William Skerman

William Skerman

Male 1848 - 1918  (70 years)

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  • Name William Skerman 
    Born 1848  Hertford, Hertfordshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Church 30 Jan 1891  Kobble Creek Presbyterian Church Find all individuals with events at this location 
    A most successful tea meeting in connection with the Kobble Creek Presbyterian Church was held at Kobble Creek yesterday evening. It was a splendid meeting. Mrs. Joiner pre sided at the harmonium. Before the tea a service was conduoted in the church by the Rev. W. D. Meiklejohn, who acted for the Rev. C. Ogg, and during the servioe the following gentlemen were ordained to office of ruling elders - namely, Messrs. Joiner, William Skerman, and Walter Skerman.

    The Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866 - 1939) Saturday 31 January 1891 
    Applications for land 10 Jun 1893  East Moreton, Queensland Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Granted, Application for Certificate.
    William Skerman, 99 acres, Samsonvale 
    Died 21 Feb 1918  'The Ledge', Bald Knob via Landsborough, Qld Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • BALD KNOB.

      DEATH OF A PIONEER.

      There passed away on Thursday February 21st, at 2 a.m., at his residence 'The Ledge' Bald Knob, after four days' illness, a pioneer in banana growing in this district, Mr. William Skerman, at the age of 69 years 9 months, and he was interred at Toowong Cemetery, where his wife and eldest son are buried. The deceased was born at Enfield, England, and came to this country over fifty years ago, in the 'Netherly' which was wrecked on King's Island. He was brought to Melbourne by boats sent out by the Victorian Government and landed there only in the clothes he stood in, having lost all his effects in the wreck. The deceased was well known and respected by everyone, and leaves behind him eight married daughters and one son, namely Mrs. Adraine, Mrs. Dilworth, and Mrs. Smith, Brisbane, Mrs. Sharp, Sydney, Mrs. Draper, Bald Knob, Mrs. Bush New England N.S.W., Mrs. Tedford, Tewantin, Mrs. Bray, Mooloolah, and W. J. Skerman, Bald Knob.
    Buried Toowong Cemetery, Brisbane, Qld Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I6672  Maleny Pioneers & Neighbouring Districts
    Last Modified 10 Jun 2013 

    Father John Skerman 
    Mother Maria Chesher,   b. Hertingfordbury, Hertfordshire Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 12 May 1868, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married 17 Jul 1833  Hertingfordbury, Hertfordshire Find all individuals with events at this location 
    History 1850 +  England and Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Skerman Family Story

