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Amos SHUMACK 1812-1899 continued ...
Upon arrival in Port Phillip Bay on 17 July 1841 the Royal Saxon berthed at Williamstown. The Port Phillip Gazette of Thursday 21 July 1841 printed a detailed cargo list which included a large consignment of alcoholic drinks: brandy, gin, whisky, wine, ale, beer, stout; foodstuffs: bacon, cheese and hams; building materials: nails, slates, deals (boards or planks), dunnage boards; and general merchandise and apparel - all much needed goods for a young settlement.

Melbourne in 1841 was a busy port and commercial centre in an agricultural setting. Commodities and rent were expensive. For example: a single edition of the newspaper cost one shilling and the rent for a shop with a parlour and a kitchen in Queen Street was 2 pounds 10 shillings a week. There were advertisements for auctions of livestock, building materials and even food which reflected the demand for such goods. Entertainment included concerts and recitals and agents, accountants, architects and tailors were notifying the public of their professional services.

From their meagre existence in rural Ireland, prior to the Great Famine 1845-50, into this world came:
SHUMACK Amos aged 26, Farm Servant, Protestant, Could read and write, Native Place: Limerick.
SHUMACK Mary aged 24, House Maid, Protestant, Could read and write, Native Place: Tipperary. [Assisted Immigrants from UK 1839-1871 Register NSWSL, VPRS 7310, fiche 1, Book 1 pp12-20 provided by Bevan Stone]

Three months later their first child was born. Mary and Amos SHUMACK lived in Melbourne, off Collins Street (1847 Port Phillip Directory) and then South Yarra until at least 1851. One child was baptised at St Peter's C of E Melbourne and five children were baptised at St James Church of England in King Street, Melbourne. Here too, at St James Old Cathedral, Melbourne were recorded the burials of two sons, both named after Mary's father, John. The first died aged 1 and 3/4 years in 1843 and the second died aged 2 and 3/4 years in 1848.

In Melbourne Amos worked as a laborer and from 1845 as a woodcutter - no doubt in a boom industry supplying the timber for building the settlement. Gold discoveries in August of 1851 sent the newly proclaimed Colony of Victoria into a frenzy of gold fever and along with thousands of others, Amos joined the 1852 rush at Creswick, on the Great Dividing Range, 18 km north of Ballarat.

It was from a grog shanty at Long Point that a contingent of diggers set out to join the rebels at the Eureka Stockade at Ballarat in 1854. By this time Creswick was a cosmopolitan boom town. The population of 30 000 included 'Europeans, Chinese, Californians, Negroes and Manilamen'. It was a vibrant, egalitarian society which was very different from the poor villages back in Ireland.

It was very likely that Amos initially worked as a miner on the goldfields with some success because by 1858 he was listed as the owner of a store at Long Point near Ascot on the western fringe of the Creswick Goldfield. The rate books in subsequent years recorded his occupation as Storekeeper, Ginger Beer Shop Owner, Publican and Hotel Keeper. He therefore made his living providing mining supplies and refreshments for the thirsty diggers, first under canvas and later in a more substantial building.

When Mary joined Amos at Creswick about 1854 she had four children to raise: Kate aged 11, George Michael 7, Mary Jane 5 and Elizabeth 3. Creswick was becoming well established and facilities for families were being provided. Slab huts had replaced tents and the Cornish had just built a Wesleyan Methodist church and school. Sporting events and entertainments of many kinds were taking place and Cobb and Co. coaches provided transport.

At Creswick two more SHUMACK children were born, Phoebe Hannah in 1858 and Amos junior in 1861. By the time of this last birth, Kate the eldest daughter, was married and had her first baby. This was the beginning of a most colourful life which was not so unusual on the goldfields of Central Victoria.

The Creswick Petty Sessions Court Registers and extracts from the Creswick & Clunes Advertiser & County of Talbot Agricultural Journal show that Amos was engaged in a number of businesses during the 1860s. There were also entries for George SHOEMACK/SHOMACK (who was his brother b 1821) and a John SHOEMACK who was also in the Creswick area in 1862. It is possible that this is John (another brother of Amos) b 1815 who left Ireland c1845 for Lodi, New York, USA.

