NameElizabeth (Bessie) (Bess) DEASON , GGGG Granddaughter, F
BirthJune 1866, Bulldog Gully, Moliagul, Victoria, Australia, (7988)
Death1953, Heidelberg, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, (11354)
FatherJohn (John Jenkins) DEASON , M (1829-1915)
MotherCatherine McANDREW , F (1836-1921)
Spouses
Birthabout 1839, Ballymena, County Antrim, Ireland
Burial14 November 1902, Moliagul Cemetery, Moliagul, Victoria, Australia
Deathabout November 1902, Moliagul, Victoria, Australia, (15090)
OccupationDraper
FatherHugh ROBINSON , M
MotherJane TOMBE , F
Marriage1892, Victoria, Australia, (7418)
ChildrenElizabeth Beaulah (Beaulah) (Bea) , F (1893-~1928)
 Hugh Thomas (Hughie) , M (1894-1979)
 Redvers John Tombe , M (1900-1983)
Notes for Elizabeth (Bessie) (Bess) DEASON
Birth place was given at registration of marriage as Donnelly, (Dunolly?), Victoria.

Father’s name at reigstration of death was given as John LEASON.

Elizabeth was born in 1866 at Moliagul. From 1864 to 1869 the Deason family lived at Bulldog Gully, Moliagul where Hugh’s father prospected for gold and farmed land in partnership with Richard Oates. At some stage, soon after the discovery of the Welcome Stranger nugget in 1869, the family moved to the farm called The Springs, just outside Moliagul.

Elizabeth probably stayed at The Springs until late 1888 when financial difficulties forced John, Catherine and the two youngest boys (John & James) to seek work in Melbourne and let out The Springs. There was no mention of Elizabeth going to Melbourne so it is presumed that she must have stayed behind with relatives or friends – possibly with her brother Henry and his wife in Moliagul.

By about 1890/1891 John and Catherine moved back to The Springs.

In 1892, Elizabeth (Bess) married Hugh Robinson in Dunolly.

Hugh had come to Victoria about 1858 and on 24 January 1860, at Ballarat, married Louisa Julia RENNISON (c1839- 1891). Their marriage record noted:
Hugh Robinson, “bachelor”, age: 21 years, born: Ballymore, Antrim, Ireland, profession: draper, residence: Main Rd, Ballarat South, parents: Hugh Robinson, a “linen draper” and Jane Tomb
Louisa Julia Rennison, “spinster”, age: 21 years, born: Dublin, Ireland, profession: laundress, residence: Drummond St, Ballarat West, parents: William Rennison, “police inspector” and Sarah Ann Lambert
They were married by Rev Robert I Hatton, in the United Presbyterian Manse, Drummond St, Ballarat North, witnesses: John McCulloch and Jane Walker.


In 1860 Hugh was noted in the admissions for the Ballarat Hospital:
1 May 1860 – age: 21 years, occupation: draper.
And shortly after Hugh is recorded in the admissions for the Melbourne General Hospital:
22 June 1860 – age: 22 years, occupation: draper, religion: Presbyterian, 2 yrs. in the colony.

Hugh and Louisa had at least 7 children:
• Sarah Jane Robinson – born 1862, North Melbourne [Hotham], Victoria, died 1896, Footscray, Melbourne, Victoria
• Elizabeth Florence – born about 1863, (possibly the “unnamed female” registered 1864, born St Kilda, Melbourne, Victoria)
• Thomas Robinson – born 1865, Bendigo [Sandhurst], Victoria
• Stewart John Robinson – born 1868, Sunbury, Victoria
• Esther Robinson – born 1870, Sunbury, Victoria
• Hugh Robinson – born 1873, Bung Bong, Victoria, died 1897, Red Cliffs, Victoria
• Maria Miriam Robinson – born 1877, Tyabb, Victoria

Hugh and Louisa probably stayed in Melbourne where their first two children were born (1862, North Melbourne & 1863, St Kilda). By 1865 the family had moved to Bendigo and by 1868 to Sunbury where two more children were born (1868 & 1870). Later the family moved to Bung Bong, 20 kilometres west of Maryborough (1873) and Tyabb, south-east of Melbourne (1877).

