Descendants of Col. Thomas AUSTIN


161. Sarah Pierce AUSTIN

Sarah Pierce was married to John Sutherland Gordon in 1866 at St. Philip's, Georgetown, by Bishop Austin with the assistance of Archdeacon Thomas Farrar. John Sutherland Gordon was manager of Plantations Enmore and Paradise in 1862. He had been widowed in 1864. After his marriage to Sarah, Josias Booker II sold him a half share in Plantation Greenfield, the Booker family's private estate which had never been part of the wider Booker partnership. In the late 1870s, John Sutherland Gordon was attorney for Plantations Melville, La Belle Plaine (Wakenaam) and Skeldon. He died in Edinburgh in 1880.
Sarah and her husband had five children, John Richard Colin 'Dick' (1868-1947), who was born at Plantation Enmore; William James Sutherland (1870- ), who was born at Plantation Greenfield and lived latterly in Concrete, Washington; and Josephine Maxwell (Jo), who also lived in U.S.A. Sarah Pierce died at Plantation Greenfield the day after the birth of twins (named Sarah Pierce and Melicent), who survived for only two months, and she was buried at St Mark's Church, Enmore, East Coast, Demerara. Dick was born in British Guiana and married Hilda Sloman (1884-1982) in 1906. He was for some time manager of Blairmont Estate, Berbice, but in 1926, he and Hilda moved to Nickerie in Surinam, again to work in the sugar industry, before retiring to Georgetown. Dick died in Georgetown, and is buried there in the churchyard at St Sidwell's Church. He and Hilda had two sons:
Colin Ernest Sutherland (1907-1960) was born at Bath Estate (adjacent to Blairmont, and to the west of it). He was educated at Charterhouse, Surrey, and Christ Church College, Oxford, where he graduated in 1930 with a M.A. in classics. Colin was an exceptionally fine sportsman. He gained his 'blue' in athletics at Oxford and became President of the Oxford Athletic Club. Colin represented Great Britain at the 1928 Olympic Games in Amsterdam, and the 1930 inaugural Empire Games in Hamilton, Canada. In both these games (and at Oxford), Colin was a competitor in the high jump event. Whilst at Oxford he cleared 6ft (a height only once previously achieved in the history of Varsity Sports). At the Olympic Games in Amsterdam, he cleared 6ft 3 ½in - only 1in less than the gold medallist. On leaving Oxford, Colin went to Canada, where he taught in Ontario for a year before going to Melbourne, Australia. There he joined the staff of Geelong Grammar School, where he later became Housemaster. In 1940, he married Patricia Hayward Newbigin (1913-1997) of Melbourne, and shortly thereafter joined the staff of King's School Parramatta with the position of Senior Classics Master. In 1945, Colin enlisted in the R.A.A.F., was commissioned, and served in the Administration and Special Branch of the service. He became head of a rehabilitation unit that did much valuable work helping ex-servicemen find their feet in civilian life again. After he was demobilised in 1945, Colin became the first lay Headmaster of the Collegiate School of St. Peter (known as 'Saints'), Adelaide, an appointment that lasted from 1946 until he retired in 1960, due to ill health. Colin was regarded by his peers as one of the leading educationalist of his time in Australia, and is credited with helping to create the Australian College of Education, of which he was made a Fellow. He is remembered by colleagues as a man who 'has always placed much importance on the tone or spirit of the school [Saints] holding that 'it is not enough that a boy should aim to win prizes and get into school teams. His standards should be absolute standards of honesty, courage, and consideration to others'. He has said that it is character building more than anything which enables a school to produce worthy and useful citizens.' Colin and Patricia had two daughters: Sarah Victoria ('Vicky') (1944- ) and Dinah Jillian Hayward (1948- ).
Michael Ian Newnham (1914-1999) was born at Blairmont Estate and was also educated at Charterhouse. In 1944, he married Margaret Noreen 'Peggy' Payne (1924- ) at St Mark's Church, Enmore. Michael served in the British Guiana Police Force until, in 1948, he was transferred to the Gold Coast (now Ghana), where he became Assistant Commissioner in the Gold Coast Police Force. He was awarded the Queen's Police Medal and the Colonial Police Medal. In 1956, Michael retired from the Colonial Service and went to England with his family, where he settled in Reading, Berkshire. He worked for the Ministry of Defence, vetting individuals who occupied highly sensitive positions in the Public Service, until he retired in 1976. Upon the death of his kinsman, Sir Home Seton Charles Montagu Gordon (1871-1956), 12th Baronet of Embo, the Baronetcy became vacant. Debrett's Peerage listed Michael as the probable heir to the 13th Baronetcy. However, this had to be established and Michael decided not to pursue
his claim to it. He is remembered by Barry Lane, a friend and fellow officer as a 'member of the top echelon of Colonial Police Officers, who brought nothing but credit to their Force and to the British Empire. He was held in great respect by his brother officers - and those who served under his command… He had a deep understanding of the Gold Coast, its people and their way of life.' Michael and Peggy had three children: Helen Elizabeth (1945- ), Philip Michael Sutherland (1946- ) and Carol Margaret (1947-).

