Our 'base' person, our rock, is Charles Wilkins Cole, the father of my grandmother.
With his mother, and two siblings, CWC landed in Jamieson at the age of 6, to be with his own father who had migrated from Gloucestershire the previous year. Olive (my father called her OSA, so let's stay with that), told me in a note, that CWC and his mother were close, and having been away once, he did not go again until Hannah died, which was in 1878, when CWC was 22.
He then went off to western NSW (again??) where, in 1884 he was joined in holy shotgun wedlock to Sarah Annie (SAE). After the birth of Cyril, in January 1885, the small family journeyed back down to Jamieson, where George was born in 1886,and, OSA in 1888. In 1890, Stephen (CWC's father) died, and it is notable that Clarrie was born, not in Jamieson but in Mansfield, in 1891. By the time Valentine died in Jerilderie in Sept 1893 (aged 6 mos), they were back on their way to Gilgunnia.
So, at the end of 1893, CWC was 37, SAE was 26, and they had 5 children aged 8+, 7, 5, 2, and deceased. Look at the arc they traveled, there and back, there and back.
They had 4 more children, moved to Tamworth (where Cyril married and produced the first two grandchildren) before settling in Sydney.
And their mode of transport was not a choice between Virgin and Jetstar! The horse and cart is by way of illustration only. It is the closest I can find that was used in Australia in the second half of the 19th century, for people with very little money, indeed, with NO money. I just cannot imagine that they walked. Perhaps, CWC walked the first time, but not with a wife and 5 children.
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|Some of these letters are 'hidden', because of the cyclical nature of their trekking:|
A = Charles Wilkins Cole arrived in Jamieson in 1861, aged 6
B = CWC went north and west about 1875, aged 19
C = CWC was in Jamieson when his mother, Hannah, died in 1878
D = CWC married Sarah Annie Evans in Hillston, NSW late in 1884
E = Cyril was born in Hillston in January 1885
= George was born in Jamieson in 1886
= Olive Sylvia Annie was born in Jamieson in 1888
- Stephen, CWC's father died in 1890
= Clarence was born in Mansfield in 1891
F = Valentine died in Jerilderie in Sept 1893
G = Sylvia Irene Veronica was born in Gilgunnia in 1895
H = Vera Kathleen was born in Mount Hope in 1897
= Thelma was born in Nymagee in 1900
I = Athol Claude was born in Nymagee in 1906
J = Moved to Tamworth where Cyril made them grandparents in 1912
K = Moved to Sydney where, in 1916, Pa ran a cafe in Beamish Street in Campsie.
So what was the attraction of either Jamieson or the Hillston area? Jamieson is where CWC first settled upon arrival in Australia. It was where both his parents lived. Upon their death, what was there to keep him there. There was a land-holding, but they had few farming skills. Upon the death of Stephen in 1890, there remained CWC's siblings: Mary aged 32; Stephen aged 31; and, Emma aged 25.
Mary was already married to the newspaperman, Tom Still, with 5 of her 8 children. My guess is that the younger sister, Emma Kezia, lived with Mary as she eventually moved to Dandenong with her and they are buried together. This just leaves the younger brother, young Stivy as his mother called him. He lived on the farm until very close to his death in 1948.
So there was little in Jamieson to attract them, and perhaps CWC was NOT a farmer. Subsequently, he did many things, but notably lacking husbandry. There was another attraction in Hillston: Sarah Annie's mother, the indomitable Ma Faull - she of the three husbands!
In 1892, the year before the final trek, Ma Faull was undergoing trauma of her own. Three of her children died in the Wilcannia Base Hospital from diptheria which was then sweeping the state. Perhaps the pull of her own mother was too much for Sarah Annie, being the oldest of Ma Faull's many offspring. It is notable that when Richard Faull died in 1916, Ma Faull lived with Charles and Sarah until her death in Drummoyne in 1929.
So, there you have the mighty treks in the life of Charles and Sarah, and my best guess as to motivations.