This house had special meaning for my Williams family. It was the family home of my great-grandfather, Edwin Williams, almost from the time he arrived in Australia until his death. My Williams cousins all seem to have a similar photo of the house as the one displayed here. Unfortunately, the house is no longer standing.
Edwin Williams arrived in Sydney aboard the Liguria on 17 October 1882. He was accompanied by his wife Sarah and their three children, Susannah, Fanny and John. Just one month after their arrival in Sydney a third girl, called Helen (Nellie), was born to the family in Darlinghurst. By the time my grandfather Llewellyn was born in November 1884, the family had settled into the house in Esrkineville Road.
According to the Newtown Council Rate Assessment Books1, Edwin is the occupier of Ardwick Cottage from 1884 until 1888. There are no books available for the years 1889 and 1890. However, the 1891 book lists Edwin as owner of the property. Therefore, Edwin probably purchased the property in 1889 or 1890.
Two additional sisters were born at Ardwick cottage in 1886 and 1888. Unfortunately the youngest died less than a month after her birth and Edwin’s wife, Sarah, also died soon afterwards from complications from the birth. However, the family continued to live at Ardwick and even some of Edwin’s grandchildren were born there (this is not surprising as eldest daughter, Susannah or Susie, was a midwife). After Edwin died in October 1924, the house was inherited by Susie who was unmarried. According to the New South Wales Electoral Rolls2, Susie was living at Ardwick in 1933, so I will presume she continued to live there until her marriage to George “Ley” Catchlove in 1936. Unfortunately, I don’t know what happened to the house after this.
- City of Sydney Archives. Series 604: Newtown Rate Books – Related Items. http://archives.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/Entity.aspx?Path=\Series\604\Item\Related\ : accessed 16 January, 2017.
- Electoral Rolls NSW. Erskineville, Cook, New Soth Wales. 1933. Susie Williams. Ancestry image. Collection: Australia, Electoral Rolls, 1903-1980. www.ancestry.co.uk : accessed 16 January, 2017