Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The two Alexander McCallums

In the late 1830’s-early 1840s, two young men from Argyll in Scotland bearing the name of Alexander McCallum (or MacCallum- both variations were commonly used, as well as the occasional use of M’Callum) arrived in the young colony of Victoria. Both soon became the owners of large sheep grazing properties, and over the next 150 years history became so blurred with regard to their life stories that time has merged the two men into one.
The wife and children of the older Alexander McCallum, who belong to my Hughan family tree, have been attributed to the younger Alexander, while this Alexander’s substantial land holdings have been noted as belonging to the older Alexander. Fortunately, certificates obtained from the departments of Births, Deaths and Marriages in Victoria and England have verified that Alexander McCallum was definitely two different men, as the following evidence will prove.
Firstly, the common story regarding the mythical Alexander McCallum is typified as follows :
· Name: Alexander McCALLUM
· Birth: 24 FEB 1814 in Oban, Argyllshire, Scot.
· Note: Bapt. 15 April 1814
· Arrived: 1838 Port Phillip District 1
· Death: 5 SEP 1862 in Lake Connewarre, Vic., Aust.
· Region: 'Dunach Forest' aka 'Mount Greenock' near Maryborough

Took out licence for Mount Greenock Station 1841. Applied for licences to depasture cattle at Tragowell and Mount Hope, between Loddon River and Kow Swamp. Name of Mount Greenock Station changed to Dunach Forest Run in 1848 when property was surveyed, and AM took a 14 year lease - 63,360 acres, capacity 16,000 sheep - Andrew Aldcorn and James Forsyth also had a financial interest. Tragowell - 120,820 acres, capacity 1,500 cattle and 10,000 sheep. Mount Hope and Mount Pyramid - 97,280 acres, capacity 12,000 sheep - sold to William Campbell 1848.August 1848 gold found in creek at Daisy Hill, on neighbouring Glenmona Run.
· Father: Malcolm McCALLUM Mother: Anne MACINTYRE
Marriage 1 Jessie Hannah HUGHAN b: ABT 1835 in England
Married: 14 JUL 1851 in Melbourne, Vic.
Margaret McCALLUM b: 1854 in Wimmera, Vic.
Gilbert McCALLUM b: 1855 in Wimmera, Vic.
Ivy McCALLUM b: 1858 in Vic.

Source: Ancestry family trees: World Tree Project. Contributor:
This is taken word for word from a researcher descended from the same McCallum family who held the extensive Dunoch Forest and Mount Greenock Station runs, and is representative of the commonly held belief that this Alexander married Jessie Hannah Hughan.
The two Alexander McCallums were both born in Argyllshire almost ten years apart - one in Kilmore and Kilbride parish and the other in Inisheil parish.
My Alexander was born first- he was baptised on September 4, 1805 in Inisheil parish, the son of Gilbert McCallum and Margaret Campbell. Other siblings were Mary (b 1790); Anne (b 1793); Catherine (b 1794); Alexandrina (b 1797); Jean (b 1799); Kenneth (b 1801); and Margaret (b 1802).
Alexander Number two was born on February 17, 1814, and baptised on February 24, 1814, in the parish of Kilmore & Kilbride, Argyllshire. His parents were Malcolm McCallum and Ann McIntyre, and other siblings were: Peter (b 1807); Donald (b 1809); Lachlan (b 1811); Christina (b 1816); Charles (b 1818) and Malcolm and John (b 1822). There is also an entry in the fore- mentioned family tree for a Dugald McCallum (b c. 1800 d 1860, Geelong), but I have not located him in old parish registers as yet.
Alexander the Younger always stated that he was from Oban, Argyllshire. Oban is only 3 miles NNW of the parish of Kilmore and Kilbride. Dunach is also very nearby- hence the naming of his Victorian property ‘Dunach Forest’. Alexander the Elder’s birthplace, however, is about 22-23 miles ENE of the parish of Kilmore & Kilbride.
Alexander the Elder arrived in Sydney on the ship ‘Formosa’ on May 28, 1839. With him was his elder brother Kenneth McCallum. Their details as given on their Entitlement certificates (1839- Cornwall to Hashemy reel 1301) are reproduced as follows:
Unmarried male Immigrant: Alexander McCallum
Arrived by ship: Formosa
Brought out by: A.B Smith & Co
A native of Argyleshire- son of Gilbert McCallum(farmer) and Margaret Campbell of the same place.
Calling: Farmer
Person certifying registration of baptism: Declared to be under 30, before R. campbell, J.P, Argyllshire
Age: 28 years in November, 1839
Character, and person certifying same: Very good. R. Campbell, J.P., Argyllshire
State of bodily health, strength and probable usefulness: Good
Religion: Presbyterian
Remarks: reads and writes. No complaints

