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Sunday, December 30, 2012


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.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

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.

Sunday, October 14, 2012


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.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


I have just discovered another Annie Mawbey who was living in NSW in 1862.
This was the same year as the death of the forbear of the NSW Mawbeys, George Mawbey, whose wife was Ann.
In September that year Annie Mawbey was the housekeeper at Wivenhoe, an estate near Camden owned by a five-time premier of NSW, Sir Charles Cowper.
Coincidentally, her employer was a son of Rev William Cowper who had married George and Ann Mawbey in Sydney in 1838.
In 1862 Annie Mawbey (nee Maxtead), a widow, married Wivenhoe's carpenter, [Henry] Norman George De Vere Clifford, a widower.
The ceremony took place in the home of a minister in Camden under the Primitive Methodist rite.
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.
Henry Clifford's occupation was then a surgeon.
The land on which Wivenhoe stood was originally granted to Charles's father, Reverend William Cowper.
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.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Australian electoral rolls list 130 adults with the surname 'Mawbey' registered to vote in 2012.
NSW 81, Vic 15, Tas 14, Qld 11, SA 4, WA 3, ACT 2, NT none.

Monday, August 13, 2012


The Sydney Morning Herald, Wednesday 6 January 1937
LEE. - The Friends of Mr. PERCY LEE, Mr. and Mrs. A. INGALL, and of Mr. and Mrs. D. DUMMET are kindly invited to attend the Funeral of his beloved WIFE and their MOTHER, Elsie Charlo[t]te Lee, which will leave her late residence, 9 Irvine-street, Kingsford, THIS MORNING, at 10.30, for the Waverley Cemetery.
JOSEPH MEDCALF, Funeral Director,
172 Redfern-street, Redfern. Phones, M2785 (2 lines).
LEE. - The Friends of Mr. and Mrs. S. PERRY, of Orange, Mr. and Mrs. G. CLARKE, of Mudgee, Mr. and Mrs. S. CLARKE, of Bankstown, Mr. J. CLARKE, of Gilgandra, Mr. and Mrs. P. H. BUSSELL, and of Mr. and Mrs. A. RICHARDSON, kindly invited to attend the Funeral of their loved SISTER and NIECE, Elsie Charlo[t]te Lee, which will leave her late residence, 9 Irvine-street, Kingsford, THIS MORNING, at 10.30, for the Wavley Cemetery.
JOSEPH MEDCALF. Funeral Director.
[Source: NLA17304864] 

Monday, July 16, 2012


In London, England, there are pubs and streets named 'Mawbey'.
The pub below is at 7 Mawbey Street, Stockwell, London.
It's located between Stockwell and Vauxhall, in the vicinity of the Tate Art Gallery and Westminster Cathedral.
A comment on its website says it's in the middle of an 'estate', presumably a public housing one, and is an 'unreconstructed, old time boozer ... a True Blue Chelsea pub'.
Other comments by neighbours are not so complimentary.

Mawbey Arms in London
'Mawbey Arms' Hotel London

Here's a Google map showing where it is MAWBEY ARMS HOTEL LONDON

According to A Complete Listing of the Streets of London in 1891, there were at that time four streets named 'Mawbey':
Mawbey Road, Old Kent Road, Camberwell
Mawbey Road, St Anne, St Olave
Mawbey Road, St George, Camberwell
Mawbey Street, Kennington, Lambeth

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Last night I discovered what a 'dealer' was while watching the Ancestry television program, Who Do You Think You Are?
Dealers were small time scrap and junk merchants.
My great great grandfather, George Mawbey, was a 'dealer' when he died in Newtown, Sydney in 1862, and, according to his death certificate, his father, Joseph Mawbey, had been one too.
George's eldest surviving son, John Thomas Mawbey, was also a 'dealer' when he married Sarah Clarke at Mudgee in 1875.

Monday, May 28, 2012


The art and sport of roller skating was very popular in Australia during World War I, and Daphne Mawbey was one of the local darlings of the rink.
One of her first public performances, at age 14, was made at the Sydney Hospital centenary celebration held at the Exhibition Building in November 1911.
There she won the title of Best Waltzer.
In July 1914, she was doing demonstrations of fancy skating at the Royal Roller Rink at the Agricultural Grounds in Sydney.
This rink was the largest in Australia with a 60,000 sq ft skating surface.
In March 1917, Daphne Mawbey was demonstrating 'her power over the wheels' on opening night of the Centennial Rink in Perth.
An article in The Daily News, Perth on Friday 30 March 1917 said Daphne was the professional figure skating champion of Australia.
In August 1917, she was featured in a large advertisement in the Western Mail newspaper in Perth for Hean's Essence, a treatment for coughs and colds.
The ad described her as 'Australia's Premier Lady Roller Skater'.
Daphne Mawbey b.1897 was the second youngest of the seven children of George Mawbey (2), the younger brother of John Thomas Mawbey whose wife and three of their children were murdered by Aboriginals in 1900.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Tombstone of George Mawbey (2), son of George Mawbey (1), English forebear of the NSW Mawbeys, and younger brother of John Thomas whose wife and children were murdered by Aborigines at Breelong, NSW in 1900.
Image Source: Australian Cemeteries Index

Buried with him are his two sons, George (3) [Jack] who was present in the house at Breelong on the night of the murders, and Norman who died when he was 26, a year after he married.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


