Notable People of Collingwood

Notable People of Collingwood: an introduction and guide


Welcome to our database of notable people of Collingwood, Abbotsford and Clifton Hill.

The goal with this database is to give an idea of the depth and breadth of activity in the former City of Collingwood, so we have included people who had an impact in a wide range of endeavour. Some of them were famous outside Collingwood, others were well-known locally as tradesmen, welfare workers, or teachers. While many have retained their fame, others who were household names in their day are scarcely recalled nowadays, but can still contribute to an understanding of Collingwood’s history and development. A few never lived in Collingwood but had a major impact on settlement patterns or industrial development.

We have early settlers such as Georgiana McCrae and James Campbell; industrialists ranging from John Dight of flour mill fame to James Hayman who tanned leather hides; Emily Childers who kept a diary of life in Abbotsford in the 1850s; Grace Vale, one of Victoria’s first female doctors, William Pitt and Leonard Terry, two renowned Victorian architects; opera singer Frederick Collier; and many more.

Here is a  list of all proposed names, both completed, in progress, and planned, so you can see our plans for future additions. If you have any comments or additions  please write to us at the Contact Us page. We would love more photos, so donations of these with permission to publish would be very welcome.


Emily Childers

How to use the database

You may like to start by browsing through the short entries, clicking on View Full Entry when you find anybody that interests you. If you are looking for a particular person, search in the Name box for surnames or first names, or click on a letter to find all surnames beginning with that letter.

Use the Search Entries box to find a word in any entry. If you want to find entries on mayors, type mayor. If you want to find people who came from Yorkshire, type Yorkshire. If you want to find out about people who settled in Collingwood in the 1840s and 1850s, type early settler. There are also some background parameters such as male/female, so for example if you want a list of women, type female.

A note on addresses

In general, only addresses in Collingwood are listed, with a few exceptions for nearby locales. When known we have used the current address of the site of houses and workplaces. In the nineteenth century many places were not numbered, and numbers were frequently changed, so you may find differences between the address we have used and that found in older documents.


Sources for each person are listed briefly by author-title; if available online a link is included. When a number of newspaper articles have been used, they can be found saved to a list under the relevant person’s name on Trove ( If you want to follow up the sources refer to the Bibliography for more details. Note that standard sources used for almost every person, such as Births, Deaths and Marriages, electoral rolls, rate books, and Directories are not listed in individual data sheets but full details of these can be found in the Bibliography.

Click the below button to  search the database…



Collingwood Historical Society gratefully acknowledges the support of the Victorian Government and Public Record Office Victoria for making this project possible.


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