Friday, 8 February 2013

The Move into Town

John’s grandfather left no will, however the land records reveal the land that he bought in 1858 was sold for  “The sum of £100 due and occurring by John Ebbott deceased to the said Joseph Dawe and the sum of £10 to the said John Ebbott party here to”, some land had been sold the previous year in 1866 (Vendors Books, Victoria (Land Victoria(Natural Resources and Environment)), Book 157 Memorial 538),  ten pounds isn't very much to survive the rest of your life on, particularly if you have dependants   But John's grandmother wasn't beaten, she up stakes and moved into the nearby town of California Gully Eaglehawk.  It’s difficult to know what it would have been like during these difficult times, when there was no widow's pension or child support.

Sarah would have been dependent on her older children if she was unable to find some source of income to support herself and those of her family still at home including her two youngest children who were only 7 & 8 years of age at the time.  Her 2 eldest boys got married within a year after their father’s death Philip married on the 13 Apr 1868 in Chewton and John married Margaret Thomas 12 Nov 1868 in Sandhurst.  Her eldest daughter Emma married another year after that  on the 24 Nov 1870 in California Gully, Eaglehawk to Andrew Malcom.
Sarah's certificate of title for the land she brought
On 1 Oct 1867 Sarah purchases land in California Gully (Land Title, Volume 238 Folio 12 Jul 1873)   Later she mortgages the property (Land Title, back of Title Vol 238 Folio 47448   Reference 8433) to enable her to invest her money in a local mining company, it is an unusual step for a woman to become involved in the establishment of a local mining company.

Sarah must have been a strong woman, she never remarried indicating that she must have had some sort of independent income to support herself and the remaining children and buy a house and land

The launch of the company is announced in the Victoria Government Gazette 1870 (Gazette 56, Page 1276) the CLARA GOLD MINING COMPANY (REGISTERED).  Those involved in the venture, including Sarah Ebbott with 700 shares, were her two sons -  Phillip Henry Ebbott with 2800 shares and John Ebbott, with 700 shares.
Sarah is one of the few women that I have come across in this period of history to be involved in such a venture, she had to mortgage her house to raise the funds..  Perhaps the move was to help her sons, or to ensure that there was some money coming into the home via dividends.
Acouple of years later the following advertisement comes our in The Bendigo Advertiser (1872 'Advertising.', Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 - 1918), 2 November, p. 3, viewed 9 February, 2013,

“CHARLES C. WHITE will sell by Public Auction, at half-past two p.m., on Saturday 2nd November, at the Victoria Hotel, the following forfeited Shares, unless the calls due with expenses thereon be paid to me before noon of the day of sale:-
S. Ebbott, 500, 14,901 to 15,400
Albion Chambers, Sandhurst, 1st November, 1872” 
Of the original 700 shares she may have only needed to have paid for 200, leaving 500 to be paid at a later date, payment for which is now due.  Sarah didn't sell the family home until 9 July 1873 (Land Title, Back of Land tilte Vol 238 Folio 47488. ) so I'm not sure if was able to pay for the remaining shares or if she had to forfeit them - Obviously more research needed!

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