52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

52 Ancestors #22 Joseph Whimpey (1848-1919)

Last week I finished the grandparents for my ex-husband and I, so this week I am starting with my great grandparents.  The first great grandparent is my great grandfather, Joseph Whimpey.

Joseph was born 10 January 1848 at Mount Barker, in South Australia.   He was the son of Joseph Whimpey and Margaret Price.

By 1851, the family had travelled to Castlemaine in Victoria, where Joseph senior was a storekeeper.  By 1861, the family had moved to Sandy Creek.  (Sandy Creek was later called Tarnagulla).

The family had moved to Newbridge by 1868, when his father was listed in the Bailliere’s Post Office Directory as a farmer at Newbridge.  His father was also listed as a farmer at Newbridge in the 1869, 1870, and 1871-2 directories.

Joseph (junior) was a witness at the inquest into the death of Richard Bramley in 1871.  The following is a transcription of Joseph’s evidence at the inquest (the full inquest can be found on the Public Record Office Victoria website).


Colony of Victoria

To Wit        This depondent JOSEPH WHIMPEY on his oath saith,

“I am a farmer residing at Loddon Plains.”

“I knew the deceased RICHARD BRAMLEY.  It is his body  the jury have now seen.  On Thursday last I was with deceased and my brother and last witness in a canoe.- We rowed a hundred yards or more down the river when suddenly the canoe sank and I found myself in the water.  I saw deceased and WILLIAMS, the last witness, they had hold of each other.  I saw them both go down and afterwards saw WILLIAMS come to the surface but saw no more of deceased. – We were placed one at each end of the canoe and two at arms length sitting in the middle. I cannot tell what caused the canoe to sink.  There was no larking going on.  We were all sober.  I was in the boat when deceased was found.  The drowning of deceased was purely accidental.  The oars were pieces of sapling with board nailed on the end – forming paddles.

I gave information to the Police and the Constable assisted in the search.”


Joseph married Sarah Jane Sharp on 27 March 1872 at the Primitive Methodist Church at Laanecoorie, and they had 12 children:

  • Jane Elizabeth Whimpey (1873-1957)
  • Alfred Henry Whimpey (1874-1933)
  • Joseph Whimpey (1876-1954)
  • Walter Whimpey (1879-1969)
  • John Ernest Whimpey (1884-1960)
  • Emily Whimpey (1887-1897)
  • Ethelind Hannah Whimpey (1889-1969)
  • William Norman Whimpey (1890-1891)
  • Albert Roy Whimpey (1892-1965)
  • William Claude Whimpey (1895-1917)
  • Arthur Edgar Whimpey (1896-1965)
  • Herbert Whimpey (1897-1974)

After their marriage, Joseph and Sarah lived at Newbridge, where Joseph worked as a contractor, and later as a mail contractor. By 1903 Joseph and Sarah had moved to Tarnagulla, as they appear there on the 1903 Electoral roll.  Joseph was listed as a coach driver.

Joseph died 13 July 1919 at Tarnagulla.

His obituary appeared in the Loddon Valley Courier and Farmers Advocate on Friday July 18 1919

Death of Mr J Whimpey Senior

The news that Mr J Whimpey had passed away after a short illness on Sunday last cast quite a gloom over Tarnagulla and District.  The grand old man was widely known and universally loved by all as one of those whose kindly influence in this world has done, and is doing, more than sermons to promote that feeling of brotherhood which we all hope some day to find the corner-stone of mundane affairs.  The words of Moultrie, when writing of the beautiful life of McCaulay, that he was “pure and simple as a child unbreathed on by the world”, comes into our mind when writing of the splendid old man, who has just crossed the Barrier, to be one of the elect of that God in heaven he so faithfully served on earth.  For half a century in this district, deceased lived loved by all who knew him as a true Christian gentleman, whose clean, unsophisticated life made him a shining example to all.  And now his turn has come to quit this mortal strife, but he had the great privilege of again meeting the three sons who have returned from the front ere the Great Ruler called him hence to meet that other brave son who made the supreme sacrifice on the fields of France.  The body was interred in the Tarnagulla Cemetery, Messrs H Chambers, A Comrie, W Kilgour, C Falder, W Newton and D Atkins acting as pall-bearers and, with the poet we can say kind hands never lifted a better man into the grave

The Rev. Trebilco read the burial service, and the mortuary arrangements were in the hands of Messrs Stafford + Sons, Dunolly.

Background of featured image is a photo from Unsplash – https://unsplash.com/photos/VV2_XVEjg5w Photo by Clarisse Meyer