Friday, October 19, 2012

John Nevin snr and the Genge family

KANGAROO VALLEY Lenah Valley Tasmania
NEVIN John snr, poetry and house at Ancanthe
NEVIN, GENGE and CHANDLER families, Glenorchy, Tasmania

Wesleyan Chapel, Kangaroo Valley, Tasmania
John NEVIN snr (1808-1887), Wesleyan, poet, teacher, journalist and Royal Scots veteran of the Canadian Rebellions 1837-38, arrived in Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) with his wife Mary and four children as a pensioner guard on the Fairlie in July 1852. They settled on land adjacent to the Franklin Museum at Kangaroo Valley, New Town, near Hobart (renamed Lenah Valley in 1922) in 1854. The Valuation Rolls for Southern Tasmania listed his occupancy there from the 1850s to the 1880s of the school house, Wesleyan chapel and house on one acre, valued at five pounds - £5 - held by the Trustees of the Wesleyan Church.

John Nevin, occupier of the Wesleyan Chapel, school house, dwelling, and garden leased from Maria Nairn.
Hobart Valuation Rolls, Hobart Town Gazette, November 26, 1872. p. 1678
Source: Archives Office of Tasmania

By March 1859, the Trustees of the Wesleyan Church who owned the land had erected a new building for a Chapel and Sunday School.

Wesleyan Chapel and Sunday School opened at New Town
Launceston Examiner 26 March 1859

On Tuesday afternoon the new building erected at New Town, for a Chapel and Sunday School, in connection with the Wesleyans, was opened by a tea meeting, The Chair was taken by Samuel Crisp, Esq., and addresses were delivered by the Revs. Messrs Cope and Lelean [sic-McLean?], Messrs. Shoobridge, Brown, Crouch &. Divine service will be held every Sunday, and a Sunday School will be established.
And again, from the Launceston Examiner 26 March 1859:

Wesleyan Chapel Back Road New Town
Launceston Examiner, 9 June 1859

Sermons were preached on Sunday on the occasion of the opening of the new Wesleyan Chapel, Back Road, New Town. The Rev. Mr. Quick, of Horton College, preached in the morning to a numerous audience, and the Rev. J. Cope in the afternoon. Mr. Quick again preached for the same object at Melville-street Chapel in the evening. Launceston Examiner, 9 June 1859
Both the Franklin Museum, erected on the estate established by Jane Franklin, wife of Governor John Franklin, and still known as Ancanthe, and the Wesleyan Chapel, erected on land overlooking it, were situated on the Back Road, now Lenah Valley Road. Travellers on foot and horseback utilised the Back Road, which ran along the New Town Rivulet from the Main Road (New Town Road) to access Kangaroo Valley Bottom, and from there over the foot hills of Mount Wellington, to reach South Hobart.

John Nevin snr taught children at the school house by day and adult males by night. By 1854 he had built a new cottage on the land, which he celebrated in a poem titled "My Cottage in the Wilderness."

"My Cottage in the Wilderness" by John Nevin, 1868.
Mitchell Library State Library NSW
Photo © KLW NFC Imprint 2009

His eldest son Thomas J. Nevin (1842-1923), by then aged 26 yrs with a successful photographic business at 140 Elizabeth St. Hobart Town, photographed his parents at the front of the house.

Scans courtesy of Liam Peters 2010
The cottage that John Nevin built at Kangaroo Valley
"T.J. Nevin Photo" inscribed on verso, ca. 1868.
From © KLW NFC Imprint & The Liam Peters Collection 2010.

On July 12, 1871, John Nevin's eldest son Thomas, married Elizabeth Rachel Day (1847-1914) at the Wesleyan Chapel, Kangaroo Valley. Elizabeth Rachel Day was the eldest daughter of master mariner Captain James Day and Rachel Pocock, and niece of merchant mariner Captain Edward Goldsmith.

In 1872, John Nevin leased an additional acre of land nearby for gardens and orchards from Maria Nairn, wife of William Edward Nairn (1812-1869), assistant comptroller of the Convict Department in 1843, in charge of the prisoners in Tasmania and Norfolk Island, and sheriff of Hobart in 1857-68. His wife Maria Nairn was a sister of John Swan, Inspector of Police in the 1870s.

