Swaysland Family

Under Construction

Information from Steve Sims, David Christian, Annette Kerridge, Eve Monement, Grabsch Family, Clive Swaysland and Janet & David Kelly of the New Zealand Swayslands is greatly appreciated.

Note – Janet E Kelly has written a book on the Swaysland Family, where she had enlisted a Military and Naval Researcher in England.

Emily Waters, 5th child of Charles Waters II and his wife Mary Robinson, married Stephen Edwin Swaysland in 1892 in Collarenebri. Below are tales of their descendants, as well as of her husband’s Swaysland family.

Although Edward “John” was shown as the son of John Swaysland on his  NSW BDM Death record), his father was not John, but instead Thomas Augustus Swaysland.

The Swaysland’s  have made a concerted effort to trace their family tree back into the mid 17th Century in England (big thanks to Annette Kerridge for sharing this).

i. Thomas Swaysland ( – d.1695)

ii. Stephen Swaysland (b. 6.9.1674 – d. 28.5.1739) m. 1700 to Mary Grove (- d. 1739/40)

iii. Stephen Swaysland (b. 26.3. 1710 – d.1792) m.1738 to Sarah Goldsmith

iv. Stephen Swaysland (b. 1739 – d. 1774) m.1769 to Sarah Knight in Horsted Keynes Sussex

v. Stephen Swaysland (b. 1769 Horsted Keynes Sussex – d. 1850 East Grimstead) m. 1792 in East Grimstead to Sarah Finch

vi. Thomas Augustus Swaysland (b. 1797 Shoredich – d. 1841 Ifield Sussex), a Conveyancer and Barrister m. 1819 in Bloomsbury London to Mary Ann Garbett (b. 1800 – d. 1873 Marylebone London)

vii. Thomas Augustus Swaysland b 28 Marchs 1820 d 1895 England m. 1859 Portsea England to Emily Elizabeth Smart (b: 1828  d: September 1890 in Portsea) – 5 children. Served in the 12th Lancers in England.

vii. Stephen Swaysland b: 13 January 1822 John Street Brighton England d: 28 August 1822 in Sussex England

vii. Mary Ann Swaysland (b: 18 May 1823 – ) in Brighton England m. 1844 to  William Caffney in Brighton England

vii. Stephen Adolphus Swaysland b: 17 July 1825  Brighton England d: 14 December 1888 Thames NZ in an Old Men’s Home, alienated from his family. He had been in the 12 th Lancers (1843) – later becoming a Sergeant in the 10th Royal Hussars (1846 – 1851), according to Janet E Kelly. Later he was a Constable in NSW (1854), Tasmania (1855), and possibly Wellington NZ in 1860.

He married three times :  m (1). in 1850 to widow Ann Daldy – then leaving for NZ where he m (2). bigamously in 1858 in Wellington to Margaret Ann Bennett  (b. 1838 – d. 1869 Taita NZ) there were 8 children – m(3). in 1872 to Ann Elizabeth Kennington  – there were 2 children. Ann deserted him for James Cunningham Johnson, with whom she had a son, before again deserting and leaving for America. Meanwhile Stephen’s first wife later reported him dying in 1856, and then remarried to Michael Byrne in 1862 in Melbourne.

Later on in 1915, one of his grandsons, Thomas Alfred Swaysland, was called up in Wellington, NZ for the 9th Reinforcements to the Mounted Rifles.

vii. John Foster Swaysland (b: 3 June 1827  Brighton England d: 21 July 1831 Brighton England)

vii. Charles Frederick Swaysland  b: 1831 in Brighton England – d. in Melbourne in 1863 – served in the 12th Lancers in England and was later a Seaman, and in 1860 had been in Australia seeking his older brother, Stephen Augustus Swaysland

vii. Ellen Augusta Swaysland  b: 7 July 1833 m. 1861 in St Giles Camberwell St Marylebone  to Henry Heaps – 2 children

vii. Henry Swaysland b: 1833

vii. Maria Addison Swaysland (b: 29 March 1837 in Brighton UK   d: March 1881 in Newton Abbott Devon) m. in Middlesex  to The Hon. Robert Rainey Best, son of  William Samuel Best, 2nd Lord Wynford.

