August 2012 Edition 89 Jerrems Family Newsletter
Dear Donald,
The image above was taken this month, obviously in London, near the close of the Olympics by an observant photographer, who was in the right place at the right time.

Ray Jerrems, Our Genealogist, Historian   Home on the Range
In my previous article I followed the route my great grandfather Fred Sassall took when he was delivering bread three times a week, concentrating on the Hartley Vale area (in the Blue Mountains area west of Sydney) where his father-in-law and his family had lived. I concluded the article with a promise that I would continue the bread cart journey in a future article.

The next major stopping place for Fred was Rosedale House (its modern name), a level trip of about 15 km beyond Hartley Vale along the floor of the Hartley Valley.

History of Rosedale

Rosedale was built in 1839 for William Cummings. It was originally licensed as the Coach and Horses Inn, but the name was later changed to Victoria Inn. In 1892 it was acquired by W.J.Berghofer. Berghofer renamed the building Rosenthal, but in 1915 he renamed it Rosedale due to anti German sentiment. It is now listed with the National Trust.

According to Wikipedia Georgian architecture is the name given to the architectural styles current between 1720 and 1840. It is named after four British monarchs (all named George), who reigned in continuous succession from 1714 to 1830. Recently on a trip to Tasmania I saw many other examples of this architecture.

The consistent quality and regularity of the sandstone, compared with the quality of the Hartley Court House built two years earlier (see photo later in this article), leads me to suspect that the building's exterior was later upgraded, and a full first floor added to replace the former high roof which may have contained attic rooms. This is possibly supported by a photo attributed to the 1880s, but it is not clearcut because the top area is obscured by trees in that photo. Regardless of the history of the stonework and the full first floor, the 1880s photo shows a large main building and the current substantial stone kitchen behind the house and the current large stone stables nearby.

Location of Rosedale

Rosedale was well placed to be a coaching inn where coaches and their passengers could stay overnight, and where coaches could change horses (the horses were changed at roughly 20 mile intervals).

An additional advantage could have been that for east bound travellers their horses would be fresh for the long climb up Victoria Pass (the road is shown in the 1880s photo) which brought them out onto the top of the Blue Mountains.

The income gained from coaches gave the coaching inns an assured income, but a lot of work was required. Fresh horses had to be ready all hours of the day and night, and for coaches which travelled all night (particularly the Royal Mail coaches), quick refreshments had to be available for the driver and passengers. The horses dropped off had to be fed, watered and rubbed down immediately.

This put a premium on staffing, including employment of a housekeeper, cook and an ostler (to manage the stables) and stable boy, the growing or purchase of fodder for the horses, and the growing of fruit and vegetables for the table.

The death knell of the coaches which passed routinely through the Hartley Valley was sounded by the progressive construction of the railway from Sydney, which reached the Lithgow area (to the west) in 1869. By the time the railway reached Bathurst (further to the west) in 1876, before Susannah would have worked at Rosedale, horse traffic wishing to use Rosedale would have been comparatively "local" in nature.

It is probably significant that the 1880s photo shows two fairly small horse-drawn passenger vehicles (indicated by the large rear wheels) on the eastbound track to the inn and another is parked under a tree. Perhaps their owners had called in for refreshments and to rest their horses before starting up the Victoria Pass climb shown in the background.

With the reduction in passing trade it is therefore quite likely that the owners of Rosedale had to reduce (or redeploy) some of their staff and supplement their income with farming on the large paddocks behind and to the east of the house.

Susannah's role at Rosedale

We do know that Susannah was a maid at Rosedale before she married Fred in 1884 at the age of nineteen, but we do not know how long she worked there. Bearing in mind that girls went "into service" from as early as the age of twelve it is possible that she started there in about 1878 when her family arrived in nearby Hartley Vale. However, being the "baby" of the family (she was significantly younger than her siblings) she may have stayed with the family after it left Hartley Vale in about 1880 and started work at Rosedale when the family returned to the area in about 1883.

Susannah's role as a maid needs to be assessed in the light of the size and role of Rosedale. Even though it would have lost the coach trade it was still a large house with at least seven bedrooms (four or five on the top floor and at least three on the bottom floor). One would expect the staff to have been reduced, but this may have been offset by the employment of additional male farming staff.

One unknown quantity would have been the size of the owner's family.

The male staff would have lived in the stables, but the female staff, the owner and the owner's family would have lived in the house.

With such a large number of permanent residents (some of whom dined in the house and the others dined in the detached kitchen) there would still have been plenty of work for the maid, whose duties would have included milking the cow, waiting on the table for all meals, washing used bed linen and clothes, cleaning the rooms, assisting the cook when necessary etc. This experience would also have served Susannah well when she married Fred and had a large family.

To this list of duties Susannah would have added "make cups of tea for the bread carter", a task which she carried out so conscientiously that he asked her for her hand in marriage!

Working conditions at Rosedale

The standard of inns varied considerably. The fact that Rosedale had the highest quality main building that I have seen would indicate that working conditions would have been very good.

I think that a position at Rosedale would have been highly sought after. However the wages for a maid would not have been good because a lot of the potential wage was offset by the fact that the position was "all found", meaning that accommodation and food were included.

Susannah says her prayers

One of my favourite childhood poems was about Christopher Robin saying his prayers "God bless daddy, God bless mummy" etc.

I wonder what teenager Susannah, coming from a devout Methodist family, would have included in her prayers as she prepared for bed in her tiny bedroom at Rosedale House?

