Passengers stories 
by their descendants.

The story of: Edward George Pinnuck & his brother David Pinnuck (travelling with wife Elizabeth and children Albert and David)

A brief account of the life of our ancestor Edward Pinnuck, a passenger on the Netherby in 1866: By Marie (Pinnuck) Emmitt, May 2016

Edward Pinnuck was born in Enfield, Middlesex in 1843 (North London). He was from a relatively poor family of farm labourers at Enfield Chase. In the 1851 census he is listed as a scholar and in 1861 a chaffcutter. He would have been literate which was more than our Irish ancestors were! We have no information as to why the two brothers emigrated to Australia, but can assume that it was for a better life. There would have been minimal opportunities for them as farm labourers in England and there was government support for emigrating. Also, an older cousin, Richard Pinnuck had been transported to Van Diemen’s land in 1842 as a sixteen year old so they may have known something of Australia (Although it seems that Richard had died in 1861).

In 1866 Edward left for Australia with his married brother David and his family (Elizabeth and 2 sons, Albert 4 years and David 2 years) on the ship Netherby. They were in steerage class which reflects their financial situation. The Netherby was bound for Queensland but after the shipwreck off King Island, along with many other passengers the Pinnucks stayed in Victoria (although I believe that their names are listed on a ship’s manifest as continuing the journey). The Pinnucks initially settled in the Ballarat region.

David Pinnuck and his wife had three more children in Victoria, with the youngest child being born in Trentham in 1873, making a family of three boys and two girls. David Pinnuck with his family moved to Broken Hill in 1886, dying there in 1922. The two sons, Albert and David, who survived the wreck moved back to Victoria, to Strathmerton in 1895, and their families still live among the descendants of Edward Pinnuck. 

David and Edward moved to Ballarat after their rescue to Melbourne but in 1873 Edward moved to Shepparton where he was one of the first to select land when it was opened for this purpose. He built a redgum house four miles east of Shepparton on the Old Dookie Road which was still lived in in 1979 (Country Bulletin, June 4-8, 1979 – story told by Jim Pinnuck, a descendant of David, who farmed near Kyabram and retired to Kyabram). Edward also worked for Charles Ball at Mundoona (wheat and sheep farm). Charles committed suicide (aged 35) and Edward married his wife, Mrs Henrietta Ball (nee Mather, 1840-1900) in 1876. Charles and Henrietta had eight children. Edward and Henrietta had four children Frederick (1879-1946), George (who settled on a farm out of Tocumwal, southern NSW; he had two daughters), Rebecca (Beck Darmody) and Elizabeth (who died young and unmarried). Edward married a second time, to Mrs Agnes Hayes (Feldstead) and they had two sons and a daughter (Eddie 1902-1912 died of appendicitis, Robert Sydney (1904) and Irene (Brewer) who lived in Shepparton). 

Agnes already had six children when she married Edward which gave him a total of 21 children, 7 of his own and 14 step children. 
Edward moved to Strathmerton in 1898 where he continued farming until 1925 when he returned to Shepparton to retire. He died there in 1927 at the age of 84. 

Frederick Pinnuck, (Edward’s oldest son and our ancestor) moved to Strathmerton district in 1898 where he bought a number of properties. He married Ellen Bridget (Birdie) Branigan in 1902. They had 11 children, 10 reaching adulthood, six boys and four daughters. There are many descendants of this couple participating in the Netherby commemoration.
We have little knowledge about the character of Edward Pinnuck, but we do know much about his son Frederick, my grandfather, not that I knew him. He was a well-known farmer in the Strathmerton and Numurkah district in northern Victoria. He was active in many organisations and was twice the local Shire president. His obituary (1946) in the local paper highlights his status in the area. His character may reflect something of his father!

