Midgley Family Branches in Australia
                                                                                       An Australian is a Yorkshireman with a suntan.

1. Samuel Midgley the First Fleeter.
    The hard way to emigrate! His origins are reasonably understood but his final whereabouts, perhaps in England, are less so.

From the Colonial Secretary Index,1788-1825 :

2.Samuel Midgley of Hunter's Hill, Sydney. 23rd April 1814
On list of free settlers and other persons who are to receive grants of land in 1814; at Hunter's Hill (Fiche 3266; 9/2652 p.14)
1814 Jun 11,13 On lists of settlers to receive Government cattle on credit (Reel 6038, SZ758 p.498; Reel 6044, 4/1730 p.153)
1814 Aug 20 On return of horned cattle issued from the Government Herds between 8 May 1814 & 9 Jan 1819; listed as Midgelly (Reel 6048; 4/1742 p.53) Is this the same Samuel Midgley above?
3. John Midgeley Per "Speke", 1821
12th February 1822.  On list of prisoners assigned (Fiche 3290; 4/4570D p.77)

4. John Midgeley 8th September 1821.
Labourer. On list of all persons victualled from H.M. Magazines (Reel 6016; 4/5781 p.95)

5. John Midgley September 8th 1821
Labourer. On list of all persons victualled from H.M. Magazines (Reel 6016; 4/5781 p.96)

6. Sarah Midgley and Richard Skilbeck1.
Sarah Midgley,1851aged 20 click for larger image.
 DOWNLOAD E-Text, a zip file of the book "The Diaries of Sarah Midgley and Richard Skilbeck. A story of Australian settlers 1851-1864" [3.1mb]
You will need WINZIP 7.0 or later
Sarah wrote two diaries which were published in 19671. She married Richard Skilbeck in Victoria and they settled at Koroit, near Warnambool about 164 miles from Melbourne. In her diaries Sarah mentions that she is born and raised at Bardsey Grange, Bardsey, West Riding, Yorkshire. She sailed with her father and mother and six brothers and two sisters:

*John Midgley (Father) born 1800.
*Mary Midgley (Mother) nee Allan
*Sarah Midgley born 1831, died 1893,later m. Richard Skilbeck
*William Midgley
*Alfred Midgey
*Richard Midgley
*David Midgley
*______ Midgley (male)
*Edwin Midgley
*Eliza Midgley
*Martha Midgley

There are wonderful family photographs2 in the book of the Midgleys and the Skilbecks commencing 1851 with a photo of Sarah aged 20. The family photo of 1856 has the father, John Eliza, Edwin (the youngest son), William (eldest son), Mary (mother), Martha and Sarah and Alfred (second youngest son). Richard and David are not included in this photograph. There are individual photos of the Midgleys in the book also along with their English and Australian homes.
Richard Skilbeck was born in 1838 at Compton, Yorkshire, a few miles from Bardsey. He mentions leaving Kirkby on the 16th February 1858 to prepare for going to Australia, walking from Wetherby to Bardsey, eleven miles. Also he went to Cattale (Cattal) and Kirkhamerton (N.E. of Wetherby) to "fetch mother" walking 24 miles on the 17th February. On the 20th of February  1858 he went to Liverpool and back by train, 150 miles.
On the 2nd of March, Richard walked by Lockwith Kirk and Green Hammerton to Cattale, 7 miles, then returned to Bardsey, 12 miles. He went to Newary then on to Barlow. By "packet" (steamer) to Kelfield, back to Bardsey by rail, 36 miles, and spent his last fortnight visiting Ripon and Studley Park. He left "for a foreign shore" in company with Isaac and Jacob Wormald (of Wormald Industries?) and Toby Briarcliff, taking the train from Leeds to Liverpool. Richard died aged 87 in 1924 so all that walking did him no harm!
Also see Midgley of Wharfedale  and  Stables-Skilbeck-Midgley connexions
Sarah Midgley's diaries are very detailed also. She was Richard's cousin, she died in 1893 aged 61, Richard went to England 14 years after her death and married his childhood sweetheart Charlotte Stables, bringing her back to Australia when she was 66 years old!
Two sisters of Richard Skilbeck followed him out to Australia, one was Jane Ann Holmes with her husband James Saville Holmes.
Sarah Midgley's brother, William Midgley married Richard Skilbeck's elder sister Mary Ann about 1862. William became the owner of the Koroit flour Mills whilst his brother in law, Richard owned the butter factory. [They knew which side their bread was buttered on!]
They both had other commercial interests in the district and the patriarch, John Midgley, farmed 120 acres of good land called Yangery Grange2.
Click here to download a Zip file of Midgley's and Skilbeck's in Victoria

You will need WINZIP 7.0 or later.

