Robinson or Holt

Another piece of verbal history – Jimmy Holt told his sons, when he was a lad he had experienced driving the stage-coach on a Launceston/Hobart leg, amazing. He had a very rough early life, spent a lot of time on the waterfront, where he learnt to fight (bare knuckles in those days, another story for later) his father (Samuel) was not a good person. His step father John Holt was the best thing that ever happened and as far as he was concerned was his father – hence the dilemma of the Robinson/Holt story. Emily  may have been (school teacher’s daughter) the force to keep ‘Robinson’ as seen on all official documents apart from his Masters ticket where he used Holt, (pre Emily, I suspect) even though they were informally known as Holt’s. The clue supporting the theory…… When Edie died, Emily received from the Royal Derwent Hospital a form called ‘particulars required for Registration of a Death’, information directly from Emily as follows, ‘Name and Surname (in full)  Edith Elizabeth Robinson (known as Holt)‘. ‘Born Cape Barren Island’. As I was reading the form in the history room, I noticed Emily wrote on the back of the form – reiterating……. ‘please note the deceased correct name is Robinson (not Holt)’. Mind you the hospital ignored Emily’s comments, as Edith Holt is the name on the council cemetery records.

It’s interesting to see William used Robinson and Holt or Robinson/Holt equally and then at some point Holt became official. John was that bit younger when his mother married John Holt, and used it officially from what I can see on all records. Dad tells another story about the day Jimmy Holt’s children officially decided to use Robinson………..  Horace and another brother had been in the Lady Barron store talking to the owner Billy Conder (as they often did), and they got talking about the name situation that they were known as Holt’s locally and Robinson officially. Apparently Billy Conder said among other things ‘if you were born a Robinson……. then you’re a Robinson‘  it seemed a unanimous vote by all the siblings to start using Robinson locally after this particular conversation with Billy Conder. Thank goodness it all got sorted then! The locals had great difficulty getting their heads around the new concept, and quickly adopted the saying when they saw Tuck out with his wife – here comes Tuck Holt and Mrs Robinson. You can still rely on the same Island humour these days!!

The wash up of the Robinson/Holt conundrum – John Holt’s family have always been Holt’s, James family the Robinson (Holt’s) and Williams family Holt (Robinson’s) …….go figure!!

Now back to Billy Conder –  his most famous saying was; ‘it’s on the boat’ this he used when anyone wanted to buy a product he didn’t or never had. Dad recalls his father and uncles from both sides of his family often using in jest! I imagine by all the locals as well. IMG_6031

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