Search This Blog


Monday, June 30, 2014


Empire, Sydney, Monday 17 April 1865
(Before the Water Police Magistrate.)
Jane Wilkinson, aged 29, described as a domestic servant, was brought up for protection. From the evidence it appeared that the prisoner, on Thursday night last, threw herself into the water from the pier near the battery at Fort Macquarie and but for the timely aid of Edmund Mawbey, ship's corporal, of H.M.S. Curacoa, she  would inevitably have lost her life. The woman had been carried into the stream fully thirty yards when Mawbey plunged in to her rescue. She was slightly under the influence of liquor when she was given into custody. The Water Police Magistrate complimented Mawbey for his gallant conduct. The prisoner was remanded for a week for medical treatment.
Seven months later, in November 1865, Edmund Mawbey was in Darlinghurst Gaol.


A very interesting story has developed as a result of now being able to link two Mawbeys who have been dealt with separately on this blog.
They are John Evan Mawbey and Ann Clifford (nee Mawbey) who came to Australia as a couple in 1857.
According to a small piece in The Sydney Morning Herald of 13 August 1859, the former (known as 'Evan') had died at Parramatta River the previous month.
It claimed he had been a compositor, formerly of the Times office, London, and was aged 42.
There were several settlements along the Parramatta River, and one of them was Tarban Creek, near today's Gladesville.
It was the site of Sydney's lunatic asylum.
That was where Evan Mawbey [Mowberry] died, as a 'lunatic',on 21 July 1859.
Some four years later, in September 1862 (two months before my GG grandfather, George Mawbey died in Sydney), a widow, Ann Mawbey, remarried at Camden, south of Sydney.
At the time she was the housekeeper at the country estate of Charles Cowper, a son of Rev William Cowper, and several times premier of New South Wales.
The name of the estate was Wivenhoe.
Evan and Ann Mawbey had arrived together in Sydney from London on the Alnwick Castle on 12 January 1857.
At first, I could not find a death record for John Evan, nor a coroner's report, which seemed strange.
Then around midnight a couple of weeks ago, I did a BDM search, typing in just the word 'Evan' and his year of death.
Lo and behold his entry appeared, as 'Evan Mowbery' with his surname misspelt.
Meantime, I had joined forces with another member of the Mawbey family in Canberra, part of Evan's wider family, and she obtained his death certificate.
Lo and behold yet another surprise!
That he had died in a lunatic asylum.
His death death certificate gave his age as 30, but he was older, around 35.
Evan Mawbey came from a family of males who worked in various capacities at The Times.
So far my GGG does not appear to have any direct connection with this branch of the family.
Three generations of its males emigrated to Australia. 

Sunday, June 15, 2014


Two brothers from Crick, Northamptonshire, England, Walter Gilbert (1884-1945) and Charles A Mawbey, were living at Hurstville, Sydney in 1945.
on 27 February that year, Walter died at age 61, a machinist and invalid pensioner.
He appears to have arrived in Melbourne on the Miltiades on 26 June 1909 aged 26.
His parents were George Mawbey, wheelwright, and Ellen Mawse.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


I am currently posting new information about different branches of the Mawbey family in England on my subpost, MFA-English Roots (see link right side bar).

Thursday, March 20, 2014


Last night I attended a free two-hour workshop by family historian and author of popular histories, Carol Baxter, on how to write interesting family histories.
I was pleased to learn that I had already incorporated one of her techniques, placing my ancestors in their social, political and economic historical context.
The highlight for me was winning the door prize, a copy of her book, Writing Interesting Family Histories.

Friday, January 17, 2014


As the new  year begins, I can see my finished Mawbey family history book looming over the horizon.
When I thought I had finished it some six months ago, I was really just at the beginning of the next stage of the research process.
This second stage, linking my first paternal ancestor, George Mawbey, with other people and events, has proved a most fascinating and rewarding exercise.
After finding all the surface 'gold', nuggets of information, I'm finding much more buried beneath the surface.
It's taken almost 50 years for me to appreciate having studied Archaeology as an undergraduate, and the understanding this gave me of the importance of the need to dig deeper.
I still have more digging to do, but I know where to look now and just have to keep shovelling.
As Steve Jobs, founder of Apple computers, so rightly said: 'The journey is the reward.'

Saturday, August 31, 2013


Here are my 15 most popular posts on this blog, each with over 100 hits, and the number of times each has been viewed.
The Mawbey Family Australia blog began just after Australia Day in January 2010.
The Mawbey massacre 598
The Mawbey children 389
Mawbey court cases 360
Thomas Keneally & Jimmie Blacksmith aka Jimmy Governor 287
Australian Royalty Genealogy Website 260
Mrs Sarah Mawbey 187
Sarah and John Thomas Mawbey 162
Mawbey/Mawby convicts 138
George Mawbey III - Breelong survivor 130
My Mawbey great grandparents 127
Convict ancestry plot thickens 124
Painting of first St Philip's church 122
Mawbey military service 120
My first convict 116
Online passenger lists of free settlers 106