These pages are being constructed as a loving tribute to my Father,
you will always be in my heart and very sadly missed Dad.

My direct line from

(Cpt) Emmanuel Hungerford b. 1785 d. 08-08-1872
Thomas Edward Hungerford b. 06-09-1823 d. 04-05-1904
Beecher Sealy Hungerford b. 09-11-1876 d. 29-05-1961
Lyle Hungerford b. 06-09-1913 d. 04-01-1977
Kathleen Hungerford b. 03-11-1952

Lyle Hungerford (1913-1977)


No older family name is better known than that of the HUNGERFORD'S especially in the western part of England particularly in the county of SOMERSET.

There has been many colorful characters and events that has taken place throughout the history of this family of ours. Ranging from Sir Thomas Hungerford who bought and fortified Farleigh Montford to become Farleigh Castle. It was considered to be a prudent move but was viewed with suspicion by King Richard who thought is was a threat to his authority. Sir Thomas must have won the trust of his monarch for in Royal Letters Patent dated Nov. 1383 at Westminster there is a note pardoning Sir Thomas Hungerford (Knight) for fortying his Manor House, through to Sir Walter Hungerford who was a henchman for Thomas Cromwell and because of his dealings which included charges of treason and unnatural acts found himself beheaded on the orders of Henry VIII on 28th July 1541.

Further down through the generations we come to Sir Edward "The Spendthrift" Hungerford who became known as the poor Knight of Windsor after selling off much of the family holdings to fund his lavish lifestyle. Therefore the end of Farleigh Castle in that particular era, but in further generations it came to pass through the hands of the HUNGERFORD'S again.

The Smithsonian Institue in the United States of America owes it's founding to the HUNGERFORD'S due to the generosity of Elizabeth Keate the great-grandaughter of Sir George Hungerford. Elizabeth married twice and produced an illegitimate son by Henry Smithson the Duke of Northumberland and on her son's death what remained of the Hungerford fortune 105 bags of gold soverigns valued at half a million dollars was bequeathed to the USA for establishment of the Smithsonian Institute.

Farleigh Castle
This picture of Farley/Farleigh Castle dates from 1733.
Courtesy of the H&AFS of Australia

Hungerford Coat of Arms The family crest above the coat of arms is surmounted by a wheat sheaf surrounded by two sickles. Above the quartering is a ducal coronet. It is claimed this honour was conferred upon Sir Walter Hungerford for saving the life of the "Black Prince" at the "Battle of Agincourt" 1415 in Europe.
This is the only known case of such licence being granted other than to a Duke. The motto of the crest is "Et Dieu Mon Appui" translates as "God is my Strength".

I am the great-great-grandaughter of Cpt. Emmanuel Hungerford who emigrated to Australia on the "Alexander Henry". They arrived in Port Jackson on May 17th 1828 from what was his home in Co. Cork in Ireland, with his wife Catherine and 8 children, 2 orphaned neices and 5 servants, making a small colony of 17 people which was the entire passenger list.

Their voyage brought some excitement for just a few days out of port, a pirate vessel attempted to capture them, after several hours of suspense they were saved as night fell and favourable winds sprang up enabling them to escape. He came to Australia mainly because he heard from his fellow Officers from the famous Cork Militia where he was a Captain, that land was available in abundance to those people who came with the finance and equipment needed to carry on a pastoral undertaking.

The Hungerford's aquired property of nearly 5,000 acres close to Maitland in New South Wales. Through the ensuing years their landholdings expanded immensely to the point of having several million acres through out the eastern part of Australia. As far north as Cape Yorke to as far south as South Australia.

My great-grandfather was Thomas Hungerford the sixth child of Cpt. Emmanuel Hungerford and Catherine Ann Loane.
In 1849 at age 26 Thomas Hungerford invented the swinging gate as a useful improvement in the method of drafting cattle, which at the time received ridicule but is now widely accepted and used all over Australia as a great labour saving device, and a preventative of much suffering to animals.
In 1860 on his Baerami property he successfully introduced ringbarking (the removal of a ring of bark around the trunk of a tree) on a systematic scale to the rural community of Australia to aid in the removal of trees, and by 1870 the practice was general in the Hunter Valley. By 1877 he had 20,000 freehold acres and had greatly imporoved it's carrying capacity. Over 80 tons of oranges were harvested anually and a flour mill was built by the creek. The success of his enterprises had spread his name far & wide & was elected to various committees and in June 1875 was elected as a member of Parliament for N.S.W.

Thomas Hungerford took a great deal of interest in aboriginals, he learned their language and compiled a dictionary for his own use. He was known for his strong character and bouyancy of spirit in the face of difficulties.

By 1889 the Hungerford's owned or rented 3,000 sq. miles and ran 50,000 cattle but the depression of the early 1890's and the long drought sent their overdraft up to $500,000. By 1896 the Bank of New South Wales had taken over Baerami and the other stations.

He fathered 16 children, 10 to his first wife Emma Hollingsworth Wood and 6 to his second wife Catherine Mary Mallon. His last child was born in April 1886 when he was 63 years of age. My Grandfather was Becher Sealythe 3rd child of his second marriage who was born at Farley, New South Wales. A few years ago when I was passing through the Hunter Valley region I stopped and looked around the township of Farley and discovered that one of the two houses that were built for the eldest 2 sons of Cpt Emmanuel "Owlpen House" in "Owlpen Lane" to this day is still standing and is lived in but unfortunatley not by a Hungerford.

Our Surname Database family names curently being researched.

"Farleigh Hungerford Castle" photograph and the story of the Hungerford's castle.

Town of Hungerford The original Town of Hungerford in Berkshire England

Hungerford Town in Australia In Henry Lawson's stories of "A Campfire Yarn" he talks of the outback town situated right on the Queenlsland and N.S.W. border. Consisting of not more more than 2 houses and a humpy on the N.S.W. side and 5 houses on the Queensland side is how he described it. The Police barracks was in Queensland or bananaland as he called it, and the Post Office in N.S.W. It has been said that the explorers "Burke and Wills" founded Hungerford, but I have also read that it was named after my great-grandfather Thomas Hungerford who drove cattle through the area on the way to their many and vast pastoral holdings. he had at one time 250,000 acres in the River Warrego area in Qld.

Grandfather Thomas and family

My great-Grandfather Thomas Hungerford
(2nd from left front row) and family
Courtesy of the H&AFS of Australia

Grandmother Celia and family

My Grandmother Celia Lillian Hungerford (nee Lee) & children
left-right Jim, Eunice, Ruth, Irwin, Lyle (Dad).
Celia, Mabel & Heather were born after this photo was taken


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