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Lee Macdonald Cooke 1890-1936

Lee Macdonald Cooke was born on 26 February 1890 at Patricks Plains New South Wales. The son of George B COOKE 1865-1925 and Mary May CLARK 1865-1951 and sister to Lyndall Dorothy COOKE who married Stanley Common CLARK.
Lee married Mary Edith Isabel MERRICK 1896-1976 in 1916

I have attached a photo of Lee Cooke's bullock team. This great photo shows the team crossing the creek at Milbrodale - a tributary of Parson's Creek. Lee's family home "Leeholme" is about a kilometre up over the hill and on the right hand side of the road. This is the Putty Road. Once again, I don't have a date for ths photo either. The older generation never named or dated photos unfortunatley. So it is always an educated guess as to what year it was. He may have been in his 20's or early 30's which makes the photo about 1910-1930.

Lee died on the 25 April 1936 aged 46 - not very old. Lee reared Berkshire pigs. He used to show them at the Royal Easter Show in Sydney. At the Easter Show in 1936, he got wet and developed pneumonia, and died soon after.

Lee's grave stands alone in St Mark's Church graveyard at Bulga as his widow Mary married Pat ARCHINAL in 1938 after Lee died, and she is buried at Whittingham with Pat.


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 William Eather 1845-1915


2 comment(s), latest 5 years, 9 months ago

Stanley Common Clark 1888-1941

Stanley Common, the eldest son of Sarah EATHER 1861-1923 and Ashton CLARK 1844-1925, was born at 'Willow Farm' on 29 October 1888. He attended Bulga Public School with his brothers and sisters and when he was a young man he earned a living by felling timber in the range near Bulga. He had a team of bullocks and transported the logs on a bullock wagon to Gould Brothers Sawmill in Singleton. The journey usually took two days with an overnight stop at Yellow Waterholes Reserve. About 1917 he and his brother James (Jim) went into partnership on a block of land which they called 'Hillsdale'. It was covered in scrub and kept them very busy clearing it and building fences for farming. On the 3rd July 1918 Stanley married Lyndall Dorothy COOKE, the daughter of George COOKE 1865-1925 and Mary,nee CLARK 1865-1951. There was still no house on 'Hillsdale' so they lived in a tent on the farm. A citrus orchard had been planted and they commenced a small dairy herd. Jim also moved onto the farm and they employed four men to build a shed and clear the land for grazing. Stanley and his wife (called Dorothy not Lyndall) moved into the shed just before their first child was born. They then began to build a house, using ironbark and pine timber cut from the farm. They moved in as soon as the walls were up. Their family continued to increase and they had six children. The youngest daughter died at the age of 22 months. Stanley's niece Beulah SQUIRE often spen time at 'Hillsdale' after a new baby was born to help. The children were introduced at an early age to chores connected to the dairy section of the farm. At the age of four years the daughters were taught to assist in milking the cows. After the morning milking was completed, the cans were loaded onto a horse-drawn spring cart. Stanley would drive the cart to meet the milk lorry, driven by one of his cousins Dave CLARK, down at the Putty Road. Stanley was destined not to have a long life. One day he was chaffing sacaline and putting it into the silage pit, when he was taken ill. The next door neighbour, Mr. Os Thompson, took him into Singleton Hospital, where he died on 13 April 1941, aged 52. Dorothy and the children continued to live at 'Hillsdale' for about a year after Stanley's death, then they moved over the mountain to live with Dorothy's mother Mary (May) COOKE, at 'Leeholme', on the Putty Road. The house at 'Hillsdale' remained empty for more than ten years, except when used by an occasional employee of Jim CLARK.


1 comment(s), latest 5 years, 9 months ago

James Clyde Young Clark 1896-1973

James Clyde Young, the fifth child of Ashton CLARK 1844-1925 and Sarah,nee EATHER 1861-1923, was born at 'Willow Farm', Bulga on 30 May 1896. He was usually known as Jim. He grew up on 'Gerale' and attended the Bulga Public School with his brothers and sisters. About 1917 Jim and his brother Stanley took up land they named 'Hillsdale' near 'Willow Farm'. They worked the farm in partnership. While he was single, Jim used to ride home to 'Gerale' each week-end, and quite often on Saturday afternoons he would ride over to Bulga Post Office to visit the MCALPIN's, who ran it. There, on one occasion he met Rosamond CHAPMAN 1889-1990, daughter of Thomas CHAPMAN 1863-1929 and his wife Emily, nee WHITBREAD 1863-1902. Rosamond had come up from Sydney to visit the McAlpins, who were her cousins. Jim courted her and they were married in St.Paul's Church, Burwood in Sydney on the 22 June 1929. They made their home in a house that Jim built on 'Hillsdale'. Their only child Betty Joyce was born on 19 September 1931 in Garthowen Private Hospital at Stanmore in Sydney.

