Memoir of James Dugmore (1834-1903)
of his life experiences around Victoria, Australia.
Mr Lance Pritchard, Secretary of Werribee District Historical Society, has donated an electronic copy of the original diary and his transcription of the copperplate handwriting. Lance visited Ballarat on 7 December 2016 with Jan Hames whose mother was secretary of WDHS before Lance. It is thought likely that an ancestor was the scribe for James Dugmore around 1890 and that the material was used on more than one occasion for lectures on early Melbourne. The diary has been handed down among family papers and the sisters Jan and Fern Hames have taken the initiative to make the document available to a wider audience.
The original memoir was donated to the State Library of Victoria on 20 June 2016. Australian Manuscripts Collection RA.2015.60 along with the digitised version. The Geelong Heritage Centre also received a donated copy from Mr Pritchard.
Permission has been given for electronic publication on the website of the Ballarat & District Genealogical Society, thus making the diary freely available at no cost to students anywhere. This is new primary source material about the very early history of Victoria and therefore needs to be included in studies of the period. It is hoped that interested persons will contact the Society with relevant information about the content of the diary. Contributions would be very welcome to clarify mentions of people, places, events and any other items of interest. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
James Dugmore was born in 1834 in Van Diemens Land (known as Tasmania from 1856). He was christened at St John's Hobart as Jacobus Dudmore (sic), son of Thomae Dudmore (sic) and Eleanae Fitzgerald [Tas 5559A]. The entry prior to this was for his sister Hanna Dudmore (sic), also in 1848 [Tas 5559] Apparently he never married or had children and continued his travels until his death in 1903. Lance Pritchard is investigating whether he could have been buried in the Beaufort area.
The first two pages of the memoir are missing and the narrative begins on page 3 with a description of native huts near the cottage built for Charles La Trobe who was appointed Superintendent of the Port Phillip District of New South Wales in 1839. He became Lieutenant-Governor of the Colony of Victoria when formed in 1851. James Dugmore tells of the formation of Melbourne in the very early days. In the ensuing years many locations are mentioned as 'Jim' joins the gold rush and embarks on a lifetime of adventuring.
A word of warning from the transcriber, Lance Pritchard. Not always, but often, in this document the word ‘blacks’ is used. This is not intended to be derogatory but is used in the context of the original document.
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