Introduction - Ron Sivyer
The year is 2004 and over the past forty (40) years, I have gathered much information on the Sivyer Clan, so I have decided that it is time to update my previous writings.
Information keeps coming in and no doubt one could update his research every few years.  The Sivyer clan has grown and new researchers are appearing every now and then.
I intend this to be my final version and hope that information contained herein will be of assistance to each and every member of the clan.



Written by Ron Sivyer
(A Fifth Generation Member of the Sivyer Family)

This book is a result of approximately fifty years of research by the writer and is an ongoing story for present and future generations of the Sivyer Family.

The writer would like to thank his wife, Betty, for her patience over the years of his research and his son, Neil and his daughter, Linda, for their assistance and help over the years in many ways with this research and in particular with computer assistance and the presentation of this final document which has been completed in his 89th year.  Although the family story goes on, one has to stop somewhere so that the past can be known and the future of the Sivyer family story now lies with the present generations.

No part of this book is to be copied or used without special permission of the writer or publishers.

Information contained herein is Copyright and cannot be used for reproduction without the aforesaid permission.

Copyright 2015 Ron Sivyer   All rights reserved
Permission is to be obtained from Ron Sivyer, 23 Amberjack Street, Manly West Qld 4179


The complete 111 page book as compiled by the author can be obtained from this web page by using the link provided below. This web page only displays the first few introductory pages copied from the book.

The complete book can be downloaded or viewed by using this link.

Around the turn of the nineteenth century the Australian Government was recruiting people from different walks of life to migrate to Australia in an endeavour to pioneer the country.  Also there was a strong demand for a better type of person to come to Australia to offset the image of the convicts and their lawlessness.

Colin King in his book “The Bowdens of Beneden” refers to the amount of money paid to the head of the family for himself, wife and children, to migrate to Australia.  In another article taken from the internet there is evidence that the local churches in England provided funds for the poorer migrant family.  (Reference “Certain Lives” by Margaret Reason.)

The following information on the descendants of William and Elizabeth Sivyer of Hawkhurst, Kent, England, has been collated by me over a period of many years.  Information has been obtained from many relatives and other persons.

Amongst these people are Beverly Betts of Dee Why Sydney, Marie Green of Toowoomba, Graham Sivyer of Toowoomba, Ruth Dodds of Innisfail, Edna Edgerton of Innisfail, Audrey Stewart of Rockhampton, Meg Tocchini of Toowoomba, Shirley de Man of Thornleigh New South Wales, John and Daphne Cummins of Dungong New South Wales, Colin King of Rainworth Queensland, Pat Towner of Kandanga Queensland and Erla Angell of Cooran Queensland.  These persons are also interested in the Sivyer Family History with the exception of Colin King and they are in possession of information relating to their particular branch of the family.

Colin King in researching his wife’s family found reference to the Sivyer family who travelled from Beneden on the same boat as his wife’s family, the Bowdens. 

There have been other relatives and researchers who have assisted me in my research and to all concerned, I wish to express my sincere thanks.

Sivyer History Documents

This document describes the pioneer family Sivyer from Cooroy and Tinbeerwah, Queensland.

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The history of the naming of Sivyers Road Tinbeerwah

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Notice of the death of old colonist Spencer Sivyer 1914

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I would like to recognise the historical research and work performed by my father Ron Sivyer more than twenty five years ago. Ron I believe is the first of  Spencer's descendants to start researching and documenting the Sivyer story in Australia. It is due to this and the inspiration drawn from his work that this web site and my current research is due. This web site is intended to provide to the current and future "digital generation"; the work of Ron Sivyer and the previous generations of researchers as well as the new information provided by the digitisation of records housed in the online resources now available.

Please note: The following is important in the context of my current research using the on- line world and digital resources available.

The following has been given by Ron Sivyer to Betty Sutton and published in “Pioneer Families of Cooroy & District”, Edited by Betty Sutton and published in 2002 by the Cooroy-Noosa Genealogical & Historical Research Group Inc.

As at August 2015, all of the sons of Stanley and Ellen Sivyer, except for Ron, have now passed on.  Ron lives in Brisbane and at this date is 89 years of age.


