(b1823, d.1890) was the husband of Betsy
Sutherland / Thompson, and father of ten children:-
Son of William
Armstrong and Ann Sutherland.
He was born in Kildonan,
Sutherlandshire, Scotland, and died at Warrambeen on 12 January 1890, aged
He married his first wife Barbara
Thomson, on 16 Nov 1820. She was born on 22 Apr 1821 in Kildonan,
Sutherlandshire, Scotland, and died at Warrambeen on 3 October 1853, aged 33 years.
They migrated as assisted passengers to Victoria on the "Europa"
in September 1852.
He married Betsy Sutherland/Thomson in
1860 at Woolbrook, Victoria, at the home of his uncle, James Bell.
interesting marriage connections
The Sutherlands, Armstrongs and
Thomsons all lived in Kildonan / Loth / Clyne, Sutherlandshire, Scotland
before migrating to Australia.
Alexander Armstrong's mother was
a Sutherland. He married Barbara Thomson.
Betsy Sutherland's father was a
Sutherland. She married Thomas Thomson.
Both Barbara Thomson and Thomas
Thomson died within years of arriving in Australia with their spouses.
Common names in the related
families include Munro, Mackay and Campbell. These names recur commonly in
the properties owned by the Armstrongs in Australia.
He arrived in
Australia in 1852, and was an overseer for Alexander Cunningham. Then he managed the John Bell property of Warrambeen. He later leased 40,000 acres from
John Bell and bought John Bell's Watch Hill estate of 11,000 acres.
with John Bell explains the "Bell" middle name for some of his
children. Interestingly, his daughter, Mary Ann, married John Bell's nephew,
Lewis Bell in 1881.
September 1879, The Geelong Advertiser noted the arrival at Leigh
Road (later Bannockburn) Railway Station of the first western district wool
for the season, en route to the Geelong port - it came from Alexander
stock had been built up since 1851; and by 1887, records show his properties
were shearing 80,000
records also show he had 289 stud ewes for 5 stud rams at various
year, sheep had been been brought to Warrambeen for shearing from
Ellingerrin, Moffats, Gows Hill, Watch Hill and Andrew's Hill.
exporting of 109 rams to New Zealand is also recorded.
He lived at Warrambeen until his death in
Day, the Armstrongs and Bells would distribute gifts amongst the residents
of Shelford and Teesdale. Alexander Armstrong would give fifty fat lambs to
residents; Betsy Armstrong dispensed prizes to the Teesdale Sunday School.
Mary Bell (widow of James Bell) gave gifts to the Teesdale children.
in the majority in Victoria's Western District, bringing with them their
Presbyterianism. A Thomas Spurgeon preached at Warrambeen in July
1880. In The Scottish Church in Victoria, 1901, wrote of "the
respect and affection Alexander Armstrong of Warrambeen had won from those
who knew him."
Gow, a licentiate of the Church of Scotland came to Geelong in 1841. He is
reported to have lived at John Bell's Watch Hill and at Warrambeen during
the 1840's. John Bell apparently supported several churches in the area as
well - Leigh Church and St. George's Geelong.
Armstrong was one of the men instrumental in setting up the
Presbyterian church in Geelong, and in the establishment of Scotch College,
Geelong. Presumably Alexander Armstrong and his father, William
Armstrong, were also instrumental in its establishment.
Alexander Armstrong acted as a lay preacher at Leigh for the Rev. Archibald
Simpson, Free Church of Scotland, whenever his help was required.
the church were elected in 1856 and Alexander Armstrong became one of the
Rev. Simpson retired in 1882 after 25 years at Leigh, his replacement was
the Rev. Alexander Stewart, who was to marry Jean
Armstrong, daughter of Alexander Armstrong.
From 1873 -
1890, he was a Councillor of the Shire of Leigh. He is listed as having interests
in Warrambeen, Shelford West, Shelford East, Wurrook and Wingeel
Some Armstrong children
are recorded as attending the state school in the village. After the school
closed down, Alex. Armstrong in 1883 provided a hut on his property for a
private school, paying the teacher £28 p.a. with lodging. Interestingly, two
Armstrong grandchildren, (Dr.) George
Bell and Alexander "Click"
Bell (sons of Lewis and
MaryAnn Bell of Booligal, NSW) were at the Warrambeen school in 1892 - they must
have been living with the Armstrongs. It closed at the time
of his death in 1893.
He was a
member of the Local Board of Health in the 1870's along with James Bell.
Health problems of the time included scarlet fever, measles, whooping cough
and threatened smallpox. Children under seven years of age were common
deaths, as evidenced in the Teesdale Cemetery.
Hill Cemetery Headstones
native of Kildonan, Sutherlandshire
died at Warrambeen
died at Warrambeen
and Betsy Armstrong
died at Warrambeen
8 months and 19 days
headstone inscriptions of Russell family of Golf Hill here.
William Armstrong (son)
Personal Notices Wednesday
22 March 1922
who died at Arrandoovong, Branxholme, last week, was widely known in pastoral
circles. He was
estate, and after
being educated at the Scotch College he
managed for his
father, the late Mr. Alexander
Armstrong the Elingerrin and
Hill estates. He then went to Arrandoovong, which his
father purchased in 1880. In the following year
he married Miss Jessie Marion Munro, second daughter of the
late Mr. Donald Munro. In the same year,
on the death of his father, he became co-executor with
his mother in the Alex
estate, which has interests in
many properties in Victoria and New South Wales. He was
a member of the council of the Pastoralists' and
the Sheepbreeders' associations, and was several
times president of the Dundas Shire Council. He retained a lifelong interest in
the Scotch College, contributing liberally to the fund for
the new building. He is survived by his
widow, one son, and one daughter, his
youngest son having been killed at Messines
in 1917. The funeral took place at
Branxholme, and was very largely attended.
Armstrong Family in NSW