SAUL Reunion at Lismore
By Glenda Manwaring
This article was originally published in the November 1995 edition of Soul Search, the journal of The Sole Society.
A reunion was held on the 3rd October 1993 at the Tullera Hall (near Lismore) to celebrate the life and times of Jeremiah and Ann Saul. First we set out details of the family history and then at the end of this article we describe the reunion.
Jeremiah Saul was baptised in St James Church, Whitehaven, in the old County Cumberland, England on the 29th August 1831. His parents were John and Mary, (nee Parkin) Saul and he was one of eleven children.
The ancestors of Jeremiah appear in Cumberland as early as 1585 when records indicate that three brothers, Jefferay, Robert and Jo, and two sisters. Margaret and Alice, began to marry and raise families. Jeremiah can be seen to have descended from this early family and in particular Jefferav. The Saul family of Jeremiah’s ancestry, over the centuries appeared in Holme Cultram (Civill), Lamplugh (Skelsmoor), St. Bees, and Whitehaven, with connected families spreading to all parts of Cumberland.
John, the father of Jeremiah, was a coal miner Mary, his mother, died of cancer in 1846 and it is thought that this is when Jeremiah embarked for Australia. Family stories indicate that he was a lad of 16 when he set out.
Jeremiah apparently came as an unlisted passenger or worked his passage as we have been unable to find him on a passenger list.
Jeremiah eventually made his wav to the Northern Rivers district of New South Wales where he joined up with the cedar cutters. He was recorded as cutting timber at Emigrant Creek.
In 1853, he married in Ballina (then known as Bullenah), Ann Wood the daughter of Thomas Wood and Margaret nee Blaney. Ann was born in Sydney in 1836 and had three known sisters: Margaret who married William Jarrett (well known in the Bellingen area), Heather of whom nothing is known, and Maryanne, twin to Ann, who married George Cooper (well known in the Lismore district).
Thomas Wood was a convict, born 1800, from the parish of Kings Norton, Worcestershire. England, arriving on board the Mangles in 1820 to serve a life sentence. Margaret Blaney, born 1804 in Naas, Kildare, Ireland arrived on board the Elizabeth in 1827, sentenced to seven Years.
Jeremiah and Arm continued in the harsh life of the timber camps, but when the Robinson Land Act came into being in 1862, Jeremiah was the second person to select land in the Gundurimba area.
The family continued living in this district although sickness meant the loss of the selection. The children gained education, most probably in the area as well. Jeremiah remained working the timber, sometimes listed as a carrier, until his death aged 57 in 1887. He is believed to have been buried at South Gundurimba although no headstone remains.
Ann remarried in 1889 to George Cooper, the widower of her twin sister Maryanne who had died in 1879. Ann and George raised the younger children of both families. They had a store in Rous Road, Goonellabah for a time where Ann made lollies and a particularly strong ginger beer. Ann died in 1917 and is buried with her second husband in the Wollongbar Cemetery.
Jeremiah and Ann had a family of twelve.
John Thomas Saul (1854‑1940) married Martha Nipperess. John had two children. He was a timber worker, bullock driver in the Lismore, Casino, Kyoule and Maclean districts. Martha was the daughter of Thomas and Maria (Douglas) Nipperess.
Margaret Arm Saul (1856‑1927) married William Hoskins. Margaret and William had a family of ten. A son was killed in action during WWI. William was born the son of William and Louisa (Cooper) Hoskins and came to the Lismore district as a lad of six. William worked in the timber industry as a storehand for Colemans, maintenance man, delivery driver and cab driver.
Joseph Saul (1857‑1941) married Anne Jane Lofts who was the daughter of Frederick and Bridget Lofts, granddaughter of William and Lydia. Joseph and Arm had one son, Ernest, before separating. Ann then married Thomas Kennedy and had a large family. Joseph had a daughter SyIvia whose mother was Elizabeth Jarrett, thought to be daughter of William and Margaret (Wood) Jarrett. Joseph later married Elizabeth Anderson. Joseph worked in the timber industry as a labourer before finally purchasing an orchard at Wattle Flat near Sofala.
No trace of William Saul (1859‑1917) has been found although he was in Brisbane, Queensland for a time.
Joshua Saul (1860‑1943) married Isabella Katherine Beh daughter of Frederick and Isabella (Camash) Beh. Joshua and Kate had a famiIy of eight. They lived in timber camps whilst Joshua worked the timber both as a cutter and teamster. They later moved onto land at Casino.
