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IFHAA Biographies Library

The Batchelor Family Tree
© 2000 - Researched and Written by Leon Wellman
This page was voted the "Best New Submission for May 2000"

Travelling north from Newcastle NSW after Bulladelah and south of Taree lies the food and petrol stop of COOLONGOLOOK.  I say a food and petrol stop by today standards.  And few would know the real history that surrounds this town of timbergetters of the past. Who became farmers of the future.

 The real history lies within the bounds of the cemetery, to the north of town, on what was called Bengal street in the old map of this village within the parish of Curreeki, county of Gloucester, and dated march 1891.  Today Bengal street is the Pacific Highway, and passes by the Batchelor state forest, named after this pioneer family that were the cedar getters and teamsters from the 1860's. 

 When James Cunningham Batchelor became the first white man on the Coolongolook River. On the river would possibly be correct and this would be as a resident for history will show that the "Isabella " negotiated the Coolongolook river under the navigation skills of Martin Fealds, where he was attacked by aborigine’s in 1831. 

History will show that William Platts and Elizabeth between 1844. When they were living at Cory vale on the Allyn river. And were early residents of the acreage that was part of the A.A Company known as GOOLOONGOLOK

It was the property belonging to William Platts, which James had gifted to him.   It was here together with wife Elizabeth he raised his children. Though when he first arrived he had eighty acres just a little north of the Midge Island.  Alongside of land belonging to John Booth, this acreage was deemed unsuitable for agriculture, the property has the creek they call the Batchelor running through it.

The map of 1891(held by various members of the family), has a road through the Batchelor acreage and the Booth land.   We know that James was in a dwelling on this 80 acres in 1866, when he married Elizabeth, and it was here the marriage was to take place, he was listed as a store keeper, and he was, without doubt, the owner of the first store in Coolongolook.  This had to be 1864, for his wedding certificate, has James in residence on the right bank of the river ,that is the bank opposite the town as it is today.

James and Elizabeth were to shift, after the marriage, to the village side of the river, to a house and land that was a deed of gift from William and Elizabeth Platts. The house that was built to house James and Elizabeth and their children still stands. And is, and has been, used by those who have since bought the property. James is buried close to the house, along with a child. Elizabeth Platts Batchelor is buried in the Coolongolook cemetery, she had passed away on Saturday 16th November 1918. This lady had lived forty years longer than her beloved James.

Within the family, many yarns are told about different members, the following, a family story, has this pioneer James Cuningham Batchelor, poling a punt on this river. Singly to and from the port of Forster Tuncurry, in these early years, the purpose of his journey was to receive and deliver produce to ships at Tuncurry Forster.  Bringing back the sustenance, for the village and his family down the river, on this long journey.

Assistance was forth coming in a rather strange way and his position of control in the punt was to change slightly. When James was moving his flat-bottomed barge, on his own, in pursuance of his civic duty, he would run with the tide in both directions. The day did come when he found himself going, when he should have been coming. The incoming tide peaked and ebbed, and so James Cunningham was to beach his craft, on the nearest bank, watching the landing were a number of indigenous people and they came aboard.  They showed their curiosity by poking the bags of flour James had on board, and when some of the white powder spilt from the holes the aboriginal men wiped it on to their face. so taken with this form of body paint were they that they offered to pole the barge to and from Forster on each trip in exchange for the flour.

 In time J.C. was to acquire a small cannon, this he used for summoning the local populace, either to the craft for the distribution of purchases, or he would use it as an alarm for unexpected disturbances, fire, native attack by unfriendly tribes, flood. Etc. it was more effective than ringing a bell.  The history of this sawyer who started on the Central Coast of New South Wales who raised his sons to become teamsters and sawyers and men of the forest which bears their name now follows: -

James Cunningham Batchelor arrived on the convict ship " Camden ". Commanded by George Thomas Clayton master of this vessel, built on the Thames, she weighed 450 tons, classed as an East Indiaman, this craft left Sheerness, the port on the mouth of the river Thames, on Saturday the 22nd of September 1832, on her second voyage to Port Jackson, with 200 prisoners and arrived in the year 1833, on Sunday 17th February, with 198 convicts, two more had died at sea after 149 days under sail..

Joseph Street was the surgeon superintendent and was in charge of the welfare of the convicts and crew. A convict, but just a boy. J.C. Batchelor age 17 years, he was assigned to Margaret Phillip at Windsor upon arrival, and is shown under her instruction in the year of 1837, as per the convict returns taken that year, then by the year 1839.when application was made to marry Mary Byrnes. He is shown as living at ST Andrew’s and this was in the area we now know as Minto .St Andrew’s was a parcel of 1240 acres belonging to Andrew Thompson he was to die in 1810 in the month of October. He had bequeathed 310 acres to Governor Macquarie, it was valued at £25,000 and had upon the acreage an excellent farmhouse, with offices etc, garden stockyards, 10 acres of corn, 1400 sheep and 10 cattle. Joseph Ward was the caretaker, and strangely .a relation of the writer of this history. Through Joseph Wards son's marriage to Eliza Larken, who was in turn daughter to the uncle of my great great grandmother Maryann Hull, her Aunty Elizabeth Wild was married to the governors scribe Samuel Larken.

 In the year of the death of Andrew Thompson 1810, the Governor Lachlan Macquarie visited the farm along with his mounted troopers. And here once again. Was the writer’s great great great grandfather George Clark .who was a mounted guard of Governor Lachlan Macquarie. He was under orders of  sergeant Whalan who commanded the guard.

