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John Moffitt 1833-1895

Born on the 19 February 1833 in Glanton Northumberland England. The son of Michael MOFFITT 1793-1853 and Margaret BLACKHALL 1803-1883.

John Moffitt sailed from Liverpool, England on 30 October 1857 in the "Anglo-Saxon" (1104 tons) under Capt. George Welsh bound for Melbourne. Journey of 140 days had been scheduled but the vessel arrived in February 1858. John Moffitt's occupation was described in the ship's papers as "Acct", presumably accountant, and his age shown as 24 years. (Unassisted voyage).
John resided in South Australia for about five years before moving permanently to Victoria.

On the 18 February 1863 in Ballarat Victoria John married Sarah Ann O'DONNELL. Sarah had been born in London in 1843 the daughter of David O'DONNELL 1819-1886 and Sarah BOSDEN 1815-1906. Sarah had arrived on the Plantagenet in Port Phillip Bay on the July 1853 after 3 months at sea, with her parents and syblings. (there were 18 ships in the harbour that day with the same number coming in every day because of the goldrush. (The crews jumping the ships and deserting for the goldfields.)

The children of John MOFFITT and his wife Sarah Ann were:-

Donald Henry Moffitt 1864 1867
John Arthur Moffitt 1866
Albert Edgar Moffitt 1868 ? m. Elizabeth? in Ballarat
Margaret 'Maggie' Moffitt 1870 1870
Robert Percy Moffitt 1872
Frederick Charles Moffitt 1873 1963 m. Jessie Ethel TULLOCH 1875-1919
Frank Blackhall Moffitt 1875 1964 m. Ethel May RAE 1879-1958
Edith Eliza Moffitt 1879 1879
Una Grace Moffitt 1879 1906
Arnold Hastie Moffitt 1884 1963 m. Alice Louisa SILVER 1882-1937

John worked as a draper between around 1875 until he died of pneumonia on 21 November 1895 at Malvern, Victoria.
Sarah Ann died on 22 October 1926 in a private hospital in Malvern Victoria

9 comment(s), latest 1 year ago

John Norris 1803-1864

After their marriage, Rachel EATHER and John Norris became farmers on a small farm of ten acres close by the farm of John's parents at Cornwallis. It was land which had been granted originally to a man named GRIMES, and which John was leasing. At the time of the land and stock muster in 1825, the had all of the ten acres cleared, and had 7 acres sown with wheat and 3 with maize. They had 30 pigs. Their first child, Maria, was born in 1824 when Rachel was about 17. Four years later, when the 1828 census was held, they were living at Cornwallis and were farming ten acres of land, probably the same farm as they had been leasing in 1825. All of the land was under cultivation. They now owned two horses, but no cattle. They still had only one child, Maria, who was four. Nearby, John's parents still had their farm of 50 acres. Of this, 45 acres were cultivated and they had 4 horses and fifteen cattle. Richard's age was recorded as 52 and Mary's as 39. Nine of their twelve children were living at home with them. Their second son, Thomas, was also married and farming nearby, while their third son, Richard, was 20 and working away from home.

