FOSTER of Launceston, Australia, Chapter 10.

The "FOSTER Family" section of this site is divided into 13 chapters and 8 sets of appendices. Please read in sequence by following the links at the bottom of each page or use the "Quick Nav" at top right. If you wish to select individual chapters, please click on the top left link to the Sitemap page.

Do you have information, opinion or a question relating to either this site’s contents or its copyright? Please use the e-mail link available at the bottom of each page. I look forward to corresponding with you.

Associated family: McLEAN.

  • Inside this chapter: |
  • Why McLEANs? |
  • Origins |
  • Earliest AUS Story |
  • Hunter River |
  • John’s Story |
  • Sources |
  • See chapter 11 for the children |
  • i. Mary (1831-1901). ii. John (1833-1923). iii. Jennet (Janet / Jessie) (1834-1915). iv. Alexander (1837-1871). v. Donald Hugh (1840-1900). vi. Neil (1841-1918). vii. Angus (1844-1894). viii. Annie (Ann) (1848-1933). ix. Allan (1849-1861). x. Roderick (1852-?). |

Why McLEANs? The association with the FOSTER family.

Our Thomas FOSTER married Grace McNEIL… see chapter 8. Grace was the daughter of John and (Janet) Jessie McNEIL (née McLEAN)… see the McNEIL chapter 9. This chapter describes Jessie’s McLEAN family… she was born on the Isle of Mull to John McLEAN and Grace McINNES. Chapter 11 describes (Janet) Jessie’s brothers and sisters and chapter 12 describes her uncle Roderick McLEAN and his family… also probable uncle Allan McLEAN who emigrated from the Isle of Mull at the same time as Jessie's immediate family.

Origins: Our McLEANs in the Isle of Mull, Scotland.

Our McLEAN families emigrated from the Isle of Mull on the ‘Brilliant’ on on 27 Sep 1837.

It was a great occasion when the ‘Brilliant’ sailed. The Caledonian Mercury n/i) said:
"The arrival of the ship Brilliant at Tobermory, for the conveyance of emigrants to New South Wales, took place on the 16th September. The size and splendid fittings of this vessel created a sensation in Mull never before equaled; The Highlanders having only been accustomed to see small vessels fitted for American emigration, and when the time of embarkation arrived many families came from a distance prepared to embark, if those engaged should change their resolution, as everything appeared so comfortable and requisite for such an undertaking… The people to be conveyed by this vessel are decidedly the most valuable that have ever left Great Britain; they are all of excellent moral character, and from their knowledge of agriculture, the management of sheep and cattle, must prove a most valuable acquisition to a colony like New South Wales. The following is a list of the districts from which the emigrants were taken, and the number from each:- Ardnamurchan and Strontian, 105; Coll and Tiree, 104; Mull and lona, 56; Morven, 25; Dunoon, 28; teachers, 2; surgeons, 2. Total, 322."

Details of our McLEAN families on the ‘Brilliant’, leaving Tobermory on 27 Sep 1837, & disembarking in Sydney on 22 Jan 1838. r/v)
    Roderick McLEAN Family John McLEAN Family Allan McLEAN (Single)
Head of Family Name Roderick McLEAN John McLEAN
  Native of Parish of Kilninian & Kilmore, Mull. r/v) "Parish of Kilnenan", Mull. Mull
  Son of John McLean of "Achntium", Mull. Brother of John MacLean 1st. r/i ) John McLean farmer and Mary his wife. John & Mary McLean
  Calling Farmer. Farm Servant. Farm Servant
  Age at embarkation 35 32 19
  Read & write English No. Can speak a little,
  Character certified by Rev. Donald Stewart & Andrew Shiel of Kilninian. Rev. Donald Stewart of United Parishes of Kilninian & Kilmore. Rev. Donald Stewart of United Parishes of Kilninian & Kilmore.
  Religion Presbyterian. Presbyterian. Presbyterian
Wife Name Anne McLean. Grace McLean.  
  Native of Same as husband. Same as husband.  
  Daughter of Findlay MacDonald & Catherine MacLean of Mull. Donald McInnes, farmer and McAlman.  
  Calling Dairymaid. Farm house servant.  
  Age 35 27  
  Read & write English Cannot speak English.  
Children   John aged 12 John aged 5  
    Niel aged 2 ½ Alexander aged 5 months  
    Ann aged 11 Mary aged 7  
    Mary aged 5 Jessy aged 3  
Note: r/v) There is no Kilnenan Parish in Mull. The shipping clerk may have thought he heard Kilkenan when he was told "Kilninian". John McLEAN’s emigration reference confirms he was actually from the United Parishes of Kilninian & Kilmore.
    r/i) A mix-up, since John MacLean 1st on the shipping list came from the isle of Coll! Our John is the only possibility for Roderick’s brother from the various John McLEANs … right parents, right Parish of origin.
    No definite link between Allan and the two married families shown in the shipping records, except the men all shared the same parents’ names and also the same minister who certified their characters.

The information in the ‘Brilliant’ shipping documents r/v) (table above) is a starting point in our study of our McLEAN family’s origins, ages and relationships in the United Parishes of Kilninian & Kilmore of Mull.

Ages: The ages of the children are credible in the shipping documents, but the cut-off of age 35 for free passage persuaded the adult emigrants to change their ages. Roderick's second wife, Anne McLEAN, was actually baptised in 1796 r/xvi)…a), and then decreased her age by 7 years at emigration! Similarly, Roderick (b. 1798) and his brother John (b.1801) both dropped their age by 5 years. Their probable DOBs are derived from their death certificates r/i), r/x). John's wife Grace r/xvi)…l) & r/xvii)… e) & r/xviii) decreased her age by 2 years at emigration and by 4 years at the time of her death.

Relationship Roderick and John were identified as brothers, and thus they probably shared parents… John McLEAN, farmer of Achntium (Aintuim), and Mary his wife. Later, John's death certificate r/) identifies their mother as Mary McDONALD. The shipping documents do not distinguish between parents and step parents. Roderick had children John and Ann r/xvi)… c) & r/xvii)… a) to his first wife Effie McLEAN r/xvi)… b) , then Niel and Mary to his second wife Anne McLEAN who is described on the document, together with her step children John and Ann.

There is an 1808 record of a baptism in Aintuim of Allan to John McLEAN & Mary McDONALD r/xvi…v) which is a probable record for our family, and a close association between Roderick and Allan in NSW is shown in their Wills fb/ix), fb/vi)… suggesting a family relationship (even that they are brothers?).

When we admit the 1808 baptism of Allan McLEAN, we need further research on the relevance of the following cluster of OPRs for the christening of children born to John McLEAN & probable Mary McDONALD, Parish of Kilninian & Kilmore.—

Here we could have a "Mary McDONALD alias KENNEDY" who used both surnames at different times and thus was the same mother in all the above records. This could be explained as follows:
(a) Her father at various times used his sept name of KENNEDY and at other times used his clan name of McDONALD.
(b) She was previously married to a KENNEDY or McDONALD and thus variously used her maiden name or the name of a previous husband.

If this is true, then we have an exact birth record for our Roderick McLEAN rather than an estimate (b. 1798) based on his age given at his death. We can also identify the siblings of our Roderick, John and Allan.

…** In an attempt to reduce the complexity of the above, please see HERE for the reduced and partly integrated Descendancy Reports of the McLEAN, McINNES, McDONALD families.**…

Locations The shipping documents gives the locality of John & Roderick's parents at "Achntium". This was probably a spelling of Aintuim, found near Dervaig on the Salen to Dervaig road… note the alternate spellings: Achntium/ Antuim/ Aintuim/ Antuime/ Awintyma b/iv). Roderick’s death certificate says that his place of birth was at "Ben Moloch" r/i). I initially thought that "Ben Moloch" was the hill Mullach Ban, which has the coordinates 412.557, a height 80 metres and about 6km NNW of Dervaig. This proposition was supported by the Old Parish Records: "2(?)th Oct: John McLean and Mary McDONALD in Aintuim had son Hugh baptized". r/vi)

However… Roderick and John's families both thought that they originated (at some stage) from places which had the sound-alike names of "Druimfin" (Roderick) or "Druimfionn" (John). I puzzled about this, thinking that this was Druimfin, just SE of Tobermory, with views of the "Hills of Morven", across the Sound of Mull. Roderick's property in Cabbage Tree NSW was called "Drumphin" fb/iv) . The McLEANs of Lismore NSW (descendants of John b. Aug 1832) thought their ancestor came from Drumfionn in Morvern fb/iv) , since they called two of their Lismore houses "Morven" and "Drumfionn", and named one of his grandchildren accordingly: John Morven McLEAN (1908-1992). However, "Drumfionn" cannot be located on Morven. Even so, there is a Drimlin situated opposite Tobermory on the shore of Morven.

Perhaps "Drumfionn" was near Aintuim? There is a "Druim Fhionnghail" 2km NW from Aintuim on the S edge of the Loch a' Chumhainn". Then 1km W of Druim Fhionnghail is Penmore where Roderick's daughter Anne was baptised r/xvii)… a), r/xvi)… c) in his first marriage to Effie McLEAN.

The locations of the McLEAN in-laws in the common and/or neighbouring locations of Druimfionn / Druim Fhionnghail / Penmore / Penmollach / Ben Moloch; and also later, Tobermory / Achacharra / Achecher… also give an indication of the location of the McLEANs. 1km N of Druim Fhionnghail across the Loch, is Penmollach where the parents of Roderick's second wife Anne McDONALD were married r/xvi)…d), and also Anne's 2 elder sisters Flora & Mary were baptised r/xvi)…e,f). The association of the McDONALD & McLEAN families would link them both to Penmollach. Druim Fhionnghail is probably Drumfionn and Penmollach is probably Ben Moloch?

