Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Blue Mountains, New South Wales, Australia’ Category

1905 Alfred J. Craig of Leura

Alderman Alfred James Craig of Leura, 1905. Photo by Mr George Kitch from Blue Mountains Historical Society Archive

It turns out that people from the Central Mountains History Community are interested in our McLean branch too! See the comment from Kate at the bottom of the McLean chapter of our family story. I’ve quickly updated the chapter with some information she provided, and suspect there would be still more to find out about the McLeans in the archive at Wentworth Falls if anybody is keen enough to visit. The family lore in the James McLean branch about John Sheils being an Alderman on the Leura or Katoomba Council turns out to refer to his nephew Alfred Craig instead, brother of Florence Craig who married WCD Forster – unless there were indeed two Aldermen in the family.

 

Also I’ve sent for 2 more death certificates for Eliza McLean (nee Boak or Bolk). The results of this will be found as a footnote to my original post about Eliza and will hopefully save others from wasting time and money on our mysterious appearing-from-and-disappearing-to-nowhere Great Grandmother. Of course if I actually found her you’d hear soon enough 🙂

And NOW I’m getting back to the James Beatty of Fermanagh brick wall!

Read Full Post »

I’m sure now that Mary Jane McLean (and probably her mother nee Eliza Boak) lived at Woodford House in 1869 with Janey’s elder half-sister Margaret Shiels and her husband John Shiels. I don’t think they owned it but managed the house for the owner. This is also where William Mark Forster married Mary Jane in 1869. You need to imagine the shingle roof though apparently the building hasn’t changed much otherwise.

Woodford House (now Woodford Academy) Built in the 1830s in the Blue Mountains of new South Wales, owned by John and Margaret Shiels in 1869 and where William Mark Forster married Mary Jane McLean the same year

Woodford House (now Woodford Academy) Built in the 1830s in the Blue Mountains of new South Wales, managed by John and Margaret Shiels in 1869 and where William Mark Forster married Mary Jane McLean the same year

Here’s my reasoning: Towards the end of the inquest report into the fire at Shiels’ house at Regentville near Penrith we read “Thomas Ellison, sworn: I am a licenced publican of Seventeen-mile Hollow, Bathurst Road. I know John Shiels; he lives at Bass’s (Woodford), about three miles from me”. I could find nothing about a Bass’s, but lots about Buss’s at Twenty-mile Hollow on the Bathurst Road. Here’s a quote about the history of Woodford House

“In 1855 Hogan sold the property to William Buss of Cowra, who was an ex-convict transported for life on the ‘Phoenix’ in 1828 for horse stealing. Buss was granted a ticket of leave in 1836, and a conditional pardon in 1843. The inn became known as “The King’s Arms”. Buss was a colourful and popular publican, and the inn was also known as “Buss’s Inn”. The Gold Rush brought an increase in traffic travelling west to the Turon and Bathurst gold fields. The King’s Arms was one of a series of wayside inns providing accomodation and refreshments far travellers. Buss retained the property until his death in 1867. He bequeathed all his properly to his wife Bridget. In August 1868 Bridget Buss sold the property to Alfred Fairfax. Fairfax renamed the building “Woodford House” and lived there intermittently. The main use during the late 1800’s was as a mountain retreat or fashionable boarding house.”

Between January 1869 and 23 Oct 1869 the following advertisement repeatedly appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald:

Advertisement for Woodford (late Buss's), Blue Mountains: from Sydney Morning Herald 6 Oct 1869

Advertisement for Woodford (late Buss’s), Blue Mountains by J. Sheils: from Sydney Morning Herald 6 Oct 1869

There was little else at Woodford in the 1860s in any case. Even the new railway station wasn’t called “Woodford” until 1871.

A footnote to this is the disappearance after Oct 1869 of not only Eliza McLean but also John Sheils. His wife Margaret is evidently managing properties in Bathurst without him by 1873. Does anybody know where he went?

CHANGE of AIR, BATHURST - Mrs. Sheils (late of Regentville and Woodford) has opened a place for the above...Smith's Cottage, Russell St., Bathurst. from Sydney Morning Herald 24 May 1873

CHANGE of AIR, BATHURST – Mrs. Sheils (late of Regentville and Woodford) has opened a place for the above…Smith’s Cottage, Russell St., Bathurst. from Sydney Morning Herald 24 May 1873

What do you think? I was going to post about James McLean, but this is already too long.
Thanks so much to a couple of you who got back with comments regarding my previous post. It encourages me to peg on!

Read Full Post »