Category Archives: ASSISTANCE NEEDED


Due to the interrupted research of the last year, I am refreshing my recollections of possibles on the Melinda Trail.

Was she ever at the HILLS’ Wollombi home. MILBRODALE?

Milbrodale Named by Rev Richard Hill (1782-1836)

An interesting slant on the Rev Richard is this one.


Wollombi History


Hunter Valley Settlers 1837


Wollombi Cemetery
Hunter & Central Coast Region, New South Wales, Australia




It was in the year of 1782 that Richard Hill was born in London. The Bishop of London
ordained him as a Church of England clergyman in 1813. In 1818 he was appointed to a
chaplaincy in New South Wales.
Taking the office of clergyman on board the “Hibernia”, carrying 160 male convicts
bound for Van Diemen’s Land, Rev. Hill and his wife, Phoebe Sapphira, eventually
reached Sydney from Hobart on 18 June 1819. A man of compassion, he was appalled
by the cruelty, disease and dreadful conditions witnessed.
Ship’s surgeon Charles Carter was not partial to clergymen and involved himself in
disputes with them. Rev. Hill complained that Carter had prohibited him from visiting
the ship’s sick bay without his permission and had ridiculed his efforts at religious
instruction to the convicts. After complaints from other ministers during voyages, the
Governor recommended that Carter should never again be employed.
Rev. Hill soon won the good opinion of Governor Macquarie and Rev. Samuel Marsden.
His initial appointment was as assistant to Rev. William Cowper at St. Phillips, the only
church in Sydney. In 1821 he was given charge of the new district of St. James, and
when the church was consecrated in February 1824, Rev. Hill became its regular
minister. It soon became the chief church of the Colony. Rev. Hill worked hard at St.
James, visiting convict barracks and ministering to the poor. He had advanced ideas
about educational methods, and his contemporaries were to remember him chiefly for his
work with children. Governor Darling considered him a most zealous and reputable
clergyman, but believed that his labours much impaired his health.
Rev. Hill took an active part in humanitarian organisations. He was a founder of the
NSW Society for promoting Christian knowledge among the Aborigines, a director of the
Natives’ Institution, and joint secretary of the Australian Auxiliary and the Church
Missionary Society. His interest in the Australian and Pacific natives was greater than
the average clergyman.
Suburban lots of land were acquired by Rev. Hill near Darlinghurst. Then on 30
September 1825, he was promised Grant No. 224 of 1,200 acres of land and an 800 acre
grant by purchase adjoining it on Saint Patricks Plains. In 1833 when quit rent was to
commence, his 1200 grant was described in the NSW Government Gazette (p. 398)
REV. RICHARD HILL, 1,200 Twelve
hundred Acres, Parish unnamed, on the West
Bank of the Wolombi Brook; bounded on the
North by Williams’ purchase, commencing at
the confluence of Parsons’ Creek with the
Wolombi, and bounded by that Creek and a
line West 54 chains to Williams’ South-west
corner, and by a continued West line of 53
chains; on the West by a line bearing South 80
chains; on the South by a line bearing East
155 chains to Wolombi Brook; and on the
East by Wolombi Brook.
Promised by Sir Thomas Brisbane as a
reserve, on 30th September, 1825. Quit rent
£10 sterling per annum, commencing 1st
January, 1833.
“Milbro Dale” was the name chosen by Rev. Hill for his land. Eventually this became
one word “Milbrodale” for the surrounding district. Parsons Creek was his boundary
with Robert Williams.
When Rev. Hill arrived with his assigned convicts and free men, their first task was to
erect rough bark shelters. Later came huts of hand-adzed slabs with roofs of bark. They
had to utilise whatever the land had to offer and packsaddle all other necessities across
the precipitous ranges from Windsor. It was hard work, hard living, hard food.
The grant was a world of limitless earth and sky, maddening in its loneliness. Their
neighbours were the native inhabitants who lived in harmony with the land. At night
came the mournful howl of dingoes with dogs answering from the huts.
Rev. Hill continued to live in Sydney as Minister of St. James. He would ride up to
