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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.