He was already at Dalwood when the diary began in February 1830. In the first two years there are many entries about the weather conditions - rain, floods, thunderstorms and searing heat. There are details of his excursions such as on the 4th May 1830 when he and John Allman travelled to Newcastle where they visited the Valley of the Palms. He returned to Dalwood on 6th May and dined with Captain Aubin that same night. On 12th September he accompanied William Ogilvie from Merton to Holdsworthy Downs and then to the Burning Mountain. They returned via Segenhoe, St. Heliers and Merton and he was home by the 18th September 1830. In March 1831 he visited Port Stephens where he called on Captain Parry and William Cromarty and in December 1831 he accompanied Rev. Wilton to the top of Tangorin.
22 February He left us going to the reserve of Hay
23 February Very close at evening a heavy thunder storm. Finished ploughing the stubble. The grey horse and a mule are harrowing 7 or 8 done. The grass has not failed us this summer. John Prentice came as overseer.
24th February. Wet Day. Came up her to the new house and thought it ? to fetch up the beds and sleep on the then to go back home. So home changed its name. On 23 and 24 perhaps rained 16 hours light and heavy
25th February - Bringing up things. To Luskintyre. Have two rooms ready, but all are roofed but the rain has moistened the ceilings in some places.
26th February - Brought up more things. More rain 2 heavy showers. Say 1 hours smart rain at night drizzly. Mr. Townshend with us. Came on steady after 10. The whole night.
27th February 7 am Steady and fast till sunset.
28th February Sunday. Overcast with frequent showers. River is just wadeable. The holes in Stoney Creek are empty. 9 inches water in cellar.
March 1st. 1830. A very heavy 40 shower. The Sydney papers speak of the 14 and 15 February as days of fire. Girdling trees on the point south likewise on the same flat.
2nd March Baled 2 feet of water out of the cellar
4 and 5 a little burning off to furnish ashes
6th March Clearing out the stockyard.
8th March, Monday - Received a letter from Ella up to Oct 8. Weather pleasant and cloudy.
10th March Went to Mr. Townshend. W. Scott took my letter No. VII for Dr. Cunningham to take home.
11th March - Returned grey mare lame from a ?
12th March - Fetched the.....? Mr. Matthew came
16th March - Thunder storm with tremendous rain
19th March - To Mr. Reid's his relations lately arrived. Trenching the garden and quarrying the capital of the columns.
22th March - Dray from Mr. Cory's with cedar
23 March - Dray from Maitland with blankets etc.
24th March - bottling ? 10 dozen bought it up. Mr. Townshend here.
25th March - Sent Anne away, being pregnant. Still digging garden two..? Potatoes came up very irregularly.
The sown maize has failed again this year. Some carelessly and hastily sown in drill a little before Xmas promises well, must always in future put in more stubble maize. Proved a good crop.
3 April - pretty heavy rain and steady for 2 hours
4 April - 2 very heavy showers at night
5th April - Esthle left us on chestnut mare
6th April - Rain all day at times heavy
7th April - Carrying away maize . very west
8th April Do. Find there is more than I farmed. Hope to have near 600 bushels from the flank, about 30 acres. The stubble maize sown just before Xmas promises well and turned over the Back crop. I have got maize took no pains with it.
9th April. Good Friday. Alward's birth day Two years old. He is 2 feet 11 inches high. by repeated measurements and weighs about 27 lbs. Could not weigh him accurately. John Allman called . Light wetting rain all night.
10th April and all day and occasionally at night.
11th April breaking away. began again at night
Page 6. (4)
12th April - Rained all day, tho very light in the forenoon. Steady and ? pm. The Stony Creek is running through out its whole length and had today filled the long pool at the quarry. I have never seen the ground soaked before. Every appearance of more.
13th April Rained fast and steady the whole night till 8 am and then ceased. Heavy showers
14th April Sunshine. One smart shower. Got in the last of the maize that was picked had been lying on the ground during the whole rain but is uninjured save where uncovered by the bush.