In the 1940's Jim had a property out in bush country that is now part of the Wollemi National Park. There, he ran a herd of cattle and every so often he would go out to muster them. He used to ride from Bulga on his horse 'Trigger', leading another horse 'King Pin' loaded with provisions in pack saddles. He followed a creek up to a place known as 'Junction' and then went on to 'Parnell Springs' and then further on to 'Paddock Hut' where he camped. There, he had a yard for the horses and a hut which he furnished with rough furniture, including a bed made with saplings and corn bags resting on two logs. He took the usual basic cutlery and cooking utensils and carried corned beef with him. He stored tea and sugar in Golden Syrup tins and kept the lot in a box because the rats used to invade the hut when he wasn't there. Loaves of bread were carried in a calico flour bag, which he always packed at the top of the saddle bags because the contents of the saddle bags were often damaged on the rough track. He'd boil the billy and cook pumpkin and potatoes over an open fire and supplemented his corned beef with tinned meat and finished it off with a desert of bread and jam.

On 14 March 1953 daughter Betty married Harold Onslow HARRIS in St.Andrews Presbyterian church in Singleton. Harold had been born in a private nursing home in Singleton, the son of Albert HARRIS 1896-1962 and Emily,nee WOODS 1893-1966. Harold used to go with his father-in-law on mustering trips to the bush country that Jim owned. They would set off with pack horses and food for a week. The property covered a huge area and was unfenced, so mustering the cattle was a difficult task. In 1961 they began looking for another grazing property, so that Jim could get rid of the bush country. On the 3rd of November 1962 Jim and Harold bought a grazing property known as 'Yellow Rock' at Carrabolla on the Paterson River, from Peter CAPARO. They stocked 'Yellow Rock' with a hundred head of Hereford Bullocks that roamed the mountains, and with the help of several drovers took them on foot a distance of one hundred miles to Carrabolla. The muster took five days. Some years later an adjoining property called 'Rudwood' was also purchased. From these properties the cattle were sold to the Newcastle Abattoirs at Waratah.

James Clyde Young CLARK died in the Singleton District Hospital on 24 October 1973 at the age of 77. A week previously he had been riding his horse around 'Yellow Rock' inspecting the stock. Rosamond, his widow, lived to be a centenarian, she was 100 when she passed away on 14 April 1990 in Elizabeth Gate Home in Singleton.


1 comment(s), latest 5 years, 9 months ago

James Swales Clark 1812-1851

Born at Scarborough, Yorkshire, on the 28 December 1812,the son of James CLARK 1777-1863 and Susanna SWALES 1776-1831 who were married at Liverton on the 2 April 1798.
James was employed as a steward at 'Flowery Field' the residence of Cheshire merchant Thomas Ashton. In 1835 he married Elizabeth MCDONALD 1810-1899 from Largs, Scotland, the daughter of David MCDONALD 1781-1835 and Catherine YOUNG.(Catherine died at Black Creek,Branxton,NSW in 1844)
Elizabeth's brother Thomas McDonald, persuaded by family friend, the Rev. John DUNMORE LANG, had emigrated to Australia in 1831. James and Elizabeth with their children, Macdonald (b.1836), Susanna (b.1838), and James (b.1840), and Elizabeth's widowed mother, Catherine, left for Australia in 1842 on the 'Thomas Hughes'.

Arriving in Sydney in early 1843 the family went to the Hunter district; James worked for Helenus SCOTT at 'Glendon' and then later settled at Bulga, near Singleton.

The Clarks had four more children, Ashton (b.1844), Mary (b.1847), Harriet (b.1849) and Elizabeth, born in 1852 after her father's death the previous year. Of the Clark children, Mary died in 1857 and the others were married as follows : Macdonald to Susannah MCALPIN in 1863; Susanna to William T. SQUIRE in 1875; James to Mary DAWES in 1875; Harriet to John W. EATHER in 1872; Ashton to Sara EATHER in 1885; Elizabeth to Thomas S. COLLINS in 1879.

The Bulga farmers were plunged into sadness over the new year of 1852 when word reached them that their neighbour, James Swales CLARK of "Willow Farm", had been drowned on Christmas Eve in the river at Narromine. He had gone out there with his team of bullocks to load wool for transporting down to the coast. With him were his two eldest sons, McDonald and James Jnr. The news arrived in a letter from the station manager advising Elizabeth CLARK that her husband had drowned in the river and had been buried. When her sons returned she heard how James had gone swimming after lunch to help some of the station hands to learn to swim. He had appeared to dive but did not resurface and an aborigine who was a strong swimmer dived repeatedly and eventually found his body. They had buried him on Christmas Day on the bank of the river.James CLARK and his family had become popular members of the community in the three years that they had lived at "Willow Farm", and the community grieved with them in their sad loss. Six months later Elizabeth CLARK gave birth to another daughter and named her Elizabeth Catherine after her two grandmothers. James CLARK had wanted a daughter named after his own mother, so his wish was fulfilled. Elizabeth CLARK and her family continued to live on at "Willow Farm" in the years that followed.


Edwin EATHER 1852-1890


2 comment(s), latest 5 years, 2 months ago