Our Family Genealogy Pages

Discovering our roots and history.

William Tregenza

William Tregenza with the welcome nugget:- On the evening of the 9th June 1858, the night shift men at work on the Red Hill mine came on a monster nugget. It took them half an hour to haul it to the surface. After a file and scrubbing brush had been well used, they saw a huge irregular lump of waterworn, honeycombed gold about 20 inches long, 13 inches broad and 8 inches thick. One end was thick and shaped like a horse's head. To this thick end was a narrow neck about 4 inches in circumference. Then it widened out again. It was 99.6 pure gold. The luck party of 22 Cornishmen had sunk to 190 feet and had already found nuggets of various sizes up to 45 ozs. When this monster was weighed it was 2,217 ozs. The lucky finders called it the Welcome Nugget and exhibited it for some days, in aid of the Hospital funds. Witkowski Brothers bought it for 10,050 pounds and after exhibiting it to crowds of people in Melbourne, sent it to London where it was shown at the Crystal Palace till November, 1859, when it was melted down and made into sovereigns. A granite monolith, on the corner of Mair and Humffray Streets Ballarat marks the site of the finding of this monster nugget.


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Pontville Homestead

Major Charles Newman The eldest son of Thomas and Mary Newman of Mockton, England. He had gained a commission in the Honourable East India Company and had spent the past thirty years carving a career where he become second in Command of the 51st Bengal Native Infantry He retired from the army and headed for a new land in search of a new life for his family. In late November 1834, he stepped off the SS Victoria and onto Australian soil for the first time. After just three years in Van Diemenís Land where he quickly become a major land holder, he heard that land was on offer in the newly discovered town of Port Phillip so he set sail for the mainland to establish a new property. Travelling up the Yarra Yarra River approximately 15 miles he reached the junction of Deep Creek where he found a rich fertile river flat. The name of the place was Templestowe. After main years of struggle with the land commission he eventually prevailed and began building a homestead for his family which he called Pontville. Pontville, Templestow, Victoria After the death of Major Charles Newman in 1865 from old age, the property was hand down to his eldest son, who in turn passed it down to his only daughter. The property would remain in the hands of his descendants for more than 115 years. Today Pontville still stands proud. A testimony to his craftsmanship.