James Cunningham Batchelor would have been re assigned to James Chisholm from Margaret Phillip, until he would have received his conditional pardon in 1836. It can be said that he shifted to the Central Coast in 1839, after his marriage in Sydney, as he is attending the wedding of his friend Abraham Sidebottom, in 1840 at Kincumber. And he was employed at Wyoming .he is shown in the indent of the Camden, being able to read and write.  This was quite an achievement, when you see how many of those convicts, in this time zone, could not do either. And was completely illiterate. James came from, and was born in, Dundee Scotland, the son of Thomas Batchelor and Agnes Cuningham, his father was a brass founder by occupation, and James was a blacksmith’s boy. fair headed ,with dark brown eyes, he had a ruddy and fair complexion , his features were broad, and you could because of his job believe this referred also to his build, for identification purposes he was said to have a large wart on forefinger of left hand.

He was charged with house breaking, at the Perth Scotland, quarter sessions, on Monday the 14th September in the year 1829,

And sentenced to 7 years transportation, to the colony of NSW.

Imagine James charged at 12 years of age for the crime of breaking and entering, then he would have been held in a convict prison before transport.  You may have no doubt, and the effect on him as he waited his transport, would have matured this child, and the knowledge of this incarceration at this young age must leave the reader with the feeling of horror.  Many cases the convicted were only seven and eight years of age.

There are many reports, in the history of Australia, that to the average person, resident in today’s community, would and will not believe, but in this early colonization of what the English knew as Botany Bay, and the eastern seaboard known as NSW.  Convicts as young as seven were working under the judicial system of the governors of this fair land. The girls were servants to the wealthy at eight years old and the boys were workers in the field like the older transportees.

 The indent number of James, on board the ship was 199 and his standing number as a convict was 33-509 a Protestant a member of the Presbyterian Scot's church and faith.

The story passed down per the family spoke of James Cunningham. Like many of the convicts who were constables. Being a supervisor of a work gang and was given the responsibility of building public utilities.  Building among other things some prison buildings. And by 1840 he was to have or was in the process of building the church of St. Paul's at Kincumber on the Central Coast of NSW. This he did as a parishioner, or member of the congregation, the church was completed 1842 and the church was opened in that year.     **

James Batchelor whilst he was living at St. Andrew’s, Minto NSW, after having been assigned, in 1833.made application to marry on the 20th of May 1839.  And on the 14th June 1839, a Friday in Sydney at the Scot's Presbyterian Church corner of York St and Margaret st and called St Andrew’s, and with witnesses James Crossley and Jane Smith officiated by John McGarrie minister. James Cunningham Batchelor a resident at the Hawkesbury married: -Mary Byrnes, it is apparent that James had shifted to the Hawkesbury where he was declared as a Farrier had returned to Sydney for his wedding after which both he and Mary Byrnes are shown at the Brisbane Waters. Though James made application to marry from ST Andrew’s Minto he had shifted to the Hawkesbury before the event.

Mary Burns or Byrnes what is the description and history of this young wife of James Batchelor: - application to marry indicated that Mary came on the Pyramus a convict ship that left England in 1831 with 149 all women prisoners , Captain Wilson in command and the surgeon superintendent was j. Rutherford , the Pyramus arrived Sydney cove on the 4th of march 1832 two women had died at sea and 147 were landed after the muster on the 9th of march.

Mary Ann Burns she was given the name Ann Burns, because of another Mary Burns on board this service ship, she was listed as 18 years of age, could read and write, she was a Protestant and was single.  Mary was a Londoner, occupation kitchen maid and she had been sentenced for stealing money from a person. Mary was tried at Croydon on the 4th of august 1831 given seven years she had no previous convictions height five feet her hair was dark brown and her eyes blue, Mary had m k j s tattooed on her upper right arm.  Her standing number as a convict was 32 and her indent number was 127 and she had been given four months additional time. What could her tattoo mean, was this the initials of a previous lover ? Was it the first initial of a number of family members or was it her real initials indicating that her name was not Mary Ann Byrnes of Burns. Many alias were taken by prisoners who either tried to confuse the authority, or were concerned for the family name.

 We find in 1844 James and Mary Byrnes had a baby at Kincumber. Naming her daughter Sarah Ann Batchelor. Born May the 8th and baptised on July 14th.  Investigation now shows at the baptism of Sarah, at St. Paul's at Kincumber, and we now find that Sarah was also baptised we assume within the Manning area at Coolongolook, when James Cunningham had taken her on this journey to his new home , the pioneer birth deaths and marriages show a baptism listed as volume reference no 3233 38a year 1844 in the name of Sarah A. Batchelor, in the parish of Althorpe , Brougham, invermein, or rowan  and this is in that general area from Muswellbrook Taree and on down. Ministers of religion travelled in the early days by horse and carried out marriages and baptisms en mass. The registrars of that time would not register a birth if it was not reported within six months of the event, so as could be well imagined most registrations are baptisms not birth dates.

 Her father James was listed as a sawyer at Blue Gum flat when she was born. He would have been working for Lyall Scott.  It was here he learnt his stock in trade. Even to the operation as a teamster.

  Partners in rearing of bullocks at Yarramalong were Lett and White. And they sold their bullocks to Lyall Scott who had the sawmill at blue gum flat, and if you were at blue gum flat today you would be between Lisarow and Ourimbah in the parish of Gosford NSW.

 Mary Byrne Batchelor died at the age of 36 years in 1852, she died in Sydney, and it could be said that she was shifted there because of her illness, for she was buried in the parish of St Andrew’s Scots church.  The ceremony was performed by the reverend John McGarvie, on the 31st of December 1852, and at this time their daughter would have been eight years of age.

