Category Archives: MACKAY



By June Bornholt, 18th February 2003.

Transcribed by Gwen Hart February 2003.

Good morning to everybody. I am June Bornholt – born – I’m not afraid of my age – born in 1925 and I was named June Mary Dinsey.

I would like to tell you what happened to my family in their journeys that we had to find a better place to live, to work and to play – we did that – we’re here.

John and Elizabeth Dinsey, born in a small County or borough named Rutland in England – that County has since got another name, but that is where they were. They had suffered 2 or 3 early deaths of children and migrated to the Colony of New South Wales for what reason, we are unsure. They arrived in Sydney on a ship, the “Kate” on the 13th September 1849 and went to the Hunter River where they must have had friends or relatives as they were not Government assisted and I can find no records of John Dunmore Lang or any other person listed as their sponsor.

Elizabeth noted on the shipping list that she had two brothers here, George and William Church, who had boarded the “Mary Bannantyne” earlier than the “Kate’s” departure. We haven’t found them yet, so we’re still looking.

The family, John and Elizabeth and their boys, Thomas (10 years) and George (7 years) and Emily who was born on the ship, aged 2 weeks old when she was registered on arrival in Newcastle. We have a photo of the ship.

They farmed for a time on Foster’s property at Mulconda, a property with two homesteads on it and is near the village of Bandou Grove, a few miles out of Dungog on the Williams River. They farmed in the District for about ten to twelve years.

The Minister for Lands appointed Alexander Grant MacLean Acting Surveyor General in 1859 to try and speed the reorganisation of the Department and after the compilation of a Map of New South Wales, which must have been the first one that they had in the Department, which was published in 1861, facilitated the introduction of the Robertson Land Acts of 1862 which opened up the Northern Rivers for Selection so that they could come and select before they applied.

During this time, a son, John and daughter Sarah was born.

In 1865 my great grandfather, George Dinsey (we’re not sure about the date – it could have been 1864 because he came up a couple of times and some family stories have him coming up and down three times – I don’t think he was that slow) anyway, my great grandfather was accompanied in 1865 by Mr Thomas Robinson. They left the Williams River and journeyed to Lismore. I do not know whether by water or overland, but Mr Robinson decided to select land there, adjoining the present township of Bangalow. It was called Byron Creek at the time, I think.

My great Grandfather then continued on alone as his contention was that a water course was necessary for the transport of produce. He arrived at the Tweed after travelling through extremely dense scrub. He didn’t go over the Night Cap and he didn’t go up the beach so he’s getting a bit slow isn’t he? He went and hacked his own way somewhere through from Mullumbimby through to the river and according to an Aunt, which was the usual custom, he scarred certain trees with his own particular cut. You know it’s very risky by the sound of that. he then made a boat, native fashion, and rowed up and down the river for three months before selecting. He was very cautious, but he wasn’t slow. Three months is a long time rowing up and down the river looking for a place – except I took 4 years to buy a house here. He also rowed over what today is Knox Park, so it must have been very different in those days.

In those days, it was selection before survey so he pegged the area he wanted and returned to Williams River.

In 1867 he brought his mother and two brothers because in the meantime he’d got himself married, but he brought his mother and two brothers which is rather unusual.

He did all the work then and he brought the working bullocks and equipment and then he cleared the scrub and built two houses mostly from cedar because that was what was on the property. He then sent for Wilhelmina his wife and her two sisters Margaret and Christina. Now Margaret eventually married John Mc Eachran and Christina married John Quirk so that’s how we are mixed up with the Quirks and the Mc Eachran, but there’s worse to come. They came to Ballina on the ship and we haven’t found that ship yet. They were met there by her brother-in-law John Dinsey, one of the brothers that had come up, who later selected on the North Arm. Later, Margaret and Christina had a store at Tygalgah, opposite the present CSR Mill Manager’s residence at Condong. They even made men’s suits so they must have been very good needlewomen. One daughter later married John Mc Eachran and the other married John Quirk of Tumbulgum. Descendants of both of those families are still living on the Tweed. The trip from Ballina was made on horseback over the Night Cap with my grandfather James Dinsey being carried on the pommel of the saddle, he then being 18 months old. The last night of the trip, they camped at Tyalgum because James had caught the croup and finished the journey next day.   My great Grandfather and his two brothers felled the scrub, keeping their firearms handy in the event of Aborigines approaching. They logged up and then with the bullocks they ploughed the ground and planted corn and arrowroot. They ground both the corn and the arrowroot for cooking purposes. There was no markets for their surplus and money was scarce, so my great Grandfather left his wife and the family while he sought employment on the Brisbane to Ipswich Railway line which was being built just then. Of course they would have had the two sisters to be company.

One day a schooner arrived whilst he was away and they had a wharf on the river – everyone had a wharf, and the Captain offered the very good price of twenty shillings per bag for the corn that Wilhelmina had sitting on the wharf. On his return from up river, he loaded the corn and paid my great Grandmother 200 sovereigns. She was over the moon about it I suppose. He took a letter to post in Brisbane to my great Grandfather advising him of the sale and my great Grandfather returned to the Tweed.

Natural resources were utilised to the full. One section of the farm at the foot of “The Rock” was covered with natural grasses and this provided good grazing for the bullocks. Luxuries were few but game such as pigeons, wild duck and scrub turkey were plentiful. Fish were of course in abundance. Even peaches were growing in the scrub and the women would place sheets on the shingle roofs and sundry sufficient of this fruit to tide them over until the next season. There was not any fruit fly, which was a great help. Wild honey was always to be had for the collecting. The girls would be very busy I’d say. Lighting was fat from the pigeons with a wick of string to serve as a candle. The mattresses used for beds were a foundation one on a palliasse filled with the softest parts of the cornhusk, which was renewed after each corn season. On top of this would be placed a mattress of feathers. As you can imagine, with game as their main diet, the feathers were in plentiful supply.

There is another story about Mrs. Kelly of Eungella who arrived much later and there were a couple of relatives between Condong and Murwillumbah that had land there – Norman Bell and John Bell were their names and they had their little house as well, but Mrs Kelly walked down from Brisbane and they had pack horses – she wouldn’t ride a horse, she walked. She wouldn’t let her mattress go on the horse. It was a feather mattress she’d brought from Northern Ireland somewhere and so she carried it all the way. My mind boggles at the thought of that. when she got to Tweed Heads there was a Mr Scott who took them across the river or up the river and it was eleven o’clock at night when they got up to Mr Norman Bell’s house on the river somewhere near the old 2MW Station, and she said it was “So lovely to see a face I knew, he got out of his bed and I put my feather mattress on his bed and everyone else slept on the floor”.

This is a great story, I thought was really gorgeous about mattresses – I’m a bit fussy about my mattress too.

On the 24th December 1867, their second child was born at Mrs. Scott’s house at Dry Dock. Does everybody know about that? I’d never heard this before.

Mr and Mrs Scott arrived on the Tweed in 1857 and Mr Jack Lillie of Banora Point is a grandson – that’s if he is still with us. I don’t know.

A man named Perry bought what is Hibbard’s farm at Tumbulgum from that same Mr Scott. They had a very beautiful garden and brought the first lantana to the district. Of course, it was then a “Garden” variety. It’s only really a “Garden” variety now. I never see any lantana around that used to be there when I was a girl. I used to crawl under it to get the eggs from the chooks.

     In 1872, the first school was in John Quirk’s barn. Later the school was at Mrs. Logan’s residence. The Quirk’s farm was on the River just up-river from Tumbulgum, quite close, and the school itself (the barn) – there’s an old house there now and that’s where it was – right on the river. The children used to come by boat to it because there were no roads or anything.

The first teacher was a Mr. Harris and then a Mr. Gray. Mr Gray’s grave is on the hill above the quarry now – its where North Tumbulgum quarry used to be just about where the Seventh Day Adventist Church. There was a Hotel there not far away. Later a school and residence was built by Mr John Trute at North Tumbulgum, near the quarry. It had brick chimneys which were still standing in my father’s day. Mrs Mc Adoo was the first teacher in this school. The second school was held for a short time in a room at the back of the Hotel and then John Trute built the new one because they wanted the room back.

