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This is your page to communicate with fellow readers about First Fleet or other Australian historical interests. Please send your
enquiry or reply with any attachments to secretary@fffmidnorthcoast.com.au. We will post it to this page.


John Oxley Bicentenary

2018 marks the bicentenary of John Oxlel's 1818 exploration of the Macquarie River, Liverpool Plains and the Mid North Coast. His journal is available on the Internet and is interesting reading. It includes bearings of landmarks down the coast from Port Nacquarie (which he discovered and named) to Port Stephens. Unfortunaly, there is both a lack of detail and ambiguity in his text that make some of his route and campsite positions uncertain.

Oxley found a small boat filled with sand on the beach south of Diamond Head but did not state its position other than "On the beach where we halted we found a small boat ..." and historians have taken this as the place where he halted for the night - a well-defined position. A few days later, he says the boat was thirteen miles from his campsite at Harrington. This puts its position five miles further north of the accepted position; an error too great for Oxley. The point is important as they carried the boat (from the Hawkesbury vessel Jane and probably weighed 300 kg) all the way to Port Stephens (140 km). It enabled his party to cross the various inlets down the coast and possibly saved their lives.

When Oxley said "On the beach where we halted ..." I believe he meant "On the same beach where we halted ..." allowing its position to be thirteen miles from Harrington. This would put the boat on Kylies Beach just south of Diamond Head.

Oxley was an experienced bushman and navigator and would have chosen his campsites along the beaches carefully. He would have known that bad weather comes from the south and would prefer to camp under the lee of a southern headland. Also, he needed fresh water for his horses and for his party; he would prefer to camp near a stream or lagoon. Historians seem to ignore these factors in suggesting campsite locations.

I welcome any comment to secretary@fffmidnorthcoast.com.au.

Malcolm Tompson


Microfiche and Archive Records

Does anyone have a use for, or know someone who can use the following items:

  • Microfiche Reader & microfiche in a four-drawer cabinet with Victoria: Early Church Records: Births 1853-1895: Births 1896-1913: Marriages 1853-1913: Marriages 1914-1930: Deaths 1854-1945: Deaths 1946-1980.
  • Consise Guide NSW: Pioneer Index: Federation Index & Between the Wars Index.
Although all this information can now be found on the Internet, there may be someone who may not have access to Internet or may prefer the old system. Contact Glenda Smith for more information on email millewah3@bigpond.com or phone (02) 6550 6301.


Books for sale:

"The Pioneer Register" (second edition) Volume IV (compiled & edited by Dr C J Smee)
"A Patchwork Heritage - thirteen Australian Families" (by Sally White)
"The Newport Story - 1788-1988" (by Guy Jennings)
Deniliquin Research books (by Deniliquin Family History Group Inc):

  • "Deniliquin Lawn Cemetery Transcriptions 1977-1999"; including children's cemetery & rose garden, and war cemetery
  • "Obituaries & Profiles" Early residents of Deniliquin - Book One
  • "Obituaries & Profiles" Early residents of Deniliquin - Book Two
  • "Deniliquin General Cemetery - Headstone Transcriptions 1860 to 1999"

"The Hawkesbury Pioneer Register" (by Hawkesbury Family History Group, Windsor NSW)
"Valley of Gold" (by Jackie French) (a collection of children's stories we can all enjoy)
"Faulconbridge" (Springwood Historical Society - author Allan E Searle) Short history of an area first given the names of Faulconbridge
      and Numantia in 1877.
"The Victorian Historical Magazine" Vol.43 167th issue Feb 1972 - contents: The passing of Harold Edwin Williams; Two Melbourne
      Builders, 1853-1900; Thomas Mitchell's Route in Nth-West Victoria; The Victorian Horse Artillery.
"The Story of Hartley & its Historic Court-House NSW" (by WC Foster, WL Havard & BT Dowd)
"Church Heritage" Journal of the Church Records & Historical Society (Uniting Church in Australia NSW Synod) - 18 issues from March 1994
      to September 2002 (including Newsletters for same time period)
"A Delectable Parish - Prospect & Seven Hills" 1923 (by William Freame) - An original book signed by author.

For more information contact Glenda Smith on email millewah3@bigpond.com or phone (02) 6550 6301


From: John Marsden, Forster, NSW
Thanks for getting this started Malcolm. I'm searching for any Fleeters connected to the following Fleeters:
My maternal side: Owen Cavanough, marine, and his wife Margaret Darnell, convict. Plus Benjamin Cusley, Marine.
My paternal side: Thomas Harmsworth, Marine, his wife Alice Harmsworth and daughter Ann Harmsworth.
My paternal side is on this website www.john-marsden.com
I am happy to be contacted direct via email johnmar01@gmail.com or by phone (02) 6555 6133 or 0416 150 242.


Pat Kennedy #8147.1 of Central Coast Chapter has published a 200 page book (A4) "Legacy of Andrew Goodwin & Lydia Munro". If you are interested in purchasing a copy, please email Pat at: patk1254@gmail.com. Its price is $25 plus postage (Australia) $13.40.


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