I referred in an earlier post to the sale of the Berry House.
Elizabeth Berry married John Hughes Van Cooten at her father’s residence, Berry House, Ipswich, on 22 Jul 18801. The marriage certificate lists her parents as being William Berry, Farmer, and Margaret nee Greig.
In a newspaper article in 19092 Margaret reflects on her life in Australia.
Queensland Times (Ipswich, Qld. : 1909 – 1954), Friday 9 April 1909, page 2
Glimpses of Early Ipswich.
OLD PLACE AND INCIDENTS.
LINKS WITH THE PAST.
1909 THE JUBILEE OF QUEENSLAND.
THE PIONEER FEMALE RESIDENT OF IPSWICH.
MRS. WM. BERRY, OF “BERRY’S HILL.” BURNETT-STREET.
Anent pioneer female residents, one of the oldest—if not, indeed, the oldest—is Mrs. William Berry (relict of the late Mr. William Berry), of “Berry’s Hill,” Burnett-street, who has resided continuously in Ipswich for 62 years, she, with her husband, having arrived here on the 8th of April, 1847. She is now in the 89th year of her age. Always a homely-inclined woman, Mrs. Berry never moved in public life : hence, I suppose—to a large extent, at any rate±is her presence being overlooked. Still, her name will always be an honoured one, from the fact that she was the parent of that brilliant Ipswich Grammar School scholar, the late Mr. William Berry, M.A., who was one of the first 19 pupils to attend that school, in 1863, and who, under the guidance of the late Mr. Stuart Hawthorne, M.A. (the first head master of the Ipswich Grammar School, gained the highest honours attainable up to 1866, and was “dux” of that institution. Here it might be stated that the four scholarships awarded, at the first examinations held, in February of 1864, in connection with the Ipswich Grammar School, were obtained by William Berry and T. B. Cribb (equal), Michael Connor, Francis Ewen Forbes, and Edward King Ogg. As regards Mr. and Mrs. William Berry, however, this worthy Scotch couple (just after their marriage) left Aberdeenshire, Scotland, on the 10th of October, 1846, the minister of the Church (the Rev. Robert Sedgewitch) in which they were joined in matrimony giving them a reference to the effect that they were leaving Aberdeen with “an unblemished reputation.” Mrs. Berry’s maiden name was Margaret Greig. Another unique document in the possession of Mrs. Berry is the receipt, signed by one David Moore, of the money paid for a passage to Port Jackson (Sydney), on which is an embossed duty-stamp, bearing the figures ’46. They sailed for their destination over seas in the ship Fifeshire (Captain Punchard) on the 15th October, 1846. The voyage to Sydney, a very rough one, occupied between four and five months. The Fifeshire was a cargo-boat, and among the few passengers on board—other than Mr. and Mrs. Berry—were two brothers of the name of Broughton, one of whom (Mr. Alfred Delves Broughton) subsequently came on to Moreton Bay and, at a later period, settled in Ipswich, having been the head of the firm of Messrs. Broughton, Fattorini, and Co. ; he was also one of the first members of Parliament to represent West Moreton in 1860. On their arrival in Port Jackson, Mr. Berry, after having a brief look round, decided upon exploring still further “fresh fields and pastures new.” Moreton Bay was the chief topic of conversation in Sydney in those days, and to that destination Mr. Berry, accompanied by his wife, steeered his barque—or, rather, they journeyed to Brisbane in one of the then small steamers which ran between Sydney and Moreton Bay, the name of which vessel Mrs. Berry could not recall to memory. This she does recollect—that, on their arrival in Brisbane the story of the wreck of the steamer Sovereign, in Moreton Bay, was on everybody’s lips, the lamentable incident having occurred on the 11th of March, 1847. This event was indelibly impressed on Mrs. Berry’s memory owing to the fact that the small steamer in which she and her husband had journeyed to Brisbane experienced a terribly rough run to Moreton Bay, the voyage lasting nearly five days. Now the distance can be accomplished in 36 hours! Among their fellow-passengers from Sydney were Messrs. Gould and Munroe, who, subsequently coming on to Ipswich, were the contractors who erected the original stores, for Messrs. Walter Gray and Co., at the corner of Bell and Bremer Streets (the site, now, of the Central Girls’ State School). After a brief stay in Brisbane Mr. and Mrs. Berry came on to Ipswich in the old steamer Experiment, and landed, as stated above, on the 8th of April, 1847, that date being written in their family Bible. Their first place of residence in Ipswich was in a small cottage, in Bell-street, owned by the late Mr. John (“Schemer”) Smith. The date of the birth of their eldest son, William, is recorded as June 23, 1848.
