"The Fourth Generation."

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Robert Williams (2nd) and Mary Ann MartinMary Ann MartinRobert Williams

Robert Williams (2nd) was born on 23/5/1860 at Numerella near Cooma. In 1870 his father (John 2nd) took up land in the Bega/ Tantawangalo/ Mogilla district, 380 acres in all. 

The land is said to have been in the name of his two sons, Robert (2nd) & Charles (father of Monty Williams who in 1988 was living at 4 May St. Goulburn at age 87). This was about the last of the "land selections" as little vacant land of any value remained beyond this date.

   (Click photos for full view)

Times were hard on the land and by the time Robert & Charles reached manhood it was particularly so for those on small areas. However, the Bega district with an average rainfall of over 30" made the small holdings a little more attractive than elsewhere.

The 1890's

The depression of the 1890's resulted in widespread hardship, bank closures etc. By this time Robert & Charles had cleared the land which was near Tantawangale/Mogilla and they decided to lease it and go outback looking for any available work they could find.

They tried tank sinking (building farm dams) and such like on properties along the Lachlan & Barwon rivers. Then they tried shearing for a couple of years. Here is a photo of one of the camp sites when they were sinking tanks. Robert Williams is the bearded one sitting on the log.

Camp Site

(Click for full view)
Outback N.S.W.  in the area surrounding the Cobar, Nymagee, Shuttleton & Gilgunnia districts around the turn of the century.

Charles then decided to return to the Bega district. Apparently there was a girl there he was interested in. Robert stayed in the west and went on to have a varied career. There are some suggestions that at one time he managed a station in Queensland. This may not be accurate. I never heard my father ever mention anything about his father's adventures in Queensland. However, he did work outback for a road contractor with gangs of men, horses and drays etc.

Marriage

On the first of May 1886 Robert Williams married Mary Ann Martin at the Catholic Church in Bourke. They met while Robert was working in the Bourke/Louth areas. Mary Martin's parents were involved with a Louth hotel (there were five hotels in Louth during that time) and Mary worked there for a time. In the meantime Robert had sold his share of the Bega land to his brother Charles.

Children of the Marriage

They spent much of their time in the Louth, Cobar, Nymagee, Shuttleton & Gilgunnia areas. These places, apart from Cobar, hardly exist today. Then, they were thriving towns. Here is a photo of

They had eight children, three boys and three girls. Their names were:-

Robert (3rd), born Bourke - 1887

Francis. E, born Bourke - 1888

Maud. M. A, born Bourke - 1891

Ellen. E. (Nellie), born Bourke - 1892

Edith. A. (Edie), born Cobar - 1894

Oswald. Arthur (Arthur) Our ancestor, born Gilgunnia -1896

Ivy I, born Hillston -1899

Lindsay Lee, (Lee), born Cobar - 1901

Outcome of the Marriage

Mary Ann was deaf for most of her life. She never did hear her husband's voice. Folks who could, spoke to her by using their hands.

Robert (2nd) & Mary Ann separated after the children had grown up. She moved to Hurlstone Park and he remained out west. He died in Parkes and is supposed to be buried in the Parkes cemetery.

(Click for full view)

"Pray for the soul of
Robert Williams
of Wongawood
Died 7 August 1927
Aged 67 years
R.I.P."

(Click for full view)

(Photos courtesy Gavin & Angela Leary)

"Wongawood"

It appears as though Robert probably owned this station "Wongawood" which comprises 26,000 acres and is situated on the left/hand side of the Kidman Way approximately 40 kms north of Mt. Hope when heading for Cobar.

In the early 1930's the property was sold by Bob Williams (the eldest son of Robert Williams who subsequently married Annie McLennan) to the Charles William Nicholson and it remained in the Nicholson family for more than fifty years. The present owner (2004) is John Fitzgerald.

This information was obtained courtesy of the Great Cobar Heritage Centre, John Collins cobarmus@cobar.au to whom we are grateful

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