A month after the census was taken, Rachel gave birth to their second child, Harriett, on 15 December, 1828 She was baptised at Windsor on 10 February 1829 by the rites of the Roman Catholic Church. In 1932 their first son, Michael John, was born. No record of his baptism has been located. In the autumn of the following year, when Michael John was still a babe in arms, there occurred an event which was to cause a major disruption to the lives of his parents, and which shattered the tranquillity of the lives of their many relatives and friends. The police arrived at John and Rachel's farm; found them in possession of some meat which the police believed to have been from a stolen calf, and arrested John on the charge of cattle stealing. Also arrested that day on charges connected with the same offence, were two of their neighbours, Robert FORRESTER and Jane METCALF. News of the incident spread rapidly through the district and aroused a good deal of gossip and consternation. The trial was held on 25 April 1833 before the Chief Justice, Judge DOWLING. It was alleged that a calf had been stolen from one, Thomas CORBET, and had been slaughtered for meat. John NORRIS was said to have been found in possession of some of the meat. The three accused were found guilty and were remanded for sentence. Alarmed by the situation in which her son had been placed and fearful of the outcome, John's mother, Mary NORRIS, on 5 May 1833, wrote a petition to the Chief Justices, imploring his 'humane interference' upon behalf of her son. John evidently felt that his lawyer had not presented his defence satisfactorily at his trial, and he had a petition prepared on his behalf on 27 May and forwarded to the Chief Justice. His petition was supported by a number of statements by prominent Hawkesbury citizens, including one from Thomas CORBET, the man from who the calf had been stolen. The month of June passed with Rachel and her relatives and friends in state of apprehension as to what effect the petitions might have. On 1 July 1833 to Executive Council met and the petitions were laid before its members, Judges DOWLING and BURTON.
The petition of Mary NORRIS read:-
"To His Honour, Mr Justice DOWLING the Humble Petition of Mary NORRIS Humbly showeth That the Petitioner is the Mother of John NORRIS who was tried and convicted on 25 Ultimo before Your Honor, for Cattle Stealing and remanded for sentence. That Petitioner since her arrival in the Colony has always maintained a respectable Character, now thirty years, and has reared a large family in the paths of virtue and morality and no blemish attached to any of them until the present unfortunate affair, which have thrown them into deep affliction. Petitioner therefore humbly implores Your Honor's humane interference for her son, who is yet to receive sentence, and that Your Honor condescend to inform Petitioner what steps she should persue (sic) in this unfortunate affair. And Petitioner will ever pray.
Sydney, 5th May 1833.
The petition of John NORRIS was a longer document. It read:-
" To His Honor Judge DOWLING Chief Justice of New South Wales The Humble Petition of John NORRIS most respectfully sheweth - That Petitioner was tried for Cattle Stealing on Saturday and found Guilty. That your Petitioner on the day of his trial had three witnesses to prove his innocence but thru' the neglect of his Lawyer they were not called upon - in consequence of which he was found guilty. That the Witnesses your Petitioner has (the benefit of whose testimony he was deprived of) could have Certified upon Oath that the Meat found in his house was sent as a present from the House of the Forresters, without his knowing that it was unlawfully come by, as it was the Custom to make such presents one amongst another - That your Petitioner is a married man and has a Wife and three small children which he is obliged to support by his industry which if they were deprived of Petitioner they would not be able to support themselves. That Petitioner was born in this country and was never before brought to trial for any offence which the accompanying testimonials as to character can certify. That your Petitioner most humbly begs your Honor will be kindly pleased to take his case into your humane consideration to remember that he has a family, dependent upon him, to consider the character that he has formerly bore - to dwell upon the respectable testimonials of Persons that has known him so long and that you will be pleased by the power that is invested in you to use your interference in his behalf with his Excellency the Governor, that he in the humane exercise of his power will be as lenient and show as much mercy to petitioner as circumstances will permit. And Petitioner as is duty bound will ever Pray -
John NORRIS Petitioner"
Accompanying this petition were the following six testimonials:-
" I certify to their Honors the Judges that John NORRIS has been known to me from his infancy. His Father came to the Colony in 1800 with myself and they have always lived in this district. Prior to this conviction I have never heard anything against them. The Father has accumulated some property and I am utterly at a loss to account for him stealing Meat when it is so cheap and the young man in the enjoyment of his health to work and maintain his family.
Wm COX JP 27th May 1833, J BRABYN, Thomas DARGLE"
"I beg leave to certify to their Honourable the Judges of the Colony that I have known the Family of the Petitioner for upwards of twenty years, and that the Crime he has been found guilty of is the first I have ever heard him accused of. I therefore beg leave to recommend him, for the favourable consideration of their Honors, for the most lenient sentence the crime will admit of. John HOWE Coroner Windsor 27th May 1833 George LODER"
"I certify that I have known John NORRIS upwards of four years and that he has never been charged with any offence except the one for which he has lately been tried. S. North JP Supt. of Police Windsor 26th may 1833"
" I certify that I have known John NORRIS upwards of Six years and that he has never been charged with any offence what ever. Benjamin HODSON Chief Constable Windsor"
" I do certify that I have known John NORRIS from his infancy and always considered a sober honest industrious character Patrick BYRNE Thomas CORBET Chief prosecutor"
" I do certify that it does not appear to me that John NORRIS had any part in stealing my Calf that he is convicted for. Given under my hand. Thomas CORBET Witness: Thomas LYNCH"
" I certify that I believe the foregoing statements to be correct. John COBCROFT Jnr District Constable Wilberforce"
The members of the Executive Council studied the petitions that had been laid before them and made decision with regard to them. Soon afterwards they handed down the sentences for which the three accused had been remanded.
The following report appeared in the newspaper, "The Sydney Morning Herald", in its issue that day: " LAW INTELLIGENCE Civil side - The Chief Justice and Judges DOWLING and BURTON took their seats in Banco this morning, when the following persons were put to the bar, and received the judgement of the court Robert FORRESTER and John NORRIS, for Cattle Stealing, Death recorded, and Jane METCALF for receiving part of the meat known to have been stolen, to be imprisoned in the third class of the factory for 12 months". Whatever hopes that Rachel had nourished that the petitions might have had some effect upon the judges were dashed by the announcement of this verdict. Despair engulfed her with the realisation that, within the brief passage of days, her husband could go to the gallows. The cloud was soon lifted. Within a short time John NORRIS's sentence was commuted to 7 years penal servitude in Van Diemen's Land. This verdict, coming after the period of great anxiety and trauma which Rachel had suffered while she had waited for the outcome of her husband's trial and then his sentence, would have been greeted with some feelings of relief, although tempered with the firm belief that fate had dealt him an injustice. For a few weeks John was held in the Sydney Gaol. Then he was transferred to the hulk "Phoenix" in Sydney Harbour, pending his transportation. From there he was transferred to the "Medway", and on it made the voyage from Sydney to Hobart, where he arrived in October 1833. This was a new experience for him, but one which he would have enjoyed much more under different circumstances. His convict indent described him as 31 years of age, over 5'9" tall, with fresh complexion, light brown hair and grey eyes. He was married with three children; his wife Rachel being at Windsor. He stated, "I expect her by the first ship." John was evidently aware that his wife intended to join him in Van Diemen's Land as soon as possible. Early in the