John Sutherland GORDON

John Sutherland Gordon was manager of Plantations Enmore and Paradise in 1862. He had been widowed in 1864. After his marriage to Sarah, Josias Booker II sold him a half share in Plantation Greenfield, the Booker family's private estate which had never been part of the wider Booker partnership. In the late 1870s, John Sutherland Gordon was attorney for Plantations Melville, La Belle Plaine (Wakenaam) and Skeldon. He died in Edinburgh in 1880.

347. William James Sutherland GORDON

He was born at Plantation Greenfield and lived latterly in Concrete, Washington.

348. Josephine Maxwell "Jo" GORDON

She lived in the U.S.A.

162. James Dear AUSTIN

In 1869 he married Helen Lillian Grogan of Barbados and he managed or owned an estate called Exchange in the parish of St Thomas on that island. He was living in Surinam when he was married. His nine children were contemporaries of those of J.G.A. to whom he was known as 'Cousin James'. James Dear died in Barbados.

354. Allan Gordon AUSTIN

He lived in Demerara, but retired to Barbados where he died. He did not marry.

355. Helen Lillian AUSTIN

She and her sister Ethel emigrated to the USA. She lived in Los Angeles, but retired to New York, where she died, a spinster.

356. May Ethel AUSTIN

She became a hospital nurse, remaining a spinster.

357. Katherine Dora AUSTIN

She married Ernest Crumpton from Barbados, but they had no children. Like her sisters Helen and Ethel, she emigrated to the USA.

163. Melicent Ann AUSTIN

Melicent was born at Plantation Blenheim, Leguan Island, Essequibo. She married Archdeacon Thomas Farrar B.D. (1830-1893) in 1857. A contemporary spoke of Melicent Ann as: 'a person who endeared herself to all those who came in contact with her. She was unassuming, was of a somewhat retiring disposition, but exercised a great deal of charm on those who enjoyed her society'. Her son Cecil spoke for the whole family when he was quoted as saying: 'I do think that she was a very wonderful woman. One of her main characteristics was that she thought no ill and said no ill of anyone, which is a thing we could all emulate'.
Melicent and Thomas had fourteen children.

