Life in Australia:
First family Richard and Dinah TRESISE (nee POLLARD), with one child, arrived in Australia on 5th December 1848. They spent two or three years in South Australia, Richard's blacksmithing skills undoubtedly in demand by his fellow Cornishmen in the copper mines at places like Kapunda and Burra. Ultimately, having joined the rush for gold in Victoria, Richard and Dinah settled at Smith's Creek, which adjoined the then fledgling township of Daylesford. It seems likely, however, that the TRESISE family spent up to eight years at Mt Egerton (aka Egerton), near Ballarat, before arriving at Smith's Creek.
In the immediate vicinity of Smith's Creek, at Cornish Hill, Daylesford's large Cornish reef mines commenced operation in 1863/64, although smaller mining enterprises had been active in the locality during the decade before this. The rapid and productive growth of the Daylesford community in the 1860's would have been a phenomenon well known to the thirty-somethings Richard and Dinah.
On 30th July, 1872, Richard purchased, for ten pounds, a 0.2-hectare block of Crown land on the western side of today's East Street between Macadam and Sullivan Streets, on the south-eastern outskirts of Daylesford. In the mid-1880's the TRESISE family lived in an eight metre square dwelling on the high side of the block, set approximately forty metres back from the East Street frontage. There were two very small outbuildings as well.
Very few of Richard and Dinah TRESISE's fourteen offspring survived baby/childhood. It appears that the only children who grew to adulthood were Evangeline (born c1855), Ellen Maude (born c1859), William Wallis (born c1860), Mary Catherine (born 1866) and Jane Ann (born 1867).
Richard William TRESISE (first, third and fifth born children were given this name), Mary Catherine TRESISE (second born) and Emma TRESISE (seventh born) all died before 1863.
Mary Catherine TRESISE (fourth born) died, recorded to be aged ten, in 1863 at Daylesford. She was born at Ballarat, probably during the family's relocation from South Australia to Smith's Creek. A witness to Mary's burial was William POLLARD, probably Dinah's older brother. (Certainly, Dinah's brother William did migrate to Australia. It appears that he purchased a 0.1-hectare block of Crown land close to Dinah and Richard, on the then planned north-east corner of Macadam and Grenville Streets, on the same day that Richard purchased his land. At some time before October, 1885, he purchased his neighbour's adjoining block in Macadam Street. However, by the time the new Daylesford to Ballarat railway line was completed in April, 1887 it had clipped off the north-west corner of his original block. Macadam and Grenville Streets probably intersected for only a very short time because the dissecting new railway line lay atop an embankment still quite evident today. From this embankment, it is possible to view an overgrown and derelict building highly likely to have been an original Pollard building. William Pollard died in 1893 at Daylesford, recorded to be aged seventy.)
Evangeline TRESISE (sixth) was born at Egerton and married miner John Harris WILLIAMS there in 1878. Almost immediately, it appears, Evangeline and John commenced living at Barry's Reef, where they stayed till the mid '80s. Evangeline died, recorded to be aged thirty-six, in 1894 at Bendigo.
Ellen Maude TRESISE (eighth) was born at Mt Egerton. She married Joseph Patrick HANLEY at the office of the Registrar of Marriages in Hotham (now North Melbourne) in 1881. Ellen was a twenty-two year-old housekeeper and Joseph a twenty-four year-old pattern maker. Both were living in Hotham before their marriage. Ellen died, recorded to be aged forty-nine, in 1908 at Hotham East.
William Wallis TRESISE (ninth), according to the registration of his death, was born at Gordon (near Mt Egerton) and married Annie Rosina SILBEREISEN at New Norfolk, Tasmania at the turn of the century. It is recorded that William lived in Tasmania for some forty years. The Marriage Register of St Matthew's Church of England, New Norfolk, confirms the death registration information, adding that William (41) and Annie (34) were married on 31 December, 1900. William died, recorded as a sixty-four year-old mine manager, in 1924 at Prahran, Victoria. Largely through the efforts of William's and Annie's third eldest son, William Richard, the first Australian Lions Club was formed in the northern New South Wales town of Lismore in July, 1947. Acknowledgement of William's extensive work for Lions is recorded online. He was made a Member of the British Empire for his services to the community.
Emma TRESISE (tenth) died, recorded to be aged nine months, in March, 1862 at Daylesford.
Dinah TRESISE (eleventh) was born in 1863 at Smith's Creek but had died by 1867.
