The Crow family was established in Australia by John Crow who migrated to the Australian colony in the 1850's. The surname Crow is derived from the nickname 'the crow' which was given to an ancestor who resembled a crow, either in their looks, figure or temperament. The Anglo Saxon origins of Crows date back to the 12th Century and it's understood in Ireland, the name Crowe was derived from the surname MacEnchroe. MacEnchore's were native from County Clare.

There's no record found to establish the origins of our Crow family. To date they have been traced to three counties in England; Essex, Lincolnshire and Suffolk.

John Crow stated his place of birth as Suffolk, when he was married in Victoria in 1859. He also stated his father was Benjamin Crow, a butler, and his mother was Susanna nee Dockery. John's christening records were found at Sudbury St. Peters, County Suffolk, England. John was christened on the 7th October 1832. Sudbury is a town in West Suffolk on the river Stour. The parish of Sudbury is on the border of Suffolk and Essex.

John had two sisters who were also christened at St. Peter's Sudbury. Susannah in 1833 and Mary in 1837. Mary died on 18th September 1839 as a result of convulsions. Mary's death certificate lists her as the daughter of Benjamin Crow, innkeeper, Ballingdon. Ballingdon is a parish in the county of Essex and about 2kms from Sudbury. It is situated on the west bank of the river Stour.

Benjamin and Susanna Crow had another daughter on the 2nd August 1840 and named her Mary. Mary was born at Ballingdon and her father Benjamin listed their place of residence as the White Horse Inn, Ballingdon. It was reasonable to assume that the Crow family lived in the Sudbury/Ballingdon area from about 1832. A search of the 1841 census returns for Ballingdon revealed that Benjamin Crow, publican, at the aged of 40, and his wife Sussanna aged 35 were living in Ballingdon with their four children, George aged 11, John aged 9, Susanna aged 7, and a baby Mary at 10 months.

The christening record of Benjamin and Susanna's eldest son, George Dockery Crow shows he was christened on the 28th February 1830 at St. Swithins, Lincoln. Lincoln is a city in the county of Lincolnshire in the east of England. The is evidence from descendants in Australia to suggest that the Crow family originated from Lincoln. John Crow's son James Andrew recalls in a letter that;

'His father's people lived in Lincoln, England. He had one uncle to his knowledge, George Dockery Crow, two aunts, Mary and Elizabeth, all living in Lincoln'.

A Crow descendant Mrs Mollie Loughnane recounts a recollection of her mother Mary Ann Crow;

'Our Grandfather Crowe (John Crow) did inherit money or rather a paper mill which he would have had to to England to get possession of and as it was not of great value at the time he considered it not to be worth while, he didn't go, and what became of it I do not know, neither do I know whether he sold his interest. Dad (George Thomas b1859) remembered the news coming to his father'.

Nothing is known of the Dockery family expect that the surname Dockery or Dockeray occurs frequently in Co Lincolnshire and it is possible that Susanna's family originated from Lincoln. The name Dockery means a nook with dock, a type of herb.

Benjamin and Susanna Crow. Photographs taken in Lincoln, England. Original photograph in the possession of Mollie Loughnane, Sydney.

Wedding Register for Benjamin and Susanah Crow

Crow Family Tree


The White name is associated with the Crow family through marriage, John Crow married Anne White in Victoria in 1859. It is significant that many of today's Crow descendants bear the surname White. This came about when one of John and Anne's sons, Francis Sylvester, adopted his mother's maiden name of White when he chose to alter his name.

The White family originated from the parish of Killard on the west coast of County Clare, Ireland. The earliest ancestors found in Killard are Andrew White and his wife Joanna nee McDermott. In 1856 Andrew White was living in the townland of Doon Beg, parish of Killard. He had a house rented from Michael McGrath. the rateable valuation on the house was five shillings per annum. Three of Andrew and Johanna's children, one son and two daughters emigrated to Australia. Another son Frank is believed to have migrated to America.

Their daughter Anne was the first of the family to emigrate to Australia. She was born around 1827 in Killard and she sailed from Liverpool on the 24th January 1855 aboard the ship 'Frederick' (Click here to view the Passenger List). She was a young single female leaving her friends and family behind with no possibility of returning to her native land. Her courageous decision to leave Ireland was probably prompted by the difficult economic times that followed the great famine of 1845-50. Life in post famine Ireland was particularly difficult for women.

'Women were expected to work in the fields during turf cutting, planting, cultivation and the back-breaking job of lifting potatoes. the pitching, raking and building of haystacks were left to women. All this plus the traditional duties of raising large families... Women had a shorter life expectancy than males, the result of under nourishment and fatigue. Migration offered an escape from such an existence'.

As with many other young Irish women Anne was the 'trailblazer' for the White family. She was the first to migrate to Australia and she would have encouraged, indeed probably sponsored her brother and sister to migrate also.

