Thursday, 26 July 2012

The Hazelton's of Albion Park

Edward Hazelton was tried at Bury St Edmunds Assizes, Suffolk, for stealing a sheep belonging to Ambrose Stewart, and was sentenced to death. The sentence was later revoked to life in the penal colony NSW.

Edward spent two years on a prison hulk before being transported on the Marquis of Hastings, arriving in Australia 3rd January 1826. He was described as 33 years old, complexion brown, eyes dark grey, hair brown. On his arrival he was assigned to Mr. Icely at Bathurst, where he worked as a groom. Seven years later Edward was granted his Ticket of Leave and moved to the Illawarra where he worked for Captain Weston at ‘Macquarie Gift’ (Albion Park).

In 1836 Edward married Hannah Herring (his wife in  England, Jane, had remarried) and they had 11 children. In 1856 they moved to Stockyard Mountain, Yellow Rock, where Edward had purchased land, and they lived in their small house ‘Coobee’ for 11 years. Edward died in 1868 and was buried at the Old Sand Cemetery at Shellharbour.

Edward and Hannah’s son, Edward Hazelton, married Anne Green in 1865 and farmed at Tongarra for many years. He was on the committee for the construction of Stockyard Mountain School, which opened in 1880.

During the great fire of 1909, Edward and Anne’s farm was entirely burnt out. Edward 2nd died in 1919.

Edward Hazelton 3rd married Anne Murphy in 1906 and spent his lifetime in the district employed for many years as a Health Inspector for Shellharbour Council and later operated a  successful business as a storekeeper at Albion Park. His chief interest was in the School of Arts at Albion Park for which he did much work. He was a member of the Independent Order of Oddfellows at Shellharbour.

Edward 3rd was said to have been ever glad to do a good turn and took an intelligent and helpful interest in public life and the community. He died in 1931 and was buried in the All Saints Church of England Cemetery at Albion Park

Some of Shellharbour’s most well known families are descendants of Edward Hazelton, including Raison, Jordan, Green, Clarke, Foster, Sawtell, Haddin, Prior, Gower and Grey.


Hazelton's Store in Flinders Street (Tongarra Road), Albion Park c.1916
Shellharbour Images Shellharbour City Libraries.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Organising Your Memorabilia Workshop

Local Curator Eva Castle will conduct a workshop during Family History Week to help you organise your family history memorabilia; photographs, objects, and information.

The workshop will run from 1.30pm - 4.00pm on Thursday 2 August 2012 at the Wollongong City Council Administration building Level 9, Burelli Street Wollongong.

Gold coin entry - bookings are essential contact Helen 4225 9223.

Please bring along at least one of the following to the workshop
·        up to 5 photographs
·        Up to 2 objects
·        One photo album (or copy of a page)
·        A good magnifying glass.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

The Allen Family Store

Walter Allen established a general store and residence in Addison Street Shellharbour and worked as a storekeeper from 1868 selling ironmongery and haberdashery. He conducted a Post Office from 1871 from the front room of his house.

Clothing and other goods needed by the residents of Shellharbour were ordered by catalogue through the post office and arrived by boat and later by rail. The Post Master had to deliver mail weekly on horseback to Albion Park.

Walter Allen conducted the store and post office until his death from typhoid, in 1876. His widow, Mrs. Charlotte Allen (nee: Dunster) carried on as storekeeper and post mistress until her death in 1882, when members of the family continued the business as Allen Bros.

A report from the Illawarra Steam Navigation Book 1912 describes Messrs Allen Bros ‘always ready to assist visitors planning excursions in the district’ suggesting the store met tourists demands for fishing tackle, bathing and boating at the turn of the century.

Allen’s store has had some modifications to the original building over the years, however, much of the original building still remains.

The original cash register from Allens store and a photograph album and bible  belonging to Kathleen and Gwen Allen (Walter and Charlotte's granddaughters) are part of the Tongarra Museum collection.

Allen Bros Post Office and Store c.1900
Shellharbour Images Shellharbour City Libraries.

Page from Kathleen Allen's photograph album c.1917, taken at Dunster's Hill, Shellharbour.
Tongarra Museum collection


The Aboriginal name for Shellhabour has been recorded as both Yerrowah (meeting place), and Wonwin, (place where there were big fish). The Eurpoean name Shellharbour refers to the large quanitites of shells found in Aboriginal middens along the foreshore in the early to mid 19th century. Due to the mining of shells in the mid 19th century for the production of lime these vast middens no longer remain. 

Shellharbour City falls within the tribal area Wodi Wodi (or Wadi Wadi); a subdivision of a larger tribal grouping called the Dharawal (Thuruwal) which extends from the southern side of Botany Bay to the Jervis Bay area.

The Wodi Wodi are known to have camped in several locations throughout the city including Tullimbar (Tongarra), Macquarie Rivulet, Peterborough (Shellharbour Village), Long Point (Bass Point), Lake Illawarra and Minnamurra. Sites in Shellharbour with particular Aboriginal cultural significance include locations where there were camps and settlements, hunting, fishing and gathering grounds, burial grounds and story places.

It has been proposed the Wodi Wodi remained on the coastal plains during the warmer months; taking advantange of abundant marine resources. In the cool winter months they moved to  higher ground and rock shelters closer to the escarpment. Lake Illawarra was used as a good food source throughout the year.

According to reminisences by EH Weston dating from the 1860s, Tullimbar was a powerful elder of the Aboriginal people who lived in the Macquarie Valley. Tullimbar visited Mr Weston's farm every Saturday for flour, sugar and tobacco. He lived to a great age but in later years lost his sight. Members of his clan would tie him to a stake driven into the gound to ensure his safety at night. One night when he was cold, he came loose from the stake and accidently rolled into the fire. Sadly he was so badly burnt he died the following day.

Perhaps the most photographed Aborigine in New South Wales was Mickey Johnston. Mickey was born in Port Stephens about 1834 and arrived in the area as a young boy. He joined the local tribe in his adult years. Mickey's wife Rosie is believed to have been a Wodi Wodi tribal member. She was with Mickey by the 1860s and supported him in his dealings with the growing Eurpoean community in Shellharbour. Like Mickey, Rosie was a communicator and somehow managed to bridge the gap between the two communities.

The local Wodi Wodi  clan was known to have camped at Bass Point during the summer months when Clorinda and Samuel Atchison farmed there in the late 1800s. Clorinda often spoke to her family of times when Rosie Johnston would bring members of the tribe to her; to dress their sores and wounds. Rosie was also very fond of Clorinda's baked custards.

The local community recognised Mickey and Rosie's standing as noted by Mickey's coronation in 1896 at the Wollongong Show where he was crowned King Mickey; however no recognition was given to him or the Wodi Wodi tribe in terms of land, hunting ground or water supply. They were pushed out on to land that no European settlers had claimed.

It was reported that Mickey Johnston on the occasion of his crowning at the Wollongong Show was asked whether or not he had been invited to attend the coronation of King Edward VII in London. Mickey replied that he had not, however he was not expecting an invitation as he had not invited the King to his own coronation.

Members of the public built a small furnished cabin at Minnamurra for Rosie in her old age. Mickey died in 1906 from pneumonia at his Minnamurra camp aged 72 and Rosie died in 1923.

Shellharbour City Council Area Aboriginal Heritage Study June 2000.

Organ, Michael 1993. Illawarra and South Coast Aborigines 1770-1900, Aboriginal Education Unit, The University of Wollongong.

Shellharbour Images Shellharbour City Libraries.

Mickey Johnston
Shellharbour Images Shellharbour City Libraries.