Blogging from A to Z

Blogging from A to Z challenge – F is for Footscray

Footscray is an inner western suburb of Melbourne.  Wikipedia has an article at,_Victoria, which states:

Footscray is named after Foots Cray, on the River Cray in Kent, England.

I have many family members who were born, married, or died at Footscray. One of the families that lived at Footscray were members of the Harley family.

Robert Harley, born 1859, married Harriet Aysh in 1884.  Their first 2 children were born at Footscray:

  • Richard Harley born 1886
  • Rubina Eliza Harley born 1887

But the family then moved on to South Yarra and then St Kilda

It was his elder brother John Harley’s family that was more closely linked to Footscray.

John Dandie Harley was christened 2 May 1847 in Dundee, Angus, Scotland.  He came with his parents Robert Harley and Euphemia Dandie to Australia in 1852, on the ship “Wanata”.  After arriving in Victoria, they lived for a while at Emerald Hill (South Melbourne), before moving to the Lancefield area.

John married Mary Cottel in 1872, and their first two children were born at Woodend.  The family then moved to Broadford, and finally to Footscray, between 1886 and 1889. Their youngest daughter Daisy was born at Footscray in 1889.

John and Mary’s children were:

  • Robert Harley born 1873 at Woodend. More details about Robert to follow
  • Charles John Harley born 1876 at Woodend. He died in 1947 at Blackburn.
  • Violet Margaret Mary Harley born 1878 at Broadford. More details about Violet to follow.
  • John Dandie Harley born 1881 in Broadford. He died in 1943 at Mooroopna.
  • Alexander Harley born 1883. More details about Alexander to follow.
  • Lilly Harley born 1885 in Broadford. She died aged 10 days.
  • Eva Blanche Harley born 1886 in Broadford. Eva married Percival James Bailey. She died at Black Rock.
  • Daisy Harley born 1889 at Footscray. She married Arthur George Drenikow.  They later changed their surname to Rennie.  Daisy died at Sandringham.

John’s wife Mary died in August 1891 at Footscray.

After Mary’s death, John remarried to Elizabeth Evelyn Phelan, and they had two daughters:

  • Mary Veronica Irene Harley, born in 1896 at Footscray. Mary married John Joseph Mariner and they died in South Australia.
  • Constance Victoria Augusta Harley, born in 1900 at Footscray. She married Reginald Robert Peacock. I don’t have any further details for them after their marriage.

There was a third child listed as their daughter, Dorothy Evelyn Elizabeth Harley, born 1902 at Royal Women’s Hospital, Carlton, but since John died in 1900, she can’t have been his daughter.

John died 30th September 1900 at his residence, “Heathcote”, in Arran street Footscray.

John Harley death noticeFamily Notices (1900, October 6). Leader (Melbourne, Vic. : 1862 – 1918), , p. 44. Retrieved April 7, 2016, from

This next section focuses on John’s children who remained at Footscray

Robert Harley

Robert married Mary Jane Mullavey on 7 July 1898 at 5 Boote Street Footscray.  They had three children:

  • Robert John Harley born in 1899 at Footscray. Robert died 7 July 1916, aged 17, and is buried with his father at Footscray Cemetery.
  • Stella Annie May Harley born in 1901 at Tocumwal, New South Wales. Stella married Samuel James Crew in 1921 at Footscray.  She died in 1968 at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.  I don’t yet know if her family stayed in Footscray.
  • Cyril Thomas Patrick Harley born in 1910 at Footscray. He appears to have lived all his life in Footscray, and died there on 3 December 1950. He was also buried at Footscray Cemetery.

The Electoral rolls show they lived at the following places

  • 1913 45 Leeds Street – Robert’s occupation was blacksmith
  • 1921 77 Pilgrim Street – Robert’s occupation was soldier
  • 1924 21 Austin Street – Robert’s occupation was grinder.

They continued to live at 21 Austin Street until their deaths.