Going to and from school, the children had to follow the bridle tracks – this was later when the school was across the river – and at the creek crossings, logs were placed there for them to walk across and then they were rowed across the river at Tumbulgum or the Junction. The families attending that school included the Bignall’s, Boardman’s, Cashin’s, Dinsey’s, Kyle’s, Logan’s, Ritchie’s, Skinner’s and Quirk’s. most of those families have descendants still living on the river.

Mr Mason and Mr Yansen were also teachers at this school, the latter being the first teacher in the present school on the Southern bank, and then came Mr John Cameron who taught at the school for seventeen years.

The first sugar mill on the Tweed was built about half a mile on the Murwillumbah side of Tumbulgum by Messrs. Pringle, Shankey and Byrnes in 1872. cane growing was then considered to be the beginning of prosperity. In those days, the growers cut their own cane. The owners of the Mill stayed for some years before selling to John Morrison whose two sons continued working the Mill until the C.S.R. built at Condong. (I have a worry about the name John – I have a feeling it was another one. If anybody knows, they can correct me). One son, William Morrison remained on the farm until his death in the early 1930’s. He married my great Grandparents second daughter Janet Dinsey.

The Pages, my maternal great Grandparents, arrived on the Tweed River in 1880. they arrived out on a ship called the “James Burney” in 1856 – the others had come to Sydney. The Pages went to Ipswich – why, we don’t know and the Historical Society might have Ron Ritchie’s story of early in the Junction because they were there very early in the piece and had the first farm where the Literary Institute or the Hall is now. The Ritchie’s donated that land for the Hall to be built. This was built with donations of timber etc.; it has since been done over. I have a suspicion that it should belong to the Heritage Committee that the Council has just founded.

The Pages farmed on the north bank of the river below Tumbulgum and later keeping a store in Tumbulgum until my great Grandfather’s death in 1904. He was buried in the North Tumbulgum Cemetery with many of the earl settlers. Now, if you’ve been to the first Cemetery on the Tweed – apart from the mosquitoes, it’s a very lovely place in a way. It’s in amongst the trees now and a lot of the graves have been trodden down by the cattle. They restored it through work for the dole and it looks really good. I do not think that Cemetery was there in 1860 but the last burial was around the 1920’s when Mr. Jack Maye of Maye’s Hill was buried there. I do not think any Aboriginals were buried there as they had their own burial grounds, an early one of which my great Grandfather Dinsey’s property just near “The Rock”. The Aborigines also had their Bora ground and they had their corroborees and for years we had a pile of palms and all sorts of trees and my husband remembers them too, when he was young.

My Great Grandfather, whose only friend for years, was an Aboriginal boy, did all sorts of things together, trying to raise the horses and things like that. they kept this Bora Ring for the Aboriginals and they had their Corroborees there until such time as my Grandfather died. The trees were still there when I left the place – that would have been 1949. They’ve gone now, they’ve been razored down.

My great Grandfather was very interested in sports and the first Sports Meeting was held on his property. He was a keen sportsman, particularly as a cricketer. He organised matches between Tweed Teams and Coomera and Tallebudgera. I’ve come across the old newspapers. The men would come on horseback over the Range, somewhere near Tomewin, play cricket all day Saturday, dance all night and ride back on Sunday. It’s a fair way from Coomera to here on a horse, isn’t it? Then there would be return matches when the Tweed would go to Coomera or Tallebudgera. The last Sports Meeting held on his property was in 1897. It was an M.U.I.O.O.F Sports Day. The people from Tweed Heads and Murwillumbah on Skinner Bros, river boats called the “Uki” and the “Pearl”. The horse races were held on the plain at the foot of the “Rock” and the other sports, foot running etc., and were in the home paddock.

Mr. A. Baker selected where the Village of Tumbulgum is now and he and my great Grandfather planted a fig tree each in front of the Royal Hotel. The one Mr Baker planted must have been the victim of erosion. It was nearer the Ferry than the one my great Grandfather planted which is not still standing on the front of the river there, in front of what is now the Tumbulgum Garage. Why I’m telling you that is because it was a great thing to go past this fig tree, but we can’t do it anymore because I think the Council chopped it down to make room for the boats to get in the river. A beautiful tree it was.

In the 1880’s the young men used to round up brumbies, which is a horrible thought. They would drive them onto the Peninsula north of the Caves at Fingal. The poor things became cornered there. They had to either go into the sea or the river, or be lassoed. Mr. Harry Clarke and my Grandfather, James Dinsey, are the only ones I understand have participated, but there were many others that probably did the same, but we didn’t know about it.

My great Grandfather’s youngest daughter, Mary Dyce, wife of the first Official Postmaster at Tumbulgum, rode one of the those brumbies for years. An oral story that I heard that she rode one up Mt Warning. I have a photo of her on it too.

The first Bank on the Tweed was the C.B.S. It was on the riverbank, down river from the old 2 MW building. Mr. Waugh was the first Manager. The bank was later transferred to Tumbulgum where the premises consisting of Office and residence stood alongside the Metropolitan Hotel, the Manager being Mr Charles Budd. The Bank was later moved to Murwillumbah.

The Rev. Brotchie was the first Minister on the River, a Presbyterian. His circuit was from Brunswick Heads to Tweed Heads. His Headquarters on the Tweed was at Mr and Mrs Ritchie’s house at Tumbulgum. He baptised, married and buried all denominations

The first member of the Police Force on the river was Constable Torpy. Mr Tom Lickey had the first cordial factory. This was near where the cattle dip at Tumbulgum was and that is where Mrs Higgins has Dr Smith’s house and lives – right on the top of where the dip was. Tom Lickey sold out to Skinner Bros.

The Royal Hotel was built by a Mr Nixon, a brother-in-law of Mr Joshua Bray, where the General Store stands now. Mr Brett who married one of Mr Pat Smith’s daughters, built the Metropolitan Hotel, then came the Junction Inn built by Mr Collins who founded the first Masonic Lodge on the Tweed, the Masonic Hall being on the hill behind his Hotel at North Tumbulgum.

Question: (Joan Smith): Dinsey’s Rock – is that one on the left hand side going towards Murwillumbah? What’s the one on the other side?

Answer: (June). That used to be, I understand on John Dinsey’s place strangely enough. He was my great Grandfather’s brother. He selected over there, I don’t know that, that one has a name.

Joan: Maybe the whole thing is Dinsey’s Rock – that’s what they mean – John might even know about that. The reason I mention that is because when you’re driving down – I mean Joyce Martyn, my Geography Teacher, told me that, that rock had originally been one rock that the river has just gone through.

Answer, June: That might be so – Joyce may have been good at Geology – I’m not.

Question – Joan: The Corroboree ground you’re talking about was over near the left hand rock?

Answer – June: yes, on the southern side of the river – that’s a much bigger rock than the other one. That’s where they had their corroborees and this burial ground was sort of at the foot of the rock. My grandfather selected 100 acres at first and then he got another 40 acres which went right back to the rock, but the year before the surveyor got there. The Loder family and the Dinsey’s claimed the rock but you know we just did that for fun.

Question – Joan: So now that is all under can?

Answer, June: Oh yes, its all under cane, but I really don’t think anybody owns the Rock – nobody would want it. You know the magpies used to chase me up there – they were terrible – they’d peck you on the head.

Question – Fay O’Keeffe: With the Rock – I have a sort of memory of a local person who is still in the area, applying to build something on the top of that rock, because it’s part of his farm and I think it must have been refused, but a lot of trees seem to have disappeared fro the Rock itself – I think they’d be a bit dry now don’t you. I’ve been watching it over the years and it just doesn’t look the same as it used to – I don’t know what they have done to it – whether they’ve made a track up it or what it is.

Answer – June: I notice that it looks different – much barer than it used to be. I don’t know if anybody does own it, but all I know is that when we were living in Sydney an Estate Agent rang me up and asked me if I’d like to buy the rock back again, and I said, “How much”, and he said “One million Dollars” and I said, “Sorry, can’t do”. I often wondered what happened to that. He was an Estate Agent from Surfers Paradise and that would have been in the 1970’s.

