Thomas Henry King - The Story Unfolds - Peters Genealogy Page

Peters Genealogy Page



And his known

Descendants 1838 - 2008


Peter Thomas Richards

Great-Great Grandson


How the story unfolded:

My father's sister's Zena's husband, Wally Bradburne, had for years been searching for BDM Certificates for his Bradburne family and that of his wife Zena Gralton's family.

After Wally's death in 2004, his daughter Hazel McMillan, started putting the information that Wally had collected over the past thirty years into some sort of order.

It was at this time that I took up the challenge to find Maries Birth Cirtificate.

The information on my Grandmother, Mary Guthrie Ford, was sketchy as we had no details except for her two marriage certificates and her death certificate. The marriage certificate contained the name of her mother, Ellen Jane King from Strathbogie Station New England, and her father a William Ford. Her death certificates stated that her father was Charles Ford. The marriage certificates led me to Strathbogie sheep station in New England.

I met with the present day owner Mr. Tim Fairfax, of the Fairfax newspaper family, and visited the property on 16 April 2005. There I took photographs and video footage of the property and homestead. From there Rhonda and I proceeded to the Glen Innes Historical Society where we found the Great granddaughter of the minister who married Grandmother Marie Ford's Grandmother and Grandfather - Thomas Henry King and Harriett Jones.

Eve Chappell (nee Cameron) was responsible for supplying a great deal of history on Strathbogie and put me in touch with Anita Page in Woy Woy NSW. Anita had years before contacted her in connection with her father John Alexander Page's mother Ellen Jane King and Ellen's father Thomas Henry King. Anita later supplied BDM Certificates and further information.

From Glen Innes we proceeded to Kempsey on the coast and thence a few kilometers north to Frederickton where the Gralton's spent their first few years in the new Colony of New South Wales. That is another story.

From Frederickton we headed for Piggabeen near Tweed Heads. After finding Piggabeen Road and finding a spot that looked like a farm we took some photos and then decided to visit the Tweed Heads Historical Society.

Upon arrival they were having their AGM and when we returned a hour or so later and asked about local Pioneer George Ford they could not do enough for us. Maps were produced, certificates and newspaper clippings followed and then information given to the society by May Sorenson about George Ford and his daughter Cecilia Ford. There was also a long and detailed story by Beryl Hunt about her father Joseph Saunders Trembath, who had married Cecilia Ford. The most surprising information was concerning the death of George Ford in 1915 at the Paxton Villa Farm at Piggabeen. Our information was that George had returned to Scotland after Marie was born, about 1893, never to be heard from again. Before we left Tweed Heads we visited the grave of George Ford.

May Sorenson's and Beryl Hunt's information led me in many directions and eventually in the phone directory I found Cecil Trembath, aged 86, in Wavell Heights and from there to Juliette Coghill, then aged 70, in Nambour. Cecil also put me in touch with Jean Duinsing and John Cope in Sydney.

After finding and then talking to May Sorenson I was put in touch with her Granddaughter Michelle and her mother Leonie.

Juliette Coghill has kept a wealth of information on her Grandfather Joseph Saunders Trembath and other members of the family. I have since traced Josephs family back to the 1600's in Cornwall.

All of the above had fragmented information on each of the various families and when all of this information was put together we have a wonderful story which I have woven from the central character of Ellen Jane King, the daughter of Thomas Henry King from China.

Since the story was first told there have been some wonderful first meeting of various members of the families.

I am happy to report that on Saturday 11 June 2005 May Sorenson and her husband Werner together with May's daughter Leonie visited me at Bridgeman Downs and when May saw a photo of Cecil Trembath, then aged 86, she was very keen to meet him as he lived at nearby Wavell Heights. This was the first meeting of a half brother and a half sister who had never met in all those years.

I have received numerous phone calls, over the last few months, from Beryl Hunt in Boston USA and she has a wonderful memory of her father Joseph Saunders Trembath and her childhood in Tweed Heads.

On 16 August 2005 I visited May and Werner on the Gold Coast and as Michelle Downey had arranged to visit the old Ford Farm the next day we all met with the present day owner Robin Dawes at the farm in Piggabeen Road. It turned out to be the same farm I had photographed on 19 April 2005. There is some video footage of this visit and it shows where the Ford house and old Dairy once stood.

A very special thanks to Ellen Thelma Hanscomb, the daughter of Eleanor Georgina Bertha May Ford, who was my Grandmother Marie Fords half sister. Ellen turned 90 on 25 October 2005.

I am sure there are other who have contributed to this story and they all have my sincere thanks.

Peter Richards