Preserving My Families Origins.
Many of us have come to know of such people as Governor Arthur Phillip, John Oxley, Sir Thomas Mitchell and Allan Cunningham; just to mention a few names associated with the growth of this great country we call Australia. Sadly though, if we were asked who our own relatives were and what part they played in giving us a chance to be here, for some of us even recalling as far back as our grandparents may leave us wondering.
I found it rather sad that those who struggled against so many odds, enabling us to make this great country our home, should be forgotten so quickly. Many of our forebears may not have been famous or recorded in the history books like those aforementioned, but many were battlers and should not be forgotten. Some things we may wish to forget, for whatever reason, but none of us are perfect and surely our children and their childrens children should have the opportunity to know their heritage.
This thought was highlighted after my reading Brian Andrews history of Catherine and Donald McDonald, which gave me a wonderful insight into my grandmothers mother, grandmother and great-grandfathers histories. I was then determined to record my mothers fathers, family, The Callaghans and my grandmothers fathers family, The Sewells and my wife's family The Edwardsand my father's grandmother's family The Crumps. Inspiration is one thing, but when it came to reality, I had no idea that the compiling and recording of such information would turn out to be the task that it did. Though, with that achievement accomplished, I once again endeavored to cover my fathers mothers family, The Newtons. I could never lay claim to all the credit as so many people, including family members, contributed in some way. To all of you, I thank you very much.
Complete accuracy was something I found impossible, but every effort was made to come as close as possible. You may have to forgive misspelling of some names, given by family members. It has never been intended on my part to deliberately pry into the personal affairs of any family members during my research and in this respect I hope I have used discretion and recorded only information that was freely and generously given.
To research such material has meant calling on many family members and asking them to recall many memories or search out old photos and memorabilia. I am grateful so many had preserved so much. Also the records of many institutions such as the Department of Births, Deaths & Marriages of Queensland and New South Wales, the Archives of Queensland and New South Wales along with the history groups, Museums, Libraries and authors of other books all provided valuable historical information.
For those of you whom I have never met, please allow me to tell you something of myself. I am the great, great, grandson of George Robert Newton and Sarah Simpson and the great, grandson of John Hector Charles Newton and Margaret Mary Josephine Malony. I am a grandson to their seventh child, Amy Edith Newton, and Alfred William Webster and the son of their fifth child Mervyn Lawrence. Mervyn Lawrence married Isabell Leyvone Callaghan. I was born Mervyn John Webster in Goondiwindi, Queensland, in 1953. I was given my fathers first name and my mothers fathers second name. My father worked all of his working life for the Commonwealth Banking Corporation and therefore we moved continually, living in various Queensland towns as he reached out for promotion.
They included Gympie, Ayr, Bowen, Stanthorpe, Maryborough, Roma and Toowoomba. I also spent some time in Rabaul, New Britain. My wife, Christine Mary Edwards, was a Roma girl and the daughter of Vince and Mary Edwards. Our four children include Shane Christian, Amanda Megan, Meagan Marie and Nathan Lee and our grandchildren are Sara, Danielle, Jamie and Brodie. Since 1978 I worked in the Electricity Industry as an Electrical Lineworker in the towns of Roma, Warialda and Goondiwindi. I spent a number of years researching material on the Callaghan and Sewell families and much of that period was in Goondiwindi, a town long associated with the Callaghan and Sewell families. In 1994 health problems led to my moving to Bargara, a little coastal village east of Bundaberg and it was here I completed our Webster/Crump and Edward family history.
The many years of research has led me to preserving the character of this great country through writing and performing bush poetry and bush ballads. I have published eight books of bush verse and yarns and recorded six albums of bush poetry and bush ballads. You can share my poems and ballads at our web site on the Internet, called Bush Poetry, Ballads and Yarns, by logging onto www.users.tpg.com.au/thegrey.
I hope I have preserved the history of those family members who have now gone and that each of you will continue to keep some record of your present families, so future generations can look back on their heritage.
Mervyn John Webster