Owen Cavanough 1762-1841
Born 20 June 1762 at Gosport, Hampshire. His parents were Owen and Grace CAVENDER
seaman on the Syrius 1788. arrived with first fleet
Legend has him first man ashore at Sydney Cove.
Discharged and farming on Norfolk Island, he married Dubliner Margaret DOWLING (1766-1834) already a mother of a son by marine Charles GREEN.
Margaret, in London, had stolen cutlery from a shop: Old Bailey 1786, 7 years: Prince of Wales.
Children of Margaret and Owen were:-
Charles Green Cavanough 1788 1864
James Henry Cavanough
1807 1879 married Jane GOSPER 1820-1896
Owen was probably farming at Bardonarrang in 1796, as well as transporting grain to Sydney. The boat that gave his family livelihood was stolen in January 1798 but, still financially afloat two years later, he was of those who asked, presumably unavailingly, to share in a spirits import with the officers. As a farmer he signed the appeal of 1801 to have the civil courts deferred.
Rated industrious in 1803, he was awarded 100 acres on the left of Swallow Rock Reach, adjoining Coramandel Settler Davison. By 1804 he was also proprieter of the grainboat UNION, but farming had become his prime concern. Little involved in the Rum Rebellion he tilled his ground with the help of growing sons, and the stepson on whose behalf in 1810 he sought confirmation of a land grant. Charles Green was a sober, industrious young man, he wrote, quite capable of managing a farm.
Himself Anglican and Margaret a Catholic (reason enough for no recorded marriage) the Presbyterian Ebenezer Church stands on four acres donated from his farm. The Cavanoughs left Portland Head a short time afterwards. The farm was advertised but perhaps not sold in 1811. During 1814-1815 as lessee of the South Creek Bridge, Owen probably lived in Windsor. At all events the future of the Cavanough clan lay down river on the Colo. Well known and highly regarded on their area, the widowed Owen lived on among them until the waters so often braved claimed him in his eigthieth year.
He drowned in Wheeny Creek ON THE 27 November 1841. ( how ironic)
Some of the info above came from Bobbie Hardy's book 'Early
Hawkesbury Settlers' published about 1985 ( still available)
First person to Set foot in Australia
On May 13, 1787, eleven ships, soon to be known as the First Fleet, began an eight-month journey from Southampton, bound for Botany Bay. Arriving on January 18, 1788, they found Botany Bay highly unsuitable, lacking a safe, deep harbour but just as important, no fresh drinking water. A longboat dispatched to search for an alternative settlement site, soon returned with news of the discovery of one of the great harbours of the world. On January 26, 1788, in Sydney Harbour, Governor Arthur Phillip was rowed ashore from the flagship H.M.S "Sirius to raise the Union Jack and lay claim to Australia in the name of "Mother England". After much controversy it has now been firmly established that the first person actually ashore to secure the longboat on that historic day, was able seaman Owen Cavanough.
A Newspaper dated 26 January, 1842 has the following paragraph:
The Government have ordered a pension of one shilling a day to be paid to the survivors of those who came on the first Fleet to the colony. The number of these really old hands is now reduced to three, of whom two are now in the Benevolent Asylum, and the other is a fine old fellow, who can do a days work more spirit than many of the young fellows lately arrived in the colony. We are glad the Government have commemmorated the auspicious day of our anniversary in so handsome a manner.
The Sydney newspaper approbation was occasioned by the publicity given of the death at Sackville Rreach, Hawkesbury River, of Mr Owen Cavanough (I) who died on 27.11.1841, not too well endowed with the worlds riches. Mr Cavanough was a pioneer free seaman and was attached to the HMAS SIRIUS (1788) The pioneer who was drowned in a small rivulet which ran into the Hawkesbury on rented property adjoining Mr Charles Turnbull's 'Kelso' orchard (Lambs Grant) A very historic property made famous by more than one onslaught made on the Lambs by the Maroota Blacks.
Establishment of Ebenzer Church
Settlement of Portland Head was undertaken by free settlers, most of whom arrived on the Coromandel on 13th June, 1802. They were instructed by Governor King to settle on the Government Farm at or near Toongabbie, where they could plant wheat, maize and potatoes. The following year they were each granted 100 acre allotments on either side of the Hawkesbury River at Portland Head. The river formed the major means of transport between farms. The Society was formed at a meeting held in the home of Thomas Arndell on 22nd September, 1806. It was decided to erect a schoolroom and chapel on four acres of land donated by Owen Cavanagh. James Mein acted as Pastor until John Youl took up his position as minister and schoolmaster. The Church was completed in 1809 and the schoolmaster's residence in 1817. Both were designed by Andrew Johnston. Ebenezer was the first non-conformist, then Presbyterian, Church in the colony.
Those who covenanted to build Ebenezer Church were the families of Dr. Thomas Arndell, Paul Bushell, Owen Cavanagh, James Davidson, Capt. John Grono, George Hall, John Howe, William Jacklin, Andrew Johnston, John Johnstone, Lewis Jones, James Mein, William Stubbs, John Studdis and John Turnbull.
The Ebenezer Church is now the oldest operating church in Australia.