top of page

the guggers

John Gugger's family going to school.jpg

Unknown photographer

Gugger Post.jpg

Click to view the Gugger Documents (e-Flipbook) Takes a minute to download

Contributions from The Gugger Collection

Firstly, a question frequently asked...

How do you pronounce Gugger?


Silly question!  But, the more I thought about it...

Considering the original Gugger settlers in Fyansford were vignerons from the canton of Neuchâtel (a French-speaking canton in western Switzerland),

I would think they’d pronounced it with a French accent


My preference is for one of the first three French alternatives.

The guggers

Post one

Gugger Post.jpg
Anchor 1
Anchor 2
Gugger Post.jpg

The guggers

Post two

"What's in a name?" 

5 2017 Sep 1.jpg
Gugger Place.jpg

and, would you believe

a Swiss vignoron from Neufchatel once roamed Fyansford...

Anchor 3

See contributions from the Gugger Collection:~

St Luke's Church ~ See: Courtesy John Gugger (Documents from the Gugger Collection)

Gugger Post.jpg

The guggers

Post three

The Gugger family

played a very important part

in Fyansford's history...

As store-keepers

As publicans

1928 – 1970   Norman Albert Gugger owned and occupied “Gugger's Store”

1933               Alfred Gugger built the adjacent house (on east side)  

In her Barwon Blo Jo Mitchell observed,"

"... The Gugger name has a long association with the Fyansford district. The family were amongst the earliest of the Swiss vignerons to arrive in the area from the Canton of Neuchatel, encouraged to settle in the district by Lieutenant-Governor Charles La Trobe whose wife was Swiss. Their tenure as licensees ... lasted only until 31st December, 1917 when the Junction Hotel was de-licensed after a decision of the licensing board to reduce the number of hotels in the district (Public Records Office of Victoria, Index to Defunct Hotel Licenses (1847 - 1932)".

As vigneronsAn important chapter in ongoing  Gugger family history...


An important chapter

in ongoing  Gugger family history...

Anchor 4
Gugger Post.jpg

the gugger collection

The guggers

Post four

I am indeed priviledged to have been entrusted with this collection of historical documents which, for a better title, I label as            The Gugger Collection.

I am somewhat daunted, but so excited, to be able to share with our community this library of notes, clippings, photographs, maps, titles and personal records that has over the years been amassed and which are currently in the care of the present custodian, John Gugger.
I welcome feedback from other members of the Gugger family and the broader community.

Click to enlarge and to view

Anchor 5
Gugger Post.jpg

let me introduce you to
selections from
the gugger collection

The guggers

Post five

Over the next however long I will be featuring items from
The Gugger Collection.

The first to be featured is the St Luke's Church

St Lukes 1.jpg
Anchor 6

The Gugger Pedigree

I think it is fair to say the Gugger family has extra strong ties to Fyansford

having lived and worked in the area since their arrival in Australia

from Switzerland back in the 1860s.

The Guggers came from three areas of Switzerland; Thun, St Gallen and Ins.

Their historic family records are held in the village of family origin in Switzerland.

Lal, Ron and Gary Gugger researched their family’s lineage

and a copy of their findings are on file.

Gugger Post.jpg

The guggers

Post six

Samuel Johann (John) Gugger  came to Australia in 1864 where he married Frances Belperroud. Samuel died from pneumonia age 33 years on 27th August, 1878.

Franz Rudolf Gugger married Samuel’s widow, Frances.


Louis Albert Gugger born in Marin, Switzerland, came to Fyansford in the 1860s.

He had eleven children; most growing up in the Fyansford environs.


Franz Rudolf (Rudy) Gugger, son of Samuel and Margaretha (Jenni), was born at    Ins, Canton of Bern, Switzerland. He came to Australia on the ship “Percy” arriving  27 April, 1870, age eighteen.


Johann Peter (John) Gugger, son of Samuel and Margaretha (Jenni) Gugger, was born in Ins, Canton Bern, Switzerland. He came to Australia on the ship “Percy” arriving 27 April, 1870, age twenty.


Albert Adolph (Dolf) Gugger married Janet Mary McEachern and had four children.


Ils, Switzerland



Fyansford, Australia

Anchor 7

a picture is worth a thousand words

Gugger Post.jpg

The guggers

Post seven







River flats


Special Interest

John Gugger's family going to school


Who were they?

