Emily Anstiss (nee McGeorge) 1844-1920
Thomas McGeorge 1824-1867 Wentworth Hotel
Family History
2013 Copyright Ruzsicska
McGEORGE Thomas & Margaret (nee WYLIE)
1837 to New South Wales

Thomas GEORGE was born on 12 July 1803 in Riccarton, Ayr, Scotland. According to church records, he married Margaret WYLIE (b. 12 March 1804) on 16 February 1824 in Kilmarnock, Ayr. However they recorded their marriage in the family bible for 6 months earlier on 22nd August 1823 [daughter quotes bible entry in 1899 in a letter to her sister]. They had a son, Thomas on 26 July 1824, five months after they were married which accounts for their wish to record an earlier marriage.

While living in Scotland, Thomas and Margaret had another six children although two died in infancy and a daughter, Mary died aged 8:
Robert born 25 Aug, 1825 in Ardrossan, Ayr, died 10 June, 1826;
Mary born 9 May 1827 in Kilmarnock, died 18 Dec 1835;
James born 27 May 1829 in Riccarton, died 1 July 1829;
Margaret born 28 July 1830 in Riccarton;
Samuel born 4 Jun 1833 in Kirkcowan, Galloway; and
Dougal Wylie born 15 July 1835 in Crookedholm, at Kilmarnock.

The George family left Plymouth on 10th July 1837 on the ANDROMACHE, and arrived into Sydney on 31 October 1837. Mr George Rankin sponsored Thomas and his family and paid the bounty of £45 for the family to emigrate. (As one of two agents for the Andromache, Rankin received £380 bounty for '39 souls'.)

The ship's manifest lists Thomas as a native of Ayr, 30 years old and a shoemaker. Wife, Margaret also from Ayr, was 29 years old. Religion is Presbyterian. Children listed are Thomas at 13 years, Margaret 7, Samuel 4, Dugald (sic) 2 and Sophia Jane born at sea. Thomas is listed as a shoemaker.

The arrival of the ANDROMACHE is recorded by The Sydney Gazette, 2 November 1837 in the Shipping Intelligence column.
From Plymouth, on Tuesday last, whence she sailed the 10th July, the barque Andromache 468 tons, Captain Thomas New, with 212 emigrants, including the cabin passengers, whose names follow: Patrick Gammie, Esq. H.M., 80th Regiment, Surgeon ; Rev. William Sowerby, lady, and 2 children; Rev. William Stack and Miss Stack; Rev. Joseph Walpole, lady, and child ; Mrs. Marcus Macerrbury ; Messrs. Henry Fowler, John Wilson and John Hewitt.

The Sydney Herald on 2 Nov 1837 ran the notice that Persons wishing to engage with any of the emigrants per Andromache, we understand, must apply on board - as there is no provision for their reception on shore.

Thomas and Margaret had another five children in Australia, all registered in the parish of Bathurst, N.S.W.; John b. 1840, Mary Ann b. 1842, Emily Morrisett b. 1844, James b. 1846 and Eliza Lee b. 1849.

John, Mary Ann, Emily and James were all registered as GEORGE; Eliza Lee was registered as McGEORGE - Thomas changed the family name to McGEORGE sometime around 1847/1848.

In 1844, the family's abode is listed as "Three Brothers" which is a locality near Hobby's Yards, named after a trio of small hills. Blayney would have been the largest centre in its vicinity and it is south of Bathurst. Thomas is again listed as a shoemaker.

Thomas and his family settled at Carcoar, a 'village' that had been gazetted in 1839 (and 52 kms south west from Bathurst).

In Feb 1851, Thomas donated a subscription of £2 for the erection of a Scots Church and Manse in Carcoar where a total of £105 was collected. (Bathurst Free Press, 22 Feb 1851) See Historic Sketches of Presbyteries and Parishes for further information on churches in the area]

Thomas died on the 8 November 1878 at Carcoar. He was 78 years old. Thomas' last Will and Testament leaves all the 'real and personal Estate' to his wife, Margaret for the term of her natural life or equally amongst his children if Margaret died before him.

