Faces of Tamworth | First European child born in Tamworth George Byrnes

George Byrnes.

George Byrnes.

THE Kamilaroi people have occupied Tamworth for thousands of years.

But when the first European explorer John Oxley entered into the ancient lands of the Kamilaroi, accompanied by his competent deputy George William Evans with a party of 14, largely convicts, together with 19 pack-horses, on September 2, 1818, it heralded the start of a European infiltration.

Just over 20 years on from Mr Oxley’s arrival, the first European child was born in Tamworth. 

Irish-born Frances Bonner (the wife of Thomas Byrnes) with her sister Mary Ann Bonner (the wife of James Johnston) arrived in Tamworth with their husbands in mid 1839.

On November 26 that year, Frances gave birth to George Byrnes, the first child of European descent to be born in Tamworth.

At about the same time, Richard Stubbs, with his children’s schooling in mind, sold his business to Thomas Byrnes and took his wife and family to Sydney.

The Leader thought Mr Byrnes was worth a mention as part of our Tamworth 200 campaign.

Many people of all walks of life have made important contributions to the history and culture of Tamworth.

Some of these contributions have been ground breaking and life changing, others have been the work of quiet achievers or quirky, fascinating characters. 

Perhaps you know of someone who fits the bill. 

Maybe you’re related to one of these people. 

As part of the city’s bicentenary celebrations, we’re sharing the stories of people who have called Tamworth homes.

  • Information sourced from Lyall Green and Warren Newman’s A Chronological History of Tamworth

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