Thomas Stratton and Hannah Dunford from Manningford Bruce :: Genealogy
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Thomas Stratton and Hannah Dunford from Manningford Bruce

Journal by julieduncan

On April 28th 1855 at Mannigford Bruce young Hannah Dunford married Thomas Stratton by the end of the year they would be in a small rural area called Cawdor (about and hour 20min by car) south west of Sydney. They arrived as assisted immigrants on board the ship Lloyds, on August 1st 1855 to Sydney.
When one searches the microfilm records over here Hannah listed her home place was Manningford Bruce Wiltshire and she lists that is where her parents are. Stephen and Dorcas (nee Simper).

It was some many months later that I stumbled across the fact that Stephen and Dorcas were also on the ship along with Hannah's siblings Jane 13; Mary Ann 7, and Stephen Jnr aged 4. Another brother Joseph had come out the year before. All of them listed Manningford Bruce as their native place. Hannah's age is listed as 23 and I have Hannah as being born christened 19 Feb 1832, in Manningford Bruce.

Thomas and Hannah settled in the area known as Cawdor. A farming community to this day. It was an area where John and Elizabeth Macarthur set up one of their many holdings, although John Macarthur gets the credit for it, it was moreso Elizabeth his long suffering wife who had more to do with their workings and growth in Australia as John seemed to spend a lot of time back home in England - especially after he had a falling out with the then governor.

The Nepean River ambles its way from somewhere at the bottom of The Great Diving Range near the Illawarra across the plains. It arcs and curves as it winds in the shape of a double S, around Camden and Cawdor through to the hamlet of Menangle (I spent the first five years of life in this gorgeous village) and beyond, as it heads towards the mighty Hawkesbury River. The local area especially Cawdor and Camden is what one might call flood prone at times and undoubtedly there would have been times when the community of Cawdor would have been cut off from the next biggest town of Camden. Winters in Camden/ Cawdor (and Menangle) are brisk to say the least with more often than not, a good covering of frost on the ground, and no doubt the wells and cattle troughs would also hold a good covering of ice, there is often snow falls of a decent nature within a 45 minute drive of Camden and Cawdor. I know for fact that Menangle was also a cold place in winter especially as we only had an outside Privy. Summers can be hot, at times unbearably so, one would also imagine that before the area was cleared for farming that it would have been prone to many bushfires. I often wonder of the differences between their two homelands the old in and around Manningford and the new here. There is little on the internet about Manningford Bruce and equally limited photos. Although there are few photos of the church I assume they were married and christened in

The road to travel the few miles from Camden to nearby Cawdor is relatively flat as is much of the surrounding countryside, there is a slight hillock when they re-interred those who had been buried at the graveyard of nearby Burragorang Valley. The valley was flooded when they built Warragamba Dam, and they moved the graveyard to this hillock and the graves all point towards the far away valley. The spire atop of St Johns Church can seen when travelling towards Camden from any direction.

Thomas and Hannah had some 7 children after their arrival
John 1857-1894 who was a blacksmith by trade and seemed to move around a bit. In 25/10/1881 he shows up on the insolvency lists as being from Campbelltown (where I grew up from the age of 6 onwards, is about 1/2 hour by car from Cawdor). His death certificate puts his death as the day before his 37th birthday with no family and he was buried as 'pauper" for want of a better term. he actually had two children and a wife.
Charles was born in late January 1860. January would the be the worst time of year for Hannah to be heavily pregnant Charles was obviously not to interested in farm life as married in 1882 and settled in Sydney where he had 5 children before his death 9 and half years later
Samuel is my great grandfather and I have a photo of him taken between April 1931 and January 1932. I know this as it was after his beloved wife Rowena died. Sam was born 14 12 1862 he married in 1891 Rowena Reynolds. rowena was born in Cawdor NSW 1865 her parents were William reynolds and Ellen Foster from Southam in Warickshire.
Sam and Rowena produced 8 children.
Rowena and Sam had some tragedy with their children. Their first born son Joseph Oswald died aged 5 and a half their last born son Alwyn died just shy of his 2nd birthday. One ate poisoned berries, the other drowned in a well. A third of their sons lies in a soldiers grave which I know no family member has ever visited in St Severs Cemetery Rouen France. Young Bruce who was only 19 when he enlisted and he shot twice the 2nd time proved fatal and died in a war hospital. There are 63 digitised online pages of his service record his hand writing and letters from his mother wanting to know more details of his death and the whereabouts of any more of his possessions than the authorities would or could divulge. I have an Aunt, my dads sister who was born 25 days after the death of Bruce and she relates that Rowena hated the war and she hated what it did to families and their sons. On the application Rowena filled out to have her sons name added to the war memorial she lists that three cousins also were killed in WW1 I have only to date been able to find two of them. Sam and Rowena's other children included one daughter and 4 more sons one of whom was my grandfather. If my Aunts memory is correct The 'house' that Sam and Rowena lived in still remains