vii. Edward “John” Swaysland b. 1838 Brighton England – d. 1914 Wagga Wagga – m. 1860 in Adelong/Tumut to Eliza Annie Lewin (b. 1844 St Neots Huntingdon Cambridgeshire – d. 1925 Mortdale) – 15 children, though many died at childbirth or in infancy

Janet E Kelly, descendant of Stephen Adolphous Swaysland, successfully embarked on a DNA testing programme, which confirmed the biological links between her branch of the Swaysland family, and that of Edward “John” Swaysland’s descendants.

vi. Stephen Swaysland             b: 1793  d: 1800

vi. Thomas Swaysland            b: 1795

vi. Ann Swaysland    b: 1796  d: 1800

vi. Anna Swaysland b: 1800

vi. Stephen Swaysland             b: 1800 m. (1) unknown – m (2). 1807 to Sarah Willis           b: 1769

vi. Arabella Swaysland            b: 1809  d: 1865 in Sackville College East Grinstead

v. Sarah Swaysland b: 1771 m: 12 December 1897 in Spitalfields Christ Church MDX to Thomas Simpson

Ever the sleuths, Annette Kerridge and Janet A Kelly, have identified a convict  in Australia, Thomas Swaysland believed to be from Lewes. At age about 13 years, this Thomas Swaysland was  sentenced in 1847 to be transported to Australia for 7 years, reportedly arriving on the Lady Montagu in 1847 in Tasmania. He was listed as the son of Thomas Swaysland, with his mother possibly being Jane. However, the convict Thomas Swaysland was not related to the family of Edward “John” Swaysland it seems.


The Family of Edward “John: Swaysland and Eliza Annie Lewin

1.  Edward “John” Swaysland (b. 1838  Brighton England – d. 1914 Oura Wagga Wagga  – Obituary) m. in 1860 at Adelong Crossing to Eliza Annie Lewin (b. 1844 St Neots Huntingdon Shire England – d. 1925 Kogarah).

Janet E Kelly’s Swaysland family research has found that Emily Waters‘ future father in law, Edward John Swaysland was the youngest of ten children, as listed above. He was living in England at the time of the 1841 and 1851 Census, before he joined the English Navy on the HMS Victory  in 1851, aged 15 as  a School Apprentice. Becoming ill in 1852, he was admitted to the Navy Hospital Haslar. On his recovery, he was discharged from the Haslar and the HMS Victory, before returning to the Navy on the HMS Rolla and HMS Brisk. Swaysland family records indicate that he subsequently signed onto the “American Lass” as an  Ordinary Seaman in January 1854, arrived in Australia in June 1854 , when he successfully sought a discharge from the ship, following an incident and associated court case with the First Officer of the American Lass. 

Eliza Annie Lewin had emigrated to Australia with her parents Edward Lewin and Annie Luff on the “Beejapore” at the age of 9, in 1853. The Lewins were lucky to make it – 55, of the more than 1000 passengers of the two-deck Beejapore, died during the voyage. Another 62 died at the Quarantine Station, which could only hold 150 people. Measles, Scarlet Fever and Typhus were the illnesses taking their toll. The Hulk Harmony was acquired as a Hospital Ship and was mored at Spring Cove. Most of the passengers and crew were housed in tents at the Quarantine Station.

