Vale Peter Arnold

Peter passed away earlier this year.

I am a lucky recipient of Peters, Collis family research through a recently found relative. I had hoped to meet Peter and was devastated as were our mutual family members when we learnt he had passed. 

From what I have heard and read, Peter had a great sense of humour and a courageous and sharing spirit. Bless you Peter! your work is and will continue to be a valuable and respected resource to be shared now and into the future.

If family or friends have a story about Peter they would like to share, please do!!

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Peter was able to help in the research about the Collis family who must have known William Legrand when they lived at Recherche Bay.

Launceston’s ‘Daily Telegraph’ and the Island News

The Daily Telegraph is part way through the digitization process on Trove – the Daily Telegraph was first published as a daily paper in 1883. The Daily Telegraph started as ‘The Telegraph‘ a small bi weekly paper in July 1881 and the proprietors of the paper were R Barnes, E. H. Mowbray and E. Stephens (Edward ‘Ed’ William Stephens)

The Stephens family transferred from Bangor School where Ed had taught for two years to Cape Barren as head teacher. They arrived at the end of 1889 and left after Ed resigned under difficult circumstances in 1896. Ed continued his association with Cape Barren as the Education department sought his son Charles to take over as teacher. Ed and Maria Jane would visit and stay with Charles and daughter in law Maggie as the couples three children, Edmund Hamilton, Adeline Marion and Emily Maud were all born on Cape Barren. Ed and Maria helped Maggie who had a difficult time after the birth of her third child. By 1904 Ed was the local J.P. for Cape Barren and South Flinders.

Ed lived at Samphire River from 1896 until his death in 1924 aged 84. Ed made frequent contributions to the local papers in Launceston about the activities happening in and around the south of Flinders. Several such newspaper articles signed  such as A. Prospector  or  A. Cadger…………were written by Ed. In particular A. Prospector ribs ‘James Holt not being a man of minerals’. There is another story to go along with this article by A. Prospector – for a later date.

The Island News was first published 60 years ago on 9 July 1954 and it was the 50 year issue where I learned my Grandparents Horace and Maud (Briant) were instrumental in getting the Island News off the ground. Grandmother Maud was born and grew up at Samphire, and granddaughter to Ed and Maria Jane.

The Holt sister in-laws



The above photos are the wives of James, William and John Holt/Robinson – these amazing women had 37 children between them…..24 boys and 13 girls.

Emily 11, Ellen 13 and Maryanne 13 – I could be wrong, the one known for certain is Great Grandmother Emily, a correction most welcome.

Ellen had the first of the children in 1878 son William Edward and Archibald Baden the last in 1903.

Emily had twin sons (James and Henry) in 1882. Maryanne’s twins were daughter Lillian and son Elson in 1894.

Ellen and Emily raised their families in the Straits whilst Maryanne’s family all raised in Launceston.

Many thanks to Maryanne’s great-granddaughter for this beautiful photograph, and welcome to Maryanne!

Daniel Peters and Charlotte Ruth Wells: Twickenham London.

Charlotte Ruth Wells & Daniel Peters married 1843 in St Geo. Hanover Square, Surrey. Charlotte the daughter of Joseph Wells and Ann Adler and was born 4 Jun 1815 in Denham, Buckinghamshire. Charlotte died 6 January 1892 in High Street, Esher. Daniel, buried 23 February 1901, Christchurch Esher, occupation: Grocer/Parish Clerk.

Grave of Charlotte Peters (Wells)



Daniel and Charlotte had 6 children:

1. Daniel Peters b 8 June London d 2 September East Parade Sutherlandshire NSW

2. Agnes Peters b 23 October 1847 Lambeth Surrey UK, Occupation 1817 Shop woman Grocery

3. Fanny Peters b 1850 Lambeth surrey UK

4. Cecil Peters b 1853 Lambeth Surrey d 19 October 1927, Canterbury NSW m Agnes Letton Sydney 1879. Cecil occupation 1871 – Shopman

5. Elizabeth Peters B around 1856 Christened St Pancras London occupation 1871 – dressmaker apprentice

Francis Peters b 1860 Esher Surrey UK: Occupation 1871 – Scholar

Daniel Peters married Margaret Jamieson 7 April 1868 in Shoalhaven NSW she was born in Sydney 1846 and died 24 December 1939 Granville NSW.

Below are photos of the Peters families from Hannah and Henry Collis family album – I would love to hear from any of the Peters family descendants about their history and knowledge of Daniel’s cousins on Flinders Island.Daniel Peters and his wife Margaret Jamieson Daniel Peters son of Charlotte Wells and Daniel Peters Daniel Peters Elizabeth Peters 1 Elizabeth Peters Peters' Hat & Bag Shop in Sydney



Introducing Hannah Collis’ family – Buckinghamshire, UK

The Wells family: Joseph and Ann (Alder)

These photos are from Hannah Collis’ (Nee Wells) family album handed down through son Henry’s family – we thankful for the opportunity to learn more about Hannah as her family history has alway been a mystery. Joseph Wells

Wells Family. Joseph Wells seated in centre, Hannah Wells seated far left

Hannah WellsWells Family, England

Not a great deal is known of Hannah’s family so these beautiful photos allow us to meet the Wells side of the family. The Collis Bible tells us Hannah’s mother was Ann (Alder) and 65 when she died on 11 December 1850, a few months after Henry and Hannah’s move to New Zealand. Her father Joseph died aged 70 on 10 May 1856……… 4 months before the birth of Alfred (1st) Brent.

Parents of Joseph Wells were Joseph Wells 1759-1830
                                            Hannah Haines 1752-1826
Ann Alder born 8 Oct. 1786 Parents John Alder and Mary Allen

Hannah had five siblings Mary Anne born 3 Sept. 1810 Denham, Buckinghamshire died 1904 she married Thomas Mann who is noted in the family Bible died aged 76 on 18 March 1887 John born 1812 Charlotte Ruth was born 4 June 1815 and died aged 76 on 6 January 1892 at High St Esher UK. Jane born 1817 died 1818 Hannah was born 1828 Emma born 1832 died 1834 Thomas Brent died aged 80 on 22 October 1855 – as written in the Bible, first-born Louisa and son Alfred (1st) had Brent as second names it seems Thomas was important to Henry and Hannah. The only other note I am able to find to Thomas is he along with Mary Wingfield were witness’ to the Marriage of George Collis and Elizabeth Chaplin. Looking over and considering this new information – it’s possible Hannah’ mother may also be in the photo if Hannah’s seated on the left – her mother died several months after she left for New Zealand and her father passed the year before returning in 1857.


Ayliffe Surbiton S.W. Photography Marsh Bros Photography

Bert Sharpe Burnham Bucks. (Photographer) who bought out Lombardi photographer in 1883

Henry George and Amy Collis

IMG_5619Henry the third son of Henry and Hannah Collis – was born in 1866, his birth certificate states Albert Henry, perhaps a simple error by the informant or the Registrar – after all his mother wrote Henry George in the Bible. There is a story about how he discovered the error. If any of Henry’s family can help out here, please do…….

A few weeks ago I saw Henry for the first time in these photo’s, you can tell he and Fred were brothers. Henry Married Amy Rees,  residing at Sawyer’s Bay and then Settlement Point taking over the post office after James and Fan Willett relocated to Launceston around 1906/7. Henry and Amy eventually left the Island and settled permanently in Launceston.

IMG-1Henry Albert CollisIMG_0001-1


Julian (Bluey) Dean and Henry CollisAlbert (Henry) Collis and Lorna Willett (Albert) Henry Collis Albert (Henry) Collis at Bathurst St. house Jimmy Sheen and Henry Collis (Albert)

Lorna Willett, Ada (Dora) Collis, Shirley Willett and Amy ReesEliza Jane Rees sister to Amy

Who are these men?

Who are these men??

