Pioneer Wall

Following is a selection of pioneers from the Chapman Valley District and the aim is to add a new one each month. If you have a story about a pioneer of ‘The Valley’ and would like to have them featured please contact

Cooper, Joseph (2)

Joseph Cooper was born in May, 1840 in Manchester, England, the son of Richard and Letitia Cooper. On the 26th October 1857, he was convicted of larceny of fixtures and sentenced to 10 years penal servitude arriving in Western Australia aboard the Palmerston, 1st February 1861 from Portland Prison.
On the 11th November 1861 at Fremantle, Joseph was discharged on his Ticket of Leave allowing him to seek employment wherever he chose and to report on regular intervals to the authorities.
He married Emily Jane Gray, daughter of John ‘Benjamin’ Gray, at Greenough in 1863.
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Charles Eastough/Eastaugh convict number 3011 was 33, when he and William Edwards, aged 18, were charged with stealing a sheep, the property of Mr. William Bush of Bishop Stortford. They were also charged with stealing two smock-frocks, the property of Thomas Chipperfield, a shepherd.  For his crime, Charles was transported to Western Australia for 14 years. Edwards received 6 months imprisonment and a whipping.
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Possibly John Benjamin Gray Sen 2

John ‘Benjamin’ Gray, number 12456, was convicted at Perth, Scotland, April 1847 for theft. He was 15 years of age when he was imprisoned at Dundee and sentenced to 7 years transportation On the 29th April 1847, John was sent to Millbank Prison in London and 3 months later was transferred to the Parkhurst Prison on the Isle of Wight where he waited to be transported. While he was in prison, John trained to be a tailor. It was another 2 years, on the 24th October 1849, when he sailed per Mary arriving in Western Australia as a Parkhurst Boy.
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Heinrich Family Portrait

Mervan Heinrich was born at Eudunda, SA on the 15th September 1922.   He and his family drove across the Nullarbor to Western Australia in 1932 to take up farming at North Baandee.    At the age of 14 years he left school to work on his father’s farm.    It was during the war and he and his brother earned extra money by burning mallee roots and selling charcoal for the war appeal, and to supplement their income.
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J Lauder 1901

Thomas Lauder/Lawder, convict number 5602 was born in Ayrshire, Scotland in 1820 and arrived in Fremantle on board the convict ship Palmerston in 1861 for the crime of uttering and forging.
Thomas had married Elizabeth Chalmers Park in 1846 in Ayrshire and they had 4 children. His occupation at this time was stonemason.
In 1861, Thomas was granted a Ticket of Leave and received a Conditional Pardon in 1864. It was at this time that he came to the Victoria District, working for builder Glen Robb and grubbing for George Brand.
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Sarah and Donald MacKay

Two brothers, Donald and Jannetas (Jock) MacKay were going to immigrate to Canada, but two of their friends and neighbours from Scotland, Alex and Donald Matheson were heading to Australia and talked the two brothers into joining them. Donald was born in May 1901 and Jannetas in June 1902, in Rogart, Sutherlandshire, Scotland to James MacKay and Isabella Sutherland. They attended a country school at Rhilochan about a mile south of their farm at 228 Tannachy as did their 11 brothers and sisters. Leaving school at the age of 14, the boys worked with their father as a road contractor and on their 15-acre property, near Rogart where they grazed Cheviot sheep and black-faced cattle. They grew their own potatoes, turnips and other vegetables.
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George Wells & wife

George Wells, convict number 4103, was sentenced in Nottingham for stealing wood. He was transported and arrived in Fremantle, Western Australia 7th September 1852 on board the convict ship Runnymede. On the 12th November 1856, he was transferred to Champion Bay then on to Port Gregory. Once he had earnt his Ticket of Leave in 1857, George could procure his own employment, reporting to the authorities at regular intervals.
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