From William Coulson born 1760 in Cumberland, U.K.

Coulson Family Tree

Richardson / Liddell / Coulson family connection. John Victor Richardson (Jack) born 1887 Lucknow Victoria, at Nicholson in 1922 married Sarah Ann Liddell (Annie) born 1896 in Bairnsdale. Annie's father was William Coulson Calvert Liddell, born in 1875 at Scarsdale near Ballarat, to Joseph Liddell and Mary Calvert. Joseph Liddell's mother was Mary Coulson, and Mary Calvert's sister-in-law was Jane Coulson, wife of John Russell Calvert - its quite complex so a timeline image is provided.

Timeline of Richardson / Liddell / Calvert / Coulson family connections.


Family Crests for Coulson and Scott.

Little confirmed information is known of this couple from this early time frame - William Coulson is believed to have been born about 1760, and his wife Margaret Scott was apparently from nearby Haltwhistle in Northumberland. The date of 3rd Jun 1780 is on as an unconfirmed marriage date at Allendale. As all their children were born in Alston from 1784 onwards, it seems likely William and Margaret resettled there in Alston shortly after they married, probably for work or family reasons.


Investigation of numerous Birth record sources indicate William Coulson and his wife Margaret Scott had eight children, all born in Alston, Cumberland, namely John Coulson born 1784, Jane Coulson born 1788, Matthew Coulson born 1791, Peggy Coulson born 1793, Hugh Coulson born 1795, Mary Coulson born 1797, Elizabeth Coulson born 1799, and Rachael Coulson born in 1801. Later Census records noted our William Coulson was originally from Alston too.

Coulson family timeline from of William Coulson and Margaret Scott - all their 8 children were born in Alston.

Hugh and Ann Coulson's Census record at Allendale in 1841.

Research of the above children of William Coulson and Margaret Scott, indicates only 3 descendants of their third son Hugh Coulson (senior) and his wife Ann Smith, being a daughter and two of their sons, Jane, Joseph, and Hugh Coulson (junior), actually emigrated to Australia, so that is were our focus lies from this point onwards. For further information on these Coulson family members, please refer to



Family Crests for Coulson and Smith.

Its probably no surprise, tracing a relatively common name like Ann Smith had its difficulties, yet the Census notes her as being born in Allendale Northumberland in 1801. Details of Ann's wedding to Hugh Coulson (senior) at Allendale on 28 Apr 1821 follow.

Marriage record of Hugh Coulson (senior) and Ann Smith at Allendale in 1821.

Family of Hugh Coulson (senior) and Ann Smith.

Can you imagine living in this busy Coulson household, with 13 mouths to feed, pre electricity, possibly no running water and a wood stove and / or open fireplace to warm the house in Winter? Hugh and Ann began their family with Joseph Coulson born in 1822, then Hugh Coulson (junior) in 1825, William Coulson in 1825, Ann Coulson (junior) in 1829, Matthew Coulson #1 in 1831 ( he died in 1842), Jane Coulson in 1833, Margaret Coulson in 1836, Elizabeth Coulson in 1838, Hannah Coulson in 1841, Matthew Coulson #2 in 1844, and John Coulson in 1845. Apart from Matthew #1 who died quite young, records indicate daughters Margaret and Ann remained spinsters, and the rest of these children married locally, and had children too.

The lives of Jane, Joseph, and Hugh Coulson were to turn out very different from those eight other siblings who remained in Northumberland, as outlined below.

A large family and household of Hugh Coulson and Ann Smith in district 15 of Allendale in 1851.

By 1851, eldest sons Joseph and Hugh Coulson were well in their twenties, and following in the footsteps of their father, many uncles and earlier generations of Lead Ore Miners of this region. The decade of 1850 saw big changes in the family of Hugh and Ann Coulson. Out of Hugh Coulson (senior) and Ann Smith's eleven children as listed above, 3 of them emigrated to the Gold Fields in Victoria, Australia, being their eldest son Joseph Coulson who never married, second son Hugh Coulson (junior) who married Paulina Edith Barthiel from Adelaide, South Australia, and their second daughter Jane Coulson, married John Russell Calvert in Jan 1853 in Northumberland, and had a son William Coulson Calvert in the same year.

John Russell Calvert decided he would leave with his brother William Calvert for the Victorian Gold Fields in Dec of that same year, 1853. William calvert was also fairly recently married too before his departure to Australia, yet his wife Catherine Hewiston and son William Hewitson Calvert came independantly to Victoria on board The Red Jacket about two years later.

