New answer update below:
Chris Eaton asks " Is there any local record of a Chinese man killing a local Butcher from around Hargraves or Mudgee? My grandfather obviously relates it from stories passed down to him, but from my research I think the tale may have got fabricated and exaggerated over the course of time. My research seemed to indicate that the Chinese Gold Diggers were the people most likely to have been mistreated or killed…not the other way around?...although I noticed one of your books is about a local Chinese Bushranger? That would be a good read!...He was a game man wasn’t he?"
My Oxley ancestors were in Mudgee. Thomas David Oxley, son of Owen Oxley (who lived in Mudgee) married a Tregaskis in Peak Hill. One of his Tregaskis inlaws was murdered (in 1904) by a chinaman at Peak Hill. The story is on: http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Oxley-53
Because of the Mudgee connection perhaps the story entered folklore in the Mudgee area. It was certainly headline news in the local papers. I have even seen it recorded in an Adelaide newspaper of the day.
Thank you for the answer to this, but I think it is a separate story.
I am familiar with the story Chris is talking about, I have read a newspaper report on it, but I just can’t think of where it is.
Still, it might not be the same story either.
Although Chris is right saying the Chinese were mostly the people persecuted and harmed, there was the occasional outlash by some individual Chinese men, probably because of the frustration they felt at being so persecuted.
Anyway, thanks for offering this story. I will put it on the website next upload.
Hi, I have some answers for Chris Eaton Family ,the murders were at Ironbark flat 8 miles from Hargraves or Maitland Bar area on the property Known as “Glen Heather” Meroo creek and Louisa creeks both run through it evidence of the butcher shop is still there. Ralf Lee ‘s grave is in the school paddock down river it is not known where the child or children are buried and a new headstone was erected in the early 90’s by his grandaughter Josse Spackman. Newspaper clippings can be found under “Fearful tragedy near Hargraves -Ralf lee murder Maitland Bar- 13th July 1868 - The murder at Maitland Bar- and was also in Great detective stories magazine I believe .
I will contact Chris as the murder of Ralph Lee at the old Meroo goldfields comes into my family history too - his widow Sarah Jane Lee (nee Smith) later married William Buxton, and they became my Great Grandparents! Yes, history is amazing at times. The more we find out the more we want to know and things can become pretty involved and lead us onto another tangent! As a child I lived at Grattai, south of Mudgee & not far from the Meroo. I attended the old Subsidised school in the Grattai CWA Hall from half way through 1943 until the end of 1947, and during this time (riding my bike 4 miles over 3 creeks & through 5 gates!) I had to call at the old Grattai Post Office, which was run by Mrs Dolly Patterson. I remember her as a friendly old lady when I called for the mail a couple of times per week. Once when I managed to get washed off my bike over the Oakey Creek causeway and ended up cold & wet with soaking shoes, she loaned me a a paid of shoes (old ladies' shoes no less!). The P O was an important part of the community. ..
Worlds End is a very interesting and historic area. My husband built the house there for Aub Edwards over 30 years ago, and I remember he was really scared one night - when sleeping on the back of his ute - when a horse came along and nibbled his feet! He must have thought it was a ghost - probably ghosts there anyway!
Hello, my name is Susan Jarvis and am connected to the Chinaman’s killing of the butcher that Chris Eaton referred to some time ago. I have found some newspaper clippings on it that I think you mentioned that you had seen but could not find. Perhaps someone has sent them to you since Chris Eaton’s post trying to uncover the truth of the story.
I first heard of this as a child. My grandmother said that someone in her family had a fight with a Chinaman over wanting to buy something and there was an argument about the price. I was told that one of them went after the other with an axe. My grandmother’s grandmother was Sarah Jane Leadbitter (nee Lee). Her parents were Ralph Lee and Sarah Jane Lee (Smith).
Here are the links to the newspaper clippings on it:
The eldest daughter, Sarah Jane, called her son George Frederick (my great grandfather) and that was also the name of Ralph Lee’s 9yr old son, Sarah’s brother, that was injured and presumably later died from his wounds. Sarah Jane alerted another man that in some accounts was called George Wheen and in other accounts George Sheen to come and help.
