Mary Ann McKenzie and husband Henry Thomas Hicks – Northern Illawarra NSW

Mary Ann Hicks, was the first of the Illawarra – Sutherland Shire Hicks-McKenzie  family to be born in Australia, and the Illawarra in 1839. Mary Ann’s father, Alexander McKenzie Jnr  of Ellengowan, near Fairy Meadow,  and later Canowindra, had arrived in 1837 in Australia as a farm labourer.  He and his first wife Anne McLean, together with their older four children had set sail on the “William Nicol”  (a Bounty Ship),  from Armadale – Parish of Sleat on the Isle of Skye in Scotland.  The ship’s voyage was not easy.


Within twenty years after arrival, Mary Ann’s father, Alexander McKenzie, had established himself in the Illawarra. He was active in the Illawarra Agricultural and Horticultural Society for much of the 1850-60′s, before moving to Canowindra following his second marriage to Elizabeth Hanks, after the death of first wife Anne McLean in 1846. Across her father’s two marriages, Mary Ann Hicks (McKenzie) had 14 surviving siblings – there were 17 children in total.

Mary Ann McKenzie married Henry Thomas Hicks, eldest son of James and Margaret Hicks. On marrying Henry Thomas Hicks she became a member of the pioneering Hicks family of the northern Illawarra. They were to have 14 children, however only 10 survived to adulthood. The family lived in various locations : Russell Vale (from 1842), Austinmer – North Bulli (from 1843), Wollongong, Towradgi  and to “Mt Gilead” in Thirroul to “Mt Hope” in Thirroul  and back to “Mt Gilead”.

Children of Mary Ann Hicks nee McKenzie

Below is a slide show of Mary Ann McKenzie, her husband Henry Thomas Hicks and some of their many descendants.

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Many of the children of Mary Ann and Henry Thomas Hicks had left Thirroul over the years, moving to Sydney and further north. Daughter Mary Alice “Biddy” Hicks remained at home, caring for Mary Ann for many years at Thirroul, before finally marrying widower Alfred Cook in 1929, when she was in her late 50′s. Alfred was also the brother of Alexander Cook, husband of Mary Alice’s oldest sister, Margaret Minnie. Another daughter, the widow Edith Florence Joy, grandmother of Ian, Joan, Enid, Joe & Joy Callcott, and of Margaret, Kenneth & Kathleen Joy, appears to have returned to live with her mother, Mary Ann Hicks, from at least 1913 until her mother’s death in 1930.

Some years after Henry’s death, and certainly by 1913, Mary Ann had moved from the family farm, Mt Gilead, in Thirroul, to “Everest” in Seaview Terrace Thirroul, where she remained for the rest of her life.

Mary Ann Hicks died at her home, “Everest”, in  Seaview Terrace, Thirroul on February 23 1930. The obituaries at her funeral are very moving, describing her as “one of the grand old pioneers” of the district. Click to read them.

See Mary Ann Hicks (McKenzie)  death notice Sydney Morning Herald February 24 1930.

HICKS -February 23, 1930, at her residence,Everest, Seaview Terrace, Thirroul, Mary Ann, relict  of the late H. T. Hicks, in her 90th year.

Also funeral notice – Sydney Morning Herald February 24 2012.

HICKS- The Relatives and Friends of the FAMILY of the late MARY ANN HICKS are kindly invited to attend the Funeral of their late beloved MOTHER; to leave her late residence, Everest, Seaview-Terrace, Thirroul, on TUESDAY  AFTERNOON at 3 o’clock for St Augustine’s    Church of England Cemetery, Bulli. W J WILLIAMS, Undertaker. (includes corrections).

Death of Mary Ann Hicks

Memories from Kerrie Anne Christian. Years ago, I recall seeing some beautiful tributes to Mary Ann, including one written in an old Church Parish newsletter (St David’s Thirroul). Mary Ann had lived past 90 years of age, until her death in 1930.  And the March 1930 Church Parish newsletter had later been  safely stored away by her great granddaughter, Joan Adams (nee Callcott – who was also my mother).  In working through my late mother’s papers and books,  I took some time to find the obituaries. Predictably among the last items to surface, at the bottom of large chest of drawers, finally enabling a window into some of Mary Ann’s personal life. Re-reading them maybe 2 or 3 decades since I last saw them, these tributes now have even more meaning for meClick to read tributes to Mary Ann Hicks nee McKenzie.

Most of the information on Mary Ann Hicks (nee McKenzie) can be found at the Hicks Family Website :


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