Roderick's brother John married Grace / Grizzel McINNES about the probable date of 1830, when his first child Mary was born r/v). The McINNES family was also associated with Penmore (mentioned above). Grace's parents Donald McINNES and Ann /Alan McCALMAN were married in 1793 r/xvi… m), had at least 4 children baptised in Treshnish r/xvii… b,c,d,g) & r/xvi… h,j) , then moved 7km NE to Penmore by 1808 when their daughter Grace/ Grizzel was baptised r/xvi)…l) & r/xvii)…e), and son Alexander was baptised there in 1812 r/xvii… e).

This Druim Fhionnghail / Penmore / Penmollach area was part of the Quinish Estate, owned up to 1856 by the MacLEANs of Coll. In 1826 the Laird of Coll commenced clearances of his tenants, shipping 443 of his cottars and crofters to America from his Isle of Rum. The Quinish Estate on Mull would not have escaped these pressures which may have caused the McLEANs and some of their McDONALD relations to move to the Tobermory area.

The following births were recorded at Tobermory: Mary r/v), fb/viii) to Roderick & Anne in 1832; Hector fb/viii), r/xvi… g) to Anne McDONALD's sister Mary & her husband Lachlan McLEAN in 1826; Jessie fb/i), r/v) and Alexander r/v, r/viii) to John McLEAN & Grace/ Grizzel McINNES in 1834 and 1837. Possibly John McLEAN's son John who was born in 1832 was also born in Tobermory. The Findlay McDONALD & Catherine McLEAN family moved from Penmollach to Achacharra ( Achecher… north of Tobermory) at least by 1795, where the following baptisms were recorded: Anne, 1795; Catherine, 1801; John, 1805; Allan, 1807; Alexander, 1811 r/xvi… h,j,k,l).. Note that Anne McDONALD b. 1795 married Roderick McLEAN abt 1827, presumably in the McDONALD's Tobermory area, indicating that Roderick had left the Penmore area after the birth of Anne (1826) to his first wife Effie. Roderick & Effie's son John b. 1825 r/v) confuses the picture when he thinks at the time of his marriage that he was born at Tobermory r/xix), when he was probably born at Penmore.

Then Hector (above) arrives in NSW about 1853, visits Roderick & Anne, and marries their daughter Mary (also mentioned above)… a real reunion from Tobermory! Hector probably arrived in the crew of a ship n/xxxvii) and thus did not appear in emigration lists.

…** By now, there is a real need to reduce the complexity of the above. Please see HERE for the reduced and partly integrated Descendancy Reports of the McLEAN, McINNES, McDONALD families.**…

My family's direct ancestor, Jessie McLEAN, was born on 17 Jun fb/i) 1834 r/v) in Tobermory r/ii, fb/i). See Chapters Eight and Nine for details of Jessie’s family. Jessie described her birthplace as "Tobermorrow", Isle of Mull, when she registered the birth of her first daughter r/ii). In her family bible she describes it as "Tobermorry", and also gives the day and month of her birth fb/i). The index to Tobermory births in the OPR commences in 1830, but does not include Jessie’s 1834 birth.

Pigot’s 1851 Directory said: "TOBERMORY: is a thriving seaport in the island of Mull, and county of Argyll. It is seated at the extremity of a fine sheltered bay, said to be one of the safest harbours on the western coast of Scotland. It is between two and three miles from the mainland, and derives its name from a celebrated well or spring, called Mary’s well, to which the vulgar superstitiously ascribe many imaginary virtues… Tobermory is the only village in Mull, or the western islands, of any consequence; its trade is chiefly domestic, with a tolerably good herring fishery."

Acknowledgements: Thanks to Doreen Hornsby who obtained the location "Penmollach" for the above events from the OPR films, elucidated McDONALD—McLEAN relationships through correspondence in an Isle of Mull mailing list thread and also alerted me to the Treshnish McINNES records. To Lurline Lane who shared with me the family tradition that Hector McLEAN had married his cousin Mary McLEAN… and to Kerrie Wheeler who shared the other family tradition that Roderick McLEAN had married twice, together with data on Roderick's first marriage & its descendants. Also to Mavis McLean whose long-term interest in in the McLEAN family history (visited Mull twice) led her to find a relationship between Allan & Roderick McLEAN and to initially investigate the origins of the respective families of Hector and Mary McLEAN. Last, but not least… Keith Sanger who suggested that the localities of Penmollach and Druim Fhionnghail might have relevance to my search for Ben Moloch and Druimfionn, which enabled another breakthrough.

Earliest stories in Australia

Roderick, John and their probable (?) brother Allan probably initially settled in the Morpeth area after they landed in the Colony of NSW in 1838. Roderick then moved to the Raymond Terrace area… see Roderick's story in chapter 12. John moved to the Manning River district, and his subsequent story and the story of his children in the Colony of NSW is described below and in chapter 11. Allan remained in Morpeth until his death. His story is described in chapter 12.

…John’s Story.

John McLEAN was born in the Parish of Kilninian and Kilmore in the Isle of Mull. His shipping data gives a DOB of abt 1806, whereas his death certificate in August 1871 with an age of 70, gives a DOB of abt 1801. Perhaps he understated his real age (37) at emigration to a stated age (32) to obtain free passage (cut-off at age 35). Thus we will regard the death certificate DOB of abt 1801 as correct. Therefore, John emigrated on 27 Sep 1837 from Isle of Mull, on the ship ‘Brilliant’; at the age of 37. John initially settled near Morpeth, in the Hunter River District, NSW. John died in Oxley Island, Manning River, NSW, on 17 Aug 1871; he was 70. The cause of death was given as old age and final debility, which had occurred for 3 years. The informant of John’s death was his son John, of Oxley Island. He was buried on 19 Aug 1871 at Taree, NSW. His son-in-law John McNeil was in charge of the burial. The minister was William Wilson of the Wesleyan Church. John was a farmer in Australia, and farm servant in his immigration documents. His religion was Presbyterian in his shipping documents, though he was buried as a Wesleyan. On about 1830 when John was 29, he married 21 year old Grace / Grizell McINNES, daughter of Donald McINNES & Alan / Ann McCALMAN, in Scotland. Grace’s death certificate gives her marriage date of abt 1830. This is partly confirmed by the DOB of her first born Mary, of abt 1830 in the shipping records. Grace was baptised at Penmore, Isle of Mull on 14 Jul 1808 r/xvi)…l) & r/xvii)…e),. Grace emigrated with her husband on the ‘Brilliant’, she was 29. At time of emigration Grace had been a farm house servant in Mull. Grace died on the Oxley Island, Manning River, NSW, on 17 Oct 1877; she was 69. The informant of her death was son John of Oxley Island. She was buried on 18 Oct 1877 in Taree Cemetery, NSW. The minister was the Rev. Duncan Kennedy McIntyre b/vi), p131 (in charge of the Presbyterian congregations of Redbank, Tinonee and Wingham 1872-1879), and the witnesses were John Laing and her next-door neighbour, Charles H. Polson.


In the Hunter district.
Image of 1920 Middlehope Parish Map.1920 Middlehope Parish Map m/ix). Just N of Morpeth is the Hunter R, flowing E from a meander (Narrowgut). Phoenix Park is bounded by the opposite bank to Morpeth, Narrowgut meander, & N by the Paterson R. Note that Narrowgut was a meander in 1920, & is now a drained & cultivated oxbow lake.

A 1913 biography says that John McLEAN “settled in the Hunter District, near to Morpeth… (giving the further information)… being ardent Free Church people jealously supervised at home (children’s) religious education. Gaelic was the language spoken on (their) farm." n/vii) A more precise location around Morpeth was indicated when John's son Donald was born on 22 Feb 1840 at Morpeth Flats and then baptised in the Parish of Middlehope r/xv).

The name "Morpeth Flats" presents problems. It must have been a local name and is not a recognised geographical name. Only one reference has been found to this locality, which turned out to refer to the Parish Register entry of Donald McLEAN's birth r/xv), b/xiii).

Searching for “Morpeth Flats”… "flats" are either shallow areas (shoals) in a river which present problems in navigation OR alluvial plains next to a river. Let's look at both options:

Flats… shallow areas in rivers (shoals)…
 The nearest significant shoals east of Morpeth which presented a challenge to Morpeth shipping was east of Hinton. This was identified on an 1875-1875 map as J. Eales Flat m/x), and Eales land is shown on a 1830-1839 plan m/xi). An 1844 dredging committee report said: “Yesterday week Mr. White completed his survey of the portions of the river Hunter embracing the Flats, the shoal below Raymond Terrace, and the shoal near Mr. Eales's. …The plan of the section near Mr. Eales's shows that for the space of about one hundred yards, near Bendell's wharf, there is only from 6 ¼ to 8 ½ feet water at low tide. In the other parts of the channel near this shoal there is from 8 ½ feet water upwards.” n/Liii) These flats could have given their name to the adjacent land, by extension. However, the literature does not show the name "Morpeth" being attached to these flats which are distant from Morpeth. John Eales was responsible for an initial offer of land to Highlanders in the 'Midlothian' which arrived shortly before the 'Brilliant'. The immigrants rejected Eales' land and 21 families settled on George Lang's property at Dunmore n/Liv). Not all of these immigrants may have rejected Eales, since the 1830-1839 plan showed a portion endorsed "Government land leased to Highlanders" just north of Eales' land m/x) op.cit.. Did immigrants from the 'Brilliant' settle here? Were the McLEANs amongst them?

Flats… alluvial plain next to a river…
 It was suggested that the alluvial plain in the locality Phoenix Park (shown in the above map) is more likely to be Morpeth Flats… it is a river flat in the Parish of Middlehope and it is just across the river from Morpeth. A further indication that John's brother Roderick also farmed in this area is shown by a record that Roderick's son Neil continued farming at Narrowgut n/xxxvi) (near Morpeth) until before 1859, when the electoral roll records him at Cabbage Tree b/x). Referring to the above map, the Narrowgut area includes the western part of Phoenix Park. Standish Laurence Harris (Colonial Civil Architect) w/ii) received a grant for Phoenix Park and auctioned it in 1830 n/Lviii), 1831 n/Li) & 1833 n/Lii). The auction advertisements give details of the subdivided farms. The 1830 advertisement described the Estate as: "known commonly by the name of Narrowgut, from its locality to the estate of J. Close, Esq. M. C. J. P. &c." Next year the advertisement went more up-market with the names: "Goulburn Grove also known as Phoenix Park or Narrigan". It is claimed that the aboriginal name "Narrigan" was corrupted to Narrowgut w/v).