following month Rachel bid a sad farewell to her mother; her sisters and brothers and John's relatives, and travelled to Sydney. On 8 November 1833 the vessel "Sir John Rae Ried" under Captain HAIG departed from Sydney Harbour for Hobart. One of the passengers on board was Mrs Rachel NORRIS. Presumably she had her three children with her. The youngest, Michael John, was scarcely a year old. By the middle of November John and his family were reunited and they set up house in Hobart. John had been allocated to 'Public Works' in or near the town. On 27 September 1834 a daughter was born to Rachel at Hobart and named Elizabeth. John's period of penal servitude was whittled away gradually by the passage of time. In 1835 he was still on Public Works. Time probably passed slowly for Elizabeth, who undoubtedly missed the familiar sights of her Hawkesbury surroundings and the familiar faces of loved ones. On 17 July 1837 another son was born and named Thomas. Two more long years passed and on 3 November 1839, after Rachel had been in Hobart for almost six years, a daughter Rachel, was born to her. She and John now had six thriving children. In 1840 John NORRIS completed his sentence and was granted his freedom. The family returned to Sydney by ship in late July or early August and were soon residing once more at Cornwallis. Excitement would have prevailed as they were greeted by their relatives after an absence of nearly seven years. On 23 August 1840 infant Rachel was baptised at Windsor, and a week later daughter Elizabeth and son Thomas were baptised. One sad feature of their homecoming was that John's father was not there to greet them. In 1838, as a grey-haired old man of over sixty years, he had been found guilty of some transgression of the law, and transported once again. Forty years had passed since his former conviction. He made his last will on 15 March 1838, and was transported soon afterwards to Norfolk Island. He was there when John and his family returned from Van Diemen's Land, and they were destined never to see him again, as he died on Norfolk Island on 19 February 1843 and was laid to rest in the cemetery down by the beach at Kingston. Rachel found some changes amongst her relatives too upon her return. Her brothers-in-law, Joseph ONUS and Robert WILLIAMS, were both dead, and her sister Ann was remarried to William SHARP. Her brother James was married and living at Richmond. For a few months John and Rachel resided at Cornwallis and then, on 3 October 1840, John bought 60 acres of land at Kurrajong from Roger CORNER. The family had taken up residence on their new farm by early in 1841. The house into which they moved was a simple dwelling of timber construction. It was a home that twelve year-old daughter Harriet was to know for only a few short months. On 10 October 1841, that year, she died and was buried in the Churchyard of the Roman Catholic Church at Windsor. Her mother, Rachel was pregnant again at that time and five months later, on 17 March 1842, was safely delivered of another daughter who was named Ann. Born at Kurrajong, she was christened in the Roman Catholic Church at Windsor. On 30 January 1843 Rachel and John celebrated the first of their family weddings. On that day their eldest daughter, Maria, aged eighteen, was married to Patrick DUNN of North Richmond. Before the year was out they became grandparents when Maria's daughter, Elizabeth Letitia, was born on 1 October. During the 1840's Rachel and John continued to add to their family. Another daughter, Rebecca, was born at Kurrajong on 30 June 1844 and was later baptised at the Roman Catholic Church at Windsor. She was followed in 1846 by a third son, Stephen, who was also born at Kurrajong. John added to his farming activities by the purchase on 5 April 1851 of 30 acres of land at Kurrajong from Francis BEDDEK. On 7 March 1852, nearly six years after the birth of son Stephen, Rachel gave birth to her tenth and last child. She was 44 years old. The new baby, her seventh daughter, was named Susannah and was baptised on 28 July that year at the Roman Catholic Church at Kurrajong. Throughout the 1850's John persevered with his farming activities on his land at Kurrajong. In 1853 he turned fifty. In 1854 there were two mare weddings in the family. On 26 May eldest son, Michael John, at the age of 21, married Jane COLBRAN, a young English lass who lived on a nearby farm at Kurrajong. The young couple soon settled on a farm of their own in the same district. Six months later, on 2 November 1854, Michael's sister Elizabeth, age 20 years, married Cornelius McMAHON, son of another Kurrajong family. They also settled at Kurrajong and there raised a large family. During the winter of 1855, fifteen year-old daughter Rachel married John COLBRAN, a brother of her sister-in-law Jane. By the end of the decade there were ten Norris grand-children. In the winter of 1860 Rachel's mother died at the venerable age of nearly ninety. Her funeral at St Matthew's Church at Windsor, saw the gathering of numerous relatives and friends who had come to pay their respects for one who had been amongst the pioneer settlers in the Valley, and whom most had known for all of their lives. It was an occasion that Rachel would have remembered vividly in the years that followed. Two more family weddings were celebrated within the next two years. On 30 October 1861, Rachel and John's second son, Thomas, age 24 years, was married at North Richmond to Catherine LONDON, seventeen year-old daughter of a neighbouring farmer, William LONDON and his wife, Dinah (nee RILEY). Seven months later, on 27 May 1862, twenty year-old Ann, the fifth NORRIS daughter, was married to Henry GREEN, a twenty-four year-old farmer who had been born in the Richmond district. In November 1862 Rachel's sister Charlotte died. It was the first death amongst her siblings and undoubtedly Rachel felt the loss deeply. As they had both lived within a few miles of Richmond, the sisters had seen a great deal of each other over the years, ever since Rachel had returned from Tasmania and had moved to the farm at Kurrajong. On 26 January 1863 there was another bereavement in the family when John's elderly mother, Mary NORRIS, died after two decades of widowhood. Mary had retained ownership of the old family farm at Cornwallis which had been granted originally to Jane EZZY. In her will, she bequeathed it to her son John. He and Rachel continued to live at Kurrajong and worked their farm there. Whether John leased the Cornwallis farm or endeavoured to run it as well, is not known. He had had possession of it for less than two years when tragedy struck again, suddenly and unexpectedly. John was proceeding along the road at nearby Sally's Bottom, when he fell from his loaded cart and was crushed as a wheel passed over him. He died instantly. Rachel and her family were thrown into a state of grief as news of the accident spread throughout the community. John had reached the age of 61, but could have enjoyed many more years to see his grandchildren increasing in number and growing to adulthood. Widowhood had been thrust upon Rachel at the age of 56. A large crowd of relatives and friends gathered at St Matthew's, Roman Catholic Church at Windsor a day or two later to pay their last respects as John's body was laid to rest. Rachel inherited the family farm at Kurrajong. The Cornwallis farm, which John had inherited only the previous year, was sold for £65 and the proceeds shared amongst Rachel and her children. Further sadness followed for Rachel, when her eldest sister, Ann SHARP, died on 7 April 1865. Rachel was from then on the only EATHER daughter still living. The 1860's saw the beginning of an exodus of some of the NORRIS children from the Hawkesbury district to the western plains beyond the Blue Mountains. The first to go may have been Rachel's sixth daughter Rebecca. Early in 1865 at the age of 20, Rebecca was married at North Richmond to John COOK, the son of Isaac Cook, who had lived for many years in the Hawkesbury district. Within a few months of their marriage, Rebecca and John packed their family possessions and their farm equipment and proceeded over the ranges to the district of Spring Creek near the town of Orange. There they made their home on 120 acres of land that John had purchased, and began farming. Other members of Rachel's family soon followed and eventually Rachel decided to follow them. Just when she left her Kurrajong home for the last time has not been determined, but she spent her final years in the Orange district and died at Spring Creek on 3 August 1875 age 67 years. All of her children, with the exception of the eldest two of her daughters, survived her. Nearly fifty grandchildren had been born by then, and many more were added to the total in the years that followed.

