My Channel Island Ancestry

My family history in the Channel Islands and beyond!


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Channel Islanders in Australia

The route sailed by clipper ships from west to east in order to make most of the westerly winds. The clipper route fell into commercial disuse with the introduction of steam ships.

I have been watching the Australian version of  ‘So who do you think you are’ every Sunday night at 7:30pm for the last couple of months. Last nights programme was about the Australian actress Sigrid Thorton and her ancestors from the Hunter Valley. On showing a map of this area in New South Wales a few names struck out at me. St. Heliers Estate, St. Aubins Estate, Samaurez  Station (a vast property of about 100,000 acres) and Samaurez Creek.

So feeling quite intrigued I did a little research via the internet and discovered two brothers William and Henry Dumaresq.  Henry Dumaresq, a former army officer and brother-in-law of Governor Ralph Darling, arrived in New South Wales in 1825. He claimed a squatting station for himself in 1835 and he named it in memory of his family connections with the Seigneur de Sausmarez in the Channel Isles. To quote Reverend John Dunmore Lang, the fiery Presbyterian preacher and political activist, described Henry Dumaresq’s St Heliers estate in the following terms:

One of the best- regulated estates in the colony is that of Colonel Dumaresq . . . The law on his estate is the law of kindness, and incitement to industry and good conduct are rewards, not punishments. The convict labourers reside in whitewashed cottages, each having a little garden in front. Prizes are awarded to those who keep their cottages in the best order . . . The result of such a system is just what might be expected; the men are sober, industrious and contented.

(Source of quote from: thetreeofus.net )

His brother William who was also spoken of favourably,  received a free land grant in the Hunter Valley shortly after arriving in Australia. Both men had been allocated convicts to work on their land for them and both seemed to have treated their men and  their families well providing good living conditions.

To read and find out more about Captain Henry Dumaresq go to the following link: Hunter Valley Settlers – Map 7

To read and find out more about Captain William Dumaresq go to the following link: Hunter Valley Settlers – Map 8

Jersey has many connections to Australia throughout history (eg: Jersey Cows have been imported out here for a long time) and there are many more names, people and places that I have not mentioned here, but it is an interesting topic that I am sure I will look into time and time again. Here are a few place names in Australia that have a familiar ring to them:

Dumaresq Dam Road, NSW

Guernsey Street, Scone, NSW

Jersey Road, Sydney

Saumarez ponds, Armidale, NSW

St. Aubins Street, Scone, NSW

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