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Saturday, December 31, 2011

This wonderful old photograph is of Central Railway Station in Sydney, in the distance with clock tower, showing railway tracks in the foreground still in the process of construction.
The station was built over land that was previously Devonshire Street Cemetery, Sydney's second public burial ground.
It was opened on 26 September 1855.
This photograph comes from Wikipedia's Central Railway Station, Sydney website.
According to Wikipedia, there was a Gipps Street running behind the station which may have been where George Mawbey II was living in 1893.



Ann Mawbey (nee Williams), wife of George Mawbey I, became a widow at age 43 at the end of November 1862.
She and her young family subsequently lived at several different addresses in Newtown, then a poor part of Sydney that is now trendy and gentrified:
1864 - Egan Street, Newtown (Sands Directory) see Google Maps Egan Street, Newtown
1871 - O'Connell Street, Newtown (funeral notice son James August 1871) see Google Maps O'Connell Street, Newtown
1880 - Albermarle Street, Kingstown (funeral notice daughter Grace January 1880) see Google Maps Albermarle Street, Kingston (now Newtown)
Each of these streets was a couple of blocks away from Camperdown Cemetery, where George Mawbey was buried.
Kingston was one of three wards created by the Municipality of Newtown in December 1862.
The other two were O'Connell and Enmore.


George Mawbey(2) and Nellie Smith were both living at Marrickville, now an inner western suburb of Sydney, when they were married there in 1885.
Their first child, Ina, died and their second, Elizabeth, was born the following year, 1886, the latter at the central western country town of Orange.
Their next four children - George(3) b.1887, Violet Ethel, b.1889, Linda, b.1892 and Daphne Hilda, b.1897 - were born in Sydney, and their last, Norman, in 1901, at Adamstown in Newcastle, a large town north of Sydney.
From 1887-1890, when George and Violet were born, George Mawbey(2), was living at 261 Palmer Street, East Sydney, near the corner of Burton Street.
It was a block away from Darlinghurst Gaol.
Being so close to the gaol was not a desirable place to live, particularly when public hangings were still taking place outside its main entrance, so rents were probably cheap.
In January 1901, George Mawbey II attended the hanging of part-Aboriginal man, Jimmy Governor, at the gaol, representing the Mawbey family, four of whom who had been his murder victims. [See Google Maps Palmer Street, East Sydney.]

261 Palmer Street, East Sydney
This photograph (C) Pamela Mawbey 2011
Please acknowledge my copyright if reproduce.

In late 1890, George Mawbey II moved to 35 Ann Street, Surry Hills, on the other side of the main road, Oxford Street.
This house is no longer standing, but the one beside it consists of two two-storey semi-detached terraces.
Houses on the other side of the road are attached single storey working men's houses.
The house where George Mawbey II and his family lived in Ann Street was a block away from turn of the century Sydney's worst slum, Frog Hollow, on Riley Street, Surry Hills.
A good summary of what the area was like can be seen by clicking on Tour of Gangland Sydney
[See also Google Maps Ann Street, Surry Hills, Sydney
In the 1893 Sands Directory, George Mawbey II is listed as a 'van proprietor' living at 93 Gipps Street.
This street no longer exits, but appears to have run behind Central Railway Station, near where Eddy Avenue is now.
It was named after a former Governor of New South Wales.

In 1894, George is back at 35 Ann Street, Surry Hills where he stayed until 1912. Daphne was born while the family were living there.
In 1913-14 he was living at Villiers Street, Kensington, in a street that is now about a block away from Randwick Racecourse, Sydney's most prestigious racetrack.
See Google Maps Villiers Street, Kensington, Sydney
In 1919, George(2)'s youngest son, Norman, was an apprentice to a Rosehill horse trainer.
His interest in horse racing may have been whetted by growing up near Randwick racecourse, his family having moved there when he was around 12.


This family history, begun two years ago in January 2010, has become a 'gynormous' jigsaw puzzle with lots of missing pieces.
I use the word 'gynormous', even though it is not in my 1997 edition of The Macquarie Dictionary, because it is bigger than 'enormous' which this word implies.
With the information I have already gathered, I could be quite easily making six posts a day on any or all of my eight Mawbey Family Australia family history blogs.
And I still feel that I've barely scratched the surface!
But I know I've gone beyond merely paddling in the shallows and am now swimming out into the deeper water of the open sea.
It has required both persistence and faith that I will find what I am looking for.
I've set myself a huge task, doing a family history for the whole of Australia, not just that of my own branch of the family.
It has broadened my horzions and made my life much more meaningful by contributing to world knowledge.
I wish all my readers throughout the world lots of encouragement with their family history research in the coming New Year, 2012.


George I and Ann Mawbey's first two children. David and Alfred, died in 1848 aged 5 and 6 respectively.
Alfred died first on 29 August 1848 and was buried on 31 August.
David died on 10 October 1848 and was buried on the same day.
David's death was registered at St James Church of England, Sydney, and Alfred's at St Lawrence Church of England, Sydney.
Where they were buried is unknown.
I have been told by a St James archivist that the church did not have a burial ground at that time.
Also that a funeral service was not held in a church in those days, the minister going to the grieving family's house to pray over the deceased instead.
The two boys were not buried in the Devonshire Street cemetery, according to a book that records all the burials there.
[Sydney Burial Ground 1819-1901 [Elizabeth and Devonshire Streets] and History of Sydney's Early Cemeteries from 1788 (2001) by Keith A Johnson and Malcolm R Sainty, published by the Library of Australian History, Sydney]
Nor are they buried at Balmain Cemetery with their older siblings, James and Grace.
I have concluded that two Mawbey boys must have been buried in the Devonshire Street Cemetery, and that their records have been lost.
They were buried in the same cemetery as the mysterious Sarah Barckley Mawbey who was buried in April 1848.


