Catherine Scircle - Aboriginal born Molong NSW Australia 1836 :: Genealogy
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Catherine Scircle - Aboriginal born Molong NSW Australia 1836

Query by njpratt

Possibly Cathleen, Katherine or Kathleen or Circle or Circul. Also known as Cate Riley. We believe she was of aboriginal descent.

Born: Gamboola Station, Molong, NSW, Australia - 30 Jul 1836

Married: Joseph (Jack) Ellms - then widowed after he feel from a horse in the Bathurst races. We believe they had 4 children together - Sarah, Jack, Jim and Kate

She then either married or was defacto to Charles Anthony Smith. They lived on a property in Beni NSW on the Talbragar River (my grandmother grew up here).

Children: Emma Maria Smith born 25 Aug 1873 at Darrigal Dilgan Station near Yeoval NSW - my Great Grandmother. Also John, Patrick, Maud and Abigail.

Died: 20 Feb 1920 - Dubbo NSW

I would really appreciate any information you or your members could provide.

Thanks so much

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by njpratt Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2016-06-14 22:12:23

njpratt has been a Family Tree Circles member since Jun 2016.

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by Edwards_Smith on 2016-09-04 04:04:56

Hi - Like you we are trying to find information on Kathleen (Catherine, Kate, Kathryn) Circul (Circle, Riley, Reilly, Smith) Aborigine who according to our family tree records had 4 children to Jack Ellems (Jim, Jack, Joe & Kate) before she became de facto with Charles Anthony Smith and had Eliza, Emma Maria, John Mark, Patrick William, Abigail, Alice Maud & Charles Anthony jnr.

We have the death certificate in the name of Katherine Riley and she is buried in the Church of England cemetery in Beni. She died of Senile Decay on the 20th February 1920 at Beni in the Talbragar Shire.

We have photos of her and one of her grandchildren - Joseph Edwards. We also have several photos of other family members as well as birth and death certificates.

by njpratt on 2016-09-04 08:58:14

Thankyou so much for you response. I would LOVE a copy of her Death Certificate if you would be happy to share. Also any of the details on her children - copies of certificates etc. I have a Death Certificate for Sarah Ellms Shaw that lists her mother as Catherine Scircle and father as Joseph Ellms which I am happy to share if you could provide an email address for me.

Interesting the different spelling of the surname of Ellms (Ellems) and use of Scircle and Riley. No wonder we are having trouble tracking her down.

Unfortunately I have not been able to find much other information on Catherine so far but am happy to share any information I have.

My personal email address is [email protected] I look forward to hearing from you soon.


by Edwards_Smith on 2016-09-05 05:54:19

Hi - happy to provide a copy of her death certificate and all others that we have. Probably get them to you over the next few days.

Who was your grandmother who grew up on the property at beni? My connection is that my Great Grandmother was Emma Maria Smith who married my Great Grandfather Henry Edwards.



by Edwards_Smith on 2016-09-05 07:41:40

by njpratt on 2016-09-05 08:20:49

Hi Kerry,

Very excited to receive the certificates.

My Grandmother was Daphne Maud Smith - daughter of Emma Maria Smith and Henry Edwards. She married George Lyle Fearnside and had 2 children - Janet Fearnside and Glenn Lyle Fearnside.
My mother is Janet Fearnside - She married Edward Ernest Davis and had two children Jennifer Lynne Davis and Natalie Gaye Davis - Me.

I have since married - Justin Paul Pratt and we have 4 children - Erin Louise Pratt, Adam Nicholas Pratt, Luke David Pratt and Olivia Irene Pratt.


by Edwards_Smith on 2016-09-06 06:32:04

Wow - we have a photo of Emma sitting with George Fearnside and Daphne Maud standing behind them.

I've sent an email to Dubbo Historical Society but haven't heard back. I'll let you know as soon as I hear anything.

I'll send some of the photos we have too.

I think that the Church records from Dubbo and Beni may have information on Kathleen - at least that's what I'm hoping.


by Edwards_Smith on 2016-09-06 08:26:21

Daphne is my father's Aunty! (My grandfather Joseph's sister)

I've emailed some photos and letters tonight to you and more will come in the following days.



by linda_augusto on 2017-03-10 11:46:03

Hi Natalie and Kerry,

While Natalie knows me (Hi Natalie - hope you and your lot are well!), Kerry I am the Grandaughter of Pauline Bertha Emma (another daughter of Emma) and great niece of Daphne - Natalie's Grandmother.

Just letting you both know that Mum (Joyce Patricia Ann Crossland) and I are on the search trail also. We are heading to Dubbo in April and through Dubbo council, think we have found the grave sites of Catherine and Charles. Nat, Mum has sent it to your Mum. Perhaps you can send on to Kerry once received.

We are hoping to connect with the local land council and see what they can tell us about the station Catherine was born on...... will keep you posted if we get somewhere.

Take care and keep in touch

by KFuller2017 on 2017-11-14 11:33:38

Hi there!
I too am a descendant of Catherine/Cathleen Circle/Scircle/ Riley.
Linda, Your mum was very close to my Dad, Ian Heaney and my grandparents, Merrick and Marie Heaney.
We are currently packing our home up to move to Molong in Dec, and I would love to get to know you both, maybe we could bounce info off one another. My father has been talking to me about how he used to spend his holidays at Gamboola, Molong with family and was telling me how he’d live to take me there to see the place one day, so I googled it and it led me to my GGG Gran and you girls here. I have the extensive print out from Joyce that she was kind enough to pist me several years ago now but unfortunately got damaged whilst ine if our relocations. Please tell your mum I said hi and hope to hear from you all soon.

by lisalee on 2018-01-11 13:35:58

Hello, my name is Lisa and I am also a descendent of Catherine (Katherine/Kathleen/Cathleen) Circul (Circle/Riley/Smith), born July 30, 1831 at Gamboola Station, Molong.

