With kind permission of Jill Miller
The Walters Family
Timothy Walters, a cobbler [ born 1817], had married Rhoda Victoria in 1839. They had 7 children. One son, Stephen , born 1844, died before 1851 in England. The family, Timothy & Rhoda with Timothy, Sarah Ann, Eliza Ann, Arthur, James Albert, Emily & Mary Anne migrated to NSW on the "Hotspur" in 1862.
Timothy found work at Hazeldean, near Cooma, where he worked as a cobbler. Another son, Joseph, was born in Berridale in 1865. Timothy later selected land at Woolwey, near Berridale and ran sheep.
It was Timothy and Rhoda's son, James Albert, born at Sheprith, County of Cambridge England on 31 August 1855, who married Mary Ann Pryke's eldest daughter, Amelia.
St Mary's Church of England Church at Gegedzerick, near Berridale, was a focus for the family as many of the family weddings and funerals took place at this church.
The obituary to Timothy listed him as the sexton at the church for many years and also the grave digger.
Timothy passed away 3 July 1890 [ aged 78 years] and Rhoda on 11 May 1895 [ aged 75 years]. Both are buried at St Marys at Gegedzerick.
|An obituary to Timothy Walters [b 1812 Chisell
England, d. 3 July 1890] .
Buried at Gegedzerick C of E grave 109.
The James Walters Family.
Amelia married James Albert Walters on 26 December 1881 at St Mary's Church of England, Gegedzerick. Amelia was 20 years and James, 26 years and they were first cousins, as their mothers were sisters [Rhoda Victoria Watson & Mary Ann Watson]
|Amelia and James with their first child, Clara Emily, Sept 1882.|
On 27 February 1903 Amelia & James Walters & family moved to "Mountainview", Nangutta via Pericoe .
|At "Mountainview", Nangutta about 1910. Granny Walters [Amelia] is in the dark dress.|
Times would have been very tough. The land there today still looks quite in hospitable. Tom Parker, grandson, remembered the farm set out like a village with whitewashed buildings, an orchard with particularly lovely cherries and a lovely garden.
Amelia and James had a large family:
Clara Emily Walters b 1882 Middlingbank
Hebe Myra Walters b 1884 Cowbed
Edith Mildred Walters b 1887 Cowbed
Violet May Walters b 1889 Sheprith d 1890
James Timothy Pryke Walters b 1891 Sheprith
Lionel Arthur Walters b1894 Primrose d 1894
Leila Myrtle Walters b 1896 Sheprith
Stillborn child b 1898
Cyril John Cambridge Walters b 1900 Sheprith
Harriet Eileen Mary Walters b1903 Sheprith
When James Walters Jn inherited "Mountainview" after his parents deaths, he said he didn't want anything to do with it!!!
On a recent trip to try to find "Mountainview", everything has returned to the bush.
|L to R: Leila & husband, George Roberts,
Aunty Dyde [Edith], James [Jim] Walters
Little girl is Nancy Fraser [now Robinson]. 1935
Following the years at "Mountainview",
by about 1925, Amelia & James had moved
to Mila near Bombala to a property called
"Woodburn" where they ran sheep.
James was a very tall fellow and had Amelia
at his beck and call. He used to play the
fiddle and the zither. It was on his way
home from a stay at his grandparents place
at Mila, that Thomas Parker had a severe
appendicitis attack and was taken to Bombala
Hospital. It was whilst in Hospital that
he first saw an electric light!! About 1926.
All these folk on farms were completely self sufficient, only needing to purchase sugar and tea, which usually came every six months from Sydney!
Amelia Walters [ nee Pryke ] passed away 15 June 1947. She is buried next to James who died 5 December 1936. They are buried at Bombala Cemetery, graves 636.
|In their later years, probably at Mila. From
the left: James Walters, his daughter,
Parker nee Walters, Eileen Walters,
James Walters [ he owns the Rugby car], Cyril Walters [kneeling.
