Sydney 1866 – signed “SWC 1866″……………….Who was SWC?

Welcome to my web site.   Genealogy detail is of particular though enduring  interest to individual descendants. The process of assembling information from old records and memories is unending. So  I shall be pleased to be advised of errors and omissions, and am happy to correspond with readers, whether descended from my pioneers or not, on any matters covered in these pages.

         There is a predominence of Irish material, both in Ireland itself and among the early Irish in New South Wales. This derives from the fact that fifteen of my sixteen great great grandparents were Irish. And the sixteenth, born in the Colony had an Irish mother and an English father.

           The added bonus of my genealogy research is the exposure of early colonial New South Wales life of  settlers in a new land, and their interaction with their communities. Consequently, much of the recorded social and historical information in these pages goes beyond genealogy and deserves a wider audience. My objective, in setting up this website, is to advance that process.  In that context, I have gone sometimes beyond blood relatives and included families to whom “my” families were connected by marriage in the early days of settlement. At the same time, I thank my relatives, close, distant, and very distant, for their contributions to these papers. Hopefully, once they examine these records, they will be encouraged to continue their own research.

     The story of the wreck of the “Letitia” en route to the Colony in 1828, with among others, my g g grandfather Edward Conyngham, is an interesting one. I have added recently most of my research notes which build extensively on the basic incident.     

      Father Timothy Reen’s 1939 booklet “Catholic Cowra – An Outline of Its History”  contains a great many names and locations of interest to historians and genealogists researching the Cowra region and its pioneer Irish settler families, including many of interest to me. Consistent with my aims expressed above, I have added the searchable text to my website. Similarly, I have added J C Ryall’s “Cowra in Days Gone Bye” which chronicles early Cowra and our pioneers.

      My g. g. grandfther, Edward/Edmund Markham was an early political transportee – under the UK’s Irish Insurrection Act. Markham’s full story is here. He was assigned to an employer in Airds in western Sydney, and after 1824, spent six years an an overseer on the property of John McHenry, JP, in Nepean, now Penrith. However, our research has failed to trace him in the years 1823 and 1824. See the background to our search here. We need help.

The Murray Family text which is here, is an early draft of Joan Murray Dawes’ “Murray Story”.scan0004 Since downloading this account, Joan has published her completed study “From Ulster to Ulladulla – The Murray Family from County Fermanagh, Ireland.” Names include Murray, Shannon, McGee, Johnston, Haughey, Dillon, Conyngham, McMahon, Tarlinton, Heffernan, Thomas, Skehan, Poidevan, Sands, Nicholls, Mccarthy, Brennan, Moore, McLean, Murden, Markham, O’Neill, Goldstraw, Hughes, Slattery, Cullen, Gallaghar, Headcroft, Morrison, Cleaver, and Boyle. Copies of this very informative family and local history story, of 291 pages, and consisting of text, descendant tree, maps, certificates and photographs can be purchased from her by contacting her at <dawesjm@gmail.com>. Cost is $30 plus postage.


      As to the painting above, which I purchased  at a  footpath stall in Portobello Road, London, in the 1970s, who might SWC have been in North Sydney in 1866? I have tried very many sources over the years without identifying him or her. Samuel Calvert, who designed our stamps at the time is a possibility but, so far as I can see, he never signed his name in this way. Was the artist professional or amateur, resident or visitor? Late nineteenth century artist? Help!

  [NOTE: This website is a work being continuously developed. -April/May 2017.]