Archdeacon Thomas FARRAR

Thomas, the fifth child of James and Harriet, was born in Holbeck, Leeds, Yorkshire. He was educated at Leeds Grammar School and, after completing training for the priesthood, went to British Guiana in 1854, arriving there on Christmas Eve. The following January, he was ordained a deacon and appointed Curate in the Berbice River District and then at St. Margaret's, Skeldon. In Berbice he met his future fiancée and wife, Melicent Ann Austin.
Thomas and Melicent Ann Austin were married by Bishop William Piercy Austin at St. Philip's, Charlestown, Georgetown, in 1857. During Thomas' thirty-nine years as a priest, he played an increasingly important role in the Diocese of Guiana. In 1865, he was appointed Chaplain to H. M. Penal Settlement, Mazaruni and minister in charge of the Lower Essequibo Indian Missions, a dual position that he held for about eight years. He was Rector of St. Paul's, Sparendaam (Plaisance), Demerara, from 1873-83, after which he was made one of the first Canons of St. George's Cathedral, Georgetown. A year later, he was appointed Archdeacon of Berbice and Rector of All Saints' Church, New Amsterdam, Berbice. In 1890, on the retirement of Archdeacon Francis Webster Austin (1829-1905), Thomas was made Archdeacon of Demerara, and on the death of Bishop William Piercy Austin D.D. in 1892, the charge of the Diocese of Guiana devolved on Thomas. However, he would not allow himself to be nominated to Queen Victoria to fill the vacant episcopate because he felt that the interests of the Church would best be served by the appointment of a younger man from England 'Who was imbued with home influence'. Notwithstanding his extremely busy life as a priest, Thomas found time to write, including a book entitled The Christian Ministry - A Manual of Church Doctrine, for which, in 1881, The Archbishop of Canterbury awarded him an Honorary Bachelor of Divinity, a Lambeth Degree. He also wrote: Notes on the History of the Church in Guiana and, as a friend wrote after Thomas' death, 'Even though he did good work, and work lasting in its effects, as a missionary, it is characteristic of the man that his name is never once mentioned directly in the book'. At the time of his death, Thomas was Vicar-General of the diocese, while continuing the Rectory of All Saints' Church. He was a man noted for his modest style and was described by a contemporary as: 'An extremely practical, earnest and zealous servant of the Church and straightforward in everything, honest in convictions and vigorous in his advocacy of right and opposition of error, possessed of wide experience, sound judgement and broad sympathies, he was a real and active power in the diocese'. He and Melicent Ann had fourteen children, all of whom were born in British Guiana, except for Melicent ('Milly') and Anne ('Annie'), who were born in Holbeck, Leeds.

The Farrar Family
The name Farrar is an old Yorkshire name, believed to be derived from the word farrier, which meant one who cures the disease of horses or one in charge of horses or cavalry. In more recent times, it came to mean one who shoes horses. Although the name Farrar occurs in many manuscripts, from time to time the surname was spelt Farrar, Farrer, Fayrer, Ferrar, Ferrers, Farrow, Farror and Farrough, probably because church officials and other writers spelt the name phonetically. It is not implied that all of the present Farrar families are descended from a single original family. The family name is also said by some writers to be derived from the old French word Ferrier. In early days it meant a worker in iron and is believed to have been used at times to indicate a maker of swords. The name of the Ferrers family is believed to be derived from its early home in Northern France, in the small town of Gastinois, which was also known as Ferrières because of the numerous iron mines in the neighbourhood. Henry de Ferrières of Ferrers was one of the knights in the invading army of Normans that conquered England in 1066, and from him were descended the ancient Earls of Derby. The earliest record places the Farrar or Farrer family in Yorkshire, at the Manor of Wortley, near Halifax, which was acquired during the 14th century. The first printed map of Bermuda (1626), contains the following description: The names of the now [present] Adventurer, viz. this year 1622 fo neare as wee could gather expressid with numbers that have Reference to their shares: which shares are distinguished and severed on the Land, as represented by lines. Following this description, are the names of each 'adventurer' and the share of land, which belonged to them, including John and Nicholas Farrar, as owners of adjoining properties in Pembroke Tribe, close to Hamilton, Bermuda's present capital. Members of the Farrar family are also recorded as living in Barbados during the 17th century. However, it was not until 1854 that the first member of the family, THOMAS FARRAR, arrived in British Guiana.

360. James Henry FARRAR

James was born at sea off Maida on the Corentyne coast, British Guiana, (Maida is not very far from Port Mourant Sugar Estate).

361. Melicent 'Milly' FARRAR

Milly was born in Holbeck, Leeds. She led a quiet life and had a large circle of friends. ‘Aunt Milly’, as she was affectionately known to the younger generation, remained single all her life, so it is said, to look after her mother after her father died.

366. Edward FARRAR

Edward was born and died at H.M. Penal Settlement, Mazurini, British Guiana, while his father was Chaplain there.

371. Joesphine Martha Alice FARRAR

Josephine was born at St. Paul's Rectory, Sparendaam (Plaisance), Demerara. In 1908, she married John Arthur Clarence Tengely at St. George's Cathedral, Georgetown. John was Harbourmaster for the port of Georgetown. Josephine died in Georgetown.

John Arthur Clarence TENGELY

John was Harbourmaster for the port of Georgetown.