Front: Granny Walters nee Amelia Pryke with her granddaughter, Gwen Parker. C 1935
The Plumb Family.
Eliza Theresa Plumb [b 1855 Launceston d 1926 Eden]
Thomas William Plumb migrated to Launceston in 1854 with his wife Mary Ann & family. Mary Ann, Clara Lavinia, George Albert were all born in England. Eliza Theresa Plumb was born in 1855 in Launceston. After several business dealings [some not so good], the family moved to Eden in the early 1860s.Their eldest daughter, mary Ann, remained in Launceston as she had married a Mr Arnold there in 1855.
Tom was interested in looking for gold! Nothing is known if he ever found any. Tom, a baker by trade, set up a bakery in Eden. Mary Ann worked in the business too.
In the Sydney Morning Herald, 7 November 1871, there is an account of a court case in the Central Criminal Court charging Thomas William Plumb, Arthur Brown and Joseph Worgan with "intent to murder" and intent to do "grievous bodily harm " to William Walter Hodder. In a drunken brawl, Hodder had been attacked and stabbed over a dispute about beer, some money and an alleged insult by Hodder to Plumb's daughter, Eliza. The three men were found guilty of the second count but the sentence is so far unknown to me.
Following this, in 1873, Thomas' wife, Mary Ann was killed in a cart accident on the Bega Rd whilst delivering bread with Eliza. Eliza had been driving the cart at the time and had to present her case at the inquest.
Eliza then had a son, George Arthur Plumb, from an unknown liason, on 26 October1875.
George Arthur took the surname "Parker" when his mother married George Edward Parker in 1879. He grew up as one of the Parker family, which numbered another nine. Following George Edward's death, aged just 49 years on 7 November 1901 in Pambula Hospital from lesion of the brain and paralysis, Eliza continued to work on a farm at Nethercote.
She later married George's younger brother, John Parker in 1905. He had been married and had a family previously. In her later years, Eliza moved in to live in Eden.
The Parker Family.
George Parker was transported to NSW on the "Shipley" in 1817 for larceny. He was born on 1789, so was 19 years old on his arrival. He had stolen a pair of boots, the value of three shillings. George was a plasterer and was a 'government labourer" after he arrived in Sydney. In 1820 George married Mary Sullivan at St Phillips Anglican Church in Sydney. She had arrived in 1816 with her parents on the "Hunter", her father William Hayes being in the Army. The couple had six children:
George Parker b 1821 d 1854
William Parker b 1823
Samuel Parker b 1827 d 1917 Eden
Catherine Parker b 1831
Maria Parker b 1842
Mary Ann Parker b 1845
From this family, Samuel is the family member who moved south to Eden & Towamba. Samuel was born 1 December 1827 and christened at St Phillips Church on 25 December 1827.
On 8 September 1850, he married Mary Cusack at "Panbula, Twofold Bay". Both were listed as living in Panbula and neither could sign the marriage Certificate. It is believed that Samuel and his family resided in Pambula for a while as their eldest child, George Edward was born there on 20 January 1852.
Samuel is listed as being a labourer. On his death certificate, Samuel and Mary are listed as having these children:
George Edward Parker b. 1852 d. 1901 m Eliza Plumb in Eden 1879
Samuel Parker b. 1853 known as "Goka" d. 1933 in Towamba
Jessie Oliver in Bombala 1878
William b. 1854
John b. 1859 d. 1938 m Mary Ann Beasley1881
m Eliza T. Parker 1905
Thomas Parker b. 1862 d. 1862 Eden
Mary J. Parker b. 1863 d. 1865 Eden
James A. b. 1866 d. 1927 Sydney
Maria Margaret Parker b. 1868 d. 1911 m Benjamin Beasley Eden 1888
Ambrose Parker b. 1872 d. 1946 m Edith I. Clements in Eden 1904
On Mary's death, Samuel married Eliza Higgins about 1879.