Robert died 16 May 1948 at Footscray, and is buried at the Footscray Cemetery.  His wife Mary Jane Harley, nee Mullavey, died 30 May 1962 at Footscray, and is also buried at Footscray Cemetery.

Violet Margaret Mary Harley

Violet married William Michael Francis Pickett in 1900.  William’s family were also from Footscray.  His parents were Joseph Henry Pickett and Diana Carter.  Their headstone at Footscray Cemetery reads:


In loving memory of Joseph Pickett, Footscray’s oldest resident 1846-1915, aged 69, and Diana, beloved wife of above, passed away December 12th, 1932 aged 79 years.

There is a Pickett Street in Footscray which is probably named after the family.

William’s sister Diana Victoria Pickett married Violet’s brother Alexander Harley.

Violet and William’s children were:

  • William John Pickett born 1901 at Footscray. He died in 1902 at Footscray
  • Joseph William Pickett born 1902 at Footscray. I don’t yet have death information for Joseph, but he and his wife were still living in Footscray in 1980.  He probably died between 1980 and 1988, as his wife appears on the 1988 electoral roll at Footscray, but Joseph doesn’t.
  • Violet Mary Pickett born 1905 at Footscray. She died at Parkville, and was buried at Altona.
  • Diana Helena Pickett born 1907 at Footscray. She was living at Ascot Vale at the time of her death in 1978. Her husband John Edward Corcoran died at Footscray in 1984
  • Catherine Dorothy Pickett born 1909 at Footscray. She married Albert Roy Ridgway. I don’t yet have death details for Catherine
  • Daisy Monica Pickett born 1911 at Footscray. She married Leo Richard Ryan. Leo died at Footscray in 1973, but Daisy died at Coburg, in 1980.
  • Eileen Veronica Pickett born 1914 at Footscray. I don’t yet know if she remained at Footscray or not. She died in 1995, and was buried at Altona.

The Electoral rolls show Violet and William lived at the following places in Footscray:

  • 1903-1917 26 Wingfield Street
  • 1919-1922 34 Wingfield Street
  • 1924-1931 7 Wingfield Street
  • 1934-1944 72 Moore Street

William worked as a tanner.

Violet died 1 November 1944 at Footscray, and is buried at the Footscray Cemetery.

William continued to lived at 72 Moore Street until his death.  William died 10 June 1948 at Footscray, and is also buried at Footscray Cemetery.

Alexander Harley

Alexander married Diana Victoria Pickett.  They had the following children:

  • Ellen Harley born in 1903 at Footscray. She died at the age of 40 days, in 1903.
  • Alexander John Harley was born 31 December 1903 at Footscray. His birth was registered in 1904.  Alexander spent all his life in Footscray.  He died there in 1966.
  • Rhoda Drinkwater Harley born 1905 at Footscray. She married Alfred Ernest Wanders.  I don’t have any further information about Rhoda at this stage.
  • Michael James Harley born 1908 at Footscray. He died in 1917 at age 9.
  • Margaret Dowd Jubilee Harley born 1909 at Footscray. She married Ernest Albert Carson in 1932, and died later the same year.
  • Diana Mary Harley born 1911 at Footscray. Diana married Norman Douglas Stockton, who had also been born at Footscray.  After their marriage, they moved away from Footscray.  Diana died in 1960, and Norman in 1966.
  • Catherine Elizabeth Harley born 1913 at Footscray. She married Robert Lucas.  I don’t have any further information about Catherine.
  • Joseph Henry Harley born 1915 at Footscray. The electoral rolls show he and his wife remained in Footscray for some time. Joseph died in 1982 at Fitzroy.
  • William Francis Harley born 1917 at Footscray. He died in 1979 at Footscray.

They had two other children born at Footscray, but since they were born after 1916, and as far as I know they are still alive, I haven’t included any details for them

Alexander and Diana lived at 5 Empire Street in Footscray.  Alexander worked as a moulder.

Alexander died in 1953 at Footscray.  His wife Diana died in 1929 at East Melbourne.