John Patrick Eather 1837-1916

Son of James Eather (1811-1899)and Mary Ann Hand (1815-1899)

John was born in Richmond 25 December 1837 and in 1874 at Narrabri, married Ellen Mary Spencer b:1853 in Surrey, England. She arrived with her parents Richard and Eliza Spencer on the ship 'Dorigo', 13 April 1860.
They had 12 children. 9 boys and 3 girls.

Until 1899, John Eather owned the Mountain View, a property of some 1100 acres situated 2 1/2 miles from Narrabri, where during the 1880s he conducted the Mountain View Hotel.

On selling the property, he moved his family to the Inverell district where his activities during the first years of the new century included farming and keeping the Royal Hotel at Bundarra.

Several of his sons remained in Inverell where they made their name a well established one in the business life of the town.

John Rowland Eather 1843-1923

John Rowland EATHER, the twelfth child and youngest son of Thomas EATHER 1800-1886 and Sarah, nee McALPIN, was born at Richmond on 14 November 1843. He was baptised at St Peter's Church on 10 December 1843 and his name was recorded in the baptism register of the Church as John Rowling. His father was at that time a publican in Richmond.

In his adult life John tended to dispense with the "w" in his name and most written records show his name as John Roland. He spent his early years with his numerous brothers and sisters at Richmond, where his parents resided in the "Union Inn" in Windsor Street. His father had a farm near the town, which he ran as one of his business activities, and John learned the skills of riding horses and attending to farm chores at an early age.

By 1868, when he was 25, he had left the Hawkesbury district and had joined his elder brothers Charles. Peter, William and James on the family station "Henriendi" on the Namoi River on the Liverpool Plains.

Little is known of John Rowland EATHER's life over the next decade or so. Presumably he worked on "Henriendi" and other stations in the north-west and may have done some droving. By the early 1880's he was working in the Goodooga district some thirty kilometres or so south of the Queensland border and north-east of Bourke. Goodooga was then a tiny township on the Bokhara River, which winds it way down from Queensland to join the Barwon River about fifteen kilometres west of Brewarrina. Somewhere in the Goodooga district John Roland EATHER was married on 29 June 1882 to Hannah Annie CROTHERS. Apparently the nearest Church to Goodooga at that time was at Brewarrina, a township on the Barwon River about 95 kilometres to the south. The record of the wedding is in the register of the Brewarrina Church of England. It states that the wedding was held in the home of the bride's parents. John Rowland EATHER was age 38 years and Hannah Annie CROTHERS age 23 years had been born at Maitland, the daughter of Henry CROTHERS and Jane IRWIN

When the birth of their first child was registered in 1884, John Rowland EATHER was a shopkeeper in the tiny town of Goodooga. This occupation didn't last for very long, as their second child Rowland was baptised at Brewarrina in 1885 and by then John was a grazier residing at "Estherville." When his fourth child was born in January 1888 at "Barlowbie," Goodooga, John was a storekeeper again, but in 1889 when his fifth child Colin Roscoe was christened at Brewarrina, he was a selector on a property in the Goodooga district. In these Church records at Brewarrina his second forename was recorded with the "w".

At some time during his life a family heirloom was passed down to John Rowland EATHER. It was a book, "The Life of Christ", which had been given to his father in 1824 when he married Sarah McALPIN. The book bore the signature of the Reverend SELKIN, who officiated at his parents' wedding. This book was later passed down to John and Hannah's son William Irwin EATHER.

In all John Rowland EATHER and Hannah Annie EATHER had ten children, of whom three died in infancy.

The children of John and Hanna were:-

Bessie Hilton Eather 1884 1965 m. Winsleigh Alexander MURRAY 1885-1917 ANZAC killed in action
Roland C Eather 1885 1885
Jeanie Irwin Eather 1886 1954 m. Samuel Lawrence GOLDMAN 1878-1974
Richmond Cornwallis Eather 1888 1966 ANZAC m. Mary Jane McFarlane LONGMORE 1905-1974
Colin Roscoe Eather 1889 1936 m. May RENNIE 1879-1944
McAlpine Eather 1890 1966 ANZAC m. Mary Janetta De Evelyn
Hutchinson Eather 1892 1892
Kate Eather 1893 1970 Never married
William Irwin Eather 1897 1981 m. 1.Nita Marion CAMPBELL 2. Doris??unknown
Kenneth S Eather 1900 ?? unknown

Following the death of his father in 1886, John Rowland EATHER inherited his father's farm near Richmond; a portion of a house that his father owned in Francis Street, Richmond (his brother Peter EATHER 1831-1911 was to receive the other portion; and half of the residue of his father's personal estate which at the probate was sworn as being under £390 ($780).