Samuel died 15 May 1917 at Towamba. He was 87 years old and died from old age. He is listed as a farmer.
|In Towamba Cemetery, Samuel Parker Sn was
buried. 1827-1917. Thomas Blaze arrived in
Australia with Ben Boyd and several of the tombstones are his handiwork.
It was George Edward Parker who married Eliza
Theresa Plumb on 19 June 1879 in the Presbyterian
Church in Eden. George is listed as a farmer.
Eliza had a son in 1873, George Arthur Parker and he now became part of this Parker family. George & Eliza had seven children:
Laurence Edward Parker b. 1880 d. 1956 m Alice M. Lindwall Eden 1904
Adeline Rose Parker b. 1882 d. 1966 m John Loughrey Eden 1901
Ethel Maude Parker b. 1887 d. 1888
Reginald Alfred Parker b. 1887 d. 1957 m Hannah E. Holden Eden 1923
Irene Estella Valra Parker b. 1885 d. 1948 m Alfred J. Holden Eden 1906
Algenon Gerald Parker b. 1889 d. 1955 m Laura A. Severs Eden 1916
Dulcie A. M. Parker b. 1895 d.
So, although George Arthur grew up in the Parker family, he was not a blood relation to the Parkers. It is interesting to note that in later years, 1944, when George Arthur's son, Thomas proposed to Kathleen Rabe in Toowoomba Queensland, the Rabe family in Toowoomba received an interesting letter from relatives who had remained on the Far South Coast when the Gordons and Rabes had moved to Queensland in 1907. The letter suggested that "it was not a good idea for Kathleen to marry Tom Parker". The reasons were never understood until I came across the convict ancestry of the Parker clan. We deduced then that the Parkers having a convict background was the reason for the warning. In fact, though, George was not connected to the Parkers.
George Arthur Parker 26 October 1975 - 8 June 1951
When Hebe Myra Walters was 25 years old, she married George Arthur Parker on 16 August 1910 at Eden, Presbyterian Church. George was 34 years old. Witnesses at the wedding were George's brother in law, John Loughrey and Hebe's sister, Edith Walters. George and Hebe had both worked for the Alexanders of Pericoe and this is probably where the couple met.
When very young, George's grandparents' bakery was next door to the Pryke's General Store [in Pambula, so far no records have been located to prove the Plumb's had a bakery in Pambula].
Aunty Una [Halliday, nee Parker] recalled being told this story:
Young George used to be tied up in the back yard and Amelia Walters [nee Pryke] and Aunt Alice [Amelia's sister, Clara Alice] used to get through the fence to wash George's face and give him some food. Young Eliza Plumb, aged 20 years, was obviously an uninterested single mum. As her mother had been killed in a cart accident in 1873there was no Grandma Plumb [ Mary Ann Merrison] to care for young George either.
Following this, in 1873, Thomas' wife, Mary Ann was killed in the cart accident on the Bega Rd whilst delivering bread with Eliza. Eliza had been driving the cart at the time and had to present her case at the inquest.
Nothing more is known of young George's life until his mother, Eliza married George Edward Parker on 19 June 1879 in the Presbyterian Church in Eden. Witnesses to the wedding are Samuel Martin and Clara Williams [ Eliza's elder sister].
Young George was taken into the Parker family and took the surname of Parker. He spent his life around the Towamba/Eden district.
When just a boy, he had to take the cream down to Boydtown, on foot. He used to spend time playing with the Aboriginal children on the way.
Jim Parker, George's son, thought that George had spent some time with the aboriginal people, maybe even living with them as life at home was not that easy! George was a very good bushman and knew a lot of the aboriginal ways. He had never owned a toothbrush and used to chew wattle gum or nibble at charcoal, aboriginal ways, no doubt. All his children agreed that he had a "perfect set of teeth"!
Eliza Parker nee Plumb been described as a hard woman and was the local midwife! My Dad, Thomas Arthur [George Arthur's eldest son] had to go from his family home in Towamba to live with Eliza when he was about seven years old. Eliza was in Eden by this and lonely. He hated living there, hated going to the Eden school [ and often did not go at all] and after six months left and caught the mail cart back home to Towamba.