John Thomas Mawbey, eldest surviving son of George I, rented a store in Mudgee from 1878-1880.
In February 2011, I was given this information by the Mudgee Historical Society, gleaned from the Cudgegong rate books 1860-1905.
There the store was described as a 'wood shop', in other words, made of wood.
But yesterday in the Mitchell Library I saw in an amazing book, Wright's Australian and American commercial directory and gazeteer (New York, 1881), that J. Mawbey was listed as a 'fruiterer' in Mudgee.
This lent further support to an idea that was simmering in my brain after obtaining more information about Dural from Roughley family history books in the library.
When the Mawbey family lived there, from around 1849-58, based on baptisms that took place at St Jude's, possibly until 1860, it was an orchard area.
This means there would have been plenty of work available picking fruit.
Several of these orchardists are listed in Wright's 1881 directory as 'fruit growers' - William Williams, James Roughley and W Hunt.
William Ephriam Williams was the youngest child of Thomas Williams II and Charlotte (nee Kentwell), born at Dural on 16 June 1846.
John Thomas Mawbey was born three years later in 1849.
I am wondering if the two boys were childhood friends, and that in adulthood, John Thomas was selling William's fruit in his store at Mudgee.
Another possible connection is that a W. Williams was at the hanging of Jimmy Governor at Darlinghurst Gaol in January 1901.
Perhaps John Thomas's childhood friend was there on his behalf because it was too painful for him to attend himself.
John Thomas's younger brother, George Mawbey II, was there too.
He was nine years younger than his brother, and 12 years younger than William Williams who died in 1919.
John Thomas was 9 or 10 when his family left Dural, a couple of years before his father, George I, died at Newtown on 30 November 1862 aged 53.
George I had been a witness at the wedding of William Williams's older sister, Mary, to Henry Black at Dural on 19 February 1856.


Yesterday when I was at the Mitchell Library in Sydney, a repository of material about Australia's early history, I looked at microfiche of records of burials at Camperdown Cemetery.
I was searching for the name of my great great grandfather, George Mawbey, but he was not there!
Then I saw that the list compiled by the Society of Australian Genealogists (SAG) was of inscriptions taken from monuments.
The ommission of George Mawbey suggests either that his monument was missing or unreadable when the transcriptions were done, or that his family was too poor to afford a monument for him.
When he died, his wife Ann, 43, had eight children to care for on her own.
The eldest, Alice, was 17 followed by Ann Jane, 15, John Thomas, 13, James, 11, Grace, 9, Elizabeth, 7, George, 4, and baby Mary, just months old.
How on earth did they manage?
I have just found some interesting information in Wikipedia webpage on Newtown.
It says that of the 15,000 burials in Camperdown Cemetery, approximatelyt half were paupers in unmarked graves, and often communal graves in cases of epidemics like measles.
Perhaps my great great grandfather died a pauper!
His occupation on his death certificate is 'dealer', a buyer and seller of goods.


Yesterday, while doing some research at the Mitchell Library in Sydney about Dural where my Mawbey ancestors once lived, I came across some more 'McCulloch's.
Percy Vernon McCulloch, who on 28-3-1887 sold two lots of land in Dural to James Roughley II;
Ella McCulloch, who was the second wife of Percy Wilfred Roughley (b.1890).
The Roughley's were a large and established family in the district who had farms and orchards.
They were predominantly Methodist, but some were Church of England.
The family forebears were two male convicts, Joseph and his second son James I, weavers, convicted of stealing cloth, convicted at Lancaster Quarter Sessions on 10 April 1817 and arriving in Sydney on 14 October 1818.
Lawrence Mawby married Ann McCulloch in Sydney in 1847 before moving to Queensland

Friday, December 30, 2011


Lawrence Mawby (aka Mawbey) arrived in the colony of New South Wales from London on the Walmer Castle on 23 December 1846.
He was travelling with a Mr J Mawby.
According to NSW State Records, they came as 'unassisted arrivals', i.e they paid their own way.
In 1847, he married Ann McCulloch at St James Church of England, Sydney.
In September 1847 he was running a Livery Commission Stables in Pitt Street, Sydney near today's Park Street and the Sydney Town Hall.

The Sydney Morning Herald, Tuesday 7 September 1847
LAWRENCE MAWBY, late of Darlinghurst, begs most respectfully to inform his friends, the public, and gentlemen visiting Sydney that he has taken those capacious and convenient premises lately occupied by Mr. Mark Dixon, as Livery Stables, and opened the same as Livery and Bait Stables, upon the same principal as "Elmore's, of the Edgeware Road, London," and in soliciting the patronage of gentlemen, he begs to assure them that the most guarded and careful attention will be paid to all horses standing at livery as well as bait. The terms will be found to be most reasonable upon trial.
N.B.-Saddle horses ; gigs, to be let on hire ; horses broken in, to single and double harness, &c, &c. 3852 [Source:]
The Sydney Morning Herald, Thursday 6 January 1848
FOR SALE; a handsome light Carriage, adapted for one or two horses ; also, a set of splendid double Harness, all nearly new. It will be sold quite a bargain, the present owner having no further use for it. Apply to Mawby 's Livery Stables. Pitt street. 316 [Source:]
On 19 February 1848, he was sequestered for insolvency.
At that time he was living in Pitt Street and was a horse dealer.
He and his wife then moved to Queensland [via New Zealand and England].
[For more about the Queensland Mawbys, click on the Mawbey Family Australia-Queensland link in the sidebar of this blog.]

