The Beasley family in Australia

Robert John Cunningham Jaunay, the only surviving son of Frank and Mary Jaunay, married Dorothy Evelyn May Beasley on 10 June 1915 in the Gawler Congregational Church. Dorothy was one of four daughters of James and Clara Jane [nee Fisher] Beasley of Gawler SA.

Charles Fisher's daughter, Clara Jane married James Beasley, the son of Lewis and Anne [nee Sharpe] on Christmas Day 1888 in the Fisher home on Hanson Street, Adelaide. James Beasley had been born on the Victorian Goldfields at Lucky Woman's Diggings near Linton on 4 July 1859.
james beasley
Lucky Woman's Diggings to the east of Fletcher's Hotel at Happy Valley, not far from Linton in the Victorian Goldfields was named after Mary Kerr who sought the Victorian Government reward in 1864 for discovering the field. She may have been lucky in her discovery of gold, but the government of the day did not see fit to supplement her income with the standard reward!

Pictured: James Beasley (1859-1933) at Gawler ca1910

Lewis Beasley, from Somerset came to Australia with a flood of more than 2000 assisted immigrants from Somerset and Bristol in the period 1839-1854. A people with a strong sense of their own worth, these emigrants saw Australia as an opportunity to achieve success in a way that was denied to them in England. The Australian colonies welcomed them for entirely different motives - a means of relieving a general shortage of farm labourers and domestic servants!

Lewis arrived at Port Adelaide on the Omega from Liverpool via Plymouth on 28 July 1852 describing himself as an agricultural labourer. He soon moved to the Victorian Goldfields and he subsequently married Hannah known as Ann Sharp on 29 January 1857 in Christ Church Ballarat. Little is known of Ann Beasley except that she came from Wetwang in Yorkshire in about 1832. An extensive search for records of her arrival in Australia have been unsuccessful to date.

Modern maps do not show Lucky Womans Diggings, however, references are available at the Public Record Office, Ballarat where the collection includes a very large linen map of the goldfields dated 1863. At the Gold Museum which is part of the Sovereign Hill Museum at Ballarat there is a relief map showing the location of gold fields and in this case the particular site is called Lucky Womans Creek.

For more informationabout life on the Victorian goldfields read, James Flett, The History of Gold Diggings in Victoria, Poppett Head Press, Melbourne, 1979.

The couple's first three children were born in the Lucky Womans Diggings area (the nearest town being Linton) but the family were in South Australia for the fourth child's birth in Decmber 1863. Lewis and Hannah had eight children but only three survived to adulthood and one of those never married.

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