Wilcox History 1780 to 1932


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JACK SEABORN WILCOX'S ANCESTORS AND DESCENDANTS From *Thomas Wilcox (Wilcock) & Mary (Circa.1790) including Jack's father, George Seaborn Wilcox (1873 -1915) until the death of Jack's mother Constance Navena (Venie) Wilcox (1932), George Seaborn's wife.
 * Sidney Wilcox in his notes to Alan Wilcox said our earliest known ancestor was a Joseph Wilcocks & a Jennings woman but documents show that it was Thomas Wilcocks and Mary (surname unknown) and that he was a tanner not a tailor.

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Discharge Papers of Private Thomas Wilcox. Served from 1808 to 1816, was 5 foot 6 inches with brown hair, grey eyes & fair complexion. His trade was Fellmonger (a dealer in hides or skins, particularly sheepskins)                                                                 
A timeline with world history notes    This history timeline may be easier to view as a PDF (176 KB)

Early history The tradition of the family is that they were "Huguenot"1 of the name Villon", silk weavers from Lyons in France. Then they settled in Spitalfields, London where the
Silkies congregated. At end 17th century Hugenot's migrated from France  See footnote No 1
The name "Villon" gradually became corrupted or Anglicised to "Willox"," Willcocks", "Wilcox".

Preliminary notes
    1770 Australian History Captain Cook claims Australia for Britain.
1775 The property at No 13 High Street, St Neots was owned by French Flanders, and
    early last century by W. Barker, tailor and clothier, who emigrated to Australia.
    Later taken over by Joseph Wilcox.   See footnote 2
    1788 Australian History First Fleet of convicts to Australia
    Estimated native population 350,000
    1791 Australian History Australia's white population 2,873

Wilcox History
1777c Thomas Wilcocks, a tanner, married Mary, England. ( The account by Sidney Wilcox to his Nephew Alan records him     as Joseph Wilcocks, a tailor, but research documents refute this.)
    Had 3 children Joseph, Mary & William     
    1800 Australian History Australia's white population 5,217
    1804 First steam locomotive railway in London.
1811 Joseph Wilcox born in England at Boxhill, Surrey to a Church of England family     originating from St Neots, where his     grandfather had been a currier. See footnote 3
    Joseph became a tailor, the leader of his calling in St. Neots. See footnote 4
    1813 Australian History Australia's white population 13,957
    1813 Australian History BlaxIand discovers a way across the Blue Mountains.
    Evans discovers the Bathurst plains.
1813 Mary Wilcox born in England
    1st permanent white settlement in New Zealand
    1815 World History Notes June 18, Battle of Waterloo
1815 Family tradition is that Joseph Wilcocks, a tailor by trade, was a personal batman to the
    Duke of Wellington at Waterloo. William, the third child, was born in the camp on
    Waterloo day.
1815 William Wilcox born at Waterloo
    1816 Australian History Bank of New South Wales founded.
    1824 Australian History Foundation of Brisbane.
    1829 World History Notes Typewriter invented, 1930 Sewing machine
        1st major railroad system the US   
