Hans Clauscen
(Bef 1820-1918)
Mary Asmussen
(Bef 1820-)

George Christian Clauscen
(Cal 1840-1918)


Family Links

Louisa Thornton Gibson

George Christian Clauscen

  • Born: Cal 1840, Herlev?, Denmark 2
  • Marriage: Louisa Thornton Gibson on 7 Dec 1864 in ChristChurch, Hawthorn, Victoria 1
  • Died: 1918, Brighton 3

  General Notes:

From Victoria and its Metropolis: Past and Present...
"Clauscen, George C., Fitzroy, is a native of Denmark, and arrived in Melbourne in 1857. He commenced business on his own account as a furniture warehouseman and manufacturer at the corner of Gertrude and Brunswick streets in 1879, and in 1882 he took in a partner. They extended the business and opened a branch establishment in Bourke-street east, Melbourne, formerly occupied by Mr Stanway as a china and crockery warehouse. He bought his partner out again in July 1888, and is now sole proprietor of the business. The firm is now known as Clauscen and Co., Melbourne and Fitzroy. Mr Clauscen has taken some interest in municipal matters in Fitzroy, for which he was chosen as a councillor in 1880, and in August 1887 was elected mayor."

George Clauscen is not related but to me as far as a I know but is included here because I have found some interesting links. I was talking with an old friend with an interest in the land boomers and he mentioned that a mutual friend who lives in Clauscen St, North Fitzroy had asked about the origins of the street name. She had heard that he was German born as were her parents. I was looking into my own land boom era ancestors at the time so had a quick look around the web.

It seems George Clauscen was linked to the major players of the land boom being a co-director with Benjamin Fink in at least one company. This was a very "land boom company" in that its purpose was to bring the cable tram line to Northcote which it did at the height of the boom.

Another intriguing link was the fact that there was some business between this company and British Insulated Wire (BIW) which made an unsuccessful bid to electrify the tramway in 1898. I spent some time a couple of years ago attempting to find the dates and purposes of one or more visists to Australia at about that time of ancestor by marriage and Secretary of BIW, Edward Tracey.

A stronger coincidence came to light as I was researching the history of my g-g-grandfather, Alfred Shaw's Brighton house "Ratho" or "Hiawatha". The Miles Lewis "Melbourne Mansions" database showed a subsequent occupier as "George Clauser". I knew that George Clauscen had died in Brighton and a quick look at the Sands & McDougall which confirmed that "Geo C Clauscen" had lived at "Ratho" in 1905 and 1906.

I also stumbled across George Clauscen's address on leaving "Ratho". He lived for at least a couple of years at a house known as "Westra" in Menzies Avenue, Brighton. Some initial research shows that this house was on a block subdivided in 1906 from the estate of the "Blair Athol" mansion. "Blair Athol" was occupied successively from before 1890 until after 1900 by two of the brothers of Theo Felstead who married Alfred Shaw's daughter, Eva, at "Hiawatha" in 1894. Theo was also the son of Jane Hale, sister of my g-g-g-grandfather, Thomas Hale. "Blair Athol" is still standing

Click here to see the Darebin Historical Encyclopaedia. (Enter "Clauscen" in Search box)

Click here to see information on Clauscen's tramway company.



In 1865 at the time of his marriage he was a Wireworker living in Hawthorn. 4

He resided 1885 to 1894 in "Sunnyside", cnr High & Bayview Sts, Northcote. 5
"Sunnyside", later "The Alpines" is on the corner of High and Bayview Streets, Northcote. It was erected and occupied by Mr.W.F.A.Rucker and also known as Rucker's Mansion. ............. John Morris leased Rucker's mansion in 1857 and renamed it "Sunnyside" when he later bought it.Morris was a vice-president of the Northcote Health League and became a Northcote councillor.. He then sold it George Clauscen (mayor of Fitzroy 1886-87 and originator of the Northcote cable tram) around 1885. Clauscen left the house in 1894. The ballroom that had been almost a community centre for 6 years was now rarely used. The Northcote Private Quadrille Assembly once held regular dances there. The Northcote Brass Band used to practise there and hold social functions. Both groups folded as men went away in search of work."

(See extensive history of "Sunnyside" on Miles Lewis' Melbourne Mansions database at http://www.abp.unimelb.edu.au/melbmansions/)

He worked as a Mayor of Fitzroy 1886 to 1887.