Emigration record of Catherine Calvert nee Hewitson & son William Hewitson Calvert on board the Red Jacket in 1855.

Steam from Liverpool to Australia in under 40 days on the Royal Charter - simply amazing!

John Russell Calvert returned to England 3 long years later in 1858, quite an experienced and successful "Gold Digger", to pick up his wife and son. His first hand stories of mine shafts, huge gold nuggets, and unbelievable opportunities probably convinced two of Jane's elder brothers Joseph and Hugh Coulson, as well as his newly wedded sister Sarah and her husband Thomas Broadwood, to leave for Australia with them. They all left together, the Coulsons, the Calverts, and the Broadwoods early in 1858 on board the Royal Charter from Liverpool, obviously with great plans and expectations to start a new life as Diggers in Victoria.

Family members who emigrated on board the Royal Charter in 1858 are highlighted in light green.

Original handwritten emigration record of John Russell Calvert, wife Jane Coulson and only son William Coulson Calvert, John's sister Sarah Broadwood and her husband Thomas Broadwood, and of course brothers Joseph and Hugh Coulson (junior), all travelling together on board the Royal Charter in 1858. It was a fast and modern Steam Clipper, and they had some luck choosing a good voyage - their vessel the Royal Charter went down in Dulas Bay in Wales the following year.

Royal Charter, Steam Clipper of 2719 tons sank off the Welsh coast in 1859, and about 450 lives were lost.
- Courtesy Wikipedia.

In addition to having more than a degree of good luck on their side, it's appropriate to also mention that many of our Lead Ore Miners who from Northern U.K. in particular, were by nature from their background in cold climatic conditions, strong and tough, flexible and adaptable, and often multi skilled. To quote a recent informative email from our Pennines heritage correspondent Roger Morris,

"Worth a mention is that though they made a 12,000 mile or more trip to Victoria of any group from the UK they were equipped along with the Cornish and some others with a skill set that made them ideal pioneers. They were tough and resilient from an area known for its harsh climate, they were both miners and small (yeoman) farmers independently minded. They were also "canny" - street wise, mostly well educated for the time open to new ideas and innovations. While these are sweeping assertions they were well placed to make the most of whatever opportunities came their way."

Map of Gold Fields region south west of Ballarat, where the Coulson, Calvert, Broadwood, and Liddell guys worked.

During the period John Russell Calvert sailed back to England to pick up his wife Jane Coulson, and other family members mentioned, his older brother William Calvert appears to have focussed his Gold Mining efforts and investments, south west of Ballarat, near Smythesdale, Scarsdale, and especially Springdallah / Devils Kitchen / Piggoreet. Obviously our Coulson, Calvert, and Broadwood cousins, teamed up with William Calvert upon arriving on the Ballarat Gold Fields. Within about two years, their hard work, networked skills, and possibly a little luck too, they had heavily invested as serious Shareholders and taken positions of management of The Cleft in the Rock Gold Mining Company at Piggoreet. Review of numerous Shareholder notices and cuttings from the Ballarat Star from the 1860s, outlines the skills, assets, and resources, the Coulsons, Calverts, Broadwoods, had between them included -

Major shareholders.
Mine Manager
Mine Secretary
Mine advisor
Company auditor.

The Cleft in the Rock Gold Mine in 1860, a major family investment - Courtesy State Library of Victoria.
That's probably some of the Coulsons, Calverts, or Broadwood family pictured here, if you look closely at the 6 people shown in this particular old time photo.

Shareholders Notice, Cleft in the Rock Gold Mining Company, Ballarat Star 22nd Feb 1864.

Kindly note - the top 5 Shareholders are all family members, who account for one third of the total Shareholders of the Company, and managed by Joseph Coulson. It also clarifies the point that John Russell Calvert was probably satisfied with the income he had made digging gold, had already bought farming land to develop in Gippsland (in 1862), and was busy actually fencing 16 farm properties there, owned by both the Calvert Brothers.

Shares for sale in Sturt Street Ballarat in 1862.