“Milbro Dale” when he could. While there he would perform marriages and baptisms,
also funerals if anyone chose the right time to die. On 8 August 1828 he baptised
Roseanna, the daughter of William and Ann Maria Clarke. He also conducted church
services for the salvation of the convicts’ souls and anyone else who came along. Nine
convicts were on the property in 1828 with some free persons. The overseer had a wife
and child.
Despite his possessions and a stipend and emoluments valued at near £600 a year, by
1835 Rev. Hill could not resolve his financial difficulties. His tastes were simple, and
apart from his wife, his only dependant was his widowed mother in England. There were
no children from his marriage. He seems to have been a poor manager of money and a
too generous donor to charity.
Giving up his connection with things of time and sense, Rev. Hill died suddenly from an
attack of apoplexy in the vestry of St James on 30 May 1836. His constitution had long
been weakened by his labours, but his death came as a surprise with many expressions of
regret. Mrs Hill, born in London on 29 January 1780, died at Darlinghurst on 7
November 1863.
On 2 March 1839, in partnership with Robert Williams, Thomas Parnell bought Wilbro
Dale from Rev. Hassell and John Campbell, executors for the estate of the late Rev.
Richard Hill. They paid £2,100 for it. Three months later Robert sold his share to
Thomas Parnell died on 11 September 1856, leaving Milbro Dale to his son Charles on
condition that he did not sell it for 15 years. Parnells did not always reside on the estate
but leased it out. Now known as one word, Milbrodale Estate, was auctioned by Charles
on 15 January 1873. It was greatly increased in acreage. Benjamin Richards was the
A wealth of history of the pioneer days is associated with Milbro Dale House, lost with
the passing of time. Once it was a prominent landmark, 17 miles from Singleton on the
Bulga road to the Hawkesbury.
The charming Colonial Georgian homestead on the grant to the Rev. Richard Hill, was
set in a bend on the south side of Parsons Creek not far from its confluence with
Wollombi Brook. It was a single-storeyed house built in the long, low style, plain and
well constructed. Date of construction is uncertain.
Sandstone blocks two feet long, eighteen inches wide and one foot high, were quarried by
convicts at the lagoon south of the house. Both end walls were formed of rubblestone
Shingles were cut for the roof. All joinery in the house was cedar. Nails were hand
forged. High windows of paned glass were fitted with louvered wooden shutters for
security and to exclude the heat.
There were five rooms along a stone-flagged front verandah. The room on the southern
end to the left had a window to the front verandah and also to the back verandah, which
was constructed of slabs laid on the ground. There was no outside door to this room, but
there was a connecting one close to the back wall to enter the next room.
A double fireplace served both rooms. Above carved cedar mantelpieces, shelves were
built. This second room was large with a window at the front and could be entered by a
front and back door. Here church services, meetings and dances were held. From this
room a door close to the back wall allowed entrance to a third room which only had two
The fourth room had a door and window to the back verandah and a door to the front, but
no interior connection, rather a bleak prospect on a cold night. This was perhaps to seal
off the first three rooms from intruders. A double fireplace with a large baker’s oven also
served a fifth room.
A door from the fifth room led to the back verandah and there was a high window in the
end wall needing a ladder to reach it. Rings were let into the stone walls. When all
supplies had to be transported over the rugged mountains from Windsor, perhaps at six to
twelve monthly intervals, all security had to be taken. Boxes of foodstuffs and valuables
would be chained to the walls. In later years thieves tore 18 inch skirting boards off this
room after hearing a tale of hidden treasure.
At the back of the house a detached slab kitchen, dining room and other necessary rooms
were built. A pine dining table with carved legs seated 24 people. Later the rooms were
reached by a covered way.
