Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Walking in their footsteps Part 4: Gillawarrina to Girilambone
Gillawarrina, near Trangie
From old electoral rolls, I found out that my great-grandfather, William H NORTHCOTE, (and presumably his wife and family) was living in the district of Bogan in the police district of Dubbo, on the Macquarie River at a place called "Gillawarna" between 1881-1882, as cited on the electoral roll:
I couldn't find references to this place on the internet but found reference to a place called "Gillawarrina" in a book from our local library about the history of Warren, a town nearby. This led me to a map on the internet which led me to suspect that Gillawarrina was a property on the Macquarie River, just outside of Trangie.
So, while driving along a back road between Trangie and Warren, in the hope of finding this property, we came across a gate and a letterbox with the word "Gillawarrina" printed on them. This had to be the place where my ancestors lived and probably worked as farm hands.
We didn't disturb the owners of this place by driving through their gates but we could see an old homestead from the road that could possibly have been where my ancestors lived all those years ago.
This was a wonderful feeling, to stand on the roadside, near the entrance to this property, knowing that this was the place where my ancestors probably walked many times in and out of the gates.
We drove on through the Wambianna Road and reached the town of Warren. My ancestors lived here around 1871-1876.
Although I didn't know of any ancestors in the cemetery, I couldn't resist having a look anyway. One thing I have noticed about some western NSW towns is the wrought iron signage that seems to appear a lot in the cemeteries and towns. I suppose it lasts a lot longer in the heat and wind than other types of signs.
This was a tiny little railway town where my ancestors lived in the 1883-1884 period. They lived near the railway line. There were only a few houses near the railway line when we visited and a church, St Thomas'.
This town was much bigger than we expected. We travelled through it once on Sunday evening and once on Wednesday at lunch time when the place was quite busy. Great choice of places to eat with even gluten-free and vegetarian options in some cafes.
It seems that Nyngan was also a Cobb & Co coach stop in earlier years:
Yet another of my great uncles was born at along this trek from Sydney to Bourke. Arthur Francis NORTHCOTE was born in Girilambone in 1884.
The dirt is red and the grasses are soft green in this little place.
The old railway station is a shadow of its former self.
Next blogpost ... Bourke (Part 5)