All that can be surmised about the transition many of these Richardson relatives made, being serious Gold Diggers near Ballarat, is that Springdallah / Smythesdale Mining Surveyor records, and the 1860s Shareholder prices of the Cleft in the Rock Gold Mine, indicate these relatives experienced substantial success on the Gold Fields. For example, The Cleft in the Rock Gold Mine shares were worth 300 each, (equivalant of a small fortune nowadays), and the Nelson (and Wellington) that William and John Russell Calvert were serious working Shareholders in, that were worth up to 2000 each for a full 10th share.

Site of the Try Again mine at Devile Kitchen - the Cleft in the Rock shaft came through the hillside on the left.
Courtesy researcher Mixo Sydenham 2015.

At one stage of mining in November of 1860, The Cleft in the Rock mine shaft at Piggoreet, penetrated through the hill to underneath the neighbouring Try Again Shaft, technically in the next town of Devils Kitchen.

For more extensive details and records of these Gold Mining activities, and life on the Victorian Gold Fields,
please click here .


A good idea of when these Gold Diggers relocated to East Gippsland to work the land, can be ascertained by a quote from the Coulson Brothers' nephew, William Hewitson Calvert of 1919 as published in the Penrith Times -

"Father {William Calvert Snr} followed mining at Ballarat and Smythesdale for some years, then he and his brother selected land at Bairnsdale, Gippsland, in 1862. His brother {John Russell Calvert} looked after the fencing-in of the land selected. Then we all went to Bairnsdale in I866, and started farming and fattening cattle."

Floods at Calvert's Flat on the Mitchell River at Bairnsdale in 1870.

"Father {William Calvert Snr}, Uncle {John Russell Calvert}, Cousin {William Coulson Calvert} and I took a mob of 'fats' to Melbourne in 1868. In 1870 we had big floods which destroyed a lot of wheat, oats, and barley, and took the thrashing machine and winnower three miles down the river. But we recovered them again. They had over one thousand bushels thrashed out and cleaned, and, a lot more in stacks, which floated away and went to pieces."

And select land they did!

A Google map showing Melbourne, Ballarat, and the Mitchell River at Bairnsdale.

The above map shows both the original route from their arrival at Port Melbourne to the Ballarat Gold Fields, plus the way from there to East Gippsland, as eventually taken by the Coulson and Calvert families and other Richardson relatives. As the family story goes, after 4 or so years very successfully working on the Gold fields William and John Russell Calvert lead the way to select farming land in East Gippsland in 1862, William buying 6 land titles, and John Russell purchasing 10 blocks of land in a row on the Mitchell River Flats just north of Bairnsdale township. No wonder this stretch of land of the Mitchell River was written up in the Bairnsdale newspaper as "Calvert's Flat" when the 1870 floods hit the Mitchell River. William Calvert also had 9 blocks at Eagle Point Bay on lake King at Broadlands, about 4 miles south of Bairnsdale not far from in-laws Robert and John Cochrane, and John Russell and Jane Calvert ended up owning a 1200 acre farm later at Mossiface.

It has not been verified when, yet it was likely Hugh Coulson bought 2 neighbouring blocks William Calvert, on the south side of the Mitchell River around this time frame, and Hugh also had another 3 large blocks over the other side of the river, which ran alongside Boggy Prospect Creek. Hugh Coulson applied for a licence to occupy two 20 acre properties at Moormurng on the Mitchell River in 1866, and brother Joseph Coulson similarly applied for a licence to occupy two 20 acre blocks of land, on the Tambo River near Mossiface in 1867.

Parish of Moormurng c1915, the South bank of the Mitchell River, just north of Bairnsdale - Courtesy State Library of Vic.

Borders of blocks of land owned by Hugh Coulson are in light green, those blocks bought by John Russell Calvert are highlighted in blue, and the borders of titles held by William Calvert are featured by red dots.

Wy Yung Parish map c1915 - Mitchell River on the edge of Bairnsdale. Courtesy State Library of Victoria.

Borders of blocks of land owned by Hugh Coulson are highlighted in light green.


Formal Records about Joseph Coulson after his arrival in Australia are few and far between - no documents have been found about Joseph ever marrying or having children either in England or Australia. On the other hand, his activities on the Ballarat Gold Fields, left quite a trail of newspaper cuttings, so it's possible to reconstruct an impression about Joseph.

Joseph Coulson appeared politically active re voting for the Legislative Assembly of Ballarat Wast in 1859.

Shareholders Notice, Cleft in the Rock Gold Mining Company, Ballarat Star 22nd Feb 1864.

