Richardson / Liddell Australian connection.
John Victor Richardson born 1887 Lucknow Victoria at Nicholson in 1922 married Sarah Ann Liddell born 1896 in Bairnsdale.

Liddell Family Tree.


The first snippet of knowledge regarding our Liddell generation one - courtesy Roger Morris, Pennines, U.K..

Liddell Family Tree - Diagram 1. First known generation of our Liddell branch, from John Liddell born circa 1790 in Northumberland, down to Generation 4, being William Coulson Calvert Liddell born 1875 at Scarsdale Victoria, and his wife Sarah Ann Cunningham born in 1875 in Bairnsdale.

Both the Diagram above, and the whole name of William Coulson Calvert Liddell itself, outline the important long-standing family links and ties, between the Liddell, Coulson, and Calvert families back in the United Kingdom. The more relatively recent connections with the Liddell and Cunningham families in 1894, Pioneers Settlers from Lower Nicholson and Swan Reach in East Gippsland Victoria, are also important, as two of Joseph and Mary Liddell's children married two children of Thomas Henry Cunningham and Margaret Murphy, locally in East Gippsland in the mid 1890s. Regardless of the point the Cunningham family were farmers and not miners, a page for the Australian descendants of Thomas Henry Cunningham is accessible.

For more info re the Cunningham and Murphy families, starting from Sarah Ann Cunningham,
please view


Family Crests for Liddell and Coulson.

Mary Coulson's Christening Record of April 1814 born in Allendale.

Like many ancestors from a few centuries ago, it can be difficult locating records for some families and individuals. Tracing the Liddell family in particular has had an additional problematic factor, being the spelling of this surname. Joshua and Mary appeared to use Liddle on the UK Census records from 1841 onwards, and the children continued to use Liddle after their father died in 1849, and she remarried Thomas Spotswood.

Outline of our Liddell branch, Joshua Liddell and Mary Coulson whose 3 sons, John, Joshua, and Joseph emigrated separately to the Ballarat Gold Rush region in Victoria.
Courtesy Roger Morris, Pennines, U.K..

First confirmed record of Joshua Liddell and Mary Coulson together - Allendale U.K. Census 1841.
We assume Mary Liddell aged 40 listed here was Joshua's sister, a dressmaker living in the same Allotment House, although there appears to be a discrepancy of 10 years with her age here.

Census of 1851 re Mary Liddell nee Coulson after her husband passed Joseph Liddell passed away in 1847.

The above original Census record of 1851, notes Mary Liddell's occupation as a "Proprietor of houses", and along with her two eldest boys following in their father's footsteps as Lead Ore Miners, it would appear Mary was managing financially quite well after Joseph died only 4 years earlier.

Census record of 1861 showing Mary Spotswood nee Liddell nee Coulson had remarried her second husband Thomas Spotswood, with 3 of her boys still at home with her, and still using Liddle surname.

Three of Joshua Liddell and Mary Coulson's five sons emigrated separately to Australia, being John who spelt his name both Liddle and Liddell on different occasions, Joshua who usually preferred to retain Liddle, and Joseph who stuck to Liddell. We should also take into consideration that it was the exception in these times to be able to read and write and spell, so often the registration of incoming passengers was spelt according to the knowledge and discretion of the recording officers at the docks. Also looking at other very early namesakes from centuries ago, some Liddle family branches appear to originally be derived from the surname Little.

Of the family who remained in England, their second son William was born in Allendale in 1834, married a Betty of unknown surname, and had no offspring. Youngest son Thomas born in 1847 in Allendale, married an Ann of unknown surname, and had a daughter and 3 sons.

For more info re Joshua Liddell and Mary Coulson's details and their children's families,
please view


Family Crests for Liddell and Lee and Howson.

John Liddell's Census record of 1841, aged 10 years at the Allotment House at Allendale Northumberland.

It is only fairly recently (in 2014) our family learnt that John Liddell actually came to Australia, (from a researching hunch), and later confirmed with thanks to Joan Hunt from Ballarat University and Roger Morris from Northumberland, both of whom are Churchill Fellows. As with many children of Lead Ore mining families in Northern England, we know John also followed this line of work, and from the 1851 Census (above), he was working as a Lead Miner at the age of 19. At the age of 21, John married local lass Jane Lee from Alston.

Jane Liddell nee Lee's Census record in Alston, aged 8 in 1841, 3 years after her mother Elizabeth died.

Jane Lee was born in Alston 1832, christened 2 Dec 1832, eldest of daughters to Robert Lee and Elizabeth Wilkinson, publicans of the Swans Head Hotel of those days. Jane married John Liddell in 1852 at the Hexham registry office. With the downturn of the local Lead industry in the 1840s and 1850s, by 1854 John realised the chance to explore opportunities on the Victorian Gold Fields, was the way to go.

A modern day photo of the Swans Head Hotel at Alston, once owned by Jane Lee's parents in the 1830's,
and originally established in 1641.

Emigration record of Jane Liddell on board the Great Britain, arriving Hobsons Bay, Melbourne, in 1857.

Jane followed her husband John about 3 years later after he left for Australia, at the age of 23 in 1857 on board the S.S. Great Britain, and made her way to the Gold Fields near Ballarat, to link up with her husband again. Somehow, probably with some success on the diggings, John and Jane managed to establish the Try Again Hotel at Piggoreet, named after the nearby new Try Again Gold Mine, which began operation in Sep 1859.

Land Selection plan for John and Jane Liddell's Try Again Hotel - Courtesy Joan Hunt.

The Archer Mine shaft indicated on this map is officially described in the Victorian Heritage Database as,

06.1864: nearly bottomed.
09.1864: sinking in rock.
12.1864: bottomed but are yet to reach the gutter.
1864: bottomed in 1864, but owing to small plant and water troubles, was only intermittently worked and finally given up in 1880; a part of this lead was worked by tunnel going easterly under Mr. Leahy's residence, also by shafts and tunnels below Mr. Percy's home; attempts were also made to work by two inclined tunnels one north and one west of Clementson's.
03.1865: given up.
06.1865: has been legally dispossessed by the manager of the Atlas Co.

John and Jane Liddell's property next to 3 blocks of land owned by Mathew Clementson at the top end of town
Piggoreet Parish map of 1860.

Further investigation into Matthew Clementson's family, indicates his great grandfather William Clementson, born 1742 in Garrigill, was actually distantly related to neighbour John Liddell, per our (Emerson) Richardson / (Ellen) Vipond families from Alston, via William Clementson's marriage to Sarah Elizabeth Vipond, born 1739 at Low house Garrigill.

Family listing for Sarah Elizabeth Vipond and William Clementson. Courtesy

With all due respect to our Clementson relatives, initial research indicated a very complex family tree structure. Resultantly, this busy researcher will focus below upon the numerous Clementson and Armstrong cousins whom arrived together on board the S.S. Great Britain in April of 1863, and a second wave of Armstrong relations, who arrived in July of 1884 on board the Gulf of Carpentaria. Regarding our Armstrong cousins, the Victorian Death record of Anne Clementson nee Armstrong, shows her father noted as John Harrison (an uncle) and Mary Armstrong, which has proven difficult to trace too, so only a brief interim overview, focussing mainly upon the located Clementson and Armstrong members who emigrated to the Victorian Gold Fields, is represented below here.

Victorian death record of Anne Clementson nee Armstrong at Piggoreet in 1926.

Starting from Matthew's parents, Ancestry listings show them as William Clementson who was born in Cumberland around 1794, a surveyor and Lead Ore Miner, and Mary Martin born in 1797 at Ninebanks. William and Mary had 8 known children in the Allendale region between 1816 and 1834, being John, Joseph, Hannah, William Martin, Jonathon, Thomas, Vipond, Matthew and their youngest sibling Michael.

The first of two Clementson boarding parties on the SS Great Britain in 1863.

For Anne Armstrong's related emigrants and earlier ancestors,

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

For Matthew Clementson's related emigrants and earlier ancestors,

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

John Liddell's Gold Mining interests

According to the Victorian Heritage Database
Archer Co (noted as Archer Old Shaft on the Liddell's Land Selection plan above)
has its Heritage Listing noted as-

Heritage Inventory History of Archer Co Site:

06.1864: nearly bottomed.
09.1864: sinking in rock.
12.1864: bottomed but are yet to reach the gutter.
1864: bottomed in 1864, but owing to small plant and water troubles, was only intermittently worked and finally given up in 1880; a part of this lead was worked by tunnel going easterly under Mr. Leahy's residence, also by shafts and tunnels below Mr. Percy's home; attempts were also made to work by two inclined tunnels one north and one west of Clementson's.
03.1865: given up.
06.1865: has been legally dispossessed by the manager of the Atlas Co.

Mining intelligence report of the local Archer, Atlas, Grand Trunk, Alpha and Try Again Gold Mining Companies of Jan 1865.