Between 1840 and 1850 James and Mary are shown attending a number of weddings as witnesses. In two of these held in 1840. Mary and James are shown living on Wyoming. in the Gosford area. Now Wyoming was the property that his friend. Who’s wedding he attended in July of 1840. Was constructing the building as a stone mason, this was Abraham Sidebottom so we could say here with confidence that James was working on the timber side of the construction. there were two Sidebottom brothers working on the home "Wyoming" that belonged to Frederic Augustus Hely. They were Abraham and William and as stone masons they were responsible for the building of a number of churches in the Gosford area in those days we know of St. Paul's at Kincumber and also the church of England parsonage at Gosford. It is written that the brothers worked on the Catholic Church of the holy cross the first church in the Brisbane Water.

James Batchelor may have been assigned to Frederick Hely, like the Sidebottom. For construction of Wyoming. for this was the first building in Narara , and it was well known that Hely had many convicts under his control , one of these convicts, being the writer of this history’s ,direct relation ,by the name of Markus Rafferty who has his history included in this book ,

 Then in 1850 it shows just James Batchelor at Matcham land and today that a suburb of the Brisbane Water covers land called Matcham. The history of Matcham is, that Charles Horatio Nelson,. Nephew of Horatio Nelson of Trafalgar fame came to Sydney in 1828 with two thousand pounds and settled on 2560 acres a grant by Governor Darling. That acreage has since become the suburb of Matcham.

The year of 1861was eventful, nine years after the death of Mary, and Sarah was seventeen.   When James was called as a witness, to a shooting, at this time his abode was shown as Lake Macquarie, occupation a labourer, together with Frederick Chaney of Lake Macquarie a labourer, Thomas Boyd of Lake Macquarie a mariner, James Armitage of lake Macquarie a labourer, James Freeman of Wyee labourer, James Frost of Cabbage Tree a labourer. In a hearing, against Edward John Hargreaves, of Bungaree Norah, for the shooting of the mare the property of John Taaffe on the 8th of December 1860at the Chain Valley plain near Graingen Road Lake Macquarie.

John Hargreaves was the son of Edward Hammond Hargreaves, and Edward Hammond was the man accredited with the first discovery of gold in Australia. But it is thought he brought samples of Californian gold back from America. And loaded the pan he was washing in the creek at Ofir near Bathurst, NSW on the 12th February 1851,this operation with the nephew of a woman inn owner from Guyong by the name of Lister, who had supplied him with his dish and pick, the discovery at Lewis ponds creek, started the rush for gold in the colony..

 Then in 1862 ten years after the death of Mary, James is shown at a wedding in Cooranbong between Frederick Smith and Jane Richards, here he is a witness. With a lady by the name of Anne Hanson. This is ten years after the death of Mary. And there is no mention of Sarah. Who would have been eighteen at this point in time.. Witnesses to weddings are generally from only you’re closest of friends. So we could say that the two weddings that James and Mary attended in 1840 were of their good friends. Edward James and Eliza Keif, this was in May, then in July they stood for Abraham Sidebottom and Catharine Connor. The weddings were in St. Paul's Kincumber, and the Reverend Edward Rogers who carried out both services, was the first minister of St. Paul's.

 the year James married Mary Byrne 1839. The government granted two acres of land at Kincumber to the Bishop Broughton for church purposes, the governor Bigges also promised to grant the church half of the amount collected by the congregation, a start was made on the building in 1841.  The contractor for the building of the church was to have already built the Holy Cross-church the Roman Catholic congregation, and for both churches James Taylor and Thomas Humphries and Abraham Sidebottom with Michael Burns and a retinue of free labour. were the builders. it was not till 1850 that the church of St. Paul's could hold its maximum of sixty people. the first baptism in the church in 1847 was that of Margaret Elizabeth frost, and her maiden name was that of  another Coolonglook icon Woodward

Sarah Bachelor married William George Bosward. in 1868.at the time she was twenty four. the wedding was to take place at the free church of England 41 Burton St Sydney, and at this time William George Bosward lived in Crown Street, and Sarah Ann in riley street, the minister of the church was William bailey, and the witnesses to the wedding were Robert Crawford and William Spencer, there is no mention here of James Cunningham Batchelor, her father ,and Sarah was twenty four years old. Sarah died six years later 1874 and here and at this time Sarah was living with her husband in 395 Kent St Sydney.  She was in her thirtieth year, we see here that she was to join the church of the Bosward family the Wesleyan Necropolis.the cause of death for Sarah was typhoid fever, this disease is passed on by use of unsewered toilets. Or bacterial handling of food, here her father is named as a farmer, on her death certificate.

 in 1866 he was  married to Elizabeth Platts, and at his wedding to Elizabeth he was registered as a miner, and he only became a farmer when settled in Coolongolook, the registration of James occupation on Sarah’s death certificate,  by William George, indicates some contact between daughter and father was maintained, we remember that James her father died four years later in 1878..

 Many errors were made in the transcribing of records and one of these mistakes was in relation to Mary Byrnes.   For indications are (by the age at her death as transcribed and showing 26 years) that Mary Byrnes married James when she was thirteen in the 39th year of the 19th century, and he was twenty-three. Although we now know this to be incorrect for she was twenty-three at marriage and died at 36 in 1852. The age of thirteen as registered by the transcribers could incense some people, but it must be remembered, that due to the fact that in 1839 there were near ten men to every woman, and convict women were at nine and twelve years doing the work of the average convict.  In one case on the Central Coast a 55-year-old convict was given permission to marry a 15-year-old. This situation was more the norm than the exception.

