Information on the family tree of the pioneer Robinson family of Coorparoo can be found courtesy of the research and web site of Don Ferguson - Fergus(s)on of Moulin.

The sources of historical information are the newspapers of the day available through the National Library of Australia's online application Trove. Using information that is publically available the writer has been able to provide the following story of the Robinson family in early Brisbane and Coorparoo.
William Alfred Robinson, the son of James and Mary (née Kidney) Robinson, was born in the Maidstone district of Kent about 1830. At the time of the 1851 English census, he was living in the family home with his widowed father and five of his siblings, all of whom (apart from the elder of the two girls who acted as housekeeper) were agricultural labourers. The household was composed as follows: James (55), William (21), Stephen (19), Nicholas (17), Levingard (Lavinia?) (15), Charles (13), Sarah A (6).
William married 16-year-old Ellen Baker, the daughter of Robert and Elizabeth (née Mosley) Baker, in Maidstone on 6 May 1854. Two sons were born to them over the next four years while they were still living in England—Friend William (b. reg. September quarter 1855) and Henry (b. reg. December quarter 1857).

Williams sister Augusta Sophia, had already emigrated to Australia and was living in Sydney. William Alfred and family followed her example of migrating and they set sail from Plymouth on the 517 ton Ascendant (Captain Robert Spencer in charge) on 2 March 1858. Their ship anchored at the Brisbane River bar in Moreton Bay on 19 June of that year. Happy to relate, there were no deaths on the voyage; but young Henry Robinson passed away a few years later on 15 December 1862.

William and Ellen’s family grew in Brisbane with the addition of: Elizabeth Emily (b. 29 January 1860; d. 28 September 1902), Kate (b. 13 January 1863; d. 31 January 1881), William Henry (b. 20 March 1865; d. 30 January 1956), Ellen (b. 23 August 1866; d. 26 February 1950), George (b. 8 October 1868; d. 1 July 1930), Alice (b. 13 April 1871; d. 28 March 1948), Charles (b. 24 August 1873; d. 26 June 1915), Florence (b. 18 June 1877; d. 8 August 1951) and Alfred (b. 1 November 1879; d. 26 May 1962).

William Alfred Robinson—at various times a labourer, farmer, milkman and carter—died on 12 April 1917 and was laid to rest in the Bulimba (Balmoral) Cemetery two days later. Ellen (b. Leeds, Kent, about 1838) passed away on 13 November 1921 and was buried beside her husband (12 77) on the following day. The remains of two of their sons, Charles and George, are buried in the adjacent grave (12 76). 