Regardless of his political viewpoint of the time, Joseph Coulson, the eldest of 11 siblings in all, obviously developed some organisational and management skills growing up. Within 5 or so years of landing in Victoria, he had gained the position of Mine Secretary, and substantial Shareholder in the Cleft in the Rock Gold Mine at Piggoreet, the same mine where brother Hugh was that major shareholder in Feb of 1864.

Joseph Coulson owned 10 out of the 2000 available shares in the Great Estate Gold Mining Company at Happy Valley.

Obviously Joseph was well established in the Happy Valley / Mt Erip / Lintons district, and had saved enough income to invest in the nearby Great Estate Mine in 1864.

By Dec of 1864, Joseph Coulson attained the important position of Mine Manager of Cleft in the Rock Gold Mining Company.

Lucky Woman's Mine at Happy Valley circa 1930s.

For those who may be unaware, noxious weeds such as Ragwort, Blackberries, and Scotch Thistles were, and still are substantial problems to those on the land in many parts of rural Victoria. It's clear from the following cutting the property Joseph Coulson was occupying in 1865 definitely had a Thistle problem, however it is unclear as to whether he owned the land, he squatted there, or it could have been the actual Mine claim, he was responsible for. A search of an 1865 Grenville Parish map did not show Joseph as a land owner, although half the titles were unnamed on the map reviewed.

Joseph Coulson paying a heavy fine of 5, for letting Scotch Thistles get out of control.

Joseph's name does not appear as a landholder on Parish Maps available for on-line review, in East Gippsland near where his relatives resettled, however Joseph Coulson did apply for a Licence in 1867 to occupy two adjacent 20 acre blocks of land, about two miles south of Bruthen, on the Tambo River, about level with what's now known as Mossiface. It's highly likely these two blocks were very nearby his sister Jane's (and John Russell Calvert's) 1200 acre property "Mossiface Park" was situated, where they had their own private horse racing track.

So, this is where the historical records and info trail ends regarding Joseph Coulson, as he passed away Lindenow at the age of 55, a small town near the Mitchell River Backwater, and was buried at Bairnsdale Cemetery. Death Record for Joseph Coulson in 1879 aged 55.


The basics about Hugh Coulson (junior) are that he was born on 12 Dec 1825 at Ninebanks, Northumberland, emigrated to Australia in 1858 with his brother Joseph Coulson and sister Jane Calvert nee Coulson, and he died on his birthday in Bairnsdale Victoria Australia in 1910. Fortunately there are quite a few records and over 100 old newspaper references to Hugh and his family available, which fill in some gaps of his life and activities, post emigration to Australia.

Shareholders Notice, Cleft in the Rock Gold Mining Company, Ballarat Star 22nd Feb 1864.

The first known formal record in Gippsland of Hugh Coulson selecting 40 acres of land in 1866 near Bairnsdale at Moormurng.

A quick comparison of Hugh and Joseph's financial investments in Mines and farming land in particular, one may deduce Hugh was probably a better money manager or saver than Joseph. For example, we do know these brothers did well financially on the gold Fields, and Joseph applied for a Licence to occupy 40 acres near Mossiface in 1867, yet no other records of land purchases by Joseph have been located. Hugh also had a Licence for 2 x 20 acre blocks at Moormurng near Wy Yung in 1866, however had somehow amassed the amazingly huge sum 3,368 in 1879 to buy 709 acres at Tanjil on the Mitchell River near Bairnsdale.

Land Lease forwarded for execution by the Bairnsdale Shire of 365 acres to Hugh Coulson in Jun 1867.


Certificates for improvements under the Land Act 1865 are lying at the office of the district surveyor,
for the following persons :
- Robert Parkinson, Toongabbie, allots. 56 and 58 ;
Charles Smith, Rosedale, allot. 139 ;
John Williams, Tinamba, allots. 30 and 33 ;
W. Ross, Winnindoo, allot. 24 ;
Thomas Burns, Rosedale, allot. 151c ;
John Wright, Rosedale, allots. 151, 161, 162, 172 ;
Hugh Coulson, Wy Yung, allots. 9 and 10.
A public meeting is called for Saturday next at Steadman's Hotel, Rosedale, to urge upon the Government the necessity of reserving the whole of the Rosedale Town Common.

Land purchases by Hugh Coulson and William Calvert at Tanjil in 1879 - Courtesy Victorian Government Gazette.