Hannah Stratton(dunford) died 12 January 1871, 5 months after the birth of her daughter Mary, one would assume that Hannah's mother or maybe one of her still unmarried sisters aided Thomas with his young family, as Thomas never remarried after the death of his wife.
Thomas died 19 12 1886 and Both of them lie buried in a grave which has no marker left and the church records do not go back that far as far as a record of their resting place in the graveyeard of the Wesleyan church in Cawdor
The 1880s were not kind to the Stratton clan In 1885 Joseph who was 18 died, in 1866 The father Thomas passed away, April 1887 Mary the baby of the brood died at the age of 16, 1888 Jane the eldest of Thomas and Hannah girls passed away aged 23. Then the other two boys John and Charles in the early 1890s. Of the 7 children only My great grandfather Samuel and his sister Eliza (who married her cousin David Dunford) saw in the new century

On the papers for Thomas' immigration it lists him to be in good health, able to read and write, a native of Manningford Bruce and that his parents were still there. Their names were William and Mary, and it also says they were living same place. His age would place his date of birth as 1833 The surname Stratton also fits into the Dunford side of things Stephen Dunford (Hannah's father) was the son of Stephen Dunford who married Ann Stratton at Wilsford May 22nd 1798. Ann was the daughter of Edward Stratton who married Elizabeth Chandler 31 10 1757.

My goal would be to find where Thomas fits into the scheme of things, is he a relation of the Ann who married Stephen Dunford? (If he is it would make backtracking from easy.) Ann's Brother Henry who married Ann Ragbern at Wilsford, had a son William who was christened in September 1788 could he be a candidate as a father to my Thomas
or another candidate is yet another of Ann's brothers John who married Ann Maslen in Wilsford 13 5 1805, They had a daughter Mary ch 26 2 1815 and I believe she is the Mary who married William Strong 25 10 1834 Wilsford could Thomas be her son? born out of wedlock.

Anyway I have wasted enough of your time with the tale of this family.
Julie Duncan (nee Stratton)

Surnames: Chandler Dunford Maslen Ragbern Reynolds Stratton
Viewed: 2774 times
by julieduncan Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2009-06-29 23:50:36

julieduncan has been a Family Tree Circles member since Jun 2009. is researching the following names: HANCY, WOOLLEY, CHEETHAM and 1 other(s).

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by julieduncan on 2009-07-29 21:47:03

Since posting this i have had verification that Thomas is indeed the Illegitimate Son of MAry Stratton. His half brother ended up in Ontario canada. and two of his cousins ended up in South Africa and USA

by KayLewis on 2010-07-02 03:30:01

Hello Julie,

My name is Kay Lewis (nee Gunther). I'm a great granddaughter of Eliza Dunford (nee Stratton). It was great reading what knowledge you have to share on my great grandmother's family. I knew some of what you had written about, but also learned alot. Thankyou.
If you would like any information regarding Eliza and her family, I,m more than happy to share it with you. I'm happy to say that Eliza lived to 76 years of age.She is buried with David Dunford (her Husband) at Kelso near Bathurst NSW.

Best Wishes


by bruce70 on 2012-04-22 23:26:17

Hi Julie,I hope you still monitor this site
My name is Bruce, Thomas is my 3 Times great grandfather and was wondering is you have any more detailes/info on him and why he was brought up by his grandparents.
Was it to hard for Mary and William or did they die when he was young?
Below is some of what i have alredy, i have only been able to verify up untill Thomas Stratton 1833-1882,Hannah Dunford 1832-1871. the rest still unsure.
Your help or anyone else would be greatly appreciated.

