Wandering up the Australian East Coast – Tracking the Hicks Diaspora

A Work in Progress ! Additions, Comments & Corrections Welcomed !

The descendants of James & Margaret Hicks from the Illawarra’s north moved up and down the Australian Eastern Coast – so many of them in so many places ! And of course several have moved to Western NSW, others even further over to Western Australia, one branch went to Tasmania, and there are some who moved overseas from New Zealand to London.

How to visualise it ? Just focusing on the East Coast for starters ?

Perhaps a big road trip – starting from down around Geelong on the Victorian Coast and then wandering up to Cairns in Far North Queensland ?  So this is not going to be in any real particular “family order”, but more like a “big road trip” planner. However if we keep uncovering more Hicks descendants in other states then may be it might turn into the “Big Lap of Australia” ?


Descendants of the Henry Thomas Hicks branch were down in VictoriaEdith Joy‘s son Kenneth and grandson Joe spent time down there during their Navy stints – Ken during WWI and Joe during National Service in the 1950’s. Both returned to the Illawarra – Joe marrying wife Pat in Geelong before his return north.


Along the coast from Geelong to Bega on the NSW Far South Coast.William Hicks, second son of James and Margaret Hicks, was living in Bega by 1880, after leaving Broulee. His three youngest children were born in Bega – 1880, 1882 & 1884 : Annie Isabella, William James and Richard J.  That made 9 kids in total – although James, the eldest had died in infancy.  However, most, if not all, of their children left Bega, going north to Sydney, Port Macquarie, Gunnedah and Murwillumbah.

William would live in Bega for his last years – perhaps five years at the most. Was William a farmer like his father, James Hicks, and older brother Henry Thomas Hicks, and/or did he do timber cutting, like his brother Richard Hicks did for a time before turning to farming ?


A long drive north along the Princes Highway from Bega to Moruya. It was at Moruya, a year after the birth of his ninth child, that William Hicks died in 1885, aged 57 years. His wife, Margaret Hicks (Southam-Jessep), would survive him by over 20 years.


Up the Princes Highway, Broulee is slightly north of Moruya. William Hicks had originally moved to Broulee from North Bulli (Austinmer), before heading further south to Bega. It was at Broulee where he married Margaret Southam-Jessep, and where their first six children were born between 1869 and 1878 : James, Margaret Minnie, Alice Eulalie, Florence Eva, Joseph Henry and Mary J.


From Broulee to Batemans Bay, along the Kings Highway and  the Braidwood Road, to Goulburn.

Richard Ernest Hicks, the youngest of Henry Thomas Hicks‘ fourteen children, lived in Goulburn at the time of mother Mary Ann Hicks’ death in 1930. In the family he was also known as Ern, and his father Henry Thomas, was the oldest of James & Margaret Hicks‘ 13 children. They had big families then ! Ern and some of his kids would eventually stay in  Sydney.

Ern must have moved around, as at least one of his four children, Daphne Josephine, was born in Tamworth, according to his great nephew, Ian‘ s recollection, in mid 2013.  And there is a public notice in 1933, covering overdue rates notice to be served on Ernest Hicks for a property on the corner of Hercules/Peel Streets in Tamworth – the same Ernest Hicks ? A Depression era problem  perhaps ? And was Ern a miner, like older brothers Alec Henry and Henry Thomas Jnr, or a farmer, like another brother Richard ?

Joadja Creek

Heading along the Hume Highway, past the Berrima turnoff, then off Greenhills Road to Joadja. Henry Thomas Hicks Jnr, a miner and 11th child of Henry Thomas Hicks Snr, lived at Joadja Creek for a while, where his eldest child, Elsie E Hicks, was born in 1898. Later Henry Thomas Jnr and wife Eva (nee Bottomly) moved to Thirroul, then Woollahra in Sydney.

The Illawarra – Shellharbour to Coalcliff

Shellharbour area.

Back to the Hume Highway, along Route 80, onto the Illawarra Highway and down Macquarie Pass into Albion Park. Edith Joy’s grandsons Ian and Joe moved into the Shellharbour local government area in the 1960’s. Since then their families have all settled there.


