The Australian Farndales








The Argo left Liverpool on 8 October 1852. Onboard were Matthew (59), Hannah, his wife (45), Elizabeth (19) their youngest daughter and Mary Ann (23) and her husband William Martin (23). This is the story of their emigration and descendants.


The page also tells the story of other Farndale families who emigrated to Australia



Home Page

The Farndale Directory

Farndale Themes

Farndale History

Particular branches of the family tree

Other Information

General Sir Martin Farndale KCB



The Martin family are the descendants of the Birregurra (Australia 1) Line and of Mary Ann Martin (nee Farndale) and William Martin, who settled in Victoria in southern Australia. When Matthew Farndale died in 1884, there were no more Farndales in Australia descended from the Birregurra Line. However the family continued by female descent and the name Farndale continued to be used over further generations. The Australians did not forget their ancestry. Martin Edgar Martin’s second son was called Farndale as a Christian name and his house name was Farndale in Wilby. Other members of the family used it as a second name: Valerie Farndale Basset; Graeme Farndale Woodmason and Stuart Farndale Dunstan.

For a comprehensive record of those descendants, including their link to the Farndales, go to the website of Robert Mote at


The Australian 2 Line are the descendants of Clifford Farndale (FAR00903), born 1927 who emigrated to Australia.


Another Farndale family who emigrated to Australia, were James Neville Farndale (FAR00876) and Cecilia White who moved to Australia in 1955 (email from their nephew Tony White)


Robert M B (Bob) Farndale (born 1939)(FAR00958) son of Arthur Farndale (FAR00706), born Hendon District 1939 emigrated to Brisbane Australia.


Also James Farndale (FAR01038) emigrated to sothern Australia



Do you have information about the Farndales in Australia? Please send me an email to with any information you have.



The Birregurra (Australia 1) Line


Life at Kilton before emigration to Australia

Matthew Farndale was one of twin sons born at Kilton Hall and baptised at The Parish Church, Brotton, on 3 November 1973. The other twin was William. Mathew and William were the third and fourth children of William and Mary Farndale of Kilton Hall Farm, Kilton. Kilton was then a village of some 120 inhabitants. Matthew's elder brothers were George (born 1789) and John (born 1971). There were to be four more children, Mary (b 1796), Martin (b 1798), Anna (b 1801) and Elizabeth (b 1804).

We know very little about Matthew's life at Kilton and he is not mentioned at all in his brother John's book about Kilton. However he would be brought up on the farm, go to school in the village or possibly at Brotton and go to church regularly. His parents were churchgoers and about the turn of the century became methodists. There is no evidence that he ever left the farm as he grew up. In 1816 his father took a farm at Easby for his elder brother George and another at Skelton for his next elder brother John. This left Matthew with his father William and his younger brother Martin at the Hall Farm Kilton. As he grew uo (he would be 23 when his elder brother left home) he clearly did more at Kilton. His name first appears in the Kilton Church Rates Book in `1829 as paying more rates than his father. He paid 8/9d and his father 7/9 3/4d. This would indicate that he was now in charge at Kilton aged 36. 1829 was also the year he was married. On 13 May 1829 Matthew Farndale of Kilton married Hannah Thompson of Sleights at the Parish Chapelry Brotton, indicating a methodist marriage. They were married by licence with consent of their parents by William Close, the Minister. Both signed in the presence of Ann Thompson, Elizabeth Seller and Richard Thompson. In 1831 their eldest daughter, MARY ANN was born and baptised at Brotton on 6 April 1831.

In 1831 also his twin brother William died of typhus fever. There is an obituary to him in the Methodist Records which reads:


"October 21st at Kilton: In the Stokesley Circuit in his 37th year, Mr William Farndale Junior. He was of an open disposition and of studious habits. About the year 1815 a revival of the work of God took place in the neighbourhood where he resided. When he was acquianted with his condition as a sinner and sought and found the Lord to the joy of his heart. He then listed himself to the Wesleyan Methodists and became very useful among them as an exhorter and local preacher. The complaint typhus fever which terminated his mortal exitsence, considerably affected his mind, yet when he recollected he expressed strong confidence in God."

He was buried at Brotton on 23 October and his tombstone still stands in Brotton old churchyard.

