The descendants of the first free settlers in Parkes came together for a reunion over Easter to celebrate George Field selecting land on the Billabong Creek in March 1866, 150 years ago. About 130 descendants of George and his wife, Amelia reunited to reflect on this great milestone. Over the last 150 years over 300 direct descendants of George and Amelia Field have been born, with many of those still alive living in Parkes today.
George and Amelia came to Australia from England and though it’s not known exactly when George arrived, they both came to the Parkes district separately in the 1850’s. Amelia arrived in Melbourne aboard ‘The Northumberland’ in 1852. She married William Faraday in 1854, and by 1862 she, William and their surviving infant Amelia came to Forbes. William died at the end of 1862 and twins William and Mary were born in February 1863.
Amelia then married George Field in 1863 and they both operated The Royal Mail Hotel, an inn on the western side of what is now the Back Yamma Road, near the Amelia Field Bridge. The first child of George and Amelia, Susannah, died just days after her birth in 1865. Lydia was born in February 1866, and in March of the same year, George and Amelia selected 96 acres on the opposite side of the creek to the inn. Catherine was born in April 1868, followed by Charles Wheeler Field in February 1870. Sadly husband George died at the age of 51 in July 1872, leaving Amelia a widow again with six young children and pregnant with a seventh who was to become George Frankling Field, born in February 1873.
The original land selected by the first George is now in the hands of his great grandson Donald George Field and this
is where the reunion began on Saturday where descendants gathered at the Amelia Field Bridge in the beautiful autumn weather. This was followed by a picnic lunch at the Parkes Christian School where members of the family set up displays. One was of vintage musical instruments and wooden craftsmanship by Janice Cassidy, Kerrie Peden and Mark Field, the children of Clifford Field Jr and descendants of Charles Wheeler Field.
Jacquelyn Greenland, the great, great granddaughter of George and Amelia, spoke of the family history in brief. She had compiled a family tree book for the reunion. Kerrie Peden read a story she had written based on a year in the life of her grandfather Clifford Field Sr when he was a small child. She also read two of Clifford’s poems while Rob MacGregor, another great, great grandchild, led those gathered in a prayer of thanksgiving. Cleaver, the granddaughter of Catherine (nee Field) and Alfred Miller, was present to cut the celebration cake. At 92 Nancy is the oldest living descendant of George and Amelia Field. She was accompanied by two of her sons, Murray and Bruce and her two grandchildren. The grandchildren and great grandchildren of George Frankling Field – including not only those who bare the Field name, but also the MacGregor name, own and farm a number of properties mainly in
the Back Yamma area of Parkes to this day.