The beauty of coming to Australia as a convict was that detailed records of personal appearance were recorded.I have just found the physical description of convict William Mawbey who arrived in Port Jackson (Sydney) on the Woodbridge on 27 February 1840.
A butcher by trade, he had been convicted at Surrey Quarter Sessions for stealing a cloak on 1 January 1839 and sentenced to seven years transportation.
His Certificate of Freedom granted on 4 May 1846 when he was aged 31 gives this detailed description of him which is not particularly flattering:
Cast inward in the right eye. 
Two scars top of right side of forehead. 
Lost two front teeth left side of upper jaw.
Dimple in chin.
Mark of a burn back of left cheek.
Raised mole lower part of left side of neck.
Scar betwixt the forefinger and thumb of left hand.
Grey eyes.
Dark brown hair mixed with grey.
Complexion: dark pale.
Height: 5' 61/4"
Year of birth: 1809
Native place: Surrey
William Mawbey was the older brother of Henry Mawbey, the founding father of the Victorian Mawbey family.
After regaining his freedom, he married in Sydney and then went and lived in Melbourne with his brother.
William was the same age as George Mawbey who also came from Surrey, but I have not found any evidence of any family connection between them.

Monday, May 14, 2012


English-born watercolour artist, Conrad Martens, was in Sydney at the same time as George Mawbey and his young family.
Martens arrived in Sydney in 1835 and made his living doing watercolour paintings then lithographs of local scenes.
In 1851, after George Mawbey had moved west to Dural near Parramatta, Martens sailed to Brisbane from where he travelled back to Sydney overland, painting as he went.
In 1833, he had been engaged as a draughtsman on HMS Beagle and had formed a life-long friendship with fellow traveller, Charles Darwin.

Sunday, May 6, 2012


Yesterday I found the teaching records of my paternal grandmother, Mary Ann Mawbey, at State Records NSW. She tried teaching for a short time in 1885-86, and then went back to it in 1891.
Her first teaching experience was at Jiggi Provisional school located north of Lismore on the NSW Far North Coast.
She was appointed on 6 November 1885 but resigned, without giving any reason, from 30 June 1886.
When she returned to the teaching service, she was placed on probation at Summer Hill Public Infants in Sydney.
She then had to pass three qualifiying exams before she could be admitted to the teacher Training School.
After struggling to pass the first one, she then passed the other two and went on to pass the entry exam for the Training School, although she did not gain a scholarship.
She was then 'removed' to Stanmore Public Infants, not far from Summer Hill.
It appears her performance was not satisfactory because she was then instructed to 'act' as a teacher ('acting teacher') at one place, and then at Breelong West Provisional commencing 31 January 1899.
She failed to gain classification at an exam in June 1899 and was then instructed to continue to 'act' as a teacher at Woodfield Probational and then Woodfield Public.
Her next appointment was to Lithgow Public Girls as an assistant teacher on 90 pounds per annum.
She had previously been earning 88 pounds per annum.
Her final two appointments were in the Newcastle area at Wallsend Girls Public and Wickham Infants.
                                                           Wickham Infants (built 1892)
                                                                   (Source: Wikipedia)

 Mary Ann Edwards resigned without gratuity on 25 September 1903.
She then married John Thomas Mawbey Jnr and went on to have 16 pregnancies (according to one her sons) of which nine bore fruit.

Saturday, April 28, 2012


The English Mawbey family pedigree can be seen on one of my other associated blogs, Mawbey Family Australia - English Roots (listed on this blog's sidebar).
The link to the pedigree is called Mawbey - UK pedigree. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Three members of the Smith/Clarke family were living at Orange in central western NSW in the early 1900s:
Sarah Ann Appledore, d.1910 - sister of Sarah Mawbey's mother, Elizabeth Clarke (nee Smith);
Betsy Perry (nee Clarke) d.1940 - Sarah Mawbey's younger sister;
Harold Clarke, d.1914 - Sarah Mawbey's younger brother.
The Sydney Morning Herald, Saturday 15 October 1910
APPLEDORE. — October 7, at Orange, suddenly, from heart failure, Sarah Ann, relict of the late Thomas Appledore, of Penrith, in her 69th year.
The Sydney Morning Herald, Tuesday 7 October 1913
APPLEDORE.—In sad but loving memory of my dear uncle, Thomas Appledore, who departed this life on June 29, 1910, aged 73 years late of Penrith, also my dear aunt Sarah Ann Appledore, who departed this life on October 7, 1911, aged 60 years. Inserted by their loving niece, E. Clemson.
The Sydney Morning Herald, Thursday 19 December 1940
PERRY.- At Orange. Mrs. Betsy Perry, beloved wife of Stephen Perry, mother of Hilda Ivy, Una May, Thomas Leslie, Reg Gordan, Eva Stella, Roy Stanley, aged 82 years.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

My great, great, great grandmothers:

Mother of
James Tucker
b. England?

Mother of Mary Ann Bruce
b. England?

Mother of
Robert Clarke
b. England?

Charlotte Smith
(nee Newson)
b. 1814
Wickhampton, Norfolk, England

Alice Williams
(nee Jones?)
b. England?

