George Blackman 1809-1875

George Blackman
Early Years
George was born in Richmond NSW in 1809, the eighth child of the marriage.  Around 1823, when he was 14, his parents decided to join 3 of their other sons in Bathurst NSW.  At that stage there were 3 young children still at home, George (14), Robert (12) and Martha (10).

George’s father, James Blackman, had at this time written to the Governor seeking a land grant in Bathurst and saying that three of his sons were in Bathurst (he was referring to James Junior, John and William).  He also stated that he still had a young family which comprised three children.

Presumably he received a good education like his siblings as his mother Elizabeth was very strict when it came to her children’s education.  Despite that he doesn’t seem to have been employed in any Government positions, unlike his father and some of his siblings.  As a consequence it is assumed that from about 16 years he worked as a farmer or farm labourer on his father’s or brother’s properties.

In 1833 (aged 24) George purchased 80 perches of land in Bathurst (that record on ADC is not printable) and perhaps (if it isn’t the same property) a small property in Kelso.

The Sydney Gazette & NSW Advertiser Thurs 25 April 1833

SMH Mon 9 Dec 1833

It is noted in the above that Joseph Henry Barsden also bought a block at this time.  Joseph was George’s brother in law having married Mary Blackman.

Marriage to Susannah Raven

In 1837 George (aged 28) married Susannah Raven (17) at the Holy Trinity Church in Kelso and it is reported that he was a farmer at that time. 

Susannah had been born in the Colony, at Cowpastures, and was the daughter of Charles Raven and Sarah Jenkins.

Sometime around 1837 his parents and his three brothers James Jnr, John and William move to the Mudgee area but George and Susannah stayed in Bathurst and in 1838 their first child George Jnr (George Harley Blackman - named after this grandfather George Harley) was born.

He and his other youngest siblings, those who came with their parents to Bathurst (Robert and Martha) did not follow their parents and stayed in the Bathurst area.  Also close by was Mary the 6th born sibling.

George may have moved his family because their second child is born in 1841 at Hill End (in pre gold rush days).  However by 1847 he seems to have settled in Dirty Swamp because all of the remaining children are born there during the period 1847-1862 – (Dirty Swamp was renamed Locksley and is located between Brewongle and Tarana near Bathurst).

  1. George Harley   (1838-1916) b Bathurst
  2. Charles Samuel  (1841-1915) b Hill End
  3. William   (1844-1922)b Bathurst
  4. Sarah Elizabeth   (1847-1895) b Dirty Swamp
  5. Susannah  (1849-1929) b Dirty Swamp
  6. Emily   (1852-1917) b Locksley
  7. Adelaide Mary  (1856-1906)  b Locksley
  8. James    (1859-1933) b Locksley
  9. Martha  (1862- 1869)b Locksley


The following article possibly relates to George.  It reveals that a George Blackman of Bread and Butter Flat near Limekilns (a farmer) was insolvent in 1869 with assets being exceeded by liabilities by 71 pounds.  The causes for his insolvency (when he was aged 60) were given as:
Insolvency Court - Saturday. George Blackman, of Bread and Butter Flat, near Limekilns, farmer. Canses of insolvency : Unprecedented depression in business, bad debts, and having been unable to attend to business through sickness. Liabilities, £132 16s, 6d. Assets, £61 10s. Deficiency, £71 6s. 5d. Official assignee, Mr. J. P. Mackenzie.  
Empire 8th February 1869

Georges death

He is reported to have died at Clear Creek on the 7th of May 1875 aged 66 and buried at Holy Trinity Church Kelso (although there is no headstone).  However there is only one reference for the death of a George Blackman but it shows incorrect names for his parents (they should be James and Elizabeth not Samuel and Ann).

If that was the year of his death he died before Susannah (who died in 1905) and before each of his 9 children.

Perhaps the newspaper reference below shows a transfer of a property held by him (or perhaps his son) in 1876 (although there is no probate record available).

SMH Sat 18 Mar 1876

His mother’s Will

The following was contained in the Windsor and Richmond Gazette Article of 1931 (Annexure A):
“Many attempts have been made to unearth the Will of Elizabeth Blackman but up to a week or two ago without success.  Mr George Blackman before his death made extensive enquiries , but could find no trace of it.  He had been warned anonymously that something was going to be done with it and a further anonymous letter was received informing him that it was in the possession of a certain person, and that he would never locate it the will or secure the property.  A number of descendants are now concentrating on the search for the missing Will, with every prospect of success.”

The following is said to be a copy of the Will: - The Will is believed to be made at Bathurst on February 3rd 1840 and the following is said to be a copy of same, although not authentic so far:

“I desire and wish that as soon as a return from England of money from my estate that:
- 10,000 pounds be paid to my son William Blackman in case he gets it
- 100 pounds to his wife Sarah Blackman
- 200 pounds to my daughter Henrietta Merrick
- 200 pounds to my daughter Martha Daveson,
- 200 pounds to my daughter Elizabeth Carlyle
-  200 pounds to my son George Blackman
- 200 pounds to my son Robert Blackman
- 200 pounds to my son James Blackman
-  200 pounds to my son John Blackman
- 200 pounds to my son Samuel Blackman
- 100 pounds for mourning
then the rest to be equally divided between my sons and daughters but all debts and laws to be paid first and if any of my sons or daughters should happen to die for their children to receive their shares.


George was a first generation Australian who was born in the colony only 21 years after the first white settlement.  His parents and siblings were pioneers some of whom held prestigious positions, were explorers and some obtained great wealth and no doubt endured extreme hardships.  George it seems didn’t prosper as well as them but, with Susannah, helped to populate the new colony having 9 children and later many more grandchildren.

  • Gary Long (descendent of Martha Blackman (1813-1901) 28/8/2013 
  • Ancestry Member LongReed