00. – Where did James Hicks’ Children go to ?

James Hicks and his wife, Margaret, had 13 children and all lived into adulthood. And so the question is asked – Where did they all end up ? Eleven married of the thirteen; and two remained living locally in the Thirroul-Bulli-Woonona area, one went south to Broulee and then to Bega, one lived in the Kogarah area of Sydney, and the remaining nine ended up on the North Coast of NSW, and in Queensland.

Since our 19th Century origins, our Hicks family members have scattered even further over the years, up and down along virtually the entire eastern seaboard of Australia (click here for details and also here for details of various family branches)   especially in the Illawarra, Sydney area, Lismore and Murwillumbah and with many others moving to the western areas as well. 

  1. Henry Thomas married local Mary Ann McKenzie fromBulli-Woonona  Bellambi, who had also lived at Ellengowan. They mostly stayed around North Bulli-Thirroul – and some of their descendants continue to live in Thirroul – these are the 5th, 6th and 7th generations of Hicks to do so – but 9 generations have lived in the Illawarra – but some are in Perth and London.
  2. William moved down the coast to Broulee and Bega –  died in Moruya following an horrific accident in a Bega Timber Mill in 1885, but many of his descendents moved north to Sydney and northern NSW, and some are now in Cairns
  3. Richard initially lived in North Bulli (Austinmer) with wife Emma Payne, (daughter of the legendary John Payne who served for 50 years on local Illawarra councils – often as Mayor !) – Richard and Emma headed north to Lismore after the 1881 Austinmer land sale to Sir George Wigram Allen for coalmining
  4. Annie married Benjamin Broadhead from the Northern Illawarra, becoming part of the large Hunter Valley  Broadhead family (not the Thirroul Woodward-Broadhead’s) and seems to have moved to Newcastle where Benjamin was a coal miner, then to Lismore where they dairy farmed and finally retired at Murwillumbah.
  5. George married Catherine Murphy when down the coast at Broulee and Bega, and then moved north to Lismore and Ballina, many of his descendants are in Queensland and one ended up on Thursday Island, off Cape York in Far North Queensland in 1964.
  6. Deborah married the North Bulli (Austinmer) School Teacher, William Woodford, who boarded at the Hicks home and then moved north to Byron Bay
  7. Alice married William McEwen, lived in Newcastle, but returned to Thirroul, and died in 1919 in Bulli – some of their descendants, the Spowarts settled in Tasmania and worked in the mines
  8. James moved north to Murwillumbah and died at his brother Charles’ home in Murwillumbah, seemingly without marrying
  9. Mary Jane married a Collings and moved up to Lismore
  10. Charles, a twin was married to Christina Cameron moved north to Lismore and died at Murwillumbah where he had a building contractor business
  11. Thomas, a twin moved north to Lismore near brother Richard, was a farmer on Goonangarry, a member of the NSW Lancers (precursor to the Australian Light Horse) in Alstonville, and died of Typhoid Fever without marrying – but was given a full military funeral.
  12. Hamilton Herbert moved to Lismore and married Eliza Withers, then later moved to Brisbane where there still are descendants
  13. Minnie Margaret stayed with her widowed mother Margaret for many years, before marrying Widower Archibald Blundell of Corrimal (Blundell Parade), and moving to Sydney, step-mother to 4 children, but had no children of her own. As she appeared not to have benefitted from the 1881 land sale to Sir George Wigram Allen, it seems that she was made mother Margaret’s sole heir –  taking whatever remained of what had once been the Hicks ‘Family Fortune’,  into Archibald’s family. However Margaret’s estate was to go to Charlotte Collings, in the event Minnie had no natural children, which she did not.

There was a big 1880’s move north to the Rous-Jasper-Lismore area by many of the Hicks siblings, which seems to have followed the June 1881 sale of some of the Hicks Family Austinmer land, to Sir George Wigram Allen for coal mining – leaving only one brother Henry Thomas Hicks in the Illawarra :

  •  1881-06-25 – Purchase of land at North Bulli owned by Messrs Hicks by Sir George Wigram Allen for coal mining & later subdivision
  • 1881-09-17 – Arrival by Mr (Richard ?) Hicks and son (John Campbell Hicks ?) at Lismore (by Captain Alley) on 10/9/1881
  • 1881-10-01 – Conditional purchase of land – Rous Lismore 40 acres by Richard Hicks – taken up on 20/9/1881
  • 1881-10-15 – Conditional purchase of land – Rous Lismore 100 acres by Richard Hicks – taken up on 13/10/1881
  • 1882-01-28 – Arrival by Mrs (Emma ?) Hicks and Mrs Payne (Emma’s mother ?) at Coraki (by Captain Magee) on 24/1/1882
  • 1882-03-05 – Conditional purchase of land – Rous Byron 640 acres by brother Hamilton Herbert Hicks and Rous Byron acres 640 by Benjamin Broadwater (typo ? should it be Broadhead  – brother in law – husband of sister Annie ? as Annie and Benjamin were living in Byron by 1887 – also Broadwater is a locality in Rous area – an easy clerical error to make)
  • 1882-03-18 – Shipping News Arrival of Mr Collings from Eden  (brother in law of Richard – husband of sister Mary Jane ? Richard’s brother lived on NSW South Coast)
  • 1882-04-01 – Deed of Grant for 3 allotments at Lismore – Woodford ( brother in law William Woodford ?husband of sister Deborah ?)
  • 1882-04-15 – Conditional purchase of land at Rous Byron 200 acres by brother Charles Hicks – taken up on 13/4/1882
  • 1882-04-22 – Conditional purchase of land at Rous Byron 440 acres by brother Charles Hicks – taken up on 20/4/1882
  • 1882-11-18 – Conditional purchase of land at Rous Jasper 320 acres by brother Thomas Hicks – taken up on 16/11/1882
  • 1882-11-25 – Conditional purchase of land at Rous Jasper 230 acres by brother Thomas Hicks – taken up on 23/4/1882
  • 1882-12-09 – Conditional purchase of land at Rous Jasper 230 acres by brother Thomas Hicks – taken up on 7/12/1882
  • 1882-12-16 – Conditional purchase of land at Rous Jasper 40 acres by brother Thomas Hicks – taken up on 14/12/1882
  • 1883-02-17 – Conditional purchase of land at Richmond Evans 400 acres by brother in law William Woodford husband of Sister Deborah – taken up on 15/2/1883
  • 1883-05-12 – Conditional purchase of land at Rous Jasper 50 acres by brother Charles Hicks – taken up on 10/5/1883
  • 1883-05-19 – Mention of land selected at Rous Jasper by brother James Alexander Hicks
  • 1884-02-23 – Conditional purchase of land at Rous Jasper by brother James Alexander Hicks – taken up on 21/2/1884
  • 1884-03-31 – Advertisement for sale of brother in law’s business – J & J Collings Butcher’s businesses at Bulli and Clifton – John Collings, Butcher, husband of sister Mary Jane
  • 1884-11-25 – Advertisement for debtors to pay debts owed to brother in law’s business – J & J Collings at Bulli and Clifton – John Collings, Butcher, husband of sister Mary Jane
  • 1885-12-19 – John Collings – brother in law – husband of sister Mary Jane  – sought by Lismore solicitor –
  • 1889-07-27 – Application for land 100 acres and lease of 160 acres at Jasper by brother Hamilton Herbert Hicks on July 25 1889
  • 1889-08-17 – Selection of land at Jasper 100 acres by brother Hamilton Herbert Hicks on July 25 1889
  • 1890-07-19 – Rental set for leased land at Jasper 126.5 acres leased by brother Hamilton Herbert Hicks
  • 1890-07-26 – Rental set for leased land at Jasper 126.5 acres leased by brother Hamilton Herbert Hicks – 4d per acre
  • 1890-10-25 – Application to Lismore Land Board for land by son John Campbell Hicks – 190 acres County Rous Parish Whian Whian – granted 21/10/1890
  • 1894-09-29 & 1894-10-05 – Certificates of Conformity issued by Local Land Board (Lismore ?) that conditions satisfied – for brother Hamilton Herbert Hicks  – 100 acres and 125 acres at Jasper – also for son John Campbell Hicks 150 acres and 300 acres at Whian Whian
  • 1896-02-08 – Land at Jasper – from portion of 12 5 acres resumed for Road building – determination by Land Board (Lismore) – owned by brother Hamilton Herbert Hicks – valuation : 3 Pounds

So it’s not surprising that some people had asked – Are there any members of the Hicks’ still left in the North Illawarra, near to where our first family pioneers lived ? If so, then how long have the Hicks’  been in the North Illawarra?

In terms of the Northern Illawarra specifically ? Across  the Hicks-McKenzie branch of the family, there has in fact been an unbroken chain of occupation across seven generations of Hicks-McKenzie‘s in the Northern Illawarra since 1837, ie within the original bounds of the North Illawarra Council local government area. And likewise, an unbroken chain of occupation across seven generations of Hicks-McKenzie‘s within the bounds of the Bulli Shire Council Local Government area since 1842.