Thursday, December 29, 2011


In September 1872, it was reported in a Sydney newspaper that a J Mawbey subscribed to the construction of St Stephens Church of England then underway on land formerly belonging to Camperdown Cemetery at Newtown.
George Mawbey, the forebear of the NSW Mawbeys, was buried there in 1862.
The Bishop of Sydney contributed sixty pounds (60.0.0).
J Mawbey gave five pounds (5.0.0).
George Mawbey's son, James, died in 1871 at age 19, so the subscriber must have been his older brother, John Thomas Mawbey, who was then 23.
He was only 13 when his father died.
The Sydney Morning Herald, 23 September 1872
The proprietors of the above Cemetery, on its being closed by Act of Parliament, made it over to the Bishop of Sydney as a site for a church for the parish of St. Stephen, Newtown, on the condition that tho parish should covenant to keep the ground in order, and preserve the graves and monuments from desecration.
This the parish has consented to, and the land has been transforred to trustees, who have commenced the erection of a church worthy of such a site; but as it is impossible to collect the necessary amount in the parish, and the friends of the dead interred therein have a great interest in maintaining the ground in good order, it baa been determined that an appeal shall be made to them for assistance in completing the undertaking.
A oomparatively small sum from each will accomplish the project.
The church is estimated to cost EIGHT THOUSAND POUNDS, half of which sum has already been promised ; and the walls of the edifice are now rising, and are well worth the inspection of all who are interested in the work.
Tbe members of the Church of England resident in the parish of St. Stephen are estimated at about 3000 souls.
They are for the most part of the labouring and poorer classes.
The present Church accommodation is of a temporary character, and is quite inefficient to meet the wants of the parishioners.
Hence a large number of the poorer members of tho Church, and the whole of the 600 Sunday-school children, are practically excluded from the Sunday services.
To supply this deficiency, a new and more commodious building is in process of erection in the "CAMPERDOWN CEMETERY," in which it has been determined that one-half of the sittings shall be FREE and UNAPPROPRIATED.
The walls are up 17 feet, and the Building Committee are anxious to proceed with the next contract, which is to complete the walls and put on the roof, but are hindered by want of funds ; they therefore appeal to their fellow-churchmen in tho colony, and ESPECIALLY TO THOSE WHO HAVE FRIENDS OR RELATIONS INTERRED WITHIN THE CAMPERDOWN CEMETERY, for assistance in carrying out this great work.
The following contributions have been already subscribed, and are gratefully acknowledged...
St Stephen's, 5th September 1872.

Monday, December 26, 2011


According to NSW State Records Depasturing Licences index, a Thomas Williams of Castle Hill was granted a licence on 14-1-1837 in the district of Yass.
Two years later, on 3-12-1839, a Thomas Williams of Castle Hill, Parramatta was granted a licence for land on the Lachlan River called 'Bogolong'.
On 2-9-1842, a Thomas Williams of Dooral (Dural) was granted another licence for 'Bogolong'.
His residence is given as 'Bogolong' in 1840, 1841, 1844 and 1845.


One of the intriguing things I've discovered researching family history is that information often comes obliquely, from an unexpected source.
This happened recently when I found a geanealogy webpage (Black & Williams Families Dural) about Mary Black (nee Williams) at whose wedding my great great grandfather, George Mawbey, was a witness while living at Dural.
George's wife and my great great grandmother was Ann Williams and I was wondering if there was a family connection between her and Mary.
So I contacted the author of the website - a great great grandaughter of Mary Black (nee Williams) -  and was told there was not.
I did learn, however, the names of Mary's parents - Thomas and Charlotte (nee Kentwell) - and that they had married at St John's Church of England at Parramatta in 1820.
Then I came across a digitalised newspaper advertisement from The Empire, Monday 2 April 1855 with a list of subscribers to the Patriotic Fund, set up to assist British widows and orphans of men fighting against Russia in the Crimean War.
The list contained many of the names I already knew:
  • Thomas Williams II, his wife and three daughters, including Mary.
  • Henry and John Black (Mary married the former and the latter was a witness at her wedding)
  • G (George) T and Charles Hunt (the former was a witness at the wedding and also Mary's brother-in-law having married to her older sister, Elizabeth, in 1842)
  • George Mawbey (a witness at the wedding)
  • Joseph and James Roughley, pioneers of the district
Thomas Williams II and his wife each contributed one pound one shilling (a guinea) and each of their three daughters, £0 2 6 (2s 6p).
George Mawbey's contribution was also £0 2 6 (2s.6p).
G T Hunt's was £2 2 0 (2 guineas).
Two of the contributors to the Patriotic Fund in the nearby district of Castle Hill were:
  • John Williams (eldest son of Thomas Williams II; b.1822)
  • John Kentwell (younger brother of Thomas Williams II's wife, Charlotte)
I am wondering if Thomas Williams I (b.1798) was Ann Williams' uncle, an older brother of her father, David.
And if this might be why the Mawbey's first child to be christened at Dural was named John Thomas.
Coincidentally, Mary and Henry Black's first child was also named John Thomas,  after Henry's father, John, and Mary's father, Thomas.
I'll see if I can track down David Williams and his parents on


I have just found the online index of burials at the old Balmain Cemetery in Sydney where my great great aunt, GRACE MAWBEY, was laid to rest at the tender age of 27.
Much to my surprise, her name has been misspelt as 'MORBEY'.
The Sydney Morning Herald, Tuesday 6 January 1880
The FRIENDS of Mrs Ann MAWBEY are respectfully invited to attend the funeral of her late beloved DAUGHTER, Grace, to move from her residence, Albermarle street, Kingston. THIS (Tuesday) AFTERNOON at 3 o'clock, for Balmain cemetery. CHARLES BOOTS, Undertaker, Hordern street, Newtown.

