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James Brighton Jackson, a painter and decorator from London, was the first of our family to emigrate to Australia (in 1852). Seemingly attracted to the then Colony of Victoria by the great gold rush of the mid-nineteenth century, James took his family from the comfort and safety of England to live in Castlemaine, then very much a town of tents and shantys, where he plied his trade for many years.
In 1860, Jens Christian Hansen, a nineteen year old emigrant from Denmark, arrived to "make his fortune" in the Castlemaine gold fields. Three years later Jens and James' daughter Alice were married. Much of their lives were spent travelling from mining town to mining town in the Castlemaine District as Jens worked his gold claims until, finally, an old man, he and Alice retired in their little cottage in Castlemaine.
On the other side of the continent, fifteen year old Sarah Evans arrived in Western Australia on the Palestine, followed two days later by Alfred Gray, Religious Instructor and teacher on the convict ship The Pyrenees (1853).
Sarah was, for a time, Alfred's housekeeper, however in 1854 they married and, after moving to S.A., they spent the rest of their lives in that State where Alfred worked as a teacher.
David and Mary Rees left Wales sometime in the 1870's, arriving in Brisbane where they had two daughters, one of whom died as a babe and the other, Alice, was to eventually arrive in that melting pot of our family, Castlemaine. We don't know what happened to David and Mary, only that Alice arrived in Castlemaine with her Aunt Jane (McLean), her guardian, from New Zealand
The Pickards didn't make it to Australia until 1912,which was when John and Elizabeth left their farm in the Yorkshire Dales and set sail for Melbourne on the S.S. Irishman. The motivation for John and Elizabeth was, as is so often the case with emigrants, simply the hope that they would find a better life for their children somewhere other than in their home country.



The Pickard Family In Australia
Updated March 31, 2011

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Gary George Pickard
pickards@austarnet.com.au


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