I am sure that her mother Mary would have been at the top of the list, perhaps accompanied by a tear. The family had split up before reaching Australia, with the mother and two sisters settling down in faraway Seattle in the United States. Susannah was never to see her mother (who died in 1888) again.

Sadly Susannah would never have the assistance of her mother in preparing for her wedding, or her support during her numerous childbirths, or the myriad of other times when maternal help is traditionally given.

Susannah looks back

On occasions at Rosedale after snuggling into bed at night and blowing the candle out Susannah would have reminisced about her childhood. She would have remembered her early childhood at picturesque Seaham Harbour, near Sunderland on the north east coast of England, where her father was a shipwright building boats. She may have wondered why, at a time when Brittannia ruled the waves and was the biggest shipbuilder in the world, that her father chose to move the family to Shotton in the north east of Wales? Perhaps the answer was that her three teenage brothers could work there at the dangerous occupation of coal mining, which they maintained for most of their lives.

The friendly sound of hammers in the shipyards and the clanking of the mining poppet heads had been replaced by the silence of the vast Australian "bush".

Susannah would have remembered the well-ordered landscapes of faraway Seaham Harbour and Shotton, in sharp contrast to the rugged Blue Mountains visible from her bedroom window in the daytime. Being a realist she would also have deduced a little further down the track that the amiable bread carter who had proposed marriage to her was not a good prospect for a free ticket back to the Old Dart. He had completely assimilated into Australian life and would not be in a hurry to return to England.

Also, she would have learned that there was a lot more to Fred than met the eye, illustrated by the fact that in later years he was the organist at his Presbyterian church and much later taught Braille. She was probably grateful that despite his qualifications as a miner he preferred the much safer occupation of carting bread.

Before finally drifting off to sleep she would also have wondered why it had been necessary for the Druery family to break up, spread out between the United States, Victoria and New South Wales, no doubt suspecting that it had been caused by her enigmatic father's wanderlust. She would have seen the family bible now held by the Haydon family in the USA which listed her siblings as being.

  • Mary Hannah Druery born Feb 6th 1849
  • Thomas Glanville Druery born Aug. 1st 1851
  • George Druery born Dec. 6th 1853
  • Robert Ross Druery born Jan 6th 1855
  • Agnes Glanville Druery born March 2nd 1868
  • Annie Druery born October 20th 1860 Died at Birth
  • Annie Druery (#2) born May 7th 1863

Curiously, the Druery family Bible does not list a birth date for Susannah

At Rosedale she would not have known that fortunately her father would stop his wandering after she and Fred were married and would live for the rest of his life with Susannah and some of his other children at Lithgow. Nor would she have known that she would live in the same street (and probably the same house) in Lithgow for over 30 years.

It is now time for us to leave Susannah slumbering at Rosedale and continue on Fred's journey back down the main road to Lithgow.

Little Hartley and Hartley

Having sampled Susannah's tea-making, Fred's next stop was the hamlet of Little Hartley with its modest houses, followed by the village of Hartley with its Court House, hotels, stores and church. His horses would have appreciated a break at Hartley in preparation for the long climb up from the Lett River. After this there was a fairly flat run to Bowenfels and then back home to Lithgow.


This concludes my "bread carter" memoirs. It was obviously disappointing to find that Fred and Susannah's house at Lithgow had been demolished, but my disappointment was tempered considerably when I had followed Fred's bread carting route, which was also relevant to my Druery great great grandfather at Hartley Vale. However the jewel in the crown was the visit to Rosedale.

As I stood in the grounds of Rosedale I could visualise my great grandmother working busily, looking very pretty in her maid's uniform and mop cap and speaking with her Durham accent. Could she have imagined that she would have a large family and numerous descendants, including me sitting in front of my computer writing about her?

However my abiding memory of Rosedale was how evocative it was for me to tread on the same ground as she had trodden 130 years earlier, to see the same buildings as she had worked in, and to see the same rugged mountains which were so different to the terrain of her native England.

Although family bibles are a famous institution the Druery bible is the first one I have come across in my research. Have any readers seen one?

I would like to thank my Australian cousin Graham Harmer and distant American relative Tony Wardroper for information included in this article.

Errors and Omissions
From: Alexa Vickery in UK To: Donald Jerrems Sent: Fri, July 27, 2012 9:56:36 AM Subject: Elizabeth Sophia

Hello this is Alexa the great-great-great granddaughter of Elizabeth Sophia Jerrems b.1839. I contacted you several years ago and you helped me identify a Jerrems photograph.

I very much enjoy your newsletter but you missed Elizabeth out in your list of Thomas and Elizabeth's children this month! I know very little of her children and was wondering if you could help me.

I believe Elizabeth went to Australia in 1859 but later returned to England. She married John Wells in Sculcoates in 1857 and had five children: Louis Frederick Richmond Wells b. 1861 in Richmond Australia, John Arthur Wells b. 1862, Harry Theodore Wells b.1864 (who I am descended from), Lillian Ellen Wells b. 1866 and George Augustus Wells b. 1867. All apart from Louis were born in Newport Pagnell in the UK.

Apparently John and George both emigrated to Australia when they were older and I was wondering if you had any record of them in connection with the Jerrems family?

Kind regards,
Alexa Vickery


Nice to hear from you.
I am not sure why Elizabeth was excluded from the list; it could have been my editing error which we can correct in the next issue. I will ask Ray Jerrems in Sydney to followup and advise.

Below are several references in previous editions which may assist you in filling in the background. I must say that following the names in the family tree confuses me. Ray is better at sorting it out.

Please keep in touch.

Donald Jerrems
Huntersville, North Carolina

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