Thursday, 21 April 2016

Where is Ballentarsen (Victoria)?

I’m spending a week at my parents and Mum raised one of her ‘mysteries’:
I wish I knew where Ballentarsen is / was.”

Ballentarsen / Ballantarsin / Ballentarsin was the name of one of the properties where her mother (Mavis Garrett nee Long) and grandparents (Edward Long and Sarah nee Stonehouse) lived.
(We have different spellings on various documents and photographs.)

It was in The Sisters / Ellerslie / Ballengiech area of the Western District of Victoria (see map below).

Sometime in the 1970s, Mum’s sister drove her mother, aunt and uncle to the house but now doesn’t remember exactly where it was.
She took some photos (included).
The house looks like it’s made of solid stone, so could be still there.

Our timeline seems to show that they lived there between 1918 and 1922.

They sold their property at Glenormiston Warrawong to O’Keefes with possession date of 1 Oct 1918.
They sold Ballentarsen through McDonald Bros, Mortlake on 15 Aug 1922.
The purchase of their next home Watch Hill in Beeac was on 18 May 1922.
I’ve written about the beautiful Watch Hill a couple of times previously, including here.

The only thing I’ve found that relates to any spelling of Ballentarsen on Google or Trove is a reference on the Terang Cemetery Index to a James Graham who died in Feb 1919 at Lake View Keilambete, which is in the same area. 
Lake Keilambete was featured in some of the old photos from my Nanna’s collection.
This reference states that James Graham was born in Ballantarson, Inniskillen, Ireland about 1835.

Perhaps he lived on the property prior to my ancestors and had named it after his home town? 
Perhaps he gave it the name?

Perhaps he sold it in 1918 because he was ill? And moved to his elder son’s property?

Searching for James Graham reveals:
·      his youngest son, Gunner Jack (John) Graham died 31 July 1918 aged 32, from effects of gas poisoning during WWI service.
·      another son, Harry died in 1908 aged 25.

·      at the time of enlistment (15 Sep 1914), Jack Graham’s next of kin was his older brother Charles Augustine Graham who lived at Lake View via Terang.
·      Jack had two service numbers: 1136 in 1st Bn on enlistment and then 1235 in 14th FAB

·      at the time of his death, James Graham had been ill for several years: possibly why Jack put his brother down as next of kin. His mother had died in 1900.

·      The children of James Graham and Margaret Armstrong were: George (1867-1956),   William James (1869-1939),   Mary Ellen (1870-1954),   Eliza Jane (1873-1966),   Matthew Armstrong (1875-1954),   Charles Augustine (1878-1940),   Thomas (1880-? in Tasmania),   Henry / Harry (1882-1908),   Robert Johnson (1884-1969),   John / Jack (1885-1918).

·      Margaret Armstrong d1900 was the daughter of a Western District pioneering family.
·      They married in 1866 in Victoria.

Ellerslie / The Sisters / Ballangeich / Keilambete area from Google Maps


  1. I have some similar mysteries in my family too! I hope that someone helps you to locate the home. Maybe put a something in the local paper? Good Luck.

    1. Thanks Sharon, good idea. They've tried some local history and genealogy societies without success, still a couple to approach.

  2. I have some similar mysteries. I tried rate books but they don't give addresses. Probate and land records could possibly help though.

    1. Thanks Anne, I think I need to spend some time in Melbourne to look this up. Mum and Dad don't get there often enough either.

  3. Try the Local History Librarian they usually have a lot of local knowledge!!

  4. Hi, My great Uncle Lived at Lake view with his wife Lois Graham. I have been trying to chase her family. This helped, thank you