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Crossingham Family History
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Richard & Rose Crossingham

Background re Richard

*The name Crossingham was originally Crassingham. In Old English (Saxon), the elements of the name would be Cross/Crass /ing /ham and were common words used in place names: Ham meaning homestead or settlement; mg meaning either meadow, pasture, place or follower of/ son of; Crass = Cross or cross road.
*( 7'Within a Walk of the Sea" by Sr Claudia (Mavis) Doyle, Joyce Ormsby, Margaret Rosberg and Heather Smith.)

On 14 June 1838, Richard Crossingham and his wife Henrietta, their two sons, Richard and Peter, with his brother Thomas and his wife Sarah sailed aboard the 'Coromandel' (a barque of 662 tons) from Plymouth. The families were from Icklesham, Sussex. The 'Coromandel' docked on Tuesday 2nd October, 1838. Henrietta had been pregnant when they left, and gave birth to a daughter, Kezia Coromandel, on board, on 13th July.

The Crossinghams apparently left Sydney for the Hunter on the "Sophia Jane", on 8th October. (Records show that one of their two sons, Peter, was buried on Sydney, on 9th, but they were unable to wait for the funeral, as they had obtained work). Both Richard & Henrietta would have worked on farms and properties in the Hunter Valley.

By 1856/1857 they had saved money to buy land at Holey Flat, on Pipe Clay Creek in the Manning Valley. By then they had had ten children, three of whom were deceased. Their fifth child was Thomas (b. 22/12/1840 at Narrowgut).

Thomas married Margaret Morrow (b. Dublin, Ireland~ 1852) at Taree, on 25/10/1866. They produced twelve children. Richard Crossingham (b. 27 Feb. 1894) was the youngest.

When Richard (Dick) turned 21, in 1915, his parents made the farm over to him. He wished to loin the Navy, (W.W.1) but his parents needed him to manage the farm. His sister, Maggie, (Margaret Jane), had been engaged to a young soldier, George Reckits (Spelling?). He was killed in the war, and Maggie never married. Dick and Maggie managed the property and household, and cared for the old folk, until they passed away, in 1931, within weeks of each other.

Dick and his neighbour, Clarrie Emerton, shared the purchase of a Fordson tractor. It had metal wheels - the front ones, grooved around the circumference; the rear ones, cleated. The seat was metal, like a plough-seat. The tractor ran on power kerosene. It was the only tractor in the district. Also7 Dick separated the cream from the milk in his dairy, with an Alpha Laval Separator1 belt-driven by a Dangar Geddye & Mallock diesel. (Spelling could be 'way-out!'). The exhaust pipe jutted from the wall. The characteristic diesel crack! and sound above the normal human hearing-range annoyed Spike, the black Kelpie/Cattledog. He'd run at the exhaust pipe, bite at it, then stand up on his hind legs and dance, while howling dismally! Poor dog!

Dick's first car was a brown 1926 Model T Ford. At the local beaches, (Harrington, North Haven, Port Macquarie and Forster/Tuncurry) with farmer-friends, - such as Peter and Alice McGovern and family, - on Sunday picnics, the running board made a great seat. In the old T Ford, he courted Rose Hanly, Mrs. Alice McGovern 5 sister. She used to come to Stewart's River to help her sister, whenever Alice and Peter had an addition to their family. Dick and Rose were married on 10th August, 1932.

Rose cried when the old Ford was sold, in 1938. Their next car was a Hillman Minx. In the war, the tyres were unavailable, because narrow-wheel-base tyres weren't manufactured. So the Hillman was kept for emergencies: The petrol coupons were handy, during war-time rationing, but the family vehicle was a Nash sedan. Dick kept an old Nash Ute, too, to take the tomatoes and other produce to John's River Railway Station for markets at Honey-Suckle Point or Sydney. Wood for the fires was collected from "The Big Hill", in the ute. For many years, old Nugget, the Shire Draught Horse had brought in the wood by slide or dray. Dick's last car was a Buick, which he drove until he passed away, after years of indifferent health, in 1952, at the age of fifty eight.

Dick and Rose had four children:

Margaret Rose, born 15/06/1933. Schools - Stewarts River: St Joseph's Convent, Taree; St Joseph's College Lochinvar. Tertiary Ed.- Newcastle Teachers' College; UNE Armidale, (B.A.). Career -36 yrs Teaching, NSW E.D.. Retired, December 1987. Last position: Principal, Allambie Heights Primary School.
Richard Thomas, born 19/12/'34. Schools - Stewarts River; St Joseph's Convent Cundletown; Patrician Brothers Ryde; Taree High School. After the Intermediate, he worked for a year for NSWG Railway, before joining the Navy. He then worked for a chemical company, until early retirement, as the result of an industrial accident.

Pauline Annette, born 05/08/'38. Schools - Stewarts River, St Joseph's Convent Taree, St Joseph's College, Lochinvar. Tertiary Ed.- Sydney Teachers' College; Sydney University. Began teaching career in Junior Secondary, at Canterbury Girls HS. Is now approaching retirement after many years in an executive position at Kambala College, Rose Bay.

Elizabeth Therese, born 14/05/44. Schools - Stewarts River; St Joseph's Convent, Taree. Elizabeth began training as a Psychiatric Nurse, but health problems prevented her completing the course. She has worked at various occupations through the years, and she and her family have established a beautiful home not far from Karuah.

Richard and Rose always put their children first and made many sacrifices to help them on their way. All children had the opportunity to learn music.

Rose was a pianist, and wrote many songs. She also self-published a book of her poems, at the ripe old age of eighty-one!

Both were well-loved and respected members of the Stewarts River farming community. Richard was a very compassionate and generous man. He gave a helping hand to his in-laws, Mick and Denny - and many others. He had a dry sense of humour and really enjoyed a beer and a yarn. He was sadly missed, after his too-early demise!

Kindly contributed by: Margaret Hayes

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