Devon Park was the chosen name of the Sivyer selection, Portion 1657, at Tinbeerwah.  It is derived from Devon, in England, where Mrs Harriett Sivyer was born.  Spencer Sivyer, with this wife, Harriet and family, came to the Cooroy district as an employee of the Queensland Railway.  Spencer is shown in the Railway Archives as an overseer and later as an Inspector of Bridge Timbers.  He worked in various places between Bundaberg and Maryborough, namely the Mt Perry line and as far down as the Mary Valley.

Spencer was born in England and arrived at Sydney, Australia on 1 April 1839 on the ship Argyle, along with his parents, James and Sarah, brothers Fredrick and Stephen; and sisters, Elizabeth and Harriet.  In 1851, he married Elizabeth Hogg-Bathgate, in Redfern, Sydney.  They, with their family, later moved to Maryborough, where Spencer commenced employment with the Railway Department.  Their son, Archie, was born at Maryborough in 1873.  Elizabeth died at Maryborough in 1880.

The eldest son, James Spencer Sivyer, at 20 years of age, went to Gympie in the gold rush era to work in the mines.  The second child, Martha Elizabeth, is the ancestor of the Pickering, Lister, Campbell and North families of the Pomona and Cootharaba districts.  Emmeline became Mrs Hurley and moved away.  Albert went to Brisbane to work.  He married and remained there.

Archie, after he left the farm at Tinbeerwah, went to Mr Perry and later took up property in the Mackay area, where he and his family became successful sugar cane farmers.

In 1881, Spencer married Harriet Coram, a girl from Devon, England, who had arrived in Maryborough on the ship Earl Derby.  His first family, now grown into adulthood, except Archie, had left home.  Harriet reared Archie along with her own children.

As the railway line was being built north from Brisbane, he moved with it from Nambour to Nandroya, which is approximately 4 km south of Cooroy.  There was a railway gatehouse at Nandroya, at the crossing that was built for the teamsters to cross the line,  In 1891, when the rail link between Cooron and Cooroy was nearing completion, Spencer selected 155 acres, Portion 1657 on the Six Mile Creek at Tinbeerwah.  He intended to create a farm for his family and to retire there.  He did not move his family there until 1892.

The property was bounded by the Six Mile Creek, Sivyer’s Road, through to the Gumboil Road, thence following the Gumboil Road south, crossing the creek on the southern side, until the boundary met up with the Walter’s property and the Gumboil Road.  The boundary went east until it met up with the current Tewantin Road at its junction with Dath Henderson Road.

Five acres was resumed for a road, later to be named Sivyer’s Road.  Part of the property is now submerged under the Lake McDonald Dam.  The purchase price was 19 pounds seven shillings and six pence ($38.75), which was rather high in those days.  The Deed of Grant for the property was granted to Spencer Sivyer in 1897.  At that time the family of Spencer and Harriet were Eva, Edgar, Walford (Wally), Stanley and Ida.  The two youngest, Gertrude and Percy, were born at the Tinbeerwah property.

The Sivyer family resided at Tinbeerwah for a short time before the Railway Department offered Spencer employment in the Brisbane area.  The elder children were of school age and requiring education so he accepted and moved in 1897, to live in the suburb of Corinda.  The family returned to Tinbeerwah in 1902.  Once the selection was cleared, dairying commenced.

Meanwhile Wally (Walford) Sivyer went to Fraser Island to work with the teamsters in timber-getting.  He had the misfortune to suffer an injury to his foot as the sult of a wagon wheel passing over it.  He later worked at Cooroy for Dath Henderson and company.  Stanley, who was born at Pimpama, in April 1888, was by this time 14 years of age.  He worked on the farm and also in the timber industry for the Dath Henderson firm.

Percy and Gerty went ot school by horse and sulky to Tewantin.  Then for a sort time, they went by horse and sulky into Cooroy to catch a train to Eumundi to attend school.  It is thought that they caught what was referred to as the cream train to travel back to Cooroy in the afternoon.  They then harnessed the horse and sulky in the railway yard to drive back out to the farm.