Hugh Robinson was recorded in the admissions for Castlemaine Hospital on three occasions:
• 23 August 1871 – age: 31 years, born: Ireland, occupation: reader, married, residence: Alma, religion: C of E, discharged 29 August 1871, result: relieved;
• 9 November 1871 – age 31 years, born: Ireland, occupation: reader, married, residence: Maryborough; religion: C of E, discharged 20 November 1871, result: relieved; and
• 16 May 1874 – born: Ireland, age: 35 years, occupation: reader, residence: Maryborough, religion: C of E, discharged 14 August 1874, result: cured.
Note: Alma is near Maryborough, Victoria.

In late 1874 Hugh Robinson was appointed Stipendiary Reader in the Northern District (Mt. Eliza, Frankston, Somerville, Moorooduc, Hastings and Coolart, at Somers) of the Parish of Mornington. He was still there in late 1877.
Note: the average annual stipendiary income at that time was at least ₤100. Hugh’s predecessor was paid ₤213 – probably because of the amount of travelling involved as the Northern District embraced Mt. Eliza, Somerville, Moorooduc, Hastings, Coolart, French and Phillip Islands.  Hugh’s travel did not include French & Phillip Islands.

It was in 1879, while at Tyabb, that Hugh obtained a lease over 67 acres of land:
Applications for Licences Approved
Licence no: 7633M; Hugh Robinson; area: 67 acres; Parish: Tyabb; allotment: part 34; licence date: 1 January 1879; payment: £1/13/6, survey charge: £2/0/0, licence fee: £1/0/0, total: £4/13/6; payable: Melbourne.


However, by January 1881 Hugh had fallen into arrears:
Licenses in Arrears
License no. 7633; dated: 1 January 1879; Hugh Robinson; Parish: Tyabb; extent: 67 acres; rent due: £3/7/0; due: 1 January 1880.

In 1885 there is a record of a horse impounding at Carlsruhe which may relate to this Hugh Robinson:
Impoundings
Carlsruhe – impounded at Carlsruhe Pound, 7th August 1885 by James Black, for Mr Hugh Robinson – Trespass 1d.
1 bay mare, like J M near shoulder, off front foot bumble.
If not claimed and expenses paid, to be sold on 7th September.
William Murphy, Poundkeeper.

Hugh’s wife, Louisa, died 1891, Hotham West [West Melbourne], Victoria, aged 51 years.

In 1892, Hugh, then age 53 years, remarried - to Elizabeth (Bess). They moved to the Footscray area where their three children were born in 1893, 1894 and 1900. Hugh’s eldest daughter from his first marriage, Sarah Jane, may have also accompanied them as she died at Footscray in 1896 and does not appear to have married.

Sometime after 1900 the family moved back to Moliagul where Hugh died in 1902.

Elizabeth and her three young children probably moved to her parent’s home and shop at Moliagul on the corner of Moliagul-Dunolly and Monument Roads. (The brick shop, no longer operating, and weatherboard home still exist today (2013) (Section E, Lots 1 & 2)). The 1903 Commonwealth Electoral Roll noted Elizabeth’s occupation as: “home duties” and residence: Moliagul.

Elizabeth, and probably all her children, were still living in Moliagul in 1919. The 1919 Commonwealth Electoral Roll noted “Bessie’s” occupation as: “housekeeper” and residence: Moliagul. (Note: there was no record of Elizabeth on the Electoral Rolls of 1909 & 1914). Elizabeth was still living there with her mother, Catherine, as late as 1921. The Electoral Rolls of 1924 and 1931 again recorded the same details as in 1919,.

Elizabeth attended her brother Henry’s funeral at Moliagul, 21 June 1932. The obituary noted her as “Elizabeth (Mrs Robinson, Malvern)”. This may indicate that she had moved to live with her brother, James, at 88 Brunel St, Malvern.

However, by 1936 “Bessie” may have moved to Avoca. The 1936 Commonwealth Electoral Roll noted “Bessie’s” occupation as: “home duties” and residence: High St, Avoca.

No clear record of Elizabeth (Bess) for the period 1936 to 1953 has been identified. However, a newspaper article in 1940 noted her residence as Maribyrnong, Victoria. This could be Van Ness Avenue where son Hugh was living in 1950.

Elizabeth (Bessie) died in 1953, Heidelberg, Victoria.