In the transpositions old records show many mistakes, and the application for the marriage of James to Mary Byrnes is no different, Mary is said to have been a convict on the "Pyramus", a service ship of women, Mary arrived in 1832 under the name of burns, and the transposed indent shows she was 18 ,but for Mary to be 23 as the marriage application shows, is not correct this application was made in 1839 so we can assume her age when married was in fact 25.   In the request to marry there is no permission from the governor. Sought by the two parties.  If we believe the written application to marry, dated the 20th may 1839, as presented to the Governor lists her age as 23. in favour of this we can believe that this is correct and that Mary was 16 on arrival , and was 15 when convicted in1831,

 Little did James realize his future would materialize with the birth of Sarah in the year 1844.

Two babies were born one his child and the other would be the mother of his seven children from 1866

We know, James Batchelor would have worked around the Central Coast of NSW, until the mid part of the 1860's and so the journey to Port Stephens began, we know, that James Cunningham Batchelor was a sawyer, that he was in an industry that was on the move, and when other means of employment and the city business were experiencing recession, the bush and the timber industry was on a roll,. We now know that James, as a sawyer, was in demand, like all other timber workers.

 During the 1840's the settlement of Erringhi became Clarencetown, and Oxely on a journey of discovery found the Williams River, with the best hardwoods.  So ship building began at this town, the "William the fourth' had been a sail and paddle boat, was built locally known as the puffing billy this craft was built of flooded gum at Clarencetown, for use in the transport of freight and passengers, to Sydney and return.   Schooner -rigged this craft was 24 metres in length, 6 metres of beam, and had a small draft of 2 metres, with a speed of seven knots and was the first steamship built in NSW, launched 22nd October 1831.  The Korff brothers, Lowe, and Marshall were the shipwrights, and constructed other ships at the Paterson, cedar and hardwoods were to entice the new wave of settlers and soon the surveyor Henry Dangar arrived.

he was here to discover new lands , and stands of timber at Patrick's Plains, he was surprised to find squatter stockmen, on undiscovered pastures , these men were employed by settlers from  the Hawkesbury and had travelled overland with cattle and built huts along the river on the plains and in this time did not realize they were close to Newcastle, surveyor Mitchell mapped out a new route from the Hawkesbury via Wiseman's ferry through the Wollombi and Ellalong to Wallis Plains.

 Clarencetown became occupied in the late 1820's and together with Morpeth continued to grow.

Cam-yr-Allyn or Gresford as it is known today remained a satellite village.

we know that the family of William Platts was already entrenched on the Allyn river, could it have been that the association that was to grow in the eighteen sixties between James and Elizabeth started here ? We could believe James reached Patterson and the Williams River for in 1845 George Worth who became a friend and relation was contracted to J. Reynolds of Patterson after arriving on the ship ‘Elizabeth no 4’ at the age of 18.   So here those pioneers of Coolongolook were together William Platts age 35 arrived 1841 at vary, William Maybury and Mary Hale [Hall] having children late 1830’s and George Worth at Paterson with J. Reynolds, could we say James Batchelor also.

Mid 1840's Morpeth had a population of equal numbers of males and females of three hundred each there were two churches.  One of which was a Wesleyan. (And here I wish to diverse and add that the writers ancestors were preachers in this church the name was Lyttle) there was a ladies school and two day schools, five inns, a steam flour mill, a soap and candle factory five large stores. Shops, 37 stone and brick buildings and 117 wooden dwellings steamers were arriving with abundance of coal and sailing ships traded between Morpeth and Sydney.  This northern town has a long history today, & is well known for its weekend street market and people from Wyong to Singleton attend to enjoy and purchase.

Many famous businessmen started here. Caleb Soul who was the father of Washington Soul, who called his chemist, shops Washington soul of Paterson, Campbell of Campbell’s stores.

Haden hall, next to Caleb Souls shop was William Arnott who became Arnotts biscuits in Newcastle..

Times were tough in the colony in the 1840's and really no different to the over expenditure in 1812 or the extension of credit in 1841 that brought a financial crash to NSW.   And by the next year 1842 with further down turn and 600 of the colony's businessmen being declared bankrupt amongst a population of only 100, 000, the labour force of timber workers etc were asked to locate to remote areas where tradesmen and their assistants were still scarce.

This was in likeness to the state of the nation here in Australia at this time 1997. It was the Asian influx coming into the country and other nationals from America , Europe ,and this was to pursue the rush on gold in Victoria and NSW , that caused some of the downturn along with the drought which was effecting the price of livestock in the sheep industry suddenly, the price of lambs were one shilling a dozen and fat cattle at seven and six pence each , bankruptcies were so common that it was no longer an imprisonment for bad debts  the labour force was asked to relocate to remote areas where workers were still scarce.

We could imagine that James in relocating and being a sawyer would look for one of those areas heavily into the timber industry.   Myall and Wallis lakes had been producing top class stands of different timber in big demand, and the waterways were used to get the logs to the port of Stephens. Here he could have started under the employment of the Australian Agricultural Company, and their manager Robert Dawson, until his desire to start on his own and settle in Coolongolook, that James Batchelor is a pioneer of this town.  Now in the shire of the Great Lakes of NSW.  It is most evident for here his children were born here they together with the families that they were to marry into , build the towns churches , inns ,butcher shops , general stores , had their own bullocks and were teamsters of some ability , had the Batchelor. State forest named after them, as was the Batchelor creek that ran through the first acreage that James bought on the other side of his beloved river from the town.

