Reeve Family

Henry Reeve was born 1822 in Stow cum Quy Cambridge UK and married Margaret Morgan there in 1841. Stow cum Quy is a very old area that dates from the Bronze Age era. Originally it was two separate settlements : Stow and Cuy.

The Reeve family left Stowe cum Quy in Cambridge and emigrated to Australia in 1857 on the “Alfred” with four of their children – two other children Elizabeth (1841-1842) and Frances (1850- 1852) had died in England.

In 1861, four years after the Reeve family left “there were about 43 dwellings on and around the main street and 25 at Stow End, while 3-5 farmsteads stood elsewhere in the former open fields and fen.“- Source : British History On-line


fig21 Stow cum Cuy

According to Valerie Reeve, wife of  Henry Reeve’s grandson Richard Reeve, the family initially farmed at Wollongong. Later, Henry lived at Bulli Mountain (renamed to Sherbrooke) with his wife Margaret Morgan in 1872 according to Grevilles 1872 Postal Directory. He was there until his death there on 9.7.1887, according to the Illawarra Family History Group’s Illawarra Pioneers Pre 1900.

Henry Reeve was also described in the IFHG Pre 1900 book : “Could not read or write on arrival. The family was one of the original 15/16 families who pioneered the fruit and vegetable farming at Sherbrooke, so named after Robert Lowe, later Lord Sherbrooke.

Henry Margaret Reeve

Henry Margaret Reeve

Henry and Sarah’s children who lived in Australia were :

  • Sarah (1842- 1921) – married George Blinkco and they lived at Sherbrooke, raising their children there, including William Blinkco who is featured at the Black Diamond Heritage Centre Bulli with its “Blinkco Room.  After George’s death, Sarah who continued to manage their family property at Sherbrooke until its eventual sale to the Sydney Water Board for siting of the Cataract Dam. Purchased new land at Woonona. – IFHG – Illawarra Pioneers Pre 1900. See also the 2007 – Blinkco – Reeve Family Reunion.
  • Henry Jnr (1845 – 1927) – Married a widow Mary Kimbrey nee Cleveland in 1871 ? He lived in Sherbrooke in 1872, but in 1890 was down the mountain at Bulli, although still listed as a landowner at Sherbrooke at the time of the resumption. Note – Two of Mary’s grandsons (William H Martin and Thomas C Martin),  by her first marriage to Thomas Kimbrey,  married two of George and Sarah Blinkco’s daughters – typical of the interconnectedness of Sherbrooke families.
  • John (1848 – 1922) – lived at Sherbrooke after his 1875 marriage to Grace Johnson, and their seven children were born there, including Richard Reeve, whose memories were written by wife Valerie, in Westie Hapgood’s “Deep Valleys, Tall Timbers, Tough Men and Women”. After the Cataract Dam resumption,he bought land at Woonona, and planted new orchards thereSee family history details supplied courtesy of Gug Reeve. William (1854 – 1933), lived at Sherbrooke and moved to Woonona after the resumption – obituary from South Coast Times and Wollongong Argus via Trove. He is buried with his parents at St Augustine’s Bulli Cemetery, where his family had been active to its earliest fundraising days in the 1870’s.

In Australia two more children were born

  • Elizabeth (1858-1938) – married Robert Spinks and they lived at Sherbrooke, also  their descendants including Spinks and Jones families lived at Sherbrooke – one William H Spinks became a well respected chief Fruit Inspector. An Edward Spinks is recorded as living on Bulli Mountain  in 1866. In 1886, Robert Spinks was selling a property at Sherbrooke.
  • Mary Jane (1862- 1940) – married Edwin Lane (possibly a miner at Old Bulli in 1900 ?)

Henry and Margaret Reeve’s descendants, Reeve, Blinkco, Spinks, Fritz, Haberley – were active in the life of Sherbrooke before the 1902 announcement of its proposed resumption for Cataract Dam.

Sherbrooke at time of resumption - Lots 128, 129, 150, 151, 157

Sherbrooke at time of resumption

As can be seen from the Sherbrooke Resumption map above, the Reeve family owned a number of lots in 1902, including 117, 131, 139, 147. Note how the land resumption stretches from above southern Thirroul to the Broker’s Nose area above Corrimal.



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