My Mother
June Margaret Williams Nee Stratton B 16/06/1946 D 03/08/2011
Siblings :Francis(Frank)James,ShirleyAnn 65 Years
Married Ernest Gerald Williams

Francis(Frank) Parnell Stratton B/ / 1909.D
Siblings: Thomas Edward,Arthur J E, Lillian G
Married Cathleen Winifred Barry
Cathleen Barry

Thomas Edward Stratton B / /1879 D/ / 1961 82 Years
Siblings:Henry George,William,Charles J
Married Ethel Parnell
Ethel (May?) Parnell (May?)

John Stratton B 21/03/1857 D 20/03/1894 37 Years
Siblings: Charles,Samual,Jane,Joseph,Eliza,Mary
Married? Catherine Graham 15/02/1879
Catherine Graham B 1855 D 1930 or 1933 78 Years
Previous Marrage John Severt

Thomas Stratton B / / 1833 D / / 19/12/1886 53 Years
Married Hannah Dunford 28/04/1855
Hannah Dunford B 19/02/1832 D 12/01/1871 39 Years
Immigrated to Australia 1/8/1855 From Manningford,Bruce,Wiltshire,UK
Settled Cowdor NSW.

Mary Stratton B 1815 D 1855 45 Years
Siblings:Richard 1810, Charlotte 1812,Ann 1817,Daniel 1821,James 1824,John 1825
William Strong B 1815
Married 25/ 10 /1834??????

John Stratton B 1782
Siblings:William 1788
Ann Maslen B 1785 or 1781 D 1854 69 Years
Married 13/05/1805 Wilsford,Wiltshire

Henry Stratton B 1760- D 1850? 90 Years
Ann Ragbern B 1760
Married 14/04/1782 Wilsford,Wiltshire

Edward Stratton or Straton
Elizabeth Chandler
Married 1757 Wiltshire

Ps You whernt wasting my time with this tail , i wish you posted more.


Bruce Wiliams

by julieduncan on 2012-04-23 00:15:41

Bruce Julie here is there any way we can exchange emails addresses

by julieduncan on 2012-04-23 00:58:20

So you are a descendent of John the blacksmith?

by bruce70 on 2012-04-23 01:19:35

Hi Julie My Email is [email protected]

by Simi on 2012-06-01 08:20:52

Hi Julie,

Not a wasted tale at all! I'm the great granddaughter of Samuel as well. His son Frank was my father Neil's father. Sad to say that Frank's family had dreadful fortunes as well. A fire broke out and killed some of his children. His daughter Laura (my nan) was burned in the fire but survived.

Thank you so much for posting this - my records on the Strattons only go back as far as Thomas as well and all I have are:

Thomas Stratton
1833 - 19 Dec 1886
Born: Manningford Bruce, Wiltshire, England


Hannah Danford
1832 -
Born: Manningford Bruce, Wiltshire, England

Again Julie - thank you so much was a great read :0


by Simi on 2012-06-01 08:32:02


I have a photo of Rowena and Sam's grave stone if you send me your email I'll send it through if you're interested. The grave listing of Cawdor cemetery can be located at this link

It has several Strattons on it.


by AngelaJ on 2012-06-08 03:22:16

Hi, I have just come across your posts on this website and have a lot of information regarding Dunfords (my ancestry) Strattons and other members of the Dunford clan who came to Australia. I have traced the Dunford's so far back to 1676 - John Dunford who married an Elizabeth Wise but a lot I have found very recently so am attempting to get it all down. We must share grandparents John Dunford and Elizabeth Pain, my 6 x great grandparents though it is believed they had Norman connections and go back to at least 1040 in Normandy under the name de Dereneford!!! So more work to do yet. I was born in England so have the English side of the family. I was also in England for a few months earlier this year and trwled aorund some graveyards althoughI didn't find too many Dunfords. I did make a point of visiting Manningford Bruce and Manningford Bohune, two very tiny villages very close to each other. Unfortunately I didn't go the the chuchyards there as (as always) I found much of this information on my return.
Angela [email protected]

by julieduncan on 2013-01-21 02:31:45

Ok should monitor this site and read the posts a little better i think....and yes i will update the tale of hannah and thomas a little more

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