The Starritt Family
This page and those following are extracts of the book "A Starritt Family History" by John D. Starritt - 1982 with permission of same.
This attempt to write a family history has not been undertaken because it is unique in any way from thousands of similar families in Australia, but because I wanted to set down all the collected information which different people within the Starritt family had, and which is stored in places like the Public Record Office in Melbourne, so that future generations of Starritt's will have some reference when inquiring about their past and their ancestors.
Not having been a very prominent family in any way in the past it is very hard to gather exact information especially of their origins in Ireland so with the help of Starritt families in Ireland, U.S.A. and New Zealand we have pieced together what is a most likely early origin.
Robert Starritt left Liverpool on 23rd April and arrived in Melbourne on 26th July, 1864 on the "Morning Light" which was a ship of 2377 tons under the Captaincy of Master Gillies. The ship's log says it took 140 days to reach Melbourne however, this doesn't correspond with the dates on the same log. There were 450 passengers on board consisting of 101 from the U.K., 58 from Scotland, 246 from Ireland and others not specified. Robert was aged 20 and was classed, either by himself or by the authorities, as a labourer.
The area Robert and John had chosen to move into was first discovered by Major Mitchell who, on June 28th, 183 passed just to the N.W. of Kow Swamp on his way to Mt. Hop and Pyramid Hill. He described the country as 'varying from Box forest to extensive plains with some areas well grassed'.
Two years later Joseph Hawdon and Charles Bonney overlanding cattle from N.S.W. to Adelaide passed through the same area describing the same area N.W. of Kow Swamp as 'thick bushy scrub full of small kangaroos and emus varying to extensive plains'.