There is also a James 'MAWBEY' on the list, buried in 1871.
He was Grace's older brother, baptised at Dural, where the family was living then, in 1851.
Like his sister, he too died young at the age of 19.
The Sydney Morning Herald, Wednesday 6 September 1871
MAWBEY—August 4, at the residence of his mother, O'Connell-street, Newtown, James, fifth son of the late George Mawbey, aged 19 years.

The father of James and Grace, George Mawbey, died of apoplexy (stroke) in on 30 November 1862 at the age of 53.
He was buried in Camperdown Cemetery at what is today the inner city suburb of Newtown, Sydney.
I will go and have a look at the actual burials register at Leichhardt Municipal Library after the holiday period.
Balmain Cemetery was located in what is today the inner Sydney suburb Leichhardt.
However, the municipality would have been Balmain.
Today Balmain is another inner city suburb situated on a headland inside Sydney Harbour.
Balmain Cemetery was on the corner of Norton and William Streets, Leichhardt, and is now a public park.
Update 18-1-12
Today I discovered that my local library has microfiche for the Record of Internments at Balmain Cemetery.
The information I obtained from them will save me a trip to Leichhardt Library.
James was interred first, on 5 August 1871, in a 'selected grave', 3 x 7, No. 1530, undertaker Mr H Mitchell.
There is a number written in the 'remarks' column, cross-referencing to the grave of Grace who died nine years later in 1880.
Her grave, No. 5140, bore the same details as her brother's.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


In the 1840s when George Mawbey and his family lived at Dural, it was officially part the district of Parramatta and Windsor.
Newspaper reports in The Sydney Morning Herald describe it as a 'secluded' and 'long neglected' district.
Today it is quite a wealthy satellite suburb of Sydney with large homes built on acreage.
The Church of England had built a diocesan school there, and in 1843 its Master and Mistress were Mr and Mrs Stephens.
Their school was described in one newspaper article as 'a blessing to the wild and irreligious community by which their neighbourhood is surrounded'.

Monday, December 19, 2011


I want to start looking at William Mawbey who arrived as a convict in the penal colony of New South Wales in 1840.
This was the same year as George Mawbey and his wife Ann returned from Adelaide to Sydney.
I have been told by a Candy family historian that William was the older brother of Henry MAWBEY, the forebear of the 'Victorian Mawbeys'.
They had the same father, William, but different mothers, both with the same maiden name, Billing(s).
William's mother was Hannah and Henry's was Mary Billing(s).
Possibly the first wife, Hannah, died, and the widower William I then married her sister.
William II was tried in Surrey, the same English county George Mawbey is said to have come from (on his death certificate), and they were both around the same age.
I made this entry about him on my original Mawbey Family Australia blog under the heading MAWBEY/MAWBEY CONVICTS on 2-2-2010:
  • Convicted of stealing a cloak at Surrey Quarter Sessions;
  • sentenced for a term of seven years, the standard sentence for transportation;
  • left England 10 October 1839;
  • arrived in penal colony of New South Wales 1840;
  • one of 230 male convicts on board the ship Woodbridge.
  • born c.1808 in Surrey, England;
  • occupation butcher [same as his younger brother, Henry, who was living in Melbourne in 1840];
  • married,
  • Protestant,
  • 5 ft 6 1/4 inches tall.
  • No former convictions.[Source: State Library of Queensland, Convict Transportation Registeries Database]
On 4 May 1846 he was granted a Certificate of Freedom.[Source: NSW State Records Index to Certificates of Freedom]
The only record in the NSW Births Deaths and Marriages indexes that may pertain to him is the birth of a Mary A to William and Ann Mawby (not Mawbey) in 1847.
I did find a baptism for a Mary Ann Mawbey at St Philip's Church of England around this time, but have to find it again.

Update 28-1-12
Mary Ann, daughter of William and Ann Mawby, was christened at St Philip's Church of England on 21 February 1847.
There is no marriage registered for a William and Ann Mawbey at this time in the NSW Births Deaths and Marriages.
As he was already married when he was convicted in England before being transported, his wife may have come to the colony to be with him.
After the birth of their first child, the couple then moved to Melbourne to be with William's younger brother.
Sarah Barckley Mawbey who died 12-4-184(6) aged 8 months (b. September 1845) and was buried in the old Devonshire Street Cemetery may have been his child.

Sunday, October 30, 2011


The second time GEORGE MAWBEY appears in the annals of Australian history is as a witness in the perjury trial of his former employer, SAMUEL ONIONS.
ONIONS was an ironmonger who ran what sounds like a very profitable business in King Street in the heart of old Sydney Town.
George Mawbey was his clerk, the equivalent of a bookkeeper today, keeping track of his boss's stock and accounts.
According to the colony's first newspaper, the New South Wales Government Gazette, SAMUEL ONIONS was assigned over a dozen male convicts to work for him between 1833-36. [Source: FindMyPast]
All were labourers or tradesman except for one in-door servant.
There is no mention of a clerk.
According to George Mawbey's death certificate, he arrived in the colony in 1832.
This means he may have been among the first substantial wave of free settlers who came to the other side of the world to make a new life.
Alternatively, he may have arrived as a transported convict and then changed his name.
See: More on Samuel Onions page


I've just added a new page about the ex-convict in whose employ GEORGE MAWBEY was when he first appears on the Australian scene in 1836.This employer was SAMUEL ONIONS about whom there is a lot of information available.
What I have found so far demonstrates what a tough place Sydney was at that time.
Mr Onions was about to flog a young 14-year-old apprentice for insubordination when the boy retaliated and punched him in the shoulder.
This incident took place in King Street, now in the heart of the Sydney CBD, where Mr Onions had his ironmongering and blacksmithing business.
Wanting to get away from convicts may have been what prompted the newly married George Mawbey to go to South Australia.
This newly formed province did not take convicts from overseas, and even shipped its own local offenders to New South Wales when it was a penal colony.
There is a police record on the Find My Past website ( about GEORGE MAWBEY (Jnr) of Ann Street, Sydney reporting a horse belonging to him being stolen from Botany.
The incident, reported on 18 April 1890, concerned a bay mare with the brand SSW near its shoulder.
George ran his own business as a carter, using a horse and cart to carry goods, so without his horse, he was without any source of income.
The National Library of Australia has just published this digitalised newspaper article on its Trove website:
The Dubbo Liberal and Macquarie Advocate, Monday 31 December 1900, p.1
The Mawbey property.
An exchange states that Mr John Mawbey, whose home was the scene of the first tragedy by the Wollar blacks, has sold his selection at Breelong for 2300 pounds.
Soon after the tragedy Mr Mawbey expressed his determination to leave the scene of horror as soon as he was able to dispose of the property. [Source: nla 72492322]
At the time of the murders, in July 1900, the extent of John Mawbey's land holdings was 1500 acres.

Monday, October 17, 2011


Posted by Picasa
I saw these wild spring daisies growing near St Jude's at Dural and they somehow reminded me of my family. 
There is the close, core family group clustered in the centre with individuals and smaller groups branching off on their own.
Until I saw this 'imagery', I had been unable to come up with an image to put with the title and description of this blog.
So far my attempts to place it in the header so that it looks appealing have been unsuccessful. 
It will happen when the time is right.


George Mawbey is recorded as residing at Dural (aka 'Dooral') from 1849-1856 (no record for 1854) according to the New South Wales, Australia Returns of the Colony 1822-1857.
But his son, George Jnr, was baptised there in late 1860, suggesting he was there until then.
He then took his family to Mudgee in the central west of the state, possibly travelling by horse and cart along the Old Northern Road to Wiseman's Ferry. [31-12-11 - This may not be correct as he appears to have returned to Sydney to live in Newtown.]
From there they would have taken the punt (ferry) across the Hawkesbury River, and then the Great North Road to the Hunter Valley.
To put this in a wider context, 1861 was the year the American civil war began.
I am trying to confirm that George Snr was indeed a teacher at the Church of England denominational school at Dural.
This is thought to have been the case, and may have been recorded on one of the childrens' birth certificates.
While probably not a trained teacher, his big advantage was that he could read and write.
Before he married in Sydney in 1838, he was working as a clerk for former convict, Samuel Onions.
His signature on his marriage register at St Philip's Anglican Church in Sydney indicates he was an intelligent and educated man.
So does the letter he had published in The Australian newspaper in regard to a court case involving his former employer, Samuel Onions.
I will ask Anglican Church archives if they have any information.

I have been advised by the Anglican Church archives that they are too busy dealing with requests for historical information from within the church to assist family historians.


There is something very moving about entering a church, passing over the same threshhold, as your great great grandparents did, bringing their infant son, your great grandfather, to be baptised.
Unexpected intense feelings were what I exprienced last Sunday, yesterday, when I went inside St Jude's Anglican Church at Dural.
I knew that my great great grandparents, George and Ann Mawbey, had had four of their children baptised there:
John Thomas 17-2-1850 James 25-1-1852 Elizabeth 7-11-1855 and George 28-10-1860.
So being there held special significance for me.
But apart from that, all sentiment aside, St Jude's is simply a special church, made more so by these two beautiful cushions that 'reside' there.

St Jude's Church of England, Dural (front)
Designer: Kate Blanch
Embroiderer: Anne Norris
Photo: (C) Pamela Mawbey 2012

St Jude's Church of England, Dural (rear)
Designer: Kate  Blanch
Embroiderer: Anne Norris
Photo: (C) Pamela Mawbey 2012

Architecturally, St Jude's Dural is described in the latest issue of the church bulletin as being a 'one-cell, Norman church with a curved romanesque apse at the eastern end, and is the only example of its kind in Australia. (Connect, Sept 2011) Built in 1846, it originally had a shingle roof. The diocesan school, built in 1843, stood where the parish hall is now. St Jude's is heritage-listed.
I do hope some members of the younger generation of the Mawbey family choose to get married there, to keep the connection going.
It would be hard to find a more perfect spot for a small wedding.
The church is on a hill overlooking a valley with the Blue Mountains in the distance.
There are lots of pine trees and the air is fresh and clean-smelling.
In Aboriginal Dhurag language, that of the original inhabitants of the area, the word 'Dural' meant 'valley'.

