Lake Macquarie History

The Deaves and Freeman families: pioneers of the Wyee area

Soriena and James Freeman were early settlers of the Wyee area, settling there in around 1859.

The following biographical information was obtained from an obituary which appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald on 1st February 1929.

Soriena Mary Elizabeth Radcliffe, mother of 10 children with 29 grandchildren 47 great grandchildren. She died at the age of 88 years at Wyee. Mrs Freeman was a fine example of the brave women of the pioneering days.
She had been reared in a refined family. She carried with her a small book in which she recorded the roots and branches of the Radcliffe family tree back into English history to before the Norman conquest.

Soriena bought the family connection to Australia. She was born in London in 1795. She added romance to the family story by running a way from home to marry Leiuitenant Fennell of the Royal Navy. The migrated to Australia arriving in Sydney in March 1839.(Dromedary)

It was Soreina Mary Elizabeth Radcliffe who bought the family to Australia. Born in London in 1795, she added romance to the family tree by running away from home to marry leitenant FENNELL of the Royal Navy. They married and had a family and arriven in Sydney in March 1839. Their eldest daughter married Cameron James Smith and their eldest daughter Soreina Mary Elizabeth Radcliffe Smith married James Freeman of Wyee. Known as Granny FREEMAN, She was born in O'Connell Street Sydney on May 3rd 1840 and as reared by her grandmother Mrs Fennell, whos refined upbringing was reflected in her granddaughter. James Freeman was a timber contractor at Wyee and his meeting with Soriena Smith occured on one of his business trips to Sydney. A betrothal followed and Miss Smith at the age of 19 travelled by the ship Black Swan to Gosford, and as there was no railway then, by horseback to Wyee. where she was married by special license on November 29th 1859. There was only one other woman -- her mother inlaw in the area at the time.Mrs freeman raised her family in a typical pioneer hjome and she had no desire to leave the bush, content that her place was with her husband. Her family were very strong and healthy and Mrs Freeman was active till her eysight failed. Soreina died in 1928 aged 88, and James Freeman died in 1910.