Thomas McGeorge 1853 - 1893
Emily Lang (nee McGeorge) 1865 - 1954
William Alexander P Kenavan 1870 - 1959
Family History
2013 Copyright Ruzsicska
Pioneers
Thomas and Annie moved to Queensland in September 1880 and an article appeared in The Wilcannia Times: On Thursday last Mr Thomas McGeorge left Wilcannia for his new scene of labor on the Bullo (sic). Mr McGeorge was one of the oldest if not the oldest resident of the district, having resided in Wilcannia almost since his infancy. We are sorry he should have left without some little memento from the people of Wilcannia, but we think few knew of him leaving when he did. We wish him bon voyage.(2 Sept 1880) [Thomas was nearly 27 at the time of his departure and had lived in Wilcannia for 15 years, moving there when the township was in its infancy!]

Thomas helped Jemima manage the Maroo Hotel for just over 12 years. It is said that he was an avid card player. He died in 1893 and his death notice ran in the South Australian Chronicle :
On the 22nd March, at Maroo Station, Kyrabbra Creek (sic), Queensland, Thomas L., beloved husband of Annie McGeorge, and son-in-law of John Myers, sen, Rundle Street, Adelaide, aged 42 years. (25 Mar 1893) He left Annie with 9 children between the ages of 12 and 10 months but she continued to run the hotel (with the aid of the family). The hotel burned down in December, 1915 while she was being treated for ill health in Brisbane. She died the following February and was buried at Toowong Cemetery.

Susannah Jane Wylie married Daniel Dewhurst in 1874 and they had 6 children. Daniel worked as a commission agent in Wilcannia between 1875 and 1876 and as a publican at Stony Point (now Windorah - a bank ledger lists him as an Innkeeper here in 1879), Thargomindah and the Great Western Hotel in Bourke. Susannah died in Bourke in 1891. Daniel moved back to Thargomindah and worked as an auctioneer and agent until his death in 1899. See Obituaries D.

Son, Robert, as previously mentioned was a butcher in Wilcannia with his brother. He married Elizabeth Prior in 1879 in Wilcannia and a bank ledger in 1882 lists him as a Poundkeeper. The couple had 4 children before moving to Maroo in 1888 where Robert assumed management of the station. 2 more children were born in Queensland.

In Oct 1893, Elizabeth advertised for a governess ...
about 28, competent to teach English, Music, Singing, and Needlework. Address, Mrs Robert McGeorge, Maroo Station. (The Queenslander, 14 Oct 1893)

In Dec 1895, Robert's daughter, Amy wrote:
We do not live in a lonely part of the bush, for there are stations all around us, and we often see the people from some of them, and the mail from Kyabra to Windorah runs right by our place. The Keeroongoola mail goes from here too. My aunt [Annie McGeorge] keeps the receiving office. She has five girls and four boys and they live about two hundred yards away from us. Our nearest township (Windorah) is fifty miles away from here. It is only a small place. There are three stores, two public-houses, a provisional school, a police station, a post-office, a butcher's shop, and several dwelling houses in it. I have only been there once. I was born in Wilcannia (N.S.W.) and lived there until seven years ago. Then we came up here. I liked living there very much, but I'd rather live here. ...There are opal fields about sixty miles away from here, and the opalers are supposed to get very valuable opal out of the mines. There is a Wesleyan minister in Thargomindah, and he comes out here every three months. (Australian Town and Country, 14 Dec 1895)

After Maroo, Robert and his family moved to Tampoon near Adavale where they lived until at least 1903. They then relocated to Wollongong to live where Elizabeth died in 1920. Robert died in 1935 at his daughter's residence in Crows Nest; both are buried in Wollongong.

Catherine Jemima married Ormond Campbell McDougall in 1879 and a notice ran in the South Australian Register:
On the 8th December at Wilcannia, River Darling, Ormond Campbell, youngest son of the late John Campbell Macdougall, Esq. Hobart Town, to Catherin Jemima, third daughter of the late Mr Thomas McGeorge of Wilcannia. (18 Dec 1879) They had 2 children. Ormond worked as a commission agent and died in 1930 in Sydney. Catherine died in 1942.