Mother of George

Monday, April 9, 2012

It's very exciting to have found the GENUKI website with lots of free online information about Norfolk because now I have a starting point for research about my Clarke and Smith families in the UK.
I now know that from 1837, births deaths and marriages in the parts of Nofolk where my ancestors lived were registered in the Blofield Registration District.
Interestingly, the name Mawbey is thought to have some connection with the town of Mautby on the Norfolk coast.


Until today I did not know where Robert Clarke, the father of Sarah Mawbey, came from.
The State Records NSW online passenger lists reveal he came from Postwick [pron. possick], Norfolk.
GENUKI (UK & Ireland Genealogy) has a charming description of the place from William White's History, Gazetteer and Directory of Norfolk, 1845.
In summary it says that Postwick, a parish of 241 souls, sits in a romantic glen which opens to the vale of the [River] Yare, near Yarmouth, and that most of the soil is owned by the Earl of Rosebery [Lord of the Manor].
The village is located 4 miles east of Norwich.
Some local residents of Postwick are listed in this directory, but no Clarkes.
Cantley, Norfolk is where Robert's wife, Elizabeth's father, Samuel Smith, came from.
According to the above source, Cantley is also near the River Yare.
It has a population of 210 souls and the Lord of the Manor is William Alexander Gilbert, Esq.
The village is 10 miles east of Norwich and 9 miles west of Great Yarmouth.
Among the local residents listed in the 1845 directory is a Mary Smith, shopkeeper.
The compiler of this information on GENUKI is Pat Newby.

Sunday, April 8, 2012


I have just found a new section of the State Records NSW website - Online microfilm of passenger lists of assisted and unassisted immigrants to the colony of New South Wales.
From the passenger list for the Asiatic, I discovered that one of my great, great grandfathers, Robert Clarke, came from the village of Postwick in Norfolk.
I already knew that his wife Elizabeth was from Wickhampton, Norfolk.
He was 21 and she 18.
Their religion was given on the passenger list as Church of England.
Elizabeth's parents, Samuel and Charlotte Smith and her two younger sisters, Sarah and Mary, who were travelling with her are Methodists.
Robert an agricultural labourer.
He was illiterate but Elizabeth could read.
Samuel Smith came from Cantley, Norfolk his wife Charlotte (nee Newson) and their two daughters, Sarah 13 and Mary 10, came from Wickhampton, Norfolk.
Samuel was 48 and Charlotte 41.
All but Mary could read and write.
Mary could only read.
Samuel was an agricultural labourer.

Saturday, April 7, 2012


After discovering the grave of young James Clark at Upper Castlereagh near Penrith last weekend, I've been delving into that branch of the family.
Sarah Mawbey's eight brothers and sisters bearing the surname Clark(e).
This has made me realise that I probably have lots of Clark(e) relatives.
I'm hoping I'll find some of their family trees on Ancestry because I don't think I'm going to have time to do too much digging for them.


I'm now reaching the stage where I need to spend quite a lot of money purchasing births, deaths and marriage certificates.
Being on a pension and struggling to make ends meet, this is not possible unless I manage to get some paid work.
I would be very grateful to anyone caring to donate to this blog.
Only registered charities and not-for-profit organisations are able to do this, accept donations, through Paypal on their webpages.
Could anyone wishing to donate to my family history blogs please email me on
It's amazing to think that I have obtained all the existing information for free, not counting all my unpaid time and effort, which I have made available to everyone.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Interestingly, the parents of my paternal grandmother, also named Mary Ann Ewards, were living in Gundagai in 1880, the same year Herbert Thowhaldsen Edwards was born.
His parents were Charles and Mary Ann Edwards (nee Clemson nee Smith) my grandmother's parents were James and Sarah Jane Edwards (nee Tucker).
Coincidentally, James and Sarah gave birth to a son in 1880, also called Herbert.
In both cases, the boys were second children.
I am wondering if there was any familial link between these two Edwards families.
When my grandmother, Mary Ann Edwards (daughter of Charles and Sarah), turned up at Breelong West as the schoolteacher in 1899, Sarah Mawbey would have been struck by the fact that she bore the same name as her younger, twice married sister.
But Mary Ann did not board with Sarah Mawbey while she was there, unlike the two previous schoolteachers at Breelong, and the subsequent one murdered by Aborigines.

Monday, April 2, 2012


A WorldConnect website has a detailed family tree for Samuel Smith and Charlotte Newson, the maternal grandparents of Sarah Mawbey (nee Clark).
She and three of her children were murdered by part-Aboriginal man, Jimmy Governor, in her home late one winter's night at Breelong in 1901.
According to this rootsweb website, the youngest of her mother's two sisters, Mary Ann Smith, married George Thomas Clemson at Penrith on 9 March 1860.
She was only 15 at the time.
The Clemsons had seven children, all born in the Penrith district, the last in 1872.
The family then appears to have moved to Gundagai in south-western NSW where George Clemson died on 17 October 1872.
Two years later, the widowed Mary Ann Clemson, 29, married Charles George (known as "George") Edwards at Gundagai.
Three sons were born to Charles and Mary Ann Edwards there: Victor (George) Emmanuel, 1875, Herbert Thowhaldsen, 1879 and Ernest Charles, 1880.
Another son, Frederick Adolphus Edwards was born in 1882.
He was the father of a distant cousin of mine currently living in Melbourne.
Using the unusual Scandinavian-sounding name 'Thowhaldsen' as a guide in my Ancestry search for Charles Edwards, I found one from Finland.
He departed from Glasgow, Scotland on the Tamerlane and arrived in Sydney on 18 July 1873 aged 27 (b.1846).
My distant cousin says his grandfather Charles "George" Edwards was born on 29 March 1835 at Stepney, London and baptised on 26 April 1835 at Saint George in the East Parish Church Stepney.
His parents, and my cousin's great grandparents, were Charles Edwards (b.1810) and Lucy Maria Sennel, married 1834.
My cousin tells me his grandfather was a mariner.
Also that the Thorwaldsen was a migrant ship, bringing his wife's grandfather to Melbourne in 1851, but that his grandfather was not a passenger or crewman on it.
He says Charles George Edwards arrived in the colony of NSW in 1854 when he was 19.

Sunday, April 1, 2012


Yesterday I found the grave of Sarah Mawbey's older brother, James Clark, in the old Methodist cemetery on the Old Castlereagh Road near Penrith.
When I lived in the Hawkesbury in 2000-01, I drove past that cemetery many times, but did not see it because the tombstones are hidden by a fence.
Even if I had seen it, I had no idea some of my ancestors might be buried there.
James Clark died in 1882.
He was born in England and came here on the Asiatic in 1855 with his parents, Robert and Elizabeth Clark (nee Smith).
With them were his mother's two younger sisters, Sarah Ann and Mary Ann Smith, and the girls' parents, Arthur Samuel and Charlotte Smith (nee Newson).
Sarah Ann Smith, b.1840, married Thomas Appledore Jnr, an English-born son of a convict, Thomas Appledore (1) [aka George Kane] who arrived in the British penal colony of NSW in 1801 and died at Penrith in 1841.
Thomas Appledore (2) arrived in 1842, settling at Castlereagh in 1854, the year before the Smith family arrived in the district.
He was baptised in England on 6 December 1795 and had an older brother, Richard, and younger sister, Mary Ann.
His father had married Anne Jagolfe in at St Andrew's church, East Stonehouse, Devon, England in 1792.
Mary Ann Smith, b.1843, married twice, first to George Thomas Clemson and then, after being widowed, to Charles George Edwards.
This is yet another offshoot of the family I now have to investigate.

Friday, March 30, 2012


It has now been confirmed that my great great grandfather, George Mawbey, was the schoolmaster of the Church of England diocesan school at Dural in the district of Parramatta in 1849.
According to the 'Blue Books' of the Colonial Secretary, he had 12 pupils, 5 girls and 7 boys.
He appears to have been being paid 30 pounds per annum.
The cost of running the school was 10 pounds per annum and this was paid by the Colonial Treasury.
The two biggest schools listed on the same page (p.612) with 100 pupils each were Liverpool and Wollongong.
At Liverpool 67 boys and 33 girls were being schooled, and at Wollongong, 58 boys and 32 girls.
The running total at the bottom of the page is 2,373 boys and 1,733 girls.
George Mawbey and his family lived at Dural until around 1860, and I will try to find out more about his teaching there.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Sarah Mawbey

 Elsie Clarke
I have just found a photo of Sarah Mawbey, published in an Australian Town and Country Journal a couple of weeks after she was murdered at Breelong.
In my view she looks European, as does her youngest sister, Elsie Clarke, and her eldest son, John Jnr.
Her younger boys, Garnet and Cecil, look more 'Anglo-Saxon' like their father.

The photo of Sarah Mawbey was taken at Mudgee and the one of Elsie at Orange.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, March 15, 2012


There are so many discrepancies in the existing convict registers.
Yesterday when I was in the library I found a book The first 25 years of convict transportation in New South Wales (1999) by Lesley Uebel which consists of an alphabetical list of convicts.
I just happened to open it at page 82 where I saw that a convict called Joseph Druce had an alias of 'Bruce'.
He arrived in the colony on the Royal Admiral in 1792, having been given a life sentence at Middlesex the year before.
I then looked for him in the Tasmanian Archives convict register and he was not there.
It only had a Thomas Druce (arriv. 1841) and an Elizabeth Druce (arriv. 1853).
Then I looked at the Queensland State Library convict register and found these two, plus Joseph (the one I was looking for), and three others, James Lewis (arriv. Oct 1798), John (arriv 1847) and Richard (arriv. 1835).

