PATFIELD: Alma… Chapter 1

The "Patfield" section of this site is in memory of my mother, Alma Maud STRONG (née PATFIELD).

Image of Samuel PATFIELD’s grave.
  Click on the above thumbnail for a full image
of 17 yo Alma Maud PATFIELD (#49),

It is not intended to be a full account of the PATFIELDs, since this is covered by other publications. My narrow focus is on our part of this family. 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. Note that it is intended that the chapters develop the story of our family and appendices will contain supporting data. The section is integrated with the Photo Gallery: “Alma PATFIELD… her father's & mother's lines.” This gallery illustrates Alma's early German heritage, her grandparents, parents & siblings, and her own life. Note the styles: links to individual images: …#2 . Note these image links are clarified by the separate addition of hyperlinked thumbnails. Citation of sources is shown as …ix).

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.

This chapter gives a brief introduction to early generations of the PATFIELDs, details the life of my great grandfather Samuel PATFIELD and briefly lists his children.

Image of Samuel & Sarah Australia PATFIELD outside their home at Paterson. Photo: Courtesy David Smith Samuel & Sarah Australia PATFIELD at their Paterson home.
Photo: Courtesy David Smith

Early Generations

Only brief details will be given of the earlier origins of the PATFIELDs of Paterson since they are described fully in cited references.
Our PATFIELD story commenced with George PADDLE / PATFIELD, one of 1063 convicts transported to Sydney NSW on the ship ‘Neptune’, December 1789. George was born about 1764 at Taunton, Somerset, England, and was sentenced to 7 years transportation for the theft of 3 asses. At Parramatta on 19 May 1793 he married Mary O’BRIEN and they had 8 children, including George PATFIELD (b.1797).  It appears that George Jnr. inherited his father’s farm at the Field of Mars (Ryde) after George Snr committed suicide in 1809.  George Jnr married Sarah SMALL on 31 Oct 1820 at Sydney.  He had 8 children …George, Susannah, John, Thomas, Mary, Samuel, Elizabeth and Joseph. He moved to Paterson following the sale of their farm in 1836. Only Mary, Samuel, Elizabeth and Joseph have recorded vital events in Paterson. Samuel is my g-grandfather. …i) to …iii).


Samuel PATFIELD was born on 8 Jun 1835 at Ryde NSW, and baptised on 10 Aug 1940 in the Lower Hunter at Butterwick and Seaham after his parents moved from Sydney. He died in Paterson on 13 May 1910 at the age of almost 75 and was buried in St Paul’s C of E Cemetery Paterson NSW.
On 26 Apr 1853 when Samuel was 18, he married 18 year old Sarah Australia GILES, daughter of James GILES & Honorah (Norah) ALDERSLEY (c1799-27 Aug 1854), in St Paul’s, Paterson NSW. Sarah was born on 25 Aug 1835 in Surry Hills NSW and died at Paterson on 19 Jun 1926 at the age of 90. She was buried in Jun 1926 in St Paul’s C of E Cemetery Paterson NSW.

Samuel was a significant figure in Paterson, and his obituary gives a hint of his many interests:

"Samuel PATFIELD, at Paterson.
The death occurred at his residence Paterson, last Monday evening, of Mr. Samuel Patfield, one of the oldest residents of the district. He had been ailing for a considerable time, but the immediate cause of death was an attack of pneumonia. The late Mr. Patfield, who was 77 years of age, was a resident of the Paterson district for upwards of 50 years, during which time he followed the occupation of a builder, and during the latter years farming and grazing pursuits. He leaves a wife and family of five sons—Messrs. Samuel (master mariner, Newcastle), James (Newcastle), Herbert (Paterson), Stanley (Sydney), and Montague Patfield (Paterson), and three daughters— Mrs. M. Smith, Mrs. W. Tucker, and Mrs. A. Taylor, all of Paterson. His remains were interred in the Church of England portion of the Paterson cemetery" …iv).

Image of Samuel PATFIELD’s grave.
  Click on the above thumbnail for a full image of Samuel PATFIELD’s grave (#28),


The obituary suggests that, Samuel arrived in Paterson about 1860. However, Samuel and Sarah had married in Paterson in 1853, and in the next year, there is a press report of the PATFIELDs rescuing Honorah GILES from a burning house near their home in Paterson.

