Joseph Collits


Joseph  Collits, born on 1st March 1808, was the 5th child of Pierce and Mary Collits. Already there were 2 older brothers, John aged 5 and James, aged 2 and  3 older sisters Mary aged 14, Sarah aged 13, and Francis aged 4, when he was born at the Castlereagh property and they all lived in a  small slab cottage on the banks of the river at Birds Eye Corner.   The family had just been in the new colony for 7 years, when he was born. His father was convicted in Britain in 1800 for receiving stolen goods and sentenced to transportation for 1 years.

At that time his father was still officially regarded as a convict at that time and was  assigned to his mother, but in reality his father Pierce had become a very valuable settler within the district.

Pierce was put on the Minorca and Mary decided to come out as a free settle with her 2 daughters rather than be left behind for her prospects in the harshness of London seemed overwhelming compared to being separated from Pierce. At this time not many women had chosen to come out as free settlers so Pierce and Mary were given all considerations.

When they arrived they were given 70 acres of land as this was the system for free settlers, 20 acres for Mary and 20 acres for each child. (Mary got 20 acres, John got 20 acres and James got 20 acres, so it is a query where the extra 10 acres came from).  To encourage emigration out here as well as assistance from the government stores, there was the ability to apply for a convict to be assigned to them to help with the establishing of themselves. Hence Pierce was assigned to Mary. In 1806 Mary Collits along with husband Pierce had 11 acres under cultivation on the Castlereagh Road

Pierce & Mary’s neighbours (many who later also moved to Hartley) were  Edward Field who lived two blocks away, Robert Sherringham,  John Harris,  James Morris,  Thomas Markwell, Robert Williams and Nathaniel Norton.

Joseph became firm friends with the many sons and daughters of the settlers of Castlereagh Road and many other started to look  for wives and husbands within the close knit community.  Joseph and James however were quite the lads and were notorious for having a good time.

By the age 20 Joseph was listed as a blacksmith in the 1828 census, when he was living with his sister Sarah who had married John Watkins  (John Watkins died in 1844)  6 years later in 1834 he was the licensee for the Dog and Duck Inn at George Street Sydney, then a central hub of activity for the comings and goings of the arrivals and departures of coaches and wagons.  )

By 1828  Pierce & Mary Collitt had moved to managing a licensed hotel along the 'Western Road' in the Blue Mountains, and their son Joseph would seem to have been managing the land grant, now reduced to 20 acres (Census of New South Wales: November 1828, entry no. C1708)

 In 1829 Pierce put the Collits Farm for sale as he had settled into the Hartley region.


1st  Marriage   

Joseph married Mary Ann Field who had previously been married to Thomas Perry but the marriage  was annulled AFTER Thomas was declared dead in 1844. Mary Ann was the eldest daughter of Edward Field and  was a close neighbor of The Collits on the Castlereagh Road. (She was named after the ship her mother arrived in Australia on (The Mary Ann))  Joseph was apprenticed to Edward to learn the skill as a blacksmith.

Mary Ann FIELD was born in 14 MAR 1795 in Parramatta NSW Australia  and she married to Joseph 13 JULY 1845 in Castlereagh.  Joseph  and Mary Ann‘s residence was recorded as being Mt Victoria as Hartley was known. Her  marriage to at the age of 17 to  Thomas PERRY  aged 35  was on 3 AUG 1812 in Windsor NSW  Thomas Perry was born about 1777 and died at on the 7th December 1844 aged 67.  Mary Ann died in Nov 1865 aged 70, at Bugabigli Station, Forbes, NSW where they were living at the time.  Joseph did not waste time, for  just four months later Joseph again was married this time to Martha Sherringham, the widow of James Sherringham who was running the Rose Inn at the time and who had previously been married to his sister Mary in 1845.  Mary was the eldest daughter of Pierce and  had died at the early age of 25.   

In 1834 Joseph was working in Sydney as the licensee for the Dog & Duck Inn in George  Street Sydney, helping out his brother-in-law Thomas Higgins.

His Inn at Hartley was licensed as Rose Inn in 1846   

 2nd Marriage. Was to  Martha Sherringham (nee GULLY) on 6 MAR 1866 in Mt Clarence. Martha  later died at Forbes on 9th July 1880 (Martha GULLY was the widow of James Sherringham. James was married to Joseph’s eldest sister Mary in 1845 who had died at the age of  25 hence Joseph married the widow of his brother-in-law.)

Joseph COLLITS Died on the 2 NOV 1888 in Forbes, NSW aged 80.

Initially  the Dog and Duck Inn was owned by Thomas Higgins, who was married to Sophie Field Licensee of the Dog and Duck hotel in George Street, Sydney in the Australian Newspaper dated 7 April 1834.