A solution to our search was made possible in Immigration records which noted the name and address of the persons engaging the immigrant and the terms of employment. These indicated that John and his brother Roderick were employed initially by a J. Barker (perhaps on the same farm?) when they arrived r/xx), r/xxi). Is it possible that James Barker employed the McLEAN brothers as tenants on his Castle Forbes estate in the parish of Whittingham and SE of Singleton, NSW? Since Barker auctioned his estate in 1840 m/xii), this fits the scenario of the McLEANs being back at Morpeth Flats in 1840.

John Dunmore Lang gave our best indication of what happened to our McLEANs in the Hunter district. He said: "the Tobermory people were settled on Mr. James Barker's forest land at Patrick's Plains (old name for Singleton) which they were obliged to leave after losing a year's crop and nearly a year's labour… have since done much better at Mr. Close's" n/Lvii) "Much better" was comparing the success of our Tobermory immigrants on Mr. Close's Estate with that of the Isle of Skye immigrants from the 'Midlothian' on Dunmore Estate.

Lt. Edward Charles Close resigned from the army to settle (in 1822) on his land grant, Illulaung, (eventually at least 2250-acre) which was Koori for "the place of green hills". This adjoined the government reserve for the township of Morpeth, at the head of navigation of the Hunter River b/xii), w/iii. The Close Estate and the adjacent Narrowgut Estate in the Maitland Parish map m/xiii) must have comprised "Narrowgut". Coincidentally (?) the number of portions (farms) in both of the above Estates in the below map m/xiii) is 31, and there are 31 separate surnames of people with the "Narrowgut" address in the Morpeth 1872 Directory w/iv). Lt. Close's correspondence about his selection survives fb/xi). In 1821 he received approval in principle for a 1200ac selection, which grew to 1500ac at the end of the year, contingent on him resigning from the 48th Regiment. Another year, and more correspondence and his grant was now 2000ac. Then in 1825 he applied for the purchase of a further 260ac… an area significant for our McLEANs? This was approved on 9 Nov 1825 and fully paid on 5 Apr 1840. His application said:

Illulaung Hunter River April 19th 1825
Adjoining this farm are two long narrow points, formed by the sinuarities (sinuousness??) of this River, said by Mr Dangar the Assistant Surveyor to contain about 260 acres. These from their situation and other peculiarities unprofitable to any other person besides myself will be of course desirable benefit in Dry Seasons— I am anxious with your Excellency's permission to obtain them by purchase and trust to Your Excellency's favourable consideration.
I have the honor to be
Your Excellency's most
obedient and humble Servant.
E.C. Close
(To) His Excellency Sir Thos Brisbane KCB fb/xi)
Note: The two areas are probably marked Kings Island and Closes Estate in the below map.

We also have an indication of when and why the McLEANs left Barker's Estate… "(the Tobermory people) were obliged to leave after losing a year's crop and nearly a year's labour" n/Lvii) op. cit.. Also… "the location system… in the case of the Highlanders at St Patrick's Plains, has it is said, proved a complete failure" n/Lvi). Presumably they left Patrick Plains in 1839 in the context of a "3 year drought (1837-1839) which almost exterminated the sheep and cattle of Australia and dried up the Murrumbidgee river." n/Lv)

As they say, "bingo!" The McLEAN Morpeth Flats location was actually Narrowgut if the McLEANs were on E.C. Close's Estate. We were on the wrong side of the Hunter river in the neighbouring Phoenix Estate… acting on the false assumption that the McLEANs lived in the same Parish (Middlehope) that their son was baptised! Adding to the uncertainty was Lang's account that the aborigines originally included Phoenix Park in their "Narragan" area and Narragan was corrupted by the settlers to "Narrowgut" w/v), b/xiv). Presumably the application of this name was extended to include the adjacent area over the river? See the map below.

John Dunmore Lang's 1834 account of this area is too good to pass over, or even put in an appendix… so here it is:

The country along the course of the Hunter appears to have undergone considerable changes in its physical conformation from the inundations of the river. In some places the river has been entirely diverted from its former channel, leaving a line of long narrow lagoons to designate the place of the ancient rushing of its waters; in other parts of its course, lakes, whose existence cannot be doubted for a moment, have gradually disappeared, and been succeeded by grassy plains, islands, or peninsulas. This is particularly obvious at Patrick‘s Plains, a level tract of alluvial land of considerable extent, about thirty miles from the town of Maitland, as well as at the Green Hills at the head of the navigation. At the latter of these localities, the rivers Hunter and Patterson, or, as they are called by the black natives, the Coquun and the Yimmang, approach to within two hundred yards of each other, and, then diverging, inclose between their deep channels a peninsula of upwards of eleven hundred acres of alluvial land, forming almost a dead level. The peninsula, which the natives call Narragan, but which the late proprietor, Mr. Harris, a native of Dublin, called the Phoenix Park, is without exception the finest piece of land, both for quality of soil and for beauty of scenery and situation, I have ever seen,— being entirely of alluvial formation, and bounded on all sides, with the exception of the narrow isthmus that connects it with the main-land, by broad and deep rivers, the banks of which are ornamented with a natural growth of the most beautiful shrubbery; while over its whole extent patches of rich grassy plain, of thirty or forty acres each, alternate with clumps or narrow beltings of forest, as if the whole had tastefully laid out for a nobleman’s park by a skilful landscape-gardener. Mr. Harris has informed me, however, that in digging a well, somewhere near centre of the peninsula, he found pieces of charred wood at a depth of nine feet from the surface, or beneath the present level of the river. It cannot be doubted, therefore, that the beautiful peninsula of Narragan was formerly a lake, and that it owes its existence to successive deposits of alluvium from the two rivers b/xiv).
Green Hills was the name of Lt. E.C. Close’s selection and also the original name for Morpeth.

Image of 1920 Middlehope Parish Map.1912 Maitland Parish Map m/xiii). E.C. CLOSE's holdings. Bottom of the map is 175ac "Higher Green Hills". Immediately E is 85ac "Bishops Court" a CLOSE gift to the CofE. N of tramway is “Narrowgut Estate”, presumed to be originally a CLOSE holding known as “Morpeth Flats" (?) before subdivision in 1884. Continuing N into the narrowed Narrowgut meander is “Close’s Estate”. W of this is CLOSE'S “Kings Island.”

Roderick's story is continued in chapter 12. Read on in this chapter (10) about John's story.

Further information about locations of John's family is given by the following birth records: Neil was born in 1841 at Williamtown r/xii), Angus b. 1 Jun 1844 at Morpeth (was this also Morpeth Flats?)… and was baptised in the Parish of Maitland, which included portion of Morpeth. r/iv), Ann b. 1848 at Williamtown r/xii), Allan b. 20 October 1849 at Raymond Terrace and baptised at the same place r/xiii), and Roderick b. 21 Dec 1851 at Tomago and then baptised back at the Parish of Middlehope r/xiv). Roderick's birthplace might have been on his uncle Roderick's tenant-farm… see chapter 12.

We hope for documentation which could throw more light on these Hunter District birth locations, which are within a 10km radius of Raymond Terrace. There is an 20 Oct 1849 advertisement from a John McLEAN… tenant farmer on the Hillsborough Estate near Maitland which indicates another possibility? n/xxxv) The right name and place, and leaving the district for Raymond Terrace at the right time OR perhaps even preparing for his purchase of land on the Manning? The advertisement says in part:

"Interest in a Rich Agricultural Farm.
Part of the Hillsborough Estate, on the banks of the River Hunter, within 8 miles of Maitland.
Growing Crops, Dairy Cows, Heifers, Steers, Working Bullocks, Farming Implements, Pigs, Household Furniture, draught and Saddle Mares, Horses, a splendid Colt, 2-year-old (entire), Cart and Plough, Harness, lady's side and other Riding Saddles.
Mr. Jeremiah Ledsam has been honoured with instructions from Mr John McLean, preparatory to his departure from the district, to sell by public auction, on his Farm, part of the Hillsborough Estate, near Maitland, on Thursday, the 1st day of November, 1849, at Eleven o'clock, a.m., The INTEREST in the FARM at present in his occupation ( if not previously disposed of by Private Contract), comprising 380 acres, viz.—
80 Acres of first rate Agricultural Land, of which there are 30 Acres under Wheat. 10 Acres under Barley, and ripe for the sickle. 12 Acres ploughed, and partly under corn. 28 Acres cleared and in a virgin state. (Also) 300 Acres laid out as a bush paddock, enclosed by a good and substantial fence.
On the Farm is erected, a commodious COTTAGE, nearly finished; also, suitable Stockyards and Out-buildings, &c. To any seeking for a good and excellent Agricultural Farm of sufficient magnitude for the growth of grain, and agistment of and breeding of Cattle, this presents many if not all the essential pre-requisites, namely— first-rate agricultural and depasturing lands; comfortable homestead, situate on the banks of the River Hunter, proximate to the commercial town of Maitland; moderate annual rental; a gentleman of urbane character, distinguished by ardent desire to promote the temporal interests of his tenantry, the proprietor of the soil. Parties anxious to acquire the farm are invited to Hillsborough to form a correct idea of its high excellence and productive capabilities, when they will be treated with “privately”, on reasonable terms, by Mr McLean, the occupying tenant. Possession to be given immediately after the 1st of November next.

To the Manning river.

John’s grand daughter Eliza HUNTER (née McLEAN) did much research on her family, which was recorded on a card system. One card fb/vii) said:

  • John McLean (the Elder) of Drimnin took up a Selection Grant Dated 16.8.1844; Farm No. 6 Williams River “To be known as ‘Drim-nin’” comprising 120 acres, price £120. BOOK 76 P. 141.

