The WEDEMEYERs of Eastern Australia, Chapter 9

The "WEDEMEYERs of Eastern Australia" section of this site is divided into 10 chapters, and also appendices extending over 5 pages (sections). Please read in sequence by following the links at the bottom of each page or use the "Quick Nav" at top right. If you wish to select individual chapters, please click on the top left link to the Sitemap page. Please note the WEDEMEYER photo galleries here.

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GHL's daughters: Minnie & Elizabeth WEDEMEYER

Lucy Wilhelmina (Minnie) WEDEMEYER

Photo of Minnie on 14 Mar 1887 Photo dated 14 Mar 1887
b. 28 Jun 1870, Gayndah Qld.

My initial motivation in researching the WEDEMEYERs was how little I knew about my grandmother. Pictured at the left is a photo of 16 year old Minnie. It was developed onto a sheet of glass, later taken out of its frame and left at the bottom of a steel trunk. It is remarkable that it survived! The photo has a 3 dimensional appearance, and my grandmother’s eyes seem to follow you as you move. Please also view Minnie’s photogallery.

Minnie was born on 28 June 1870, Gayndah and Dr Ernst was her accoucher.…i), vi) Minnie's earliest memories would have probably been of her life in Drummers Creek after her family moved there about 1872 when she was two.…iv) Her father's involvement in establishing the Drummers Creek school in 1876…v) would have meant that she would have attended there as a 9 year old when the school (next door) opened on 5 April 1880.…v) Minnie probably spent a lot of time in the sun in those early days. When I knew her as an old lady her face was very deeply wrinkled indicating early sun damage. There would have been plenty of outside work in those days. The "Southern Cross" Hotel garden would have needed care and her father would have continued his cattle interests. Then there was always the job of a house maid in the hotel.

In 1883 GHL and his two older sons each took up 160 acre Selections at nearby Walla.…xi) Next year, all the sons probably left the hotel to develop the Selections and meet their residence requirements.

Life changed at home in 1884 for the WEDEMEYER daughters and their mother! Their father was probably mostly absent from the "Southern Cross" Hotel to work on his Selection. Elizabeth said: "My husband had made application for leave of absence (to the Licensing Board?) from his said house." GHL conceded that: "Trade was very dull", and also said that: "I put the house into the hands of an auctioneer, Mr Stone, to sell it at auction on the twenty-sixth or on the thirtieth day of May (1884) next." Matters resolved themselves on 23 Apr 1885, when the hotel burnt down.…ix)

GHL was at his Walla selection on Thurs 23 Apr 1885 when his Southern Cross Hotel burnt down. He received a telegram on Sun 26 April alerting him to the fire and returned home by horse the following day.…ix) See here for the various statements about the fire. Included below is his eldest daughter Minnie's statement since we have no other document which she personally wrote or stated. Note Minnie would turn 15 in 2 months time.

Minnie Wedemeyer on oath states, I am the daughter of Mr & Mrs Wedemeyer here present. I remember Thursday night last. I was in my father’s house, the Southern Cross Hotel, on said night.

I went to bed half an hour before my mother. I know it was about half an hour before because I was awake. I went to sleep about a quarter of an hour, I think, after I heard my mother go to bed. My mother put out her own light before I fell asleep. I slept until my mother woke me about the fire. I heard mother say "the house is on fire". I went then out of my room into mother’s room for my little sister. I took her out of the bed. Then I was going to take my little sister into my own room, and mother told me to put her out the back door. I was then wide awake, but was not when I got up first. When I had put my little sister out of said door, I looked round and could see that the house was on fire. I noticed the fire first in that part of dining room farthest from the bar. The fire was high up to the shingles. The fire was in the dining room coming towards our bed. I saw the lamp hanging in the dining room, the fire was not near that yet. There had been no fire in the house during said day. I was in the detached kitchen during the evening of said day. I was the last in the kitchen on said day. When I left the kitchen there was no fire in the fire place, it was out. I do not know how the fire began. When we went outside we screamed loudly as we could for help, I and my mother. Only James Petersen was at our hotel on said night. He was not in the house, he was on the verandah. The only kerosine we had was in the lamps. When I went in for my sister my mother was in the room. My mother got out of bed then. I put out my sister and then we all went out. We went, mother and I, to pull out the box after this. We fetched only a few cups and saucers out, besides. We brought the box out before we made any alarm of fire. There was smoke in mother’s room when I first went in for my sister. I could see that mother had put out her light before I went to sleep, because there was no door between our room and hers, only a passage. It was my sister went for Madsen, my mother told her to go. When I took my sister out I shot the bolt of said door back, it was fastened on the inside. I could hear my mother fastening all the doors as I lay awake in bed.
Minnie Wedemeyer