That James Cunningham Batchelor left his mark on this country, he was transported to, is without doubt.  He died in 1878 without the recognition of his grand children. Few knew if he was a free man on arrival or as to the name of his transport from Scotland. We do know he was a divine worshiper. Attending church on a regular basis, a hard worker of varied ability.  His sons and daughters were all of school age on his death. Elizabeth his wife of short time was but 34 years of age and was left to raise the seven children an enormous task when you consider the eldest Daniel was but 11 years.   We understand was at a young age matured and the breadwinner of this young fatherless family. And here were two generations old before their years. James a convict at twelve, and Daniel a head of his fathers family at eleven the youngest James was only nine months.                                        

Sadly James Cunningham had very little time with his family and indications are he had only thirteen years with Elizabeth, his life was broken into periods, from the time of arrival.   From 1833 at Windsor and then Minto or Andrews till 1839, he was around Wyoming till 1840 then upon the birth of his daughter he was at blue gum flat that was 1844. And he was at Matcham in 1850, here he is shown at David Short and Mary Malones wedding but without Mary Byrnes. and when Mary died in 1852 he moved on to the  Lake Macquarie area, at what they called Chain Valley. this was in 1862 you could believe he moved on to the Williams river and teamed up with the Platts in the next two years and arrived with them at Coolongolook in 1864.

when he died the parents of Elizabeth,  were close at hand, and the property on which she was to live was unencumbered.  an association was built up in twelve years of James living in this  town amongst the timbergetters   and sixty two years of life , forty five here in Australia , this Brau Scot from Dundee.

His friend during his life at Coolongolook was Daniel Platts his brother in law and he was. right to the end, (though James was 62 and Daniel was 37), as the witness to his death and as the informant of his passing to the registration of births deaths and marriages at the court house at Stroud.  In recognition of the closeness of Daniel Platts, the parents of the first born Daniel James Batchelor named him accordingly.   Vale these pioneer James son of Thomas born of Agnes Cuningham who departed this life on Tuesday the 27th of august 1878.

We now find there could be many theories as to the travel of James Cunningham to the Coolongolook area.   They have all been broached throughout this history except for the mention of John Booth his neighbour on the Right Bank of the Coolongolook River.   Were both at the Hawkesbury where Booth owned a timber getting business and he was to push on to the Manning River area in the year of 1869.  John Booth was involved in the timber industry from 1869 at Coolongolook, he had arrived in Australia after sailing around the world, in the year of 1835.  Two years after James Batchelor an enterprising man he was building ships at Brisbane Water in 1846 with the ketch Prosperous and continued building seagoing craft there till 1853 Secundus 1846 a ketch. St. Leonard schooner 1847. Emma and Eliza schooner 1848. Nora schooner1849. Scout ketch 1850. Wild Duck ketch 1851.

 Tyne ketch 1851. Frolic ketch 1853.

On the 9th June 1854, John Booth was in Sydney at Booth St. Balmain where the family occupied a wooden cottage and Booth Street led to the water, near where, taken from the Sydney Morning Herald of that date.  He advertised he had established a timber yard, at Johnson’s Bay, for every description of hard wood, shingles, posts and rails cedar and pine.

As James was in Sydney where upon the death of Mary. he would have had his daughter Sarah with him she being 10 years old in 1854, and there is every possibility that James worked for John Booth at the timber yard till he was at Lake Macquarie in 1860 – 61.   Then in 1864 -5 he was living next to John Booth at his acreage in Coolongolook.

 In 1855 and 1856 John Booth commenced to build Harbour Ferries at Johnson’s Bay, on the Balmain side of Darling Harbour, where he became in a very short time the mayor of Balmain, he expanded to the Hawkesbury and here he was at Kincumber between 1846 and 1853 and it was on the Brisbane Water that he applied his trade, with so many, in the building of ships just as he had in Johnson’s Bay,  it was from Balmain and Mort’s Dock, like Jonathon Piper ,who was a shipwright ,and who built ships in Brisbane Water, and he had two brothers who learnt their trade with him, by the name of Tom and Rock Davis, and they in turn built ships at Davistown, evidently named after their family.

Jonathon Piper was born in 1813, and he served his shipwrights apprenticeship under his brother William, at Sussex street Sydney, once again in Darling Harbour, how ironic that this activity was to happen in a street that had so much history about the ancestors of the writer of this history.

at a time when James Batchelor had lost his wife and was gearing up to shift on north. Sarah we could believe may have been in service in Sydney, after 1852 when Mary her mother died in Sydney.

Booth owned a wharf and location could point to Noone's wharf, as it was known in later years.  This wharf was at the mouth of the creek once known as Thompsett's creek later as Batchelor's creek, did James drive a team from the Hawkesbury and Lake Macquarie to Coolongolook for Booth in 1864-5?

Later years show that James Fenning worked for John Booth.

James Fenning was the father of Allan who later married the daughter of Frances Batchelor and Henry Hucket this was May Hucket Fenning (Frances was the second daughter of James and Elizabeth Batchelor).

The early settlers arrived by bullocks and wagons to this early grant of the Australian agricultural Company .for  the bullocks were more reliable stronger and could withstand the roughness of the journey.  The yokes and chains were a good deal cheaper than the harness for hacks, the story in respect to James.  He came by boat to Seal Rocks from where he started his journey with his team of bullocks through Bungwahl, on past and through Topi Topi, crossing the Wallingat River at the rocks. then along the Taylor’s creek reaching the large stands of timber that became known as Batchelor state forest ,then onto the Coolongolook river  that James could have driven a team to the Manning shire for John Booth is easy to believe , a resourceful young man he had a lot to offer his employer. both would have supplied passage for James and the team  we now know John Booth had the first timber mill on the river at Coolongolook.