Question (?) – John Smith: that would have been Laurie Wall – us local people wouldn’t do that. My name is John Smith – I’m old Paddy Smith’s grandson. I remember you when you lived alongside Dinsey Creek, your place right back to Eviron. There was a big rock at Eviron and when I was growing up – I’m a good deal older than you – that was always referred to as Dinsey’s Rock. Next door to you were the Whites – Hills owned the place next door to you and on the Eviron side of it – running right through there from the Highway back to Eviron, the Gills owned and all that property through there and the Gras to the right.

Answer – June: Yes, that’s Dinsey’s Rock.

Jack Bornholt:   Indecipherable


Well the other part of my family – well, there’s lots of parts as you know I’ll probably tell you, there are eight Great Grandparents.

First of all, I can say, that I inherited George Eric Dinsey and Eva May Coghlan as my parents. My father was of English/Scots descent. My mother was of Irish descent.

My childhood was fun as I remember it. Lots of hugs and lots of laughter and rides on draught horses, which was very difficult for a young child. My mother died in 1933 when I was eight years old and so my father and I went to live with my grandfather (67 years) and his sister, Mary Dyce (61 years). My grandmother Rosa (nee Page) had died four years earlier leaving one son (my father) and four daughters, Winifred Rosa, who married James Buchanan, Wilhelmina Sarah, who married Owen Charles, Janet McKay Dinsey who married William Morrison (there are still lots of these people around), Elizabeth Mary who married Denis Keeshan. She went to the Solomon Islands to marry him. He was looking after a coffee plantation. He had been thrown away in a heap in WW1 of the dead and somebody found him and saw his eyelids move and they dragged him out and he lived until he was 93, here on the Tweed. He was lucky to be with us.

It was during these early years, living with the adults that I became interested in my forbears, their circumstances, their failures and successes as I grow up, this interest continued with a lot of help from my son Graham. Mark Rogers, who is a descendant of the Quirks and lives in Canberra, my husband Jack, who is with me all the time and rescues me from all sorts of crisis and terrible things, and the representatives on our 1997 Easter Reunion, Marie Toshack (Our Laurie family historian) and Jan (Janice) Morrison, our (McLeod. Mc Kay and Bell families’ historian). This reunion was held at the Murwillumbah Race Track which was really a perfect setting because we had Mt Warning in the background and all the cane was lovely. We had a wonderful time but instead of the twenty or thirty people turning up, we had about four hundred. We then realised we had a lot more relatives than we really expected to have.

We then collected most recently Marie Toshack from Gloucester who is telling us of all the other relatives we have down there and Janice Morrison who lives in Sydney – she’s just retired. I think she probably gives you all an E-mail here at the Historical Society, looking for information. So, that is my present family doings.

That 1997 reunion brought a question from a Bert Dinsey descendant who I thought had been killed in the War and I’m sure I saw it in one of those War books that came out afterwards that he was killed. This family just came out of the blue from Queensland and turned up, so we had some surprises.

One incident in the early years of my childhood was the discovery of the family Bible in which I found a lot of records of births, deaths and marriages. I discovered that the Aunts that I was living with and calling (my grand aunt she was) her Aunt Mary for donkeys years. I found she had another name – Henrietta so I pushed out to tell her about this – I said, “Why didn’t you ever tell me your name was Henrietta?” and she said, “don’t you ever tell anybody that again,” so I’m very careful what I say about what I find out now.

I was curious about these names in the front piece of the Bible. There were many names and I wondered if they were still alive, had they all come to Australia or were they living with families in another country and we didn’t know anything about them.

So, when I retired I began a research of all these fellow relatives. I found lots, spent too much money on births, deaths and marriage Certificates, stamps and telephone calls, hoping that was worth the time spent. I found some things that surprised me, mostly good things but there are lots I haven’t yet discovered. A few other dedicated researchers have helped immensely. We added to our history and we’ve discovered many funny stories, some that I couldn’t relate to you, some sad ones also and we shared our laughs and tragedies. It was a very great experience.

I have decided we should contemplate and plan the future and reflect on the past and let us respect those assets of the past which if assimilated with due care; help us to solve the problems of the future.

Remember what we are, for good or bad, what the past made us. What and who are we?

We may find part of the answer to this question by delving into our own family history and trying to see what sort of genes were in our parents, their parents and their parents, parents.

Each parent owes what they have and what they are to two other people, one step further back into the past. These owed what they were to two other people, your great grandparents of whom, of course there are eight.

As first step in the examination of the past, let us try to discover what these eight people were and what made them tick. Try to bear in mind that one of their reasons for doing what they did, whether it was fleeing from the clearances in the Highlands of Scotland or being forced off their land by the English Duke of Sutherland in Scotland or by the Potato Famine in Ireland. Or, casting off the shackles of their old life to try life anew out in the colonies, or whether it was merely trying to be a better person, a better tradesman, a better mother, a better father – was because of us?

True, they did not know of our existence as individuals but they did know, as a conviction in their hearts, that one day their children would have children, who would have children. This they knew, that whatever they did to improve their lot to ease their suffering or simply to do their best, would one day benefit their own descendants.

Let’s assume –

In telling, these stories there will have to be a few assumptions based on the meagre information available.

We will probably never know the reason why they all came out to the other end of the world – we can only assume that there appeared to be a better prospect for them and their children to carve out a living for themselves.

The economic situation, coupled with the Clan system in Scotland and in England, the Class system in the late 18th and 19th Centuries probably meant they could see little chance of their Descendants ever becoming financially independent, vibrantly healthy or well educated.

No doubt newspapers of the time (in the way of newspapers of the present) were inclined to exaggerate the possibilities. Perhaps they did not tell of the streets paved with gold but they did relate the experiences of a few who struck it lucky on the gold fields, or as graziers or farmers, or independent business people and perhaps neglected to give equal space to the many stories of misery, privations of distance, no transport, financial loss, the loneliness especially for the women and, of course, half a world away from the family they had left behind, possibly never to see again.

We also have to do a bit of educated guess work when it comes to dates, spelling of names and so on.

During the telling of these anecdotes, I will not stop to explain the lack of evidence, so if some eager researcher in the future finds that something is ‘wrong’ and feels able to correct it, that will be a positive step forward and they will have my blessing.

The recorded facts of the Clearances make harsh, even distressing reading and it is said that such unhappy events should be forgotten but no one should ignore the history. One observer at the time remarked “There is something absurd and revolting in interpreting as a form of progress, the destruction of the happiness and the liberty of the very existence of a race in the interests of wealth”. (Mackay p.6)

That is true, when you think of it, they were just stripped of everything. They had one system and then almost overnight they had nothing but they were on the beaches looking for kelp to sell. I think that might have been a big thing of why they came to Australia and Canada. Canada had a lot of people, and America too.

The Clans Today.

After Cilloden, in 1745, the Clans no longer existed as a form of social organisation with their own Gaelic language, culture and landscape.

They were virtually tamed out of existence and it all happened so rapidly – within a few decades, when their original character marked by pride, independence and reverence for their Chiefs and their Chiefs had reverence for them too, was completely subdued so tragically and so totally that the clans survive now only in memory.

Hence, we have, perhaps, the reason John Dunmore Lang looked to those people to help populate the colony he was so passionate about.

The first assisted ships left Scotland in 1837. The “James Moran”, a ship of 600 tons, set sail under Captain Ferguson, from Loch Inver and Loch Broom on 21st October 1838 (These Lochs are right on the tip of North Western Highlands of Scotland). It carried 229 passengers, most of whom were clearance victims. They were brought to Australia under John Dunmore Lang’s Bounty Scheme. This scheme brought over 4,000 Scots to Australia and a large number of Canadians and some Americans too. They apparently flitted from country to country-getting very respectable people. I read that somewhere in this book, so I might be of very respectable Scottish Stock. I’ll have to remember that.

The voyage took almost four months – 113 days – sailing direct to Capetown on the way, where it arrived on 26th December 1838. Twenty passengers then left the ship for a new life in Africa and the ship sailed on to Australia on New Year’s Day.

The voyage was a happy one. The migrants had nothing but praise for the Master and his crew. A letter of praise was sent to Dr. Boyle, R.N. Her Majesty’s Commissioner for Emigration for Scotland, signed by 30 Captains of the Messes. i.e. those emigrants chosen for their leadership qualities to be responsible for a particular group.

The “James Moran” put into Port Jackson on the 11th February 1839. the 210 passengers disembarked, including infants born on the voyage.

