Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The mystery of where Eliza SLACK / HOY / TEE came from still bother me.

Posted this on Rootschat today and cross-posting to my blog in case anyone feels like a challenge.

Below are literally ALL the facts I have at my disposal:

I'm decent at solving problems but this one is breaking me.

Not an ancestry but in my tree - I want to trace back Eliza's origins:

In August 1843, Eliza SLACK married ex-convict William TEE by Banns with the consent from 'friends' (Eliza was under 21) - the marriage was probably in Bathurst but the bride and groom lived in O'Connell Plains.

While the marriage certificate stated her name to be Eliza SLACK, their daughter  Sarah TEE's birth certificate in 1857 states the mothers name to be "Eliza HOY afterwards TEE".

Eliza TEE died in 1871 aged 45 years of 'exposure and intemperence' in June 1871 on the road between Tambaroora and Hill End. Eliza's death certificate listed her father as "Samuel HOY, a soldier"  with mother not known. Eliza's place of birth is given as "Chesire, England" and had been 34 years in New South Wales, so arrived from overseas probably aged around 11 in 1836 or so.

Given this patchy information, it seems likely Eliza was born to a soldier named Samuel HOY, and arrived in NSW with her father/family when he was posted there. But why the name Eliza SLACK at marriage - it is possible that Eliza was a widower at marriage to William TEE, however this is not stated on the certificate, and given that she was 17 or so it seems unlikely - there are no marriages that fit in the NSW BDM records either. Furthermore, her death certificate doesn't list two marriages.

So perhaps Eliza was born to Samuel HOY and mother, and the mother re-married a man named SLACK when she was very young and Eliza acquired the surname.

Any ideas? I've really dug deep, but possibly the regimental association is making it tricky.

More info on my blog here:

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Sarah TEE was born at Tambaroora NSW to William Tee and Eliza nee SLACK in 1857. Gravestone shows her to be 85 on her death. She died in Sydney on Tuesday 6th November 1945. Thomas and Sarah are buried together at Rookwood Anglican Cemetery, Sydney in Sect 9 Row 52 Grave 2602.

Sarah married Thomas Trevithick "Junior" (1957 Mt Ararat VIC - 1929 Newtown NSW), son of Thomas Trevithick "senior" who was involved in gold mining at Hill End.

I hope this death certificate is useful ; the maiden name "Lee" may be mis-transcribed, or mis-remembered (it should be TEE). Sarah's father was a convict, and no-one has been able to ascertain how her mother came to Australia. The informant, George Fever, was not actually married to Millie in 1945 (they married in 1952), and the list of Sarah's children is only very partial.

New South Wales Death Certificate

Date and place of death: 1945 11th June, 14 Regent Street, Municipality of Newtown
Name and occupation: Sarah Trevithick
Sex and age: Female 88 years
Cause of death, Duration, Medical attendant, When last saw deceased: Chronic myocarditis, 4 months, J.F. Burfitt (Registered), 4th June 1945
Name and occupation of father: William Lee
Informant: G.E. Beaver, Son-in-law, 14 Regent St, Newtown
Registered: 12 June, 1945
When and where buried, name of undertaker: 1945 12th June, Church of England Cemetery Rookwood, H.G. Smith employed by W.N. Bull Pty Ltd
Name and religion of minister: R.O. Todd, Church of England
Witnesses: E. Newman, K. Pochee
When are where born how long in Australian colonies or states: Hill End, NSW
Place of marriage, age, and to whom: Hill End, NSW, 20 years, Thomas Trevithick, Widow
Children of marriage: Thomas W 66, Henry 62, Millie E 56, Frederick C 47 living, none deceased.

Some info on Roy Ewer

The most popular post my blog - based on both VIEWS and COMMENTS, was not written by me. It's a 'history' of the small coastal (Lower Hawkesbury) town of Patonga NSW - really a set of reminiscences and memories - by Roy Ewer, who spent time there as a boy on family holidays and has family connections to the town also. Roy was the son of Joseph Clyde Ewer (

Roy's post can be found here:

And it was also published afterwards by a local paper called the 'Peninsula News'.

