Cleeland, William Ford

William Ford Cleeland
b: 1798 (Approx)
d: 25 Aug 1868
Research by Peter Cleeland

Born in Belfast, Ireland in approximately 1799. Married Charlotte Minnis in approximately 1825.

William and Charlotte arrived in Melbourne on the 27th. of June 1840 on the "Andromanche". Records disclose that they were bounty migrants, William being described as a carpenter and Charlotte as a dairy maid. His religion was listed as a dissenter. The town in Ireland listed as their home address was Killinchy in County Down.

On arrival in the Colony of Victoria William and Charlotte had five children:

John born 1828.
Joseph born 1830. Died at Preston in 1918 aged 88
Francis born 1833. Died at Malvern in 1923 aged 92
William born 1837. Died at Mansfield in 1928 aged 91
Annie Eliza born 1839/1840. Died at Ballarat in 1932 aged 92

One further child was born of this union in the Colony,

Charlotte born 1847.

Charlotte (wife of William) died in June of 1851.

William then married Elizabeth Cowie and had a further four children:

Elizabeth born 1859.
Victoria born 1861.
James born 1863. Died at East Melbourne aged 57
They had another son ,also named James, who did not survive.

Early records list the Cleeland family.� William and Charlotte lived at Springfield (now known as Mill Park). \\'A Centenary History of The Shire of Whittlesea� (now the City of Whittlesea) at page 68 details land purchases of William and Charlotte.

"The Coulstocks disposed of two parcels of land in 1847. They sold the first, west of Plenty Road, to William Forde Cleeland: he built a home he called \\'Springfield\\' which, for some years, gave name to the locality."

William later gave land to the Presbyterian Church on which was erected a bluestone church which still stands in Plenty Road. Details of that gift were reported in newspapers and details of the history of this church can be found in "Historical Buildings in the Shire of Whittlesea."

William later purchased land further north/west of Springfield at Wollert (See page 90 "History of Whittlesea").

William was obviously a prominent local identity. My father tells me he was a member of the Masonic Lodge. In 1867 William was part of a local committee formed to obtain a land grant for the purpose of building municipal buildings which grant was approved in 1868. The City offices and the Memorial Hall now stand on that land.

William died on the 25th. of August 1868. His death certificate records that he was found dead on the 25th. of August 1868 in Plenty Road Keelbundora (Parish of) from injury to the head caused by a fall from his horse. My family legend has it that he fell on his way home from a lodge meeting.

William is buried at the Preston Cemetery and his grave is easily found. The head marker is in good condition and his name has been cleaned and recently painted. Joseph is buried at the old Epping Cemetery.

The Will of William Cleeland was proved by his two sons, Joseph and Francis Cleeland and one John Watson. Joseph is described as a farmer from Morang and Francis as a farmer from the Goulburn River. Another son, William,. died in Mansfield in 1928 aged 91 years. The Will is difficult to read and is nine pages long.

An article from The Argus, 7 April 1875:


(Before his Honour Mr. Justice Molesworth.)


Mr. Molesworth and Mr. Dwyer for the plaintiffs; Mr. A\\'Beckett for the defendants.

On the 28th August, 1868, William Ford Cleeland died, leaving a will which had been drawn up by himself. On the 1st October, 1868, the defendants obtained an order for probate, and proceeded to realise the per- sonal estate without taking out the probate itself, which was not done till21thMarch, 1871 They gave an order to an agent to receive the proceeds of some of the personal estate, amounting to £230, and they collected the rents of the real estate. Of the £230, £129 was lost to the estate through the insolvency of the agent. Some debts were owing by the testator at the time of his death, and some of them were unpaid on the 31st March, 1871, at which date two creditors, whose debts amounted to £128 between them, in- stituted a creditors\\' suit In those suits the total debts proved were £235. The costs of the suit were £363 9s 4d. The defendants alleged that they had no money on hand at the institution of the creditors\\' suit where with to pay them, and that the suit and the costs of it could not have been prevented by them. On the 27th Novomber, 1871, the de- fendants applied to the court to be allowed to mortgage certain lands devised by the tes- tator in order to pay the £235 to the creditors, and the £363 9s 4d costs. The applica- tion was granted at defendants\\' risk. The defendants then raised £625 on mort- gage, the costs of and commission for ob- taining the money on which made the expense to the estate £435 14s lOd. By the provisions in the mortgage the rents and profits of the real estate, which were devised to plaintiffs for their maintenance, were to be applied in payment of principal and interest. This left the plaintiffs, some of whom are infants, without anything to subsist on, and on the 10th June, 1873, they instituted the present suit, in which they sought to have the defendants removed, and charged personally with the amouut lost through the agent, the costs of the creditors\\' suit, and the mortgage, and also asked that the defendants might be ordered to satisfy the mortgage, and procure a release of it at their own expense, and that they be ordered to pay the costs of this suit. The master in his report found a balance of £390 to have been in defendants\\' hands at the time the creditors\\' suit was instituted, and as the total amount of the creditors\\' debts proved in it was only £235, plaintiffs allege that that suit and the consequent mortgage were un- necessary. There were exceptions by the defendants to the masters report, and on the whole case.