I have different threads of that ship to tell you about – their relatives.

Thread 1. The first lady out was Janette McLeod – I was told that she had been asked to be Chief of the Clan before she left. It would have been the McKay Clan. Her husband died a few years before she left and she had a son Donald.

Thread 2. Donald who came out at 23 who was studying to be a Minister of Religion. They were Presbyterians or Free Church – I’m not up in Religions and he had a Gaelic Bible.

Thread 3. Ann Sutherland McLeod, her daughter was 20 and Margaret McLeod – Thread 4. who had apparently been on the boarding shipping list but wasn’t on the disembarking one. So, we found by reading a letter of Annie Laurie’s who was buried in the Murwillumbah Cemetery, I don’t know if you can remember it, but I can. It was a huge grave and it had a big tower on it. It was on the right hand side as you went into Main General Cemetery. She died when she was 88 or 89. She was that Ann Sutherland McLeod who had come out on the ship with her mother and she’d married Joseph Laurie of Barrington Tops. I have photos here of “Rordanvale,” their home which we saw last November. There are still Laurie’s living there. it’s a beautiful place high up on the Barrington Mountains. It is a very large home – all cedar – beautiful fire places, but has the most dreadful roof of rusted tin. It looks terrible – spoils the whole look. If I win the lotto I’ll ask them if I can put a new roof on it. We found Annie Laurie’s Will. She left money to her to all her sisters and this Ann Sutherland left money to Margaret McLeod and from that Will we found she’d got off the ship to marry a William McLeod who lived in Thurso – that’s further around on the top of Scotland, not far from that Nuclear Plant that’s up there and the North Sea Oil Wells are just off the Coast. She went back to marry him. She’d made up her mind to come to Australia but she changed it somewhere before they left England, and went back.

Thread 5. Wilhelmina McLeod who married a James Bell. There are seven James Bell in the Hunter Valley. We aren’t sure which one is ours.

Thread 6. Christina McLeod, the youngest daughter. She was 14 when she came out and she married a man called Jesse Hawkins and if you know the Williams River is not far from the Caitlin Goldfields, so with a name like Jesse Hawkins I thought he might have been an American but we can’t find either of them.

So Wilhelmina with those four girls and one boy (5) she was the only one that had any issue and only for her and James Bell with all these Quirks and Dinsey’s and everyone – we wouldn’t be here so we are really proud of Wilhelmina.

(See File for Further Threads)

Joan is winding me up. Have you any further questions. There are some photos you may like to look at.

We have a letter written from Tweed Heads in 1896 by the Wilhelmina I’m talking about and we have a copy if you’d like this.

Vote of thanks by Robert Longhurst.

I would like to thank June on behalf of the Society for a very interesting talk. The amount of research you’ve done is quite remarkable, really a lot of what you’ve been able to document will be of tremendous help to the Society in future.

I’m sure everyone will agree it’s been a very, very interesting talk.

E & O E. 3 March 2003. JCH.












Notes and sketches of New South Wales: during a residence in that colony


By Mrs. Charles Meredith


Preface \ -i


Embarkation — Indisposition—Pleasures of a Sea Voyage—Fellow-pas-

sengers—Observance of Character—Devonshire Coast—Pilots—Land

Luxuries—H.M.S. Hercules—Eddystone Lighthouse—Last Land . 1


Bay of Biscay—Spanish Coast—Employment the best preventive of.

Ennui—Phosphorescence of the Sea—Portuguese Men-of-war—Swal-

lows— Tenerifie — Speaking the Cherub — Fear of Pirates—Por-

poises—Flying Fish—Capture of a Boneto—Dolphins . 7

Chapter in.

Calm in the Tropics—Sharks — Turtle — lanthina—Shovel-board—

" Crossing the Line "—Loss of the North Star—Southern Constellations

—Moonlight in the Tropics—Sunsets—Waterspouts—"Sun-dogs" . ’16


Whales and " Jets d’eau"—Birds—Boatswain—Boobies—Cape Pigeon—

Mischief of Idleness—" Mr.Winkles" at Sea—Great Albatross—Nelly

—Stormy Petrel—Blue Petrel—Sailors’ Delicacies—Stormy Weather 23


Island of St. Paul’s—Islands in Bass’s Straits—Mutton-birds—Botany

Bay Heads—General excitement—Heads of Port Jackson—Scenery—

New Zealanders—First sight of Sydney—Pull ashore—Comforts of

Land Life—George Street, Sydney—The Domain—Eucalyptus, &c.

—Wooloomooloo—Government Gardens 31


Sydney Market—Fish, &c.—Dust, Flies, Mosquitoes—Drive to the

Lighthouse — Flowers — Parrots—Black Cockatoos—Hyde Park—

Churches — Libraries — " Currency " Population — Houses — Balls,

&c. —Inns—Colonial Newspapers Page 43


Leave Sydney—" Clearings"—Huts of the Working Classes — Chain-

Gangs — Parramatta — Creeks and Rivers —Inn — Birds — Road to

Penrith—Grasshoppers—Penrith—Nepean—Emu Plains—Ascent of

the Blue Mountains—Waratah 56


A "Country Inn"—Breakfast—Contrasts—A Bush Ramble and Digres-

sion about Ants—Mountain Scenery—Cattle Skeletons—"Weather-

board" Inn—Supper and Night at " Bliud Paddy’s"—Mountains, and

the Surveyor’s Roads—Mount Victoria—Convict Gangs and Bush-

rangers—Inn at the " Rivulet," and its Inhabitants—The Ruling Vice 66


" Hassan’s Walls"—Grass Trees—Mount Lambey—Victoria Inn—Speci-

men of Benevolent Politeness—Colonial Bridges—First View of

Bathurst—The " Settlement"—Dearth—Climate—Hot Winds—Pro-

cessions of Whirlwinds—Hurricanes . . . . . .79



Bathurst Society and Hospitality—" White Rock"—Native Dance and

Ceremony—Kangaroo Dance—Appearance of Natives—Children—

" Gins "—Their marriage, slavery, and sufferings—Family Dinner-

party—Adopted Children—Infanticide—Religion — " Devil-Devil"—

Language—Story of Hougong and Jimmy—" Ay, ay ?"—Duties of

the Toilet—Native Songs—Mimicry—Fondness for English Dress—

Boundary Laws—Legal Parricide—Habitual Treachery . .90


Native Huts—" Gunyon"—Natives’ ingenuity in Duck-Snaring and

Fishing—Native Weapons—Green Frogs—Freshwater Shells—Platy-

pus — Spur-winged Plover—Australian Harebell — Convolvulus —

Everlastings—Peppermint Tree—Opossums—Natives’ mode of taking



Native Turkeys—Their mode of Incubation—Native Cranberry—Our

Return — Locusts — Manna — Transformations — Ground Grubs —

Night at the Rivulet—New flowers—Heat and Dust—" Weather-

board" Inn—Walk to the Cascade—Fringed Violet—Waratahs—

Fine View—Lories Page 114


Storm and fine view on Lapstone Hill—Farm-house in the " public" line

—Arrive at Parramatta — Steamboat — Scenery on the " River "—

Sydney Christmas Tree—Christmas Day—Tippling Servants . 124


Homebush—Colonial Country-houses—The " Avenue"—Gates—Slip-

rails — Bushrangers — Mounted Police — Dingoes — Flying Fox —

Flying Opossum—Native Cats—Birds—Robins—Swallows— Knife-

grinder—Coachman—Bell-bird—Laughing Jackass—Larks—Game 129


Norfolk Island Pine—English Pear-tree—Daisy — Bush Flowers—

Creepers—He-oak—Zamia—" Wooden Pear-tree"—Native Cherry—

Insect Architecture—Twig-nests, &c.—Butterflies—Ground Spiders—

Tarantula—Silk Spiders—Scorpions—Hornets—Mosquitoes—Ants . 139


Guanas—Lizards—Snakes—Salt Marshes—Fishing—Crabs—Toad-fish

—Mangrove-trees—Romance and reality—Night sounds — Orange-

Groves—Gardens—Gigantic Lily—Scarcity of fresh water—Winter

Rains—Salt Well — Climate in Winter—Society — Conversation—

Servants—Domestic matters—Embarkation for Van Diemen’s Land 150



THE SAG Newsletter reports that Dr Tanya Evans, now of Macquarie University, is engaged in researching the history of motherhood in early Colonial Australia and Britain between 1750 and 1850. The focus has caught my fancy. My Mind seems to have taken a disproportionate amount of time in recovering from the Change of year and the Summer Season and I haven’t been able to get my mental historical  hard drive functioning at all but this little article has begun to bring the ghosts back to life again. Dr Evans is asking for assistance from any who have worked extensively on their family histories and have details of mothers from these early times. Dept of Modern History at Macquarie University, Sydney would have the contact details for you.

