In July of this year I purchased a small lot of New South Wales numerals, most of which were for my De La Rue collection.
The seller very kindly included two covers gratis.
One of those "covers" is shown below. I thought it was such a sweet artifact that I couldn't bring myself to part with it, so if this makes me a sentimental old so-and-so then so be it!
As it turns out, the address isn't too far from where I grew up. I started researching the family and found out some very interesting information.
Rowland's father Jacob was an orchardist who served time on Parramatta Council. Calmsley was a large property on Kissing Point Road in Dundas, a suburb of Sydney. Jacob's parents arrived as free settlers in 1855.
Rowland's mother's name was Mary Frances Hughes, a descendant of what is cheekily called Australian Royalty, a term the actor Jack Thompson used in the first episode of "Who Do You Think You Are". See here for further details: https://australianroyalty.net.au/tr...llmccord.ged
Mary's aunt Ann married a George Spurway, a convict whose son, George Jr., built the property "Riverview". Spurway Street, Dundas is named in honour of George Jr. Further reading can be found here https://convictrecords.com.au/convi...george/90364
and here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/River...e,_West_Ryde
Ann's mother was the daughter of "First Fleeters" John Small and Mary Parker.
Ann's aunt Rebecca married the Reverend Francis Oakes. Oakes Road, Carlingford (just up the road from Dundas) is named after his son Francis Jr. Oakes' ADB entry is here: http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/oakes-francis-2513
Rebecca's daughter Elizabeth was the mother of Lucy Armstrong, who in 1863 married Sir James Fairfax, the family who owned the Sydney Morning Herald from 1841.
While researching the Sydney Morning Herald just now, I discovered that one of the founders was a William McGarvie. The surname sounded familiar. His brother, the Reverend John, had arrived in New South Wales in 1826, two years before his brother. The entire below was posted to John from Parramatta in 1848.
John's entry in the ADB is here: http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/mcgarvie-john-2399
Who would've thought that so much history could have been attached to such a humble letter to Father Santa Claus?
So, from New South Wales, a very Merry Christmas to all in our wonderful Stamp Community.