THE LIFE DIARY OF THE LATE JANET ALEXANDER (ADAMS) TITMARSH

DEDICATED TO HER GRAND, GREAT GRAND CHILDREN.

MUNBILLA, SEPT. 1901. FIRST CALLED MORETON BAY, THEN QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA.

A FEW LINES AND REMINISCENT OF MY LIFE FOR MY CHILDREN AND GRAND CHILDREN.

I was born on the 2nd June, 1846 at Thorney Bank, Dalkeith, Scotland. My father was working at the Duke of Wellington coal mines, as a carpenter which was his trade. My father and mother were both Presbyterian and taught me psalms, paraphrases and my catechism. I am writing from memory.

I learnt my alphabet and short words at home,before going to school. The first I can remember we lived in front of the garrison near the castle of Edinburgh. There was only two of us then. My sister Nellie and I, and I can remember my father carried me on his back across the moor where tall heather grew and when in blossom, bees were carried in summer to get the honey from the flowers and left in charge of a shepherd, who watches his sheep in summer time, and remember one Sunday afternoon when we were crossing this place from where we lived to my Grandmothers, seeing a great ram caught in a bush by the horns and there were pieces of wool hanging in the brambles. The shepherd carried a little bag and gathered all he could find. Sometimes the children would gather the stray pieces and they would spin it on a wheel and then some would be dyed for their own stockings, all the little girls and some of the boys would knit all the winter in the Werrings. My Grandmother kept some sheep to get the wool and she spun and dyed it herself and also made a kind of check, blue and white cloth out of flare for aprons and pinafores.

Some people of Scotland grow both Swedish and large white turnips for the sheep in winter. When the ground is covered with snow and the sheep cannot get at them with their mouths, the farmers sends men to get out the neeps, we call them, for the sheep. My grandmother had a pet sheep and when it was shorn, she put a great thick shawl on it at night. My grandmother had a dozen young top-not pullets and the gipsys came and stole them, they rung their necks and then singed them, so as the police could not arrest them, although my uncle and aunt went down to their camp and counted of them. The gispys are a tribe of people that travel about like blacks, they are not black but dark skinned hair and eyes, they like to live in tents, they are supposed to be a people of Egypt. There are somefrom Ireland and England. They sometimes make baskets and tell fortunes and steal anything they could get and shift about always to fresh places.

The year before I was born and 1846 was the year of the Irish famine, when the potatoes went rotten in the ground. In Scotland and Ireland the people lived mostly on potatoes so there was a great deal of starvation and a kind of plague started and carried off many thousands. Then the British Government started to imigrate the Irish to the United States of America. My mother told me that they had a patch in front of the house at Thorny Bank, and they grew all right till it was time to dig them. The tops one morning were like as if there had been boiling water thrown on them and the potatoes in the ground caused such an offensive smell. Then the people trying to eat them caused a fever and many orphan children were left principally in Ireland. The poor houses were full, so when the girls were old enough to emigrate the government sent ship loads of them to Australia to let them marry the ticket of baver men and convicts. When the blacks first saw them land they inquired why they had short hair. In all gaols and charity places they cropped the hair very short: so they got the name of short grasses, being the blacks name for hair.

The name of the place where we lived in front of the garrison Topide. There were orchards and strawberry gardens near it and places where they kept cows and sold milk. The people lived in stone houses, some nine and ten stories high. Many families live in one house. The ground floor and the front rooms are the highest rent, up in the roof the attics and poorest rent them. In the cities, people live in underground cellars where they have no light or air only through a grating down a row of steps and the back room look out on some high walls or dirty yards. The most of the big houses are very old and date back to ancient times. I was once in the castle of Edinburgh and saw the old crown and scepter and the narrow stone stairs and the little windows. The people wouldn't like to live such places now. You will read in history of the cruel murder that happened in Edinburgh castle. My mother told me to look at the dark stain on the floor and since we have been in this colony I was reading an account of an Australian visiting the castle of Edinburgh and the zig zag dark mark still remains after so many years.

While we lived in this place there was a road running down to the sea shore not far from the Firth of Forth. The sea had broken away the high shore and left only a narrow footpath along a high wall and it was very slippery and a long way to the water. It was a short cut to Leith. In a storm the waves would fly over the wall. One day my mother took Nellie and I to visit some friends, she went inside and sat down, left me outside, thought I was playing with other children. My father was repairing a house close to and was speaking to off and on and by and by he missed me. Mother thought I was outside playing and my father thought I may have fallen asleep but they could not find me, so my father started for home. The tide was out when he came to the - - - - that was what the path was called, it was over a mile from home and I would be about 2-1/2 years old. Very few went that way but he met a young man going over this place and the man said he saw a little lassie pass the strip a long way the other side a long time before. So my father came home and here was a neighbour nearly frightening the life out of me with passing up and down the house thinking mother was drowned and only me left. How wonderful are the ways of God in his care of the helpless.

Not long after a man tried to get over and fell into the sea and was drowned. About this time there was a great cry out about a number girl children being stolen. There was about 40 missing from Fife, at the time nobody could tell where they had gone but after many years the captain of a vessel confessed that he had taken them first to an island, then to Jamacia to sell to the Spannish and Portigise. I got home before the sun was down and by the time my father got home it was nearly dark. The neighbour kept lifting the blind to see if anybody was after me and saw my father running very fast. The woman was trying to keep me awake. I can remember my father snatching me from the woman, but I could never remember crossing the strip. I know I was crying going along the lane, and some people looking through the hedge and asking what was the matter. I went over to the side where there was a big house, but I was very frightened, both of cats and dogs, so I got home slowly for I was very tired. In the mountains of Scotland there was a very large cat, wild and my uncle had instilled in my head that they would eat anyone, so I was about worn out when I got home.

The Scotch churches in Edinburgh were very large buildings. There was North Leith, and South Leith. One had a pit and two galleries, it would accomidate four thousand, and the other one had been Queen Mary's stables. You went up a number of broad steps and the iron rigs were still in the walls that the horses were tied to in older times. One evening I was out playing and watching for my father, it was getting dark. I would be about 3 years, when a woman and a boy came along with their little cart full of coal dust and they picked me up and put me on the top of the load and started off down this same lane that led down to the sea. When we got a short distance down the road I tried to get down but the boy held me on, and my father came along just then. I could just see him and I called father, he stopped, and I called again and these people tried to make the donkey go, but my father ran and grabbed me. Mother had not missed me so when my father brought me in all coal black and told her where he had got me she was very frightened and the whole of the neighbourhood was in a comotion about it. They inquired up and down to see if they could find the people again, but they supposed they must have been strangers. It was hard to say what they had under that dirt, anyway they were never seen again.

About this time my Grandfather Dickson came to see us, he had a blow on the neck and it was getting enlarged and preventing him from working at his trade, being a turner and carpenter. He used to make round basins out of the solid wood and he made me a chamber out of a solid piece of wood. Just about this time there was a man hanged for coining, he made farthings and was hanged on the seashore when the tide was out and there was no work that day. Thousands went to see him, he was about 40 years I remember him well, poor fellow. We had got a place where he had to pass quite close, so we saw him perfectly. He was the last for this crime that was hung thank God. I remember that sight for a long time. I think we shifted where there was more room to a place called Hill House Field. We called it Hills Field.