Looking at the previous Parish Maps showing land holding by Hugh Coulson, the purchase of 709 acres in 1879 for 3,368, was quite an amazing financial feat! In order to get a realistic perspective surrounding this amount of money, lets do a brief comparison on the value of the Australian Pound () Sterling. One of your web host's most valued possessions, is a beautiful antique Cedar kitchen table his grandparents (John Victor Richardson and Sarah Ann Liddell) paid 120 for, shortly after they were married in 1922. This simple kitchen table worth 120 in the mid 1920s represented about one years income on the average wage of that period.

So, if one compares Hugh Coulson's land purchase of 3,368 back in 1879, one would have to regard the Coulson family as being extremely well off financially, probably resulting from Hugh's investments and efforts on the Ballarat Gold fields, along with hard work later on the farm. In the following year of 1880, Hugh turned 48 years of age, and his life as a bachelor ended, as he married Paulina Edith Berthile, (sometimes spelt Bertheil) a much younger 18 year old girl from Omeo. They eventually had nine children together, all apparently born in East Gippsland.

Marriage Certificate of Hugh Coulson from Bairnsdale and Paulina Edith Berthile from Omeo in 1880
- Courtesy Jeff Butler,

Hector John Coulson born 1881 Bairnsdale Vic.
Hugh (Hughie) Coulson born 1883 Bairnsdale Vic.
Paulena Edith Matilda (Lena) Coulson born 1885 Bairnsdale Vic.
Albert Herman Victor Coulson born 25 Jul 1887 Bairnsdale Vic.
Maude Mary Coulson born 1891 Bairnsdale Vic.
Florence Edith (Florrie) Coulson born 18 Oct 1892 Bairnsdale Vic.
Couriersere Frances (Carisea) Coulson born 28 Aug 1806 Wy Yung Vic.
Arthur Nicholas Coulson born 30 May Omeo Vic.
Myrtle Coulson born 1900 Bairnsdale Vic.

NB. A special note to members, a number of the Coulson children were noted on the system as being born in either Bailieston or Balranald. These birthplaces have been seen on other family research sites as "Bair", and this discrepancy has been observed with other family members known to be being born in Bairnsdale or Lucknow in this period, and were incorrectly listed on as Bailieston in particular. Other references inform us of this Coulson family consistently living and working their extensive farming operations at Wy Yung and Moormurng on the edge of Bairnsdale - nowhere near Balranald or Bailieston, approx 600 kilometres away.

Similar to the Calvert Brothers' attitude of large investments into land holdings, Hugh also realised the value and potential of farming and grazing in East Gippsland. Going by newspaper cuttings of around the 1880s he was well resourced and acknowledged as a serious cattle breeder, with regular sales of prime bullocks and cows in Melbourne and Traralgon.

Joint cattle sales by Hugh Coulson and his brother-in-law John Russell Calvert seemed to occur regularly in this time frame.

Shares of Hugh Coulson and John Russell Calvert in the Great Success Quartz mine at Nicholson River in 1882.

It's obvious from the above cutting, both Hugh Coulson and brother-in-law John Russell Calvert were well cashed up and able to make sizeable investments in a nearby Quartz mining company on the Nicholson River, the diggings were probably used for road making, after initial crushing for gold.

Stray bulls becoming a problem on the Coulson's land on the north side of the Mitchell River, in 1885.

Bulls are large strong animals, and they did, and still do a lot of damage to fences.

Cattle sales by Hugh Coulson from the family farm at Wy Yung, on the banks of the Mitchell River.

The pattern of newspaper cuttings up until the one above on the right in May of 1888 at Traralgon, all show cattle sales solely in Hugh Coulson's name. From here on in, the pattern of newspaper adverts display Paulina, as Mrs Coulson or P.E. Coulson as the contact person in the more important farming matters.

Bairnsdale Advertiser and Tambo and Omeo Chronicle 5 Nov 1887 - REPORT
Present -- The president (Cr Goold) and Councillors Ross, J. Smith, Telfer, Scott, Cochrane, Butterss, Macleod, Drevermann, Calvert, and Macarthur.

1. I have prepared sketch plan for bridge over Boggy Creek, and for easing gradient of hill towards Bairnsdale. The cost will be about 880. If road were deviated into Coulson's property, the old bridge would be suitable for several years to come, and a much easier grade could be obtained at a cost of about 100, exclusive of cost of land - On the motion of Cr Butterss, seconded by Cr Cochrane, it was decided to open up negotiations with Mr Coulsen to secure the land.

