In January 2019, I travelled to Sydney to conduct genealogy research into property owned by the Prendergast family in the Hawkesbury district of NSW. The records were held at various Repositories in Sydney, Kingswood and Wollombi.
I wanted to locate records at the repositories and then visit the land of my forbears to get a sense of how my ancestor John Prendergast and his wife Catherine would have felt as first settlers on that land.
With Barry’s technical assistance, I plan to document these blocks of land on an interactive map, recording them for future generations.
I chose Sydney University Village as my base for the first visit in January because it was centrally located, there was plenty of public transport available and it was reasonably priced.
I visited the New South Wales land Registry Services to obtain maps of the Prendergast properties in Lower Portland, Kurrajong, Windsor, Pitt Town(formerly Mulgrave place) and Wollombi.
By pre-booking the documents that I wished to view during my Mitchell Library visit, I was able to discover which properties were crown grants and which ones were purchased by the Prendergast family.
At Waverley Cemetery, I received a warm welcome from Petranella who took me on a guided buggy tour of the cemetery. She dropped me at the Martyr’s Wall – the Irish Memorial and pointed out the graves of several other Prendergast family members.
One of the best days during my visit to Sydney was a picnic at Half Moon Farm with my cousins Elaine and Mark. I took the train to Windsor where I was able to borrow the key from the Hawkesbury City Council who kindly allowed me access to the property. Mark drove us to the farm so that we could visit the historical cemetery and walk on the land our ancestor John Prendergast purchased in 1806.