The Trevor and Heather Cohen Family Memorabilia Collection

These photos are part of the private collection of Trevor and Heather Cohen. It has been generously entrusted to the care of the Lamm Jewish Library of Australia. 

A keen genealogist, Trevor has spent many years both researching and documenting his family’s history including the arrival in Sydney of his great-great-grandfather Michael Cashmore in c1836 at the age of 21. Subsequently, Cashmore’s mother, brother, sisters, and their families were to arrive not long after, providing a classic example of the Australian Jewish chain migration at that time. Other forebears include the Crawcour, Abraham, Salomon, Davis, Visbord, Lobascher, and Glass families, all of whom had arrived by 1881.

The collection represents a wonderful cross section of Melbourne’s early Jewish settlers who were among Trevor’s forebears and on his paternal side, begins in 1818 when 16- and 17-years old Emanuel and Vaiben Solomon arrived in Van Diemen’s Land as convicts. Following their success as free settlers some 15 years later, their father Samuel Moss Solomon, his wife Esther (née Davis), and their children, Isaac and Betsy, travelled on the “Enchantress” to join them.

The Solomon family were to figure significantly in Australian politics, boasting 2 members of Australia’s first Federal Parliament among their countless descendants.

Betsy Solomon married Michael Cashmore in Sydney in 1840 and they were shipwrecked aboard the steamer “Clonmel” on the 90 Mile Beach whilst on their honeymoon from Sydney to live in Melbourne. Michael, who was fluent in Hebrew is credited with having conducted Melbourne’s first Jewish burial service. They went on to have ten children including the first Jewish girl born in Melbourne, a son who played in the first ever game of Australian Rules Football, and Trevor’s great-great-grandmother who married Henry Cohen.

His mothers’ forebears, the Lobaschers, were among the earliest arrivals from Europe following the gold rush of the 1850s with his maternal grandfather, Abraham Davis being the last of his grandparents to arrive from Manchester in the 1880s as a 7-year-old.

A double wedding ceremony in December of 1900, between two of Wolf and Natalie Visbord’s (née Lobascher) daughters and two Davis brothers, proved to be very fruitful with each producing four children and numerous descendants, most of whom still reside in Melbourne. The Visbords’ other children were all boys, but despite this there are now no male descendants bearing the name Visbord. The name is, nevertheless, perpetuated by the name Visi Board which was named from the marriage of Richard Pratt’s uncle and his father’s partner to Ida Visbord, of Visbord granddaughters.