His Honour reserved judgment.

--- The Argus 27 August 1868 ---
Funeral Notices.

THE Funeral of the late WILLIAM FORD CLEELAND, Esq., will move from his late residence, Springfield, to the place of interment, Darebin Creek Cemetery, THIS DAY (Thursday), 27th instant, at 2 o\\'clock p.m.

JOHN DALEY, undertaker, Latrobe and Spring streets, Melbourne.

--- THE ARGUS 27 August 1868 ---

An inquest was held on Wednesday by Dr. Youl, at the morgue, on the body of a male infant, which was found, on Monday morn- ing, near Cockbill\\'s boncworks, on the north bank of the Yarra, _ below Melbourne. The body was enclosed in a bag, and was lying a few feet from the river, having evidently been left\\'thero hythe tide. Dr. Neild,\\'who had examined tho body, said that it was that of a stillborn child, and seemed to havo been in the river for some three weeks. Tho jury found that the child -was stillborn, and had been exposed about the 1st insfc., by some person unknown, by throwing it into the river.

Mr. Candler, on Wednesday, held an inquest at East Preston, on the body of William Ford Cleeland, a farmer, aged seventy years, a resi- dent on the Plenty, who on the previous day was found lying dead on the Plenty road. The deceased was found at an early hour in the morning. At ten o\\'clock on the previous night he rode away from the Rose, Thistle, and Shamrock Hotel, towards home, and nothing more was seen of him till he was found dead. His horse was found about a mile further on. It was evident that he had died from the effect of a wound on the head, which seemed to have been caused by a fall from his horse, and the jury returned a verdict to that effect. The deceased was the father of Mr. Cleeland, of the Albion Hotel, and a very old settler.
  • 1798 (Approx) - Birth - ; Kilmore, County Down, Ireland
  • 25 Aug 1868 - Death - ; Plenty Rd, Keelbundora
William Ford Cleeland
1798 (Approx) - 25 Aug 1868
Family Group Sheet - Child
PARENT (M) James Cleeland
Birth1773Kilmore, County Down, Ireland
Marriageto Margaret McCormick
PARENT (F) Margaret McCormick
Birth1777Belfast, Ireland
Marriageto James Cleeland
MWilliam Ford Cleeland
Birth1798 (Approx)Kilmore, County Down, Ireland
Death25 Aug 1868Plenty Rd, Keelbundora
Marriage1827to Charlotte Minnis at Ireland
Marriageto Elizabeth Cowie
Family Group Sheet - Spouse
PARENT (M) William Ford Cleeland
Birth1798 (Approx)Kilmore, County Down, Ireland
Death25 Aug 1868 Plenty Rd, Keelbundora
Marriage1827to Charlotte Minnis at Ireland
Marriageto Elizabeth Cowie
FatherJames Cleeland
MotherMargaret McCormick
PARENT (F) Charlotte Minnis
Birth1800Dublin, Ireland
Death29 May 1851 Victoria, Australia
Marriage1827to William Ford Cleeland at Ireland
FatherJoseph Minnis
MotherEllen Carroll
MFrancis Moore Cleeland
Birth1833Killinchy, County Down, Ireland
Death1923Malvern East, Victoria, Australia
Marriage6 Mar 1860to Sarah Jane Moore at Australia
MJohn Cleeland
Death25 Jan 1914Cowes
Marriage18 Apr 1874to Isabel Jane Forbes Blake at St Peters, Prahran, Victoria, Australia
MJoseph Cleeland
Birth1830Kilkeel, Dow, Ireland
Death1918Preston, Victoria, Australia
