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                RALSTON Agnes (Nancy) (12/05/1801? - 20/09/1857)  05RAA3 
Father:          RALSTON             *Gavin                                     
Mother:         HUTCHI[N]SON     Sarah          (Variants: McCUTCHESON  Sara, McCUTCHEON Sally)
Siblings:       Sarah      Hannah        Margaret         Gavin          Alexander      Adam
(1):   McCLYMONT      James           (Variants:  McCLEMENT James)  22/09/1822
             John   Galvin  Sarah   William

(2):  CARMICHAEL       Henry         
      Henrietta  Gavin  James  Jeremy  George

Articles by (1) Antoinette Ralston and (2) Trish Read.

(1) Antoinette Ralston

Agnes was also known as Nancy, and like other Scottish women retained her family name after marriage. She used her maiden surname in 1825 when witnessing the marriage of her cousin Margaret Ralston (daughter of Robert Ralston) to Adam Beveridge. Nancy’s date of birth is uncertain. She may be the child (un-named) born and baptised 12 May 1801 Greenwood, Dreghorn, Ayrshire. The inscription on the grave (Seaham cemetery, Porphyry, NSW) indicates she died 20 September 1857, aged 54 – which suggests a birth around 1803. If so, the record hasn’t been found. She was buried 25 September 1857 Seaham, Durham, Hunter region, NSW.  

She married 22 September 1822 Maybole, Ayrshire, to James McClement (McClymont). James was born 15 February 1798 Kirkmichael, Ayrshire. James and Nancy arrived in Van Diemens Land per Andromeda 1823. James is said to have died at the Shipp Inn, Newcastle, NSW, and been buried 5 December 1829 Christchurch, Newcastle, NSW.

 Nancy had four children by James McClymont: John Piper born circa 1823, died 26 July 1828; Galvin Ralston born circa October 1825, died aged 1 year in NSW, buried 12 October 1826 Newcastle, NSW (NSW RGR); Sarah Ralston born circa 1827, died 23 August 1860, aged 33, married 22 June 1857 her cousin Gavin Ralston*; and William Henry Ralston born 30 May 1828 Newcastle, NSW, baptised 15 November 1828, by first wife (said to be Anne but might be confused with next) he had issue, and by Annie Butler numerous children in NSW. Sarah’s husband Gavin Ralston* was son of Sarah’s mother’s half-brother David Ralston and Janet Ralston; however, some have claimed Gavin was the son of Sarah’s mother’s brother Gavin Ralston and Emily Vardon. That is not possible as the latter couple’s son Gavin died in 1851.

 Nancy married secondly 1833 (NSW no 2681 vol 74) Henry Carmichael, from Porphyry, NSW who died at sea [said to be in a shipwreck, Sydney to London] on 28th June 1862, aged 66. Jennifer Bell (correspondence 1986) said the Reverend Henry Carmichael was known for his attempts at education reform in the NSW education system. She feels Henry is not buried with Nancy, as he died at sea, and it is just his memorial on the grave. Nancy had five children by Henry Carmichael: Henrietta Ralston born 10 September 1834, died 3 August 1894 aged 60; Gavin Thompson born 5 October 1836, died 20 February 1910, he had children; James born and died in 1837; Jeremy Bentham born 29 May 1839, died 1878; George Graham born 22 November 1840, died 6 December 1915 aged 75.

 Buried with Nancy Ralston Carmichael are said to be three people: Gavin Dickson Carmichael born 1882, died 1917 (Gavin Thompson Carmichael had a son named Gavin Dixon Ralston who was killed in action in WW1 6 November 1917); Henry David Carmichael born 1880, died 1888; and Ida died 1896. However, with respect to the first mentioned who died 1917, if he was killed in action a question arises as to whether it is his memorial here, rather than body.


Further information is available – add later.

(2) Trish Read


 *Writers direct line

  William Henry Ralston McClymont was born in 1828, there are conflicting stories of where he was born, and a birth certificate cannot be found for him in New South Wales. There have been stories of him being born on board a ship on the Derwent River in Hobart, Tasmania. He was baptised in the Presbyterian Church in Sydney by Rev. John Dunmore Lang.

