Ralph TURNBULL 1846–1935
Decendants of The EBENEZER PIONEERS OF THE HAWKESBURY
The son of Ralph TURNBULL 1814 - 1901 and Sarah Matilda, nee REYNOLDS 1823 - 1886.
Ralph, and his twin brother William were born at Colo on the 8 June 1846. The third birth and the first boys of Thirteen children. ( Ralph pronounced RAFE by the locals )
Sarah Matilda TURNBULL 1842–1930 m: Patrick DALEY 1844-1898
Sophia TURNBULL 1844–1881
William TURNBULL 1846–1940 m: Phoebe BALDWIN 1854-1938
Ralph TURNBULL 1846–1935 m: Maria Ann DUNSTON 1850-1939
Henry George TURNBULL 1848–1926 m: Drucilla Sophia EVERINGHAM 1850-1933
John TURNBULL 1850–1938 m: Phoebe Martha COBCROFT 1854-1918
Lucinda TURNBULL 1852–1938 m: Henry LOCKART
James Benjamin TURNBULL 1854–1899 m: Mary Matilda GRAHAM 1855-1918
Reuben TURNBULL 1856–1869
Elizabeth Ann TURNBULL 1858–1942 m: Thomas Jerome SALTER 1860-1921
Edward 'Ned' TURNBULL 1860–1923 m: Mazella Adeline CROSS 1871-1912
Alfred Ernest TURNBULL 1863–1915 m: Ada Emily BOWMAN 1867-1954
Edith Grace TURNBULL 1866–1866
Ralph Turnbull OBITUARY
Another of the Hawkesbury's oldest and best known identities, Mr. Ralph Turnbull, passed away at his residence, "Karoola," Wilberforce, on Monday, after a lengthy illness and at the ripe age of 88 years. Had he lived a few more days he would have reached his 89th milestone. By his death a link in a unique chain of twins has been snapped his surviving twin brother, Mr. William Turnbull, being still hale and hearty, whilst Messrs Arthur and Fred. Daley, of Wilberforce, are twin nephews, and Peter and John Nolan; sons of Mr. and Mrs. Geoff. Nolan (nee Miss Doll Greentree, of Wilberforce) are twin great-grandsons of the deceased.
Born at Colo, the deceased was a son of the late Ralph and Sarah Turnbull, and had lived in the district all his life — for the major portion at Wilberforce, where he carried on farming operations. He was married at Redfern 64 years ago to Miss Maria Ann Dunston, sister of the late Mrs. Henry Dunston, of Grose Vale, who survives, together with a family of one son and seven daughters, viz., Amy Amelia (Mrs. Fred Greentree, Mt. Keira), Willie (Wilberforce), Edith Alice (at home), Fanny (Mrs. McGregor, Wilberforce), Jessie (Mrs. Poidevin, Wollongong), Minnie (Mrs. Arthur Bootle, Pitt Town), Gladys (at home), and Dulcie (Mrs. Ronald Hall, Wilberforce). Two sons and one daughter predeceased their father.
Right throughout his long life, until he retired owing to ill health a few years ago, the late Mr. Turnbull had been a hard worker, and even in his 80's could be found tilling the soil on his farm at Wilberforce. Although he did not take a prominent part in public life, he was always keenly interested in the welfare of the district, and for many years was a member of the council of the Hawkesbury District Agricultural Association, for which he rendered yeoman service. Upon his retirement from the council he, as well as his brother, who retired some years later, were made honorary life members - an honor which has been conferred on only two other councilors since the inception of the society. Kindhearted and generous, and a Christian gentleman in the true sense of the term, Mr. Turnbull's life trail is strewn with the memories of kindly deeds, and to known him was to respect and esteem him.
It is said that the late Mr. Turnbull and his brother had never at any time lived more than a mile from each other, and that up till a few years ago the resemblance was so striking that it was difficult to tell them apart. It is true that Ralph's name often appeared under William's photograph, and vice versa, but this mistake was quite excusable considering the remarkable resemblance of the brothers. It is on record also that many years ago a well known and highly respected attorney of Windsor, who did not mix his drinks, mistaking one brother for the other, went into a long business negotiation under the misapprehension that he was dealing with William instead of Ralph, who kept the joke up in good style until the right brother came on the scene. Then there was a good laugh all round.
