Robert Alexander was sent out from England as a 'lifer' and arrived on the ship 'Royal George' in 1828. He married Mary McCarthy and later they were able to select land in the Pericoe-Eden and Genoa River flats on the far New South Wales coast and Victorian borders.


The link below to the Alexander family of Pericoe is an account of the early
family history only where it relates to the Towamba Valley.


Robert Alexander, who had been Peter Imlay's stockman, and who, when Imlay sold Nangutta Station to a Melbourne man, took a number of cattle as wages and took over Imlay's (Nangutta) Genoa interests which was a heifer paddock situated at Genoa Creek to the west bank of Genoa River.
He was a very tough man, especially with the blacks. One of the blacks, aged 17, left his tribe and worked for Alexander. He was later speared and killed by the blacks for leaving his tribe. A story goes that the young black was struck in the head by a tomahawk from a black of his tribe, the tomahawk remained in his head, he rushed to Alexander's house and Alexander removed the tomahawk and the young black fell over dead. Alexander followed the tribe next day to Ningan and shot all of them. It is well known that he did shoot other blacks. He shot one black boy, cut him down the backbone to show how fat he was, and then put him in to the pig sty for the pigs to eat.
The first of the Alexanders were Robert and Teresa who had their son, Robert and daughter-in-law, Catherine with them when they went to Genoa.
Robert and Catherine had eight children, all born at Genoa. They were Arthur, Herman, Robert, Mary, Amy, Addie, Norman.
Mrs Robert Alexander 11, for many years acted as doctor and nurse to the blacks and whites when babies were born. Most of the families were very large, so she was kept busy.
Source: Excerpt from 'Mallacoota Reflections' Mallacoota & District Historical Society. July, 1966

Mr. and Mrs. Alexander
No Date. No further information

Cyril came from the Genoa area. He was born in 1907 and his parents were Arthur and Althea Alexander (nee Bucknall). He had two sisters, Amy and Thelka.
His great grandfather was Robert Alexander. His grandparents were Robert and Catherine Alexander (nee Pendergast) who married in 1872 in Bombala and developed a property in the Genoa area called 'Yandown'.
Catherine's family, the Pendergasts had property called 'Penderlea' a family name in Jindabyne, New South Wales. These families became part of the early known mountain cattlemen who rode the famous mountain horses with such skill that enabled them to drive the large herds of cattle through the mountainous terrain and Snowy River.
Cyril's parents, Arthur and Althea Alexander married in 1903 at Eden, New South Wales. Cyril was born in 1907 and after a delicate childhood was to grow and become one of these mountain men. He no doubt inherited his horsemanship from his ancestors. He loved horses and shod his own horses as well as others. Cyril spent most of his young life on horseback and worked around the Genoa, South Gippsland and Jindabyne areas. Mountain horses were also bred in New South Wales and were known as 'Walers'.
Cyril Alexander died aged 27 years in 1934 in the Sale hospital, the result of pneumonia.
Source: Author Claude Trenery. Excerpt from Port Stephens Family History Society Inc. Vol.16 August, 2001.

Carting hay at Pericoe. c.1900
Man in white suit is Percy Alexander, on his left (in middle)
is his brother Robert Alexander (known as Beau)
and the others are believed to be other brothers,
Syd, Alf and Horace (known as Eden).
(Names courtesy of Kathy Jones)

Mr. John Alexander, now of Pericoe, who was then a boy of 12, was returning from Eden and the creek being up, he was washed off his horse. (The distance between Eden and Pericoe is around 37 kilometers) It was night and very cold, with stormy weather, and our girl (a paid servant) who was outside getting wood for the morning's fire thought she heard a coo-ee, and presently we saw a horse coming from the crossing place. I then ran to the creek and found that young Alexander was on the trunk of a tree, holding on to a large branch , and up to his waist in water. I could not get him out on the side he was on, so I told him not to be afraid and I would rescue him. I got my horse from the stable and a light rope and went up to the creek to where it was much wider, and got near him on the other side. I threw him the end of the rope, which he tied round his waist and I pulled him out. We soon had him in the house where a change of dry clothes, and afterwards a warm bed, restored him.
Source: 'Leaves From My Life' by Alexander Weatherhead of 'Nangutta' Twofold Bay 1834-1892.
(There is nothing terribly remarkable about the rescue but this 12-year-old boy was travelling by himself for a distance of about 37 kilometers through the bush without the benefit of roads or other landmarks.)
The above information was kindly provided by Eileen Woods. The italics are her own.

