Graham Theaker's Ancestry
Graham and I share a common ancestors in Thomas Theaker and Sarah Watson. Graham is descended from their eldest boy William, and I am descended from his brother, James.
William Theaker married Thomasin Freeman in 1842 at Ripon in Yorkshire. He married a second time before migrating to Australia where he died in 1898.
Graham's father Clayton Freeman Theaker was one of 9 children to Thomas Freeman Theaker ( grandson of William). His dad is 86 and is the only one of his generation still alive. He had a brother Watson Henry Theaker and they had an uncle James Watson Theaker born 22/1/1879.
William Theaker was the man that took Graham's family to the other side of the world. William and his family arrived in Australia July 24th 1863. The traveled on the Golden Empire which was owned by TM Mackay and Company - The Black Ball Line. The ships of the Black Ball Line were famed for the discipline of their crews and the speed of the passages. There is a shanty about the Black Ball line that can be found on the web. Mary Theaker, one of William's daughters died of consumption February 8th 1864, which was about six months after they arrived. The Golden Empire left London April 4th 1863, called in at an Irish port, and sailed to Moreton Bay, now Brisbane. The ship had a displacement of 1218 tons and had on board 366 adults plus children under 12, plus crew.
Below is an extract from the Harrisville Centenary Celebrations,
1963. Page 14. Some early pioneers.
Mr. William Theaker migrated from Yorkshire in 1863. He
first worked on Loamside, Yahmanto for Dr. Chandler. After two years he selected
Crown Land at Mutdapilly in what was then known as Warrill Creek Agricultural
Reserve, and began cotton growing and dairying.
He brought from England a wife, a son James, and
daughters Sarah and Annie. James, about 18 at the time, later married Miss Mary
Daly of Peak Crossing and also settled at Mutdapilly, where he grazed cattle and
also bred and raced thoroughbred horses.
Annie married Mr. Bryan Wells of Ebeneezer, who became
the Clerk of the Normanby Divisional Board at Mutdapilly, and later the Normanby
Shire Council at Harrisville.
James Theaker died August 11, 1930, aged 86. He was
survived by seven sons, Thomas, William, James, Samuel, Benjamin, George and
Albert - and daughter Catherine, who became Mrs. William Boyle of Harrisville.
Samuel and Albert still live on part of the property at Mutdapilly.
Thomas was reared by his grandfather, the original
William Theaker, from an early age, and the property was transferred to him in
1894. Thomas married Miss Matilda Hines, a descendant of another Mutdapilly
pioneer, and lived on the property until his death in 1951.
Thomas, James and Benjamin were councillors of the old
Normanby Shire. Thomas and James both served time as Chairman. Thomas resigned
as Chairman in 1911 to begin 28 years as Shire Clerk.
Walter and Arthur Theaker, sons of Thomas, still live
on the original property. Walter's family is the fifth generation to have been
reared there. Another son, Watson, lives on an adjoining property. His
grandchildren, Russell Nutley, son of Mrs. C. Nutley, of Ipswich, and Gaye
Vogel, daughter of Mrs. R. Vogel of Boonah, represent the sixth generation.
Extracts from Memories of
Mutdapilly 1824-1974 pp 41&42
Albert Theaker of Mutdapilly
When the reader has read this
history he will have noted that the name of Theaker being connected with most of
the history. Indeed, that family history is one of its own. Suffice here to add
that it is still held in high respect.
For this booklet we were
fortunate to be able to interview the oldest surviving member of the Theaker
family in the person of Mr. Albert Theaker, now 83 years of age.
When we called to record his
family history we found him still living alone after forty years in his
parents? old home built 64 years ago. It is not far away from the original
Theaker property now occupied by Mr. Walter Theaker and family.
William Theaker, Albert?s
grandfather, and his father, James Theaker, arrived in the Mutdapilly District
in 1863. Albert?s mother was Mary Daly, and they settled near the ?Leg O?
Mutton?, so called because the boundaries form that shape, and the flat nearby
called the ?Lambing Flat?; each of which was part of the Normanby Station
which dates from 1843. Normanby station reached to within seven miles of Ipswich
Mr. Albert Theaker claims
that his father was ? next to Jonathan Pampling ? the first man to settle
there, and at the same time as Robert Mclaughlin. Mclaughlin got his land for 30
cents an acre, but Albert?s father did not get any cheap land and had to pay
eight to ten dollars an acre which was very dear in those days.
Mr. Theaker?s father was a
horse breeder and cattleman. At one time he would have 100 horses and 400 head
of beef cattle. Sugar planters were ready buyers of draught horses. An average
price for beef cattle was one dollar a head.
