This first group are on my father’s side. Sarah Hukgulstone was born in London about 1804. She had a long happy marriage that produced eight children. Her youngest son, a pianoforte maker, was my ancestor. Here he is with his wife Sophia Banham, who was born in Buckinghamshire in 1846. Sophia and Alfred had nine children, including two sons who were keen cyclists. They all immigrated to Australia in 1911, except for the eldest daughter. One of those sons was my grandfather Alfred, who brought his English wife Annie and two young sons with him. Annie, born in Hatton Garden in 1882 had lost her mother to TB before she was two, so she had been reared by her older sisters. Sadly she never did return to England to see them or her father. The youngest of her five sons became my father.
Next, (all the rest are on my mother’s side) is an ancestor I have written a book about, Mary Harris. Mary was born in Bedfordshire in 1829. Her mother died when she was four years old, and her father remarried. When she was only seventeen Mary travelled to Australia as a servant to a Irish couple, and made her life here. Those were the days of convicts, bushrangers and pioneers, so with her three husbands Mary led an exciting and productive life. Her son Thomas was my great-grandfather, pictured here with his large family.
More women ancestors. A brave young woman, Elizabeth Booth from Yorkshire who founded a dynasty here in Australia, where she came with her husband as sponsored immigrant farmers. Amelia Solomon from Cornwall with her husband Robert Rice, and their daughter Polly, another of my great-grandmothers.
My mother descended from the Wren and Mulligan families. You can see this huge family gathering in 1902. People did have a lot of children in those days. Frances Venables was born in Sydney in 1843, daughter of a stonemason who came from England to build the soldiers barracks. Her daughter Caroline Wren was born in the Central West, where the family were successful pioneers. Caroline also had a large family, including my grandmother Kate Mulligan. And of course Kate had a daughter too, my mother Gillian!
Thanks Jake, for the chance to think about mothers today!