search
top
Currently Browsing: Butler family history

A Discovery in the Fireplace

 

that's me cleaning out the inside of the fireplace, since I was the only one that could fit, and I found the fireback in there

that’s me cleaning out the inside of the fireplace, since I was the only one that could fit, and I found the fireback in there

somehow we got it out - this is as it was in 1986 when we discovered it

somehow we got it out – this is as it was in 1986 when we discovered it

a ose up of the details: J.G. Ramsay, Mt Barker & Clare"

a close up of the details:  J.G. Ramsay, Mt Barker & Clare”

as it is today, 2016

as it is today, 2016

DESCRIPTION: a solid cast iron fireback, meauring probably a metre wide, and 80cm high – something like that anyway, with leaves and grapevines in the top corners, a saddled up horse in the middle, and J.G. Ramsay, Mt Barker & Clare written on it.
DATE:
unknown, but approx 1860s
CURRENT OWNER OF THE ITEM:
 Alan Phillips
STORY/ABOUT:
Ahh the joys of growing up in an old house … there is history literally all around you. Inside and out. This fireback was discovered in the back of a bricked up fireplace in the house my parents bought at Gumeracha, South Australia. When the time came to get a proper slow combustion fireplace installed, that required knocking out the bricks to rediscover the original fireplace, and it was then that the incredible find was made of the cast iron fireback was made.

Weighing a tonne … ok that’s a slight exaggeration. I admit I’ve never actually weighted it as I’m not sure how to, but I’d love to know what it does just for interest sake – my guess is something like 60-80kg. What I do know is that it requires at 2-3 guys to carry it, as it truly is THAT heavy.

Anyway the inscription on it says J.G. Ramsay, Mount Barker and Clare. After doing some digging on Trove I found that J.G. (James Garden) Ramsay was heavily into politics, and into selling agricultural machinery, branching out into numerous areas of the state and interstate, and became one of the biggest around. I have found a detailed description of his factory at Mount Barker, which does mention that he made “fire-plates” as well as fireirons and all sorts of machinery. You can read this article from The South Australian Register, dated 21 July 1868 here on Trove.

I’m not sure when main part of the house at Gumeracha was built, but it was easily before 1900. You can read more about this house (“Springvale”) here. The Randell’s owned the land from when Gumeracha was founded, then Green’s were in the house and may have built it (still yet to be determined), then the Butler’s, and then my family the Phillips’!

advert in the Norther Argus, 27 August 1869

advert in the Norther Argus, 27 August 1869

advert in The West Australian, 8 October 1880

advert in The West Australian, 8 October 1880

 You can read about the life and death of the Hon J.G. Ramsay in the long obituary titled “Fatal Accident in a Railway Carriage” in the Brisbane Courier, 21 January 1890 on Trove.

And of course Wikipedia has an article on James Garden Ramsay too, you can check that out here.

 

Bert and May Tie the Knot on a Tuesday!

Bert Butler & May Randell wedding

the notice in the Approaching Marriages column in the Chronicles Family Notices. (1935, July 18). Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954), p. 25. Retrieved August 11, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article92325571

the notice in the Approaching Marriages column in the Chronicle, 18 July 1935, p 25.
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article92325571

DESCRIPTION: the official wedding portrait of Frederick “Bert” Butler, and Daisy May (known as May) Randell
DATE: 23 July 1935
CURRENT OWNER OF THE ITEM: Alan Phillips
STORY/ABOUT:  This large (50.5cm x 60cm) cardboard backed (unframed) portrait is of my great aunt and uncle on their wedding day. Actually technically it was some time after their wedding day as they got married at the Salem Baptist Church at Gumeracha, South Australia, but the photograph was taken at the Dimond Studio, 150 Rundle Street, in Adelaide.

Far More than Just a Tobacco Tin

old Town Talk tobacco tin

old Town Talk tobacco tin

inside of the old Town Talk tobacco tin

ephemera that was in the old Town Talk tobacco tin

1932-00-00 undated expenses

undated, but as all the rest of the store supplies dockets are in 1932,this is bound to be around the same time. Treacle, Matches,Soap, Tea … then Gelignite!

1932-05-24 store supplies

one of the many store supplies dockets in the tin,this one is dated 24 May 1932

1933-01-12 Gun licence

Frederick ‘Bert’ Butler’s gun licence, dated 12 January 1933

DESCRIPTION: with two parts to this item, the first is the old tobacco tin. “Town Talk” is the brand, and it looks like it was made by W.D. & H.O. Wills in Sydney, Australia. The second part is the ephemera that was inside the tin – there’s 26 items, mostly cheque butts and receipts from a store in Western Australia.
DATE: early 1930s
CURRENT OWNER OF THE ITEM: Alan Phillips
STORY/ABOUT:  This tin belonged to Frederick ‘Bert’ Butler, who emigrated to Australia from England, and went to Western Australian goldfields. The ephemera that has been kept in this tin are mostly cheque butts, rent receipts and receipts from a local store. But that’s very cool as it shows what he and the party he was with bought each week. And you have to love the fact that you used to be able to buy anything from ink, to chaff, to flour and bread, to meat and towells, to cigarettes and gelignite all from the same store!
Bert Butler married my great auntie Daisy May Randell.

Searching for Gold!

the front

the front of Frederick ‘Bert’ Butler’s Miner’s Licence in 1933

the back

the back of the same document, showing how worn and coloured it got

DESCRIPTION: Frederick ‘Bert’ Butler’s miner’s licence for the goldmines at Laverton, Western Australia
DATE: 3 February 1932, and valid until 2 May 1933
CURRENT OWNER OF THE ITEM: Alan Phillips
STORY/ABOUT:  While I don’t know anything of Bert Butler’s life in Western Australia other than the odd documents such as this, I do know that he married my great aunt Daisy ‘May’ Randell, and they lived in ”Spring Vale” at Gumeracha, which is the house my parents live in at Gumeracha.
I had to scan the back of this document even though there’s nothing written on it, just to show you the used, aged look to it, as I’m sure that this piece of paper was carried around by Bert for quite some time while he was on the goldfields.

top