 William’s parents were James McClymont and Agnes ‘Nancy’ Ralston, both originally from Ayrshire in Scotland. They had arrived in Australia aboard the ship Andromeda in 1823. William was the younger brother to John Piper McClymont (1823-1851) and Sarah Ralston McClymont (1827-1860). James and Nancy settled in Newcastle, New South Wales farming the land on their property named ‘Bowthorn’. They also established the first hotel in Newcastle called the ‘Ship Inn’. The family is registered in the 1828 New South Wales census, with James employed as a publican and William being 2 months old. James died an untimely death on the 2nd of September 1829 at the age of 31. He is buried at the Old Christchurch Cemetery in Newcastle. I believe John Piper and Sarah were then sent to stay with relatives in Tasmania; there is a John and Sarah McClymont arriving in Hobart aboard the ‘Lucy Davidson’ on the 14th of January 1830, 3 months after their father’s death. There is no record of Nancy or William on board, Nancy is believed to have stayed in Newcastle to organise the sale of the ‘Ship Inn’. Nancy and her 3 children then travelled back to Scotland, but were back in Hobart from Leith aboard the ship ‘Drummore’ in October 1833. They left Hobart on the 28th of October 1833 aboard the ‘Ann’ for Sydney.

 In November 1833, Nancy married Rev. Henry Carmichael in Sydney at Henry’s brother’s house. Henry was a pioneer in education in New South Wales, working with John Dunmore Lang to establish the Australian College in Sydney, and after a falling out with the later, he opened his own school in Sydney ‘The Normal Institute’, and later a school named ‘Lyceum’ in Seaham near Newcastle. Nancy and Henry raised their children Henrietta (1834-1894), Gavin Thompson (1836-1910), James (1837-1837), Jeremy Bentham (1839-1878) and George Graham (1840-1915) at their property ‘Porphyry Point’ on the Williams River at Seaham. Henry also worked as a government surveyor in the Hunter district which allowed him to establish himself on prime land in the Manning district further north of Newcastle in the 1850’s. This is where William would select two blocks of land in 1857 and settle in the district. Nancy died on the 20th of September 1857 at their property ‘Porphyry’ from a second attack of Apoplexy. She is buried at the Seaham cemetery.

 So William settled at Clarkson’s Crossing, now known as Nabiac, on his property ‘Bundacree’ and began working on his land. He was also known around the district as a ‘healer’. It is said William had a good relationship with the local aboriginals, working his land with their help. In 1862 William had a daughter, Sarah Jane, said to be with an aboriginal woman called Sarah Carter who had died. Annie Butler (1843-1922), a young aboriginal woman, the daughter of John and Matilda Butler, was then taken into William’s home to care for his young daughter. William and Annie formed a relationship, no record of a marriage has been found to date but there is a picture of Annie wearing a wedding ring in a family photo. They had the following children:


  1. Agnes Jessie McClymont- born 13th of November 1864 ‘Bundacree’ Cape Hawke, baptised 27 September 1866 parish of Manning River.
  2. Alice Anne Ralston McClymont- born 11th of March 1869 ‘Bundacree’ Wallamba River, baptised 29th of August 1869 parish of Manning River.
  3. John Alexander McClymont- born 3rd of January 1870, Nabiac NSW.
  4. James McClymont- born 26th of May 1872. Died the same year.
  5. Mary Wilhelmina McClymont- born 28th of May 1873, Nabiac NSW.
  6. William Henry James McClymont- born 27th of June 1876, Nabiac NSW.
  7. Bernice Matilda McClymont- born 11th of March 1879, Nabiac NSW.
  8. Alethia Catherine McClymont- born 17th of August 1881, Nabiac NSW, baptised 15th of July 1883 Wallamba River NSW.
  9. *Bertha Lucy McClymont*-born 24th of February 1885, Nabiac NSW, baptised 29th of August 1886, Wallamba NSW.


 By the 1880’s William is said to have owned more than 1000 acres in the district, the average landholding in the area was less than 100 acres. Between William and the Carmichael’s they owned land in the Hunter, Wallamba, Manning and Sydney districts. The children attended school at Nabiac, the Cape Hawke School, during the 1880’s. Education would have been very important to William with his family’s history, his father had been a tutor to the Ralston family before his marriage to Nancy, and from letters I have seen that William wrote to government agencies he was a well educated man.

 William died on the 18th of May 1886 in Taree, New South Wales, aged 68 years. Cause of death was inflammation of the liver and lungs lasting 18 days. He was buried at Willow Point Cemetery in an unmarked grave. Family members tried unsuccessfully to locate this cemetery at Nabiac in October 2008. The Great Lakes Council has been contacted and hopefully next time it can be located and in the future a headstone erected.