Mr Pinnuck was a man of sterling character, upright in all his dealings, generous in thought as well as in deed, and one of the kindliest-natured men one could meet – in a word, one of Nature’s gentleman. In his younger days he took a keen interest in most kinds of sport, particularly shooting and coursing. He was a splendid horseman, and it is related how he rode an “outlaw” which none other could control. For many years he had travelled in most parts of Victoria and southern New South Wales, as well a less extensively in other states, in pursuance of his calling as a dealer in stock. His purchases ran into hundreds of thousands of pounds, and he earned, and retained, the reputation of being a man whose word was his bond. He was a successful farmer and grazier. He had his reverses, but these he met with sunny optimism and was never known to “grouch”.

In public life he was very active. He entered the Shire Council about 20 years ago, and was twice elected President, a position he held at the time of his death. Naturally witty, his droll humour often enlivened dry debates at the Council table. He was an earnest seeker after rectification of what he considered as an uneven distribution of rating imposts, and in every way possible tried to legislate for the good of the riding he represented. He was associated with practically every public organisation in the Strathmerton district showing particular interest in the park (of the committee of which he was Chairman for over 40 years) and hall. Some years ago he was commissioned as a justice of the peace, and carried out his duties fairly and impartially.

He was one of the most popular men in the district, and deservedly so, for he was helpful to his neighbours and to those needing assistance, whether by way of money, physical help or moral encouragement. He will be greatly missed, and the district in which he lived for so long, and in the advancement of which he took such a keen interest, is the poorer for his passing. The father of three Servicemen (Tom, Des and Tony) he took a keen interest in returned soldiers and at the Council and public meetings lost no opportunity of advancing their claims to sympathetic treatment and understanding. (From Frederick’s obituary in the Numurkah Leader, 1946; died from a heart attack; he was found dead after his car became bogged and he got out to try and push it; he is buried in Numurkah cemetary).

Frederick and Ellen Bridget (Birdie) (1881-1951) Pinnuck’s children and their children are listed below (our generation).

Leo (20.08.1902- 17.07.1981) farmer near Barooga, southern NSW – Fred, Barbara  
Marie (01.09.1904 – 25.03.1994) m Jim Tuckett – Mary died as a child, Ann (deceased), Margaret 
Dorothea (Dorrie) (25.06.1906 – 1998) m. David Burke - Patricia (Pat Bunting), Dorothea (Thea Corridon), Michael, Gerald  
Thomas (Tom) (b. 25.11.1907) farmer near Barooga – Chris, Nick and Philip 
Mary Kathleen (Kit) (12.02.1909-12.03.1994) m Bill Seabrook – William (Bill) (deceased), Charles
Edward (Eddie) (15.08.1911 -01.05.1962) farmer at Strathmerton - Brian (deceased), Nola, William (Bill), Bernice, Louise, Colleen, Helen & Paula (twins)
Elizabeth (Betty) Eddie’s twin who died at 13 months 
Patrick Desmond (Des) (25.01.1914 -22.12.1992) farmer at Finley – Marie, Katherine, Denise & Gerard (twins), Veronica, Suzanne, Loreto, Paul
Francis (Frank) (03.07.16-13.01.1996) – Peter, Christine, Joanne, Stephen
Ita (06.11.1919-01.09.2010) (m Tom Dwyer - Therese (Terry), Catherine, Leo, Damien 
Anthony (Tony) (7.01.1923) Bank manager – Gary, Mark, Andrew (deceased)

There are hundreds of descendants of David and Edward Pinnuck (of the Netherby) living in Australia. These original emigrants had successful lives in Australia and established strong foundations for their descendants. 

The Pinnuck
Elizabeth Pinnuck. Year unknown.

David Pinnuck, circa 1910.
Speech by Chris Mead during the 150th anniversary commemorations on King Island, Sunday 17 July 2016.

Hello. We are looking forward to meeting our Pinnuck relatives, and enjoying these days of reflection on what happened here 150 years ago. Unfortunately our brother Bill was unable to come due to ill health, and our sister Jennifer is living in Jervis Bay.

