John & Ann
Mary  John  Annie  Moses  Isaac  Aaron  Margaret  Harriet  Matilda  Emma  Edwin  Charles  Henry

The Descendants of Aaron Adsett

by F. J. Erickson

Children Sex Age Born Birth Place Died Death/Burial Site
1CharlesM6624 May 1855unknown17 Jul 1921unknown
2LaviniaF7112 Jun 1856North Pine11 Apr 1928Milton
3ElizaF499 May 1858Thorroldtown27 Apr 1908Nundah
4GeorgeM732 Nov 1859unknown??? 1933 Kilcoy
5LouisM876 May 1861North Pine11 Feb 1949Lutwyche Cemetery
6HarryM873 Jan 1863Cabbage Tree Creek30 Jan 1950Red Hill
7EdmundM7721 Mar 1864Cabbage Tree Creek16 Dec 1941South Brisbane
8EmmaF016 Mar 1865Whiteside12 May 1865Brisbane
9EmmaF8330 Jun 1866Wooloowin13 Jun 1950Chermside
10AnnieF0??? 1868unknown??? 1868unknown
11ArthurM9318 Feb 1870Kedron27 Aug 1963Lutwyche Cemetery
12AnnieF9523 Mar 1872North Pine19 Feb 1968Nundah Cemetery
13HesterF0??? 1874unknown?? 1874unknown
14AmeliaF834 Jul 1879North Pine4 Sep 1962Brisbane
15ErnestM71 28 Feb 1880North Pine20 Jul 1951Sth Kolan
16WalterM8512 Jul 1881North Pine29 Aug 1966Nudgee

Aaron Adsett was born at Ewell, Surrey, on Wednesday 16 May 1832. He arrived at Moreton Bay as an assisted migrant, with his brothers John and Moses, and John's wife Louisa, in February 1851, a little more than three months before his nineteenth birthday. The Agent's Immigration Lists show that he was a labourer; and the likelihood is that, in the circumstances of the time, he had already had five or six years' experience of farm work by the time he turned eighteen. The lists also show that he could both read and write, and his religion was Church of England.

It was part of the stated policy of the Emigration Commission in England that assisted migrants should be workers seeking paid employment; and perhaps Aaron Adsett so supported himself in the early years in the Colony. There is no doubt, however, that all three brothers were hungry for land, whivh was available for selection, even before the formal survey; and records reveal that all three possessed the acumen to become succesful properrty holders. It is interesting, however, that the three brothers looked out in different directions from the developing town of Brisbane. John, although he initially held land conjointly with Aaron closer to the residential area, moved out to the south-west and Redbank. Moses looked to the near western suburbs, and beyond to The Gap. Aaron, by a series of considerable acquisitions, consolidated his interests to the north and north-west of Brisbane.

Within three years of his arrival to the Colony Aaron Adsett held property of sufficient value to qualify him as a voter. His name appears in the Electoral List for 1854, and again in 1868, as a freeholder, Breakfast Creek.

It would appear that Aaron and John were partners in this early venture at Breakfast Creek; but the pair found themselves in some dispute with the former owners of the property.1 A series of advertisements appeared in the Moreton Bay Courier late in 1854; and by inference one may extract from these some understanding of the position.

It would appear that John Adsett purchased the land in question from a Thomas Hennessy, in 1852. The land was a parcel of about nine acres. Banana plants and fruit trees were growing on it, and it also ran cows and calves. In 1854 Mary Hennessey and on Edward Jones, whose part in the dispute is not clear, denied that the sale had been finalised, and published advertisements cautioning the public against dealing with the occupants, "John and Aaron Adsett, Agricultural farmers".2 Another advertisement offered the public a choice collection of young banana plants for sale by Mr Adsett, on reasonable terms, and also enjoined the public "not to notice the frivolous statement hitherto published by Mr E. Jones".3 Whatever the outcome, it is known that Aaron held a Breakfast Creek postal address for many years.

It seems likely that John and Aaron Adsett continued to work together during the early years. In the Government sales of land in Enoggera Parish in 1859, they jointly purchased two lots, one of 50 acres for £50 and another of 31 acres or perhaps a little more, for £31/15/-. There is evidence to show that either of them ever lived on this land; but in 1874 the Post Office Directory yet listed Aaron Adsett as a squatter, Enoggera, with Breakfast Creek as his address.

