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Ashton, Ann (1829–1918)

As briefly mentioned in The Witness on Friday last, Mrs. Ashton, relict of the late Mr. Rowland Ashton, of Wombat, passed peacefully away that morning at the home of her only son, after an extended illness, aged 89 years. The late Mrs. Ashton who had lived at Wombat for over 50 years, was born at Norfolk (Eng.) in the year 1829, her father (Henry Gent) being a sea captain. At the age of 21 years she was married in the parish church of West Barkwith, in Lincolnshire, to the late Rowland Ashton, in the year 1850, a few hours before they embarked for Australia. After a voyage extending over about six months, they landed at Sydney and proceeded to Newcastle, where Mr. Ashston was under engagement to the firm of Wright and Randell, railway contractors. The first child was born when the whole district was flooded, and a nurse had to be brought to the mother on a log. Some time later they went to the Merinda Diggings, in the Mudgee district, and from there to Wombat, the journey being made in a bullock waggon, as the railway had not then been extended very far into the country districts. When the Ashtons arrived in the district, Wombat was a place of some importance. There were thousands of miners right from Wombat to Lambing Flat, the calico township of Wombat being particularly "lively". Later on there were no less than five hotels in Wombat itself, besides many stores, a diggers' theatre, and sundry other places of amusement. When the gold rush was over, the Ashton family were amongst those who remained to pioneer the district in agricultural pursuits, and a home was made at Main Range. Here Mr. and Mrs. Ashton lived their useful lives, and reared a large family, many of whom, with their children, still reside in the vicinity of the old home, and are amongst the most esteemed residents in the district to-day. The deceased lady was exceptionally well liked and was the "friend in need" to many of the settlers. When the call to render aid in sickness came Mrs. Ashton never allowed it to pass unheeded, and she would rise from her bed at any hour during the night to give a helping hand. Her husband died about ten years ago, having then attained the age of 84 years. Since his death she had not enjoyed the best of health, and of late lived with her only son, Mr. W. T. Ashton. The other members of the family are: Mrs. Williams (Crookwood, Wallendbeen), Mrs. Owens (Wombat road), Mrs. W. Shepherd (Wombat road), Mrs. Milligan (N.Z.) and Mrs. H. Schmidt (Orange). Two died in infancy. There are also 43 grandchildren and about 50 great grandchildren. Seven of the grandchildren enlisted, and one has been killed at the war. The funeral, which took place on Friday afternoon, was one of the largest ever seen in the district. The remains were laid to rest in the Church of England portion of the Young cemetery, where the last sad rites at the grave were performed by the Rev. S. A. T. Champion. Many floral tokens were placed on the grave, and the pall bearers were four grandsons (W. Ashton, P. Shepherd, J. and R. Williams). Messrs Patterson Bros, carried out the funeral arrangements.

Original publication

Citation details

'Ashton, Ann (1829–1918)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/ashton-ann-16786/text28679, accessed 5 July 2022.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2022

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Gent, Ann
Birth

1829
Norfolk, England

Death

24 January, 1918 (aged ~ 89)
Young, New South Wales, Australia

Cultural Heritage
Religious Influence
Occupation
Key Places