Early Hunter Valley Settlers

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Hunter River - Merton - Jerry's Plains - Foy Brook

 James Arndell - Woodland - Map - 6


James Arndell was the second son of Thomas Arndell who was one of seven assistant surgeons who formed the medical staff led by Surgeon-General John White which cared for the convicts in the First Fleet.

James Arndell was born at Caddai in 1802. He was a brother of Thomas Arndell

When James Arndell was about sixteen years of age he petitioned government in a Memorial dated 28 June 1820 for a grant of land, being desirous of settling and with intentions of improving and cultivating the land. (1) He resided at Caddai at this time. He was granted 100 acres Durham County, Parish of Althorp, by Governor Macquarie on 31st March 1821, quit rent commencing 1st January 1827 at 2s per annum (2)

He was granted 960 acres by Governor Sir Ralph Darling on 17 October 1828 at Hunter County, Yooroa, parish unnamed. (2)

Woodlands was the name given to the 100 acre grant which was situated on a point of land by the river, south of the western part of Wollun Hills and can be seen in the centre of the map above. (3)

Until 1829 James Arndell lived at Lake Macquarie where his sister Sarah lived with her husband Rev. Lancelot Threlkeld. James moved to Woodlands in 1829 and also took up his other grant of 960 acres on the Goulburn river near the junction of the Hunter which had been promised in October 1828. (3)

James Arndell married Mary Elizabeth Pike of Pickering on 25 July 1833 at Woodlands. (4) He died at Burwood in May 1868 aged 66 years.  


(1) Ancestry.com. New South Wales, Australia, Colonial Secretary's Papers, 1788-1825 Series: (NRS 899) Memorials to the Governor, 1810-1825 Item: 4/1823 Number: 17 Page: 34

(2) Sydney Gazette 24 December 1836

(3) Wood, W. Allan., Dawn in the valley : the story of settlement in the Hunter River Valley to 1833 Sydney : Wentworth Books, 1972., p.61

(4) Sydney Gazette 3 August 1833


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