Edward  John Swaysland and wife Eliza Annie Lewins‘ descendants were as follows:

2. John Swaysland (b. 1863 Tumut – d. 1946 Wagga Wagga – Obituary)

3. Robert Swaysland

3. C. Swaysland m. ? O’Rourke

2. Edward Swaysland (b. 1865 Gundagai- d. 1865 Tumut)

2. Elizabeth “Betty” Swaysland (b. 1866 Tumut – d. 1867 Gundagai)

2. Stephen Edwin Swaysland (b. 1868  – d. 1931 Gladstone) m. 1892 Collarenabri to Emily Waters (b. 1875 Walgett – d. 1907 Boggabilla – buried at Boggabilla Cemetery)

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Emily Swaysland nee Waters was the daughter of Charles Waters and his wife Mary Robinson

3. John Robert Swaysland (b. 1893 – d. 1916 Pozieres in WW1)

AWM Roll of Honour

AWM Roll of Honour – Canberra

S/N 2905 – Roll of Honour – b. d. 23-7-1916Pozieres – 9th Infantry Battalion – War Diary  – no known graveVillers-Bretonneux Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, Picardie, France –Memorial War Graves Photographic Project – Find a Grave – Red CrossWounded & Missing entry (note this section will be expanded)

3. Ethel M Swaysland (b. 1895 Junee – d. 1961 Lithgow) m. James M Cumming m. 1921 Murwillimbah

3. Stephen Roy  Swaysland (b. 1896 Junee – d. 1978 Brisbane)

3. Edward Swaysland (b. 1903 Boggabilla  – d. 1993 Stanthorpe). Like his older brother, John Robert Swaysland, he served in WW1 – S/N 64387  – Boggabilla Honouring ANZACS. He put his age up by about three years to enlist at Stanthorpe in May 1918 – and so he would have been only 15 years old. Edward embarked on the Malta in October 1918, and by the time he disembarked at Suez on 22.11.1918 the WW1 Armistice had been reached. Thus he served in Egypt and Palestine into 1919 before returning to Australia in September 1919 on the Burma.

Note from Steve Sims : ”  ‘old’ Ted was one of the original orchardists in Stanthorpe along with his father Stephen, Emily’s husband and former Mounted Trooper. “

3. Martha E “Kitty” Swaysland (b. 1904 Boggabilla – d. 1997 Murwillumbah) m. 1924 in Murwillumbah to Arthur J Sims (b.1888 Murwillumbah – d. 1944 Murwillumbah)  – following her mother Emily’s death, Kitty was sent from Boggabilla to live with her Swaysland grandparents in Wagga Wagga

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4. Colin James Sims (b. 1926 – d. 1999) – m. with four children

4. Douglas Stephen Sims (b. 1933 Murwillumbah – d. 1982) m in 1952 in Brisbane to  Fay Avice Haggett ( – d. 2011)

Wedding of Douglas Stephen Sims to Fay Avice (Haggett) - 1952 in Brisbane

Wedding of Douglas Stephen Sims to Fay Avice (Haggett) – 1952 in Brisbane

6 children including :

5. Christopher Sims ( – d. 2012)

5. Steve Sims

5. Ross Sims ( b.1960 – d. 1986)

4. Pamela Joyce Sims (b. 1940 Murwillumbah – d.1951 Murwillumbah)

Notes from Steve Sims on Martha “Kitty” Swaysland nee Waters – “She was such a stoic grand old lady.  She outlived three husbands!  My paternal grandfather James died in 1943 and she remarried two more times, outliving them all.

I was an NT Policeman for many years and when Id heard that she’d taken a tumble in her back yard at Murwillumbah I went to visit her in Hospital. She was in her mid 80’s at the time and insisted on living alone in her Murwillumbah home.

She’d broken her hip and I think a collarbone in the fall and when I enquired , ie “What happened to you sweetheart?”  She replied with a laugh, “Inside I’m still twenty-five but this silly old body is falling to bits ..”

She told me that her mother Emily was a lovely gentle and kind person and that she missed her terribly after she died.  I think she (Emily) died in childbirth just prior to the the First War and is buried at the Boggabilla Cemetery.  I noticed that Matilda (Adams nee Waters) your great Granma is also buried (unmarked brave, flood damage) there a few years later after that terrible cart accident.   It doesn’t surprise me at all to think that the sisters and subsequent families stayed close together.