(Note Jim Fletcher sent this email 12/07/2011

I live on Willow Point Road, Failford, about 4 km from the old Willow Point Road cemetery which I have visited on a number of occasions. It's a very interesting spot as it's set amidst lots of trees and bracken fern. It's very rarely visited as it's hard to find even for those who know about it. The attached photos show one of the gravestones and the other shows why it is so hard to find the cemetery.
Should the family still want guidance to it, I would be more than happy to take them there. My phone number is 02 6554 3459.
Jim Fletcher)

 Annie McClymont (Butler) was left in the same position Nancy had been in all those years before, a widow with young children to raise on her own. But it was different for Annie, she was aboriginal, Nancy has been from a well off family with connections in the right places, and married a second time to a man wealthy in his own right. It is said in a paper written by historian Vicki Grieves that Annie was forced to live on an aboriginal reserve for the first time after her husband’s death, so this is where the younger children would have been raised if true. I have found no record of this, but records of this type are few and far between. The older children had by now begun to marry.

 Sarah Jane McClymont, known as Auntie Ginnie, married Walter Hill on the 13th of December 1887 in Taree. Children of this marriage are-


  1. Effie J Hill- born 1888, Taree NSW.
  2. John Alexander Hill- born 2nd of March 1890, Taree NSW.
  3. Ethel May Hill- born 8th of July 1892, Taree NSW.
  4. Edith Hill- born 4th of August 1894, Stroud NSW.
  5. Elizabeth Lora Hill- born 17th of May 1897, Stroud NSW.


Walter Hill left Sarah for the goldfields in Western Australia and never came back. Sarah later sued him for desertion. Sarah later formed a relationship with Joseph Dates, I have found no recorded marriage for them. They had one child-


  1. William Henry Dates- born 1906.


Sarah died on the 18th of March 1946 at Coolongolook NSW. She is buried at the Coolongolook Cemetery. 

Agnes Jessie McClymont married James Fenning on the 4th of January 1888 in Taree, NSW. Agnes was already pregnant at the time of her marriage. Children of this marriage are-


  1. Agnes May Fenning- born 29th of April 1888, Taree NSW
  2. Annie Alice Fenning- born 18th of January 1890, Taree NSW.
  3. William James Fenning- born 8th of June 1891, Taree NSW.
  4. Clara Jane Fenning- born 19th of September 1892, Nabiac NSW, baptised 4th of May 1898, Nabiac NSW. No marriage is recorded for Clara. She died on the 31st of August 1969 in Taree, NSW. She is buried at the Failford Cemetery NSW.
  5. Allan Ralston Fenning- born 18th of June 1895, Stroud NSW.
  6. Elsie Mary Fenning- born 14th of November 1897, Stroud NSW.
  7. Emily Violet Fenning- born 26th of July 1899, Stroud NSW.
  8. Ethel Alma Fenning- born 19th of June 1902, Stroud NSW.
  9. Cecil Charles Fenning- born 13th of September 1903, Stroud NSW.
  10. George Arthur Fenning- born 28th of May 1908, NSW.


Agnes died on 28th of December 1923 in Nabiac NSW. She is buried at Failford Cemetery NSW.

 Alice Anne Ralston McClymont had a child in 1888 to an unknown person the child was registered under the name McClymont-


1.      Maud Annie McClymont- born 1888, Taree NSW.


Alice married Thomas William Magnus Riley on the 28th of April 1890 at Taree, NSW. Children of this marriage are-


1.      Alice M Riley-  born 1890, Taree NSW. Died 1890, Taree NSW.

2.      William J Riley- born 1891, Taree NSW. Died 1911, Taree NSW.

3.      Sidney Bernard Riley- born 1894, Stroud NSW.

4.      Agnes Mary Riley- born 1897, Stroud NSW

5.      Arthur Clarence Riley- born 1900, Stroud NSW. Arthur married Margaret Ann Wilkes at Taree in 1926. He died on the 31st of August 1986 at Taree NSW. He is buried at Redbank Cemetery NSW.

6.      Alice Jane Riley- born 1902, Stroud NSW.

7.      Thomas Henry Riley- born 1905, Stroud NSW. Married Jean Livingstone Newell in 1938, Taree NSW. He died in 1967, Newtown NSW.

8.      Harriet I Riley- born 1907, Stroud NSW. She married Clarence S Towers in 1925, Taree NSW.

9.      Oswald Ernest Riley- born 1909, Stroud NSW. Married Grace Ellen Wilkes in 1939. The marriage is registered in Taree and also in Bowral NSW. Oswald died on the 24th of March 1987, and is buried at Redbank Cemetery NSW.

10.  James A Riley- born 1913, Taree NSW.


Alice Ann died on the 22nd of July 1938, Taree NSW. She is buried at Redbank Cemetery NSW.

