Family History – The Pollocks of Bonnie Doon

 William and Mary Ann Pollock

The one grandparent not born in Australia was William Hendry Pollock who accompanied his father, John Campbell Pollock, and mother, Margaret Hendry, on the Commodore Perry from Liverpool arriving at Launceston, Tasmania, in April 1855. They were from Govan, near Glascow, Scotland, and were brought out as assisted immigrants on the application of an Alexander Learmouth. William was then 7 and, like his parents, was Presbyterian and could read but not write although his parents could write. His father, aged 27, was a ploughman.

By 1875 John Campbell Pollock, farmer, had settled on and was ploughing his own 80 acres of land west of the town of Bonnie Doon in Victoria, now famous as the holiday haunt of the Kerrigan family in the film The Castle. The small town was known as Doon in 1875 but confusion with Dooen near Horsham led to the change of name to Bonnie Doon. More land was acquired by the Pollocks in 1880, 1883, and 1891.

In the meantime, William had grown to manhood and had been married to Georgina Wilson in 1876 at her father’s Pagewood Farm, Spring Creek near Alexandra.  She was Welsh-born and lived with her parents, Robert Wilson and Margaret Rowan.

After their marriage William and Georgina lived on the Pollock farm, Meadowbank, near Bonnie Doon. Their first child was born in 1877 and named John Campbell (Jack) Pollock after his grandfather. Robert Wilson Pollock was their second child, born 1878, named after his maternal grandfather. By this time the location of the farm was described as Brankeet, name of the creek on the northern side of the Mansfield Road, which flowed east towards the town. Agnes was born in 1881 but she died five months later from dysentry. Next year a boy, William Hendry, was born but he died two months later from tuberculosis. In 1884, aged 27, their mother Georgina died of tuberculosis.

My grandfather, William Hendry Pollock, remarried in 1887, his second wife being Mary Ann McGuigan, (my grandmother), of Kanumbra. Her parents, William McGuigan and Margaret McMinn had sailed from Baillieborough, County Cavan, Ireland in 1855; Mary Ann was born at Whittlesea in Victoria. The Pollocks had six daughters: Lilian, Margaret (my mother), Alice, Ann, Marion and Martha; and one son David.

Jack Pollock, at age 25, married Dorothea Prowd, a local girl, in 1902. Sadly, she died three years later. There were no children and Jack did not remarry. His father, William, continued to acquire adjoining land for farming in 1902, 1904, and 1905. But my story for now remains with Jack and I will return to him with my next posting.

(Postscript: I should point out to readers that I use a wife’s maiden name instead of her married name in the text so that we might see the spread of the families involved as we move back through the generations; no reflection on their marital status is intended.)

– almewett –

Published in: on June 24, 2011 at 1:40 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hello my name is David Bracd.
    I am interested in your site,
    My grand father was Robert Brace of Kunumbara near Yarck.
    His wife was Martha ( Maiden name was Pollock)
    I believe I am related to the McGuigns also.

    I spent the last weekend looking for the old farm
    Kunumbara which I visited with my father Mervyn Robert Brace
    (now disecased) Some 40 years ago

    I was interested what other information my have.

    David Brace

  2. Welcome, David, to my blog Who Were They. Your father, Mervyn, and I were first cousins; my mother Maggie Pollock and your grandmother Martha were sisters and their mother was William Pollock’s second wife, Mary Ann McGuigan. You will read about the McGuigans, also Uncle Jack Pollock, in other postings on this blog. My other blog Do You Know at might also be of interest to you. I’m very pleased to hear from you, David.

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