Emily and James Robinson

Emily and James –  their love and family!

1852 James was born in Hobart Town.

1861- September 6th, Emily was born Bethnal Green, and baptised 27 October. The date October 27 to becomes another important date in the future.

1872 Henry Collis moves to Badger Island to conduct a 6 month pilot project setting up school on Badger Island, funded by the Education department. Hannah (and children) continued to teach at Prosser’s Bay, finally relocating late 1872 when Henry’s approved for and accepts the permanent position as teacher to the Straits. Emily would have been 11 years old.

1872 – James step father John Holt dies, James and his brothers William and John consider John Holt their father.

1875 – January 27th James’ application Master of Home Trade  – address is Little Dog Island, Badger Strait, he has been at sea since 1866 – his application satisfies the board. James passed the examination required by the board and with ticket, No 52. James returns to Launceston, proud of his achievement.

1875 July – James in the ‘Elizabeth’

1878 Sept – James has a near miss in the ‘Elizabeth’ of Swan Island – managing to refloat her.

1879 March James mother marries Thomas Prest/Youl.

1880 James’ nephew and infant son of William and Ellen……. James Thomas Robinson died aged 4 months old from Whooping Cough.

1881 – late January James conveys Canon Brownrigg to Georgetown. – he travels back to Cape Barren and collects Emily.

1881 February 5th Emily and James married at St Johns Church by Cannon Marcus Blake Brownrigg. James mother a witness to the marriage using the surname ‘Youl’.

1882  July Emily and James welcome their first-born Edith Elizabeth known as Edie – (James, as the informant has registered as Emily Louisa)James andEdie 001 was born prematurely and possibly as a result has an intellectual disability.

1884 twins James (Tuck) and Henry (King) are born. Are they same?

1886 June son Walter  ‘Wally’ was born.

17 January 1887 James paid £65 for the Waratah and it was registered to ‘James Holt mariner of Flinders Island’. The Waratah a one masted wooden cutter built in 1857 Henry Dutton. The owner previous to James was Sydney Francis Harrison, Thorsbey mariner of Penguin. ‘Vessel broken up at Flinders Island and register closed 1917. This information sourced from The Brothers Taylor.

1888 Herbert John is born he is known as ‘Bertie’

1889 April Louisa is born. On the link you will see her first cousin Albert James was born a month later.

1890 October James mother Meg or Elizabeth passes away.

1890 December Ernest John is born – the last of the registrations to Georgetown.

1891 James building the family home at Badger Corner.

1891 James applies and issued a duplicate Masters ticket from the Marine Board in Hobart.

1892 Cecil ‘Dick’ is born and Great Great Grandfather Stephens registers the birth by mail as part of Post Master, CBI- registrations for Flinders now to Ringarooma.

1893 Clara Elizabeth “Dolly’ is born, Emily younger sister Clara Dora aged 26 passed away in 1890 – James registers in Ringarooma.

1894 Horace Frederick is born William Robinson Holt ‘Billy’ registers the birth for James at Ringarooma.

1895 Emily’s father Henry Collis passes away at Sawyer’s Bay….. buried at Wybalena.

1896 August 20th George Collis is born and is the last of the Robinson children, Emily is 35 and James 45. William and Ellen also have a son born several months before George – how interesting to note Ellen and Emily gave these sons born in 1896 their respective maiden names as second names!!

1896 October 30th – Henry (King) dies after a terrible accident, falling and hitting his head on a rock –  buried at the Robinson home. George is only 8 weeks old. Kings name is misspelt as Roberson on the registration which made it hard to find –  registered by Edward Stephens who along with his wife Maria Jane may have assisted James and Emily as they lived close by, they would have helped their daughter Adeline Briant, expecting her second child at the end of 1896.

IMG_5420IMG_5424Emily and James were devastated when Henry died, his grave a short distance from their home. Emily ensured her younger children knew all about their older brother ‘King’, this has continued down the generations.

1898 James in Launceston in the Coogee.

1899 Emily’s mother Hannah Collis passes away at Sawyers Bay, and buried with her father at Wybalenna.

1903 James is one of the leaders of the road trust (South Ward) later to become the Council, A.J. Collis is his brother-in-law (Central Ward). In 1905 his brother William also elected to the road trust.

1904 Emily and James make the painful decision to move Edie into the Royal Derwent Hospital at New Norfolk for full-time ‘care and treatment’.

1908 Tuck and Elizabeth Armitage married at St Aidens Church, Launceston

1909 In April James’ nephew Alfred 28 (Master of the Dawn) and his four younger sisters May 18, Ruby 15, Elsie 14 and Lily 13 (John and Mary’s children) only just manage to survive when the Dawn is wrecked on rocks near Georgetown – the incident is controversial and all over the papers, the three Robinson Holt clans thankful they are not dealing with a tragedy. Alfred was returning his  young sisters to Launceston (after the usual family migrations to the Islands) along with a cargo of mutton birds.