Milbrodale had many outbuildings including men’s huts, stables, stockyards,
blacksmith’s shop, butcher shop, woolshed and piggery. It was described as a lovely old
home with a glorious garden enclosed with a high paling fence. Fruit and shade trees
reached as far as the creek. One can imagine the convicts toiling on the estate.
In the 1930s a storm caused the shingles to leak, so corrugated iron was placed over
them. Some of the timber flooring was replaced and an extra room built on the end of the
front verandah.
With time and weathering the old homestead fell into a dangerous state of disrepair and
was demolished in 1978. Lying in the grass, only two or three sandstone blocks showing
marks of the convicts’ hammers and chisels, remain of the Rev. Hill’s fine estate.
Rev. Richard Hill 1825
Thomas Parnell – Robert Williams 1839
Thomas Parnell 1839
Charles Parnell 1856
Benjamin Richards 1873
Elvina Durham 1898
Alexander Family 1904
C B Alexander Estate 1947
Greg Harris 1967
Gordon Warren Harris 1969
Australian Dictionary of Biography
NSW Government Gazette
Mrs Marion Banks
Mr John St Pierre
Maitland Mercury
Mrs Nina Pike
Mrs Edna Court
Mr Gordon Harris
Singleton Argus
Last Will and Testament of Thomas Parnell
[Information supplied by Jenny Scholes]
Within Easy Distance of the Town of Singleton,
And upon the Main Line of Road from the
Northern Interior to Sydney.
1000 Acres of which are ring-barked; and
140 Rods of Three-railed Fence having been
recently erected, renders a splendid plot at
once available for stock. Irrespective of this
vast extent of freehold, there are
By Running Streams and Neverfailing Waterholes –
the former intersecting the property in
such a manner as to keep stock constantly within
control, and the general management freed from the
disadvantages which accrue in badly-watered districts.
FAMILY RESIDENCE, with necessary Outhouses;
Enclosed Cultivation, Grazing Paddocks,
Stockyards, &c., &c., &c.
The Proprietor has also contracted for the erection
of a vast extent of 2-railed Fencing, thus completing
every requisite for efficiently working the property.
TERMS:- Cash; or, if elected, One-third Cash – the
residue of the purchase money to remain five
years, bearing interest at the rate of 7 per cent per annum,
payable half-yearly, secured by mortgage upon the property
in the usual manner, the purchaser having the option to
pay off £500 at any time during the currency of the
mortgage, by giving three months’ notice.
BRUNKER & SPARKE have received instructions from
Chas. Parnell, Esq., to sell by auction, at the Northumberland
Hotel, West Maitland, on WEDNESDAY, the 15th January,
1873, at Twelve o’clock,
This Valuable and Extensive Property has been occupied for
many years by Mr. W. McAlpin, and may undoubtedly be
classed as one of the most unmistakeable investments
offering. The quality of the Land is unquestionable –
irrespective of its GRAZING CAPABILITIES.
Its adaptation for Agricultural purposes cannot be
Excelled, those portions cultivated have produced
Of the very best description.
The difficulty to secure Grazing Estates possessing
the advantages of “MILBRODALE” is becoming daily
apparent: to Station Proprietors it would be invaluable as
Enabling the Squatter to hold his consignments for the
most favourable market, without affecting its capacities
or interfering in the slightest degree with the profitable
working of the Estate.
its proximity to the principal Towns in the Hunter River District
Are privileges not to be overlooked; and must at once convince
Investors that the growing importance of the colony must tend, beyond
conception, to augment the value of such properties as
“MILBRODALE”. The Auctioneers therefore invite (with
confidence) the especial attention of parties desirous to secure
To the sale of this truly valuable and splendidly situated Estate.
Should this Property not be sold, it will be LEASED BY AUCTION,
for a term of Ten Years, possession to be given in April, 1873.
Intending Purchasers are especially requested to INSPECT THE
PROPERTY – every facility will be afforded by Mr. W. McAlpin, or
Mr. James Moy, who reside on the Estate; and a PLAN can be
Seen at the Office of the Auctioneers, East Maitland.
Particulars of which can be obtained upon reference to
Jas. Norton, Esq., Solicitor, Sydney.
Maitland Mercury ND.




