The Haw family in Australia

On my great grandmother, Sarah Ann Haw’s (1874-1944), side of my family I discovered three brothers who emigrated to Australia in 1864. Sarah’s grandfather James Haw (1804-1879) had a brother Joseph Haw (1818-1874), my fourth great uncle, who married twice. With his first wife Ann Knowlson (1823-1853) Joseph had six children including three boys: Andrew, John and James who later on emigrated to Australia. Joseph was a farmer of 35 acres in Heslington, Yorkshire and he married his second wife Annie Cariss (born 1827) in 1854 and together they had at least seven children.

Andrew, John and James Haw are my first cousins four times removed. All three of them emigrated to Australia in 1864 on the ship City of Melbourne, part of the Black Ball line owned by James Baines and Co. Their details are included as non-assisted immigrants on the Public Record Office of Victoria website. They arrived in Melbourne on 17 April 1864, perhaps attracted initially by stories of the gold which had been found in Victoria.

Interestingly the ship they sailed on started life as the Black Warrior built in Maine, USA in 1853. It was bought by James Baines and Co in 1862 and renamed the City of Melbourne. A painting of it is held in the collection of the National Museum of American History. The ship was damaged by fire while on the Williamstown Pier, Port Philip, Australia in 1868. An event reported by a number of newspapers including The Brisbane Courier’s edition of 10 February 1868.

The three brothers’ experiences in Victoria, Australia varied significantly. The oldest brother Andrew (1845-1865) died on 14 June 1865 just over one year after arriving in Australia. The cause of death given on his death record was typhoid fever and pneumonia. Andrew’s two brothers John and James settled in the Mologa District of Victoria and became farmers.

John (1847-1931) married Mary Ann Elizabeth James (1855-1929) in 1877 and they had at least 10 children: five boys and five girls. John was an early settler and farmer in Pyramid Hill, part of the Mologa District. When John died, he was described as a “gent” i.e. gentleman.

One of John’s daughters, Annie (1879-1964), married Charles Hare (1875-1956). Charles’ father Daniel Hare (1819-1914) had joined the gold rush to both the Ballarat and Bendigo gold fields before taking up land and becoming another early settler in the Mologa district. Daniel and his wife Emily (1835-1922) celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary in 1912; an event which was covered in The Leader newspaper dated 18 May 1912. Daniel also had an obituary in the Cohuna Farmer’s Weekly 11 September 1914 edition.

The youngest of the three brothers, James (1849-1926), also married and became a farmer in Leongatha, Victoria. With his wife Sarah Ann James (1860-1963), the sister of his brother John’s wife Mary, they had at least three children: one boy and two girls. It is likely that he named his son Andrew (1881-1956) after his brother. Both James and Andrew farmed in Leongatha, Victoria. There are no Australian census records so the electoral rolls were consulted and this enabled the father and son to be tracked down to this location in Australia.

Finally, it is interesting to reflect on the family the three brothers left behind in Heslington, Yorkshire. Their sister Ann died in 1863, brother Joseph in 1868 and father Joseph in 1875. After Joseph’s death his second wife Annie moved to 28 Arthur Street, York with four of her children; in the 1871 census she described herself as a farmer’s widow. It doesn’t look any of them continued as farmers and presumably the land they had farmed in Heslington passed onto another tenant farmer.

Useful websites:

Births, deaths and marriages Victoria

Public Record Office Victoria

The Ships List

Trove for Australian newspapers