Several of the great great grandfathers of my husband Greg, attracted by the lure of instant wealth on the goldfields, came to Australia in the 1850s and 1860s.

One was James Cross (1828–1882), from Liverpool, who married a Dublin girl named Ellen Murray (1837–1901) at Buninyong near Ballarat on 28 March 1856.

James and Ellen moved to Carngham from Green Hill at Durham Lead, a few miles south of Ballarat, after the birth of Frederick James Cross (1857–1929), their oldest son. Their second child Ellen (1859–1903), was one of ten more children, all born at Carngham, the youngest in 1878.

Carngham, 27 km west of Ballarat and 4 km north of Snake Valley, was a gold-rush settlement, surveyed and proclaimed a township in 1855. The Ballarat Star reported the rush to Carngham in November 1857; the Cross family’s move from the Green Hill alluvial diggings was probably partly in response to this news.

James Cross died in Carngham from dysentery on 31 January 1882. His youngest child was just three years old.

A photograph of Ellen Cross and ten of her children (Thomas had died young) taken about 1890.

Jane Bailey Cross, the sixth child of James and Ellen, was born on 3 August 1866. She is seated on the right of the above photograph.

On 26 December 1895 Jane Bailey Cross married George Snell at the Anglican Holy Trinity Church, Carngham. A marriage notice placed in the Melbourne Age 25 January 1896 reads:

SNELL—CROSS – On the 26th December, at Holy Trinity Church, Carngham, by Rev. M.D. Williams, George, youngest son of late Richard Snell, to Jane Bailey, daughter of late James Cross, both of Carngham.

Jane Bailey Cross and George Snell on their wedding day.
Photograph kindly provided by a great grand daughter of Jane and George Snell.
Jane Bailey Snell, photograph in the collection of her great grandaughter

George Snell was a Snake Valley butcher.

Jane and George had six children:

  • Marjorie Merle 1898–1959
  • Richard Murray 1900–1975
  • Reginald Cross 1902–1959
  • Mona Robina 1904–1905
  • Sydney Oswald (Peter) 1905–1946
  • Dorothy Isabel (Dorrie) 1905–2001

On a visit to Ballarat in 1993 Greg and I were delighted to meet Dorrie Brumby and her husband John at their home in Snake Valley. Dorrie was kind and warm; John, joking that he was not John Brumby the Leader of the Opposition in Victoria, showed us his collection of home-made windmills.

Jane Snell died on 3 March 1930 at Carngham and was buried in Carngham Cemetery near her parents and her brother Frederick. George Snell died in 1944.

The grave of Jane Bailey Snell and her husband George in Carngham cemetery photographed in 2011. The grave is next to that of Frederick James Cross (Jane’s brother) and three along from James Cross and his wife Ellen (Jane’s parents).

Recently I was contacted by a great granddaughter of Jane who shared the two photographs of Jane and photographs of other family members. She wrote “It has always seemed like something of a lottery in families as to who ends up with the photos so sharing images seems like the sensible thing to do.” I am very grateful to members of our extended family who help to preserve our history by sharing their photographs.

Related posts

Wikitree: Jane Bailey (Cross) Snell (1866 – 1930)