Junction 1a.jpg


Anchor 10
Gugger Post.jpg

The guggers

School Group b.jpg


Junction 2a.jpg


I'm not expecting answers, but...


Also, can anyone tell me where Belperroud's Ford is?

Anchor 8
Gugger Post.jpg

The guggers

Post eight

Roman Catholic School, Fyansford

While there has never been a Roman Catholic church in Fyansford,

there has been a Catholic school.


This school was situated on "Frogmore" land, about a quarter of a mile in off Merrawarp Road. 


Whilst the exact location is not known it is thought to have been about two thirds of the way between Hamilton Highway and the Ceres bridge. Records show that the school was opened in 1849 and it appears to have continued into the early 1870s.  


Some of the earliest teachers were: 

McNally, John J.                   1850

Flynn, F. J.                            1851 

Havell, William                      1852

McNally, William                  1.1.1853 – 30.6.1853

Buckley, Daniel J.                1.10.1853 – 31.8.1856

Buckley, Caroline                 1.4.1854 – 31.8.1856 (wife of Daniel)

O'Driscoll, Daniel                 5.9.1856 – 30.9.1856

Kinane, James                     1.1.1857 – 30.9.1857

McSweeney,Terence          1.10.1857 – 31.8.1858


For the years 1853 to 1858 the average daily attendance was 26 pupils (17 Boys and 9 Girls). When writing to the District School Board on 7th January, 1856, the Reverend H. J. Parker says,

"The Fyansford school labours under a great disadvantage of not being in a central position. Many children

having to come over three miles. Mr. Buckley (Head Teacher) has at great inconvenience to himself

accommodated in his small cottage some of the younger children who could not walk so far". 


On 6th July, 1857, payment of the sum of thirty pounds was made to the sewing mistress. 


On 7th June, 1858, inspector Miller of Roman Catholic schools in Geelong district wrote, Fyansford school - wood and shingled - area 336 - in bad condition - a miserable erection. 


Copies of school rolls have not been retained but it is known that Frances Belperroud - (Later Mrs. Rudolf Gugger), Jack Mc Carthy and Jack Lamb were among the pupils.


William McNally was the teacher at this school in the 1850’s. In his younger days McNally had been a despatch rider on the Duke of Wellington’s staff at Waterloo. This entitled him to a quarterly remittance from England and he would don his uniform, show the pupils his sword, commission and medals and tell them of the battle of Waterloo. More often, however, a heavy hangover would force him to send the pupils home. Possibly this behaviour was the reason that he was in charge of the school for only 6 months in 1853. 


No traces of this school building now remain. 

Roman Catholic School, Fyansford.jpg

For those interested in reading more about the school, I recommend 

this collection of hand-written documents from The Gugger Collection. 

Anchor 9
Gugger Post.jpg

I never know

what I'm going to find

in John's amazing bundle...


I think this is a real treasure. It answers some of my hitherto unanswered questions

It's a newspaper clipping Ca 1935. 

But, the newspaper is unknown.

The guggers

Post nine

Show me...

I suspect this map shows some of Don Gugger's notes from back then...

I'm excitedly optimistic that
I might get  to meet with Don next week (Thanks, Anne!)

Fyansford Map.jpg
Anchor 11
Gugger Post.jpg

The guggers

Post ten

Matching twins 2a.jpg

Final post


from the first reveal of The Gugger Collection

The Pioneering Days of Fyansford ~
identical to a document found in the Viccars collection
Well worth checking out...


This series would not be possible without generous support from members of our community. I appreciate their openness, spirit of sharing, trust, understanding and patience. And, I am truly humbled by this opportunity and my personal commitment is to be truthful in representing everything that is entrusted to my care.





I thoroughly enjoy chatting, guys.

     Thanks for your time

     and patience.

John 1(R).jpg
Anchor 12

The Gugger Collection - under construction        Link

Anchor 13

Don's ANZAC biscuits are unique.

I met with Don Gugger and
his daughter, Anne; a totally memorable occasion...

Fyansford Hillbilly Band.jpg

Children of Albert and Janet Gugger

Ins tourist brochure 1955


Well worthy of closer examination...

Anchor 14
Anchor 15

Later Stuff

bottom of page