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History in Scotland William Armstrong John Armstrong (d.1857) Thomas Armstrong (b.1818) Elliott and Ellen Armstrong
Alexander Armstrong (b1823) Betsy Armstrong (b.1837) Dr. George Armstrong (b.1868) Alexander Armstrong (b.1890's) John Bell Armstrong (b.1874)

William Armstrong J.P. (b. Scotland) owned pastoral leases at River Station, Black Forest Run, Black Forest, Avon and Molly Plains, and Werribee Plains between 1838 and 1852. Black Forest Run and River Station were held in partnership with Dr. Alexander Thomson MLA (b.1800 Aberdeen). He was an early settler in the Melbourne/Geelong area, an MLC 1852-4, and an MLA 1856-61, and also a Mayor of Melbourne.

W. Armstrong  (unsure if the same W. Armstrong as above) owned Arrandoovong Homestead, Branxholme near Hamilton, Victoria. The homestead was built in the 1850's. 

Donald Keith Armstrong was born at Arrandoovong in 1896 and was educated at Scotch College. He enlisted in January 1916 as a gunner in the 8th. Field Artillery Brigade, and was killed in action at Ploegsteert, Belgium in August 1917. 

John Armstrong (d.1857) and his wife Vair (née Scott) arrived in Port Philip in 1839 with six children on board the "Palmyra" Another seven (six surviving) were born in Geelong. He was employed immediately by Miss Anne Drysdale of Coriyule Station from Jan 1841 to Dec 1844. He leased Black Forest, River Station and Allan Vale between 1850 and 1857.

Miss Anne Drysdale was the sister of John Drysdale, who married Mary Carstairs, sister of Robina Carstairs, and sister-in-law of "Big John", James and Robert Lewis Bell. Miss Drysdale was a close friend of Dr. Alexander Thomson and his family.

There was a sale notice on 20.5.1857 in the Geelong Advertiser for "Bush Station", which was owned by the late John Armstrong Esq., and described as 6 miles south of Geelong near Mt Duneed, 2 miles from Germantown; Parish of Connewarre. It would be roughly near the existing Grovedale airport. There were 8 lots sold, Lot 2 being the homestead on 60 acres for 840 pounds. 

The following extract comes from The Pastoral Times, Deniliquin, dated June 23, 1939:-

John Armstrong, the founder of that branch of the family known as the Bush Station branch, was a member of a very old Scottish Border family of that name, and came out from Scotland in the ship "Palmyra" (Captain Peter Brown). arriving in Port Phillip in 1839. He had married in Scotland on 27th February, 1829, Vair Scott, a connection of Sir Walter Scott, the great Scottish novelist.   He was accompanied by his wife and four sons - William, Robert Grieve, Thomas and John; also one daughter, Jemima Scott.   Another son was born during the voyage out, and appropriately received the Christian name of Peter Brown Palmyra, after the captain of the ship.

On arrival at Port Phillip, John Armstrong, who had brought some stock out with him, took up Bush Station, also known as River Station, which included the site of the present city of Geelong, and it is said that the homestead was situated where Geelong College now stands.   The original station extended as far as Barwon Heads and Torquay.

John Armstrong had come from a family that had been engaged in sheep farming in Scotland for generations, and possessed all the knowledge necessary about stock, particularly sheep.   This knowledge no doubt accounted for his success as a pioneer pastoralist in Victoria.  He was for many years recognized as the most perfect sheep master in Victoria, and was the first to adopt the well-known remedy for dipping sheep to cure scab and all insect pests. When the town of Geelong took shape, portion of the rights of Bush run were cancelled, but John Armstrong later obtained further grazing rights at Black Forest, formerly Werribee Plains, in 1850.   He also held Allanvale or Sinclair's Station, 80,000 acres, near Great Western, from 1854-57, and when gold was discovered in the latter year, he had about 30,000 sheep being shepherded in the vicinity of the diggings.