Before I was 4 years old here Jennie was born. There is only 4 years between us. There were gardens with gooseberrys and currants, we had a green to dry the cloths and a bit of a garden for cabbage and potatoes and an old lady grew tulips and crocuses. If you pass where roses are growing when it is going to rain, the scent is very nice. At this place there was a railway station not very far away, little children would play on the steps. One rainy Saturday a whole lot of us were playing when a gentleman came up from the train carrying a load of books, tried to find some one so he hired me to watch his books while he looked around. By and by he came back and gave me some money, so we all went to spend it on some black toffey and none of us had hats, it was sleeting all the time. There was a little boy younger than I, he caught a cold and died. I got croup and had it off and on till after we came to Australia. About this time my Grandfather died, the lump grew till it chocked him. He was about till the last and Mrs. Alexander followed, she died from cancer. My grandmother died long before. Mrs. Alexander reared my mother and that is why my name is Alexander. My own grand-mother's name was Marion Thinn. Doctor Thinn of Edinburgh was her father.

We used to go down to the sandy shore and have a splash in the sea and gather shells in the summer. June is summer in Scotland. Down near Leith the tide goes a long way out, about a mile out there are great big rocks, they are called black rocks, at high tide there is only some of them visible. One Sunday morning my father went out for a stroll not very long he came hurrying in to the house. At first he could not tell what was up. It appears when he came round a point of the beach, he could see some little things dropping off the rocks far out in the sea. There were 15 little children surrounded and they were dropping into the sea. 10 of them were drowned before they could get a boat near them. After this there was little iron cages built for anyone that might get surrounded and steps for them to get up into these cages.

Once when I was at my Grandmothers, there was a wedding among the colliers, and such firing you would think it was a war, all the inhabitants went except my grandmother, she thought herself a bit above such noise. I followed the march and when the whisky went around, I came in for my share, and the currant bread of course. When my grandmother missed me I was unconcious or properly drunk. Just a little toddler, I can tell you my grandmother gave it to the whole lot and carried me very indignantly home. The next time my father came out she marched him off to the people to add his protest to hers and there was a great coolness ever afterwards. The next visit I went to see the bride she was making scones and marking them with a thimble. She was a bit off, but later made me a little scone and took me on her knee and asked me who gave me the whisky. I could not tell.

My grandmother lived then at Coaly Burn. One summer while I was there my Aunt and I used to fetch water from a well. One morning there was a dead sheep in it so we had to go to a spring farther away in the middle of a park hedged all around. When we got there a good way from the hedge there was a lot of cows standing in the water. When we got near to them out came a savage bull from among them, I had a little can in my hand, my aunt caught hold of me, threw me right over the hedge and I fell on my hand, I believe my arm and color bone was fractured for I was very bad a long time. I was in a fever and they brought my father out to see me but my aunt never mentioned about throwing me over the hedge. There was a bakers cart coming down the road and the baker carried me in his cart home. My aunt tumbled through a hole in the hedge and waited till the cattle went away before she could get the water.

I believe I went to school between the age of 5 and 6 years. I did not go regular, in heavy or wet weather. I was sent to an infant school for a start but the monitor used to lay the ruler on us too hard and I had to go across the canal as well, we used to look over the protecting wall, it was not safe. One morning there was a flock of sheep going over. There was a stone off the decking and the whole 200 went over one after another into the canal water below.

I went the last part of the time to school, kept by a person named Theddon under the minister of the scotch church and other visitors. We had examination when the parents were present to hear the resitations and so forth. There were sweets and fruits sold in front of the school. We had a grand day till we had to file into school to be examined and to recite our poetry. I had enough cherries and so as soon as the coast was clear I made for home. When my name was called there was no appearance to the grief of my mother who was present and also the master. The prize book of poems was sent by mother to me. When mother got home here was I having a great time trying to walk on my knees on some green couch grass. I supposed to be dressed in white, but the whole rigout was green and the whole concern was lay on by for good. It was at this school that I had the first and last snow ball.

When I was about 6 years and 3 months my brother Willie was born. In September we were trying to imigrate, the California digging broke out and the Ballarat and Ovens in Australia. But it was a hard struggle unless it was single women it was next to impossible, but at last our papers were signed we left home by train to get to Birkenhead.

We crossed the Irish sea in a steamer called the 'Shark', it was very stormy.  The captain said he never saw such a storm. I believe we were seventeen hours on the steamer, the spray was dashing on deck and wetting us through so my father asked the sailors to rent their bunks to put us into out of the spray.  After the youngest Nellie and Jennie was asleep, my father went on deck to look for mother and Willie leaving me in charge of the two down below. As he was going up on deck he met a tall young man coming down, he had also hired a bunk. He must have been 6 feet 6 ins. tall and built in proportion.  He said to my father will you tell us if she goes down, meaning the steamer. He got into the bunk after a good deal of trouble. The sailors coffee was on a little table in the centre of this place.  Bunks being around the four sides of it, the steamer had the wind fair in her teeth, and all at once she gave a lurch and shook from stern to stern and woke the tall man and he tried to jump out of the bunk but his head was at the top, his feet at the bottom there was no room at all to turn so out bursted the whole side, the splinters and himself knocked 4 cups of hot coffee into the bunk where my sisters were sleeping. Jennie was a bit scalded and Nellie frightened nearly out of her senses. I got a good deal on my hand, he had scarcely got clear of this mischief when down came the sailors, my father asked him what ailed him. I never can forget the awful cry and groan. I believe I must have screamed because the sailors and my father came down so quickly. Between my father's indignation and the sailors disgust at the loss of their coffee, my father and them agreed that he should pay for the distruction which he very reluctantly did. I think this boat left us at Glasgow. I have no notes or diary. I am writing from memory being the oldest I had to be responsible many a time for my sisters and brother.

Many incidents were branded on my memory.  I think we stayed in Glasgow 2 days. We did not look at the place very much. To the best of my recollections it was very dirty and the people seemed very poor and badly dressed. Then we went on to Birkenhead - there we stayed 5 days. There was more imigrants all ready gathered there bound for Melbourne and other places. Then we go under a doctor to be inspected and he could not find the marks, one in connection with the church, one by the war and the other to keep in mind the massacre of Saint Bartholeum, the vaccination marks on my arm was very visible and he was rejecting us when my mother found the place and showed him, the mark was very light on Jennie's arm also. I believe she was done twice. If they were as particular now it would be better far than sending them out anyhow. I am writing this for the pleasure of my children.

I had forgotten that we went once to the zoo. There was a lion and lioness, black bear, brown bear, a boa constrictor, zebras, monkeys and another time we went to a hot house there was a little lemon tree with ripe lemons on it. It was a grand sight no doubt. The people at that time had not seen tropical fruit then as now. Another time we went to see some kind of a show, the Duke of Wellington mounted riding across the room, and a great aligator. There were Punch and Judy shows every day and monkeys riding on dogs and organ grinders in plenty. I think this is all about the old country. I learnt to knit and sew before I left home. There was no infant Sunday School then, so I did not go to Sunday School at home. We were only supposed to stay 10 years out here and every letter that went home grandmother looked for us to come back, so now I will leave off the old country.

