Mabel Lilian Sayer

F, #7510, b. 10 Aug 1872, d. 2 Sep 1949
Married NameMortagne. 
Birth*10 Aug 1872 Melbourne, VIC, Australia, #B24944 [par William SAYER & Lizzie BAIRD].1 
Marriage*20 Dec 1893 Spouse: Amand Just Mortagne. St George's Church, Malvern, VIC, Australia, #M5482.2
Marriage-Notice*20 Jan 1894MORTAGNE-SAYER. -On the 20th ult, at St George's, Malvern, by the Rev C J Godby, Incumbent, J. Armand, second son of Cesar Mortagne, of Tourcoing (France) to Mabel Lilian, only daughtrr of Wm Sayer, of Melbourne.3 
Divorce*1902 Decree Nisi granted. 
Note1918 Civil Case Files. 1918/89 William Henry Sayer v Elizabeth Nicol Sayer Mabel Lilian Mortagne Albert Gerald Sayer Frank H G Cornwall Arthur R Aylwin Harry Aaron Visbord.4 
Note*1931 Renounced her French nationality. 
Note*20 Jun 1931 Marie Louise Mortagne returned from a trip to England on board 'Oronsay.5
Land-UBeac*18 Aug 1932 PAK-66 L/P 1265 (Lot 9). Transfer from Asprey James Collie to Mabel Lilian Mortagne.6 
Land-Note*16 Nov 1933 PAK-66 L/P 1265 (Lot 9): Alston: a caveat was lodged on 16 Nov 1933, which lapsed when the property was transferred on 23 Sep 1938 - it is possible that Helena Barnes used the property before 1938.7 
Land-UBeac*23 Sep 1938 PAK-66 L/P 1265 (Lot 9). Transfer from Mabel Lilian Mortagne to Helena Barnes.8 
Death*2 Sep 1949 Brighton, VIC, Australia, #D11409 (age 77) [par William SAYER & Elizabeth Nicol BAIRD].9 
Death-Notice*3 Sep 1949MORTAGNE. — On September 2, at her home, No. 63 Halifax street, Brighton, Mabel Lilian, loved mother of Marie Louise Mortagne.10 

Electoral Rolls (Australia) and Census (UK/IRL)

DateAddressOccupation and other people at same address
bt 1928 - 1931Alston, Upper Beaconsfield, VIC, AustraliaOccupation: home duties. With Marie Louise Mortagne.11,12


