Williscroft & Woolliscroft

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Peter Wooliscroft 1845-1911 of Rusholme, Lancashire and Australia

Life Story

Peter was the third son of John and Mary Ann Woolliscroft to emigrate to Australia. His brothers Henry and Edward had emigrated in 1863. He was born in Rusholme, Lancashire on 5 March 1045. His father died when he was nine and in 1861 he was living with his widowed mother and siblings in Princess Street, Rusholme, Lancashire. He was employed as a warehouseman.

I am not sure when Peter arrived in Australia. He is not recorded on the 1871 census returns in England so I think it likely he had left these shores by then. The first record I have for Peter is the newspaper advertisement in February 1885 when his brother Henry was trying to make contact. At the time Peter was thought to be prospecting for minerals in the New England area of New South Wales.

The next record I have for Peter is in 1894 when at the end of February 1894 Peter set sail from Melbourne aboard the steamer New Guinea bound for Fremantle, Western Australia. He arrived on the 10 March. He was a miner travelling with 340 other steerage passengers heading for the Gold Fields of Western Australia, most likely at Kalgoorlie. Conditions were harsh and primitive, with brackish water and unbearable heat. Peter stayed a year before returning to Melbourne from Fremantle on the 2 March 1895 aboard the steam ship Bullarra. The ships manifest shows he disembarked at Melbourne. I wonder if he made his fortune.

Report of the arrival of SS New Guinea at Fremantle

1894, March 16. The Inquirer & Commercial News (Perth, WA - 1855 - 1901), p. 14.

Boulder Road, Kalgoorlie, WA, Australia

At the time of his death Peter was living at Wallangulla, Walgett, NSW, Australia. Wallangulla, now known as Lightning Ridge was the site of the Opal Rush in 1905. It may be that Peter was still prospecting. He died alone in his home at Wallangulla in late August or early September 1911. The coroner stated that Peter died following a fire of unknown origins in which he was "partly burnt". The inquest was held on the 4 September.

Owner/SourceJill Dixon
Date29 Dec 2017
Linked toPeter Woolliscroft (Name)

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