The Robinson Family in Early Brisbane
William Alfred and Ellen Robinson arrived in Brisbane on the ship Ascendant as one of the assisted migrants that had been readily sought by the New South Wales colony once the transportation of convicts had ceased and skilled labour was required. Skilled farmers were required and William Alfred being from the County of Kent commonly called "The Garden of England" obviously had all of the skills required to assist in the development of the colony. The family arrived prior to the formation of the new colony of Queensland in the December of 1859. The town of Brisbane had already become a free town in 1842 but was still a part of the colony of New South Wales. 
A report in the Moreton Bay Courier, May 24, 1858 stated " The Ascendant, Captain R. Spencer, sailed from Plymouth on March 2nd, for Moreton Bay, with 234 Government emigrants, comprising 46 married couples, 75 single men, 19 single women, and 47 children; of whom 211 were English, and 23 Irish. Mr. Alexander Cummings, surgeon- superintendent. A large number of English emigrants were selected by J. B. Wilcocks from the agricultural districts of Devon and Cornwall."
Even though the Robinson family originated from the county of Kent they may have been living in Devon or Cornwall at the time of migration. William was living with his parents when the census of 1851 was taken and he married Ellen Baker in 1854. One could assume that after marriage William and Ellen may have been living to the west of Kent in the areas of Devon or Cornwall. This could provide an explanation for their departure on the Ascendant. In another report all of the immigrants were listed as farm labourers "not a mechanic of any description". The immigrants were processed and available for hire on Friday June 25 1858. A list of names was made available in the hiring rooms of the Government Immigration Office, William Street. The official notice was provided by A. G. Kemball of the Government Immigration Office.
Where the Robinson family lived in those early days can only be judged by the birth registration of Elizabeth Emily the first born daughter in 1860. She was the 94th child registered in the District of Brisbane, Colony of Queensland and her parents residence is given as the Parish of Tingalpa. In 1877 when Elizabeth Emily was married her address is given as Norman's Creek, Old Cleveland Road. Today this would be the area we know as Stones Corner. By 1880 the family were living in Cavendish Road. Therefore it can be assumed that the Robinson family (William Alfred, Ellen and children) started their Australian life in the districts we know as Tingalpa and Bulimba and did not leave becoming one of the pioneering families of this area of Brisbane. 
The Parishes of Tingalpa and Bulimba were the areas that the Robinson family settled in and started their Australian lives. The Robinson family name is still found in these areas. The two parishes today are part of the County of Stanley in Queensland and encompass the Brisbane suburbs of Carindale, Manly Tingalpa, Wynnum, Rochedale, Bulimba, Carina, Greenslopes and Coorparoo.
William Alfred lived for almost 60 years in these eastern suburban districts. He saw Cavendish Road grow from a dirt track with only two farms to be found from Old Cleveland Road to Stanley Street East. The Robinson farm was on the eastern side and the Harries family on the western side. He was able to witness the completion of at least three sub developments of the Robinson farm. He died at his residence in Kitchener Street Coorparoo on April 12, 1917. 
The Robinson name became synonymous with Coorparoo. Coorparoo Racecourse, Robinson's Paddock, Robinson's Dairy (Fernbray Farm) and Robinson's Omnibus Service from Coorparoo to the Victoria Bridge in Brisbane Town are all recorded in the history of the Coorparoo District.
The Robinson family name was also known through the children of William Alfred. His oldest son Friend William (Fred) carved his own piece of Brisbane history by runningthe first omnibus servce from the Coorparoo State School to Victoria Bridge commencing in 1876. Fred went onto live at Coopers Plains and had his own wood business plus an extensive interest in horse racing. He established a reputation as a horse trainer both here and New South Wales. Further information regarding him can be found at The Friends of Gods Acre.