As a matter of interest, the Atlas Gold Mining Company had also attained family interest and investments back in 1862, with William Bell (husband of Sarah Richardson), William Calvert (Junior) and his brother-in-law Thomas Broadwood being Shareholders with Atlas.

Family interests of William Bell, William Calvert, and Thomas Broadwood in the Atlas Gold Mining Company in 1862.

Summary of Gold Mining Shares held by John Liddell from the Victorian Government Gazettes.

Obviously from a financially viewpoint, John and Jane Liddell found themselves in the right place at the right time. Devils Kitchen (Piggoreet township) had become very prosperous in a short period of time, primarily resulting from successful Gold Mines in the immediate area. John and Jane had the common sense to invest wisely in local Gold Mining companies, as they probably had access to good information from some clients of their Hotel. Gold digging was extremely demanding and physically hard work, so having a Ballarat Draught down the pub afterwards was popular, hence John and Jane were provided a substantial income from the Hotel, although it had the Court Royal, Royal Mail, The Acher, and Sharps hotels in direct business competition.

Victorian Government Gazette records of 1864 indicate 600 miners were working and living at or near Piggoreet, within a 2 mile radius of their Try Again Hotel, and local Gold Mine shafts and claims were numerous. However, while times were quite prosperous for this Liddell couple, they tried to sell the pub in 1865, and "retire to another line of business".

John and Jane Liddell's Try Again Hotel for sale at Piggoreet in 1865
- the pub did not sell then.

To give a truncated outline of the Try Again Gold Mining operations, some extracts of mining reports are listed from the Victorian Heritage database include as follows -

Try Again Gold Mining Company

09.1859 Work started.
07.1860 Confirmed that the Linton and Lucky Woman's Leads pass through this company's claim.
09.1860 Have driven several hundred feet but have not yet found the gutter; they may be too high judging by the adjoining claim of the Cleft in the Rock Co.
11.1860 Have encountered trap rock abreast of their drive after driving for 900 feet; about 60 feet above their drive is a reef which will pay about 0.5 oz per ton; this reef was found in the Italians tunnel. The gutter which the Cleft of the Rock Co. found is below their tunnel.
12.1860 Abandoned their tunnel after 16 months work and will sink a shaft in Devil's Kitchen at the extremity of their claim so as to avoid 150 feet of basalt rock.
05.1861 Brought a splendid engine.
08.1861 Nearly completed the erection of their machinery, the largest in the district.
09.1861 Shaft down 73 feet; putting in pumps and their machinery will be erected in 3 weeks.
06.1862 Restarted sinking again in Devils Kitchen.1185
12.1862 Getting 92 oz per week.
06.1863 Tunnel in 1250 feet; shaft down 250 feet, 7 feet 6 inches by 3 feet 3 inches for the first 150 feet, 9 feet by 4 feet for the remaining 50 feet; machinery includes 20 inch by 36 inch steam
07.1863: yield of nearly 80 ozs per week.
10.1863 Unable to puddle for 3 weeks while machinery repaired.
02.1864 Using two winding shafts, 2 puddling machines, Round's patent chains, and 15 inch gauge tramway in all drives which is laid with 15 pound rail.
06.1864 Getting excellent wash-dirt.
12.1864 Dividend of about 4 per man per week.
06.1865 Yield of 171 oz for a week recently and should be able to maintain this yield.1197 08.08.1865 Three compartment shaft is 7 feet 6 inches by 3 feet 6 inches clear and is down 190 feet; equipment includes a 22 inch by 42 inch steam engine for pumping, winding and puddling, a Cornish boiler: 32 feet 6 inches by 6 feet, a 12.5 inch draw-lift, 2 puddling machines with cast iron bottoms and wrought iron sides, 16 feet in diameter by 2 feet 4 inches high, a 4 foot by 2 foot amalgamating barrel; the puddling machines and amalgamating barrel are belt driven from the steam engine; a quicksilver cradle is used to finish sand from the amalgamating barrel; a Round's patent flat chains, cages; a 14.25 inch cylinder steam engine is being made by Wright of Melbourne for winding.
09.1865 Getting excellent returns.
17.10.1865 Three days delay due to bursting of blow-off pipe; a 14.25 inch cylinder steam engine for winding purchased from William Wright in Melbourne for 260, which is 60 less than the imported one of the same size; the boiler is 25 feet by 5 feet 6 inches with angle iron stay around flue, it was supplied by J. Birrell Lands for 227 sterling; a third puddling machine was erected for 212 10s; contract let to extend building over third machine and erect a tank, 12 feet by 12 feet by 6 feet, for 74 15s.
12.1865 One of the best paying claims.
1865 Continued to give good returns, 90 ounces per week giving 7s 6d per share weekly dividend; shares were selling at 40.
02.01.1866 Repairing and overhauling machinery; pumping water out of mine for an early resumption.
06.1866 Yield last week of 164.5 oz; have struck the Smythesdale Lead in their claim and so have access to this and the Happy Valley Lead.