15th April - Quarter Sessions or rather assizes. To Maitland keeping this side the river being a case of swimming. Heard the Success was aground at ? River and Port Macquarie open.
16th April Returned. Weather looks unsettled. Occasional light shower. Weeding and ? potatoes.
17th April Very light showers. Rained somewhat through the night and till one pm the whole
18th Sunday all day and all night and till one
19th April Afternoon showers
20th April Gathering cornstalks into heaps
21st April 1830. Thunder showers weather getting find
24th April. Pulling maize. The weather cleared from Monday and is now cold and clear. Wind brisk from W.N.W.
25th April. Dispatched a letter to John and Ella. No. VIII. to Sydney for Dr. Cunningham. Connell turned in to Government on Thursday last. (possibly James Connelly per Ferguson) hear there has been a tremendous flood on the Hawkesbury. Our river is now 5 feet deep at the crossing place and it has fallen 5 feet. Judge Dowling and Sheriff called. I was out
27th April. Finished carrying early maize. Jane Brett arrived with a black eye.
28 April Wednesday Began ploughing for wheat the maize land. 2 ploughs.
8th May - Plant peach stones 500 , two ?, 3 sorts cauliflower, Peas 2 sorts all in drills and rollen in a la Cobbett. Three ploughs going all this week and finished the maized ground this day.
9th May Sunday - To Mr. Lamb's. Gave me garden seeds. Sown May 12 etc
10th May, Monday - Sharp frost. Potatoes very much cut.
13th May Court of Requests at Maitland
14th To Newcastle with Messrs Wilkinson and Townshend
15th May - A fellow who undertook to show me three good sections did not shew 3 good acres. .....? Mr. Bettington arrived. Potatoes at Mr. Sparkes on the river.....
Page 9 (6)
15th May cont. ....bank are not frost bitten and the Balsams at Newcastle are ?, mine are smashed. Thick fogs prevail in mornings, days exceeding pleasant
16th May Sunday - Wrote to Captain Dumaresq, Mr. Bettington
17th May - Monday Sent Frank to Captain Allman's with Mr. Palmer's diamond.
19th May, Wednesday - Sowed first wheat. Threatens rain. last week sowed parsnip, carrot, beet, Brussels sprouts, rhubarb, red cabbage and cauliflower in drills. Today some peas soaked, gathered the hemp.
20th May - Sowing wheat, 3 ploughs going constantly and now a ? but the land is in a dreadful state quite ashamed of it. Another year plough all trio the ? the weeds were so strong (chiefly the self sown wheat that I turned the cattle into ate it down when the ground got firm but they beat it very hard and it is all in hard lumps in consequence.
22nd May Saturday. About 8 acres sown. Weather mild and fine.
Page 10 May 1830
May 23. Letter from Mary Anne written December 18
24th May Monday - Mr. and Mrs. Ogilvie came
25th Wednesday - Left us. Sent Irvin to the Hospital at Sydney with £1. (Probably Thomas Irvine per Boyne) Two harrows on today. Settled dry and pleasant weather at night, lightning flashing new WSW. Thunderstorm with rain at midnight
27th May - Quarrying first column (shaft) at Creek
30th June to the top of Sugar Loaf with Francis Allman. Captain Aubin planted a lemon on the top and an orange pip.
1st July - Returned home. Dent built the oven
2nd July - Digging holes in front for trees
3rd July Mr. Mailers took my letter home No. IX and to Mr. Bettington began putting up the fence from the paddock to the river. This week have been splitting and hauling and making a bridge for hauling stone
15th July - I marked the spokes of a dray which finished the fence of new paddock
16th July - To Mr. Townshend
18th July - Returned on foot, the mare lame. Found the river up, swam it. Very cold.
19th July - Prentice away getting married
20th July - Gardening. Weeta began to walk
21st July - A wet morning. Put the dray wheel together
23rd July - Mr. Townshend and Webber start for Sydney
24th July - Despatch O'Neil ? Still gardening. Killed 2 pigs last night. Put up 4 others. Mr. Ogilvie's dray with turkeys. Weeta burnt herself with an iron.