The funeral on Tuesday afternoon was attended by a large concourse of people from all parts of the district — a striking demonstration of the respect and esteem in which the deceased was held by the community. The remains were laid to rest in St. John's Church of England cemetery, Wilberforce, the Rector (Rev. Stanley Howard, M.A.) conducting the last sad rites. Mr. Chandler reverently carried out the funeral arrangements.
MARIA ANN TURNBULL, nee DUNSTON
AS briefly announced in our last issue, there passed away on Tuesday evening
of last week, at Wilberforce, one of the oldest and most highly-esteemed identities
of the Hawkesbury, in the person of Mrs. Maria Ann Turnbull, at the age of 89 years,
the end coming after a rather long illness, and bringing to a close a very full and
useful life spent in the service of the community.
A daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. John Dunston, the late Mrs Turnbull was
born at "Woodside," Wilberforce, the present home of Miss S. M. Dunston, and
resided in the district throughout her whole life. In her younger days she always lent
her support to all local affairs which had as their objective the advancement of the
area in which she resided, and the district generally. The deceased was always a very
enthusiastic and untiring church worker and a regular church attendant, until advancing
years and illness obliged her to curtail her activities. Throughout her life deceased was
keenly interested in all charitable movements but, being of a retiring disposition, even
her many friends knew little of many of her charitable and Christian actions, and of
the many wayfarers who blessed her for her hospitality and her cheerful,
comforting and encouraging words, which enabled them to continue their journey with
a better outlook on life.
During her rather long illness deceased was devotedly nursed by the
two daughters who resided with her.
The late Mrs. Turnbull is survived by seven daughters, Amy (Mrs. F. Greentree,
Wollongong), Edith (Wilberforce), Fanny (Mrs. McGregor, Strathfield),
Jessie (Mrs. Poidevin, Wollongong), Minnie (Mrs. Bootle, Pitt Town),
Gladys (Wilberforce), and Dulcie (Mrs. Hall, Wilberforce), and one son,
Willie (Wilberforce). Her husband, the late Mr. Ralph Turnbull, predeceased
her some four years ago.
The funeral, which was largely attended, took place on the following Wednesday,
the remains being interred in the Church of England cemetery, Wilberforce,
the Rev. K. F. Saunders officiating at the graveside.
A feature was the profusion of beautiful wreaths which were evidence of the
respect of old friends in all parts of the district.
Mr. Chandler, of Windsor, had charge of the funeral arrangements.
LATE MRS. MARIA ANN TURNBULL
(By FLORA A. TIMMS)
With the passing away of Mrs. M. A.
Turnbull, of "Karoola," Wilberforce, in her
89th year, on April 11, another link with the
romantic past of the Hawkesbury District
has been severed.
"Woodside," the present home of Miss S.
M. Dunston, was the old homestead of the
late Mr. and Mrs. John Dunston, and it
was there that their daughter was born,
within a mile of ''Karoola." In 1872 she
married the late Mr. Ralph Turnbull, who
predeceased her by a few years. Miss Dun-
ston, of Dight-street, Windsor, is the only
Mrs. Turnbull was a lady of outstanding
character, and her keen mental faculties re-
mained unimpaired. A good conversation-
alist, it was a delight to listen to her remin-
iscences of the pioneering days, some of
which are now housed in the Mitchell Li-
brary. On a recent visit—the last one alas—
the writer was impressed by her wonderful
memory, clear diction, and touches of humor.
Although confined to the couch, her eye was
as bright, and her laugh as hearty as ever,
creating the usual atmosphere of the home-
maker that she had ever been. It was touch-
ing to see the cheerful resignation with
which she bore the trial of not being able
to get about the house and among the
flowers, a trial softened by the devoted care
of her daughters, the Misses Edith and
Integrity and sincerity were marked traits
in Mrs. Turnbull's character, and her sound
judgment was ever tempered with mercy.
"Karoola" was a centre where friends liked
to meet, attracted thither by the genial per-
sonality of the "lady of the house," and now,
after her long life of loving service, she is
resting in the beautiful old cemetery on the
hillside where so many of her kith and kin
had gone before. She loved the sacred "God's
Acre," and never wearied of telling stories
connected with the crumbling old vaults.
"Father, in Thy gracious keeping,
Leave we now Thy servant sleeping."