Courtesy Mining Surveyors and Registrars Reports, Smythesdale Division, P. Milner.

The Try Again Gold Mine in 1861 - Courtesy State Library of Victoria SOLOMON AND BARDWELL, Photographers, Ballarat.

A classic photo of the Try Again Gold Mine circa 1860, courtesy Victorian Public Records Office and Joan Hunt.
A closer inspection reveals one of the adjacent larger buildings was possibly the Liddell's Try Again Hotel.
Click image to enlarge, then backspace to return.

The Liddell's Try Again hotel at Piggoreet, was located approximately 1 kilometre from the Try Again Gold Mine shaft at Devils Kitchen, which partially ran under the neighbouring Cleft in the Rock Gold Mine shaft as mentioned above, a major Gold Mining Company interest of our Coulson, Broadwood and Calvert family members.

1864 Advertisement in the Ballarat Star by the Cleft in the Rock Gold Mine Manager, Joseph Coulson, John Liddell's second cousin. Hugh & Joseph Coulson, William & John Russell Calvert and Thomas Broadwood listed were all related by marriage, per William Coulson Calvert Liddell and prior in the U.K. In simple terms, these family members were major shareholders of the Cleft in the Rock Gold Mine, and basically owned it and managed it.

Some interesting Share listings of John Liddell and William Calvert (John's youngest brother Joseph Liddell's brother-in-law) with the Try Again Gold Mine. Note how William Calvert reduced his original position as major shareholder, and John Liddell increased his investment to become the major shareholder in 1864.

John and Jane Liddell's Try Again Hotel was a stage coach depot at Piggoreet in 1866.
Matthew Veal lived locally at Woady Yallock, and was a coach builder and undertaker.

John Liddell's approval of a land grant of 3 acres may have been part of his new line of business in 1867 ?

As with most lines of rural businesses, prosperity and income relates to success of local ventures. Statistics show that Gold yield production from the Try Again Gold mine peaked at 190 ounces per week, and gradually dropped over the following years, to average only 25 ounces a week by 1872. Regardless of their dances, gambling, and other innovative income generating activities, (even pigeon sweeps at Easter) the downturn in the local gold yields had a direct effect on the income of our John and Jane Liddell.

Self explanatory advert promoting the Try Again Hotel in 1869.

Jane Liddell nee Lee passed away in September of 1874 aged 41, her obituary notice describing her as well respected community member, and her funeral attracted a huge crowd of locals in carriages and on horseback. It reported her death as "succumbed to a short but painful attack of Typhoid Fever", but in fact she died of "Deterium Tremors caused by alcoholism".

Information surrounding death of Jane Liddell nee Lee in 1874 - Courtesy Joan Hunt.

John Liddell carried on running the Try Again Hotel, and remarried Emma Howson, a local store keeper, in 1876. Only 4 or 5 years later the Try Again Hotel closed, and John Liddell was described as "penniless", passing away in January of 1885 and was buried at Smythesdale Cemetery.

For a great summary about the lives of John Liddell and Jane Lee, courtesy of Roger Morris, a historian of the Pennines district of Northern England. For the full 8 pages of Roger Morris's report about John and Jane Liddell's lives, download here, for a very informative read.

For more statistics on John Liddell's immediate family tree, download PDF file here,
with thanks again to Joan Hunt.

Also recommended reading is a summary of the Township of Piggoreet where John and Jane Liddell are mentioned, courtesy of Joan Hunt and the Victoria Public Records Office.

John and Jane Liddell's headstone Smythesdale Cemetery - Courtesy

Death notice and Obituary of Emma Liddell nee Howson in 1915 at Scarsdale.


Frontispiece of bible presented to Joshua Liddell (Junior) on 5 Nov 1862.

The inscription reads "Presented to Joshua Liddle with Mr Taylor's best wishes for his spiritual and temporal welfare, Nov 5 1862 'Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth". Courtesy Elizabeth Jansen.