John McLean took up three of four blocks on Oxland (Oxley) Is. (Manning river) in 1852. That is:

  • John McLean of Cabbage Tree near Raymond Terrace, Portion 9, 61 acres £61. No. 88; P. 99.
  • John McLean of Drimnin near Clarence Town, Portion 10, £68, 68 ac. No. 88; P. 100.
  • John McLean of Cabbage Tree also selected 56 a. 3 r., Portion 20, Oxley Is. On 26/7/1852. No. 87; P. 106.

The "eureka moment" was comparing the size of the selected blocks and their portion numbers on this card with the Oxley Island data shown later in this chapter… and they matched! The two locations Clarence Town and Cabbage Tree suggest two separate families? My family which had emigrated from "Drumphin"/"Drumfionn"/"Druimfin" on the Isle of Mull on the ‘Brilliant’ r/v) and the other from Drimnin near Drimlin on neighbouring Morvern across the Sound of Mull which had emigrated on the ‘British King’ r/xiii).

Now look at newspaper accounts of the "Drimnin" McLEAN purchases:

"At the Crown Land Sale, held at Dungog on June 16, 1852, Mr John MacLean, 'Drimnin', Clarencetown, purchased for his three sons, Robert, Hector and Archibald MacLean, three blocks of brush-land each containing 109, 68 and 61 acres on Oxley Island, fronting the South Channel, Manning River. These they each named, "Torwood", "Copabelia" (sic?) and "Ferndale" respectively. The three MacLean brothers were the first permanent European settlers on Alley Island. In the year 1852, Messrs. Robert and Hector MacLean spent a short period on the Turon and Victorian gold diggings." n/xxvii, n/xxx) Further newspaper references suggest that Robert owned "Torwood", Hector owned "Copabella", Archibald owned "Ferndale". n/xxviii, n/xxix, n/xxx)

Another "eureka moment"… the acreage details given on the Oxley Island data shown later in this chapter tell us that the "Drimnin" McLEAN purchases described in the newspaper correspond with portions 9,10,11!

Following information from the card fb/vii), newspaper n/xxvii, n/xxx) , Birrell b/ii) and maps m/i-vi)(detailed later in this chapter), we find that Mr John MacLean,‘Drimnin’ stayed in Clarence Town on Farm No. 6. Then in 1852, the ‘Drimnin’ McLEAN sons took up their father’s selections of portions 9,10,11 on Oxley Island, and our ‘Cabbage Tree’ John McLEAN Snr. (b. 1801) selected portion 20 on Oxley Island and portion 17 at Bohnock. Subsequently in 1856, our John McLEAN (either Snr or Jnr) took up portion 7.

Footnotes: 1) John McLEAN’s 60ac farm ‘Drimnin’ was Portion 6B, ½ mile south of the boundary of Clarence Town and on the opposite and eastern side of the Williams River, in the parish of Wilmot, Co. Gloucester. m/vii) The land was purchased at auction on 13 Sept 1843, and registered on 27 Jun 1844. John McLEAN remained on his farm until he died on 26 Aug 1865, when his land was absorbed into the adjoining estates. b/vii, n/xxx)
        2) The Drimnin McLEANs and our McLEANs remained closely linked… Robert of "Torwood" became John [Snr]’s good friend and executor of his will. fb/vi) Torwood’s name was perpetuated when John [Snr]’s eldest child Mary moved to Richmond River… their selection on Wilson’s Creek was also named "Torwood" n/iv) … meaningful to Scottish nationalists as the forest used as a strategic refuge in King Robert Bruce’s Battle of Bannockburn against the British. Robert was also linked through sister-in-law Harriet CAMERON who married John [Snr]’s son Neil r/vii). Hector of "Copabella" was linked with our John McLEAN in an advertisement for tenders for the erection of a Provisional School at "Copabella".

The next significant information was the search for gold! John [Jnr] wandered from the Hunter District in search of gold. His biography n/vii) says: "While yet an active stripling and full of ambition, John MacLean left home in the high hope that at the Snowy river diggings a big fortune awaited his advent. Weary and footsore he reached that Eldorado, but soon discovered that hard work did not bring him the anticipated fortune. The winter conditions and the difficulties of obtaining supplies were severe. Losing hope, he returned on foot to his parents’ home 400 miles distant. Very soon thereafter, gold was subsequently discovered among the mountains at Barrington and at Hanging Rock, within six miles of the Hunter Valley. Its glamour and its possibilities again induced the young Highlander to try his luck among these mountains, the valleys of which had then been settled by Gaelic speaking families. Among his ‘ain folk’ as a digger he had no success." The family lived "on the Hunter River for fourteen years and then removed to the Manning River in 1853." fb/ii)

John [Snr] may have had better success on the goldfields, which might explain how the McLEANs could later buy a considerable amount of property on the Manning River. Birrell b/ii) gives details of these land purchases, placed in the first four columns of the following table. His data was extracted from portion plans and parish maps and letters concerning lands, and shows that a John McLean purchased 5 portions on Oxley Island and 1 portion on Bohnock, Manning River, between 1852 - 1856. The Bohnock selection is just west of our John McLEAN’s selection on Oxley island and just across the South Channel.

This table now synthesises all the above information:

John McLEAN purchases on Oxley Island & Bohnock.
Plan #
1856 P#
1886 P#
1937 P#
1954 P#
Subsequent use/ current status b/xi)
Oxley Is
1854 1856 OUR Donald
- / 7
Oxley Is
Used by Layton family as a residence and butchery business. Originally with jetty, sheds, slaughter house, extensive gardens. 
Oxley Is

Oxley Is
Part of portion 11 occupied by ‘Paringa’ and its farm, early 20C weatherboard farm house. 
Oxley Is
? /17
Abandoned 60 year old dairy
Oxley Is
Oxley Is
Present day farm house ‘Thistle Glen’
9 Jun
- /17 
Notes: i) Oxley Island portions… Crown land Selections by the two John McLEAN [Snr]s, apart from Portion 17.
ii)Bohnock (in Redbank) portion 17… a private property sale from Gordon Lewis, to "our" John McLEAN [Snr].
iii) Oxley Island portion 17… private property sale from George Jordan to "our" John McLEAN [Jnr].
iv)Locations of the McLEAN portions are shown in the map below with red portion numbers. m/vi)
iv)J. McLEAN (Clarencetown)… John McLEAN [Snr] from Clarence Town farm ‘Drimnin’. His sons Robert, Hector and Archibald farmed the Oxley Island selections. Robert was executor of OUR John McLEAN (Snr)'s Will.
iv)Samuel GIBSON's daughters married OUR John McLEAN [Snr]'s sons John and Donald.

The succession of maps in columns 7 to 9 above were examined to find the locations of McLEAN ownership and perhaps pick up some changes in ownership. Further questions about these properties can only really be answered in the Lands Department Old System folios, even though an advertisement by Neil McLEAN described in this chapter explains in part the subsequent transfer of Titles. n/xx) The locations of the McLEAN portions are shown in the map below. m/vi)

Image of 1954 Oxley Parish Map.Lower portion of the 1954 Oxley Parish Map, above the Bohnock Parish. m/vi)
The red numbers (John McLEAN) are the same as in the first column of the above table.

And there was more… on 12 Dec 1854 a John McLEAN bought land in Henry Flett’s first Taree Plain land sale.There were 18 initial purchasers in this sale, which directly led to the establishment of the Taree township. b/vi), pp 47-48

In those days the Manning River was isolated and had a low population. Bailliere (1870) b/i) gives Taree a population of 150, Oxley Island is not even described, and Redbank (adjacent to Oxley Island) has 170 people. Oxley Island is part of the delta of the Manning River, bounded in part by the main stream and the South passage of the River. Redbank was the local Presbyterian centre, with both a school and church, and was across the South Arm of the river from Oxley Island. Redbank is now named Pampoolah.

John [Jnr]’s biography n/vii) gives the impression that he took up a large selection at age 20 (1853) and did all the work, without mentioning the input of the rest of his family. Who owned the selections in the name of John McLEAN… father or sons? Regardless of who owned the Selections or did the work, it is a good description of the difficulties on Oxley Island. "When twenty years of age he (John [Jnr]) visited the rich and fertile flats of the Manning Valley, then being settled. Here he took up a large selection (actually 37 acres, portion 17) of scrub land, upon which grew heavy and valuable forest trees, which he laboriously felled and sold, burning the scrub. The clearing work of the early settlers was heavy and ceaseless. From sunrise to sunset they plied the axe and after the evening meal this patient toiler returned with a lantern to the scene of his labours to burn the scrub. In this manner he cleared, ploughed and planted with maize one of the finest farms of that fertile district."

John and Grace’s children started making their own lives. In 1855, daughter Janet was married at Redbank to John McNEIL, and the following year their daughter Grace was born. See Chapters Eight and Nine for details of this family.

Details of the other children are contained in chapter 11, but here is a partial chronology of following family events in the Manning & Richmond River Districts: In 1857, daughter Mary married William McKINNON at nearby Tinonee. By 1859, Mary’s son William was born, and there is a surviving shop invoice (24 Jul 1860), showing that William McKINNON ran a general store "Balmoral House" at Redbank. b/iii) Sadly, the following year in 1861, John & Grace’s 12 year old son Allan died accidentally on Oxley Island from being dragged by a horse. r/xi)

The first child to leave the area was Mary, with her husband William McKINNON. In 1863 b/v, p34), they moved to Rocky Mouth (or Maclean on the Clarence River, northern NSW.) Here they set up another general store, also called "Balmoral House". b/iii, b/v)

In 1864, sons Donald and John married the daughters of Samuel GIBSON. Samuel was Scot-Irish, who emigrated to NSW in 1838 from Saintfield, County Down, Ireland. He owned a nearby 51ac farm on Oxley Island, as well as his main residence ‘Bellfield’ on Red Bank.