According to Michael Adams, in his book “Beyond Bulli”, James and Margaret Hicks had lived in Dapto before moving to Russell Vale – however there is no information on this held in the family locally. Two granddaughters of Edith Joy, Kath and Joy live in the Dapto area – and their families live nearby . And the Cook brothers, Alick and Alfred, grew up at “Benares” in Avondale before moving to Alstonville and Ballina on the NSW North Coast. Alick would marry Edith Joy‘s sister, Mary Alice “Biddy” Hicks;  and Alfred would marry another sister, Margaret Minnie “Maggie” Hicks.

Port Kembla.

One of Edith Hicks‘ granddaughters lived in Port Kembla with her husband and daughter. There was huge growth in the  nearby Port Kembla Industrial Complex, along with its associated collieries & transport facilities during the post WWII years, and these employed many of Edith Joy‘s descendants and/or their partners. There are just too many to name,  but they include several of her grandsons, a granddaughter & her spouse, the spouse of another granddaughter, two great granddaughters & their spouses, the spouse of another great granddaughter, and several great grandsons – and maybe even a “few” more?

Wollongong – The Crossroads – Towradgi

Henry Thomas Hicks and wife Mary Ann lived here in the early years of their marriage. Later they moved to Towradgi to pursue farming. Their great great granddaughter, Kerrie, lived in the area in the 1970’s – North Wollongong, Coniston, Figtree and Wollongong, and she also served as an Alderman/Councillor on Wollongong City Council.

Balgownie – Ellengowan – Para Meadow – Fairy Meadow – Fernhill – Tarrawanna.

Mary Ann Hicks (nee McKenzie) was born at Ellengowan in 1839 – the first of Alexander McKenzie Jnr’s children to be born in Australia. Her father was very active in the Agricultural Association of the area, before he moved to Canowindra. Alec Hicks, 5th child of Mary Ann and Henry Thomas Hicks, lived in Balgownie until his death in 1957 – his daughter Ida would marry into the Truscotts, and remained there also. Alec worked at the Mount Pleasant Colliery, and also Corrimal Colliery in the Tarrawanna area. In the early 20th Century years, he was President of the Illawarra Collliery Employees Association Union and also Mayor of the North Illawarra Council, with its chambers located in Fairy Meadow.

Corrimal – Russell Vale – Bellambi

James and Margaret Hicks started their life in the Illawarra in 1842 at Russell Vale before moving to Austinmer then known as North Bulli. One of Edith Joy‘s grandsons and a granddaughter still live in the Corrimal – Russell Vale area, as does a great grandson. Another grandson, Joe, lived there briefly before moving to the Shellharbour Local Government area.


In their later years, James and Margaret Hicks lived at Woonona as did other family members. Son Henry Thomas would marry Mary Ann McKenzie in the Church of England in Woonona. A great grandson of Edith Joy still lives in Woonona with his family.


According to Michael Adams “Beyond Bulli”, Hamilton Hicks, 12th child and youngest son of James & Margaret Hicks, may have been the only one of their children to actually live in Bulli – although in time he would move north. Hamilton‘s older brother, Henry Thomas Hicks was one of the first wardens at St Augustine’s Anglican Church in Park Road Bulli, where the remains of six generations of Hicks descendants lie. And at least four, possibly even five,  generations of Hicks have married there also. As an alderman on the North Illawarra Council, Henry Thomas would pursue the creation of the Bulli Shire Council in the later 19th Century years. Henry Snr‘s son, Henry Thomas Hicks Jnr, was a miner at Old Bulli Colliery, in Bulli.

Henry Snr‘s great grandson Ian lived in Bulli in the 1950’s before moving to the Shellharbour Local Government area. Ian‘s cousin Margaret Edith and her family have been active in the Bulli Kennel Club. A great granddaughter of Edith Joy currently lives in Bulli and another did in the 1980’s. And a great grandson of Edith Joy‘s has been a resident of the Bulli area, and remains a senior office bearer in the Bulli Surf Club, having being involved there for many years.