John Roland EATHER died in the District Hospital at Tamworth on 15 January 1923 at the age of 79 years.

Eather family Newsletter
Eather Family History Group


John 'Jack' Simpson KIRKPATRICK was born at South Shields, Durham, England on the 6 July 1892. He was the son of Robert KIRKPATRICK born 26 Nov. 1837 in South Leith Scotland and his wife Sarah SIMPSON born 14 September 1885 in Glasgow. As a child during his summer holidays he worked as a donkey-lad on the sands of South Shields.

After his father died on the 10 October 1909, Jack took on the role of bread winner for the family.

In 1910 he joined the crew of the SS Yeddo as a fireman and sailed for Newcastle, New South Wales, always sending money back home to his mother. (His mother passed away on the 9 March 1933 at South Shields).

On the 30 May 1910, When the Yeddo arrived in Newcastle, Jack deserted and for the next few years he worked a lot of different jobs. He tried coal mining in Newcastle, went cane cutting up in Queensland and drove cattle on the Liverpool Plains.

Sometime around the end of 1913 Jack joined the crew of the SS Yankalilla which was headed to Western Australia with a shipload of coal from Newcastle. Once it docked in Fremantle, on the 3 January 1914, Jack again took off. He managed to pick up plenty of odd jobs around the place.

On the 25 August 1914 at Blackboy Hill, 35 ks east of Perth in Western Australia Jack enlisted as John SIMPSON a ship's fireman, dropping the surname KIRKPATRICK, thinking they may not take too kindly to a merchant navy deserter and quite possibly would arrest him. He gave his mother as next of kin, calling her Sarah SIMPSON of 141 Bertram St, South Shields, Durham.

Jack was chosen as a stretcher bearer with the 3rd. Field Ambulance. This job was only given to strong men so it seems that his work as a fireman in the Merchant Navy had prepared him well for his exceptional place in history.

The strong, fair haired John SIMPSON became Australias most famous, and best-loved military hero without ever having to fire a shot.

On the 25th April 1915, he, along with the rest of the Australian and New Zealand contingent landed at the wrong beach on a piece of wild, impossible and savage terrain now known as Anzac Cove.

[Out of the 1500 men who landed in the first wave, only 755 remained in active service at the end of the day. The sheer number of casualties necessitated that stretcher bearing parties be reduced in the size from 6 to 2. Simpson then decided that he could operate better by acting alone. He spied a deserted donkey in the wild overgrown gullies and decided to use it to help carry a wounded man to the beach. From that time on, he and his donkey acted as an independent team. Instead of reporting to his unit, Simpson camped with the 21st Kohat Indian Mountain Artillery Battery - which had many mules and nicknamed Simpson "Bahadur" - the "bravest of the brave".]

From that day on Jack became a part of the scene at Gallipoli walking along next to his donkey, forever singing and whistling as he held on to his wounded passengers, seemingly completely fatalistic and scornful of the extreme danger.
He led a charmed life from 25th April 1915 until he was hit by a machine gun bullet in his back on 19th May 1915.

In just 24 days Jack rescued over 300 men down the notorious Shrapnel and Monash Valley. His prodigious, heroic feat was accomplished under constant and ferocious attack from artillery, field guns and sniper fire.

Quoted from some of his officers:

"Almost every digger knew about him. The question was often asked: "Has the bloke with the donk stopped one yet?"

"he was the most respected and admired of all the heroes at Anzac."

Captain C. Longmore, in 1933, remembered how the soldiers "watched him spellbound from the trenches... it was one of the most inspiring sights of those early Gallipoli days."

Colonel John Monash wrote "Private Simpson and his little beast earned the admiration of everyone at the upper end of the valley. They worked all day and night throughout the whole period since the landing, and the help rendered to the wounded was invaluable. Simpson knew no fear and moved unconcernedly amid shrapnel and rifle fire, steadily carrying out his self imposed task day by day, and he frequently earned the applause of the personnel for his many fearless rescues of wounded men from areas subject to rifle and shrapnel fire."

Every year on April the 25th, Australians and New Zealanders remember our ANZACS. A promise made in 1915 which we have passed on down to our children. And The Band Plays Waltzing Matilda as we reflect on the tragedy of war.

Not Only A Hero adapted from the book by Tom Curran is an illustrated life of Simpson, the Man with the Donkey, part of the Spirit of Anzac website.

The inscription on John SIMPSON's grave reads;

19TH MAY 1915 AGE 22


8 comment(s), latest 3 years, 5 months ago

John Thomas Eather 1891-1920

John Thomas, the youngest child of John William EATHER 1845-191 and Harriet nee CLARK 1849-1928, was born on 3 October 1891.

At the age of 25 and still unmarried he enlisted in the Australian Army on 17 October 1916, approximately a year after his brother Ivo mack had enlisted. He was posted to the same Battalion as his brother, the 35th, and went overseas amongst reinforcements. He saw Ivo in England while he was convalescing after having been wounded at Villers-Bretonneux. Back in Australia in 1919 after having been discharged from the Army, he returned to life on the land.

On Sunday the 13th June 1920 John was in the paddock at Bulga threshing lucerne seed, when the drive belt on the machine snapped.

John put his arm in the air to ward off the whip of the belt and fell into the thresher. His cries brought nearby workers to a most horrific scene, but nothing could be done to save John.

