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Ancestral Trail

The Cory Family


John Cory had nine children of whom his three sons came to New South Wales. The Family had their origins in the West Counties of Devon and Cornwall. Their direct line can be traced back to the Reverend Samuel Cory of Rattery, Devon and Dorothy Bamphylde of Black Torrington who were married in 1663. Succeeding generations had a continuing connection to the market town of Holsworthy, Devon. The names given to their properties in New South Wales were of significance in tracing their English background.

Edward Gostwyck Cory (1799 - 1873)

Edward Gostwyck was the first of the family to make the decision to invest in the fledgeling Colony of New South Wales. Regulations at the time offered free land in proportion to the capital a settler was prepared to invest in the Colony, on condition he supported one convict for every 100 acres thus granted. His departure from England was carefully planned. In December 1822, he applied to the Colonial Secretary in London for the necessary letter to present to Governor Brisbane, stating that it was his "intention to employ a capital of about £1,500 in agricultural pursuits" and to arrive with "three free servants to superintend such convicts as may be placed under my care".

Before sailing he married Frances Johnson, known as Fanny, who was the daughter of Elizabeth Johnson, a widow. His father, John, his wife, Fanny and his three servants, William Chapman, Thomas Lang and Mary Hosegood made up the party that set sail from England in April 1823 on the Allies. Five months later they sailed into Sydney to start a new life. The following year, William and Mary were married at Newcastle. William died in 1827, leaving Mary with a young family. Edward and Fanny who had no children of their own, brought up Emma Chapman, the eldest child, as their adopted daughter. Emma married Charles Joseph, reputedly Fanny's nephew, at St Paul's, Paterson in December 1847. Charles and Emma returned to England, where they spent the rest of their lives. Fanny died in 1870 and Edward in 1873.

John Cory the Elder (1772 - 1855)

John Cory made a last minute decision to accompany his son Edward. Within three months, of his arrival he decided he too was prepared to invest in the Colony. His first grant of land, which he called Cory Vale was approved in 1824. He spent nearly four years in the Colony before returning to England at the request of his wife, sailing from Sydney in August 1827. After his return to England he lived at Ashton House just outside the village of Poughill in Cornwall.

Gilbert Cory (1812 - 1896)

Gilbert was the youngest of John's three sons. At the age of eighteen, he arrived in the Colony, in April 1830 to take over the management of his father's land holdings. He spent the rest of his life at Vacy.

By his first wife, Jeanette Rens, of French descent, he had ten children all of whom married. By his second wife, Charlotte Haines of Cheltenham, England, he had another nine. Mary died as a baby and Susan and Arthur did not marry. Gilbert also brought up William Thomas Hingston who was the son of Charlotte by her first marriage to William Thomas Hingston.

Children by Children by
Jeanette nee RENS Charlotte nee HAINES
John Edward b 1838 Charlotte C b 1859
Gilbert Gostwyck b 1839 Susan Annie b 1861
Josephine Rens b 1841 Edgar Ernest b 1862
Henry b 1844 Arthur James Benbow b 1864
Charles b 1845 Frederick Ernest b1866
Jeanette Rens b 1847 Richard Gilbert b 1868
Alfred b 1848 Mary Elizabeth b 1869
Mary b 1850 Gertrude Gilberta b 1871
Francis b 1853 George Gilbert b 1873
Louisa Ann b 1854  


John Johnson Cory (1801 - 1839)

Lt John Johnson Cory, who was the last of the three brothers to come to New South Wales, arrived in the Colony in 1833. Free land was no longer available, but as a retired naval officer he was entitled to a part remission of the purchase price. He used his entitlement to buy land on the Page's River in the Upper Hunter Valley.

In 1836 he returned to England to marry his cousin Elizabeth Gostwyck Gard. Five months after the wedding they set sail from England, arriving in Sydney in September 1837. He died in Sydney in 1839, leaving Elizabeth with an infant daughter, Agnes Mary. Elizabeth and Agnes returned to England in 1841.

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