Sarah Jane Lee the wife of Ralph Lee had a maiden name of Smith. There was an incident in 1903 when a woman called Sarah Jane Smith was found dead beside a track with her children out near Round Mountain. She was married to a John Smith and he had been accused of not providing food or clothes for his children.
I saw on one of the postings by a Pauline on your site that the widow, Sarah, in the Chinaman issue remarried to a William Buxton. I’m wondering when that might have occurred. The dead Sarah Jane Smith had differing ages on the two accounts that I read. I’m wondering if initially the widow Sarah Jane Lee was involved with a someone else and had a child. I’m wondering also if Smith was not her maiden name but she hooked up with the John Smith that was involved in her husband’s murder trial. So yes, I’m wondering if the John Smith in both incidents was the same person and I’m wondering if he called Sarah Jane Smith his wife but she was actually his daughter. I’m wondering if Sarah Jane Lee the widow moved onto William Buxton, and I’m wondering if she was a half caste aboriginal. In the murder trial it was revealed that she was not at home and got home around 1am - I thought that was unusual. There seemed to be a John Smith who either owned or managed the Carrier’s Arms Hotel in Mudgee in 1960 because he advertised in the western post newspaper. John Smith though is a common name and it seems that the John Smith interpreter was actually Chinese.
I was told by a dentist that my back teeth suggest I have aboriginality in my background. I’ve been looking for possibilities and this Mudgee area situation is one of two possibilities. Also, some of the aboriginal people from the Mudgee area have some similar facial characteristics to some of my family members but that could just be through the white people in my family that lived in the Mudgee district.
There is no reference to who the parents of Sarah Jane Lee (Smith) were.
I was wondering if you had any further information about this. Its probably a bit hard to follow regarding the three ‘Sarah Jane’s”that I have indicated.
My grandfather Sandy Eaton as a boy with his mother Jane Eaton (nee
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Update by Chris Eaton 20/2/2013 - below in purple.
Update by Chris Eaton September 2016 - below in Orange
Update by Chris Eaton September 2016 - below in Orange
The Patterson family of Mudgee
by Chris Eaton, great grandson
My name is Chris Eaton and I have attached some pages on the Paterson family from Mudgee…and also an excerpt from a letter my grandfather wrote to his sister Vera in 1983, telling her about how his mum Jane Eaton (nee Paterson) came from a large well known family in Mudgee NSW.
I am currently doing my family tree and family history etc, my great-grandmother’s family, the Patersons…and her mothers family the McKays…they are both early Mudgee families of Scottish ancestry. After reading through your wonderful “Mudgee History” website tonight, I thought the above attachments may be of interest to your organisation ....
The excerpt from my grandfather’s letter (see first attachment) talks about early Mudgee history in relation to the Paterson’s and it is a very lively and colourful read…my grandfather was a real character and a very good man too…so please don’t take exception to some of his terminologies and phrases etc that he uses in his letter…it was the way most of his generation spoke back then. ...
Kind regards Chris
The Eaton Family Tree
by Sandy Eaton
Sandy Eaton was born 17/6/1907 and lived at 18 Gray Street, Atherton.
As much as I knew and can remember of our Eaton Tree.
With lots of love and wishes to all. Sandy.
P.S. Mother (Jane Eaton, nee Paterson) came from Mudgee and I believe there are still dependants on her side still there. I just realised I had forgotten to write I knew of Mother and family whose name was Paterson and her grandfather William Paterson was the first Trooper (as the Police were called in those days) to go West of the Blue Mountains to keep the peace at the outbreak of the Gold Find at Hargraves on the *Lusou (*Sandy probably meant Louisa, as the town of Hargraves was built around Louisa Creek). Grandma (not sure if it’s Grandma Paterson or Grandma McKay) conducted a store and had a Wine License and P.O. (Post Office) and I understand that all she made out of Grog and Store etc was eaten up feeding the clients boarding there, till they recovered sufficiently to return to their show to dig more gold. One difficult client who she got off with all his pack-up one morning, sauntered back in just on dark explaining that around 3 o’clock the mare beside him bucked the pack off, put on a turn and refused to go any further that way, so he had to come back.
