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Our Towns Norfolk Plains and Longford The Norfolk Islanders knew the area as 'Muddy Plains' or just 'The Plains', but when the settlement at the river junction began it was named 'Latour'. This was changed to 'Longford' in 1830 by Governor Arthur. The original Longford is in the Midlands of Ireland and also on a river. It is described as 'a quiet countryside of farmlands, bog and the occasional low hill', much like the Norfolk Plains here. Evandale Originally established as a military post in 1811, it was known variously as Collins Hill, Patersons Plains, Gordon Plains, and Morven before the town's name was changed to Evansdale and eventually to Evandale in 1836 in honour of Tasmania's first Surveyor-General, G.W. Evans and declared a municipality in 1865. Campbell Town Campbell Town was established in 1821 by Governor Macquarie as one of the four garrison town and probation stations between Hobart and Launceston. Campbell Town, and the Elizabeth River, which runs through it (previously known as Relief Creek), was named by Macquarie after his wife, Elizabeth Campbell. Campbell Town was proclaimed a municipality in 1866. Ross The district was first explored by Europeans in 1807 when the surveyor Charles Grimes travelled from the north to the south of Tasmania's central valley area. He mapped sections of the river which subsequently became known as Macquarie River (Governor Macquarie named it after himself when he travelled through the area in 1811). On his second journey through central Tasmania, Macquarie chose the location beside the river for a township. He called it Ross after the home of his friend H.M. Buchanan who lived on Loch Lomond in Scotland. At that time the river was forded. Later that year a wooden bridge was built and by 1836 the stone bridge, one of the finest in Australia, was completed. Avoca Early records show that James Gilligan was the first settler to the area in around 1820. He took up residence on his 1600 acre land grant a few miles east of the present township. Gilligan built a fine home overlooking the South Esk River and named his property “Clifton Lodge”. In 1825 Colonial Government Surveyor John Helder Wedge surveyed the area and called it St Pauls Plains. But it wasn’t until the early 1830s, when a Police Barracks was built, that a township developed and took on the Irish name of Avoca. The Formation of the Northern Midlands Council 1993 saw the amalgamation of Longford, Evandale, Campbell Town and Ross Councils to form the Northern Midlands Council. During this process the townships of Avoca, Rossarden and Royal George joined the Northern Midlands.

Norfolk Plains Northern Tasmania Family History was established in 2014.  Our aim is to promote the history of the region through research and publications.  We encourage the research of family history and offer support.


Our region is home to some of Tasmania's most iconic historical towns and includes two World Heritage Convict Sites:


Woolmers and Brickendon.


Norfolk Plains Northern Tasmania Family History actively uses Facebook to communicate and Pinterest to "pin" information.


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Northern Midlands Council

13 Smith Street

PO Box 156

Longford  Tasmania  7301


Phone: (03) 6397 7303  Fax: (03)  6397 7331  Email: