Lake Macquarie History

The Nord Family

The Nord Family

The Nord family were one of the early settler families in this area of Lake Macquarie. Mr William Nord was born circa 1824 in Sweden. A death notice in the Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate, posted on 11 July 1896, said he died at the age of 72. William Nord was married to Hannah Nord (nee Holmes) (born 1839 in England). They were married in 1857 in Sydney and went on to have seven children; Lydia, Caroline, William James, Paul, Amelia Esther, Cordelia Ruth and Hannah. Hannah went on to remarry Horace George Miniken, with whom she had a child (Horace George Henry Miniken in 1880). She died in Scone NSW in 1887. Not much more is known of either William or Hannah.

Nords Wharf is thought to be named after William Nord. His death notice (1896) said that he "selected 40 acres of land some 40 years ago". Other evidence, in the form of an interview with his daughter (Newcastle morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate, 1953) suggests that his first son William James Nord had the 40 acres. Mrs White stated that her father (William James Nord) gave a portion of his land (which totalled some 40 acres) to the government to build the approach to the wharf.

William James Nord, the first son of William and Hannah, was born in 1865. At the time of the 1891 census, he is shown to be living in Carrington (in Victoria Street). There is a possibility that he also resided, at some time, at The Junction (although no census records were found to determine this). By the 1901 census, he is shown to be living in the Lake Macquarie area. William James Nord married Mary Ann Parkinson on 28 August 1886. They went on to have six children. In addition to those six children, William and Mary also had a child who died under the age of one. The child’s name was Ellen (Nellie) Matilda Maud Nord and she was buried at Sandgate Cemetery (1888).

When interviewed about her father, Mrs White spoke of the other families who were neighbours. These included the Henderson family, Rees family and Taaffe family. Collectively, they would receive supplies by boat (which travelled from Sydney to Cockle Creek). She remembers the family piano arriving on boat.

During his life at Nords Wharf, he was involved in the Masonic Lodge and Order of Free Gardeners. In 1903, he was one of several nominations (from the Progress Association) to be a Trustee of the local cemetery (the Church of England section). Mrs White said that her mother operated the first post office from their family home. This statement is supported by the fact that The Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate (1907) announced that "The Postal department had decided to establish a post office" at the house. Mrs White said that the post office stayed in the family for some time, until it was taken over by a Mr Albert Worley, who lived at Nords Wharf. In 1905, William James Nord applied for a colonial wine licence for premises at Crangan Bay, Lake Macquarie (Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate, 1906). He put forward many arguments in favour including that the population had increased and was likely to be permanent, there was no licenced premises within the area and that there were many visitors by boat. He presented a petition with sixty signatures in favour of the application being granted. Sub-inspector Gould made objections to the application and the application was withdrawn.

In 1921, he (along with the neigbouring residents) applied to the Warden’s Court for authority to enter the land in order to prospect for coal. At the time, he had seven buildings on his land as well as an acre and a half or orchard.

Mr William James Nord died at the age of 77 at his home at Nord’s Wharf. He died on 28 August 1942. At the time of his death, he was survived by four daughters (Mrs H. Glover of Cooks Hill, Mrs Burdus of Parramatta, Mrs Wheeler of Five Dock and Mrs White of Nord’s Wharf), two sons (Mr Ron Nord of Nord’s Wharf and Mr W.H. Nord of Adamstown) as well as eight grandchildren.


Catherine Hill Bay. (1903, November 25). Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate. Retrieved from

Catherine Hill Bay. (1907, May 1). Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate. Retrieved from

Funerals. (1888, September 22). Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate. Retrieved from

Healy, I. (1953, November 14). Nord’s Wharf: A blue and green mirage. Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate. Retrieved from

Lake Macquarie. (1896, July 11). Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate. Retrieved from

Lake Macquarie Family History Group Inc. (2006). Pioneers & settlers of Lake Macquarie. Teralba, New South Wales: Lake Macquarie Family History Group Inc.

Obituary. (1942, September 9). Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate. Retrieved from

Licensing Court. (1906, June 1). Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate. (1906, June 1). Retrieved from

Warden’s Court. (1921 February 16). Newcastle Morning Herald and Miner’s Advocate. Retrieved from

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