One is interested to find that the Post Office Directory in 1868 lists Aaron Adsett as a drayman. It is, however, unlikely that he was simply a paid employee. In 1860 he had inserted advertisements in the Courier, one of which is reproduced here:

TO LET, a team of twelve working bullocks, accostomed to drawing timber, and ploughing.
Terms, which are very reasonable, may be learned on application to
Aaron Adsett
Breakfast Creek 4

Bullocks, of course, provided the power for overland heavy haulage at the time; and it is suggested that such work was merely an extension of the work in clearing and development that Aaron would have been doing on his own land at the time.

Although no complete inventory of lands held by Aaron Adsett is known to exist, it is clear that he expanded his property interests from the early 1860s. The Courier report on a Government land sale in 1864 shows that he purchased Lot 12, County of Stanley, Parish of Toombul, near Kedron Brook. The area was 10 acres, 2 roods, and the price was eight pounds per acre. 5 At this price, the land was not cheap.

An article by John McClurg shows that J. and A. Adsett owned more land than this in the same area. The Maida Hill Estate, of about 30 acres (developed for residential purposes), was originally part of Portion 193, owned by the brothers. This estate was on the eastern side of the present site of Wooloowin Railway Station, bounded by the present streets of Stopford Terrace, Bonney Avenue,(Old Sandgate Road), Lisson Grove, and Wooloowin Avenue. 6 This land was adjacent to the property held by Robert Thorrold, an early official of the Supreme Court in Brisbane. 7 Aaron Adsett and his wife Mary lived for a time early in their married life in the area formerly known as Thorroldtown, and now known as Wooloowin. 8

In 1866, Aaron purchased two blocks in the Aspley area. In the same year land at Downfall Creek (now known as Chermside) became available, and two blocks were purchased here (Portions 551 and 553), fronting Gympie Road. In later years, from the early 1870s, land totalling something over two thousand acres was acquired in the Parish of Whiteside, in the Dayboro area. The Whiteside land was variously classified as agricultural land, first class pastoral land, and second class pastoral land. It lies today beneath the waters of the North Pine Dam.

It would appear that Aaron Adsett also owned some town property. The Annual Electoral List for Fortitude Valley 1886, shows him to be a freeholder, Ballow Street. 9

On Saturday, 9 September 1954, in St John's Church, Brisbane, Aaron Adsett was married to Mary Maddock, with the consent of her parents. The bride, being unable to write, signed with a cross. Witnesses to the signatures were Louisa Adsett (wife of John Adsett) and H. H. Payne. Henry Howard Payne, a follow-migrant on the Duchess of Northumberland, must have been a close friend of the Adsetts.

Mary Maddock was born in Callington, Cornwall, on Thursday, 11 February 1836. With her parents and four brothers, she had arrived in the Colony on 13 December 1848, on the Artemisia, barque of 558 tons - the first immigrant vessel to come directly to Moreton Bay, and the first Government-sponsored immigrant ship.

After leaving Wooloowin, Aaron and Mary Adsett established their home on their Chermside land. This land is now the property of the Uniting Church, and is occupied by the Chermside Garden Settlement. Their house, a two-storeyed wooden structure, was demolished about 1980.

Sixteen children (eight boys and eight girls) were born to the union of Aaron and Mary Adsett and thirteen survived to adult years. Three girls died in infancy or early childhood. These were Emma (the third daughter), Annie (the fifth daughter), and Hester.(The fourth and the sixth daughters were also named Emma and Annie.)

Aaron Adsett carried on various enterprises on his properties for many years. These included grazing, dealing in horses and cattle, supply of timber and fire wood, and dairying. His home at Chermside became something of a nucleus for the Adsett family generally, and he himself acquired the status of a patriarch. He outlived all his brothers and sisters in Queensland, and died on 28 November 1921, aged 89 at Chermside. His wife, Mary, predeceased him on 22 May 1918, also at Chermside. A great grandson Charles Carroll recalled her as "a quiet and gentle old lady, who seemed always to be making patch-work squares of material".10 Aaron and Mary Adsett are buried in Lutwyche Cemetery.