Emily Amelia Christina married Charles Edward Lang in 1891:
On the 26th ult., at St. Stephen's Church, Bourke, N.S.W. by the Rev C.H. Sheddon, assisted by the Rev. Mr. Glasson, Charles Edward, youngest son of the late Gideon Scott Lang, to Emily A.C., youngest daughter of Mrs Kenavan, Maroo, Queensland. (The Argus, 14 Sept 1891) The couple adopted Emily's niece after sister, Susannah's death some months later. The couple resided in Bourke at least until 1915 where Charles worked as as a Stock, Station and General Commission Agent. They moved to the Sydney area, living at Wagstaff Point. Charles died in 1944 in Sydney; Emily died in 1954 in Brisbane.

GEAKE, Jemima Lydia Hockridge
1837 to New South Wales

In 1938, Jemima's daughter wrote: ... my Mother was one of the most wonderful women I have ever heard of, and it's sad to think nothing has ever been written about her. Much has been written on Jemima on this site - see the Pioneers McGeorge, Wentworth Hotel, Five Alls/Wilcannia Hotel and Maroo Hotel - but there is another story to tell of Jemima's background and the children she raised.

Jemima was born on 5 November 1931 in Devon, England, the daughter of Thomas Geake and Peggy Llewellyn. She was baptised onn 9th August 1836 in the Parish of Stoke Damerel in Devon. Just 12 days later, on 21 August, Jemima boarded the FAIRLIE with her older brother, Llewelyn Thomas Hockridge Geake (b. 15 April 1929) under the care of Philip and Susan Stott. The FAIRLIE was captained by Henry Agar and sailed via the Cape of Good Hope and Hobart, arriving into Sydney on 12th February, 1837. An article in The Sydney Herald listing the passengers incorrectly lists Jemima as Stockridge and her brother as Jeremiah. A Peggy Clarke is also listed as travelling with the Stotts and is believed that this was actually Peggy Geake, Susan's older sister (13 Feb 1837).

The circumstances as to why Jemima and Llewelyn were in the care of the Stotts is unknown but it's more than likely they were orphans. In a letter from Jemima's daughter, Emily to her niece, she writes:
I never knew her mother's name was Llewellyn. That was evidently why Mother was so keen on the name, her only brother was Llewellyn Geake. I don't know who he married but she afterwards married John McGeorge. The Stotts came out with their family (1 son & 2 girls) & brought mother and her brother. Mrs S. was very unkind to Mother and she ran away with Father. The Stotts settled in Forbes, had a hotel. The Lanes, Webbs, Pearses, Toms, & goodness knows how many others there were, were all cousins of Mothers. Mrs E Webb married her cousin, the Pearses went to Donald in Victoria. The others settled in Orange and Bathurst ... (12 May 1938)

Susan Stott's father was Thomas Geake, and her mother - Peggy Langmaid from St Germans, Cornwall, England; her sisters married Messrs Webb and Lane, emigrated to Australia and settled in the Orange area where their children were baptised in the same church as the Tom family. (See Cornish Association of New South Wales) So Susan and Jemima were related but at this point, it's uncertain how. Philip Stott actually ran the Trafalgar Inn at Bathurst from 1841 to 1842, and the Queens Arms Hotel in Carcoar (where Jemima's future husband lived) between 1843 and 1848. The Stotts did have their one son and 2 daughters as per Emily's letter, but in Australia: Henry Gale b. 1839, Selina b. 1841 and Amelia Ursula b. 1843. Suffice to say Jemima's early life with the Stotts in the hotels set her up well for her future occupation as a publican.

In 1849 at the age of 17, Jemima married Thomas McGeorge in Bathurst with her brother was one of the witnesses. The couple had 6 children: Selina Margaret b. 1852 (registered in Bathurst), Thomas Llewellyn b. 1853, Susannah Jane Wylie b. 1855, (both born in the Lachlan River/Forbes area). Robert b. 1858, Catherine Jemima b. 1860 and Emily Amelia Christina b. 1865; all born in Wentworth where the family had moved to run hotels.
See:
Pioneers McGeorge
Wentworth Hotel
Five Alls/Wilcannia Hotel

The family moved to Wilcannia where Thomas died in 1867 and in 1869, Jemima married rogue, William Kenavan (see Rantings). They had 2 children: William Alexander Pearce b. 1870 and Alfred Langlow Armand b. 1873. (On William's birth certificate, Jemima's maiden name is listed as Hockridge formerly Geake.)