We sailed from Birkenhead on 17th March, 1853 in the wooden ship 'John Fielden'. We sailed along the Welsh coast and saw some of the inhabitants watching us with their high hats and great long coats. We came through the Bay of Biscay the most of the imigrants were sick. I had heard it was very rough. I don't remember much about it, only being dragged out of the bunk and sent up to the table with orders not to eat any pork. My father thought a good many were sick from eating the rank pork because he was not sick at all. After a look around I tackled every thing that I could reach. When my father came to take us from the table, I was as sick as ever, he gave me a good shake, and a slap or two, then he laughed at the woe-be-gone appearance of me. The imigrants told him to let me alone. I must be hungry after 4 days fasting. I believe Jennie was the first to come round, she was always a strong girl. I do not remember her being any trouble. She ate and drank anything that was set before her. When we got clear of the land for good and settled down to our places. There were 140 all told, some English, Irish and Scotch.  They were divided into 3 lots below and there was some cabin passengers, young men in the fore part and young women in the hind part the married people in the middle and on deck the cabin passengers and captain and officers. The sailors in the forecastle. Our number was 40. We were near the middle hatch. The cooking was done on deck, a little skillion roofed place with a very small stove and a fair sized copper. We got no bread after we left the land, and we never sighted any vessel except one night there was a black looking ship came up to us and would not speak, sailed round and round us. The captain said he thought she was a pirate, also the Mark-O-Pole came smashing against our bow and the pieces of the mast came crashing, she was a fast sailor. We could hear the captain laughing when he struck us, he was bound for Melbourne 3 decks when our captain asked how many deaths he said none, at the same time there had been 9. Our captain told him to report 1 birth and 1 death but when he behaved so abominable, our chief officer said he would report him first chance, so he never let on that he had spoken to us at all, neither in Melbourne nor when he went back to England. The shipping agent never heard till our captain reported himself. When we had been a short time at sea on a Sunday it was very calm, a young man was speaking down the steps to the young woman, he turned sharply round to go away and happened to strike the chief officer accidentally, the officer asked him did he mean to insult him and he answered impertinently.  The officer said he would have him ironed, the young sailor said he would rather be in hell than that and jumped over board, they threw him a life belt but he would not take it, then they lowered a boat but they could not find him, the captain was in a terrible way.  The people crowded on one side to watch and the ship went all on one side, the whole of the ship was in grief and every Sunday after there was a gloom in the afternoon. The captain said his mother was a widow and she had given him into the captain's charge. He was about 19 or 20 years of age, you may depend this officer was in bad order after this. The first officer was also a doctor, our captains name was Geo. Clark, formerly of the American line. This was his first trip to Australia. He was a very quiet man.

When we were on board the ship some of the people's friends came in the tug and some mails came on board for the last time. It was the hardest leave taking of the lot and after a while my father found out that the ship was rotten. He had worked in the ship yards at home and he was telling some of the ship mates and they went straight to the captain. He called my father and asked him how he knew. He told the captain that the ship bloated like a sponge. Well, said the captain, do not tell the people now. My father told him it was a shame to send human beings in such a vessel.

After everything was stored away there was appointed a school master and constables and one appointed himself parson. We had 3 Browns - Parson Brown, Abraham Brown and the other called himself Brown-Orr. We had 17 persons called Ryan, no relation to one another. We had 2 births, the first they called after the ship, John Fielden and the other one was smothered by his mother, the husband had been working in the hold and procured some rum, the mother apparently went to sleep drunk and in the night my mother heard a noise and tried to wake her but she was like a log and had laid down fully dressed and had turned over on the baby - it was very young, she had only came down from the hospital. Next morning a rough sailor came down with a piece of canvas and some stones and put the poor little thing in and sewed the canvas and and put the stones at the bottom of the canvas and then dropped it into the sea. The ships people found that the man had been broaching everything in the hold so they appointed fresh people to go into the hold. There were other deaths - 2 children, one about one year with its teeth, the doctor neither knew nor cared for the children, so when the mother took it up to him he told her to go and wash its face. Although it was perfectly clean, it had broken out about the mouth, its name was Ellen Chahar. The other was a good size, we were playing running down the stairs when she fell and hurt herself, some thought the doctor's medicine had something to do with the death. Anyway it died a very painful death. We were distressed when the first one was thrown over and it would not sink and it floated near the ship for 2 days, we could see it all the time. One woman died one night at the time of a storm she was in the hospital awaiting her confinement. The storm came on, she wanted her husband to stay with her but the doctor would not allow it, so she went mad and died.

Some of the people were very dirty, their heads and bodies were covered with vermon so English and Scotch called a council and brought it before the captain. It was decided the Irish were to keep on one side and the English and Scotch on the other, but on deck another trouble arose for on a Sunday morning the Catholics went up on deck for their prayers early and was trailing about on their knees and dropping the vermin on the side over the English and Scotch heads, here again another protest so the sailers and all concerned demanded cleanliness all round. The baths were filled on deck for the children, one old fellow's clothes were alive so they threw them overboard, some began to fancy themselves so they took to shaving a little too often, there was a shortage of fresh water, one fellow dipped a bucket of sea water and gave it in exchange for fresh water and when the cook made the tea there was a great uproar. They ran to the cook with it and he cleared them out but some of the cool headed ones went to the captain and he soon set their minds at rest, he said there is nothing wrong, only some sea water. He then called the cook and his mate, then they remembered this one coming asking for hot water in exchange for cold, but he did not try it a second time.

There was one single girl, an English girl, got that filthy she would not come out of her bunk, so the matron fetched the captain and doctor.  They thought she was cranky but when the police came, they soon saw what was up, she had to be dragged out and stripped and five of the girls scrubbed her, all about her had to be thrown into the sea.

We had no fresh water to wash our cloths or ourselves unless it rained, and sometimes they would tie a sail across and let it sag in the middle and in the morning the man would dip it out. We had it very dry, not often we had rain. Our rations were some days salt pork and potatoes boiled in sea water, some pea soup and barley soup, rice boiled in sea water in a canvas bag, some flour to make a duff and a few raisins, treacle and pickles, sometimes oatmeal, but the most people had their tea made with their allowance of fresh water.  2-1/2 biscuits for an adult and children according.  There was plenty of porter on board supposed to be the nursing woman, my mother and another woman had big baby boys so they applied for some, but were told their boys were fat enough. One day they fetched up some casks and gave the men a tin full, some got too much and became quarrelsome. The captain said he would throw the rest overboard. We had starting times for getting boxes up out of the hold and it was a great pleasure for us children, one young girl was waiting very anxiously when up it went to the top of the hatch. The sailors wondered who they had got hold of. They lowered it down where the girl was ringing her hands and saying my box, my box - it was a little box and when she caught hold of it and handed it she kept murmuring to herself, but when she opened it all it contained was a pair of slippers and a sheet of brown paper, it was strange that some on board had scarcely a change while others had enough clothes to last them a year and changes of boots as well.  The scrutiny was very severe with us, on the cloths part, the soap that was given out was not much good, it would not wash at all, but they kept promising different kind, when they got it they gave so little that there was very little washing done.

We had day school, so many days a week and so many hours a day. The books were printed in red, we had sewing and knitting, patchwork.  The young women were very industrious.

