Bob Edols of Carpentaria Downs

Helen Nancarrow of Hopetoun Park, Armidale writes, in July 1998:

I was surfing the net and came across your web page and I am hoping that you may be able to assist me in finding out about a man named Bob Edols who worked on Carpentaria Downs back in 1894 or if you can't, may be you would be able to put me in touch with someone or direct me to an organisation that can.

I live on a property called Hopetoun Park located just outside Armidale, NSW. The land was first bought in 1859 and I am in the process of researching the owners (some 25) and other people who rented or leased the land, and their interaction in the small community group surrounding the property. A previous owner (from the 1960's) phoned the other day to tell me that they donated a love letter to the archives of the University of New England, Armidale that they found in an old trunk on our property in the 60's. I was lucky enough to track the letter down and copy it, and I am now intrigued as to why it was found on this property.

Who was Bob Edols and Alice? Was Alice a daughter of this house? Did Bob & Alice marry? Somehow I don't quite think my love letters from my husband will warrant such interest in the future! Anyway - Help!!! I have copied a transcription of the letter (complete with spelling mistakes) on to this email and would be extremely grateful for any assistance in my quest.

Transcript of letter from Bob Edols to Alice found in old trunk in 1960's on property Hopetoun Park, 513 Platform Road, Armidale, NSW. Letter is now deposited in the Heritage Archives, University of New England, Armidale, NSW 2351. Ref. A300

"Carpentaria Downs
Aug. 1st 1894

Dearest Alice
Just a few lines to let you know, that I am back at Carpentaria Downs, again, the old place is like a desertd Castle, & I knock about like, some one that has, lost a shilling & found sixpence, I always leave my pipe atc, on the table going to dinner, but somehow it never disappears. That little Fairy never takes it now, & I have to pick the old thing up & smoke & think of her, the Boys ask what is the matter with me, & I tell them that, there is something wrong with my heart, but they never dream what is really wrong with it, I expect they will be rather surprised when they hear, what is wrong with it."

[The letter continues, mentioning the property "Lynhurst", " the Rev. Mr. Storenoon/Stevenoon?, of Georgetown", then several quite tender paragraphs have been omitted. It goes on to mention that "Tragedy is running at Ingham on the 18th & 20th of this month, I hope the old fellow will have better luck this time..." One assumes Tragedy is a horse.]

"Now dearest Alice I will have, to say good night with my best love, & hoping my own Darling is well, from
Your every loving
Bob. Edols

PS Remember me to Tickie when you write, & tell her, I am sure we shall be good friends, but tell her not to scold me for stealing her Sisters heart.
PPS I came across Mr Rockburn's [Hockburn's?] poem that he wrote, about us at the horse Mountain, I will keep it for a souvenir."

[If the decendants of Bob & Alice are found, and give their consent, I shall reproduce the letter in full. Ed.]

Helen Nancarrow writes in Sept 1998:

Robert (Bob) Russell Edols and Alice Mary Curr - born 7.3.1870, (her mother's name was Mary Anne Kirwan, father's name was Marmaduke) did actually marry in Qld. on 21st August 1895. A daughter Mary Kirwan Edols was born on 16th March 1898. I am waiting for the microfiche for "1899 - on" records for Qld. BDM to see if there were any more children. Alice's sister referred to in the letter "Tickie" must have been Emily Adelaide Kirwan (b. 17.7.1877).

Liz Edols writes in March 2000:

Bob Edols was the nephew of Thomas Edols who was the patriarch at Burrawang Station outside of Forbes (my great great grandfather). I believe Bob's father's name was Richard and he was a couple of years older than Thomas. I don't know how Bob came to be droving up at Carpentaria Downs.

Jonathan Sear writes in December 2000:

A Robert Russell Edols (son of Richard Edols son of George Edols [b 1787 Bridgewater Somerset & married Elizabeth Danger baptised Bridgewater 1791] arr Van Diemens Land 1834) married
Alice Mary Carr
issue : Mary Kirwan Edols
who married Charles de Vere Shortt

Bob Edols was not from Burrawang ... he was a nephew of Thomas Edols of Burrawang

(source : Hawksford, A J " The Bowler Family 1239 - 1987) 1987

The last address (1989) I have for Jane Hawksford is PO Box 337 Lindfield NSW 2070

Helen Simpson (nee Edols) writes in June 2001:

Information that we have is that Robert Russell Edols was born in Dundas, NSW in 1864 and died on the 12.07.1902. Alice Mary Carr was born 07.03.1870 and they married on 21.08.1895. Unfortunately our family records do not list the children of this union. It is curious, however, that one of Robert's sisters, Violet, married Dr William Shortt at Corowa, NSW, on 21.04.1897. We are finding out about Bob Edols as we research the life and history of Thomas Edols of Burrawang.