Taken and sworn before me,
at Mount Perry, this twenty
-eighth day of April AD 1885.
B. Armstrong P.M

GHL did not have long to enjoy his lease. He died at Walla, on 5 Oct 1885 at the age of 60. The cause of death was given as senility (presumably meaning that he died because he was old).…vii)

Elizabeth received a "Deed of Grant" of GHL's Selection on 30 Apr 1890, for a payment of £20.…x) Note also the present day photos and description of this Selection in Chapter 5.

This Deed of Grant now released the family from having to live on the Selection, particularly with the poor seasons for farmers at that time. It is probable that in 1890 Elizabeth and the girls went to Eidsvold to either work there or live with eldest son Harry. In 1890, Harry’s obituary said he had a Selection near the Stockman Battery, "where he lived happy and comfortable with his wife and little ones, two of his brothers and a sister (Maggie). Two other sisters (Minnie & Elizabeth (Jnr)..have situations in Eidsvold".…xii) His sisters with "situations in Eidsvold" were probably in one or other of the many hotels. When Minnie & Elizabeth (Jnr) married, they described themselves as "housemaids".…viii)

Following Harry’s accidental death on 27 Dec 1890 at Spring Gully, Elizabeth and her daughters remained in Eidsvold for a short while. Then there is the record of Maggie leaving Eidsvold School at age 13 in December 1891.…xiii) The four women probably went to Bundaberg at this stage, and the Bundaberg link is shown as follows: Information from the Gin Gin Rate book shows that Mrs E. WEDEMEYER from Bundaberg owned freehold land at Walla in 1893. A Timber Licence for firewood was gazetted on 3 Nov 1894 for E. WEDEMEYER of Bundaberg… perhaps this applied to her land at Walla? Elizabeth (Jnr) WEDEMEYER was recorded living at East Bundaberg in 1894 at the time of her marriage to Jack DAVIS.…xv) Perhaps Minnie met her husband David STRONG at Bundaberg before she married him in Sydney in 1896.

For details of David and the STRONG family, see my STRONG pages. My mother told me that David travelled around the Pacific working in a cruise ship.…iii) In his garage he had many mementos of those days, such as large clam shells, much coral and spears and arrows. Such a cruise ship would have visited Bundaberg, making a meeting possible. David and Minnie married in Sydney NSW on 8 Feb 1896 in the Congregational Manse, Allen Street Pyrmont NSW. At Minnie's marriage, David was described as a waiter, born in Ireland to Robert Strong, a foreman carpenter. Minnie said her fatherwas Henry Wedemeyer a Hotel Keeper (deceased).…viii) Her sister Maggie was a witness to her marriage, and was later recorded marrying her first husband Walter Francis George Shrimplin in Sydney on 27th Apr 1899.…xvi)

In 1899 Minnie's new family was recorded at 123 Bourke St Paddington and then at 52 Palmer St., Wooloomooloo around 1906.…xvi) My father told me that life around Wooloomooloo was rather violent in those days with razor gangs terrorising the locals. He also told me of German musical bands which were made welcome in their house and who taught him the "bad German words". Presumably Minnie kept her German language in the early years. Shortly after the STRONGs bought "WEDEMEYER", 18 Manning Road, Waverley with money probably received from David's father. They spent most of their life in "WEDEMEYER". It is significant that the house kept its German name during two world wars, even though many of such names were taken down or changed.…iii)