 And so to the family of Elizabeth Platt's mother of the first Bachelor’s in this village of Coolongolook: Out of Liverpool England and anchored in Sydney cove was the "Joseph Cunard" with assisted passengers. Contracted to the Messers Aspinall, Browne and company, this was Sunday the 28th day of November 1841.  On board were William Platts a miller and agricultural labourer 36 years of age born in Ulverscroft Leicestershire Britain. Literate (able to read and write) his good character was attested to by two people John Shaw and Gordon Street. His health was very good and he was approved by S. Wallcott and certified by John Curry, religion was Protestant. There were no complaints, he paid four pounds for his wife and two children, and it is stated he did not expect to get it back again. His wife was Elizabeth also from Ulverscroft, her parents being dead.   She had the calling of a house servant twenty four years of age her health was very good and she was also under contract to Aspinall Browne. Her two children Fanny 3 years and Elizabeth was one year.

The journey was not as happy as it could or was expected to be for in October whilst under sail. tiny Elizabeth ,was to die and mother Elizabeth was eight months pregnant on arrival.

Daniel Platts was born just prior to the first Xmas away from the old dart. They’re home in Ulverscroft and sadness became a joy with the birth of this son on this day Tuesday the 14th December 1841, Daniel was born in Sydney and the family were then moved to the parish of Houghton to the property of Aspinall Browne named Cory vale across the river from the post office and town of Vacy on the Allyn river ( Cory vale exists today ) the town of Vacy is 31 klms north of Maitland and 9klms from Paterson. Two family members were close to each other here the William Platts and the William Maybury’s

Strange that these two pioneer family, one arriving in 1841 and the other blessed the shores in 1818 were to become from two different marriages part of this large early Coolongolook family tree.

It is here we wonder as to who were to tread the acres of this district first. They came in varied ways these hardy settlers some by boat or barge through Bunyah down the Wang Wauk that runs into the Wallis Lake after joining with the Coolongolook River at the junction near Shallow Bay.

They would have came from Stroud via Buladelah over Manning Hill. Some of the family members of the future were to travel through and from Booral over the Buladelah Mountain, they passed through Markwell on to Topi and Bungwahl.  Crossed the Wallingat River where they would haul there belongings across  "the rocks" followed Taylor’s creek into the area by the Coolongolook river.

And then they came the Batchelors, Platts, Worth’s Bennetts, Lulhams, French, Thompson, Woodward, Bunt, Kennedy, and Fenning. Names that echo through each of their homes when they sit with the great grand children of all settlers and they adress how their children came to marry into each of these families.

James Cunningham Batchelor married Elizabeth Platts

it was Wednesday 26th September 1866 and they were joined together by a priest of the church of England and Ireland

William Clarkson Hawkins and the service was in the dwelling house of James Batchelor storekeeper of the Gooloongolok    

(Now spelt by all maps Coolongolook) witnessed by Michael kindle and William Alway.

Children of this marriage: -

1) Daniel James born 1867 married Alice Amelia Bennett 27 - 12 - 1899

                                                 Children 1) James born 4-2-1902 reg Stroud

                                                                 2) Thomas born 2-2-1904 reg Stroud

                                                                 3) Alexander born 23-6-1906 reg Stroud

                                                                 4) Kathleen born 12-10- 1907 reg Stroud

                                                                 5) Alexandra Mary born 2- 3- 1917reg Taree

all were born in Coolongolook with the exception of Alexandra who was born at Nabiac.

2) William Thomas born 1869 married Ellen "Nellie" craven1907 Stroud

                                                   Children 1) Winifred born 1914 at Wingham

3) Rosaline born 1870 married Christopher Latimore 1890 at Taree

4) Andrew George born 1872 married Daisey Poole 1913 at Stroud

5) Frances Elizabeth born 1875 married Henry Huckett 1897atTaree

6) Thomas born 1875 married 

7) James born 1878 married Charlotte Burns 1907

                   Children 1) Edith born 1912 reg Stroud

And so with the passing of James Cunningham Batchelor came the children of Coolongolook. Those Bachelors who would grow under the guidance of Elizabeth their mother and Daniel their uncle.

Education had started on a half time basis in 1870.  Daniel the eldest son was only three years of age, and so by school age, we could imagine for him, would have been five years.  And this would have been under William Alway, who had accepted the position of teacher at two schools in 1870, the two schools were both named the Mclean river schools.  And were in reality on the Coolongolook river for this river was in this time was the south branch of the McLean and the Wang Wauk river that had run into the Coolongolook was known as the north branch and so the schools were one on the south branch and one on the north branch.

Education for children born in the area between 1867 and 1884 was carried out in the half time schools. With teachers like William Alway who apparently was the first of these educators followed by William Jafferey John Moylan and then Donald Mckinnon and a half time school operated by attendance of half a day or one day in every two.

There are people in every time and every place that give so much of their life to the needs of others and they carry out all sorts of duties. Experienced or not they become acting Doctors. Teachers. Advisors and in the event of death Gravediggers and ministers of the service. William Alway was such a man he attended to the education of the children of the McLean River and specifically Coolongolook for he taught the children of James and Elizabeth Cunningham Batchelor and when James died he gave service to him.

So the passing of James Cunningham Batchelor left Daniel James and William Thomas to the duties of the little men around the house and Rosalind to be her mothers companion.

The children would have attended the school on the south branch of the McLean river , as well as carry out their life sustaining chores in and around the home , though of course Elizabeth Batchelor like all other women in this isolated area would have a large every day duty of sewing making clothes for the young ones growing vegetables, milking a house cow , keeping wood chopped to cook the meals ,she would prepare for her seven young ones .this was done of course with the help of the eldest of this young family.