Roy and I became connected because he found me via my blog and helped me in many ways in understanding my recent EWER family tree - he was my grandmother's cousin.

In 2005 when having leg troubles, Roy "decided to write a pre-war (World War 2) history of Patonga where we always spent our holidays and grew up with the few local children - my sister married one". I asked Roy if I could post this on my blog, for the benefit of others and as I say it has has been extremely popular.

Amazingly, the post actually led to the return of a small medallion belonging to Roy:

Roy has since passed away, and I realized that I have never commented on his passing, or adding any biographical information.

Roy was born at home on Priddy's Road, Bexley, NSW on 20th December 1925. His father was Joseph Clyde Ewer (31, born Wellington NSW) and Mabel Kate Lawrance (29, born Fulham, England).

He served in the militia during WW2, and lived in Papua New Guinea afterwards, then Queensland, as Roy described himself to me:

"My first appointment was to the War Damage Commission 1949 assessing the agricultural damage for compensation. Mostly it was coconuts and cocoa and my interests were stimulated by the latter and I joined a research programme to develop new cocoa strains as the original crops were diseased and inbred. This was funded by Cadbury's and Rowntrees from their West African headquarters (at that time).

In 1964, the granting of freedom to alcohol to the locals made this work in the South Pacific untenable, and I returned to Australia and joined an agricultural consultancy with two other plant breeders which was taken over by Yates Seeds.  One of these joined Carlton United Breweries as hop breeder and the other as principal of an Ag College in Victoria. 

I stayed and retired in 1982 after completing a sunflower programme for a suitable oil for the margarine industry. Veterans Affairs insisted I retire to have treatment for damage to my legs in world war 2. Since retiring, Yates have been taken over five times. I am afraid things have passed me by. I attended Uni of Central Queensland in 2003 to bone up on modern tissue culture work as this had changed the whole concept of importing quarantined genetic material and was in it's infancy when I retired."

In about 1979, Roy married  Mary Bridget nee HAY (Roy would have been about 50) and they did not have children, and lived in Bundaberg QLD.  Mary died in 2010 in Bundaberg, and Roy passed away in 2012:

For me, the highlight in meeting Roy was that my dad met his mother's cousin. They were somewhat estranged from the 30s onwards, and my father had never had any connection with Roy's family. Seeing a photo of them together after Roy and I made contact. Roy and I emailed each other fairly regularly until he passed away.

The above photo was provided by Roy's family - Roy is standing, presumably taken at Patonga.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Second marriage certificate of my gr gr grandfather Walter Herbert Hodge

Marriage certificate of my great great grandfather Walter Herbert HODGE.

NSW Marriage Certificate 1934/10649

Groom: Walter Herbert HODGE
Status: Widower
Place of birth: Sydney NSW
Occupation: Valuer
Age: 62
Usual residence: 7 Challis Flats, Victoria Street, Sydney
Father: Sebastian HODGE (Deceased)
Father's occupation: Licensed victualler
Mother's name: Harriet SMITH (Deceased)

Bride: Edith Bessie WEBBER
Status: Widow
Place of birth: Kent England
Occupation: Domestic duties
Age: 48
Usual residence: 7 Challis Flats, Victoria Street, Sydney
Father: George Jeffery (Deceased)
Father's occupation: Builder
Mother's name: Elizabeth Frances COAST (Deceased)

Date of marriage: 28 Sep 1934
Place of marriage: The registrar general's office Sydney
Religion: Marriage Act No 15 of 1899
Witness: (Signed) Sophie M L Smith, (Signed) Sydney G Smith
Minister: A C L Bayliss, Deputy Registrar General 

Death certificate of Sydney HODGE (1874-1928)

This is the death certificate transcript of Sydney HODGE (1874 Sydney NSW -1928 Orange NSW). I know very little of Sydney, youngest child of my ancestors Sebastian HODGE and Harriet nee SMITH.