We had a very calm voyage till the end. When we were about halfway here, we came to a green island shaped like this in the middle of the sea. The seaman said it was Trinidad. There was some kind of green moss all over it. We came on the peaked side of it. The people on board said they could see pigs on it. The ship came quite close and when they heaved the lead it was 5 fathoms. The vessel drifted quite close, it seemed so still that we seemed to hold our breath, when we came to the line the imigrants put pins in the deck at 12 o'clock to see when we were directly under the sun. It was terrible hot, the pitch was bubbling up in the cracks on the deck then when we tried to walk it burnt our feet. One night they were boiling tar and the pot upset and set the deck on fire, but they got a bag of sand and put it out.

One day it was raining, the woman were trying to wash, it was duff day in the young womans part. I was left in charge down below and was making my way towards the stairs down towards the young womans part. Just as I was going down, my mother sighted me and called me back.  I turned and slipped and fell on the side of my head on the link of a cable chain and sprang up again. The hold was open and I went right down.  I was taken up unconscious and remained so till 12 o'clock next day.  I was only conscious for a few moments. I was bad for a week.  I lost my speech, the doctor said it was a fracture of the skull and he wanted to open my head, but my father would not let him. There was a little hole behind the left ear and a coloured water ran out.  Somebody put me in the bunk then called my mother, she took up her son and never looked at me. Someone went for my father, he could not make out what was up. I was working at the mouth, I had no power to move, they fetched the doctor, he got his scalping knife and bandages but my father would not allow him to touch me.  My father carried me to the hospital on deck and next day the doctor came and brought a bunch of raisins and told my father to put them where I could see them and if I noticed them I would get alright but if not I would die very soon or I would be a helpless idiot.  He said hot country would shorten my days, after we came here the ships mates shake hands with my father and ask very solemnly how is the girl that fell down the hold.

One day my father and I me a ship mate on the Brisbane road and after a while he asked the usual question, my father said this is her. The man looked astonished and said was my father in earnest. I spoke for myself, he asked did I remember it, I said yes. I often felt a terrible pain at the place, there is a mole growing there now.

One day we had nice breeze and saw something glittering far away, it shone like a rainbow.  One of the sailors said it was an ice-berg. The captain was frightened we might get in contact in the night, so he kept a good look out. We saw porpoises and flying fish.  One whale.

When we came near the end of our journey they put us on short allowance. We wondered what for, but when the journey was over we discovered that they were short of biscuits and flour and fresh water. We sighted the coast of Australia on the 2nd June, my birthday. The captain could not make port till 11th June. When there came such a squall that we had to be battened down and the storm raged so terrible that we had to put to sea again. It knocked in the skylight in the young women's end and bursted in one porthole and flooded all our quarters. When the storm begun the water kegs came bumping from Irish.  The Scotch was just going to tell them to keep there kegs to themselves when away went there kegs and knives and forks. One woman had to grab of one of the upright pillows and hold on. The rest lay or sat down. The water came in the port hole and flooded the whole place. Young women were crying and screaming, one of the men told them to keep quiet, they would be in heaven in half an hour - that made them scream louder. 

I forgot to say we had some dandy women on board. One of them rigged herself out and was parading with a pale blue bonnet on her head. When one of the sailors gave it a tip she went directly to the doctor and said the sailor had insulted her, he was ironed at once, but there was such an uproar they had to be let out and she was locked up and it was my fathers turn to watch and he had to pace up and down all night, it rained very heavy. My father was not sorry when the watch was over. 

When we made the port again and signalled for the pilot there had been another ship passed in and we had to wait for a steamer. We sent off the young women first, young men next in a small steamer, she got on a mud bank and we could see her for 2 days puffing away and our last lot ourselves came up in a cutter called the 'Sarah Ann'. We were loaded to the waters edge, we left the ship about 10 o'clock on 22nd June, 1853. The cutter had to travel with the tide, the men got out the suceeps but the water lashed into the boat, they tried the sail. We came up the right side of the Brisbane River, the water was very muddy, there seemed no end to the mud banks in the river. Before leaving the ship my mother asked some one how she would know the barracks. The sailor said quiet easy, there was only one house and it had a tree a the end of it with just a fork and no branches.

Arrived at an old wharf called Hobbs near Petrie Bight at sundown with a young moon right over the sunset on 22nd June, 1853, all well and sound thank God for his goodness and kindness to us.

We started in a bee line for the depot, my mother carrying Willie, 9 months old and leading Jennie and me following close, my father still farther back carrying the bedding. I was loaded with the bed gown and as much tin ware as possible. Nellie was behind with father. Mother following out her directions, went for the first house with the tree and knocked a long time, then a very powerful voice said 'What do you want'.  I want in, said my mother.  Do you know where this is, it's not the depot, said my Mother. No, said the turnky, this is the jail. While this conversation was going on, my father arrived with his load, then they asked the road and was told to go right on.  We went down the hill again and met some more and said we must go further on, so off we all marched again and when we got into Queen Street we met our ship mates on the look out for us.

We stayed in what had been the soldiers barracks in the convict time.  I believe the treasury buildings stand on the ground now, then we had to shift down to an old stone store near the river, it stands surrounded by a stone wall. We could not get a house. My father was engaged on the ship.  Most of the other imigrants also were engaged by Pettigrew Bros, Sawmillers and some was sent to the Burnett as shepherds.  A number went to what was called Botney Bay off Sidney.  Then 2 families, ourselves and a family named Geddes, took a little slab house from a widow named Moffat at the back of old Durmboys blacksmiths shop, then we went to a house in William Street near the mill.  The first Xmas the mill was burnt down after we came here. One Sunday we went over the river to the scotch church.  We got over to church free in the ferry, they worked a wire rope across but whether there was too many in or not the punt began to get water-logged in the middle of the river and the punt men worked all they knew how so (some of the women said they did not know some of the men, after a while off came the blackcoats and they gave them all they knew to get the people over, were told to be grateful would they were getting out at once and while the water was rushing in at the other end the last had to be helped out and down she went, out of sight, no more crossing the river for me).

One Sunday I got rigged myself in merino and plush trim bed jacket, black drawn satin bonnet lined with pink satin and grey worsted stockings with boots to match and walked down Queen Street. Coming back I thought I heard some voices, so I came to the door and walked in. I soon found it was service, it was a big place but not many people. With my father being a through Presbyterian when we did not go over the river, we went no where. By and by I got some colonial clothes and bare feel. I made another attempt and presented myself and sister Nellie into the William Street Congregational Church and walked straight up to the superintendent table and there we stood, our sun bonnets in hand behind our backs. Mr. Benjamin Cribb came and asked us if we wanted to come to Sunday School. We said yes so he brought a book and gave us a trial.  The one he gave me was search the scriptures.  I read it, scratched the scriptures.  Next Sunday I tried to get on the home clothes, the frock was above my knees and the jacket and bonnet went no where, it was mid summer as well. After a great deal of persuasion I got dressed but only for the discipline, I would have had to go home.  The youngsters were amused although they did not openly insult me, though after I came out in black silk jacket with a frill around the tail and chequed dress made out of mothers own wedding dress.

My fathers time being up he started making wheels for James McLean, Wheelwright, Elizabeth St., Brisbane and then he bought his first allotment in Charlotte Street for £40 and he then built the manse on Spring Hill for the Presbyterians.

About this time we had a terrible hail storm and lightning and wind and we had a very dry spell.  The country was nothing but smoke around Brisbane, the low lying country near Creek Street and near the Government gardens was called Frogs Hollow.  At this time both sides of the Brisbane River was lined with dead fish when the parrots came to drink the tide water and died all about and we tried to catch them, they would bite. They were like a rosella parrot.  