Joshua Liddell and Ann Liddell nee Parker (listed as Little) emigration record arriving in Victoria on 27 March 1863, on board the Great Tasmania.

The simplest way to outline the many family movements and developments of Joshua Liddell (Junior) and Ann Parker is per a Timeline image as below.

Timeline image for Joshua Liddell (Junior) and Ann Parker.

Looking into a quick review of this rather busy timeline, it is worth noting Joshua and Ann Liddell spent at least 9 years on the Gold Fields at Scarsdale and Piggoreet near Ballarat between 1863 and 1872. It is fairly safe to say, with the birth of their nephew William Coulson Calvert Liddell also at Scarsdale in 1875, Joshua and brother Joseph Liddell probably spent much time together on the diggings, although no confirmable share records in regional Gold Mining Companies have been found for these two Liddell lads, unlike their older brother John's investments at Piggoreet.

The very impressive local Ballarat Railway station circa 1860.

For reasons unknown, John Liddell stayed in the Piggoreet / Springdallah district near Ballarat, Joshua and Ann Liddell and family of 5 children, went to the Western region of Victoria, a small place on the edge of Stawell township called Deep Lead in the mid 1870s, and Joshua's younger brother Joseph ended up going to the edge of Bairnsdale in Eastern Victoria around 1878 or 1879. Heritage Victoria has classified an area near the Deep Lead Station of local interest, due to remnants of the Ballarat train line, that run past the derelict Band of Hope and Hand in Hand Gold mines.

Victoria Government Gazette record authorising Joshua Liddell (Junior) as a Railway Ganger to control trespassers on railway tracks, at Deep Lead via Stawell in 1883.

Joshua Liddell ended up working for the Railways near Stawell, well before retiring as a farmer in the district, his son Joseph Watson Liddell becoming a leading and well respected apiarist / bee keeper in the same Western region of Victoria.

Its likely Joshua Liddell mentioned in this newspaper of 1888 is our Joshua, although it is away from his home district.

Energetic workers at Stawell station circa 1890s, packing local fruit for export - Courtesy State Library of Victoria.

Census for 1903 for Joshua Liddell (Junior) and Ann Parker, and their son Joshua Watson Liddell at Deep Lead via Stawell in 1903.

Census record for Joshua Liddell (Junior) and Ann Parker and son Joshua Coulson Liddell, at Glenorchy via Stawell in 1914.

Clearing sale of farm items by Joshua Liddell (Junior) and Ann Parker, at Deep Lead via Stawell in 1917.

Obituary in two regional newspapers of Ann Liddell nee Parker, from Deep Lead via Stawell in 1916.

Death notification of Joshua Liddell at Stawell in 1924.

For more info re Joshua Liddell and Ann Parker's details and their children's families,
please view


From a budding genealogists point of view, its quite a special privileFFge to be able to display such old family photos taken in Gippsland in Victoria of family members born way back in the 1840s from Allendale and Alston, Northumberland.


As we have already covered much of the early days of two of the Liddell brothers, it time to bring the Calvert family connection into focus, with our first record of Joseph Liddell's wife, Mary Calvert, whose father William shown below, was originally from around Kirkhaugh via Alston, about 17 miles away. William's wife was Eleanor Allison, who was born in 1796 in Alston, must have been quite amazed at the fact her four children listed on this Census, all emigrated to Victoria, were very successful on the Gold Fields near Ballarat, and all eventually relocated to live in far East Gippsland.

Census record of Mary Liddell nee Calvert (aged 9 months) and her family at Lead Gate in Allendale in 1841.

Both of Mary's brothers William (Junior), aged 15 and a Lead Ore Miner, and John Russell Calvert aged 14 shown here, were instrumental in many different ways in the progress and development of their home districts in Victoria, and both spent some time as the Bairnsdale Shire president in the 1880s.

For more about this Calvert family

from William Calvert born 1791 at Kirkhaugh.

Emigration record of Mary Liddell nee Calvert on board the S.S. Great Britain in Mar 1866.

It appears quite obvious Joseph Liddell and Mary Calvert probably knew each other very well before they left Northern England, as they arrived separately at Hobsons Bay Melbourne, about four months apart, were married two months later, and had their first child nearly two years after their marriage.

Emigration record of Joseph Liddell (spelt Liddle) on board the Auckland in July 1866.

