Tuck and King Robinson (Holt)

Emily and James Robinson welcomed their second and third children James (Tuck) and Henry (King) August 1884, their eldest sibling Edie, turned 2 four weeks before the twins birth. Emily had her hands full with two babies and two-year old Edie and her special needs (Premmie) When I located the twins birth and Kings death records, I checked with several relatives if they were aware of the history about the twins being identical…….. no one knew. On my recent trip to Flinders, was talking to Mum about this and she suggested I call my cousin as she thought he may have an idea……….. ecstatic when he said he had photo’s, so off I went to check them out. Perfect photo’s, crystal clear images of the twins and named….wow!!! This was meant to be! A plan was hatched to meet up again a few days later, to photograph. The photo’s turned out OK with our little Canon.

FHR_00157_1_w   The precious IMG_5574IMG_5576pictures of King and Tuck.

I have cropped, to see what others think – I’m still not sure if they are identical.  My cousin Gwen couldn’t believe I managed to get a hold of photo’s (compliments of cousin John). Her first question ‘are they identical’ she didn’t expect my response: well………… ‘yes and no’. We met up a few days later and we are still none the wiser, looking, cropping, magnifying etc. Here are the cropped shots – I would love to hear what others think……….my instinct is they are fraternal.



Gwen kindly let me scan images from her family album as I had wanted a picture of Uncle Tuck. I could hardly believe my eyes when she showed me her pictures – just how I remember our beloved Uncle. I have several very strong recollections of Uncle Tuck mostly………. heading straight inside to find him in his chair by the stove, and we would all be on for a chat, we all loved Uncle Tuck! I was 6 when he passed away and I remember how sad it was, it’s my earliest memory learning about death, it took a while to get used to not seeing him in his ‘spot’. Whenever I mention his name, everyone smiles and reminisces about how funny, kind, generous, happy-go-lucky he was – one of natures gentlemen.

The nick names –

IMG_0036Tuck; loved the rhyme Little Tommy Tucker: ‘Little Tommy Tucker sings for his supper. What shall we give him? Brown bread and butter. How shall he cut it without a knife? How shall he marry without a wife? Little Tommy Tucker.’

King; loved the nursery rhyme Old King Cole: ‘Old King Cole was a merry old soul, and a merry old soul was he; He called for his pipe in the middle of the night and he called for his fiddlers three. Every fiddler has a fine fiddle, and a very fine fiddle had he; Oh theres non so rare as can compare with Kind Cole and his fiddlers three.’

Uncle Tuck aboard his boat the Tassie‘.

IMG_5424Sadly King died Oct 1896 aged 12, he is buried at the old family homestead.IMG_5420

Tucks Grandson’s recollections

30/11/1908 James (Tuck) marries Elizabeth Armitage at St Aidans Launceston.

July 1917 (a few months before George died) James Robinson writes this letter to the Editor of the Examiner – the son he mentions was ‘Tuck’ (33 and married for about 10 years)  – Dad recalls Tuck often talking about this experience over the years, a horrific ordeal, the mast of the ship (HJH) crashed through to the lower deck killing livestock, the boat perilously close to meeting a terrible fate. James words in the letter clearly expresses gratitude his son was safe and well. For his family looking back in time…… a Father’s and Grandfather’s love.

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Flinders Island……..transport

Today while looking at some other old photo’s I found a 1921 copy of ‘The Weekly Courier’ put aside with the photo’s……. Page 22 and 23, picture inserts dedicated to Flinders Island –  really good pictures depicting this era to check out – go to this Linc website, set year 1921, then November 17 insert 3, enlarge the picture – note No. 12…… cattle being slung on the trading ship at the old Emita jetty.

I also found this picture of cattle being transported to Flinders in a rather unusual way…… discussed this afternoon with Dad and Jacko. Dad said sheep were commonly transported this way, fair enough! Jacko remembers Murray telling him the stock were sedated. I couldn’t really see sheep causing that much of a disturbance, but cattle with those horns!! What could possibly go wrong ………….. IMG_5657 IMG_0001

The Linda – wrecked near Little Dog Island April 1924

The Fursund a 1912 casualty; same year as the Titanic.

The Miss Flinders serviced the islands in the early days.

Henry Briant at work, photo by Murray Holloway. The Loina disappeared of Flinders in the 1935.

Picture of the City of Foo Chow wrecked of the East Coast.