George SHOEMACK/SHOMACK extracts

On Tuesday 19 Dec 1862 at Shoemack's Bridge Inn, Long Point, an inquest was held by Mr W B LEES, the District Coroner, on the body of the infant daughter of Angus and Annie ROBERTSON, who died after half an hour's existence. The child had been weakly from birth. Dr Roche made the post mortem examination and gave evidence. Verdict - Deceased died from congestion of the lungs. [Inquest Transcriptions Creswick & Clunes Advertiser 1859-1862 f 2/2]

So at this time Amos was an Innkeeper, presumably of the best establishment in that locality to cater for a Coroner.

Mary SHOEMACK died 9 Feb 1883 aged 62 yrs Long Point, Creswick d/o of John SHEA a Brickmaker and Mary KENNEDY. The informant for details on the death certificate was Amos SHOEMAKER, husband, Creswick. He stated that Mary was born in Tipperary, Ireland and had lived for 41 years in Victoria. They were married in Limerick, Ireland when Mary was 21 years old. Issue in order of birth and ages were: John deceased, Katherine 39 yrs, John deceased, George Michael deceased, Mary Jane 33 yrs, Elizabeth 30 yrs, Phoebe Hannah 25 yrs and Amos William 21 yrs.
Mary SHOEMACK was buried 11 Feb 1883 Creswick Cemetery [Death certificate 1064]
Mary SHOEMACK aged 63 yrs, Residence: Long Point, C of E, Location 6 1068 COM, buried 11 Feb 1883. Also in this grave is the son of Mary and Amos - Amess SHOEMACK, 45 yrs, Residence: Hospital, C of E, buried 15 May 1906 [R/N 3378, 6533 Creswick Cemetery Register]

SHOMACK Amos, age 62, Laborer, Married, Residence: Long Point, Birthplace: Ireland, Admitted: 23 Sep 1878, Creswick Hospital In Patients Register 1863-1882]

Amos SHOEMACK died 4 Jun 1899 aged 84 yrs Ballarat Benevolent Asylum (which became known as the Queen Elizabeth Geriatric Centre) s/o George SHOEMACK and Kate ms unknown. The death certificate states that Amos was born in Limerick, Ireland and had lived for 58 years in Victoria. Details of his marriage and names, ages and sexes of his children were unknown. The informant was D Atkinson, Superintendent of the Benevolent Asylum, Ballarat.
Although Amos would have spoken with an Irish accent he was of pure German Protestant Palatine stock and didn't have a drop of Irish blood in him.
Amos SCHOEMACK was buried 8 Jun 1899 Ballarat New Cemetery [Death certificate 4412]
Amos SHOEMACK age 84, Benevolent Home Ballarat, Inmate, bur 8 Jun 1899 Ballarat New Cemetery [C of E, Block F, Section 1, Grave 24]
Also in this grave is Sarah MADDOX age 48, Benevolent Home Ballarat, Inmate, bur 25 Jun 1902 Ballarat New Cemetery [C of E, Block F, Section 1, Grave 24] Remarks: 2 Adults, in SHOEMACK's grave.
Sarah MADDOX (b ~1857) d 1902 aged 45 yrs Ballarat d/o Ernest DODGE/Mary Ann Unknown [Vic 4177] A birth or marriage in Victoria has not been found and she seems to have no children. No known connection to the SHOEMACK family.

Grave of Amos SHUMACK, Ballarat

The final resting place of Amos SHUMACK in the Ballarat New Cemetery on the main driveway.
His unmarked grave in under pine trees between the headstone in the foreground and the next one.
Photo taken 9 July 2012 by his gr gr gr grand daughter.


Children of Amos SHUMACK m 1841 Mary SHIER

Amos SHUMACK 1812-1899


Created : 15 October 2000
© Last Modified : 14 September 2012
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