Descendants of Mary Wade through her daughter, Sarah

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Descendants of Mary Wade through her daughter, Sarah


Sarah Wade


The story of Mary's descendants through her daughter Sarah.


The Mary Wade History Association (Editorial Committee)




Norma Campbell; Ruth Hennessy; Rosemary Phillips



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Mary Wade’s eldest child, Sarah Wade, was born at the Mount Pitt Settlement, Norfolk Island, on 22nd September, 1793 Mary, at the time of Sarah’s birth, being not quite sixteen years of age. Nothing more is known of Sarah until her marriage to WILLIAM RAY in 1808, unless a slightly doubtful story of her swimming South Creek, Windsor, in what was probably the 1806 flood, is accepted.

They were married in Parramatta, Parish of St. John’s, on the 4th April, 1808, by Captain Anthony Fenn Kemp, Magistrate. She was fourteen and William, a former convict transported on the Albermarle in 1791, about thirty two years of age. it must be noted here that Captain Kemp of the N.S.W. Corps, was one of the three magistrates appointed by the Interregnum Government of Lt. Colonel Paterson and Captain Macarthur and this fact has considerable bearing on Sarah’s later actions.

The two eldest children were probably born near Windsor as there is evidence of the family’s residence there in the form of a Promissory Note, dated 1810, signed by William concerning the supply of grain to the local Government Store, but by 1813 they had moved to the vicinity of Campbelltown and in 1816 William received a grant of sixty acres of land near the BowBowing Creek, on the Sydney approaches to Campbelltown, District of Airds. There they first farmed and then opened an inn, known as ‘The Plough’, to help support their farming activities there having been a widespread drought in the colony during 181619 with a total crop failure in 1818, and, with permanent water and a road frontage, what could have been more practical? By 1822 their economic position had improved and they had a horse, twelve pigs and crops of wheat, barley and potatoes. The existence of the horse may indicate that they actually had a plough.

The marriage seems to have broken down in 182223 when Sarah removed herself and the four younger children to the next door farm of Nathaniel Boon who had arrived in the colony aboard the Admiral Gambier in 1811. Seven children were born of this union, including triplets much to the surprise of the colony. In 1831 Sarah married Boon, although Ray was still alive. This was now possible as Governor Macquarie had been instructed by the Home Government to cancel all contracts entered into under the Interregnum Government instituted after the overthrow of Governor Bligh by the Rum Corps. Consequently, in strictly legal terms Sarah was no longer the wife of William Ray.

There is no clear evidence that Sarah appreciated the significance of the above. It is rather more likely that Boon’s increasing prosperity brought a realisation of the desirability of having a legal heir. It was only on the fourth application to marry that the necessary permission was obtained, and the marriage took place at St. John’s Parramatta, conducted by the Rev. Samuel Marsden in 1831. Two more children were born thereafter, the boy Daniel becoming Nathaniel’s legal heir.

In the meantime, what appears to be a most amicable relationship existed between the two families. In 1825 the three middle children were back living with William and in 1826 he sold the Inn and seven acres to Nathaniel, at the same time disposing of an adjoining twenty five acres to James Ryan, thought to be a front for Nathaniel, the latter undoubtedly becoming owner. William Ray and William jnr. then moved over the hill to farm the remainder of the grant.

Sometime after 1826, probably in consequence of the 1825 law requiring inns to furnish accommodation, Boon erected a fine two storey house next to the humble ‘Plough’, the whole being renamed ‘The Three Brothers’ in 1830 (thus commemorating the birth of the triplets Nicholas, Jonathan and James). It was to this inn, still named ‘The Plough’ that John Farley ran with his tale of seeing Fisher’s Ghost.

Sarah may well have managed the accommodation side of the business, perhaps aided by her daughters, both before and certainly after Nathaniel’s death in 1839, whilst residing in the Boon farmhouse with her increasing brood of children. William Ray had predeceased Nathaniel by four years and Sarah was left with two families on her hands, albeit one grown.

In 1846 she leased the Inn to William Ray jnr. on behalf of the twelve year old Daniel Boon and, at some date between then and 1869 it was sold to John Jenkins, husband of her daughter, Maria Ray. In 1860 she acquired Daniel’s inherited thirty three acres and in 1875 sold it to William jnr. for an annuity of five pounds per annum. Around this time she retired to her grandfather’s home at Picton and died there in 1887, being remembered as Grannie Boon who smoked a clay pipe.