In 1940 two newspaper stories appeared retelling the story of the finding of the Welcome Stranger gold nugget as told by Elizabeth Robinson (incorrectly recorded as “Robertson”) of Maribyrnong, Melbourne. Below are parts of those stories that relate to Elizabeth’s life (for complete stories refer John Deason, 449, for details):

Gold – Two Hundredweight of it”, from Picture News, 2 March, 1940, pp 34 & 35:

Pioneer Remembers How Her Father Unearthed “The Welcome Stranger”

This Is How She Tells The Story
Surrounded by relics, never without memories of an epic event of her childhood, Mrs E. Robertson [sic] lives in an atmosphere of the past.

So vividly etched on her mind are circumstances surrounding the discovery of the Welcome Stranger – biggest nugget ever found – that now – 71 years later – she recalls the morning when as a toddler she saw her father, the late Mr John Deason, dig the golden monster from the earth.

….. Mrs Robertson [sic] treasure’s many documents, mementoes of the big strike.


Gold – Two Hundredweight of it”, from Woman (magazine), 14 October 1940,
p 13:

Woman Tells How Her Father Dug Up World’s Biggest Nugget
Few Australian women are richer in memories than Mrs E. Robertson [sic] of Maribyrnong, Victoria – a little old lady who, 71 years ago, saw her father dig from the earth “The Welcome Stranger”, the biggest nugget of gold ever found.

In her modest home Mrs Robertson [sic] lives in an atmosphere of the past. Faded photographs, dusty documents and other relics, all highly treasured and closely guarded, serve as a constant reminder of the glamorous days when the discovery of the golden monster caused a major sensation throughout the world – a sensation which was revived not long ago when a replica of the nugget acted as magnet to thousands of incredulous visitors to the San Francisco Exhibition.

As might be expected, many yarns have been spun, and many romantic stories written around the discovery. But Mrs Robertson [sic], on whose mind the circumstances are vividly etched, says that the facts have never been told.

…. His daughter, Mrs Robertson [sic], married a clergyman and reared a family of three. Two sons are artists.

Now Mrs Robertson [sic] potters around on her little place at Maribyrnong, attends to her cows and chickens, dreams of the golden days when the Welcome Stranger brought what seemed fabulous fortune to the family – and is content.

Acknowledgements:
• Rick Smith, Launceston Tasmania, Australia
• Joyce Tuohey, Quambatook, Victoria, Australia
• Billy Warburton, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
• Leonie Ackley, Como, Perth, Western Australia
• Jill Caldwell, Bendigo, Victoria, Australia
• Richard (Dick) Deason, Moliagul, Victoria, Australia
• Arthur Deason, Moliagul, Victoria, Australia
• Jonathan Deason, Bendigo, Victoria, Australia
• Alan Robinson, Victoria, Australia
• Valda Cole, Victoria, Australia