Death from Burning through Intemperance.
Yesterday an inquest was held by Mr Parker, at the Hospital, on the body of Honorah Giles, aged 55 years.  It appeared from the evidence adduced that Mrs Giles, a resident of Paterson, was burnt on the evening of ther 27th August by her neck-handkerchief taking fire.  She was quite drunk at the time, and her husband, the only other person in the house, was also drunk and asleep.  She would probably have burnt to death at once had not her married daughter, Mrs Patfield, living a little way off, seen the light and run down, although she could not get in, the door being fastened, till her husband, Patfield, came to her assistance, and burst in the door.
The medical man who was called in, recommended Mrs Giles’ removal to the Maitland Hospital, and she accordingly reached that institution on the 4th instant, but was injured so extensively on the upper part of her body that her case was considered hopeless.  Every attention was paid to her, and she lingered till Thursday morning and then died.
The jury returned a verdict of death from burns. …v)

Samuel (the builder) was reported winning the tender to erect the vestry for the Presbyterian Church on 13 Jan 1866.

Scotch Church.-On Wednesday a meeting of the committee of management of our Presbyterian church, was held at the church, the Rev Mr. Stirton in the chair. The first business transacted was the opening the tenders for the erection of a vestry to the church, and the tender of Mr. Samuel Patfield was accepted, the amount being £47 10s. …vi)

There is a report of Samuel building on his own land (assuming that Samuel did the building himself):

… we notice that Mr Samuel Patfield is just completing a neat weather-board building on the main road, at the southern end of our town, which we understand is designed for a store which he intends shortly to open.
Paterson Apr 17th, 1884 …vii).

Image of Samuel PATFIELD’s home today. Image of Samuel & Sarah PATFIELD outside their Paterson home.
  Click on thumbnails for full images:
(From left) Samuel PATFIELD’s home today (#27),
Outside their Paterson home: Samuel & Sarah PATFIELD (#29).


Perhaps Samuel also built his home which still stands today… the most southern house on the Tocal road as it enters the Paterson town. See the photogallery for his home today …#27, as well as Samuel & Sarah standing outside their house …#29, …#30.

There were more references to Samuel's trade at the turn of the century. The Post Office Directories listed him as a carpenter…viii) and also Samuel obtained a warrant for the arrest of an Arthur PEAK who had absconded from his apprenticeship on Christmas Day 1897 …ix). Perhaps Samuel was a stern employer?

Around the same time, Samuel had become a successful horticulturalist.

Some of our young orchards are being brought into prominent notice this year by the excellence of their fruit — notably Mr. S. Patfield's and Mr. J. Tucker's. 'We were shown some fruit from the former's last week- which was luxuriously tempting — large Shanghai peaches, measuring about ten inches round, and of delicious flavour. A whole sale firm of fruiterers in Newcastle congratulates Mr. Patfield on the choice varieties of fruit he is cultivating, and the maturity which his care has brought them to, affirming that he realised 50 per more for his fruit than for any other this season. A young nursery, containing an assortment of first class trees, is another feature of Mr Patfield’s labours. …x)

Samuel had found that development of his orchard involved problems with fruit bats and thieves.

The Quarter Sessions. Fourth day, Thursday, March (Before His Honor Judge Backhouse.) ~Mr Wilfred Blacket prosecuted for the Crown.
GRIEVOUS BODILY HARM. An elderly man named Samuel Patfield was arraigned on a charge that he did at Paterson, on the 23rd January, 1892, maliciously inflict grievous bodily harm on Edward Arnold. There was also a second count of assault. The accused pleaded not guilty, and was defended by Mr. R. W. Thompson. In placing the case before the jury, the Crown Prosecutor stated that the accused was an orchardist at the Paterson, and that on the night in question he heard some persons among his trees stealing fruit. He immediately picked up a gun and ran outside, and then observed a man getting over the fence. He rushed to the spot and called upon him to stop; but not receiving any reply he called again, and said he would fire if the demand was not acceded to. He did not receive any response to his second appeal, and thereupon discharged the gun, with the result that Arnold, who had been in the orchard, received a quantity of shot in the back. When arrested, the accused stated that he was often greatly annoyed by persons robbing his orchard, and that he kept two guns-one loaded with powder to frighten the thieves, and the other loaded with shot with which to shoot flying foxes. On the night in question, however, he picked up the second firearm in mistake, and had not discovered his error when he discharged it. The prosecutor was then called, but his Honor summoned the Crown Prosecutor, and after speaking to him for a moment, the witness was ordered to leave the box. A conversation then took place between the Crown Prosecutor and Mr. Thompson, after which, by his Honor's instructions, the first count was withdrawn. The accused pleaded guilty to the second count, and the Crown Prosecutor handed in a memorial signed by a large number of residents of the Paterson district, testifying to the excellence of the accused's character In sentencing the prisoner, his Honor stated that he considered he had been punished sufficiently, but it was necessary in the public safety that some penalty should be inflicted on the accused and others. The sentence of the court was that he should be kept in custody till half-past 10 o'clock, and as that hour had arrived, he might consider himself free. The old gentleman smiled with pleasure, and left the court with a light step …xi).

