Loveday Family

The Loveday’s of Bulli Mountain and Sherbrooke seem to be one of those family saga’s in a small community – of people who work hard for their community – who experience life’s ups and downs. Note there was also a Loveday family in Kiama, Thomas Loveday and wife Jane Bessell. They do not appear to be related to the Sherbrooke Loveday’s, although several of Thomas and Jane Loveday’s daughters lived in the Sherbrooke Bulli Mountain area ie  Mary Ann married William Dumbrell Jnr (more) and Emily married Albert Smithers. 

John Loveday (1828-1898), arrived Free on “Royal Saxon” in 1848, is listed as a farmer resident in Sherbrooke in the Illawarra Family History Group’s Illawarra Pioneer’s Pre 1900. He married Elizabeth Buckland (1821 – 1880), daughter  to James Buckland and his wife Anne Butler prior to leaving England.

John’s first child was Susan, who was born in 1846 in Manchester, England

The second child was William Loveday (1849 Kembla Grange – 1925). He married Dinah Hill (-1934), and was resident at Sherbrooke from 1879-1896 before moving to Appin (Ousedale ?). He had been a miner, sawyer and farmer. They also owned property in Corrimal in 1893. Also ccording to the Illawarra Family History Group’s Illawarra Pioneers Pre 1900, their 13 children of William and wife Dinah Hill were born at Sherbrooke :

    • Eliza Elizabeth
    • Samuel – active in the Sherbrooke community like his father William, grandfather John and brother William John . He was a Sherbrooke  supplier of  Posts, Rails, Palings and Shingles – a regular advertiser in the Illawarra Mercury from 1893. Samuel married Mary MccCombie (Melombi ?) in April 1902, and perhaps it was one of the last weddings to take place while the family was still at Sherbrooke, before they were forced to leave with the resumptions, after the March 29 1902 announcement of the Cataract Dam. After Mary’s death in 1922,  Samuel remarried to Ruth “Betty” Wallace in 1933.
      • Hilda Lilian Loveday (b. 1906 – married Herbert Arthur Fritz, son of John Joseph Fritz and his wife Elizabeth Margaret Blinkco
      • Harold Samuel Loveday – 1940, only son and third child of Samuel& Mary Loveday,  and grandson of William Loveday, was killed in a motor accident, leaving a widow and two young children
    • William John – was active in the Sherbrooke community like his father William, grandfather John and brother Samuel
    • Dinah Ann
    • James Thomas
    • Emma
    • Victoria May
    • Albert Edward
    • Wesley
    • Mary Ann
    • Reuben Preston
    • Charles Daniel
    • Arthur Lesley

 The third child, Thomas  (1851 – 1881), died tragically in 1881, about three years after a serious accident at Old Bulli Mine, in 1887, leaving a widow and two young children.

Their fourth child, Louis/Lewis (1853 – ), who married Louisa Brasher, seems to have had property at American Creek, which he was trying to sell in 1889 – in 1890 he may also have had property in Corrimal. later he and Louisa moved to Bangalow. They had two sons die in WW1 – Albert Henry Loveday – died at sea in  1915 in WW1 and Ross Loveday – died of illness in Birmingham England in 1916 in WW1.

John Loveday seems to have been one of the interesting characters of Sherbrooke, and in fact he was described in 1887 as the Patriarch of the Sherbrooke settlement.

Not surprising when he was mentioned in the Illawarra Mercury of 31 January 1859 when his tender to repair the top of Rixons Pass to the top of Bulli Mountain was accepted, another tender for Cabbage Tree Creek repairs in 1871. But his status was not just based on his long residence at Bulli Mountain, but also he was a leader in the tiny Sherbrooke community.

In 1870, a mention of John Loveday’s active involvement with the Bulli Methodist Church. Then in 1882, John had given land (32 x 100 feet) for the Union Church on Bulli Mountain, and undertaken its construction. Son William Loveday was on the Church Committee at the time of its opening in May 1882. In 1895 the Union Church at Sherbrooke burned down, and son William, as well as grandson William Jnr, were active in planning its rebuilding, in 1896. Also in 1896 , Samuel Loveday was part of the Union Church committee that decided to take out insurance on the building, but it could not protect them against the resumption for Cataract Dam in the following decade.

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The first mention of his ownership of land on Bulli Mountain is in 1871, when he placed his property of 40 acres on the market. However he seemed to remain on Bulli Mountain, as in 1873 he was leading deputations of residents to the Minister for Works to argue for funds to maintain Westmacott’s Pass – and in 1874 he was a Trustee for the Bulli Mountain Road. Although he was defending his good name and taking action for what he perceived to be defamation in 1874.

However in 1878, he seemed to be trying to offload his 80 acre property on Bulli Mountain, later in 1887 he would be trying to see a 40 acre property there, and the 80 acres  too. And in 1879 there were Loveday’s living adjacent to St Augustine’s burial ground – the church not yet built then.  In 1882 1885,  1886 (potatoes) – John Loveday was an acknowledged successful and innovative farmer in Sherbrooke. In 1894, son William was also growing potatoes, and also “Purple Straw” Wheat at his Sundown Farm, which was considered free from Rust. In 1896 William moved to a newly purchased property, Rockdale which was nearer Ferndale.

