Folk Tales

The Lue General Store
Pages: 1 2

Don Hobbs, Preserving History
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

John Wooldrick, My Mudgee beginnings
Page: 1


Hello Diane, 

Greetings from England, 

My copy of the book Bring Plenty of Pickles is due to be delivered to me tomorrow.  I am part of the family with many of my ancestors being born in Wingrave in Buckinghamshire. 

Lucy Ann Marks nee Paine who is mention in your site had a brother called Mark William Paine who who emigrated to Aussie and then returned after 16 years and married Sarah Fleet from Wingrave who is my first cousin.   

I have recently purchased a collection of photographs of the Mark's and Paines from the 1800's.  It would appear that Laura Wallis is no longer researching but has this baton been passed on to someone else?  I would love to share info and get in touch with my Aussie cousins. 

Hope you can help. 

Tracy  Bonham

Editor: Tracey has been put in touch with the Mudgee Historical Society, who are carrying on Laura's baton so wonderfully.

Another Letter from Tracy

Hello Lynne and Diane, Greetings from the UK.  Spring is indeed upon us and unusually warm for the plants (if that's at all possible - sounds like coals to Newcastle talking to Australia!).   

Thanks so much for your message and from it I assume that Laura is no longer with us, which is a huge shame.  Let me explain how I got to this stage.  I have been researching my tree since Xmas 2012 and have received lots of help from online cousins as well as spending lots of cash and an awful long time online darting from one site to another.  From needles in haystacks to juggling so much data I was like a child in a sweetshop trying not to drop anything.  I was born in Wendover at the Princess Mary's RAF Hospital in Halton (which came under the area of Wendover) in early 1964 which has since been demolished to make way for housing.  I grew up mostly in Leighton Buzzard and was completely unaware of my ancestral history with all the villages between it and Aylesbury, particularly Wingrave in Buckinghamshire.  With research I discovered many of my ancestors emigrated in the mid 1800's to America, Canada and Australia.  I have a cousin in Wingrave who, like me, is fascinated by genealogy and between us we have amassed much data.   

The very first Parish Council of Wingrave had members to whom I am all related!


 Wingrave was and remains a small village so perhaps this is not so surprising.  I didn't have member Charles James Paine b1896 directly on my tree so decided to research him more.  I did have his uncle Mark William Paine 1822 who on his return to Wingrave from Australia married my first cousin Sarah Fleet.  I stumbled across a website which showed a small framed Ambrotype (early 3D(ish)) photo of Mark



which had been sold in 2012 - I was amazed to discover this and disappointed not to have been able to purchase it.  I moved on and a couple of clicks later find myself back at the Curious Fox website which I had used in previous research.  This site is for individuals to post messages asking for help and on it I found someone had posted a fair amount about the Paine family.  I duly wrote off (the wonders of the internet age) and the following day received a message from Peter from Herefordshire who explained that he wasn't related to me but had purchased a group of Paine family photos, including (amazingly) the Ambrotype photo of Mark William Paine that I had seen online and wished I had bought.  Peter had purchased from a lady the two framed Ambrotypes online and the other 17 Paine related 'visiting cards' were acquired privately from the same seller.  Peter explained to me that although he had no direct interest in the photos, he couldn't bear for the collection to be split up.  I kindly asked Peter whether he knew how the collection came to be in her hands.  He wrote back to the seller and her partner kindly wrote back:

 "The cards were purchased as part of a huge Pudsey collection auctioned from the estate of a deceased shop owner / local historian.  It appears he amassed a very substantial collection . 