Flinders Island regatta at Yellow Beach Picture number 1 and No 2 and 3.

Link to Book written by Matthew Flinders 1801

Early Tourism brochure

H.J Holloway transport

Loina owned and operated by Holymans

Henry and Hannah Collis, on returning to Tasmania.

At the Furneaux Museum (Emita) last week, discovered on reading the Collis/Willett history recently donated to the Museum by Faye Lowe, descendant of Henry and Hannah Collis, more information.

Faye’s information filled in a few gaps about Henry and Hannah’s migration to Canterbury NZ,  telling us the times were unsettled and being peace loving people they chose to relocate to the Colony of VDL.

After some time in VDL – they returned home to the UK, you can follow these course of events on Henry and Hannah’s page.

Faye explains why they then returned to live in the Colony of NSW from the UK…….. Henry had 2 brothers and 2 sisters living in the colony of NSW and explains the reason they ended up back in Tasmania via NSW, which always seem odd when first investigating. Apparently one brother was a butcher the other a saddler, his sisters started a school for young ladies. Maybe the Dean connection lies here!!

Apparently Henry was not able to tolerate the heat, hence the move back to Tasmania from NSW.

Hannah whilst in the UK undertook her teachers training thus explaining why she had written on her teachers application trained at Westminster…….funny how the pieces start to fall into place. I certainly understand the heat issue, I made the move back to Tassie after living in central Vic for 20 years, glad to see the back of those hot summers.

Flinders Island……… November 2013

It’s been a productive time following up more history, whilst here on Flinders, I have been here for 2 weeks and still one week left. Great discussions with Dad and other close relatives,  lucky to find a few more old family photo’s tucked away in other family collections. The Furneaux Museum had several old family photo’s I  fell in love with (Robinson & Collis) relevant permission requested to publish one or two of these photo’s,  approved and of course – to be referenced accordingly.

The Museum is operated by a dedicated group of fabulous volunteers, led by Dreen Lovegrove. A treasure trove of family and Island history and thoroughly recommended to all also looking for family histories – the family folders are sure to give up all sorts of information. Looking in other families folders can be a source of information as well. For instance I found in the Bowman family folder the diaries of Dan Bowman, notations of Tot Bowman and Louisa Holt (Robinson) 1916 travelling between each others homes. I am keen to go back to read in more detail, hopefully this weekend.

The current exhibition is about the early music in the Islands……….highly recommended to all visitors to the Island to explore this  comprehensive and talented journey regarding the Flinders and Cape Barren Islands musical history.

Thought I would share these pictures taken in the Trousers Point area this afternoon, the beaches are surely some of Tassies best kept secrets!!


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James Willett

April 20 Insert 4

James Willett – son of James and Fanny Willett or ‘Aunt Fan’ Emily’s older sister.

The Willett surname was not familiar on first reading ‘Mapping our Anzacs’…. ANZAC day 2011, of course I recognised all the familiar Island names. Last week when I re checked the list…. suitably surprised when I realised the name James Willett, now a name connected to our family history.  ‘Aunt Fan’ was a beautiful discovery entwined in Great Aunt Edie’s history just a few months ago, captivating and intriguing, twists and turns….. gazing back over our history. Reading James file I could see he signed up a few months before my Grandfather and George.   I decided to visit the library ‘again’ to cast my eye over the Weekly Courier, indexed by Wendy Knowles, as I suspected Fanny probably placed James picture in the paper. I had a quiet bet with myself…… because George’s picture was in the paper – highly probable James would be as well, based on how close Emily and Fanny were. Initially looking over the index, couldn’t see his name, when about to give up saw “Willitt’ as per the AWM indexes.

Once home –  exciting to find James in the Weekly Courier. go to 1916 – April 20 – insert 4. Here was ‘Aunt Fan’s  handsome son, occupation,  stone mason. I wonder if he had anything to do with his parents beautiful headstone, also Uncle, James Robinson, as they are quite similar.

Dad wasn’t really up with James going to war, he knew about Harold J Holt but not James – actually he did say ‘Jimmy Willett’, would love to hear more from his family. His mother Fan plays a very special part in the Robinson family history. Dad did say that his parents were best friends with the Willett’s and they used to visit them when over here in Launceston – they were his cousins and remembers the house was on a hill, maybe the top end of Brisbane St near the Gorge.