John Dunmore LANG stayed at Samuel's 'Bellfield' on 17 Nov 1850. He described Samuel: “ (I) took up abode at the house of Samuel Gibson, a respectable Presbyterian settler from the north of Ireland, who had been six years on the Manning, and was farming upwards of 100 acres of the richest alluvial land, which he had purchased on its bank” b/xiv)…pg 211. Lang also said that Samuel had been a tenant farmer “… for six years after his arrival (1838) in the colony at Hunter's River.” b/xiv)…pg 214

Samuel was an important person in local affairs, and a member (chairman?) of the Redbank Public School board n/Lix). Donald married Eliza GIBSON at ‘Bellfield’, and John married Eliza’s sister, Mary GIBSON, at Redbank (probably at ‘Bellfield’). (Note that Donald and John's sister Annie married Samuel GIBSON's son Hugh ten years later… see chapter 11). The last marriage of John and Grace’s children in the Manning District was in 1867 when Neil married Harriet CAMERON at Redbank.

Neighbourhood disputes led to court appearances. In Nov 1865 John’s neighbour POLSON charged him with trespass and unlawfully driving cattle over his land. POLSON also charged John [Jnr] with allowing a dog to worry a pig… and charged Donald with assault! In this last case, evidence was given that: "defendant and others were driving a cow along the government road, until they came to a place where a tree had fallen across the road. They then turned out of the road and were here met by Mr Polson, who ordered them back. Polson was peremptory, but the McLeans were obstinate. The result was that a pistol was drawn and a whip placed in a somewhat equivocal position". The case was dismissed. n/xxi) The POLSONs and the McLEANs must have later made peace, since Charles POLSON was mentioned as a witness at Grace McLEAN’s funeral in 1877.

John [Jnr]’s biography referred to his parents as "ardent Free Church people" n/vii) In Aug 1865, John [Snr]’s donation of £10 was on a published list of donors for the construction of the Tinonee Free Presbyterian Church. n/xxii) He was also highly respected in the community, shown by his occupying a place vacated by a retiring magistrate. n/xxiii) John [Snr]’s faith and that of his family is indicated by the preamble to his Will, given his mark "X" on 17 Nov 1869. This says:

"I, John McLean of Oxley Island (etc etc), being now very ill and weak of body, but of perfect mind and memory, — Thanks to the giver of all good — in consequence of my Age and frailty I feel assured that my life is fast hastening to an end, and do Make, and Ordain, This my last Will and Testament That is today principally and first of all, I give and recommend my soul to God that gave it, And my body I recommend to the Earth, to be buried in decent Christian Burial at the discretion of my family and friends, nothing doubting but at the General Resur(r)ection I shall receive the same again by the Almighty power of God. And at touching such wordly Estate wherewith it hath pleased God to bless me in this life, I give and dispose of the same in the following manner—" fb/v)

John [Snr] died a year and half after the signing of his Will, on 17 Aug 1871, after 3 years of old age and general debility. r/x) At that stage his Will fb/v) tells us that his only property was the Portion 20 (56 acres 3 roods or 22.97 hectares)… mentioned above. Had he disposed of his other property to some of his sons prior to his death? Twelve days before John [Snr]’s death, John [Jnr]'s farm was advertised for sale, which gives us an idea of the stock and equipment owned by the settlers of that period. It said:

"Area: 37 ½ acres, 33 acres cultivated. Stock on farm: 2 draught horses, 1 mare, 1 colt, a number of horses, a number of cows (prime milkers), heifers, steers, pigs. Implements: Iron and wooden ploughs; double and single harrows; cart and trace harness; horse cart; barrow. 2 boats. House, barnyard, piggeries." An account of the proposed sale was elsewhere in the same issue of the newspaper, which identifies the seller as John [Jnr] not [Snr] and pinpoints the location as on the South Passage, and when the acreage is used with the other information we can conclude the farm was Portion 17 on Oxley Island, selected by George Jordan and just north of John [Jnr]'s father-in-law Samuel GIBSON. This account says: "Farm for sale - Samuel Plummer has received instructions from Mr John McLean, who is leaving the district, to submit to public competition, at his residence, Oxley Island, South Passage"… "his excellent farming stock, implements, cattle, and household furniture, also a really choice farm of rich alluvial land, being all that parcel of land, now in occupation of Mr John McLean, situated at Oxley Island, containing 37 acres, of which 33 acres are under cultivation, the residue being a grass paddock. The improvements are ample and substantial, consisting of house, barn yard, piggeries etc". This account then tells us the location of Donald McLEAN'S property! "Also (if not previously disposed of privately) all that piece or parcel of land, situated at Oxley Island, containing 88 acres, now in occupation of Mr Donald McLean, upon which are considerable improvements and all necessary buildings." n/xix) The acreage tells us that this property was John McLEAN [Snr]'s selection, portion 7. The birth of Donald's son Samuel also tells us… "Residence of Informant: Donald McLean, Father, Saintfield Oxley Island." r/iii) Donald's parents-in-law were born in Saintfield Co. Down, Ireland… perhaps his property was given this name to please his wife.

Neil McLEAN’s farm advertisement on 17 May 1873 explained who farmed the portion 17 at Bohnock, described on the above table, and also what eventually happened to one of our John McLEAN’s selections. He advertised his 30 acre Redbank farm for sale at £100. The advertisement explained that "the Vendor is the equitable owner of the Property, having purchased it from his father in his life-time. But Mr John McLean having died without conveying the property, the legal title is in his heirs. It will be one of the conditions of sale that the vendor shall enter into a bond to procure the signatures of all the heirs to a Title Deed". n/xx) The location given in the advertisement: "near the entrance to the South Passage" can be matched with Portion 17 of the Bohnock parish map m/iv) and with the same Portion in the 1954 parish map; m/vi) and also with John McLEAN’s purchase of Portion 17 made on 9 Jun 1855, b/ii) shown in the above table.

John had appointed his son John as an executor. Everything was left to his wife, Grace, apart from what was owned by his youngest daughter Ann. After Grace’s death the farm was to be subdivided between his sons Angus and Roderick. fb/v) It was a sad year for Grace, since her son Alexander also died on the steamer ‘Fire King’ at nearby Croki, n/xxiv) and then sons John [Jnr] and Donald moved to Richmond River, (North Coast of NSW). fb/iii) John [Jnr] must have left Oxley Island immediately after his father’s death, since he was the informant of his father’s death r/x) and John [Jnr]’s family bible fb/ii) says that he arrived at the Richmond River in Sept 1871. Consequently it would have been difficult for John [Jnr] to discharge his responsibilities of being his father’s executor, especially with the family’s subsequent problems with finance n/xxiv) and transfer of land Titles. n/xx) There is no mention of these problems in the Probate papers. fb/v)

The McLEAN family were in financial strife after John’s death in Aug 1871. From Aug 1871 to Jan 1873 they had 7 court cases reported in the Manning River News, concerning money they owed. n/xxv) John McLEAN's widow Grace advertised her farm for rent on 10 May 1873: "To be let. At Oxley island, a first-class farm of 57 acre. Apply to Mrs McLean on the premises". Neil McLEAN’s farm advertisement on 17 May 1873 also described that 12 acres of his farm had been "Cleared and Stumped and now ready to be planted with Sugar-cane". n/xx) Ramsland b/vi), p99 cites an 1873 report in the Sydney Morning Herald: "However, by 1873 the attempts to create a Manning River sugar industry had generally ‘proved to be a most disastrous failure’ as the frosts proved far too severe for the cane." John [Jnr] saw his farm as a maize farm. His biography n/vii) described how he had "ploughed and planted with maize one of the finest farms of that fertile district". Ramsland b/vi), p100 goes on to say that: "many of the older Manning farms were by this time exhausted by exclusive maize growing and the farmers were waging a losing war against blight and weevil". All the above may have influenced John and Donald to leave?

Grace McLEAN died on 17 Oct 1887 at Oxley Island, and her obituary said:

“Mrs. John McLean.— On Wednesday morning last at 8 o’clock, Mrs. John McLean, of Oxley Island, passed to her rest. By the death of this venerable lady another of the old identities of our river has passed away. The early settlers of this river are slowly but surely passing away. The deceased has been for over 26 years settled on this river, and has been about 40 years in the colony. Her husband, Mr John McLean, of Redbank, died about seven years ago. Mrs McLean has reared a large and respectable family of eight sons and three daughters, nearly all of whom survive her, most of them are married, some of them are settled in the Clarence and Richmond Rivers, but most of them reside here. It is not generally known what the precise character of the disease was that carried her off, but it is supposed to have been constipation, her illness did not extend over four or five days, during which time she was attended by Doctor White, who was unremitting in his attention to her and did all that medical skill could do, to alleviate her suffering, however as previously stated she succumbed on Monday morning, surrounded by her family and some intimate friends. The deceased was a native of Argyleshire, Scotland, and had attained her 65th year. Her funeral was largely attended. The Rev. D.K. McIntyre conducted the services at the grave, and delivered a most impressive address to those who were present. She is buried at the Taree Cemetery, between her husband and her son Alexander.” n/L)

Checking the obituary details… at the time of Grace’s death in 1877, her children who were still living around the Manning River were Janet and Neil, and also John who had gone to the Richmond River(1871) then returned to the Manning River (1876). Mary had gone to the Clarence River (1863), Donald and Annie to the Richmond River(1871). Her sons Angus and Roderick may still have lived there… noting that they died later in distant localities… Angus d.1894 near Maitland NSW and Roderick d. 1901 near Caboolture Qld. Sons Alexander and Allan had both pre-deceased her. The obituary tells us she had 8 sons, giving us an extra son?

After Grace's death, sons John (1883) and Neil (1878) went to the Richmond River.

To the Richmond river.