As for me, it has me thinking of all the Mothers of Mine who and the folkore I have been given. The Scottish Widow who was asked to be Laird of the Clan but came out here with her children instead.  Johannah Ready Prendergast, whose son John was sent as a convict to Government House at Windsor where his mother was Housekeeper. I wonder often about Johannah who was 47 when convicted in Ireland. She tried to have another son and his family sent out but failed. When John’s marriage failed and he became excessively odd in his behaviour and was sentenced to Moreton Bay, Johannah disappears from the records. I like to think she followed him.

Ann Moran and Hannah Hutchings/Hitchens. What was it like for them to be mothers here in the early 19th Century ? Young convict women. Ann had 5 children to John Curtis who was already husband and father to a family in England and had attempted to have them brought to him.  Hannah was recorded as a ‘ loose woman’ on the convict ship THE BROTHERS. How did her life as a mother develop from that starting point and from the death of her first husband in the Lunatic Asylum, Liverpool ?



The James Moran, a ship of 600 tons, sailed under Captain Ferguson and Dr McNee. It left Loch Inver and Loch Broom, on 21st October, 1838,

Most of the 229 passengers on board were clearance victims. They came to Australia under Rev John Dunmore Lang’s Bounty Scheme. 2 people died on the voyage to Australia. The voyage took 113 days, sailing directly to Cape Town, where it arrived 26th December, 1838. 20 passengers left the ship there on New Year’s Day.

WILHELMINA MCLEOD emigrated from Sutherland Shire Scotland, with her mother JANET MACKAY , two sisters and a brother on the JAMES MORAN arriving Sydney 11-2-1839. The family moved to the Hunter.

James and  Wilhelmina married on 29-9-1840  at the Scots Church Paterson.


Name of Ship             James Moran
Place of Departure    Loch Broom
Date of Sailing           13 Oct 1838
Destination                SYDNEY
Tonnage                     538

No. of Adult Passengers                                 136
No. of  Children between 14 and 7 Years      34
No. of  Children under 7 Years                      40
Total Number of Passengers                          210


















              The clearances had a lot of sub factors which were responsible for the mass waves of emigration. The collapse of the kelp industry,extreme poverty, the potato famine all made a new life abroad seem desirable. Promised by landowners that emigration would give them a new beginning and afar better way of living, for many it was not until they reached foreign shores that they realised that it was in fact hardship and poverty they faced

              ‘S i seo an dùthaich ‘s a bheil an cruadal
              Gun fhios do’n t-sluagh a tha tigh’nn anall.
              Gur h-olc a fhuaras oirnn luchd a’ bhuairidh
              A rinn le’n tuairisgeul ar toirt ann’.


            From 1815 to 1838 Nova Scotia received approximately 22,000 Scottish immigrants, most of them were from the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.

            Between 1826-1827, approximately 2,000 Scots left from Tobermory and Stornaway, Scotland for Cape Breton Island.

            1835 saw approximately 3,500 departed from Stornaway, Oban and Campbelton. Others came from places in the Highlands and Islands such as Strath Glas, Moidart, Knoydart, Lochaber, the Inner Hebrides, Lewis and Harris, Barra, the Uists, Sutherlandshire and Wester Ross.
















            JAMES BELL ,28, from Gallowsgate , Glasgow , Scotland transported for housebreaking. Tried in Glasgow. 7 years. Arrived on the YORK on 7-2-1831. Assigned to Paterson River. Certificate of freedom – 9.8.1838

            WILHELMINA MCLEOD emigrated from Sutherland Shire Scotland, with her mother JANET MACKAY , two sisters and a brother on the JAMES MORAN arriving Sydney 11-2-1839. The family moved to the Hunter.

            James and  Wilhelmina married on 29-9-1840  at the Scots Church Paterson.

            THERE WE ARE ! What a difference one letter makes. Forget the WAVERLEY except for general interest. The ship we are looking for is the JAMES MORAN which arrived in SYDNEY in FEBRUARY 1839.




            The James Moran, a ship of 600 tons, sailed under Captain Ferguson and Dr McNee. It left Loch Inver and Loch Broom, on 21st October, 1838, and arrived at Port Jackson on the 11th February 1839. When it arrived, 210 passengers disembarked, including infants born on the voyage
            Most of the 229 passengers on board were clearance victims. They came to Australia under Rev John Dunmore Lang’s Bounty Scheme. 2 people died on the voyage to Australia. The voyage took 113 days, sailing directly to Cape Town, where it arrived 26th December, 1838. 20 passengers left the ship there on New Year’s Day. The Jamnes Moran was apparently lost in the ice of the North Atlantice ca. 1857.
            NOTE: “clearance victims”. For those interested – there is an excellent book called “The Highland Clearances” By John Prebbles.  One should be able to get it via a library.

                 James Moran Passengers 

            Most of the 229 passengers on board were clearance victims. They came to Australia under Rev John Dunmore Lang’s Bounty Scheme. 2 people died on the voyage to Australia. The voyage took 113 days, sailing directly to Cape Town, where it arrived 26th December, 1838. 20 passengers left the ship there on New Year’s Day.

                  2 of the 18 single female passengers on the “James Moran”

            Christian Name
            Native Place
            By whom engaged
            Per day, week or year
            Whether with or without rations


            Mr David McKenzie


            Not stated




            The Sydney Gazette and… Tuesday 12 February 1839, page 3. News

            By the James Moran we receive the
            following information. The British
            King, with emigrants for this Port, was

            to leave Lochenvar on the 1st November.

            The Christina and Potentate were laid
            on at Greenock, with merchandise for
            this Colony ; also the Meta, Walker, via
            the Mauritius. The Asia, with emigrants,
            left Simons’ Bay, for this Port, two days
            previous to the James Moran. The
            James Moran spoke the Medusa in Bass’
            Straits on the 9lh instant, bound to Java,
            10 days from Sydney.

            • Articles were published in the Grafton “Daily Examiner” by G. Dennes dealing with Clarence River families who had come out 100 years earlier from Scotland on the “William Nicol, Midlothian, Brilliant, St George, Boyne, James Moran and Lady MacNaughton” The original bound copies of the :Daily Examiner” are held at the Clarence River Historical Society in Grafton.Some early copies are in microfiche. Enquire at your nearest library with a F.H.Section.


            Ship, Scottish Port of Origin and Date of Arrival in NSW
            ‘John Barry’ from Dundee 13/07/1837 ‘Hero’ from Leith 26/9/1839
            ‘William Nicol’ from Isle of Skye 27/10/1837 ‘Ariadne’ from Greenock 29/9/1839
            ‘Portland’ from Greenock 3/12/1837 ‘Glenswilly’ from Greenock 28/10/1839
            ‘Midlothian’ from Isle of Skye 12/12/1837 ‘Palmyra’ from Greenock 15/12/1839
            ‘Minerva’ from Greenock 23/01/1838 ‘Superb’ from Greenock 16/1/1840
            ‘Brilliant’ from Isle of Mull 24/01/1838 ‘Charlotte’ from Leith 19/1/1840
            ‘Duncan’ from Greenock 30/06/1838 ‘George Fyffe’ from Tobermory 25/1/1840
            ‘Lady Kennaway’ from Leith 12/08/1838 ‘Portland’ from Greenock 7/2/1840
            ‘William Rodger’ from Greenock 26/09/1838 ‘Henry Porcher’ from Isle of Skye 21/2/1840
            ‘Saint George’ from Oban, Scotland 15/11/1838 ‘Isabella Watson’ from Leith 20/9/1840
            ‘Portland’ from Greenock 22/12/1838 ‘Perfect’ from Greenock 26/12/1840
            ‘Boyne’ from Cromarty 2/01/1839 ‘Herald’ from Greenock 15/7/1841
            ‘Catherine Jamieson’ from Leith 19/01/1839 ‘Percy’ from Greenock 28/8/1841
            ‘Lady McNaughton’ from Cromarty 28/01/1839 ‘James Moran’ from Greenock 6/10/1841
            ‘James Moran’ from Loch Inver 11/2/1839 ‘New York Packet’ from Greenock 23/10/1841
            ‘British King’ from Tobermory 28/2/1839 ‘Trinidad’ from Greenock 6/11/1841
            ‘Asia’ from Cromarty 10/5/1839


            Archibald married Flora Fraser, daughter of William Thomas Fraser and Catherine McGregor, September 21, 1840 in Jerrabomberra, NSW.3 Flora was born in 1815 in Lochbroom, Rosshire, Scotland, was baptised April 12, 1816 in Lochbroom, Rosshire, Scotland, died September 18, 1911 in “Kyloe” Adaminaby, NSW 4 at age 96, and was buried in Adaminaby Old Cemetery, Adaminaby, NSW.