Another son William Henry Robinson was a well known dairyman running Fernbray Farm from the area known as the Coorparoo Racecourse until the first sub development of land portions 52 and 53 in 1915. In January of 1915 he applied for the transfer of the license of the Melbourne Hotel, Stephens Street, South Brisbane. In April of 1919 he applied to transfer this license to John James Murphy the licensee of the Hotel Victoria, South Brisbane. In September of 1919 he applied to transfer the license of The Hotel Coronation, Montague Road, South Brisbane from Norah Power to himself. In October of 1920 he applied to transfer this license to Lawrence Quinn. He lived with his wife Sarah Jane in South Brisbane and in 1949 his electoral address is given as "Oakwood" 19 Merrivale Street, South Brisbane. William Henry was also a councillor for Ward 1 of the Coorparoo Shire in 1901. He served two terms as a councillor.
Robinson's Farm and Robinson's Paddock Portion 53 and 54
Portion 53 of the surveyed land between Cavendish Road and east to Bennet's Road was purchased by William Alfred Robinson from Joseph Thompson (the original owner) on May 27, 1886. The post office records indicate that in 1880 William Alfred was living in Cavendish Rd. on Portion 53 prior to 1886. He may have been working the property or leasing it back from Joseph Thompson as W.A. Robinson was using the land for dairying. These surveyed portions of land were the first of 10 country allotments to be sold at the first auction of Coorparoo land in 1856. Portion 53 commonly known as Robinson's Paddock (54 acres) and Portion 56 (Avondale Farm) on the western side of Cavendish Road were the only two allotments that were used for commercial agriculture. How long W. A. Robinson lived on and worked the land prior to 1886 is unknown. 
Further evidence that the Robinson family were living on Cavendish Road before William Alfred purchased the land is the enrolments of William, Kate, Ellen, George and Alice Robinson as first day students at the opening of Coorparoo State School on January 31, 1876.
 In 1893 two of these allotments were transferred into the name of Ellen Robinson and then in 1910 to William Henry Robinson her oldest son. In the same year the two allotments were transferred in ownership to the Coorparoo Baptist Church. The first Baptist church was built on the current site but has been rebuilt and remodelled over the years. 
Portion 54 was the area rising up to Old Cleveland Road or the higher ground which today has Kitchener Street runnng through it. Both of these portions became known as the Coorparoo Racecourse Estate. 
Portion 51 and 52
This portion of 200 acres which joined onto the Robinson land was first cleared in 1885 by the trustees of the Stanley Bridge Estate , Thomas Frederick Merry and Joseph Berry Jnr. This portion of land was first auctioned for building blocks on July 24, 1886. There were 450 building blocks available and it would be the first housing development in this farming area east of Norman Creek. This area of land has housed the second Coorparoo Race Club formed in 1921, The Coorparoo Show Ground, and today Griffin Oval and Coorparoo State High School. 
The Robinsons and Horse Racing     
The sport of horse racing has been a part of the Robinson family history and is first recorded with the forming of the Lytton Jockey Club in August of 1886. The initial meeting of the club as reported in the papers of the day was on August 7 at the Plough Inn, Stanley Street, South Brisbane with Mr. Power in the chair. In 1886 the Robinson family were a well established family of the Coorparoo District with many of the family living in Cavendish Road. The first meeting of the Lytton Jockey Club was held on November 9 on the Lytton Flats behind Reformatory Hill. The results of the day have the winner of the Local One Mile as Robinson's Collington (6 years weight 8st 13lbs). Which member of the Robinson family is referred to in the report is unknown but subsequent races have F. W. Robinson named as the entrant of horses. Friend or Fred (F W) Robinson was the oldest of William Alfred's children.
In March of 1888 a newspaper advertisement has the secretary of the Lytton Club as W F Brittain. William Frank Brittain (Bill Brittain) had married Ellen Robinson (daughter of William Alfred Robinson) on November 18, 1884. W F Brittain or Bill was also a horse racing enthusiast. Bill Brittain continued to play a role in the Robinson horse racing connection becoming secretary of the initial Coorparoo Racing Club.