'Pambula Voice' November 10, 1893
At Pericoe, or that portion of it owned by Mr. John Alexander, is about eight miles from Burragate and the same distance from Towamba in a southerly direction. The property is hilly but the hills are not so high or steep as in other parts of the district while the timber is more plentiful. Mr. Alexander is of that genial class of gentleman with whom one feels at home almost at first sight. He is the son of one of the pioneers of the district, his father in company of another, having been the first to discover the good lands for settlement away to the south and west, some sixty years ago. Mr. Alexander's property extends over an area of about six thousand acres and is utilised as a dairy and also for breeding and fattening purposes. The plant of the factory is the most complete and extensive one to be found throughout the whole district and eclipses many of the large factories around Bega and elsewhere. A six horsepower horizontal boiler and engine works the one hundred and fifty gallon separator but a three hundred gallon separator is just being introduced. The dairy herd consists of over two hundred cows. All the most modern appliances and conveniences are used in connection with Mr. Alexander's factory consequently the product, butter, is always of the best quality. A large number of pigs are reared on the place and shipped regularly to market from Eden. An extensive crop of wattles was growing on portion of the run but recently they seem to have taken a kind of blight and are dying off rapidly meaning a loss to the owner of several hundred pounds. About forty acres of land are under cultivation this year yielding an excellent crop of peas which grow to great advantage and make a splendid food both for pigs and cattle. A nice vegetable garden is laid out on the banks of the Pericoe Creek where a plentiful supply of good vegetables is always obtainable. Mr. & Mrs. Alexander have lived at Pericoe for about thirty years and have a large family most of whom remain at home and assist in carrying on the dairy and other work. A private tutor is engaged for the benefit of the younger children and judging from samples of their work which were shown our reporter they are making good progress and have all the facilities obtainable at a public school. One of the most interesting and useful contrivances on Mr. Alexander's estate is the water supply which is simply perfect. An hydraulic ram is placed in the creek stream about four hundred yards from the house and brings a permanent supply of water right to the doors. The ram is worked by the action of the water running into it. It is capable of driving water up an incline at a grade of one foot in five. Several tanks are kept at the house and are always full and running over. While pipes are fixed in the kitchen, the bathroom, garden, dairy and wherever necessary, at any of which you only have to turn the tap to let the water run, the whole thing is simplicity itself and it is a wonder that these rams are not more frequently seen being such a great convenience especially on a large dairy where a quantity of water is always necessary. At Mr. Alexander's place, as elsewhere, hospitality is one of the great characteristics and our reporter will not soon forget his visit to the Towamba district.

The photos below were found by Carol Spencer in an old building at Genoa while researching her ancestry. She kindly sent copies to me. The captions are what was written on the backs of the photos. Most without dates. Editor

Robert Alexander and Minnie Howard Bob Alexander Bob, Sylvie, Jimmy, Minnie, Ruby and Keith Alexander
Jim, Keith and Sylvie Alexander Jimmy Alexander Sylvie Alexander
Ruby Margaret Alexander 2 years 9 months Ruby Alexander 7 years 8 months Ruby, Keith, Bob, Minnie, Sylvie and Jim Alexander
Thelka, Emily and Amy Alexander c1917
Unknown left and Alice Woodger George Woodger Unknown

Sacred to the memory of
Robert Alexander
born at Pericoe 18th September, 1866,
died 23rd September 1866.
Also Ernest Alexander,
born 16th December 1880,
died 31st May 1881.

'Pambula Voice' February 25, 1898
It is with deep regret that I have to report the continued illness of the Pioneer of Pericoe, Mr. John Alexander who will be remembered went to Sydney a short time ago to seek medical aid. Many acts of kindness and sympathy performed by Mr. and Mrs. Alexander in times of sickness and trouble remain fresh in the minds of many in this locality and they now feel very grieved for him in his sore affliction. It is worthy of mention that Mrs. Alexander has set two broken arms of boys aged 13 and 12 years respectively, belonging to this neighbourhood and to say the least, they both got on splendidly.

'Pambula Voice' April 22, 1898
I deeply regret having to record the sad death of Mr. Jno (John) Alexander, the well-known proprietor of Pericoe Station, which occurred at the Great Southern Hotel at Eden during last night. Mr. Alexander was very widely known and respected and used many acts of kindness and generosity to those in need will not be soon forgotten. He was one of the pioneers of the district and did a great deal for its advancement. His loss will be keenly felt. The funeral takes place tomorrow, Thursday.

'Pambula Voice' April 29, 1898
The news of Mr. John Alexander's death was received in this locality with expressions of deepest regret. The cause of his death was heart disease, supervening on dropsy. Mr. Alexander was a native of the colony having been born at Moruya. He was the first selector to take up land at Pericoe and resided here for thirty-four years. He was about sixty years of age. By his clear foresight and sound judgement he got together a fine estate at Pericoe consisting of over six thousand acres of fair pastoral and some agricultural land. The deceased gentleman leaves a wife and thirteen children, most of whom are grown up to mourn their loss and they have the sympathy of the whole community. The funeral took place on Thursday, the remains being interred in the Eden cemetery in the presence of a large concourse of relatives and friends.

'Pambula Voice' September 28, 1900
* The little son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Johnson who was knocked down by a dog and had his leg broken a few weeks ago is progressing satisfactorily thus adding another successful case of bone setting to the long list accomplished by Mrs. John Alexander.

