The desecration of Minnie Carr’s grave 1898

By the time of his cousin Minnie Carr’s death in September 1898, Sonny Nevin, eldest son of photographer Thomas J. Nevin was the closest she had to an older brother. The death notice stated that her mother’s residence was at 76 Patrick Street, Hobart but in fact that was the address of her grandfather’s widow, Martha Nevin, formerly Salter, nee Genge, who became her step-parents when Minnie’s mother Mary Ann Carr died soon after giving birth in Victoria. Family members had left ribbons and cards at her graveside but within days, these tokens were stolen. Sonny Nevin inserted an angry notice in the Mercury, offering a reward to anyone who knew about the thief responsible for the desecration of his cousin’s grave. … More The desecration of Minnie Carr’s grave 1898

Why shave? Thomas Nevin and the pogonophiles

Rapid progress from the shaved face of the 1850s to a bearded appearance, which started during the Crimean War, reached its peak in the 1870s. Designated by Victorian Britons as the”beard movement”, it promoted an ideology which contended that a beard represented elemental masculinity. Potential health benefits were touted for the beard: it acted as a filter against disease, capturing germs and protecting teeth, especially where men employed in mining and industry were assaulted daily with dust and rubbish. The beard also provided other benefits such as a healthy skin, protection from sunburn, and a means to keep warm in winter. Those who adopted this love of beards were labelled “pogonophiles”. … More Why shave? Thomas Nevin and the pogonophiles

John Nevin in the Royal Scots at the Canadian Rebellion 1837-38

MOTTO of the ROYAL SCOTS
“Nemo me impune Lacessit”. “No-one touches me with impunity” (or “Dinna mess wi’ me!”)

While research into the life and times of photographer Thomas J. Nevin (1842-1923) in Tasmania has uncovered many fascinating aspects of Australian colonial history, the life and times of his father John Nevin (1808-1887) opens up many more vistas on key world events. Here are details of his service with the Royal Scots 1st Regiment in Canada. … More John Nevin in the Royal Scots at the Canadian Rebellion 1837-38

The Nevin farm burglariously entered 1881

During the night of the 16th instant the dwelling of John Nevin, Kangaroo Valley, was burglariously entered, and the following articles stolen there-from: – 2 white shirts, one much worn; 2 Scotch twill shirts, one has a patch of different material across the shoulder, the other broken at the elbow; 1 old flannel shirt, stained in front; 1 white pillow-slip; 2 jars of raspberry jam; 2 lbs. soap; 2 lbs. bacon; the property of and shirts identifiable by John Nevin. … More The Nevin farm burglariously entered 1881

First son and second child,  Thomas ‘Sonny’ Nevin

Thomas ‘Sonny’ James Nevin jnr (1874-1948) married Gertrude Jane Tennyson Bates (1883-1958) at the Wesleyan Church, Hobart, on February 6th, 1907. Her father, Walter Tennyson Bates, a renowned bandmaster, had died in 1905. By July 1907, Gertrude’s mother, Elizabeth Jane Bates nee Jones, had left Hobart and arrived in Sydney with six of her seven children – Gertrude remaining in Hobart with husband Thomas James ‘Sonny’ Nevin (jnr). Her mother and siblings migrated first to Vancouver, and eventually to California in 1910. … More First son and second child,  Thomas ‘Sonny’ Nevin

Key dates in Thomas Nevin’s life

From the early 1860s Thomas Nevin operated a photographic studio at New Town with the business name of “Thomas Nevins”. By 1865 he was apprenticed to photographer Alfred Bock whose residence and studio he leased from A. Biggs at 138-140 Elizabeth Street, Hobart Town on Alfred Bock’s departure for Victoria in 1867 (Hobart Town Gazettes 1870s). Nevin maintained the business name of the studio, The City Photographic Establishment, 140 Elizabeth St. Hobart Town. With partner Robert Smith, they formed the firm Nevin & Smith, producing stereographic views and hand-tinted studio portraits (TMAG and Private Collections). The firm Nevin & Smith was commissioned to take an album of Tasmanian children in 1868 to be presented to the Duke of Edinburgh (State Library of Victoria Collection). The firm of Nevin & Smith was dissolved on 22nd February 1868, undersigned by Thomas Nevin’s solicitor, later Attorney-General, W.R. Giblin. Thomas Nevin exhibited photographs of Melville St under snow (1868) and A Party at the Rocking Stone Mt Wellington (1870) at the Wellington Park Exhibitions (TMAG Collection). He also exhibited stereoscopic views and cartes at the Town Hall Bazaar on 1st April, 1870 (Mercury). For his work as the firm of Nevin & Smith, he was granted a colonial Royal Warrant, and for his work with the Lands and Survey Department of the colonial government, he was granted another colonial Royal warrant by authority. By 1870 Nevin was providing photographs of mining and reservoir works at the Huon and Cascades on government commission, as well as providing group portraits and landscapes for groups of tourists to Lady Franklin’s Museum and Kangaroo Valley. … More Key dates in Thomas Nevin’s life

Oral history: Nevin family at Kangaroo Valley

Mary Anne Nevin was the 5 year-old member of the Nevin family placed on the Fairlie sick list on the voyage out to Hobart, arriving July 1852.On board was the entire family of young Thomas Nevin, then aged 10 yrs. His father, John Nevin, pensioner guard (b. Ireland 1808) worked the family’s passage. He was accompanied by Mary Nevin, his wife (b.England 1810) and four children:

