Ellen Kerwin

F, #22614, b. 1860, d. 1884
Father*William Kerwin b. 1827, d. Nov 1884
Mother*Margaret Kelleher b. abt 1828, d. 25 Nov 1915
Married NameMurphy. 
Birth*1860 Berwick, VIC, Australia. 
Marriage*1878 Spouse: William Murphy. VIC, Australia, #M1944.1
Death*1884 Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, VIC, Australia, #D1989/1884 (Age 24) [par William & Mary KELLEHER] - spouse William MURPHY (Is deceased at the time of her father's death in 1884.)2,3 


  1. [S1] Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages Pioneer Index Victoria 1836-1888.
  2. [S28] Victorian Government. BDM Index Victoria (Deaths) (online).
  3. [S80] Ancestry - Family Tree, rvagnoni1 (Vagnoni Family Tree).
Last Edited17 Jun 2019

John Matters

M, #22619, b. 30 May 1828, d. 8 Mar 1892
Place in Upper Beac* Matters Road. Matters was an early selector who owned land east of Huxtable Road - c1873-1885 - Matters donated some land for the Pakenham Upper Hall - this is probably why Matters Road was named after him, even if it is not adjacent to his selection. 
Probate (Will)* 48/778. John MATTERS Date of grant: 27 May 1892; Date of death: 08 Mar 1892; Occupation: Gent; Residence: Dandenong.1 
Land-Note* Rated for 275 acres 1882/3 & 1883/4 NAV 115; 1884/5 rated NAV 48 paid by McGOWAN.2 
Book*From In the Wake of the Pack Tracks
A Groom's Eloquence started Pakenham Upper Settlement
When, in 1869, the Victorian Government passed the Free Selection Land Act, enabling a settler to select 80 acres (later increased to 320) there was a rush of people eager to settle on blocks. And Pakenham Upper's earliest settler was diverted from his plan to select land at Brandy Creek, north of Warragul, by the enthusiastic eloquence of a groom who extolled the virtue of the Pakenham Upper country.
J. Matters, a Devonshire fanner, had selected 30 acres at Nunawading but wanted more land. In 1872 he set out by Cobb & Co. coach for Brandy Creek, but while the horses were being changed at Bourke' Hotel, Pakenham, a Scandinavian groom persuaded him to inspect land at what is now Pakenham Upper. The groom claimed it was equal to Brandy Creek, and 40 mile closer to Melbourne - a big consideration in those days of coach travel. So it was that Matters and the groom blazed a trail into the hill, where the Devonshire man, convinced, pegged out 277 acres before returning home.
Slab Hut their first home
In August of the same year, Matters and a companion, Joseph Moyle, came back to the selection, and by Christmas they had built a slab hut. William Clink accompanied these two when next they visited their hill selection, and Mr. Matters' family followed soon afterwards. Potatoes and swede turnips were the first crops grown on the property, and Matters commenced dairying and pig-raising. Butter was packed in wooden tubs, and once in three months a spring-cart load of butter, home-cured bacon and eggs, was taken to Melbourne. A three months supply of groceries was brought back. The supply of meat, mostly corned beef, was obtained for sixpence a pound from Bourke's Hotel, and was brought out by pack-horse. (p146)
Pack Horse track
About the same time as Matters settled here, settlement also commenced at Gembrook, where the settlers came in from Beaconsfield. To provide a link between Pakenham and Gembrook, a bridle track for pack horses was cut, passing through Pakenham Upper. Mr Lewis selected 50 acres along this track, his property extending to Ararat Creek. Mr Clink selected 20 acres, which he exchanged for a portion of Matters' first selection. Years later, the district's first Post Office was built on the land taken over by Clink, Mrs Clink being the first Post Mistress. (p147)
Mr Matters gave the land on which the church stands; the building was to be used as a church, school and public hall. (p148.)3 
Birth*30 May 1828 Bere Ferris, Devon, England.4,5 
Christening5 Dec 1828 Higher Chapel-Independent, Bere Alston, Devon, England, Baptism 5 Dec 1828 [par Richard MATTERS & Elizabeth NORRIS].5 
(Migrant) Migration/Travel18 Sep 1856 To Melbourne, VIC, Australia. Ship Morning Light sailing from Liverpool
Age 26 - Labourer.6 
Marriage*1860 Spouse: Elizabeth Duff. VIC, Australia, #M2179/1860 - as Elizabeth CLINK.7
Land-Gembrook*23 Sep 1873Selection: GEM--A15. 273a 2r 31p - Matters had selected 273 acres of thickly timbered good quality land - it was fairly isolated and described as east of W. B. Wrights - and east of the source of Toomuc Creek. He received his license to occupy on 15th March 1874.
Matters must have worked hard - when he was due to renew his lease on 15 Feb 1877 his improvement were worth £537/11/- and included 2 dwelling houses, a stable, a barn, and 240 chains of fencing.
It was also noted that the applicant keeps a store. Matters received his Crown Grant on 25 July 1883 (19 July on Parish Map) for 273 acres paying £274.8 
Land-Gembrookb 1 Jun 1881Selection: GEM--83B. 19a 2r 17p - crown grant 1 Jun 1881 - Land File 5175/19.20.9,10 
Land-Gembrook*15 Nov 1881 GEM--83B. Transfer from John Matters to William Charles Clink. 19a 2r 17p.11 
Land-Gembrook*abt 1885 GEM--A15. Transfer from John Matters to Samuel Walker McGowan. 273a 2r 31p
1884/5 rated NAV 48 paid by Annie McGOWAN. 
Note*a 1885 John Matters later moved to Dandenong where he owned land, house and premises in Potter Street, also a bakery and three shops in Lonsdale Street - see will.12 
(Mortgagee) Probate (Will)12 May 1887John Matters had an interest in the estate of Samuel Walker McGowan.13 
(Witness) Marriage-Notice4 Jun 1887 CLINK—BUCHANAN.—On the 2nd inst., at the residence of Mr. John Matters, by the Rev. John Nall, William Charles Clink, Gembrook, to Elizabeth ("Lizz"), second daughter of the late Archibald Buchanan, Esq., farmer, "Scotch Blair," Kirkintilloch, Dumbartonshire, Scotland.14 
(Witness) Marriage-Notice11 Jun 1887 CLINK—BUCHANAN - On the 2nd June, at the residence of Mr. John Matters, Dandenong, by the Rev. John Nail, William Charles Clink, Gembrook, to Elizabeth ("Lizz"), second daughter of the late Archibald Buchanan, Esq., farmer, Scotch Blair, Kirkintilloch, Dumbartonshire, Scotland.15 
Death*8 Mar 1892 Dandenong, VIC, Australia, #D1514/1892 (Age 63) [par Richard & Annie].4 
Death-Notice*10 Mar 1892 THE Friends of Mrs. ELIZABETH MATTERS are respectfully invited to follow the remains of her late beloved husband to their last resting place, the Dandenong Cemetery. The funeral will leave her residence, Potter-street, Dandenong, THIS DAY (Thursday), the 10th inst., at 2 o'clock.
JAMES W. GARNAR, Undertaker, Dandenong.16 