Charles Saul (1862‑1916) married Sarah Maslen, daughter of John and Diana (Hitchens) Maslen. Charles worked as a miner in southern New South Wales. He died of tuberculosis in the Waterfall Sanatorium. He has no descendants. Sarah went on to marry Alexander Black.
Sarah Arm Saul (1864‑1916) married James Maslen son of John and Diana (Hitchens) Maslen. This was James's second marriage and he remarried after the death of Sarah. Sarah and James lived in the Casino district where James was a brickmaker, engine‑driver and creamery manager. He was also a member of the Casino and Lismore Lancers. Sarah and James had a family of six girls and one adopted son. One of these girls married Alf Kerr, well known in the Lynches Creek area, whilst another married Charles Goodwin who operated the Clinton Circus.
Marv Jane Saul (1866‑1869). As many children of the time, Mary Jane succumbed to fever.
Esther Saul (1868‑1917) married George Maslen, son of John and Diana (Hitchens) Maslen. Esther and George made their home on land at Dora Creek in the Newcastle area. George worked the timber in the Wattagan Mountains. They moved to the Lismore district late in life.
They had a family of eight sons. Many descendants of these boys are still on the Northern Rivers.
Arthur Edward Saul (1877‑1935) married Edith Hannah Levina Roberts daughter of John Edward Roberts and Harriett nee Smith. The parents of John Roberts were William and Agnes (McMillan) who arrived in Ballina about 1868. This family was in Ballarat during the Eureka Stockade. Arthur and Edith had a family of ten. Arthur worked mainly as a share farmer. They were living in Pineapple Road, Goonellabah at the time of his death.
Rebecca Saul (1879‑1955) married John Francis (Frank) Fletcher who was the son of Edward and Eleanor (Collins) Fletcher, a first fleet convict, and can be traced to this family.
Rebecca and Frank, after a short stay in Brisbane, Queensland, returned to the Northern Rivers and finally settled in the Kyogle district. They had a family of five.
Herbert Jeremiah Saul (1881‑1958) married Mabel Allard, daughter of Charles and Ada (Gosper) Allard. Herbert and Mabel moved from Casino to Maleny where Herbert was a butcher. They had a family of three.
The day of the Reunion dawned bright and sunny despite forecasts of rain. The folk started to arrive early and by 9 a.m., an hour before the official start, quite a good crowd had arrived. In all there were some 260 people attending.
A photo display covered three walls of the hall whilst family information, newspaper articles, and memorabilia covered the trestles. The Richmond River Historical Society’s display of early timber getters' tools completed the display. Everyone found something of interest. People had travelled from Mossman, north Queensland, Crookwell and Port Kembla, southern New South Wales and many points in between.
Having a great park at our disposal next to the hall, we adjourned there for the speeches. After the official vote of thanks, visitors were invited to the microphone to say a few words and several obliged. The Reunion cake, decorated with a replica log, cross‑cut saw and axe was cut by Doug Saul, son of Arthur, and one of the two remaining grandchildren of Jeremiah and Ann. Assisting Doug were Neal Watt, grandson of Arthur, who had travelled from Mossman Queensland and myself, daughter of Doug and granddaughter of Arthur.
A SAUL family name plaque was donated by Joy (a granddaughter of Rebecca) and Colin Chamberlain. This plaque was given as a lucky door prize and was won by Sarah Vine, a seven year old great‑great‑great‑great‑granddaughter of Jeremiah, through Sarah his daughter.
Identification problems were solved by the use of coloured name tags: each of Jeremiah and Ann's children was allocated a colour. This colour was carried through the display by use of coloured stickers. There was a family tree chart showing the Saul family back to 1585, and relationship charts helped people work out how cousins removed they were.
A photographer attended and the result was excellent photos of all the family groups. The Lions Club kindly provided the food and drink and were kept extremely busy all day. The day went smoothly and none of my imagined nightmares happened.
The book Leaves On The Tree Of Saul that I had been working on for months, was printed in time for the day and was well received. People commented favourably on the condensed Australian and Northern Rivers history. I also included a large section on associated families and finished it off with a surname index that ran to six pages. It was satisfying to be able to include a story on most of Jeremiah and Ann's children.
We have covered a lot of miles and milestones since Jeremiah arrived in Australia. The families have seen the pioneering of early Australia, depressions, drought, flood and wars. There are many stories that remain to be told.
Although at times I did not think I would ever make it to the Reunion or that something would go wrong in the planning, I am glad now that I did undertake such an enormous task. It proved it can be done.
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