I started looking for information about 17 years ago and I met with Mrs Daphne Fearnside of Geurie who gave me some information about Catherine (date and place of birth, children etc), but I didn't search any further at the time. I was so grateful for what Daphne shared with me as for most of my young life I had a deep longing to know and many unanswered questions about my ancestry. I have recently taken up the search again and I'm really happy to have found this site and to know that I have some distant relatives who are also seeking to know more about Catherine.

My connection is through Catherine's daughter Abigail Smith (Vitnell). Abigail's daughter Mary (known to me as 'Marney') married George Rutherford in Dubbo in 1926 and one of their six children was my grandfather Thomas Alfred James Rutherford (1/2/1933 - 1/3/2010; known as Tom/Tommy). Thomas married Wendy Levings and they had 4 sons - their eldest was my dad Colin Thomas Rutherford who died in 1984 at the age of 23. He is buried at the Dubbo lawn cemetery next to his brother Steven Dallas who also died at a young age.

I was born in Dubbo in 1978 and was given my mother's maiden name (McGuire), which was changed to Townsend when mum married in 1987. I now live in Cairns, QLD. I married Lindsay Gordon Stibbs in 2006 and we have two children - Lucas Colin (9) and Olivia Grace (6).

I would dearly appreciate any information at all, and I would be thrilled to access copies of certificates and photos if anyone is willing to share. Daphne gave me a photo of Catherine with a young boy and one of Emma Maria and Henry Edwards that I am happy to share. I kept my notes from our meeting which includes a narrative about Charles Anthony Smith and some events in his life.

I am visiting Dubbo with my family in September this year and I would love to meet if anybody is interested!

Kind regards,

by njpratt on 2018-04-18 06:56:08

Hi All,

So sorry for taking so long to respond. I have taken a bit of a break from the research and am only just getting back into it.

I have quite a few Birth, Death and Marriage Certificates for various ancestors. Death Certificate's for Abigail Vitnell, Katherine Riley and Charles Anthony Smith, in particular, amongst others that I would be happy to share.

My personal email is [email protected] If you would like to email me I will be more than happy to send what I have by return email.

Lisa - I would LOVE a copy of your notes from your meeting with Daphne (my Grandmother) and the photograph if you don't mind. Also would love to catch up. Maybe we can all meet up in Dubbo in September.

Linda - Did you have any luck with the land council at all?

Kerry - Did you have any luck with Dubbo Historical Society?

Hope to hear from you all soon.


by KF64 on 2018-06-24 09:33:25

Hi Lisa,
Marney was my grandmother, your grandfather Tommy was my uncle. One of his sisters is my mother. My maiden name is Vitnell.

by Kerri_Lee31 on 2018-08-28 04:59:43

Hi Lisa, I stumbled upon your post today and I remember you when we were young. I spent a lot of time with marney and your pop uncle tommy when I was a child. I am too interested to know any info as my nan Jaqueline your pops sister passed away when mum(Linda) was only 13. Marney didn’t talk to much about her ancestry and i really want to find out more. If anyone has photos of Katherine Riley or relatives and certificates please contact me. Thanks Kerri-Lee

by curlyjow on 2018-08-28 12:18:29

Hi everyone, (hi Kath) i too am on the info trail for our family history, Kerry i have some really bad photo copies of some elms childrens certificates but still searching for better copies and others, would you have joseph elms death certificate also?
I would happily give you some money towards the cost of them, i have a few im after. If anyone has blueys or marneys death certificates id love a copy for my notes.
Also any information on Marney's oldest son Ronald Frederick and who his father may have been?

Kristi, which sibling is your line? I'd love to hear more info about you x

Hi Lisa, my pop and your pop were brothers, my pop is william (bill), my mum is Maureen. I have been working on our family history for a while now and have a few missing gaps, mostly with Mary (aunty Marney's) parents - i just left dubbo, i got to find the old graves for her parents george and abigail, georges parents george and jane vitnell (which are next to each other) and charles and katherine are in same row just up abit further, i can point you to an easy way to locate them,
Since i have left however i have come to think that Marney's husband george (bluey) and possibly the twins are buried in the same C of E section, (church of England section). So if anyone is heading out there could you please look into this further?
I already had photos from ancestry of their grave site but it truly is a wonderful feeling to see it yourself, the connection you feel to your past is beautiful.

Lisa, i have been in contact with your uncle Dan but so far i haven't heard from Reece. I would love a chance to meet and go through our family's history together, i dont know much about our family in dubbo, only the ones from the coast that i grew up with. when are you going to dubbo and where are you living, id love to organize a meet up.
If anyone would like to stay in touch, i am loving the journey of discovery x
Please email me, [email protected]
Many thanks, Jodie

by lisalee on 2018-09-17 00:20:05

Hi all, I’m sorry I didn’t get around to organising a catch up before now - I totally forgot about things over the last few months with starting a new job and planning our trip. I’m in Dubbo now and leaving early Friday morning (21st). My email is [email protected] and mobile is 0413 325 082, if anyone is around and free to meet up it would be fantastic.
Otherwise I’ll keep in contact via here and email and hopefully we can gather more info to share.

Many thanks,

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