Origin of the surname
The origin of the Jolliffe name is not certain.
All the Jolliffes in the UK almost certainly descend from one of William the Conqueror's knights, Guillaume Goulaffre. The surname means 'glutton' or 'greedy guts'!
Jolliffe, circa 1655 - ?
All that is known about the life of Humphrey Jolliffe is that his wife Ann gave birth to a son named James Jolliffe in about 1699 at Abbotsbury in Dorset, England.
James Jolliffe, circa 1699 - ?
James Jolliffe was born at Abbotsbury in Dorset around the end of the seventeenth century. His parents were Humphrey Jolliffe and his wife, Ann.
Nothing is known about James' life until he married Elizabeth Michel on 17 November 1721. One of their children was called Thomas Jolliffe. He was born around 1737.
Thomas Jolliffe, circa 1737 - ?
Thomas Jolliffe's parents (James Jolliffe and Elizabeth Michel) were married on 17 November 1721. Sixteen years later, on 24 October 1737, their son Thomas was christened. It is likely that he was christened as a baby and that there were already several older children in the family. Nothing is known about Thomas' childhood.
Thirty years after his christening, on 29 April 1767, Thomas married 29 year-old Mary Thresher. Mary was the daughter of Robert Thresher and Mary Hindy who had married on 18 February 1735.
When Thomas and Mary's son James was born in about 1774, the family was living at Portesham, Dorset.
Nothing is known about Thomas and Mary's later life or about their other children.
Jolliffe II, 1774 - 1853
James Jolliffe was born at Portesham, Dorset about 1774. His parents, Thomas Jolliffe and Mary Thresher, had been married for 7 years. James was christened on 3 July 1774.
Church where James Jolliffe's christening would have taken place
Photo: Georgina Greening
At the age of 26 he married Anna Baker at Evercreech, Somerset on 27 January 1800. Three children of the marriage are known: Thomas (born at Castle Cary, Somerset about 1811), Mary (born at Marston Magna, Somerset on 7 October 1816) and Peggy.
In 1828, James' son Thomas married Elizabeth Curry Shepherd at Bristol. She was a native of Marston Magna and the young couple lived there with Elizabeth's mother, Susan Shepherd.
In 1851, when the census was taken, James would have been about 77 years old. He was living at residence 16 in Marston Magna and his son Thomas lived at residence 17 with his large family.
James died at Marston Magna on 20 May 1853, aged nearly 80. Four years later his 46-year-old son Thomas emigrated to Australia with most of his children and one daughter-in-law.
Jolliffe II, 1811 - 1867
Thomas Jolliffe was born at Castle Cary, Somerset, in 1811. His parents were 37-year-old James Jolliffe and 21-year-old Anna Baker. Thomas' mother was a Somerset girl, having been born at Evercreech, while his father came from Portesham in Dorset.
All Saints Church, Castle Cary where Thomas Jolliffe would have been baptised
Thomas had two sisters: Mary, born on 7 October 1816; and Peggy. Nothing is known of Thomas' childhood.
As an adult, he became a farm labourer. At age 17, on 8 September 1828, he married 18-year-old Elizabeth Curry Shepherd at Bristol. She was a native of Marston Magna (Somerset) and the young couple moved to that town.
The first of a large brood of children was born in 1831 and named Mary. She was followed by John (1833), Susannah (1834), James (1837-1837), Elizabeth (1839), Ellen (1843), Arthur (1845), Thomas (1847), James (1849), Sarah (1851) and Robert (1855). It is likely that Thomas and Elizabeth lived with Elizabeth's mother (Susan Shepherd) all of this time. In any case, they were living with her (at residence 17 in Marston Magna) when the 1851 census was taken. Thomas' father James lived at residence 16.
Thomas and most of his family emigrated to New South Wales on the Tartar in 1857, arriving in Sydney on 27 July. It is apparent that the three eldest daughters, Mary, Susannah and Elizabeth were married before this time because they did not accompany the family to New South Wales. Thomas' eldest son (John) was married too, but he and his wife, Selina, also emigrated.
