George Edward Fortescue


Family Links

1. Selina Elvira Meurant

George Edward Fortescue

  • Born: 1838, London City, Middlesex England
  • Marriage (1): Selina Elvira Meurant in 1867 in Victoria Australia
  • Died: 1922, Rockdale, Sydney, NSW Australia at age 84

  General Notes:

James Fortescue, aged 53, a baker in London, decided to try his luck on the goldfields. With his son George, 19, he landed in Melbourne in 1852 on the clipper Statesman. George Edward, 13, nephew of James, arrived with two 20-yr. old relatives on the Lady Fitzherbert the next month. Joining their uncle and cousin, they made for Forest Ck, and thence Castlemaine. Both George Edward and James contracted typhoid, and were cared for by fellow travellers. James died shortly after reaching Castlemaine. We follow George Edward, son of James's brother John
George Edward and Selina Elvira Fortescue
George Edward (1838-1922) apparently prospered, as he returned to England and sailed again to Australia on the SS. Great Britain in 1863, aged only 25. Seeing more future in sharpening axes and shovels than in digging, he set up as blacksmith on the goldfields in Beechworth for 2 years, then over the next 15 years at the Woolshed diggings, Chiltern, Rutherglen and Osborne's Flat (where he stayed at the hotel of the du Meurant family). In October 1867 he m. Selina Elvira du Meurant. For 16 years they lived in the triangular cottage near the bridge on the main road in Yackandandah, now known asSir Isaac, Isaac's house. George Edward built the business into a wheelwright and carriage works, and by 1888 they had a family of four sons and four daughters: Selina (Rea), Geo. Edward 18691933, Albert 1870-1936, Caroline (Hawley), Emma (Ford), Rebecca (Wheeler), James 1875 and Ferdinand (1878-1963). Unaccountably in 1884, they sold their business to a nephew Louis du Meurant, and moved (with the linked Rea family) to Tallangatta, to farming land acquired at Georges Creek. His trade expanded, with the help of his sons, and he was soon back in the engineering business.
His own input to the business was crucial. The best-known invention was the automatic poison-cart for the extermination of rabbits. One son, Albert Fortescue, b. Yackandandah, 1870, was fascinated with the production of farm implements and other machinery, and was in the forefront in the transmission of power from tractors to harvesters. In aerodynamics he claimed to be the first man to lift a machine off the ground by a gyroplane", but it failed to excite the British War Office. After the move to Sydney, c.1904, George retired and spent his time entertaining his friends, leaving the management of the business to his family. When he died he left a considerable fortune, including 22 houses. Feuding predictably followed: at one stage Albert and Ferdinand erected a 60 ft. high fence betweentheir adjoining houses! Inherited family fortunes were diminished through the operation of rent controls following WW2.
Three of George's daughters m. Tallangatta men -and all moved to Arncliffe. Selina m. William Rea, Caroline m. Harold (Henry) Hawley, and Emma m. Albert Ford. Carrie's husband Henry Hawley worked c.1900 at the Herald office, Tallangatta, before his move to Sydney, where Henry joined a sheep shearing company, with whom he remained until 1929

Digger - Immigration to Victoria 1852-79
Given Names: GEO EDWARD
Month: OCT
Year: 1852
Age: 13
Code: B
Fiche: 014
Page: 001


  Noted events in his life were:

Death Certificate Number: 9895/1922.

Occupation: Blacksmith.

Immigration: "Lady Fitzherbert" arrived Melbourne - Age 13, Oct 1852.

George married Selina Elvira Meurant, daughter of Albert Maximillian Meurant and Selina Diana Jarvis, in 1867 in Victoria Australia. (Selina Elvira Meurant was born on 20 Nov 1848 in Prospect, Sydney, NSW Australia and died in 1910 in Rockdale, Sydney, NSW Australia.)

  Noted events in their marriage were:

Certificate: 3626.

  Marriage Notes:



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