Florance Family of Cootamundra

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Florance Family of Cootamundra

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Dates of existence

1845 - 1928


Dr Egbert Florance, a well-known member of the Cootamundra community, spent 25 years looking after the health concerns of the residents of his adopted district. He arrived in Cootamundra about 1893 and ran his practice there until his death in 1928 at the age of 84 years.

Egbert was born in Chester, England, on March 19, 1845, the son of Dr William Florance, the Medical Officer for the Chester and Hollyhead Railway Company in England. William emigrated from London to Australia and arrived in Melbourne aboard the “California” in October 1853. Egbert and his seven siblings arrived in Geelong with their mother Eliza aboard the “Maria Hay” on 17 August 1855, two years after his father arrived in Victoria.

In 1861, at the age of sixteen years, Egbert stowed away on a small brig headed for Dunedin, New Zealand. He later claimed his medical career began when he billeted with Dr W Jackson. Prior to a 50-bed wooden hospital being built in 1863, Dr Jackson started a tent hospital, the first in Dunstan in the Otago Region of New Zealand. Egbert looked after patients and assisted in operations.

In 1863, Egbert volunteered during the Maori War and was appointed to the 3rd Regiment, Waikato Militia, Company No.8. In 1864, Cambridge on the Waikato River was founded and Egbert remained there seventeen months before he resigned from the Regiment having taken part in a number of confrontations with the Maori people.

Egbert returned to Australia at some point and married Leila Gertrude Paton in 1874 at Geelong, Victoria, and went to Avenal, then Mooroopna, to work as a doctor. In about 1881, Egbert and his family went to the United States where he enrolled in the School of Medicine at Pennsylvania University. He graduated as a Doctor of Medicine on 1 May 1884 with an Honourable Mention, having written a thesis on Snake Bite.

The Florance family returned to Australia and Egbert opened practices in Bungendore [1884], Cooma [1885-1887], Bungendore again [May 1888-1890], and Braidwood [1890-1893]. He went to practice in Cootamundra from 1893 until his death in 1928.

Compiled by June Dietrich.

The Florance Family Collection, RW253 at CSU Regional Archives;
The Australian Medical Pioneers Index;
The Victorian Gazette Pharmaceutical List;
The University of Pennsylvania, catalogue and announcements, 1884-1885.


Cootamundra, NSW.

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Egbert Florance married Leila Gertrude Paton in 1874 at Geelong, VIC. There were eleven children from the marriage: Laura EM Florance (1874); James EA Florance (1877); Paul L Florance (1879); Egbert A Florance (1881); Roland M Florance (1882); Kitty L Florance (1885); Victor A Florance (1888); Herbert O Florance (1890); Franklyn F Florance (1892); Marjory B Florance (1896); Hereward H Florance (1900).

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Authority Record created 5 October 2018. J Kohlhagen.




History compiled 2014 by June Dietrich. http://www.csu.edu.au/research/archives/stories

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