1850c Sarah Waters is born on the Allyn River in the Hunter Valley. The Wonnarua later identify their heritage as stemming from Sarah (see 2006). (Rosa Nolan, "‘We Want to Do What They Did’, p53)

The focus shifts from Wollombi to the Hunter River with the construction of the railway through Singleton and major flooding which causes severe hardship to people living in Wollombi region.

In Wilberforce, Hiram carves on a large flat mass of Hawkesbury sandstone the image of a white man going into the bush to cut timber carrying an axe over his shoulder”. Hiram is a middle aged man and he uses the tool of the white man, an iron tomahawk. The height of the man with the axe is life size (standing five feet seven inches and a half). (Mathews, Rock Carving by the Australian Aborigines, 1896)

Henry (Harry) Barber is born. Some of his children are born on the property of Lilburndale at Sackville Reach on the Hawkesbury River. Father is John Barber. Henry plays cricket for the Sackville Reach and Riverstone cricket clubs. He is a fine wicket-keeper. Henry’s wife Annie is a “full-blood” Darkinjung woman from Wollombi. They are married at Maitland. Annie dies in 1915. Her final years are spent at La Perouse Aboriginal Mission where she is known as Granny Barber. (Brook, Shut out from the World, 1st edit, 50).

Andrew (Andy) Barber is born on John Smith Hall’s property, “Lilburndale”. Father is John Luke Barber and mother is Ballendella. (Brook, 1st edit, 46)

1850c The traditional clan and tribal structure of Hawkesbury Aborigines is significantly reduced. Many of the old tribespeople band together with the “new” Aborigines to live in close proximity in the Hawkesbury. They are determined to retain their identity. The largest concentrations of Aborigines in the Sydney region include Sackville Reach and La Perouse. On the outer fringes, small family bands congregate at Singleton in the Hunter Valley. (Brook 1st edit, p9).

The annual blanket distribution list records a total of 64 Aborigines living in the greater Sydney region from Wollongong in the south, Georges River in the west, and Port Stephens in the north. It lists 3 members of the “Lake Macquarie Tribe”: Billy Blue, John and Mary Emu. It lists Bob Roberts as the only member of the “Brisbane Water Tribe”. It does not record any Aboriginal people as receiving blankets in the Hunter Valley or Hawkesbury River districts. ("1850 Distribution of Blankets," The Sydney Morning Herald, 27 May 1850).

Allowing for administrative anomalies, blanket lists record a diminishing number of Aborigines receiving blankets between the Hawkesbury River and Upper Hunter districts between 1827 and 1850. The 1827 list recommends 1412 Aboriginal people receive blankets throughout the Hunter/Newcastle region. By 1841, this is reduced to 232 despite the addition of new blanket distribution points as settlement expands into the Upper Hunter. This may reflect deaths from smallpox, as well as eratic or cancelled distribution in some districts from 1844. There is a slight increase in distribution during 1843 to 243, but nearly half of the people receiving blankets are living in the new northern district of Cassilis. By 1850, distribution within the Hunter region is almost non-existent. ("Memory", "Letter to the Editor: Reminiscences No. V," Maitland Mercury, 25 August 1877).

1850 to 1860s Aboriginal people protest about government neglect and cruelty. When the blanket distribution ceases “M’Gill, tells the government official in the Lake Macquarie region that “they all cursed the Governor”. At the same time, several Aborigines in the Hunter region demand to know why “the governor does not give [us] blankets to wear in winter, when it is murry cold”. Two decades later during the early-1860s, one “blackfellow” tells local clergy in the Maitland district that “if the blankets did not soon come all the blackfellows would come down to the township and walk about naked”. (Report from the Select Committee on the Condition of the Aborigines for the Hunter region, in Lucas, 56-60)

From the 1850s to 1890s, concerned citizens monitor the issue of free blankets to Aborigines in newspapers such as the Maitland Mercury to ensure continuity. Despite this pressure through public scrutiny, distribution is highly eratic from the 1840s. Here are some examples. During 1869:“blacks of the [Paterson] district muster in strong force at the Court-house, in hopes of receiving their usual supply of blankets [but]…had to go away disappointed”. (Report from the Select Committee on the Condition of the Aborigines for the Hunter region, in Lucas, 56).

1850c “Yellow Bob” is an old stockman, of mixed descent who lives on the Pages River. He lives there alone with his dogs for many years after he becomes too old for “saddle and stockwhip”. His memory is perpetuated in the name of a small Travelling Stock Reserve midway between Scone and Gundy. The reserve is officially known as “Bob’s Camp”. (Brayshaw, Revisiting Gundy, 234).