Their migration is described in John [Jnr]’s biography, n/vii) which says: "In the early seventies… farmers began to settle on the banks of the Richmond and Tweed Rivers. The rainfall of that favoured district was heavy and regular, and the vast expanses of undulating land right up to the Queensland border was covered by dense impenetrable scrub. In those days only a few diminutive vessels traded to Sydney with pine and cedar, and the produce of a few stations. The small steamer which (John [Jnr]) traveled took eight days to do the journey to the mouth of the Richmond river (where they not infrequently were harbound (sic) for a month)." This account does not explain how John [Jnr]’s son Samuel was born on 16 Jun 1870 at Emu Plains, west of Sydney. fb/ii) Archibald Cameron says: fb/iii) "Owing to that fact (the farms being only of very small areas) quite a number of the settlers left there and came to the Richmond River, the earliest to do so being the late Samuel Gibson, and Messrs John and Donald McLean all of whom settled on properties in the locality of McLean’s Ridges." Note that Samuel Gibson was John and Donald’s father-in-law. Quite probably John and Grace’s daughter Ann travelled with John and Donald, since she married Hugh GIBSON, son of Samuel GIBSON, in 1874 at what is now known as McLean’s Ridges. r/xii) Note that when John McLEAN [Jnr] applied for probate of his father’s Will to the NSW Supreme Court in 1874, he gave his address as Wilsons Ranges, Lismore, Richmond River. fb/v) Also, a Lismore Parish map containing a 1903 notation, described John McLEAN’s area as "Wilson’s Ridges". m/viii)

Samuel GIBSON's g-grandson RG Morgan b/ix) says that the "family took passage to Sydney from the Manning in the steamer ‘Fire King’ and trans-shipped to the ‘Susannah Cuthbert’ for the journey to the Richmond and eventually landed at Ballina".

A letter from A.C. McLEAN to the Editor of the Northern Star in 1953 gave more details. It stated:

"Mr. Samuel Gibson had sold his farm on Oxley Island for £500 and left with his family for the Richmond. His family consisted of their three boys, Robert, Sam and Hugh, all single, and two daughters and their husbands, John and Donald McLean. The date was June 4, 1873. They selected three blocks, all adjoining, on what is now known as McLean’s Ridges. First they set out to cut the marketable timber; there was nothing else they could do as It was dense bush. They shot the logs down the big hills for rafting in the creeks; with the aid of bullocks, of course, as there were generally flats between the hills and the creeks. The logs then rolled in and rafted. They did not all float some would sink and others would sink at one end, with the other end bobbing above the water."— n/xxvi)

June 4, 1873 is an error, since a contemporary newspaper said on 12 Aug 1871:

"Property Sold - Mr Samuel Gibson's homestead upon Oxley Island has passed into other hands - it having been sold by auction to Mr James Murray, late of Mondrook, for a fraction over £500, which is equal to over £12 10s per acre. We believe Mr Gibson, with his sons and sons-in-law are all bound for the Richmond River. Thus it is said that the Manning River is constantly sending its most substantial citizens to add to the population of less crowded districts, and this accounts for the fact that we make so little progress on our own". n/xxxii)

The error is more obvious when John [Jnr]’s family bible fb/ii) says that he arrived at the Richmond River in Sept 1871!

Donald McLEAN and Samuel GIBSON were quickly making an impact on the local community. In 1872 they co-signed an advertisement in the Sydney Morning Herald, attempting to secure a steam ship for the Richmond River:

A good opening in the Richmond River trade for a suitable STEAMER of light draught and good carrying capacity. The undersigned residents of Lismore, Gundurimba, and vicinity, storekeepers, dealers, selectors, &c. (with power to add), pledging themselves to use all legitimate means to further the interest of any such steamer that will run to the head of navigable waters, clear of special contract. The present steamer that is running being under such contract is of very little use to the inhabitants generally to get their produce into market. Even were it not so, one steamer is not sufficient for the growing necessities of the river. The population is rapidly increasing, and a consequent increase of trade.
Edmund Coleman, Francis Fredericks, George Larkin, Samuel Gibson, Nathan Taylor, Donald McLEAN, John McLennan, Andrew Drynan, John Harrison, John Carrie. n/xxxxix)

The McLEAN move was not without problems. An advertisement said that "Donald McLEAN of the Richmond River" was still advertising his farm for sale in July 1873. By Sept 1873 he had sold his 88 ac farm for £89. n/xxxiii)John [Jnr] returned to the Manning River in Jul 1876, and remained there for 7 years. fb/ii) One of his purposes was to dispose of land he still held on the Manning river. n/vi) Was this land the Portion 7 on Oxley Island which he had advertised earlier? Perhaps he returned because of his mother’s health? The following year (1877), his mother Grace, died.

In 1878, Neil also moved to the Richmond River. Archibald CAMERON [aged 16 and Neil’s nephew] was on the same trip, and he says: "In the year 1878, Neil McLean … and my father Hugh CAMERON, with their families came to this river, travelling from the Manning to Sydney by the ‘SS Diamintina’, staying in Sydney for a number of days, and then travelling per ‘S.S. Platypus’ to Lismore arriving there on a Sunday, 23 of June 1878. On the following day friends conveyed us by bullock team and drays to McLean’s Ridges where we were fortunate to obtain accommodation until the men folk had a look about the district in search of suitable sites on which to settle. At this time the parties were met by the late William McKinnon [husband of our Mary], who was a brother in law of Neil McLean, and travelled over from the Clarence River, also in search of land." fb/iii)

In 1882, the area was simply called the ‘Big Scrub’… about seven and a half miles east of Lismore. A school officially commenced with Henry Talbot on 7 Aug 1882 in a tent, and only 11 students. "A spot was chosen among dense scrub which included many large cedar, teak, and black bean trees, which were being cut down and either drawn by bullock team to the river at Boatharbour, to be floated downstream to the sawmills or pit-sawn into timber and planks for the building of homes. In searching for a name for the school, two titles were considered: Gibson’s Ridges and McLean’s Ridges. At that time the two chief families in the district were those of Mr. Hugh Gibson and Mr. Donald McLean. It was finally decided to perpetuate the name of McLean. The school was very soon moved to a large room in the home of Mr. Hugh Gibson, who lived about a quarter of a mile to the south n/xv)(in Cowlong Rd n/iv) ). Again there is some doubt about the next move. The school then moved into the room of a home owned by Mr. Donald McLean, further north along Cowlong Road, before being transferred to a wooden school building near the entrance gate of what is the present (1959) school playground." n/xv) It would appear that the locality of McLean’s Ridges was then named after the school, which was originally named after Donald… his brother John had been absent from the area for 7 years at the time of the naming of the school.


Dedication of M<sup>c</sup>Lean’s Ridges cairn. Dedication of Cairn in Aug 2002. Northern Rivers Echo. n/xviii)

The obituary of Mary McKENZIE (Donald’s daughter) said: "Born at Taree, Mrs McKENZIE came to the Richmond River with her parents the late Mr and Mrs Donald McLEAN, and settled at what is now known as McLeans Ridges, that centre being named after her Father." n/xvi) On the other hand, John McLEAN’s obituary said: …"so with his usual energy he at once set about clearing his whole estate [named Gowrie fb/ii)] on McLean’s Ridges, so named after him." n/ix) Also, the obituary of John’s second daughter Grace says: "Mrs Talbot was a daughter of the late Mr and Mrs John McLean after whom McLean Ridges was named." n/xvii) The pioneering of John McLEAN and his ‘extended family’ in McLean’s Ridges and in the Richmond River district were commemorated in Aug 2002, with the dedication of a 3 tonne stone cairn. John McLEAN’s grand daughter, Jean Allsep commissioned this project, and is pictured left of the cairn, placed outside the McLean’s Ridges Hall n/xxxviii).

Image of cairn at M<sup>c</sup>Lean’s Ridges Hall.McLEAN memorial cairn at the McLean’s Ridges Hall.
Photo: Courtesy of the Alstonville Plateau Historical Society.

John [Jnr] returned to the Richmond River in Apr 1883 fb/ii) after spending 7 years back in the Manning River. His wife’s obituary n/vi) mentions that they had disposed of his "Southern river" property during this period. Presumably this was his Oxley Island property. It is not known if there is any trace of the McLEANs left on Oxley Island. It is possible that there is a ruin of a building on John [Snr]’s Portion 20. No McLEAN headstones can be found on the island. According to the Manning Valley Historical Society, the Oxley Island cemetery dates from 1878, which is too late for our family’s burials. The first recorded burial in this cemetery was that of a one-year-old child in 1884. w/i)

Grace and John’s children are listed:

i. Mary (1830-1901). ii. John (1832-1923). iii. Jennet (Janet / Jessie) (1834-1915). iv. Alexander (1837-1871). v. Donald Hugh (1840-1900). vi. Neil (1841-1918). vii. Angus (1844-1894). viii. Annie (Ann) (1848-1933). ix. Allan (1849-1861). x. Roderick (1852-1902).

See chapter 11 for details of the children.