The Electoral Rolls and Valuation Rolls for the district of Glenorchy, Tasmania show John Nevin occupying the school house and dwelling at Kangaroo Valley from at least 1858 up to 1887, the year of his death. In 1875, he applied to the Education Board to establish a night school for adult males. The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery holds numerous stereographs of the school house at Kangaroo Valley taken by his son Thomas J. Nevin, e.g. :

TMAG Catalogue (2006)
Q16826.1.2 ITEM
MEDIUM: albumen silver print sepia toned stereoscope,
MAKER: T Nevin
TITLE: 'School House KangarooValley'
DATE: 1860s
DESCRIPTION : This photo depicts three adults and four children at Kangaroo Valley (LenahValley)

Death of Mary Ann Nevin (1810-1875)
John Nevin's wife Mary Ann ee Dickson died suddenly on 13th April 1875. She predeceased her husband John Nevin by 12 years, leaving three surviving children - Thomas James, Mary Ann and Jack (William John).The other daughter Rebecca Jane had died at Kangaroo Valley in 1865. Her death notice stated her residence as the Wesleyan Chapel, Kangaroo Valley:

Death notice for Mary Nevin (1810-1875)Mercury, 15 April 1875:

NEVIN- On the 13th April, at her residence, the Wesleyan Chapel, Kangaroo Valley, Mary, the beloved wife of John Nevin, in the 65th year of her age. The funeral will move from her late residence, on Friday, at 3 o'clock sharp, when friends are respectfully requested to attend.

Last entry; death of Mary Nevin, 13 April 1875, from bladder complications.
Described as "farmer's wife". Source: Archives Office of Tasmania

Thomas took this photograph ca 1873 of his mother Mary Ann Nevin (nee Dickson) a few years before her death, along with a companion photograph of his father John Nevin snr. These particular images of Mary Ann Nevin (mother) and John Nevin (father), are scans from uncut sepia prints which had been pasted into the scrapbook of Thomas Nevin's son George Nevin, now held in the Shelverton Family Collection.

John Nevin senior early 1870s Mary Nevin, mother of Thomas early 1870s

Thomas Nevin's photographs of his parents Mary and John Nevin ca. 1873
From © KLW NFC Imprint and Shelverton Collections 2007-2012

Martha Genge (1833-1925)
Four years later, now a widower, John Nevin remarried. He was 71 yrs old when he married widow Martha Salter nee Genge, 46 yrs old, in Hobart, on the 23rd October, 1879. (Source: Tasmanian Pioneer Index: 711/1879/RGD:37).

John Nevin's second wife Martha Genge became step mother to his two surviving children by 1879 - his sons photographer Thomas James Nevin and Constable John (William John aka Jack Nevin). Their only surviving sister Mary Ann who had married John Carr, son of the late Captain James Carr, at the Wesleyan Chapel, Kangaroo Valley, on May 12, 1877, died shortly after childbirth aged 34 yrs on July 27, 1879 at her residence, Sandridge, Victoria. The child, a daughter named Mary Ann Carr survived and was taken back to Hobart to live with her grandfather John Nevin snr.

Martha Salter nee Genge was one of two daughters of Mary Genge (nee Slade) and William Genge, lay preacher at the Wesleyan church, Melville Street, Hobart. The discrepancy between their ages at the time of their marriage in 1879 - John Nevin was 71, Martha Salter nee Genge was 46 - may indicate an in loco parentis gesture on his part towards his deceased daughter's child, Mary Ann Carr.

Wesleyan preacher William Genge and wife Mary Genge nee Slade late 1870s
Parents of John Nevin's second wife, Martha Genge (1833-1925).
Hobart, Tasmania. Unattributed.
Photo courtesy and copyright of Louise Genge 2007.

Copies of the original photographs (minus versos or attribution) taken at the time of the marriage between John Nevin, aged 71 yrs, and his second wife Martha Genge, aged 46 yrs, are held at the Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office, deposited by the Drew family on the death of John Nevin's grand daughter Minnie Drew nee Nevin (1884-1974), youngest daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Nevin.

John Nevin 1879

TAHO Ref: NS434/1/155
Photo by his son Thomas J. New Town studio 1879

Above: John Nevin senior (1808-1887), photographed in 1879, aged 71 years, on the occasion of his marriage to his second wife, Martha Genge (aged 46 yrs).

