1858 engraving of Victoria

Colonial History Vancouver Island

Maureen Duffus - Author and Historian


Victoria Families

John Joel Austin

Deputy Sheriff of Victoria, Provincial civil servant, musician, choir director and composer

Compiled by Maureen Duffus, great granddaughter of John Joel Austin

John Joel Austin
John Joel Austin (Family collection)

John Joel Austin was born in London, England, in 1838, and died in Victoria in 1906.

Sarah Ann and Annie Austin
Sarah Ann Austin with eldest daughter Annie in 1867.
(Image G-02257 Courtesy of BC Archives)

1862: Came to British Columbia in 1862, one of many younger sons tempted by promised fortunes in Britain's new Pacific colony. His gold rush adventure in his early 20s failed to provide a fortune, but he found opportunities on Vancouver Island, a British Colony established 16 years earlier in 1849.

1863-64: Back in Victoria, the young city that emerged from Fort Victoria after the gold rush, John Joel sent for the girl he left behind in England, Sarah Ann Stout. They were married September 26, 1864, by Rev. Robert Dundas in St. John's Church - the pre-fab iron building shipped from England in sections and erected in Victoria in 1860.

1865-67: Worked at the Bank of British Columbia in 1865. His first public service appointment was as deputy sheriff of Victoria in 1866-67.

1871-83: Employed as accountant, then auditor in the department of Lands and Works after the Colony of British Columbia became a province of Canada in 1871.

Gorge Road house
The Austin house on the Gorge Road, on a 20-acre section between Dysart Road and Austin Avenue where the children grew up. The photograph dates from a later time, after the family moved to Cadboro Bay Road. (Family collection)

Also see Austin Family Photos | Back to Victoria Families