Mary Catherine TRESISE (twelfth) was born in 1866 at Daylesford. She married John Henry WEBB in Queensland at the age of twenty-four. Thereafter, it appears that Mary lived in Queensland for a period of twelve years. She died at Glen Iris, Victoria, in 1943, a widow.
Jane Ann TRESISE (thirteenth) was born in 1867 at Smith's Creek and died in 1918 at Leitches Creek. A Daylesford milliner, she married twenty-seven year-old neighbouring farmer William John SMITH in the Wesleyan Parsonage at Egerton, to the south, near Ballarat, in 1890. The bridegroom's uncle, Rev Moses BULLAS, officiated. (The Smith family farm was located on the opposite side of East Street to the Tresise home, some 120 metres to the north -- boundary to boundary. However, for courting couple William and Jane, door to door it was just over half a kilometre! The proximity of the Smith's nine-hectare - at least - farm and Smith's Creek suggests that the creek was named after the family. The railway that took some of William POLLARD's land also cut a curved diagonal swathe through the Smith farm. It may have been this that ultimately led William and Jane to commence farming at Leitches Creek.) Jane and William are both recorded, upon their deaths, as having no issue. However, Reginald Tresise SMITH (born c1893) names them as his parents on his 1921 marriage certificate recording his marriage to Florence Cecily OLVER, from whom he divorced in c1925. Also, Reginald received a pecuniary legacy from the estate of William John. In his will, however, William John denotes each executor and all beneficiaries, except Reginald, by blood relationship to himself. Additionally, one of the two notices of William John's death that appeared in 'The Daylesford Advocate' on 18th June, 1940 described William John as Reginald's "kind foster-father". For some time it was thought that Reginald may have been the son of one of Jane Ann's siblings (cf 'Tresise' in his name), but was brought up by William John and Jane. However, recent research (May, 2000) has revealed that Reginald may have been born on 7th March, 1894, at Villiers Street, Hotham, the son of 20 years old Eva HANLEY. Eva gave her baby the name "William Forbes". No father's name is recorded in the Victorian Birth Register. In 1894, Jane Ann SMITH's sister, Ellen Maude HANLEY (nee TRESISE), and her husband Joseph were living at 2 Vale Street, Hotham, just around the corner of Villiers and Vale Streets. Whilst research has found no other details of Eva HANLEY save the record of the birth of her son, she may have been a relative (niece? cousin?) of Joseph HANLEY. This highly circumstantial evidence is supported by the fact that the plaque on Reginald's grave at the Springvale Cemetery, where he was buried in 1962, names him as "Reginald Tresise Smith k/a Forbes". Other evidence suggests that Reginald had adopted the surname 'Forbes' from as early as 1930 although he never changed his name officially. Also, it is clear from a number of official documents, eg his Will, that Reginald also was known as 'Rex'. Could it be that baby William Forbes was taken to Smith's Creek to be fostered by the childless William and Jane SMITH? Was his name changed in order to ensure his inclusion in the family? Did Ellen and Joseph HANLEY's eldest child, Ella Mabel, accompany him to Daylesford as a help for Jane? (Ella, aged seventeen, certainly was in Smith's Creek caring for Jane's mother, Dinah TRESISE, in 1899.) Did Ella tell Reginald of his birth mother and his father's surname (likely 'Forbes')? Certainly there appears to have been an ongoing relationship between Reginald and Ella - the William John SMITH death notice mentioned above appears to have been placed by them together and calls William John Ella's "loved uncle". Did Reginald decide to honour his birth mother and father by adopting the surname 'Forbes'? Evidence suggests that nobody, save Ella Mabel HANLEY possibly and his lawyer, knew Reginald's legal name from about 1930 till after his death in 1962 when his will was discovered. Indeed, it is likely that he was known as 'Rex Forbes' during the last three decades of his life. This puzzle is being investigated further. William and Jane SMITH are buried together in the Daylesford Cemetery.
Richard John TRESISE (fourteenth) was born in 1869 at Daylesford and died in 1870, also at Daylesford.
