And this is all the more exciting when the family experiences come from the other side of the world and explore the Australian gold rush.
Now I didn’t know that much about the discovery of gold in New South Wales in the 19th century but like the opening up of the Californian gold fields its discovery led to a similar gold fever.
But ironically it was the Californian Gold Rush in 1849 which convinced the authorities that in the face of people leaving for the USA the home gold fields should be made known and so pre-empt a local drive for gold.
And so from 1851 into the 1880s parts of Western Australia became the haunt of the hard working, the hopeful, the lucky the unsuccessful.
"My mother's grandfather, John Templeton, was also a sailor but nowhere near as elevated as Captain Dan.
I think he probably started out on a collier carrying coal out of Whitehaven where he lived as a young man. Possibly he sailed to Liverpool and back although I will never know this for sure.
When they married he gave up the sea and started working as carrier, a job which was very necessary in and around Melbourne in those days. Eventually he purchased his own horse and cart and when a family crisis occurred, he packed up the family and headed to Bendigo with the horse and cart.
I believe that he kept the horse and cart whilst he prospected for gold on the Bendigo Creek at what was then known as Kangaroo Gully, now known as Kangaroo Flat.
To extract gold in this way you needed a horse which travelled around and around, processing large amounts of soil. John and his brother-in-law, George Teasdale, who came from Manchester, did pretty well with this.
They were also quite ingenious in that they used the mud which would have clogged up the creek to make mud bricks with which to build their more permanent houses. The government still had not surveyed the land in the area so no land was available then on which to build homes. The miners and their families had to make-do with tents.
He later returned to Kangaroo Flat where, with his brothers-in-law John MacPherson and George Teasdale they worked on a deep mine at Diamond Hill using their skills in following likely veins of quartz to open up new leads.
When he died John was a cab proprietor, so he returned to driving horses and a type of cab which carried about 8-10 people. One of the Templeton’s must have taken over the cab business as, when I was about 11 years old, my grandfather took my sister and me out to Kangaroo Flat in a cab. We never knew the significance of this until years later when I took up researching our ancestors! Why did he not tell us, I wonder?"
Pictures; from the collection of June Pound