Brothers – James, William and John

I thought it would be interesting to see if I could find pictures of the three brothers. A far easier task with the boats!!IMG_0025 377713_medium

The Pearl and the Coogee laying in the bay at Billy Holt’s – Big Dog Island in the background. Jimmy never anchored the Coogee in his bay because of rocks and heavy sea roll – could go in to load/unload when conditions were favourable. Many of us have experienced this story of the slow going, dodging rocks, pretty much the same on Big Dog and Woody…………

May 1914 John Holt has the Pearl for sale in the Daily Telegraph – an indication of time frame for the photo perhaps.


This second picture is of the Syren, she belonged to Billy Holt (pictured with one of his sons) from the article about the expedition Isabella rocks near Woody Island. A tribute to these three great men!!

1901 Weekly Courier has a picture of the light house at Low Head – these mariner brothers would have used to navigate through the Heads. They spent many years going back and forth to Flinders before the first maritime light built in 1881.

Dad remembers his father and uncles telling stories about how the three brothers would load up with casks of mutton birds and sail as a group to Launceston – one story that stuck with him was his uncle John, retelling how they would often travel together and even race their way to Launceston.

One time where they travelling overnight and at day break Jimmy asked John to go climb the mast and look out for his uncles boats. Apparently he looked ahead to which his father said ‘wrong direction’ and with that he could see the Syren and Pearl behind them. This article from the Daily Telegraph tells us the three brothers were  travelling together  also with them was Jimmy’s brother-in-law, James Willett in the Dawn arriving in Launceston 11 May 1906 – it seems John Holt was on the Arrow – and is new information.





3 thoughts on “Brothers – James, William and John

  1. Sorry, no photos of John, but I have a nice one of William and that looks like him on the right here, a little older than in the photo I have. I have a lovely one of Ellen, his wife, too. Is that James on the left? Cheers, Jan

    • Hi Jan – yes James (left) and William (right) – have added to the post.
      That’s a shame you don’t have one of John and Mary. I am sure William and Ellen’s descendants would love the photo’s you have, I have flicked you an email so we can communicate if you like. Please add any comments to posts as your story and relevant history is most interesting. I don’t know a great deal about John and Mary’s history, and a large family adds to the complexity! I recently had several conversations with descendants of Arthur, also Elsie and Cyril Taylor – Elsie married into the well known Taylor clan who have a massive maritime history. Yesterday I borrowed the book ‘The Brothers Taylor’ by Colin Taylor – and find Colin’s research fills in a gap re James Holt and his boat the Waratah…….

  2. I am a descendant of William and Ellen but have a lot of information on John’s family as worked with a descendant putting it together before our family reunion in 1990. A lot of family photos held by John Holt’s descendants.

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