Henry Thomas Hicks moved to Thirroul with wife Mary Ann and they spent most of their lives there – at Mt Gilead, Everest, Mt Hope and 5 Soudan St. They would raise the 10 surviving of their 14 children there. Three of their children would spend a significant proportion of their adult lives in ThirroulMary Alice “Biddy” Cook (nee Hicks); coal miner son Henry Thomas Hicks Jnr who lived at Glen Roy in Station St with wife, Eva (nee Bottomly), before moving to Sydney; and Edith Joy (nee Hicks).

Henry Thomas Hicks Snr‘s mother, Margaret Hicks, would be at prior to her death in 1905.

Both of Edith Joy‘s children, Kenneth Charles Joy and “Molly” Mary Constance Callcott (nee Joy) returned to Thirroul, and all of Edith‘s grandchildren spent most of their younger years in Thirroul. They attended Thirroul Public School, where their great grandfather, Thirroul resident and then North Illawarra Council Alderman Captain Henry Thomas Hicks Snr JP had presided over the opening in 1889.

Only two of Edith‘s grandchildren, Joan Lois and Margaret Edith, would raise their families in Thirroul, and two of their daughters, Kerrie and Julie, still live there. Two of the children of Edith‘s daughter, “Molly“,  had lived in Thirroul for brief periods during their adult years. And now there is only one of Henry Thomas Hicks Snr‘s great great great grandchildren (and who is also Edith’s great great grandchild) who has grown up in Thirroul, and is still living there.

Austinmer – North Bulli

It was at Austinmer, then known as North Bulli, where James and Margaret Hicks largely raised their family of 13 children – amazingly all of whom survived to adulthood. James had bought 300 acres of land often known as the “Chippendale Estate” from the bankrupt entrepreneur Captain Robert Marsh Westmacott. The property extended from Moore Street Austinmer to around the current Headlands Hotel site, then known as Hicks Point. They lived at “Sidmouth” in The Grove area which had been built by Westmacott. In their later years James and Margaret Hicks moved to Woonona, prior to James’ death in 1885. Margaret would be at Thirroul with son Henry Thomas prior to her death in 1905.

James subdivided and sold off a lot of his Austinmer land for orchard lots and coal mine or two. He was also an advocate for establishing the local North Bulli (Austinmer) public school in the 1860’s. Some of the teachers boarded with James and his family during the week, which led to a marriage of one of the daughters, Deborah Hicks, to William Woodford. None of James and Margaret Hicks‘ family would establish a permanent family home in Austinmer on their marriage. Apparently James Hicks Jnr, 8th child of James and Margaret Hicks, may have lived at North Bulli (Austinmer) for a time, as did their 4th child, Annie Broadhead, before she headed north to Murwillumbah with her husband Benjamin Broadhead. And in total, nine of James and Margaret Hicks‘ 13 children moved right away from the Illawarra, to the NSW North Coast – only two remained in the Illawarra permanently.

However, in the early 1960’s, James and Margaret‘s great great grandson, Joe briefly lived in a flat near the site of the family home, Sidmouth, in The Grove Austinmer, in the early years of his marriage, with wife Pat.


Thomas and Charles – 10th & 11th sons of James & Margaret Hicks were living in Coalcliffs around 1882, possibly mining, according to Michael Adams in his “Beyond Bulli



1. Henry Thomas Hicks branch

    • Henry Thomas Hicks JnrHT Hicks‘ 11th child,  died in Kogarah in 1946
    • Edith Florence Joy (nee Hicks), HT Hicks lived in Penshurst with husband John Charles Joy – where their two children Kenneth Charles Joy (1902) and “Molly” Mary Constance Joy (1906) were born. Molly‘s 3rd child was also born at Penshurst (1935)
    • Richard Ernest Webb, 14th child of HT Hicks died at his home, 33 Ocean St Kogarah in 1953.
    • Daphne Josephine Hicks, daughter of Richard ErnestHT Hicks‘ 14th child, lived with her aunt Edith Florence Joy in Penshurst, and after her marriage lived in a house behind Edith Florence Joy‘s Penshurst home, with her husband Victor Callaghan and son Kevin John Callaghan.

13. Minnie Blundell (nee Hicks) branch

    • Minnie Blundell (nee Hicks) died in Kogarah in 1922.