      Newspapers and Periodicals.
n/i) 1837. Third and Last Embarkation of Highlanders to Australia for the Season. Caledonian Mercury. Edinburgh Scotland; 14 Oct 1837.
n/ii) 1886. Obituary of Mr. William McKINNON. Northern Star; 16 Jan 1886.
n/iii)  1900. Obituary of Donald Hugh McLEAN. Northern Star; 26 Jun 1900.
n/iv)  1901. Obituary of Mary McKINNON. Northern Star; 20 Nov 1901. Also Richmond River Express; 22 Nov 1901. Copy held by R.R.Hist.Soc.
n/v) 1905. Death Notice: Mrs John McLEAN. Northern Star; 3 Jul 1905.
n/vi)  1905. Obituary of Mrs John McLEAN. Lismore Chronicle: July 1905.
n/vii) 1913. Biography: The Scot we know. Scottish Australasian. Highland Society of NSW; 1913.
n/viii) 1923. Funeral description: Late Mr. John McLEAN. Passing of a district pioneer. Large and representative funeral. Northern Star; 4 Jul 1923. Copy held by R.R.Hist.Soc.
n/ix)   1923. Obituary: Mr McLEAN’s early days. Northern Star; 4 Jul 1923. (A continuation of n/viii) on the same page… copy held by R.R.Hist.Soc.)
n/x) 1907. Valedictory to Mr J. McLEAN. Lismore Chronicle; 25 Oct 1907.
n/xi)  1923. Death Notice & Funeral notice: Mr John McLEAN. Northern Star; 2 Jul 1923.
n/xii)  1923. Funeral of the late Mr John McLEAN. Northern Star; 3 Jul 1923.
n/xiii) 1923. Work of the Pioneers: John McLEAN’s Death. Northern Star; 5 Jul 1923. Copy held by R.R.Hist.Soc.
n/xiv)  1942. Obituary of Mr. Samuel BLANCH. Northern Star; 2 Oct 1942.
n/xv)  1959. History of North Coast Schools: Status Quo MCMLIX. Ballina Inspectorate of NSW Dept of Education; 1959.
    The Principals wrote (1959) their own school’s history. Kathy Pearson kindly made the transcription (2001).
n/xvi)  1946. Obituary: Mary McKENZIE. Died 26 Jan 1946. Newspaper clipping. May have been the Mullumbimby Star or the Northern Star?
n/xvii)  1945. Obituary: Mrs Grace TALBOT. Northern Star; 18 Mar 1945.
n/xviii) 2002. Clan Gathers to Celebrate Pioneers. Northern Rivers Echo; 15 Aug 2002.
n/xix)  1871. Advertisement of farm for sale. (John [Jnr] & Donald McLEAN) Manning River News; 5 Aug 1871.
n/xx)   1873. Advertisement of farm for sale. Manning River News; 17 May 1873.
n/xxi)  1865. Court appearances. Manning River News; 18 Nov 1865.
n/xxii) 1865. Tinonee Church subscriptions. Manning River News; 26 Aug 1865.
n/xxiii)1866. Occupy seats of retiring justices. Manning River News; 5 May 1866.
n/xxiv) 1871. Obituary: Alexander McLEAN. Manning River News;16 Dec 1871.
n/xxv)  1867-1873. Reports of court cases recovering money from the McLEAN family. Manning River News; 1867: 30 Jan; 1871: 5 Aug; 1872: 3 Feb, 8 Jun, 6 Jul (2 cases), 20 Jul, 3 Aug, 21 Dec; 1873: 18 Jan.
n/xxvi) 1953. A.C. McLEAN. Settlement at McLean’s Ridges; Letter to the Editor. Northern Star; 7 Mar1953. Note: The author could have been the son of our Neil McLEAN… Archibald Cameron McLEAN d. 1955 Hurstville, N SW.
n/xxvii) 1963. Crown land sale 1852: excerpt from the Manning River Observer, reprinted in the Wingham Chronicle; 8 Jan 1963.
n/xxviii)1869. Marriage of Archibald McLEAN from "Ferndale", Manning River. Manning River News; 3 Apr 1869.
n/xxix) 1873. Birth of a daughter to Mrs Hector McLean of "Copabella", Oxley Island. Manning River News; 15 Feb 1873.
n/xxx)  1939. Dennes, G. Families who came out 100 years ago: voyage on the immigrant ship, British King. Daily Examiner, Grafton; 14 Apr 1939. Note: this article gave details of the ‘Drimnin’ McLEAN family in NSW, and was published shortly after the centenary of the arrival of the ‘British King’ (28 Feb 1839).
n/xxxi) 1871. Advertisement for tenders for the erection of a Provisional School at "Copabella". Manning River News; 28 Jan 1871.
n/xxxii) 1871. Property Sold— Mr Samuel Gibson's homestead. Manning River News; 12 Aug 1871.
n/xxxiii) 1873. Donald McLean of Richmond River offers farm for sale. Manning River News; 5 Jul 1873, 13 Sept 1873.
n/xxxiv) 1873. To be let: A first class farm of 57 acres. Apply Mrs McLean. Manning River News; 10 May 1873.
n/xxxv) 1849. Leaving district. Farm for sale in Hillsborough Estate Maitland Mercury; 20 Oct 1849.
n/xxxvi)  Obituary. Neil McLEAN. 1906. Gloucester Examiner; 2 Mar 1906.
n/xxxvii)  Obituary. Hector McLEAN. 1898. Gloucester Examiner; 3 Mar 1899.
n/xxxviii)  Clan gathers to celebrate pioneers. Northern Rivers Echo; 15 Aug 2002.
n/xxxxix)  To steam companies. Sydney Morning Herald; 8 Jun 1872.
n/L)  Obituary. Mrs. John McLean. Manning River Times; 20 Oct 1877.
n/Li)  Goulburn Grove also known as Phoenix Park or Narrigan to be sold by auction (land owned by S.L. Harris). The Sydney Monitor; 2 March 1831:1.
n/Lii)  Sales by Auction: Phoenix Park (land owned by S.L. Harris). The Australian; 27 Dec 1833: 4.
n/Liii)  Dredging machine committee: plans of the shoals below Morpeth. Maitland Mercury; Maitland NSW; 12 Oct 1844; 2.
n/Liv)  Highland Immigration. Sydney Gazette; 1 Mar 1838: 2.
n/Lv)  Droughts and floods. Maitland Mercury; 24 Sep 1885.
n/Lvi)  Editorial. Sydney Herald; 7 Jun 1838: 2.
n/Lvii)  John Dunmore Lang. Letters to the editor. Sydney Herald; 7 Sep 1841: 2.
n/Lviii)  Sales by Auction: Ten small farms (land owned by S.L. Harris). Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser; 9 Sept 1830; 4.
n/Lix)  Public Schools: Local School Boards. NSW Government Gazette; 16 Feb 1867.
     See… Illustrated Sydney news; 16 Feb 1867; 3.
      Registrations, Indexes and Lists:
r/i) Death of Roderick McLEAN. Reg# 1868/5422. Registrar of BDM, NSW.
r/ii)  Birth of Grace McNEIL. Reg# 1856/7249. Registrar of BDM, NSW.
r/iii) Birth of Samuel McLEAN. Reg# 1868/10983. Registrar of BDM, NSW.
r/iv) Death of Angus McLEAN. Reg# 1894/007993. Registrar of BDM, NSW.
r/v)  Isle of Mull immigrants on the ‘Brilliant’ on 2 Jan, 1838. NSW State Archives; "Assisted Bounty Immigrants”" Ref# 4/4828, reel# 1288.
r/vi) Old parish records (OPR) Parish of Kilninian and Kilmore, Isle of Mull: 2 Oct 1803 - 19 Dec 1803; Births. Look-ups by Barbara MacQuarrie (Isle of Mull).
r/vii)Pre 1860 Pioneer Register. Manning Wallamba Family History Society Inc. 1: 15,16,23,39,82,83,107. 2:132,133,138.
r/viii) Death of Alexander McLEAN. Reg# 1871/004164. Registrar of BDM, NSW.
r/ix)  Death of John McLEAN (Jnr). Reg# 1923/012741. Registrar of BDM, NSW.
r/x) Death of John McLEAN (Snr). Reg# 1871/4159. Registrar of BDM, NSW.
r/xi)  Death of Allan McLEAN. Reg# 1861/003283. Registrar of BDM, NSW.
r/xii)  Death of Ann GIBSON. Reg# 1933/022067. Registrar of BDM, NSW.
r/xiii)  Immigrants on the ‘British King’ on 28 Feb 1839. NSW State Archives; "Assisted Bounty Immigrants" Reel# 1299.
r/xii)  Birth of Archibald Cameron McLEAN. Reg# 1876/014523. Registrar of BDM, NSW.
r/xiii)  Baptism of Allan McLEAN. Reg# 1849/0 (V18491397 50). Registrar of BDM, NSW.
r/xiv)  Baptism of Roderick McLEAN. Reg# 1852/0 (V18521146 51). Registrar of BDM, NSW.
r/xv)  Baptism of Donald Hugh McLEAN. Reg# 1840/0 (V1840825) 1840/825; Vol 47. Registrar of BDM, NSW.
r/xvi) FamilySearch™ International Genealogical Index:
      a) Christening of Ann McDONALD on 2 Jan 1796, Parish of Kilninian. Film: 6934223, 74.
      b) Marriage of Roderick McLEAN & Effie McLEAN on 20 Dec 1825, Parish of Kilninian.
        Film: 6934224, 96; ALSO M115444, 0100 I.
      c) Christening of Ann McLEAN on 21 Nov 1826, Parish of Kilninian. Film: 7005125, 30.
      d) Marriage of Finlay McDONALD & Catherine McLEAN on 19 Jan 1790, Penmollach, Parish of Kilninian.
        Film: 6934225, 77.
      e) Christening of Flora McDONALD on 10 Apr 1793, Penmollach, Parish of Kilninian. Film: 6934223, 74.
      f) Christening of Mary McDONALD on 29 Mar 1791, Penmollach, Parish of Kilninian. Film: 6934223, 74.
      g) Christening of Hector McLEAN on 24 Dec 1826, Parish of Kilninian. Film: 005125, 57.
  — — —
  —Christening of Children born to Donald McINNES & Ann McCALMAN, Parish of Kilninian & Kilmore.—
                Reference: C115442-(1766 - 1820 ); 1041080; Film 6900486.
      h) Flora McINNES on 29 Dec 1793.       ditto
      j) Effy McINNES on 18 Feb 1798.         ditto
      k) Mary McINNES on 13 Jan 1806.         ditto
      l) Grizzel McINNES on 14 Jul 1808.       ditto
  — — —
      m) Marriage of Donald McINNES & Ann McCALMAN on 9 Mar 1793,  Parish of Kilninian & Kilmore.
        Reference: M115442 —(1766 - 1820); 1041080; Film 6900487.
  — — —
  —Christening of Children born to Finlay McDONALD & Catherine McLEAN,
      Parish of Kilninian & Kilmore.—
Locality: Achacharra, Isle of Mull.
      n) Ann McDONALD on 2 Jan 1796.      ditto. Film:6934223, 74
      o) Catherine McDONALD on 20 Dec 1801. ditto. Film:6934223, 75
      p) John McDONALD on 2 Jun 1805.       ditto. Film:6934223, 75
      q) Alexander McDONALD on 21 Jan 1811. ditto. Film:6934223, 75
  — — —
  — — — further research is needed on the relevance of the following OPRs…
  —Christening of Children born to John McLEAN & Mary McDONALD, Parish of Kilninian & Kilmore.—