            More about Flora :

            • Arrived: per ship ‘James Moran’, assisted immigrant, February 11, 1839, Sydney, NSW.


                      the story of William Munro & Ann MacKay who came to Australia on the James Moran in 1839.








            JAMES BELL ,28, from Gallowsgate , Glasgow , Scotland transported for housebreaking. Tried in Glasgow. 7 years. Arrived on the YORK on 7-2-1831. Assigned to Paterson River. Certificate of freedom – 9.8.1838

            WILHELMINA MCLEOD emigrated from Sutherland Shire Scotland, with her mother JANET MACKAY , two sisters and a brother on the JAMES MORGAN arriving Sydney 11-2-1839. The family moved to the Hunter.

            James and  Wilhelmina married on 29-9-1840  at the Scots Church Paterson.)

            The only records I have so far found are as below but its later than February. Best visit BB again and set my thinking straight. In the meantime;



            SHIP Waverley (1) ARRIVED NSW 17.6.1839



            The Sydney Gazette and… Tuesday 14 May 1839, page 2.

            The Mellish sailed from the Downs on
            the 17th January, with a cargo of mer-
            chandise for this port. Her agents are
            Messrs. Hughes and Hosking.

            The Whitby cleared outwards on the
            12th January, and the Waverley on the
            16th in ballast ; both for Sydney. In

            all probability they bring either emigrants

            or convicts.



            The Sydney Gazette and… Tuesday 18 June 1839, page 3. News

            The Whitby, Captain Melbank, sailed
            from Dublin, with female prisoners,
            bound to Sydney, four days previous to
            the Waverley.

            The Waverley spoke the Lady Bute,

            from Greenock, bound to South Aus
            tialia and Sydney, with merchandise and
            passengers, on the 3d May, in lat. 38 °
            45′ S., long. 25 50′ E.-all well ; and,
            on the 4th May, spoke the Ann Watson,
            from Bristol, bound to Launceston and

            Sydney, with merchandise and passen-
            gers-all well.

            SYDNEY GAZETTE.


            TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 1839.

            English Intelligence.

            By the Waverley, with male convicts
            from Ireland, we have received London
            papers to the 18th February, inclusive.



            The Sydney Gazette and… Thursday 20 June 1839, page 2

            The Waverley and Indemnity are advertised for freight or charter.





            The Sydney Gazette and… Thursday 20 June 1839, page 2.

            THE WAVERLEY.-Among the convicts
            arrived by the Waverley is Carrick, the
            Roman Catholic Monk, whose trial and
            conviction on a charge of torturing a
            child to death created a strong excitement
            in Ireland some eight or nine months

            since. The Roman Catholics not being
            quite so powerful at head quarters as they
            were in the time of Sir Richard Bourke,
            when another special who shall be name-
            less, was brought to Sydney and allowed
            to go at large, we presume Carrick will
            be forwarded to Port Macquarie forth-
            with, or sent to vegetate on Cockatoo




            The Sydney Gazette and… Tuesday 25 June 1839, page 2

            The CONVICT BARRACKS.-On Satur-
            day last His Excellency the Governor
            visited the Prisoners’ Barracks, Hyde
            Park, for the purpose of inspecting the
            convicts who arrived by the Waverley.
            The names of the men were called over,

            and they were ranged round His Excel-
            lency in a circle, when he explained to
            them the situation in which they were
            placed in regard to the term of probation
            they were required to serve before being
            assigned to private service, and the
            rewards held out to them, by indulgences,
            for good behaviour.




            The Sydney Gazette and… Tuesday 23 July 1839, page 3.

            Vessels cleared from the 13th to the 20th instant


            July 13-WAVERLEY, 436 tons, Morgan,

            master, for India, in ballast.


            • Richard GILBERT, 22, Soldier, b. SAL, T: from Dublin 22/02/1839 to Sydney NSW17/06/1839, Ship: Waverley 1.





            • Guide to Using the ARK – Musters & Other Papers
            • Waverley (1) 1839 p.1

              Receipts for prisoners etc; and Chief Justice’s Warrants for Military prisoners


            • I am including this snippet due to the Bell name being linked with a WAVERLEY trip South. Wilhelmina Mcleod married James Bell. 
            • WINDUSS family – Tasmania and Victoria, Australia

            John WINDUSS was born in December 1809 at Otterburn, Yorkshire, England and married Mary BELL. John belonged to the 96th Regiment and arrived in Hobart on 21st September 1841 on the ship “Waverley” with wife Mary.
            As with the TEVELEIN family I have found most WINDUSS names in Tasmania and Victoria are connected to John and Mary and there are also WINDUSS descendants of John and Mary in Western Australia and New Zealand.


            While I’m at this one – research to date indicates that WILLIAM and ELIZABETH JACKSON came on WILLIAM BROWN SCHOONER in 1853. Looking at records I find that the BEEJAPORE ( see also CRAIGS AND HURRELLS) which arrived in 1853, brought a number of JACKSONS and was clearly an emigrant ship which the WILLIAM BROWN was not.


            and family
            2136, 2464

            and family

            and family
            2136, 2464

            and family
            2136, 2464

            and family
            2136, 2464

            and family
            2136, 2464

            and family
            2136, 2464

            and family
            2136, 2464

            and family
            2136, 2464

            and family

            and family
            2136, 2464

            and family
            2136, 2464

            and family
            2136, 2464

            George T
            and family
            2136, 2464

            and family
            2136, 2464





            Peter Quirke (1798-1863)- arrived on board the Ship Neptune in 1854

            • Arrived with wife Mary and five children in 1854.
            • Farm labourer, the son of James QUIRKE and Alice QUIRKE née REID, was born at St Johnswell ,Kilkenny Ireland in 1798.

            • He married Catherine RYAN in Kilkenny, Ireland circa 1823. The marriage producing four children.

              • James  QUIRK (c. 1824-dec.),

              • Nicholas (c. 1825-c. 1835), Arrived in NSW on board the Ship Victoria in 1849, he married Mary McMahon

              • Margaret QUIRK (c. 1828-1915),  – Arrived in NSW on board the Ship Victoria in 1849,  she Married George Fell in 1855 and died at Waverley in 1915.

              • Michael Quirk (c1832)







            I stumbled across a classified advertisement in an 1839 Gazette for the ship WAVERLEY. I had been looking for the JAMES MORGAN on which I had been told that Wilhelmina and family travelled . It appears now that JAMES MORGAN is the Master’s name and the ship on which they immigrated is the WAVERLEY.

            THE WAVERLEY seems also to be carrying Irish convicts so I shall begin looking. The Mcleods and Mackays are registered as from the SUTHERLAND SHIRE of SCOTLAND and coming as immigrants.

            Finding that curly one caused me to wonder about the WILLIAM BROWN. I thought that might also have been the Master’s name rather than that of the ship. In fact it is the name of the Schooner and of the owner who, as you will see below, also becomes Master.




            Mariners and Ships in Australian Waters

            There’s many a story to tell . . .

            Masters, crew, a stowaway or two; passengers, cabin, saloon and steerage; births at sea, deaths at sea; deserters; vessels with one crew and one passenger and those with 70 crew and hundreds of passengers; simple single sail boats, barques, brigs, large steam ships; whaling voyages, regular coastal passenger trips, voyages from other Australian ports, London, San Francisco, China and other exotic ports – you will find them all here. 

