Tamworth, New South Wales, Australia

The first record of Arthur(1) George MADDEN that has been located in Australia is for Unclaimed Letters for July 15, 1855 for A Madden, Hanging Rock. [Government Gazette 25 Jul 1855, Australian Newspapers]

On 6 April 1861 Arthur MADDEN married widow Martha SAWYER at a Church of England service at Oakenville Creek near Nundle, New South Wales. Arthur's stated occupation was 'miner'.

Gold was first discovered at Hanging Rock in 1851 and the area was known initially as the Hanging Rock Diggings. As gold was found in Oakenville Creek and the Peel River, the area became known as the Peel River Diggings.

Church of England services were held on the goldfields from the earliest times. In October 1852 not long after the first gold rushes, the Church of England Bishop of Newcastle conducted services from the verandah of John Gibbons Golden Nugget Hotel at Hanging Rock.

Oakenville Creek was a rich source of alluvial gold and an important settlement, with hotels and stores built several kilometres upstream from Nundle. By June 1852 there were 300 diggers on the fields at Oakenville Creek. 'Prospectors from California, Europe and China were also digging along the Peel River and up the mountain slopes. By 1865 the population was around 500 with about 50 businesses in operation. A public school was completed during December, 1871 and lessons commenced there in 1872. Nundle was declared a town in 1885.' [Wikipedia]

Arthur stated he was 26 years of age and born in England; his father was Mr MADDEN and his mother Elizabeth MADDEN. His father's occupation is shown on the marriage certificate as 'soldier'. Martha SAWYER was also aged 26 and a widow. Her father is stated as William HOLDSWORTH, a farmer by occupation, and her mother as Martha WHITE.

Martha's first marriage was to Edward SAWYER. They were married in England and arrived in Sydney from Liverpool as assisted immigrants on the ship "Ben Nevis" on 6 July 1856. The shipping register stated that Martha was born in South Kirby in Yorkshire, England. She had two sisters already living in the colony at Canterbury in Sydney. Edward died in the Tamworth area in 1860.

By the mid-1860s, the easily won alluvial gold in the Nundle area had begun to run out. Steam quartz
crushing machines largely replaced the laborious work of panning for gold by hand, and the hills and valleys around Nundle were honeycombed with shafts and tunnels. In 1864 631 miners’ licences were issued at Nundle, and the district produced 8,476 ounces of gold, valued at £32,000. At that time Chinese miners outnumbered Europeans. They were skilled at constructing waterworks and continued to work the alluvial gold claims abandoned by less patient European prospectors. [THEMATIC HISTORY OF

Arthur and Martha had a large family of ten children: Alfred H (b. 1861 d. at birth), George A (b. 1863), Ellen E (b. 1865), Arthur (b. 1866), William F (b. 1867), Anney (b. 1869), Herbert Holdsworth (b. 1870), Alfred Ernest (b. 1873), Martha (b. 1876), Lillie (b. 1877), all born in the Tamworth/Nundle area.

Arthur is listed in the Post Office Directory for NSW in 1867 as G A Madden, Digger, Bowling Alley Point. Sadly Arthur was declared bankrupt in October 1867. The hearing was at Tamworth Court House. At the time he stated he had five children and had been gold mining for the previous five years. His very modest personal assets totaled £4 Pounds and 15 shillings made up of bush furniture no value, one sow pig valued at £1, two saddles valued at £1 and 10 shillings, one bridle valued at 5 shillings and wearing apparel self and wife valued at £2. He is described as of Bowling Alley Point, miner.

Arthur appears in the Greville's Official Post Office Directory NSW for 1872 living at Peel Street, Tamworth, occupation butcher. In January 1883 Arthur purchased four town allotments in the new township of Werris Creek [The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River Advertiser Sat 27 Jan 1883, Australian Newspapers] In July 1883 Arthur, described as an innkeeper at Tamworth, is again declared insolvent. His assets were valued at £562; his liabilities at £1031/13/-.[The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River Advertiser Tues 24 July 1883, Australian Newspapers]

Martha died in 1900 at Tamworth [NSW BDM Ref 7123/1900]. It is probable that Arthur died about 1907/1908 but where he died is still uncertain.