Unmarried Male Immigrant: Kenneth McCallum
Arrived by ship: Formosa
Brought out by: A.B Smith and Co.
A native of Argyllshire- son of Gilbert McCallum( farmer) and Margaret Campbell of the same place.
Calling: Manager of cattle and farm in general
Age: 30 in October, 1839
Person certifying registration of baptism: Stated to be about 30, before J. Campbell, J.P., of Argyllshire
Character, and person certifying same: Very good. M. Fraser, Minister, Argyllshire, and others of same place.
State of bodily health, strength and probable usefulness: Good
Religion: Presbyterian
Remarks: reads and writes. No complaints.

The recent (June 2008) online release by of early assisted immigration records to NSW has revealed that on the same ship as Alexander and Kenneth was another McCallum. Gilbert McCallum, aged 25 and born c. 1814, also arrived on the ‘Formosa’. Carrying the same name as our McCallums’ father, one would think that this Gilbert would be related, but consulting the entitlement certificate for Gilbert reveals that whilst his father was Gilbert McCallum, his mother was named 'Ellen' rather than 'Margaret.
It was important when applying for inclusion on the bounty ships that unmarried men were under 30 years old- hence the swearing by a Justice of the Peace that the immigrant was under this age. In the case of Alexander and Kenneth McCallum, however, large liberties were taken with the actual truth. At the time of their arrival in Sydney, Kenneth would have been about 37 and Alexander about 33.
The family story tells that Kenneth met a tragic end at the hands of date or place are forthcoming, but early NSW church records show the death of a Kenneth McCallum, aged 46, in 1850. No other information is given, but this is most likely the right Kenneth as the age is correct to within a few years and there is no record of another Kenneth McCallum in Australia in this time period. (Early church records for NSW also encompass Victoria as the latter did not become a colony in its own right until 1851)
The Port Phillip Gazette reported Alexander and Kenneth McCallum arriving in Melbourne from Sydney on December 12, 1839. The book “The Story of the Mallee” by Alfred S. Kenyon states that Alexander McCallum occupied ‘Yangorah Station’ (later changed to ‘Youngera’) in September 1846, and obtained a license which he held until 1870.
The elder Alexander McCallum was about 47 years old when he married 17 ½ year old Jessie Hannah Hughan in 1851. Jessie had arrived in Victoria from England on board the ship ‘Culloden’ in 1850. She was part of the first consignment of needlewomen being sent to Victoria from England under the Female Emigrants Scheme, and her mother Hannah Hughan was the matron in charge of the young women. Also on board were Jessie’s sisters Marion and Bertha Hughan.
It is understandable how the younger Alexander McCallum was mistakenly thought to be Jessie’s husband. On the wedding certificate there is no mention of age, birthplace or parents- nothing in fact to distinguish the groom from another who shared his name.
The birth certificates of the elder two children born to Alexander and Jessie Hughan give information about their father:
Margaret McCallum’s birth certificate from September 19, 1852: Registered March 1854 by her father in Melbourne. He recorded his age as 48 (therefore born c.1804), birthplace as Scotland and occupation as ‘sheep farmer’.
Gilbert McCallum’s birth certificate from June 29, 1854, was also registered in Melbourne by his father Alexander McCallum. He stated that a Grazier from Argyllshire, and was 48 years old (a slight reduction of his real age by a couple of years)
Finally, Alexander McCallum’s death certificate from May 30, 1871, states that he was 66 years old, and formerly a proprietor of “Sheep walks” in Australia. He died in Leavesden Asylum in Watford, Essex, England.
Alexander McCallum the younger never married at all. He died on September 5, 1862, at Connewarra, Victoria. Details given on his death certificate, which was registered by his brother Malcolm McCallum, merchant of Lake Connewarra, are as follows:
Alexander McCallum, gentleman, aged 47 years, died of phthisis pulmonalis of 6 weeks duration. Parents Malcolm and Anne McCallum. Father’s occupation: customs officer. Buried in the Kensington Cemetery on September 9,1862. Born in Oban, Scotland; 23 years in Victoria. Single.”
Details of the administration of his estate: 4/346 Alexander MacCallum. Upper Loddon, settler. Died 5/9/1862. Administration granted May 14, 1863, to J. Martyr, attorney under power (see references from the Victorian Government Gazette in the following pages).
These latter announcements mentioned that Alexander McCallum was late of Dunoch Forest, Upper Lodden, Colony of Victoria, and that distribution of his estate was being conducted by Joseph Martyr, a solicitor from Geelong, who was acting for Donald McCallum of Athol Place, Perth, Scotland. Donald was an elder brother of Alexander, and he himself died only a few years later on 23 February, 1868, aged 58 years.

