Memory lane and treasured discoveries…

My sisters, my daughter and I recently took a trip to Central Victoria to do a little historical family research. I have to say, I have found the genealogy journey very moving thus far. I find myself really longing to step back in time, in order to get to know my family. I would love to know their motivation for emigrating from their homelands and why they settled in the Heathcote area in particular. I wonder about the hardship and poverty they might have come from, the hopes they had..and the opportunities they dreamed of.

I won't bore you with any details of the jobs they found or the countries they came from… But, I do particularly love these little glimpses of history that we have found and would really like to share them with you.

Firstly, a little snippet of an artical from "The Argus" (A Melbourne newspaper), October 1938.

Behold ~ my ancestor's high standing in the results of The Annual Heathcote Flower Show!!!

  Principal Awards won by the Duncans at the 1938 Heathcote Flower Show

Article12525272-5-001 The Argus Heathcote Show William Duncan ~ Principal award for Pansies

Mrs Duncan ~ Principal award for Stocks, Iceland Poppies, Annuals and Aquilegias (Columbines)

I love having this record of a community event. It also provides me with the tiniest window into the lives they led, which is absolutely priceless!


I have NOT inherited this aptitude for gardening. How I wish I had.

 This family snap has been taken at one of the Heathcote family homes, back in the 1920's. Let me introduce you to my rellies ~ Eddie, Rosey, Alfie, my Great Grandmother Agnes … and ME!! These are just 3 of her NINE children, born in Tooborac, Victoria. She lost two boys in WW1, and two babes between the ages of 1 and 3. What terribly hard times to live in… to raise children in. I'm incredibly proud of Agnes.

The old Roberts family home Heathcote, Victoria
I would have struck a pose if I'd realised the photo was being taken. : ) And I do feel a little under-dressed for the occasion. But, how wonderful, to be right there… feeling very happy in my sentimental state!

Lastly! I just love this photo… 

Merlin's Heathcote  
This was taken somewhere around 1870-1875 (around 20 years after my family settled in the area) by "The American and Australasian Photographic Company". The description of the photo is "Merlin's photographic cart and Heathcote, Victoria in the background". The creek that you can kind of see running through the middle of the photo, was just behind the back fence at my Grandma's house. So, being able to see this photo has been very special indeed.

Thank you for indulging my sentimentality. I've been thinking so much, on the journeys the previous generations have taken to bring us to where we are. I have been guilty of taking it all for granted in previous times. I am so thankful for the risks they have taken, the hardships they have endured and their eagerness to find joy in simple pleasures… such as the blooming of flowers in a garden.

Until next time, 

Melissa  x

4 Responses

  1. Oh I LOVE this Melissa! I had family that settled not too far from Heathcote – in Axedale. Years ago I was able to find graves in the tiny Axedale cemetery that belonged to my ancestors, but to have the newpaper clipping showing their gardening skills- that is fantastic!! (I would love that – I am an avid gardener, especially of the types of flowers that your rellies were growing!)I also love the spliced photo with you and you past family members – what treasures you’ve discovered!

  2. WOW Fiona!! One side of my family were in Derrinal and Wilduck (now under Lake Eppalock), on the Axedale side of Heathcote. In fact, they owned the Sportsmans Arms Hotel in Wilduck. You just never know… they may have been friends : )

    The newspaper clipping was easy to find. Go to You can find photos, newspaper clippings… all sorts of things that you can search by name, place or anything else you like. When you search publications, click The Argus on the upper left to make it easier to sort through. The McIvor Times from Bendigo isnt available online yet… but I cant wait until the day it is!!!

  3. Hey Melissa – I love that photo of you with your relatives in front of the house – that is really really kleva – and very moving too!!!! How amazing is that – I have never seen this done before WOW!
    xo Catherine

  4. Hi Catherine. Funny how things work out. The photo combination was completely unplanned. I actually dont like the photo of me at all, BUT when we put them together…. well now I love it! Looks like I could just lean over for a hug. : )

     ~ Melissa