According to an 1871 advertisement posted in The Sydney Morning Herald, Jemima was the beneficiary of a Mr Henry Taylor's estate:
Notice is hereby given that, at the expiration of the fourteen days from the publication of this notice, application, will be made to this Honorable Court, in its Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction, that probate of the will of the abovenamed Henry John August Taylor, deceased, may be granted to Jemima Lydia Hockridge Kenavan, of Wilcannia, in the colony of New South Wales, wife of William Kenavan, of the same place, Storekeeper ... (3 Mar 1871) Henry had died in the December of 1871 at the Wilcannia Hotel; no relationship has been established and it appears that he may have just been a generous patron. Whatever the estate was worth, it wasn't enough to ward off the creditors in William Kenavan's impending bankruptcy. (See Five Alls/Wilcannia Hotel)

In 1875, Jemima was mentioned in an article regarding the death of Dr Harris in Wilcannia:
For five or six weeks previous to his death, Dr Harris was unable to partake of any nourishing food. A little wine, in Maizena gruel, sent to him in his last days by Mrs Kenavan was all he could manage to touch, of that he ate sparingly. (Warwick Argus & Tenterfield Chronicle, 4 Mar 1875)

In 1877, William and Jemima suffered the loss of their child, Alfred, aged 3 and he was buried in the Wilcannia cemetery.

In 1878, the Kenavans left Wilcannia for Queensland and purchased Maroo Station near Stony Point (Windorah). It is unclear whether the push to Queensland was motivated by her daughter and husband (the Dewhursts) who spent time in Stony Point, then Thargomindah or the other way around. It is unknown if any of her older children travelled with her. She did take son, William (Kenavan) and possibly two young girls called Annie McTavish (b. 1862) and Bessie Barber (whose father had paid Jemima to care for) with her. Both girls were illegitimate and fostered by Jemima. She also adopted another girl, Cate Manson (b. abt 1879) but it is uncertain when.

William Kenavan died in February 1880 at Hoodsville (a custom house on the Qld/N.S.W. border) where he was droving; he was buried on Currawinya Station (near Eulo). The story was told that he had an aboriginal stockman named Jacky-Jacky with him. After Jacky-Jacky galloped up to the house at Maroo, Jemima asked where the boss was and Jacky-Jacky replied "him dead buried". Jemima collapsed with shock, bumped her head and from then on, was blind.

See Maroo Hotel

In Feb 1884, news appears of a land dispute between Jemima and James Hammond of Tenham which reads:
A somewhat important arbitration case, which has been pending for some time between Mrs Kenavon, of Maroo, and Mr J Hammond of Tenham, was arbitrated upon at Deakon's Hotel, Eurongolo. P. Durack Esq. J.P., of Thylungera acted as arbitrator for Hammond, and John Webber, Esq., of Kyabra, acted in the same capacity for Mrs Kenavon, whilst J. Donaldson, Esw., M.I.A. of Mount Margaret, filled the position of umpire. The dispute seems to have arisen from faulty descriptions of country when taken up, Mrs Kenavon having applied for a block of country with frontage of 4 ½ miles from Scanlan's boundary. It had evidently been Hammond's intention to take up the country under dispute, and a statement from J. Scanlan, who had acted as agent for Hammond in the matter, to that effect was produced before the arbitrators. Hammond had also lived on said country for years, and had improved it. Mrs Kenavon argued that the mistake arose through the wording of Hammond's application for country being described as about four miles from Scanlan's boundary, as on survey Scanlan's country extended farther than had been anticipated. Consequently Hammond had been sent further down the creek than he had supposed he would. The arbitration was decided purely on documentary evidence, and an award, signed by Messrs. Donaldson and Durack, Mr Webber dissenting, was made giving Mrs Kenavon a frontage of 30 chains on the west side of the creek. This frontage will include one side of a permanent water-hole and stock yards which have been built by Hammond. I believe it is the intention of Mr Hammond to appeal against the award. (The Western Champion, 5 Feb 1884)

In 1899, Jemima sold Maroo Station to her granddaughter's husband.

Jemima died on 16 March 1903 in Bourke, New South Wales and the death notice in the Bourke Banner (19 March 1903) read:
We are sorry to note the death of Mrs J.L.H. Kenavan, who died at the residence of Mr W Smart on Monday evening last at 8 o'clock. The deceased lady was 71 years of age, and was one of the first white women who came on to the Darling many years ago. She resided in the Wilcannia district for a number of years prior to coming to Bourke. The deceased leaves a family of five - three daughters and two sons - all of whom are married, and we extend our deepest sympathy to all relatives and friends. The funeral took place yesterday (Tuesday), and was well attended, the Rev. J. Thompson officiating at the grave. [Her 20 plus years at Maroo wasn't mentioned].