Electoral Rolls (Australia) and Census (UK/IRL)

DateAddressOccupation and other people at same address
30 Mar 1851Richard MATTERS - Farmer of 80 acres, Woolacombe, Bere Ferris, Devon, EnglandHead of Household: John Matters. Age 22.17


  • 429, Dandenong Cemetery, Dandenong, VIC, Australia, John MATTERS 8 Mar 1892 Age 6318


  • 28 May 1875: FOUND, with my horses, chesnut saddle MARE, branded J E near shoulder, broken knees, blaze face, two white feet. Owner can have same by calling at my residence and paying expenses. John Matters, Gembrook, Pakenham west.19
  • 28 May 1879: BERWICK POLICE COURT. Friday, 23rd May.
    Before Messrs. Palmer; Buchanan, Wilson, Sutherland, and Elmes.
    John Matters v. Henry Venibles; work and labor. The defence was that the work had not been completed and defendant was willing to pay for the work done.—The Bench gave a verdict for the full amount with 2s. 6d. costs.20
  • 25 Dec 1886: We have received from Messrs. John Richards and John Matters, of Dandenong, £3 19s. 6d., being the amount collected by them for the relief of the sufferers by the late Windsor fire. The amount is made up as follows:—John Matter, 5s. John Richards, 5s. Mr Thorn, 4s....21
  • 6 Feb 1889: TENDERS invited till the 18th inst. for the ERECTION and COMPLETION of TWO SHOPS (brick) and ALTERATION to HOUSE, for John Matters, in Lonsdale street, Dandenong. Bricks secured. Plans and specifications at my office Thomas street, Dandenong. The lowest or any tender not necessarily accepted. GEO. PAYNE Architect.22
  • 26 Feb 1895: THURSDAY, 28th FEBRUARY. At 2 o'clock. BRISBANE and HANSEN (through their auctioneer, W. Brisbane) will offer by auction at their rooms, 72 Elizabeth-street,
    All that piece of land, at Gembrook South, being allotments 83A, A15 and A18, parish of Gembrook, county of Mornington, and containing 393 acres (more or less), with homesteads and all improvements thereon.
    The above is one of the best and most valuable farms in Gippsland, situated on the main road to Gembrook, near the South Gembrook P.O.
    The land is rich chocolate soil, divided into 7 or 8 paddocks, fencing mostly sheep proof ; 40 acres are under cultivation.
    There are two houses on the property, one a superior 5-roomed W.B. villa, with kitchen, servant's room, stone dairy, bathroom, barn, stable, shearing shed, cow, buggy and cart sheds, sheep and cattle yards, piggeries, fowl houses ; also a cottage containing 4 rooms, with garden, orchard, &c. Property is well watered by creeks, dams and springs. For further particulars apply Brisbane and Hansen, 72 Elizabeth-street. Annie McGowan23