Home baked bread and corn
scones with salt meat and vegetables built strong bodies. There were plenty of
fish in the creeks and big eels were caught in the Ten Mile Swamp, and salted
for future use.
Theakers did not go in for
sheep which were troubled with foot rot and lung worm in that area. They
concentrated on pigs which were cured at Paddy Collins? factory, and on horses
and cattle. They traveled the cattle down the present route of the Cunningham
Highway until just past the Ten Mile Swamp where the old road turned right and
crossed a bridge over Warrill Creek (near Milne?s property today). It was
called the ?Poley Bridge? because it had no guard rails and came out onto
the old Warwick Road; the railway siding named Loamside was later situated
there. The aborigines called the Loamside area ?Yahmanto?, the meaning for
which has been lost.
The pack drays and bullock
teams from Ipswich to the Darling Downs, over Spicer?s Gap, went from the One
Mile at Ipswich through Peak Crossing, then past Dinner Camp Gully at Milora and
on to Fassifern.
The bullock teams carrying
loads from the Lockyer and Rosevale areas passed through Mutdapilly to connect
with the old Warwick Road, and Albert still points to the deep ruts of the old
bullock wagons in Pamplings paddock, now Gimpel?s property.
This connecting road was
called the Two Chain Road, and Albert remembers an old pub kept by a ?bloke
called Duggan?. He remembers the pub very well because his brother, Bill, used
to perform a very pleasant duty for their old school teacher, Mr. Kelleher. Bill
Theaker rode to school on a horse and was the messenger, who, on numerous
occasions, was sent to pick up a bottle or two by the teacher for his
Albert?s father was
overstocked when the drought of 1902/03 came; besides nobody had bothered to
make dams or dig wells and install windmills. They had depended on the creek for
too long. His father had 400 head of cattle and 100 horses when the drought
started; they lost most of them.
Albert said that nobody
backed his father, not even Cribbe & Foote. They had made a bit of money out
of pigs and bacon before the drought. A good baconer fetched two dollars in
those days ? which was a ?good price?.
Albert remembers when the
Mutdapilly Divisional Board was separated from that area, and the Normanby
Divisional Board started at Mutdapilly opposite the school. He saw the first
office of the Board being built by Jack and George Beirs of Ipswich, who also
built the house he lives in. Albert?s brother, Thomas, was later to serve on
the Board in the various positions of, Councillor, Chairman, and Clerk for 25
years. Thomas married Matilda Hines, daughter of another Mutdapilly pioneer,
Chas Hines. Their father, James Theaker, died in 1930, aged 86. Albert lives in
the old home alone. He explained because of this the locals sometimes called him
?Robinson Crusoe?, ?That?s why I call my dog Friday?, he told us when
we interviewed him.
When we photographed Albert
for a picture we suggested that ?Friday? might be in the picture too. Then
Albert suggested that to make it really historic he should wear the same hat his
grandfather had brought from the old country just 110 years before.
On closer examination the hat
appeared to be a brown ?beaver?. However after all that time it had needed
some repairs, which Albert had contrived by putting another felt hat inside the
beaver and lacing the two together with thin strips of green hide. We
both felt that the photograph of Albert, Friday, and his grandfather?s hat
would thus be authentic, both in sentiment and historical background.
Albert?s father was the
leader of the search party that found the bodies of Mrs. Ellen Noonan and the
two children strapped to her shoulders, when they were drowned in the flood of
January 21st 1887.
[I am in contact with Dianne Daly who send the following: The Theaker name in Mutdapilly and surrounds is very noted. It was a Theaker lead search party that found my GGGM,daughter & grandchilds bodies in flood of 1887. My Erbachers are from Toowoomba. Do not know offhand where they fit into Theaker family - will have to look! I am descended from Frederick Erbacher of German. My GGM was Margaret Catherine Erbacher b.13/6/1872 in Toowoomba. She married Daniel James Noonan in 1899. etc etc etc.
Dianne can be contacted through me if you believe you may be connected with her or through www.genesreunited.com]
When we asked what people did
when they got seriously injured or ill, Albert said that they just had to put up
with it, if they could not be moved in a cart or carried on a stretcher to
The Theaker family was prominent in all local sports. Albert told us that there used to be ?some pretty good race meetings? at Mutdapilly. His grandfather told him that he had seen three ?Derby?s run in England. The Theakers bred racehorses as a sideline. At one meeting his brother, Bill, had ridden three Theaker winners in an afternoon.
to Belton Theakers