Anne arrived in Melbourne on the 11th of April 1855 and the disposal list for the ship 'Fredrick' indicates that Anne was employed as a domestic servant to a Mr Phillips of Brunswick VIC. Her salary was sixteen pounds per annum plus rations. Four years later, on the 15th of January 1859 at St. Mary's catholic Church, geelong, Anne married John Crow an Englishman from county Suffolk.

The ship the 'Frederick' 1855

On the 2nd of July 1857 Anne's brother James White arrived in Sydney aboard the ship 'Glen Ilsa'. The shipping records held by the NSW State Archives reveal that James was born in Killard, County Clare, Ireland, he was 22 year old, a labourer and he could read and write. He told the Immigration Board Inspector that he had a sister Nancy White living in Woolloomooloo. The Irish often used the pet form of the name Anne. This was Nan or Nancy. So it is highly likely that sister Nancy White was in fact Anne White. There is no record of a Nancy White migrating to New South Wales from County Clare.

Anne Crow nee White
Born C1827 Co. Clare Ireland. Died on the 7th March 1881 in Wheeo NSW.

Also aboard the 'Glen Ilsa' was another County Clare man, Joseph Talty. Both the young men had sisters already in the colony. Joseph's sister Johanna Talty arrived on the 15th March 1855 on the ship 'Nepal'. He also had two brothers, Michael and Simon Talty living at Woolloomooloo.

James and Joseph set about establishing a new life in New South Wales, nothing is known of their life until they settled in the Wheeo district of New South Wales. The Wheeo/Crookwell area near Goulburn attracted many Irish settlers who pioneered the district and created a new successful life for themselves and their families.

James White married his friend's sister Johanna Tatly on the 29th July 1859 in Sydney. The second child, Andrew James was born in 1861 at Woolloomooloo. Sometime after this the Whites moved to the Wheeo district. They built a small hut on Spring Creek and lived there for a short time until one day they followed some stray cattle along the creek and found a spot near Native Dog Flat, where they established their permanent home. They called their new farm 'Glen Erin'. Here they raised their family of ten children, farmed potatoes, bred pigs and ran a dairy. Life was not always easy for the early settlers. The following extract from the Goulburn Herald Newspaper dated the 13th June 1874 illustrates this;

A settler named James White residing at Native Dog Flat, Wheeo, has suffered a very sad loss. On Friday the 5th of June a little girl, Bridget seven years old died, and was buried the following day. On Saturday the 7th June a boy, Francis aged three years died, and on Monday the 8th June ten month old Elizabeth also passed away. The two were buried in the one grave on Tuesday. There are four children in the family, all very ill. The disease is whooping cough.

Fortunately the other children survived.

The original house that James built is still standing though abanded and neglected. James White died in 1892 and was buried in the Wheeo cemetery with his young children. Johanna died at Manly, Sydney in 1924.

Headstones Wheeo cemetery Latitude/Longitude Ref; -34.517422, 149.301613
(Left) To The Memory of Susanna 1870-1890, Bridget 1867-1874, Francis 1871-1874, and Eliza 1873-1874. Children of James and Johanna White. (Right) James White. Departed this life 24th July 1892 aged 65 years.
Photograph taken 2013

White Family Tree.

Glen Erin Homestead, native Dog Flat Latitude/Longitude Ref; -34.490012, 149.361631
(Left) Glen Erin Homestead, taken 1988 (Right) Glen Erin Homestead, taken 2017.

(Left) Extract from Parish Map or Grabben Gullen (Right) Location of Glen Erin Homestead on Google Maps.
Glenerin Road parallel along Native Dog Flat.

In 1858 the third member of the White family arrived in Australia. Eliza nee White, her husband, Cornelius, known as Connor Sheehan, and their two children arrived in Sydney aboard the ship 'Queen of England' on the 8th July 1858. The shipping list notes that their youngest child Margaret Sheehan was born during the voyage. She was three months old when the ship arrived in Sydney. The Sheehan's decided to go to Victoria to join Anne and her husband John Crow who were living in Geelong. Geelong was one of the areas in Victoria that had a large concentration of Irish settlers.

In 1863 the White sisters parted company. Anne and her family relocated to Wheeo NSW. This move was no doubt prompted by her brother James who informed her of the availability of good land for selection. Anne and John settled at Spring Creek where her brother James had built while they constructed a more permanent home a little further up the hill.

Eliza and Connor Sheehan moved to Ballarat until 1867 and then they settled permanently at Bungaree VIC. Eliza died there an the 10th July 1903 and is buried in the old Ballarat cemetery with her eldest daughter Anne who died on the 26th April 1874 aged 16 years. Connor Sheehan died on the 28th January 1904 and is buried with his wife and daughter.

Bungaree is a small township eight miles east of Ballarat. In 1879 it had a population of 4000 and was described as being heavily timbered with a large proportion of the population getting making a living by supplying the mines about Ballarat with the timber used in mining operations. Eliza and Connor raised a family of seven children, there may have been more? To date no descendants have been traced.

The Crow, the White and the Talty families were some of the original selectors in the Wheeo district. Some of their descendants are still living and working in the district, many of which are farmers.