    1829 Australian History Whole of Australia claimed as British territory.
    1830 World History Notes Accession of William IV.
    1830 Australian History Act establishing trial by jury in New South Wales.
        Sturt explores the Murray to the sea. Perth founded.
    1830 Governor Arthur's 'Black Drive' in Tasmania
    1831 World History Notes H.M.S. Beagle sails with Charles Darwin
    1833 Australian History 1833: Port Arthur opens as a penal settlement in Tasmania.
1833c Joseph Wilcox married Sarah Emery – They had 13 children See footnote 5
    1834 Australian History Act to establish Colony of South Australia.
1834 Thomas Wilcox born
    1836 World History Notes Photography invented
    1836 Australian History Adelaide founded. Lonsdale takes charge of the Port Phillip Settlement.
1836 Mary Wilcox born
    1837 World History Notes Accession of Queen Victoria, June 20 1837
    1837 Australian History Melbourne named.
    House of Commons Committee on Transportation.
    Australia's white population 134,488
1838 Oct 3 George (senior) born Footnote 6
    1840 Australian History  Order in Council discontinuing transportation to Australia.
1840 Emery Wilcox born
1842 Susannah Wilcox born
1844 Joseph Wilcox born
1847 John Wilcox born
1848 William Wilcox born
1849 Sarah Wilcox born
    1850 Australian History Gold rush in Australia. University of Sydney founded.
    Western Australia becomes a penal colony.
1850  George senior first employment See footnote 6
1851 Henry Wilcox born
    1851 Australian History Separation of Victoria from New South Wales.
    1853 World History Notes 1st auxiliary steam (with sail) ships. 1st Manned glider
1853 Fanny Wilcox born
    1854 Australian History The Eureka Stockade.
    Hobson's Bay railway built. First railways in Australia
    Australia's white population 694,917
1855 Murray Wilcox born
1856 Thomas (age 22) was the first to come to Australia, to Gawler in SA.
1857 Ernest Wilcox born
1857 Emery came out to Australia to help Thomas, sent by Joseph. However, Emery was
    a drunk and made things worse.
1858 George senior (age 20) was sent from St.Neots in England to Gawler, SA  see footnote 7
1858 George arrived in Melbourne by auxiliary steamer "Great Britain".
1858 George arrived in Adelaide by coastal steamer "Admella"  See footnotes 8 & 9
    George fired Thomas and Emery. He went into partnership with old Joseph.
1858/1859 George opened a grocery business, merging in 1860 with his father’s general
    storekeeping business under the title of J and G Wilcox Merchants.
1860 Young Joseph at age 12 was sent to George in Australia at Gawler, SA with Priscilla
    Heyden who was going to Australia to marry Thomas. (Young Joseph worked for
    George for 12 years.)
1860 George Wilcox was buying wool, skins, gum bark, wheat, flour and gold, or rather
    taking these products in barter for stores and shipping them for sale to his father,
    Joseph Wilcox, in England, where the proceeds were used to buy English goods for
    the storekeeping business. “ - Quote from ?
    1863 Australian History Australia's white population 1,259,292
1863 George returned to England to find a wife. He took with him 2 cabins full of birds for sale in London  See footnote  10 & 11