  1. [S35] Probate Records, PROV (Public Record Office Victoria), VPRS 7591/ P2 unit 194, item 48/778
    VPRS 28/ P0 unit 616, item 48/778
    VPRS 28/ P2 unit 336, item 48/778.
  2. [S66] Berwick Shire Rates, 1870-1965.
  3. [S56] Berwick-Pakenham Historical Society, In the wake of the pack tracks, pp146-148.
  4. [S28] Victorian Government. BDM Index Victoria (Deaths) (online).
  5. [S65] Ancestry - various indices, Ancestry.com. England, Select Births and Christenings, 1538-1975 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014.
  6. [S36] Inward & outward passenger lists to and from Victoria. Series: (VPRS 14; 7666; 7667; 7786); PROV (Public Record Office Victoria).
  7. [S27] Victorian Government. BDM Index Victoria (Marriages) (online).
  8. [S81] Land Records & Parish Maps ; PROV (Public Record Office Victoria). Land File 32882/19.20 VPRS 625 Unit 445 (viewed by Charles Wilson 7 Jul 2003, who stated that John Matters kept a store - the first in the district (unsure if "first in the district" was written in the file or if it was a comment by Charles Wilson.).
  9. [S81] Land Records & Parish Maps ; PROV (Public Record Office Victoria). Land File 5175/19.20.
  10. [S185] Property Titles ; PROV (Public Record Office Victoria), C/T 1278-594 - John Matters of Gembrook Farmer.
  11. [S185] Property Titles ; PROV (Public Record Office Victoria), C/T 1278-594 - William Clink of Gembrook Farmer - C/T 1304-647.
  12. [S35] Probate Records, PROV (Public Record Office Victoria).
  13. [S35] Probate Records, PROV (Public Record Office Victoria), VPRS 7591/ P2 unit 122, item 34/126
    VPRS 28/ P0 unit 414, item 34/126
    VPRS 28/ P2 unit 217, item 34/126.
  14. [S11] Newspaper - The Argus (Melbourne, Vic.), Sat 4 Jun 1887, p1
  15. [S14] Newspaper - Leader (Melbourne, Vic.), Sat 11 Jun 1887, p42
  16. [S16] Newspaper - The Age (Melbourne, Vic.), Thu 10 Mar 1892, p8
  17. [S83] UK census - viewed on Ancestry "Class: HO107; Piece: 1883; Folio: 80; Page: 21; GSU roll: 221032."
  18. [S38] Index of burials in the cemetery of https://www.australiancemeteries.com.au//vic/…
    Age as 68
  19. [S16] Newspaper - The Age (Melbourne, Vic.), Fri 28 May 1875, p1
  20. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal (Richmond, Vic.), Wed 28 May 1879, p2
  21. [S16] Newspaper - The Age (Melbourne, Vic.), Sat 25 Dec 1886, p9
  22. [S12] Newspaper - South Bourke and Mornington Journal (Richmond, Vic.), Wed 6 Feb 1889, p2
  23. [S16] Newspaper - The Age (Melbourne, Vic.), Tue 26 Feb 1895, p2
Last Edited9 Dec 2023

Elizabeth Duff

F, #22620, b. 1833, d. 3 Aug 1903
Married NameClink. 
Married NameMatters. 
Marriage*1854 Spouse: Allan Clink. VIC, Australia, #M1641/1854.1
Widow16 Feb 1859Elizabeth Duff became a widow upon the death of her husband Allan Clink.2 
Marriage*1860 Spouse: John Matters. VIC, Australia, #M2179/1860 - as Elizabeth CLINK.3
Widow8 Mar 1892Elizabeth Duff became a widow upon the death of her husband John Matters.2 
Death*3 Aug 1903 Dandenong, VIC, Australia, #D9337/1903 (Age 70) [par John DUFF & Unknown] - indexed as MALTERS.4 
Death-Notice*5 Aug 1903 MATTERS.—On the 3rd August, 1903, at her residence, Potter-street, Dandenong, Elizabeth Matters, relict of the late John Matters, aged 71 years. (Interred August 4, at Dandenong.)5 


  • 429, Dandenong Cemetery, Dandenong, VIC, Australia, John MATTERS 8 Mar 1892 Age 636


Allan Clink b. 1819, d. 16 Feb 1859
Children 1.Elizabeth Margaret Clink b. 1855, d. 26 Apr 1893
 2.William Charles Clink+ b. 1857, d. 12 Apr 1903
 3.Allan Clink b. 1858


  1. [S1] Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages Pioneer Index Victoria 1836-1888.
  2. [S28] Victorian Government. BDM Index Victoria (Deaths) (online).
  3. [S27] Victorian Government. BDM Index Victoria (Marriages) (online).
  4. [S28] Victorian Government. BDM Index Victoria (Deaths) (online) "Father indexed as "Malters Duff Jno.""
  5. [S11] Newspaper - The Argus (Melbourne, Vic.), Wed 5 Aug 1903, p1
  6. [S38] Index of burials in the cemetery of https://www.australiancemeteries.com.au//vic/…
    Age as 68
Last Edited1 Aug 2021


Some family sections show only the children who were associated with Upper Beaconsfield.

Some individuals may be featured because members of their family were associated with the Upper Beaconsfield area, even though they themselves never lived here.