Noel Gorton was born at the Australian Agricultural Company’s headquarters in Carrington around 1828. His father George had arrived in Australia in 1826 to work for the company. His mother, Mary Lane, was George’s first wife and they had another child called Edward who died young and is buried in St John’s Churchyard, Stroud. Noel spent his entire working life at Stroud as a wheelwright making wagon wheels for the vehicles of the day.1 Noel married Elizabeth Adams at Maitland in 1850 and they had 11 children.2 Their third son Noel Eller is our Failford connection.
Noel Eller Gorton was born in 1856 in Stroud3 and married Ada Mary Britton from Gloucester in 1888.4 They moved to Nabiac in 1891 near Bullock Wharf where they remained for around eight years. Noel used to drive a coach between Gloucester and Hexham for August Reichert, and later a cream wagon and mail delivery run, as well as working at the Nabiac Mill.5 In 1906 he selected 300 acres north of Failford, known as Possum Brush, where with the help of his large family of 14 children followed farming and grazing.6 Noel was a quiet, honest man not a person to attract attention preferring his family and farm life.
Noel and Ada’s sons drove bullock teams, worked as timber getters, sleeper cutters and labourers. Four sons fought in the world wars and four played for the Failford Rugby Football club in 1920 with great success.
The majority of this large family are buried at Failford cemetery.
Author: Marilyn Boyd
1 J. M. Clarke and G. T. G. Irwin, “Brothers George and Joseph Gorton, Pioneer Cattlemen”, 1977.
2 NSW BDM, marriage index for Noel Gorton and Betsy Adams, No. 314/1850.
3 NSW BDM, birth index for Noel E Gorton No. 7343/1856.
4 NSW BDM, marriage index for Noel E Gorton and Ada M Britton No. 6552/1888.
5 Dungog Chronicle, 11 October 1938, 2.
6 NSW Land Registry Services, Vol-Fol: 4384-200 and 7523-107; Dungog Chronicle, 17 November 1905, 2.