References:
Births, baptisms, marriages, deaths & burials (Aust):
• Genealogical Society of Victoria, 2003, Goldfields Hospital Admissions 1860-1920, extract 6 April 2006, Robinson for Castlemaine Hospital (ref – D_Doc_#091)
• Digger, 2005, Death Index Victoria 1921-1985, extract for Deason (ref – D_Doc_#104)
• Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (Vic), 2001, Historical Index (1855-1920), extract for Deason (ref – D_Doc_#106)
• B M Jackman, 2003, Bendigo Advertiser Personal Notices 1881-1895, Vol 2, p 106 (ref – D_Doc_#173)
• Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (Vic), 1860, Marriage certificate, Hugh Robinson & Louisa Julia Rennison (ref – D_Doc_#235)
• Suzanne Lindy Deason, 2008, Moliagul Cemetery Trust Register – As at 5th August 2008 (ref – D_Doc_#252)
• The Age, 26 July 1983, Death Notices, Redvers John Robinson (ref – D_Doc_#381)
• Digger, 2005, Marriage Index Victoria 1921-1942
• Fawkner Cemetery, Melbourne, 1983, Index & details for Redvers John Tombe Robinson & 1985, Lillian Beatrice Robinson
Family trees & history:
• Billy Warburton, 1969, Deason Family Tree (ref – D_Doc_#014 & #015)
• probably Venus Free (nee Deason), c1967, Deason Family Tree (ref – D_Doc_#016)
• Venus Free (nee Deason), c1940, Deason Family Tree (ref – D_Doc_#017)
• Rick Smith, 2005, Deason Family Tree, (ref – D_Doc_#136)
• John Edward Deason, 1938, Correspondence, to George Wilfred Deason (ref – D_Doc_#190)
• Alan Robinson, 2008, Correspondence
Other information:
• Catherine McAndrew, 1921, Correspondence, transcribed, Jill Caldwell, 2006 (ref – D_Doc_#041)
• Department of Lands and Survey (Vic), 2005, Moliagul survey map, from www.land.vic.gov.au (ref – D_Doc_#059)
• Genealogical Society of Victoria, 2003, Goldfields Hospital Admissions 1860-1920, extract 6 April 2006, Robinson for Castlemaine Hospital (ref – D_Doc_#091)
• Pat O’Neill, 1940, Gold – Two Hundredweight of it, published in Woman, 14 October 1940, p 13 (ref – D_Doc_#180)
• Pat O’Neil, 1940, Gold – By The Hundredweight, published in Picture News, pp 34 & 35 (ref – D_Doc_#185)
• Genealogical Society of Victoria, 2008, Ballarat Admissions Register 1856-1913, extract 13 August 2008 for Hugh Robinson (ref – D_Doc_#243, #1)
• Genealogical Society of Victoria, 2008, Melbourne General Hospital Ward books 1856, extract 13 August 2008 for Hugh Robinson (ref – D_Doc_#243, #2)
• Government Gazette (Vic), 20 January 1879, p1561, 20 January 1881, p 233, 14 August 1885, p 2320 (ref-D_Doc_#243)
• Author unknown, 1869, Largest Nugget in the World, The Welcome Stranger, published in Dunolly & Betbetshire Express, 12 February, 1869 (ref – D_Doc_#269)
• Commonwealth Electoral Office, 1903, 1919, 1924, 1931, Electoral Rolls for Dunolly, Vic, 1931, Malvern East, Vic, 1936, Avoca, Vic, 1924, Melbourne West, Vic, 1931, Melbourne North & Melbourne West, Vic, 1936, Melbourne West, Vic, 1937, 1943, & 1949, Melbourne, Vic, 1949, Footscray West, Vic, 1954, West Coburg & Williamstown, Vic (ref- D_Doc_#336)
• Author unknown, 1932, Obituary – Mr Henry Jenkins Deason, Moliagul, published in Dunolly & Betbetshire Express, late June 1932, (ref – D_Doc_#357)
• Valda Cole, 1975, Western Port Pioneers and Preachers, pp 44 & 45
Valda Cole, 2011, Correspondence
Notes for Hugh (Spouse 1)
Hugh’s first marriage was in 1860 to Louisa Julia Rennison born about 1839. They were married 24 January 1860, United Presbyterian Church Manse, Drummond St, Ballarat West. Hugh was noted as a bachelor aged 21 years, occupation: draper, residence: Main Rd, Ballarat South, born: Ballymena, Antrim, Ireland, parents: Hugh Robinson, linen draper and Jane Tomb [sic]. Louisa was noted as a spinster, aged 21 years, occupation: laundress, residence: Drummond St, Ballarat West, born: Dublin, Ireland, parents: William Rennison, police inspector and Sarah Ann Lambert. Hugh and Louisa had at least 7 children:
• Sarah Jane Robinson – born 1862, North Melbourne [Hotham], Victoria, died 1896, Footscray, Melbourne, Victoria
• Elizabeth Florence – born about 1863, (possibly the “unnamed female” registered 1864, born St Kilda, Melbourne, Victoria)
• Thomas Robinson – born 1865, Bendigo [Sandhurst], Victoria
• Stewart John Robinson – born 1868, Sunbury, Victoria
• Esther Robinson – born 1870, Sunbury, Victoria
• Hugh Robinson – born 1873, Bung Bong, Victoria, died 1897, Red Cliffs, Victoria
• Maria Miriam Robinson – born 1877, Tyabb, Victoria

Hugh Robinson (father) is recorded in the admissions for Ballarat Hospital:
♣ 1 May 1860 – age: 21 years, occupation: draper.

Shortly after Hugh is recorded in the admissions for the Melbourne General Hospital:
♣ 22 June 1860 – age: 22 years, occupation: draper, religion: Presbyterian, 2 yrs in the colony.

