In late December/early January just gone, I spent two weeks wandering around in the footsteps of my ancestors. Starting in Hobart, where it all began in 1830, visiting exciting places including Southport, Ida Bay, Richmond, Queenstown, Strahan, Zeehan, back to New Norfolk and returning to Hobart. All the places my ancestors pioneered and were well known.
My journey took me many miles through breathtaking scenery and landscape. I even travelled along the winding, partly unsealed road down to Trial Harbour on the west coast where the Bell family arrived on their way to Zeehan from Hobart Town in the late 1880s. Trial Harbour is a small holiday spot and apparently very popular with the locals now.
One of my favourite spots would have to be Richmond: a quaint little English-type village only 20 minutes from Hobart and steeped with history. One of my ancestors served time in Richmond Goal for stealing a pair of boots. He married an Irish immigrant in St. John’s Church, and baptized his children there. Alongside his wife, he is buried in the churchyard.
Richmond: Rich in Tasmanian History
Richmond has a lot to offer with it’s famous convict-built bridge, the Richmond Goal, quaint little accommodation cottages, lots of trendy cafes and restaurants, gift shops and also a pub. My two nights and three days in Richmond were filled with surprises.
The miniature village has to be seen. It was all hand-made and depicts Hobart back in the 1830s. It was constructed using original blue prints of the time and was special to me because that is what Hobart would have looked like when my ancestors arrived.
The church in this picture was exactly how it looked back in 1843 when my first Australian ancestor was baptized after the arrival of the Bell family in 1842. At least four of their children were baptized in that church. The original St. David’s was rebuilt again with some changes.
Elizabeth Bell: Memory of My Ancestors
Last but not least, below is a photograph of part of the Memory Wall in St. David’s Park in Hobart, where you’ll find the headstone of Elizabeth Bell, my Great, Great, Great Grandmother. You can read the full story of my Bell Ancestors in Tasmania*