After we were 8 months here I went to Mr. John Scot's school in George Street along side Durmbois Blacksmith shop.  We used to watch him making harrows after school was carried on in Queen Street opposite saddler shop named Wallace. In an old store near the Supreme Court in the same row there was continuous building. About this time blacks were very bad out at german station nearly everywhere. There was a big fellow named Dundilla killed a number of women and children. He used to go to the sawyers huts when the men were at work and knock the women on the head and some of the men.  After he had a slaughter one day he came over to the pit making a noise like a rosella parrot. The men had their loaded rifles but let him escape. The police caught him one day and he got away again. The Sydney Government offered a reward of ­£30.   A man named Baker captured him with the help of another black with drugged rum. I saw him come into Queen Street laying face downwards on the dray tied with a rope. The lock up was there and the police quarters. When he got his sentence us school children got into the gallery of the courthouse.  There he stood, magnificent specimen of a savage, tall, head and shoulders over the police and straight in proportion, black as ebony. The morning he was hung the whole of the Windmill Hill was covered with blacks-from where we lived they looked like kangaroos sitting with their possum rugs and dirty blankets.  The men came home to their home and got any kind of weapon. My father got a piece of old scythe. They thought the blacks would have revenge on the whites.  After the executions they disappeared quietly. He called out while on the scaffold that they had to kill a lot more than he did. 

My sister Allison Dickson was born at Charlotte Street on Nov. 23, 1854.  At this time and just before we came there was fresh rushes (gold) - one at the Snowy River and the people kept leaving.  Things were very dull. Father started contracting for a bit, his carpenters got £1 a day and labours £4 per week.  The flour rose to 7p per bag and black sugar to 6 p.per lb and white 9p . Bar soap 1/9, beef 1-1/2p.lb. 1/4 for a loaf of bread. Sometimes they were larger and sometimes smaller. The lollies were like white paint, flavoured with sea water.  Mother used to get peppermint for herself but a lot of people in places got poisened with pepermint lollies.  Most people fought shy of them.

About this time my father bought a horse and paid £24, branded GT over H. My father was 12 stone and wore No. 8 boots, she was a small mare, but she could buck and got away. Father got word she was up the river so he and I started with a tin full of corn and our dinners, up through the red jacket swamp onto the one tree hill.  I was frightened of blacks as there were no horses in sight I advised a return. We passed a black boy carrying water for a man shingling a house. Father tried to get some, he slipped and fell. I gave a yell forgetting we were near the new house.  At least we got home.  This mare used to run in government gardens with the town horses.  I was the only one that could catch her.  One day I had been away a long time, there had been a man after them and scattered them.  They had to wait till they settled. My mother saw a black fellow passing and she gave him a shilling to go look for me.  I was coming home when I met him, took off the road and went around him. I could see him smile when he could see I was frightened.  I was carrying a bucket, I tried to stop the horses when the man was after them but I fell over the roots of a fig tree and spilt the corn.  The tree is still there near the pond in the present Botanic Gardens.

About Jan, 1854 Mr. Gregory was preparing a search expedition for Leichardt. He was camped where the government house is now standing. Everybody used to pass our house in William Street.  There was one young fellow with them, he was so yellow I thought he was a native.  I asked him if he would chop wood for mother, he gave me such a look that I did not wait for an answer. While we lived in this place I was sent for some cabbage down near the river.  There was a young woman lying in the skillion resting, she could not have been more than 22 years, she was perfectly clean, there seemed to be no one but herself about. Next day the whole place was surprised to hear she was dead.  It was rumoured that she drank, others did not believe it.  Anyway to this day I could remember her perfectly, she had such white teeth and pleasant face.

New years day after we went to Sunday School we had a picnic down at Kings Home. Petries drays carried the children and a van taking the teachers, we had a great day, home by sundown.  

We got terrible storms when we were living in the first depot. My father took me for a walk down Creek St., just as we got in sight of Mr. Adams pub I sighted a black fellow sitting on a veranda.  I began to back, my father looked down at me to see what was wrong when I bolted back for the depot, never stopped till I had ran down by a row of iron bedsteads and got my legs through the bottom and was held till someone came and helped me out. The blacks were a fine race then, tall, straight and not so repulsive. The gins used to put their breasts up to their shoulders for the children to suck. Before we came out here I had a dream a black fellow coming into where we had breakfast. I described him to my school fellows, in my dream we were in a strange place at breakfast, I thought it was a big stone room full of beds and people were eating off a big clothes box.  I thought this tall black fellow came and stood at the door. He had dirty clothes and a red cap, so had this one that came and looked in at us - everything the same as in my dream.  He could not speak English or we black language. At this time hardly any Irish and not many English could read and write so my mother had to write for a good many.  One of our ship mates was falling a tree near the reservoir and a limb came down and killed him.

Clean water was very scarce, every Saturday I had to carry the water to scrub out of a hole not far from the first Wesleyan Church.  The water for the town came from the reservoir but in a very trying time, the water was brought down the river in a punt in casks. In our time there was no tanks iron or underground - nothing but a cask or tub. There was a few wells - some dry except when it was raining, others salt too near the river.  One night we were awakened by a noise, my father got up and got a light, saw some little beast and after a desperate struggle, killed it and of course no more sleep - better keep awake, there might be more.  The only thing my father compare it with was a bear.  Next morning someone inspected it and pronounced it a possum but all the holes had to be stopped. When it used to rain it came down in torrents.

When the news came with a fall of Sebastapol the steamer was berthed at Harris Wharf. She had flags flying. Women and children hurried down to see what was wrong. At night the steamer was all coloured lamps and everyone who had a pane of glass had a candle in it lighted. All that was able to walk paraded the town till nearly morning well pleased with themselves and our victory against the Russians. I expect the news were rather stale but all the same we few shouted with all our might and no bon-fire and shoot them day.  Everything pertaining to Briton was first and glorious Queen Victoria.   There was a terrible lot of drunkedness, man, woman and child and few limited themselves to wine only but the majority drank all they could get.  On election day they rolled out casks on the streets and everyone had a dip at it.  

Many poor woman were killed by their drunken husbands and many poor man went away by themselves through the drink.  One a barber, another a bushman, they would drink all the year round. There were always tragedies - one day a little boy about 6 or 7 years went out to fetch the cows, he did not come back so his father and the neighbours went out to look for him. They got him next day behind a log with his arms and legs broken.  A young black boy about seventeen did it, took his horse and rode to Colington. The police soon got him and brought him down to Brisbane.  He was tried, he was handcuffed and chained by the neck, he had a loaf of bread in his arm and he smiled at the people so innocently. He was hung soon after - his name was Sippi. They got the boy near where Roma St. station now stands.  

On 24 May the blacks were getting their blankets where the museum stands now, they were crossing and re-crossing the river in one boat. There was a fight and two fell out, they helped one back in the boat and hit the other on the head with a paddle and she sank.  Other boats paddled round and round but she never came up. A great many used to buy the blankets off the blacks for a few shillings and then the government gave them poor coloured blankets.  One black fellow said they were not fit for saddle cloths.

After Sippi there was a black fellow named Davie hung. We could see him from our house hanging at 8 o'clock in the morning. The main street was full of bones and couch grass. There was a tree at the George St. end of Queen St. and at the other end there were plenty of stumps and holes. The day the foundation stone of St. John Church of England, some man that called himself Charlie all around the settlement shouted for 100 boys on condition that every one led or rode a billy goat. There were great number of goats running about Brisbane both north and south side. The shout was ginger beer and cakes. It was a great sight for us children.