The family settled at Dapto in the Illawarra district, on the coast south of Sydney. Thomas was well suited to farming in the Illawarra where rainfall is much higher than the average in New South Wales.
After ten years in his adopted land, Thomas died on 21 November 1867 and was buried in the Dapto cemetery the next day. He has many descendants living in NSW today, particularly in the Illawarra and in the Central-West districts.
Jolliffe III, 1849 - 1936
James Jolliffe was born at Marston Magna, Somerset, about 1849, the ninth of eleven children born to Thomas Jolliffe and Elizabeth Curry Shepherd. His mother had been born in the same town 35 years earlier and his father came from the lovely nearby town of Castle Cary.
James' older siblings were Mary (1831), John (1833), Susannah (1834), James (1837-1837), Elizabeth (1839), Ellen (1843), Arthur (1845) and Thomas (1847). On 12 December 1850, James and his 7 surviving older siblings were baptised in the local church.
The Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Marston Magna where James Jolliffe was baptised on 12 December 1850. The church contains traces of Saxon herringbone work and has a Norman font.
Three months later, James' sister Sarah was born. Later that year, the whole family, including James' grandmother, Susan Shepherd, was living at residence number 17 in Marston Magna when the census was taken. James' paternal grandfather (James Jolliffe II) was living at residence number 16.
The last child of the family, Robert, was born on 7 December 1855.
Most of the family emigrated to New South Wales on the Tartar when James was 8 years old, arriving in Sydney on 27 July 1857. It is apparent that the three eldest daughters, Mary, Susannah and Elizabeth were married before this time because they did not accompany the family to New South Wales. James' eldest brother was married too, but he and his wife, Selina, also emigrated.
The family settled at Dapto in the Illawarra district, on the coast south of Sydney. James' father was a farm labourer in Somerset and was well suited to farming in the Illawarra where rainfall is much higher than the average in New South Wales.
When James was 18, his father died and was buried in the Dapto cemetery. Three year later, James married Margaret Edgar. They had two daughters: Ada Elizabeth (1876) and Mabel Susan (1877) before Margaret died.
James Jolliffe III
On 30 December 1878 he married Susan Waples, the daughter of George Waples, an ex-soldier who had a farm at Mount Kembla. James' residence at that time was Orange, NSW. The following year, the first of their eleven children was born: Herbert George. A year or so later a second son was born: William Alexander.
Soon after, James decided to move his family to the Central-West of New South Wales. Thus it was that the third son was born at Eugowra on New Year's Day 1883; he was named James after his father and great-grandfather. The remainder of the couple's children were: Emily (1885), Arthur (1887), David (1889), Mary (1890), Amelia (1892), Albert (1894), Elizabeth (1896) and Eileen (1897).
James farmed in the Central-West for many years and lived to a ripe old age. He died in the Soldiers memorial Hospital, Canowindra, on 22 June 1936, aged about 87.
Jolliffe IV, 1883 - 1969
by Bruce Fleming
My grandfather, Jim Jolliffe, Pop, was a quiet man who loved peace and harmony. He was a very tenacious person, attacking everything he had to do with a will to do the job well and quickly. There was little time for slacking; job and finish. He went with this attitude right to the final whistle.
As a young 26 year old shearer, Pop met Nan (a sweet seventeen year old) near Quambone, when he was shearing there. It was a love match and they were soon married and began raising a family of three girls and two boys. These folk produced 16 grandchildren 32 great-grand children and, at last count, 15 great-great-grandchildren. So, with Nan, Pop was a true achiever in all senses of the word. Together they formed a tremendous partnership. I was lucky enough to be their first grandchild, a privilege indeed. Nan managed the house and Pop managed the paid work.
He would invariably have more shorn sheep in his pen at the end of each run than any of the other shearers. Yet he seemed to give his fellow workers a start each and every time; Pop was the contractor. He therefore had responsibilities to his men, to the grazier, to himself. There are many jobs that must be done for the smooth running of a shed. So Pop had to do these jobs when time permitted. This was usually the time between runs, a half hour for rest. He would take the tally of the pens, he would pen up more sheep for the next run, he would sharpen the combs and cutters for the smooth operation of the machines. Then if he had time he could have a cup of tea and a cake, then back to the board.