            The lists on this site are being transcribed from the State Records Authority of NSW Reels of the Shipping Master’s Office, Inwards Passengers Lists . . . . . . are added to weekly.


            MARY ANNE WARNER provides this detailed site. I just found the WILLIAM B BROWN on it. The schooner on which the JACKSONS came free in 1853. Mary Anne has a gracious way of dealing with things which I envy and a knack of saying thanks to her helpers which I lack. Great Site.


            AND FROM NLA.  The Maitland Mercury… Saturday 21 May 1853, page 2. News

            The William Barry Brown, schooner, left
            Honolulu 17th February, and called at Strong’s
            Island. The crew of the Paragon, whaler of

            Nantucket, Captain Nelson, were there, that
            vessel having been wrecked on the outer reef on
            the 20th March ; she had been out 27 months,
            with 400 barrels, and part of the crew came on

            to Sydney in the schooner. On account of some
            misunderstanding existing between Captain
            White, who commanded the William Barry
            Brown,on her leaving Honolulu, and Mr. Brown

            the owner, Captain While was left at Strong’s












            The BELLS were closely associated with the LAURIES and LAURIETON.


            TIMBER RESERVES.

            (To the Editor of the Maitland Mercury.)

            SIR,-I notice in your issue of the 8th inst., a letter on the reservation of timber, signed by Thomas Shaw, I believe some of his hints are good, and as this is a matter which concerns many, perchance a hint from one who has had 40 years’ experience may not be out of place. So I will be as brief as possible, and confine myself to a few remarks only.

            First-The wilful and shameful destruction of timber. At present the law is, that any man holding a license can go on to Government land (except Reserves) and cut away at any tree or sapling he thinks fit. No one has a right to interfere with him, so long as he holds his license ; he is never asked what he means to do with the timber he falls. No doubt you will say, surely no man on earth will fall timber without making use of it. But I can prove to you that it has been done, and that in a wholesale manner. On the Nambucca there have been hundreds of trees, both cedar and pine, cut down many years ago. And they are still there, and will ever remain so, as they are now too rotten for any use. On Camden Haven, a few years ago, the inhabitants took a sudden fit and cut down every beech tree that could be found ; in fact millions of feet, and there it lies, rotting on the ground ; and many a tree of hardwood as well-and yet the people who cut the said timber had no way of removing it to market. So there it remains, a loss to the man who would have used it, a loss to the colony, and a loss to the world at large. And yet the present licensing system allows this wholesale destruction, Surely this system could be improved upon, and before I close I shall give you my idea on the matter, and I hope some of your readers will give a better.

            Second,-I will now make a few remarks on the reservation of timber. Government has adopted a plan of making a reserve of certain portions of land in various places on the East Coast, for the sake of preserving timber. My opinion is, the plan is rotten in the core. The reserves are made where the best timber is to be found. So far so good. But tell me what they mean by preserving timber that has arrived at its full growth, and every day turning back to its mother earth. This seems to me to be wilful waste, and almost as bad as the men who cut timber and leave it to rot. I may be wrong, but I am against all special timber reserves. I would say, throw it open, and let us have free trade, and encourage colonial industry. At the same time I would make it the special duty of the local constable to ascertain if each man had a license, and what they were cutting for ; see that they mean to use the timber they ore cutting down. And above all, see that no hardwood timber is cut down less than two feet, or six feet in girth, three feet from the ground. This would be preserving timber in the right way ; for timber in this country does not take so long to grow as some think it does, I know large trees that were only saplings thirty years ago ; and at this place we have trees a foot through that were only whipsticks six years ago. And Mr. Hibbard, of Port Macquarie, tells me he knows trees at Shoalhaven three feet through that were mere saplings seventeen years ago (spotted gum). I will now draw to a close, and I trust that some other hand will take the matter up. I have merely given my own opinion, and I think any one who does so deserves a certain amount of credit, let him be right or wrong If I was to go on and state the use and durability of each kind of tree I do not know where I would end.

            Third.- This much I may say : people must not run away with the idea that because timber is of a certain kind it must be good. Such is not the case. For instance, the ironbark at this place is a poor wood indeed ; at Gloucester, the kitchen at the old accommodation house was shingled with ironbark shingles in the year 1836, yet the roof is waterproof. It depends on the ground and locality where the timber is grown, In the school house, in Port Macquarie, the rafters are saplings, known as the leaf tea-tree ; and although they were put there under the cruel lash and the bitter years of tyranny, yet the said rafters are as sound as the day they were put there.

            -Yours respectfully,

            J0SEPH LAURIE.

            Laurieton, 14th January, 1881.

            [We need scarcely say that we shall be glad at any time to receive and publish letters such as the above, and we hope the important subject of timber conservation will receive due public attention till amendment in the law and “practice is achieved.

            James Bell was transported for housebreaking in 1831. He married Wilhelmina McLeod on 29/9/1840 at the SCOTS CHURCH, PATERSON. Wilhelmina was the daughter of WILLIAM MCLEOD and JANET MACKAY and was 17 years old when she married JAMES.

            Their son , JOHN BELL, married Mary Ann McNeil in Taree on 27th June 1878. At the time John gave his place of residence as RAWDON VALE , district of Gloucester. Roy Burton was told by a now deceased aunt that John’s parents were James and Wilhelmina which we now know to be so.  Witnesses to the marriage of John and Mary Ann were JOSEPH LAURIE and MARGARET BELL. Joseph Laurie Snr owned property at RAWDON VALE locality. The witness Joseph Laurie was probably the fifth son of Joseph Senior. (Refer to “EARLY HISTORY OF THE CAMDEN HAVEN” Page 16. The LAURIES.The LAURIES were then living at PEACH GROVE now known as LAURIETON.

            John’s eldest sister married a LAURIE. His brother NORMAN BELL married AGNES FRASER whose mother was JANET LAURIE and named their daughter JANET LAURIE BELL.

            When John Bell and Granny Bell left the Tweed they lived the rest of their lives in LAURIETON.


            An article with Joseph Laurie presiding as magistrate


            The Maitland Mercury… Thursday 23 November 1882, page 6



            10 12 laurieton hotel

            LAURIETON HOTEL 10 2 laurieton

            IMMIGRATION REPORT 1852






            (The following year 1853 sees the arrival of the CRAIGS, HURRELLS and JACKSONS. )


            wilhelmina mcleod 


            20 12 some indians



            Known Immigrants in the family at this time are :








            The Superintendent having left the ship before her arrival in Port Jackson, there was latterly no control whatever over the women, and some of them who had been
            allowed to land, immediately after the ship came to anchor, were picked up quite drunk in the streets of Sydney, on the evening of their arrival.


            The Perth Gazette and… Saturday 10 June 1837, page 918

            SYDNEY. IMMIGRATION COMMITTEE. (From the Sydney “Colonist . “

            This committee report came out the year before Mary Ann and William Sanders  came on the VICTORIA.




            • The Government, however, have latterly proposed a measure for the encouragement and promotion of emigration which, if the settlers were at all alive to their own interests and disposed to cooperate in securing them, would be tantamount to the adoption of our original recommendation. For, at a cost for agency which would be altogether insignificant for each individual or family brought out to the colony, the respectable colonists might have seemed through the Government measure we allude to, the immediate introduction of two or three thousand families of virtuous and industrious emigrants of the classes chiefly required in the colony.




            An experiment has been tried in New South Wales to increase the number of immigrants by the formation of a Land and Immigration Company. The shares to be raised were 5,000, one half to be disposed of in the colony, and the other half to be reserved for capitalists in England. As we are also in need of an augmentation of our numbers, the hint may not be unprofitably applied ;


            Archives Investigator  
            State Records Authority of New South Wales

             IMMIGRATION – The Bounty System


            Extracted from the:- “Concise Guide to State Archives of New South Wales

            Shipping & Passenger Records
            Ballarat & District Genealogical Society Inc





            The McLeods and Mackays perhaps from the Sutherland Shire !