        Sarah and William had five children; Mary, Sophia William jnr., John and Maria. Mary the eldest child, died at the age of twenty-eight in 1837. When thirteen years of age she went to work in the home of the local magistrate, William Howe. When seventeen she had a son, Edward, fathered by Mr. Howe’s son, John. A second son, George Henry, arrived some three years later. An application for Mary to marry Amos crisp of Saffron, Lower Minto, was made about this time, but nothing came of it. Mary’s two sons did well despite their inauspicious beginnings. Edward worked with his uncle William Ray, and great-uncle Henry Angel on Uardry station before moving to Hay where he became the licencee of the Farmer’s Home Hotel. He died as a result of a driving accident. It appears that Mary Ray remained in Campbelltown till her death in 1837.

Sophia, the second Ray child, also entered service in the Howe household when only ten years old in 1822. In 1830, aged eighteen, Sophia was married to Thomas Rudd jnr., aged twenty four, at St. Peter’s, Campbelitown. The couple lived for a time on a farm at Airds, a gift from Thomas Rudd Snr. who had arrived in the colony on the ship Cornwallis in 1796. Some years later they left the district and settled on a property, ‘Tenandra’, near Gundagai, not far from ‘Nangus’, the home of Sophia’s younger sister Maria who had married John Jenkins.

Sophia and Thomas Rudd had ten children, nine girls and one son. Nothing further is known of the son. Their eldest daughter, Ann Mary (or Maria) married Robert Higgins who pioneered ‘Ulonga’ near Hay and later ran the Australian Family Hotel in Wagga Wagga. This marriage made Ann Mary a sisterinlaw of her uncle John Ray, and aunt to her first cousins, which must have been a source of amusement as well as confusion. She was long remembered on the Murrumbidgee for her unselfish kindness.

Another of Sophia’s daughters, Amelia Emily, married her first cousin, William Henry Jenkins, second son of Maria Ray and John Jenkins of the ‘Nangus’ property near Gundagai. This Catholic ceremony took place on the 3rd February, 1867 at ‘Nangus’. It was conducted by James Foley, a priest from Tumut. William’s occupation was given as farmer, living on ‘Nangus’. After a stint of mining at Upper Tumbarumba, where their first child, Albert Edward, was born on the 28th September, 1867 they returned to ‘Nangus’ prior to 1880 with seven children, one other child having died in infancy. The family ’squatted’ at Billabong Creek near ‘Nangus’ and remained there for several years. Ten more children were born, making eighteen in all. In January, 1902 a big bushfire was disastrous for them. In a letter to his aunt dated the 2nd January, 1902, W.]. McKinney o ‘Nangus’ station wrote: “Billabong Jenkins has lost fencing, all his wheat, all his grass, and a lot of sheep and horses     Old Jenkins went to bed and cried all day. . .

James Beveridge bought all the land in and around Billabong Creek from the Crown on the 12th November, 1904, and settled his newly married son onto Billabong, making it necessary for William Henry Jenkins and his large family to move. William and some of his family remained in the area. He died in Junee Cottage Hospital on the 23rd October, 1923 and is buried in the Church of England Cemetery, Nangus. No headstone marks his grave. His wife, Amelia, died on the 4th November, 1927. Later generations of the Jenkins group are well spread through the Riverina, at Broken Hill and in South Australia.

Sarah’s third child, William Ray Jnr. was twenty one when his father died in 1835 and he inherited the residue of the original sixty acre grant. He married in 1841 and in 1846, perhaps to help weather the recession and drought of the 1840’s, he leased ‘The Three Brothers’ from his mother. Eight years later he embarked on a series of purchases, first having sold his farm to his younger brother, John, in 1854. In 1855 he bought the seventyfive acre Brooker’s Farm from his uncle. William Brooker. In the same year he purchased the five hundred acre Mount Pleasant Estate on the Camden Road from his brotherinlaw, John Jenkins of Gundagai, and also, date unknown, bought up a fifty acre block in the same area between the Glebe lands and Thosby’s. After fifteen years things were not going so well and he became insolvent in 1869, with the Australian Joint Stock Bank seizing the smaller acreage and selling up Mount Pleasant for half its value. However, the Inn remained, as John Jenkins was still the actual owner, a proposed sale (providentally for William) not having been completed. By 1875 he had recovered sufficiently to buy the thirtythree Boon acres from his mother it was a long term arrangement, the terms being an annuity for life for Sarah which then passed to his half brother, Thomas Boon, at Gundagai. He also owned ‘Barmedman’ station on the Lachlan. River. He then, at long last, acquired the elusive Inn. John Jenkins had conveyed it to his son John Francis in 1875 and he in turn, conveyed it back to his Uncle William in 1877.