I have no information about George's schooling. He seems to have been an odd job man and a very good worker. At one stage when Hebe Walters was employed by the Alexanders at Pericoe Station, George used to deliver and pick up loads, a carrier, I guess. He was also supposed to be a very good slaughterman as well as an expert ham & bacon curer.
Following their marriage the couple set up home in Towamba where they lived for many years. George owned several blocks of land in Towamba , as the area had originally been planned as a town, which was expected to expand following the gold mining at Yokawa. Several blocks were very fertile river flats.
Their home, "The Crescent", was built on higher ground. Everyone was expected to help about the house.
There were five children in the family:
Una Irene Millicent Parker b. 21 February 1911 married Scott Halliday
Hebe May Parker b. April 1913 d. 11 January 2010 married Reginald Stevenson.
Thomas Arthur Parker b. 28 May 1916 d. 28 June 2004 married Kathleen Rabe.
James Albert Parker b. April 1919 d. 2011 married Hilda Platts
Gwendoline Parker b. September 1930 married Peter Kimber.
George had a job working on the roads and was away during the week. This job he used to do alone and without any machinery. Jim remembered him being very excited when he bought a "tip dray" that must have made his job a lot easier. When he returned at the weekend there was hell to play if the jobs he'd listed for the kids and Hebe were not done!!
|"The Crescent" on the corner of Mitchell St. Burnt down in the 1950s.|
The family, again was quite self sufficient and, except for the swaggies that wandered through the town were quite oblivious to the Depression Years. Tea and sugar were still ordered from Sydney.
|George A Parker at Towamba 1873-1951|
George was a hard man, no doubt a result of his life. He was a hard worker and also a Mason in the Masonic Lodge. Aunty Eilly said George was the best ham and bacon smoker in the area. She also mentioned that he was a "womaniser" and gave Hebe, who was never very well, a hard time.
|About 1933, Young Gwen Parker, Hebe Parker
nee Walters, James Walters, Eileen Walters,
George A Parker,
Reg Stevenson and unknown.
|George's certificate from the Imlay Council for his forty years of service.|
On a visit to Connie Johnson [nee Loughrey], George's niece, she told us she had a soft spot for George and that he liked her too. If Una and she were going to a dance, Connie would ask to borrow George's car and he would agree! I've heard it said that George was good to, and would help everyone else except his own family. His niece, Queenie Holden, was a favourite! Hebe, George's wife, ran the house whilst George was at work. There was always plenty to be done. Washing, cooking, cleaning, mending as well as tending the vegie garden and the animals all had to be done. The children were expected to help out too. Hebe also suffered with heart problems and much of the time was unwell. She always enjoyed her embroidery and supplied the family with lovely traycloths, tablecloths and dressing table doilies. Her flower garden was another enjoyment in her life, particularly her roses.
|Hebe Parker nee Walters in her garden c 1960|
Hebe always loved her family. The Walters family kept in contact with each other and often visited each other.
Hebe too, wrote regularly to my Dad in Sydney and came to stay at our home many times. I was always fascinated with Nanna doing her hair.
She somehow put it in a roll around her head. In later years she suffered with bad eyesight but she would still continue with her embroidery!
|Taken about 1960, Hebe Parker with her children.
From left: Kit [Hebe], Tom, Una & Gwen. Jim is missing.
|Hebe Parker's grave at Bombala Cemetery.|
|Obituary to Hebe Parker 1970|
|George A Parker's stepsister, Adeline Rose
Parker. She married John Loughrey.
From left: Eric, Adeline holding baby Phyllis, John, Adeline's sister, Winifred
Parker and front, Constance and Effie. 1917
George's retirement was not to last for long. Being the wartime years, workers must have been in short supply so the Council asked George to return to work, which he did for another four years.
