Free Settler or Felon 

The Adair Family

Map 2

First Name

Surname / Subject


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George Adair

George Adair arrived on the Nassau in 1825 and was granted 1600 acres on 20 June 1825. His convict servants in 1826 included

James Bradley who had arrived on the Ann and Amelia,
Andrew Hopkins who arrived on the John Barry,
Henry Thomas who arrived on the Asia and
James Coleman on the Earl St. Vincent.

George Adair drowned in 1827 age 25 - the Monitor reported the tragedy:

A party consisting of Captain Todd, of the Brig Magnet, two gentlemen named Adair, Mr. Burke and Mr. Brown, with two seamen, were sailing off Garden Island, on Sunday in the Brig's jolly boat, a sudden gust of wind upset the boat, and Mr. Adair, sen., a resident in the Colony for two years was unhappily drowned. Prompt exertions fortunately saved the other gentlemen. They had supported themselves in the water, sometimes by the oars, sometimes by the boats till they were rescued from their perilous situation. The sailors swam ashore but none of the rest of the party could swim.

George's estate of 1600 acres (named Cardoness) was later claimed by his brother James Adair.

James Adair John Boughton Edward Collison Close - Green Hills George Cobb Edward Gostsyck Cory Gilbert Cory John Cory william cummings Andrew Dixon Robert Corum Dillon Leslie Duguid William Dun William Evans George Frankland William Hicks Beresford Hudson William Innes Richard Jones James Kelly Andrew Lang - Dunmore Robert Lethbridge Alexander Livingstone James McClymont Thomas McDougall George Muir Find out more about Maitland Timothy Nowlan Henry Dixon Owen - Aberglasslyn Richard Pritchett James Phillips James Read (Reid) George Shaw Rutherford Walter Scott Gentleman John Smith John Galt Smith Hugh Torrance John Tucker Susannah Matilda Ward Susannah Matilda Ward William Charles Wentworth John Wighton Gorge Williams Caleb and Felix Wilson John Thomas Maughan Early Settler Map 1

James Adair

James Adair arrived on the Magnet in 1827. He was granted 1280 acres of land in 1827 which adjoined Cardoness. Assigned to James Adair were the following convicts:

1828 James Benstead per Midas.

1828 Alexander Cameron per Agamemnon.

1832 William Parker a stonemason who arrived on the Nithsdale

1832 Charles Williams a shoemaker who arrived on the Isabella

1833 Raphael Gabey, a tobacconist who arrived on the Camden in 1833 and Peter Parkinson, a blacksmith who also arrived on the Camden in 1833

James Adair was Secretary of Stock Protection Society in 1834 and in 1836 was on the Committee to raise funds for a Church at Paterson. Other members on the Church committee were Richard Jones, Captain Johnstone, Lieut. Frederick Bedwell, George Townsend, Rev. G.K. Rusden, James Phillips, John Boughton,
E.G.Cory and Alexander Park

James Adair suffered in the financial depression of the 1840's. He remained in the district and in 1846 lost an appeal against a conviction for a breach of the Licensing Act: This was an appeal against a conviction by the Bench of Magistrates at Paterson, for selling spirituous liquors in less quantity than two gallons without being licensed thereto according to law.

'Patrick Burke was called who stated that he was in Mr. Adair's service for thirteen weeks and four days in the early part of the present year; that on the 17th March last he got a gallon of wine and three bottles of brandy from Mr. Adair; that it was given him by Mr. Adair himself, on his farm, from the still-house; that the liquor witness got from him in the bottles was brandy, for he tasted it. Witness afterwards took the brandy and wine to Mason's house, near Mr. Adair's farm; when there, he drank part of the three bottles; remained with Mr. Adair till April and then on leaving him closed accounts with him; the papers handed in before the Court were those which he received of Mr. Adair at that time.

Witness, after the settlement, not feeling satisfied, went to the court house at Paterson where he saw the chief constable Sullivan who on seeing the papers laid an information against Mr. Adair. Burke said he asked for brandy, and he got it - not 'strong stuff'; that a man named Mason was present when he got it from Mr. Adair; that the brandy was perfectly pure as it came from the worm, and unmixed; that he drank the brandy in it purity.

Charles Mason was then called, who stated that he lived about a quarter of a mile from Mr. Adair; that he remembered seeing Burke on St. Patrick's Day last, about dinner time; that he brought some liquor there with him, and after wards both witness and Burke went to Mr. Adair's; and they then got something there' he must have got something from the state he was in afterwards but he did not know who was there at the time or who gave it to him

The conviction was confirmed with Adair to pay £5 for the costs being charged as well.