Thursday, March 8, 2012


Further research has revealed I am not descended from Elizabeth Bruce, nor James and Mary Ann Tucker.
A mistake on the NSW BDM register caused by difficulty reading handwriting on a marriage record led to this error.
I have since found two other convicts I am descended from, but on my mother's side of the family, not my father's.
As this post has attracted a lot of viewers, I will leave it here.
Pamela Mawbey
31 August 2013
I've now discovered that my First Fleet convict ancestor is not Elizabeth Bruce because she married John Anderson at St Philip's Church of England, Sydney, in March 1788.
This event, that occurred two months after the couple's arrival in the penal colony, was done under the authority of His Excellency, Governor Philip.
There were two male convicts with the name 'John Anderson' on the First Fleet.
One on the Scarborough was convicted at the Old Bailey on 26 May 1784 and sentenced to 7 years for stealing three tablecloths and assault with a knife.
The other, on the Charlotte, was convicted at Exeter, Devon on 20 March 1786 and sentenced to 7 years for stealing one handkerchief, pounds 5/3/-, and other goods from a dwelling.
The baptism on 23 March 1790 of an Elizabeth M Bruce is recorded in the Church of England baptismal records.
Parents are given as Robert Bruce and Elizabeth Haylock.
The letter 'M' of baby Elizabeth's name, according to the baptismal record, stood for 'Mason'.
According the History Australia 'Convict Stockade' website, there were no convicts with the surname 'Haylock' on the First or Second Fleets.
But there was an Elizabeth Mason on the First Fleet transport, Friendship.
She stole a leather purse containing 15 gold guineas and was convicted at Gloucester on 23 March 1785.
A death sentence was commuted to 14 years transportation.
So where does the name 'Haylock' come from?
Had she been married to a 'Mason' when she was convicted and then reverted to her maiden name in the penal colony?
There is no marriage record of a Elizabeth Haylock to a Robert Bruce.
I finally found convict Robert Bruce on the History Australia 'Convict Stockade' website.
He was convicted at Exeter, Devon, on 21 May 1784 of escaping from custody and sentenced to death, commuted to 7 years transportation.
Bruce was transported on the Charlotte a First Fleet convict transport ship. revealed an earlier conviction at Winchester, England in July 1783 where he was sentenced to 7 years.
He may have 'escaped from custody' in relation to this crime.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I am having difficulty determining who were the parents of Mary Ann Bruce.
Her birth, in 1808, was not recorded in church baptismal registers.
She may have been the daughter of Elizabeth M Bruce, the daughter of Robert and Elizabeth Bruce, born in 1790.
There were three convicts named Robert Bruce, but they arrived in 1829, 1831 and 1842 - too late to be the father of Mary Ann.
More research required.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

I have just read the most remarkable story I have ever read in my entire life.
It's the journal of the surgeon on board the Lady Penrhyn, Arthur Bowes Smyth (Dr Bowes), who records the First Fleet journey of the ship that transported the woman who may be my great, great, great, great, great grandmother, Elizabeth Bruce, to the penal colony of New South Wales.
It starts in April 1787 with the ship waiting at the dock at Portsmouth, England for the naval leader of the First Fleet, Captain Arthur Phillip, to arrive.
My ancestor appears in Bowes' diary very early, after breaking her leg on board.
[April] 15th Eliz Bruce, one of the convicts on board the Penrhyn, fell from the forecastle & broke her right Leg just at the Articulation of the Ankle.
19th this day I attended (at the request of Dr Balmain) on the Woman wt. the fractured leg, &c removed the Bandage & dressed it up again; before the Bandage was removed the woman was in the most excruciating pain, but very soon after removing it she became perfectly easy and continued so.
May Sun 13 This morng. at 5 o'Clock the Lady Penrhyn set sail ... a very find day wt. a good breeze at E.S.E. ...
The name of Dr Bowes' journal is:
A journal of a voyage from Portsmouth to New South Wales and China in the Lady Penrhyn, Merchantman William Crompton Sever, Commander, by Arthur Bowes-Smyth, Surgeon - 1787 - 1788 - 1789 being a fair copy compiled ca 1790
It is held by the Mitchell Library of the State Library of New South Wales in Sydney, and its digital order no. is Album ID 823394.
Click here to see the digitalised version Surgeon Bowes journal

Friday, March 2, 2012


Just found a very helpful website for family historians looking for convict ancestors called 'Free Settler or Felon?'
Go to it here Free Settler or Felon?


Further research has revealed that Mary Ann Edwards was not a descendant of James Tucker.
The handwriting on a civil marriage register was difficult to read, and was recorded as 'Tucker' as well as a different, correct name.
I only discovered this after realising there were two entries under the same reference number.
I will leave the incorrect information below to demonstrate the twists and turns, thrills and spills, involved in family history research.
Pamela Mawbey
31 August 2013
Yesterday I found my first convict ancestor.
He was James Tucker, the maternal grandfather of my maternal grandmother, Mary Ann Edwards, who was the school teacher at Breelong before the one who was murdered by Aborigines.
I found his marriage record in the church records on microfilm in my local library.
James Tucker arrived in New South Wales on the Princess Royal in 1822.
At the time of his marriage on 28 February 1828, he was working as an assigned servant to John Dulhunty at Parramatta [Source: 1828 Census of New South Wales].
He married Mary Ann Bruce, aged 20 and born in the colony, who was also a servant.
The 1828 Census lists a James Tucker Jnr, 9 months, who was their child.
James, 23, and Mary Ann, 20, were married by banns, and with the permission of the Governor (Bourke), at St John's Church of England, Parramatta, by the Reverend Samuel Marsden.
According to the convict records held by the Queensland State Library, James Tucker was convicted at the Gloucester Assizes and sentenced to 7 years transportation on 3 April 1822.
James and Mary Ann Tucker were the parents of Sarah Tucker who married James Edwards and they were the parents of my paternal grandmother, Mary Ann Edwards.
There is a convict woman who may have been Mary Ann's mother (grandmother who had a daughter, Elizabeth), Elizabeth Bruce who, according to the Tasmanian State Archives record, arrived on the Lady Penrhyn in 1803.
But from what I understand, the Lady Penrhyn was one of six convict transport ships belonging to the First Fleet which arrived in Sydney Cove in January 1788.
There is a remark in the TSA record 'to NSW 1788'.
If this is the case, then my ancestry goes right back to the earliest days of the colony.
The Queensland State Library convicts database says that Elizabeth Bruce was one of 262 convicts transported on the Lady Penrhyn, Scarborough and Alexander, ships of the First Fleet that left England in January 1787.
She had been convicted at Middlesex Gaol Delivery for 7 years on 10 January 1787.