It is hard to make conclusions from this. Were Samuel's actions a reflection of community customs at the time, or did he have questionable flaws? It appeared that Samuel's orchard was a family business, since the electoral roll lists Samuel as a gardener and the same occupation was given for Samuel's son Ernest Montague, who may have been working for his father …xii).

Samuel was a successful businessman with diverse interests. He succeeded in spite of the fact that he could not read or write, which was shown when he made his Will on 31 Jan 1903 …xiii).

Samuel's wife Sarah received an outstanding obituary:

By the death of Mrs. Sarah Patfield, who passed away on 19th inst, Paterson has lost its oldest resident—though not its oldest inhabitant in point of age.
The late Mrs. Patfield was born at Surrey Hills, then on the outskirts of Sydney, in 1834— three years before Queen Victoria came to the throne. Her father was a brickmaker, who came out a few years previously as overseer of a company of convicts. Not long afterwards he removed to the Paterson district, where the lately deceased lady spent the whole of the remainder of her life. She had very distinct recollections of the first incumbent of Paterson, the Rev. Jennings Smith, who died in 1846. In April, 1853, she married Mr. Samuel Patfield, who passed away at the age of 77, in 1910. There were in all 12 children of the marriage, seven of whom still survive, viz., Messrs. Herbert (Woodville), Samuel and Mont (Pater son), and Stanley Patfield (Sydney), and Mesdames M. Smith, A. Taylor, and W. Tucker, all of Paterson.   Mrs. Patfield had a wonderful memory of the early days, and it was like reading a chapter of early Australian history to hear her relating stories that went back to the early forties. She was a devoted member of the Church of England, and was held in respect and honour by all who knew her, as was shown by the large and representative attendance at the funeral on Sunday, June 20. She was buried beside her husband in the old   churchyard cemetery of St. Paul's, Paterson.   The rector, Rev. H. M. R. Rupp, officiated, and at the graveside said: 'I think that I ought to say a few words here to-day, as we are gathered together to lay to rest the mortal remains of one who was truly a pioneer of this district; and who spent the greater part of a century on the Paterson River. The late Mrs. Patfield has seen many of you who are here grow from infancy to grey hairs. It was given to me to know her only in   her latter days. I found her ever of a  true Christian spirit, forbearing, and kindly, and charitable, and to the very end steadfast in the faith. I have seen her, in her 91st year, come along to make her communion in the early morning at this church, and I have heard her pathetically lament the carelessness of the younger generation in those things that meant so much to her. She has had her share of tribulations, and now, full of years and honour, God has called her to the rest of paradise. No more fitting words, I think, could be said over her grave than those of the great English poet:

Sunset, and evening star,
And one clear call for me:
And may there be no moaning of the bar
When I put out to sea:
Twilight, and evening bell,
And after that, the dark;
And may there be no sadness of farewell
When I embark:
For though from out our bourne of time and space
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to meet my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.'

