Jessie Baker

#51761, b. circa 1889

Individual's Timeline

Birthcirca 1889Jessie Baker1
Marriagebefore 1917Jessie Baker2

Primary events

  • Birth: Jessie Baker was born circa 1889 assumed, possibly Goldsborough. Said to be related to Effie BAKER the photographer - see
  • Marriage: She married William Minifie Field before 1917.2

Secondary circumstances

Family of Jessie Baker and William Minifie Field


  1. Misc web sites, online see Citation Detail, Henry Baker's wife, Euphemia Mcleash, grew up in Couper Angus, near Perth in Scotland. She too had ventured to North America, and had married Henry in New York. Her brother William Mcleash later joined Henry Baker in the quest for gold in Victoria. Baker, Mcleash, and their partners Robert Dodd and Samuel Crozier, discovered the Bealiba Reef (also known as the Queen's Birthday Reef). Their claim was registered on the last day of 1863. They erected a four horsepower engine on the site, and their first crush yielded seventy-seven ounces of gold.

    Squatters had established the town of Goldsborough in 1854. What commenced as a temporary community, living in calico houses along streets with such names as "Pick", "Shovel" and "Windlass", expanded at one time to a population of 70,000. The Goldsborough reef was discovered in 1865, and the Bakers built their house near it in 1868. The broken ground of the Victorian gold fields, once covered with miners' claims is still visible. This was a culture of expedition. Not far from Goldsborough are weathered but proud monuments to the "Welcome stranger", the largest gold nugget found in Australia, and to the birth place of John Flynn, who established the Royal Flying Doctor Service. The fortune hunters are long gone, but the descendants of those who stayed are now farmers and small town dwellers in the Bealiba, Dunolly and Molaigul shires.

    Her father John Baker was educated at Wesley College in Melbourne in 1868 and 1869. But then there was trouble with the family's mining claims, which obliged his return to Goldsborough. This was a culture of tribulation. In 1867 rival miners had attempted to "jump" the leased area on the basis of some improperly registered documents. Captain Baker and his partners won a subsequent court-case, but the legal battle absorbed their newfound wealth (Baker had made as much as five thousand pounds from gold-mining2). Still more capital was lost when Captain Baker made some unwise investments in land. John Baker subsequently worked as a foreman in the mines at Goldsborough and at others in Tasmania.

    Her maternal forbears were also British. Her mother's father, James Cully Smith, was a descendant of the Smiths of Norham, - the landed gentry of Northumberland. He arrived in South Australia aged eighteen, and worked a bullock team. He married Eliza Ball in Adelaide in 1844. The Ball's daughter Margaret married John Baker in December 1879 in Goldsborough, where the Smith and Baker families were both temporarily settled. Euphemia Eleanor (Effie) was born on 25 March 1880, the first of nine children. Jack (born 1881) moved for a time to Eaglehawk, New Zealand, before settling in Dingee in Victoria. Esther (born 1883) remained at home with their mother. George (b. 1887) died in infancy, and Suzie (b. 1891) was killed in 1910, tragically, by a Melbourne tram. Lynne (1885), Jess (1889), Jim (1893), Pete (1896) and Beth (1898), mostly married and moved to other parts of Victoria. Effie travelled, adventured, and returned, and was the last of her family to live at Goldsborough.
  2. "Millitary dossiers", 62 pages digitised.