This letter below from Dulcie Dunston HALL nee Turnbull gives a more informed history of the Dunstons'
Referring to two articles by Mrs. Flora A. Timms in your issues of June 16
and July 28, in one of which she asks, 'Has the clan no theories on the subject?'
Yes! Being a daughter of the late Maria Ann Turnbull (nee Dunston), I have a very
decided theory on the subject. Mother's father was. John Dunston, son of the first
David Dunston— who evidently arrived in Australia on the ship 'Nelantus' in 1791— and
brother of the second David. The first David and his wife Mary— not Maria— are buried in
the family vault in old St. John's C. of E. Cemetery, Wilberforce, along with my grand-
father, John, and his two brothers, Stephen and James.
The inscriptions on this vault all read Dunston:—"David Dunston, died 5th Decr. 1836,
aged 72 years." (He must have been born in 1764, making him 27 on his arrival in
Australia). "Mary Dunston, died 27th March, 1836, aged 67 years." (Thus proving her born
in 1769, and 21 years of age when she arrived in Australia in 1790. "Stephen Dunston,
died 4th Feb., 1840, aged 40 years." (Making his birth in 1800).
John Dunston, died July, 1876, aged 74 years," (making his birth in 1802).
"James Dunston, died 20th Nov., 1841, aged 38 years," (making his birth
The three last named were sons of David and Mary, and their brother David lies in
the C. of E. Cemetery, at Windsor, beside his wife, Maria. The inscriptions read: -
"Maria Dunstan, died Feb. 1st., 1878, aged 81."
"David Dunstan, died Aug. 2nd. 1881, aged 86," (making his birth in 1795).
There was another brother, Richard, and I think he is buried in the
Windsor C. of E. cemetery, but in what year he was born, I have
not yet discovered. I think it is apparent that David (the first) spelled his name
with the "o," or why inscribe it thus on his tombstone? It may be argued that a
dead man would have no say in the matter, and that my grandfather had it written
"o" just because he spelled his name with the "o "
Stephen, the other brother, father of John, the Kurrajong branch of the family,
used the "o" also, as did James.
Mother has often told us that her father, John, and his brother
David, had a row resulting in David saying that he would never bear the same name
again as John. David it was who changed
the "o" to "a" and I think it is likely that he was the David who married
Maria, daughter of Major Cushley, or Cusley. Miss Rachel Dunstan would be a
grand-daughter of the second David, and great-grand-daughter of the first David.
There is nothing to indicate that Dunston has any connection with any English name,
seeing that the first David was a Welshman.
In her article dated July 28th., Mrs. Timms says David Dunstan, farmer, Wilberforce,
came to Australia in the ship 'Nelantus,' in 1791. His wife, Mary, came in the 'Julia
Ann' in 1790.
If I remember rightly, the first free settlers came out early after 1800, on
the 'Coromandel.' Seemingly, then, David was either a naval or military man,
or else a convict, and his wife, coming out a year previous to his arrival, would seem to have
been a convict. Is there any record of their marriage after their arrival, or did she come
as Mary Dunston, or Dunstan? The fact that David came out as early as 1791, and if they
were married then, and that the eldest child was born in 1895, would lead one to think
that either the wife or perhaps both were convicts.
I think it probable that the correct name of the ship that Mary came out in was the
'Julia Ann,' and that Maria Cusley, who evidently married Mary's and David's son, David,
came in a much later ship — perhaps the 'Lady Juliana.' Yours etc.,
DULCIE D. HALL.
Wilberforce, Aug. 21st., 1939.
Windsor & Richmond Gazette
7 June 1935, p 11
Windsor and Richmond Gazette
Fri 21 Apr 1939 Page 4
The TURNBULL twins were Councillors for many years on the
Hawkesbury District Agricultural Association and
"being confirmed tea drinkers, at afternoon tea time, supplied
their own cups - huge affairs, more than three times the size of
One of the giant size china cups was mounted and designated
the "Turnbull Cup", as an annual trophy awarded to
"the most successful exhibitor in the draught horse classes".
The trophy was awarded from 1930 to 1940. Shows were not
staged during the war years and when they resumed in 1947, the
Turnbull Cup was awarded for the last time. The tractor had replaced
the draught horse for many farm activities so there were very few
entries in that section. The cup is now a museum piece ....
[page 103, Hawkesbury Journey, ISBN 0 908120 87 7]
'Macquarie Country' is a companion volume to 'Hawkesbury Journey'.