Councillors Cochrane and Calvert mentioned here at this meeting, were of course Hugh and Paulina Couslon's relatives & neighbours.

Hugh Coulson offering a reward of 2, for the return of 2 missing horses, very valuable possessions in those days.

From this point in time early in 1890, it appears Pauline Edith Coulson nee Barthile, actually took over the running and management of the farm, as all subsequent land and cattle sales appear in her name, and not as previously advertised in her husband's Hugh's name. It is possible that Hugh Coulson either suffered some sort of illness or farm accident, or may have even suffered early signs of Dementia or Alzheimers, as he was 65 years old in 1890 - we just don't know.

A very interesting advertisement of early 1890, being the sale of 365 acres of Paulina Coulson's farm at Wy Yung.

Paulina decided to sell a sizeable portion of the family farm in 1890 for reasons unknown for certain. Looking at the income from regular cattle sales, and the ability to invest in a local Quartz mine, it was probably not due to financial hardship. More likely this land sale was due to downsizing towards pending retirement, or maybe that Hugh was not fit or well enough to keep on top of fencing, calving and maintenance of their large land holdings? Some three years later, in 1893, Hugh and Paulina have already had 4 of their 9 children in East Gippsland, and it seems they had problems getting 2 of their kids going off to school.

Two charges of truancy upon Hugh Coulson, for not sending children to school in 1893.

It seems the local school authorities were quite diligent in monitoring school attendances during this period. As was often the case in this era, children often did not attend school, as it was important that chores and duties on rural farms were carried out by children, which in turn added to the survival prospects of the family. Generally speaking, the more children a family produced in rural Victoria, the more farm hands were available, and usually a more successful and productive family outcome was experienced in the long term -
ie."the more kids the better" and "many hands make light work".

The Coulsons selling draft horses at Bairnsdale in 1894.

One may say the Coulson farm was a diverse operation, which included production of Beef, Sheep, timber, and Horses. According to the Bairnsdale Advertiser and Tambo and Omeo Chronicle, our Coulson family also sold draft horses at the local Bairnsdale Live Stock Market from time to time, so at least we know young Lena Coulson probably had a choice of horses to ride to school in 1895.

Wy Yung State School in 1895, where Lena Coulson attended - Courtesy Jeff Butler

Pictured above at back from left: Charlie KERTON, Ernest WOODWARD, Frank KERTON, Albert DREIER, Alex MCBRIAR, Grace CHRISTIE, Ellen HENDERSON, Ada WOODWARD, Maggie MCBRIAR, Lena COULSON, Edie WOODWARD, front from left: Walter? TOMKINS, Herman DREIER, Bert MCBRIAR, Claude MCBRIAR, Annie DREIER.

Paulina Coulson charged for drunk driving a horse and buggy at Wy Yung in 1895.

By 1895, Paulina had seven children to care for, plus hundreds of acres of grazing land and cattle to look after, and her husband Hugh, most likely had some serious health problems, so it's understandable she had a drink or three, now and then. Kindly note, your web host does not condone driving a horse and buggy or any other vehicle since then whilst under the influence of alcohol.

Tender for cartage of 70,000 feet of logs to Lucknow Mill - notice by Paulina Coulson.

Paulina Coulson arranging auction of the Wy Yung family homestead property of 416 acres in 1896.

Firstly clear felling 70,000 feet of timber from your paddock, and then selling the main house block and farm in those days would have been a major turning point in ones life. The Coulsons still had at least one major property left at this time frame. According to the following newspaper cutting, Paulina seems to have also overlooked paying two Chinese farm workers in 1897.

Paulina Coulson in the Bairnsdale Court of Petty sessions, over a wage payment issue.

Paulina Coulson in the Bairnsdale Court of Petty sessions, over a bull ownership issue.

The following two advertisements in the Bairnsdale Advertiser and Tambo and Omeo Chronicle of 1898, imply Paulina and Hugh Coulson were more than ready to move on from farming and grazing, considering 136 bulls and a small milking herd were placed on the market to be sold within a two week period, due to the Coulsons "relinquishing business".

Paulina Coulson selling up the main breeding herd in 1898.

Confirmation of sale of land for 3629, a huge sum of money, by Paulina Coulson in 1898.