John Tilley 1880 - 1960

Teacher John Edwin Tilley, The son of Robert George TILLEY and Catherine QUAYLE was born in Amphitheatre, Victoria in 1880.
John married Bertha Ann OSWELL in 1910.

John Tilley taught in many schools throughout country Victoria, in Australia, including Thalia, Babatchio, Pranjip, Ouyen, Beaufort and finally spending 25 years teaching at Newtown, Geelong.

When I found this photograph with just some names, no dates and certainly nothing about who John Tilley was I decided to try and find out a little bit about him, for here was a teacher who must have influenced thousands of lives for a pittance in pay.
Our early teachers in their one room bush schools deserve to be remembered.

John Edwin TILLEY died in 1960 in Victoria, Australia

Below is a photograph taken in 1902 with his students at a little school in Thalia, Victoria.

Back - Martin Joseph Ryan 1894-1954, Willie Kerr 1893-1979, Arthur Allan 1894-1974, Henry Cook 1892-1959, Gordon Allan 1890-1968, Archie Kerr 1891-1980, Phillip Allan 1892-1955, Eddie Ryan 1892-1967,

Centre Row - Ethel May Durie 1896-?, Maggie Ryan 1895-1984, Amy Durie 1892-1976, Euphemia Kerr 1890-1962, Polly Cook 1895-1959, Gertrude Vaught 1896-1985, Lizzie May Kerr 1897-1939.

Front - ? Garnet, Pat Docherty.
Martin Joseph RYAN married Annie Elizabeth HOGAN 1896-1990 and had 6 children

Willie KERR married Florence May MCQUINN 1903-1986 and had 4 children

Arthur ALLAN married Elvira Hope CURRIE 1894-1977 had 5 children

Henry COOK married Alice Elizabeth Maud BERRYMAN 1882-1963

Archie Kerr married (1)Daisey FRAZER (2)Eva Elizabeth BARBER 1896-1953

Eddie Ryan married Margaret Mary OKEEFE 1898-1960 had 10 children

Ethel May DURIE married Frederick Alexander BADDOCK 1893-1940

Margaret RYAN married William Thomas DOYE 1892-1963

Amy DURIE married Clarence William SIMPSON 1893-1974

Gertrude Sylvia VAUGHT married Neil MCLEOD 1890-1985

1 comment(s), latest 4 years, 3 months ago

John Town's Diary

I will now give a brief sketch of a most remarkable man, Mr. John Town. Those who were not acquainted with him may not think so; but those who had dealings with him will tell you even now that he was one of the straightest men of his time. His word was his bond, in the most trifling transaction.
I knew him well myself, and had many dealings with him, and can bear testimony to his honesty of purpose. But there were many things in connection with his life and character which I have learned from others, and also from his diary (kindly lent me), which I will relate, that I think will be highly interesting, especially as they refer to very old dates.
I may state that it was not often you could catch him in a communicative mood, therefore you could not
expect to hear him speak much of himself. But there were occasions when he would repeat some of his experiences of the early days. Some of the most interesting he has written in his diary, which I will quote as I proceed.
He was born in Parramatta. His mother died there, and is buried in the Episcopal burying-ground.
After his mother's death he came with his father to Richmond, when he was quite young. We have no further
record of him until he married, on the 17th June, 1830.
He was among the earliest settlers on the Goulburn river. Here he was once stuck up by Bushrangers, tied to a tree, and robbed. They committed other atrocities for which they were hanged.
He came back to Richmond, and opened the Woolpack hotel at North Richmond (now the Travellers' Rest) which was
built for him. This is one of the oldest hotels in the colony, and has a history.
It was here Mr, North, the Police, Magistrate, used to hold his court, and where many prisoners were sentenced to the lash. It was also the local post office for many years. I remember it in the forties, when the Thompsons, of Pitt Town, had the contract for carrying the mails from Windsor to Richmond, six times a week, and from Richmond to North Richmond, three times a week. It was then the terminus for mails in Kurrajong.
Mr. Town kept the hotel for over 20 years, when he retired from business. But during that time he had many trips over the mountains. His principal delight seemed to be roaming through the bush. I have already stated he was among the first to cross Bell's Line, with others, on a slide, with four bullocks. A slide, remember!- not a dray. But I think I have explained that before.
He was a great friend of old Ben. Singleton's : and if he did not go over the Bulga with Ben, and Mr. Howe, of Windsor, who were the first white men to cross the Bulga, he was not long after them.
I do not suppose I will be contradicted if I say that old Ben. Singleton was the first to build a mill on the
banks of the Hunter river, at Singleton, and that town was named after him. He was well known on the Hawkesbury before he went to the Hunter, and had to do with several mills here. I have a recollection of hearing it said he built those two mills on Wheeny Creek, and another on the Hawkesbury somewhere below Wilberforce.
I have often seen the two mills at
Wheeny Creek. The upper one was what is termed an overshot (I have seen it at work), and the lower one an undershot. They were both owned by the Town family. I think they are now down.
While speaking of Ben. Singleton, I may mention that the oldest-dated memo in Mr. Town's diary is in reference to Mr. Singleton. It is as follows -
"Yarraman Bar Creek, at Liverpool Plains, was first formed into a
station by Mr. Benjamin Singleton, in the year 1826."
Mr. Town seems to have taken great interest in explorers. Here is another memo :
"(Capt. Charles Sturt explored the Darling river, the Murrumbidgee,
and the Murray to its junction with the Darling, in the year 1829. Died 16th June, 1869."
While speaking of Capt. Sturt, I may mention that he tells us that Mr. Cealey, a resident of Parramatta,
is said to be the first who attempted to scale the Blue Mountains; but he did not long persevere in struggling
with difficulties too great for ordinary resolution to overcome. It appears that he retraced his steps,
after having penetrated sixteen miles into their dark and precipitous recesses, and a heap of stones, which
the traveller passes about that distance from Emu Ford, on the road to Bathurst, marks the extreme point reached by the expedition to the westward of the Nepean river.
Another memo from Mr. Town's diary states :
"Captain Howell died 9th Nov., 1875, in the 90th year of his age.
He was one of the explorers with Mr. Hamilton Hume."
And yet another, which shows he still took an interest in the Singleton family:
"Mary Singleton died the 12th August, 1877, aged 84 years. Buried at Singleton."
Mr. Town makes no mention, of his own exploits in the way of exploration. I have already mentioned
a few. He was also one of the first on the Namoi and at Moree, where he formed stations, and was among
the first gold diggers on the Turon.
But I think his greatest exploit was when he started alone from his home on the Goulburn river, with
nothing to guide him except a small pocket compass, and took a bee line to the Bulga, over mountains where
no white man had ever been before or since. He arrived safely at the Bulga at a place called the Cap and
Bonnet. But when there he began to doubt his compass, and was about to retrace his steps when his brother
in-law, Billy McAlpin met him, and they came along together. This journey must have taken weeks to accomplish.
A few other extracts from Mr.Town's Diary may be interesting since it refers to the death of many
old residents, who in their time took a part in the the early history of the colony.
They are as follows:
26 May,1852, old Mrs. Mary Town died, aged 80 years (Mr. Town's stepmother.)

