Irish Ancestral Heritage

Past stories of my Éire families

Sunday, 9 July 2017

The Story of the Pitman's of  Marysville.

I was told the story of the Marysville Pitman's, many years ago.
I didn't know their story to well, so I found it hard to learn their lives and how they fitted in with my Maternal story. As I didn't fully understand the connection, I wanted to search their story and help "connect the dots".
I decided to visit Marysville a few months ago, to find out more details, on who they were.

Ironically, after learning what I did, there is so much mystique to their story, along with Family connections and stories. But, also knowing their circumstances of fate or tragedies that befell them, they still carried a lot of history with them, which also ties up with me and is the reason, why I write these blogs.

As I am just putting the list of the kids down, it shows in great detail on the true reality of tragedy.
But Clarence and Caroline kept plowing on, knowing that one of their children, would survive to Adulthood or even survive them.

Father     - Clarence died in 1926 (Buried in Marysville Cemetery)
Mother    - Caroline died in 1937 (Cremated and Scattered at Springvale "Necropolis" Crematorium)
  • Henry Newenham Pitman        - b1872-d1873 -infant
  • Carrie Rosalind Persse Pitman - b1874-d1948 -approx 74
  • Alice Burton Pitman                 - b1875-b1875 -infant
  • Clarence Edward Pitman         - b1877-b1877 - infant & buried with GM Annie Persse Newenham
  • Newenham Mueller Pitman                  - b1880-d1933 -approx 53
  • Olive Dora Blakeney Pitman    - b1885-d1926 -approx 41
  • Gwendoline De Burgh Pitman  - b1890-d1931 -approx 41

    The children share quite a few names from the Galway/Dublin Persse/Newenham ancestry
    (Persse / Burton / Edward / Blakeney / De Burgh)

Carrie, was the only child to survive both Parents. It also shows that out of the first 4 kids, she was the only one to survive infancy. Ironically, the last 3 children who survived infancy, struck tragedy later in life.

What is really interesting in the above table, is when Newenham Mueller Pitman was born in 1880, Newenham and the 2 successive children survived infancy.
It begs the question, did medical technology - intervene on the health of Melbourne's citizens?
Just shows quite the "juxtaposition" where death in infancy was quite high vs infancy survival rates after 1880. I haven't researched why this is, though the table hits right on the plausibility of better health / medical practices, after around 1880.
What is interesting, is that after Gwen, they didn't have anymore children. Even though they were older than 40, the Bank Crash of 1892 probably would have sealed the fate of no more children, as Clarence lost quite a bit of money (Over 5,000 Pounds).

It is also believed that all children died in Victoria.

I don't know much about Carrie, as she got married to Reginald Stringer (of Perth origin), but there is some details of her (or what I think is of her line), that pertain to hereditary inheritances.
Because I don't know enough of this line, it is the reason she isn't included with much details.
Part of my main aim of this blog, was to learn about the last 3 kids of Clarence and Caroline.
I am looking at the 3 untimely and very unfortunate deaths, that must of taken it's toll on Caroline and Carrie.
I don't know much about the children's early lives, other than living in Marysville.
Their earlier days would have been spent around Albert Park / St.Kilda districts and Blairgowrie.
I am certain that they would have known, their Maternal Grandfather - Henry Hood Newenham.
But it does seem that the 2 girls had to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

In their later part of their lives, Olive and Gwen resided in Marysville, Victoria.

Marysville, was quite an isolated part of Country Victoria back then.
Weather could have really hampered the access to the hills surrounding the town, during certain times of the year. Snow, and the bad rains, could have really made the town inaccessible for a few days at a time, before the roads were of any good standard. Summer would have been stiffling hot, in amongst the trees, bushfire's would have been as deadly to the town (as per the 2009 "Black Saturday" firestorm).

When Olive and Gwen moved to Marysville, they had a sort of a partnership, with a Guesthouse called "Kooringa" during the 1920's. Gwen lived across the road from the Kooringa Guesthouse, in the property known as the "Log Cabin".
Brother - Newenham, had business relations with a Steel company (Minerva Metals - Spencer Street) in Melbourne and lived around there, but most probably frequented Marysville from time to time, to see his Sister's.

Images of where Marysville is, in relation to Melbourne and the details of the 2 properties, with Olive & Gwen, in Marysville. The 2 properties, are around 250 metres South East, of the main road roundabout.

Travel Time to Marysville - In Today's World

February 7th 2009, known as "Black Saturday", was a major bushfire / firestorm.
It ravaged the township of Marysville and burned down, both the Pitman's residences - Kooringa nd the Log Cabin.

 3rd Oct 1918 - Table Talk Melbourne

Local Leaflet - depicting "Winter" and the snow.

Kooringa, was Olive's residence, until she went missing (covered in the next blog)
This is a local leaflet, approx dated in 1929

The Log Cabin, was Gwen's residence.

Details of the later lives of the 3 Pitman children, will be in the next blog.

by Brett Fitzgerald Sunday, July 09, 2017 No comments


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