11 – 1875 – to Araluen and Braidwood

Posted originally on January 24, 2015 by Neil

This series of posts is the most comprehensive I have done on family history. I am doing them backwards here so that in due course they will appear sequentially.

I have long been aware of the existence of the Braidwood branch of the Whitfield clan but I don’t recall meeting any of them, nor have I travelled to Braidwood. But it is a good story, how they got there.


From Geological sketch map of NSW, 1880. 1. Picton; 2. Araluen; 3. Braidwood.

So this is about two of my father’s great-uncles, Jacob 2 and Richard Whitfield.

The information in Jacob 2’s entry is more evocative: “Jacob was farming in the Picton district of NSW until 1875 when with his wife, Eliza and five children, his brother Richard, his wife, and other family members, he left Picton to walk to Araluen NSW to the gold fields. They took with them a cow and horse and cart with their belongings. After three years in Araluen they went to Braidwood NSW where they set up their first blacksmith shop in 1879. Jacob died six years later on 22 Oct 1885…” His wife became a midwife in the district.

By the way my great-grandfather William Joseph John Whitfield, who stayed in the Picton district, and his brothers Jacob and Richard all married sisters from the Ratcliffe (Radcliffe) family, respectively Elizabeth, Eliza, and Mary Ann….


Araluen Ball 1867

See also Stray stories of family and Australiana — 1

And then there is Braidwood and tales I partly remember. Dad mentioned Quong Tart and the Nomchongs more than once.


Group portrait of the Nomchong family, Braidwood, N.S.W., 1902

See The Braidwood district’s Chinese heritage.

Jews Hill 1870 ref WALLACE 10 V2

Braidwood 1880 – image from Braidwood & District Historical Society

More at Stray stories of family and Australiana — 2. That entry was one of a 2014 series leading up to Australia Day. So it is with this series. More on that later.

12 – miscellaneous items

Posted originally on January 25, 2015 by Neil

This series of posts is the most comprehensive I have done on family history. I am doing them backwards here so that in due course they will appear sequentially.

In the next post I mention the three Ratcliffe (Radcliffe) sisters who married three Whitfield brothers – one each of course – including my great-grandmother Elizabeth. I referred you to my 25 January 2014 post — yesterday here — for more information. There you can read much about the first Ratcliffe in Australia, Joseph:

From the Indent for the Guildford 1824: Joseph Ratcliffe was tried in Suffolk in March 1823. He received a sentence of Life. He was a Brickman and Ploughman at this time. His native place is also stated to be Suffolk. He was 26 , had a brown and freckled complexion, brown hair and dark brown eyes and was a tad over 5 feet 3 inches tall. My research shows that Joseph was recommended for a Conditional Pardon in 31 January 1839 and was approved in July 1839. In 1837 Joseph received permission to marry Sarah Leonard who was 17 and born in the colony. Joseph at this stage was in receipt of a Ticket of Leave (No.32/611). They applied through the Rev. Hassall at Narellan.

And here he is, thanks to WikiTree.


One of my great-great-grandfathers, Joseph Ratcliffe

Now to Jacob 2, one of the Whitfield brothers who went to Araluen then Braidwood from 1875, a story to be told in the next post. This is a reminder of how things were back then: Goulburn Evening Penny Post 29 October 1885.


Meanwhile back in Picton: Sydney Evening News 10 September 1879.