Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Aldine Centennial History of New South Wales

The Aldine Centennial History of New South Wales was published in 1888 as an "illustrated record of the history of New South Wales and its prominent inhabitants". The second volume also includes a large number of biographies, selected (at least in part) from submissions. A number of separate versions seem to have been printed, as apparently some versions have more biographies related to a given region such as Newcastle or Bathurst.

Among the biographies are a number related to my family history. In Sydney recently, I looked through the copy in the University of Sydney research stack, and made copies of some relevant entries. I came home to find that an electronic copy of the book is now available in Google Books!

Here are the biographies of interest I found with a note describing each persons relation to me.

All extracts from 'The Aldine centennial history of New South Wales, illustrated,... in two volumes" by W. Frederic Morrison. Volume II, Sydney, Aldine Publishing Company, 336 Kent St.

The first, Michael CONLON, is a direct ancestor of mine, and I've written several other entries of primary records relating to him. When he died at least four separate obituaries were written, though sadly I've not yet obtained copies of any of them:
Freeman's J. (Syd.) 4 Dec 1913 p 19 (port.)
T&CJ (Syd.) 10 Dec 1913 p.34
Cyc. NSW p.477
SMH 27 Nov 1913 p10
The biography is mainly useful as it gives dates to his pottery business in Glebe, and establishes that in 1888 he was already a member of the Glebe Council.


MICHAEL JOSEPH CONLON was born in 1841, in Wollongon, N.S.W., and received his education at St Benedict's School, Sydney. He entered in 1855 the pottery trade, and after having worked at the different leading establishments in that line for a period extending over twenty years, gaining considerable experience, he, in 1875, opened a pottery of his own in Broughton-street, Glebe. Mr. Conlon does one of the largest businesses in Sydney, and by the aid of the newest class of mahinery, manufactures drain pipes, etc. He is a member of the Municipal Council of the Glebe, and a worthy citizen.

The next biography is that of Solomon Herbert HYAM. He married the daughter, Sarah PRIESTLY 1840-1908, of my ancestor (or possibly step-ancestor) Samuel PRIESTLY, a convict and commission agent. Solomon is also listed in the Australian Dictionary of Biography.

S.H. HYAM, Produce Merchant, is a native of Jamberoo, Illawarra, and was born in 1837. Twenty-two years ago he commenced business, and, being an energetic and enterprising man soon established himself in an important way in his line. His present business is a wholesale produce house, and the centre of a considerable connection. Mr. Hyam devotes a great deal of attention to the breeding of Jersey cattle in the colony, is a member of the Fisheries Commission, a Justice of the Peace, a member of the Royal Commission appointed for the purpose of enquiring into the liquor traffic, was an alderman and Mayor of Balmain, and represented that electorate in Parliament in 1885-1886. For twenty years Mr. Hyam took a considerable interest in aquatics, and in his time owned some famous racing boats, among others being the "Ettie", "Florrie", "Lottie", and "Carlotta".

Another of Samuel's daughters, Harriet PRIESTLY (1851-1921) also married a Mayor of Balmain, William Moffitt BURNS (though he didn't earn an entry).

The third entry is a daughter of my ancestor Sebastian HODGE - the entry leaves little doubt in ones mind that Henry Little met Mary A HODGE (1858-1906) via the hotel interest of the two families. I was somewhat surprised that Sebastian himself was not included in the list of biographies.

HENRY WALTER LITTLE, Gordon Hotel, Market-street, was born in Tyrone, Ireland, and is the youngest son of G.W. Little, Coventry, England. He came to Queensland with his parents in 1861, and afterwards to Sydney, where he served as an apprenticeship to Farmer and Co. He filled a situation for three years with David Jones and Co., and on relinquishing that position, took possession of the Bass Hotel in Market-street. He afterwards bought the Glengarry in Abercrombie and Wells streets, and about two and a-half years ago took the Gordon Hotel in Market-street, which he still conducts. Mr. Little is a member of the Masonic Order and past-master in the Scotch Constitution. He was married in 1878 to the eldest daughter of Sebastian Hodge, of the Commercial Hotel, King-street, by whom he has three children.

No comments: