The Moore, Pittard, Gillett and Ballantine families migrated to Australia from the farmlands of Scotland and Somerset (south-west England) in the 1850s. But, like most poorer migrants, the cost of immigration was beyond their means and they travelled as assisted migrants destined to to be assigned to employers when they arrived in Tasmania and Victoria. These clothes and personal items are delicate and tangible reminders of their life on the land and their association with the Western District of Victoria between 1861 and 1920.
SignificanceTo immigrate or to remain at home? - For many people in the 19th century this was the most far reaching and significant decision of ones lifetime. These clothes and personal items are significant , evocative and tangible reminders of the lives of the Ballantine , Moore, Pittard, Gillett immigrant families between 1861 and 1920.
HistoryTo emigrate or remain at home was a major decision faced by many families in the 19th century. The reasons to emigrate were many including land clearance in Scotland and Ireland, famine in Ireland, unemployment (England), the quest for political or religious freedom in Cornwall, the Midlands, Scotland and Ireland and the desire for a better, richer life. During the 1850s and 1860s the discovery of gold in California and Australia instigated the movement of many people. The travellers and emigrants brought with them their home customs and traditions, leaving a lasting impact on Australian society, technology, economy and lifestyle.
However the cost of immigration was beyond the means of most families or individuals. Many wishing to come to Australia had to rely upon the various colonial governments who, through the sale of land, offered assisted passages in return for a work assignment upon arrival. Assisted passages were granted to 'Mechanics, Labourers, Navvies, Miners and Domestic Servants' and their families if they met the selection requirements. Steerage passengers over the age of 15 who paid their own way could also be granted land upon their arrival in Australia.
The Moore / Pittard / Ballantine Families from 1844
Elizabeth Jane Ballantine was born in 1844 in Coatridge, Lanark, Glasgow, Scotland and died on 30 Nov 1911 in Geelong, Victoria. She arrived in Tasmania on board the AURORA AUSTRALIS on 23 January 1861 with her mother Elizabeth Ballantine. By 1867 Elizabeth Jane was a Domestic, and her mother Elizabeth was a Housekeeper, in Hobart, Tasmania.
At the time of Elizabeth Jane’s marriage to Simeon Pittard on 2 October 1872, they both lived in Villiers Street, Hotham. Victoria. They were married at the office of Mr E Mortimer, Registrar of Marriages at 174 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy and the marriage was witnessed by her sister Sarah Nicholson (Ballantine). Elizabeth Jane is noted as being a spinster/domestic and he was a bachelor and employed as a labourer on the construction of the Winchester Place Railway Tunnel in South Geelong.
At the time of her marriage Elizabeth Jane had a two year old son called George Samuel Ballantyne. Elizabeth Jane Ballantine & Simeon Pittard had the following children: George Samuel (Ballantyne) Pittard was born in Melbourne in 1870. He died on 16 Nov 1933 in Camperdown, Victoria. Vincent Pittard was born in 1873 in North Melbourne Victoria. He died in 1875 in Melbourne. Emily Ellen May Pittard was born on 10 May 1877 in Hamilton, Victoria and she died on 31 Aug 1961 in Bellbrae, Victoria.
Simeon Pittard, Elizabeth Jane’s first husband, the son of Jesse Pittard and Ann Gillard was born in Drayton, Somerset, England in 1839 and died on 4 September 1877 in Hamilton, Victoria.
In February 1856 Simeon Pittard (17), along with his father, mother and two brothers George Henry (19) and Charles, migrated to Victoria on board the 755 ton, three masted-ship FAIRLIE, Captain Robert Cowan, arriving in Port Melbourne on 4 June 1856.
The Emigrant Disposal List for the FAIRLIE held at the Public Records Office of Victoria records that Jessie Pittard, a farm servant, along with his three sons, also recorded as being farm servants, had been contracted to John Thorpe of Newlands at Pentridge for 130 pounds per annum with rations.
In 1879, after the death of her husband Simeon whilst working at Hamilton for the Railways, Elizabeth Jane Pittard [Ballantine] moved to Little Charles Street, Collingwood, Victoria. With two children, George Samuel Ballantyne, aged seven years and a four month old baby to raise money was very tight.