 John Alexander McClymont never married. It is believed he fathered a child with Hannah Warrie, she had a son named Richard McClemont. John spent time in prison, and this record provided the knowledge that in 1905 he was a labourer and his native place was Wallamba NSW. He could read and write, was 5ft 91/2 inches tall, weighed 152 pounds when arrested, had brown hair and blue eyes. John died on the 12th of November 1953 at Koorainghat NSW, at the age of 83. His death certificate states he died from coronary occlusion, coronary sclerosis, hypertension and bronchitis. He was buried on the 14th of November 1953 at Redbank Church of England Cemetery NSW.

 Mary Wilhelmina McClymont married Henry French on the 1st of May 1894, at the Wesleyan parsonage, Taree NSW. Children of their marriage are-


1.      Ethel Daisy French- born 30th of December 1894, Stroud NSW.

2.      Stanley William French- born 23rd of May 1896, Stroud NSW. Known as Plugger. No record found of Stanley marrying or having children. He died 19th of August 1970 at Coolongolook, NSW.

3.      Alice May French- born 1st of December 1897, Stroud NSW. Baptised 9th of April 1899.

4.      Clarice Mabel French- born 14th of October 1899, Stroud NSW.

5.      George Raymond French- born 16th of September 1901, Stroud NSW. Known as Pat.

6.      Clarence Percy French- born 1903, Stroud NSW.

7.      Victor Lionel French- born 25th of November 1905, Stroud NSW.

8.      Annie Irene French- born 10th of March 1908, Stroud NSW.

9.      Horace Henry French- born 16th of January 1910.

10.  Rita Marjorie French- born 16th of November 1912, Coolongolook NSW.

11.  Oliver Meville French- born 8th of May 1914.


Mary died on the 9th of January 1944, at 5 Buchanan Street, Hamilton NSW. She was cremated on the 10th of January 1944 at Beresfield Cemetery, NSW. Cause of death was coronary occlusion and arteriosclerosis.

 William Henry James McClymont  died on the 26th of March 1935 at Coolongolook NSW. He is buried at the Coolongolook Cemetery NSW. William never married.

 Bernice Matilda McClymont married Daniel Underwood Greenaway in 1900 at Taree NSW. Children of this marriage are-


1.      Stanley William Greenaway- born 1900, Stroud NSW. He married Elva G Blanche in 1930 at Gloucester NSW.

2.      Charles L Greenaway- born 1902, Stroud NSW.

3.      Gladys Elizabeth Greenaway- born 1904, Stroud NSW. Married Ross Lee Engel 1943, MacLean NSW. (Note: I received an email from Patricia Greenaway informing me that Gladys Effie Greenaway married Archibald Johnson 1945, Wickham - Phil)

4.      Sidney Clarence Greenaway- born 1906. Married Monica Eugeniah Hodges 1953.

5.      Aleathea Bertha Greenaway- born 1909, Stroud NSW. Married John Buman 1936, Mayfield NSW.

6.      Daniel George Greenaway- born 1911, Stroud NSW. Married Beryl Margaret Wilkinson 1938, Gloucester NSW. Died 1957, Hamilton NSW.

7.      Reta Ethel Greenaway- born 1912, Stroud NSW. John Arthur Albert Adams in 1937, Hamilton NSW.

8.      Mary A Greenaway- born 1914, Stroud NSW. Died 1914, Stroud NSW.

9.      Ronald Lance Greenaway- born 7th of February 1916, Tuncurry NSW. Died August 2007, Taree NSW.

10.  Oswald Glen Greenaway- born 24th of June 1918, Langley Vale NSW. Married Nina Barbara Smith in 1938, New Lambton NSW. Died 21st of July 1945 in New Britain while overseas in WWII. Cause of death- Illness.

 Bernice died at 31 Maud street, Mayfield West NSW on the 28th of October 1957.

 Alethia Catherine McClymont married Walter Edmund Greenaway, brother to her sister Bernice’s husband Daniel. They married at Taree NSW in 1900. Children of their marriage were-


1.      William Henry Greenaway- born 9th of August 1900, Nabiac NSW. He married Florence Beatrice Woollard in 1925 at Taree NSW. William died 6th of December 1988, and is buried at Redbank Cemetery NSW

2.      Vera V Greenaway- born 1902, Stroud NSW. Died 1902, Stroud NSW.

3.      Eileen Mary Greenaway- born 1903, Taree NSW. She married William J O’Neill in 1929 at Woolahra NSW. Died 1954, Sydney NSW.