            3rd. In Scotland, and the north of Ireland, where no such contribution could be looked for, but where the lower classes, being more intelligent, industrious and frugal, would be better fitted for roughing it in a new colony, virtuous and industrious families of these classes would willingly bind themselves to pay that amount from the first of their savings after their arrival ; and if in the event of their purchasing land on credit from the Company, this debt were to be chargeable on the land, its repayment would be secured.


            Highland and Island Emigration Society, HIES

            In fact, the obstructions, the suspense, and the jobbing of the present system, tend to destroy, the property, if not work the absolute ruin €of the poorer class of immigrants. An individual of this description on his arrival is forced to leave his family in Sydney, whilst he proceeds to explore the north, the south, or the westward, for a suitable location


            Mariners and Ships in Australian Waters

            Mariners and Ships in Australian Waters


            Mary-Anne Warner’s site transcribing STATE RECORDS of SHIPS. easy to navigate. Detailed.

            There’s many a story to tell . . .

            Masters, crew, a stowaway or two; passengers, cabin, saloon and steerage; births at sea, deaths at sea; deserters; vessels with one crew and one passenger and those with 70 crew and hundreds of passengers; simple single sail boats, barques, brigs, large steam ships; whaling voyages, regular coastal passenger trips, voyages from other Australian ports, London, San Francisco, China and other exotic ports – you will find them all here. 

            The lists on this site are being transcribed from the State Records Authority of NSW Reels of the Shipping Master’s Office, Inwards Passengers Lists . . . . . . are added to weekly




            Several branches of the families came as assisted emigrants. Wilhelmina McLeod and her mother Janet Mackay with 3 siblings arrived in 1839 on the James Morgan from the Sutherland Shire  of Scotland. The Sanders ( William and Mary Ann) came by the VICTORIA in 1849. In 1853, The Jacksons arrived in the WILLIAM BROWN but I don’t yet know under what conditions they came. Also in 1853 the BEEJAPORE sailed to NSW and NZ and on board were John and Harriet Hurrell ( who died in the same year 1853. Many died on that ship and Harriet’s death may well be as a result of the voyage. ) Also on board were the Scottish CRAIGS. The extract below is from a NZ thesis on death and mourning amongst the Scots who emigrated .





            TO NEW ZEALAND,

            1840 -1890


            Debra Powell

            A Thesis

            Submitted to the University of Waikato

            in fulfilment of the

            requirements for the degree of

            Master of Arts

            in History

            Official aggregates from ships surgeons’ reports reinforce the impression of

            diaries that

            “few immigrant ships arrived in New Zealand waters with their

            original complement of passengers. Infectious diseases, chronic illness,

            accidents at sea, dysentery and diarrhoea, and the debilitating effects of constant

            seasickness on pregnant women and breast-feeding mothers, all took a toll on

            passenger numbers. Migrants were not unaware of the risks involved. The loss

            of babies and infants was considered an inevitable consequence of long seaboard

            journeys. William Usherwood on board the Beejapore to Sydney in 1853

            expressed a common sentiment when he wrote: ‘The … adults are all in good

            health, we have lost several children but this was quite expected, being always

            the case’”

            William Usherwood, cited in Robin Haines, Doctors at Sea: Emigrant Voyages to Colonial

            Australia (Hampshire and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), p. 2


            By the mid-nineteenth century there was a plethora of emigration societies set

            up to assist Scots to find new homes abroad. In 1839, for example, a society was

            formed among the weaving community of Fenwick in Ayrshire. The society

            oversaw a ‘constant flow’ of departures to immigrant destinations including

            Australia and New Zealand. Its constitution reflected a sense of impending crisis

            and was unequivocal in its expression of the conviction that ‘ordinary folk’

            should have the means to improvement, and an escape from the prospect of

            unemployment, pauperism and starvation. It states:

            A fearful gloom is fast thickening over the horizon of our country. Every

            prospect of comfort to the working man is daily becoming darker and

            more dreary. Trade and manufacturers are rapidly leaving our shores and,

            to all appearance, a crisis is at hand in which the sufferings of the working

            class will form a prominent feature

            Cited in Jim Hewitson, Far off in Sunlit Places: Stories of the Scots in Australia and New

            Zealand (Edinburgh: Canongate Books, 1998), p. 19



            “The ocean voyage between Scotland and New Zealand could take anywhere

            from three to five months. These months represented a transitional period for

            individuals and families, and acted as a liminal zone between the old life and the

            new. Migrants’ experiences of death at sea were an important part of this

            transition, as traditional ideas and practices were challenged by the exigencies of

            sea burials. Of necessity, the time between death and disposal of the body was



            I have elected to include the diaries of English as well as Scottish migrants to New Zealand and

            Australia, both for what they reveal about perceptions of ‘Scottishness’, and because of the

            obvious commonalities in both experiences and responses to death at sea.

            short. In the case of stillborn infants, and when infectious diseases were aboard,

            this may have been as little as one hour.


            The complex traditions of waking and

            kisting which had served to facilitate the mourning process among Scots in their

            home communities had to be dispensed with in the cramped space aboard ship.

            Moreover, many adult patients spent their last days quarantined in the ship’s

            ‘hospital’ being cared for by a matron and the ship’s surgeon rather than their

            own kin, as they would have been at home. This removal from the dying process

            often left families with little to comfort them through the difficult process of

            mourning. There were several modes of reaction to the disruption of the grief

            process through death at sea. Aside from the negation of traditionally held

            customs and observances, sea burial provided the family with no fixed place of

            interment, effectively denying them the comfort of future visits to the graveside.

            Furthermore, the body of the deceased could never lie in the family grave sites

            that were to become a feature of colonial graveyards in New Zealand, as they

            were in Britain and Ireland. On a religious or superstitious level, many migrants

            still held onto fears concerning resurrection. People witnessed the bodies of the

            deceased dropped into water teeming with sea-life, protected by nothing but a

            weighted canvas shroud. Residual beliefs concerning the resurrection of the

            body and its dependence on corporeal integrity at death, meant that the fear of

            burial at sea resonated with that of dissection in many minds”




            EMIGRATION IN THE 1850s

            Ancestors Known to have arrived as EMIGRANTS are


            SHIP EMIGRANTS



            The Sanders are marked on their disembarkation papers as “assisted emigrants”. The 19th century newspapers fill in a good deal of my lack of understanding of emigration in the 19th century. I have images of William Sanders and of Mary Ann Skivings Sanders but none of the other ” emigrants”.


            Mary Ann Skivings Sanders and the elderly gentleman seated is BlackBerry Bill Sanders:



            SAUNDERS, William. 26 years. Butcher. Born Kenton Devonshire. Son of William and Elizabeth SAUNDERS- still living in Kenton. C of E  – reads and writes. No relations living in Colony. in good health. Complained of short issue of rations during early part of voyage.

            SAUNDERS, Mary Ann. 19 years – farm servant – born Silverton Devonshire – daughter of George and Grace Skivings. Still living in Silverton. C of E – Reads and Writes – no relations living in Colony – in Good health.

            The Researcher (whom I think may have been Dick Sanders) has added – ( SAUNDERS should read SANDERS )

            THE JACKSONS. from READY OR NOT – compiled by PHIL READY.

            On 17th May 1853 a sixty ton ketch, WILLIAM BROWN, had arrived in Sydney from Honolulu. Aboard were immigrants WILLIAM JACKSON and his wife ELIZABETH and one daughter. William who had been born in Nottinghamshire in England was a Coppersmith by trade. On 26th November 1849 , in London he had married EIZABETH JOHNSON who had been born in Norfolk England.

            In 1853 William whose trade was very much in demand set up in business in Steven Street, Ultimo. The following year his address appeared in SANDS directory as BAY STREET GLEBE. Julia from whom I descend  was born on 5th June 1860 – listed as Newtown.


            • WILHELMINA MCLEOD who came from SUTHERLAND SHIRE with her mother and siblings : JANET MACKAY.
            • THOMAS CRAIG a lad of 8 and his family.





            Daily News (London, England), Monday, October 7, 1850; Issue 1363






            Gaelic name for MacKay: MacAoidh
                                   (son of fire)

            MACKAY CREST

            I have been reading about Sutherland Shire. Wilhelmina McLeod came from there with her mother Janet Mackay and her sibling in 1839. This brings in the highland blood . Findhorn is very close to the Sutherland Shire.

            Check these sites.