The view from a lookout near St Jude's at Dural
St Jude's is at 965 Old Northern Road, Dural, on the road to Wiseman's Ferry where the convict-built Great North Road marks the first overland route to the Hunter Valley.
Work commended on this road in 1825.
This beautiful part of the world, that I would describe as 'God's Own Country', is where John Thomas Mawbey spent the first 10 years of his life.
Fifty years after his baptism by water, he was to experience a baptism of fire when his wife, a son and only two daughters were murdered at Breelong, near Gilgandra, by Aboriginals working on his property in July 1900.
George's son, George Jnr, was there at the time, a witness to the murders, and George Snr attended the hanging of the ringleader, Jimmy Governor, at Darlinghurst Gaol in Sydney.
But that is another story, discussed in great detail elsewhere in this blog and on another of my blogs, JIMMY GOVERNOR FORENSIC.

Friday, October 14, 2011


This Sunday I am going to Dural, a former rural area now virtually an 'outer suburb' north-west of Sydney, to see if I can find out more about my great great grandfather who once lived there.
On Sunday the historic home of one of the pioneering families of the disctrict, the ROUGHLY family, is open to the public.
I actually met old Mr Roughly, Clive, and bought some of his honey back in the year 2000.
I even have some of yellow labels that he gave me to help promote his product.
'Roughly House' was built in 1856 and was home to five generations of the Roughly family.
Its two male forebears came to the colony as convicts.
I will also try to visit the nearby Anglican church where I understand my great great grandfather was a teacher.
This is such an interesting journey, tracing my family history.
I sometimes think it would be great to have the resources available to me of  the Ancestry television series, Who Do You Think You Are, but then I am enjoying doing it my own way.

Monday, July 11, 2011


I have become aware while researching my own family history how often I have been in places where my ancestors used to live.
This realisation occurred again yesterday when I went back to Ann Street, Surry Hills in Sydney where my great uncle, George Mawbey II, used to live.
I discovered that just a little way up the hill from his house, and on other side of the road, was a wholesale supplier of sewing materials, Greenfields, that I used to visit regularly when I was a milliner.
This was back in the late '80s early '90s when I was making cotton hats and selling them at Paddington Market .
I was also regularly in the area in the late '70s when I did lapidary in nearby Reservoir Street.
At that time I was living in East Sydney, on the other side of the main road, Oxford Street, and working in Surry Hills near Central Station.
I used to walk to work along Riley Street and distinctly recall picking up a 'vibe' when I came to Ann Street and the Frog Hollow reserve.
It's as if my ancestors have been wanting me to tell their story for a long time, and I've finally answered their call ...

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


I have found another 'MAWBEY'.Her name appears in the book, Sydney Burial Ground 1819-1901 [Elizabeth and Devonshire Streets] and History of Sydney's Early Cemeteries from 1788 (2001) by Keith A Johnson and Malcolm R Sainty, published by the Library of Australian History, Sydney.
She is SARAH BARCKLEY MAWBEY who died on 12 April 184(6) aged 8 months [b.September 1845].
She was buried in the Church of England section of the Devonshire Street cemetery, now Central Railway, in Sydney.
When it was decided to resume the land, the occupants of the graves and their monuments were moved to other cemeteries.
Little Sarah was reinterred in Bunnerong Cemetery (now Botany Cemetery) near La Perouse.
Of the 2285 memorial stones transferred in 1901, only 746 remained in 1986 when the Cape Banks Historical Society transcribed them as an Australian Bicentennial Project (1988).
These were placed in the Pioneer Memorial Park at Botany Cemetery.
Little Sarah's remains are in this memorial park.
She is there in section 45, Nr 106, sharing a plot with Leiutennant John McNabb who died on 3 March 1846.
At Devonshire Street, Sarah Mawbey was in the CE-M section, plot 1217, category D.
In neighbouring plots were Alexander Burness Briggs, d. 18 May 1847 aged 16
months, and Emily Catherine [Wood], child of Jane Elizabeth Wood, d. 11 May 1842 aged 11 months.
Sarah Mawbey had an upright monument which
 was in poor condition at the time of her re-interrment.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


I've just discovered Google Maps.
The one for the NSW town of Merriwa provides a good entry point for all the places visited by Jimmy Governor - one of the Aboriginal men who murdered four members of the Mawbey family at Breelong - during his three month rampage throughout the colony.
See: Google Map - Merriwa, NSW, Australia

Sunday, February 27, 2011


I have made the predominant colour of my MAWBEY FAMILY AUSTRALIA the same as that of the MAWBEY family crest. The crest features blue leaves on a vine surrounding a shield which has a blue ribbon with three six-pointed stars placed diagonally across it.
Above the shield is a knight's silver helmet.
I want to find out more about its symbolism.
Update 23-3-11
Over the last few weeks I've learnt that a coat of arms is only awarded to an individual, not everyone bearing the same family name.
Sir Joseph Mawbey would have been in a position to have one when he was knighted.
So is the one described above that I found on the internet his?
I subseqently found another one, with differences in the shield including the use of the colour red.
I think I'll leave the exploration of this subject to further down the track.
Update 21-4-11
A family crest is being created for Kate Middleton to celebrate her forthcoming marriage to Prince William.
According to a TV report, anyone could have a family crest created for them as long as they had a degree and could pay the prerequisite amount for it.
Update 24-4-11
The 13th Australasian Congress on Genealogy and Heraldry entitled "Your Ancestors in their Social Context" was held in Adelaide, South Australia, 28-31 March 2010.

