History of the Stafford Family
On 28th March, 1883, at the age of 24 years, William Stafford arrived in Sydney, Australia, from Gloucester, England. He wasn’t a convict, nor did he have assisted passage, he paid his own fare. His records show that he nominated his calling as ‘Bricklayer’. Fortunately there was an abundance of work for bricklayers in early Sydney, and William had no trouble obtaining work along Sydney’s southern beaches. However, being a rambler, he ventured to the country, probably travelling by train, and arrived at the now historic village of Carcoar. William continued his trade as a bricklayer by building culverts for the railway line between Blayney and Cowra. It was while working in Carcoar that William sought lodging and was taken in as a boarder by a Mrs. Harriet McGovern. Harriet was married to Patrick McGovern who was a teamster with a four wheel wagon and a team of Clydesdale horses. They had four children, Paddy (junior), Jimmy, May and Charlotte. Tragedy struck early and Patrick was killed, run over by his wagon. Sometime later, on 18th August, 1887, William married Harriet. Two of Harriet’s sons, Paddy (junior) and Jimmy helped as pug boys for a brick maker in Carcoar who was making and burning hand moulded sandstock bricks. A future of Stafford-McGovern brick making had evolved.
It is not known exactly when, but some ten years after the Stafford-McGovern marriage, the family moved to the Eden-Monaro area. This union was to produce another five sons and a daughter, Robert (Bob), William (Bill), Lot, Alfred (Alf), Leonard (Len), and Martha. With ten children the family soon became a formidable workforce.
William eventually purchased 100 acres of land at the top of Bellbird Hill, on the northern side of Eden. The land had arable land for growing maize and garden crops, as well as a deposit of clay that was suitable for brickmaking. Due to the weight of bricks and the distance for transport bricks, in those days horse drawn wagons, bricks were usually made ‘on-site’ where required. William manufactured many bricks for the gold mining area around Yowaka. Cost £1-2-6 per 1000 ($2.25).