You couldn't make this up!  I have since contacted the Pudsey Civic Society and await reply.  Peter wanted to sell the photos back to the family at cost (he's turned out to be a lovely man) and my cousin Pru coughed up the £140 for the collection.  What was more important with these items was the personal information written on the back of some of them.  Dates of birth can be researched but these contained the time and day of birth - goldust!  They were delivered to me (7 miles north of Norwich) and I scanned all of the items before sending on to Wingrave.  Pru (who doesn't have a computer (I'm working on her) told me about a book called Bring Plenty of Pickles about the collection of letters sent from Aussie to William Stevens Paine (who was deaf) and wife (who ran the Horse and Jockey pub in Aylesbury).  This book by Gerry Tomlinson was out of print and Pru had a book seller friend of hers looking out for another copy.  I told Peter about this and he suggested I try a site called bookfinder and hey presto I found a copy being sold by a cancer hospice.  This should be delivered to me today!  I have since discovered that you can download this book online (if you are prepared to give your email details - not).  Pru was gobsmacked at my luck but wanted one for herself so I promised to search for her (sadly no more copies available here in the UK).  It was whilst researching that I stumbled across Laura Wallis and the Mudgee site.  My jaw dropped when I read that Laura's Great Grandmother was Lucy Ann Marks nee Paine.  It dropped further when I spied that George Marks was Laura's grandfather.  I took a look at the photos we had just purchased and scanned and lo and behold - a young George Marks.  I have attached a copy of this that I have photoshopped. 


So there you have the (amazing couple of days) tale.  I was hoping that you can put me in touch with a member of Laura's family so I can share this story (and other data we hold).  None of my/our data is available online (some online cousins have provided info but have requested that it remain private and I am happy to do this).  I would be surprised if copies of these photos are not in the hands of my Aussie cousins (the Paine's are just one set - try the Humphrey's or my namesake the Bonham's - South Australia and NSW (is there anyone living on Kangaroo Island that is not related to me? LOL LOL) appear frequently on my tree. 


 Tracy Bonham

Local Character

Laura Wallis
Preserver of History

  Laura Wallis is a well known local historian in Mudgee, who has given her life to research. Laura now lives in a local nursing home and cannot research any more, but she has earned her rest, her outstanding contribution to local history well documented.

Laura Walllis' great grandmother was Lucy Ann Marks, who also gave a great contribution to local history in the documentation of her trip to the Mudgee region in more than 50 letters home to England.

Lucy's son, George, married Isabella Lake, and the couple became tenant farmers on a property owned by GH Cox at Burrundula. George also became a carrier, driving his team as far as Bourke.

George lived at Burrundulla for a long time. He was regarded as an expert mower, with a reaping hook and scythe, and also carved walking sticks, rocking horses, a cradle, etc. He also owned the Belmore Hotel in Mudgee, but did not run it.

George and Isabella Mark's daughter, Florence, married Walter Wallis, who in turn became Laura Wallis' parents. Florence died in her late 20s, but Walter lived until 1964. Florence and Walter lived at Uarbry, where Walter ran a store. They moved to Gulgong when Laura was a small child, and her father worked for Loneragan's store, becoming their country representative.

Laura attended Gulgong School and at the age of about 16, came to Mudgee to learn shorthand and typing. She worked most of her life at Mulley's Butcher shop office, then later at Augustine Winery office.

Laura joined the Mudgee Historical Society in the early 60s, researching family histories and local history for them and for her church, St John's Anglican Church Mudgee.

She reconnected many families to their grass roots, including the pianist, Roger Woodward, whose great, great, grandfather had a hotel at Home Rule.

For someone who has helped so many people find their family descendants, Laura treasured her own family collection of letters from her great grandmother, Lucy Ann Marks, which were collected in a book, Bring Plenty of Pickles, privately published by Gerry Tomlinson at Buckinghamshire, England for the descendants of Lucy Ann Marks. The book is a collection of 50 letters, written by a working class family and sent home from Mudgee region in the 1850s.

Here is one letter, written by Lucy Ann Marks about her journey to the goldfields at Maitland Bar in 1857.

Dear Mother,

I was surprised when I got her (sister Eliza's) letter directed to me at the Bar (Maitland Bar) for I did not know I was coming until Monday and started on Thursday and I wish I never had of come.

We all got there safe, which I did not think we should have - being half alive.

