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Julia Swan

1834 – 1853

Harriet and Julia Swan were daughters of the successful Hobart merchant John Swan (1796–1858), who emigrated to Van Diemen’s Land in 1823 with his wife and first four daughters. Swan acquired land in the Bagdad district, while also becoming a wealthy and notable member of the Hobart community via his mercantile and business interests. Around 1826, he established Swan’s Stores, on Elizabeth Street; by the end of the decade it was one of Hobart’s best shops, trading in clothing, millinery, fabrics (‘which for quality and fashion have never been equalled in the colony’) and also ‘household furniture and upholstery of the best description.’ Swan and his wife Mary Anne had fourteen children. Harriet (1826–1853) and Julia (1834–1853) were the fifth and eighth respectively of the Swans’ nine daughters. Harriet married an army officer named Edmund Isdell in Hobart in December 1850. Her first child, a daughter, was born at the Swan family home, Beaulieu, in present-day North Hobart, in December the following year. In July 1853, Harriet gave birth to a son but died a fortnight later, presumably of complications arising from childbirth. Julia died of scarlet fever, aged nineteen, at Beaulieu on 6 August 1853, a week after the death of her sister.

Updated 2018
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