Monday, February 27, 2012


One of the plays the man who appears to have been George Mawbey acted in was Black Ey'd Susan or All in the Downs.
This was a nautical melodrama in three acts that had been a huge success in London when it had made its debut there in 1829.
Written by Douglas Jerrold, a former sailor and writer for the satirical magazine, Punch, it was about the wife of a sailor who falls on hard times while her husband is away at sea.
Her landlord and the sailor's amorous drunken captain both try to take advantage of her, but her husband who returns a nautical hero eventually saves her.
The play was set at the end of the Napoleonic wars and would have resonnated with many seamen and their wives at that time.
It ran at the Surrey Theatre in Blackfriars Street, London in the Borough of Lambeth for 300 nights.
Black-Ey'd Susan was performed as the opening production at the restored Theatre Royal at Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England from 11-22 Septempber 2008 after having been unseen for 100 years.

Saturday, February 25, 2012


The first public record in the colony of New South Wales of a man who appears to be my great great grandfather, George Mawbey, is mentioned in a newspaper advertisement in April 1833 for a performance at the Theatre Royal in Sydney.
The Theatre Royal in George Street was the first non-amateur, professional theatre in Australia.
It was founded by Mr Barnett Levey, brother of a convict, who started an amateur theatre in his pub, The Royal Hotel in Pitt Street, before building his own theatre behind it in George Street.
He had to overcome religious objections to the establishment of a professional theatre by residents of the colony who thought it would not be morally good for its mainly convict residents.
Governor Darling refused to give him a licence, but his successor, Governor Bourke, did.
The first performance at the Theatre Royal, the theatre's opening night, occurred on 26 December 1832.
[Source: HAT - History of Australian Theatre website]
It appears that my great great grandfather, George Mawbey, joined 'the company' of the Theatre Royal's actors four months later in April 1833.
The actors were paid a basic wage, with the principals allowed to stage 'benefits' to bring in more money for themselves.
Australia's first playwright, Charles Harpur, was one of the earliest actors at the Theatre Royal, but appears to have been a better writer than performer.
There are several newspaper advertisements in 1833 for Theatre Royal productions in which George Mawbey performed.
They contain four spelling variants of the name 'Mawbey' - Mawby, Maybey, Maybry and Mawbey.
On Saturday 27 April 1833, a 'Mr Mawbey' appeared in a new performance called 'Honest Thieves', playing the part of Mr Story [elsewhere 'Colonel Storey'].
The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 24 April 1833
On Saturday 27 April ... HONEST THIEVES ... Mr Story - Mr Mawbey
On Wednesdays 12 and 19 June 1833, a Mr 'Mawby' sang The Canadian Boat Song, a Scottish lament about Highlanders forced to immigrate to Canada.
He did so accompanied by the acting company's leading actor, Mr Dyball, and another male actor, Mr Cooper, a business partner of Barnett Levy.
Mr Mawby had top billing:
The Australian, Sydney, Friday 24 May 1833
          The Canadian Boat Song
          By Messrs Mawby, Dyball & Cooper.

The finale, a nautical melodrama called Black Ey'd Susan or All in the Downs, had, according to the same advertisement in The Australian of 24 May 1833, a Mr 'Maybry' playing the part of 'Yarn'.
According to an advertisement in The Australian on Friday 21 June 1833, Mr Maybey played the part of 4th Mulateer in 'The Mountaineers' at The Theatre Royal on Saturday 22 June 1833.
Preliminary internet research has revealed that the two plays and song he performed were 'big deals'.
And that Sydney audiences were being treated to some of the best theatrical material available in England at that time.

Saturday, February 18, 2012


When George Mawbey's first two children were born in 1842 and 1843, he was working as a clerk for a bookseller and stationer in Pitt Street, Sydney.
His employer appears to have been William Moffitt, owner of The Old Australian Stationery Warehouse.
A search of NLA digitalised newspapers published in those years revealed that Moffitt was the only stationer and bookseller in Pitt Street.
An advertisement for Arden's Sydney Magazine of Wednesday 20 September 1843 indicated that most of the others were in George Street.
Moffitt claimed in an advertisement he placed in The Sydney Morning Herald on Tuesday 11 July 1843,that  his warehouse, at No. 23 Pitt Street, was the oldest and cheapest stationery establishment in New South Wales.
The colony had been in existence for 55 years.
Books he stocked included Goldsmith's History of England, and novels by Trollope who some 30 years later was to visit the colony twice.
According to the advertisement, Moffitt also had a book and stationery shop in London, either concurrently or previously.

Friday, February 17, 2012


I want to recommend this site which is trying to connect early Australian families.
My ancestor, George Mawbey, is mentioned as a witness to another wedding at St Jude's Church of England, Dural.
I already knew about him playing an official role at the Mary Williams and Henry George Hunt one, but not about that of James Newman and Elizabeth Hodges.
Their two other witnesses at their marriage on 19 April 1853 were Simon and Rosetta Moulds (nee James), early settlers of Dural.