St. Philip's Church, North Richmond, was consecrated 12th Nov., 1861.
The title was presented by
Mr. Town ; he also subscribed liberally towards its erection.

Mrs. Ann Sharp died 7th April, 1865, aged 72 years. Mrs. Sharp was Mr. Town's mother-in-law.
Robert Fitzgerald died, April 7th, same year.
26th May. Judge Milford died.
1866, Feb. Mrs. Hail died.
Feb. 2. Mr. Thomas Tibbut died.
1867. The Rev. H. Stiles died,
23rd June. The same day that the
great flood was at its highest.

1868. Prince Alfred shot, 12th
March. .
29th March. The Rev. Thomas
Hassell died, aged 73. Mrs. Stiles
21st April. O'Farrell executed
for shooting Prince Alfred. The
prince restored to health ; thank
God, and all's well.
5th May. William Town died ;
Mr. Town's brother.
Lord Brougham died, 7th May.
Born 19th September, 1779.
18th May. Mr. Edward Cox, of
Mulgoa, died.
21st July. Dr. Bland died, aged
78 years.
20th. August. George Cox died,
aged 75 years.
Red Bank Creek bridge finished,
31st July.
28th November. The sun heat
was 100 degrees.
29th. 107 in the shade.
30th Nov. St. Andrew's Cathedral
24th Dec. The heat was 115
deg. Fah. in the shade at 12.30 p.m.
25th. 107F
The Donally nugget found in
Melbourne, weighing 200lb. nett
pure gold.
1869, 10th March. Prince Al-
fred's second visit to Sydney.
3rd April. William Sharp's barn
was burned down. This was the
second barn Mr. Sharp lost by fire.
10th May. John Hubert Plunket
4th June. George Forbes (bro-
ther to Sir Francis) died, aged 82
27th September. William Kirk
died, aged 87 years. An old friend
of the Town family.
1869, 27th August. The heat was
105 deg. Fah.
1870, 11th January, the thermometer registered 110 ;
12th Jan .110 ; 13th Jan, 112 ; 14th Jan., 113
at 11 a.m. ; 18th February, 100 ; 19th
Feb , 108 ; 22nd Feb., 100.
12th June. First white frost,
38th August. Thomas Simpson
Hall died, aged 62 years.
17th. August. James Cuneen died
aged 62 years. A native of Wind
sor. Mr. Cuneen was a member
the Legislative Assembly, and for a
time was Postmaster-General.
18th November. William Lee
senr., of Bathurst, died, aged 76
16th Nov. Prince Alfred left
Port Jackson, after his third visit to
John Tebbutt died, 20th December,
1871, 10th January. Charles
Thompson, of Clydesdale died, aged
87 years.
8th April. George' Filks died
aged 80 years. Upwards of 20 years
chief constable of Sydney.
23rd April. William Hall died,
aged 74 years.

1872, 4th January. William
Perry, tailor, of Windsor, died, aged
70 years.
15th Jan. John King (the survivor of
Burke and Wills exploring expedition) died.
18th Jan. Nicholls and Lester
hanged for the murder of Walker
and Bridges on the Parramatta river
William Charles Wentworth died
in, England, 20th March, 1872, aged
80 years.
28th July. Mary Ann Piper
wife of Capt. Piper, died, aged 81
4th June. Sir Hercules Robinson
sworn in as Governor of N.S.W.
15th Oct. Sir Hercules Robinson
crossed the Richmond bridge, on his
way to Douglass Hill.

Charles Louis Napoleon Bonaparte
died in England, 9th Jan. 1873. He
was nearly 65 years old.
His son was born 16th March,
10th Feb., 1873. John Richard
Rouse died, aged 73.
Mr. John Benson was killed from
a fall from his horse on 3rd March
1873, aged 29 years.

19th April, 1873. Hamilton Hume
the explorer died, aged 76 years.
22nd June. Sir T. A. Murray
died. He was President of the
Legislative Council.
5th Sept. Laban White died, in
his 80th year. '
15th Sept. Alexander Berry died
at North Shore, Aged 91 years.
14th Sept. Mr. Heath, the tailor,
13th December. Mr. John Winters' two sons were drowned,
while bathing near the Richmond bridge.

