This beautiful hardcover book of 646 pages in a coffee table book format tells the story of George Jones and his wife Margaret (nee Hardie). The book contains over 400 photographs, maps and illustrations, including an 8 page colour map section, endnotes, bibliography, a name index and a general index.
WINNER of the ALEXANDER HENDERSON AWARD 2014 for BEST AUSTRALIAN FAMILY HISTORY awarded by the Australian Institute of Genealogical Studies.
This is a most impressive book, lavishly and beautifully produced and illustrated, thoroughly researched, with detailed references and sources given. It tells the story of the Jones family and their migration from Cockenzie in Scotland to Harrietville in northeast Victoria in the 19th century, and the legacy they left to descendants. It contains a comprehensive index and bibliography and extensive genealogical charts. The judges felt it was a very worthy winner of the Alexander Henderson Award AIGS Judging Panel
George Jones was a native of Cockenzie, a small fishing village situated on the Firth of Forth, just to the east of Edinburgh in Scotland. He was a grandson of John Jones and Agnes Young who first started raising their family there in 1774. Margaret Hardie was born in 1826 in Newarthill, a small mining village in Lanarkshire to the south of Glasgow, where her father, Peter, worked as a mine manager. Peter, and his wife Elizabeth Cowan had their origins in Airth in Stirlingshire.
George and Margaret married in Newarthill in 1847 and had five children in the ensuing years. In late 1857 George made the long journey to Australia to seek his fortune during the gold rush which was then transforming Australian society. He arrived in Victoria in February 1858. It would be almost six years before Margaret and the children came out to join him. After an epic journey taking five months across the sea, by dray, and on foot, Margaret and the children were finally reunited with George in 1863 on a dirt track near Harrietville, a small gold mining settlement nestled at the foot of Mt. Feathertop in Victoria. They would spend the rest of their lives living at Harrietville – in the shadow of Feathertop – bearing another four Australian-born children.
Who were these people? What motivated them to uproot their families and leave Scotland, the land where their forebears had lived since time immemorial? What was their new life like in Australia, and how did they fare?
In the Shadow of Feathertop answers these questions. It is in five parts:
Part One traces the origins of this Jones family in Scotland. It examines George and Margaret’s genealogical heritage, which can be traced back to the early 1700s. It also tells the story of George’s birthplace, Cockenzie, and what his upbringing and early life might have been like there. This section covers the period up until the time George married Margaret Hardie in 1847.
Part Two tells the story of George and Margaret Jones from the time of their marriage in Newarthill, Scotland, their early married lives, their separate journeys to Australia, and what became of them in their new homeland. Their story is inextricably interwoven with the story of the founding and development of the township of Harrietville in Victoria. They lived in Harrietville from its very earliest days, and spent their entire lives there after arriving in Australia. They were true pioneers.
Part Three deals with each of George and Margaret’s nine children. Five of them were born in Scotland, and four in Australia. What became of them? Who did they marry, and how did their spouses’ families come to be in Australia? The stories of these families that married into the Jones family are also told. Their origins, and their respective journeys to the Ovens Valley, present some fascinating stories that illustrate how the fabric of Victoria’s working-class society was formed in the earliest years of the colony’s existence. Many came to Australia in search of gold like the Jones family. One family came from generations of Cornish copper miners to work in the Monster Mine in South Australia; another adventurer was a Palatine descendant who came from Canada where his family had settled after fighting for the British in the American War of Independence; and others had no choice in the matter having been sent to Australia as a convicts from England. Major family names include: Cadzow, Tobias, Croucher, Beasley, Hynd, Crossley, Cartledge, Hocking, Lawrence, Buckley, Wall and Scott.
Part Four details all of the known descendants of George and Margaret Jones. It contains over 2,300 names. This part of the book is presented in a format that will be familiar to genealogists, but easy to follow for those who are not. It attempts to list all known descendants with key information such as birth, death and marriage places and dates. For many people beyond George and Margaret and their own children, there is a story to be told and it can be found in this section. Many of them served their new country in WW1 and WW2 and their stories are told. Some of them never made it home and their stories make for harrowing reading.
The Appendices provide additional information and some wonderful side-stories which would have been a distraction in the main sections of the book:
- One branch of the Cockenzie Jones family (John Jones, the son of George’s cousin) settled in Goolwa and Murray Bridge on the Murray River in South Australia along with many other Cockenzie expatriates. One of these expatriates – Francis Cadell – is credited with opening up the mighty Murray to trade with his pioneering steamboats.
- Another Cockenzie Jones man was whaler and old salt, Captain Robert Jones (George’s cousin), who was a part of the famed US Navy Greely Relief Expedition sent to rescue Arctic explorer Lt. Adolphus Greely and his party who were stranded in the icy wilderness for months with inadequate supplies…
- A wonderful first-hand account of the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge written by one of George and Margaret’s granddaughters is also transcribed in the Appendices.
- Finally, this section contains reproductions and transcriptions of a wonderful series of letters sent by William and Euphemia Cadzow to Euphemia’s family in Whitburn, Scotland, and many sent by her family back to them from Whitburn. The first of these letters was written when William and Euphemia were on board their ship waiting to depart England. Others were written from Melbourne soon after their arrival there, and then from the Forest Creek goldfields where they went in search of riches. These letters provide a first-hand account of life on the Victorian goldfields, and the ones from Scotland recount the daily lives of her family in and around Whitburn, West Lothian. They provide a fascinating glimpse into the daily lives of people in these times. William and Euphemia’s daughter, Elizabeth Forsyth Cadzow, was born on the Forest Creek goldfields and married George and Margaret’s son, William Jones.