Ballina & Richmond River GenWeb

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The founder of the Heugh family on the Richmond River was William Heugh. William was born in Airth, near Stirling in Scotland in 1807. He was the son of the farmer Robert Heugh & Janet Watt.

William & family emigrated in 1833. They landed at Hobart & stayed there for a short while. The family then sailed to NSW & settled at Maitland in the Hunter Valley. Soon after arriving at Maitland William's wife & daughter died. This left a family of two. William entered a contract to marry Tepir Logan, but she died on 21st June 1841, before the wedding took place. William then married Elizabeth Stevenson in 1844. Elizabeth had emigrated from the Isle of Islayin 1840, with her parents & settled at West Matland.

William & Elizabeth had 10 children at Maitland. Two died in infancy. They included: Robert (1845), Isabella (1847), Elizabeth (1849), William (1851 - 1918), Agnes C. (1853), Alexander (1857), Colin Stevenson (1859 - 1939), & Mary (1863).

William became a successful merchant & the family prospered at Maitland in the 1840's & 50's. William owned some shops in West Maitland, candle & soap factories at Morpeth & West Maitland, a flour mill using wheat imported from Valpariaso, a bacon factory, a tobacco factory, as well as a timber depot & a soap factory at Stockton. William either bought or built quite a few sailing ships which he used for trade along the shores of the colonies. Some of his ships were the brigantines: 'Anna Maria' & 'Douglas'; the schooners: 'Gem', 'Cyclone', 'Jane', 'Chase', 'Rose' & 'Pioneer'; a ketch named 'Caroline'. There was also the 'Isabella' & the 'William Barry Brown'. The William Barry Brown is believed to have foundered on the Ballina bar with loss of all hands.

The red gold (cedar) of the Richmond River attracted the interest of William Heugh. His ships took cedar from the Richmond to Newcastle & Sydney. While still living in Maitland, William had a hardware store in Ballina, on the River Bank. William also had a timber camp at Emigrant Creek. The Hardware Store was managed firstly by James Stevenson & later by Ewen McKinnon. The timber camp was managed by M. M. Campbell.

Between 1857 & 1863 the Hunter River experienced disasterous floods. William Heugh suffered heavy financial losses & his properties were sold up, including his vessels Anna Maria, Gem, Cyclone, Jane, Chase & Caroline.

William decided to relocate his family to the Richmond River. The youngest child, Mary, was only 18 months old when they set sail in late 1864. William took up 600 acres on the river bank at Pimlico. Here they built their home: 'Pimlico House'. This was either the first or second house errected at Pimlico.

The family started to clear the land of timber. Cedar, beech & pine were marketable timber, so were sold. They rowed a boat to church in Wardell. he Heugh family grew sugar cane, potatoes, bananas, pineapple, corn & cabbages. Some bee-hives were kept too.

The Heugh family was quite self sufficient. They often killed & salted down their own meat. They had a well tended vegetable garden & pigs as well.

William Heugh was a literate man who valued education highly. He was a deacon of the Free Church of Scotland in Maitland & was invloved in the establishment & running of the High School in Maitland. William sent his sons to Maitland to be educated. His eldest son, Robert, was awarded a prixe in "classics" in 1855. William was also on the committee which established Wardell Public School. All of the Heugh children were well educated.

Elizabeth Heugh died in 1884 & William in 1886 at 'Pimlico House'. At the time of William's death, his living children were: Robert, William, Alec, Colin, Isabella, Elizabeth & Mary.

Robert Heugh died in 1887.

Isabella Heugh married Alexander Macdonald in 1868. Their Children included: Catherine (1869) &Elizabeth Flora (1871).

Elizabeth C. Heugh married Alexander MacPherson in 1892. Their children included: Donald F.M.K (1897).

William Heugh junior married Agnes Maclean (nee Johnston) in 1881. William died in 1918. There were three children of this marriage: Elizabeth C. S. (1883 - Mrs S. R. Percival of Brisbane), Agnes C. (1885 - 1943) & William Alexander (1888 - 1964). William Alexander stayed on part of the original selection as a cane farmer & married Kate Percival (born 1887). They had four children: Margaret (1922 Mrs C. MacKenzie, Canberra), William (1923 Ballina), Allan (1925) & Neville (1927 Croydon, Ballina & other places).

Agnes C. married Charles D. C. Mathews in 1906.

Alexander Heugh married Emily Honnball in 1884. Alexander died in 1942. Their children included: David M. C. M (1890), Elizabeth L.C. (1892), Alexander B. S. (1893), Henrietta E. (1896), Matilda M. (1899), Alice H. H (1902) & William C. K (1904).

Colin Stevenson Heugh married Sarah Emma (parents Samuel William & Kezia). Colin died in 1939 & Sarah in 1942. Their children included: Elizabeth W. (1989 - 1989), Colin C. S. (1890 - 1891), Samuel G. B. (1893), Robert C. (1895), Kezzie (1897 - 1898) & Ronald S. (1902).

Mary Heugh married Henry Haas in 1884. Their children included: William H. (1885), Henry H. (1886), Elizabeth C. S (1890), Henry J. (1896), Robert (1901) & Aggie (1901).


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