Marriage1857to Mary Moore at Victoria, Australia
MWilliam Cleeland
Birth1837Kilkeel, Dow, Ireland
Marriage1860to Jane Ann Forrester Thompson
FAnnie Eliza Cleeland
Death1932Ballarat, Victoria, Australia
Marriage3 Mar 1859to William Henry Shaw at Springfield, Victoria
FCharlotte Cleeland
Birth1847Spring Creek, Victoria, Australia
Death22 Jul 1871Melbourne
Family Group Sheet - Spouse
PARENT (M) William Ford Cleeland
Birth1798 (Approx)Kilmore, County Down, Ireland
Death25 Aug 1868 Plenty Rd, Keelbundora
Marriage1827to Charlotte Minnis at Ireland
Marriageto Elizabeth Cowie
FatherJames Cleeland
MotherMargaret McCormick
PARENT (F) Elizabeth Cowie
Marriageto William Ford Cleeland
FElizabeth Cleeland
Marriageto ? Thomson
FVictoria Margaret Cleeland
Birth9 Jul 1862Springfield, Darebin Creek
Marriageto ? Harrison
MJames Cleeland
Death6 May 1921Box Hill, Victoria, Australia
Picture Gallery
Descendancy Chart
William Ford Cleeland b: 1798 (Approx) d: 25 Aug 1868
Charlotte Minnis b: 1800 d: 29 May 1851
Francis Moore Cleeland b: 1833 d: 1923
Sarah Jane Moore b: ABT 1845 d: 1910
Horace Edwin Cleeland b: 1878 d: 1957
Lillian Susannah Morton b: ABT 1879 d: 1957
Horace Frederick George Cleeland b: 21 Oct 1908 d: 1972
Beatrice Marion Handley b: ABT 1912 d: 1979
Robert Frank Morton Bob Cleeland b: 24 Jul 1911 d: 20 Apr 1999
Joyce Hilda Witcombe b: 25 Dec 1915 d: 18 Jan 1994
Peter Robert Cleeland b: 31 May 1938 d: 17 Sep 2007
Janet Dorothy Reid b: 1 Dec 1946 d: 28 Nov 2010
Annie Cleeland b: 1861 d: 6 Jul 1923
Isabella Cleeland b: 1869 d: 23 Sep 1943
Eliza Moore Cleeland b: 1862 d: 28 May 1939
William Ford Cleeland b: 1864 d: 14 Sep 1930
Francis David Cleeland b: 1865 d: 2 Aug 1945
May Carigg b: 1865
Francis David Cleeland b: 29 May 1898 d: 1957
Frances Maud Cleeland b: 1897 d: 24 Mar 1897
John Cleeland b: 1867
Emily Jane Cleeland b: 1871 d: 1885
Sarah Jane Cleeland b: ABT 1873 d: 1958
Charlotte Minnis Cleeland b: 1874 d: 1959
Henry Charles Cleeland b: 1877 d: 17 Oct 1953
Catherine Alice Foreman b: 1885 d: 1955
Vera F Cleeland b: 1906
George Frank Hudson Cleeland b: 1882 d: 1931
Frances Maude Cleeland b: 1875 d: 4 Jan 1944
Vera Clara Olive Gaudin b: ABT 1901 d: 1979
Reginald Percival Cleeland b: 3 Aug 1884 d: 12 Aug 1948
Amy Alice Arlette Young b: 9 Dec 1892 d: 12 Apr 1953
Clyde Herbert Cleeland b: 19 Nov 1920 d: 18 Jul 1944
John Cleeland b: 1828 d: 25 Jan 1914
Isabel Jane Forbes Blake b: 1854 d: 1894
John Blake Cleeland b: 6 Jan 1875 d: 23 Nov 1945
Margaret Jane Kennon b: 1879 d: 4 Dec 1909
Eileen Henrietta Cleeland b: Oct 1904 d: 19 Feb 1988
Benjamin Reckaba Dixon b: 1885 d: 21 Jun 1973
Ivy Florence Cleeland b: 2 Feb 1907 d: 18 Feb 1991
Rita V Cleeland b: 1908 d: 2 Aug 2006
Edward Everard Jeffery b: 16 Apr 1909 d: 21 Apr 1989
Ethel Hartley b: 1888 d: 1984
Henry Kitchener Cleeland b: 12 Jul 1916 d: 2012
John Albert Cleeland b: 20 Jun 1912 d: 18 Jun 1996
Gillian May Cleeland b: 5 Feb 1949 d: 20 Jun 1951
Edward Hudson Blake Cleeland b: 1881 d: 1923
Charlotte Smith b: 1880 d: 1956
Avis Isabel Blake Cleeland b: 1903 d: 28 Oct 1986
William Clarence Fiddes Paterson b: ABT 1890 d: 1969