Martha Nevin nee Genge 1879

TAHO Ref: NS434/1/194
Photo by Thomas J. New Town studio 1879
Photos copyright KLW NFC ARR

Above: Martha Nevin nee Genge, photographed in 1879, aged 46 years, on the occasion of her marriage to her second husband John Nevin (aged 71 yrs).

"Married in the residence of Mr James Genge Kangaroo Valley"
Witnesses: James Genge, F. R Alomes

Name: Nevin, John
Record Type: Marriages
Gender: Male
Spouse: Salter, Martha
Gender: Female
Date of marriage:23 Oct 1879
Registered: Hobart
Registration year:1879
Document ID:NAME_INDEXES:888757
ResourceRGD37/1/38 no 711

On the 17th January 1881, Martha Genge's father William Genge died at the Wesleyan Chapel, Melville-street, Hobart, aged 73 yrs. John Nevin snr wrote and published a lament titled -
"Lines written on the sudden and much lamented death of Mr William Genge who died at the Wesleyan Chapel, Melville-street, Hobart on the morning of 17th January 1881, in the 73rd year of his age."

Title: Lines written on the sudden and much lamented death of Mr. William Genge, who died at the Wesleyan Chapel
Author/Creator: Nevin, J.
Publication Information: Hobart : Pratt, printer, 1881.
Physical description: 1 sheet.
Record ID: SD_ILS:542990
Allport Library Pamphlets P 820.A NEV

Six years later, John Nevin (1808-1887) died in the gardens of his much beloved cottage at Kangaroo Valley on 9th October 1887. His obituary was published in the Mercury on 11th October:

OBITUARY: John NEVIN (1808-1887)


DEATH OF AN OLD VETERAN.- There passed away very quietly on Sunday, 9th inst., at the good old age of 79, Mr. John Nevin, who for the last 30 years has lived in the secluded shades of Kangaroo Valley, adjoining Lady Franklin's old Museum. He lived a retired life on his pension and in working his plot of garden ground at the Wesleyan Chapel, enjoying the respect of all in the neighbourhood as a consistent Christian. His latter days were spent in quietness among his family, and he leaves a widow (a second wife) and two sons and several grandchildren in Hobart. Only a fortnight ago two friends of his, who were boys in the Royals, and had known him in Canada 50 years ago, paid him a visit, and a pleasant time was spent with him in recounting feats of valour long since almost forgotten. He was then enjoying good health, but last Wednesday, while working in his garden, he felt tired, and rested awhile on the damp ground, which caused a chill. He took to his bed, and, after three days' sickness, quietly joined the majority. In his day he was a wielder of the pen as well as of the sword, and was some 50 years ago a contributor to the infant Press in London, Canada West, when the present city of that name was a struggling town of rough and rude buildings and log huts. As a soldier of the Royal Scots he served under his colonel, Sir G.A. Wetherall, and the present Sir Daniel Lyons [i.e. Lysons] was his ensign; and he did his duty in very stirring times in the Canadian Rebellion of 1837-1838. He was engaged in the storming and capture of St. Charles and St. Eustache and in engagements of St. Dennis, St. Benoit, and many other operations on the Richelieu River and adjacent country of Chambly, and at Terra-Bone [i.e. Terrebonne] he assisted in the capture of a large number of French prisoners during a severe winter campaign, often struggling with his comrades to the waist in snow in following his officers in the work of quelling the rebellion of Papineau. John Nevin's proudest boast was that he had been a soldier of the Royals.
Source: Hobart Mercury, 11 October 1887.

This photo was taken of his widow Martha Nevin nee Genge ca. 1887-1890. After John Nevin's death, she left the Kangaroo Valley cottage which was demolished by the Christ College Trustees of the Wesleyan Church and the Lady Franklin Museum on termination of his tenure, and moved to Patrick Street before taking up residence at the house of her brother J. Genge in Bowden St. Glenorchy where she died in 1925.

Martha Nevin nee Genge ca 1900

Martha Nevin nee Genge widow of John Nevin, taken ca. 1887-1890
Archives Office of Tasmania Ref:NS434/1/194

By the early 1920s, Martha Genge (1833-1925) was in her late eighties when her nephew James Chandler photographed her with his mother, Mary Chandler nee Genge.

