1870c Bumba (“Bumea”) of the Belmont Tribe, North Richmond is still alive and referred to as Old Bumba. Bumba reputedly has the power to turn himself into a crow. On numerous occasions he escapes the police lock-up at Windsor by cleverly “flying away”. (Brook, 1st edit, 57).

Aboriginal people are moved from their homes on Gundy Green to the flat at the foot of Willis’ Hill after St Matthew's church is erected where their original homes once stood. (Lucas, 38)

1870c Harry Taggart is a member of Putty Darkinung Aborigines and works at Broke. He comes from Howes Valley at the top of the Macdonald River. His father is John, son of convict Charles Taggart. Harry’s grandson, Eric Taggart, is born 1918 and develops an association with the descendant of Aborigine Sophie Newman (Sophia) from the Hawkesbury-Hunter Ranges. Robert Mathews knows Sophie Newman from Wollombi when she is living at Sackville on Hawkesbury River. Sophie’s granddaughter is “Nana” Sales (nee Newman). Her son is Eddy (“Tomahawk” or “Tommy”) Sales, an advocate for his Darkinung people. (Ford 89, 284, 301).

The Aboriginal Protection Society. (Arwarbukarl Cultural Resource Association, ACRA)

Frederick Ward abandons Mary Ann Bugg for Louisa Mason. He is hunted down by Uralla police officers, Mulhall and Walker. They shoot him as Frederick tries to cross a creek. Frederick Ward is buried in the Uralla cemetery.

1870-1880 Mary Ann Bugg marries another man Burrows in Mudgee and becomes one of the great Aboriginal matriarchs. She is buried in Mudgee.

1870s to 1880s White people freely speak Awabakal language in Swansea, Pelican and possibly Belmont South. (Maynard, Awabakal voices, p82)


Martha Goubra is born.

“Old Ned”: The Aboriginal Farmer at Lake Macquarie. Newspapers in Newcastle and Maitland run stories on “Old Ned’s” struggles to hold onto the land he has long farmed at Lake Macquarie after a white man “free selects it”. We do not know if Ned approaches the press as part of his strategy to attain justice. Either way, Mr F. Naisby from the Morpeth region reads Ned’s appeals in the newspaper and forwards them to the local Member of Parliament asking for “Ned’s title in equity”. The Minister for Lands issues instructions that Old Ned is not to be disturbed in his occupation and the surveyor is to measure twenty to thirty acres for him to be notified as reserve to render him and his family secure from intrustion. One newspaper expresses the hope that Naisby’s actions will serve as an inducement to others to exert themselves under similar circumstances rather than “stay their hands”. (Maitland Mercury, 19 October 1871, compliments of Ian Webb, Maitland Historical Society).

Death of William Bird (Aboriginal name Kut-ti-run and English name when young “Little Breeches”) near Goondiwindi in Queensland.


“Yellow Billy”s petition. Between 1863 and 1927 around 50 Aboriginal people from the Hunter River region settle on government land on the Page River near Gundy. It becomes known as “Yellow Billy’s farm”. Billy Murphy is the purported “last king of the Hunter Aboriginal people”. Of mixed descent, Billy grows up at Segenhoe, receives a land grant and is recognised with a brass king plate inscribed “Yellow Billy”. King Billy is a well-known identity throughout the Upper Hunter”. His wife Anne (“Annie” and “Nannie”) is also highly respected. In 1872 Billy is given permission to occupy some allotments near Gundy in response to his own petition to the Lands Department requesting a grant of 200 acres. His petition includes the following:

“That I have sat down, and taken possession of the land of my ancestors, my birthright, on east side Pages River joining Belvue, and village reserve, to support my family, and others of my tribe…”.

The following year, Billy and Annie thank “Her Majesty’s Government for granting us land” and request tools, seed, bullocks and horses to “start us”. Billy’s two requests are written in the frail hand of John McLeod who writes at the bottom of each page “God Bless Queen Victoria”. The last Hunter River camp however is near Singleton, “whither all the Dartbrook and Page” River Aborigines migrate during the second half of the nineteenth century. They live at St Clair on the property of Dr Rev James White. Billy Murphy dies in 1899, probably at Gundy or possibly at St Clair. (SRNSW10/18739, in Brayshaw, On revisiting Gundy, 226-235; Lucas 37).