There were horse races at Christmas time down near Kingsholme. The first Christmas we were here we all went there was a storm which made the course very slippery, some horses fell and got up, one laid on his belly for a time afterwards. The jockey got up and stood by his horse and then he went down and died. There was no more racing that day, poor fellow looked towards the people so white they had to shoot his horse.  He was only 19 years of age, a fine tall fellow. What an awful sacrifice of life this horse racing is.

Our school was very mixed, we had all nationalities from 3 years of age up to men and women.  One Welsh girl could not do her sums, I used to do them for her. The master said I was not to help her so I was going up with my sums to the master, the girl held up her slate to me to see if it was right. I was just rubbing out a figure when down came the strap and pulled my back.  I did not tell my mother but she found the cuts on my back, she took me next day to the Church of England.  There was a Mr. & Mrs. Johnson, they were kind teachers.  Nelly got a dreadful cut on the finger from old Scott the day after I got the branding. This was a very large school, we had a boy named Henderson. He afterwards was the wild Scotsman, a bushranger.  When his mother came to see her children, she could not speak a word of English, she was from the highlands of Scotland. His name was James Henderson.

One of the banks in Brisbane was going to open a branch at Taroom on the Dawson River. They were sending up the cask, there was a lot of half crowns he stuck up the mail and took the lot.  He used to take the pick of the squatters horses and always had a spare horse.  He used to chase the shearers for their cheques, he would cash them at the first township, there was no telegraph in those days. The police might be as smart or smarter than they are now but they had not the same machinery to work with, he was a terror for a long time.  I don't know he was taken, but he got 21 years imprisonment although he only served 7 years and was released on a good behaviour bond.

Although this school was all that could be desired, one day I took my 2 sisters, Jeanie had started at this one, and paid a visit to Scott.  We were standing outside when he came to the door and invited us in, we were there 2 days before my mother found us out, it was no use to talk or threaten, I would not go, one day when I came to the end of mavors spelling book, I had to learn the question and answer all the catechism, it is the church of England on baptism who gave you your name, it sounded to me too Catholic about Godmothers and Godfathers and would not learn it, so I was punished and kept in at dinner time and still persisting, I was kept in till dark.  I knew it very well but no recite for me, father asked me why I was kept in, I told him I was not a Church of England, nor a Catholic.  He asked me for the book and I brought it to him, he laughed for a long time but never enlightened me on the subject, in after years I understood for myself.  Later the school was shifted to Spring Hill.   Mr. Scott began taking boarders, he had some incurables from other schools.  I was not very long attending this time. I got very little regular schooling.  I believe it was half a crown for 3 little ones per week, perhaps they got a lesson and perhaps not. The upper classes was a special rate, it depended how many subjects you were learning.  Mr. Scott used to keep books for people.  We used to be having games and swapping pencils and marbles, when as at once there was books and heads and heels intermixed the strap was flying about, we had just taken his head out of the big ledgers that he was searching.  It took some time to calm down.

After this cyclone there came a panic, no work and no money.  I forgot to say for a long time after we came here there was no currency pieces or round paper, 100 of them for 1 2 or 5 shillings, no pennies.  When the new penny came whoever got one was loathe to part with it, then the three our fourpenny bits and half-penny came and the sovereign was worth £1-1-0, the half sovereign 10/6.  The drink was a terrible power at this time. I have said before that there was many suicides.  There was one in Queen St. by a barber and no wonder, drinking and not eating, drinking again and no sleep then self destruction.  We school children went into his shop and there was the poor fellow lying on the floor, the police took charge and afterwards the Bailiff sold the stock.

Father started from Brisbane to look for work, he got as far as Ipswich, got a few weeks work and afterwards sent to Bremer Mills to shingle the saw mill, then we came up the Brisbane River in the steamer called the 'Hawke' in June 1856. There was a flour mill and a boiling and stone quarry. They sunk for coal at the end towards Dinmore.  This property was owned and carried on by a native of Parramatta named Joseph Fleming who afterwards pioneered the stations on the never never but became bankrupt and lost everything he had, a selection at Blackfellow Creek, still later he kept a gate on siding at Mitchell and afterwards died in Ipswich hospital.  He was buried in his own vault beside his wife who had died many ears before.  There were a great many men working here, they were divided into two lots, the mill and the boiling down. The boiling down only worked part of the year from May to the end of July or beginning of August.

The lambing season began in July and the shearing in September so the men generally

went to the shearing after the boiling down was over.  There was another establishment up the river at town Maria and another Redbank. There was no church or school for some time but one was started down at the brickworks near the mill, by Mr. and Mrs. Munro-smith of Ipswich assisted by Mr. . . . bury every Sunday at 2 o'clock.

There came a terrific flood in 1857 on the 18th May, covered all the country and the huts with all our looks the steamer Hawke was getting repaired and the whole of the mill men and their families would have been drown, they stayed in there houses till they were surrounded.  There was a big swamp at the back of the huts and the river in front, the bank on the north side was very high but there was no boat so the steamer took them off and tied to the top of a gumtree, she floated near the middle of the rise, some of the people near us went and camped on the ridges while others took refuge in stable lofts, there were German, English, Irish, Scotch, blacks and Chinamen and the rest colonials.  I had a favourite dog, when I was carrying him aloft I slipped off and the dog jumped over my shoulder into the water and mud. I had to fish him out and make another start, also with my rabbits and kittens.  My dog went up on a part of the straw which was occupied by a German woman and she called me in broken English to show my dog where to go.  My mother had no very young children, she volunteered to bake any flour that could be found.  The flood only came in one corner and after 2 days mother started to bake, the men brought the wood, kept the fire up which was no easy job. There was a mob of beautiful cows brought to the boiling down but the flood dispersed them, the butchers helped themselves and some got back to their runs. One young woman shifted twice with her baby, 3 weeks old.  She was wet all the time for the rain was continuous. Christmas before this flood my mother had a son on the 23 Dec, 1856, died the 29 of the same month and buried in Ipswich.

The blacks were very bad about this time, a German woman with her 14 year old boy came from Beaudesert to south Brisbane to buy some articles for themselves, when she was about 4 miles out of Brisbane a black-fellow killed her and her boy ran along the road but another black-fellow killed him.  One of them came into South Brisbane with the woman's purse and the store keeper knew the purse so the police went straight up and got him in White's kitchen. They only tied him with a rope, when he got on the road he kept asking the police for matches and burnt the rope through. When he got opposite a scrub he jumped over a fence and ran away, they got him the second time but he got away again and lived for many years.

In 1871 the blacks had a corroberee at Mumbilla, Wilson was with them, they continued their corroberee and went to Rosewood, there somebody tried to shoot this black but he knew what was up and got away, he was outlawed when he escaped so he could have been shot but he always kept on the Logan.

