Earlier this year I was fortunate enough to visit Brisbane in Queensland, Australia. Before arriving there, we spent nearly six weeks in Tasmania – it was a holiday, a trip of a lifetime, but also a voyage of discovery, to see if I could find anything out about my great-grandfather Louis, who was born in Hobart in 1845. Although I didn’t learn anything new about his life, I was able to see where he had lived and worked, and experience the wonderful country of his birth. I knew he crossed to the mainland, and was for a while in New South Wales and in Sydney, before arriving in London some time around 1880.

Imagine my surprise earlier this evening to find that he had lived in Brisbane for a while! He had worked for Emanuel Barnett, who had an import export business, just as Louis’s father and uncle had, and worked in a now historic warehouse, then called Jewell’s Building, and later Wenley House. By the time Louis was working for Barnett & Co., Emanuel had been there for three years – and remained in the building until 1919.

The Brisbane Courier 20th January 1877

L. F. WALFORD (late of Messrs. E. Barnett & Co.), being about to make a short visit to England, will be glad to undertake commissions or the execution of indents. Mr. Walford having a large and influential business connection, is also prepared to negotiate for the opening of accounts for every description of merchandise in the home markets.
Until February 10, G.P.O., Sydney; after that date, 10 Coleman Street, City, London.

Did Louis return to Brisbane from London, or did he decide to stay, and there meet my great-grandmother with whom he had five children… I don’t suppose I will ever know!

 

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