Billy Musclebrook and his wife Maria Freeman, their son and daughter, brother, uncles and “other Blacks” of the Segenhoe clan petition the government for land adjoining Billy Murphy’s. John McLeod also writes their requests. McLeod dies soon after his second letter on their behalf and government takes no further action. (Brayshaw, Revisiting Gundy, 236)

1874c Rachel Comfort marries George Trooper at La Perouse.

Death of “Aboriginal Ned”. His obituary reads:“We regretfully record the death….of poor old Ned the Aboriginal, the native squatter on the banks of Lake Macquarie…we drew attention to the fact of a hungry free selector having cast [an] eye on deceased’s little holding. Some considerable stir was made about the matter, and the result was the reservation of the site for the occupation of the native holder and his family. Ned, who was one of the few blacks to whom the habits and customs of the whites have ever presented any attraction, leaves a widow, of whom it was impossible to speak too highly, and a boy and girl, both able to read and write, possessing fair average talents and habits of order and industry…many of our people have found a pleasure in assisting them…Mr Peter Fleming…presented Ned with an excellent boat in which the old man was used to cross the lake and go fishing or seeking honey and game, instead of…having to take to the water and swim over a narrow part whenever he wished to come to Newcastle”. (Maitland Mercury, 14 May 1872, compliments of Ian Webb, Maitland Historical Society).

Willie Price of the Worimi clan claims land at Port Stephens. One of the earliest recorded claims by the Worimi people for the return of part of their lands is by Tom Price. Willie Price asks for land in 1873 at Nelson’s Bay near Karuah, and he too is told that as an existing coastal reserve is in force, his land will be secure enough if it was held only as ‘permissive occupancy’. Although Price is unable to gain further security over the land, the Lands Department is prepared to confirm his right of occupation in 1892 when it is queried. (Goodall, 1996: 80) (Arwarbukarl Cultural Resource Association, ACRA)


Birth of Louise Emily Bartle (nee Lewis) at Marramarra Creek, Hawkesbury River. She is the daughter of Tom Lewis and great granddaughter of Matora Bungaree of the Guringai.


Tommy Cox does some travelling and is arrested for drunkenness at Singleton. He is an employee of Mr A Tuckerman for “many long years” and has his own quarters on the property at Sackville Reach. While in the employment of the Tuckerman family, Tommy assists his employer map sections of the Hawkesbury River. (Brook, 1st edit, 29).


In 1878c, Ephraim marries by Aboriginal rule at Sackville Reach Martha Hobbs or Madha Hibbs of the Hawkesbury tribe (born c1846). Ephraim and Martha have eight children: Alfred James (born 1878), Alvina (Viney born 1880), Oliver Garnet (born 1882), Charles S (born 1884), Carrington (Dick born 1886), Rachel Clara (born 1889), Arthur Ephraim (born 1891 – see picture), Sydney E (born 1896). (Brook 1st edit, 51). He dies in 1937.

Before she marries Ephraim, Martha Hibbs has a son by William Onus of Richmond (see picture), known as “Alfie” born c1867. Alfie is a splendid cricketer. At 37 years, Alfie marries Maud Nelson at Echuca, NSW. They have three children: William, Eric and Maud. (Brook, 1st edit, 51).

Alfred James Everingham, first son of Ephraim and Martha is living at Wheeny Creek, Colo when he marries Edith Linda Lock, an Aboriginal woman from Rooty Hill in 1902 in the tin Mission Church on the Sackville Reach Reserve. Alfred and Albert Barber witness the marriage. Alfred is a “Farmer” and Edith is a “servant”. They have three children: Stanley Luther Everingham (born 1903 at Sackville Aboriginal Mission), Herbert Bruce Everingham (born there also in 1906). Herbert married Aboriginal woman, Stella Virginia Ella in 1926 at the Redfern chapel. Kathleen Ada Everingham (born 1909) married John Robert King of Ebenezer in 1934.

John Luke Barber (50 yrs) remarries for a third time to a European woman Elizabeth Ann Morley (21 years) at the Wesleyan Church, Sackville Reach. The couple live at what becomes Sackville Aborigines Reserve. They have 18 children: John, George Henry, Alfred Ernest, Maud E.A., Aurelia, Clara E.G., Adeline L.M., Susannah, Bertha B., Nina A., Maria A., Pearl, Christina P. (Crissy), Selina J., William J, and 1 male and 2 female children whose names were not recorded and probably died in infancy. (Brook, 1st edit, 47).