I can remember "Pop", as we called him staying at our home in Marrickville and he took me to the shop and bought me an ice cream, a big treat in those days. I can also recall Mum telling us about the time in 1946 when Dad [Tom] and she wanted to buy the house in Marrickville they needed a bit more money. They travelled by train to Towamba and were there quite a few days before they were brave enough to ask George if he could lend them some money. Everyone had told them they wouldn't get it and old George was quite difficult etc. However, when the time came he willingly lent them what they needed.
George Arthur died whilst on the operating table at Pambula Hospital. The surgeon's knife slipped and cut an artery and sadly, George died 18 June 1951. He had had a hernia the size "of a football" and was in hospital to have it removed. George is buried at the old Eden Cemetery, near the ocean.
After George died Hebe & Gwen went to live in Bombala, the "Crescent" was rented and subsequently burnt down. Probably in the late 1970s or early 1980s, Dad and his family were given the option to pay the rates owing on the various blocks still in George's name. The family decision was to let the blocks go, in hindsight a sad mistake.
We have been to visit the site several times and it still has a yew tree on the corner and old remains of Nanna's garden.
|This corner block was where "The Crescent" once stood.|
Where are the Parker family today?
Sadly none of George & Hebe's children or their descendants live in Towamba now. Although life was a battle, just to have food and shelter kept everyone busy, there were the good times too. Visiting family and friends was a key pastime.
There is no evidence that the Parker family attended church but the children certainly enjoyed the dances and balls held by the different denominations. Connie Loughrey was quite sure that the Burragate dances were the best! The new dance floor in the Towamba Hall was a big hit too. Following the dances there was always a delicious spread provided by the ladies.
With few job prospects about, Una was the first to leave the district. A Parker relation living in Sydney managed to get Una a position as companion to an old lady. She was a cranky old thing so Una returned home. Her engagement to Billy Grant from Wyndham came to a tragic end as Billy suffered with heart problems and passed away in the early 1930s. Una actually had to help a pilot to land on Tathra Beach in a storm whilst bringing Billy home from a hospital stay in Sydney! Sydney attracted her again and eventually she was convinced by her cousin to train as a psychiatric nurse at Callen Park. Following the completion of her training, Una then joined P&O shipping line as a resident nurse on board. She sailed all around Australia, visiting the various ports. It was on one such voyage that she met Scott Halliday. They were married in Balmain in 1950 and after living at Milsons Point for a while, they bought a large Victorian style home in Thompson St Marrickville. Una decided to use the house as a guest house for men only. This was quite common in those days as following the War, accommodation was scarce.
This they continued to do until the early 1970s when Una decided to become one of Sydney's first lady taxi drivers. She really enjoyed her days and always had many a tale to tell. Jock had continued to work as a supply officer for various hospitals. In the early 1990's he contracted cancer and passed away. Una made the huge decision to sell the home and moved into care at Cardinal Freeman Homes at Ashfield. Since then she has moved to Nullica Lodge in Eden and now at 101 years of age has moved onto Imlay House at Pambula.
Hebe May, known in the family as Kit, did not move so far away. Kit worked for the Stevenson family in Bombala. In a romantic twist she married one of the Stevenson boys, Reg Stevenson, and continued to live at Lansdowne, Mila, a sheep property, for most of her life. The couple had four children: Ann, Nola, June & Grant. Sadly, today, only Grant still survives and he has a wonderful family of four children & lots of grandchildren that he adores. When Reg passed away, Kit moved into a small house two doors up from her sister, Gwen. As things became more difficult for her, Kit moved into care in Bombala. Kit passed away in 2010.
I know a bit more about my Dad, Thomas Arthur Parker. He jumped out of the window at school when in 6th Class because he'd been kept in for not knowing his poetry! He spent several years rabbit trapping with Austy Saywers and made good money but spent it very easily. Some more years were spent cutting wattle bark which was dried out & sent to Sydney for tanning hides.
Sport had always played a big part in the lives of country boys. Dad was a good tennis player and a keen cricketer. It was whilst playing cricket in Eden and scoring a century, that some Army spotters questioned him about joining the Army. With very little knowledge about what he was doing, he filled in the papers.