Less than a year after the death of her first husband Elizabeth Jane married a family friend Thomas Gillett at the Wesleyan Parsonage, Geelong on 15 October 1879 although the marriage was not registered until the following year.
Thomas Gillett, the son of John Gillett and Jane Dimock, was born in 1822 in Somerset, England, and died on 3 August 1883 in Geelong, Victoria. Thomas was a farm labourer who had migrated to Australia with his first wife Leah Palmer on board the RAVENSCRAIG on 10 March 1855 and arrived at Point Henry (Geelong) on 24 June of the same year. At the time of his second marriage to Elizabeth Jane Pittard in October 1879 he was a widowed farmer from Moolap, Victoria with at least six children.
Although Elizabeth Jane had migrated to Tasmania and worked as a domestic, by 1880 she was the registered ratepayer of a house and small farm holding in Moolap on the Bellarine Peninsula (between 1878 – 1910) and owned and subsequently rented out a house in the Melbourne suburb of Collingwood.
In 1882 Thomas Gillett died leaving Elizabeth Jane a widow for the second time along with an extended family of eight children and stepchildren. Elizabeth Jane Gillett died in Geelong, Victoria in 1911.
Emily Ellen May Pittard, Elizabeth Jane’s only daughter, along with her four children, moved in with her mother at Moolap in 1909 following the death of Emily’s husband, Charles Frederick Moore. She is listed in the Sands and McDougall Directory as living at Moolap between 1911 and 1939.
Emily Ellen May Moore (nee Pittard) had attended the Moolap State School and Moolap Wesleyan (Methodist) Sunday School receiving the Levian Prize at Sunday School in 1891. She married Charles Frederick Moore on 3 August 1898 at Moolap, Geelong.
Charles Frederick Moore, the son of Frank Theophilus Moore and Mary Jane Howard Charles was born on 5 July 1867 in Geelong. He was christened on 3 Sep 1874 in St Pauls Anglican Church,Geelong. He died on 31 Mar 1909 in Port Fairy, Victoria. From 1882 until Dec 1886, he was employed by S T Woodward, Carriage Builder, Cnr Corio & Kardinia Streets at Geelong. From 1886 to 1889, he was employed by T Peters, Timber Merchants, Little Ryrie Street also in Geelong; at the time of his marriage he was employed by the Victorian Railways as a Tarin Driver and foreman.
Victoria did not have the same levels of industrial militancy as New South Wales, and indeed there was only one strike in the history of its railways before 1945. This was the 1903 engine drivers' strike, which lasted only a week and was insufficiently supported to prevent many trains running. Its main result was that unions were recognised by the railway's management for the first time, more than a decade after the New South Wales management accorded them this status.
In 1903, 1300 Victorian railway engine drivers, firemen and cleaners went on strike for just over a week. The workers were in dispute with the Railways Commissioners over conditions of employment, including allowance and the classification scheme. Charles Frederick Moore is mentioned in the "Third Supplement to the Victoria Government Gazette of Wednesday, July 29, 1903. Determinations of the Victorian Railways Commissioners under "The Railways Employees Strike Act 1903" p2516."
Following the death of her husband at the Port Fairy shunting yards, Emily Ellen May had to leave the Railways House in Gipps Street, Port Fairy. She was given a gratuity of 399 pounds from the Victorian Railways and also received from The Australian Widows' Fund Life Assurance Society Limited the sum of 220 pounds seven shillings and nine pence.
Emily Ellen May Pittard & Charles Frederick Moore had the following children: Elizabeth May Moore was born on 5 Feb 1899 in Camperdown, Victoria and died on 23 May 1990 in Geelong; Charles Frederick Moore was born in 1901 in Geelong and died in 1904 in Geelong; George Edward Moore was born on 16 Aug 1904 in Geelong and died on 28 Sep 1953 in Geelong ; Freda Ellen Moore was born on 8 Dec 1906 in Hawthorn, Victoria and died on 12 Aug 1996 in Geelong; Charles Frederick Moore (second to be so named) was born on 15 Mar 1909 in Port Fairy, Victoria and died on 13 Aug 1974 in Bellbrae Victoria.
Collection title: Matthew and Dorothy Moore Collection
Assigned title: Photograph of SS CUMBERLAND of Gabo Island