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Charles Croll family migration

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Date: [unknown] [unknown]
Location: Australiamap
Surnames/tags: Croll Australia
Profile manager: Neil Croll private message [send private message]
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Croll RH. 1939. I Recall: Collections and Recollections. Melbourne: Robertson and Mullins, pp177-179.


My father, Charles Croll, was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, on March 24, 1823, my mother, Janet Henderson, in Gladsmuir, near Edinburgh, on July 3, 1828. They married at St Cuthbert's Parish Church, Edinburgh, on May 26, 1854, the minister being the Revd. William Bruce, of the Cowgate U.P. Church. Father and mother both died at 'Gladsmuir,' 20 Percy Street, Glenferrie, he in 1891, and she on June 14 1904. They are buried at the Boroonda Cemetery, Kew.

Of their Scottish life I know little save the fact that father had three brothers and two sisters, that one brother, William (born in 1819) went to America and settled there, and that another, James, succeeded in altering the spelling of the family name. He established a business in Edinburgh and had a doorplate made. The engraver put an 'a' into the name, making it Croall, and my uncle did not bother to alter it. So we have one set of cousins who are Crolls and another who are Croalls.

I have traced the 'Croll' back to the Danish 'Krone,' a crown, so it is possible (anything is possible in a democracy) that one of my remote forebears was a leader of a raiding band which came across the water and managed the difficult job of holding its own against the Scots. Anyway, the Crolls have been a long time in Aberdeen; the name still persists there.

Six months after marriage my parents started for Australia as uunits in an immigration scheme. They left Birkenhead in the Clyde-built sailing ship William Miles on October 16, 1854, sighted the coast of Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) on New Year's morning, 1855, and cast anchor in Moreton Bay (then part of New South Wales) on January 16. The ship could not cross the bar, so the passengers were taken up the river to Brisbane in flat-bottomed boats. That was on January 24, 1855.

The colony had ceased in 1840 to be a dumping ground for convicts, and the William Miles emigrants were at first accommodated in the old convict barracks near the end of Queen Street where the bridge now crosses the river to South Brisbane. The cost of the trip had been £13 per per head. Father obtained work with a chemist named Kent, and a small house was rented on the river bank in South Brisbane--the South Brisbane railway station now occupies the site. Here my oldest sister was born on May 11, 1855.

Father left in 1855 for Warrnambool, Victoria, where his brother David had established himself as an architect and builder. Mother followed at the end of the year in the steamer Boomerang (?), which took her as far as Sydney, where she transferred to the steamer Wonga Wonga (?)​ without entering the town. This boat came up the Yarra and, at 8 o'clock one evening, mother mounted the only vehicle available, an ordinary cart, and drove about Melbourne for many hours before she discovered her friend, Mrs Horne, who had been her bridesmaid, and who now welcomed her to a home near the top of Little Collins Street.

In December, 1855, mother resumed her journey, embarking for Warrnambool in the steamer Lady Bird. For some years the family lived in Warrnambool or its neighbourhood and there the second child, Arthur, and the third, Elizabeth, were born (1857 and 1860 respectively).

Then came a flit to Pleasant Creek (now Stawell) where Arthur died, and Charles (1864) and myself (1869) came to light. The trek from Warrnambool by wagon took some three days and cost £4. Camp had to be made each night.

Mother had one trip back to the old country. That was in 1878. She started on October 26 (I have noted that it was the day of the Kelly outbreak of bushranging!) in the Money Wigram Co.'s steamer Durham. She left Scotland again on July 22, 1879, and landed at Williamstown (then the port for mailboats) on September 11, 1879.

We moved from Stawell to Richmond in 1888 and to Glenferrie in 1890. I married, in 1914, Grace Devereaux Croall, of Sydney. Our son, Robert Devereaux ('Robin'), Bachelor of Agricultural Science, is now 22 years of age.


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