25th July - A driving rain all forenoon.
26th July - At the garden.
27th July - Began digging holes for fruit trees
28th July - Rain again all day. Steady tho light 30th July - Mr. Wilkinson and Helenus Scott came. Splitting lintels and slabs for roof of kitchen.
31st July - Saturday - Vine cuttings from Mr. Busby.
2nd August Monday - very cold day. wore a plaid all day. cold drying wind ever since the rain which continued till Thursday
5th August - received letter from Ella up to March
6th August - Getting up peach and fig trees etc
7th August - Putting them in in front of the house. Louisa Heskins arrived. Boston and Jenkins broke down first apple tree log (sawyers)
We now hear the cuckoo
11th August 1830 - Mr. Townshend from Sydney
13th August Rain all morning and forenoon
14th August - Loquat seeds. Sydney Lemon and orange seeds. The weather is now pleasant. I have begun to clear the river bank for ?vines, on this side the fence received a letter from Charlotte. dated February 9th.
16th August Monday. Sowed lemon seeds. Planted raspberries
17th August - Peach, Quince, fig, Pomegranate cuttings. Peach kernels. Cabbages all running to seed.
Page 15 (9) August 1830
18th August Cabbage seed. Beard to Mr. Townshend.
20th August - Rain set in at noon lasted with little interruption till sunset on the 21st
22nd August - Frequent showers. The holes I dug for the ?.....Trees in front are full of water
23rd August - 2 or 3 smart showers
24th August - Began ploughing the river bank for vines.
1st - Planting vines
2nd September - planting potatoes. Peach stones sown on 8th May came up. All the vines I pruned bleed profusely. Not so those I am moving
3rd Sowed Turnip 4th September - Broke down the big log in new pit. Sowed Asparagus and Radish. Peach trees now in full blossom
12th September Sunday - With Mr. Ogilvie to Mr. Glennie's. Cold wind
13th September - to Merton
15th September - to Holdsworthy Downs
16th September Burning Mountain and back
17th September - By Segenhoe and St. Heliers to Merton
18th September - home
24th September to Maitland
27the September to Maitland
29th September - Smart shower or 2 . Dray upset on the wharf with load of flour. little damage
30th September - Rain almost all day. Mr. Townies.
October 1st 1830 - Tremendous showers. A great furrow cut through the garden
October 2nd 1830 - Clearing up with light showers, got fine. The lagoon has risen 2 feet and covered my slabbed cart road and there is a little water in the small lagoon in front of the house. The first I ever saw there. The cold west winds of September 12 blighted the peach trees.
October 2nd cont. The wheat is not at all laid by the rain not yet in ?
12th October - Hear the bird again ( a hornbill) that cried so much last summer
13th October Wednesday - Sowed seeds. trenching a piece of garden for tobacco. Making pig's troughs and styes. threshing and preparing puzzolana. Dent ill from Rheumatism. (John Denton per Vittoria) The wheat is a little lodged, a good deal is in ear. The joists are on the kitchen roof. Breaking up for orchard and for home pasture field about a week
15th October - Attended court at Maitland respecting Cannon and his male of slops. (probably James Cannon per Ferguson)
16th October - Returned. Walked thro wheat at Luskintyre never saw finer. Mr. Ogilvie at Maitland from Newcastle going to Barraba.
Strawberries now ripe.
Page 18. October 1830
20th October - Exceeding hot. Planted first maize. Louisa fell down in an epileptic fit.
21st October - Hot. Bathes twice
22nd October Hot still. Wind shifted to the East. At night enjoy a fine night
23rd October - cloudy and cold. Planted millet, cucumber called on the Harpurs and at Luskintyre the former have 50 acres of wheat, Bengal seed sowed in May, destroyed by the rust which I hear if general. Trenching the garden. Disturbances in Argyle and Bathurst.
24th October - Rain all day. Very steady
26th October - Kitty Spalding returned unmarried.
