It is still a beautiful part of the world today.
I know because I once lived in the Hawkesbury district and used to love driving along the picturesque Castlereagh Road between the townships of Richmond and Penrith, passing through the tiny township of Castlereagh on the way.
To the west are the foothills of the Blue Mountains and at their base, the Nepean River.
The small township of Castlereagh along with Richmond,Windsor, Wilberforce and Pitt Town are known collectively as 'the Macquarie towns' because they were planned by Governor Lachlan Macquarie in the early 1800s.
All were prone to flooding, resulting in loss of life, and the governor wanted to ameliorate this.
The floods also dumped rich alluvial soil making the area a very suitable for farming.
It became the food bowl for Old Sydney Town after farming there and at Parramatta was not very productive because of poor soils.
Sarah's parents were ROBERT CLARK(E) and ELIZABETH SMITH.
They arrived in the colony of New South Wales from Norfolk on a ship called the Asiatic on 23 May 1855, travelling with their three daughters and son James.
I do not have any information about the origins of Sarah's father at this stage.
However I do know that his death was by drowning in a creek on the property called Breelong (near Gilgandra, NSW) where Sarah lived with her husband and family.
I gleaned this snippet of information from a newspaper story written at the time Sarah and three of her children were brutally murdered by two Aboriginal men in July 1900.
Her mother's father, Arthur Samuel SMITH, died at Castlereagh.
Sarah's mother, Elizabeth SMITH, was born at Wickhampton, Norfolk in 1837 and died in 1882 at Mudgee.
Sarah and her husband John MAWBEY moved to Breelong the following year.
Perhaps her widowed father was living with her when he died.
Thanks to a distant relative, Gordon, who lives in Rosebud, Victoria and who contacted me last year when he was doing his own family history, I do have information about Sarah's mother's parents.
They were Arthur Samuel SMITH and Charlotte NEWSON.
Arthur was born 1807 at Cantly, Norfolk, England, married Charlotte in 1834 at Wickhampton, Norfolk, and died at Castlereagh on 28 January 1891.
Charlotte was born in 1814 at Wickhampton to James and Elizabeth NEWSON.
On Sarah's birth certificate, her family name is spelt without the 'e', but it is spelt with it on her marriage certificate.
She was bashed on the head with a tomahawk and survived, but was deaf for the rest of her life as a result.
The Sydney Morning Herald Monday 23 July 1900