7. Midgley's of Tasmania.
Some of the children of John Hirst Midgley and Mary Margaret (nee Sykes) of Felkirk and Shafton, near Wakefield, West Riding, Yorkshire migrated to Tasmania in the 1870's
They were:
*Timothy Sykes Midgley b. 1849 d. 1922. and Thomas Midgley b.1851 d.1936 who migrated to Tasmania on the Great Britain on 25th December 1870.
*John Midgley b. 1860  and Samuel Hawkesworth Midgley who migrated to Tasmania in the Orient on 15th March 1879.
Timothy Sykes  Midgley is the forebear of Milnethorpe Midgley of Tasmania, AFC, OAM, a/c, S/LD, 577 RAF SQD.1940-45 Farmer at 'Killah' Riana, Tasmania
If you have any links, please contact Milnethorpe's son, David Midgley at the email address:  hitech at netspace.net.au

Click here for more detail on the Midgleys of Tasmania from Shafton and Felkirk in West Yorkshire

8. Samuel Midgley the fisherman and the Midgley fishes!
One species of fish is definitely not large but it could become an aquarium novelty. The other is commonly eaten!

9. Midgley's of New South Wales
Download a zipped file of Midgley Births Deaths and Marriages for NSW2.
You will need WINZIP 7.0 or later.

Also see Arthur Midgley who was an early immigrant to N.S.W. [Van Dieman's Land]

9. James Midgley to N.S.W.
Richard Midgley  was a gunner in the 7th Batallion Royal Artillery [1801]. His son James Midgley [b. 1807 Clonfeacle nr. Moy, Co. Tyrone Northern Ireland] was transferred to Corfu, Greece and then migrated to Australia in 1852 on the ship "John Gray".
Contact: Arthur Midgley

Also see an Australian Diversion- Midgley's of Wollongong, N.S.W.

10. Elizabeth Midgley married John Morris Kelso in London, England. Their son Charles married a French vigneron's daughter [Agathe Josephine Elodie Boucherie-Papineau]. The family migrated to Australia to join the Frere family and start a wine business in Victoria.
Contact: Peter & Bronwyn Edmonds

If you have an outline of your emigre you would like to include or you have your own page to link to let me know by email.

11. Lt. Col. Stephen Midgley CMG DSO.
Born: 29 May, 1871. McLeay River, NSW, Australia Died:  25 October, 1954. Brisbane, Australia
Lived in South Africa 1900 – 1913.  Soldier, Labour Contractor, Mine Owner and possibly police officer. Arrived in Capetown, South Africa 24th February, 1900 as a Sergeant with  the 2nd Queensland Mounted Infantry. Possible police links: Perhaps Transvaal Mounted Police or the British South African Police. This fits with his association with law firms in Australia
1 April 1901.  Stephen joined the Bushveldt Carbineers and Peitersberg Light Horse. Fellow officer of 'Breaker Morant' who was later executed. Delivered Kitchener's dispatches to General Muller in September 1901. March – April 1902: DSO, field promotion and mentioned in dispatches for operations east of Pietersberg. 
1906. Officer in Royston’s Horse during the Natal rebellion. Supplied contract labour from Mozambique to the mines.
Friends/ Associates included:
*      Ivor Thord-Gray.  Fellow officer in Royston’s Horse and lifelong friend.
*      Watt – goldmine owner and fellow officer in Royston’s Horse during the Natal Rebellion – Watt, Midgley and Thord-Gray known as the Three Musketeers. .
*      Bernard Winter (partner in a gold mine – possibly on the Umsweswe River, Zimbabwe).  Winter retired to George in the Eastern Cape.

Returned to Australia 1913 with Blackwater Fever. Served with distinction with the Australian Imperial Forces (AIF) in WW1 on Gallipoli and the Western Front.
His language in Australia was peppered with African vernacular – dingus, Kopje, Toola, Sakabone, wena. One of his favourites was  “ Fungorz Nkoz bizulu” –an oath which is apparently used in court – similar to “So help me God” suggests some sort of police association.
Stephen his grandson is assembling a biography for his grandfather who he describes as " an extraordinary man and a gallant and decorated soldier who was present as a participant at a number of high points of Australia's modern history : The Shearers' strike in 1891, the Boer War with the Second Queensland Mounted Infantry, The Bushveldt Carbineers with "Breaker" Morant and the Pietersberg Light Horse, The Natal Rebellion with the Fifth Light Horse on Gallipoli and the 54th Bn on the Western Front. He finished all this off with several years with the Volunteer Defence Corps [VDC], the "Dad's Army" of S.E. Queensland during WW2".
Stephen is trying to gather information particularly on his grandfather's 13 years in Southern Africa.