After Emily died her husband Stephen (after whom I am named) was at a great loss. He sent all his younger children to the family property in Oura near Wagga.  His father, my GG grandfather John Swaysland, was a very successful tobacco farmer on the Murrumbidgee River.  He then resigned from the NSW Constabulary and took  up being an orchardist, and become one of the very first pioneers of apple farmers in Stanthorpe.  His oldest son John “Jack” (named after his grandfather) was killed in the Somme and his body never recovered.  The old man was heartbroken and he travelled north to Gladstone where he died in a motor vehicle incident in 1931.

So I think that this point of time in our family history is where we lost that connection to the Waters Adams families, all of whom would have been well known to my Great Grandfather Stephen.  He had remarried and moved on, and so the only connection to the Waters family was my Grandma no older than 6 years of age at the time when she lost her Mum and sent to live with her fathers family on the other side of the State.

Gran’ also mentioned that she’d heard that one of our relatives was a well known (part) Aboriginal Bushranger in the 1800’s.

Another coincidence – when my Dad was a young police officer in Roma Street Brisbane he used to have a second job to bring in extra money. £35 per week is not a lot to feed a wife and 6 hungry kids .  He was working for years at the Borthwicks Cannon Hill Abbatoirs in between shifts and on days off.  My Dad was a great bloke and very friendly and knew just about everybody, especially everyday type people.  What’s the bet that Dad knew Len Waters who also worked there but neither knew they were family?!”

3. Charles A Swaysland (b. 1907 Boggabilla – ) – note his mother Emily died in childbirth in 1907

2. Elizabeth  Swaysland (b. 1870 Wagga Wagga – )

2. Eliza Swaysland (b. 1871 Wagga Wagga – d. 1879 Adelong)

2. Ann Swaysland (b. 1873 – ) m. ? Mitchell

2. Edward Swaysland (b. 1874 – )

2. Maria Swaysland (b. 1876 Wagga Wagga – d. 1877 Wagga Wagga )

2. Charles A Swaysland (b. 1878 Wagga Wagga  – d. 1879 Wagga Wagga )

2. Martha Swaysland (b. 1880 – d. ) – note there is a NSW BDM entry (25957/1880) for the birth of a Martha in 1880 and another one in 1882 (23088/1882 ) – both are listed as children of John & Eliza Swaysland.

2. Martha Thelma Swaysland (b. 1882 Wagga Wagga (NSW BDM 23088/1882  ) – d. 1961 Illabo ) – m. Charles Allington Pratt (b. 1879 – d. 1931) of the Turner Lewin Family

3. Leila Thelma Pratt (b. 1904 – d. 1967)

3. Olive Muriel Pratt (b. 1906 – d. 1966)

3. Hilda Marjory Pratt (b. 1907 – d. 1994)

3. Ruby Martha Daphne Pratt (b. 1909 – d. 1963)

3. Esma Blanch Pratt (b. 1911 – d. 1960)

3. Amy Alma Pratt (b.1913 – d. 1994)

3. Eric Thorrold Pratt (b. 1917- d. 1967)

3. Freda Mabel Pratt (b. 1921 – d. 1987)

Note – William Angus Turner, who was both Eliza Annie Swaysland nee Lewin‘s great nephew AND  Charles Allington Pratt‘s maternal Turner cousin, is also a Turner great grandfather of the partner of Matilda Waters‘ great great granddaughter – daughter of Kerrie Anne Christian nee Adams.  And the Turner partner is thus also a 4th cousin once removed to Steve Sims – more complicated Waters family interconnections !

2.William Swaysland (b. 1883 Wagga Wagga – d. 1910 Wagga Wagga – a tragic death ?)

2. Thomas Swaysland (b. 1885 Wagga Wagga

2. Charles Swaysland (b. 1888 Wagga Wagga – )

2. Henry Robert Swaysland (b. 1891 Gundagai – d. 1949  Wagga Wagga )

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