Ferny Creek in the Dandenong Ranges
A home among the gum trees with Koala bears. Lyre-birds and a Kangaroo--or two.

Ferny Creek

Ferny Creek,
 an outer suburb in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, is 33 km south-east of Melbourne's CBD. It is part of the Local Government Shire of Yarra Ranges. At the 2006 Census, Ferny Creek had a population of 1536.

The suburb is built around but mainly to the south of Dunns Hill (height 561m) with most of Ferny Creek lying between 400 and 550 metres above sea level. It is named for the stream running through it, Ferny Creek. The suburb is largely surrounded by conservation zones and national parks, with the Dandenong Ranges national park on its northern and west sides, the Upwey habitat corridor to the south and Sherbrooke Forest to the east.

From early in its European history the area was used by Melburnians as a place to get away from the maddening crowd. People came for weekend and summer camps and to gain some relief from the oppressive heat. As a result, gradually over the years, simple "weekender" cottages developed. As the city grew, all of the original forest was felled to build the many timber-framed, weatherboard clad structures that still make up much of Melbourne's suburbia. All of the forest now to be seen is "regrowth" that has happened since that early denuding process.

Today the area still attracts many visitors and tourists who come to enjoy, amongst other things, the beautiful scenic drives and many walking tracks that are an integral part of the local parks. One well known and very popular track quite close to Ferny Creek is called "The Thousand Steps". This particular track has also become a local memorial to Papua New Guinea's infamous "Kokoda Track", and the bloody battles fought there by Australians during WWII.

Dandenong Ranges in Autumn
Dandenong Ranges in Autumn

The Chamberlain Family
Preston Capes, Northamptonshire; the village they left behind.

I wonder what Thomas Chamberlain and Susannah Catherine Bull together with their four children, William (9), Sarah Ann (7), Giles (3) and 11 month old Edwin were thinking about as they celebrated their last Christmas in the village of Preston Capes, December 1841? I wonder what their hopes were that made them take such a momentous step, and what their fears were as they prepared to step out into the great unknown? They boarded their ship just a week later, so pretty much everything would have been packed, and may have even travelled ahead of them to their boarding dock at Gravesend, so that their home probably seemed like a stranger - cold and empty. This picture of Preston Capes was taken about 150 years after the family left for their far side of the world in New Zealand.

Preston Capes Village

Although I live in Ferny Creek, I am a fifth generation part of this pioneering family of six who left their home in Preston Capes, Northamptonshire and sailed from Gravesend, England with 297 other immigrants on Sunday 2nd January 1842. Enduring four months of very cramped conditions, aboard the "London", and losing Edwin to bronchitis, they were like so many other families, who lost the youngest members of their families to the cruel conditions of that early migration (And when considering the plight of boat people migrating to our shores in the twenty-first century, one is forced to ask, "What has changed?"). On their arrival at Port Nicholson, an early name for Wellington, New Zealand, they were quite literally dumped on the beach, and left to fend for themselves as they started a complete new life. The New Zealand Company was very good at promoting the scheme under which so many migrants came, but was very poor in the support they provided once these travellers had arrived.

This site is dedicated to the pioneering members of my family, in all of their many branches. Their strength of character, fortitude and their vision has left a magnificent legacy, a foundation on which we in subsequent generations can only hope to continue the building process, and thereby pass the baton on to future generations. Today this family number in their thousands across New Zealand and beyond. This is why I have used the word "Destiny" as the title for this website.

To get started, follow this link to the - Foreword & Table of Contents

enjoy - Ian

If you wish to search for a particular family, try typing the name into the search-field in the top right corner and click "GO".

 Back to Top

Dandenong Ranges




 Historical Family
1. Ancient Beginnings
2. English Family
3. Parliamentary
4. Coming to N.Z.
 Persons of Renown
Sir John & Sir William Chamberlayne
Sir Roger Chamberlayne
Sir Leonard Chamberlain
Sir Thomas Chamberlayne I
Sir Thomas Chamberlayne II
Major Thomas Chamberlain III
Edward Chamberlayne
Thomas Pardoe
John Chamberlain
Gen. Joshua Chamberlain
Col. Thomas Chamberlain IV
Henry Bowland
Joseph Chamberlain
Giles E. Chamberlain
Sir Austen Chamberlain
Neville Chamberlain
Gertrude (Burford) Rawlings
Isaac Sykes
Owen Chamberlain
Robert E. (Bob) Chamberlain
 Particular Places
Preston Capes
 Supplements, Historic, Biblical
The Reason Why?
Destiny's Lodestone
What A Difference A Name Makes
 No Simple Passage
 Preston Capes
 World Chamberlain Society
 Wairarapa History
 Wilton Family
 Genealogy Software
No Simple Passage
The Journey of the "London" and her passengers from England to New Zealand in 1842. Thomas & Susannah Chamberlain, together with their four children sailed aboard the London on this voyage to Port Nicholson. The author is Jenny Robin Jones a descendant of one of the passengers. The book was published in 2011 by Random House ISBN 978 1 86979 510 8
Wiltons Galore

The Pioneer Story of Robert Wilton and Elizabeth Denman from Montacute, Somerset, England and continued through their children and grand-children in New Zealand. Mary Wilton married Arthur Joseph Chamberlain, and this is the story & record of her family.
This book was compiled by descendant Jo Wilton and published in 2007 by Colin Watson & Colin Liddell
ISBN 978 0 473 11318 6

Petticoat Pioneers
Petticoat Pioneers

Stories of New Zealand's North Island women of the colonial pioneering era compiled and recorded for us by author Miriam Macgregor. Two of the women featured in this book are Susannah Catherine (Bull) Chamberlain and her daughter -in-law (Catherine McKenzie) Kitty Chamberlain. 
This book was published in 1973 by A.H.& A.W. Reed, Wellington, New Zealand. 
ISBN 0 589 00771 8

Paddy the Wanderer
Paddy the Wanderer

The true story of an Airedale dog who captured the heart of the city of Wellington during the dark days of depression. Also captured here is Paddy's association with Blue Taxicab manager, Merlin Chamberlain. The author is Dianne Haworth, a dog-lover and editor of Animal's Voice, who lives and works in Auckland.
The book was published in 2007 by HarperCollins NZ. 
ISBN 978 1 86950 625 4