In March 1890 another advertisement of interest has the Wynnum Stakes on the programme. The following is taken from the advertisement in the Telegraph March 1, 1890.

LYTTON JOCKEY CLUB; (Registered with Q.T.C.)
ANNUAL MEETING, MONDAY, MARCH 17. To start at 12-30 p.m.
WYNNUM STAKES 1 mile and a distance ;for all local horses in the district between Doughboy Creek and Tingalpa Creek, Old Cleveland road to the boundary between both creeks; handicap; nomination, 15s.; acceptance, 10s.
General Conditions. — No entry will be received except on this condition, That all claims, disputes, and objections arising out of the racing shall be decided by the stewards or those whom they may appoint.
W. F. BRITTAIN, Secretary, Donellan Estate, Logan Road 
The Lytton Jockey Club continued to operate but the Robinson family and the Coorparoo friends and family decided to start their own horse race club in 1891.
Tucker and Kirwan Family
Alice Robinson another of William Alfred Robinson's daughters married William James (Old Bill) Tucker January 2, 1890. Family research has shown that William James Tucker's mother Mary Ann Tucker purchased a residence at "Springfield" Cleveland in 1874 following the death of her husband Edwin George Tucker (a Master Mariner). William James Tucker it can be assumed was a resident even in his younger days of the Tingalpa and Cleveland districts. After his marriage to Alice Robinson one of the electoral roll addresses for them is given as Knowsley St. Coorparoo in 1903. 
"Old Bill" as he was commonly called is well documented as one of the greatest horseman seen in Queensland. The Tucker family with well known descendants such as trainer W A Tucker have left a legacy in Queensland horse racing. At the third meeting of the newly formed Coorparoo Racing Club on Saturday Jan 23 1892, W J Tucker's horse Pepper was placed second in the Flying Handicap over 5 furlongs. 
The horse racing connection with the Robinson family would become stronger with the marriage of William Henry Robinson's daughter Alice Gertrude (Gertie) to John Dennis Kirwan in 1902. She would now be the wife, mother, grandmother to the Kirwan horse racing dynasty. The Kirwan story is well documented with Eric Kirwan one of the great two year old trainers of Australia. 
 At one point in time both the Tucker and Kirwan families had their stables closely situated in Bowley and Pringle Streets, Hendra respectively.
The Coorparoo Race Club and the Robinson Family
Why the Coorparoo Race Club was established is unknown but the contributing factors may have been the distance to Lytton from the city and access to the Lytton Flats area. The river was the main transport route as road transport was difficult due to the condition of the roads. There does not appear to be any evidence of the Lytton Jockey Club being operational once the Coorparoo Race Club was formed. Another contributing factor to the Coorparoo Race Club forming was public access from the city to the northern end of Coorparoo. The Stanley Bridge over Norman Creek had been built in 1885 making proposed access from South Brisbane easier. This bridge built by the owners of the 200 acre Stanley Bridge Estate was essential to the development and sale of land in this estate to the west of Norman Creek. The Stanley Bridge Estate was opened in 1886. The railway to Wynnum and Cleveland was opened on November 1,1889 with Coorparoo Station becoming established and opened at the same time. An omnibus service was already running from the Cavendish Road and Old Cleveland Road junction to Brisbane City but the train access allowed for large numbers of people to accees the area at one time.
It is no coincidence that many of the names associated with the Lytton Jockey Club then appeared associated with the Coorparoo Race Club.
The establishment of the first Coorparoo Racing Club occurred at a meeting on Monday night August 10, 1891 at McCann's Assembly Hall, Coorparoo. After the election of office bearers the following were announced.
President  Mr. S. Winterbottom ; Secretary, Mr. A Gorrie, Treasurer, Mr. W. H. Robinson
Committee, H. Coomes and Frank Lowe
Judge; J. Elliott; Starter; Mr. J. M'Cann; Clerk of Course; Mr. George Robinson.
The group met again on September 8 at Kennedy's East Brisbane Hotel and decided to conduct their first race meeting on September 17 with a programme of five events. The newspaper report stated that the club had been able to secure a good course of three quarters of a mile around. This course was on what is known as Robinson's Paddock owned by William Alfred Robinson.
Coorparoo Racecourse
The following is taken from an article in the Brisbane Courier of August 16, 1930 titled "Coorparoo a Varied History"
Beyond that property was a large paddock of several hundred acres which had been used by Baynes Bros. as a pasturage for their sheep. Later the land was acquired by Mr W Robinson whose name is given to one of the streets. This land has a particularly interesting history as it was on this site that the Coorparoo races were first started. The first recording of Robinson's Paddock or the area that was to become known as Coorparoo Racecourse as an actual horse racing venue was on September 17, 1891. 

The following article was published in the Brisbane Courier September 18, 1891 on page 6.
The recently formed Coorparoo Racing Club held its initial race meeting yesterday afternoon, and the prospect of an afternoon's sport attracted a fair attendance of spectators, including a good number of visitors from the city. Fortunately the meeting, which was essentially of an unimportant character, passed off successfully, and without any serious accidents, but the dangerous turns in the course, which under any circumstances is most unsuitable for racing purposes and should never have been allowed registration under the rules of the leading club, were the cause of several falls. The officials, however, did all that could be expected of them under very trying circumstance, and succeeded in getting the meeting off without any mistakes. The Newman Echlin automatic totalisator was worked on the ground, and, although there was not a heavy demand upon its capabilities (about £80 being put through), the results were satisfactory. Mr. J. M'Cann was a good starter, while Mr. J. Elliott performed the judge's duties, and Messrs. A. Gorrie and G. Robinson, respectively, filled the offices of clerk of the scales and clerk of the course.
Noted owners of horses were F W Robinson and W J Tucker.
There were newspaper reports as to the condition of the track and on January 13, 1892 the Referee newspaper from Sydney the following appeared, "Some improvements have recently been made to the Coorparoo racecourse, but the locality is too far away from the city to successfully compete against tbe Breakfast Creek grounds. There is not room for two clubs to hold weekly meetings, and the people will soon decide which is to stand or go to the wall. There were unusually poor fields at Coorparoo yesterday, and the meeting as a whole was not a great success."