Life for Minnie was difficult in the 1910's since her husband David was in and out of work. My father got a good job in Government Stores and his money kept the household going. Minnie kept in close contact with her sister Maggie throughout their lives, and their homes were within walking distance.…iii)

Photo of Minnie's home at 18 Manning Rd Waverley, NSW Minnie's home: 18 Manning Rd Waverley, NSW
Photo: PD Strong, 2001

I can still revisit my childhood memories of "WEDEMEYER" and my grandparents at their home. I remember the long trip by a rattling tram from LANE Cove across the Harbour Bridge to Bondi Junction. Then there was the even longer walk downhill with my mother from the tram stop to 18 Manning Road, Waverley. "WEDEMEYER" was a dark Victorian era house with the curtains drawn, the electric lights used sparingly and the gas lights still remaining on the walls.…iii)

The front lounge room was for display only. My parents used to warn me that grandpa believed in "children are meant to be seen and not heard", particularly during the 7:00pm news broadcast. Grandpa was a tall grey bearded austere man and quite intimidating to me. However grandma was the warm and affectionate power behind the throne. She was a little wrinkled lady with a frail appearance and glasses with heavy lenses who seemed to do everything for grandpa. On one visit we found both of them sick and starving. Grandma had been sick and went to bed. Grandpa found his meals weren't being prepared for him and also went to bed. Consequently they both almost starved. We took them both to our home at Lane Cove, Sydney NSW and they lived with us until grandma died there in the next room to me, on 6 Oct 1954, after a succession of little strokes. She was cremated and buried at the Northern Suburbs Crematorium.…iii)

My cousin Barry tells me that Minnie said that one of our WEDEMEYERs emigrated to the USA from Germany. Minnie also said that a cousin Colonel WEDEMEYER was stationed in Queensland during the war.…iii) I have copies of notes which John WEDEMEYER (son of Ivan WEDEMEYER) had made about General A.C WEDEMEYER. See here for more discussion and research about this possible relationship.…iii)

Now, as an adult, I wish that I could have talked to Minnie about her life... I'm sure she had many interesting stories, and as a "child meant to be seen and not heard", I really missed out.

Minnie’s Descendancy Report

Sources: Lucy Wilhelmina (Minnie) WEDEMEYER.
i) Birth of Lucy Wilhelmina (Minnie) Wedemeyer, 28 June 1870, Gayndah Qld.
    Reg# 1880/C/955. Registrar of BDM, Qld.
ii) Death of Minnie Strong, Lane Cove NSW, 6 Oct 1954. Reg# 27652/1954. Registrar of BDM, NSW.
iii) My immediate family's oral history.
iv) GHL WEDEMEYER’s Southern Cross application. Mt Perry Mail & Mining Times, 14 Nov 1872
v) Royle, M. Perry's past: A centenary history of Perry Shire. Mount Perry: Perry Shire Council, 1998: 69-70.
vi) Strong Family Bible, kept by Philip Strong.
vii) Death of Louis (GHL) Wedemeyer, 5 Oct 1885,Walla, Queensland. Reg# 1885/C/449. Registrar of BDM, Qld.
viii) Marriage of David STRONG and Minnie WEDEMEYER, 8th February 1896, Sydney.
    Reg# 1896/460. Registrar of BDM, NSW
ix) Inquest. Mount Perry fire; George WEDEMEYER’s Southern Cross hotel: 1885. Qld State Archives,file# 252, location JUS/N119.
x) Elizabeth received a "Deed of Grant" of GHL's Selection on 30 Apr 1890, for a payment of £20. Qld State Archives Reference: LAN/AG195.
xi) Land selections. Qld State Archives LAN/AG Gayndah Sel. 1, Bundaberg 1256, 1255, 1262. Each file consists of approx. 10-20 pages and ends with the Deed of Grant when the land was finally purchased as freehold after being leased for approx 10 years. See map of Walla subdivision.
xii) Sad fatality. Death of Harry Wedemeyer. The Reporter and Eidsvold Miner.
      Eidsvold, Queensland: Henry J Marks, Jan 3, 1891.
xiii) Qld-School Pupils Index. Queensland Family History Society Inc.(Part 1 of 3 CD's). Eidsvold original source: Eidsvold State School 1889-1989 Centenary
xiv) Gin Gin Rate book- Thanks to Pat Smith.
xv) Marriage of John Edward DAVIS and Elizabeth Johanna WEDEMEYER, 15 Jan 1894, Bundaberg. Reg# 94/000087. Registrar of BDM, Qld.
xvi) Marriage of Walter Francis George Shrimplin and Margaret Henrietta (Maggie) WEDEMEYER, 27 Apr 1899, Pyrmont Sydney. Reg# 1896/460. Registrar of BDM, NSW.
xvii) Death of Minnie (Lucy Wilhelmina) STRONG, 6 Oct 1954, Lane Cove Sydney. Reg# 27652/1954  Registrar of BDM, NSW.
My immediate family.