Second Generation

The children of Arthur MADDEN and Martha SAWYER nee HOLDSWORTH were:

2 Alfred H MADDEN b. 1861 d. in infancy

3 George Arthur MADDEN b. 1863 in Tamworth d. 6 Sep 1932 at Bankstown. Buried Presbyterian Cemetery, Rookwood. Married Margaret Anderson in Sydney in 1888. George and Margaret had three children: Nellie (b. 1889), Fred (b.1890) and George (b. 1892); all born at Wollongong.

4 Ellen E MADDEN b. 1865 at Tamworth d. 1883 at Braidwood

5 Arthur(2) MADDEN was born in Tamworth in 1866. He married Catherine aka Katherine MACMAHON in 1887 at Tamworth. Catherine or "Katy" Macmahon was born in County Cork in Ireland and was a Roman Catholic. Arthur worked in a senior position at Fielders Flour Mill in Fitzroy Street at Tamworth.

Arthur and Catherine had seven children, all born at Tamworth: Arthur(3) (b. 1887), Mary Ellen (b. 1888), Herbert(2) John (b. 1890), Ruby Catherine (b. 1891), Jessie Josephine (b. 1893), Wilfred Thomas (b. 1897) and Eileen Dorothy (b. 1898).

Shortly after the birth of their last child, Eileen, Arthur and Catherine separated; Catherine went to live in Chatswood in Sydney while Arthur remained in Tamworth.  Catherine took six of their seven children to live with her but Hebert remained in Tamworth with his father.

Catherine purchased a home at 6 Havilah Street, Chatswood, close to Victoria Avenue. In the 1930 Electoral Roll Catherine Madden is listed with her children Jessie Josephine (Occupation Saleswoman) and Wilfred Thomas (Occupation Hairdresser). In the 1936 Electoral Roll, Catherine is listed with her children Ruby Catherine (Occupation Nurse) and Jessie Josephine (Saleswoman). Her son Arthur(3) also listed Havilah Street as his address when he enlisted in 1915.  Catherine died at home at Chatswood on 14th October 1943 and is buried in the Northern Suburbs cemetery. The grave is enclosed in a fence to stop people walking on her grave. Her grand-daughter, Winifred Jeanne MADDEN (Jeanne) , nursed her throughout he long illness and recalls that Catherine, a staunch Irish Catholic, gave the Salvation Army 3d in recognition that being a Protestant was acceptable.  Jeanne was C of E and her daughter-in-law Irene (Arthur(3)’s wife) was Salvation Army.

Arthur(2) was elected as an Alderman to the Tamworth Council in 1915.  His son Herbert John (Jack) married Winifred Frances (Francine) Norman in Tamworth in 1914 and the family lived there until early 1918 when they moved to Sydney.  Arthur left Tamworth late in life and lived briefly with his daughter May Ellen (Polly) Davis (nee Madden) in Sydney.  Arthur died in North Sydney on 7th January 1932.

6 William Frederick MADDEN b. 1867 at Nundle. He married Euphemia J WARD at Tamworth in 1887. William and Euphemia had three children: Arthur D. b.1887 at Tamworth, Frederick H. b. 1889 at Tamworth (died in infancy) and Gladys R. b. 1891 at Tamworth. William died in 1959 at Chatswood.

7 Anney aka Annie Mary MADDEN b. 1869 at Nundle. She married Robert H FOX at Tamworth in 1888.  Anney and Robert had two children: Robert H b. 1888 at Tamworth (died in infancy) and Nellie M. b. 1890 at Tamworth.  Robert FOX died in 1890 and Anney remarried William R. BROOKS in 1894 at Tamworth.  Anney and William had three children: Cyril b. 1894 at Tamworth, George V. b 1896 at Tamworth and Jack A. b. 1889 at Tamworth. She died 8 Dec 1948 (SMH 14 Dec 1948)

8 Herbert(1) Holdsworth MADDEN b. 1870 at Nundle. He married Elizabeth May COATES at Tamworth in 1900. Herbert died in 1946 at Sydney. In 1930 Electoral Roll living at Church Place, Paddington, Insurance Agent.

9 Alfred Ernest aka Ernest Alfred MADDEN b. 1873 at Tamworth d. 3 Nov 1953 at Bowral. Married Emily Blanche TIPPETT at Lismore in 1902. In 1930 Electoral Roll living at Bowral Street, Bowral, Draper.  Ernest and Emily had three children: Doreen H. MADDEN b. 1903 at Lismore, Mona L. MADDEN b. 1907 at Lismore and Gladys MADDEN birth date unknown.

