Tag Archives: Carlingford

Joseph Eyles

Another interesting character in my family tree is Joseph Eyles, a convict who came to have a very successful life in Australia.

Joseph was born on the 1st December 1773 in Marlborough, England. He was the son of Sir Joesph Eyles (1743-1840) and Mary Dudley (1744-1840). In October 1796, Joseph was committed to stand trial for the theft of 40lbs of lead. In January 1797 he was found guilty and was sent to the prison hulk The Fortune, where he spent two and a half long years before being transferred to the ship Canada for transportation to Australia. He finally arrived in Australia in 1801 . In 1805 he was assigned to the whaling ship King George and by 1807 he was free by servitude.

Joseph had married Elizabeth Dixon (1784-1811) in Parramatta on the 6th November 1804. Unfortunately Elizabeth died in 1811 at the age of 27.

On the 4th February 1815, Joseph married Elizabeth Smith (1785-1854). Elizabeth was also a convict, who was sentenced to transportation for stealing a gown and arrived in Sydney in October 1811 on the ship Friends. Interestingly, it appears that the name ‘Smith’ was an alias used by Elizabeth and her real surname was actually either Trebble or Trible. Elizabeth had a daughter, Anne (1802-1853), from a previous relationship.

Joseph and Elizabeth had six children together – Joseph (1812-1865), John (1814-1878), Mary Ann (1816-1890), William (1818-1859), James (1820-1907) and Elizabeth (1824-1898).

In 1810, Joseph was living with Elizabeth and her daughter Anne on land in Field of Mars – 6ha of land leased from John Macarthur. That land was on Marsden Rd almost opposite Mobbs Lane and on it, Joseph planted a peach orchard. In 1821, John Macarthur gave up all his properties in the Pennant Hills district in exchange for land in the Cowpastures (Camden). By this time, five of the Eyles children had been born.

In 1822, Joseph asked Governor Brisbane to grant him the land on which he was living in exchange for 20ha that he been granted by Governor Macquarie to the north of his peach orchard. The 1822 Muster lists Joseph’s farm as comprising of 6 acres of wheat, 6 acres of corn, 2.5 acres of oats, 1 acre of potatoes and a 1 acre orchard. He also had a horse and 16 hogs.

Joseph’s request for more land was not finally settled until 1832 although Joseph had built a much grander house and planted more peaches on his original orchard.

In the meantime, in January 1828, Joseph was made a Constable at Parramatta. That appointment provided him with an income (3/15/- per half-year) and government rations, also obtainable half-yearly.

Of Joseph’s sons, Joseph Jnr moved to the Richmond River in northern NSW where he supplied goods and services to the cedar cutters. John moved to Ballina, William remained in the Carlingford district, as did James who became a pillar of the Wesleyan Church (now Uniting Church) on Marsden Rd. That church was established in 1825. James built a fine house on Marsden Rd. That house, still standing, was named “Caskie Ben” after a parish near Aberdeen in Scotland.

Joseph died on the 26th June 1856 in Dundas and was buried at All Saints Cemetery in Parramatta along with his wife Elizabeth and her daughter Ann.

Eyles Family Grave



Filed under Australian history, Convicts, Pioneers

St Paul’s Church Cemetery, Carlingford NSW

The historic St Paul’s Church Cemetery is located in Carlingford on what was once part of William Mobbs estate. This cemetery is the final resting place of many of the pioneers of the Parramatta district including the Mobbs, Bellamy, Sonter, Catt, Bowerman and Eyles families.

The land for the cemetery was donated by William’s son, William Mobbs Jnr, in 1847. The gift was originally intended to provide a site for a church and adjacent burial ground, however the nature of the shale foundation made the area adjacent to St Paul’s Church unsuitable for a burial ground. Consequently, William made a further gift of  land farther down Marsden Road. This explains why the cemetery is located quite some distance from the former St Paul’s Church which is nearer the corner of Marsden and Pennant Hills Roads.

William Mobbs Snr was the first person laid to rest at St Paul’s Cemetery on 14th July 1851.

Keep checking my Flickr page (links on right side tool bar of this page) for photographs from St Paul’s. I have made a few visits to the cemetery over the past 2 years and despite the terrible state of the cemetery, I have managed to photograph many of the graves. I will be uploading photographs to Flickr over the next few weeks.

If you would like to visit St Paul’s yourself, you can find it hidden away just off Kay Street, Carlingford. The cemetery is hidden between Simpson Reserve and Swaines Nursery. It is very overgrown and I would suggest that long pants and boots are a must if you are going to do some exploring.

St Paul's Church Cemetery, Carlingford.


Filed under Australian history, Cemeteries, Pioneers

The Mobbs Mob…

One of the most interesting discoveries I made while researching my ancestry was my connection to a man named William Mobbs, an industrious convict who was my great great great great great grandfather.

William was born in London in 1763, the son on Isaac Mobbs (1731-1794) and Mary Ireland (1740-unknown). William married Ann Grover (1761-1850) in 1790 and they proceeded to have three children while living in London – William Jnr (1791-1851), Ann (1795-1867) and George (1796-1821).

In 1796 William was committed to stand trial at Newgate on the charge of stealing salt petre, a crime he committed in conjunction with his brother-in-law William Batman (1765-1833), father of John Batman, founder of Melbourne.

William was found guilty and sentenced to 7 years transportation and after a year in prison he left England on the Barwell, arriving in Sydney in May 1798. His wife Ann and their three children followed William as free settlers, arriving aboard the Earl Cornwallis in 1801. William and Ann then had another son John (1802-1828).

William was quite a model convict and displayed some talent for horticulture.

An early diary by Mrs Felton Matthews commented that…

” Old Mobbs was among the first convicts who arrived in the country and was for years employed in the government garden, from whence he obtained a cutting from the first orange tree brought from Rio: this tree he showed with pride as being the parent of his whole orchard, either by cuttings, layers or seedlings…He was the first possessor of peaches” (from Book of Sydney Suburbs by Pollon p51).

William was emancipated in 1803 and concentrated on the acquisition of land. His first formal grant was 30 acres in the Field of Mars in 1802 although documents suggest he owned land in present day Carlingford from 1798. 26 acres were cleared with 11.5 under wheat & maize. He also had 44 sheep, 19 horned cattle, 12 goats and 2 pigs.

In 1820 he applied for more land & received another 300 acres which he used for cattle grazing. By 1823 he had another 80 acres for the propogation of fruit trees. By 1825 the Sydney Gazette declared that William Mobbs of Pennant Hills “has one of the finest crops of wheat ever beheld in the colony”. The 1828 muster credits him with 907 acres and he was widely known for the best apples & oranges in the colony.

William Mobbs died in 1839 and was buried in St Johns Cemetery in Parramatta.

His widow Ann “of Orange Orchard” remarried but was buried next to her first husband following her death in 1850.

In the main, their children followed their father’s rural interests. Son William Jnr was identified in the 1828 Muster Books as a farmer with 300 acres, while brother Isaac had 200 acres. John was a gardener & fruiterer who died young at age 26. Ann married three times and died in 1867 at age 74.

The Mobbs land together with other orchards in the area including those owned by Cox, Spurway & Neil, were effected in the 1860s  by an insect attack with diseased trees having to be destroyed. A second environmental disaster soon followed and exacerbated the farmers. Severe drought set in & it was another 7 yrs before the orchards operated effectively. However, the orchards & larger land holdings were subdivided for residential development, notably after the first subdivision in 1883 & the Carlingford railway extension in 1902.

William Mobbs Jnr & wife Maria Mobbs (nee Grono)


Filed under Australian history, Convicts, New South Wales history, Pioneers