Johanna Elizabeth (Elizabeth) WEDEMEYER was born on 6 Jun 1872, in Gayndah, Queensland.…i) Elizabeth is pictured below at three different stages of her life.

Photo of Elizabeth Johanna DAVIS Elizabeth J. DAVIS
Courtesy:Audrey Heeps…viii)…d)

Elizabeth Johanna's early family life was the same as her older sister Minnie, described in the beginning of this chapter. When Elizabeth moved to East Bundaberg with her mother and sisters Maggie and Minnie, she met her future husband. At the time of their marriage on 15 Jan 1894 in Bundaberg, Elizabeth Johanna WEDEMEYER (a housemaid) lived at East Bundaberg and her husband John Edward (Jack) DAVIS (a tram driver) lived at Fairymead near Bundaberg.…iii)

The married life of Elizabeth Johanna and John Edward (Jack) DAVIS
John Edward DAVIS John Edward DAVIS
Courtesy: Audrey Heeps…viii)…d

Jack was born in Gayndah on 14 Jan 1870 to William DAVIS, bootmaker of Gayndah and Elizabeth DAVIS (née PINER).…iv) Note that this maiden name was variously spelled in our family as POYNER /PINER / POYNAR / PYNAR / PYNER / PYNOR! Jack DAVIS is pictured at left. Jack's father William DAVIS was brother to Elizabeth's mother Elizabeth WEDEMEYER (née DAVIS)… making Jack and Elizabeth Johanna first cousins. See the following links for sources and discussion of the first cousin relationship: a Descendancy Report on Jack's parents is here and also further details and a photo of his parents at Gayndah is here.

When Jack married Elizabeth Johanna in Bundaberg in 1894 he was driving horse drawn trams in the cane industry.…iii) Athol DAVIS says that after Jack's marriage he then resumed timber cutting, using horse drawn teams to log rainforest timber.…viii)…a) Elizabeth remained in East Bundaberg to give birth to her first child William Lewis on 20 Oct 1894 at Terrace Street East Bundaberg with her mother as witness.…ix) Note: There are newspaper reports of Terrace-street East Bundaberg at least from 1893 to 1939, but this street is not on today's map.

Athol says that Jack worked near the Gympie, Imbil area until he shifted to Chinchilla.…viii)…a) It would appear that Jack also worked north of Bundaberg, since his second child John Henry DAVIS was born at Murray's Creek on the Gladstone Line on 29th August 1896. Life would be hard for the family moving between bush camps, thus it would not be surprising if Elizabeth wanted a more permanent home.

Jack's obituary said he moved to Chinchilla 44 years before his death or ~1897.…vi) Jack and Elizabeth's first child William enrolled at Chinchilla State School 26 August 1901 and Jack's occupation was described as "Selector".…xvi) This meant that Jack was one of the first selectors in the Chinchilla area participating in the seemingly very generous Queensland Government settlement schemes. The rest of Jack's children were also enrolled at Chinchilla State School when he described his occupation as a "carrier" with the final exception of Clarence on 28 Jan 1924 when Jack said he was a "drover".

It should be noted that these selections often led to a great privation and Steele Rudd (Arthur Hoey Davis), in his books which included "On Our Selection" (publ. 1899)…xiv) and "Grandpa's Selection" (publ. 1916), describes the problems of these Chinchilla settlers. Steele Rudd was born in 1868 about 170 km SE of Chinchilla.