There were a great number of Chinese working the Diggings and one entering the Butcher’s Shop on closing time stabbed the Butcher when he turned around to get his order and killed him, the only witness was his young son of tender years. On entering the shop, the Chinaman, as was the practice, several times called out “Beef Oh!”, so the Law traipsed in all their suspects, put them in a closed room and made each in turn sing out ‘Beef Oh!” several times and when the kid said “yes that‘s him,” they hung that Chinese, so I hope he was the right one and just to make the penalty more convincing, all the European diggers, on a Sunday morning went throughout the field and cut the pig tails off every Chinaman they could catch.
Mudgee seemed to be the Paterson’s home after the diggings cut out, but I never knew in what capacity?...but there was a fair family. Rolly (Paterson) died of thirst droving a mob of horses from there, across-county to one of the other states. The black man died first even though they had drank horse’s blood and all they found of Rolly was bones and a note in his boot in the fork of a tree saying the black man had died and even though they had given the mob free range, they could not even sense the direction of water and split up every way.
Wally his brother, was a gun-shearer and remained a bachelor, as he was married to the bottle…but Jack, another brother, was much more stable, married and raised a family in Mudgee…and I knew Lola, his daughter, her children should still be there as Jack and family and Wally came to see Mother when she was keeping house for me at Gilgandra around 1930. One sister, Eliza, was a school teacher long after she married Arthur Veness at Manilla, who owned a wheat and sheep farm skirting the town and afterwards bought a sheep farm at back Wybong, near Musswellbrook…they had one son, Dan, and several girls. Dan was killed in the Air Force during the last war. Allison was as teacher and married one, Jessie did likewise, Jean was also a teacher and married and went on the land and Laurie I don’t think was a teacher, but I know married:
Kindest regards to all, Sandy.
Made in Mudgee – from Jane Paterson to Granny Eaton
A short story by Great Grandson Chris Eaton
IN 1860, Granny Eaton (nee Jane Paterson) was born and raised in Mudgee to parents John Paterson and Allison Paterson (nee McKay), both from pioneering NSW families of Scottish Ancestry. The Paterson’s lived and farmed in the Mudgee area but at this stage, I know very little about her childhood and teenage years…except that Jane was raised on a sheep farm and was the eldest of ten children…and definitely a love-child…Jane’s parents wed in 1860 also…and at that point in time, her father John was 36 years old and her mother just 16 years of age….true love I’d say?...and a worthy love story waiting to be told. Jane’s mother Allison Paterson was also registered on the 1903 NSW Electoral Roll as Postmistress at the Gratton Collingwood Post Office outside of Mudgee. Jane’s brother Walter (Watty) married a Dolly Cover and she later became the registered Post Mistress and shopkeeper at the same address too…so the Paterson’s appeared to have stay in and around Mudgee and family descendants may well be there today also…I do hope so!
Jane Paterson moved to Sydney sometime in her late teens or early 20’s and eventually worked in the now historical Vaclause House as a nurse and needle-woman. Vauclause House is in the elite suburb of Vaucluse and today is a NSW Govt Heritage-listed museum…back then it was owned by the Wentworth family (of Blaxland Wentworth and Lawson fame). William Wentworth pioneered the family Estate but Jane would have worked for his wife Sarah and son Fitzwilliam Wentworth. Jane Paterson met and eventually married my great grandfather George Eaton, a marine engineer of some sort from Birkinhead in England.
When they first met, George was a widower trying to provide for his 4 young children…Sarah, Maggie, George Jnr and William. George’s first wife Margaret had died in 1885 quite suddenly (from peritonitis), only 15 days after giving birth to their 5th child, Charles…and just as sad was that the baby Charles died soon afterwards from tuberculosis. After this tragedy, George received a lot of help raising his children from good family friends Bert and Sarah Longley, who also emigrated from England aboard the same ship (Western Monarch) as the Eaton’s in 1883.