In 1870 there was an enrolment in the half time schools of 31 boys and girls with an attendance at both of 22. 6  this amount of children was only possible by the influx of settlers and they were to voice their request for a full time teacher in 1881 when John Moylan resigned his position of half time teacher at both the schools. And so we see the names of the settlers appear on applications submitted in respect to the progress of the town headed by J.H. Young the local member of Parliament there were families such as the Donaldsons, Lulham, Worth.

Gilman, Tagg, Pearce, Mills, Beauchamp, Kennedy Batchelor and the Shultz family and they stated there was thirty-six children of school age within two miles radius.

By 1869 Patrick Kennedy had taken up land on the same side as John Booth and James Cunningham Batchelor and shortly after we see others like Taylor, Bunt , Slater , Marshall we can see that because of the marriage of Elizabeth Platts to James Cunningham  in 1866 that the Platts would have been in the area earlier than most.

It was in the year of 1867 Elizabeth’s father made acreage available to James this was the portion 32 of the left bank of the river and the home that was built there is in evidence today with very little if any wear through age. Though some historians suggest that the Latimore home was the first residence built at Coolongolook this is not so for Rose Latimore was the daughter of James and Elizabeth and she was born in the home built on portion 32.

William Platts coming from vacy had settled on the Right Bank of the river and still today in 1997 the descendants remain there.

The good ship Elizabeth arrived port of Sydney on 31st march 1845 with settlers of assisted passage.having left Liverpool Britain on Thursday 12th December 1844. Taking 3 months and 19 days. One of the passengers was a lad of eighteen who was to make his mark in the colony he came from Markfield, Leicester England leaving his parents John and Elizabeth Worth.

George Worth was contracted to Charles J. Reynolds at Tocal on the Paterson NSW on a wage of seventeen pounds per annum and weekly rations of 10lbs of beef or mutton, 10lbs of flour, 2lb of sugar and a quarter of a pound of tea. Like many he could neither read or write on arrival and signed his indemnity papers to Charles J. Reynolds with an ‘x’ and was classified as a farm labourer and his disposal list no 211 was signed in Sydney on the 3rd of April 1845 and witnessed by J. K..Cleeve.

 He was to meet Mary Ann Mayberry in this town of Patterson and in the ensuing few years courted this lady till they married in June of 1850 at Dungog NSW.  When he was 23 years of age then by the mid 1860's George was in the town of Coolongolook to settle. They came to the property situated on the corner of the Curreeki Creek Road, and what is today the Pacific Highway in 1865, they had come with the first eight of the children, and built on this portion number seven. Here George built his first public house. Carrying on the occupation of his ancestors in England. This occupation is mentioned also at Port Stephens, and the family in later years built the Bulladelah Hotel.  The family was is also known to have run the hire car service in that town one hundred klms north of Newcastle .his progression in the new country was a credit to him when you realize he came as a farm labourer of 18 and could not write his name..

There were fifteen children born to George Worth and Mary ann Maybury. They were in the years of birth :-

1) George Worth 1850 died 1885

2) John Worth 1851married Harriet Loveday preistly1876

3) George Worth 1853 married Barbara Beister 1878

4) William Worth 1856 married Margaret Pacey 1882

5) Sarah Jane Worth1858 married Thomas William F. Bennett on the 20th December 1877 she died March 19th 1935

6) Mary Worth 1860 married Edward Hayes she died in 1919

7) Ann Worth 1862 married tom Avery she died 1897

8) Edward Worth 1864 died year 1867

9) James Worth 1866 married Sarah Jane Burt (Sarah’s mother died when she was very young and her fathers name was Munro she was raised by the Burt family)

10) Elizabeth Worth 1868married a Mr. Willis

11) Edward Worth 1868 a twin to Elizabeth

12 ) Samuel Worth 1871married grace Poole

13) Joseph Worth 1873

14) Stephen Worth 1874

15) Emma Louise Worth 1876 married a Frederick Arnall

George was to start seeking gold in Coolongolook and made the first discovery around 1870.   This was together with his three oldest sons John 19years George 17 years and William 14 years there was no license needed then and it was not till eight years later that Donaldsons and Cassidy applied for miners rights and were to work the Farnell claim

Sarah Jane the fifth child was to marry Thomas William Frederick Bennett at the age of nineteen on Tuesday the 20th march 1877 at the property portion 7 Curreeki Creek. And she was the link to the Batchelor family when her daughter Alice Amelia married Daniel.

Mary Ann Mayberry was the first child of William Mayberry and Mary Ann Hall [Hale]. This lady Mary Ann Hall, came to the colony on the convict ship "Caroline" from county Louth Ireland she was 22 years of age, a catholic, her designation was that of a general hand in country duties, she could not read or write, and her conviction was for stealing cheese.   She was tried 19th April 1832 and her sentence was for 7 years though she had a previous conviction that was to net her three months.