In 1832 ELIZABETH, second daughter to Matthew and Hannah was born at Kilton and baptised at Brotton on 5 April 1832. The situation at Kilton at this stage is not quite clear but as William got older Matthew began to take over, particularly after his marriage in 1829. His younger brother Martin married Elizabeth Hours at the Chapel, Brotton on 18 May 1833. There were three families living at the Hall; William & Mary; Matthew and Hannah and their two children; and Martin and Elizabeth. Somewhere about this time their elder brother George returned from Easby and in 1839 John's wife Martha had died at Skelton but he did not return to Kilton Both his younger sisters Mary and Elizabeth had died and Anna was married, living at Seamer, in 1841.

From 1838 to 1850, Matthew is shown as a farmer at Kilton and with his brother Martin on the Register of Voters. Then at the census of 1841 we read: "Matthew Farndale, a farmer of Kilton aged 45, Hannah his wife aged 30, Mary Ann his daughter aged 10 and Elizabeth his daughter aged 8." However this census shows Matthew and his family at Kilton Hall, Martin and Elizabeth at Stank House nearby and William and Mary at Brotton. Matthew signed the 1841 Census for Kilton.

On 25 March 1843 Matthew's mother Mary died at Brotton and was buried in Brotton Old Churchyard on 28 March 1843 aged 81 years. It appears that old William now went to live with his daughter Anna at Seamer for it was here that he died on 5 March 1846 aged 86, a farmer who died of old age in the presence of his son in law, William Phillips. In his will he left "All my money upon note and other securities unto my said son Matthew Farndale ...... my said son Matthew Farndale, my sole executor".


Clearly William expected Matthew to take over the farm at his death. We can only guess what was going through Matthew's mind however. It seems that he was not prepared to let down is father but it seems that he did not want to spend the rest of his life at Kilton. Events went as follows. He was clearly at Kilton until 1849 as the following entries show:

"Kilton Surveyors Accounts Book:

6 Jun 1843 Martin & Matthew Kilton lane Repairs

31 Aug 1843 Matthew Swindles, loading stores

11 Dec 1843 Martin & Matthew Gripping stones

18 Mar 1844 Martin & Matthew Cutting snow 2/- each

22 May 1844 Matthew Loading stones at Kilton Quarry 2/-

29 Jun 1844 Matthew & Martin Repair Cowhill Lane 2/- each

3 Feb 1845 Matthew Repair Cowhill Lane

24 Mar 1845 Matthew Cutting stones How Lane, cutting stones Kilton Lane, 2/- each lane"

There are also light entries in 1842 and 1843 for the provision of horses by Matthew for work on the roads, mainly How Lane and Mill Beck. He was paid for these sometimes teams of 1, 2 or 3 horses. In 1843 the Rate Assessments @ 6d in the £ showed his brother @ £212, George (now returned from Easby) @ £208 and Matthew @ £164, giving him a rateable value of £6,560.

The Kilton accounts show Matthew as paying a rent of £100 for the first time in 1834. In the Estate list of Freeholders Tithe for Brotton, Matthew was shown as renting a farm at Kilton in 1843 and 1845 and Townend Farm in 1849. Also in 1849 is the entry:

"1849 John Marshal, Townend Farm, late Matthew Farndale"

This would appear to be the year that Matthew and his family left Kilton. His farm with details of his fields are shown on the Tithe map for Kilton 1845.

The census of 1851 showed Martin and George, a widower at Kilton and Mathew had moved to Hallgarth Farm, Kildale, a farm of 150 acres and 2 labourers. He aged 57 and Hannah 43; Mary Ann his daughter aged 19 and Elizabeth 17. Richard Thompson was a servant unmarried aged 51, presumably his brother in law and they had a lodger, William Horsley aged 28.











Emigration to Australia

We do not know what it was that made Matthew and Hannah decide to emigrate to Australia. Perhaps they had been thinking of this for some time, but whatever the reason it was a major undertaking to look for a new life at the age of 57 and to leave his family and all that he knew. Before leaving Kildale their eldest daughter Mary Ann married William Martin of Kildale who had been a butler at Ingleby Manor.

The Argo left Liverpool on 8 October 1852. Onboard were Matthew (59), Hannah, his wife (45), Elizabeth (19) their youngest daughter and Mary Ann (23) and her husband William Martin (23).

It is hard to reconstruct what happened, all the feelings and emotions and the excitement of their departure. They would know little of Australia - had they met a returning emigrant? They were not looking for gold or a fortune, but simply a new life. They knew of the perils of the journey, but for whatever reasons, they left. forever.

