After the sudden death of his father in 1837, Alfred was fostered by Dr William Sherwin, the Colony's first born
doctor, and his brother Edward was fostered by Mr Thomas Deane Rowe a clty businessman after whom Rowe Street is
named. There is no record of Alfred's life up to the time he married Frances but as he made his live on the land
it is thought possible that Dr Sherwin assisted him to buy property in the Mittagong district. Frances's
brother William made mention in a letter of Dr Sherwin being in Mittagong in the 1850's. Although
it is mere conjecture it is thought that after her marriage to Thomas Troy, Louisa's (Hanks) three
''Keith'' children lived with them but as they had seven children of their own it is doubtful if Thomas
would have been able to give much assistance to Louisa's two older sons.
The first nine of Frances's eleven children were born in the Mittagong district some being
baptised at Holt Trinity Berrima, and some at Christ Church Bong Bong.
About 1873 the family set of for Cullinga near Cootamundra where Alfred bought a property which
they named The Meadows. Their son Ernest, who was about twelve at the time kept a diary in which he
recorded events during his long life. He described the ten-day trip over flooded creeks and makeshift
roads when be travelled an a covered dray with his mother and younger brothers and sisters while his
father and two older brothers drove their herd of cattle on horseback. They camped each night by the
roadside and Frances made dampers in the camp oven for their evening meal.
Alf and the boys set to work clearing the land and soon built a home at The Meadows where
the two youngest children were born. Two other children died within six months of each other ln
1881. Oscar, the seventh child died from a fall from a horse at the age of twelve and next year Florence,
the ninth died just after her ninth birthday.
Frances was almost forty five when Oswald the youngest was born and sadly when he was only fifteen
months old she died from ovaritis (inflammation of the ovary) on 8.1.1885. She was buried in the Church
of England section of Cootamundra Cemetery.
As his family grew up Alfred helped them search for and settle on properties of their own. No
doubt after Frances died the older children would have helped by looking after the younger ones,
although after a couple of years most of the responsibility would have fallen on Isabella as the
older ones married and settled on their own properties. By 1889, with the fifth child George
about to marry Emily Rolfe there were only Isabella now twenty-two, Andrew - eighteen, Minnie -
thirteen, and Oswald - almost six, at home.
It was then that Alfred married a second time to Agnes Creney at Cootamundra. Agnes was born
in 1838, daughter of George Donald and Jean nee Galbraith (1810 - 20.11 1891). In 1859 at Yass she
married James Cole a wheel-wright and by him had 5 children - ( 1 .Alexander Cole, b. 1860, who was a
surveyor and was killed by aborigines in Northern Territory; 2.Emily Cole. b.1861: 3. Agnes Cole
b.1862. d.10.10.1945, married Patrick Kenny, a Catholic, who served in 13th Battalion in
World War 1; 4. James Scott Cole b .21.1 2.1864, m I6.6.1897 to Isabella, daughter of Francis and
Alfred; 5.Janet Cole who died aged twenty one, accidentally poisoned while nursing at Prince Alfred
Hospital. James Cole left Agnes and the family and went to Victoria, possibly to look for gold, and she
never heard of him again. In 1879 she married Ambrose Ceeney (as spelt In records).
Agnes died about 1906 and Alfred then married a third time to her sister Jean (Jane)
Young, in Brisbane, Jean nee Donald had previously married a handsome Army Captain Montrose Young and
by him had a son Montrose (who also became an Army Captain), and three daughters Australia Adelaide:
and Blanche. Then Capt. Young was arrested and returned to England and charged with bigamy. Jean
was so upset by the disgrace that she took the children to New Zealand. When his wife died in
England, Montrose returned to Australia then went to New Zealand where he remarried Jean and they
returned to Australia and had another son, Alexander.
By the time of his third marriage Alfred had left his two youngest sons, Andrew and Oswald to
look after the Meadows and moved to Sydney. He purchased four blocks of land in Moruben Road
Mosman, and built a house on Number 12 where he died on 30.7.1929. The family had his body taken back to
Cootamundra for burial on 1.8.1929. An obelisk in the Church of England portion of Cootamundra
Cemetery marks the resting place of Frances and Alfred; and of Oscar and Florence who died young,
and of their daughter Minnie and her husband Walter Boxsell.