NSW Death Certificate 1928/21411
Name: Sydney HODGE
Date of death: 16 Dec 1928
Place: District Hospital Orange Municipality, Formerly of Orange Municipality
Occupation: Groom
Sex: Male
Age: 53
Place of birth: Sydney NSW
Father's name: Sebastian HODGE
Father's occupation: Hotelkeeper
Mother's name: Harriet SMITH

Place of marriage: Not Married
Informant: U M Carter, no relation, Matron, District Hospital Orange
Cause of death: 1. Coronary thrombosis, 2. Cardiac failure
Length of illness: 1. 3 days
Medical attendant: J V Garner
Date last seen: 15 Dec 1928

Date of burial: 17 Dec 1928
Place of burial: Church of England Cemetery Orange
Minister and religion: H S Needham, Church of England
Undertaker: F R Ford
Witnesses: Lionel V Edye, Harry Dawson

Friday, March 9, 2018

Death certificate of Alfred Ernest Hall (my great great grandfather)

           Death certificate for my great great grandfather Alfred Ernest Hall (born Yass NSW 1870, died Croydon NSW 1954)

Name: Alfred Ernest Hall
Rank or profession: Public school headmaster
Sex and age: Male. 84 years.
When and where died: 24 September, 1954. 23 Scott Street, Croydon (usual residence).
Where born: Yass, N.S.W.
Name and surname of father: ------ HALL
Rank or profession of father: Farmer
Name and maiden surname of mother: Eliza Bliss.

If deceased was married-
Where: Redfern, Sydney, NSW
At what age: 25 years
To whom: Bridget Ann Moloney
Condition at time of death: Widower
Issue in order of birth, name and age:
Norman - 56 years, Claude - 54 years, Winifred - 51 years 
Living. 1 female deceased.

Name, description, residence of informant: Winifred Nissen, daughter, 23 Scott Street, Croydon
Cause of death:  (A) myocardial degeneration. (B) Old age
Duration of last illness: (A) 5 months
Medical attendant: S. Nash

When buried or cremated: 27th September 1954
Where buried: Roman Catholic Cemetery Rookwood
Undertaker: W.N. Bull
Name and religion of minister: F O'Neill, Roman Catholic
Name of Witnesses: B. O'Neill, K. Pochee

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Yvonne Camillus YOUNGER (1927-2017)

My grandmother Yvonne Camillus YOUNGER formerly BORDER nee QUINANE passed away a few months ago (1927-2017). I travelled home to Australia for the funeral, held in Charlestown, NSW (a suburb of Newcastle) - the funeral was held on my parent's wedding anniversary, in the Church they were also married in.

Her death notice was placed in the Newcastle Herald:
YOUNGER YVONNE CAMILLAS Late of Charlestown Formerly of Sydney Aged 91 years Dearly loved wife of DAVID (dec'd). Former loving wife of JOHN BORDER (dec'd). Much loved mother and mother-in-law of JILL and DES O'CONNOR, CLARE and ANDREW HALL, MARGARET and DAVID PERROTT. Loving Nana to her eight grandchildren and thirteen great grandchildren and loved sister, sister-in-law and aunt of the QUINANE, BORDER and YOUNGER families. Relatives and friends of YVONNE are warmly invited to attend her funeral to be held at St Mary Immaculate Catholic Church, Milson Street Charlestown this WEDNESDAY morning 26th April 2017, Funeral Mass commencing at 10am. A private cremation will follow. In lieu of flowers, a donation can be made to Alzheimers Australia at Forever In Our Hearts

Two things to post. One is that a pile of photos were put together that i'll post up here.

But first, my aunt Jill delivered the eulogy at the funeral, which I've summarized in the 3rd person here:

Yvonne Camillas Quinane was born on 20th January, 1926 at Watson's Bay. Her parents were Patrick Joseph and Irene Therese.

The Quinane family came from Tipperary in Ireland and Mum's grandfather was born in Ballarat just prior to the Eureka Stockade in 1854. The family's tent was damaged by soldiers searching for the rebel miners. Yvonne's father was an original Gallipoli Anzac who was physically (with the loss of one eye) and emotionally scarred by the War.

