It seems that when I find new information that, instead answering the initial questions, I am left with a whole new bunch of questions.
This Blog has led me to meeting Patsy, who very kindly showed me how to research the land records in Melbourne. I wanted to find out if I could find anything referring to what land my great, great grandfather, Thomas Pye, leased or owned in the 1840s through to the 1860s in Belfast (Port Fairy) and then later in Kirkstall, Victoria. I did not expect to find much since I knew the Rates records prior to 1856 had been destroyed in various fires and that Thomas Pye had leased land in Campbell Street for 15 months in 1852 (this info was from a book by Marten Symes).
However, I was wrong, naïve I guess to the fact that the public could go and research the land records registers and memorial books. The first thing I found was the record of the lease of land in William Street, Belfast by John Storey from Thomas Pye in 1854. Back tracking this block of land, we found that Thomas Pye had leased it from James Atkinson, 1 acre block for 21 years. The block of land was next to the catholic school.
The other document that was found was the most exciting. It showed the sale of two blocks of land, one of 20 acres and the other 13 acres near Kirkstall in June 1876. Thomas Pye sold the land to his son, Charles Pye (who had recently come to Australia from New Zealand) for 400 pounds. Now Charles died just a month later (July 1876) and in the Port Fairy Gazette’s obituary for Charles, the last line read, “Mr Pye snr is at present in NSW.” Thomas’s younger brother, John Pye lived in Windsor NSW and I and descendants of John Pye wondered if the two brothers had ever had the opportunity to write to or visit each other, or if they even knew where the other lived.
Well this document proved that the brothers did meet each other again after their respective convictions in England. The conveyance parties were named as “Thomas Pye, formerly of Kirkstall in the County of Villiers, in the Colony of Victoria and now of Windsor, in the Colony of New South Wales, Farmer, of the one part and Charles Pye of Kirkstall aforesaid of the other part”. The name of the Witness was “George Pye, Farmer, Windsor, NSW”. George Pye was the fourth son of John Pye. George was a farmer and municipal councillor at Windsor.
I was so excited that the two brothers had reunited but even more surprised that Thomas and likely with wife, Mary, were residing in Windsor. How long had Thomas and Mary been living in Windsor? Did they reside with John Pye whilst there? When did they return to Victoria? Was it shortly after Charles died? Mary died in 1880 four years after Charles; her place of death given as Port Fairy and Thomas died a couple of months later at Kirkstall. Did the couple live in Port Fairy after their return from NSW and after Mary’s death did their son, William who was living in Kirkstall, take his aged father in until his death?
Did Thomas receive the 400 pound from Charles? Charles’s probate only mentioned debts to an auctioneer, J B Holden.
So many questions, speculations and as yet no answers to them. Looking forward to the next trip to the City!