Jackie Noakes writes in February 2003:

The historical notes on Sweers Island mentioned a couple of names which appeared on my Gr.Gr.Grandfathers and Gr.Gr.Grandmothers Marriage Certificate - namely: Witnesses to Marriage were Joseph Travers and W.D'Arcy Uhr. The marriage was registered by George F. Sandrock, District Registrar of Burke in the Colony of Queensland. The Marriage of John Child and Mary Butler took place in the District Registrars Office, Sweers Island on the 2nd January 1869.

At the time of the marriage John Child was a squatter age 25years, of Lawn Hill Burketown and Mary Butler was a Domestic Servant at Burketown.

I have been told they lived on Carpentaria Downs when John Child died on the 22 May 1885. Mary remarried 3 months later to William Charles Borlaise Wilson. Apparently William Wilson's father was also William Charles Borlaise (or Borlam) Wilson who was a surveyor and his Mother was Sarah Hall. I was also told John and Mary Child also lived on Lyndhurst Station. Their daughter Beatrice Child married Francis Edward Cobbold and they owned Hughenden Station.

Other information you might like to have is John and Mary Child had 6 children - Charles Edward born 4th October 1873 at Wando Vale,( he was my Gr.Grandfather) Beatrice Sarah born 31 December1869, James William born 10 December1868, John Mytton born 2 March 1872, (he was named after Mr. Mytton who owned Wando Vale), Ernest Burdekin born 23 March 1875 died 7th February 1876 and William Child born 23rd July 1879, died 26th October 1886. I have been told that my Gr.Grandfather's Step Father, Mr.Wilson, was very cruel and nasty to him and Daddy Shepherd, who used to take orphans to Carpentaria Downs, knew that Pop was very unhappy and being ill treated, so gave my Pop 12 shillings to run away and so he did. He was 13 years old at that time and I believe he went to WandoVale and to Pentland were he lived and married Elizabeth Ellen Totten.

Joanne Klein writes in August 2011:

Arthur 'Daddy Shepherd' and A. B. Callcott were councillors for the Dalrymple Shire (Charters Towers area). They shared 'Pandanus' and in 1918 Sheperd bought another property.

A friend and I are doing an Art Exhibition on the 24th September, 2011 (Joseph Michael Bohringer aka Bollinger) who disappeared from Black Mountain Camp on Goldsborough Station 1917-18. Little is written about Joe other than brief mentions in written works plus his electoral rolls.

When I first started researching last year I came across Jackie Noaks requesting information about Bob Edols (died on Carpentaria Downs) and a letter from him to his lady friend. She asked about 'Daddy Sheperd'. As part of my research the search for info on Joe became a study of the NQ Goldfields generally. Carpentaria Downs was basically the first 'property' in NQ. Some of the early explorers 'left' from Carpentaria Downs to head toward the gulf.

If I remember correctly, there are about 27 graves on Carpentaria Downs and all died under suspicious circumstances. Alice Mary Curr married Bob Edols and after his death Alice married a man called Wilson. The Wilson family name has been of particular interest to my research because Nellie Duffy and the chinese cook (assumed murdered by a Wilson - big trial in 1909) in 1908 and Mary Ann Callcott married a Wilson after the death of her husband and she was murdered on Oakvale in 1884 by her second husband, also a Wilson.

One of Joe Bohringers brothers married a Mary Duffy. I've been trying to find a family connection between Nellie Duffy and Joe every since. The story of Joe Bohringer just gets bigger and bigger and most of his story has been approached by who he may have met on his travels across the goldfields in order to find out who was in the right place at the right time, that may have been involved in Joe's disappearance.

We are hoping that the exhibit and the revival of Joe Bohringer's story will bring out the missing pieces of info.


Martin William Bohringer (b 1848 in Germany) married Mary Angelina T. Duffy (b 1844) in Orange NSW in 1866. Mary was the daughter of Daniel Duffy and Anne Madden.

Nellie Duffy (murdered on Carpentaria Downs 1908) was Ellen Imelda Mary Duffy aged 36. Stephanie Bennett wrote a book named "The Murder of Nellie Duffy"

Also looking for info on Ernie Mitchelmore's family of Floraville (have a good website though), Wilson, Shetland, Little, Cook, Williams, Shepherd (and any other spelling of it), Ryan, Roland, Holtzman and a number of others from the Pentland to Gilberton area if you know anyone with family connections. Also seeking photographs of miners and Aboriginal families-blacktrackers, stockmen.

Mon Apr 09 2012
Email: sheehans5 AT
Message: The lost love letters of Robert R Edols & Alice M Curr did issue a daughter Mary Ann Kirwan Edols B 16.3.1898 Qld D Mar 1988 Hackney, London M Dr Charles John DeLisle DeVere Shortt in Dec 1919 Pancras, Middlesex, England. They did not issue any children.

I am Mandy Fay Sheehan (nee Edols) who has been tracing the family tree for many years. Robert R Edols is my 1st cousin 4x removed.

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