PORTRAITS of CHILDREN by T. J. NEVIN 1870s
RAILWAYS NEW ZEALAND Richard McVILLY
The girl on the left is Laura Blanche McVilly (1870-1931). When her father registered her birth of 18th December 1870 in the district of Campbell Town Tasmania, his occupation was listed as Constable. Ref: TAHO https://stors.tas.gov.au/RGD33-1-49p291j2k
The boy in the middle is Richard William -“Dick” McVilly (1861-1949 – New Zealand). When his father registered his birth of 12th April 1861 in the district of Brighton Tasmania, his occupation was listed as Watch House Keeper. Ref: TAHO https://stors.tas.gov.au/RGD33-1-39p124j2k
The toddler on the right is unidentified and although noted as a girl, she might well be a boy, eg. their brother Albert Francis McVilly, born 1873. Male toddlers were commonly dressed in frocks. The toddler’s carte bears Nevin’s most common commercial studio stamp, and may have been taken in 1875. When his (assuming this is a boy) father registered his birth of 23 July 1873 at Campbell Town Tasmania, his occupation was listed as clerk, information sent by letter to the registry. Ref: TAHO https://stors.tas.gov.au/RGD33-1-51p775j2k
These three children were born in Tasmania to parents William Thomas McVilly (1841-1914) and Sarah Francis (1839-?) who married on 20 December 1859, when she was 20 yrs old, and he was a 22yr old clerk. The three photographs appear in a photo album which belonged to the boy (centre), Richard William “Dick” McVilly, and is now held at the National Library of New Zealand, Wellington. Richard “Dick” McVilly spent a few years working on the Tasmanian Railway before settling in New Zealand where he became General Manager Of Railways NZ in 1919 (Otago Daily Times of February 10, 1919).
Laura (on left) and Richard (centre) were photographed by Thomas J. Nevin at his studio, 140 Elizabeth St. Hobart, a week before Christmas, 18 December, 1874 (per date on verso). Both photographs are hand-tinted. The versos of these two photographs of Laura and Richard bear Nevin’s Royal Arms government contractor studio stamp used primarily to indicate photographs taken for the Municipal Police Office within the Hobart City Corporation, and at the Hobart Gaol. Their father, William Thomas McVilly was a constable and later clerk for the Lands and Works Department, HCC and Clerk of Papers, etc., of the Legislative Council in 1883. The unidentified toddler on the right may be a boy rather than a girl, another brother of Laura and Richard called Albert Francis, born 1873. The verso of his/her photograph bears Nevin’s most common commercial studio stamp, unlike the other two, and may have been taken earlier or later than 1874.
In 1884, their father William Thomas McVilly was registered on the Electoral Roll at the address, Colville St. Hobart. Thomas Nevin’s younger brother, Constable John Nevin, was registered in the same district and list, salaried to H.M. Government (messenger, photographer), abode H.M. Prison.
Electoral Roll Hobart 1884
This record is held at the Archives Office of Tasmania: –
Colonial Tasmanian Family Links Detail
MCVILLY, WILLIAM THOMAS
Birth 1837 –
Marriage/Relationship: 1859 – HOBART, Tasmania ( FRANCIS, SARAH ) [@]
391920 MCVILLY RICHARD WILLIAM 1861
391933 MCVILLY WILLIAM HENRY 1863
391889 MCVILLY JOSEPH HENRY 1865
391932 MCVILLY WALTER FREDERICK 1868
391894 MCVILLY LAURA BLANCHE 1870
391843 MCVILLY ALBERT FRANCIS 1873
391886 MCVILLY HENRY REGINALD TASMN 1875
391929 MCVILLY TRAFINA MABEL 1879
391895 MCVILLY LOUISA FRANCES 1880
391927 MCVILLY THOMAS HAWKINS 1885
The Photographs by T. J. Nevin
These three carte-de-visite portraits of the McVilly children are held in the National Library of New Zealand.
1. Laura Blanche McVilly
Date: 18 Dec 1874 By: Nevin, Thomas J, 1842-1923
National Library of New Zealand Ref: PA2-1198
Inscriptions: Inscribed – Verso – Laura Blanche McVilly, aged 4 years 18 December 1874.
Nevin, Thomas J, 1842-1923. Nevin, T J (Hobart) fl 1867-1875 :Portrait of Laura Blanche McVilly. McVilly, Richard William, 1862?-1949 :Photograph albums and a group portrait. Ref: PA2-1198. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22801544
2. Unidentified toddler, possibly a boy rather than a girl – eg Albert Francis McVilly, born 1873.
Date: 1867-1875 By: Nevin, Thomas J, 1842-1923
National Library of New Zealand Ref: PA2-1197
Nevin, Thomas J, 1842-1923. Nevin, T J (Hobart) fl 1867-1875 :Portrait of unidentified young girl. McVilly, Richard William, 1862?-1949 :Photograph albums and a group portrait. Ref: PA2-1197. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22395505
(Aside: actually, this toddler may be a boy)
3. Richard known as “Dick” McVilly
Date: 1867-1875 By: Nevin, Thomas J, 1842-1923
National Library of New Zealand Ref: PA2-1196
Inscriptions: Inscribed – Verso – In ink : Jn Dick.
Nevin, Thomas J, 1842-1923. Nevin, T J (Hobart) fl 1867-1875 :Portrait of Jn Dick. McVilly, Richard William, 1862?-1949 :Photograph albums and a group portrait. Ref: PA2-1196. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22906805
Many thanks to the National Library of New Zealand for their assistance.
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