [Victoria, Australia], 2003. Pages 84, 408.

Today Carngham amounts to little more than a few houses where the Snake Valley - Trawalla road crosses the route from Ballarat to Beaufort.  Snake Valley is still the larger settlement. Overlooking Carngham is a cemetery where James Cross, his wife Ellen and some of his children and their families are buried.

The name Carngham is said to derive from the Wathawurrung people's word for house or hut.  In 1838 James and Thomas Baillie squatted there and adopted the Aboriginal place name for their property. The local clan was the Karrungum baluk or Carringum balug. Clark, Ian, and Toby Heydon. "Historical Information - Carngham." VICNAMES. Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages (State Government of Victoria), 2011. Web. 01 Oct. 2013. <>.

Snake Valley is said to have got its name when a gold miner found snakes in a shaft he was sinking. Clark, Ian, and Toby Heydon. "Historical Information - Snake Valley." VICNAMES. Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages (State Government of Victoria), 2011. Web. 01 Oct. 2013. <>.In turn citing Porteous in Smyth 1878b: 179. 

The Ballarat Star reported on the gold rush to Carngham in November 1857. CARNGHAM. (1857, November 23). The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), p. 2. Retrieved October 1, 2013, from

Saturday, 6 May 2017

2017 A to Z blogging challenge

This is my fourth year participating in the A to Z blogging challenge.  This year I wrote mostly about places associated with my family history.

The places were mainly in England and southeastern Australia. Maps compiled using

  • A is for letter from Anzac : my great grandfather Constantine Trent Champion de Crespigny (1882-1952) was a doctor on Lemnos near Gallipoli. He was mentioned in a 1915 letter from the journalist Keith Murdoch to the Australian prime minister  bout conditions at Gallipoli.
  • B is for Borneo : my third cousin four times removed, Claude Augustus Champion de Crespigny (1829-1884), spent much of his life working in Borneo and researching its natural history and geography.
  • C is for caught in Caen during the Reign of Terror : In 1792 my 6th great grandparents Constantine Phipps (1746-1797) and Elizabeth Phipps née Tierney (1749-1832) were living in Caen, France. That year they took a trip to back to England and left six of their children behind. The parents were unable to return to France and the family was separated for more than five years because of hostilities between he two countries.
  • E is for Eden Park, home of Wentworth Cavenagh : 'Eden Park' was the Adelaide home from 1867-1892 of my great great grandparents Wentworth Cavenagh (1822-1895) and his wife Ellen Jane Cavenagh née Mainwaring later Cavenagh-Mainwaring (1845-1920).
  • G is for Gretna Green : in 1804 Eliza Champion Crespigny (1784-1831), my 5th great aunt, was married at Gretna Green over the border in Scotlandto Richard Hussey Vivian (1775-1842)
  • J is for jail: Bankruptcy of William Pulteney Dana : William Pulteney Dana (1776-1861), my fourth great grandfather, was jailed for bankruptcy in 1840. The prison was known as the Dana, after his father the Reverend Edmund Dana (1739-1823). It is still called the Dana.
  • O is for Oakleigh, a suburb of Melbourne, where my mother-in-law Marjorie Sullivan was born in 1920.
  • Q is for Queenscliff in 1882 : the birthplace of my great grandfather Constantine Trent Champion de Crespigny in 1882. His mother, Annie Frances Champion de Crespigny née Chauncy (1857-1883) died there after his birth.
  • S is for the Snowy : some photos of my husband Greg working on the Snowy Mountains Scheme
  • T is for Talbot in 1869 : my three times great grandfather Philip Champion Crespigny (1817-1889) sold his farm near Talbot, Victoria
  • U is for Unibic biscuit tin : On a biscuit tin commemorating World War I is a 1917 photograph of my great grandfather Constantine Trent Champion de Crespigny (1882-1952) escorting Queen Mary  on a visit to the war hospital he commanded.
  • Z is for Zehlendorf the district of Berlin where my grandparents Hans Boltz (1910-1992) and Charlotte Boltz née Manock (1912-1988) first lived when they were married in 1937.

Related posts

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Trove Tuesday: Nancy de Crespigny at Salt Creek 1936

Trove  is a repository of digitised data managed by the National Library of Australia.

Recently when I was researching Trove's digitised newspapers, I came across a newly-added photograph of my great aunt Nancy de Crespigny.

Miss N. de Crespigny, Salt Creek Image from State Library of South Australia PRG 1218/34/435

Nancy Champion de Crespigny (1910-2003),  the second child of Constantine Trent Champion de Crespigny and his wife Beatrix née Hughes, was the sister of my grandfather Geoff. She was a close lifelong friend of my grandmother Kathleen, Geoff's wife.

Nancy went to Woodlands School in Adelaide and then attended the University of Melbourne, where she graduated in 1933 with a history degree. She studied archeology at the University of London and Newnham College of Cambridge University.

The photograph comes from the State Library of Australia. It was taken 8 March 1936 by Charles Pearcy Mountford (1890-1976) at Salt Creek, also known as also known as Winnininnie Creek, about 330 kilometres north of Adelaide.

The photo of Nancy is in the Mountford-Sheard Collection. In the same collection I found two shots of Nancy's future husband Hallum Movius (1907-1987) taken on the same day.

Hallam Movius, Salt Creek Image from State Library of South Australia PRG 1218/34/433B
Hallam Movius, Salt Creek Image from State Library of South Australia PRG PRG 1218/34/433A 

The Adelaide Advertiser of 11 March 1936 mentions Nancy and Hal's excursion. With them was the Adelaide anthropologist Charles Pearcy Mountford (1890-1907) .

PERSONAL (1936, March 11). The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 - 1954), p. 18. Retrieved from

A few months later, in June, Hal sailed from Australia. Nancy followed in July. In September the pair married in London.

Life on the Ocean Wave (1936, June 18). Table Talk (Melbourne, Vic. : 1885 - 1939), p. 9. Retrieved from

Adelaide Archaeologist (1936, August 1). The Australian Women's Weekly (1933 - 1982), p. 25. Retrieved from

DAUGHTER OF ADELAIDE DOCTOR MARRIED (1936, September 28). The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 - 1954), p. 13. Retrieved from

Lighter Side of London Life Adelaide Girl Weds Young Archaeologist (1936, October 27). News (Adelaide, SA : 1923 - 1954), p. 8. Retrieved from

Related posts

Further reading