2. William Hicks branch

    • Cyril Tyter ( son of Dot Tyter (nee Mitchell) daughter of Margaret Mitchell, eldest of William Hicks‘ 9 children) – married in Waverley.

Inner West

1. Henry Thomas Hicks branch

    • Henry Thomas Hicks‘ oldest living child, James Alexander Hicks & wife Edith (nee Jones) died in Burwood in 1939 – they had been living in 10 Acton St Croyden.
    • Frederick Henry Webb and Lois Joy Webb, children of Ida Webb, 13th child of HT Hicks, married their respective spouses in Drummoyne

2. William Hicks branch

    • Dot Tyter (nee Mitchell) daughter of Margaret Mitchell, eldest of William Hicks‘ 9 children – married in Burwood & died in Ashfield.
    • Constance Oldham (nee Mitchell) daughter of Margaret Mitchell, eldest of William Hicks‘ 9 children – married in Burwood and died in Croyden Park
    • Alice Eulalie Hicks, 3rd child of William Hicks died in Newtown in 1950 – never married


1. Henry Thomas Hicks branch

    • Leila Locke daughter of James Alexander & Edith Hicks, married Cecil Locke in 1927 in Sydney, then  died in Newtown in 1932
    • Winifred May Hicks, daughter of HT Hicks‘ 9th child, Captain George Hicks, born in Paddington 1902
    • Henry Thomas Hicks Jnr, HT Hicks‘ 11 child,  married in Newtown in 1898.
    • Daphne Josephine Hicks, daughter of Richard Ernest, HT Hicks‘ 14th child, married in Paddington in 1939
    • John Henry Hicks, son of Richard ErnestHT Hicks‘ 14th child, died in Redfern in 1954 – and his daughter Maree Philomena Hicks married in Sydney in 1942.

2. William Hicks branch

    • Joseph Henry Hicks, 5th child of William Hicks, married (2) in Sydney in 1957 – died there in 1960.


1. Henry Thomas Hicks branch

    • Marjorie Allison Rummery (nee Cook), daughter of Margaret (eldest daughter of HT Hicks) & Alfred Cook died in Harbord in 1978 – husband Angus McDonald Rummery died in “Sydney” in 1958
    • Captain George Hicks  (9th child of HT Hicks) died in Chatswood in 1956
    • Joyce Allison Hicks, daughter of HT Hicks‘ 9th child, Captain George Hicks, married in North Sydney in 1932
    • Ida McKenzie Webb (13th child of HT Hicks) lived in Chatswood with her husband Arthur Frederick & 5 children. Later Ida and Arthur lived at Hunters Hill. Their daughter Ida McKenzie Knox also lived at Chatswood and another daughter Lois Joy Willis lived in the Neutral Bay Mosman area.


1. Henry Thomas Hicks branch

    • Elsie E Rankin (nee Hicks) daughter of Henry Thomas Hicks JnrHT Hicks‘ 11th child died in Parramatta in 1955
    • Thelma Hicks daughter of Richard ErnestHT Hicks‘ 14th child, married in 1938

2. William Hicks branch

    • Florence Eva Fredericks, 4th child of William Hicks died in Penrith in 1960


Belmont – Great Great Great granddaughter of James & Margaret Hicks


head up the New England Highway – C Atkin daughter of John Campbell Hicks son of Richard Hicks, third child of James & Margaret Hicks


north to Gunnedah – Margaret Minnie Mitchell – daughter of William Hicks – second child of James & Margaret Hicks


east to Tamworth Richard Ernest Hicks, youngest of Henry Thomas Hicks’ 14 children lived here – daughter Daphne Josephine born here

Port Macquarie.

returning to the coast – Richard J Hicks son of William Hicks


R J Burns (daughter of John Campbell Hicks son of Richard Hicks)


Edward Mitchell son of Margaret Minnie Mitchell daughter of William Hicks


Bank built by Arthur Webb – husband of Ida, daughter of HT Hicks.  Edward Mitchell son of Margaret Minnie Mitchell daughter of William Hicks

Coffs Harbour.