The races course continued to operate throughout 1882  with reports in some instances of crowds up to 3,000 people. The Coorparoo Race Club operated the course through 1892 and 1893. There was controversy over the issue or non issue of a license to sell liquor at the racecourse. Mr. Kennedy of the East Brisbane Hotel had an ongoing clash with the police and the liquor licensing branch. Alcohol was seized on a number of occasions and the Queensland Temperance Alliance made it an issue publicly.
The Brisbane Telegraph, January 21, 1892 reported " Fine Remitted - Liquor Permits - Coorparoo Racecourse Seizure
It is understood that the Solicitor-General has advised the Treasury to remit the fine of £10 inflicted on Mr. W. S. Kennedy for the alleged illegal sale of liquor at Coorparoo Rucecourse on Boxing Day."
In August and September of 1888 discussion had taken place with the members of the Rocklea Jockey Club as to changing their name to the South Brisbane Racing Club. One of the members present was F W (Fred) Robinson older brother of William Henry and son of William Alfred Robinson.
The great floods of February 1893 covered the low lying parts of Coorparoo and the racecourse was impacted by this devastation of Brisbane. The Coorparoo Race Club appear to have been disbanded but further reports of the Coorparoo Racecourse do not appear until July of 1893 when a new racing club is to be formed to take over the course. This may not have eventuated as there are no reports of racing occuring. In 1895 another attempt is made but the issue of an alcohol licence and the opposition of the Queensland Temperance League or Alliance once again occur and there are no reports of racing being held. The next occurrence of activity at the racecourse was in 1898. The South Brisbane Racing Club or another club with similar or same name was once again formed. The Brisbane Courier of December 17, 1898 published;  "The South Brisbane Amateur Racing Club, whose meetings are to be conducted at Coorparoo on unregistered lines, will introduce itself to the public on Thursday, the 29th instant, when five events of an aggregate value of 55 sovs. will be decided. The principal event will be the Coorparoo Handicap of 15 sovs., 1 mile."

The South Brisbane Amateur Racing Club held regular meetings through 1899 until the last reported meeting on October 4 when the attendance showed a slight falling off compared to previous meetings. On December 1, 1899, William Henry Robinson placed his entire dairy business up for auction. This auction was advertised as "imperative and unreserved sale" of 100 head of the finest dairy cattle due to his retirement from the dairy industry. This auction was on account of W. H. Robinson Esq and was advertised to be held at his residence, Coorparoo Racecourse, Coorparoo.
It is unknown what occurred concerning the auction but history shows that W. H. Robinson continued his dairy business from his residence known as the Coorparoo Racecourse until 1914. The following year of 1900 another race club was formed and they used the Coorparoo Racecourse. This club, the Queensland Sporting Club conduct the Hospital Benefit Races on the Coorparoo Racecourse nn July 21, 1900 . In 1902 another recorded activity at the racecourse was reported in the Queensland Times. "Race-meetings are to be resumed at the Coorparoo racecourse, Brisbane. The name of the track has been altered to Kempton, which should give it a better tone. The first meeting will be held on Wednesday, the 23rd instant, for which a programme of five events has been issued. The added money amounts to £52, divided as follows:-Trial Handicap -£15 horses), £10; five furlongs; Flying Handicap, £10, seven furlongs; Time Handicap Trot, £10, two miles; Novice Handicap, £10, five furlongs; and Kempton Handicap, £12, one mile. Nominations close at 4 p.m. today."