Of the thirteen sons and daughters of the family who reached adult years only one, Louis, did not marry. From the twelve marriages over seventy grandchildren were born.11 top of page

Charles Adsett, oldest son of Aaron and Mary, was born in 1855. He was a blacksmith, with his shop in Terror's Creek, now known as Dayboro. His home was at Whiteside, a little way from Adsett's Gully, which was named after him. Charles Adsett and Margaret Felix were married in 1881. Margaret ran the receiving post office for nearly sixty years, and was well known in the district. Charles died in 1921, shortly before his father's death; and Margaret died in 1946, aged 90. Both are buried in Dayboro Cemetery.

The couple had eight children. William Adsett, the oldest, married Lily Brown (nee Tanner). The couple owned and ran a property at Beaudesert.

Alfred Adsett married Nellie de Gruchy. They took up residence in Campsie, Sydney.

John Adsett did not marry. He was a farm and blacksmith's labourer, living with his mother in Whiteside.

Charles Adsett married Ida Voelkel. The family held land at Dalma Scrub.

Mary married Joseph McCulloch, who for many years ran a successful poultry farm at Manly.

Frank Adsett married Rose Beatrice Baker. The couple were involved in farming at Dalby and Kingaroy.

Joseph Adsett, carpenter and cabinet maker, married Christina McAdam.

Rose, the youngest child of Charles and Margaret Adsett, died in infancy. top of page

Lavinia, eldest daughter of Aaron and Mary Adsett, was born in 1856. She married George Drake, who owned and operated a carrying business. The family lived at Teneriffe, near New Farm.

The couple had seven children; but little information is currently available concerning occupations and places of residence.

Alice, the oldest of the family, married William Binkin. Henry Drake married Lavinia Pointon. Lavinia, the third child, married Alfred Goodyear, a hairdresser. Lucy married Harry Binkin. George Drake married Ellen Reason. Arthur Drake married Edith Baker; and Jessie married Alfred Doolan. top of page

Eliza, second daughter of Aaron and Mary Adsett, was born at Thorroldtown (now Wooloowin), in 1858. She married William Bulcock Robinson at Kedron Brook in 1876. Their home, Pineville, stood near where Nudgee Railway Station stands today. William Robinson was a farmer, growing pineapples in the area between the present Banyo and Nudgee Railway Stations. He established his own cannery about 1910. In addition he held a sheep and cattle property, Walton Downs,at Bungunya, west of Goondiwindi. Both Eliza and William Robinson are buried in Nundah Cemetery.

Three children of Eliza and William Robinson, George, Alexander and Charles, died in infancy. Another two, Harry and Arthur, did not marry.

Herbert, the first child, married Florence Lacey. He operated a slaughter yard in Webster Road, Aspley.

Edith married Robert Carroll, a steam engine driver and fitter.

James Robinson married Ellen Attewell.

Louisa married Albert Kuhn, a Brisbane barber.

Emma married Roland Dearden.

Ambrose Proctor Robinson, who married Elizabeth Bradshaw, ran a property at Goondiwindi.

Edwin Robinson married Alice Fraser. The family took up residence at Nundah.

Eric Robinson married Emily Booth. top of page

George Adsett, second son of Aaron and Mary Adsett, was born in 1859. In 1885 he married Emma Cowley, of Strathpine, and the family lived for a time at Pine River. As a young man George Adsett gained experience on Hopetoun Cattle Station, Kilcoy. In 1904 the family moved to a selected property, Glenelg, at Mount Kilcoy. Here George Adsett carried on dairying, supplying cream to the butter factories at Caboolture and Woodford. Crops, including potatoes, were also grown. The property is still held by the family. George Adsett died in 1933.

Eight children were born to George and Emma Adsett. One daughter, Mary, died in infancy, and the eldest son, William, did not marry.

Matilda, the eldest daughter, married Walter Pratt. The family ran a property at Kilcoy.

Arthur Adsett married Elsie Crocombe. This family also lived at Kilcoy.

Aaron Adsett married Williamina Ord. they took up residence at Nambour.

Jessie married Arthur Wieland. The family ran a property at Howard. top of page

Louis Adsett, third son of Aaron and Mary Adsett, was born in 1861. He did not marry. He spent his life working around the Dayboro area. top of page

Harry Adsett, fourth son of Aaron and Mary Adsett, was born in 1863, at Cabbage Tree Creek, Brisbane. In 1898 he married Christina Maddock, at Mooloolah. In his young days he was a drover in the Gulf Country. After his marriage, the family lived at Landsborough, where Harry worked for a timber mill. His later occupations included coach driving and fishing. Later he worked in road building around Peachester.