We must presume that they travelled to Liverpool by a combination of railway and stage coach. It is unlikely that there was any family to see them off, but their feelings must have been of great trepidation as the Argo sailed out of Liverpool. Little remains now of what they took with them but we know they took a pillow case woven from flax from Kilton which is still with descendants in Australia. We know they took their feather beds and riding saddles.



Australian Emigrants, Liverpool Harbour in the 1850s



Migrants prepare to board the Bourneuf at Liverpool Emigration depot in 1852. During its voyage, 88 passengers were to die of consumption, diarrhoea, measles and other diseases


Aboard the Argo were 242 passengers, each with a cabin trunk of tin or timber, a port-monteaux and hand luggage. The ship was small; only 967 tons. The master was Sammuel Macadock. We know nothing of the voyage but conditions would have been primitive, food simple and sickness rife. They would be well out into the Bay of Biscay before they were used to the ship's routine and much relieved to get their feet on dry land at Cape Town, their likely first port of call, probably some four weeks later. The voyage took 103 days or just over 14 weeks. We do not know if they called into port again - perhaps Freemantle in Western Australia or Adelaide in South Australia before they sailed up the Yarra Yarra river to Melbourne. It was 19 January 1853, a midsummer day, as they disembarked to a new life in a new world and to establish the Farndale family in Australia.



Andrew Pettit emailed me in August 2004 and gave me this information:

Just happened upon your website when searching for the passenger list of the “Argo”. My great-great-grandfather & his son were also on the ship as part of a party of 10 travelling from Ireland to Melbourne.

 I have attached a few images which may be of interest to you.
•A poster/information sheet promoting the voyage (departing Sept 20).
•A ticket which shows the actual departure date was 10 Nov 1852. This ticket lists the 6 males in the party – I have a separate ticket which list the 4 females.
•A photo of an Argo sailing ship. I found this in the State Library, Melbourne. However there were several sailing ships called Argo during the 1800’s and I have not been able to confirm that this is the one we are talking about.
•I also have some small details about the voyage somewhere, but I will have to dig those out if your are interested.

I jumped onto the Public Records Office site and found the Farndales on the passenger index for the Argo. Interesting to see that the spelling “Farndall” and some ages listed are different from your website. Not unusual though as my ancestors names were listed as “Petitti” instead of “Pettit”.

As to the Argo, the LaTrobe Library in Melbourne has a hand written volume by Thomas Edgar RIDDLE called “T.......... of British Ships in the Melbourne Trade – Year 1853”. The Argo is mentioned on pages 15 & 16. The rations provided to passengers were quite good for the time (see the poster I sent yesterday for details) and only 2 people died during the voyage – brothers named Custon from diarrhoea.

The Argo was a chartered American ship on its first voyage to Melbourne. The voyage lasted 100 days arriving in Melbourne of 19 January 1853. It departed Melbourne on March 25, 1853, for Callas.

Argo Black Star
 Sailing ship of 967 tons built in New York. Used on the Liverpool to New Orleans route. Also used by Caleb Grimshaw and Co on the Liverpool to Melbourne route in 1852.

There was a wealth of information about the Argo and Caleb Grimshaw, the Company which owned it, at (no longer exists though), including Andrew Pettit's information about the 1842 sailing to Melbourne - in particular you will find the advertisement for the sailing

Also gives this information: passenger on ship Argo 967 tons, master Samuel Macadock, sailing from Liverpool with 242 passengers to Melbourne departed 8 October 1852 and arrived 19 January 1853; passengers FARNDALL Matthew, 40 yrs, English; FARNDALL Hannah 40 years, English; FARNDALL Elizabeth, 19 years, English; MARTIN William, 23 years English, MARTIN Mary Anne, 21 years, English.



A picture containing text, map

Description automatically generated

A picture containing text, map

Description automatically generated


Map showing towns associated with the Farndales






They must have first spent some time in Melbourne, first renting a house, hut or tent; there were only a few permanent buildings. Here they would enquire after land. They would have heard much of gold - the gold rush was in full cry. However they decided against it. Someone advised them to move west to Western Victoria around Colac. There was not much there; it was a risk; but they took it. It was a land of bush, huge gum trees, scrub, native wattle huts and bracken. There were no roads so they must assemble stores, equipment and prepare to move. They would probably have had a large wagon hauled by bullocks and a few horses. They would have found their way across country, crossing rivers where they could, until they came to Geelong - perhaps 60 miles the way they would have to go - this would have taken about a week. They would camo outdoors listening to the starnge sounds of a strange land., particularly the birds. The most unusual would be the kookoburra with its hearty laugh, but magpies would remind them of Yorkshire. The land and the sky, with the southern cross would all be new, strange and different. They would see signs of aborigines who still lived in the area and were not always friendly to the white invaders. The heat of the day would be much more than anything they had ever experienced before and the terrible insects and flies. They would have been dirty and weary, the women in their long skirts sweeping the ground when they rested at Winchelsea. Then on to Colac where they must have stayed sometime looking for land.