He worked as a Furniture Retailer before 1890 and resided at Clauscen and Foley, Gertrude St, Fitzroy. 6

He worked as a Justice of the Peace in 1888. 7

He worked as a Founder & Chairman, Clifton Hill to Northcote & Preston Tramway Company 1888 to 1889. 8 9 10
When the land boom came Northcote was effectively without any public transport. The railway had no direct connecting corridor the central Melbourne, having to rely on a circular route from Spencer Street via Flemington, Carlton North and Fitzroy North, which linked to the Heidelberg line (1888), but not to a line through Northcote until 1891. The direct connection to central Melbourne through Clifton Hill and Richmond came in 1901-3. Even trams were late coming, the High Street cable tram opening in 1890 under the aegis of the Clifton Hill to Northcote and Preston Tram Co. Its promoter was George Clauscen, German-born, Fitzroy mayor 1886-7, chain-retailer of furniture and sometime Northcote councillor.

He worked as a Northcote Councillor 1890 to 1892. 11

He resided from 1905 to 1906 in "Ratho", Hampton St, Brighton. 12

He resided 1908 to 1910 in "Westra", Menzies Ave, Brighton. 13 14

He worked as a President of Victorian Bowling Association (?) in 1909. 15

He resided in 1916 in 15 South Rd, Brighton. 13


George married Louisa Thornton Gibson, daughter of William Gibson and Louisa P???? Thornton, on 7 Dec 1864 in ChristChurch, Hawthorn, Victoria.1 (Louisa Thornton Gibson was born Cal 1845 in London 4 and died in 1918 in Brighton 16.)


1 Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages (Victoria) - Index, http://online.justice.vic.gov.au/bdm/home, Family Name: GIBSON Given Name(s): Louisa Thornton Sex: Female Event: MARRIAGE Father's Name: Mother's Name: Spouse's Family Name: CLAUSEN Spouse's Given Name(s): George Christian Age: Birth Place: Death Place: Registration Year: 1864 Registration Number: 3595


2 Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages (Victoria) - Index, http://online.justice.vic.gov.au/bdm/home, Death.

3 Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages (Victoria) - Index, http://online.justice.vic.gov.au/bdm/home, Death. Family Name: CLAUSCEN Given Name(s): Geo Christian Sex: Unknown Event: DEATH Father's Name: Clauscen Hans Mother's Name: UNKNOWN - Mary Asmussen Spouse's Family Name: Spouse's Given Name(s): Age: 77 Birth Place: Death Place: Brton Registration Year: 1918 Registration Number: 485


4 Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages (Victoria) - Certificate, http://online.justice.vic.gov.au/bdm/home, Marriage.

5 Web (Misc), http://dhe.darebin-libraries.vic.gov.au/encyclopedia.asp?id=576. Sources:
LHRN 995
Darebin Heritage Review 2000, volume 2.
Lemon, Andrew. "The Northcote Side of the River". North Melbourne : Hargreen, 1983


6 State Library of Victoria, Title:[Corner Young St. & Gertrude St. looking west past Brunswick St. to Nicholson St. and the Exhibition Building] [picture] Accession number(s):H11716 Date(s) of creation:[ca. 1890] Medium:1 photograph : albumen silver ; Dimensions:13.9 x 20.1 cm., on mount. Subject(s):Clauscen & Foley Wholesale Furniture Horse-drawn vehicles Victoria Fitzroy. Gertrude Street (Fitzroy, Vic.) Fitzroy (Vic.) History. Albumen prints. Location:Picture Collection - Ask at La Trobe Information Desk Call number:PCV *Small Picture File Number of items1.

7 Alexander Sutherland, Victoria and its metropolis : past and present 2 v. (Melbourne : McCarron, Bird, 1888), "J P" suffix in Biographical Index.