The numerous beautiful floral tributes were from the following: Mrs. Osmond, sen. (Mrs Patfield's senior in age by four years); Mrs F. Wells; Mr. and Mrs. M. Smith and Mr. Olive Smith; Mr. and Mrs. Albert Taylor and family; Mrs. W. Tucker and family; Messrs. M., S., and M. Patfield, jun.; Misses Ethel and Gladys Patfield; St. Paul's Women's Guild. Paterson; Mr. and Mrs K. Patfield and family, Mr. and Mrs. K. J. Tucker and family; Mr. and Mrs. J. D. Tucker; Mrs. Stout and Mrs. Lowe; Mr. and Mrs. J. S. Brown; Mr. and Mrs. S. Patfield and family; Mr. and Mrs W. J. Crouch; Mr. and Mrs. J. A. Mate; Mr. and Mrs. P. Carroll; Mr and Mrs. F. Auckett; Mr. and Mrs. Harding and family; Mr and Mrs. A. Wade; Mr. and Mrs. W. Hicks; Mr. Bert Walmsley and friends; Mr. and Mrs. H. Corner and family; Misses E. and A. Cann; Mrs. T. Patfield and Messrs. L. and H. Smith …xv).

Image of Sarah Australia PATFIELD.
  Click on the above thumbnail for a full image of Sarah Australia PATFIELD.(#30),

Sarah was important to my immediate family, since she was a witness of the birth of my mother, Alma Maud PATFIELD at Paterson on 26 Mar 1901. Valma Patfield says that Sarah was a midwife …iii)… pg 72, thus Sarah must have assisted the doctor at this birth.


Samuel PATFIELD’s Children

Samuel & Sarah Australia had the following children:
# Christian Names Birth-Death Marriage to Property etc
1 Samuel James 1854-1855 - -
2 Elizabeth Ann 1855-1857 - -
3 Emily Jane


Robert Laughton STUDDERT -
4 Alfred Richard Halliday 1861-1902 Hannah McKAUGHAN -
5 Lydia Sarah 1865-1948 Moses SMITH “Bona Vista”
6 Samuel Joseph 1866-1945 Christina McPHERSON -
7 James William Aldersley 1868-1921 Eva LEOPOLD
Edith Amelia SMITH
8 Zerada Mary 1870-1956 Albert TAYLOR -
9 Herbert 1872-1953 Caroline Sarah KIMBER Master of ss 'Marie'
10 Stanley Russell 1874-1940 Margaret A. CAMPBELL -
11 Ernest Montague (Monty) 1876-1952 Alice Maud ROSE
Alice Mary WARR
12 Marion 1876-1876 - -
13 Victoria 1879-1956 William Cann TUCKER "Brisbane Grove"



Sources… Chapter 1:
i)    W.J. Pollock (ed). The Small family in Australia 1788-1988. John & Mary Small descendants association; 1988; 586 et seq.
ii)    Michael Flynn The Second Fleet- Britain’s Grim Convict Armada of 1790. Library of Australian History; 1993; 470-471.
iii)   Valma Patfield. George & Mary Patfield 1763-1853: convicts to pioneers. Self published; Paterson 2007.
iv)   Samuel PATFIELD, at Paterson (obituary). Dungog Chronicle. 20 May 1910; 7.
v)    Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser. 9 Sep 1854; 2.
vi)     Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser. 16 Jan 1866; 4.
vii)    Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser. 19 Apr 1884; 14S.
viii)   Wise. Post Office Directories. 1901 and 1904.
ix)   NSW Police Gazette. 5 Jan 1898; 6.
x)   District News, Paterson. Maitland Daily Mercury. 10 Jan 1895; 4.
xi)   Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate. Fri 4 Mar 1892; 7.
xii)   Electoral Roll. 1903.
xiii)   NSW State Archives Deceased Estates: Surname: PATFIELD. First Name: S.
      Locality: Paterson. Date of Death: 13/05/1910. Date Duty Paid: 09/08/1910. Item: [19/10232]. Reel: 3030. 1903.
xv)   A Paterson pioneer. The Maitland Daily Mercury, Thursday 24 June 1926; 2.
xvi)   Birth of Alma Maud PATFIELD. Reg# 15880/1901. Registrar of BDM, NSW.
      Acknowledgements… Ch.1 :
Particular thanks to the late Olga Irene Mary MARQUET (née WILSON) who died on 20 Dec 2013. Her encyclopaedic friendly assistance is really missed. I am grateful for correspondence and conversations with my other relatives Valma & Wayne Patfield, David Smith and Judy Soper. Photos were kindly provided by Valma Patfield: Samuel and Sarah PATFIELD's grave; David Smith: Samuel and Sarah PATFIELD outside their home.


It would be great if descendants of the PATFIELDs, 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