After the flood most of the land was sown with wheat round the Bremer mills. Mr. Fleming went to Adelaide and brought a ship load of wheat to start the mill, the wheat used to roll like waves on the sea golden along the banks of the Bremer. But all this came to an end, the best equipped in Queensland first they had six pots and they added six more, they did not boil but steamed the pots they got far more out of the meat this way, more tallow, the squatter gave the hide horns, hoofs bones and all the boiled meat for killing. The boiling master provided the tallow casks at the busy time the coppers were kept day and night but instead of knocking off when the killing was done, they stopped all year round.  The casks were made of cudergy and silkoak cedar staves, they got a peat sedge for a seam at R. J. Smiths, they knocked off on Saturdays but at Bremer mills they worked Sundays as well.  There were such a lot of men at the establishment, each got rations, 4lb sugar, 1/2lb tea, 16lb flour, 1/4lb. tobacco and in the baking time as much beef as they liked, at other times 24lb. This was for the ones that were hired by the year.  The huts were built in clumps.  Here drunkenness was paramount. After the flood news came out one Sunday about the Indian mutiny in 1857 then the Taloome diggings broke out. 

My brother David was born in 1858 on 6 July.  The same year my father got leave of absence to go to the diggings.  He got some gold, there was a great number of people and very little rations - mutton and rice and rice and mutton and 2 days journey to get it on foot.  Some got very find gold and some very little.  My father and one John Gorman and John Joseph Stye started on foot carrying their swags.  My father's consisted of grey calico sheeting tent containing 24 yards made like a fly with holes worked at intervals, one pair of blankets, one pair No. 8 boots, one crowbar, Jackshy pot, some rations, change of clothes ­£25 in money.  I rode from Bremer mills and carried my father's swag to the old racecourse and the other two men carried their own.   I heard afterwards they boiled their quart pots and rested.  The diggings were reckoned to be 100 miles distant from Ipswich.  Fleming dispatched both horse and bullock dray loaded with supplies or else there would have been great starvation.  The top gold was soon all got. 

I saw a piece like a shoulder of mutton in shop when Sir George and Lady Bowen visited Ipswich for the first time. They came by road and went back by steamer. I went to Ipswich when the governess was embarking and this digger was also embarking in the following steamer.  When his steamer was moving down the river he held up this piece, it was very bright, the people cheered again and again. He said he got more cheers than the governor when he got to Brisbane. He exhibited it in Warry's Grocery window and all that came to see had to pay 1/-.   He got £40 for the Brisbane hospital.  I was told he took it to the Melbourne mint, he was dressed in a cabbage tree hat, red flannel shirt and dark trousers.  He pretended to throw it into the river after holding it for a time standing on the paddle box of the steamer.  

My father's leave was up at the diggings, he got a horse to ride home belonging to one of the storekeepers of the Bremer mills.  His other mates took to reaping and sheep shearing about New England.

Then Mr. Whitehead of Ipswich came out and started a day school for a short time, we did not go to this. The next one Mr. Davenport kept a school in the gighouse and Mr. Reeves started services on Sunday and Sunday School. He was leading man in the congregational church Ipswich.  We had a trip up the river in a steamer and then marched to the congregational church, Brisbane St., then over the limestone hill to Kilners paddock where we played.  All we knew how there was no creed at this time. Protestants and Catholic read and went together at election time, there were very bitter fights but there was no regular schools.  My father and I used to walk from Bremer mills on Saturday nights to get the groceries, we would carry tea or coffee, soap, soda, books and drapery, also pots and dishes. One night my father was carrying a saddle and bridle, we took a short cut through the paddocks and then along the banks of the river and the first pub on the bank of the river was the Steam Pack it and the next was the Donnibrook by Billy O'Rourke.  There was no bridge then over Divies gully, only a big gum tree felled.   The tide used to come up under this log, one night a man that lived in Basin Pocket fell off into the mud and sank, he could not get out himself so he called for help till the tide went over his head and he drowned. The people living near just thought it was a man drunk calling out but it was in the morning they found him standing in the mud dead.  The council then built a bridge. 

There were a number of fell mongers establishments, there was one near the basin of the Bremer River.  There was a garden and a small house where we had to pass and here a man committed suicide.  No colonial would pass the place either day or night for years. Cribb and Foote store was a small shingle roofed house with a verandah. They used to put the camp ovens at the door on one side and cheese and the fruit on the other, the boots up aloft and the show room at the back.  The bank store was another shingle roofed place, the dining room and kitchen another old house, all in Bell Street. They called it 'Bell' St. after one of the ministers belonging to the congregationals church. The corner of Bell and Brisbane Streets was then owned by a Mr. H. M.Reeves, a hard worker in the same church and sunday school.  

All the time we lived at Bremer Mills, we had to carry the wood and water.  When the river was bad or salty we had to go to Bundamba creek and down to Quarrie creek, it was miles further.  Sometimes we took a small tub between 2 of us or just one go with 2 cans.  There was a swamp near the mill.  I went 32 times one day with a wooden bucket. I was only 8 years old. The huts were generally built for fine weather, it was nothing to wake up in the night to find everything soaking wet and the floors became very wet and muddy.  We lived here 5 years and 3 months.

My brother, John, was born 4th March, 1861.

My father had bought a piece of ground on Goodna Creek near Redbank.  Before we left we used to go down 3 days a week, Nellie, Jeannie, Willie and myself to rake the wattle leaves and burn the fallen timber.  Nellie and Jeannie taking turns to cook at home. There had been a many iron bark logs. We used to walk down in the mornings and carry our dinners, sometimes mother would ride down to have a look. 

Mails were carried on horse back between Ipswich and Brisbane. One day when we were coming home a gentleman was riding along the Brisbane Rd.  We were coming home carrying the rake, he asked Mr. Fleming where the woman had been making hay, he called us women, we did not in those days, we had to take our days of cooking. Jeannie always had her tongue out the side of her mouth when she was carrying the 3 legged pot going to prepare diner.  We had a sawyers cookery book and the pies and duffs would have astonished sawyer himself. One day mother was in town (Limestown we used to call it then), I was getting the tea, Alice and a little girl named Maggie Burke were gathering the heads of grass for flowers when she started down hill and fell into the river.  I did not know anything about it till a kind man brought her dripping wet and half dead with fright.  I stripped her at once and put her to bed.  My father was coming home at the time to his tea, someone told him there is a girl of yours in the river, he thought it was me because I used to run from one end of the pine rafts to the other. There were sunken logs floating end down, sometimes they were only held up by one on each side, they were covered with slippery green moss. He met me at the door and gave a sigh of relief.  While sitting at tea he missed Alice I told him what had happened, she was only 5 years old and small.  As soon as he heard of it he went and looked, a piece of the bank was torn but he said she would not have got into the river if she had not been pushed and so it turned out when inquiries were made Maggie Burke pushed her in, it was the brother of this girl that threw down the match at Riverview Orange Sports that caught poor Ester Meredith's dress and burnt her to death.  When she was leaving Ipswich in the morning someone remarked how well she looked, this fellow said she won't look so well when she cames back and neither she did.  She was burnt to a cinder although she lived to come home.

The year my brother John was born it was very hot. When he was 5 days old I was watching had on a hat and when I was stopping the sun get at the back of my head. I did feel bad but next day I had to go to town so I walked in and while I was standing in front of Cribb and Footes lawn sank a working bullock in a team they hurried him off the street to where the A.J.S. Bank stands now and put a shade over him, they bled him and gave him Epsom salts, afterwards the man started for his home in Goonda Creek, there was a woman going to Bremer mills so we asked her for a lift on her dray, when we walked to the foot of Limestone hill she must refresh herself at the pub which was called the Cottage of Content, she asked for gin and water. The publican put the gin in the water and the woman told him to drink it himself for missing it, she wanted to drink the gin first and the water afterwards.  We got started and another woman with a baby 2 weeks old had not got far before the woman showed signs of being drunk and could not mind the baby, it was crying and nearly roasted when we left the dray at Bundamba Bridge the bullock driver took the woman and carried her to the shade and took the baby himself.  We went on home.