Una encouraged him to apply. I suppose she could see it was a way for Tom to get out into the world!
In 1934, he received information to visit Victoria Barracks Sydney on a certain date. He was amazed at how many men were there, most with references and School report etc. Tom had nothing! It took some time to sort them all out and in the end, Tom was accepted! He was in the Australian Imperial Army!
It was hard going for a country boy, marching and marching! After some time at North Head and Georges Heights in Sydney, Tom applied to go to Darwin. It was here that I think he had the best time in his life. The easy going nature of the place, the abundance of sporting activities and a great group of mates really appealed to Tom. Fulfilling his three year contract, Tom then applied to transfer to the AIF as World War 2 had started.
Six months in Palestine was followed by service in Milne Bay, New Guinea, where he was wounded. Returned to Toowoomba Queensland for medical treatment, it was here that he met Kitty Rabe whom he married in 1944. After the War, Tom & Kitty decided to move to Sydney. Kitty's mother, Annie and her sister, Velma also decided to move south.
In 1946, Tom & Kitty bought a house in 8 George St Marrickville. At the time, it had rooms rented out to folk. Kitty & Tom decided to continue to do that as it was an extra income. Annie & Velma rented one of the flats. Tom then trained as a crystal cutter. Because of his war injuries, a job where he could sit was decided upon. Incredibly, as soon as he'd finished the course, Bob Menzies put a 66% tax on crystal! The crystal works closed down! Another job was found at a glassworks in Waterloo.
After several attempts at different jobs, Tom got a job delivering furniture for WW Campbells in Sydney. As off sider, he and Bert had some great years travelling all over Sydney delivering furniture. In the 1960s this job too came to an end. A job at the Post Office in Sydney and later at Redfern was next.
Meanwhile the family had grown to four children: Jill, Gaye, Carol & Phillip. Kitty continued to keep house as well as renting out three rooms at the back of the house. Velma was married and Annie then spent time at each daughter's home for the next twenty years!
With Tom's retirement Mum & Dad decided to buy a new home at Moorebank. Marrickville by now was an ethnic nightmare! So in 1980, they moved on. Dad loved his garden, just like his Mum. He spent many hours doing his own garden and a lot of work on Council grounds.
After an awful year or so with an aggravating itch, Dad passed away on 28 June 2004. Mum followed just three months later on 27 September 2004.
I don't know so much about Jim Parker. He, too, joined the Army and drove trucks to carry supplies. He spent longer in Palestine. After the war Jim felt very unsettled and worked around Australia at various jobs. In the early 1950s Jim married Hilda Platts and they worked on a property at Kybeyan near Nimmitibel. As their two children, Beverley & Derrick grew older, the family moved to Campbelltown where Jim found work as a miner. This enabled the children to get to High school more easily. The five siblings always kept in touch with each other. I think Tom wrote to Kit for fifty years!! Hilda passed away in 2005 and Jim battled on to Una's 100th birthday, where he supplied "just the family" with a delightful drop of Port to celebrate! Jim passed away in 2011.
The baby of the family, Gwendoline, grew up more or less as an only child. Born in 1930, the older siblings were already leaving home. Gwen attended Towamba School, as they all had done. When her father died in 1951, Hebe and Gwen moved to Cardwell St Bombala. Reg Stevenson, Kit's husband, had helped to get them settled there. Gwen found a job in the Chemist shop in town. In 1956, Gwen married Peter Kimber, from a well known shearing family. As Hebe would have been by herself, Peter moved in to the family home. This meant Gwen was not alone when Peter was away at work. Two sons were born, Warren and Brett. Peter has now handed most of his work to his son, Warren but he still likes to keep a finger in the pie!!
There are two Parker boys now, from George & Hebe's family to "carry on the name"! They are Tom & Kitty's grandsons Luke Parker and Scott Parker, the children of my brother Philip and his wife.