David Clement said

July 7, 2009 at 11:24 pm e

I am researching Bryan Overend, one time captain of Lady Nelson and Estramina, and crew member of Emu when it sank at Cape Town 1816. He disappears from sight after this. Do you have any information on Bryan, please.



D. Clements is looking for info on one Bryan Overend( Overhand).

My own ancestor Thomas Sanders appears to be mentioned there as well. From the 1700s as well as more McNallys.  Can you help ?

  • Thomas Anderson
    A School Teacher in early New South Wales
    by Grahame Thom


In the last month, 2 descendants of ELIZA have contacted us. Louise, who is related through EMELIA BOLLARD has forwarded this baptismal certificate and has give me permission to place her musings on the site. She is happy that it might help someone else researching as we are.




Bollard Family

Thomas Bollard (sometimes spelt Ballard) lived at Hardwick Yass in 1850 when he married Emma Whitehouse who also lived at Hardwick. Hardwick was one of three early historic properties established in the early 1800’s, Cooma Cottage, Douro and Hardwicke, by Henry and Cornelius O’Brien.

Henry O’Brien had Hardwick between 1837 and 1852 and during that time helped to save the Australian wool industry from bankruptcy. English demand for wool had dropped so prices plummeted, Henry developed melt down works on Hardwick designed to boil down sheep for tallow, which was sold to England and use for making gunpowder. It is believed that Hardwick is the original route that Hume and Hovell took through that area.

Emma and Thomas both appeared to be working there at the time of their marriage in 1850.

They were married in the Presbyterian Church.

Ellen…1851, John…1854, Thomas …1856, Mary…1859, William…1862, James (Joseph James)…1869, Patrick…1873, 2 other males.

Not much known about Thomas except he was born in Ireland and was about 55 in 1862 when William was born. He went to the Araluen goldfields early in their marriage. After which he worked as a manager of Middlingbank Station near Cooma. After this they moved to Molonglo Station where Thomas worked. It was during this time that the family encountered the Clarke Brothers Bushranger gang, Emma several times by herself with the children.

Their son Jack (probably John)  was speared and boomeranged at Coopers Creek, when he was about 24. He went to Northern Queensland as a stockman and the family were never able to discover what had happened to him, but presumed he had been killed by aborigines.

Emma was 30 when William Albert was born in 1862. At the time of her death on the 31st July 1912, she was living with her son James, at 61 Buckland St Chippendale Sydney.

James indicated that her parents names were James Whitehouse and Bridget McNally, but on tracing records it seems feasible that he didn’t know their Christian names , or there was a mix-up on the form , as his name was James and his wife’s was Bridget. It appears more than likely that Emma (he spelt it Amelia) was actually Elizabeth Emelia Whitehouse born at The Sand Hills (later Surrey Hills) in Sydney and baptised on 25th July 1833 at St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney.

Her parents were recorded as Albert Whitehouse (printer) and Elizabeth McNally.

Emma is easily adapted from Emelia.

Family vocal history has always indicated that there was a connection with Henry Kendall, it is most likely that Emma’s mother , Elizabeth was a sister of Melinda McNally who married Basil Kendall and subsequently had a son Henry Kendall, the poet. This made Emma his first cousin.

There was no ‘Bridget’ McNally in that family and all other sisters have been accounted for, so this adds weight to the family vocal history and the evidence pointing to Emma’s parents being Albert and Elizabeth (known as Eliza). The ship she came to Australia with the Mcnally Family in 1814 was the Broxbornebury, but on the Baptism cert for Emma it says ship’ 5 Islands’, this is a mystery, but no record of a ship of that name appears to have existed. It could have been the journey they came on as the Broxenbornbury did pass islands and pick up some stranded people, and it is not unlikely that a child of ten would mix up the name of a ship later on. Her parents were Patrick McNally and Judith Kilfroy McDermott, he was convicted for desertion from the 100thregiment whilst serving in Canada and sent out for life.

