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Monday, February 12, 2018

Original Owners


I've been doing some research on the house here and there, in fits and starts but I've recently had a great find that has helped. We acquired a map of Campbell Town in an antique store and it has original names, lot numbers and block sizes penned which has provided valuable leads for research.


I can see "Daniel O'Meara on our block of land and others in the near area also. Using that information I have been able to find that the land was purchased prior to 1845.


A record of the Census in 1843 reveals that he was living in High St but we cannot be sure that it was in this particular house as street numbers were not in common use then. Also note that Campbell Town is spelt "Campbelltown" and also "Campbellton" in earlier times which makes the research a bit laborious when using search engines of specific words.


Also from the same Census document we learn that the house he was living in was also "unfinished" and that the proprietor was "Mr. Joseph Solomon". I have found Joseph Solomon has purchased land also close by. Was Daniel O'Meara renting from Solomon at this time somewhere in High St? I suspect so as he lists the house as being made from brick and wood, whereas this house is made of stone and brick. This is also prior to the birth of his children.


Daniel O'Meara was born in 1825 and I have been able to find that he married Bridget Mary Jordan and they had five children, two dying in infancy and possibly a third. Daniel died in 1859 and the above image is of his Will. Bridget re-married in 1861 to Charles Blake and seems to have moved to the Deloraine area. I believe their son, William Morgan O'Meara is the gentleman mentioned in the below advertisement placed in the Launceston Examiner newspaper 05.10.1878, almost 20years after Daniel's death.


The stable mentioned in the above advertisement is long gone and only a rough outline of the building with stones in the back yard remains. Using an inflation rate of 3.8/annum, I work the rate of rent out to be the equivalent of $8720.00/year or $162/week in today's money. I haven't been able to ascertain yet what it sold for or who bought it.

It is around this time that there is a record of a William O'Meara holding a liquor licence for the Red Hills hotel at Deloraine and his sister Jane O'Meara held a liquor licence for the Formby Hotel in East Devonport and later in 1898 for O'Meara's Hotel in Ulverstone. The O'Meara families grew and became very well known in the Westbury, Deloraine and Devonport areas. I am speculating that after Daniel's death and the subsequent re-marriage of Bridget, the family seems to have re-located to the central/north west area of Tasmania.


Locals say this is a picture of the house, now ruins. in the bottom of our paddock. This land according to the map originally belonged to W H Fitzgerald. It is now the grandson's "archaeological dig site".



And this is the cottage next to that one, now also demolished. This land was owned by William Pears and I believe it stayed in the same family for all that time. These two latter cottages were obviously built by the same builder sharing many similar features. William Pears was a brick maker according to the Census of 1843 and I have no doubt he was a very busy man and employed full time with all the building booming around Campbell Town in those decades.








2 comments:

  1. I used to spend hours in archives doing this type of research. I'd lose all sense of time in that building. The mining claims held the most interest for me, especially the other occupations brought in to support the miners, and the tasks the women would take on to support the families.

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  2. What a fabulous find that map is. I love this kind of research and am interested in Kat's comment about the mining claims too. Great collection of photos and documents, Tanya. :)

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