The Sherbrooke Progress Committee was underway in October 1884 – and John Loveday was concerned about dangerous trees at the school, state of the roads. Son William was a member in 1891, becoming Vice Chairman in 1892, (more), 1893– and a committee member in 1894 , 1895,

Over the years, political candidates attended meetings at Sherbrooke, and William Loveday was present at many – Thomas Bissell in May 1894 -& July 1894 – then Mr Mitchell in June 1894 – and Samuel Loveday was added to the electoral role in June 1894 also.

In 1885 – John was singing at the Sherbrooke concert and his sons William and Lewis were active in the Union Church – fundraising via Wildflower Shows – also supporting hospitals (1, 2, 3).

In 1892 the Sherbrooke Atheneum and Debating Society was formed – meeting in the Sherbrooke Union Church – John Loveday’s son William was part of the inaugural committee in 1892 – William Loveday Jnr participating in 1893, (April, May, August, October. In 1894 both William and S Loveday were participants in the Debating Society – March AugustSeptember (William, William Jnr, Samuel) – November (William, William Jnr, Samuel).

In 1876 that John Loveday’s started a long Loveday tradition of  letter writing  to the newspapers such as the Illawarra Mercury emerged – the coal industry was one of his favourite topics  – well there seemed to be a few sons in the coal mining industry – Thomas, William and Lewis from 1876 – though Thomas was severely injured in a mine accident in 1877.

  • 1876 – supporting proposals for the Illawarra Railway and how it could position the region competitively against Newcastle.
  • 1876 – refuting opposition to the Illawarra Railway because of perceived threats to the coal mining industry in Newcastle
  • 1876, 1879  1879 – seeking support of the Illawarra miners for the Illawarra Railway and not to be diverted by the Newcastle miners’ interests
  • 1881 – stirring the pot about the Government’s failure to reserve suitable land for Church, Cemetery & School at Sherbrooke
  • 1881 – John hosted a meeting in his home to establish a building  for church & public meeting place for Sherbrooke
  • 1882 – John explaining the Union Church to be built for all Protestants in Sherbrooke – now opened in May 1882
  • 1882 – John promoting a Wallaby “drive” as hunting sport in Sherbrooke
  • 1883 – John promoting the health benefits of Eucalyptus Oil
  • 1883 – John didn’t like the name “Sherbrooke” and much preferred “Beaconsfield”
  • 1885 – Son Lewis takes up letter writing about the Sherbrooke Flower shows – tensions with the Brown’s
  • 1885 – And John weighs in with his opinion on the Sherbrooke Flower shows too
  • 1886 – John writes on the two Sherbrooke Flower shows (and recognised for his expertise in the Kiama show too)
  • 1887 – 1888 – 1889 –  John began to write about his ideas and suggestions for solutions for Gassy explosions in Mines after the Bulli Mine Disaster of March 23 1887
  • 1887 – John was included in a petition to support the creation of a Bulli Shire Council – although many others were in opposition
  • 1888 – John was later in a petition with many who revoked their support for the creation of a Bulli Shire Council
  • 1894 – William Jnr and Samuel were part of a community letter disclaiming allegations regarding Ferndale issues

The Loveday’s, like other Bulli Mountain-Sherbrooke families, suffered setbacks over the years

  • 1887 – son Thomas was severely injured at Old Bulli Mine (1, 2 , 3, 4, 5, ) – confined to his bed & reduced to craft patchwork (1) , passed away in 1881 due to his mine injury (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, )
  • 1878 – an unexplained loss of chickens – probably not good in those days – John would live for another 20 years
  • 1879 – son William’s wife became seriously ill
  • 1880 – death of John’s wife Elizabeth, 58 years old, and a resident of the district of 32 years
  • 1885 – John discovered a deceased suicide on the Elbow in the bush at Bulli Pass
  • 1894 – son Lewis, a miner was feeling the effects of the Depression with the lack of work and was facing bankruptcy due to lack of mining work
  • 1902- 1903 – resumption of Sherbrooke for Cataract Dam, when the Loveday’s were listed as owning Lots 121, 153, 162, 163 & 164 (refer resumption map), perhaps it was fortunate the Sherbrooke settlement Patriarch John Loveday had passed away in 1898, and did not suffer the pains of the resumption felt by many in their community.
  • 1938, Mavis Saravanos nee Loveday, youngest of the four children of Samuel and his first wife Mary, passed away at a very young age
  • 1951 – following the 1950 death of her husband Samuel Loveday (eldest son of William and Dinah Loveday), the death of his second wife, Ruth (Betty) Loveday nee Wallace, remains shrouded in mystery, with questions still unanswered, despite the 1952 Coronial Inquest, where neighbour Westie Hapgood was a witness

There are still Loveday descendants around the Illawarra.

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