Contact : Stephen Midgley

12. Jonathan Midgley married Sinah Hughes, their child Thomas Midgley b.1772 married Catharine Smedley 19th May 1811 at St. Bride's Church, Fleet Street, London, England. They had seven children one of whom was William born 1882 in Middleton [Yorkshire?]. He married Eliza Dalton 12th June 1842.  William and Eliza appear to have migrated to Australia . They had eight children one of whom was John Thomas Midgley b.1861 Prahan, Victoria, Australia. John married Barbara Jane Robertson 22nd Jan 1885 at Petersham, NSW Australia. For this family and Australian born descendants download  a zipped Gedcom here.
For further information-
Contact: Ross and Mary Midgley

13. Alfred Midgley was born 24th Feb 1849 Leeds, Yorkshire and died 25th Feb 1930 Brisbane, Queensland he arrived  in Australia in 1870 after spending "most of his youth in Leeds with the exception of three years at a village boarding school. He has written about those years in the poem, Their Native Village and had five works published. After leaving school he served an apprenticeship with an engineering firm" Alfred published one of the first books of poetry ever published in Queensland in 1908. He then journeyed to Australia on the ship Storm King, arriving in Brisbane in January 1870. In the 1870s he served as a minister with the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Ipswich, Toowoomba and Brisbane." and became a parliamentarian. Zoe [O'Leary]  who was the daughter of Fyer to whom Alfred was supposedly related wrote a biography of Alfred called The Little Byron : The Life of Alfred Midgley 1849-1930. His works can be found in the book The Poems of Alfred Midgley. Ed. by E.W.H.Fowles. Jonathan Midgley of Brisbane has a line going back to Alfred and would like to go further .

Contact : Jonathan Midgley

14. Thomas William Midgley migrated with his wife Amelia Jane Moore Taylor and two younger children, Fred and Annie, to Australia in late 1919 on the Bultana, arriving Melbourne 2nd Feb 1920. After their arrival he and son Fred worked in a galvanising works. Prior to migration who was b. 1864 at Swinton S. Yorks is described as: 1881 - Colliery labourer at 16 years old, 1891 - Blacksmith, 1898 - Wagon repairer, 1911 Labourer. He worked at the No. 1 Colliery Sheffield and later Swinton Colliery.During WW 1 he also worked in a munitions factory. [Cammell Laird] 

Children of Joshua Midgley [b. abt 9th Sept. 1804 Crigglestone/Sandal Magna, d. aft 1871] and Jane Rogerson all christened at Royston, South Yorkshire:- 

George  Ch. 8th June 1828

Joseph  Ch. 25th April 1830

Eli   Ch. 12th Feb 1833, d. 22 Feb 1898. Eli married Mary Lee of Balby, Yorkshire who led to a family in Victoria, Australia.

Thomas  Ch. 10 Feb 1846

Sarah  Ch.10th June 1838

William  Ch. 2nd August 1840. He married Sara A.___________ of Barnsley.

Also see https://www.midgleywebpages.com/barnsley.html

A Gedcom file for this family can be found at https://www.midgleywebpages.com/midgedcom.html or directly downloaded as a zip file at https://www.midgleywebpages.com/midgcriggle.zip You will need Gedcom compliant family tree software to view it.

Further information can be found in the book In Search of the 'Lost' Shamrock, by Vaughan Duggan Ch. 3, 2010. 

Contact: Vaughan Duggan regarding this publication and any further information regarding this branch of the Midgley name.

15. John Midgley migrated to Australia in 1882, his lineage is given by Bob Kavanagh as :

David Midgley, born 1754, Midgley / Luddenden, West Yorkshire, married Susan Holland


James Midgley, born 1782, Midgley / Erringden, married Judith Sutcliffe


David Midgley, born 1820, Erringden / Warley, married Mary Helliwell


John Midgley, born 1855 Warley, was a joiner / carpenter, migrated to Australia on the Cuzco in September 1882, married  Georgina Harrower, lived and had 11 children in Bendigo, Victoria, Australia.  

Contact: Bob Kavanagh who has much more information.

Specific Australian Search Sites:

Genealogy in NZ and Australia
Genealogy help list
National Umbrella Organisation
National Archives
Genealogical studies
Victorian public records
Australian database
Australian Family History Compendium
Australia's libraries (some are online)
Australian family trees on the Net
Military Histoncal Society of Australia
Genealogy Society of Canberra
Society of Australian Genealogists
Australian cemetaries 

Passenger Lists
These are sites where people have located specific passenger lists for some of the early arrivals and share the names they have found.
AUSNZ passenger lists
Cyndi's List
Australasian passenger lists
Passengers on the Lord Delaval

There are more at Midgley Genesites

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 Bean Blenders Coffee - Available only in Australia and made by a Midgley

1. Skilbeck Richard ,The Diaries of Sarah Midgley and Richard Skilbeck: A story of Australian
    Settlers 1851-1864., Cassell, 1967.
2. Email from Carol Taylor in S.E. Queensland.

 © Tim Midgley 2000, internal links revised 11th August 2023.