Monday, February 13, 2012


According to the baptismal records of St James Church of England, Sydney, David Henry Mawbey was born on 12 June 1842 and baptised on 10 July 1842.
He was born at Darlinghurst and his father was a clerk for a person or business, the name being hard to decipher.
The minister who baptised him was Robert Allwood.
Update 17-2-12
The word I could not decipher was 'booksellers'.


The baptisimal record of David Henry Mawbey, the first child of George and Ann Mawbey, reveals that in July 1842 his father was working as a clerk.
George Mawbey had previously worked in this capacity for an ironmonger and emancipated convict, Samuel Onions, in Sydney in1837.
After leaving Onions' employ, he then appears to have started his own business as a 'tinman', and then acquired a publican's licence.
He was the publican of the Hope & Anchor hotel on the corner of King and Pitt Streets, Sydney for two years before heading to Adelaide to start his own refreshment rooms business there.
On his return to Sydney he appears to have worked as a clerk for eight years before taking his family to Dural, near Parramatta.
According to the old church BDM records his occupations and abodes were:
1842       Clerk at booksellers          Darlinghurst
1843       Stationer                           Pitt Street
1845       Clerk                                Camperdown
1847       Office clerk                      Redfern
When he was at Dural, he was the schoolmaster at the Church of England diocesan school.

Saturday, January 28, 2012


George Mawbey I arrived in what is now Australia in its colonial era.When it was governed entirely by the English government through its ruling representative, the Governor, in the colony of New South Wales.
The last colonial governor was Sir Charles FitzRoy.
After him, a fledgling form of self-government was established and power-sharing began between the former colonialists and the home country.


George (1) & Ann MAWBEY (nee WILLIAMS)
 m. 1838 Sydney, NSW
John (1)
Grace (1)
George (2)
Mary Emma

John Thomas & Sarah MAWBEY (nee CLARKE)
 m. 1875 Mudgee, NSW

John (1)
Reginald George
Grace (2)

Friday, January 27, 2012


I hit paydirt again today in my research at the Mitchell Library, Sydney, finding a new piece of information about George Mawbey I.
In the New South Wales and Port Phillip General Post Office directory for 1839, he is listed as a 'tinman' at George street north, Sydney (p.110).
When he married in July 1838, he was a publican, holding a licence for the Hope and Anchor in Pitt street.
Prior to that he had been a clerk for an ironmonger in King street.
In 1839 he went to South Australia where he set up Refreshment Rooms in Adelaide's commercial district.
It would appear he was trying to go 'upmarket', to live a more refined lifestyle in the new, convict-free province, than he had led in New South Wales.
I want to find out what type of work he did in England before coming to the colony.
George Wright, the author of the Wright's Australian and American commercial directory and gazetteer: a complete handbook of trades, professions, commerce and manufactures in the Australian colonies, with lists of the American exporters and manufacturers, and traders of British India, says he did the bulk of the information-gathering himself!
The volume containing over 2000 pages was meant to appear at the beginning of 1879, but publication was delayed until 1881.
So the entry for John Mawbey, fruiterer, market lane, Mudgee may actually refer to what he was doing in 1878.
The work that has gone into this book is truly extraordinary!
Wright claimed it was the largest commercial directory ever published in the United States.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

To all my Aussie followers:
26 JANUARY 2012!
Celebrating the day the First Fleet under the command of Captain Arthur Phillip sailed into Sydney Harbour.
The flotilla of 11 ships carried convicts, soldiers, sailors, a minister of religion, servants and others who were the first 'Aussie battlers' of this wonderful country.
Thank you to for allowing free access to its Australian convict records for three days as an Australia Day gift!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


It was while George Mawbey I and his family were living at Dural that the Sydney to Parramatta railway line was opened.
This was the first government-owned, public railway line to be opened in Australia.
It must have been a momentous occasion, making it much easier for them to visit their relatives in Newtown.
The opening took place in 1854, prior to the last three Mawbey children being born, Elizabeth (b.1855), George (b.1860) and Mary (b.1862).
Steam trains plied the track between Parramatta Junction (Granville) and Sydney (the station then being located near Devonshire Street, between the present Central and Redfern stations).
There were six stations along the line, one of them being Newtown where the Mawbey relatives lived.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Posted by Picasa
This photograph is copyright.
(C) Pamela Mawbey 2011

This photograph is copyright.
(C) Pamela Mawbey 2011
This extraordinary book containing the names and addresses
of a people working on the land and in the cities
in each state of Australia
was published in New York in 1881.
It consists of 2,000 pages
set in hot metal
by printers
on the other side of the world.
What a feat!

It contains an entry on page 166 placed by my great grandfather:
John Mawby, fruiterer, Market lane, Mudgee.