About 1903 the family moved to Nudgee. Harry worked on a pineapple farm, and later for Campbell's, Albion. In 1915 a further move took the family to Banyo. Harry was employed by the Toombul Shire Council, at first on road building, and later as herdsman or poundman. It was here he acquired the nickname "Moonlight". About the end of 1931 he took up a property at Burpengary, and till 1938 he worked the mail run from Burpengary Station to Deception Bay.

Two sons of Harry and Christina Adsett, Stephen and Douglas, and one daughter, Esther, died in infancy or childhood. Two more sons, Allan and James, and two daughters, Barbara and Ada, did not marry.

Maude, the eldest daughter, married George Harper. The family lived at Banyo and at Murwillumbah.

Lydia, the sixth child, married James Hunter, who died in 1935. A subsequent marriage to William Outtrim was dissolved and Lydia married William Taylor.

Edith married John O'Brien; and Christina, the tenth child, married Neville Kelly. top of page

Edmund, fifth son of Aaron and Mary adsett, was born in 1864. In 1891 he married Eleanor Andrews, who arrived in Queensland on the Duke of Buckingham in 1884. Their only child, Laurence Edmund, died in infancy. Edmund Adsett was a drover and farm worker in the Dayboro district. top of page

Emma, fourth daughter of Aaron and Mary Adsett, was born in 1866. In 1886, at Fortitude Valley, she married Harry Raynbird, the son of John Raynbird and Jane Rode. Harry Raynbird's grandfather was Franz August Joseph Rode, one of a group of German missionaries who had come to German Station 9now Nundah), in 1838. Their mission, directed to the aborigines of the area, was not a success. Several members, however, took up land and joined the pioneering community. They were, in fact, Queensland's first free settlers.

Emma Raynbird was a very good horsewoman, and Harry Raynbird was esteemed as a bullock teamster. He and Emma farmed in several places, including Narangba. Here they carried on dairying, grew small crops, and raised poultry. The drought of 1915 forced them to leave the property, and they established a home on several acres purchased from Aaron Adsett, at Chermside, in Gympie Road. In later years Harry Raynbird worked at Campbell's timber yard, Albion.

Ten children were born to Emma and Harry Raynbird. Two of these, Walter and Daisy (a tailoress) did not marry.

John Raynbird, the eldest son, marries Annie Glover. They ran a property and a sawmill at Strathpine.

May married Dick Lancaster who worked as a labourer at Beachmere.

Ethel married Jack McClure. They ran a property at Caboolture, and raised poultry. They also operated a sawmill.

Alice married Christopher Duval, a carpenter. The couple lived in Sydney.

Minnie married Bert Boustead, a blacksmith. The family lived in Caboolture.

Edith married Harry Willersdorf, son of a German migrant who arrived in Queensland in 1883. Harry was a baker and pastrycook working with his father, who opened the first bakery in Woombye.

Lucy married Sam Holmes, a property owner and dairy farmer at Yarraman.

Matilda (Tillie) married Ted Flux. The family lived at Caboolture. top of page

Arthur Adsett, sixth son of Aaron and Mary Adsett, was born at Kedron Brook, in 1870, and attended Forbes Creek school, Whiteside. In 1890 he completed his apprenticeship with South Brisbane Sawmill Company, Montague Road.

In 1893 Arthur Adsett married Margaret Barltrop, at Holy Trinity Church, Fortitude Valley. The family lived at first at Thorroldtown, and later in Wooloowin and Clayfield.

For more than fifty years Arthur Adsett worked for James Campbell and Sons, sawmillers, at Albion. For much of the period he was foreman joiner. Examples of his fine craftsmanship are to be seen in the organ case at St. John's Cathedral, and in the joinery work and casing of the City Hall organ.

Arthur and Margaret Adsett had three sons. The first, Percy, married a cousin, Florence Barltrop. He was commissioned during World War I, and held the rank of Major.

Victor Adsett married Elsie Grimwade; and Harold Adsett married Evelyn Wenn. top of page

Annie, sixth daughter of Aaron and Mary Adsett, was born in 1872. In 1896 she married August Stegman, at W.B. Robinson's home, Pineville. August Stegman, farm worker, was also a keen home gardener. The family home was at Nudgee. Annie Stegman was the last surviving member of the family of sixteen born to Mary and Aaron Adsett. She died in 1968 at the age of 95, and is buried in Nundah cemetery.