Layout of Pericoe Homestead C.1866
Courtesy Eileen Woods

The Pericoe school burnt down in 1899, was rebuilt and opened on October 2, 1902. The new teacher being Mr. Austin B. O'Hara, who later married Veronie Alexander (second youngest child of John and Elizabeth Alexander. The school was destroyed again in 1904, reopening in 1905. At some stage, Mr. Horace Eden Alexander, known as Eden Alexander, allowed the use of one of his buildings for the Pericoe School which was burnt down again in March 1916.
(This information given by Kathy Airton, descendant of the Alexander family of Pericoe.)

'Magnet' June 22, 1929.
Perhaps the greatest interest ever taken in a foot race at Towamba, was one held many years ago between Mr. Alf Alexander from Pericoe and Mr. W. (Bill) Bennett, then of Towamba. The distance was 150 yards and Mr. Alexander was trained by Mr. Jack Hartneady and that Mr. S. Chamberlin, formerly of Towamba and Wangrabelle and now of Eden, was starter. There was a great crowd to see the race. Most people thought that Bennett, who was a very fast runner, would win. But Alexander, who had trained for all he was worth, won comfortably. There was great jubilation.

'Magnet' September 12, 1931
* Miss Joyce Alexander who some time ago went to Canberra to take up nursing, is, so far, pleased with her profession and in a recent communication reported to her parents, Mr. & Mrs. A. E. Alexander of Pericoe House, "all's well."

'Eden Magnet' March 11, 1933
by T. P. Shelley

The year 1886 was a good season equal to this. The country around Pericoe and Towamba were swept by bush fires the year before. The grass was up to the stirrup irons, all cattle and horses were fat. At that time, John Alexander made cheese at the homestead and had a large and up-to-date cheese plant. Over one hundred cows were milked and the family did all the work. On this station were some good horses, and how they could buck! But the Alexanders were good riders and were seldom thrown. The cattle were all of the large shorthorn type and looked beautiful. I have at times seen up to one hundred horses yarded. Those used to run in the bush and looked lovely. Then at the 'Two Mile' part of the station up to one hundred cows were milked. Here they made butter in the good old style and packed it into kegs of from 80lbs to 150lbs for transit to Sydney. In those pre separator days it was no easy task skimming all the milk dishes and making the butter in a large barrel churned by hand. All this work was done by John Richards and family and by the look of them they were doing prosperously well. But when cream separators came into being, John Alexander very quickly got a large one. He built an up-to-date butter factory and equipped it with boiler, engine, butter worker, tester, scales, etc., complete. Mr. Alexander had purchased a large tract of good nearby country extending to the Towamba River from the Manning and Stiles Estate. Consequently his executors established five large dairy herds on the Pericoe Estate. On each dairy farm they built good houses, milking yards, etc., the cost of which must have run into many thousands of pounds. All the milk was sent into the butter factory at Pericoe then managed by the late Robert Alexander and the butter always commanded top market price. Later when the Towamba Co-operative Butter Company started the Alexander Estate took up a lot of shares in the concern and was the largest supplier.
In recent years, through an unscrupulous Dairy Act the Towamba factory was closed down though its output of butter was first class. Several Towamba and Pericoe dairies were then dispensed with, and people went in for sheep, a proceeding that proved to be a leap from the frying pan into the fire, sheep having been unprofitable for the last five years.

'Magnet' June 22, 1935.
* Miss J. Alexander has completed four years successful training as a nurse at the Canberra District Hospital and is at present staying at Pericoe House.

'Magnet' October, 2003

Thirty four relatives of Robert Alexander, a convict who lived and died in Eden in the middle of the 19th century, came together in town over the weekend for a family reunion.
Four generations of the Alexander family travelled from Victoria, NSW, ACT, Queensland and Western Australia.
They spent time examining the history of Robert Alexander, his four children and wife Mary Theresa Alexander (nee McCarthy).
The reunion came about after a few members met up on-line whilst researching various parts of their family tree.
A reunion was suggested and nine months later came into fruition.
The family tree project produced a 244 page book, entitled "A Journey Through Time - a compilation of stories of the Alexander family" and there is a copy in the Library at the Eden Killer Whale Museum.

Members of the Alexander family who attended the reunion:
Back: John Alexander, Scott Egan, Arthur Trenery, Rob Trenery, Eileen Woods,
Andrew Woods, Nola O'Connor, Louise Whittington, Ann Wheeldon, Mary Whittington,
Leon Whittington, Helen Airton, Trevor Sutherland, Lynne Wondrock,
Dalveen Odendahl, Ken Howarth, Edith Sutherland, Paul Egan, John Brownbridge.
Front: Estelle Steel, Kathy Jones (with Zachary Jones), Claude Drenry, Sheldon Alexander,
Estelle Price and May Fecondo.