Benjamin Joseph and his family
Benjamin Joseph's parents lived on Norfolk Island before the settlement was closed. When he was born in 1817, they were living in a cottage located where the Royal Hobart Hospital is now. As an elderly man, he could still remember the camps of local Aborigines and recall a time when there were no houses on Battery Point.
When he was about 5 years old, his family moved to naniyilipata / Clarence Plains and farmed the property that had formerly belonged to James Shirley. Benjamin's father died when he was thirteen. By then he had five younger brothers, and in time Benjamin’s mother married the next door neighbour, Edward Maum.
Benjamin himself married Margaret Maum, a sister of his stepfather. Benjamin and Margaret settled across the other side of the rivulet on a property they called 'Riversdale', but it later acquired the name of 'Roseville'. In time, they bought more local properties. One son managed 'Oak Hill' on the shores of Ralphs Bay and another son managed 'Seaview', the farm which had formerly belonged to Edward's father, William Maum.
Benjamin’s brother, William, bought four adjoining properties above the saltmarsh, and named the amalgamated farm ‘Rosehill’. The other brothers moved away from the area around Ralphs Bay.
Benjamin Joseph outlived his wife, his brother William, one daughter and both his sons. He still followed a horse drawn plough when he was 81, and at 95 walked nearly a mile (1.6 km) to vote in a municipal election. He died in 1912.
Source: Land Tasmania: Will of Mary Maum Book 5 no 405.
Links to more information on other websites
Directions to next sign
Keep following the path towards South Arm Road for about 250 metres and the School Days sign will be on your left.
The boundary lines shown are based on Land Tasmania: theLIST map, Tasmanian Archives: AF396-1-207, Footprints p 116 and Land Tasmania deeds 18/8364 & 29/9112.
Image credits: Julie Davidson.