First mother Dinah TRESISE (nee POLLARD), who is named "Diana" on her death registration, died sadly on the morning of 4th December, 1899, at Smith's Creek. The verdict of Deputy Coroner Henry H. Sainsbury JP at his 7th December "Magisterial Inquiry" into her death stated the cause to be "a wound in the throat - self-inflicted - whilst temporaly insane." (One suspects that Dinah's adult life had been painfully and depressingly arduous.) Her granddaughter, seventeen year-old Ella Mabel HANLEY, from Hotham, cared for Dinah in the last months of Dinah's life and was attending her during her last hours. Ella provided a precise account of the events of those last hours for the Deputy Coroner. The need for Ella's care is made apparent in 'The Daylesford Herald' report (6/12/1899) of Dinah's death. Described as a "well-known and respected old resident of Smith's Creek", Dinah was "partially paralysed" and recently had been "suffering from influenza." Dr Basil Adam's deposition at Sainsbury's inquiry elaborated: "...some months ago there was effusion of blood in her brain followed by paralysis of the left side and since that she has been restless sleepless and irritable with impairment of memory." Granddaughter Ella, in her deposition, reported that "...my grandmother has been ill, - but was able to get up most days, - and was able to converse sensibily with me. I have always occupied the same bedroom. - and when called by my grandmother - went immediately to her assistance and rendered any help necessary...".
The caring Ella HANLEY is remembered in the will of Dinah's son-in-law, William John SMITH, Ella's uncle by marriage. She remained a spinster and, towards the end of her life, when living at Preston East, appears to have kept close contact with her sister Olive May EASTMAN (nee HANLEY) and her family.
Dinah TRESISE's sister, Elizabeth, emigrated to Australia at, it is thought, some time soon after Dinah, probably about 1852. With her husband Christopher JAMES, Elizabeth also came to Daylesford via South Australia. Their son, Wesleyan Methodist minister Rev Thomas Pollard JAMES - who also was Jane Ann SMITH (nee TRESISE)'s cousin - officiated at the funeral of Jane Ann's mother-in-law, Anne SMITH (nee BULLAS), at Daylesford in 1926.
Dinah's brother Thomas also migrated to Australia -- in 1855, aboard the 'Gloriana', which was bound for New South Wales. Aged eighteen, he was unmarried, an agricultural labourer and a member of the Church of England.
First father Richard Joseph TRESISE was living with his daughter Jane Ann and her husband William John SMITH, the registered informant of Richard's death, when he died of senile decay in 1903 at Leitches Creek. "Another old resident", as 'The Daylesford Herald' wrote on 26th June, 1896 when it reported his death, Richard "was associated with mining pursuits in his earlier career here, and followed his avocation of a blacksmith in connection with the mines." The Death Register records that Richard had been "2 years in Adelaide, South Australia" and "52 years in Victoria".
(Most of this information has been gathered from the resources of the Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, the Public Records Office of Victoria, the State Library of Victoria, the Daylesford Museum and Meryl Yost of the Tasmanian Family History Service.)
Life Before Australia:
Of passing and perhaps humorous interest is the fact that Richard, as official informant of the 1863 birth in Australia of daughter Dinah, registers that the new baby's undoubtedly proud mother and he were married at "Maddron Cornwall February 1844"! Clearly he was suffering from that well known affliction of otherwise perfect husbands, 'marijdateamnesia'!! (To his eternal salvation, he gets it right on the registration of Jane Ann's birth in 1867, but only after correcting what he told the registrar initially - the correction being plain to see on the register!)
The registration of Richard's 1903 death in Australia records that his parents were John TRESISE (blacksmith and carrier) and Ann (nee WALLACE).
Similarly, Dinah's death registration (1899, Australia) records that her parents were William POLLARD (labourer) and Patience (nee MANN). According to the IGI, William and Patience married at Gulval, Cornwall on 5th August, 1820. The IGI lists the following as their children (Christening years in brackets): William (1821), Mary Ann (1823), Dinah (1826), John (1828), Jane (1831), Elizabeth (1833), Thomas (1836), Alice (1838), Emma (1841), Emma (1847). William, Dinah, Elizabeth, Thomas and, according to a descendant of Elizabeth, John migrated to Australia. The 1871 Cornwall Census (folio 76, page 25) records William and Patience to be aged seventy-four and seventy-two respectively. William's occupation is given as "carrier". Living with William and Patience in 1871 was their daughter (not recorded in the IGI), Johanna, aged twenty-six, who was unmarried at the time.
Richard and Dinah TRESISE (nee POLLARD) emigrated to Australia in approximately 1849.
G. Pawley White, in his 'A Handbook of Cornish Surnames' (1972), writes that the name 'Tresise' is derived from 'Tre-Saws' meaning "homestead of the Saxon, Englishman".
(NOTE: The 'Related Links', in 'Family Contacts' immediately below contain THE TRESISE-POLLARD COLLECTION of nineteen images arising from the lives of Richard and Dinah Tresise along with fourteen related links to other online sites.)
Last updated by Martyn SMITH on 6 April 2010.