Albert was a convict, convicted and sentenced for life at Worcester on the 8/3/1828 and sent on the ship Eliza. Records in the Sydney gazette of mid 1833 show an Albert Whitehouse, printer up on charges of forgery. He got off, due to lack of evidence, but others where charged, at the time he worked for a lithographer ( Henry Allen) in Pitt St as a printer. He was described as an artist on Emma’s death certificate, and a printer on her baptism certificate.

A comment was made in the court of being sent out for inappropriate use of printing skills.

Records show that an Albert Whitehouse died in 1833, it hasn’t been confirmed that that was him, but it seems a strange coincidence that Emma was baptised in July 1833 after having been born in 1831. Maybe he died and Elizabeth then baptised her a catholic. There is no record of any other children born to them.

There is a record of an Elizabeth Whitehouse death in 1857 at age 68 in Sydney, and also an Elizabeth Whitehouse appears on the 1841 census living at Surrey hills. Not yet proven that this was Emma’s mother but, Emma was born at the Sand Hills which later became part of Surrey Hills. To date no marriage record for Albert and Elizabeth has been found.

Another coincidence is that Emma and Thomas’s son James was also involved in the printing business, being a compositor. Moya Britten (William Bollard’s granddaughter, James’s grand niece) remembers James coming to visit her grandparents, at the Captains Flat Store, with all his newspaper friends.  William would take them to the river on fishing trips, leaving Bedelia to mind the store.  She also has vivid memories of visiting James when she was a child when they lived in Stanmore, after they moved from Chippendale. She can recall the smell of gas from cooking and perhaps lights etc of that area. She was terrified of a lady in the street who would go out into her front yard in her night dress.

James served in the 1st Pioneer Battalion, 5th Reinforcement, from Oct 1915 to July 1917 at the Western Front from August 1916 to July 1917.




The Five Islands was the name given to the Illawarra region by the explorers of the late 1700’s and early 1800’s.The earliest reference to this has been traced to Bass (of Bass and Flinders fame) Journal in the Whaleboat.


Looking for my own family is proving to be a substantial and revealing process with contact from a wide variety of people and information generously shared – but when it comes to finding MELINDA – things are different. Even the fellow seekers are having difficulty. One of them described the McNallys as a “strange secretive lot “.  I thought that a ‘literary’ family with a poet of renown would leave a brighter trail to follow but Melinda seems well eclipsed. Sometimes I just want to beg. Surely there are others out there who would like to see Melinda and her McNallys as well as her daughters and son Basil E. drawn out of the shadows of Henry.





At this stage, it appears that the McNallys, specfically Mary( MARTIN) and William received grants of land at Fairy Meadow near Wollongong in 1830. One source suggests that James Martin then sold off Mary’s 50 acres in  app 1840 and vanished. Be that as it may, one of the very few mentions I have so far found of Fairy Meadow in Newspaper sources is from the above edition.

The AUSTRALIAN AUCTION COMPANY put a valuable estate up for auction on 16 September 1840.The estate was FAIRY MEADOW. I,myself, think Melinda refers to the period of !830 when she writes in BELLAMBI’S LAKE.

I thought of my loved ones that were, and are not,

When we stood all together on this very same spot.

It was well we knew nothing of what was in store,

‘Twould have marred all the joys in those gone days of yore.



The property, FAIRY MEADOW, consisted of 100 acres with house. Immediately in the suburbs of Wollongong. To be divided into Villa or Bathing Allotments of from 8 -10 acres each. It was a half mile from Wollongong ” in the most aristocratic and delightful’ part of the suburbs and was bounded by the new line of road from Wollongong to Sydney. Within a half mile was a STEAM FLOUR MILL in full operation. Fairy Meadow was well watered and only a few hundred yards from the sea beach.