Within two short months, the breeders, milkers, and the farm itself had been sold, the above record of sale being the last known reference of Hugh being a farmer. It's also worth mentioning Hugh and Paulina's last son Arthur Nicholas Coulson was born at Omeo in 1898. Considering the farm at Wy Yung had been sold, and their eldest son Hector John was still living at Omeo in 1909, it's likely the Coulsons resided at Omeo for a few years after selling the last farm block. Their ninth and final child, a daughter Myrtle Coulson was born in Bairnsdale in 1900.

Death record of Myrtle Coulson at Moyston Victoria, an infant child of Hugh and Paulina Coulson, aged 1 year in 1901.

This particular death record of the youngest child of Hugh and Paulina Coulson, is of substantial significance. Little Myrtle Couslon is noted as being born in Bairnsdale in 1900, and at about aged 1 year sadly she died as an infant in Moyston, which is basically 600 kilometres west of Omeo, about half way between Mt William and Ararat. With the notion of this sad bereavement in mind, subsequent referral to the Census Records of the early 1900s, may raise some questions and doubts as to strength and outcome of Hugh and Paulina Coulson's marriage and lives. The basic records and facts are simply represented here, in order the reader can formulate their own perception.

1903 Census record of Paulina Coulson, aged 42 living at Mt William near Moyston and Ararat in the Grampians.

According to the 1903 Census, our Paulina Edith Coulson was living at Mt William in the Grampians. There is no mention of husband Hugh living with her there, or of a Hugh Coulson even being in the district.

Google map showing location of Moyston in the Grampians, and Omeo in East Gippsland, Victoria.

1903 Census record of a Hugh Coulson, living with Hector John Coulson at Omeo in 1903.

On the same 1903 Census on the opposite side of Victoria, there was a Hugh Coulson who was registered as a miner, (not as a farmer), actually living with the eldest son Hector John Coulson, a labourer at Omeo. If this is Paulina's husband Hugh, he would have been 78 years old in 1903, and possibly might have needed personal support from his eldest son Hector. On the other hand, Paulina's second son, also named Hugh Coulson was only 20 years old in 1903, and may, or may not have been on this Census list. Son Hugh was noted as a coach driver in 1909.

The following children may have been living with Paulina at Mt William in 1903, as the towns they eventually married, settled, or died in, are in this proximity -

Maude Mary Coulson was 12 years old in 1903, and married a Arthur Evans in Colac in 1911, had six children, and lived in Colac till the 1960s.
Youngest son Arthur Nicholas Coulson was only 11 years old in 1903, and he lived most of his 77 years in the Grampians District nearby his mother Paulina, at Forrest, Birregurra, and Colac, where he died, unmarried.

Lena was 18 in 1903 and there are no clues to her whereabouts at this time, but she married John Benjamin Simmons at Myrtleford, had 5 children, and basically lived out their lives in that district of northern Victoria.

Florence Edith Coulson was too young for this Census however by in 1909 she was living in Brunswick north of Melbourne, and married Harold John Poulter from Northcote in 1919. The lived in Broadmeadows in Melbourne, and later moved to Tecoma and The Basin in the Dandenong ranges on the eastern side of Melbourne. Paulina Coulson died at the Basin in 1945, so it seems Florrie and Paulina might have been close in later life.

Similarly, Albert Herman Victor Coulson was only a teenager in the 1903 Census, yet review of the following Census tends to clarify the whereabouts of Hugh Coulson and the remaining Coulson children. By the year 1909, only a year before he passed away in 1910, Hugh Coulson is definitely recorded on the Census as living with his second son Hugh Coulson in Mitchell Street in Bairnsdale. He did not state any occupation.

Hugh Coulson and second son Hugh (noted as junior here) living together at Mitchell Street in Bairnsdale in 1909.

From left, 3 sons of Hugh and Paulina Coulson, Hector John, Hugh, and Albert. Courtesy

1909 Census showing four Coulson males living in East Gippsland.

It seems the older sons tended to remain living fairly close together, with brother Hugh and Albert both became coach drivers, and eldest son Hector John Coulson, decided to remain in Omeo as a Labourer.

Paulina Coulson is recorded on the Census of 1909 as still living by herself at Barramunga neat Ararat.

So there are quite a few aspects of this decade surrounding the Coulson family to weigh up so to speak. Sadly Hugh Coulson died in Bairnsdale aged 85 the following year of 1910.