When we reached there, Baby was a month and one day old. We started on Thursday. It was wet the next day and the next day it was fine above head, till the heavening (evening), and the drays got bogged and could not get on. We were there till dark. O, Mother, it was so dark, and then it began to sprinkle rain and then the dray was almost turned over.

Me and the children got out, but I do not know how, for we could not see each other. I had got Baby (one month old) in my arms. I found the others by their crying and then it came down in torrents.

The rain was washing under our feet, and me just out of my bed as you may say. The dray got out at last, and we to a public house and stopped there all night.

Got to the carrier's place the next day. Stopped there till the next Wednesday, then started again.

It was fine then till Saturday night and we had it again. We slept under the dray and water was running under us and over us.

My bed, clothes and clothing were all wet through. I had the children to wash and dress out in the cold - even Baby.

I thought I should never get there safe, but thank God, we did all get there safe and well.

And now I must conclude, John and children all join in love with me, from your affectionate daughter, Lucy Ann Marks.




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Another Letter from the Goldfields...
from Sydney to Maitland Bar 1850s

From the book, Bring Plenty of Pickles, by Gerry Tomlinson, a special editon written about the Paine and Marks families for their descendants comes this letter discovered in 1984 when the author held a lace exhibition in Buckinghamshire and found two ladies who had inherited the letters in an old trunk along with a collection of lace.

Mark William Paine writes the letter about his experience travelling from Sydney to Maitland Bar, a gold mining area of Mudgee on the Meroo River.

Mark writes: My last I wrote to you was from Sydney and now I give you a little account of my travels  to Maitland Bar, which is 190 miles from Sydney.

I left at 10 o'clock on Wednesday morning August 5th by train to Parramatta, from Parramatta to Penrith by coach. I arrived there at 3 o'clock.

Mark walked from Penrith the six miles to the top of Lapston Hill where he lodged for the night. His tea and bed was three shillings. The room he slept in had three beds, a double and two singles, but Mark soon found one of the singles when he found the double mattress to be filled with hard bark. He left at fiveam next morning and walked about six miles when he came to a dray, which he recognised as travelling companions on the journey out from England. He walked about 9 miles with them and then parted company.

My only companion was my pipe, he said. I have walked as much as 12 or 15 miles and see nothing but woods, rock and different kinds of birds, parrots of all colours and all descriptions, parakeets in hundreds, as common as the starling is in England, crows and magpies much as they are at home.

Sunday 9th. I left at 6, the first house was 13 miles. I called, had some refreshment. it was five miles from there to Tabrubucca.

I had to turn off there out of the Mudgee Road to Maitland Bar...

Monday 10th. I left as soon as it was light. the first place was Richardson's Point, that I called at, and I was directed the right way to Maitland Bar nd I arrived at my brother's about three o'clock on Monday afternoon and found him and his wife both well and doing very well with his stores and butchering, but I was not able to help him do anything for the first three weeks. I could not put my shoes on. I was obliged to have the doctor and he lanced my foot, caused through so much walking.

Mark's first job was to ride a horse about 7 miles down the river, with one bag each side of the horse, taking rations to the diggers.

I'll give you a little account about gold digging, as I have seen plenty of it done but I never done any myself. The gold lays on the flat ground that runs from the mountains, some places five feet deep and some places 60. The diggers sink shafts like wells till they get to the rock and on the rock and in the crevices is where the gold is found.

They break it off and take it to the river and wash it through the cradle. The cradle is about three foot in length and 18 inches wide. The washing stuff is put into the hopper, the bottom is sheet iron with holes in it. The gold and fine sand runs through on to some canvas then its took out of the cradle into a tin dish and washed.

The Saturday before I arrived at my brother's one party found a nugget 37 ounces, which Charles gave them three pounds fourteen shillings and six pence an ounce for, value one hundred and thirty seven pounds six shillings six pence. But it done them no good for they was drunk every day till it was gone. One of the party would call as he was going down to the public house, have a one pound note, go and spend it in half an hour, come back and have another.