    William Skerman was born in Hertford , England, the seventh child of John Skerman (1807-1875) and Maria Chesher (1809-1868). John Skerman's father (James) and brother (William) were well known as James Skerman & Son, clockmakers and bellfounders. They were associated with John Briant, the famous clockmaker of Hertford. Bells cast in Hertfordshire can be found throughout the east and the south of England. Skermans also manufactured gun parts in the Enfield Small Arms Factory and made agricultural implements. Business thrived until the economic recession that followed the end of the Crimean War (1853-1856) hit and the family decided to emigrate to Australia and start up a foundry in Brisbane with the assistance of the colonial government.
    On 31st March, 1866, John Skerman and family (including his sons Frederick, William and Walter) sailed from the East India dock for Australia aboard the Black Ball liner, the 'Netherby'. On 14th July 1866, however, the ship ran aground off King Island in Bass Strait. Apparently the voyage to Brisbane was routed to the south of Tasmania but to save time the captain decided to take a short cut via the Bass Strait. While the 'Netherby' was wrecked without loss of life, the Skermans lost their valuable foundry equipment and tools. All passengers were rescued and transported to Melbourne and the Skermans (except William, his sister Caroline and her husband, William) resumed their voyage to Brisbane on the 'City of Melbourne' which arrived in Brisbane on 6th August 1866. Initially times were tough and John and Frederick were employed on building the road to the Toowong cemetery. In 1868 they acquired land in Harrisons Pocket, Samsonvale, north of Brisbane, and in 1901 Frederi ck and his son Jack established a blacksmiths and coach building business. Jack remained there until 1903 when he and his two brothers, Alf and Ernie, moved to Maleny to farm and establish sawmills. In 1904, Jack became the inaugural manager of the Maleny Dairy Cooperative factory.
    After the wreck of the 'Netherby' William Skerman decided to stay in Melbourne, as did his sister Caroline and her husband, William. In 1867, renowned as an accomplished cornet player, William joined the band of HMS 'Galatea', which was the yacht commanded by Prince Alfred, the second son of Queen Victoria, who was visiting Australia as part of a world cruise. On the return of the 'Galatea' to Melbourne in 1869, William jumped ship (refer, NSW Police Gazette, 24 March 1869). Before he escaped to the Victorian bush and goldfields, William was hidden from the ship?s officers by his sister Caroline. By 1871 she and her husband were residing in Charlotte-terrace on King Street, West Melbourne. Living in the same terrace was a Miss Thompson, a school teacher. In a letter to his brother Joseph in England (dated Sept 3, 1899) William mentions how he met his future wife while visiting his sister in Melbourne after his return from spending two and half years in the bush learning how to be a farmer.
    Miss Thompson was Hannah Grace Thompson (1846-1899). She was born in Dalston, London, and was a member of a well-off family of merchants. Her father was Thomas Thompson and her mother, Hannah Porter. There is some doubt as to when she left England. It may have been on the 'Caduceus' in 1870, but more likely she emigrated with her family on the 'Princess Royal' in 1848, landing in Adelaide.
    In 1871, at the request of his father to rejoin his family in Queensland, William left Melbourne for Brisbane. Hannah followed and they were married on 22nd August 1872 in North Pine. Unlike his brothers, William had more of an academic bent and became a school teacher. He was the first teacher of the Samson Creek Provisional School which opened in 1874. He later transferred to the Kobble Creek State School near Samsonvale and taught there until 1898. By 1890 Crown Land Sales records show that William had acquired 161 acres and by 1894 another 99 acres, all in Samsonvale. He registered a cattle brand in 1887. In other words William was not only a teacher but a grazier. He was also an active member of the Presbyterian Church.
    The family of William and Hannah Skerman grew steadily over time. In 1873 Edith was born followed by Herbert in 1876, Ethel in 1878, Annie in 1879, Violet in 1882, Ruth in 1883, Maria in 1884, Eva in 1885, William in 1887 and Frederick in 1889. By 1889, however, Hannah was in poor health and the family moved to Springhill in Brisbane where she died in 1899. William resided in 58 Union Street until moving to Maleny where he pioneered banana growing at Bald Knob, Maleny. He died there at his residence the 'The Ledge' in February 1918, leaving behind eight married daughters and one son. He was buried in Toowong cemetery alongside his wife Hannah.

    Courtesy of George Whitlam, descendant of William Skerman of Maleny Qld
     
    Notes 
    Family ID F1583  Group Sheet

    Family Hannah Grace Thompson,   bur. 7 Dec 1899, Toowong Cemetery, Brisbane, Qld Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married 22 Aug 1872  Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Edith Grace Skerman,   b. 22 Jul 1873, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 30 Jun 1955, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 81 years)
     2. Herbert William Skerman,   b. 19 Mar 1876, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 11 Jul 1904, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 28 years)
     3. Ethel Caroline Skerman,   b. 5 Feb 1878, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location
     4. Annie Skerman,   b. 31 Aug 1879, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location
     5. Emily Maria Skerman,   b. 31 Mar 1881, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location
    +6. Violet Lydia Skerman,   b. 7 Jul 1882, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 15 Apr 1959, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 76 years)
     7. Ruth Hannah Skerman,   b. 23 Oct 1883, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1953, Hornsby res/dist, NSW Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 69 years)
     8. Eva Sarah Skerman,   b. 16 Oct 1885, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location
    +9. William Joseph Skerman,   b. 30 Aug 1887, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location
     10. Frederick Walter Skerman,   b. 3 May 1889, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 9 Jul 1889, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 0 years)
     11. Maria Martha Skerman,   b. 9 Nov 1884, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location
    Photos
    William Skerman with his children
    William Skerman with his children
    Last Modified 9 Jun 2013 
    Family ID F1983  Group Sheet

  • Photos
    William Skerman  1848 - 1918
    William Skerman 1848 - 1918
    Died at his residence 'The Ledge' Bald Knob, Landsborough, Qld
    Skerman Family at 'The Ledge' Bald Knob, Landsborough, Qld
    Skerman Family at 'The Ledge' Bald Knob, Landsborough, Qld
    Discription by George Whitlam..... from left to right: Phyllis Smith (child/my aunt), Annie Skerman (my grandaunt), person unknown, Grace Smith (child/my mum), William Joseph Skerman (son of William Skerman) and his wife Lillian Fenn, Leonard Smith (child/my uncle), Violet Smith (nee Skerman/my grandmother), and William Skerman (my greatgrandfather). I think the photo was taken in c. 1915 by Henry Thomas Smith, the husband of Violet Smith, and hence my grandfather.
    William Skerman, on his farm 'The Ledge' Bald Knob, Landsborough
    William Skerman, on his farm 'The Ledge' Bald Knob, Landsborough


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