The Cairnes Family History Blog Australia

The Story of William Bellingham Cairnes , and his family.

Pioneers and early settlers in Victoria Australia

Author: Linda A Cairnes (LAC)

This Website is now accepted with the National Library Australia’s Pandora Archive.

For further Chapters scroll towards the bottom and click on the numbered PAGES


This blog is a developing process of exploration and discovery about my great grandparents ( their 7th child was my grandfather Henry Moore Cairnes).  They had 15 children, nearly all survived to adulthood and beyond. Their stories will be typical of the settlers who came to the great land of Australia in the mid 18th century from Britain and Ireland.

I had very little received information when I first started researching a few years ago. Since the advent of online information , particularly on Trove National Library of Australia, and various family history sites,  I have found out a great deal. I want to emphasise that I refuse to pay for information via those family history sites and am deeply worried by the fact that many once public data bases that allowed either free or limited access are now entirely behind a paywall, generated by many of these powerful ancestry sites, through leasing that data from public institutions. Almost every piece of information has been gleaned  from free records, or given freely by so many members of the family. My grateful thanks to all and it was such a pleasure communicating with you all and forming warm friendships.

I have  found no evidence of any particular interactions, opinions, or participation with the indigenous peoples by William B Cairnes or his immediate family in those early years of settlement in north western Victoria. I do know that William’s first cousin, the economist, Prof John Elliott Cairnes made a substantial and influential case against slavery in the 18th Century. William’s father, Montgomery, whilst part of the survey team drawing up the border between Canada and the US in the early 1800’s is mentioned as having strong opinions against the racism of some of his officers at the time.

However, William must have made life changing decisions as a magistrate in rural NSW and Victoria, that affected the indigenous peoples. I hope his sense of fairness and his warmth coloured the decisions  he made with all the people he made judgements on.

 I respectfully acknowledge the past and present traditional owners of  Australia and pay my respects to the leaders of the traditional custodians of this land, past, present and future.

Together we acknowledge the contributions of Aboriginal Australians in this country we all live in and share together.