10 Martha MADDEN b. 1876 at Tamworth.

11 Lillie MADDEN b. 1877 at Tamworth.

Third Generation

The children of Arthur(2) MADDEN and Catherine MACMAHON were:

12. Arthur(3) MADDEN was born at Tamworth on 16 Sep 1887.  He was a drover and a farmer. An Arthur Madden is listed as a hairdresser in Sands Directory for Tamworth, NSW from 1909-1924 but his daughter Gwenda does not believe this is her father. He also worked with Silvers Circus (operated 1946-1956) for a while. He was a dairy farmer when he enlisted in WW1 in August 1915 and was deployed as a driver in Egypt and France.  After he returned from the war his military medals were accidentally sent to Chatsworth (in Queensland) instead of his mothers address “Essondille”, 6 Havilah Street, Chatswood.  He wrote in 1929 requesting his medals. Arthur married Irene Margaret ROSE in Gloucester on 20 Jan 1932.  Irene was raised a Methodist and, after her marriage, was baptized and confirmed Catholic in 1939.

Arthur also enlisted in WW2 in 1941. His address was then Bowman Farm, Gloucester.  He was discharged 1942 as he held a “Reserved Occupation” (dairy farmer).  Arthur died in Taree on 13 Jun 1966 and Irene died on 22 Mar 1985; both are buried in the Taree Cemetery. 

13. Mary Ellen MADDEN known as “Polly” was born at Tamworth in 1888. She married Clive W J DAVIS in 1919 at St Leonards.  Mary Ellen died in hospital at Ryde on 23 Apr 1970.  Clive and Mary had two children, Clive and Helen.  Clive snr died in 1973 in Ryde.

14 Herbert(2) John MADDEN known as "Jack" was born at Tamworth in 1890. Herbert married Winifred Frances Norman (known as both Winnie and Francine) at Tamworth in 1914. They had two children, Winifred Jeanne (known as Jean and Jeanne in later life) born 1915 at Tamworth and Philip John (known as Joe) born 1918 at Randwick. Herbert and his family moved to Junee in 1933 for one year when Herbert took on the management of The Broadway Store in Broadway Street at Junee. The Broadway Store still stands and is currently a hardware shop. Herbert and Winifred returned to live in Sydney but Winifred died in 1936 at Cronulla. Their son Philip returned to work as a dentist in Wagga Wagga for about twelve months after his marriage in 1942. Herbert died in 1987 in Newcastle.

15 Ruby Catherine MADDEN was born at Tamworth in 1891.  Ruby married Peter John MCMAHON in 1936 at Ashfield. Ruby’s niece Winifred Jeanne MADDEN was bridesmaid at the wedding in the Catholic Church at Ashfield.  Peter, a doorman at the ES&A Bank, met Ruby at her brother Pip’s hotel in Wagga Wagga.  Ruby and Peter had no children. 

16 Jessie Josephine MADDEN was born at Tamworth in 1893.  She never married. She died at Penrith (late of Elizabeth Bay) on 30 Oct 1972.

17 Wilfred Thomas MADDEN known as "Pip" was born at Tamworth in 1897. Wilfred married Elizabeth SCANLON at Burwood in 1930. Wilfred and Elizabeth moved to Wagga Wagga in the late 1920s where Wilfred was licensee of the 'Grand Hotel' at 167(probably) Fitzmaurice Street. Wilfred died on 18 Oct 1974 at Pennant Hills.

18 Eileen Dorothy MADDEN was born at Tamworth in 1898. She married Frederick Patrick SOUTHWELL in 1919 at St Leonards, Sydney. They had a daughter but her identity is unknown.  Eileen and Frederick were divorced 1927/30.  Frederick SOUTHWELL died in 9 Jul 1977 (SMH 11 Jul 1977). Eileen subsequently married Frederick Harold GIFFORD, postmaster at Willoughby.  Eileen died in 1991 and Frederick GIFFORD died in 1994.

With much thanks to Chris Borough and Ron Madden for sharing their family information. If you have family connections to this line, Chris would love to hear from you. Contact details:
Chris Borough
10 Anglers Avenue
Ph +61 (0)2 6555 8024
Mobile +61 0458 634 624