|Town/City||Glen Oak NSW|
|Country of Origin||England|
|Date of Birth||1810|
|Year of Arrival in Australia||1854|
|Submitted by||Noel Todd|
It is only speculation as to the motives why my forebears left their homeland, but it can be assumed that the main reason would be a better life. William was one of eight children born into a family that had been in the same county “Durham” since as far as we know the early 16th century and perhaps longer. They had operated a farm “Nutty Hagg” near a small town Byers Green for over two hundred years. At some point around 1830 William left his family home and went to London. He was a Carpenter by trade and he most likely continued his work there. In 1835 he married Ann Green who came from Chelmsford Essex. They had a son William born the same year. Around 1838, probably on the death of his father Christopher the farm was left to the Church that had served the family for hundreds of years, St Andrews Auckland, and the monies gained from rent on this farm has gone to the poor of the area ever since.
The Journey to Australia got off to a strange start. In 1837 William and Wife Ann went to America, they left young William behind in the care of a Great Uncle, we don’t know why, possibly because of unknown dangers. They arrived and settled near New York where they stayed for some time before going to Tennessee where they had a daughter Mary Ann in 1839. They left there sometime after the 1841 English Census and returned to England living in Islington London. It appears that young William was apprenticed as a Carpenter like his father and was left behind to complete his indenture when William, Ann and young Mary Ann boarded the ship “Kate” for their journey to Sydney in late 1853. It appears that the trip was an eventful one at least for my family. There was some angst on board which related to paying passengers having to do some chores on the voyage. My ancestor William was cited as being a troublemaker and referred to by the ships Surgeon as a “Chartist Orator”. We take this to mean he was noted as a leader and speaker for those unhappy with their handling by the ships crew. They didn’t mutiny or anything so bold, but he was fined among others, for his part in the mini-Rebellion.
Sydney was a growing city and buildings had sprung up with little forethought as to the eventual makeup. Unlike Melbourne it was remarkably unplanned, narrow dingy streets bordered the main part not unlike London. Crime was rife and making a living was harder than expected. They chose to stay in the City area and settled at Chippendale in Kensington Street. From what we have found out Williams health deteriorated rapidly after arrival in 1854 and he was confined to home before his death in 1859. Young William took over the finances of the household after arriving in 1856 he went from Adelaide to Braidwood, NSW, presumably for the Goldfields there. He met and married Elizabeth Guest there in 1860 before returning to Sydney to live at Paddington where they had one son William, my Grandfather in 1860.
William Todd 1860 married twice and had three children to those marriages. He then met my Grandmother Harriett Ainger who had been married in Melbourne but was estranged from her husband; she had two children to Frederick Lenke who stayed on in Melbourne. William and Harriett had a further six children, two of whom became well known Boxers, one an Australian champion. He also fathered another champion William “Billy Todd”. My father Frank became a hairdresser and was forever after referred to as “Sweeney Todd” He met my mother Clarice, the daughter of a German immigrant family, married in 1933 and had four sons, the eldest passed away aged only 9 from Tetanus in 1945, injured while celebrating the end of WW2.
My family had its roots in Durham County near Newcastle England and now 200 years later my small family lives in Durham County near Newcastle, NSW Australia. Who knows what lies ahead?