Yvonne was the fourth of five children, Joan, Fred & Phil preceding her, and Kevin following. They were brought up in a Catholic home, full of Labor politics. Her father was Doc Evatt's Campaign Director.

The family moved into a new brick home at Sans Souci when Mum was 6 months old. They had wonderful neighbours - on Empire Day, they had great cracker nights, the Carnigan boys would guard the bonfire so it would not be lit until the big night arrived.

Yvonne attended St. Finbar's Primary School, Sans Souci and then St. Patrick's School, Kogarah. In Yvonne's school days the Depression occurred and she went to school one day and because a child did not have any shoes, she gave hers away, and came home bare-footed. She, with all her family spent many blissful hours at the beach and she was a very powerful swimmer.

When she finished her education, she went to work at David Jones in 1941 in the dress-making department. She enjoyed her work and stayed there until the war was over. Yvonne met John (known as Jack) Border at a dance at Watson's Bay in 1946, they loved to go to dances especially at the Trocadero. They married in 1947 and had 2 daughters, Jill and Clare. Sadly they had a very short time together and Dad passed away in March, 1953 from acute leukemia. The next few years were a difficult time, Yvonne was only 27 with 2 little girls to raise, Jill was 4 and Clare was just 5 months old. Her family at that time were a great support.

They lived at Ramsgate and Yvonne worked at the Post Office there and in 1956 they moved to Earlwood and Yvonne went to work at the Maritime Services Board as a statistical clerk. She overloaded a boat and was sent to see a Mr. David Younger, and as he always said from that day on he was always fixing her problems. They married in 1957, and a daughter Margaret was born in 1959. Yvonne gave up work and worked at the school tuck shop and played tennis. Dad gained a promotion and we moved to Newcastle in 1966, living in Kahiba. Yvonne and David joined Kahiba Bowling Club and made many good friends - Yvonne really enjoyed her bowls. She served as Treasurer from 1974-1977 and Secretary for 2 years and was also a Selector.

In 1985, David had a massive heart attack and at 59 Yvonne was widowed again. She was always very strong and made the best of everything.

Yvonne learned to play bridge and played cards with friends on a Saturday afternoon for over 20 years. She joined Probus and was Honorary President of the War Widow's Guild in Newcastle from 1996 to 2000. Yvonne and her daughter Jill marched proudly on Anzac Day down Hunter Street to Civic Park for years, representing her two husbands, her father and uncles - all war veterans.

Yvonne travelled extensively overseas many times, seeing so many countries - some many times. Daughters Clare and Jill accompanied her on a QE2 cruise. Yvonne always loved a joke, and a bet on the horses, and playing Lotto and Keno.

In March 2006, Yvonne was diagnosed with Alzheimer disease, and they family thanks everyone who were on that journey with Yvonne. Thank you to the staff at Amaroo Nursing Home for their devotion and dedication for making Yvonne's time so comfortable with both gentleness and kindness.

Yvonne was a loving grand-mother, having 8 children and 13 great-grand-children. Yvonne will live in our hearts forever.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Conlon Pottery of Glebe - over 100 years later

A few years back, I wrote a short article about Michael Conlon and his family for the Glebe Society newsletter - this supplements the less-well constructed posts here on the blog. They have a section called 'Who Lived in Your Street?' and the article can be found here:

At the end of that article I wrote "I would very much like to track down an example of Michael’s pottery – be it brick, tile or bottle.  If anyone is aware of one please contact me at".

I have two Conlon bottles (picture below), each with the distinctive stamping:

Conlon & Co
Broughton St

A great summary of his POTTERY work was published in Ford, Geoff & National Museum of Australian Pottery 1995,  Australian pottery : the first 100 years, Salt Glaze Press, Wodonga, Vic, pp. 69-70, and I transcribed the relevant section here:
There are a range of POTTERY products described as being produced by Conlon, including Closet Pans and Traps, Chimney Pots, Gingerbeer Bottles, Fancy Garden Tiles, Paving Tiles, Bricks - but it is not clear which of these products, and would not, have been stamped. There is no mention of NON-POTTERY products.