Both David and Edward settled in the Strathmerton area, after spending time in Ballarat. I remember our mother talking about a town called Elaine, which is now a very tiny town near Ballarat

Tom Brewer, Kath Treacy, and myself Christine Mead are grandchildren of Edward Pinnuck.

Edward was married to Henrietta Ball, Henrietta bought six children to this marriage, her marriage to Edward produced 4 children.
He then married our grandmother Agnes Hay, nee Felstead in 1901. Agnes was married to James Hay previously and he had 5 children, 2 deceased, to Jane Spence Gartly.
Agnes came to the marriage with one son Adrian John Hay, she had three children to Edward (Edward 1902, Robert Frances 1904 to 1984, and our mother Irene born 1908 to 1997). Edward the eldest sadly passed away when, he was 11 from appendicitis.

Agnes may have also been left to care for three of the Hay children, which may account for researchers thinking she had six children when she married Edward, our research shows 3 were stepchildren, and one was her child to James Hay.

Edward was 65 when our mother Irene was born, and Agnes was 48. Which explains why we are grandchildren, indeed looking at birth dates, Frederick, the son of Edward was fathering children at the same time his father was.

Our family history is such that Edward went to see his brother David off, with his wife and young children Albert James aged 3 and David aged 1. They were asking for sailors, so he decided to go too, He was 22 at the time, his brother David 7 years older.

Our mother Irene was able to tell us tales from the Netherby, which her father Edward had told her, she told us about the baby she didn't know the name of course, we now know it was Netty Cubbin. She also said he was carrying a lady on his shoulder, and he slipped and fell into the water, and was called a  "Dammed ass", maybe the passengers in the saloon who waited til the last to be taken off the wreck?

Irene was very close to Eileen Pinnuck, who was the granddaughter of David Pinnuck, and the daughter of Albert who was three at the time if the wreck. Albert was married to Annie Troy.
Irene was born in 1908 and Eileen 1909, so our families were very close, as we were all similar ages, we were always trying to work out what cousin relationship, we were, maybe third, as mum was the daughter of Edward and Eileen was the granddaughter of David.
I remember Eileen being very supportive of our mother when she was widowed at the age of 42, and left with six children the youngest myself being four years old and Tom here being 17 and Kath 8.

David Pinnuck: though Albert his son stayed in the Strathmerton area, Glenn Pinnuck, attending this reunion is David Snr great great grandson.
Eileen Pinnuck Wheeler, Alice Pinnuck Young, Irene Pinnuck Brewer.
Edward Pinnucks grandchildren: Back row: Tom Brewer Peter Brewer (dec), Bill Brewer.
Front row: Jennifer Collins, Kath Treacy, Christine Mead.
Together for the 150th commemorations:
Back: Glenn Pinnuck (great great grandchild).
Middle: Great grandchildren L-R: Barbara FiztGerald, Marie Emmitt, Katherine Gutteridge, Veronica Petersen, Loreto Pinnuck, Suzanne Bunworth, Gerald Pinnuck, Paul Pinnuck, Nick Pinnuck.
Front: Grandchildren L-R: Chris Mead, Thomas Brewer, Kathleen Treacy

L-R: Gerard Pinnuck, Suzanne Bunworth, Veronica Petersen, Katherine Gutteridge, Marie Emmitt, Paul Pinnuck, Kathleen Treacy, Thomas Brewer (obscured), Nick Pinnuck, Chris Mead, Glenn Pinnuck
At the King Island Museum with the Netherby Bell. Kathleen Treacy, Chris Mead, Thomas Brewer. 
Country Bulletin, June 4-8, 1979 – story told by Jim Pinnuck, a descendant of David.
August 2017: Thank you to Deb Jansen for sharing this oil painting she did of her impression of the Netherby wreck.

Deb is descended from David senior and his 2 yr old son David Jnr (and David Jnr's daughter Ida Lavina - Deb's grandmother).