1874, 20th January. Mr. John
Hoskisson died at ll p m., aged 79
10th Sept. John Merrick died
aged 82 years.
11th Dec. William Bowman
died, aged 75 years.
23rd Dec. Great fire in Windsor,
About 40 houses burned down on
the south end side of George-street.

1875, 22nd March., Mrs. Elizabeth Armfield died, aged 84 years
and three months. A native of the
Hawkesbury, and first-born child
thereon' of European parents.

1875 10th May. Old Mick the Russian
died, said to be 112 years old.*

1875. Sir Charles Cowper died
in England, aged 69 years.
13th Sept. Thomas Kite, of Bathurst, died, aged 87 years.
William Long (Judge Martin's
father-in-law) died, aged 80 years.

1877, 28th Feb. Luke Stanford
died, aged 80 years.
16th March. Archbishop Polding
died, aged 83. He was 42 years in
28th August. William Price died,
aged 85 years.
6th Feb. Pope Pius the IX died,
aged 86 years

1878, 1st May. Mrs. Mary Chisholm died, aged 81.
8th Aug. Rev. J. Dunmore Lang
died, aged 79 years.

1878, 20th Aug. William John-
ston, of Pitt Town, died, aged 83,
Sir E. Deas Thomson died, aged 80

1879,18th July. Mrs. Ann Dempsey died at Emu Plains, aged 100
years. She formerly lived on
Rouse's farm over the river (now
Walter Sly's).
5th Nov. Mrs Sarah Johns died,
aged 82 years. Mrs. Mary Hughes
died, aged 89 years.

1lst May, 1880. Mrs. Mary Hough
died, aged 87 years .
27th June. Richard Skuthorp
died, aged 90 years, only wanting
one month.

4th February, 1881. Mr. John
Cobcroft died, aged 84 years.
Mrs. Ann Hausell (formerly
Copper) died, aged 88 years.
Mr. John Henry Challis, an old
resident of Sydney, died in England
on 28th February, 1880, leaving
100,000 to the Sydney University.
1st March, 1879. Captain Cook's
daughter died last week, aged 104,
so the paper says.

* 'Mick the Russian '

born Michael Evangelist Norton supposedly in March 1763
He was a powerful man who lived in the Hawkesbury District for many years.
When he was just over 70, he performed the almost incredible feat
of carrying, for a considerable bet, without resting, a sack of wheat containing
three bushels (180 lbs.) a distance of thirteen miles, from Richmond over the
steep Kurrajong ranges to the mill.
Towards the last years of his life he was receiving benefit from the
Hawkesbury Benevolent Society for which he would walk 30 miles a month.
He claimed he first came to the Colony as a soldier with Captain Phillip but returned home after 10 years.
Then 10 years later he returned to the Colony. Many thought some of his stories were fanciful.

Reminiscences of
Nos. in part 47,48, 49
Hawkesbury Herald
Friday 19 February 1904 Page 16
Friday 26 February 1904 Page 16
Friday 4 March 1904 page 16.
transcription janilye 2012

John TREMILLS 1778-1862

This is just one TREMILLS family decending from Nathaniel TREMILLS 1709-1785 living on the lands of Widecombe In The Moor, Devon, England.

John TREMILLS, the son of Richard TREMILLS 1745-1782 and Jane KIVIL 1753-1805 was born at Widecombe In The Moor, Devon in 1778 and died there in 1862. To date I have only found one sister to John TREMILLS being Phillipa 1773-1814.
John TREMILLS married Elizabeth HAMLYN 1783-1846 on the 25 September 1803 at Widecombe In The Moor, Devon.

The children of this marriage all born at Widecombe In The Moor were:-
Mary Tremills 1804
Nicholas Tremills 1805
John Tremills 1807
Elizabeth Tremills b:1811 and died 18 August 1904 Melbourne, Victoria. Married Robert Roger NANKiVELL 1811-1904
Ann Tremills 1813
Susan Tremills 1815
Martha Tremills 1818
Avis Tremills 1820 1844
William Tremills 1823 1850
Richard Tremills 1826 1871

Information Regarding North Hall.

1800 - North Hall and North Hall Mills, part of Wootons Lands leased from Lord Ashburton 1800-1833

1803 - Richard Barre Dunning, let to John and Elizabeth Tremills, the North Hall Mills, Field and Garden.
1817 - Richard Barre Dunning let to John Tremills, the North Hall Mills and Garden.

5 comment(s), latest 9 months, 3 weeks ago

John W Taylor from Nantucket to Port Fairy in Victoria

I've just begun research on John Taylor and would appreciate some help from anybody who may have some clue as to his ancestry.

I have been told, John was a runaway slave who made his way to Nantucket around the 1850s He took a job on one of the Whalers which made it's way to Bass Strait between Tasmania and Victoria, Australia. John Taylor must have made quite a bit of money at the job because he settled in Port Fairy and built a very grand hotel named 'The Star of the West' in 1856, which still stands today.
He married and his decendants continued to run the hotel and live in the Port Fairy district. From oral history I have heard that John Taylor never complained about his time on the vessel and was paid the same money as a white man and treated fairly by his captain. In Port Fairy he was very well liked and respected. That's about all I do know, and so it seems, does anybody else know.

I know about Nantucket,the whalers, the runaway slaves and Port Fairy and the Whaling industry. It's just John Taylor I'm interested in.

1 comment(s), latest 4 years, 6 months ago