Athol DAVIS says that his grandparents Jack and Elizabeth lived in the same home for 44 years and their house consisted of two huts joined together with a covered walk way between them and a cooking and washing area in a hut out the southern side..... just as if they did not intend to live there very long.…viii)…a) Bob KEMP locates their home at the SE corner of Zeller and Price Streets on the outskirts of the town, east of the Showgrounds and south of the new industrial section of town.…viii)…b) Julie Dern says The farm was abandoned and was sold in Feb 1956. They called their farm “Kelvin Grove”.…xxiii) This name was confirmed in the Electoral Rolls from 1912 to 1954. William Louis DAVIS was the only DAVIS remaining on the farm in 1954.…xxii)

Below are photos of the old Chinchilla home.

Jack DAVIS and family at the old Chinchilla Home Jack DAVIS and family at the old Chinchilla Home
Courtesy:Audrey Heeps…viii)…d

Athol said that Jack worked with his horses in the timber cutting industries and expanded into cattle and dairy. As the children became older, the whole (large) family was involved in the cattle, dairy or timber cutting industries. He said "Jack took his kids with him and taught them the timber industry."…viii)…a) Jack's obituary said that he spent many years carrying provisions to Hawkwood station by horse team, but owing to a serious accident at Baking Board in ~1911, when he was run over by a loaded wagon, he had been unable to work since that time.…vi)

The plague of prickly pear around Chinchilla…xx) gave land purchase opportunities as well as responsibilities to eradicate the pest. The Prickly pear warden's court details a number of Jack's appearances. In 1921 John Edward Davis paid at auction £11/10/for an O.L. (occupation licence) for Por. 22 Wongongera 923 acres; then in 1925 John Edward Davis was granted a P.L.P.P.S. (perpetual lease prickly pear selection) for Por. 49 Wongongera, 2095 acres. In 1927 J. E. Davis had a "Failure to clear pear proved" at Por. 22, Wongongera, a 923 acre selection. Wongongera is 22km N of Chinchilla on the road to Barakula. In Apr 1929 Jack's Por. 22 Wongongera section passed to Roy Thorley by a lottery. Then there were 3 appearances in 1929 relating to Jack's 40 acre home selection on Por. 78v, parish Chinchilla.…xxi)) A DAVIS family document showed Por 78v belonged to our J. E. Davis…xi). In May and July the case was adjourned. Finally in Sept 1929 he received an "Application for Certificates. Granted for Deed". This must have meant he could retain his home selection.…xxi) Clearing of land may be a condition of lease, enabling subsequent applications for certificates granted for leases and deeds of grant.

Bob Kemp recollects that Jack and Elizabeth sold milk and farm produce around the town. Mr. Russell who also sold eggs for them delivered their milk around the town. When they died the place was abandoned for several years until sold."…viii)…b) Audrey Heeps says that Jack used to exhibit roosters and hens in the local shows.…viii)…d) A full year before his death at age 70, Jack was described as a pensioner (in his son John Henry's marriage register records…x)).


Pictured below is their grave showing that Elizabeth died on 25 Apr 1942, and Jack died on 2 Mar 1940.

Grave of Jack and Elizabeth DAVIS, Chinchilla. Grave of Jack and Elizabeth DAVIS, Chinchilla. Angilcan Section 16, grave # 5,6.…xv)
Photo: PD Strong, 2005

Jack's obituary was found in a newspaper clipping… date and paper unknown:

JOHN EDWARD DAVIS Yet another link with the earlier history of Chinchilla has been severed by the passing at his home Chinchilla on Saturday night last (2 Mar 1940) of Mr. John Edward Davis at the age of 70 years. Deceased who was seventy years of age was the third son of the late Mr. and Mrs. William Davis of Gayndah, born at Gayndah he came to Chinchilla with his wife and small family 44 years ago. He spent many years carrying provisions to Hawkwood station by horse team, but owing to a serious accident at Baking Board 29 years ago, when he was run over by a loaded waggon, had been unable to work since that time. His marriage to Miss Elizabeth Wedemeyer took place some 46 years ago. The late Mr Davis had been seriously ill for the past 5 months and was for a time an inmate of the Chinchilla District Hospital. His death was not unexpected. Besides his wife he is survived by five sons William (Chinchilla), John (Barakula), Stanley (Chinchilla), Leslie (Goramba), Clarence (Chinchilla), and seven daughters, Mrs Campbell (Chinchilla), Mrs Harling (Chinchilla), Mrs Reimmell (Noondoo), Mrs Davis (Gayndah), Mrs Downes (Wandoan), Mrs. Beutel (Brigalow), Mrs Harris (Manumbar). The funeral moved from his late residence on Sunday afternoon, Mr. L. Atkins conducting the services at the house and at the graveside. Three sons William, Stanley, Clarence and three sons-in-law Messrs Campbell, Beutel and Downes acted as pall bearers. Messrs. Keating Bros. were in charge of funeral arrangements.…vi)

Jack's shortened and misspelled obituary was also found in a Brisbane newspaper:

Mr. John Davies, Old Chinchilla Resident, Dead CHINCHILLA. March 13. The death of Mr. John Davis, at the age of 70 years, has severed another connection with the early days of the Chinchilla district. Born in Gayndah. the deceased married Miss Elizabeth Wedemeyer of Bundaberg. and some 40 years ago the family moved to Chinchilla, where the late Mr. Davis engaged in carrying by horse team between Hawkswood and Chinchilla. During the last six months his illness had caused some concern, and his passing was not unexpected. He leaves a wife, five sons, and seven daughters. …vii)

When Elizabeth died the family farm was sold and the proceeds divided between the 12 children. The "Transmission by Death" advertisement below…xi) is valuable in that it located the Por. 78v, parish Chinchilla 40 acre farm on the cadastral map…xii) and consequently on the corner of Price and Zeller Streets. Most interestingly it fully named and located each of the children at a time when all were alive and even fully named their husbands.

NOTICE is hereby given that application has been made for the Registration of the Transmission of Title to the Lands hereinafter mentioned. Particulars of such application are given below, and any person desiring to oppose may do so by lodging a Caveat on or before the day specified, at the Office of the Registrar of Titles in BRISBANE. Name of Deceased Proprietor ELIZABETH JOHANNA DAVIS, late of Chinchilla, widow. Date of Death 25 April, 1942.
Name of Claimant William Louis Davis, of Chinchilla; John Henry Davis, of Barakula; Florence Maud Campbell, of Chinchilla, wife of William Edward Campbell; Ruby Elizabeth Harling, of Chinchilla, wife of Alexander Harling; Elsie Beryle Rummell, of Dirranbandi, wife of George Rummell; Emily May Davis, of Gayndah, wife of Norman Casper (actually Norman Cuthbert) Davis; Stanley Edward Davis, of Chinchilla; Dorothy Downes, of Chinchilla, wife of Clifford George Downes; Leslie Norman Davis, of Tara; Gwendoline Minnie Beutel, of Brigalow, wife of Frederick Johannes Beutel, Olive Eva Harris, of Lowood, wife of Edward Francis Harris; Clarence Davis, of the Australian Imperial Force, as Devisees as tenants in common in equal shares.
Description and Situation of land. Por. 78v, parish Chinchilla. Estate Claimed to be Transmitted. Fee Simple. Particulars of Will or otherwise. Will dated 14 November, 1940. Date within which Caveat may be lodged April 10, 1956. R.J. THOMSON, Registrar of Titles, Registrar of Titles office, Brisbane, February 25, 1956. John W. COOK, Solicitor, Dalby. …xi)

