Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Trove Tuesday - Harry Potter "Detective Potter"

I have been very pleased to see that the National Library of Australia (with support from the State Library of Victoria) have recently uploaded to Trove digitised copies of the McIvor Times and Rodney Advertiser, the local newspaper for Heathcote, Victoria, where many of my ancestors resided.

When I recently posted my P is for... Family History Through the Alphabet contribution, I mentioned my Potter ancestors, including my Great Great Grandmother's half brother, Harry Potter. Fi from Dance Skeletons commented that:

I think every Potter family should have a 'Harry'

With the recent digitisation of the McIvor Times and Rodney Advertiser I was able to find a detailed obituary for Harry Potter. 

On Wednesday, 20th ult., at his residence, Caledonia Gully, South Heathcote, there passed away a very old M'Ivor resident, namely, Mr Harry Potter, son of the late Mr George Potter, also of Caledonia Gully, for a number of years in the early days, and brother of Mr James W. Potter, of Rushworth, and Mrs A. Smith, Elmore. The cause of death was colic, ending in heart failure, after only two days' illness. Mr Potter was a native of Oxford, England, and was 72 years of age. He arrived in Australia with his parents when a lad, and attended the school at Heathcote in the fifties, with his brother Mr George Potter, jun., who died many years ago. Mr Harry Potter was for over 20 years engaged in the Criminal Investigation Department, being stationed in Melbourne, Bendigo, Ballarat, etc., and was widely known as Detective Potter, and an efficient officer, and noted for his clever captures. Mr Potter's various appointments were as follow:— Joined police force, February, 1866; appointed 3rd class' detective, August, 1869; 2nd class detective, February,1875; 1st class detective, March, 1880; 1st class sergeant, November, 1881;and resigning his position in May, 1887. In November, 1879, he received from the Board of Directors of the Queen's Birthday Quartz Gold Mining Co., Dunolly, a handsome illuminated address for his services in obtaining evidence that led to the arrest of robbers of copper plates and amalgam from the company's workings at that time. He afterwards had an hotel business at Ferntree Gully, later the Antimony Hotel at Costerfield, and Gold Miners' Arms, Caledonia Gully, Heathcote. As a youth he was engaged in several of the leading workings on the M'Ivor goldfields, including the Butlers and Alabama reefs, afterwards joining the Police Force, and subsequently the Criminal Investigation Department. He was of a very genial and kindly disposition, and his decease will be a source of regret to his many friends. He was married at Heathcote to Miss Laurina M. Kirby, who pre-deceased him. He leaves three sons and two daughters, grown up, living, and much sympathy is felt for them in their bereavement, two sons being deceased. The funeral took place on the Friday, and was numerously attended, the place of burial being the Heathcote Cemetery. The burial service was read by the Rev. W. M. Madgwick, and the funeral was conducted by Messrs. Perry Bros.

1914 'Obituary.', The McIvor Times and Rodney Advertiser(Heathcote, Vic. : 1863 - 1918), 4 June, p. 3, viewed 4 September, 2012, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74748003
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  1. What a brilliant obit - heaps of gems for the genie database there.

  2. Great article Aillin. I had forgotten about "our Harry" as I havent looked at the family tree in a long time - Carmel Corry (nee Potter)


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