John Oxley’s descendant visits Library

Staff and researchers were thrilled to meet Sarah Oldham, who is the great, great, great. . . granddaughter of the famous explorer, John Oxley (1783-1828). Sara recently visited the library to research monuments that were erected in his honour. What more appropriate library to do this research in than State Library’s John Oxley Library?

Historian Geoff Wharton shares some stories with Sarah Oldham about her celebrated ancestor. Can you pick the family resemblance between Sarah and the well known image of Oxley seen here in one of the books in the John Oxley Library’s collection?

Can you pick the family resemblance between Sarah Oldham and this well known photograph seen here in one of the books in the John Oxley Library's collection?  Historian, Geoff Wharton, shares some stories with Sarah about her celebrated ancestor.

The John Oxley Library is a world class collection of Queenslandiana and was named after Sarah’s famous ancestor because of his interest in promoting and developing library services as well as his prominent place in Queensland history. He was a naval officer, surveyor and explorer and the first European to extensively explore the Brisbane River.


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It is wonderful to see that other descendants of the explorer John Oxley are researching his history. I am also a 3xGreat Granddaughter of this explorer. My father William Gordon Waugh in now in his 92nd year and we have frequent conversations regarding all our descendants down that ancestral line. My Grandmother, Matilda Anne Waugh (nee Hurtz) died in 1986 at the age of 99yrs 5mths and lived on the family property (as I also did for the first few years of my life) which belonged to John Oxley's Grandson the late John Oxley Waugh.

I am also a 3xGreat grandson through my Grandmother Mr. Hooper. Was Matilda Anne Waugh a baby at Mt. Mckenzie, Tenterfield. If so Nancy Fox, who still lies at Wallangarra is her I think great grand daughter. Nancy had all the information on Waltzing Matilda made famous by Patterson. When Patterson stayed at Mt Mckenzie he used to play the Piano at parties and sign to Matilda and this is the Matilda in Waltzing Matilda. Nancy had proof of this but was told by the likes of Gordon Mogaffin not to change history.

I too am 3 x great grand-daughter of John Oxley. My mother, Judith Ellen Oxley and I are both interested in researching our family history. Since I have moved to queensland there is a lot more historical places named after him and its makes it all the more interesting.

My godmother was a great grand daughter of John Oxley. She died in 1978 at Toowoomba. Her name was Janet Cruickshank, she had a brother Brian who lived in Toowomba at the that time. I am trying to find the link to her and Oxley. My parents and Janet's lived in Auburn when I was born 1945.

I am compiling a book on John Oxley to commemorate his 1818 journey along the Hastings River. Would like to contact descendants of Frances Oxley & William Waugh re photographs on A History of the Waughs Part 7.

My grandmother, Beatrice Maud Oxley always told me as a child that I was related to John Oxley the Explorer. Im not sure where she sits on the Oxley family tree. Her father was John Oxley and her mother was Mary Lumb.