Linda PETERSEN says that in 2003 the only thing about the old property which was still standing was the old fence.…viii)…c) I visited their land in 2005, to find no trace of the old home, but in its place there was "Ausco Stayover", which was providing re-locatable housing for the workers at the Kogan Power Station construction. In 2022 the Stayover is described as "with winding pathways and landscaped gardens, this purpose-built village accommodating 1,000 ensuited rooms brings a resort style of living to worker accommodation in Chinchilla.…xiii) Original approval was granted on 17 Mar 2000 by the former Chinchilla Shire Council for 1000 person itinerant workers' camp Stayover on Zeller St, with conditions tying approval to the Kogan Creek Power Station and Coal Mine developments. Use was to cease at end of construction. In early 2010 Ausco Modular completed the first stage of Stayover on Zeller with 246 rooms, a restaurant, and an entertainment centre. Ausco then pressed for permanency with a new development application on 27 Jan 2016 for a permanent 1000 bed workers' camp.…xvii) Kogan continues to need a large work force. Kogan Creek Power Station was commissioned in 2007 and is one of Australia's most efficient and technically advanced coal-fired power stations. Kogan Creek Mine supplies more than two million tonnes of coal to the power station each year via a four kilometre overland conveyor belt.…xviii)

The small amount of information we have on Jack and Elizabeth suggests a very full and interesting life. It is hoped that these few paragraphs might prompt members of the DAVIS family to provide further information. Please look carefully at all the photos in the Elizabeth DAVIS photogallery, since firm identifications are needed. The gallery contains photos which were kindly provided by Audrey Heeps…viii)…d) (Elsie Beryl DAVIS descendant), Yvonne and Bob Kemp…viii)…b) (John Henry DAVIS descendant), with some photos which Elizabeth sent to her sister Minnie (my grandmother) and in turn passed down to me by my father. Please have a look at these photos and tell me if you have better ones? Any copies of photos for this project would be gratefully received. Can you help?? Many photos have been small "Box Brownie" snaps which are not close up, or with broad brimmed felt hats obscuring the face, or even photostats which generate interference patterns when scanned… and so on.

Now look at my grandmother Minnie's photo in the middle of the 3 photos below. This photo had the inscription on its back "To Polka from Housewife". I think this was sent by Elizabeth DAVIS to her sister Minnie STRONG… on the basis of similarity with the other photos of the DAVIS children and also that the photo did not fit any other known family. Please look at these photos below. Was the smallest child Clarence DAVIS (b. 1917)?

    Click on these thumbnails for full images with text.

Image of Jack Davis with son. Image of Minnie's photo. Image of youngest Davis son Clarence?.

Pictured at below are photos of Elizabeth's youngest child, Clarence…

ßß Grave of Jack and Elizabeth DAVIS, Chinchilla.Clarence DAVIS (b. 1917).
Courtesy:Audrey Heeps…viii)…d)

Steele Rudd (Arthur Hoey Davis) made this dedication in his book "On Our Selection" (publ. 1899) directed to the Selectors and pioneers of the region, which included Chinchilla and the DAVIS family:

To You "Who Gave Our Country Birth;" to the memory of You whose names, whose giant enterprise, whose deeds of fortitude and daring were never engraved on tablet or tombstone; to You who strove through the silences of the Bush-lands and made them ours; to You who delved and toiled in loneliness through the years that have faded away; to You who have no place in the history of our Country so far as it is yet written; to You who have done MOST for this Land; to You for whom few, in the march of settlement, in the turmoil of busy city life, now appear to care; and to you particularly, GOOD OLD DAD, This Book is most affectionately dedicated. " STEELE RUDD."…xiv)

Genetics: The report below is interesting genetically. Marriage between first cousins can be risky for the offspring. However, in terms of longevity there were no problems for this family and the results far exceeded those of the general population. There were 12 DAVIS children, 5 males and 7 females. Their longevities were: Male age at death ranged from 76 to 59, average 69 years, female from 96 to 52, average 80 years. All way ahead of the Australian Bureau of Statistics figure for those born 1901-1910 of only 55.2 years for males and 58.8 years for females!…xixß)

