George Henry Wigley – Great Great Great Grandfather


Born:           3rd March 1836, Birmingham, England.


Career:        Surgical instrument maker/Sword Mounter


Married:      Miriam Cross, 18th July 1858, in Stratford, England.


Religion:     Wesleyan?. 


Achievements and adventures:

Migrated to Australia in 1866 on board the “Netherby”, intending to settle in Brisbane with wife and 3 children. At 7.30pm on 14th July, 1866, the ship ran aground on King Island. George had great faith and leadership skills.  He led the passengers in prayer as the ship foundered on the rocks on a moonless windy night. The ship held until dawn, when it was realised all could get to shore, using ropes and a lifeboat.  All on board were saved. While a party walked to the lighthouse for help, George provided leadership to the castaways in the captain’s absence, until a rescue ship arrived.  According to accounts of the shipwreck, while they waited, a lady gave birth to twins on the beach.  The family lost all their luggage, including George’s tools, which he later saw for sale in a salvage shop.  After being looked after in the Melbourne Exhibition building by the Red Cross, they lived 5 years in Victoria, then moved to Sydney. Whilst they never reached Brisbane in their lifetime, most of George and Miriam’s descendents live in Brisbane today.


Comments: Son of John Wigley (born c. 1799), Veterinary Surgeon, who married Harriet Porter (baptised 31st August 1803 at St. Phillips, Birmingham, Warwick,        England) on 5th January 1824


Died:           18th December, 1901, Sydney, aged 65.

Buried:        Rookwood Cemetery (Wesleyan section).



Myriam Cross – Great Great Great Grandmother


Born:            6th December 1833, in Stebbing, Essex. (Link to ESSEX in Online Encyclopaedia )


Children:     George Henry (1859), Walter John (1861), Miriam Adelaide (1864), Twins: Alfred Robert (1866), Ellen Harriet (1866), Henry Edward (1870 d. 1870 aged 6 months) Edward Anthony (1872), Herbert Richard (1874 died 1875).


Religion:     Presbyterian.


Achievements and adventures:

Migrated to Australia in 1866 on board the “Netherby” with husband and 3 children.  Shipwrecked on King Island.  She may possibly have been the lady who gave birth to twins on the beach.


Comments: Daughter of Stephen Cross, Builder, and Sarah Saville.


Died:           10th August, 1910, at Keen St, Lismore, of cardiac failure

aged 76 years.

Buried:            Presbyterian Cemetery, Lismore

Miriam Adelaide Wigley – Great Great Grandmother.


Born:           6th October, 1864 in Middlesex, England.


Siblings:      George Henry (1859), Walter John (1861), Alfred Robert (1866), Ellen Harriet (1866), Henry Edward (1870 d. 1870 aged 6 months)  Edward Anthony (1872), Herbert Richard (1874 died 1875).


Children:     Andrew, Walter, Herbert and Robert.


Achievements and adventures:

Migrated to Australia in 1866 on board the “Netherby”, with her parents and brothers, Walter and George.

After the death of her daughter, she reared Dorothy and Olga.

Velma and Neville stayed with their father and Thelma Rose.

A keen member of the Temperance Society, she travelled to Sydney annually with her son Walter, to attend meetings.


Comments: She was a very proud woman.  After her husband died, she had the sovereigns he had saved for spending money on the trip to England.  She used them to lease a house at Leura in the Blue Mountains, where all the family came to visit.  When the sovereigns were gone, she returned to her house in Lismore, where her husband’s firm paid her an annuity for several years.  She purchased land at Lennox Head and built a house, where the family spent their holidays.  By the time the firm suddenly ceased paying the annuity, she had a fine wardrobe of clothing and was able to maintain her aura of wealth (she was known as the “Rich Mrs Jack”),  even though she and Dorothy were surviving merely on Dorothy’s income as an office junior.


Died:           1937, in Lismore, aged 73.


Buried:        In Lismore, in marked grave.