GEORGE THOMAS CROWE

The eldest child of John and Anne Crow was a son, George Thomas was born at Geelong. Victoria on the 2nd of November 1859. When George Thomas was about 4 years old his family moved from Victoria to the Wheeo district of NSW and it was there that he grew up on his fathers selection, 'Spring Creek'.

George Thomas Crowe was known as Tom. Three months after his father died in 1884 he married Teresa Deehan of Julong, Binda. They were married at Crookwell on the 16th of July 1884.

George and Anne Crowe

Theresa was born in Kings County, Ireland and had come to NSW as a child. Her family arrived in Sydney aboard the ship 'Wanata' on the 3rd of September 1864. The voyage was an eventful one and accounts of the incidents and conditions on board have been handed down through the family. Teresa Deehan's grand daughter, Mollie Loughnane recalls on of these stories;

The trip took six months and was very eventful. They were shipwrecked, ran into dreadful storms, the masts were broken and sails torn down. The captain being a good navigator kept to the coast lines to avoid the heavy seas, this took them off course and made the trip longer. The conditions aboard were very bad. They had a shortage of food, water and medical supplies. The captain had to ration the crew along with the passengers. The food and water became contaminated, this caused a lot of illness aboard and Theresa'a youngest brother Frank, who was only six months old at the time became very ill. The captain, who had run out of medications told his mother, Mary Deehan, that nothing could be done for him, and the only charitable thing to do was to throw him overboard. She refused to do this. Frank survived and in later life he married and had an orchard. He lived a reasonably healthy life dying at the ripe old age of 93 years.

The Sydney Morning Herald for Monday the 5th September 1864 reported;

The Wanata left Liverpool on the 5th May, and reports very variable weather throughout the passage. She brings 406 immigrants classified as follows; - 30 married couples, 149 single men, 145 single women, and 44 children. Two children died on the passage, and there have been two births.

John Crow had ensured that his sons acquired land in the Crookwell/Wheeo district and that they established farms. In 1885 George Thomas is recorded as having a property at Lost River. He had 590 acres stocked with 10 horses, 6 cattle, 100 sheep and 2 pigs.

The Crookwell Wheeo area was very rough and was swarming with kangaroos and wallabies. The early settlers devised a social solution to this problem. They would advertise a wallaby drive and as many as 60-70 people with guns and stock whips could arrive to participate. A large pit was dug, about 8 or 9 feet deep, with fences from each corner to act as a guide. The hunters would line up with stock whips and drive all the animals in front of them into the pit. On the 3rd of July 1886 the Goulburn Herald reported that George Crowe had hosted a wallaby drive on his property 'Potten Creek'. Click here to view the newspaper article.

In 1887 Tom and Teresa Crowe left the Wheeo district. It is believed that financial difficulties forced them to sell up, leave the district and re establish themselves. Descendant Mollie Loughnane recalls;

Tom Crowe had a mortgage on his property, the bank gave him notice that they were going to foreclose and requested the money within a certain time. I think it was about three hundred pounds, which he did not have. Teresa suggested that they ask her brother Jonnie who said yes but insisted that he buy the property outright and have Tom and Teresa work it for him. He was well placed at the time and was known to go to hotels, walk up to the fire and light his pipe with a five pound note. There was a disagreement over these arrangements and time ran out on the mortgage and they were forced to sell.

George Thomas had a beautiful pair of black horses and a buggy with a silver harness. When it was mass on Sunday Tom would spend all day Saturday grooming the horses, platting their manes and polishing the silver harness. He had taught the horses to prance by walking them across planks. This was all sold up and when the horses were taken away Tom sat down and cried.

George and Teresa left Wheeo in 1887 and took up land at 'Grabine' Mt McDonald in the district where the present day Wyangla Dam is located. The nearest large town was Cowra and the closest small town, Bigga. It is not known what prompted them to choose this area but the following article which appeared in the Crookwell Gazette in January 1887 may have influenced their decision;

A Rich Return - A parcel of stone from Mallesson's claim, Mt McDonald, weighing 5cwt 1 gr 211b, has been assayed at the Mint. The assayer reports that the gross weight of gold extracted was nearly 38oz or 34 1/4 ozs of standard gold. The result of the assay was gold 827; silver 170. The result assay has caused great excitement at the Mount. - Carcoar Chrinicle

Life was very hard for Tom and Teresa and their two daughters, Mary aged two and Teresa who was just a small baby. Tom worked hard to clear and fence the land and build a home. There were no machines to help with the heavy work. It was all done by hand. Tom cut the timber and erected the house all by himself. Teresa and the children probably lived in a tent while the house was being built. Tom called his property 'Grabine'. This was also the district name. Through sheer hard work and determination Tom and Teresa prospered and provided a secure environment for their then family of five children.


George and Teresa Crowe's Children
From the back left - Beatrice May B. 1894, Mary Anne B. 1885, Teresa Jane B. 1887,
Herbert Joseph B. 1892, and Una Veronica B. 1890.


George Thomas Crowe died at 'Grabine' Mt McDonald on the 27th July 1917 aged 58 years. At the time of his death the river was in flood and his body had to be rowed across the river for burial.

His son Herbert J Crowe continued to run the family property. Teresa Crowe died on the 21st of July 1935 at Orange, NSW. Both are buried in the Lyndhurst Cemetery near Cowra.



Descendants of George Thomas Crowe & Teresa Deehan