Stories Of My Irish Families

Irish Native/Planter Stories

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Learning of the "Maternal Collateral" Pitman's.    *Updated 22-03-18

The term "Collateral", is referred to a brother or sister line to that of your own, from a set of certain Grandparents.

This is a story of a colleteral line of my Maternal family - The Pitman's from Marysville, Victoria.
This family has totally captivated me. It taught me, no matter how tragic stories get, there can be endless details found that can help you understand, how historical data, interacts with your own lineage.

This part, is centered on the parents of the Marysville Pitman Family - Clarence and Caroline Pitman.

  • Clarence is the 3rd son of Jacob Pitman and Emma Hooper. Jacob was an Architect and also taught "Pitman Shorthand". Jacob and Emma, emigrated to South Australia in 1838. Clarence was also a nephew of Sir Isaac Pitman (inventor of the "Pitman Shorthand" Phonographic system).
  • Caroline is the 2nd daughter of Henry Hood Newenham and Annie Persse. Caroline's heritage is of the Persse family of Dublin and Roxborough Co. Galway and the Newenham's from Cork and Dublin, but also including the Blood families from Applevale, Co. Clare.

Their story, has historic value in connection with Marysville-Victoria, but also adds a story with a letter from George Washington in 1789. It was sent to Caroline's Paternal 2nd Great Grandfather - Sir Edward Newenham and that letter somehow landed in Melbourne/Marysville.
It also shares a tragic end, to 3 of the Pitman Children, who seem to think that there is a family curse among them.

I recently took hold of this story and wanted to find more about them, particularly why things happened the way they did.
As I am writing this, I am discovering more and more of Clarence Pitman, than I have ever heard of, which is adding to the story.
It is a tad longer than I wanted, but I am trying to show the parental side of this story and to keep within one blog. But also still trying to keep in mind, where this "family curse" thought is coming from. Is it, the Pitman's or Newenham's?

The Newenham's, as they arrived in Melbourne in 1856

Original Immigration Shipping List - 1856
Voyage took 140 days from Liverpool, aboard the ship "Sultana"

Parents : Henry and Annie are up the top. My 3rd Great Grandmother, is Eliza and is the eldest child.
This blog story centres on the 4th child down - Caroline.
It is believed that Eliza was born in France and the the rest of the kids, were born at St. Helier - Jersey Island.
*Note - disregard Henry's age, it is incorrect (born 1805). They may have had to lower it, to fit in with an Age limit of migration?

Caroline Anna Blood Newenham, was born 26th January, 1847 in Lempriere St, St. Heliers - Jersey Island. She was a twin and her Brother was Edward Persse Newenham.
I don't have an image of her, but I do have one of her twin brother Edward. There is reason to believe, that Caroline may have looked like, her 2nd cousin - Lady Gregory.
Why would I say such a thing, well, you'll just have to wait and see, I'll let the images do the talking. A key point on my theory is that, Henry and Annie were 1st cousins, that is via Henry's Mother and Annie's Father - they were siblings. Henry and Annie can trace to the same Grandfather - Col William Persse of Roxborough - Co. Galway.

The Persse face, is pretty profound and I do believe that it maybe making it's appearance down the lines. I don't have any photos of Caroline or Clarence Pitman to draw conclusion, but their daughter Gwen, supports this theory.

I don't have any info of Caroline's early story, prior to her being married or even much after. Other than following her Father's addresses etc and as far as I know, Caroline was in the St. Kilda and surrounding districts.

I can only find Caroline in a few ventures.
She published details of historic war battles, that many of her close and far relatives were involved in.
One of many details was with her Nephew - Edgar Hasler (pseudonym :  Dr Kelwylyn R. Moure), with mining lands in Ireland (1930's era) and another was with issues relating to her children, with the inheritances, that came down via Henry Newenham.
It seems later in life, she moved to Blairgowrie on the Mornington Peninsula, which I think back in those days, were holiday type places (1/2 day trip to get there from Melbourne City). And then later, moved a bit closer to Melbourne - to the suburb of Sandringham.

13th Mar 1897 - Melbourne Argus

On 30th October, 1871, Caroline Newenham married Clarence Pitman, in the Anglican Church of St. Mary's. The district written as "Hotham", is now known as North Melbourne.
The reference to Firmont, is I think is either the last place in Ireland, that Henry/Annie were from, or land that Henry owned. Henry's family held mining lands around Nenagh, Co. Tipperary, which fits this story.

1st Nov 1871 - Melbourne Argus

On Clarence's story, his father Jacob was an Architect. from near the town of Bath, England. In 1838, Jacob and his family, migrated and settled in Adelaide, South Australia, just after it had been proclaimed as a Colony (Dec 1836). They were in Adelaide for a number of years, were Jacob was not only an architect, but also a Minister of Religion (Swedenborgian Church).
Clarence was born in Adelaide c. 1848.