Death Record of Hugh Coulson in Bairnsdale in 1910.

Initially during this stage of research, there was a large gap of information about Paulina in the 1930s, until the following Rootsweb listing was found, which mentions Paulina took on a pseudonym / AKA (Also Known As) name of Ida Paulene Coulson.

Rootsweb data sheet regarding Paulina Coulson, Also Known As (AKA) Ida.

Ida Paulene Coulson AKA Paulina Coulson, living at the same location, with a different name in 1931.

For some unknown reason, Paulina looks to have changed her name, but not her residence. Youngest son Arthur Nicholas Coulson is still living 7 kilometres away at Forrest.

Ida Paulene Coulson AKA Paulina Coulson, living at the same location, with a different name in 1943.

Could Ena May Coulson of Birregurra listed here, somehow be related to Ida Paulina Edith Coulson, or Arthur Nicholas Coulson?

Headstone of Paulina Edith Berthile nee Coulson, buried at Lilydale cemetery in 1945.

Death certificate of Paulina Edith Coulson nee Berthile at The Basin in 1945.

The basin is a small village in the Dandenong Ranges near Tecoma, where her daughter Florrie Poulter lived for many years. We assume this family connection is why Paulina moved 300 kilometers from the Grampians - to be with her daughter in her twilight years.


As mentioned above, summarizing her life, Jane Coulson was born in 1833 at Ninebanks near Allendale in Northumberland, the sixth child and second daughter of Hugh Coulson and Ann Smith, a Lead Ore mining family of long standing. Jane married John Russell Calvert at Allendale in 1853, and they had their only son William Coulson Calvert the same year. Her husband John Russell Calvert left with his brother William Calvert from Liverpool for Australia in Aug of the same year, where he worked the Gold Fields near Ballarat for 5 years before returning home.

Jane emigrated to Victoria Australia in 1858 on board the Royal Charter, with her husband and son, her two eldest brothers Joseph and Hugh Coulson, and Jane's sister Sarah Broadwood nee Coulson and her husband Thomas Broadwood. Jane survived the hardships of raising a 5 year old son and supporting her husband on the Gold fields for about about 8 years, before her family moved to East gippsland to become Hop Growers, farmers, and race horse breeders.

John Russell Calvert bought substantial faring lladn initially on the Mitchell River, adjoining large farms owned by his brther William Calvert, and brother-in-law Hugh Couson at Moormurng, on the edge of Bairnsdale township, eventually purchasing a 1200 acre property at Mossiface. Here John and Jane established themselves as major Hop growers, and they set up their own private horse racing track called Mossiface Park. Jane in particular seemed quite an astute business woman, owned land, and owned and bred numerous very successful race horses, yet according to family recollection, Jane apparently was illiterate.

Insets of portraits of John Russell Calvert and Jane Coulson.
Written permission for reuse - Federation University Centre for Gippsland Studies, Monash University Research Repository.

John Russell Calvert and his wife Jane Coulson could only be described as dynamic Gold miners of the Ballarat district in the 1850s, and solid citizens and pioneer settlers of East Gippsland near Bairnsdale, Victoria. To review the Calverts' extensive and successful activities on the Victorian Gold fields click here. Otherwise, if you wish to check out the Calvert families emigration and movements in Victoria, then please click here for more of the history of Jane Coulson and John Russell Calvert.

Sadly Jane Calvert nee Coulson passed away in 1909.

Details of the Headstone of John Russell Calvert and Jane nee Coulson at Bruthen - Courtesy Jeff Butler per

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Background into Lead Ore Mining in Northern U.K.

Background into the Gold Rush days near Ballarat Victoria.

From Joseph Richardson born 1721 at Alston, U.K.

From John Armstrong born in 1705, Haltwhistle U.K.

From Thomas Bell born 1806 of Allendale, U.K.

From James Broadwood born 1796 of Northumberland, U.K.

From William Calvert born 1791 at Kirkhaugh, U.K.

From John Clementson born 1692 in Garrigill, U.K.

From Robert Cochrane born 1778 in Eglington, U.K.

From William Coulson born 1760 in Cumberland, U.K.

From Edward Hewitson born 1794 in Kirk Linton, U.K.

From John Liddell born circa 1780 in Ninebanks, U.K.

From Joseph Parker born 1810 at Allendale, U.K.

From Nicholas Vipond born 1655 in Alston, U.K.

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