Now Mary was not a tall, but stood her ground at five foot four and a half inches. She was a stoutly built girl with large features her face showed a ruddy exterior and was pitted with a past attack of chicken pox. A disease that in those days was very prevalent. She had a fair share of freckles her hair was brown and her eyes were hazel in colour. She was listed on the "Caroline " the convict ship captained by Alexander Macdonald wit, George Birnie as the surgeon superintendent.  As Mary Hall alias Hale and her indent number was 91, and her beginning in the colony was to start on the arrival at Port Jackson Tuesday the 6th of august 1833.   In the next year 1834 no time was wasted when she married William Mayberry in the church of Christ Newcastle by the reverend C Pleydell n. Wilton. Charles Pleydell Neil Wilton the reverend from St Anne’s Anglican Church Ryde had arrived in the colony in 1827 to become the second preacher in St Anne’s.  And vacated this post to take up the appointment at Newcastle Cathedral he had arrived in the colony as a scholar from St Johns Cambridge England. He left his mark on the advancement of Ryde known as Kissing Point when he was to urge the government to put a punt across the river so the Concord people could attend church and visit Kissing Point and have access to the school held at St Anne’s.  He played a very big part in the marriage and baptism of the Maybury children until he passed away in 1859.

William Maybury was settled in Clarencetown and had been there. for some considerable time, having arrived in the colony on the Surrey 3 in the year 1818 he was classified as a  sawyer the marriage between William Maybury and Mary Ann Hale /Hall had three issues , the first child born was Mary Ann named after her mother , she was a Sunday child on this day 21st December 1834 she was baptised in the church of England - Christ Church parish in Newcastle by the minister who married her parents the reverend C. Pleydell. N. Wilton.  The next child was James Mayberry he was born on Wednesday the 8th of February 1837 and like Mary was baptised by the reverend Wilton.  The last child was Elizabeth she was born on Saturday the 25th of May 1839 she likewise was to be baptised by reverend Wilton, Elizabeth was to marry Donald Cameron Wednesday 17th August

1887 they were both living at Rosebank Myall River this home was owned by William Maybury father of Elizabeth and the witnesses were William Maybury and Mary ann Hall Hale Maybury the family during this time were living at Clarencetown..

James Mayberry married fourteen years after George Worth and his sister Mary Ann taking place on Monday the 15th February 1864, he was according to his marriage records as born at Glen William NSW.   He was listed, as a farmer he was age 26 he married Ann Avery of Paterson who was a private person at the time of the wedding and her usual residence was Banfield. Her father James Avery was a farmer and her mother was before her marriage to James Avery a miss Haislip., the marriage was carried out in the residence of Mr. Samuel Smith named glen oak and was near Clarencetown

four children were born to Ann Avery  and James Maybury

Elizabeth Avery Maybury born 28th November 1864 witnessed by Mrs. Priestley, indications are that Elizabeth died prior to the birth of William Avery Maybury born 12th august 1866 witnessed by Mrs. Robinson. James Avery Maybury born 20th October 1868 and at this birth was a Mrs. Priestley

Catherine Avery Maybury born 25th December 1870 and at this birth were Horatio Costerton and Mrs. Avery senior

All births were shown to be at green Gully Myall River in the district of Port Stephens.

Anne Avery Maybury died on Saturday 7th January 1871, she was to die through a fever associated with the birth of Catherine.

The presiding minister at the funeral was Archibald Shaw and the witnesses were Thomas Laman junior and John Donaldsons.

Anne Avery Maybury died seven years after her marriage to James, and the death occurred in Green Gully where she gave birth to her children, on Wednesday January the 29th 1873. Almost two years to the day that Anne Avery Maybury died. Elizabeth Priestley married with the permission of her father, the widower James Maybury at the house of George Priestley her father,  the minister who wed James to Elizabeth was Archibald Shaw and the witnesses to the blessed event were George Priestley and his daughter Harriet Loveday Priestley , the sister of Elizabeth.

Harriet Loveday Priestley married John Worth in 1876 he was the first son of George Worth so John married the sister of his auntie related by marriage and his mother’s brothers wife.

The first child of James Maybury and Elizabeth Priestley Samuel was the first of nine and the births were as follows: -

Samuel Priestley Maybury born Tuesday 9th September 1873

James Priestley Maybury born Saturday 15th May 1875

Alfred Priestley Maybury born Monday 4th June 1877

Mary Jane Priestley Maybury born Sunday 10th August1879

Thomas James Priestley Maybury born saturday18th February 1882

Annie Priestley Maybury born Thursday 27th March 1884

Edward Charles Priestley Maybury born Monday 29th March 1886

Archibald Oliver Priestley Maybury born Sunday 1st July 1888

Arthur Stephen Priestley Maybury born Sunday 30th March 1890


Thomas William Frederick Bennett the son of Phoebe Jones and Frederick William Bennett was born in the year of 1850 at Cooks River, there were many Bennetts registered at Cooks River at this time, he had other brothers and sisters.  Two of these were Emily born 1853 and Sarah born 1855.

Thomas was to marry Sarah Jane Worth on Thursday 12th December 1877. Sarah Jane had been born on the 10th of March 1858 this was a Wednesday, this union was to produce five birth children and one adopted child they were: -

Emily Jane Bennett born in 1878 at Coolongolook. Died in 1879

Alice Amelia Bennett born 1st April 1880 at Coolongolook and was to marry Daniel James Batchelor on Wednesday 27th December 1899 they had five children who were

James born 1902

Thomas Batchelor born 1904

Alexander Batchelor born 1906 known all his life as Pat

Kathleen Batchelor born 1907 known as Katie

Alexandra Mary Batchelor born 1917 known as Queenie

Frederick Henry Batchelor born 1884 at Coolongolook married Elizabeth Woodward

George Thomas Batchelor born 1886 at Coolongolook was unmarried

Elsie Margaret Batchelor born 1896 at Coolongolook married John F. Herivel

the adopted child was Henrietta Myrtle Hoad


Sarah Jane Worth made her last will and testament in July on the eighth day 1935 leaving all her estate to Henrietta and her son George Thomas Batchelor.


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