Jane Paterson had coincidentally formed a friendship with this same Sarah Longley and this was possibly because of a family connection at the then NSW Governor’s Office and Estate, where Sarah Longley apparently worked and lived as a maid/servant. After the untimely death of George’s wife, his four (4) children also apparently lived at Government House with Sarah Longley too…so she would have definitely been their surrogate mother at that point in time. Bert (and possibly George) may have lived there also but there is no recollections of this unearthed as yet. George and Bert Longley(a Blacksmith) apparently both worked to provide income and education etc for the young family. George apparently worked aboard the 2nd Manly Ferry that went to and from Lane Cove(on Sydney Harbour) and then later as a Handyman and Vet at the Gladesville Hospital and Mental Asylum.
My grandfather Sandy Eaton believes his father George Eaton also knew Jane Paterson through her daily commuting aboard the Manly Ferry so she could to get to and from her work each day. When George and Jane married on New Years Day in 1890, it seems Jane also became a much loved step-mother to the Eaton kids…I have cards and photos they mailed to her well in to their later lives and long after their father George died in 1928…and Jane was always referred to affectionately as ‘Granny Eaton’.
The youngest Eaton child was during this time unofficially adopted by Sarah and Bert Longley and they raised him as their own and he became known to one and all as Billy Longley. The Longley’s always lived close to the Eatons also. Bert and Sarah couldn’t have kids of their own…and Sarah in particular, must have developed a very strong bond with the Eaton kids…and in particular, the youngest William, who was only 2yrs old when his mother died.
At this point in time, the newlyweds George and Jane Eaton lived in Ryde Sydney and then proceeded to have two more children of their own…Allison (b 06/08/1891)…and Elvira (b 12/4/1895). A recent 1966 letter from the wife of George Eaton Jnr (Janette Eaton, nee Jones) mentions that while in Sydney, the Eaton’s also had a milk-run in Hunters Hill. I therefore deduce that Jane and the now older step-children may well have worked the milk-run too…as all accounts passed down tell how George Snr was either employed on the Manly Ferry or later at the Gladesville Mental Asylum in that whole time in Sydney.
While Jane apparently did well and enjoyed her life in the city, she must also have been missing her country roots, as she one day she decided to buy a farm in Northern NSW and soon after relocate her family there. According to my father (Jane’s grandson) Jane saw an advertisement in a Sydney Newspaper for a nice farm outside of Nimbin…and quickly went about putting a deposit on it straight away…and only in her name too (which has been verified officially)…so Jane may well have owned and operated the milk-run as her business and used the profits and savings for the deposit on the farm. My grandfather Sandy Eaton, mentioned in a Videotaped interview (made in 1983) with his grandson Mike Eaton, that Jane (and possibly George) later secured the purchase of the farm with a loan from the A.M.P. Society (unconfirmed as yet).
Soon afterwards, the Eaton family settled in to their new farming life in Nimbin and then two more children were born there…Lorna (b 08/08/1902) and then my grandfather Sandy Eaton (b Cyril, 17/06/1907). It is worth noting here that all three (3) girls born to George and Jane were given the second name of Paterson…not a hyphenated surname, but a second name like ‘Ann’ or ‘Marie’ etc, so Jane was obviously very proud of her Paterson and Scottish roots.
The Longley family, with their now unofficially adopted son William (now called Billy Longley) soon followed the Eaton’s to the Northern Rivers of NSW too…and like their friends (the Eaton’s), they lived in the area until their time on Earth was also done. What an amazing friendship theirs was…and what amazing people the Longley’s must have been? I was recently given the “Memoirs of Fred Crane” who was George and Jane’s grandson… and Fred grew up and lived on the Northern Rivers of NSW too…he sadly recalls that Sarah Longley died after burns she received while trying to dry her beautiful long hair by an open fire. If true, this was indeed a tragedy and undeserving of such a wonderful woman.
Back now to life on the Nimbin farm and to once again quote the ‘Memoirs of Fred Crane’…in them Fred recounts that George Eaton, while on the Nimbin farm, would never milk a cow!...he must have been an Old Seadog at heart!...so apparently Jane and the kids did all the milking of the cows…and it’s very demanding work too (and twice a day)…George however, did love operating and maintaining the farm machinery etc and didn’t mind growing veges, fencing and doing other farm work in general…as long as it wasn’t milking cows and udder associated things (pardon the pun there) apparently…but somehow it must have all worked out!