8 Web (Misc), http://www.tmsv.org.au/papers/northcote.htm. On the northeast corner of the intersection of Martin Street and High Street Northcote, there is an interesting relic of the Victorian land boom. A foundation stone on an otherwise unremarkable brick building occupied by an automotive repair shop carries the following inscription:

This stone was laid by Sir W.J. Clarke Bart.[1] On 16th May 1889 DirectorsG.C. Clauscen Esq.[2] Chairman I. Barnet Esq. JP D. Clifton Esq.[3] B.J. Fink Esq.[4] Ronald Robb Esq. Verso & Knott[5] W.S. Forbes Builders Secretary

This was the former engine house, office and depot of the Clifton Hill to Northcote & Preston Tramway Company, one of the last physical reminders of an attempt to emulate the success of the MTOC cable tramway system, and generate large profits for a group of prominent land boomers. The Northcote line was to close and re-open twice in its early days, until it ended as part of the last cable tram route in Australia.

[1] Sir William J. Clarke, the first Australian baronet , died of a heart attack on a Bourke Street cable tram in 1896. His wife Janet, Lady Clarke, was notable as the creator of the Ashes cricket trophy after a social cricket match at their Sunbury country seat 'Rupertswood ' with the touring England team in 1883.
The Clarkes were one of the richest families in the colony, deriving their wealth from a huge pastoral empire established by William 'Big' Clarke, Sir William's father. Their wealth and social position was such that they dominated Victorian affairs for many years, effectively being at the summit of the colonial aristocracy, or more correctly the 'squattocracy'.
In 1889 Clarke established and funded a battery of the Victorian Horse Artillery, headquartered at Rupertswood. Rupertswood also had its own railway station on the Bendigo line. The Clarke dynasty owned one of Melbourne's great mansions, 'Cliveden', in Wellington Parade, on the site currently occupied by the Melbourne Hilton, and was a major patron of Trinity College , University of Melbourne.
[2] Clauscen was originally from Denmark, and was a manufacturer of furniture in Melbourne and mayor of Fitzroy in 1886.
[3] David Clifton was the founder of the Clifton Brickworks, otherwise known as the Northcote Brickworks, and lived in one of the first three houses built on High Street, Northcote. The brickworks site is now occupied by the Ray Bramham Gardens.
[4] Benjamin Josman Fink was a former Member of Parliament and one of the most notorious speculators of the land boom era. An associate of Thomas Bent in relation to land deals in Cheltenham , he also commissioned one of the landmark buildings of the land boom era in Melbourne, the heritage-listed Block Arcade in Collins Street. Fink was originally a native of Guernsey in the Channel Islands, and was a follower of Judaism.
[5] Verso & Knott were the prime contractors for the construction of the tramway.
[6] James Duncan was the brother of George Smith Duncan , one of the shareholders of the Clifton Hill to Northcote & Preston Tramway Company.
[7] Merged with the Australia and New Zealand Bank (ANZ) in 1970.
[8] The British Insulated Wire Company was planning to install electric tramways in Bendigo (in addition to Northcote), and established the subsidiary Electric Supply Company of Victoria to undertake this initiative, which bore fruit in 1903.


9 Web (Misc), http://dhe.darebin-libraries.vic.gov.au/encyclopedia.asp?id=796. Clauscen's greatest contribution to Northcote was the founding of the Clifton Hill to Northcote and Preston Tram Company in 1888.

10 Web (Misc), http://www.arts.monash.edu.au/ncas/multimedia/gazetteer/list/northcote.html.

11 Web (Misc), http://dhe.darebin-libraries.vic.gov.au/encyclopedia.asp?id=576.

12 Sands & McDougall Melbourne Directories, State Library of Victoria MF, No entry 1907.

13 Sands & McDougall Melbourne Directories, State Library of Victoria MF.

14 Ancestry.com Online Census and BMD, www.ancestry.com, AER 1909. George Christian Clauscen - "Westra" with Louisa Thornton.

15 Web (Misc), http://dhe.darebin-libraries.vic.gov.au/encyclopedia.asp?id=744. On February 19, 1909, the club's green was opened with the inaugural president Lt. Col. Braithwaite playing the opening match against the incumbent President of the Victorian Bowling Association, George Clauscen.
. This may be his son G W Clauscen who was active in Bowls in 1927 (see his notes).

16 Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages (Victoria) - Index, http://online.justice.vic.gov.au/bdm/home, Family Name: CLAUSCEN Given Name(s): Louisa Thornton Sex: Unknown Event: DEATH Father's Name: Gibson Wm Mother's Name: THORNTON - Louisa Prouse Spouse's Family Name: Spouse's Given Name(s): Age: 73 Birth Place: Death Place: Bton Registration Year: 1918 Registration Number: 7663