  Several Highland families which John Armstrong had brought out from Scotland were working for him on Allanvale, and despite the lure of the goldfields, remained loyal to their employer and did their utmost to prevent the dispersal of his flocks by the diggers, but it was a hopeless task, the flocks having to be moved further out.  

  John Armstrong was also in partnership with Silas Harding in Linlithgow Plains Station, near Dunkeld, about 1853.   This station was 44,256 acres in extent, and part of it was afterwards known as Devon Park. A man of outstanding personality and high principle, John Armstrong's work was crowned with success, and he became one of the most outstanding pioneer sheep breeders and woolgrowers in Victoria.

He took a keen interest in church matters, and was one of the small band of men who founded the first Presbyterian Church in Geelong, and was also one of the original trustees of Scotch College, Melbourne. John Armstrong died in 1857, having had issue ten sons and three daughters.

Thomas Armstrong (b. 1818 Roxburgh) arrived in Port Phillip in 1839, and married Diana Bell, daughter of William Bell in 1841. He leased Beechwood and Gulf Station between 1842 and 1870, some in partnership with his father-in-law, William Bell who was Mayor of Melbourne and an MLA.

Elliott and Ellen Armstrong    Although a family connection may not have existed, Elliott Armstrong's story is of interest. 

Elliott Armstrong ran a punt across the Werribee River between Melbourne and Geelong in 1850. A timber bridge was built over the river in 1851, but was washed away by floods the following year. In 1850, the first sale of land at Wyndham occurred. 

In 1855, a National School was established in the grounds of the inn owned by Elliott Armstrong. His daughter, Ellen, aged 19, became the teacher with nineteen pupils. The school became known as "Miss Armstrong's School". An Inspector recommended government aid towards her salary, but the school received aid as a Church of England Denominational School.

Elliott and Ellen Armstrong's children were William, Elliot (married Mary Ann Burleigh in 1881), Jane Margaret (married Stephen Anderson in 1861), Ellen (mentioned above), Sarah, Mary, Edward Walter (married Mary Ann Taylor in 1885), Elizabeth, Lucy Blance and Stapleton Cotton.  The children appear to have been born between the years 1831 and 1853.

In 1885, Armstrong again called for a National School, offering his buildings. A subscription list totalling £104 was headed by a Thomas Chirnside. 

Interestingly, John Bell of Bell Park, Geelong, married Margaret Chirnside, presumably Thomas' sister.

Elliott and Ellen Armstrong are buried at Werribee Cemetery.

Betsy Armstrong (b1837)                 See Betsy Sutherland            

Dr. George Armstrong (b.1868)       See The Armstrong Family in NSW 

John Bell Armstrong (b.1874)  must have had strong links with The Geelong College or Morongo, Bell Post Hill, as there is a scholarship offered for entry to Year 7 at The Geelong College, called the John Bell Armstrong Scholarship.        

Alexander Armstrong (born 1890's?) was the owner of Sleatbank, Hamilton, Victoria. His wife was Maggie. Alex Armstrong retired to Toorak, Melbourne, and died about 1970. The property was managed by Bob Bell, grandson of Lewis Bell of Booligal, until its sale. 


Christina ARMSTRONG (b.1831-Kildonan, Sutherlandshire, Scotland d.1906-Hamilton,Victoria)

sp: James THOMSON (b.1823-Clyne?,Sutherlandshire,Scotland m.1852 d.1910-Hamilton,Victoria)


Alexander ARMSTRONG (b.1823-Kildonan,Sutherlandshire,Scotland d.1890-Warrambeen,Victoria)

sp: Barbara THOMSON (b.1821-Kildonan,Sutherlandshire,Scotland m.1851 d.1853-Warrambeen,Victoria)


Betsy SUTHERLAND  (b.1837-Clyne,Sutherlandshire,Scotland d.1923-Armadale,Victoria,Australia)

sp: Thomas THOMSON (b.1836-Loth,Sutherlandshire,Scotland m.1854 d.1858-Sutherland's Creek, Victoria?)