Alexander McCallum, husband of Jessie, left a will which he had written on 16 February, 1856. In his will he states:
“and I give and bequeath all that my Station called ‘Youngara” in the Wimmera District in the said Colony and also all other Stations in the said colony or in the Colony of NSW or elsewhere belonging to me and also all and every my leasehold estates and all my live and dead stock, goods, chattels, monies and securities for money, debts and personal estate and effects whatsoever..”
He basically leaves everything to his wife and children (Margaret and Gilbert, who were not named specifically...Ivy was not yet born), with bequests to his sisters Catherine and Margaret McCallum.

I don’t know what land holdings beside ‘Youngera Station” were held by Alexander McCallum as I have not consulted Victorian land records. I only know for certain that Alexander McCallum the Elder owned ‘Youngera Station’- his other land holdings, if any, have not been investigated as yet.
Without a doubt that there were two Alexander McCallums who were land owners in Victoria during the approximate period 1840s-1860s....Alexander McCallum( 1814-1862, son of Malcolm McCallum & Annie McIntyre) of Dunoch Forest, French Island, Tragowell and other properties, AND Alexander McCallum (1805-1871; son of Gilbert McCallum & Margaret Campbell) of ‘Youngera Station’.


Anonymous said...

I found your information of interest, and have the following to add to the confusion. There was an Alexander McCallum who arrived in the Talbot Victoria area in June 1841 and got a grazing lease in April 1848 for 63,640 acres in the Talbot area. There is quite a bit of information about this Alexander McCallum linked to the gold discovery in the Talbot area of the time. Best of luck with you research.

Abersnecky said...

Problem. Alexander Forsyth - Edinburgh lawyer who bought Dunach, Argyll, possibly from his partner, a MacDougall, some time in the 1820s and died early in 1833, was succeeded by a nephew, james Forsyth, who had been born in Jamaica, at Leighfield. James Forsyth and his mother, who had been born in Balmaclellan, Kirkcudbrightshire, had some kind of financial interest in Victoria - and her inventory shows a debt dur from Aldcorn and Mccallum in Australia of £1800. the Talbot area refrred to by Virginia above seems to have been renamed Dunach in the late 1840s following survey. None of this rules out links to Galloway or Argyll, but both? Any further information on Aldcorn and MCCallum would be very welcome.

Abersnecky said...

Things are getting a little clearer. In September 1850 the Port Philip Gazette reports the dissolution of a partnership between Andrew Aldcorn, Alexander McCallum and James Forsyth stockholders and graziers - leaving Alexander in charge of the debts and obligations. Aldcorn and Forsyth acted through agents. Forsyth's attorney was james Graham, who was well on the way to becoming a leading Melbourne figure. Graham's published correspondence includes at least one letter to james Forsyth, of Dunach, Argyll. I may therefore be that Forsyth had money invested in Aldcorn and McCallum as certainly his mother, who died in 1843, also had. It looks as though Dunach Forest may well have been named after Forsyth's estate. Aldcorn is known to have emigrated finally to Australia in 1853, but there has been a suggestion he had also been at Port Philip in 1841.

Anonymous said...

I would like to discuss Alexander McCallum of Youngera with either one of you - but its a little long winded and too much for this post. Could you please email me


Kelly Bilton said...

I am not related but my family emigrated from Isle of Skye after the potato famine and clearances and were employed by a Mr A McCallum at Mt Greenoch (Donach Forest) @ £70/annum. My family was Donald McDonald, wife Flora and their children Margaret 17, Catherine 15, Myles 9 and Angus 4. They came out to Australia on the Araminta in 1852.