Will of Thomas McGeorge
No. 3848
This is the last will and Testament of me Thomas McGeorge of Carcoar in the Colony of New South Wales Bootmaker. I give devise and bequeath all the real and personal Estate of what nature or kind soever of which I shall die seized or possessed unto my dear wife Margaret McGeorge for the term of her natural life for her own use and benefit but not to be disposed of by her in any way whatever by sale or otherwise And after her death then I desire that the whole of my said real and personal Estate shall be sold and after payment of all her just debts and any debt or debts due or owing upon the said real and personal Estate and after payment also of her funeral expenses the balance of the moneys then being in hand from the said Sale after all such deductions as aforesaid shall be equally divided between my children Margaret Widow of William Ralph late of Kings Plains, Samuel McGeorge now of Abercrombie River, Dugald Wylie of Hay, John of Lower Darling River, Mary Ann Coombes, wife of Charles Howarth of Carcoar, Emily Morrison wife of William Hausard of Orange, James of Carcoar and Eliza Lee wife of Robert Howarth of near Orange But if my said wife should pre decease me then I direct the said Sale upon the terms and subject to the provisions aforesaid I appoint William Edward Tolhurst of Carcoar the sole Executor of this my Will and revoking all other Wills I declare this to be my last Will and Testament In Witness whereof I have to this my last Will and Testament set my hand this sixteenth day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy eight.
Thomas McGeorge

Signed and acknowledged by Thomas McGeorge the Testator as his last Will and Testament in the presence of us present at the same time who in his presence at his request and in the presence of each other have here unto subscribed our names as Witnesses (the words "Widow" "Lee" and "William" in the twenty second , twenty nineth and thirty third lines respectively from the top having been struck through, altered or underlined)
E.S.H. Forth (?) E. Stammers

22nd October 1879 This day upon Petition Probate of the last Will and Testament of Thomas McGeorge late of Carcoar, Bootmaker deceased was granted to Edward Tolhurst the Executor named in said Will Testator died 8th November 1878

Margaret died three years later at Carcoar on 29 January 1882 at the age of 81.

On 15 May 1849, Thomas Jnr married Jemima Lydia Hockridge Geake in Bathurst, N.S.W. At the time, he was living in the Lachlan River (Forbes) area. Their first child was registered in Bathurst in 1852 and Thomas purchased freehold property in 1852 in Carcoar. The property was the second of four allotments on the western side of Coombing St, between Rodd and Rothery Streets and 2 roods (half an acre) in size. The same property was offered up for sale and advertised in The Carcoar Chronicle, 13 Feb 1942 & 20 Feb 1942 by the Public Trustee for failure to pay rates:

Acting under instructions from the Public Trustee, on behalf of the Lyndhurst Shire Council, I will sell by public Auction at my office in Saturday, 28th February, 1942.
Isabella Fox, Thomas McGeorge & Mames Scott, Lots 8/13, Section 13, Rodd, Coombing and Rothery Streets. Lot 10, 11, 12 - 1 acre, 2 roods. Lot 8 - 2 roods. Lot 9 - 2 roods. Lot 13 - 2 roods
This is a wonderful opportunity for anyone to secure a good building block at a Reasonable Price.

Thomas and Jemima moved to the Lachlan River (Forbes) area and had another two children in 1853 and 1855. On 13 Oct 1855 Thomas ran an advertisement in Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal offering a reward for the return of a horse:
£5 reward - STOLEN or strayed from Mr George Suttor's station, Lachlan River, on the 1st September, 1 brown horse, from 15 to 16 hands high. Cu [brand?] on off shoulder and near thigh. If stolen the above reward will be paid on conviction of the thief; if strayed, £1 will paid on delivery to Mr Bray, Gove Farm, Mr T. McGeorge, Carcoar [his father], or William Ralph, Canowindra [his brother-in-law]. Thomas McGEORGE, Wangagong (sic), Sept 15 1855

Thomas and Jemima's residence is also recorded as Wangajong, Lachlan River in 1856 with Thomas's occupation listed as grazier. Wangajong was a few kms south east of Forbes, across the Lachlan River and a major grazing area until gold was discovered in the area in 1860.