March 1910, Little Dog Island, James and Emily’s youngest nephew Archie Holt aged 7, son of William and Ellen is critically injured as a result of a shooting accident, Archie’s transferred to the LGH and sadly lost his battle in May, he is buried at Carr Villa and in 1915 his Uncle Johnny passes away and is buried next to his youngest nephew Archibald Baden Holt. John’s daughter Elsie one of the Dawn survivors: names her first son Archie in 1919.Archie Holt's headstone 54a187d4-e03c-49f7-a614-00ec8a9fa97f

1910 First Grandson Eric is born, to Tuck & Lizzy or as I used to call him ‘Uncle Recky’

1912 January Miss Adams bound for Badger Corner is lost and rescued.

1912 The Farsund is wrecked on the coast of Vansittart Island – the older Robinson/Holt lads are part of the salvage.

1913 Second Grandson Ronald born to Tuck  & Lizzy

1913 – April 13 The Flu epidemic spreads through the Straits, Albert James Holt, son of William and Ellen Holt (Robinson) dies at Badger Corner – buried next to his cousin King (Henry). James writes this article to the Examiner.IMG_5418

1914 James and Emily give land and labour to build St Barnabas Church at Badger Corner

1914 August is the start of WWI – this would impact on the family in the coming years.

1915 James’ nephew Harold John Holt son of William and Ellen joins the AIF

1915 James collects donations for the Launceston Mayors Belgian Mayor relief fund.

1915 November James’ youngest brother John Holt passes away and is buried at Carr Villa.

1916 January Emily’s nephew James Willett joins the AIF.

1916 July Horace and George join the AIF.

1916 October James and Emily are in Victoria to farewell son George and family friend Dan Bowman.


1917 July James writes this letter to the Examiner about his son Tuck.

1917 October 27th Emily and James face the loss of their youngest child George. Emily was wanting to know the full detail of George’s injuries when we read her letters to the AIF trying to elicit more details. As we move toward the 100 year anniversary of the Second Battle of Passchendaele or third Battle of Ypres, Georges descendants understand the horror George endured in his last hours, heartbreaking to read those words in his AIF file. Last week 1/2/14 found this LINK – read the poem on the home page it’s easy to understand why so many Australian families are preparing to visit the resting place of loved ones.

Lest we forget!!

1919 – nephew Harold John Holt returns home from war. Dan Bowman also returns to Flinders – he marries Maud in Colac on the way back to Flinders, after 3 years. On his arrival back to Flinders and in his diaries, wrote he and his wife Maud stayed with the Holt’s for the first week back on the Island while he straightened things out on the farm. He wrote there was a welcome home party at Lady Barron for him. A short time later the official welcome home was held at Whitemark on 26 November 1919 for Harold John Holt and Dan Bowman.

1920 or 1917 Third Grandson George is born to Tuck & Lizzy.

14 June 1920 is a happy and sad day for James and his brother John. James’ son Walter 33 married Doris Mills on Cape Barren(I think it was Cape Barren) whilst John’s son Ernest Elson 25 dies after a short illness.

1921 first Granddaughter Dorothy is born  4/4/ 21 to Walter and Doris.

1922 August 14 – James and Emily receive a telegram advising Edith is seriously ill with pneumonia, the following days Emily at home and her sister Fanny in Launceston are in constant contact with the hospital, waiting, praying she will recover.

1922 August 22 Edie passes away – they are unable to travel to New Norfolk for her funeral.

1922: G C Robinson Memorial Plaque starts the postal journey to Badger Corner and James Robinson signs for it on 19/10/1922 about three weeks before the birth of his fourth Grandson James Walter.

1922 Fourth Grandson James or ‘Jimmy’ is born on 13/11/1922 to Walter and Doris.

1923 April James signs for George’s Victory Medal on 26/4/1923 and uses ‘Senior’ at the end of his signature, this gesture does not go unnoticed by his Great Granddaughter, as I observe…….. James now has a grandson called James ‘Jimmy’ Robinson. The family also receive a picture of George’s grave.

1923 John and Myrtle Pierce married at St Johns Church Launceston.

1926 James Robinson takes ill whilst on his way to Launceston, he dies on 18/2/1926 aged 74 at the Launceston General Hospital. His funeral leaves the Willett home in Garfield St to Carr Villa. James buried a stones throw from his youngest brother John Holt. Emily and her children devastated at the loss of a wonderful Husband, Father and Grandfather.

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1927  Emily, there is no mistaking on both the Headstone and public memorial notice : James her husband, the love of her life.

1928 December: Emily dies suddenly and unexpectedly at her home, her family mourn the loss of their beloved mother.

1929 April: birding season, William Robinson passes away on Little Dog Island buried at the Lady Barron Cemetery.

When William passes away so ends this wonderful pioneer era for the three Robinson lads, Jimmy and Billy choosing the Straits to call home, brother Johnny, Launceston based, trading out to the Straits working with his brothers thus ensuring the family connections remained close. The families of Jimmy, Billy and Johnny start the process of sorting out their Grandmothers ‘Elizabeth Prest’ Will.

1929 – memorial notice by the family on the first anniversary of Emily’s death.

James children were I think, still sorting out their fathers Will around this time as well, all very complicated.

One grandson and two great grandsons live at or near Badger Corner.

Badger Cnr House 001

Burnham Church Emily and Fred Collis were Christened 1

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