Such a regime was not for many men. It was the way Jim Jolliffe was; get the job done and, in most instances, it was done by himself. Most other contractors I have known were organiser types, but my Pop was a doer in every sense of the word.
In the shed Pop would stand for no nonsense. He ran a tight, trouble-free shed. His men were allowed two bottles of beer each after cut-out each day; that was it. Do the wrong thing and you did not get another pen with Jimmy Jolliffe. So, as he was firm but fair, Pop had little trouble with out of hand shearers. The graziers appreciated this, booking his team again year after year.
Pop possessed great physical strength. He inherited this from his father, who was a noted strong man in the Central West of New South Wales with his feats. However, as with the shearing, Pop displayed his tenacity in the task of wheat lumping and stacking carried out for many years at the Canowindra Railway Yards during wheat season. The lumpers had to erect walls made from bags of wheat into which they deposited bulk wheat from the bags they carried along the walls for this purpose. A heartless gut wrenching task at any time, let alone in the full blast of our Australian Summer.
At the conclusion of the wheat season, Pop and Nan would head for the coast. To The Entrance, where they would erect their tent and pursue the good life, by the sea. Pop loved the foods from the sea and his greatest delight was to spend the darkest of nights in his boat with his Tilley light catching kerosene tins of prawns and other delicacies. I am unable to relate much about this area of Pop and Nan's life as I was only able to go camping with them on one occasion. I would have been nine or ten.
One thing I recall of Pop, was, as a small child, I sat on his knee and "steered" the "bus", as he called his ute, on the way to the football. There we were; Nan and Pop with me driving. Pop was a quiet man who I often recall quietly chuckling about some thing or other one of us kids had done.
Jim Jolliffe, my Pop, was a lovely man. I am lucky that he was my Pop.
Stella Jolliffe 1910-
Stella Jolliffe was born on 1 May 1910 at Cowra, although her parents lived in the nearby Canowindra district. Her father, James Jolliffe was a shearer and farmer and her mother was Amy Laura Emily Gardner. Stella was the eldest child, followed by Merle (1911), Isobel (1913), Wilf (1915-1992) and Brian (1924).
Jolliffe siblings c.1916
Stella, Merle, Wilf, Isobel
Stella's early years were spent on her father's farm "The Angle", situated on a bend of the Lachlan River near Goolagong. One of her earliest memories is of driving her pony-pulled cart to school every day.
Three months before her nineteenth birthday, Stella married Reginald Angus Fleming in her home town of Canowindra. He was two years older than Stella and worked in the Canowindra branch of the Union Bank of Australia. Reg was transferred to Young, NSW soon after the wedding and it was there that their first son, Bruce, was born on 7 September 1929.
When Bruce's younger brother, Jim, was born six year later, the family was still living in Young, but moved to the Sydney suburb of Kingsford in about 1936. Two years later, the family moved to the beach suburb of Maroubra.
The young family survived the Great Depression years reasonably well because Reg had a reliable job in the bank. Unfortunately, Stella's marriage was under strain. The onset of war brought additional strains, particularly as Reg joined the army and served overseas in the Middle East and New Guinea. They were divorced in 1942.
Stella married Jan Willelmson during the war but he died a few months later when his ship sank in a storm off the east coast of Australia.
Stella took an overseas holiday during which she met Jacques Pelissot, a diplomat at the French Consulate, in Jakarta. They had met briefly before, in Sydney. They married in about 1950 and on 19 January 1951 their son, Georges Jacques, was born.
During the next 25 years, Stella, Jacques and Georges were posted to a number of consulates around the world, including stints in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Germany and Montevideo (Peru). Jacques was posted to Sydney for the last few years before he retired.
After Jacques untimely death, Stella moved back to her old hometown, Canowindra. She recently celebrated her 93rd birthday.
I would like to thank Georgina Greening, Wendy Stacey and Richard Myers for their assistance and cooperation in providing some of the information on this page. - Jim Fleming
© Copyright Jim Fleming 2002.
This page created on 21 June 2002.
Last edited on 10 Sep 2004.
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