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.

William Theaker

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 then.

 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 ?personal use?.

 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]

 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 Ipswich.

 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.

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