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Saturday, January 21, 2012


The parents of my maternal great grandmother, Harriet Philis, were George Philis and Elizabeth McGibbon.
They married in 1850 at the Church of England, Australian Agricultural Company, in the Dungog area in northern NSW.
The Australian Agricultural Company was set up as a unique agricultural entity consisting of one million acres worked by British immigrants to produce wool and crops exclusively for the British market.
It was incorporated in 1824, and the following year its first British workers arrived on two ships, the York and the Brothers.
When coal was subsequently discovered in the area, coal production was added to its agricultural arm.
By the end of 1847, three years before George and Elizabeth Philis (nee McGibbon) were married, there was a total of 472 men employed by the company.
It would appear that both George Philis and Elizabeth McGibbon may have been brought to New South Wales from England as part of this project.
I will have to check the passenger lists.

Update 24-2-12
I discovered today in a book in the NSW state library called Convicts of the Australian Agricultural Company 1825-1850 that there was a convict George Phillis.
He was born c.1812 in Hampshire, England and tried at Southampton Quarter Sessions for stealing a lamb.
Despite having no previous convictions, he was given a sentence of transportation for life.
Phillis left England on 18 October 1836 on the Mangles (8) and arrived in Sydney on 9 July 1837.
He was then assigned to the Australian Agricultural Company at Port Stephens near Newcastle.
Phillis was a single, Protestant labourer who could read and write.
He was 5 foot 6 and a quarter inches tall with a ruddy (reddish) complexion, brown hair and blue-grey eyes.
In 1850 when George Philis married Elizabeth McGibbon, the convict of the same name would have been 38.
So the one who married may have been his son.
Elizabeth McGibbon b.c.1830 came to the colony as an unassisted immigrant.

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