To put another twist of an added connection to this Pitman Family, I am pretty certain, that they knew of the Newenham name well before Clarence met Caroline.

Charles Burton Newenham, was the State Sheriff of South Australia, for more than 20 years, around the time that this Pitman Family were of Adelaide.
Charles B Newenham was a 1st cousin of Henry Hood Newenham, both their Grandparents were Sir Edward Newenham and Grace Anna Burton.

The Pitman's, then decided to pull up stumps and re-settle in Geelong, Victoria, sometime in the 1860s-1870's period. This is where we start to find Jacob's son - Clarence. I was recently advised by my relative - Michael Collins Persse (curator of the Geelong Grammar School), that Clarence also attended Geelong Grammar, as a student.

As time went on, it seems that due to the family's mantra of teaching / instructing and also interaction with the Pitman Shorthand system, we would have to assume that we "should" find Clarence, a very well educated man. And we do. Quite an accomplished fellow.
It seems that if you had a committee going, a banking trust, accountancy of the books, a business audit or even secretarial type jobs, Clarence was your man.

25th Sep 1867 - Geelong Advertiser

The earliest document that I could find so far, is that we find Clarence, in Geelong and he is part of the early formative years, of the Geelong Football Club. Here he is noted being the Secretary of the club in 1867 - 4 years before his marriage to Caroline.
This is quite the find and in my view, it is a great historical link, to one of the strongest Victorian Football Clubs around.

24th Jul 1880 -  The Telegraph
(St Kilda, Prahran and South Yarra Guardian)

25th Feb 1882 - The Argus

Here we see a movement to Grey St,
St. Kilda - Melbourne in 1880. This is where Caroline's Father (Henry H Newenham) lived in around that time.

18th Oct 1886 - Bendigo Advertiser

As a Bank Teller, he had to face many people, who forged Cheques. This is just one of a few cases, that Clarence had to deal with.

One of the many companies, corporations and businesses, Clarence had associated himself with. An accomplished Accountant, Secretary and Manager over many years.

 1st Aug 1890 - Table Talk Melbourne

Clarence also had continual workload, with promoting the Pitman Shorthand system over many years. It also shows, even to this day, a lot of people struggled with the learning of the Pitman Shorthand system. Clarence clarifies this point, that "laziness" is the reason you fail.
Though what comes to mind and I think the term would be "Practice, Practice, Practice" and if you didn't, you'd get ruler across the back of the head or hands (Well, I know I did in school...)

But something happened in the early 1890's in Australia. A Banking Sector Collapse.
By 1 report, that Clarence is listed in, states that how could a bank have such an amount of a loss, in the vicinity of £300,000?
This loss of money, created a huge slump in the Australian Bank's sector, allowing a lot of banks to close, thus creating a huge depression period that followed.

Clarence was involved in this "Bank Loss" and in some way, it must have taken a toll on the family.

19th Aug 1892 - Table Talk

31st Mar 1893 - Table Talk

I can only speculate, that it must of forced Clarence to keep working, as I can see no holidays of sorts or family interaction. Did this force Clarence to diversify his business interests (put more time into Pitman phonography?) He was a busy man and for many years after this, it seems he kept on working.
I cannot determine, if this was because he wanted to provide for the family, or he was really a very good business man and just wanted to "work". I don't have any info, showing family time together. Caroline was bringing up the kids, so I can only assume, with Clarence's business interests, that the children may not have seen much of their Father. Maybe in the later years only when the kids took up residence in Marysville, Victoria.
In both of the below documents, Clarence also shows, that he had to have the courage to stand up to some form of critique, of the Pitman phonography. The 3rd document from The Argus Newspaper, shows quite a stern retort to a previous contributor - "Oriel" and his views .

6th Sep 1892 - The Age

10th Dec 1892 - The Standard Port Melbourne


 2nd Feb 1897 - The Argus


  Bendigo Advertiser  - 1st Dec 1903

It seemed also, that in the future years, Clarence was involved with a lot of traveling around the State of Victoria and Auditing Council's "financial bookworks" as what looks like to be, an appointed Government Auditor.

 18th Mar 1926 - Kilmore Free Press

And the ending of an era with Clarence. His death was reported by the Kilmore Free Press.

Clarence died in 1926 and was buried in the Marysville Cemetery.
Caroline died in 1937 and was cremated. It is not known if she was scattered and or placed into Clarence's plot, or if indeed the family kept the remains.

15th Mar 1926 - Argus

 20th Apr 1937 - The Age

Clarence's Burial Plot at the Marysville Cemetery.

** Thanks to Bill & Judith, from the Marysville Historical Society, for assisting me in this story **

by Stories Of My Irish Families Sunday, May 28, 2017 No comments


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