When Jane’s two eldest stepdaughters Sarah and Maggie Eaton both married later and had kids, they both lived in Mudgee for a time also…so Jane must have kept a strong Mudgee connection throughout her life. Jane’s eldest step-daughter Sarah Eaton, actually got married in Mudgee and her husband Fred Fletcher hailed from there too.
I’m sure there is much more to tell about the life of Granny Eaton (nee Jane Paterson) but as I’ve discovered, family history takes time and effort…but it is very enjoyable and the story to date has made it all worthwhile. I do look forward to updating and retelling her full story and perhaps even putting it in to a booklet or DVD for family and friends. What I must reemphasize most about Granny Eaton is that she was very much loved by all her knew her…and she lived a very very good and long life too.
At a Family Reunion in the 1990s, my father was asked to speak of our Family History and he fought back tears when he spoke of his wonderful childhood memories of Granny Eaton and staying at her old farm outside of Nimbin. Dad’s sister Marie (my Auntie) told me just recently that she remembers Granny Eaton as the most loving and warmest of people…and a real lady too…who carried a kind of nobility about her in everything she did. As one of her Grandkids, Marie and her siblings just wanted to be around her all the time and often got in to trouble by their mum (my grandma) for never leaving Granny Eaton alone…but something tells me Granny Eaton didn’t mind one little bit?.
Today, outside of Nimbin, astride the old Eaton farm, there is a little wooden crossing called ‘Eaton Bridge’, and it is so named to honor our Granny Eaton’s…and what a very fitting tribute it is too, as a bridge is both symbolically and physically, something that brings two sides together…Granny Eaton (nee Jane Paterson), the Fair Maiden from Mudgee, certainly did that and in the process became a true ‘Pioneering Matriarch’…and in every sense of the words. May her gentle spirit live on and her special soul find much happiness and adventure…as I just can’t imagine this lovely lady ever wanting to rest in peace…that would just be plain…well…boring.
Updated by Chris Eaton (Great Grandson, 7th Aug 2012)
Next update by Chris Eaton 20/2/2013
I hope 2013 is treating you well and you’re both enjoying life in general. I wanted to touch base with you both again to follow up on my Paterson-McKay research which is making some progress at last…particularly regarding the McKay’s. A distant relative called Judith Coleman is a descendant of the McKay family and she has written and published a wonderful book titled something like “Eighteenth century to the millennium, Donaldson Kinnaird McKay, A Family History in Australia”.
The revelations in the book regarding the McKay family are awesome and Judith’s research began in Mudgee with the help of a Helen Paterson who is by marriage a relative of mine also. Judith doesn’t have any left over copies but did donate a few books to various NSW Libraries…so I borrowed the book through the interstate Library lending system and would recommend you both take the time to read the McKay section, as it is so interesting and so tied in with NSW and Mudgee History. William McKay is a convict so YEEHAH…I have Australian Royalty in my veins. Judith also reveals his two sons John and David McKay both died only a few months apart in the Northern Territory in the wretchedly hot summer of 1892- 1893…and that David McKay is the chap who perished in the Outback (as was retold incorrectly by my granddad Sandy who thought it was a Rolly Paterson). John McKay was speared by aboriginals two months after David perished in the Outback.
Regarding the Paterson’s of Mudgee, I’ve been making a little less progress there but have received some photos and correspondence from my sister Julie when cleaning up at her place. They belonged to my father and grandfather Bill and Sandy Eaton who have both passed on now. There is a great photo I’ve attached of my grandfather Sandy Eaton as a boy with his mother Jane Eaton (nee Paterson) and his granny Allison Paterson (nee McKay) and his sister Lorna. The photo was taken around 1920 in Nimbin where Jane Eaton bought a Farm with her husband George Eaton. Jane’s mother Allison McKay came to live with them in retirement as she had passed on the Grattai Store (probably the Hargraves store) to her son and daughter-inl-aw Watti and Dolly Paterson. In Judith Coleman’s book (mentioned in 1st paragraph) there is a few Paterson photos from that era and before too…how precious they are to me now. In the photo above, Allison Paterson (nee McKay) is one tough looking lady too…reminds me of the current Billy Tea slogan “from an age when men were men and women were like men today”?!?!