Martha Nevin nee Genge ca 1920

Martha Nevin nee Genge ca. 1920
Archives Office of Tasmania Ref: NS434/1/248

Martha Nevin nee Genge and Mary Genge ca 1920

Martha Nevin nee Genge on left, Mary Genge her sister on right.
Mary Genge married William Chandler in 1868 at the New Town Methodist Church.
Photos copyright KLW NFC 2012.
Source: TAHO Ref: NG1231
Start Date: 01 Jan 1910
End Date: 31 Dec 1935
James Chandler was a Hobart photographer. For many years he was a member of the Photographic Society and well-known on the Hobart waterfront as a marine photographer in the 1930's and 1940's. He was the youngest son of William Chandler, a bootmaker, and his wife Mary (nee Genge), the first couple married at the New Town Methodist Church on the 14 Jan 1868. His uncle was Jacob Chandler, a ship builder in Battery Point. He died in Hobart on 8 July 1945 and was cremated at Cornelian Bay 9 July 1945 aged 67, having been born on the 12 August 1877 in Hobart
Information Sources: Mercury 30 March 1945 p16

Martha Nevin nee Genge and Mary Genge ca 1920

Photographer: James Chandler
Archives Office of Tasmania Ref: NS434/1/103
Martha Nevin nee Genge (left) and her sister Mary Chandler nee Genge (right) at Mt Stuart, Hobart, ca. 1920.

A short notice reporting the death of Martha Genge appeared in the Mercury 9 March 1925, with incorrect information. It stated she was the relict of William Nevin: she was the relict of the late John Nevin snr, father of photographer Thomas J. Nevin.

NEVIN. -On March 7, 1925, at the residence of her brother (Mr. J. Genge), Boden [sic- should be Bowden]-street, Glenorchy, Martha, relict of the late William [sic - should be John] Nevin, in the 92nd year of her age.
Source: Family Notices. (1925, March 9). The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954), p. 1.

The Genge family orchards at Glenorchy
James Chandler took this photograph and others of the Genge family house and orchards at Glenorchy (Hobart, Tas) ca. 1910.

Source: Archives Office of Tasmania Ref: NS8691456-9

Title: Photograph - Glenorchy - home of the Genge family
Description: 1 photographic print
Format: Photograph
ADRI: NS869-1-457
Source: Archives Office of Tasmania

Burial Records

Martha Nevin nee Genge burial 1925

Martha Nevin Burial Record: Cornelian Bay Cemetery

Martha Nevin died in Hobart in 1925, born Martha Genge, 1833, Somerset, England. She married John Nevin in 1879 with the name Martha Salter. Her gravestone at Cornelian Bay (Southern Regional Cemetery Trust) reads:

"Martha Nevin, daughter of William and Mary Genge."

John Nevin died of pleurisy on October 8th, 1887: his death certificate recorded that he was a gardener.

Archives Office Tasmania: RGD 35/11 No. 1000
Text and photos copyright © KLW NFC Imprint 2012

Sunday, October 14, 2012

How to read the records: prisoner Peter MOONEY

Too often the 300 or so extant 19th century photographs of Tasmanian prisoners taken by commercial and police photographer Thomas J. Nevin in the decade 1870-1880 are circulated within academic discourse as realistic representations of "Port Arthur convicts", the term used in public library and museum catalogues, and by historians who fail to interrogate the term as a systemic cultural belief about Tasmania. But the vast majority of these photographs show men in their forties, fifties and sixties, not the youths they were when they were transported and incarcerated at Port Arthur prior to July 1853, the date when transportation ceased to the penal colony. So these photographs cannot function as images in any synedochal sense either within discourse about an historic era of "transportation", or of "Port Arthur" as its contextual genesis and genius loci.

Commercial photographer T.J. Nevin took these photographs as mugshots of men, recidivists who had offended locally and repeatedly, for the Municipal Police and Gaol authorities in Hobart between 1872 and 1880. By 1900, the 1870s mugshots had been removed from the original registers by the government photographer and commercial entrepreneur of convictaria, John Watt Beattie. The photographs initially had been arranged by the prisoner's discharge date, a common administrative practice which survived into the 1930s. However, the 1870s discharge registers have not survived intact. Late registers do survive, in which the prisoner's mugshot is accompanied by his criminal record and discharge notice. These are now held at the Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office (Ref: POL708).

It is a singularly easy task to collate the names of the men in these 1870s mugshots held in public institutions (viz. the National Library of Australia, the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, the State Library of Tasmania, and the Mitchell Library NSW,) with the discharge dates of each prisoner.