Her death certificate lists her father as Thomas Geake, mother unknown - the informant was her daughter, Emily and it has already been established that she did not know the name of Jemima's mother. It is not known who the Mr W. Smart mentioned in the death notice was. Jemima was buried in Bourke Cemetery with her daughter, Susannah and infant grandson, David Hatten.

Selina Margaret married Samuel Alfred Harris in 1872 and it was announced in the South Australian Register:
On the 25th November, at Wilcannia, by the Rev. S.A. Hamilton, of Hay, Samuel Alfred, second son of the Rev. S.L. Harris, to Selina Margaret, eldest daughter of the late Mr Thos. McGeorge, of Wilcannia. (27 Dec 1872) At the time, Samuel was listed a 'superintendent' at Mt Murchison Station [Greville's Post Office Directory]. They had 10 children between 1874 and 1896, and moved to South Australia in the mid 1870's where Samuel worked as a station manager and a judge of stock and wool. Selina died in 1913 and Samuel died in 1923 in Allendale North. See Obituaries H. Both are buried at Kapunda Cemetery.

Thomas Llewellyn helped his mother with the Wilcannia Hotel (he was the licensee between 1874 & 1876 and had a bank account in 1876 listed as Innkeeper, Wilcannia) until he opened up a butcher's shop in partnership with his brother, Robert. A bank ledger in 1877 shows an account in the name of McGeorge Bros. Butchers, Wilcannia. It appears that the 'shop front' came later in 1879. The brothers placed an advertisement in the Pastoral Times on 13 March 1879 for "Darling Butchery" stating that ehy "Beg to inform the inhabitants of Wilcannia that they have opened a BUTCHER'S SHOP next to the Wilcannia Hotel, and trusts by keeping nothing but the best quality of Mutton and Beef, to get a fair share of public patronage. In the same year, Thomas and John were summoned by Charles Litchfield, Inspector of Stock, for not registering the butchers' shop and were fined accordingly.

In 1878, Thomas married Hannah Rachel (Annie) Myers and the notice in the South Australian Register read:
On the 24th December, at the residence of the bridegroom, Thomas Lewellelyn (sic) McGeorge of Wilcannia, N.S.W. to Annie, eldest daughter of John Myers, of Port Adelaide.


Jemima's foster daughter, Annie McTavish was listed as a servant at Maroo Station on her marriage certificate (to a John Henderson also known as John Christensen) in January 1884. The wedding took place at Thargomindah with Dan and Susannah Dewhurst as witnesses. Annie and John had a son at Maroo (Jemima was midwife at the birth) who died as an infant. The couple left the property in about 1889 and returned to Victoria. At some point Annie was committed to the Yarra Bend Asylum but left in May 1892 to return to Jemima at Maroo.

Cate (Catherine Muriel Grace) Manson married Isaac Henry Thomas from Augathella and moved from Maroo, determined to lead her own life after her marriage; this apparently broke Jemima's heart. Cate was living in Eulo and Cunnamulla between 1908 and 1949 (Electoral Roll) and died in 1951 in Cunnamulla aged 72.

It is uncertain what happened to Jemima's other charge, Bessie Barber but it is believed at this point that she moved on to work for Tim Doyle who married Thomas & Annie's McGeorge's daughter, Ettie in 1900.

William Alexander Pearce tendered for a mail run in 1894:
TENDERS FOR MAIL SERVICES: Kyabra and Windorah, via Thewin, Tenham, and Hammond Downs; once a week; three years - William Alexander Pearce Kenavan, Maroo Staiton, Adavale, 144 pounds per annum (mails and parcels). (The Capricornian, 15 Dec 1894)

His marriage in 1897 was recorded in the Brisbane Courier
On the 13th January, at Windorah, William A. P. Kenavan, Esq., Maroo Station to Ethel Frances, only daughter of the late Captain Lancelotte, Hey House, Saughall, Chester, and grand-daughter of the late Dr Blackmore, Byrom House, Manchester. (14 Jan 1897). William and Ethel had 5 children (with 3 dying in infancy) and took up grazing land near Tampoon but sold the property in 1923. They remained in the area until the mid-1930's when they moved to Brisbane. Ethel died in 1943; William died in 1959.