Frances Penhalluriack

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Lake Penhalluriack, Photography: Clare Gervasoni, 2013.

Background

Frances MaGill was reportedly the first white girl born on Ballarat at the site of Barkly Street, south of Yuille’s pastoral run. Frances was born on 5/6 January 1840, eleven years before gold was discovered in the district. She was the daughter of Francis MaGill, who was a shepherd imported by pioneer pastoralist, Archibald Yuille. She was taken to Geelong twelve months later and educated there. Frances returned to Ballarat at the age of fifteen. At the age of twenty She married William Penhalluriack at Ballarat on 25 August 1857 and reared five sons and seven daughters. She had recollections of many Aboriginal ceremonies and customs, and it is said that on the discovery of the Welcome Nugget it was taken to her home. On her 70th birthday all but one of her twelve children, her son Thomas Penhallurick, lived at 16 Otway Street, Ballarat East. She died on 4 October 1918 at Ballarat. [1]

Goldfields Involvement, 1854

Post 1854 Experiences

Obituary

An old and respected resident of Ballarat. Mrs W. Penallariack, passed away at her residence, Otway street, on Saturday, at the advanced age of 79 years. Her husband predeceased her by 37 years. She enjoyed good health up to the last week. The deceased had the honor of being the first white woman born at Ballarat. Her father, the late Fran is M'Gill, of the Education Department came out along with the very earliest settlers from Scotland. She leaves a family of four sons and six daughters, ... The late Mrs Penahlluriack was born in a bark hut close to the spot in Barkly Street street which is erected the monument marking the first discovery of gold in Ballarat. The hut stood on Yuille's station, which covered almost the whole of modern Ballarat. Her parents were employed by Mr Yuille, who had brought them direct from Gee long. In those days the district was overrun with various tribes, the members of which were in a state of continual warfare. ...[2]

In the News

An Arbour Day was observedat the Eureka Stockade on Friday, when the mayor (Councillor Dunn), the mayoress, and councillors of Ballarat East and friends, planted a large number of trees in the reserve which has been formed in the now historic around. Among the planters were Mrs Penhallurick. said to be the first girl born in Ballarat, Mrs Franks, who in December 1854. witnessed the fight at the stockade between the British troops and diggers. An appropriate address was given by Mr Dunn, who said 'the diggers dared to do what, they did in the cause of independence.<Mount Alexander Mail, 14 August 1900.</ref>


Seventy years ago Mrs. Penhalluriack was born in a bark hut at a spot then part of a sheep run, and now a portion of the thriving town of Ballarat East. Gold was not discovered till 12 years later, and her parents were among the few white people in a district thickly populated with black fellows. At 70 years of age Mrs. Penhalluriack is in fairly good health. She has reared a family of 12 children. Her husband was one of the earliest truancy officers of the State, and the shock of his death some years ago left her afflicted with deafness. Mrs. Penhalluriack, when seen by a Melbourne Herald representative at her residence at Otway street, Ballarat East, said that her parents, who came to Victoria from Great Britain in 1839, told her when she was a little girl that the blackfellows had joined in the festivities on the occasion of her birth. The first white child born in the district was an object of great interest to the blacks, and she and her brother and sisters who followed her into the world, and of whom only one sister survives, had for some years no play fellows but the piccaninnies. Her parents were in the employ of the late Messrs. William and Archibald Yuille, owners of the Ballarat sheen run. Yuille Swamp is now beautiful Lake Wendouree. Three years of Mrs. Penhaluriack's childhood was spent in Geelong, where her father was the first bootmaker. Afterwards the family returned to Ballarat. Mr. Frank Penhalluriack, a son of the old lady, is a member of the Town Council of Ballarat East. Mrs. Penhalluriack is grandmother to over 40 persons, and five children know her as their great-grandmother. eventy years ago Mrs. Penhalluriack was born in a bark hut at a spot then part of a sheep run, and now a portion of the thriving town of Ballarat East. Gold was not discovered till 12 years later, and her parents were among the few white people in a district thickly populated with blackfellows. At 70 vears of age Mrs. Penhalluriack is in fairly good health. She has reared a family of 12 children. Her husband was one of the earliest truancy officers of the State, and the shock of his death some years ago left her afflicted with deafness. Mrs. Penhalluriack, when seen by a Melbourne Herald representative at her residence at Otway street, Ballarat East, said that her parents, who came to Victoria from Great Britain in 1839, told her when she was a little girl that the blackfellows had joined in the festivities on the occasion of her birth. The first white child born in the district was an object of great interest to the blacks, and she and her brother and sisters who followed her into the world, and of whom only one sister survives, had for some years no play fellows but the piccaninnies. Her parents were in the employ of the late Messrs. William and Archibald Yuille, owners of the Ballarat sheen run. Yuille Swamp is now beautiful Lake Wendouree. Three years of Mrs. Penhaluriack's childhood was spent in Geelong, where her father was the first bootmaker. Afterwards the family returned to Ballarat. Mr. Frank Penhalluriack, a son of the old lady, is a member of the Town Council of Ballarat East. Mrs. Penhalluriack is grandmother to over 40 persons, and five children know her as their great-grandmother. [3]

See also

William Penhalluriack

Lake Penhalluriack

Further Reading

Corfield, J.,Wickham, D., & Gervasoni, C. The Eureka Encyclopaedia, Ballarat Heritage Services, 2004.


References

  1. Wickham, D., Gervasoni, C. & Phillipson, W., Eureka Research Directory, Ballarat Heritage Services, 1999.
  2. Ballarat Courier, 7 October 1918.
  3. The Adelaide Register, 8 January 1910.

External links