A month ago when looking through Mum’s information about John and Mary (Akerman) Holt,  found a photocopy of these three men, names unknown and as it was with connected to John Holt, thought they would probably turn out to be Holt lads. Henry Albert Collis

This amazing photos arrived 2 weeks ago from a Henry Albert Collis’ great great grand-daughter, the same photo as above and in greater detail.

I can confirm the gentleman sitting is in fact Henry Collis son of Henry and Hannah Collis and the photos from Henry and Amy’s private album. The two men standing behind Henry remain unknown. Could be Holt, Dean’s or others from Emita perhaps. It was probably sent to other families, explaining why it has turned up in the two places. In time I am sure we will find out………. Louis Konrad 60 Cameron St: 1896 – 1905 a great link citing Tassies photographic history.

Long Is.

We don’t have any family connections to Long Island other than close friendships as part of living a maritime lifestyle in the Straits.

I think Aunt Dolly Robinson was born on Long Island – possibly Emily had some of the other children there as well.

I found this photo (silver gelatine) in the Briant family album several months back – the same photo published in 1903, I had wondered what year it had been taken, it looks like one of the younger children’s writing.

It would be great to hear from others with a family association or connection to fill in the gaps. I know the Barrett family have long been associated and they ran a shop  there.



Island Shed_Artboard 4 - WoodyWest Anderson or ‘Woody‘ is around 400 acres.

July 1844 this article published in the Port Philip Gazette of the Isabella being wrecked near Woody.

This link gives perspective of the islands to FI and CBI


Woody is where Dad and his cousin KC heard the family history/tales from their fathers and Uncles. This connection is possibly why we all love Woody.

Feb 1916 Dan Bowman notes in his diary, he, George and Horace visited Tin Kettle and Woody – quite a few years before taking over the lease.

The Badger Corner Robinson’s leased Woody after the passing of Jules Leon Vireaux. The executors advertised The Goodwill of the Lease and Occupation Licence of Woody and Tin Kettle Islands’  in the Examiner late 1921.

The Badger Corner Robinson’s formed, from what we gather a family partnership as follows, James Senior 70, Tuck 38, Wally 36, Bertie 34, Louie 33, John 32, Dick 30, Dolly 29 and Horace 28. The partnership of nine ran stock on Tin Kettle after winning the tender.

FHP_00346 001Horace, John and Dick also formed the company Robinson Bros (HJC) on successfully tendering to lease Woody, this was in addition to their family partnership on Tin Kettle. After the death of John (1956), Horace (1958) and Dick (1971) the partnership continued as first cousins, finally father and son. In 2013 the partnership was put to rest after a 90 year association.

Working on Woody in the very early days, Robinson Bros could be camped there for extended periods, providing the opportune time for reminiscing. My brother, son, nephew and cousins attest to this, as they too have experienced this handing down of history. Dad, the entertainer when he gets going, we loved hearing his stories when we were growing up (and still do) as told to him by his father and Uncles.

The hut and shearing shed are on the southern bay with a stunning outlook across to the unusual granite rock formations in the foreground of Cape Barren. Working on Woody: whilst sounds like fun, is, extreme, physical work, every thing carted on and off the boat via the beach, food and water, bedding, shearing equipment, generators, gas bottles, wool bales, dogs, even wood, Woody has not a single tree! It’s no wonder all the Robinson’s have crook knee’s.

This small island paradise home to sheep and up until about 25 years ago, cattle. Getting the stock on and off always a well executed plan, again in the early days the cattle swum on/off to the trading boat, a difficult and high risk job so its good those days are long gone.


When we were kids the Holloway barge was the mode of transport; we would spend the day on the barge with Greame going to collect the stock, always a long day and never boring.

Shearing time; again a well planned event around the variables of tide and weather – nothing is ever taken for granted in the Straits.

The Coogee was used in the early days until replaced with the Seaplane, the first boat I remember. Speed boats replaced the Seaplane. The Seaplane being the only casualty of the 2000 FI bush fires, burnt on her mooring at Long Point. No doubt the early Robinson Bros would’ve had a stream of family visiting when working on Woody.



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