While here we became acquainted with my future mother-in-law, Mrs.Titmarsh, her daughter Rebecca, John and Emma the youngest came to the Sunday afternoon services and before this these three went to Sunday school at the brick huts. Between my brothers Dave and John birth I went for a few weeks to help a neighbor at North Ipswich, she gave me a heifer and I had to bring it home so away I started with my brother Willie on Saturday morning from Bremer Mills carrying a rope as big as any wool rope and when I arrived I could hardly see it for lice.  I had been washing it with tobacco.  Anyhow I started for Jeffreys ferry and got her into the punt but going along the bank of the river I could not manage her because Willies attention was taken with a circus company going around the town and I was debating in my own mind what to do as she wanted to get back to the punt, she kept turning round and round, was just thinking she was a nuisance as I heard someone laugh.  It was my father, he had walked up from Bremer Mills.  After that it was all fair sailing, we kept it tied up for a time. Afterwards a neighbour named Gordon let it run with his.  This man and his family went overland to Rockhampton and settled at a palce called Vamba.  Next thing was a brand so I went to see Tommy Roderick, he agreed to make me a brand for 5/- and I borrowed the 5/-. She turned out a fine cow.

When we left Bremer Mills my father went to Brisbane and mother and part of the family, while myself, Jeannie and Willie stayed for 3 months at Goodna Creek at the farm to look after the cows and what horses we had.  My father and I built the hut with the old shell and iron bark and the thick bark of the iron bark and roofed it with stringy bark.  There were people living about two chains away.  I had a terrible job to get Willie to work as all we planted peach trees and they bore the best peaches I ever saw.  They were a single blossom pale pink and a double pink, very large, they ripened juicy in the middle of October we grew english potatoes and afterwards my father farmed more extensively.  Mother was a great cabbage and melon grower.   Father still worked at Brisbane but mother stayed with us for 6 months. He rode home on Saturday night and first thing Monday returned to work.  I led the horse down on Saturday evenings and went down Monday morning to bring the horse back. At first the grass was good but it set in dry and I had to ride one horse down and stop in Brisbane till Monday, then my father rode the other horse on Monday morning then I rode back, but one Monday morning the horse gave in and I left him at a persons place, walked the other 13 miles home.  After this I often walked down and up the whole 17 miles, then crossed the ferry where Victoria Bridge is now and on to the Fortitude Valley. Sometimes I would carry a piece of beef and a pound of tea or perhaps my clothes, money was always scarce at our home, the work was sometimes slack but sad to say the whiskey was always to the fore.

Each one had their favourite drink but it was thought quite necessary, some thought wine was best and some thought beer was perfection.  When the grapes began to get plentiful the growers began to make wine.  One drunk man told another to look at him for nine pence, it seemed that was one of the manly attainments and to smoke and chew tobacco. 

Soon after the mail coach started from Brisbane the first telegraph poles were erected from Brisbane to Ipswich then they surveyed the train line from Brisbane to Warick but it was never built.  The first railway line was built from Ipswich to Toowoomba. After a while my father came to work at the first part of the Woogaroo Asylum and the contractor had the Toowoomba jail at the same time so my father went up to work, he was no driver of either horses or bullocks, he had to turn to and help the teams up the main range with lime and other materials.  It was a very wet time, he rode down on horse back to see us one day, he left Toowoomba at 7 o'clock in the morning and arrived at Goodna at half past two the same afternoon. One day when he was in Toowoomba he went for his mail, he saw a bullock team bogged in front of the Post Office, the horns only visible of a good many and only the guard irons of the dray visible. Then my father came again to work at the asylum.

Jan 1st, 1863 I met my future husband at a church tea meeting.  Although we had been acquainted with Mrs. Titmarsh and other members of the family, he and I had never met.  There was a revival at this and other churches and I believe all over the world, England, Ireland, Scotland and the other colonies.  My intended husband we were married on 2nd October, 1863 at Mr. Titmarsh's house, Mrs. Titmarsh having died on the 30th June, 3 months before. We lived in a house opposite to Mr. Titmarsh on Goodna Creek some few years and then we bought a small place on the Redbank Plains.

My eldest daughter was born on the 28th February, 1865 and William December 1866. My husband was a carrier before and after we were married. The fever broke out among the bullock drivers, my husband among the number, many died and many remained in bad health for the rest of their days. The second trip when crossing the Condamine River, the rope that was attached to my husbands dray to steady it into the punt broke and the dray ran into the river with the loading and was soaking wet, he had to account for the loss of it but for Benjamin Tyieman and Co. were very liberal so he had not to pay full value. The line was finished between Ipswich and Toowoomba in 1864. There were great floods throughout the whole of Queensland, the three Titmarsh brothers were among the bullock drivers that were on the Dawson surrounded by the great waters.

There was no mail by Toowoomba, we never heard of them till there was a paragraph in the Queensland Times copied out the the Rockhampton paper, some had been camped on what is known as Taroom, it was then known as Bonars Knol, some teams had been camped for three weeks in one place but they shifted further up the hill and in a short time there was 18 ft. of water over the place where the drays stood. People had to take trees, one woman held her baby up out of the water and when the rescue people came they thought the was a black, she was nearly eaten by ants and at Rosewood people took to trees, one man being up a tree for 4 days and when people came to take him down he did not want to come, there were several snakes on the tree at the same time. This same man was riding on the Brisbane road where Dinmore now is, the lightning struck him and killed his horse under him, he was close to his own house, he was stunned and couldn't tell anything but in the morning his wife saw the horse lying dead with saddle, bridle and swag.  He himself recovered but afterwards fell through the Devils Gully bridge at Ipswich and was killed - the drink again.

One time when I was riding to Brisbane I met 200 chinamen all trotting with their loads at Oxley creek. I was going down and when my father and I were coming back they were camped up the creek on the Ipswich side.  

After living where we was first married, we went to live on Redbank plains, where Isaiah and Jack were born. 

The carriers left the road as the railways got finished and took up selection for growing cotton. The time of the American war, the government gave a bonus, first £5 per bale clear or gin cotton and then £2.10.0 and last £1. Then the growth of cotton died away.

In 1870 we left Redbank Plains and came to Fassifern, now Munbilla.  Here we existed for 2 years and 9 months and Mary and David was born, then we went to work paddock keeping for Mr. Arthur Weinholt brothers on part of Fassifern Station near Kents Lagoon. Here Eunice, Alfred, Isabelle, Henry and Janet were born and here also my husband died on 10? August, 1880, with plurisy and congestion of the lungs catching cold by working at bush fires.

We the family continued working for some years and then I came back to our own place. Some of the boys went west working for Weinholt Estates company and at the time of writing this there are 7 of the 11 married and I have had 20 grandchildren, 10 boys and 10 girls as far as I know and now I will close my narrative at the age of 55 and I thank God for all the way he had led me.



Janet is buried with her husband, Isiah, in Harrisville Cemetery, Queensland, Australia.