The discharge notices of each prisoner whose mugshot survives are discoverable from the surviving police gazettes, in Nevin's time called Tasmania Reports of Crime Information for Police, James Barnard, Gov't Printer. All men were photographed who had Supreme Court convictions and lengthy sentences (search this site for extended articles on many of these prisoners, and the uses and misuses of their prisoner mugshots over the last 30 years).

Most men were photographed by Thomas J. Nevin in late 1874 at the Hobart Gaol, while he was still operating from his own studio, and then in 1875, the year he took a residency and full time position at the Hobart Town Hall as hall keeper and records keeper (including photographic records) for the Mayor's Court where prisoner discharges were rubber stamped for the Municpal Police Office also housed in the Town Hall. Cells located in the basement of the Hobart Town Hall were the transit stop for prisoners being relocated from regional lock-ups. They were either discharged by the Mayor's Court or taken to the Hobart Gaol (Campbell St Gaol) for further incarceration.

In short, the only way to contextualise these prisoners and their photographs is to start from the most recent police records rather than the usual procedure, the earliest - eg. starting from the late 1880s when many of the men in these mugshots were still active career criminals - and work back in time. Working back to the years 1880-1876, when Nevin's later prisoner photographs were taken also brings into the picture the assistance of his brother, Constable Jack Nevin at the Hobart Gaol. And then to 1876-1872, the years when the bulk of the ID photos were taken which Nevin furnished on commission for the Attorney-General W.R. Giblin in the mid 1870s, to the earliest known to survive dating from 1872. Finally, the "Port Arthur" discourse kicks in, as the journey finishes rather than starts at the point where these men first stepped onto Tasmania soil prior to July 1853 and only court room sketches were taken as to their "likeness". The reason for this reversal? We are talking about PHOTOGRAPHS, not "PORT ARTHUR", so it is the photographer's journey which mirrors and accompanies the criminal's mugshot. And Nevin was rewarded sufficiently with his commission, to avoid bankruptcy as many in his cohort had to face, and to provide for a large family in comfort.


PETER MOONEY (latest records 1884 to earliest records 1843)

Peter Mooney was a thief for thirty or more years, ending life as a pauper.

He was photographed by T.J. Nevin at the Hobart Town Hall Mayor's Court in the week ending 14th June 1876, after serving a lengthy sentence for larceny from a person, the same crime which brought him to Australia.

1884 Discharged

Peter Mooney was discharged (as pauper) on 4 June 1884.

1883 Discharged

Peter Mooney was sentenced for 3 months for larceny and discharged on 23 May 1883.

1879 Discharged

Peter Mooney was charged with being idle and disorderly and discharged on 9 August, 1879: forwarded to Hobart Gaol.

1876 Discharged

Peter Mooney was sentenced in March 1871 for larceny from a person, sentenced to 6 yrs, aged 58, discharged on 14 June 1876: FS Residue of sentence remitted..

Verso of carte-de-visite taken by T.J. Nevin of prisoner Peter Mooney (PAHS 2004:0003)

Peter Mooney was photographed on discharge by T.J. Nevin at the Hobart Town Hall Mayor's Court in the week ending 14th June 1876.

John Watt Beattie's advertisement for his commercial Port Arthur Museum ca, 1900 located at 51 Murray St Hobart. Source: QVMAG 1986_P_1223

The verso states "Taken at Port Arthur 1874", an inscription used by Beattie ca. 1900 while preparing many of these mugshots for display and to promote sales of authentic convictaria memorabilia in his "Port Arthur Museum" at the height of the 1890s tourist boom. Mugshots still attached to the original criminal records do not bear this inscription, nor do the earliest archival examples which escaped Beattie's reach.

Carte-de-visite taken by T.J. Nevin of prisoner Peter Mooney (PAHS 2004:0003)

1871 Convicted

Peter Mooney was convicted and sentenced to 6 yrs on 21 March 1871.

1870 Discharged

Peter Mooney was sentenced on 7 July 1864 to 7 years for horse stealing, discharged from Port Arthur 16 July 1870.

1843 Transported

Physical description of Peter Mooney 1843



Peter Mooney was transported to Van Dieman's Land (Tasmania) in 1843 for a 10 year sentence, his crime was theft of a hankerchief. Click on image for large view.

Convict indents and ship records held at the Tasmania Archives and Heritage Office.

On board the "City of Hobart" 31st January 1872