28th October - 4am Heavy thunder storm and rain till 8. A great deal fell can trench no longer. Mr. Scott here. Crake died.
30th October - Went with Captain Wright to Glennies
31st October - To Captain Allman's. Heavy thunder and great rain. Dined there. Then to the Ogilvies where thunder and rain again
1st November - Stayed there.
Page 19 (11)
2nd November - Started at 8 . Rain began at the junction of the Wollombi and continued to Black Creek. Got home at dusk. Very heavy rain. Cape barley ripe. Roses and pinks blowing sweetly.
4th November - Began cutting Cape barley
5th November - Fitting lead to the bath. A thunder storm with heavy rain, a great deal fell in the night.
6th November - Sunshine and hot. A millstream runs from the lagoon to the river. I never saw water in the channel before. We are now eating the savoy cabbage sown May 12. which have hearts well and not run to seed. (John) Prentice left me.
13th November Returned. Rain all day. Heavy. a strong stream running over the bridge
14th November - still raining lightly.
Page 20 -
My wheat is almost entirely destroyed by the rust. Scarcely any of it worth reaping. A little near Dents cottage is pretty good. But that is touched and smutty besides.
19th and 20th November - Misty
21st 22nd 23rd - Rain almost constant steady but not very heavy. Lagoon quite a sea.
For the month of January 1830 see the last page in this book
Page 21. (12)
Good harvest weather, not hot. Indeed so cold that some evenings we could have enjoyed a fire. It frequently threatened rain but very little fell. Of 70 acres that I had under wheat, I have reaped about 10. The rest being worthless. At Bowens the wheat is good and even on my old farm.
9th December - Finished thatching. Swam the river and went to Luskintyre. The day hot, first heard the cicada
10th 11th December - Hilling potatoes. Threshing and winnowing the barley on the flat
12th December - Very hot, but pleasant breeze from NW. Cicadas noisy, water melons just in flower
13th December - Very hot. Breeze NW pleasant. Thermometer 98
14th December Wind shifted to East at Midnight became cool. cloudy day. Sowed Cabbage Beetroot turnip, carrot parsnip, spinach, onion. Stubble wont burn.
15th December Wednesday - Planted potatoes in the vineyard
16th December - planted maize. Ward's sale. most beautiful weather. Bought 50 bushels wheat of Bowen for £7. I am to thresh it.
17th December - Planted maize and some to transplant to Mr. Harpers seeing after tobacco plants
18th December - The spotted gum trees have just shed their bark. They look very smart on the Western Hill in the morning. Thunder but without rain.
27th December, Monday - Set out to see Ash Island. To Mr. Close's. W. Scott took letter for Alick
28th December - Slept at Sparke's. Very pleasant ?
29th December - Went to the lower island and returned home. The men have been cutting down the stubble to make it burn.
30th December - At Luskintyre. Holding court
31st December - Dug up the kidney potatoes. Beautiful they are too. Weather delightful. Sowed cauliflower and radish. Macdonald and Ricanotti (?) have lately come to put up a stockyard
31st December cont.
Have this year raised about 300 peach trees. 390 lemon, 2 loquats, 1 olive from seed. From cuttings 80 fits, 40 quince pomegranate 2 lemon, 2 English mulberry. Very few of my vines took, put out above 600. They were dead before I got them.
1st January Saturday - Opened a few trees. The other side of the flat
3rd January - Putting first coat on kitchen roof, cutting a drain at foot of this hill. Grass tho green will burn a little. Delightful weather, very hot but fine breeze from East daily.
4th January - Exceeding hot. Light breeze at East
5th January - Very hot indeed. PM. Thunder rain. Killing maize last three days
6th January - To Luskintyre. Cloudy and cool. Put out tobacco plants and cabbage
7th January - Cloudy and cool. Put out some 3 weeks ago tobacco plants finely rooted. Replacing tye beans in barn.