  • 14 Mar 1901, Divorce Court. Reserved Judgements. MORTAGNE V. MORTAGNE.
    In this case the petitioner sought dissolution of marriage on the ground of her husband's desertion. She was married in December, 1894, and one child, the issue of the marriage, is living wilth her. Her husband is a Frenchman, and under some obligation to serve in the French army. At the time of the marriage he was a wool buyer in Melbourne, in receipt of a salary of £1,200 a year. It was alleged that, in 1896, he lost his position and got into financial difficulties, and led a dissipated life, drinking and gambling, and defrauded his wife of her jewellery and other valuables, and she was compelled to get assistance from her father, who has maintained her and her child for some years. In 1897 she and her husband were living in Sydney in lodgings, for which the husband did not pay, and the petitioner alleged that the desertion commenced at that time. In November of that year the respondent went to France, his passage money being paid by the petitioner's father, and the petitioner told him, on leaving, that if he went to work honestly, and provided a home, she would still go to him. Correspondence had since passed between the parties, and the petitioner had written at times to her husband's parents in France. Several of the later letters, written by respondent to petitioner from various places, were not answered.
    Mr. Justice A'Beckett, after stating these facts, and fully reviewing the evidence, said that he did not regard the statements in the respondent's letters as evidence in his favour. His professions of remorse and affection might have been hypocritical, and what he wrote as to what he was doing, and intended to do, might have been untrue, but there was not, in those letters, any evidence of desertion, and the petitioner's refusal to answer those she was begged to answer, injured her case. The Court could not draw any inference against the husband from the cessation of a correspondence which the wife broke off. The conclusions which a court might draw from a wife not answering her husband's letters were laid down in Thompson v. Thompson, 1 Sw. and Tr. 231. The respondent had not been personally served, and had not appeared, and although the petitioner was evidently a witness of truth, the difficulty in her case was to find evidence of desertion. To constitute desertion there must be an intention to desert. Mere separation and omitting to contribute to the wife's support would not amount to desertion, without such intention. The petitioner alleged that the desertion commenced in May, 1897, when her husband went to Queensland to seek employment, he went with her consent. She was most forgiving then, and when he left to go to France she made no objection to his going. She appeared then to believe in the honesty of his intentions, though he failed to fulfil them. There was nothing to show that he intended to desert her, and his entering into military service in France could not be regarded as deserting his wife, as he was under compulsion of some kind, and did not voluntarily separate himself from her. From the facts before it, the Court felt unable to draw the conclusion necessary for the petitioner's success, and the petition would be accordingly dismissed.
    Mr. Coldham (instructed by Messrs. Hinke and Riggall) appeared for the petitioner.13
  • 22 May 1902, DIVORCE COURT. WEDNESDAY, MAY 21. ( Before Mr Justice Williams) MORTAGNE V. MORTAGNE.
    Mabel Lilian Mortagne petitioned for the dissolution of her marriage with Juste Armand Mortagne on the grounds of adultery and desertion. Mr. Woolf (instructed by Messrs. Waters und Crespin) appeared for the petitioner.
    Evidence was given that the parties were married in December, 1893 and last lived together at the Mansions, Sydney, in May, 1897, before which time the husband had sold all the wife's jewellery and effects. She had to go to a friend's, and afterwards returned to her parents with her child. She saw her husband again in November, 1897, in her father's office, and last heard from him in a letter dated Philadelphia, May 11, 1900, in which he said he would never ask her to come and live with him, but wished for information about their little girl. Evidence taken on commission in proof of respondent's misconduct in Sydney was read.
    A decree nisi with costs was granted, petitioner to have the custody ot the child.14
  • 2 May 1925, A missing heir. FOUGHT IN CUBAN WAR. NOT HEARD OF AFTER.
    A question arising in connection with the administration of the will of William Sayer, late of Church-street, Middle Brighton, who died on 11th July, 1911, was finally disposed of by Mr. Justice Macfarlan in the Third Civil Court yesterday. The residue of testator's estate, after provision for gifts to his wife and daughter, amounted to £11,000. By an originating summons in 1920 it was decided that as to this residue there was an intestacy, and the persons entitled to it were the widow and children of testator. The children born to testator and his wife were W. H. Sayer, who died in 1921; Mrs. Mabel Lilian Mortagne, a daughter, and a son, Albert Victor Sayer. The latter was born in 1874, and went to sea in 1892. He made several voyages to Australia up till 1896. Two years later he wrote to his father saying he was going to the war then proceeding in Cuba, and that if anything happened to him notice would be sent to his relatives here. This was the last communication received from him by the family, but shortly afterwards the father received a letter from a friend of his son in America asking permission to open the son's sea chest and to sell the contents in order to pay some accounts. In December last application was made to the court by Mr. J. W. Trumble, one of the trustees under the will, for directions as to whether the trustees were at liberty to distribute the estate on the presumption that Albert Victor had predeceased his father and was unmarried. It was then stated that the family believed that Albert Victor had been dead since 1898, because if he were not he would have communicated with some of them. Mr. Justice Macfarlan then directed that the trustees were at liberty to distribute the estate other than Albert Victor's share, which amounted to about £2000. His Honor adjourned the summons in order that further inquiries might be made from the American War Office, and through advertisements in American papers. When the matter was mentioned to Mr. Justice Macfarlan yesterday Mr. Lowers (instructed by Messrs. Trumble and Hamilton), who appeared for the trustee, said Mr. Trumble, in accordance with Mr. Justice Macfarlan's directions, had written to the Secretary of War, Washington, America, and had received a reply. In this it was stated that one Albert Sayer, born in Melbourne, Australia, had been enrolled, and mustered into service on 23th July, 1898, in the New York Volunteer Infantry, and was discharged from service on 31st March, 1899, at Brooklyn, New York. He had served as a private and was honorably discharged. Sayer on enrolment had given the emergency address as care of W. Sayer, Collins-street, Melbourne, and stated he was single. The War department knew nothing further of Sayer after his discharge. No replies had been received in answer to the advertisements. Mr. Justice Macfarlan made an order that the share of the estate of Albert Victor should be distributed on the assumption that the beneficiary had died before his father. Mr. Braham (instructed by Messrs. Madden, Butler, Elder and Graham) appeared for Mrs. Mortagne, who was joined as a defendant in the application.15
  • 21 Jan 1932, One of the worst bush fires in the memory of the oldest residents occurred here on Friday and Saturday, when a devastating fire swept over the district. On Friday, a fire, which had been burning in the scrub, fanned by a strong north wind, menaced the residence of Mr. McMillan, and in response to a call for help, about 50 men were soon engaged in a fierce fight to save the house and outbuildings. This they managed to do, and the fire then jumped the main road and threatened the residence of the Misses McLean; a break was burned, and the house was safe. On Saturday morning another fire commenced near Miss McLean’s boundary fence, and soon the residences of Messrs. Blair, Boker and Gilpin, and a number of others were in danger. A large band of willing workers managed to save the houses, but unfortunately they could not save the fine lemon orchard of Mr. McMillan, which was destroyed, also a week-end residence of Mr. Harkins. The heat was so great when the place got alight that it was im possible to get near it. In the after noon a sudden change of wind to the south caused the township to be menaced, and a desperate call for help was sent out, and in reply volunteers from Berwick, Narre Warren and Dandenong came to augment the local Bush Fire Brigade, until there were over 200 men, under the direction of Constable Barrett, and other leaders, engaged in the desperate effort to save the homes of Madame Montigue, Messrs. McBride, McDonald, Harvey-Smith, Rev. T. Greenwood, Robinson, J. Campbell, Major Campbell, Miss Elliott, J. Deville, C. Ellis, Claydon, Wright, Binding and Brown. The worst fight was at “Kyogle,” Mr. McDonald’s house; at one time it was felt that this fine residence would go, but the determined fight put up by the willing workers saved it. Here it was that anxiety was felt for one band who had become surrounded by flames, but they managed to get clear, although some of them succumbed to heat and smoke after getting out. The fine garden and plantation of Major Campbell was swept by the fire, despite the efforts of the workers, and hundreds of pounds worth of valuable plants and trees were destroyed, and the fine house was only saved by the superhuman efforts of the fire fighters. Miss Elliott’s house got alight, and part of the roof had to be stripped off before the fire could be put out. Mr. Ellis had the fence and pavilion attached to his tennis court destroyed, and the fire swept through his orchard, only being stopped within a few feet of the house. The house of Mr. Wright was saved by burning a break, as was Mr. Brown’s house and lemon orchard.
    On Sunday afternoon a small fire developed in Salisbury Gully, but it was soon got under control; whilst this was being put out an urgent call for help came from “The Towers,” Mr. Berglund’s property. A large body of men were rushed out, and the fire was got under control before very much damage was done. On Sunday a fire, which had started on the Saturday in Cordner’s Gully, crossed the Officer rd., and threatened the orchard of Mr. F. Love, but it was kept out, and, with the exception of the loss of some fencing, not very much damage was done.16
  • 30 Mar 1933, ON THE PROPERTY “ALSTON,” BEACONSFIELD UPPER MONDAY, APRIL 10, 1933, at 1 p.m. Under instructions from the Equity Trustees Coy., the valuable property of MADAME M. L. MONTAGNE, as described hereunder, will be offered by Public Auction, as above: LAND containing 14 acres 3 roods 8½ perches, or thereabouts, being Let 9 on Plan of Subdivision. No. 1265, and being part of Crown Allotment 66, Parish of Pakenham, County of Mornington, together with W.B. House and other improvements erected thereon, known as “Alston,” Main Road, Upper Beaconsfield. The property, which is beautifully situated on a main road, and commands magnificent views, comprises a well-build Modern W.B. Bungalow, with large verandah all round, and has all modern conveniences, including sewerage, double garage, fowl houses. The dwelling is surrounded by a fine flower and vegetable garden. Water is laid on to house and garden. Title: Certficate. TERMS: Cash, or £200 deposit; instalments of £50 each at 1, 2, 3 and 4 years, and the residue at the expira tion of 5 years with interest at 5½ per cent, per annum. THE COMPLETE FURNISHINGS OF THIS FINE BUNGALOW ARE ALSO TO BE SOLD ON THE SAME DAY. Full particulars and orders to inspect will be supplied by Gamble, Anderson Lamb Pty. Ltd., High Street, Berwick. Tel. Berwick 132.17


