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John Williams was little more than a youth when he arrived in Sydney aboard the 'Portland' on the 26th of June 1833. The 385 ton ship had taken four months to complete the journey from Cork in Ireland,under the command of Captain William Ascough. Sea journeys in those days were fraught with danger and John could well have considered himself lucky to have disembarked in New South Wales, as the ill-fated 'Portland' was to be wrecked off George Town Heads, Tasmania, some months later as it continued its journey to Launceston.
Although John had departed the British Isles from Ireland, he was in fact English. He was the son of William Williams and Ann, nee Edwards of Manchester. During his early years in the Colony, John worked for the renowned John Macarthur, the man responsible for the introduction of Merino sheep to Australia. Seven years after his arrival, John married Mary, a Glasgow born lass, the ceremony taking place on new years eve, the 31st of December 1840.
John and Mary settled on the Hunter near Singleton and both lived into their nineties. Along the way they reared a large family. Twelve children in all, five sons and seven daughters. .
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