As with many pioneering families on the Gold Fields, Joseph and Mary were also busy trying to survive the extreme conditions of tent life, as well as expanding their own family. From the timeline shown below, they had their first child Caleb at Springdallah (near Piggoreet) in 1868, who sadly only lived for a month. Their next three children Mary Bill and Sarah, were born in the same district and all survived, before Joseph and Mary moved to near Bairnsdale around 1878. They had two more sons in East Gippsland, Thomas and Joseph Coulson in the early 1880s, however Joseph only survived 27 days. In order to further clarify connections with the Richardson family, some relevant information regarding Great Grandfather Bill, (William Coulson Calvert Liddell) is detailed below, under Generation 4.

Timeline of Joseph Liddell and wife Mary Calvert and family originally from Allendale and Alston U.K. respectively, from the 1840s.

For more info re Joseph Liddell and Mary Calvert's details and their children's families,
please view

In addition to Joseph and Mary's wedding certificate, some old photos and a modern map of the district follow, in order to portray an impression of the locality South West of Ballarat, and also to show a glimpse of the regional township layouts and lifestyle found in this era.

Marriage Certificate for Joseph Liddell and Mary Calvert in 1866 at Newtown - Part 1.
NB. The witnesses whom signed below were Mary's brother William Calvert, and her brother-in-law Thomas Broadwood.

Marriage Certificate for Joseph Liddell and Mary Calvert in 1866 at Newtown - Part 2.

Map of region South West of Ballarat showing Newtown, Joseph and Mary Liddell's marriage venue, a short buggy ride south of Scarsdale down the Pitfield Road. Piggoreet at the bottom of the map is where John Liddell and Jane Lee / Emma Howson lived, Scarsdale and Spring Creek (Smythesdale) where Joshua Liddell and Ann Parker resided, and Newtown and Scarsdale and Piggoreet where Joseph Liddell and Mary Calvert frequently worked the diggings and lived. The same region was frequented by in-laws of our Richardson family, being Thomas Cochrane who lived at Smythesdale next to the cemetery, and his brother Hugh Taylor Cochrane from nearby Linton.

Local view of Smythesdale in 1861 - Courtesy State Library of Victoria.

Local vista around Devils Kitchen also known as Piggoreet in 1866 - Courtesy State Library of Victoria.

Local life in Scarsdale in 1880 where William Coulson Calvert Liddell was born earlier in 1875.
Courtesy Museum Victoria.

From their childrens' birth records, we know the Liddells relocated to East Gippsland in the very late 1870's, however it has been difficult to ascertain when they bought the farm property at Lower Nicholson, where they too became quite active in the local community. Typical of early Pioneers, families and neighbours often grouped and worked together, to better the standards of living conditions, educational facilities, transportation issues, and local government involvement, as indicated here with a petition supported by the Liddells from Nicholson, the Cunninghams from Swan Reach, and some of their neighbours from the Bumberrah Riding.

Petition signed by Joseph Liddell with neighbours and relatives in 1886 regarding separation of local Shires.

Financial planning for a new Drawbridge at Lower Nicholson, about a mile and a half directly across the paddocks from the Liddell farm. Councillor Cochrane mentioned here, was Robert Cochrane, who married Elizabeth Richardson, aunt of Annie Liddell's husband Jack Richardson. Just over a decade after this transport / drawbridge issue was made public, Joseph Liddell and his family had a very different issue to deal with - being that of bushfires in a hot dry Summer of 1900.

Bushfire problems near the Liddell property on the Nicholson River in 1900.

Obviously well settled in the district, regardless of the bushfires, the Liddell family stayed on nearby the picturesque Nicholson River, and the Drawbridge was completed. In 1903, Joseph and Mary Liddell watched their family grow within the farm household, with their sons Thomas Sydney and his wife Evelyn nee Whelan, and William Coulson Calvert and his wife Sarah Ann nee Cunningham, most likely living on the same property, which actually consisted of two separate blocks of land.

Joseph Liddell seeking occupancy of the farm by tender in 1900.

At first glance, the subject of this cutting may appear a bit odd, as to why Joseph and Mary put up the farm for rent, however it is likely eldest son Bill and his family had their own house on the second adjacent smaller block of land. At this point in time Joseph and Mary were approaching 60 years of age, had obviously worked hard on the gold fields and in their farming ventures, and were probably in the position for what would have been regarded as early retirement. It appears the also managed their finances well, as they ended up owning 3 quite large house right in Bairnsdale.

Census Record for Joseph and Mary Liddell's family in 1903 living at "Drawbridge at Lower Nicholson River".