The last mention of William in Campbelltown is a Directory listing for 18812, his residence being ‘Borobine House’ a fine name for an old Inn. He sold it in 1884 to Hon. John Davis C. M. C. The house and the old ‘Plough Inn’ beside it still stand, and carry a National Trust listing. The house is presently named ‘Holly Lea’ and is in use as a private residence.

William died in 1885 at the residence of his son, George Robert, in Marrickville.

The fourth child of William and Sarah Ray was John Ray, born in 1817 at Campbelitown. Not a great deal is known about him. In 1842 he married Hannah Higgins of Rosemont Farm, Campbelltown, at St. John’s Church. It would appear most of their children were born in the Riverina. In 1854 John negotiated the purchase of land (about twelve hundred acres in all) from the Antills, and in 1856 he bought more land from Welsh and Thacker at Picton. As well, in 1854, he bought his brother William’s farm at Campbelltown. He later acquired a hotel (Ray’s Picton Inn) and in 1858 a butchering business this latter purchase being a fairly common practice with stockholders near towns. John died an untimely death from consumption in 1859, leaving Hannah with eight children under sixteen years of age and a commensurate amount of property with which to cope.

The eldest son Robert, inherited an entailed five hundred acres but, after gaining experience on relatives’ properties, ventured north to Queensland where he took up Cardowan Station, a cattle property about sixty miles south of Mackay, first in partnership with one of the Hayes of Gundagai and then as sole owner. He was an expert cattleman and a fine judge of horses (a silver tea and coffee service testifies to this). He married his first cousin Maria Jenkins of ‘Nangus’, Gundagai in 1869 and they travelled to Queensland by horse and buggy despite the existence, by that time, of a more comfortable steamer service. The St. Lawrence area was wild country but in spite of several threatening encounters with Myall blacks his relationship with the local aborigines always remained friendly perhaps they thought more kindly of him when he rescued a little black girl suffering from a badly broken leg. Robert died in 1898 (buried in what is now the front lawn of the new homestead) leaving the property entailed to his eldest son, Waiter, who promptly sold it to John Shannon of neighbouring Saltbrush Park. He then bought ‘Mulambin’, near Yeppoon which is still owned by his children. He disposed of his father’s five hundred acres in Picton in 1903.

Of Robert’s other children:

Francis Robert, after working on various cattle runs in Western Queensland, bought a pineapple farm, also at Yeppoon and, in turn, his son, jack, became a cane farmer near Mackay. The second son, having suffered sunstroke, remained with his father;

Sydney also worked with cattle out west both before and after his stint in the Great War and was, at one time, contract mailman on the Mackay Clermont route. He died, unmarried, in 1935 of cancer thought to be a result of his war service in France;

Arnold gravitated to Cunnamulla where he owned the openair cinema and the Blue Bird Cafe. Nothing is known of his two sons;

Eleanor and May, educated at St. Paul’s School, Rockhampton, came to Sydney and took up nursing, training at the Women’s Hospital, Crown Street, In 1929 Eleanor was married to Martin Rowland Shannon, Olive Downs, Nebo, Queensland. He was a barristeratlaw, being the second son of the same John Shannon who had purchased Cardowan Station thirtyfour years earlier. Amy died, unmarried, in Salzburg, Austria, in 1962 whilst travelling to Switzerland.

