This Sunday, September 17 sees a gathering of almost 100 people at Nabiac to honour their ancestors and celebrate the beginning of a new society on the Wallamba River in the 19th century.
This family is a mixed-race family, descended from a Scotsman and an Aboriginal woman and this kind of family formation is a much more common occurrence in Australian history than many people realise.
This family history goes back to the very frontier of settlement in the Manning Valley.
The married life of William Henry Ralston McClymont and Annie Butler began in 1862 on the station called “Bundacree” on the Wallamba River at what was then known as Clarkson’s Crossing and has since come to be known as Nabiac.
William’s parents had come to Australia and received a grant of land known as “Bowthorne” on the Williams River in the Hunter Valley in the 1820s.
James McClymont died at an early age and his widow Nancy married the classics scholar and educator Henry Carmichael in the early 1830s.
As surveyor for the district, Carmichael also established a horse and heifer stud “Warwiba” on the southern bank of the Manning River.
The family travelled up and down from Seaham to “Warwiba” by the Bucketts Way and Gloucester Station by horse and cart. The Aboriginal man Midgee Brown accompanied Nancy and the children on these trips as a guide and protector.
While there is a wealth of archival material about William and his family, little is known of Annie. She was born on the frontier.
From her daughter Wilhelmina’s marriage certificate we know that her parents were John Butler and Matilda whose surname was not given.
A sister Mary Ann married Daniel Slater in 1858 and her mother Matilda noted as “Aboriginal” on the marriage certificate. We have no knowledge of any other brothers or sisters in the family nor of the background of John Butler.
William and Annie McClymont raised nine children born over a 25 year period.
Their children married into the families of Dates, Fenning, French, Riley, Greenaway and Russell. Descendants include members of the local families Latimore, Worth, O’Brien, Cunningham, Carle to name but a few!
All McClymont descendants are welcome to the gathering this Sunday, September 17 at 10.30am at Nabiac showground!