Acknowledgements:
• Rick Smith, Launceston Tasmania, Australia
• Joyce Tuohey, Quambatook, Victoria, Australia
• Billy Warburton, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
• Leonie Ackley, Como, Perth, Western Australia
• Jill Caldwell, Bendigo, Victoria, Australia
• Richard (Dick) Deason, Moliagul, Victoria, Australia
• Arthur Deason, Moliagul, Victoria, Australia
• Jonathan Deason, Bendigo, Victoria, Australia
• Alan Robinson, Victoria, Australia
• Valda Cole, Victoria, Australia

References:
Births, baptisms, marriages, deaths & burials (Aust):
• Genealogical Society of Victoria, 2003, Goldfields Hospital Admissions 1860-1920, extract 6 April 2006, Robinson for Castlemaine Hospital (ref – D_Doc_#091)
• Digger, 2005, Death Index Victoria 1921-1985, extract for Deason (ref – D_Doc_#104)
• Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (Vic), 2001, Historical Index (1855-1920), extract for Deason (ref – D_Doc_#106)
• B M Jackman, 2003, Bendigo Advertiser Personal Notices 1881-1895, Vol 2, p 106 (ref – D_Doc_#173)
• Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (Vic), 1860, Marriage certificate, Hugh Robinson & Louisa Julia Rennison (ref – D_Doc_#235)
• Suzanne Lindy Deason, 2008, Moliagul Cemetery Trust Register – As at 5th August 2008 (ref – D_Doc_#252)
• The Age, 26 July 1983, Death Notices, Redvers John Robinson (ref – D_Doc_#381)
• Digger, 2005, Marriage Index Victoria 1921-1942
• Fawkner Cemetery, Melbourne, 1983, Index & details for Redvers John Tombe Robinson & 1985, Lillian Beatrice Robinson
Family trees & history:
• Billy Warburton, 1969, Deason Family Tree (ref – D_Doc_#014 & #015)
• probably Venus Free (nee Deason), c1967, Deason Family Tree (ref – D_Doc_#016)
• Venus Free (nee Deason), c1940, Deason Family Tree (ref – D_Doc_#017)
• Rick Smith, 2005, Deason Family Tree, (ref – D_Doc_#136)
• John Edward Deason, 1938, Correspondence, to George Wilfred Deason (ref – D_Doc_#190)
• Alan Robinson, 2008, Correspondence
Other information:
• Catherine McAndrew, 1921, Correspondence, transcribed, Jill Caldwell, 2006 (ref – D_Doc_#041)
• Department of Lands and Survey (Vic), 2005, Moliagul survey map, from www.land.vic.gov.au (ref – D_Doc_#059)
• Genealogical Society of Victoria, 2003, Goldfields Hospital Admissions 1860-1920, extract 6 April 2006, Robinson for Castlemaine Hospital (ref – D_Doc_#091)
• Pat O’Neill, 1940, Gold – Two Hundredweight of it, published in Woman, 14 October 1940, p 13 (ref – D_Doc_#180)
• Pat O’Neil, 1940, Gold – By The Hundredweight, published in Picture News, pp 34 & 35 (ref – D_Doc_#185)
• Genealogical Society of Victoria, 2008, Ballarat Admissions Register 1856-1913, extract 13 August 2008 for Hugh Robinson (ref – D_Doc_#243, #1)
• Genealogical Society of Victoria, 2008, Melbourne General Hospital Ward books 1856, extract 13 August 2008 for Hugh Robinson (ref – D_Doc_#243, #2)
• Government Gazette (Vic), 20 January 1879, p1561, 20 January 1881, p 233, 14 August 1885, p 2320 (ref-D_Doc_#243)
• Author unknown, 1869, Largest Nugget in the World, The Welcome Stranger, published in Dunolly & Betbetshire Express, 12 February, 1869 (ref – D_Doc_#269)
• Commonwealth Electoral Office, 1903, 1919, 1924, 1931, Electoral Rolls for Dunolly, Vic, 1931, Malvern East, Vic, 1936, Avoca, Vic, 1924, Melbourne West, Vic, 1931, Melbourne North & Melbourne West, Vic, 1936, Melbourne West, Vic, 1937, 1943, & 1949, Melbourne, Vic, 1949, Footscray West, Vic, 1954, West Coburg & Williamstown, Vic (ref- D_Doc_#336)
• Author unknown, 1932, Obituary – Mr Henry Jenkins Deason, Moliagul, published in Dunolly & Betbetshire Express, late June 1932, (ref – D_Doc_#357)
• Valda Cole, 1975, Western Port Pioneers and Preachers, pp 44 & 45
Valda Cole, 2011, Correspondence
Last Modified 7 December 2013Created 20 January 2016 using Reunion for Macintosh