Some years passed and Wally Sivyer decided to move into the timber industry in a fairly big way.  He bought a horse team and he and Stanley began timber getting.  Upon Wally’s marriage to Ruby Dunbar in 1911, he moved into Cooroy to live, and operated his team from there.  His home was situated on the right hand side of the road, if facing south, between the overhead rail bridge and the Cooroy Golf Club House.  Ruby’s brother, Vere Dunbar, was one of the early ambulance bearers in Cooroy.

The brothers, Wally and Stanley, cut and hauled pine logs from the flat country west of Cooroy, as well as other places in the district.  Wally later disposed of the horse team in preference to a bullock team, because, as he stated, the horses required a 3 am rise every day to feed them, whereas the bullocks would feed and chew their cud during the day.

Wally purchased another property on the Gumboil Road at Tinbeerwah for the hardwood timber that grew there.  Wally, Staley and Wally’s brother in law, Vere Dunbar, established a small sawmill on the home property in the early to mid 1920s.  The location of the mill would be due west of the stone that commemorates the site of the Tinbeerwah School.  The mill area is now under the water of Lake McDonald.  Ron Sivyer, Stanley’s son, remembers the wagon days and the bullocks being yoked in the early morning.  Ï have clear memories of the sawdust heaps and the old boiler that was there for many years.”

By the time the mill began operation, Wally had purchased the main portion of the farm from his widowed mother and Stanley had another section of the farm.  After the mill close, Wally continued working with the teams from the home farm until approximately 1933 or 1934 when he sold the teams and commenced dairying.  He also became a very successful pig farmer, winning many prizes with his champion pigs.  In the early years of World War II about 1941, Wally sold his portion in Cooroy and moved his pig industry to Biloela.

Stanley developed his portion into a small crop farm, which he combined with the job of cutting railway sleepers.   Ron said, “As a boy, I can remember that we dug all the trees out and burnt them, and whatever else you have to do to clear the land.  Crops such as corn, watermelons, beans and pineapples were grown.  Stanley sold his farm in 1953 and retired to live in Cooroy.

Spencer who died in 1914 aged 81, and Harriet who died in 1934, are buried side by side in unmarked graves in the Cooroy Cemetery.  Their family grew up at Tinbeerwah. 

The eldest, Eva, became Mrs George Cartwright of Gympie and is buried in Gympie Cemetery.

Edgar Hubert, tailer-out at Fenwick Brothers’ Sawmill in Cooroy, was accidentally killed in 1922, when a flitch that became caught on the saw was flung forward and hit him in the chest.  As no doctor was available at short notice, Councillor Charles Crank, a JP, was called upon to pronounce life extinct.  There is no record of “Ned” being buried in the Cooroy Cemtery yet the Coroner’s report clearly states that he was buried at Cooroy.  He left a widow and one daughter, May.

Wally, (Walford Arnold), Sivyer married Ruby Dunbar and had no children.  He died in 1967 and is buried in the Aspley Cemetery.

Stanley married a Finnish girl, Ellen Marie Ronlund.  The Ronlunds were also early selectors in the area.  A road that connected the old Tewantin Road to the current Tewantin Road accessed their property.  The road was there in the 1930s and used to come out onto the Tewantin Road at what was called the black bridge or via Walter’s property, where the Gumboil Road used to connect to the Tewantin Road.  This road turned off just on the Cooroy side of the present brickworks and went through there.  It is now underwater of the dam, but was on the wester side of what was then known as Fred Walter’s farm.

Stanley and Ellen raised five sons on their portion of 1657.  On retirement, they moved into Cooroy to live in the big house on the corner, between the ambulance station and the laneway.

Ron relates, “My father proudly told me one day that he had cut the timber for the house on the piccabeen swamp flats.”  That is on the way to Tewantin about two miles out of Cooroy. It was originally the home of the Webster family.  Mr Webster was the ambulance bearer at the time.

Mervyn, the eldest of Stanley and Ellen, on leaving school, went scrub-felling and later became a painter and sign writer.  He served five years in the armed forces during World War II and after that he worked at his trade on the Gold Coast.  He was also in the real estate business.  He now lives at Gilston, Nerang.