While work has really gotten in the way of this blog (and I'm sorry if I haven't responded to emails), I have had TWO contacts since that article from people, and I wanted to share to the blogosphere what they kindly shared with me.

What really surprised me about these contacts, is that both relate to metal sewer/pipe covers spotted on footpaths, rather than actual pottery-based products (bricks, tiles, etc).

The first find came to me from Helen Randerson, a long-term Glebe resident and history researcher. Helen indicated she'd seen this pipe cover on on the footpath in Pyrmont Bridge Road, Pyrmont. The cover was certainly there a few years ago, and probably still is. Helen indicated it is quite small, maybe 13 or14 cm in diameter.

The second contact came recently from Adrian Pokorny. He found an identical item on Cleveland Street in Surry Hills. This item is slightly more beaten, and reveals that they both have/had a small vent hole in the center, either to facilitate gas release, or to facilitate removal of the cover, or both. Adrian also provided a map with the location!!


I want to thank Helen and Adrian both - I had no idea of this particular Conlon item. Both are identical, made of metal, and presumably the 'S' is for 'Sewer'. While metal-based products such as 'grates' are advertised by CONLON in the Sydney Morning Herald, there is no indication I can find that Michael Conlon's pottery included a foundry for producing such items. The would be necessary as part of fulfilling contracts for drain pipes, and may have been produced elsewhere under order.

Helen also raised the concept of whether these items can be heritage listed - either with the City of Sydney, or possibly Sydney Water if they hold jurisdiction over the item. I'll follow up!

AND if anyone finds any Conlon-stamped items, please let me know and I'll add to the post.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

A History of Rowland Edwards - Part 2

The SECOND biography I'm transcribing here I found via a search engine, and comes from a magazine called 'Generation', the Quarterly Journal of the Genealogical Society of Queensland (, September 1981, Vol 4, No. 1. 

As with the previous post (, the name of Christine Webb appears - in this case credited as the author. I have not had contact with Christine Webb but she clearly did a tremendous amount of work on Rowland. The information on Edward Ewer is this article is incomplete.

Quarterly Journal of the Genealogical Society of Queensland 
September 1981, Vol 4, No. 1. 
The Rowland Edwards Story

Rowland Edwards was born in Shropshire (Salop) and was apprehended in Shrewsbury, Parish of Wellington in 1789, for suspicion of stealing a black gelding, saddle and bridle. As horse-stealer was a capital offence in the 18th Century, he was sentenced to death. However, he was reprieved and sentenced to transportation for 14 years, this was later commuted to 7 years.

He was on board the "Admiral Barrington" which left England in March 1791 with 300 convicts, whose miserable situation was deplorable beyond description: thirty six were to die on the voyage out which took approximately seven months.

They arrived at the Cape of Good Hope in July 1791 and mutton was obtained but greens were few and only the ship's crew shared these. On the 18th August they set sail again for New South Wales and the passage was in very heavy seas and gales with lightning and thunder for days and nights on end. When severely pinched with hunger the convicts supplemented their meagre rations with damaged bread that was for the hogs and poultry. They were so exhausted  with hunger and thirst they could hardly stand alone. They arrived on Sunday 16th October 1791 at 2 p.m. and the next day 100 of the emaciated convicts were sent to the Kings Hospital suffering from scurvy.

Rowland Edwards was assigned to Rosehill were he laboured till 1796. In April 1798 he was granted 25 acres which he cleared and grew wheat and maize and he also acquired 28 hogs to which he was indebted to the crown for £14.19.3. On 3rd August 1804 at St Johns Church of England, Parramatta, he was married to Jane Fletcher by Rev. H. Fulton. 

Jane Fletcher was baptised on June 1786 at Orleton Church, Herefordshire, being the youngest child of Richard and Tabitha (Lloyd) Fletcher. At the age of 15 she murdered her new born male child and was sentenced to transportation for life, after being reprieved from being hung. Her mother Tabitha  was imprisoned for six months for comforting and maintaining her daughter after the offence.