This book is at the State Library of NSW.
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


I appear to have found more information on about David and Alice Williams, my great, great, great grandparents, who arrived in Sydney with their five children in October 1833.
They were 'unassisted arrivals', free settlers, who travelled from Liverpool, England via Hobart Town, on the Mary Catharine.
David was aged 38 at the time, indicating he was born c.1795.
There is a marriage record on Ancestry for a David Williams and Alice Jones who wedded on 16 September 1816 at St Nicholas church, Liverpool, Lancashire.
If this was my GGGG/GF, he would have been 21.
One of their two daughters, my GGG/GM, Ann Mawbey (nee Williams), was born in 1819.
There is a record on the NSW Births Deaths and Marriages register of a David Williams dying in Newtown in 1870.
And a newspaper Family Notice for another one, formerly of Newtown, who died on 5 May 1872 at his daughter's residence in Melbourne.
Was this his other daughter, Margaret?
David Williams had been a cooper, making wooden barrels, and it is possible he may have worked in one or both of the two breweries in nearby Parramatta Street (now Road).
There is also a John Williams working as a cooper listed in a trades directory who may have been his son.

Saturday, January 7, 2012


The City of Sydney Archives has a wonderful online website called the Newtown Project.It draws together lots of useful historical information that would take ages to find otherwise.
The site includes Sand's Directories for Newtown, Assessment Books, old maps and even a timeline!
Studying this site has given me a greater insight into what was happening with Ann Mawbey, after her husband George died in Newtown in November 1862.
Sand's Directories 1864-1880
I first found her listed in the 1864 Sands Directory, living in Egan-street, Newtown.
But then I noticed that a D Williams, possibly her father, was also living in Egan-street.
I then looked at the 1863 edition and found a more conclusive entry, for Williams, David, cooper, Egan-street, Newtown.
So George Mawbey may have died in his father-in-law's home.
And his youngest child, Mary, may have been born there.
The next listing for Ann Mawbey is in 1866 as Mrs Ann Mawley, still at Egan Street, but there is no D Williams.
The next time she appears is in 1870 as Mawbey, Mrs Ann, greengrocer, Newtown Road (now King Steet, the main or high street of Newtown).
In 1873 she is living in Albermarle Street, Newtown, on the north side between Denison and Regent Streets.
Then I had a big surprise!
In 1875, the listing in the directory is for Mawbey, John, carrier, Albermarle-street.
This was the year Ann's eldest living son was married in Mudgee, to Sarah Clarke, in St John's Church of England.
I had assumed he had stayed in the country until he opened a wood shop in Mudgee in 1878.
But he is still in Newtown in 1876, this time listed as John Mawby.
Was his wife Sarah with him, or with her parents in Mudgee?
In 1878, there is no listing for John or his mother.
In 1879, Mrs Ann Mowbay, is listed as living in Albermarle Street and in 1880, Anne Mawbey was still there.
Note the variant spellings of Mawbey in the Sand's Directories:
Mawbey, Mawby, Mowbay, Mawley.
This may or may not be relevant, but in 1878, a William H Williams was renting a shop and dwelling in Newtown (now King) Street.
Could he have been a relative of Ann Mawbey (nee Williams)?
The rate payer and owner of the property, valued at 58 pounds, was Hannah Barrett.
[Ref: CSA023540, ratebook A, p.53, rate no.9]

Friday, January 6, 2012

I did have some success, however, with finding out more about where my great uncle, George Mawbey II, lived in the Assessment Books held by the City of Sydney Archives.
His name did not come up when I did searches for 'Mawbey' and 'Mawby'.
When I looked at his address, I found his name had been misspelt 'Mawley'.
In 1907, when he was living at 35 Ann Street, Surry Hills, in the ward of Belmore, the house he was renting was valued at 52 pounds.
It was the second most expensive house in the street.
The most expensive was the house next door, 33 Ann Street, owned by the same landlord, William Goldsmith.
It was valued at sixty-five pounds.
It also had a stable.
Being a carrier, using a horse and cart for his livelihood, George Mawbey may have kept his horse there.
The name of this next door neighbour was Thomas Wade.
On the other side was William A Cooper whose rented house was only worth 36 pounds.
The owner of his house, Hugh Dalveen, owned the five adjoining houses, all rated at the same amount.
Both properties owned by Mr Goldsmith were brick with slate rooves, and two-storey with six rooms.
No 35 had a connecting lane.
[Ref: CSA027476, p.83, line 5, Assessment Book 1641]


I'm trying to find where the first two children of George and Ann Mawbey, David and Alfred, were buried in 1848.
Alfred died first, on 29 August 1848, buried on 31 August.
David died on 10 October 1848 and was buried the same day.
I could not find them in the list of burials in the old Sandhills Cemetery at the corner of Elizabeth and Devonshire Streets, Sydney, reclaimed to make way for Central Railway Station.
Today I looked at the list of burials in Sydney's first cemetery (the one that preceded Sandhills), the Old Sydney Burial Ground at the corner of George and Druitt Streets, Sydney, reclaimed in 1869 to make way for the Sydney Town Hall.
They were not there either.
Then I discovered that this burial ground had only been in use from 1792-1820.
It was too early, closing well before the boys were born.
The two Mawbey males died in the year after the birth of their sister, Ann Jane, and before that of their younger brother, John Thomas.
To view the list of many of the earliest burials in the colony of New South Wales, click on OLD SYDNEY BURIAL GROUND.
I have concluded that the two Mawbey boys must have been buried in the Devonshire Street Cemetery, and that their records have been lost.
If this is the case, they were buried in the same place as the mysterious Sarah Barckley Mawbey who was interred in April of the same year, 1848.