Thomas James Nevin: (1842-1923) died at age 80
Mary Ann Nevin: (1844-1878) died at age 34
Rebecca Jane Nevin (1847-1865) died at age 18
William John Nevin (1852-1891) died at age 39 … More Oral history: Nevin family at Kangaroo Valley

Thomas Nevin’s portraits of his wife Elizabeth Rachel

This is an old black and white enlargement of a detail of a portrait of Elizabeth Rachel Nevin (1847-1914) in her later years, probably taken ca. 1900 by her husband. Just her face was magnified to an unusually large size, measuring approx. 8×10. It has the impact of a modern cinematic close-up. The magnified final image was pasted to grey cardboard. … More Thomas Nevin’s portraits of his wife Elizabeth Rachel

Third son William John Nevin (1878-1927)

Third son William John Nevin was born 14th March 1878 at the Town Hall, Hobart, where his father Thomas Nevin was appointed Office and Hall keeper for the City Corporation and photographer for the Municipal Police Office, having leased his photographic studio in 1876, while maintaining a photographic practice and studio with younger brother Jack Nevin at New Town. This son was named after Thomas Nevin’s younger brother, William John Nevin (1852-1891), known as Constable John Nevin, and Jack to the family. … More Third son William John Nevin (1878-1927)

The Nevin group portrait and wedding photographs 1871

Elizabeth Rachel Nevin nee Day, wife of Thomas J. Nevin (1842-1923), was born in London on 26 March 1847, and christened at St Mary’s, Rotherhithe, London, UK on 28th April 1847, the eldest daughter of  Captain James Day and Rachael Pocock who were married at St David’s Church Hobart on January 6th, 1841. Her younger … More The Nevin group portrait and wedding photographs 1871

The Medical Officer’s report of the Fairlie passengers 1852

The Principal Medical Officer, Dr Edward Nollett (also spelt as Nolleth) reported no serious medical incidents had occurred during the voyage. Yet one child was still-born, vaccinations were attempted (unspecified types), and two prisoners were found to be nearly blind on disembarkation. … More The Medical Officer’s report of the Fairlie passengers 1852

Nevins on sick list during voyage out on the Fairlie 1852

The Fairlie prepared for departure from the UK from the Isle of Wight on March 2, 1852, embarking convicts and juvenile exiles from the Parkhurst Prison. While conditions on board must have been rudimentary for women and children accompanying a crew member, for a mother and baby it must have been a floating hell. … More Nevins on sick list during voyage out on the Fairlie 1852

Thomas James ‘Sonny’ Nevin (1874 – 1948)

Thomas James Nevin jnr was born in 1874 at the residence attached to his father’s photographic studio at 140 Elizabeth St, Hobart Town. He was the second child of Thomas and Elizabeth Nevin and the first son – his elder sister May (Mary Florence) was born in 1872).

Known as “Sonny” to family descendants, he travelled to California to reside there for a time with his wife Gertrude Tennyson Bates and his wife’s family who migrated there in the early 1900s. Both returned to Hobart and both died there, Thomas James in 1948, and Gertrude Bates in 1955. … More Thomas James ‘Sonny’ Nevin (1874 – 1948)

Mary Sophia Day  (m. Axup), sister-in-law

An old Hobart resident, Mrs. M. S. Axup, died in Northcote, Victoria, recently while on a visit to her son. She was in her 90th year, having been born at Lenah Valley in 1853. A daughter of the late Capt. James Day who sailed his own vessel, trading between Hobart and the Mainland before the advent of steam, she married a seafaring man, Capt. H. C. Axup, well known in shipping circles and the Launceston pilot until his death some years ago. … More Mary Sophia Day  (m. Axup), sister-in-law

Captain Hector Axup,  brother-in-law

In his “Unique Booklet” Hector roams over subjects as diverse as the launch of the last of the wooden three-deckers, the “Royal Albert” in 1854 which he witnessed as a school boy attending the Royal Naval Hospital, Greenwich; the good looks of Princess Alexandra of Denmark; Darwinism; Biblical Geometria; the Apocalypse; the Launceston Marine Board; “British Israel Truth” and Zionism; and a final word on the attitude of Christian men to Disarmament. He was in the end both disillusioned and traumatised by the Great War (World War I). … More Captain Hector Axup,  brother-in-law

Mary Anne Nevin, sister of Thomas Nevin

Mary Ann Nevin, born near Belfast Ireland in 1844, arrived in Hobart in 1852 with her mother Mary Nevin nee Dickson, her brother Thomas Nevin (b.1842), her sister Rebecca Nevin (b. 1847), and younger brother William John (Jack) Nevin (b.1852). All four children were under twelve years old. Mary Ann was placed on the sick list of the Fairlie, on the voyage out, on 23 April 1852, together with her mother, and in the company of some of the 290 convicts and Parkhurst prison boys on board. She was listed as “child of guard”. … More Mary Anne Nevin, sister of Thomas Nevin

John Nevin’s marriages to Mary Ann Dickson and Martha Genge

Disambiguation: Mary Ann Nevin
Thomas Nevin’s sister Mary Ann Nevin had married master mariner John Carr at the Wesleyan Chapel close to the Nevin family home at Kangaroo Valley Tasmania on 3rd May, 1877, but she died one year later at Sandridge, Victoria only 22 days after giving birth to her only child, a daughter also named Mary Ann. The only surviving child of this marriage was named after three Nevin family members; her deceased mother Mary Ann Carr nee Nevin; her mother’s mother, i.e. grandmother Mary Ann Nevin nee Dickson; and her first cousin Mary Ann Drew nee Nevin, also known as Minnie, last daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Nevin. … More John Nevin’s marriages to Mary Ann Dickson and Martha Genge