Jane arrived in the Colony on the "Experiment" in June 1804 after the ship sailed into a violent gale in the Bay of Biscay and had to limp back to Cowes, England to repair damage during which time several deaths occurred and twenty-one prisoners were sick.

Rowland was granted 80 acres by Lt. Gov. Paterson at Richmond Hill, on 14th December 1809, which he named "Clarendon Farm". Due to the corrupt rebel government of the time this land grant was surrendered to the Crown (Forveaux) 1st March 1810, but it was later regranted under Macquarie's rule on 18th October 1811. He gained his Certificate of Freedom on 1st February 1811. A notice appeared in the Gazette in November 1812 stating - 7 acres of wheat were for sale by auction. Other notices appeared of his registration of a firearm and letters awaiting collection July 1808 and 1816. In December 1809 he was a signatory to the Hawkesbury Settlers Address. Notices appeared on 3rd September 1809 with his intentions to sell wheat and in March 1810 he had contracts to see rabbits.

His future seemed more 'rosy' but was short-lived as on the 28th May 1814 on a journey home from Sydney, travelling with his cart and two bullocks, he stayed overnight at the Parramatta Toll Gate Inn (Governor Macquarie established a Toll Bar in 1810 and every traveller paid a fee to enter Parramatta from the north, most profits went to the upkeep of orphans at Parramatta. The Toll Gates were removed to North Parramatta in 1826). He complained of being weary from his journey and went to bed early after supper, but he was awoken at 11.30 pm from cries of help from Mr Main who ran the Inn. Rowland and another man Jenkins came to his aid to find three masked and armed bushrangers. A musket was fired and Jenkins fell down dead, Rowland received mortal wounds and died four hours later but not before he suffered in agony and cried out to God to spare hum for the sake of his poor children.

He left five children under nine years. Rowland and Jane's issue were: Mary born 1805: Ann born 1808: Elizabeth born 1810: Catherine born 1811: one sone born May 1813 named John Rowland. All were born in the Colony (Richmond) and were all baptised at St Peter's, Richmond in 1814, two months after their father's death.

In 1820 Rowland's widow married John Allen and in January, 1821 their issue Jane was baptised.

Life was not easy and Rowland's children were sent to the Orphanage at Parramatta. Another notice appeared in the Gazette in August 1820 that Rowland was granted more land (a trifle late). In October 1825 a paragraph appeared in the paper notifying all claimants on his estate to do so.

In 1827 Edward Ewer applied to the Orphanage for permission to marry Ann Edwards and he was also appointed her brother and sister's legal Guardian. He was a grocer of George St. Parramatta. He arrived as a convict on the Mary II on 23 January, 1822 and was transported for life after his trial in the Berkshire Assizes in February 1820. His description was 26 years; 5'3"; fair and freckled; grey eyes. He was granted a free pardon in January 1842. Edward and Ann's issue were Edward Baptised October 1827; Harriet Jane, April 1829 and Emma Elizabeth B. November 1830 all at St John's, Parramatta,

Another notice appeared in the Gazette dated 8th September, 1825 cautioning all persons to return property belonging to Rowland Edward's children; whereas his widow and in conjunction with her second husband made away with a considerable quantity of cattle, furniture and personal effects.

In 1829 Edward Ewer wrote a letter to his Excellency requesting permission to apprehend bushrangers as many illegally at large persons who are runaways from road and iron gangs come into his shop and commit daring robberies and that by doing so he should be rewarded accordingly. In the 1850's Ann Ewer (Edwards) was mentioned in a dispute of the Tattersalls Inn, Parramatta over property ownership between the Presbyterian Church and a William Aird, which resulted in Ann "squatting" there for some time.

Little else is known of the other children or their descendants, John Edwards was mentioned in 1848 as a Pioneer on the Hawkesbury, and Elizabeth married Matthew Webb in 1836 at Windsor.

The story of Matthew Webb will appear in the December journal.
Christine Webb, Ipswich.