8th January - To Luskintyre who is going to Sydney
9th January Sunday - Exceeding hot. No wind. Musquitoes
10th January - At night exceeding hot mosquitoes tormenting
11th January - Cool cloudy and occasional light drizzle. Found potatoes heating and spoiling in the pye. Not ripe O'Neil says.
Page 25 -
12th January - Planting kidney potatoes. cloudy. Set up the barn the tye beams having parted being pinned only.
13th January - cloudy and occasionally a drizzle. Put out 400 tobacco plants that I found self sown among the stubble. A nice shower last night. Stubble maize grows apace.
14th January - A hot wind. Killing stubble.
15th January 1831 - A hot wind, hilling on. Burned off grass at night. Thunder and rain heavy. O'Brien came.
16th January 1831 - Light showers. cloudy. O'Brien came last night.
17th January - clearing up. Splitting shingles to cover verandah. Mr. Townshend and Mr. Campbell brought the news of the Governor's being at Maitland (Governor Darling).
18th January - Put out 100 cabbage plants
19th January - Rainy morning and forenoon.
20th January - To Maitland. Called on the governor, the Allman's and home.
Page 26 (15)
21st January - His Excellency and Capt. Dumaresq took lunch . Put them on their road to Glendon. As far as Black Creek. Mr. Wilkinson with us
22nd January - His reverence left us for Upper District. Mr. Glennie came tuned the piano. Opening the trees beyond the garden to the SE. Hot moist weather
23rd January - Stubble maize very promising
24th January - Cloudy and drizzly showers. Budded 40 peach trees. Clearing maize with plough and hoes and breaking up for wheat the back of the house
25th January - Cloudy with drizzly showers and rather cool. Budded 66 peach treas. Dray with claret, pitsaw and files
26th January - Put stakes to espalier vines in Garden and budded trees.
27th January - Budded trees at Luskintyre
28th January put out tobacco plants a slightly hot wind. thunder and heavy rain at evening. Watermelons now fairly in.
Page 27 -
30 January - Called on Mr. Lamb and Mr. Wilkinson
31 January. Christened Alward and Outta. Weeta. Hoeing maize. Looks extremely well indeed te weather could not be better
1st February 1831 - Hoeing maize. Trying to make an ?
2nd February - Sowed cabbage and cauliflower.
3rd February - Called on the Harpers . A report of limestone. Saw Kennel and common coal in Anvil Creek. Digging potatoes
4th February - Making a ?tube iron
5th February - Digging praters. Set a by for soap
6th February - Smart thunder storm. Great lightning to the south ards with heavy thunder at night
7th February - To Mr. Coulson found Porteus (John Portus) putting up Mr. Pringles mill there. Cool and cloudy
9th February - On Mr. Winder
11th February - A little rain. Sowed Carrot. Beet
12th February - Boiling soap. The whole week digging potatoes. The garden, tobacco etc. Stockyard finished. Kitchens roofed. Cool cloudy weather sometimes cold.
Page 28 (16)
14th February - Boiled soap again. Hoeing potatoes
15th February - Rainy morning. At night again heavy
16th February. Splitting shingles
17th February - to Glendon. Slept there. A fresh came down and stopped my horse. Rode one of Mr. Bells on
18th February - Home. Misty rain at midnight very heavy
19th February - Making a duck shed. Looking out ground plates for milking shed. Sunshine out at 4 o'clock. Starlight night quite pleasing so much dull weather and rain. I have not looked half the rain lately. Mr. Townshend here.
21st February. Beautiful weather. cleaning maize
24th February - Trying to mow the weeds the other side of the creek to allow the plough to move.
25th 26th - Exceeding hot. Distant lightening. Brown brought 29lbs tobacco. Getting ashes for leg. Trying dead apple tree and gum bark.
1st March - Went to a sale at Mr. Gaggins with Messrs Ogilvie and Kaswell who slept here.
2nd March - A letter from Ella. dated September 6. Began sowing swedes, turnips and a row of Glendon cabbage. Picked out 50 cauliflower.
3rd March - Set off for Port Stephens. Crossed at Swan's. Mr. Warren, Mr. Mossman slept there.