In 1857/1858, Thomas and Jemima moved west to Wentworth where they purchased the 'Junction Inn', later renaming it "Shearers Arms". In 1861, Thomas built the first brick hotel in Wentworth. See: Wentworth Hotel

3 more children were born between 1858 and 1865. A story on the Wentworth Hotel page describes a thwarted robbery attempt on the hotel by Jemima. At the time she was taking care of the 3 Handcock (Hancock?) children and they were being educated by a governess in her employ. This must have been in the McGeorge's early days in Wentworth, as an article in the South Australian Register from a Wentworth correspondent describes the annual examination at the school in July 1862. It was reported that:

The answers to the questions put by the examiner were given with great readiness and uniform correctness, so much so as to surprise those who were aware of the fact that the school has only been in existence for little more than 12 months, and that the majority of the children having been brought up in the bush had received little or no previous education. The whole proceedings occupied nearly four hours, at the conclusion of which the Rev. Wm. Ross, in the name of the assembled visitors, addressed a few words to the teachers, complimenting them on their diligence and success, and to the children, urging upon them increased assiduity. Prizes were then awarded as follows :— Reading, lst Class, Charles Gilleth; 2nd class, Mary Kerridge; 3rd class. Betsy S. Smith; Writing, Sarah Gunn; Arithmetic, Thomas McGeorge [aged 8]; General Good Conduct and Proficiency, Mary Ann Hancock [one of Jemima's wards]; Grammar, Thomas Pain; Geography, Sarah Gunn; General Progress, Selina McGeorge [aged 10]; Diligence and Attention, William Ferrier and Mary Ferrier.

In the evening the children were entertained at tea, provided for them by the kindness of Mrs. and Miss Thring [the superintendents]. It is a matter of great regret that these ladies, who have so faithfully discharged their duty as teachers of this school, should have found it necessary to intimate their intention of resigning their charge, in consequence of ill health. It is to be hoped, however, that efficient successors will be provided. What is required in a locality such as this is a male teacher to instruct the boys in the usual branches of an English education, and a lady to impart to the girls a knowledge of those matters in which they are more peculiarly interested, and who would be willing to receive boarders at a very low rate of remuneration; so that the benefits enjoyed by the residents in the township might be accessible to the many children of labouring people who are scattered throughout the district, and who at present are totally without the means of obtaining education. (30 July 1862)

In August of the following year,
the prizes awarded: Geography—First prize, Thomas McGeorge ; second prize, William Hillier. Grammar —First prize, Selina McGeorge; second prize, William Wright. Reading—First prize, third class, John Hancock [one of Jemima's wards]; second prize, third class, Louisa Blore. First prize, sequel class, William Smith; second prize, sequel class, Betsy Smith. First prize, second sequel, Susanna McGeorge [aged 8]; second prize, second sequel, James T. Smith. Needlework (plain)— Adelaide Price; stocking darning, Susanna McGeorge; crotchet work, Agnes Stewart [also lived at the Wentworth Hotel with the McGeorges].

The McGeorge family moved to Wilcannia in 1866, where they opened the Five Alls Hotel.
He certainly was buried in Wilcannia for some time, and the first opportunity Mother had, she had the body taken by dray or cart driven by John McGeorge to Carcoar. She drove herself in a sulky. On her return to Wilcannia she had a Mrs Dick Green with her, and she (Mother) drove through the Monaro district, without any road and hit the Darling River about 50 miles below Wilcannia, only just the two women, all those hundreds of miles and one horse.

As mentioned in Emily's letter, Jemima had Thomas' remains re-interred in the cemetery at Carcoar on 25 May 1868. For this reason, two death certificates were issued although both contain the same information. Jemima died in Bourke in 1903. See Pioneers Geake.

Thomas and Margaret's daughter, Margaret had married William Ralph in 1853 at King's Plain, Carcoar. They had 8 children and ended up settling in Orange in the late 1860's after a period at Canowindra and Carcoar. William died in a dray accident in 1875. The accident, reported in The Burrowa News on 14 November 1875, stated:

A most appalling accident ...resulting in the death of a man named Mr. W. Ralph, occurred at the ' Rocks,' Orange road, on Tuesday last. The deceased, who was bringing his team from Orange to Bathurst, was in the act of 'skidding' the wheel of the dray previous to making the descent of the Rocks, when from a movement of the horses, the poor fellow was thrown under the wheel, which passed over his body, crushing him to death. His son, who had gone in advance, thinking that hisfather was longer than necessary in making his appearance returned to the place where he had left his father, and there saw his crushed body, lifeless. The deceased was 50 years of age, and was well known in Bathurst and Kelso.

