Neil’s personal decades: 11 – 1875 – to Araluen and Braidwood

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.

Conjunction of half-remembered stories with new information: re Elizabeth Ratcliffe – born 16 Mar 1838 in Cabramatta NSW Australia, and died 16 Jun 1919 in Picton NSW. She scores her own entry in Australian biographical and genealogical record series 1, 1788-1841, with series 2 supplement, 1842-1899 / series 1 edited by John T. Spurway, assistant editor Allison Allen; series 2 edited by Kenneth J. Cable and Jane C. Marchant.


She is my great-grandmother, wife of William Joseph John Whitfield.



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.