George Kinnaird Dana was born in the Dandenong district of Victoria and christened George Jamieson Dana in 1849.  He was the son of Henry Dana, the commandant of the Native Police and Sophia Cole Hamilton nee Walsh. (Australian birth index)  Augustus Pulteney Dana was born on 1 March 1851 also at Dandenong.

Apart from these two boys, the other children of the marriage were  

  • Cecile Sophia (1845-1908), who married James Colles in 1866 and had children (with present day descendants), 
  • William Henry Pulteney (1845-died before 1852), 
  • Harry (1843-1854), and 
  • Charlotte Elizabeth Kinnaird (1848-1848).

Their father Henry Dana died in 1852 leaving a young family.  His widow Sophia married his brother William Dana; they had one child who died as an infant.  Sophia died in 1860.  William Dana died in 1866 having been recently married to a widow, Antoinette Besserat nee Weber.

In November 1867 Augustus, the youngest of Henry Dana’s sons, was admitted as a ward of the state.  The cause of commitment was that he was uncontrollable.  Both his parents were dead and his guardian was Mr Sturt P.M. who paid 10 shillings a week towards his keep.  He absconded in January 1868 but was brought back a day later.  In February he was stationed aboard the ship Nelson.  He died on 30 May 1868 on board the Nelson of Scarletina after an illness of 3 days.  His occupation was ordinary seaman.  The death certificate gave his father as George Dana, inspector of police with mother not known – in other words they knew little of his family.  He is buried at Williamstown cemetry. (information from state ward records and death certificate).

George Dana had settled at Port Resolution on Tanna Island Vanuatu (map link).  He was a trader , the occupants of the trading establishments apparently being principally involved in the manufacture of copra from coconuts and the collection of sulphur.  Two of his colleagues had been killed by natives.  Dana however shot himself in the leg on a walk one Sunday and died of tetanus (lockjaw) shortly afterwards on 20 December 1872. He was only 23. (information from death notice in The Argus on 1 April 1873 and from the book A year in the New Hebrides, Loyalty Islands, and New Caledonia. By F.A. Campbell. With an account of the early history of the New Hebrides missions, by A.J. Campbell … a narrative of the voyages of the “Dayspring,” by D. M’Donald, D.D.; and an appendix, containing a contribution to the phytography of the New Hebrides, by Baron von Mueller … Published 1873 by G. Mercer; [etc., etc. in Geelong .  retrieved from 23 April 2012 pages 172-3). 

The young men were my 1st cousins four times removed.

I am still curious to know what happened to Antoinette, the widow of  their uncle.  I also wonder who Mr Sturt was.

Mr Sturt  was almost certainly Evelyn Pitfield Shirley Sturt (1816-1885), brother of the explorer Charles Sturt and police magistrate.  He is the subject of a biography in the Australian Dictionary of Biography ( ). Sturt Street in Ballarat runs parallel to Dana Street and is West Ballarat’s main street.  It is named after him. ( ).