To Stanwell Park: 1

At Stanwell Park yesterday. She had a shopping trolley of Whitfield family pics, photos and documents going back to the 1830s! Amazing stuff! The four hours I could spend didn’t do it justice. Lilian Lee. 90+ and sharp as… She has been a TAFE teacher in her time. Recalled I met her father and mother too sometime around 60+ years back and he gave me a ride in his buggy. Lilian’s ancestry is from this couple, the older sister of my grandfather T D S Whitfield:

Susan Caroline WHITFIELD (b. 23 May 1862 d. 13 May 1954) & Jonathan McINNES (b. 6 Jun 1859 d. 8 Feb 1946) m. 20 Jan 1885

See this obituary:

McINNES.—February 8 at his residence Spion Kop, Picton, Jonathan McInnes dearly beloved husband of Susan, loved father of William, Annie,(Mrs. Gorrick), Susan ( Mrs.Todd deceased),and Ruby ( Mrs. S Graham), and brother of  L. and A. McInnes, aged 86 years.

Their youngest, Ruby McInnes (b.1893), married Stan Graham, the one who I now seem to recall giving me – and my sister? – a ride in the buggy he still kept at his then home in Lidcombe, NSW. They are Lilian Lee’s parents.

Lilian Lee on the left

Lilian had an amazing photo of William Whitfield — born 16 Mar 1812 , Parish of Drumgoon, Cootehill, Co. Cavan, Ireland, arrived on the “Thames” from Cork via Brazil and Cape Horn, age 14, married Caroline Philadelphia West 1836, died  Sydney 1897. Much earlier than this one on my pages:

Lilian’s photo looks as if it was taken in the 1850s or 1860s and shows a rather gentlemanly man with a top hat. The picture above looks to me to be from the 1880s at the earliest. Perhaps the earlier photo dates from this time:

Lilian had documents relevant to this:

Public education in Tahmoor commenced in 1872 when local residents petitioned the Council of Education for assistance in the running of a school they had already established in two rooms of Denfield Villa, the home of Mr Ashcraft. The school was established under the name of ‘Bargo’ with an enrolment of 9 boys and eleven girls from the families of John Ashcraft, William Whitfield, Joseph Ratcliff, Angus McInnes, T W Bollard, Jonathan. Wells, Francis Dietrich and William Shoobridge. The first teacher was a Miss Ollis, daughter of the school master at Upper Picton.

Sometime within the next two years, the school moved to a slab building, once again on private property, located in the vicinity of the corner of Struan Street and Remembrance Drive. By October 1878 the enrolment stood at 36.

Over the next few years, parents and citizens petitioned for a new school building complaining of the dilapidated state of the existing school room. George Bradbury, who had purchased the property on which the school stood, described it as a ‘hut’ with no water supply and the sanitary arrangements as being ‘insufficient and indecent’.

In 1882 plans were drawn for a new school to be erected on land given by Mr Bradbury which was nearly opposite the then existing school. The enrolment at this time was 52, with 38 of the children walking up to three miles from Upper Picton. The reason for the exodus from Picton to Tahmoor was the unpopularity of the Picton school master with the parents of the Picton school children, however when this was realised by the Education Department it reversed the decision to build a new school arguing that if the children from Upper Picton attended Picton school, there would be no need for the expense of a new building at Tahmoor.

Mr Bradbury tried to force the Department to build a new school by charging a rent on his premises but unfortunately this only caused the Department to close the school on 17 February 1883.

The residents wasted no time in petitioning for the re-opening of their school and by December 1883 it was once again established with an enrolment of 13 boys and 14 girls. This school was opened under the name ‘Myrtle Creek’ and was once again in Mr Bradbury’s dilapidated ‘hut’. Petitioning soon recommenced for a new school and teacher’s residence and this time they were successful with the new building being completed on 12 August 1885.

This school closed in 1904….

See also my posts Respectability achieved–and rapscallions left behind? and Tangible link to the convict ship “Isabella” and the immigrant ship “Thames”.

Lilian had a number of town plans and maps clarifying exactly where the Whitfields were in Picton/Myrtle Creek/Tahmoor/Bargo in the 19th and early 20th centuries, something I had rather puzzled over on my page About the Whitfields: from convict days. The family is still well represented in that part of the world, though I don’t know them any more.


In Stanwell Park yesterday. More pics tomorrow.