1878c An area is set aside on the outskirts of Quirindi in the Upper Hunter Valley as a reserve for Aboriginal people. It is called Caroona and once formed part of Walhallow Station. At its height, 200 Aboriginal people live in accommodation provided by government under the control of the station manager. Years later the Aboriginal Welfare Board uses Caroona as a showplace. (AIATSIS)

Death of Maria Lock, aged 70 years. Her entry in the Prospect St. Bartholemew Church burial register reads, “Last of the Blacktown Blacks’. Her lands at Liverpool and Blacktown are divided between her 9 surviving children. The lands at Blacktown stay within the control of the Lock family for many years but are taken from them for non payment of rates. The exact location of her grave is unknown. The children are: Alfred John Everingham1878 -1951; Alvina Everingham 1880-1947; Oliver Garnet Everingham1883-1955; Charles Sackville Everingham 1884-1956; Carrington Seymour Everingham 1886 -1968; Rachel Clara Everingham 1889 in Sackville Reach NSW – 1930; Arthur Ephraim Everingham 1891 Sackville Reach NSW- 1983. Sidney Errol Everingham 1896 -1968 in Sydney; Arthur Ephraim Everingham 1891 in Sackville Reach -1983.


Robert Mathews is appointed District Surveyor for the Counties of Durham and Northumberland. Singleton, on the Hunter River, becomes his residence for around ten years. He makes contact with Darkinung people on the south side of the Hunter River along Wollombi Brook, which flows north from the Hawkesbury-Hunter ranges into the Hunter river. Mathews becomes involved with local Aboriginal people and interested in their cultural heritage. He develops relationships with the Clark and Goobra families at Broke and the Dillon family at Wollombi. (Ford p209).

Aborigines from the Hawkesbury-Hunter Ranges have a close cultural relationship with those from north of the Hunter River and the Wannungine from the coastal region south of the Hunter River. This is demonstrated by ceremonial and ritual activity at Maitland. Joe Goobra is the “last Darkinung fullblood man” to be initiated. (Ford 341).

Blankets are distributed to Aboriginal people living in a camp on the site that later becomes the St Clair Aboriginal mission. (Singleton Argus, 1879; quoted in Lucas, 37)

James Lewis (son of John and Sarah Lewis of Marramarra Creek) marries Elizabeth Breach near Newcastle. They settle beyond the Macdonald River in the Wollombi district. Around this time, his elder brother also moves into the ranges higher up the Hawkesbury River at Macdonald River. (Ford, timeline p7).

1879c The late nineteenth century sees the rapid expansion of colonisation in the Hunter Valley, with small towns emerging in places previously occupied by Aboriginal communities. The opportunity to practise Aboriginal culture is gradually eroded. It is a time of intense trauma and disenfranchisement. (Cathleen Inkpin, "Making Their Gospel Known)

Death of Hiram. He is said to be “the last full blood” to have practiced Aboriginal traditional culture connected to art work in a cave on Tuckerman’s grant on Sackville Reach. Mathews wrote under the heading “Darkinung”: “Hiram, brother of Tilly, painted hands in the cave near the punt at Sackville Reach. The mother of Tilly & Hiram was Lucy, daughter of Peggy”. (Ford 212)

Billy and his “gin” from the “blacks camp” at Gresford appear in a telling Maitland court case. Billy is charged for “feloniously” stealing from Owen Sullivan one pipe, one purse and a small amount of cash. During the trial, it becomes clear that under the “influence of liquor”, Sullivan dismounts from his horse and lies down overnight on the road near the “blacks camp”. When he awakes, his horse and purse are gone and Billy later returns with them. Billy states that Sullivan gave him the wallet to spend at the wine shop. Both Billy and his gin complain about Sullivan “pulling the gin about” that evening. A witness testifies that a “groggy” Sullivan had asked him if the “gins” had venereal disease before riding towards to the “black’s camp”. A statement made by Billy’s “gin” and a description of her clothing is read before the court. Mr Boydell gives an account of Billy’s excellent character and honesty. Billy is acquitted and discharged. (Maitland Mercury, 8 and 11 March 1979, courtesy of Carl Hoipo, Wollombi Historical Society).