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Top. Photo taken in the grounds of Clarendon during the seven day 'Sesquicentenary Celebrations' November 1988. Below. Architects restored this building, in the beautiful grounds of Clarendon Homestead. Yes, it was the outside 'loo'.

JAMES COX and MARY CONNELL

JAMES COX was aged 14 when he arrived in Australia with brother William Cox Jnr.(later of Hobartville). On 25.6.1804 the vessel "Experiment" brought them to this distant land, where they set about to make a new life. What a reunion it must have been for Rebecca especially, after having to leave her two boys back in England for about four years. JAMES COX actually became a farmer from this time onward, as he worked with his mother Rebecca, for quite a few years, developing the farm at 'Clarendon'. His father was in England for 3 years from 1807 being appointed as Magistrate, shortly after his return to the Hawkesbury. William Cox's 'Clarendon' property at Hawkesbury was very productive, with good strains of breeding sheep and cattle, while Clarendon was a total community - self sufficient village. Young James Cox would have learned fast, the rudiments of running a proficient property, which enabled him to venture out on his own in V.D.L. Some time after he arrived in Australia young William Cox Jun. returned to England and took up a Commission in the N.S.W. Corps. He later married Elizabeth Piper of the seafaring family of Captain John Piper.

James was aged 22 when he married MARY CONNELL on 10th June 1812 at St.John's Church Parramatta, N.S.W. Witnesses were both fathers - William Cox and John Connell. Samuel Marsden officiated !! Mary was a dau/of John and Catherine Connell of Old Sydney Town. The family arrived Sydney aboard "Earl Cornwallis" on 12.6.1801. Catherine was convicted of having stolen shoes (both same foot) in her possession, which had been taken from a shop window by a 10 year old lad named William Hill. Court hearing - quote "that he the said William Hill .... having felionously stolen three pairs of women's leather shoes of the value of fourteen shillings and sixpence, the property of the said George Sargeant at the parish of St.Peter.........they the said John Connell & Catherine Connell then and there well knowing the said shoes to be felionously stolen." end quote. Verdict - William Hill was to be confined for seven days and pay a fine of 1/-. Catherine Connell for receiving the shoes to be transported for 14 years. John Connell to be acquitted." end quote. Copy of trial in hand.

CATHERINE and JOHN CONNELL arrived with two daughters ( ? three) and son ?. However, the name was so well used at the time in Sydney that, after years of research, the family can't be determined accurately. Joan Hatton worked hard, unsuccessfully to determine family lines.

MARY CONNELL b.6th May 1793 at Bristol was the daughter of John & Catherine who married JAMES COX. MARGARET CONNELL was another daughter who married Quartermaster THOMAS LAYCOCK. Margaret Connell b.c.1797 is noted on 1814 census. CATHERINE CONNELL d.1811 Sydney aged 51. The Sydney Gazette states that John gave her a large Masonic funeral. He had become a large landholder, enjoying a long life as a prominent merchant in Pitt Street Sydney. Joseph Fowles (author) wrote about John thus:- "Near a row of low range weatherboard cottages, in the first of which a wealthy old colonist of the name of Connell had resided 49 years - a contrast to the fine brick houses opposite where the widow of the wealthy Samuel Terry lived." end quote.

JOHN CONNELL owned much land in and around Sydney and died aged 90, making his birth c.1759. There is much written about his extensive land holdings and naming of prominent places in Sydney, Hurstville and Kurnell environs, but some of the published material is not always correct. From a web page I read about the Connell Laycock family who owned land on the Kurnell Peninsula. James Birnie owned land adjoining John Connell's, which John bought from him at a later time and where he built 'Alpha Farm' or (Half-A-Farm). I had not had time to indentify his land holdings but it must have been quite extensive. How fortunes changed for John ( my 3 x Great Grandfather.)

WILL - John CONNELL...No.2026. states:- This is my last Will and Testament after payment of my debts (if any)and my funeral and testamentary expenses I give devise and bequeath all my estate both real and personal to my two grandsons JOHN CONNELL LAYCOCK and ELIAS PEARSON LAYCOCK their heirs executors administrators and assigns according to the respective nature and quality thereof as tenants in common and not as joint tenants and I do hereby appoint them residuary legalees and executors of this my last Will and Testament in witness whereofI have hereunto set my hand this 27th day of October 1848 JOHN CONNELL signed by the abovenamed testator in our presence as witnesses. W.Wentworth, Ranulph Dacre, William Thompson. Probate of the Will of John Connell was completed on 29th July 1850.

These pages should give the reader a picture of the background of both James and Mary Cox, who at this time, were planning to move to Tasmania. James goes earlier, on a voyage to Tasmania, where he meets with Mr.Archer and both men rode across the land around Evandale, before James chose land on which to settle. This was just the beginning of an amazing life story.

LIFE IS NOT JUST A DESTINATION

IT IS A JOURNEY TO BE ENJOYED

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Thelma & Matthew at mrbirrell@virginbroadband.com.au