John Paterson, the husband of Allison (nee McKay) is very hard to track so far…but I did find some of my fathers writings about him after he met with a Mudgee relative called Lola Wooley (nee Paterson)…and following is whgat Lola told Dad…“The Paterson Tree will start with Jane Eaton’s mother Allison McKay who married John Paterson, who was born in 1824 in the Parish of Farr, County Sutherland, Scotland. I have been told John Paterson came to Australia as a Horse-Groomer for and with the family of Dame Edith Walker, from Inverness Scotland. Later he worked for the Abernathy family in a small town called Grattai, a half way town and change station for Stage Coach horses. Later on John Paterson bought some land, built his house and home, which is now demolished. This was passed on to his son Watti etc etc”.
It’s too early for me to say factually, but I think John Paterson may have been a convict originally too…as William McKay was endentured to a James Walker who was a relative of the Walkers that Dame Edith was born in to.
Anyway, Lynn and Diane, I’ve shared a lot with you so must end up now and wish you all well and please send me any feedback or thoughts you may hav on the above. If either or both of you know Lola Wooley of Mudgee or any of her kids, then I would appreciate any contact deatails you can pass on.
I have some answers for Chris Eaton: This was the last paragraph of his letter to Lynn and Dianne in Mudgeer History of the Paterson Eaton Family. . ,
,Marie’s daugher-in-law in Jacobs Well Qld.
Thank you so much Danielle. I will forward this on to Chris - editor
Thank you so much Danielle. I will forward this on to Chris - editor
Update September 2016
Update September 2016
It has been a long time between e-mails and I hope you and all your colleagues, family and friends are all doing very well and enjoying life.
My Mudgee related Paterson-McKay research is going ahead in leaps and bounds and today I received the most interesting of photos via e-mail. It was sent from a Dr Judith Morrison who is a distant cousin of mine who now lives in Perth. Judith is descended from George Eaton Sr as I am but not from his second wife Jane as I am...instead Judith's maternal link with George Eaton Sr is though his first wife Margaaret (nee Hanman). Their second child Maggie Eaton (b1879 Birkenhead Eng) married a Herb Morrison and from 1901 until 1906 they farmed just out from Mudgee.
Dr Judith Morrison sent the attached photo thinking it may have been a Nimbin photo as when the Morrisons left Mudgee around 1906 they relocated to the Norther Rivers near to where George and Jane Eaton had a farm at Nimbin...as did Maggies two siblings...George Eaton Jr (b1880 Birkenhead,
Eng) and Sarah Fletcher (nee Eaton b1878 Birkenhead Eng). However the photo didn't look like Nimbin countryside to me so I Googled the Travelling Photograher C A Sibert as his tradename was all over the photos edge...and Bingo!...he has a strong assosciaition with Mudgee and apparently died there in 1908.
I discovered on one of the websites also that a lady named Suzanne England who is also a member from the Mudgee Historical Society, has learnt much about C A Cibert the Travelling Photographer and is also very keen to see any of his works from other people...so Suzanne (Sue) and Diane...please enjoy the scan of the picture taken by Mudgee's Travelling Photographer Mr C A Sibert.
It appears to me that many of my Paterson-McKay forebears are in the photo and Dr Judith is sure the seated lady on the far left is our Eaton ancestor Maggie with her son Reggie.
Diane...I also recently received a photo (see attached also) that is very special and precious to me...it is of Jane Eaton (nee Paterson) with her four step children and her own two Eaton children (Allison and Vera)...the photo was taken August 24 1896 when Jane was 36 years old and as you can see, she still has her natural hair colour and complexion etc and to date it is the youngest photo I have of her...although one relative gave me a photo they thought was George and Jane...it turned out to be George Eaton Sr and his eldest daughter Sarah...no wonder my poor old rellies thought George married a much younger woman the second time around!
Please let me know your thoughts on this C A Sibert photo...especially now that it has somehow miraculously popped in to my family collection. Keep in
Jane Eaton with her stepchildren Sarah Maggie George Jnr and Willie Longden and her two children Alison and Vera
Maggie Morrison and Reg seated on far left