Melbourne, 1853 from below Princes Bridge


For whatever reason they ended up at Birragurra and selected land. Their first task was to build a house which they did made of earth, grass and water. They must then have planted crops and collected animals, in particular sheep. Sometime later, perhaps a year or two, they built a small house of timber with a tin roof. They called it "Hawthorne" from the hawthorne they had planted on arrival. Hawthorne stills grows there.



"Hawthorne", Birragurra, "The Garden of Eden"


As the years passed the farm grew. William Martin would take their produce to Ballarat and Geelong and buy provisions; a long cross country journey lasting many days. Cows and pigs were added and the farm buildings extended in size until it resembled a Yorkshire farm house. Sadly the whole property was destroyed by a bush fire in 1901 when all Western Victoria was set alight.

The Martin's first child was born on 19 December 1853 - Elizabeth Clarissa Teresa. Marion Amelia Susanna followed in 1856 and Anna Maria in 1858. Their first son John Matthew was born in 1860 and Alfred Miro Vitericus in 1863. Ada Melinda was born in 1864, Mary Matilda in 1867 and Martin Edgar, the youngest in 1869. John and Alfred took up farming in the BoomaNoomanah area.

Old Matthew was to see his second daughter Elizabeth marry William Darby and several of his daughter Mary Ann's family marry before his death making him a great grandfather.

In 1870 the railway reached Colac and Birregurra in 1877. Matthew died at Birregurra on 8 August 1884 aged 90 and Hannah, his widow, died on 9 December 1892 aged 85 years. Their memorial stands today at Warncourt, Birragurra, Australia. But they also have a memorial in Yorkshire, England when their nephew Charles added Mathew's name to the memorial of his twin brother William. In a letter Marion Hall wrote: "Matthew Farndale died on 8 August 1884 at his home in Birregurra aged 91 leaving his widow of half a century, his faithful loving wife to lament his loss, and his friends to tell of his earnest and gentle Christian life. He left behind him a blessed memory bequeathing to his children and their children the priceless legacy of a holy Christian example. Ann, wife of his nephew Charles Farndale of Kilton Hall put his name on the family tombstone, beside the name of his twin brother, William, in Brotton churchyard which states:

"Memorial of William, son of William and Mary Farndale died 21 October 1831 aged 33 and also to Mathew Farndale twin brother of the above of Birregurra, Australia who died 8 August 1884 aged 90 years. Also Hannah his widow who died Dec 9 1892 aged 85 years."

A much more recent newspaper article reads:


"He was Not Too Old

In these days when so much emphasis is being placed on the importance of youth in business and national affairs, it is interesting to quote an example of earlier history of this district of a man whose enterprise, courage and energy had not become extinguished at an age when people now regard them as worn out. This man was the late Matthew Farndale one of the very first trustees of the Warncoort Methodist Church referred to in the recent ceremony at Warncoort.

From the Dales of Yorkshire, where his ancestors had been on the land for centuries, Mr Farndale made up his mind to come to this distant southern land, thenin its infancy. And so, more than a century ago, accompanied by is two daughters, his wife and his son-in-law he sailed twelve thousand miles in three months to make a new home. The son-in-law married one of his daughters at the last minute when he decided also to take part in the great adventure. Mr Farndale was buried in the Warncoort cemetary in 1882. He was aged 90 when he died. He left England when he was 62 years of age. At Warncoort on Sunday a descendant placed a wreath on the grave of a great-grandfather she had never seen."









A close up of a map

Description automatically generated








A close up of a map

Description automatically generated



A close up of text on a white background

Description automatically generated


A close up of text on a white surface

Description automatically generated



A close up of a newspaper

Description automatically generated


A close up of a newspaper

Description automatically generated


A close up of a newspaper

Description automatically generated