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Robert Booth and Sarah Mellin

Pentridge to Sandon


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Sarah Mellin

Sarah, the daughter of Joseph and Ann Mellin, was born on 2nd December 1828 at Marple Hall, a Jacobean house which was once the seat of the families of Vernon and Bradshaw, in Marple. Marple is in the urban district of Cheshire. It is 12 miles from Manchester on the little River Goyt and is served by both railway and canal. The chief industry is the manufacture of cotton goods.

Even though Sarah's surname has been a mixture of Mallin, Mallen, Malin and even listed as Unknown, I was eventually able to find her place of birth on the birth certificate of one of her children, Elizabeth Ann, and consequently her place of birth and the name of her parents.

Sarah arrived in Port Phillip, as an assisted immigrant, on the "Duke of Bronte" on 16 October 1849.

The marriage of Robert Booth & Sarah Mellin

Robert and Sarah were both living in Pentridge, (now called Coburg), a small village some miles from Port Phillip, when they got married in 1850. The Rev. William Butters conducted the ceremony in the Wesleyan Methodist Church, in Melbourne. Robert Stainsby, Pavaratus Kendell, and John Sutton were witnesses.

Robert and Sarah must have stayed in Melbourne for at least three years, as Jane was born there in 1852. They then moved on to a village called Eltham, about 20 klms from Melbourne, where Amos and Elizabeth were born.

Robert belonged to the Wesleyan Methodist Church, which was anti-alcohol, so I am sure he would have been concerned when John Fawkner set up residence, in 1853, in a house near the present south-east corner of William Street and Flinders Lane, and there, although unlicensed, he became mine host of Victoria's first public house.


Their next home was in Sandon where Thomas was born in 1859, John in 1862 and James Alfred in 1870. Robert had been making a living as a labourer/farmer until at least 1875.

Robert and Sarah had six children, but unfortunately, perhaps due to prevalent diseases and lack of medical knowledge, which was common in those days, five did not live beyond the age of two. However, Amos, their only surviving child, lived to be an old man, dying when he was 83 years old.

Between 1860 and 1870 the Primitive Methodist Connection built the first church in the main street of Newstead and among the foundation members were Mr. Booth, Mr. Williamson, and Mr. Horsefall (these three families became ancestors of mine). Sandon was only 6 miles from Newstead so a lot of travelling must have been done between the two towns as the three families had commitments in both towns.

Sarah died in 1870 from peritonitis, three days after the birth of her sixth child. Amos would have been 16 years old at the time and possibly helped his father looked after the new baby. This child died some 8 months later.

Robert died in the Castlemaine Hospital in 1879 from cancer of the jaw. His death certificate states that his occupation was a "bushman".

The next generation

Amos Booth, the only surviving child of Robert and Sarah, married Frances Edith Williamson 1887

~  John & Sarah Williamson   ~ parents of Frances Edith Williamson