1850s to 1870s Pocket Camps. Numerous Aboriginal groups decide to try their hand at farming in pockets of vacant land existing within the mosaic of white settlement. These include reserves for roads, water reserves, village commons, travelling stock routes not yet constructed or in use. (Lucas, 20)


1851. Rev William Clarke .. “We see no Blacks here between Freeman’s Reach and Portland Head on the Hawkesbury unless annual distribution of blankets in Windsor. Then they ascend from great distances. Diseases have devastated and proved fatal to many” (Rev William Clarke Papers 1851 ML cy3584).

Leniency towards Aboriginal people in the West Maitland court: violence between Aboriginal people. 17 year old Jackey, a native black lad, is killed by Aborigines. Jackey has been for years in the service of Mr Fitsimmons of Castlereagh River and comes “down country” on his master’s dray to buy food and “drink”. He is found dead after joining four Aboriginal people behind the Queens Arms Inn in West Maitland. Murphy, Tommy Potts, Martin and King John of the Maitland tribe, and Jemmy and Richard Wiseman of the Sugarloaf tribe are apprehended. The jury returns a verdict of wilful murder against some other Aboriginals unknown. (Maitland Mercury, 22 December 1851, compliments of Ian Webb, Maitland Historical Society).

Reverend Henry Stiles of Windsor, 1 May: “The Evangelizing of the Aborigines…must be carried on, if at all, in other localities than Windsor…I am not aware that there is a single one left in the parish. A few wander hither, from other places, during seasons of public amusements, and at the time of distribution of blankets, but not one do I know belonging to the town, or to the parish under my charge (Brooks, 1st edit, 13).

With discovery of gold 1851, governments and churches largely ignore Aboriginal people for thirty odd years. Those “quiet” years allow a new generation to consolidate, strengthen and review their Aboriginality unhindered by white bureaucracy. (Brooks, 1st edit, 13).

Aboriginal people live on the site that later becomes the St Clair Aboriginal mission. (Single Times Newsletter, 1992, quoted in Lucas, 37)


Phillip Williams, adult, an Aboriginal of Sackville Reach, labourer, is baptised at Parish of Windsor. 56/895 W615 W517 W508.


A large Aboriginal ceremonial gathering is held at the “Bulga Bora Ground” on the eastern side of Wollombi Brook, with its sacred circles defined by small mounds of earth and carved trees bearing the emblems that mark the initiation of young men of the tribes to tribal rites. 500 to 600 Aboriginal people attend from various tribes from as far as Mudgee and Goulburn. White settlers are excluded from the Bora. (Alexander Eather’s “History of Bulga” held by Singleton Historical Society quoted in Lucas, 9, 33).

Harshness in a Maitland court. Violence by Aboriginal people towards Europeans. A warrant is issued for the arrest of Wickaty Wee and Morris, “black natives of Singleton”, for a “brutal assault “ on J. Panton while camping with Thomas Parnell at Howe’s Valley. It takes several days to capture them. While handcuffed together in Howe’s Valley, they bolt into the bush. The government offers a reward of 20 pounds for their apprehension. Wickaty Wee and Morris are decoyed away from their tribe by a party of farmers and police under the promise of “mitalligo” (alcohol), captured, handcuffed together and chained around their necks. Wickaty Wee’s tribe threaten the constables by promising to spear them should they come back again. While in the lockup in Singleton awaiting trial, the newspaper reports they are “intelligent” blacks and “speak good English”. That same day, Wickety Wee and Morris travel to Maitland gaol to stand trial. During the trial, it becomes clear that Wickety Wee and Morris were seeking to protect their women from efforts by Panton’s party comprising two foreign “blackfellow servants” to “take away their gins”. Wickity Wee is known as a “quiet man” and discharged. Two settlers in the district where Morris’ tribe lives vouch that Morris is a quiet, inoffensive, trustworthy man. For almost twenty years, he has always been “willing to work and oblige white people”. He is also known to have a wife. Morris is sentenced to three years hard labour on the roads. (Maitland Mercury, 19 January, 12 March, 16 March 1853, compliments of Ian Webb, Maitland Historical Society).


Death of Jackey Jackey (who guides explorer Edmund Kennedy) near Albury, aged around 22. (Source: Australian Museum, 2014).

A small number of Aboriginal workers continue to “use the sickle” in Wollombi district at “harvest time”. (Maitland Mercury, 18 January 1854, compliments of Ian Webb, Maitland Historical Society).