Photo taken from the Liddell family farm on Liddells Road at Lower Nicholson River circa 1905-1910.
The old Liddell family farm is now known and running as the Nicholson River Winery.

Parish Map of Bumberrah riding, recorded as 1910-1920, displaying two blocks under Joseph Liddell's name.
Its obvious their neighbours the Stephensons mentioned further below, lived right next door, however the railway line cuts through these two blocks was not built till 1915, as was the Claybank station situated on the adjacent Irvine property.

Photo taken from the opposite side of the river from Liddell family farm at Lower Nicholson River circa 1905-1910.
It is believed this photo was taken from a small rise near the current Nicholson Sarsfield Road, around where the railway bridge was built later in 1915-6.

Testing of Nicholson River railway bridge with two locomotives - 1916 Courtesy Museum Victoria.

Nicholson River railway bridge after completion - about 1916 Courtesy Museum Victoria.

From family recollections we know Joseph and Mary's eldest son, William Coulson Calvert Liddell (Bill), and his wife Sarah Ann Cunningham, basically took over the running of the farm when Bill's parents grew older. Connections and activities between the Richardson, Vipond, and Liddell families remained strong even well after the First World War, with Jack and Annie Richardson living in one Jack's uncle William Vipond's investment house in Malvern, a suburb of Melbourne, and Jack's sisters, Nennie and Stell Richardson living in another William Vipond's houses in the same avenue.

Estate notification record of Joseph and Mary Liddell in 1918 at Bairnsdale.

Estate notification record of Joseph and Mary Liddell in 1918 at Bairnsdale.

From the above newspaper cutting (2 parts), we know Joseph and Mary Liddell must have had some success at Gold Mining and/or farming, as they managed to acquire three houses in Bairnsdale, in addition to the two adjacent farm properties at Nicholson.

Our late aunty Joan Liddell Richardson shared many fond memories of her family going from Melbourne to Bairnsdale by train for many school holidays in the 1930s, carrying their suitcases, and being met by Bill (William Coulson Calvert Liddell) or young son Jo Liddell at the train station, in the family horse and jinker. It was the only type of holiday they could afford, as her father Jack Richardson, a returned limbless soldier, earned merely a humble wage as a lift driver at the Melbourne Town Hall.

Death Record for Joseph Liddell in 1910 at Bairnsdale".

Death record of Mary Liddell nee Calvert - 1918.

Joshua Liddell & Ann Parker

1. Margaret Parker Liddle 1863 #17432 - Margaret Parker Liddell born 9 Aug 1863 at Devil's Kitchen, Australia
2. Joshua Coulson Liddle 1865 #5295
3. Joseph Liddle 1866 #24181 - Joseph Watson Liddell born at Piggoreet Sept 2, 1866
4. John Lee Liddell 1872 #12308 - 1881 #8441 born at Piggoreet 10 Feb 1872, registered at Springdallah, and died 23 Sept 1881, lived 9 years
5. Ethel Mary Eliza Liddell 1882 #12419

Due to the complex structure of Joshua Liddell and Ann Parker's children and descendants per above timeline,
please view

Joseph Liddell & Mary Calvert

1. Caleb Liddell 1868 #5709 - 1868 #2591 lived 6 weeks
2. Mary Ellen Liddle 1869 #18588
3. William Coulson Calvert Liddle 1875 #5446 (see below)
4. Sarah Jane Liddle 1877 #5262
5. Thomas Liddle 1880 #187
6. Joseph Liddle 1882 #20506 - 1882 #10626 lived 27 days

Due to the complex structure of Joseph Liddell and Mary Calvert's children and descendants per above timeline,
please view

William Coulson Calvert Liddell and Sarah Ann Cunningham

As most of our Australian Richardson family branch are descendants of William Coulson Calvert Liddell and Sarah Ann Cunningham, available info about this couple is summarized here, from Generation 5 onward.

The only known photo of William Coulson Calvert Liddell at left, with daughter Annie and her new husband John Victor Richardson (Jack), with Jack's sister Ellen seated with the hat. Photo taken on Jack and Annie's wedding day at Nicholson, probably on the Liddell farm, on 30th Oct 1922.

Birth certificate of William Coulson Calvert Liddell from 1875 in Scarsdale.

From Left Sarah Ann Richardson nee Liddell, Sarah's daughter Annette Rae Richardson, Sarah's mother Sarah Ann Cunningham, and Rae's brother Ian Richardson in Malvern, Melbourne around 1950. A good example of the Richardson / Liddell / Cunningham family connections.