In 1849 an auction took place at James Adair's Lennoxton. Luncheon was provided. Mr. Dodds the auctioneer advertised the following items: 50 gallon copper still 1 washing machine 2 cedar presses 1 large cedar vat - 400 gallons 1 winnowing machine 1 Stanhope Gig 10 tons of Lucerne hay 3 acres growing crop of Lucerne 3 top swarms of bees, A small well selected library of books Bullocks, cattle and horses

In October 1850 Lennoxton was advertised for sale with immediate possession offered. Comprising 600 acres of rich arable and pasture land, unsurpassed for fertility. Lennoxton was situated 6 miles from Paterson township with a good road and a magnificent fresh water frontage bounded by the Paterson River for nearly two miles. The land was said to be sheltered from the southerly winds by Mount Johnson and from the west and north west winds by Mount George.

Samuel Lennox Adair

Samuel Adair was granted 640 acres on 29 October 1829 situated opposite the grant of his brother James Adair. Samuel was assigned the following convicts, who all arrived on the Captain Cook in 1832:

John Connolly a spadesman,
Samuel Boylan a seaman and
Michael Brown a weavers boy all from Dublin and
John Cinnamond from County Antrim. Cinnamond could plough and reap.

Samuel Adair and his sister were robbed by bushrangers in November 1829:

On the night of the 22nd instant eleven armed men, about eight at night entered the premises of a very respectable and worthy settler of Patterson's River, named Mr. Adair, whose misfortunes of late, as well as of old, must be fresh in the minds of the compassionate - they caused all the men, the overseer excepted, twenty in number!!! to enter the kitchen, and placed a man or two at the door to guard them; they ransacked the house in the most deliberate manner of every thing they thought worthy of taking, to the amount of £200 worth - they acted in the most brutal manner to a young female, suffering under severe indisposition by reason of an unfortunate late shipwreck at Newcastle; they seized her, struck her, threatened her life, unless she gave information where money was in the house, until one less inhuman than the others came and interfered and rescued the innocent and suffering girl from the hands of the ruffians; they destroyed all they could, and bore away the rest, and notwithstanding the number of constables and police in the district, it is wonderful to say, that not a clue remains hitherto to lead to their discovery! The place has been visited by Magistrates, by constables, back and forward the men have been examined on the farm as to the matter but they have not been punished for their cowardice, or rather for the tacit consent to the robbery.

Some of the bushrangers were later captured -

Benjamin Burrell

John Burrell

Thomas Sharpe

Joseph Savage

John Davis and

Felix Kearney were indicted for the robbery and

Joseph Gassett for being an accessary before and after the fact. Mary Gassett and Thomas Carroll were indicted for feloniously receiving portions of the stolen articles.

Christopher Harper, approver gave evidence at the trial.

John Davis and Felix Kearney were acquitted and all the others found guilty. Joseph Gassett in consideration of his previous good character was sentenced to work on the roads in irons for 6 months. Mary Gassett was sentenced to be transported for 7 years and all the others were sentenced to death.

Felix Kearney was charged with Joseph Savage of highway robbery and putting in fear Alexander McBean on 15th November1829 and Kearney was sentenced to death for that crime. Stephen Toole was later also implicated in the robbery. Fisher Betts who arrived on the Midas, Robert Mallet who arrived on the Bussorah Merchant and Robert Stinson on the Ferguson were all assigned servants of James Adair who were rewarded with tickets of leave for giving information which led to the arrest of the bushrangers.

Samuel Adair died 1852 aged 62.

Barbara Adair

It may have Barbara Adair mentioned in the robbery above. Barbara arrived with her brother Rev. John Adair on the William Young in 1829. She married Lieut. James Nunn in 1830 at Cardoness. Lieutenant Nunn died at Gorrikpore of jungle fever in 1832.

It seems that Barbara Adair Nunn never re-married and died in 1889 in Scotland aged 90.

Rev. John Adair

John Adair arrived with his sister in April 1829. In May the Sydney Gazette reported: We are sorry to learn that the Rev. J. Adair, .. a Presbyterian Minister of the Church of Scotland, who arrived lately per the William Young, has suffered very severely in consequence of the wreck of the Governor Arthur. For having proceeded by that vessel to meet his brother, a respectable settler at Hunter's river, he lost all his books, including a copy of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, and all his other luggage, and escaped very narrowly with his life when endeavouring to get on board the pilot boat that received the passengers from the wreck.

John Adair was granted 640 acres in 1829 in the Upper Williams River district. This land was sold to John Blackman and later to John Lord

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James Adair  
Arrival Magnet 1827
Land Grant 1280 acres 1827. Creebank
George Adair  
Arrival Nassau in 1825
Land Grant 1600 acres 1825. Cardoness
Died 1827
Samuel Adair  
Land Grant 640 acres in 1829. Lennoxton