Margaret also suffered a tragic death, dying of severe burns in the Orange hospital in 1904 after falling into a fire while having a fit. (The Sydney Morning Herald 23 Sept 1904)

Samuel married Elizabeth Willard in 1859 and had 12 children with twins dying in their infancy. He worked as a shepherd and a labourer around the Carcoar district and died in 1895 in Moorilda, N.S.W. Elizabeth died in 1928 in Sydney.

Dougal married Frances Bransfield in 1861 and had 5 children, with 2 dying in infancy and one drowning at the age of 20. Dougal worked as a stockman and a drover, dying in 1889 at his sister-in-law's station, Maroo in far South Western Queensland. Frances died in 1907 in Forbes, N.S.W.

Sophia lived in Carcoar with her parents but died in 1862 with a notice appearing in the South Australian Register (24 Sept 1862):
On the 11th September, at the residence of her brother, Mr. Thomas McGeorge, Wentworth, Sophia Jane New McGeorge, aged 25 years, deeply regretted. And the funeral notice the next day: The funeral of the late Miss McGeorge took place this morning, and was very numerously attended, all the places of business being closed, and vessels in harbour with colours half-mast high, as a mark of respect to the deceased young lady.

John married Dinah Sarah Osborn in 1868 and they had 5 children between 1871 and 1880. In 1870, John held the publican's licence for the Wentworth Hotel (his brother's old establishment) and in 1872 and 1873, he had the licence for the Racecourse Hotel. He then worked as a butcher up until the family moved to Wilcannia sometime between 1877 and 1880. John died in 1883 in Wilcannia. Dinah moved back to Wentworth after John's death and died there in 1913, at the age of 73. See Obituaries M

Mary Ann married Charles Howarth in 1868 and had 11 children. Charles and Mary Ann died in 1926 in Canowindra, within a week of one another. The death notice in the Sydney Morning Herald, 8 Dec 1926 reported for Carcoar:
An old resident. Mr. C. Howarth, died last week at the age of 82 years, and this week his widow, aged 84 years, also died. Both were residents of long standing in this district.

Emily Morrisett married William John Anstiss in 1865, had 9 children. They lived in Carcoar before eventually moving to Granville where William died in 1912 and Emily died in 1920.
Thomas McGeorge Jnr, Carcoar Cemetery
(reproduced with permission from Craig Fullerton)

Sacred to the memory of
Thomas McGeorge
born 26 July 1824
at Ayrshire Scotland
died 16 May 1867 at
Wilcannia River Darling
Aged 43 years.
Come unto me all ye
that labour and are heavy laden
and I will give you rest.
Matt 11.28.

Thomas died in Wilcannia in 1867. 70 years later, Emily, Thomas and Jemima's youngest daughter, describes the event in a letter to her niece:

Mother went to Melbourne to bring Selina and Susan home from boarding school. I was with her, very ill, about 18 months old, [and] had to be carried on a pillow. When we got to Menindee, Mother got word that Father was very ill with 'rheumatic fever' and horses were left along the road for her, so she left on horseback from Menindee at sunset and was in Wilcannia at sunrise. 100 miles, a wonderful trip for a woman by herself in those days, but sad to say Father had passed away about 2 hours before she arrived.
James never married. He was living in Carcoar at the time of his father's death in 1878. Sometime after, he moved to Sydney's western suburbs and died in Granville in 1927.

Eliza Lee married Robert Bonaparte Howarth (brother of sister, Mary Ann's husband whose parents were convicts) in 1869, had 9 children and made their home in Orange after living in Carcoar for many years. Eliza died in July 1921 at the Dudley Private Hospital in Orange; Robert died in 1935.
Emily Morrisett Anstiss (nee McGeorge)
(reproduced with permission from Craig Fullerton)