The second son of John Ray and Hannah Higgins was another John Ray. He inherited three hundred acres (part of ‘Wellington Park’, so named by the original grantee. Dr. Elyard, who had served with the Duke of Wellington during the Napoleonic Wars). Hecarried on farming and the butchering business for a few years and then moved to the Murrumbidgee where he took up part of ‘Arajoel’ on Old Man’s Creek, east of Narrandera. He married Annie Toland, daughter of Scottish settlers, in 1865 and several of his family of fourteen were born there. Next, date and reason unkown (the drought of 1869 perhaps), he left this property and took up farming in the vicinity of Junee. Again on an unspecified date (though probably in the 1870’s as a road building program had been initiated in 1869 by the Commissioner for Roads at a rate of fifty pounds per mile) John contracted to build a stretch of road near Picton. His dutiful wife accompanied him in a tent home. The placement of this tent became a matter of care after once being pitched, on apparently sound ground, only to have the horsehair sofa subside suddenly into a defunct rabbit warren. Bushrangers were also a hazard, and John arrived home one night just in time to retrieve the spare horse team from their rapacity Annie’s caution kept their money in a calico bag inside her corsets.

In 1907 John suffered a heart attack while out shooting on ‘Wantabadgery’ and his body was railed to Picton for burial.

George, the third son, who was nine years old when his father died, does not appear to have had the urge to go bush” but remained with Hannah, occupied in the running of ‘Ray’s Picton Inn’ from 1867 to 1877 he is Directory listed as coowner and then sole proprietor but it was, in fact, a family trust and his mother’s means of livelihood. In 1877 the Inn was disposed of to the Commercial Bank (thereafter becoming the Commercial Hotel) and George thenceforward devoted himself completely to farming at ‘Wellington Park’, (his inherited portion being four hundred acres). In the ensuing years he built up a prosperous dairying business and bred one of the finest Guernsey herds in the state.

In 1822 he married Amy Hilder and from this marriage stemmed the Ray Bros. (George, John and Thomas) breeders of blueribbon dairy cattle. On Amy’s death his unmarried sister Caroline took charge of house and children until he remarried. ‘Wellington Park’ is still run by the family and it was here that was housed the earliest known authenticated picture of any of Mary Wade’s children an oil painting of Sarah.

Daniel, the youngest son, despite openings offering into the hotel business and the land, joined the railways Picton in the 186070’s was the centre of the new Southern line and, no doubt, the new technology was more attractive than the traditional occupations. Even so he loved the land and frequently visited his relatives thereon for the shooting he had become a crack shot and often joined exhibitions of trap shooting, live birds, not clay pigeons, being in the trap. Daniel owned an extremely fine Cashmore gun which is now in the possession of a great grandson. Another sport in which he excelled was cricket and he played for the Picton Cricket Club for many years, being a fine batsman. His nature was affectionate and gentle and he enjoyed taking his grandchildren and nephews around with him in his various pursuits.

He married Sarah Reid, daughter of an Irish family of Menangle. They had five children and in his retirement lived in Picton Cottage, Regent Street, Summer Hill, where he died in 1932.

Maria, the youngest but the most long lived of the Ray children, was brought up in the Boon household, the increasing prosperity of which probably enabled her to go to the Rev. Reddall’s parochial school for she signed the register in a fair hand on her marriage day. She was a woman of great strength, both of body and character, for she bore twelve children, mostly in primitive conditions, raising ten to adulthood and was respected for her commanding personality being, as it was, leavened by religious tolerance and a generous charity. It is to be hoped she also had a sense of humour.

in 1841, in St. Peter’s Campbelitown, Maria was married to John Jenkins (who had arrived free aboard the Grenada in 1826) who, with his brother Francis, had taken up the runs of ‘Buckingbong’ and ‘Gillenbah’ near Narrandera on the Murrumbidgee, in 1832. Family history has it that she rode the entire distance to her new home, thus escaping the weary jolting of a dray. The Jenkinses survived the drought and depression of the 1840’s to make a fortune running sheep and cattle to feed the hungry Victorian goldfields of the fifties. This was the period that saw the rise of the bushranger and one story tells of Maria sewing sovereigns into her little daughter’s petticoats in case of a holdup. As she made regular trips to Campbelltown, it must have been a most necessary precaution.

In the mid1850’s John purchased ‘Nangus’ at Gundagai (a property of fiftyseven thousand acres) from William and Hannibal Macarthur and built an imposing house of Georgian design in which to house their large family. The next forty years were prosperous ones. Whilst John interested himself in flour milling, the steamer trade and winemaking besides his pastoral activities, Maria saw to the laying out and cultivation of a fine garden and to the education of her children, several of whom had outstanding musical ability. Tutors and governesses were not wanting, nor was she behind in the new technology in a time when all clothes were laboriously handsewn she boasted the ownership of the first sewing machine on the River.