Maurice, the second son, started an apprenticeship with Dave Boyce of Cooroy Motors as a mechanic, but after a motor car accident he was forced to give that up.  He became an officer worker and he later purchased an undertaking business in Casino, New South Wales.  He is now retired and living at Caloundra.

The next was Ken, who, after leaving school, worked in the Cooroy district and then on properties in the Longreach district, until he joined the AIF in 1941.  After his return from the war, he grew bananas and then worked for the City Electric Light Co.  (now Energex).  He lives in retirement at Clontarf.

Ron was born at Cooroy in 1926.  He worked on farms and at sleeper cutting until joining the AIF in 1945.  After the war ended, he married Elizabeth Helen Lettman of Cooroy and moved to Lismore, NSW.  They returned to Cooroy in 1948 and moved to Brisbane in 1950.  He later joined Queensland Foresty as Communications Officer until1986 when he retired.  Ron and Betty now live in Brisbane.

Neville, the youngest, remained in Cooroy where he lived in the old home until 1987.  He worked for a short time in the Doonan area with John Harth and also at the Cooroy Sawmill.  He joined the City Electric Light Co retiring as senior clerk in 1987.  He then sold the home in Cooroy, which had been his parents’ house and moved to Coroki in NSW, where his wife, Jean, had come from.

Many Cooroy people remember Neville as a piano accordion player at the local dances.  He was a gifted musician who played by ear, never having studied music.  Members of his mother’s family, the Finnish Ronlunds were violinists.  Neville’s grandfather Ronlund, had made violins out of local timbers and these had taken prized in the Sydney Royal Show.  While they were never violinist of nay note, they were all musical.  Stanley used to play the button accordion for the square dance calling.  Ron’s grand daughter, Melissa-Kay Sivyer, has shown quite a remarkable ability in the music world and is currently studying for a degree at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music.

The next born after Stanley was Ida.  She married Walter Fenwick, one of the Fenwick Brothers who establish Fenwicks’ Sawmill at Cooroy, where he worked for many years.  Ida is buried in the Cooroy Cemetery.  After Ida came Percy.  He didn’t marry and lived on the farm until his mother died.  He worked at scrub felling and he later worked with Wally on the home farm and also with Stanley on his farm.   Percy is buried in the War Cemetery at Lutwyche (World War 1).  The youngest was Gertrude or Gerty, who became Mrs Bill Wall.  They farmed at Cooroy Mountain and later in the Yurol area.  Bill Wall died very early and Gerty lived on until over 80 years of age.  After retirement, she lived at Scarborough and is buried in the Redcliffe Cemetery.

The Sivyer’s neighbours on the northern side were Colletts.  Gordon Collett selected the property before World War II.  Originally he had land out along the Tewantin Road.  In 1914, he gave a piece of this land for the Tinbeerwah Provisional School.  It was closed in 1916 when a new school was built.

On the eastern side, across what is now Sivyer’s Road, were Hooper’s residence and the Tinbeerwah School.  The Government had purchased a piece of the Hooper’s property for the school.  This school was opened in 1916 and closed in 1963.  The school records show that the purchase of the piece of land from the Fenwicks was in progress when they sold the farm to Hoopers.

Along the Gumboil Road was the farm of the Reids, previously owned by the Fogg family.  Martins originally selected this land.  Coming back on the western side towards Cooroy, you came to the Billy Walters junction, between Billy Walters and Fred Walter’s farms.

The southern boundary was actually the Six Mile Creek and portion of Bill Walter’s property.  Bill Walter’s farm was between the Tewantin Road and the Six Mile.  An interesting point in the Tinbeerwah history was the existence of a trotting track on the southern bank of the Six Mile Creek in Walter’s paddock.  It was built by Percy King for the purpose of training horses as trotters.

With the sale of Devon Park in 1953, Portion 1657 finally passed out of the ownership of the Sivyer family after 57 years.

The churches of Hawkhurst, Peasmarsh, Dallington and Salehurst all figure prominently in the Sivyer family history. These churches are all in the East Sussex and Kent area not far from Maidstone. This web link will provide a pictorial of these churches. 
Sivyer Historical Photographs - Family of Spencer Sivyer's Son Stanley Hume Sivyer