This may be the last reported organised horse racing activity as after a few meetings conducted by this club the racecourse appears to have mainly used for the next ten years for public sports and recreational activities. The end of the Robinson family association was at hand as on August 22, 1914 the auction of two cottages one of 6 rooms and another of 4 rooms was advertised for auction and removal. This auction coincided with William Henry Robinson's move into the hotel business and the development of the new Coorparoo Racecourse Estate in 1915.
Coorparoo Racecourse Estate Portions 53 and 54
William Alfred Robinson had an attempt to sell his land when he placed an advertisement in the papers of the day in January, 1894. The advertisement read, "To LET, or for Sale, the well-known Racecourse, Coorparoo, with improvements, at nominal rent; rare chance. W. A. Robinson, at Course". This attempt at selling land or raising money may have beendue to the extended drought and difficult financial times that occurred in Queensland at that time. This could also explain another advertisement a year later in January of 1895, "FIVE Roomed House, opposite State School, Coorparoo. W. A. Robinson." 
The two portions (53 and 54) were subdivided for housing in four separate land developments.  The land auction for the first development was held on Saturday March 13, 1915. There were 110 lots available and the first subdivision was at the Stanley St end of Cavendish Road. One of the features of the estate was that the trams were now running to Coorparoo along Old Cleveland Road. This area now had tram and train access to the city.  
The second auction of subdivided land conducted by Isle Love and Company of the Racecourse Estate occurred on Saturday June 12, 1915. 
"Messrs. Isles, Love, and Co. advise that the part to be offered includes the beautiful high sites on the Cleveland Road within a stone throw of the tram terminus"
The third auction of subdivided land from the area known as the Racecourse Estate took place on Saturday October 19, 1918 once again th auction was conducted by Isles, Love, and Co..
The fourth auction of subdivided land of the Coorparoo Racecourse Estate took place on Saturday April 5, 1919. The notice in the papers featured these words "The beautiful / frontages to Cleveland road shold be an attraction to buyers. In addition to the splendid conveniences to tram, train, gas, water, school"

Below is an advertisement for the first subdivision and also maps of the June 12, 1915 subdivision and the April 5, 1919 subdivision.

The Second Coorparoo Racecourse
In 1921 a company called Brisbane Amusement obtained access to land that was previously part of what was portion 52. This land is where the current Coorparoo State High School and Giffin Oval are today. The writer has added this section on the second Coorparoo Racecourse to ensure that readers understand that there were two pieces of land in close proximity that were actually known as the Coorparoo Racecourse. Horse racing moved to Wooloongabba after the racing activity on Robinson's Paddock then known as Coorparoo Racecourse declined. In 1914 there was an attempt to restart racing under electric lights at the old Coorparoo Racecourse. This met with opposition from council and the local public. 
In December 23, 1920 the Telegraph newspaper published the following;

"Brisbane Amusements Limited, which is concerned in the Stanley Park racecourse venture at Coorparoo, is, according to gazetted notice, a registered company. The capital is 10,000 pound, divided into 10,000 shares of £1/ .Subscribers to it are; Joseph S. Churchyard, Toowong, accountant; James A. King, Eagle Junction, clerk; John A. Burke, South Brisbane, shipping clerk; John E. Burke, South Brisbane, company manager; Thomas A. Whiting, South Brisbane, veterinary surgeon; Ellen L. Whiting, South Brisbane (wife of Thomas A. Whiting), and John E. Maidens, Toowoomba racecourse proprietor. The objects (briefly stated), of the company arc. "To carry on all or any of the businesses of Caterers for sports and public amusements of every description and picture shows, and to purchase lands for all or anv of the company's objects, and to make improvements thereon as may lie necessary for or conducive to the company's objects, and to promote all public amusements, and horse racing, trotting."  At the January 1921 monthly meeting of the Coorparoo Shire Council a letter was tabled from Brisbane Amusements Limited notifying that they had purchased the Stanley Oval. The newspaper article reporting this was titled, Racecourse Not Wanted. The company was asking the council to build an access bridge across Bridgewater Creek at the end of Cavendish Road to allow easy access for traffic onto the Sports Ground. 

The second Coorparoo Racecourse and the area surrounding it generated enough activity to make it worthy of another historical article. The Queensland Government 's Royal Commission into Racing conducted in 1929 and the report delivered in April 1930 did provide the blue print for the future of horse racing. Many of the recommendations of this report are still the basis upon which horse racing is regulated and conducted today.
"The Commission recommends, among other things, the prohibition of proprietary registered racing; the closing of the Coorparoo Racecourse for horse and pony racing....." 
As to what happened to the Coorparoo Racecourse and the future of this significant piece of land in Coorparoo is as stated worthy of another historical article. To be continued elsewhere...