Biography Cheeseman & Ketley

The CHEESEMAN and KETLEY Biographies


We believe John came from a well-to-do family, but as he married Martha CROFT who was only a servant and therefore frowned upon by his family, they came to Australia to start a new life. John and Martha married in 1832 in Beneden, Kent, England and came to Australia in 1839.

From the shipping records...
The "Alfred" sailed from London via Plymouth on the 17th September 1838 and arrived in Sydney the
16th January 1839.
Name: John Cheeseman age 30y (4 Aug)
Native Place: East Peckham, Kent
Rel: Protestant     Occ: Butcher      Read/Write: Yes
Father: John Cheeseman (farmer)
Mother: Mary Dory (dau of John Dory).

Name: Martha Cheeseman age 26y (7 Sept)
Native Place: Beneden, Kent
Rel: Protestant      Occ: Farm servant      Read/Write: Yes
Father: Stephen Croft (farmer)
Mother: Judith File.
children: Henry aged 4y, William 16mths died on voyage, bapt 6 July 1837.

John continued to be a butcher and is listed in the Sydney Directory 1844-45, "John Cheeseman - Butcher at Waterview, Balmain" and in the Sydney Directory 1851, "John Cheeseman - Butcher at Cooper St, Balmain"

John and Martha went on to another 10 children in New South Wales. Their 4th daughter Emma, married William KETLEY in 1876.


William Ketley fought in the Maori War (1863-1866) after enlisting in England in either the Elite 50 Queen's Regiment or 50th (The Queen's Own) Regiment of Foot. He was discharged in New Zealand and then came to Australia where he later married Emma Cheeseman in July 1876.

They owned or managed an orchard on the corner of Lane Cove Rd & Bridge Rd at Ryde, NSW, which is now the Ryde Golf Course. My grandmother wrote in her memoirs Grandma hated the life on the orchard. She was very much a person who loved life and people and I suppose the loneliness and hard work on the orchard was something she did not like, and in those days Ryde was very isolated. She told me that the first day she went there to live she walked from the station (which must have been West Ryde as that would have been the nearest) and carried the baby Florence... and when she was nearly there she sat down on the side of the road and cried. Poor tired Gran. Grandma said that when she left there she said, "I hope I never see this God-forsaken place again".
They must have lived there from about 1878 till at least the late 1890's.

William died in 1914. In 1933 Emma married her widower brother-in-law, John Geary. Gran said it did not look nice living in the same house so they had the Anglican minister at Balmain come and marry them and they went on a trip to Manly for their honeymoon. Emma was in her late eighties and John in his early nineties.


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