This is a national family history of the first MAWBEY families in Australia. It also includes people whose surnames are pronounced the same but spelt differently who may or may not be actual relatives. The most common spelling variant is 'Mawby'. This is a wide-reaching, ongoing research project, a 'work in progress', by Pamela Mawbey, a great great granddaughter of George Mawbey, the English forebear of the NSW Mawbeys.
Today Saturday 26 January Australia's national day,Australia Day, is celebrated.
Our history is summed up in a song called I am Australian and this version is on You Tube.
Click on the link to listen and enjoy!
There is an advertisement in Australia's first newspaper,The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, Wednesday 11 October 1826 for 'Mawbey Spruce and Lemon Beer'.
According to Wikipedia, spruce beer, as the name suggests, is made from spruce trees and is not alcoholic.
It's a soft drink like ginger beer and was thought to be healthy, providing Vitamin C.
Captain Cook brewed it in New Zealand in 1773 to protect his crew from scurvey, a condition resulting from lack of vitamin C.
I have decided to write a book about the first two generations of the NSW Mawbeys containing new information not published on this blog.
Here is a summary of the story so far.
George Mawbey, the forbear of NSW Mawbey family arrived in the colony of New South Wales c.1832.
His first appearance on the public record is as an actor/singer in newspaper advertisements for performances at Sydney's first professional theatre, the Theatre Royal.
The next is as a witness in support of his former employer at a case in the Supreme Court of Sydney.
Prior to his actual testimony, he had a letter to the editor of the Australian newspaper published about the matter.
After leaving this employer, an ex-convict wealthy ironmonger, for whom he had worked as a clerk prior to the trial, George Mawbey had set up his own business as a tin man.
He then obtained a publican's licence which he held for a year, and married Ann Williams at St Phillip's Church of England in Sydney.
His next career move was to go to the newly established province of South Australia and set up a Refreshment Rooms business in the heart of the main town of Adelaide.
After about a year, he and his wife moved back to Sydney.
George then appears to have taken a job as a clerk for a bookseller, and to have started a family.
After his two eldest sons died at a young age, he moved his family about 50 km north-west of Sydney to the farming and orcharding district of Dural.
There he worked as the schoolmaster in the local Church of England diocesan school for around eight years.
Four of his children were baptised in the neighbouring St Jude's Church of England.
George Mawbey, his wife and their seven surviving children then moved back to Sydney.
His last child was born three months before he died of a stroke in November 1862.
George's widow was left to raise eight children, the eldest being 17.
She lived in various places in Newtown, now an inner suburb of Sydney, and at one stage appears to have had a fruit shop in the main street there.
Her eldest surviving son, John Thomas, also had a fruit shop, in Mudgee where his wife's family lived.
Her eldest surviving daughter, Alice, married a young London-born fruiterer.
Only four of George and Ann Mawbey's children had children of their own.
The NSW Mawbey's extended family will be the subject of my book.
The greatest insight I have had as a result of doing this family history blog is the need to pray for the souls of my ancestors.
As a Catholic, I have understood this in a general sense, but not in the particular one in regard to my own family.
This insight came to me a couple of months ago when I attended a Catholic prayer weekend about healing your family tree.
We were told to write down all the names of our departed relatives for whom we wished to pray, and then these pieces of paper were placed in a basket beneath the altar before Mass.
When the consecration of the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ took place, I was suddenly overcome by deep, gut-wrenching grief.
I began crying unconsolably without knowing why.
Then I was given to understand that most of the souls I was praying for had never had anyone to pray for them.
Once they had died, they had been forgotten.
One of the people I prayed for, a woman, was from the early convict era of the penal colony of New South Wales.
I was so moved by what happened - it was as if the lights had suddenly been turned on in my heart and head - that I have vowed to keep praying for my ancestors.
I have written all their names down in a small leather-covered notebook with a cross and the words 'Pray for Souls' written on the front.
At each Mass I attend I open it at a particular page and, at the consecration, pray for the names written there.
When I did that this morning, I was close to tears again.
Very few of my Mawbey ancestors were Catholics as far as I am aware.
They were mainly of the Church of England or Wesleyan Methodists.
My father's mother, Mary Edwards, was a Catholic and so were all the children she had with John Mawbey (2), the eldest son of Sarah Mawbey, murdered by Jimmy Governor.
I have just discovered another AnnieMawbey who was living in NSW in 1862, the same year as the forbear of the NSW Mawbeys, George Mawbey, whose wife was Ann, died.
In September that year she was the housekeeper at Wivenhoe, an estate near Camden owned by a five-time premier of NSW, Sir Charles Cowper.
At that time she also married Wivenhoe's carpenter, Norman George De Vere Clifford.
The ceremony took place in the home of a minister in Camden under the Primitive Methodist rite.
Annie was a widow and Norman a widower.
Shortly afterwards they appear to have moved to Binalong near Yass where a daughter, Adah, was born in 1863 and a son, Charles, the following year.
The land on which Wivenhoe stood was originally granted to Charles's father, Reverend WilliamCowper. It was he who had married George Mawbey and Ann Williams at St Phillips Church of England, Sydney, in July 1838.
Governor Lachlan Macquarie had granted Rev Cowper 600 acres near Camden on 23 August 1812.
In 1836, his third son Charles began building a house there named Wivenhoe after the village in Essex, England where he wife Eliza Sutton had come from.
The house, along with its vineyard that produced celebrated wines, was placed on the market in 1866.
* Wivenhoe, which is now owned by the Catholic Church, is open on the first Sunday of each month, except January, with guided tours from 10am-3pm.
The 200th anniversary of the land grant was celebrated on 23 August 2012 and a memorial plaque placed inside the house.