Saturday, February 26, 2011


In a lateral thinking attempt to find out how and when my great great grandfather, George Mawbey, came to Australia I decided to try and find out how and when his wife, Ann Williams, did.
It was so easy.
I simply placed the name of her father, David Williams, in the search box of TROVE, the family history portal of the National Library of Australia.
The first entry on the list of digitalised newspapers was the arrival of David and Alice and their five children - Margaret, David Jnr, Ann, John and James - in Sydney on the ship Mary Catharine on Monday 21 October 1833 was the first on the list.
The Sydney Herald, Thursday 24 October 1833
From Liverpool via Hobart Town, on Monday last, having sailed from the former port on the 15th June, and the latter the 9th instant, the ship Mary Catharine, 391 tons, Captain Benjamin Rock Jones, with sundries. Passengers ... Mr David Williams, cooper, Margaret, Ann, John, Jane, Alice, and David Williams ...
Among their 76 fellow passengers were merchants, milliners, cabinet makers, farmer, carpenters, painters, coopers, pastry-cooks, a harness-maker, a clerk, a surgeon, a teacher and an attorney, plus 10 members of the ship's captain's family.
A 'cooper' was a man who made and repaired wooden barrels used as storage containers.

Friday, February 25, 2011


On the surface, it ought to be relatively easy to find out how and when my great great grandparents came to Australia.
I know the year, 1832.
Well, that is according to George Mawbey's death certificate which states that in 1862 he had been in the colony of New South Wales for 30 years.
The story goes that GEORGE MAWBEY and his father JOSEPH came to this country on the same ship as the young woman he married, ANN WILLIAMS.
She would have been 13 and travelling with her parents, David and ALICE WILLIAMS and a couple of siblings.
It is possible the ship departed from Liverpool in England.
So all I have to do is look at the passenger lists of all the ships that arrived at any Australian port in 1832.
But that information does not yet appear to be available online.
Then if I can find it on microfilm, look for the surnames WILLIAMS and MAWBEY.
The best source of shipping information I have found is THE SHIPS LIST at
At the moment I'm floundering ...

Thursday, February 24, 2011


What I know about GEORGE MAWBEY thus far:

c.1809 - Birth of George Mawbey in Surrey, England to father Joseph and mother whose name is not known [recorded as 'unknown' on death certificate] .
1832 (?) - Arrival in the colony of New South Wales. No records discovered as yet. Date deduced from death certificate.
1833 - In April, May and June he is an actor and singer with the Theatre Royal, Sydney's first professional theatre.
1837 - In January left the employ as clerk for Samuel Onions, an emancipated convict with a successful ironmonger business in Pitt Street, Sydney. In early June, writes letter to The Australian newspaper rejecting allegations made against his former employer by a client to whom Onions lent money. For the next six months he runs his own business as a tinman. In late June, he holds liquor licence as publican of the Hope and Anchor hotel in Pitt Street, Sydney. In August, witness for the Crown in the Supreme Court of New South Wales (Sydney) in its perjury case against Onions.
1838 - In July at age 30 is married to 19 year old Ann (Jane) Williams at St Philips Church of England, Sydney by the colony's chaplain, WILLIAM COWPER. States his occupation as publican. Ann was born in Liverpool, Lancashire, England in 1819 to David and Alice Williams. On 31-12-1838, George arrives in South Australia.
1839 - In June, Mrs ANN MAWBEY is booked to sail from Sydney to ADELAIDE, in a cabin, on the brig Nereus. But bad weather prevents the ship from sailing, and Mrs Mawbey is not on the passenger list of the next sailing. She arrives in South Australia on the Abercrombie on 21-7-1839. In November, George Mawbey ceases to run a general store in Rundle Street, Adelaide, South Australia that he has been leasing.
1840 - In August, Mr and Mrs Mawbey (?) left Adelaide bound for Sydney on board the brig Christina. [Was it just Mr Mawbey?]
1842 - Birth of their first child, a son called DAVID, in the parish of St James. The boy is named after his mother's father.
1842/43 - George owned premises in Wooloomooloo, Sydney. (?)
1843 - Birth of second child, and second son, ALFRED, in the parish of St Phillip's. [He dies in 1848 aged 4 1/2, in the same year as the death of his older brother aged 6.]
1845 - Birth of third child and first daughter, ALICE, christened 12 October at Petersham in Cook's River parish. She is named after her mother's mother.
1847 - Birth of fourth child and second daughter, ANN JANE, christened 17 October, at St Lawrence, Sydney. She is named after her mother.
1849 - Birth of fifth child and third son, JOHN THOMAS, at Dural near Castle Hill (farming district on north-western outskirts of Sydney).
1851 - January, birth of sixth child and fourth son, JAMES, at Dural.
1853 - August, birth of seventh child and third daughter, GRACE, at Camperdown, Newtown.
1855 - November, birth of eighth child and fourth daughter, ELIZABETH, at Dural.
1856 - On 19 February, George Mawbey is a witness at wedding of MARY WILLIAMS to Irish-born Henry BLACK at Dural.
1858 - December, birth of ninth child and fifth son, GEORGE, at Dural.
1862 - August, birth of 10th child and fifth daughter, Mary Emma, at Newtown. On 30 November, George Mawbey Senior dies in Newtown (Sydney) of apoplexy (stroke) aged 53. Buried in Camperdown Cemetery at Newtown.