Meanwhile the children began to marry:

John Francis to Kate Fennel] of Wagga Wagga, daughter of an Irish political exile, settled on Wonbobby, Tumbalong;

Charlotte to (1) William Hayes, also an Irishman, member of the Wagga Wagga flour milling family and (2) to Hamilton Stanley;

William Henry to Amelia Rudd, cousin, settling on ‘Billabong’, next to ‘Nangus’;

Maria to Robert Ray, cousin, settling on ‘Cardowan’ near Mackay, Queensland;

Sarah to Daniel Fennel], brother to Kate, farmer, stock and station agent and horseman “extraordinaire;

Frank to Sophia Cazelly;

Eliza to George Mair, a farmer and auctioneer; and

Mary Jane (Minnie) to Andrew Steel Beveridge, son of Scottish settlers, sheep farmer on ‘Mullah’, Trangie.

The Australian Joint Stock Bank failure of the 1890’s caught John and they retired to ‘Buckingbong’, where he died at the turn of the century. Maria, after her brother-inlaw’s death and the sale of ‘Buckingbong’, went to live with her youngest daughter, Mrs. Steel Beveridge, in her new Sydney home ‘Blairgowrie’, Epping, and there she died, almost one hundred and two years of age. It is amazing to reflect that she lived from a time when there was barely a plough in the colony to times when aeroplanes and motor cars were almost commonplace and Australian women had the vote, of which latter right she was very proud it is tragic to know she wrote her memoirs and they were destroyed by fire.

The information on Sarah’s Boon children is, at present, very limited.

Nathaniel Jnr., shortly after his father’s death, and perhaps influenced by his half-brother John Ray and also his halfsister Maria’s connection with the Jenkinses, joined the prevailing drift to the Riverina. He was on land at Old Man creek near Narrandera in the 1850’s at the time of his marriage to Harriet Woodbridge. His first child was born there, but shortly afterwards he moved east, and was farming at ‘Nangus’. He then went to Adelong where, in 1860, he applied for the licence of the Traveller’s Rest Hotel. Two children were born here and the next on Big Ben Creek where it is thought he had a property which was left to the management of his sons when he retired to Gundagai.

Margaret married William Franklin of Campbelltown and they also went south to the Gundagai area her six children having been born at Adelong.

Thomas was also in the Gundagai area but also elsewhere.

The triplets settled in Wagga Wagga and were mostly engaged in the hotel trade. Few details are available for Nicholas. He lived and worked in Wagga with Edward Angel at one time, but died elsewhere. No record of a marriage has been found.

Jonathan held licences at different times for several hotels four in Wagga and one in Albury. In 1857 he advertised in the Yass Courier that he was taking over the Commercial Hotel, Wagga Wagga, and in 1858 he applied for the licence of an Inn in Gurwood Street of that town.

James too was in the hotel business in Wagga but sold out and it is believed he went to Bathurst. James and Daniel are both mentioned in Dame Mary Gilmore’s memoirs as being very fine men. She also quoted the rumour of a family connection to the American, Daniel Boone, but so far there is no evidence to support this claim.

Daniel also was in the hotel business. He held the licences at different times for The Black Swan, The Victorian and the Horn ~ Hotels. Daniel Boon’s death, or rather execution, must have been a frightful blow to what had become a very respected family. He had inherited the Boon Inn and farm at Campbelitown ` but had sold them to his mother, Sarah, before marrying Rebecca Watson Shannon, the daughter of a publican at Cooma. The couple moved to Wagga where he acquired a hotel and several blocks of town land. It was a dispute over one of these blocks which ruined his life. The leaseholder, a blacksmith, had not paid his rent for several years, and owed twenty pounds. On 10th January, 1876, after brooding for several hours, and in a mood not improved by the intake of alcohol, he took his gun and inadvisedly discharged it after an argument, into the body of the offending blacksmith. Reports vary, but the gist of Daniel’s subsequent remarks may be summed up asI have ruined my family, and my life.He was tried and found guilty. As witness to the very high regard for him held by the townspeople a petition for clemency was circulated and presented but to no avail, and he was hanged for murder in 1876.

And so ends a brief history of the family of a convict’s child, born on Norfolk Island, who probably began her working life as one of the children set to pick marauding grubs off vegetables in the Norfolk Island gardens. Respectable and respected, hardworking and honest, lucky and unlucky they were our pioneering ancestors.