Hospital built by Arthur Webb- husband of Ida, daughter of HT Hicks.


James Hicks’ youngest child – Minnie Blundell’s eldest stepson Oliver born here in 1885


Mary Thelma Harris – daughter of Christina Woolley (daughter of HT Hicks)


Alice Smith, daughter of Richard Hicks – third child of James and Margaret Hicks; and C McDonough,daughter of George Hicks – the fifth child of James and Margaret


C Smith, daughter of John Campbell Hicks son of Richard Hicks- third child of James & Margaret Hicks

The Channon

G Arkinstall,daughter of George Hicks, fifth child of James and Margaret Hicks


Nine of James and Margaret Hicks’ children and/or their descendants moved to Lismore. Murwillumbah was the other destination to where descendants from ten of their children moved.

1. Henry Thomas Hicks Snr’s family -Captain George Hicks (son of HT Hicks) – his daughters Winifred Davies & Joyce Weir; Christina Woolley (daughter of HT Hicks) & her daughters – Muriel Lucy McKenzie & Mary Thelma Harris & her children Rae Harris, Neville Harris, Patricia Harris, Thelma Harris, Mary Harris, Douglas Harris;

3. Richard Hicks & his children – John Campbell Hicks (lived at 13 Allen St Lismore)-Frances Whereat-Annie Thompson-Ada Rea -Jane Smith – Margaret Barton – Henry Hicks – Arthur Hicks – Mary J Hicks; W Thompson – N C Parker (Daughters of John Campbell Hicks). Also Richmond Hill near Lismore John Campbell Hicks (son Richard Hicks)

5. George Hicks & his children Albert Frederick Hicks-Albert Hicks – Kate Hicks – Ada Hancock – Margaret Hicks

6. Deborah Woodford – children Jessie Woodford-Margaret Woodford-George Herbert Woodford-Jessie Matilda Woodford – Ernest Richard Woodford. Richmond River near Lismore – William Arthur Woodford – Clarissa Minnie Woodford children of Deborah Woodford

7. James Hicks McEwan – son of Alice McEwan

9. Mary Jane Collings & her son William T Collings

10. Charles Hicks Children – Olive Hicks – Lyle Hicks -Ewan Hicks

11. Thomas Hicks

12. Hamilton Hicks (brother of HT Hicks), Mabel Hicks-Irene Hicks – Leslie Hicks – Alice Hicks – Thomas Hicks – Doris Hicks (children of Hamilton Hicks),


John Campbell Hicks (son Richard Hicks)


Mary Thelma Harris – daughter of Christina Woolley – daughter of Henry Thomas Hicks


Henry Thomas Hicks eldest daughter Margaret, and her husband Alfred Cook


Margaret (daughter HT Hicks) & husband Alfred; Alick ( Alexander) Cook lived there with both wives  – Alexina (nee McKenzie and a cousin of Mary Ann McKenzie) and Mary Alice Biddy (daughter of HT Hicks)


North Coast Girls College built by Arthur Webb, son in law of HT Hicks; HT  Hicks’ daughter Margaret & husband Alfred Cook lived here as did three of their children Marjorie Rummery-Gladys Saunders – Alfred E Cook. Also A Smith (daughter of Richard Hicks),

North Creek

 HT Hicks daughter  Margaret & husband Alfred Cook

Newry Bar

HT Hicks daughter  Margaret & husband Alfred Cook

Binna Burra

HT Hicks daughter Christina & husband Edward Woolley. Also Arthur Hicks (son of Richard Hicks),


Mary Thelma Harris – daughter of Christina Woolley, one of HT Hicks’ daughters


Harry Hicks & John Campbell Hicks – sons of Richard Hicks

Byron Bay

HT Hicks daughter Christina Woolley & her daughter Muriel Lucy McKenzie. Elizabeth Arkinstall (daughter of George Hicks – 5th child of James Hicks). Deborah Woodford, Edith Louisa Woodford


George Thomas Hicks son of George Hicks, fifth child of James Hicks


Ten of James and Margaret Hicks’ 14 children, and/or their descendants, have lived in Murwillumbah.

