Ballina & Richmond River GenWeb

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Past Queries

All queries may now be posted directly to the Richmond-Tweed Message Board at the NSWGenWeb.  Below is a list of queries submitted prior to creation of the board:

Ballina Fire Station

We would love to add information about the Ballina Fire Station to our historical buildings page, however we can't seem t access anything appropriate.  If anyone has information they would like to share with us we would love to hear from you.  Thank You.

Robert Muirhead Letter

The letter from Robert Muirhead to Mr Samford gives many clues about the life of the Muirheads at the time. Robert was writing from Carrington in Newcastle, where his family had settled after migrating from Scotland in 1857. The letter was dated Dec 1890. By January 1891 I know the Muirheads were residing in Ballina. Why Robert & Catherine (nee Murdoch) left their extended family in Newcastle & moved to Ballina, I do not know, but this has caused much speculation on my behalf.

Obviously Mr Samford has something to do with the sale of the mentioned land to Robert Muirhead. I would like to find out who Mr Samford was. Was he the owner of the mentioned farm, a bank manager or real estate agent of the time?

The James mentioned would be Robert's brother James Muirhead, who was the first person buried in the New East Ballina Cemetery. James lived with Robert & Catherine on the corner of Ross & Bentick Streets (Glenshae) in his later life.

Interestingly enough, Robert's eldest daughter, Alexina, married Arthur Hancock. Unfortunately we do not know if the Mr Hancock refered to is Arthur's father Charles, but it would seem likely.

The Mr Padmore is another mystery. Older members of the Muirhead/Hancock family are familiar with the Padmore name. In fact they believe Mr James Padmore was later refered to as Sir Padmore. Some believe he may have been a brother-in-law of Robert or possibly a step-brother. I am very keen to find out more about the Padmore family. I have found reference to the Padmores in the Index to the Northern Star during 1891 & 1892. There appears to be a Mr J. Padmore, Mrs Padmore, Miss Padmore & Master Padmore. James was on the first Ballina Hospital Committee.

The Diary of Edmund Ross states that on Tuesday 5th October 1893, he attended a hospital meeting to deal with the resignation of Mr Padmore, who was being transfered to Sydney. At this stage, work on the Ballina Hospital had not commenced. The first 'peg' was in fact repositioned on the same day as Mr Padmore's resignation was dealt with. I would be very interested in discovering what line of work would have seen Mr Padmore transfered at this stage. Unfortunately I have been unable to discover any other reference to the Padmores.

Both the Hancock & Muirhead families lived at Emigrant Point at one stage. Charles Hancock & Richard Durrington owned a property right on the point. I am curious as to whether the property adjoining this may have been purchased by the Muirheads. Peruisal of maps so far only lists the land's ownership as the Australian Joint Stock Bank Limited. I wonder if Mr Samford may have worked for them?

Any information on any of the people or incidents mentioned would be gratefully received.

Contact: Donna Williams

Muirhead Mystery - do you know this face?

The photo below is of Catherine Muirhead (nee Murdoch) & an unknown girl. I would like to find out the identity of the younger girl. Perhaps she is a sister of Catherine's. Catherine was born at Allandale near Maitland & grew up at Carrington, Newcastle. After her marriage to Robert Muirhead (also of Carrington) they moved to Ballina (1891). The photo of Catherine was taken by Robert to China, where he had a large oil portrait of his wife painted. Any help most welcome.

Any one who could help Donna Williams solve this mystery, please feel free to contact her.

Thearle Family

I am researching the Thearle Family, and would be very greatful for anything you could tell me. James Richard Thearle is listed in the 1903 Electoral Roll for Ballina, as a publican. Also included is a Mary Anne Thearle, who could be his daughter. Emily Jane Thearle, daughter of James Richard and Elizabeth Thearle married Robert James Garrett in 1892 in Ballina. Robert was a hotelkeeper in Broadwater in the 1903 Electoral Roll.

Another daughter, Theresa Mary Thearle, married John Rodgers in Ballina in 1895.

Anyone who may be able to help Monica with her query, please feel free to contact her.

Presbyterian Ladies Guild 1905

Below is a photo of the first Ballina Presbyterian Ladies Guild which was established in 1905. We have named people identified in the photo, but would love to hear from anyone who can establish the identities of the persons we don't know. Anyone who can help please contact Donna Williams.

Standing ----, ----, ------, J Hunter Mrs Gray, ----, ----.

Sitting (middle) ----, ---- ----- Ann Gibson ----- Mrs Muirhead

Front ----- ------- Elizabeth Thomas (later Mrs Pearson) Secretary

Unidentified Locals

This photo was found among photos of the Meerschaum Vale Lovetts (James & Clara Lovett's descendants to be precise). There are certainly quite a few men present. I have several queries you may be able to help me with.

Firstly, there are definitely some trophies on top of the box, centre. This suggests the men belonged to some club or sporting organisation. What on Earth are the items crossed over in front of the trophy box?

Secondly, does anyone recognise any of these men?

Anyone who can help please contact Donna Williams.

Please post new queries directly to the Richmond-Tweed Message Board at the NSWGenWeb.  Thank You.


Copy of page originally transcribed by Mandy O'Neill (content remains unedited)
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