      r) Roderick on 15 Feb 1794, Kilmore. Film: 7001309, 86. (Mother; Mary KENNEDY… an alias?
        Kilmore; between Penmollach & Aintuim).
      s) Donald on 13 Dec 1802, Auchnansaul. Film: 7001309, 84. (Achnasaul; SW of Tobermory?)
      t) Hugh on 29 Oct - 26 Nov 1803, Aintuim. Film: 7001309, 84.
      u) Neil on 12 Jan 1806, Aintuim. Film: 7020101, 7. (Mother: Mary McDonald alias Mary Kennedy).
      v) Allan on 1 May 1808, Aintuim. Film: 701309, 84.
      w) Mary on 1 Feb 1814, Penmollach. Film: 701309, 85.
  — — —
r/xvii) Lists of Old Parish Records, Mull Genealogy Website.
      a) Baptism of Ann McLEAN on 21 Nov 1826, Penmore, Isle of Mull.
  —Christening of Children born to Donald McINNES & Alan McCALMAN.
      b) Flora McINNES on 29 Dec 1793, Treshnish, Isle of Mull.
      c) Malcolm McINNES on 13 Mar 1796, Treshnish, Isle of Mull.
      d) Effie McINNES on 18 Feb 1798, Treshnish, Isle of Mull.
      e) Grace McGUINESS / McINNES on 14 Jul 1808, Penmore, Isle of Mull.
      f) Alexander McINNES on 15 Jun 1812, Penmore, Isle of Mull.
      g) John McINNES on 5 Feb 1790, Treshnish, Isle of Mull.
  — — —
r/xviii) Death: Grace McLEAN. Reg# 1877/6550. Registrar of BDM, NSW.
r/xix)   Marriage of John McLANE & Sarah WARREN. Reg# 1870/10. Registrar of BDM, Qld.
r/xx)   Index to Bounty Immigrants (NSW), 1828-1842. Card Index prepared by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. See here.
r/xxi)  Colonial Secretary. Persons on Government ships, Aug 1837-Feb 1840. NSW State Archives; Series# 5313. Reels 2654, 2668. Note: Also noted is the name and address of the persons engaging the immigrant and the terms of employment.
      Family Bibles, Wills, gravestones, correspondence & papers:
fb/i) Janet McLEAN’s family bible. Courtesy of Penelope Luck and Eric Wilson.
fb/ii)  John McLEAN’s family bible. Information from Jean Allsep and Jean Whimp.
fb/iii)Autobiography of Archibald CAMERON. Handwritten sheet forwarded by Jean Whimp.
fb/iv)  Jean Allsep. Pers. comm.; 1999.
fb/v)   Probate: John McLEAN, Date of death 17 August 1871, Granted on 14 May 1874. Item number series 2-668. Record series 13660, probate packets. NSW State Records.
fb/vi)   Probate: Roderick McLean, Date of death 22 April 1868, Granted on 15 July 1868. Item number series 1-7698. Record series 13660, probate packets. NSW State Records.
fb/vii)   Research by Eliza HUNTER (née McLEAN) ( d. 1957). Kindly made available by her g-daughter Sara POWTER.
fb/viii)   Gravestone of Hector and Mary McLEAN. Plot 602, Presbyterian Section, Pioneer Graves, Raymond Terrace, NSW. Note: This establishes Hector and Mary were born in Tobermory. See photo in Chapter 12.
fb/ix)   Probate: Allan McLean, Date of death 13 June 1863, Granted on 18 August 1863. Item number series 1-5738; probate packets. NSW State Records.
fb/x)   Probate: Mary McLean, Date of death 25 Aug 1912. Item number series 1-58231; probate packets. NSW State Records.
fb/xi) Colonial Secretary's Papers: correspondence relating to Edward Charles CLOSE. NSW State Records.
m/ii)Parish Map of Oxley, County of Macquarie. Lands Department; 1886. Parish map preservation project.
m/iii)Parish Map of Oxley, County of Macquarie. Lands Department; 1937. Parish map preservation project.
m/iv)Parish Map of Bohnock, County of Gloucester. Lands Department; 1899. Parish map preservation project.
m/v)Plan of Oxley Island, Manning River, County of Macquari. Surveyor General’s Office; 1856. See: Electronic version.
m/vi)Parish Map of Oxley Island, including Cabbage Tree Island. 1954. Linen backed map held by the Manning Wallamba Family History Society, Taree. Note: Map includes the upper edge of the Parish of Bohnock, including the location of John McLEAN’s Portion 17.
m/vii) Parish Map of Wilmot, County of Gloucester. Lands Department; 1914. Parish map preservation project.
m/viii)Parish Map of Lismore, County of Rous. Lands Department. (Notations made up to 1903.) Parish map preservation project.
m/ix)Parish Map of Middlehope. Lands Department; 1920. Parish map preservation project.
m/x)E. O. Moriarty. Plan of part of the Hunter River shewing flooded districts from Oakhampton to Tomago. Govt. Printing Office; Sydney NSW; 1870 - 1875. See here.
m/xi)Detail plan of part of area between Paterson, Hunter and William's Rivers, NSW. 1830 - 1839. See here.
m/xii)Plan of portions (coloured) Castle Forbes estate Hunters River,the property of James Barker Esqre. for sale by the Australian Auction Company. 1840. See here.
m/xiii)Parish Map of Maitland. Lands Department; 1912. Parish map preservation project.
      Books and Reports:
b/i)Bailliere’s New South Wales Gazetteer. F.F. Bailliere, Sydney; 1870.
b/ii)   Birrell, W.K. The Manning Valley: Landscape and Settlement, 1824-1900. Jacaranda Press; 1987; 248-249, 254, 256.
b/iii)  McKinnon, Leslie Malcolm. History of Malcolm McKINNON in Australia. Private publication; 1999.
b/iv)  Maclean, Charles. The Isle of Mull: placenames, meanings and stories. Books for Dillons only, UK; 1998.
b/v) McSwan, E.H. Maclean: The First Fifty Years 1862-1912. Maclean District Historical Society. Clarence Press, Maclean; 1992; 30-31, 34.
b/vi)  Ramsland, John. The struggle against isolation: a history of the Manning Valley. Library of Australian History; 1987; 47-48, 99-100, 131.
b/vii)  Ford, R.L. Williams River, the land and its people. Private Publication; 1995; 141, 187.
b/viii) Gow, R. & W. Oxley Island - chronicles of the early days. Private Publication; 2007. Note: Highly recommended.
b/ix)  Morgan, RG. A brief history of Samuel and Mary Ann Gibson. Self published; Apr 1979. Lodged with the Alstonville Plateau Historical Society, NSW.
b/x)  Hartley, D.T. From Fullerton Cove to Motto Farm. Private Publication; 1987;63
b/xi)  Smith, Garry. Lower Manning Heritage Study. Greater Taree City Council; 2000;75-92.
b/xii)  Dangar, Henry. Index and directory to map of the country bordering upon the River Hunter. Joseph Cross; 1828. Placed on-line by Cultural Collections, University of Newcastle. See here.
b/xiii)  Guilford, Elizabeth. Hunter Valley directory: 1841. Hunter Valley Publications; Mayfield NSW; 1987: 160.
b/xiv)  Lang, John Dunmore. An historical and statistical account of New South Wales, both as a penal settlement and as a British colony. Cochrane and M'Crone, London; 1834; 2: 94-96, 211, 214.
w/i)Australian Cemeteries Index.
w/ii) Sydney Architecture: Standish Lawrence Harris. See here.
w/iii) Close, Edward Charles (1790–1866). Australian Dictionary of Biography.See here.
w/iv) Greville's Post Office Directory 1872 MORPETH. See here.
w/v) Newcastle Region Library: Hunter place names Index. See here.
I am grateful to the following people who have kindly provided much assistance: Gloria Toohey (Manning Wallamba Family History Society), Glenda Smith (Manning Valley Historical Society), Janette Childs (Richmond River Historical Society), Margaret Kennedy & Alison Draper (Alstonville Plateau Historical Society), Jean Allsepp, Les McKinnon, Barbara McQuarrie, Eileen Willis and Jean Whimp (past Clan McLean Australia Archivist). Jean Whimp has been most important in this study, being happy to discuss problems at length and provide much guidance and information. Eileen Willis has been most helpful… the opportunity of exchanging certificates and information with her was greatly appreciated, and provided the motivation to complete the task. Sara Powter has provided information, certificates, photos and clippings about Donald Hugh McLEAN and his descendants through to his youngest daughter Eliza (Sara’s grandmother). Thanks to Doreen Hornsby who obtained the location "Penmollach" for the above events from the OPR films, elucidated McDONALD—McLEAN relationships through correspondence in an Isle of Mull mailing list thread and also alerted me to the Treshnish McINNES records. Also to Lurline Lane who shared the family tradition that Hector McLEAN had married his cousin… and to Kerrie Wheeler who shared the other family tradition that Roderick McLEAN had married twice, together with data on Roderick's first marriage & its descendants. Kerrie's information included material from the research of Frances Lorraine (Pax) Armstrong (d. Apr 2004). Thanks also to Mavis McLean whose long-term research interest in in the McLEAN family history (visited Mull twice) led her to find relationships between Allan, Roderick & Hector McLEAN. Mavis also provided the DOBs of Hector and Mary's children. Keith Sanger suggested that the localities of Penmollach and Druim Fhionnghail might have relevance to my search for Ben Moloch and Druimfionn, which enabled another breakthrough. Thanks also to Sue Maxwell and Jen Willetts who discussed records of the McLEANs in the Hunter area.


It would be great if descendants of the McLEANs, or people with knowledge of this family, could make contact with me. See the e-mail link at the bottom of this page.

The Story Continues