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Smiley Family History

Shepherd Parkman Smiley 1828-1903

Family line:
Francis Smylie/Smiley 1689Hugh Smiley 1723William Smiley 1757Hugh Smiley 1785 → Shepherd Parkman Smiley 1828-1903.

Shepherd Parkman Smiley
Shepherd Parkman Smiley Born:
1828, Skowhegan, Maine, USA
Migration: Sailed from America to Australia 1853
Died: 26 December 1903, St Kilda, Vic, age 75
Occupations: Gold miner, coach driver, hotel keeper, farmer
Married: Margaret Phoebe Ward on 13 November 1855, St Paul's Church, Melbourne, Vic
Children: 7

Shepherd Parkman was the seventh and last child of Hugh and Mary (Polly) Smiley, and was born at Skowhegan in central Maine in 1828.

At the age of 25, he was among a group of Americans, including others from the Skowhegan area, who sailed to Australia to seek fortunes on the Australian goldfields.

They were aboard the sailing ship Rockland, which sailed from New York on 21 April 1853 under the command of Master H. Vinall. The 1,071 ton ship had been built at Rockland, Maine, three years earlier and was carrying more than 200 passengers and cargo for Melbourne.

The ship made its way down the east coast of South America, calling at Rio de Janeiro before making the hazardous passage around Cape Horn and the across the Pacific - a journey of more than 20,000 kilometres. Despite rough weather, a mutiny by six crewmen and the long passage, the ship eventually arrived in Melbourne on 14 August 1853.

Along with others from the ship, Shepherd made his way some 280 kilometres to the Ovens Valley goldfields. He was there on 16 February 1854 when one of the Maine men, 21-year-old Joseph Dillingham died of typhoid fever at Two Mile Creek near Beechworth. Shepherd was a witness for the death certificate, and at this time he described himself as a miner of Spring Creek.

He left the goldfields and on 13 November 1855, when he still described himself as a miner, he married Margaret Phoebe Ward in St Paul's Church in Melbourne.

Margaret, daughter of Thomas and Margaret (Dixon) Ward (see below), was born about 1840 at Blackfriars Bridge, London. A Thomas Ward, either her father or brother, was a witness at the wedding.

When the couple's first child (Franklin Thomas) was born in 1857, Shepherd described himself as a farmer living at Sandridge (present-day Port Melbourne). The couple had many homes - Shepherd became a coach driver for Cobb and Co, and spent much of the next 35 years in Western Victoria, including time at Bacchus Marsh, Dandenong, Linton, Skipton and Wickliffe.

The Ballarat Star, on 24 January 1863, included a reference to Shepherd under a headline 'New Insolvents':

The couple were living in Melbourne when Shepherd died on 26 December 1903, at the age of 76. Margaret continued living in Melbourne and died on 6 July 1919 in Heidelberg, at the age of 81.

The Ward family

The Ward family, including Margaret Phoebe Ward, arrived in Australia aboard the Clara Symes sailing ship in 1853. For details of the family, see The Ward Family.

Children of Shepherd and Margaret (Ward) Smiley


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