8th March - Nelsons Bay. Fingals Bay. Cromarty on Soldiers Point
9th March - Returned by Graham's. Barney's ....Captain Allman's. Found Porteous (John Portus) had put the machinery somewhat together.
12th Mustered the cattle . Beautiful weather . thought I could distinguish an autumnal feel. Last night very cold.
Page 31 (17)
12th to 19th March - to Porteus (John Portus) about mill strap. covered the verandah with bark. Splitting posts for pig fence. Fine weather. Planted cauliflower, cabbage. Sowed radish etc.
17th March - Brown committed
18th March Rode the grey mare first time since her illness. Showers flying about.
19th March - Before sunrise a tidy rain.
22nd March - Sun very scorching at sundown. Rain and thunder. Splitting stuff to enclose the pigs in lagoon. Thinning turnips. Cleaning strawberries. Laying flagging before kitchen. Curran mending plough
24th March - Sale at Luskintyre. Estate knocked down at 1100. Steers 3yrs 30s Cows 18s. Calves weaned 6 and 4.
25th March - Sale Mr. Ogilvie and son with us.
26th March - Branding Mr. (William) Caswell's purchase the whole week very hot.
28th March - Porteus putting the mill work at the barn. Branding Ogilvie's cattle.
29th March - Branding mine and Mr. Bettington. Hot winds last two days.
30th March - Putting up the horse course
1st and 2nd. Sent a letter to Mr. Bettington. Wilkinson and Charlotte by Mr. Macleod.
2nd April - Elizabeth Hughes came. Hot dry weather. For a long time even in the stubble maize where the earth has been repeatedly ploughed there are large cracks. My turnips look well.
3rd April Sunday - Hot wind. Looks thundery
4th April - light rain all day
5th April (George) boy born 4 am. Rain all night.
7th April - Porteus returned budded 5 peach trees. Weeded tobacco.
8th April- Working at the mill. Ploughing for orchard cutting up roots there. Two young Ogilvies. Weather very showery for some days.
9th April Alwards' birthday. Height 3ft 3in . Ground one peck of wheat with the mill in about 12' with 7 men.
Weather continues showery. Hear the Whigs are in and receive letter to December 3rd mentioning riots in Wiltshire. We put the horses into the Mill. Bothered with the strap slipping.
20th April 1831 - Court of Requests. Slept at Captain Allmans
21st April 1831 - Rainy morning came home. rain afternoon
22nd 23rd April - rain
27th April - Thunderstorm
29th April - Ellen Ogilvie staying here. Men are mowing down weeds to enable the plough to move. Too wet to plough.
30th April. Rain all night
The stream that ran down stony Creek was quite tremendous River is now rising fast.
Page 34 (19)
1st May Sunday - Tempestuous night. Rain furious. Lagoon a sea
3rd May - a lake from the foot of the hill in front to just under Dents cottage. But the right land bank of the creek was uncovered.
9th May. Fetched a load of coal
10th Cold gal from NW
11th May - Cold fine day
Page 35 May 1831
15th May 1831 - A light frost
16th May - To Luskintyre with letters. Too late. Began ploughing for the seed. Irwin to Maitland
17th May - Set the threshing machine to work
18th May - 2 pit saws going this week for a barn loft. 3 ploughs
20th Left letters with Mrs. Harper. Wheat from Bowen. Dr. Thompson from Ratagan. (possibly David Thompson) Showery. Saturday showery etc
24th May - Thick weather. Got barn ready for maize.
25th May - Carried early maize. plough again
28th May - Went to Wisemans
29th May - to Parramatta
30th May - to Sydney
31st May Brown acquitted.
June 1st - Shepherds nursery
3rd June - wrote home
4th June - To Parramatta. After sunset
5th June - Mr. Blaxland vineyard . Major Lockyer.
8th June - Reached young Wiseman's
9th June Found first bridge gone. Swam the mare walked over a tree. Got home. Beautiful day.
10th June Neale to Hospital with a letter. Mr. Bettington