Annie and August Stegman had four children. Ethel, the oldest, married Robert Scott.

Ernest Stegman (known as Barney) married Nellie Borwick. The family lived at Bundaberg.

Mabel married Peter Duncan; and Norman Stegman, an engine driver in the railways, married Thora Taylor. top of page

Amelia (Minnie), seventh daughter of Aaron and Mary Adsett, was born in 1877. She married Ambrose Robinson after his first wife and three children died in a fire which destroyed their Nudgee home. About 1910 the family moved to a house on the Jackson Estate on Cribb Island. Here Ambrose Robinson grew pineapples for market, and sold milk locally. Much later the family moved to Harrison's Pocket, Strathpine, to a dairy farm producing milk and cream for the Brisbane market. The waters of North Pine Dam today cover much of this land. Minnie and Ambrose Robinson spent their last years at Petrie.

There were seven children in the Robinson family. Two sons, Roland and Leonard, did not marry.

James Robinson, the first son, married Elsie Hare, and the couple made thier home at Aspley.

Grace married Thomas Jackson. The family lived at Caloundra.

Gladys married Leslie Young. The family lived at Upper Caboolture.

Gordon Robinson married Joyce Muller. Their home was in Carina.

Clifford Robinson married Irene Fink, and lived at Caboolture. top of page

Ernest Adsett, seventh son of Aaron and Mary Adsett, was born in 1880. In 1911 he married Lillian Whalley, at South Kolan. Ernest held a cane farm at South Kolan, and the family later moved to another cane farm, at Bullyard.

Ernest Adsett was a Methodist lay preacher, and was known as a succesful farmer. He died in 1959, and is buried at South Kolan.

Two children were born to Lillian and Ernest Adsett. The first, Lillian Maud, married Dennis Stehbens; and the second, Stan, married Julia Stehbens, sister of Dennis. Stan was killed in a tractor accident in 1963, and is also buried at South Kolan. top of page

Walter Adsett, youngest son of Aaron and Mary Adsett, was born in 1881, at Whiteside. He served his apprenticeship as cabinet maker and carpenter at Campbell's, and in 1915 joined the Queensland Railways as a carpenter. In 1917 he married Ivy Lawrence, at Sandgate.

Walter Adsett was employed by the Queensland Railways for over thirty years. He held the position of Station Foreman at Rockhampton, and later at Cairns. In 1935 he became Station Inspector at Rockhampton, with responsibility for railway buildings in the area. he held this position until he retired in 1949. He was greatly interested in the Grand Order of Oddfellows, and was a keen Rugby League supporter. He died in 1966, at Nudgee.

Walter and Ivy Adsett had six children. The oldest, James Adsett, also a carpenter, married Rhoda Hill.

Rose married William Swanson, a painter. The family lived at Deagon.

Ernest Adsett married Lillian Collins. He has been a prominent trade union official.

Raymond Adsett married Edna Hendy. The family lived at Rockhampton.

Valda, the youngest daughter, married Joseph Zigenbine. They lived at Tennant Creek, and later in Bundaberg.

Desmond Adsett married Enid Dunkley. Desmond was an army officer, and later became a customs officer. The family lived in Brisbane, and later moved to Tasmania.

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1. Information in this was provided by Stephan Kelly, descendant of Harry and Christina Adsett.

2. Moreton Bay Courier, 7 October 1854

3. Moreton Bay Courier, 28 September 1854

4. Moreton Bay Courier, 26 June 1860

5. Brisbane Courier, 29 December 1864

6. John H.C. McClurg, Historical Sketches of Brisbane (Brisbane: Library Board of Queenslans and the Royal Historical Society of Queensland, 1975), p.103

7. McClurg, pp. 25,26

8. N.E. Adsett, The Adsett Families 1851 - 1981, p.9

9. Brisbane Courier, 15 October 1886

10. N.E. Adsett, The Adsett Families 1851 - 1981, p.9

11. Information on the family of Aaron and Mary Adsett appeared in The Adsett Families 1851 - 1981. This infromation was supplied by Emma Storey, descendant of Harry and Emma Raynbird, who died in 1986. This material, supplemented by information provided by Coral Gray, forms the basis of what follows in this chapter. Coral Gray, also a Raynbird descendant, has gathered comprehensive biographical data concerning the descendants of Aaron Adsett. Unfortunately, there is little personal information available for many family groups.