The Gazette tells us that that made it very suitable for the erection of BATHING VILLAS. There was very good land commonly known to produce 12-14 tons of potatoes to the acre. There were also THREE COAL MINES as well as the ONLY FREE-STONE in the district. Fairy Meadow had timber well suited to building and was near to town which suited the builders.

As for the residence it was a 2 storey Gothic construction with a very TASTY verandah on the 2nd floor which looked out to sea. TRULY BEAUTIFUL says the Gazette. Here is a description of parts of the view ;

The residence stands upon the corner of a gentle elevation, exactly in the centre of the Estate, and having been built after the Gothic style, has a very pretty and imposing appearance from the Road. The windows are all French, and on the second story, open upon a very tasty balcony. The view from the house is truly beautiful, the valley of (the appropriately named) Fairy Meadow, falls off in a gradual descent till it reaches the sea beach, throwing open to the view one of the grandest and most sublime sights imaginable, the great South Pacific in boundless extent ; the steamer to and from Wollongong, together with every vessel bound for Port Phillip, South Australia, Europe, and the Southern ports, can be distinctly seen from the verandah of the dwelling.



The fairies and elves from the meadow have gone

To some sylvan spot, where no railroads are known,

Where no miners will dig through the bowels of earth

To disturb them, and drive them away from their hearth. 




PUNCH the Bull had either been stolen or had strayed from HART’S Paddock and a reward was offered. The details of his brandings and markings were listed clearly in the Gazette.





David William Gregory (April 15, 1845 in Fairy Meadow, New South WalesAugust 4, 1919 inTurramurra, New South Wales) was an Australian cricketer of the 19th century.Motto: Orta Recens Quam Pura Nites (Newly Risen, How Brightly You Shine) Nickname: Premier State Other Australian states and territories Capital Sydney Government Governor Premier Const. …

Quote of the Day:
It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.
–Herman Melville



IMAGES OF YUGILBAR: Grafton and the Clarence River, 1852-1901 / sketches by Mrs Rose Elizabeth Selwyn (nee Rusden)


© State Library of New South Wales 2008;seq=6

In January, the steamer PHOENIX, sailed for the Clarence from Sydney with sundries. She was 108 tons and her master was BENEAUD.


The Moreton Bay Courier Saturday 3 January 1852, page 2

RICHMOND RIVER.-The months of October and November are generally accompanied by severe storms of wind and hail in this district. The 24th of October will be marked for some years to come as being a serious visitation on part of this district. A perfect hurricane, accompanied by large hailstones, passed from the west side of the range dividing this river from the Clarence, through the district; the width of it was nearly three miles, and in a direction nearly east.


159 pounds was allocated for placing buoys on the CLARENCE RIVER. 49ers_21903_md

The Maitland Mercury… Wednesday 21 January 1852, page 2.


I stated to you in a former communication that I intended to search this district for gold. I am happy to inform you that we have found gold within thirty miles from Grafton, on Clowd’s Creek ; the sample is sent to government by Mr. Commissioner Fry. Four men started to prospect that part of the district, namely, Messrs. Kirk, Henderson, Howlet, and B. Naughten ; and there is not a place that we tried but we got gold, but we could not give the bed of the creek a fair trial, as the water rose twice while we were there. The gold is a very fine sample, and I have no doubt when it gets a fair trial but it will be found to pay.

Grafton, January 8, 1852.




(By his mother)

1 He was born at the foot of the mountain,

2 He was taught his first letters in sand;

3 His companions – mimosas and gum trees –

4 And the beautiful birds of the land.

5 To his ear the wild scream of the curlew

6 Was sweeter than sweetest of fruits;

7 And the silvery tinkling of bell birds,

8 More soothing than ladies’ fine lutes.


SO far we have Henry established under Pigeon House Mountain at birth.









3 – Mimosa seems remarkably widespread on the South Coast of NSW. I thought it were an entirely different plant but now find it another name for plants with which I am familiar.

mimosaMimosa (1)

Best I also locate an image of some gum trees for those of you who haven’t had a gum tree as a companion.

gum treeill-lgw-eec