4.       Walter Clarence Greenaway- born 1905. Married Lucy Lorne Schubert in 1932 at Taree NSW. Died 1964, Taree NSW.

5.      Percival Lyle Greenaway- born 12th of February 1907. Married Elizabeth Margaret Ratcliffe in 1950 at Taree NSW.

6.      Herbert John Greenaway- born 4th of February 1909, Taree NSW. Married Frances Jean Ratcliffe 1953, Taree NSW. Died 1971, Sydney NSW.

7.      Ivy Anne Greenaway- born 1911, Taree NSW. Married Arthur Mansell Schofield 1932, Taree NSW. Died 4th of May 1990, late of Chifley NSW.

8.      Doris Althea Greenaway- born 1913, Taree NSW. Married James Edward Styles in1933, Taree NSW. Died 15th of March 1979, late of East Hills Sydney NSW.

9.      Clarice May Greenaway- born 29th of May 1915, Taree NSW. Married Kenneth James Snodgrass, 1947 Grafton NSW. Died 1972 Burwood NSW.

10.  Florence M Greenaway- born 1918, NSW.

11.  Robert James Greenaway- born 4th of March 1919.

12.  Hazel Bernice Greenaway- born 1922, Taree NSW. Died 1964, Sydney NSW.

13.  George Clyde Greenaway- born 10th of July 1924, Taree NSW. Died 28th of November 1998, late of Waterloo NSW.

14.  Clarence Alwyn Greenaway- born 16th of November 1926, Taree NSW. Married Dorothy Margaret Edmunds in 1951, Redfern NSW. Died 18th of December 2005, Victoria, Australia.


Alethia died on New Years Day 1944 at Koorainghat NSW. She is buried at Redbank Cemetery NSW, with her husband Walter.

 *Bertha Lucy McClymont* married Isaac Morgan French the son of her sister Mary’s husband Henry from his first marriage to Fanny Tinonee Poole who died in childbirth. Bertha and Mary’s children were cousins, but Bertha’s children were also nieces and nephews to Mary’s! Bertha and Isaac married on the 1st of February 1905 at Saint Paul’s Church of England, Nabiac NSW. Children of their marriage were-


1.      *Clarence Henry French*- born 27th of April 1906, Coolongolook NSW.

2.      Percy Lionel French- born 25th of May 1907, Stroud NSW. Known as Bubs.

3.      Neville Morgan French- born 17th of June 1909.

4.      Raymond John French- born 9th of March 1911.

5.      Lorna May French- born 7th of September 1912.

6.      Gladys Ethel French- born 25th of August 1914. Known as Ethel. 

7.      Maurice William French- born 24th of November 1915, Stroud NSW. Died 29th of August 1920, Coolongolook NSW. Cause of death- Diptheria. Buried at Coolongolook Cemetery NSW.

8.      Dorothy Jean French- born 5th of October 1917.

9.      Dulcie Bertha French- born 8th Of May 1919.

10.  Myrtle Mavis French- born 18th of October 1920.

11.  Oliver Mervyn French- born 12th of May 1922.

12.  Stanley Keith French- born 22nd of July 1924, Lambton NSW.

13.  Alison French- born August 1926. Died August 1926. Cause of death- stillborn. Buried at Coolongolook Cemetery NSW. When her sister Dulcie died in 1995, she was buried with her.

 Bertha died on the 9th of December 1970 at the Abiron Rest Home, Mayfield NSW. Cause of death acute pulmonary oedema, congestive cardiac failure, chronic bronchitis. She was buried on the 11th of December 1970 at Coolongolook Cemetery NSW.

William Henry Ralston McClymont and Annie Butler’s children still have descendants all along the midnorth coast of New South Wales. Six of the seven daughters married non aboriginal men, who were pioneers in farming in the district. Their children were well educated, and mostly respected in the community. They owned large portions of land, but over the years, this has all been sold off. The daughters had domestic help in their homes, even in the 1920’s, so I suppose this says something of the way that they lived. But aboriginality in those years was still something that wasn’t widely accepted.

 Annie McClymont (Butler) died on the 30th of September 1922 at the Manning River District Hospital. She had been admitted to the hospital in July, and remained there until her death. On the hospital admission forms she is listed as Annie McLemont, status married, residence Forster NSW, admitted for carcinoma of the face, remarks Aboriginal. On her death certificate, sadly it is a different story. It states that she was named Anne Butler, not married and no children. I know in hospitals at this time Aboriginals were kept in separate wards. I have heard stories of mixed race women being moved during labour to another ward, as the nurses had believed them to be white on arrival. I do not know if this is this the reason for the discrepancies on Annie’s death certificate, but I assume it is a strong possibility. Annie was at Redbank Cemetery NSW, on the 2nd of October 1922. Her grave is unmarked. She had lived without her husband for 26 years.