William Eather 1832-1915
William EATHER, my 2nd great grand uncle and the sixth child of Thomas EATHER and Sarah, nee McALPIN, was born at Richmond on 8 August 1833 and was named after Sarah's brother, William Glas McALPIN. He was a tiny babe and his mother admitted many years later that she wondered whether she would succeed in rearing him. He was baptised on 2 October 1833 and in the record of his baptism his father was recorded as being a "shoemaker and farmer".
Little Billy, as he was known, was still a baby when his parents took up residence in the "Union Inn" in Windsor Street, Richmond and it was the home in which he grew up. As a child he probably attended the little school in Francis Street, and as a teenager was encouraged by his parents to attend the Sunday Church services in the new St Peter's Church. His father had a farm near the town and William undoubtedly gained some farming skills by assisting there with his older brothers.
On 29 December 1853, when he was twenty, William married eighteen year-old Ann SENIOR in St Peter's Church. It was then that William's mother is claimed to have said, "As a babe he was the tiniest mite that I ever saw. I thought I would never be able to rear him. When his father first saw him he called him "Cricket" but look at him now, he is as good a man as any of them".
Ann SENIOR had been born on 12 January 1835, the daughter of Samuel SENIOR and his wife Ann (nee REASON).
In 1828 Samuel SENIOR was an overseer for William COX at "Clarenden" near Windsor, while Ann REASON, who had arrived on the "Brothers" in 1824, was working here as a nursemaid.
In 1836, when Ann was a baby, Samuel was engaged by Captain Robert TOWNS to be his caretaker at a property he had purchased at #Mount Tomah in the hills near Kurrajong, and the family took up residence in the "Stonehouse" there. It was at Mount Tomah that Ann spent about ten years of her childhood, during which time her sister Mary Jane and brother Samuel were born. In 1848 Samuel SENIOR left Mount Tomah and took his wife and family to live at North Richmond. Ann spent her teenage years there until her marriage.
On 19 May 1854 Ann's first child was born at Richmond and named Sarah Ann. She was the first of ten Children in the family of William and Ann. One son died in infancy and one daughter died at the age of eleven, but the other six daughters and two sons survived to adulthood; married and had children of their own.
For a few years William and Ann lived in the Hawkesbury district and their first four daughters were born there. Then, at some time between 1857 and 1860, William took his family to live at "Henriendi" on the Liverpool Plains, where his brother Peter was already in residence with his family.
The journey from Richmond to the Liverpool Plains was slow and tedious, made in two spring carts. One of these was loaded with the family's household belongings and other possessions, and the other was set up to save as sleeping quarters. Along the way they undoubtedly called upon William's eldest brother Thomas and family at Bulga, and also his sister Sarah and husband William EATON at the "White Hart" Inn at Muswellbrook.
By the time the party arrived at "Henriendi" they had been on the road for two whole months. For their eldest daughter, Sarah Ann, it was an adventure which she remembered vividly for the rest of her long life.
The Liverpool Plains was the home of William and Ann for most of the rest of their lives. Their last six children were born there.
In 1873 the first of a series of family weddings took place when sixteen year-old fourth daughter Amy Susannah was married to Edward Prosper HUXLEY at Narrabri. The groom was the son of Thomas HUXLEY and his wife Mary, nee EVANS. Other family marriages followed.
On 1 June 1876 in another wedding at Narrabri, second daughter, Emeline Sophia, was married to William John FOXE, an English migrant with an obscure background. His name wasn't really FOXE, but BUSSELL, but nobody knew that at the time, unless he had confided it to Emeline.
In 1877 eldest daughter, Sarah Ann, married John Thomas COLEMAN in yet another wedding at Narrabri; and on 11 February 1879, fifth daughter, Mary Jane, married Walter John COLEMAN, a cousin of Sarah's husband.
The first grandchild, Mary Matilda HUXLEY, was born in 1874. Others soon followed and altogether those four daughters produced amongst them no fewer than 42 off-spring, though not all survived infancy. After a time lapse of nine years the two youngest daughters married in 1888 and the two sons married in 1892 and 1896 respectively.
William and Ann lived to see all of their children married. Ann died on 28 January 1906, shortly after her seventy-first birthday. William survived her by nine years and was 84 or 85 when he died in 1915. He had been known as Billy throughout his life.
The children of William Eather and Ann SENIOR 1835-1906 were:-
Sarah Ann EATHER 1854 – 1954
Emmeline Sophia EATHER 1855 – 1939
Amy Susannah EATHER 1857 – 1943
Mary Jane EATHER 1860 – 1901
Frederick William R. EATHER 1862 – 1862
Kate Milner EATHER 1864 – 1941
Arthur Thomas Samuel EATHER 1865 – 1942
Rebecca Reason EATHER 1868 – 1903
William Senior EATHER 1870 – 1961
# note Mount Tomah is situated at the ridge line of the Hawkesbury and is 35 minutes from Richmond by car today, past Kurrajong Heights and Bilpin along Bells Line of Road.
Belows is a portrait of Ann Eather nee Senior