A History of Rowland Edwards - Part 1

I was reviewing some documents and came across two separate biographies of Rowland Edwards. 

The FIRST I'm transcribing here is of unknown source, but clearly from a published book and sent to me by Lynne Dickson quite a few years ago as part of a pile of documents on the Edwards family. The book is clearly a list of biographies - possibly of early settlers in the Hawkesbury district.

The biography editorializes somewhere (particularly with regard to Jane Fletcher's character, and her 'respectable' family in Hereford). I would dearly like to read the memorial to Macquarie referred to.

Pages 109-110:

Edwards, Rowland 1763?-1814

For horse-stealing (his degree of guilt perhaps in question in view of the reduced sentence): Welling, Shropshire 1789 (death to 14 years) 7 years: Admiral Barrington 1791.

His time expired. Edwards bough the low-lying 25 acres of Endeavour Farm on Freeman's Reach. In 1802 it was fully cultivated and running 28 pigs; his household of four included convict servants, but no wife, for Jane Fletcher (X) (1786-1832; Hereford 1803 (death) life: Experiment 1804) was yet to arrive.

They were married by the Reverend Fulton three months after Jane's landing, with her shipmate Martha Pearl (soon herself to marry farmer Devlin) making her mark as witness. The other, a more competent penman, was the now flourishing Henry Baldwin who had shared the miseries of the bridegroom's voyage. If Rowland's enterprise was of smaller scale than Baldwin's, Jane had nevertheless made a good match, one she had not cared to jeopardise perhaps by confessing the unhappy story of her past. How as the 15-year-old daughter of a respectable Hereford family she had killed her new-born bastard child, and had been reprieved for its murder.

These sad events seem to have affected Jane, making her a less than ideal wife and mother, and Rowland felt deeply protective towards his children. His farming too was not without its problems. With neighbours Baker and Faithfull he survived a bid by George Crossley in 1804 to oust them; but the floods of 1809 robbed him of practically all he owned. An appeal to Paterson brought some relief in the form of an 80-acre grant on the high lands beyond Clarendon. He was installed there by September, but creditors were clamouring for his horse, his cart, his pigs. In 1812 they demanded his growing wheat. As he told Macquarie, in seeking confirmation of the grant in 1810, he was 'struggling against the Vicissitudes of Fortune all his Life time.'

His four little girls were joined by a baby brother in May 1813; just after his first birthday his father was murdered. Again unlucky, Rowland had chosen the night of the hold-up to pull un with his bullock-cart to sleep at the Parramatta toll-house. Lying bleeding on the floor he begged toll-keeper Main to go for help that he 'may be saved for the sake of his poor children'. He died that same night.

Shortly after Rowland's death Jane had the children baptised, but soon afterwards married local farmer John Allen (1770-1826; Surrey 1808, life: Anne 1810. CP 1816). There were more children and the floods perhaps left the Allens impoverished. By 1825, Jane's second daughter Ann, and probably the other Edwards children, were in the Parramatta orphanage, whence Parramatta grocer Edward Ewer (transported for life 1820; pardoned 1842) married Ann and took the others under his protective wing as legal guardian. There was apparently some difficulty with Jane over the children's inheritance of the Edwards farm, which must finally have been amicably resolved. They thought well enough of her to bestow the name of Jane on some of their own offspring. One family branch nurtured by the kindly grocer is today active in prisoner rehabilitation work in a way that their ill-fated Edwards ancestor would surely have approved.

Children of Rowland Edwards and Jane (Fletcher)
Mary 1805
Ann 1808 m. 1825 Edward Ewer
Elizabeth 1810
Chatherine 1811 d.?
John Rowland

Sources: Research of Christine Webb (including details from County Records Office Abbey Foregate, Hereford Journal 23.3.1803, 4.5.1803 and Hereford church records); 1800 muster; expiree settlers 1802; memorials 1810; SG 3.9.1809; 28.11.1812, 4.6.1814; 29.6.1814; 23.7.1814; 8.9.1825.