1855c Death of Aboriginal poet Wallati (or Wullati, English spelling “Wollaje”) on the seashore, close to Moon Island at the entrance to Lake Macquarie. He is around 90 years of age. (1835 Blanket List for Brisbane Waters; Waugh, 70)

Ephraim Everingham is born at Wilberforce. He is the son of John Everingham (born 1815 to convict Mathew James Everingham and his wife Elizabeth Rimes) an Aboriginal woman, Budha or Mildred Saunders from Sackville (Brook, 1st edit, 51)

Two Mrs Everinghams: Mildred Saunders (Butha) and “Martha Hibbs” (Madha) never leave the country of their people. They provide principal families who survive and are fruitful.

At Laguna on a branch of Wollombi Brook, William Hibbs (descendant of Everingham/Woodbury convicts) reportedly fathers a son to a “full blood” Aboriginal girl called “Martha” [Madha] but abandons him when he and his white wife leave the district. The mother takes the young son, Aborigine William Hibbs, to her community at Sackville, where she marries Aborigine, Ephraim Everingham. When William reaches manhood and became a cattle drover, he takes a new name and becomes William Onus seemingly in recognition of his employer from Richmond, Joseph Onus who trained him. It was then common for young Aboriginal men to use for their adult name the name of their first white employer. William later stays at Cummeragunja on the Murray River in NSW, then returns to Echuca to establish the Aboriginal Onus dynasty in Victoria. William and his first son, Bill Onus retain contact with his Hawkesbury family. He is buried there alongside his mother, Martha, Mrs Everingham. William’s siblings (Martha’s children) visit him at Echuca.

Bill Onus (William 2nd) maintains contact with his Hawkesbury Darkinung family. During the 1930s he lives in Beecroft near Hornsby and is throwing boomerangs at the old “Koala Park” paddocks, Pennant Hills. [pic Ford p133]


An Aboriginal man strips a quantity of bark from trees in the Wollombi district, most probably in a similar fashion to that done by his ancestors and Aboriginal people more widely for centuries before him. The trees are on Crown Land and he does not hold a licence to strip bark. The Colonial Secretary’s Office authorises a local official to “seize the Bark and dispose of the same by public Auction” (Letter signed by W Elyard, Colonial Secretary’s Office, 8 October 1856, courtesy of Carl Hoipo, Wollombi Historical Society).


King Bully”, “last King” of the Newcastle tribes dies and is buried close to the Aboriginal camp near the back of the gas-works, an area covered in honeysuckle. (Historical Records of Newcastle I797-1897)


Alvina Everingham marries Daniel Sydney Packer in 1900 while still a resident of Sackville reserve. They have two children: Ruby Violet Packer (born circa 1900) and Sydney Ephraim Packer (born 1906).

Oliver Garnet Everingham marries Edith Lillian Woods in 1916. She is the daughter of John Woods, believed to be winemaker at Tizzana Winery. They have five children: Victoria Margaret (born 1914), Garnet Ephraim (born 1916), James Richmond (born 1918), George William (born 1920), and Eileen Beryl (born 1922). Oliver played cricket in position of wicket keeper. (Brook, 1st edit, p52).

Charles S. Everingham works on the river boats, he is probably a bachelor.

Carrington (Dick) Everingham dies a bachelor at 82 years in 1968. He is buried at Sackville Reach.

Rachel Clara Everingham marries Alfred Ernest Barber, eldest son of John Luke and Elizabeth Ann Barber. Their children are: Maud Violet (born 1909), Charles (Mick, born 1911, dies 1965) a bachelor; Edith marries Arthur Moore, she dies in 1983. At least two of her four sons still live in Windsor. May Barber (born in 1922 at Ebenezer) dies 1955 and is buried in Sackville. John Ephraim (born circa 1922, dies 1971), Elise (Elsie, born 1924). In 1934 she is a pupil at Ebenezer school; Alfred Barber (born 1927, dies 1974) is buried at Sackville Reach. (Brook, 1st edit, 52).

Sydney E. Everingham lives for 72 years, he is a bachelor and an indentured apprentice working for Irvin Turnbull of Windsor in 1914, and for Charlie Turnbull as farmer. He dies in 1968 and is buried at Sackville Reach.

Ephraim Everingham’s Aboriginal mother, Mildred Saunders, is recognised by Robert Mathews among the Darkinung as “Butha emu” and is native to Sackville (Portland Head Rock area). Ephraim is Joan Cooper’s grandfather who organises reunions in 1983 and 2005 (Ford 280)