George's death certificate states he was born in Surrey, England and that his father's name was Joseph, and that he was a dealer. [Update 18-9-12 this is confirmed in the birth registration of Mary Emma which he completed.]
A line has been ruled through the space where mother's maiden name would normally have been written.
This indicates that her name is not known by the person supplying information for the death certificate.
It further states that George has been living in the colony of New South Wales for 30 years, indicating he arrived in 1832 at age 23.
How and where I still do not know.


Yesterday I received the most promising lead so far about the possible mother and birthplace of GEORGE MAWBEY.
It came in response to a call for help I placed on a forum on the UK-based family history website

Another poster responded:
I noticed a burial in Jan 1810 for a Charlotte MAWBEY at Christ Church, Southwark, Surrey, perhaps it is worth following up, speculating that perhaps she was George's mother.
Noticed also a christening and a burial for a baby in Dec 1805, Joseph MAWBEY, a son for Joseph and Charlotte MAWBEY, again SURREY ...

Based on information in George Mawbey's death certificate, he was born in 1809 in Surrey.
Did his widowed father have to raise him?
Does this mean there were no siblings?
A lot more digging to do ...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Thanks to Mudgee Historical Society, I have learnt when John Thomas Mawbey, son of George Mawbey, had a general store in Mudgee.
According to the Cudgegong rate books 1860-1905, John Mawbey rented the premises for five years, from 1878-1883.
The store was located in Market Lane (now Street), West End, Mudgee.
In 1875 he had married 19-year-old Sarah Ann Maria Clarke at Mudgee Church of England when he was 26.
How long he had been in the town beforehand, and what he did until 1878 is still unknown.
According to Mudgee Historical Society, the Clarke family had land on Lawson's Creek, just out of Mudgee.
In 1883, John Thomas Mawbey took up a 'selection', farming land, at Breelong near Gilgandra in the state's Central West.
He subsequently became a prosperous farmer, accumulating more land, a total of 1500 acres in 1900.
It was John's wife Sarah and three of their children who were murdered at the Breelong homestead by Aboriginal man, Jimmy Governor and others in July 1900.
In his evidence to the court at the trial of Governor, John Thomas Mawbey stated he had resided at Breelong for 17 years, i.e. since 1883.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


The first post I made on this blog on 28 January 2010 was about my first ancestor to arrive in Australia, GEORGE MAWBEY.
New intriguing information about him has just come to light.
I now know from newspaper research the name of the pub he held the liquor licence for in 1837, the year before he married.
It was the Hope and Anchor in Pitt Street, Sydney.
In June 1837, according to the Sydney Gazette newspaper, he had been granted a liquor licence for this establishment for that current year.
He gave his occupation as publican when he married in Sydney in July 1838.
The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, Thursday 29 June 1837
The following is the list of parties who have obtained new licenses for the current year: Joseph Ward, (a discharged constable) Cockatoo, Pitt street. James Murphy, Plasterer's Arm, Pitt street ... John Curtis, Governor Macquarie, Pitt-street. George Mawbey, Hope and Anchor, ditto...
The Sydney Morning Herald, Thursday 29 June 1837
... George Mowbray, Hope and Anchor ...
Oddly, NSW State Records has no record of George Mawbey holding a publican's licence on its publicans' licences index. [Update 18-9-12 it appears under spelling 'Mowbery/Mowberry']
Nor of his son, John Thomas, who had an inn at Breelong and is said to have held a publican's licence there.
Similarly, John Thomas's younger brother, George, ran the Rose Inn near Little Hartly (Lithgow) and may also have held a liquor licence.

Update 1-6-11
Holders of publican's licences had to be married, but George was granted one before his marriage.
The Hope & Anchor he briefly held a liquor licence for was on the corner of Pitt and King Streets, Sydney.
It had been there since at least 1836 and was closed and its contents auctioned in 1846.
There were several other Hope and Anchor hotels:
1. On the corner of Druitt and Sussex Streets near Sydney Town Hall;
2. In Macquarie Place or Street;
3. In Parramatta Street (now George Street) near Central Station. In 1846, this was located across the road from the Benevolent Asylum.
I also now know that a year after his marriage in July 1838, according to the newspaper article below, he was running a general store [Update 31-12-11: Refreshment Rooms] in the main street [Update 31-12-11 commercial heart] of Adelaide.
South Australian Register, Saturday 16 November 1939
The undersigned begs most respectfully to inform his friends and the public generally, that he has let the premises lately occupied by himself to Messrs Grieve and Campbell, as a General Store, and he hopes they will receive a share of that patronage which was so liberally bestowed on himself. GEO. MAWBEY.
The lease of the above premises to be disposed of.
Apply to George Mawbey on the premises. Rundle-street, November 9, 1839.
I am yet to find out how and where and when he arrived in Australia.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Early last year I decided to enter my MAWBEY FAMLY AUSTRALIA blog in the NSW Premier's History Prize competition. The cut-off date for works entered was the end of March 2010, and I thought I could not make any more entries until after the awards were made. Imagine my disappointment when I was told last August that they did not receive my entry, despite it being sent Express Post and me taking some material into their office on the closing date. I had also sent them several emails with my phone number included prior to submitting my entry, so it was not as if they could not get in touch with me.