Letters to Editor

Letter to Editor: Looking for descendents of Austinmer’s Allen sisters

Allen commemorative stone

1st Austinmer is the second oldest, but longest continuously functioning, scout troop in the Illawarra and we are preparing for our 90thanniversary next year.

In the grounds of our hall is a commemorative stone commemorating the grant of the hall/ land. We had believed that our hall, at 20 Moore St, had been donated by the estate of George Wigram Allen. However, the memorial plaque set in the rock outside the hall refers to Miss Elizabeth A Allen and Frances M Allen and was laid on 4 September 1926.

We were thinking of inviting Allen descendants for the 90th commemoration. To that end I contacted David Allen, now in his 90s, who is a great(-great?) grandson of George Wigram Allen. I spoke with David and his wife Ruth and they have looked into their family records. Curiously they can find no reference to either Elizabeth or Frances. However, the July Holt, of the WCC Library Reference Library, found the following:

  • In “Illawarra Pioneers Pre 1920” they are listed as daughters of Benjamin and Bridget Allen, Elizabeth born 13/10/1875 and Frances born 6/7/1877.
  • An Illawarra Mercury article (10.9.1926) headed “Austinmer Memorable Event” reports the  setting of the tablet by Elizabeth Allen.

It might be that there is no connection between the Allan estate and the Allen family associated with the grant of the land/hall. To that end, we would love to contact the descendants of Benjamin and Bridget Allen. As the two sisters were unmarried in their 50s, it would presumably descendants of their sibling(s)…? I was wondering whether you have any material, ideas or leads that might help us….

(Dr) Ron Witton



About Mick Roberts

A Sydney journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in Australia for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick has owned and managed several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), Sydney based, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW. He currently calls the inner-Sydney suburb of Surry Hills home.


One thought on “Letter to Editor: Looking for descendents of Austinmer’s Allen sisters

  1. Hi Ron,
    Spotted your enquiry regarding The Allen family. Not sure if I can help but I am a descendant of Benjamin and Bridget Allen.
    Have all the tree details on and your welcome to have a look to see if it’s correct. Have a Frances and Elizabeth but my limited research shows them both getting married. They were daughters of Benjamin and Ann Allen(nee Harding)
    Will attempt to confirm my research.
    Regards Karl Allen


    Posted by KARL ALLEN | November 13, 2012, 6:54 am

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