Family recollections of Sarah Ann Cunningham nee Liddell.

Sarah was the fifth born of Thomas Henry and Margaret Cunningham, born in June 1875, she married William Coulson Calvert Liddell, of Scarsdale ( son of Joseph Liddell and Mary Calvert ) Of her 9 Children unfortunately, many met with quite serious diseases and saddening early demise, not uncommon for the period & lifestyle - most of the surviving generations are of much hardier stock.

Bill and Sarah lived on a large farm on the Nicholson River, running their own cattle for milking, and grew lots of maize, a common animal feed product of the district of the times. Along with the essential vegie garden, they also grew a large crop of fruit trees, cherries, plums, and apples - Sarah just had to have something to make the jams and conserves with ! Surely more than one of her children, nieces and nephews remembers getting sprung popping some of the more spectacular Fuschia buds in the garden more than once, amongst a wealth of stunning Roses and the like.

The family treat was to sit around the huge kitchen bench on a Thursday night, and tuck into sausages and mashed spuds, after the usual weekly supply run to Bairnsdale. Bill had a contract working on the roads for the local Shire and was often away for two weeks at a time, leaving daughter Annie to most of the physical yakka raising the cows, corn and kids.

One of numerous Shire accounts for payment to Bill Liddell - this example from the Tambo Shire in 1917.

On his brief spells at home, armed with his huge white moustache and his faithful companion "Paddy" the Cocker Spaniel by his side, he would shine the boots on the old tank stand, spit and polish the jinker, and take the hour and a half dirt track trip to Bairnsdale. He passed away early in 1934, was buried at Bumberrah cemetery, leaving many fond memories of a jovial bloke who liked the odd beer now and then.

Death notice of William Coulson Calvert Liddell, who died at Nicholson in 1934.

Headstone of William Coulson Calvert Liddell, and son John Thomas Liddell, at Bumberrah cemetery on the edge of Swan Reach township.

With the sole responsibility of the farm and lots of mouths to feed, Sarah battled on from sun-up to late at night, never stopping until her head hit the pillow. Her only time off was of a Friday night social, when she took Alma and Myra to the Stephenson's place to have a round of cards or two or three. Alma and Myra were her mainstays, milking and separating, and sharing the sweat and blisters in the maize paddock. No wonder she is not remembered for being as jovial as her husband - she simply didn't have time to laugh much.

Youngest daughter Alma with shotgun to hand, and Paddy the wonder dog hunting rabbits on the Liddell farm at Nicholson, around the mid 1930's.

Apparently some of her pet hates arose at these times, being Menzies and the atom bomb. If the pounds and pennies weren't filling the purse as they should, it was all Menzies' fault ( Chifley would have done things better ). If there was any type of drama after the war, it was simply because of the atom bomb. Apparently almost without exception, when she sat down for tucker with Annie's husband Jack Richardson, not only politics, but sometimes plates might be seen to fly across the kitchen so to speak.

Headstone of Sarah Ann Liddell nee Cunningham, died 1958 and buried at Bumberrah Cemetery.

Eventually managing the property became too much for her to cope with, and Sarah sold up somewhere around the late 30s and moved to Bairnsdale for some 5 years. With many of her family living in Melbourne, she up and moved to the big smoke too, leaving most of her treasured belongings with Gladys. Living the remaining years of her time similar to a gipsy, she would stay for 2 -3 months at a spell, with each of her family, then move on. Sarah died 8-Dec-1958, buried Bumberrah, leaving us all with a shining example of a hard worker really is, and what a widowed mother of the times had to deal with.

William Coulson Calvert Liddell & Sarah Ann Cunningham

Timeline for Sarah Ann Liddell nee Cunningham and her children.

Back Left to Right - Myra, Annie, Nell, Mary, Alma, & Gladys Liddell. Front - Pat, Sarah Ann Liddell nee Cunningham, & Joe Liddell circa 1950.

An interesting newspaper story follows about Joe Liddell pictured above at the front right, who apparently got into trouble burning off at the Liddell farm when he was 17 years of age, while his father Bill was away.

Fire in the paddocks of the Liddell farm, of a different nature 1918 - Part 1.

Fire in the paddocks of the Liddell farm, of a different nature 1918 - Part 2.

Fire in the paddocks of the Liddell farm, of a different nature 1918 - Part 3.

For more info re William Coulson Calvert Liddell and Sarah Ann Cunninghams children,
please view

Back to Site Index.

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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