Their place of residence, then, was in Limestone-street, almost on the site of the gateway leading to Mr. F. B. Stephens’s smithy, and Mr. and Mrs. Berry resided in one-half of a house occupied and owned by the late Mr. Michael Christie (an old identity—the individual, it is said, who lifted the late Hon. Geo. Thorn, when an infant, out of the punt which brought the Thorn family to “Limestone” in 1838) ; the Christie family are still represented in the locality of Upper Bundanba. The parents of the late Mr. John Kelly (who, on Tuesday last, so suddenly collapsed within a few hundred yards of the spot where he was born 63 years ago) were likewise residents of that locality in 1848, and had been so for some time previously. The parents of Mr. Michael M’Analen, of Warwick-road, also resided in the same vicinity at a later period—about 1849. Mr. Berry, however, subsequently removed to a site in Limestone-street about where the Baptist Sunday-School, is, having as a near neighbour the family of the late Mr. Michael M’Analen. Eventually Mr. Berry settled on the hill that now bears his name, junctioning with Lime-stone, Burnett, and Omar Streets, where Mrs. Berry has resided for quite 60 years. Ever an energetic and hard-working, but nevertheless an independent, man, Mr. Berry followed many occupations—contractor, timber-getter, dairying, cotton-growing, and farming. His taffy-pair of horses were identities during his career as a contractor, and one of his earliest experiences in that line of business was in building a wharf-shed for Messrs. Walter Gray and Co., when down came the Bremer River “a banker,” roaring and foaming at the speed of 60 knots an hour. Everything was swept away, Mr. Berry’s time, in that instance, being all lost. Oh, those periodical Bremer River “bankers,” following pluvial precipitation! How would a “banker” do just now? The vicinity of Berry’s Hill was, of course, all bush then. As a grower of cotton, “the staple of which is the only flower born in the shuttle of a sunbeam, and dies in a loom.” Mr. Berry owned and worked a farm beyond the Ipswich Cemetery. Here, again, he was a neighbour of the M’Analen family. After a plodding career of 40 years in Ipswich, Mr. Berry died at his residence, in Burnett-street, on the 18th of April, 1887, at the ripe age of 77. His brilliant eldest son, Mr. William Berry, predeceased him, the bright career of the latter having been cut off on the 5th of January, 1884. The last-named gentleman graduated, with honours, as B.A. of the Sydney University in 1880, and as M.A. in 1881. After leaving the Grammar School, however, he entered the service of the Board of General Education ; he subsequently engaged in Press-work on the Brisbane “Telegraph,” and then accepted the position of second master in the school in which he had so greatly distinguished himself as a pupil. This was during the regime of Mr. Donald Cameron, M.A. Hard study and partial loss of voice compelled Mr. Berry to relinquish tutorial duties, and he then accepted the position of secretary to the Ipswich Gas and Coke Company. Death claimed him, on the date given above, after a protracted illness. His son, Percy, survives him, and is engaged in the pearl-shelling industry in the Northern seas. Another five sons and three daughters, with Mrs. Berry, survive the late Mr. William Berry, sen. Two of the sons are well-known in our midst—Mr. Alec Berry, guard on the Brisbane-Ipswich Railway, and Mr. John Berry, of the Ipswich Post-Office. Two of the daughters are married—Mrs. Charles Wilson, now of Rockhampton, her husband being widely known in this district, he having been engaged in the pastoral industry nearly all his life; and Mrs. J. H. Van Cooten, of North Ipswich, Mr. J. H. Van Cooten being likewise favourably known in Ipswich. Miss Berry—a very active worker in the Congregational Church, was for years connected with the West Ipswich Church as organist and Sunday-School teacher—has the care of her aged mother.
Although much of this information can be corroborated, I suspect that the passage of time has clouded some memories.
William and Margaret were married on 10 October 1846:
After due proclamation of banns, William Berry, Woodsawyer in Aberdeen was, on the Tenth day of October One Thousand Eight Hundred and Forty six years, married at Aberdeen to Margaret Greig there, Daughter of Alexander Greig, Farm Labourer, Parish of New Machar by the Reverend Robert Sedgwick, Minister of the Belmont Street Secession Church, Aberdeen.
In presence of the witnesses: Alexander Clark, Officer, New Market Aberdeen, and John Berry, Wright in Durris.3
The mention of Alfred Delves Broughton seems inconsistent. The arrival of the Fifeshire in Sydney is variously reported, for instance
March 21.— Fifeshire, ship, 472 tons, Captain Punchard, from London, having left the Downs the 25th October. Passengers — Mr. and Mrs. Berry, Miss Berry, Mr. Foster, Mr. Carter, Mr. Walker, Mr. Caruthers, and Mr. Belvidere.4.
but no passenger by the name of Broughton is listed. Curiously, no mention is made in the memoir of a Miss Berry, who I presume to to be William’s sister Barbara. Alfred Delves Broughton seems to have been active in New South Wales, being appointed Clerk of Petty Sessions in 1851, and appointed to be clerk to the Assistant Commissioner of Crown Lands at Sofala, but doesn’t appear to be active in Queensland until 1857, although marrying in Sydney on 23 March 1858.
The wreck of the steamer Sovereign took place on 11 March 18475 which would seem to correspond to the Berry’s arrival in Port Jackson, rather than in Brisbane. The 8th of April, 1847 was a Thursday. The steamer Experiment was advertised to be running from Brisbane on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and from Ipswich every alternate morning6, so this date recollection is slightly inconsistent.
William Berry’s birth on June 23, 1848 does not seem to have been officially registered.
- “Marriage of John Hughes Van Cooten to Elizabeth Berry,” 22 Jul 1880, Ipswich, Queensland, Australia, Queensland BMD source image, VAN1880002.
- Glimpses of Early Ipswich. (1909, April 9). Queensland Times (Ipswich, Qld. : 1909 – 1954), p. 2 (DAILY). Retrieved January 2, 2023, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article111613262
- “Marriage of William Berry to Margaret Greig,” Aberdeen, Scotland, 10 Oct 1846, Downloaded from Scotlands People 7 Mar 2017
- ARRIVALS. (1847, March 27). The Shipping Gazette and Sydney General Trade List (NSW : 1844 – 1860), p. 434. Retrieved January 2, 2023, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article161166980
- THE Moreton Bay Courier. (1847, March 13). The Moreton Bay Courier (Brisbane, Qld. : 1846 – 1861), p. 2. Retrieved January 2, 2023, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3714205
- Classified Advertising (1847, April 24). The Moreton Bay Courier (Brisbane, Qld. : 1846 – 1861), p. 1. Retrieved January 2, 2023, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3716276