Sharon's Family History

The Genealogy of the Wilton, Brimson, Munro and Forward Families


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George Forward & Sarah Walter Jeffery

George Forward, a widower with one daughter, Frances  from Goudhurst,Kent married Sarah Walter Jeffrey on the 9th  August 1841 at Horsmonden, Kent.He was 28 years old and she was 18 years old on their wedding day. Later that month they embarked on the William Jardine from Plymouth and arrived in Botany Bay on 23rd December 1841.George, a gardener was sponsored by Mr Vickery of George street Sydney at a wage of £30 plus rations. They went first to Sydney then to Burrowa where George was a servant and gardener for Mr Howell.Their two sons were born in this district,George was born on 24th June 1842 when the family was living at Arkstone and John William was born on 16th April 1848 while they were living at Pudman.

Sarah later turned up in South Australia, claiming to be a widow she took up employment as a cook for the Angus family at “Lindsay Park”. It was here that she met William Russell a bullock drover also working for the Angus family.

Sarah’s next child Elizabeth was born in Adelaide in 1849 to William Russell. Her 2nd child Christopher was born in Angaston, SA in 1850.The remainder of their children were born in Creswick, Victoria. Sarah and William concocted a story that they had married on the 9th August 1841 in New South Wales, in fact they didn’t marry until 1856 after their 4th child was born. They were all living in a tent near their gold mine when Sarah & William Russell officially married on 9th January 1856, with Sarah stating she was a widow and her husband had died near Yass, NSW. However they still maintained their original story about their marriage.

The two Forward sons lived with the Russells. At 14 years of age, Young George was christened George Russell on the 18/10/1856 at St Alipius Roman Catholic Church Ballarat,he eventually reverted to the surname Forward after his mother died in 1867. John William however was always known as John William Russell, and when a family historian approached his descendants, they had never heard of the name Forward. John William Russell lived in Creswick all his life and died in 1920,he was buried in grave # 3/219 Creswick cemetry.

Sarah died of pneumonia at 44 years of age on the 8th July 1867.William Russell died on the 8th April 1869 leaving 19 year old Christopher with a two room cottage on 19 acres and seven younger siblings to look after. When giving information for the death registration of his mother George [Forward jnr] completed it with the accepted details of Sarah & William’s marriage in N.S.W. and signed it George Russell. 

George Forward Senior died on 13th December 1874 at the home of his daughter, Frances and son-in-law, Samuel Gearside in Braidwood, NSW. Only his daughter and first wife Mary Spice is mentioned on the death certificate, no mention is made of his sons or his second wife Sarah. It is unclear what happened between George and Sarah. Their marriage was obviously not happy, Sarah changing the surname of their two sons, then Frances ignoring the existence of her stepmother and half brothers. Frances would have been well aware of the details of her stepmother and stepbrothers, being 15 years old when Sarah departed. 

Linked toGeorge FORWARD; Sarah Walter JEFFERY

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