Owen Cavanough 1762-1841 :: FamilyTreeCircles.com Genealogy
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Owen Cavanough 1762-1841

Journal by janilye

Born 20 June 1762 at Gosport, Hampshire. His parents were Owen and Grace CAVENDER
seaman on the H.M.S. Sirius, the flagship of the First Fleet (1788)
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
Owen Cavanough 1792 - 1794
Grace Cavanough 1794 - 1828. m. Ralph TURNBULL 1791-1840
Mother of Mary Ann (Cavanough) Gurney, Ralph Turnbull, John Turnbull, Elizabeth (Turnbull) Dunstan and
Ann Turnbull
Elizabeth Cavanough 1797 - 1828. m. Thomas JOHNSTON
children unknown
Owen Cavanough Jr. 1799 - 1885 m. Celia COLLINS
Father of James Thomas Cavanough, Margaret Ann Cavanough, Matilda Rebecca (Cavanough) Everingham, Elizabeth Celia (Cavanough) Thomas, Esther (Cavanough) Aspery, Owen Cavanough,
Charlotte Cavanough, Sophia Jane Cavanough, Frances Lenora (Cavanough) Mitchell and Grace (Cavanough) Chapman
Richard Cavanough 1802 - 1880 m. Ann CROSS
Father of Richard John Cavanough, Grace Sarah (Cavanough) Saunders, William David Cavanough, John Alexander Cavanough, Henry Schofield Cavanough, Mary Ann Cavanough, Frederick Samuel Cavanough, James George Cavanough, Charles Innes Cavanough, Harold S Cavanough, Robert Joseph Cavanough and Rebecca Cavanough
James Henry Cavanough 1804 - 1858 m. Esther HUXLEY 1817-1884
Father of Elizabeth Cavanough, Sophia Isabella (Cavanough) Buttsworth, George Cavanough, James C Cavanough, Thomas Henry Cavanough, Ann (Cavanough) Buttsworth, Charles Cavanough, Samuel Cavanough, Richard Cavanough, Elizabeth (Cavanough) Greentree, Mary Ann (Cavanough) Gillard, Margaret Jane (Cavanough) Cobcroft, John Henry Cavanough, John Cavanough, Esther Amelia (Cavanough) Halpin, William Henry Cavanough and Frederick Robert Cavanough
George Cavanough 1807 - 1879 married Jane GOSPER 1820-1896
Father of Jane Cavanough, George Cavanough, Thomas Cavanough, Mary Ann Cavanough, Celia (Cavanough) Smallwood, James Cavanough, Esther (Cavanough) Simson and Sophia (Cavanough) Hilton

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.

Owen drowned on the 27 November 1841 in Wheeny Creek (ironic)
Some of the info above came from Bobbie Hardy's book 'Early
Hawkesbury Settlers' published about 1985 which is still available. janilye
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 Reach, 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.
Built on four acres of the original first
grant of 100 acres to Owen Cavanough (I.).

The following verbatim copy of an original record throws an historical sidelight
on one of the most famous of all the old Hawkesbury characters, Owen Cavanough (I.)
This pioneer settler of the River will be introduced again in the series of articles
being written for the 'Gazette' by Mr. Geo. G. Reeve, the well-known historian,
along with his favorite son, James Cavanough, and Thomas Chaseling, David Dunstan (I.),
of the inn at Wilberforce, and other notables of that famous village.
It may be mentioned that Mr. Owen Cavanough (I.) held the Colo (Wheeney) grant
of land by deeds made in the year 1833, although he had been settled there for
many years, after leaving the original 100 acre grant of land whereon stands
Ebenezer Church. In the far-off days of the boyhood of the first Owen Cavanough,
the schoolmaster was not abroad as he is to day, and that the men of those early
times were somewhat illiterate is nothing to their shame: —
Copy of letter from Owen Cavanough
(I.) to Surveyor General John. Oxley (writ
ten during Governor Brisbane's time), date
16th October, 1825: —
Pardon me Sir for Writing to you, My
present aflictions not admiting mee to wait
upon you my self. It appears, Sir, that I
meet (met) you in a boat in company with
Govener Macquearie (Macquarie) Captn.
Shaw an other gentleman in the second
Branch when you came down the River
with the 'Lady Nelson,' were I applied for
a farm at Weny (Wheeney) Creek as the
Governer had ordered mee one. You pro
duced the Chart, sir, where it aperred (ap
peared) to be rocky and swampy. The
Governer ordered mee to go and look at it
again, and if I did not like it that you, Sir,
or Mr. Mehen (Meehan) would mesuere
(measure) it any where I thought proper
I aproved of it, Sir, although there is near
(nearly) forty ecres (acres) of rocks out
of eighty and I have occupied it ever
since an.d it aperes (appears) now, Sir,
that forceable possession is taken of part
of the land in question and my grin (grain)
cut up, my fence burned down, and my
pigs destroyed. The Barrer (bearer) of
this, Sir, my Son, whom marked the bound
ris (boundaries) that was ordered by Mr.
Mehen (Meehan). The creek boundary
not being marked at all as Mr.
Mehen (Meehan) had all redy (already)
struck that line in the Chart and shoued
(showed) it to mee, but I dont No (know)
the distance of that line. I have drawd
(drawn) a skecth (sketch) of the land,
Sir, as fur (far) as my abilitis . (abilities)
will admit, my not having any pilot to go
by. Which is in the hands of the Bearer
whom can inform you of all particulars
and if, Sir, you can be pleased to order it
so that the Bearer my son can get the out
lines of my farm I shall ever find myself
in duty bound to pray. And am, Sir your
obedient, Humble Servant
Formerly a seaman of His Majesty's ship
'Sirius,' Weney Creek, second Branch,
October the 16, 1825.
To Mr. Houxley (Oxley) Esq., Surveyor
General of New South Wales, Sydney.]

by janilye Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2011-06-22 00:09:48

janilye - 7th generation, Convict stock. Born in New South Wales now living in Victoria, carrying, with pride 'The Birthstain'.

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by clarkey on 2011-06-22 05:54:51

Gee once again thank you very much for this. I really do appreciate it.

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