  1. [S22] Victorian Government. BDM Index Victoria (online).
  2. [S2] Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages Federation Index Victoria 1889-1901 "listed as MORTAGUE."
  3. [S11] Newspaper - Argus 20 Jan 1894, p1.
  4. [S34] PROV (Public Records Office Victoria), VPRS 267/ P7 unit 1536, item 1918/89.
  5. [S65] Ancestry - various indices, UK, Outward Passenger Lists, 1890-1960 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012.
  6. [S185] Property Titles. ; PROV (Public Records Office Victoria), C/T 3639-656 Mabel Lilian MORTAGNE of 'Lansdowne' Bay Street Brighton, Widow.
  7. [S185] Property Titles. ; PROV (Public Records Office Victoria), C/T 3639-656 Caveat No 90077 Lodged 16 Nov 1933 lapsed 23 Sep 1938.
  8. [S185] Property Titles. ; PROV (Public Records Office Victoria), C/T 3639-656 Helena BARNES of 27 Redan Street, St Kilda, Married Woman.
  9. [S5] Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages Death Index Victoria 1921-1985.
  10. [S11] Newspaper - Argus 3 Sep 1949, p14.
  11. [S128] Electoral Roll for Australia, 1928.
  12. [S131] Electoral Roll for Australia, 1931.
  13. [S11] Newspaper - Argus 14 Mar 1901, p9.
  14. [S11] Newspaper - Argus 22 May 1902, p9.
  15. [S16] Newspaper - The Age 2 May 1925, p16.
  16. [S218] Newspaper - The Dandenong Journal (1927-1954) "21 Jan 1932, p4."
  17. [S218] Newspaper - The Dandenong Journal (1927-1954) "30 Mar 1933, p4."
Last Edited27 Jun 2018


Many family sections show only the children who were associated with Upper Beaconsfield.