1. Captain George Hicks (son of HT Hicks) lived here with his family before WWI. The Murwillumbah High School & Imperial Hotel were built by Arthur Webb husband of Ida, HT Hicks’ youngest daughter;

2. Annie Isabella Bowman daughter of William and Margaret Hicks

3. Benjamin Hicks (son of Richard Hicks),

4. Annie Broadhead (sister of HT Hicks)

5, George Thomas Hicks (son of George Hicks),

6 Clarissa Minnie Woodford & Ernest Richard Woodford (children of Deborah Woodford),

7. Herbert McEwan -son of Alice McEwan

8. James Hicks – 8th child of James and Margaret Hicks

10. Charles Hicks

12. Margaret Hicks- Minnie M Hicks – Sylvia Hicks (daughters of Hamilton Hicks),

Tweed Heads

Charles Joseph Hicks (son of George Hicks),

Surfers Paradise

Charles Joseph Hicks (son of George Hicks – fifth child of James & Margaret Hicks) – gifted land to the local council for a public reserve in 1938. In 2004 the council was seeking to have this set aside and develop the land, outraging Charles Joseph Hicks descendents


Great great grandson of George Hicks, fifth child of James and Margaret Hicks


Henry Hicks (son of George Hicks – fifth child of James and Margaret Hicks

Charters Towers

Joseph Henry, fifth child of Margaret and Williams Hicks, older brother of HT Hicks – lived here with first wife Emma Algar and second wife Kate May Young Wah Shang Hicks, as well as some of their respective children – Muriel Emma Hicks, Vera Hicks, Henry Algar Cahill Hicks


Joseph Henry, fifth child of Margaret & Williams Hicks, older brother of HT Hicks – lived here with wife Kate May Young Wah Shang Hicks, as well as their children – Henry Joseph Hicks, Albert Jessep Hicks, Sydney Hicks. Kate was one of the 13 children of Cabinet maker & Chinese Herbalist, Lee Wah Shang, and wife Jane Noon

About Kerrie Anne Christian

Interests - Travel, Photography, Developing Websites, Social Media, Writing, Local History, Researcher, Genealogy
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6 Responses to Wandering up the Australian East Coast – Tracking the Hicks Diaspora

  1. Bronwyn Stringer says:

    Hi I am a great grand daughter of Joseph Henry Hicks from his marriage to Emma Algar. He had another daughter : My grandmother Bestsy May Hicks born in Bega 1901 , she married my Chinese grandfather John Yet Foy in 1921 . Quan Jut Yet.
    They lived in Croydon and Cairns as well as other parts of norther Queensland . We belong to a large extended family from mainly northern Queensland . My name is Bronwyn Stringer, nee Yet Foy.
    My email is bgstring@bigpond.net.au
    I found your page very interesting, I have been to Bega and Moruya trying to find some information about the Hicks family. I believe Joseph was the Taylor in Bega ?
    Thanks Bronwyn

    • Hi Bronwyn
      I had heard of your sub branch of the Joseph Henry Hicks – Emma Algar branch – from what I have seen Joseph Henry was a tailor in Cairns – I am not sure about Bega as I am told that as young boy he moved up to live with his Uncle Henry Thomas Hicks in the Bulli area following the Mill accident that claimed the life of his father William Hicks. I am in contact with Brian, another of our Hicks cousins down in the Moruya area and if you head down there again let me know so I can put you in contact with him, as Brian is active in the Moruya Family History Group. Brian is planning to write an article about your great great grandfather William Hicks and the accident that claimed his life. cheers KC

    • Hi Bronwyn – thinking again – so maybe Joseph Henry went back down to Bega later on … something to be investigated ?

      • Bronwyn stringer says:

        Thanks very much Kerrie Anne,
        I really appreciate your reply I did not see your reply until I was looking at the blog by chance this evening, how will I know When you reply ? Should I get an email or do I just check the blog? Are you going to amend the tree to include Betsy as a sibling to Vera, Muriel and Henry? And children of Emma Algar and Joseph Henry ?
        Thanks Bronwyn

  2. Pingback: 1 – From the Farming Cooks to the Families of Fortune, a NSW Migration Heritage Project | The Hicks Family

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