It appears that the earliest Hicks, Sarah older sister of James, may have been in the Illawarra as early as 1823 (according to the Muster of 1823-24-25) and James Hicks mother, step father and step siblings are listed in the 1828 Census as being in the Illawarra, with one child born in the  Illawarra in 1826. However by the mid 1830’s it seems that all Hicks-Howes-White had left the Illawarra area for a time, before James Hicks and wife Margaret returned in 1842 to take up the Land Grant sought at Russell Vale in 1830. While certainly not claiming to be the oldest European family to have continuously lived in the whole Illawarra since settlement, the Hicks-McKenzie’s count amongst the oldest one’s in the North Illawarra that have had family members continuously living in the area  ie

  • before the Organs (date from 1839 in Wollongong) who then moved to Fairy Meadow in 1841,
  • Cawley’s were to arrive from Ireland in 1842, and the Farraher’s (note – they date from 1822 in Southern Illawarra) came to the North by1846(also note – the Cawley’s & Farraher’s inter-married, as well as into Kirton’s & Callcott’s and so could be considered as the Cawley-Farraher-Kirton-Callcott’s) – there was believed to be only one Farraher family left living in Fairy Meadow, but none were thought to remain further north. However a Farraher-Kirton descendant still lives in Austinmer with his family
  • and the McCauley’s who originally came from Ireland in 1838, and lived down south in the Berkeley – Lake Illawarra area until 1847, before they moved to the Northern Illawarra. There is some confusion between the previously accepted date of 1843 for their northern arrival and the date of 1847 is  according to advice provided to the Illawarra Family History Group for the Pre 1900 Illawarra Pioneers Book (source was Local History & Library Specialist, Vivienne Caldwell who had been a respected member of the Illawarra History Family History Group), and then for Pre 1920 Illawarra Pioneers Book (provided by C Bevan of Thirroul).

Regardless of hairsplitting over what constitutes the “True North“, ie the original North Illawarra Council Local Government Area vs the Bulli Shire Council Local Government Area, there are still descendants of the Hicks-McKenzie’sOrgan’sMcCauley’s, and Cawley-Farraher-Kirton’s living in the North, and most, if not all, retaining a passion for the area.

The Hicks-McKenzie branch family members that remain in the Illawarra in the 21st Century, all  descend from Edith Florence Joy (nee Hicks).  However Edith’s siblings would all live, for parts of their lives,  in the bounds of the original North Illawarra Council Local Government area, and one for his entire life

  • Son, Alexander Henry Hicks,  had lived in Austinmer-Thirroul area, almost from his birth in 1866, until his 1884 marriage, and then moved to Balgownie, where he remained until his death in 1957.
  • Son, Captain George Hicks was based in Austinmer – Thirroul from 1873 – 1910, although there was a period during the Boer War when he was in South Africa.
  • Another son, Henry Thomas Jnr, born 1877, left briefly around 1898-1899, but returned by 1900, and then lived mostly in Thirroul until 1938-1940. From 1940, his branch of the family had re-located to either Cronulla or Brooklyn.
  • Daughter Mary Alice Cook lived at Austinmer – Thirroul from 1871 until around her 1929 marriage to Alexander Cook.
  • Daughter Edith Florence Joy lived at Austinmer-Thirroul from 1880-1901, then for much of 1910-1930, and finally spending her last 10 years there, passing away in 1958.
    • Mary CallcottEdith Joy‘s daughter, spent many of her early years prior to her 1929 marriage and would return to Thirroul with her family in 1936, and remain until the late 1950′s, several years before her death. Members of her branch have lived from Thirroul to Woonona since 1936.
    • Edith Joy‘s son, Kenneth Joy spent some of his childhood years 1910-1916 at Thirroul before joining the Navy and then the NSW Railways. He returned to Thirroul in 1944 with his family, and most of his branch have lived between Thirroul and Russell Vale since 1944.
  • Daughter Ida McKenzie Webb lived at Austinmer-Thirroul from 1883 until about 1927-28, before moving to Chatswood, as her husband’s construction business, AF Webb, had expanded.

Most of the other descendants of Edith Florence Joy, granddaughter of Alexander McKenzie Jnr and James Hicks, live in the Southern Illawarra. Only one of Edith‘s nearly two dozen great grandchildren has moved out of the Illawarra.

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