Rigbye Family Reunion
Whichever way you look at it John Thomas Rigbye was an amazing man. Gentleman, Farmer, Miner and Storekeeper, he had three families, twenty children and is credited with building the first two brick dwellings in South Australia.
John Thomas Rigbye with his second wife (never married) Jane Stopforth, came to South Australia in 1839, just three years after the colony of South Australia was proclaimed 28 December 1836. With John and Jane were Ann and Eleanor, children of his first wife Margaret Rigbye (nee Fisher) and Beatrice born to Jane Stopforth. They arrived at Port Adelaide on 27 September 1839 on the Lady Lilford from Liverpool, England. John left behind his wife, two children and links to his Rigbye heritage and connection with Harrock Hall in Eccelston, Lancashire.
After the death of Jane Stopforth, John Thomas Rigbye repeated history when he left his family behind in South Australia, and with Louisa Kipp (never married) and one child moved to Victoria around 1856. They settled in Eaglehawk where they had nine more children, the last being born in 1880 when John Thomas Rigbye was aged seventy nine.
In 2012 it will be 160 years since John Thomas Rigbye and Louisa Kipp claim they were married. So it is time we brought all these families back together again with a big Rigbye reunion in Eaglehawk (his final resting place) over the last weekend in October 2012.
Families named Rigbye, Flaherty, Bell, Wright, Lapthorne, Balchin, Randall, Bull, Anderson, Soppert, Dunn, Gregory, Lawrence, Hamer, Henderson, Wilson, Grooby, Berry, Osborne and Johnson from Western Australia, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria and England have indicated they will be attending the Reunion and we all look forward to sharing the history and stories about one amazing extended family.
Further information can be found on the John Thomas Rigbye Face Book Group or by contacting the Rigbye Reunion organisor, Kevin Clarence at: [email protected]