THE WALKER FAMILY
My 2xgreat-grandfather, Alfred Walker, was born in England in about 1842, possibly at Bethnal Green, London. His parents were Thomas and Sarah. He arrived at Moreton Bay, Queensland aboard the Star of England in 1866. Travelling with him were four other young Walkers: William, Frederick E., George and Ellen. Their relationship to Alfred remains unclear. By 1873 he had made his way to Warren, New South Wales where he married Mary Susannah Paull, the daughter of James Paull and Elizabeth Freebody.
For further details on the Paull and Freebody families follow these links:
At the time of his marriage Alfred was working as a fencer and spent a number of years working at various jobs in the district. Properties on which he worked included "Wallumburawang", where his eldest son Alfred Thomas James was born and "Yarragreen" near Orange. During this time a further five children were born to Alfred and Mary: Elizabeth Sarah (married John Webb), George Christopher (married Edith), Ada Maria (married), Bertie William (married Gertrude Ward) and Annie Louisa (married 1: George Lonsdale Donaldson: married 2: John Rowland Hill). In about 1885 or 1886 Alfred, Mary and their children, along with several members of Mary's family travelled north to Blackall in Queensland. Here, another son, Edward Miles was born and died in only his second year. Some of Mary's family settled here, but she and her husband moved on, possibly in search of work.
The birth of their next child, Albert Edward (married Frances Marion Egan), saw them living at Coreena Station, to the north of the newly established township of Barcaldine. Alfred worked on the property for about a decade from the late 1880s. Accommodation for the workers and their families were primitive and it was probably under such conditions that his next three children were also born. They were James Henry (married Rosine Frances Cooper), Charles Ernest (Sarah Rosina Ward) and Walter Frederick (married Ethel Isabel Hallam).
|Mary Susannah (Paull) and Alfred Walker, c1912|
By this time, some of his elder sons were old enough to work themselves. Several began their working lives at "Coreena". Alfred and his family would have been very aware of, if not involved with, the angry clashes which occurred between shearers and the landowners, supported by the authorities, during the Shearer's Strike of 1891, an event which, despite its failure changed the face of the labour movement in Australia and contributed to the founding of the Labour Party in Australia. One of these confrontations was centred upon a contingent of non-union or "scab" labourers who were destined for "Coreena" so perhaps Alfred and his sons saw the the trouble first hand.
During the late 1890s Alfred, Mary and the younger members of their family once again packed their belongings. This time they moved to the Clermont district of Queensland where their youngest child, a daughter named Ethel May was born in 1900. At this time Alfred was employed as a puddler. They were still there a little less than three years later when Ethel died, however not long after this time they moved to Aramac where their son Bertie and his family were living and then in about 1913 moved again, to Richmond, Queensland, along with their sons Bertie and George.
This was Alfred's final move. He died at Richmond and was buried there in 1914. His wife Mary survived him by a further nineteen years.
ALFRED THOMAS JAMES WALKER
Alfred Thomas James (ATJ) Walker first appears on the payroll at "Coreena" a little after his 17th birthday. He spent his entire working life on the property eventually working his way up to the position of Overseer.
|Alfred Thomas James Walker c1907|
In 1896 he married Honora (Nora) Lysaght, an Irish immigrant from County Limerick. The couple lived on the property during the early years of their marriage, following the birth of their first three children - Ethel Daisy (Daisy, married Alfred Edward Barnard), Thomas Joseph (married Selina Maggie Finch) and Dora Elizabeth (married Cyril Edmond Holcroft).
When it was time for the children to start their schooling, Nora and the children moved into Barcaldine and it was here that the younger two children Alfred William (married 1: Jean ?: married 2: Betty Margaret Priest) and Nora May (May, married John Raphael Michael Stafford) were born. When the Clintonvale Primary School opened in 1907 the three eldest children were sent to stay on the property of their uncle (William Lysaght) whose own children were attending the new school.
To learn more about the Lysaght and Stafford families follow these links:
After his retirement, ATJ and Nora lived in Yeppoon, Queensland. Nora died in hospital at Rockhampton in 1950 and is buried in the North Rockhampton Cemetery. After this time ATJ stayed with his eldest daughter, Daisy who also lived in Rockhampton.
In December 1951 ATJ travelled to Geelong, Victoria to visit his youngest daughter - May - and her family for Christmas. Sadly he suffered a heart attack and died only a few days prior to Christmas. ATJ is buried in Geelong's Western Cemetery.
If you feel you might be related or would like further details on this family, please email me:
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