Mary Wade, Elizabeth Brooker and the Griffin's


Mary Wade, Elizabeth Brooker and the Griffin's


In April 1984 my brother Brian Griffin attended the Muster of the descendants of Mary Wade, held in Campbelltown, NSW. Over 400 people came to hear the story of their remarkable ancestor and her family! A few years later, when Brian came to visit me and my husband in Washington State, USA, he brought a copy of "Mary Wade To Us". I read it and immediately became "hooked" on genealogy!

The Griffin’s are descended from Mary Wade through her daughter Elizabeth Brooker. Elizabeth married Daniel Lowe, who had been convicted of highway robbery in London. After earning his ticket-of-leave, he worked as a sawyer in the forests of red cedar in the Illawarra, then settled on land along the Murrumbidgee River. Daniel and Elizabeth had one surviving child, Sophia, who also married a convict - Daniel Griffin. He was from Co. Cork, Ireland, a butcher by trade but arrested as a pick-pocket. His description in the "Rosslyn Castle" ship's indent is not flattering: short, "complexion: brown and pock-pitted", "scar on top of forehead". He was tattooed with a "crucifix, sun and moon, AC" on his right arm, "DG double heart and dart" on his left.

However, Daniel settled down, earned his Certificate of Emancipation, and raised cattle on his land grant along the Murrumbidgee. He met Sophia, the young niece of Henry Angel, who owned a nearby property, Yangunjular, and they were married in 1845.
Daniel prospered in the cattle business and, with their growing family, he set up as a butcher on Crown Street in Wollongong. Meanwhile he continued to raise cattle on his increasingly large property in the Murrumbidgee District. He and Sophia had 13 children, all raised in Wollongong.

Daniel Edmund Amos was their second child. As the first son, he took over the butcher shop from his father, and eventually married a young English immigrant, Joan Jackson, whose father was in the meat trade in London.

My grandfather, Frank Carlton Griffin, was the first of Daniel and Joan's eight children. He was followed by 6 more boys: Lionel Herbert, Frederick Leonard, Percy Reginald, Herbert George, Cecil Jackson, Victor Septimus, and finally a girl, Sophia Joan. (These comprise the generation F4, not F5 as in "Mary Wade" p.175.)

Frank left the family butcher business and began his long career in the railways, first in Wollongong, then Granville, where he met our Gran, Ann Florence Penney. My father Victor and my Uncle Elton were both born in Granville. Eventually Frank was appointed Stationmaster at Banksia.

"Mary Wade To Us" inspired me to research and write up our family history. But I am always eager to learn more, which I hope to do through the Mary Wade History Association, so please do contact me if you would like to exchange information. My email address is: Thank you.


Julie Ross


“Mary Wade, Elizabeth Brooker and the Griffin's,” Mary Wade Family History Association Inc., accessed May 27, 2022,