In 1846 he applied for the licensee of the  Rose Inn at Hartley, which then was used by Cobb & Co as an overnight stop on the way to Bathurst in the 1860's.

James Haynes was running the Rose Inn from 1850 till his death

In 1865 Joseph sold the property he owned which was a shop with a frontage of 18ft  in 217 George Street, just near the Dog and Duck.


Misc Research Data

in the Sands directory of 1872 the following is recorded.  Henry FLANAGAN  was the  overseer at Joseph Collits property at Begabigal Forbes


In 1841 his  mother Mary passed away and this must have had an dreadful effect on Pierce as she had been his stalwart for so long and stood by him through thick and thin.   Seven years later  in 1848,  his father  Pierce Collits, passed away

COLLITS Joseph squatter Begabigal Forbes
COLLITS Pierce squatter Bandon Forbes
Edward Field the 1st  died 21/1/1826 at CASTLEREAGH  aged 57

Edward Field the second died 7/12/1846 at CASTLEREAGH aged 49

SOPHIA FIELD  was born 21/6/1807 at EVAN and married 7/6/1824 at CASTLEREAGH to THOMAS HIGGINS who died 26/7/1839 at CANOWINDRA aged 46
She then married 31/8/1840 at HASSANS WALLS to JAMES COLLITS

James and Sophia had 3 children - Pierce b. 1842; James Grant b. 18.6.1848 and Sophia Jane b. 1851.

She died 21/7/1871 at FORBES aged 64


Maria was Pierce and Mary's first born and first daughter. She was born on 1st September, 1796, her parents residing at King Street, Tower Hill, London.

Maria arrived on the Ship "Minorca", as a free settler with her Mother and sister, Sarah.

Maria was only 15 years old when she married Philip Strickland, they had 3 sons in quick succession before Philip's death. Philip Strickland died in 1816, the result of a gun shot wound he received whilst carrying out his duties as a Constable.

Her second marriage was to Edward Field, son of Private Edward Field and Elizabeth Mitchell, and Maria and Edward has 7 children. Maria died on 21.9.1829 at the young age of 33, and is buried at Castlereagh Cemetery, beside her first husband, Philip Strickland. Her 2nd husband, Edward Field is buried on the other side of Maria.

Thomas Michael Pembroke died c. 1838.

PIA BEWABD.-Stolen or strayed, from the foot où X \J of Mount Lambie, a light bay Horse, branded EF on the near shoulder, small star on the forehead. If strayed, a reward of £2 will b« paid on delivery to Mr. Georire Jarves, storekeeper, Hartley; or, Mr. L. Durak, Innkeeper, Bathurst 1'ontl. If stolen, £10on conviction of the offenders JOSEPH COLLITS, Hartley.

Thursday 11 May 1854

Saturday 8 November 1862


YOUNG SCOTCH JOCK .-¡.Joseph Collett'», Little





MARRIAGES. REED-STOWELL-December 31st, 1860, at the residence of Joseph Collett, Esq., Little Hartley, by the Rev. William Coombs, Mr. Joseph Reed to Emily, only daughter of Mr. William Stowell late of the Macleay River.  

Tuesday 19 February 1861


Thursday 26 March 1868

SULLIVAN and TINDALE have received. - _ instructions from Joseph Collett, Esq., to sell bj? auction, at Homebush Yards, THIS DAY, 2Gt£»

March, at half-past 9 o'clock,

1200 fat sheep, in lots to suit purchasers.


Monday 9 January 1865,

RICHARDSON and WRENCH have received instructions from Mr. Joseph Collett to Bell bv public auctitn, at the Rooms, Pitt-streot, THIS DAY, 9th January, ut H o'clock, Tho following valuable

CITY PROPERTY, All that PIECE OF LAND, being allotmont G of section 62 of tho subdivision of tho city, having a frontago to GEORGE-STREET NORTH of l8 feet, with n dopth ol' about 132 foot, on which aro thoso well-known premises now in the occupation of Mr. Matthews, nautical instrument maker. They are built of briek on stone founda- tion, with alnto roof to the main buildings, and contain private entrance, lobby, largo shop, four rooms and kitchen, with yard, ninga of sheds, &c. Fronting the lane at tho rear, and with entronco also from the yard, is a commodious three-story brick store, with slate roof.

<fâf The above may be classed as a CHOICE IN- VESTMENT in the MAIN THOROUGHFARE OF THE CITY, which ensures a certain return at the highost current rental.

An inspection is invited ; and, as the sale will bo impera- tive, capitalists aro urged not to noglect tho favourablo opr^rtuniiy now presented for securing a


TITLE-Unquestionable. Full particular» may bo ob- tained ou application to R. DRIVER, Esq., Solicitor,


Terms nt sale.