164. Josephine Gibson AUSTIN

Josephine Gibson was born in British Guiana, the Christian name Gibson probably deriving from the family name of her maternal great grandmother. She died in Georgetown in 1917 where she is buried. In her memory, a wooden altar table, dated 7.6.1917, was presented to Christ Church, Georgetown. She was remembered as 'Granny Bosch Reitz', bonneted and always carrying her little, much-prized embroidered handbag. Josephine married Guillaume Jacques Abraham Bosch Reitz (1825-1880) originally from Breukelen, near Utrecht, but who had settled in Surinam in 1851, where he was one time President of the Court of Justice there and President of the Colonial Assembly. They had nine children.

Guillaume Jacques Abraham "Willem" BOSCH REITZ

The father of Josephine's husband, Guillaume, was Gysbert Christiaan Bosch Reitz (1792-1866) who married a widow, Gertrude Elisabeth Kuvel (1794-1866) in 1815. She had inherited estates in Surinam, and this was the first link of the Bosch Reitz family with that country.
All the children of Guillaume and Josephine were born in Paramaribo, Surinam, but when Guillaume died in 1880, Josephine brought them all, except Philip, back to British Guiana, rejoining the Austin clan where they adopted British Nationality.

The Bosch Reitz Family
The Bosch Reitz family and before them, the Reitz and Bosch (formerly Busch) families, go back many generations in the history of Dutch and German families, the first reference being Cuntz Reitz, from Giessen, in about 1510. The history of the family has been meticulously documented by N.A. ‘Tony’ Bosch Reitz and has been lodged in the Bureau voor Genealogie in The Hague.

379. Charles James BOSCH REITZ

Charles James, known as Uncle Charlie, worked in the Immigration Department in Georgetown, before retiring to England where, late in life, he married a widow with two children, Eileen Louisa Arnold. By this time, he had omitted the name Bosch from his surname.

Eileen Louisa CLARK

Eileen was a widow, her previous husband being George Arnold.

166. Samuel Inniss AUSTIN

Samuel’s life was spent in British Guiana. He married (in 1880, in St George’s Cathedral, Georgetown) Alice Elizabeth Veness (1845-1930), known as Elfie, daughter of Archdeacon W. T. Veness of British Guiana, but died comparatively young leaving three young sons. He was the manager of Plantation Belle Plaine (renamed Marionville) on Wakenaam Island, British Guiana, where he died.

Archdeacon Francis Webster AUSTIN

Francis was born or baptised in Clapham, Surrey and went to school in King's College, London. He went up to Jesus College, Cambridge, received his B.A. in 1855 and M.A. in 1876. He was ordained deacon in 1856, and was Curate of St George's, Georgetown, Demerara in 1856. He was Garrison Chaplain there during 1857-1861, Rector of St Michael's, Berbice and St Paul's, East Coast Demerara 1871-1873, Rector of All Saints', Berbice, 1873-1884, Archdeacon of Berbice 1883-1884 and of Demerara 1884-1890. He was Vicar-General, Diocese of British Guiana, 1888-1890, and Rector and Dean of St George's Cathedral, Georgetown, 1884-1890. He was Curate at Corston, Wiltshire 1891-1892 and Rector of West Ilsley, Berkshire, 1892-1895. He is often mentioned in J.G.A.'s letters of the 1850's when the latter was in his teens and Francis nine years older. He must have been a curate at one of the churches in Georgetown when J.G.A. watched with interest the progress of the courtship between Francis and their cousin 'Jo', daughter of Joseph Gibson Austin, who had married William Edward Pierce.
Young curates were ill paid and J.G.A. writes:
'Mrs Thorne tells me that Preston does not approve of the match on account of the poorness of both parties, but one must remember that young ladies of fortune are not picked up every day!'
However the couple were married in 1858, after J.G.A. had left for Barbados. He was invited to the wedding but was unable to spare the time to go to Demerara for the occasion.
Jo only survived nine years, leaving a family of three, after which Francis married Jane 'Jeanie' Murray from Trinidad. By this time he was Archdeacon and his finances had improved so that he was able to support his second family of seven children in addition to his first. He was living in Abingdon, Berks, in 1904 and died there in 1905.