Elizabeth’s Descendancy Report

Sources: Johanna Elizabeth (Elizabeth) WEDEMEYER.
i) Birth of Johanna Elizabeth (Elizabeth) WEDEMEYER, 6 June 1872, Gayndah Qld.
    Reg# 1872/C/450. Registrar of BDM, Qld.
ii) Death of Johanna Elizabeth (Elizabeth) DAVIS, Chinchilla Qld, 25 Apr 1942. Reg# 1942/001664. Registrar of BDM, Qld.
iii) Marriage of John Edward DAVIS and Elizabeth Johanna WEDEMEYER, 15 Jan 1894, Bundaberg. Reg# 1894/C/87. Registrar of BDM, Qld.
iv) Birth of John Edward (Jack) DAVIS, 14 Jan 1870, Gayndah Qld.
    Reg# 1870/000895. Registrar of BDM, Qld.
v) Death of John Edward (Jack) DAVIS, 2 Mar 1940, Chinchilla Qld.
    Reg# 1940/000408. Registrar of BDM, Qld.
vi) Obituary…John Edward DAVIS. Newspaper clipping.... date and paper unknown. Perhaps it was the “Chinchilla News and Murilla advertiser” which has not been digitised in “Trove”. This paper has been published in print format from Dec 1907 to June 2020 and then on-line.
vii) Obituary… Mr. John Davies, Old Chinchilla Resident, Dead.Telegraph (Brisbane); 14 Mar 1940: 10.
viii) Various correspondents, mostly direct descendants of Elizabeth Davis (née WEDEMEYER), pers.comm. abt 2003
    viii)…a) Athol DAVIS, son of Leslie Norman DAVIS 1912-1972.
    viii)…b) Yvonne and Bob KEMP. Yvonne is the daughter ofJohn Henry DAVIS 1896-1968.
    viii)…c) Linda PETERSEN, granddaughter of Leslie Norman DAVIS 1912-1972.
    viii)…d) Audrey HEEPS, granddaughter of Elsie Beryl DAVIS 1902-1984.
    viii)…e) Tom JONES, descended from William DAVIS 1832-1897, the brother of our Elizabeth WEDEMEYER (nee DAVIS).
ix) Birth of William Lewis DAVIS, 20 Oct 1894, Terrace St East Bundaberg, Qld.
    Reg# 1894/C/833. Registrar of BDM, Qld
x) Marriage of John Henry DAVIS & Elva Lilian MILLER, 4 Mar 1939, Chinchilla. Copy of Certificate of marriage from the Minister.
    Establishing John Henry's birth at Murray’s Creek on the Gladstone Line on 29th August 1896.
xi) Death of Elizabeth Johanna DAVIS. Government notices transmission by death, February 25, 1956. Real property acts of 1861 to 1952. Newspaper clipping.... date and paper unknown. Perhaps it was the “Chinchilla News and Murilla advertiser”
xii) Parish of Chinchilla, County of Lytton cadastral map. Queensland. Department of Mapping and Surveying. See here.
xiii) Stayover in Chinchilla (Ausco). 184 Zeller St Chinchilla Qld 4413. See here.
xiv) Steele Rudd. On our selection; 1899. A Gutenberg edition with free download here.
xv) Cemeteries of Chinchilla, Queensland : Pioneer, Chinchilla, Tanderra where they rest in peace. Compiled by Val Hando. Chinchilla newspapers: 2002.
xvi) Chinchilla State School admission register 1883-1911. Compiled by Val Hando. Chinchilla newspapers.
xvii) Time for camp to go, say Chinchilla moteliers. The Courier Mail, Chinchilla News section; 6 Oct 2016. See here.
xviii) Kogan Creek power station. See here.
xix) Australian Bureau of Statistics.Life expectancy trends- Australia. See here.
xx) Chinchilla Museum. The green plague. Prickly pear and Chinchilla. See here.
xxi) Prickly pear warden's court. Dalby Herald; 17 Jun 1921, p.4; 25 Apr 1925, p.4; 16 Apr 1929, p. 1; 3 May 1927, p.1; 21 May 1929, p1; 16 Jul 1929, p1; 17 Sep 1929, p3.
xxii) Electoral Rolls.
xxiii) E-mail from Julie Dern to Tom Jones. William Davis and his descendants; 28 Jun 2007.
To my kind DAVIS relations listed above in the "Various correspondents" …viii) above. Their photos, stories and newspaper clippings have enabled this story… particularly when the “Chinchilla News and Murilla advertiser” has not been digitised in “Trove”!

The Story Continues