Rae Isobel Paterson b: ABT 1923 d: 30 Jun 1979
Elva Elizabeth Paterson b: ABT 1927 d: 23 Jul 1979
John Edward Cleeland b: 19 Oct 1904 d: 8 Feb 1972
Grace Christina Raff b: ABT 1903 d: 24 Jul 1979
Alan Edward Cleeland b: 9 Nov 1932 d: 1 Jan 2011
Clyde Leonard Cleeland b: 4 Jul 1906 d: 27 Feb 1975
Merlyn Elvor Cleeland b: 1910 d: 1968
John Henry Gawith b: ABT 1905 d: 1979
Joseph Cleeland b: 1830 d: 1918
Mary Moore b: 1842 d: 1917
John Moore Cleeland b: 1859 d: 1933
William Ford Cleeland b: 1863 d: 1938
Joseph Cleeland b: 1866
Alfred Ernest Victor Cleeland b: 1869 d: 28 Jun 1921
Herbert Henry Cleeland b: 30 Jun 1871
Margaret Ross d: 24 Apr 1917
Norman Leslie Cleeland b: 1883 d: 1956
William Cleeland b: 1837 d: 1928
Jane Ann Forrester Thompson b: 1832 d: 1901
James Fraser Thompson Cleeland b: 1865 d: 29 Oct 1938
Flora Catherine Page b: 1869 d: 1938
Graeme Page Cleeland b: 13 Aug 1902 d: 1979
Fraser Thompson Cleeland b: 1905 d: 26 Oct 1979
Clyne Stephenson b: 1904 d: 14 May 2007
Thomas Thompson Cleeland b: 1868 d: 11 Aug 1945
Mary Jane Crockett b: ABT 1870 d: 2 Dec 1937
Gordon Forrester Cleeland b: 1894 d: 11 Jun 1980
Ida Nora Ellen Barrenger b: 1 Sep 1894 d: 20 Jun 1989
Ida Nora Ellen Barrenger b: 1 Sep 1894 d: 20 Jun 1989
Keith Barrenger Cleeland b: 9/6/1922 d: 15/3/2009
Jessie Forrester Cleeland b: 1861 d: 1898
Ivy Walker b: 1893 d: 1975
William Ford Cleeland b: 1861 d: 1941
Elizabeth Lockhart b: 1869 d: 1924
Jessie Eliza Cleeland b: 1900 d: 1988
Rupert Cleeland b: 1902 d: 1975
Helen Ethel Cleeland b: 1904 d: 1998
Albert Cleeland b: 30 Sep 1908 d: 1993
Enid Nelly Thompson b: 1916 d: 2004
Clarence Cleeland b: 1907 d: 1993
Frances Bennet Johnston b: 1914 d: 2009
Charlotte Minnis Cleeland b: 1863 d: 1911
Francis Cleeland b: 1866 d: 1933
Rebecca Trimble b: 1874 d: 1932
Ernest James Cleeland b: 1897 d: 1960
Mary Birch b: 1904
Evelyn Victoria Cleeland b: 1899 d: 1981
Albert Victor James b: 1897 d: 1960
William Thompson Cleeland b: 30 May 1902 d: 1977
Annie b: 1909 d: 30 Nov 1935
Leslie Francis Cleeland b: 1903 d: 1982
Dorothy Louise d: 2007
Phyllis Jane Cleeland b: 1907 d: 1913
John Cleeland b: 1866 d: 1867
Peter Alfred Cleeland b: 1869 d: 1932
Julia Ethel Williamson b: 1873 d: 1945
Verna Cleeland b: 1909 d: 1965
Arthur Henry Cleeland b: 1871 d: 1872
Frederick Minnis Cleeland b: 1873 d: 1948
Zilpha Maud Mary Adams b: 1883 d: 1950
Allan Bruce Cleeland b: 9 Jun 1920 d: 1972
Norman Minnis Cleeland b: 1911 d: 2001
Alice Jean Cleeland b: 1912 d: 2007
George Frederick Cleeland b: 2 Sep 1914 d: 1947
Alice Clarke b: 1886 d: 16 Mar 1956
Roy Victor Cleeland b: 30 Nov 1918 d: 2011
Betty Maud Cleeland b: 1922 d: 2002
Clarence White Cleeland b: 1876 d: 1965
Violet b: 1892
Annie Eliza Cleeland b: 1839 d: 1932
William Henry Shaw b: 1830 d: 1896
Edgar Shaw b: 10 Sep 1879 d: 19 Feb 1975
Charlotte Shaw b: 1861 d: 1916
James Cleeland Shaw b: 1863 d: 1949
John Cleeland Shaw b: 1864 d: 1865
John Minnis Shaw b: 1872 d: 1929
Edwin Hunter Shaw b: 1874 d: 1874
Alice Shaw b: 1875
Oswald Shaw b: 1880
Helena Mary Shaw b: 1882 d: 1882
Charlotte Cleeland b: 1847 d: 22 Jul 1871
James Cleeland b: 1864 d: 6 May 1921