    1864 City of Adelaide’ clipper ship launched. See footnote 12

                             City of Adelaide    Website

1864 George married Annie Fuller of Manor Farm, St Neots.
1864 George and Annie Wilcox on the first voyage of the ship "City of Adelaide" to Adelaide.
1966 May 12 Edith Wilcox born
    1867 World History Notes Trans Atlantic cable, 1st modern typewriter
    1868 Australian History The last convicts are transported to Australia.
    1869 World History Notes Suez canal opened
1869 Aug 25 Sidney Wilcox born
    1870 Australian History British troops withdrawn from Australia.
1870 Dec 24 Nellie Wilcox born
1872 Young Joseph bought the business from George.
1872 Mr George Wilcox (senior) sold out at Gawler and took his family back to England with
    the intention of living there.
    1872 Sept. George and Annie, with Edith, Sidney and Nellie, voyaged to England on the ship     "City of Adelaide in cabin 2 round Cape Horn. The passage taking 140 days to Plymouth.
1872 Mar 8 Betty's mother13 - Helena Hague-Smith "Nan" born 1872 (youngest of 9), Auckland,     New Zealand  See footnote 13
1873 Jan 28 or 30 George Seaborn born in Cabin 2, just off Scilly Isles on sailing ship "City of Adelaide".  Birth registered at Stepney, England.
1874 George senior returned to Adelaide as he found the English climate too rigorous.
1874 or 1873 William who came to Adelaide, returned to England in 1873/74
1874 end of May Annie and 4 children (George Seaborn and elder siblings Sidney, Edith and Nelly)     They returned on the same ship (City of Adelaide) to Adelaide.
    On 24th August the ship went aground at Kirkaldy Beach (now Henley Beach). Passengers were     floated ashore, with George (Snr) who had had arrived earlier by P&O Mail watching.
    George Seaborn went to school in Adelaide.     
1874 Nov 10 Murray Wilcox born
1874 George Snr. intermittently bought wool, skins, and so on for shipment to England
1876 George met William Mofflin. A partnership was entered into, and the firm of William
    Mofflin and Co established, and carried on until June 1889.
    1876 World History Notes Telephone invented then 1st phonograph
    1876 Australian History The last full blooded Tasmanian aboriginal, Truganini, dies.
    Australia's white population 2,231,531
1880 June Mr William Mofflin sold out his half share of the partnership to Mr Glen Legoe and
    Mr Sidney Wilcox. Quote from ?  See footnote 14
1880 John Wilcox appointed London agent for George (then William Mofflin & Co.)
    1880 Australian History Capture of the Kelly Gang
    1885 World History Notes 1st practical automobile
1881 George moved the family to “Eynesbury” at Lower Mitcham.
? to 1887 Sidney Wilcox first employment was with a firm of grocers then he entered the
    services of the old Commercial Bank of South Australia. He then went into the office
    of Messrs. George Wilcox & Co., and was the only clerk employed there at the time.
1887 Joseph retired from his shop in 1887 and it was taken by W Seward. St. Neots Chronicle
1887 Mr Sidney Wilcox entered the Adelaide branch.
1888 A branch of Wilcox Mofflin was opened in Sydney, and this was the beginning of a
    chain of offices and branches throughout Australia. A few months later a branch was
    opened in Melbourne.
1889 John moved to London. Company now called George Wilcox & Co.
     George Seaborn, at age16, was put into the company, George Wilcox & Co.
    In his 20's he was sent to Sydney.    See footnote 15
    He boarded at "Chollerton" (Malcolm's Folly) He and brother Murray ventured into
    brick works at Bondi. (A failure).
1893 Sidney went to Sydney, and was managing partner (of George Wilcox & Co.) there for
     about 12 years.  See footnote 16 & 17
1894 the title of William Mofflin & Co ceased to exist. In the same year Mr George Wilcox
    retired, and gave his share of the business equally to his two sons, George Seaborn     and     Murray Wilcox, who had joined the Sydney staff.
1897 Apr 13 Annie Wilcox died of heart trouble.
1898 "Okinya" built at Darling Point, Sydney.
1899 George Seaborn was the largest exporter of frozen lamb in Australia.
1899 George (age 27) married Constance Navena (Venie) Welman of Wagga (then living
    with her grandmother, Martha Susannah Scriven, at Potts point, Sydney). They went
    to America for their honeymoon.
1900 Mr Mofflin acquired Mr Rickards’s interest, and traded until 1908 as W Mofflin & Co.
    In the same year he converted it into a limited liability company.
1900 Border Preserving Works, founded by Mr G Wilcox, and also the Adelaide Meat
1900 George Wilcox & Co. purchased a small Canning Works at Mt Gambier, S.A. This
    deal was consummated because George Wilcox & Co. were actively engaged in the
    export of frozen rabbits
    1900 World History Notes Kodak “Brownie” camera
1900 Aug 15 Rita born
    1901 World History Notes King Edward VII from Jan 22 1901
    1901 World History Notes First trans Atlantic radio signal
    1901 Australian History Australia becomes a commonwealth. 1901 (May 9)
    First Commonwealth Parliament opened.
1903 Aug 14 Alan born
    1903 World History Notes First Flight at Kitty Hawk. First License Plates Issued in the U.S. First Message to Travel Around the World, First Silent Movie, “The Great Train Robbery”
1903 The early beginnings of the meat business which subsequently grew into a very large
    factor in the total turnover of the South Australian interests of the company.
    1904 World History Notes Ground Broken on Panama Canal.
    New York City Subway Opens
1904 George Wilcox & Co extended their interests and opened branches at Brisbane,
    Rockhampton and Townsville, and established agency relations in W.A.
1905 June 2 “Poppy” born
    1905 World History Notes 1st Cars in Australia.
    Einstein Proposes His Theory of Relativity
1907 The Torrens-side drying yard of the firm (Wilcox Mofflin Ltd.)was completely gutted by fire.
    Ventured into rural property “Bogalara” near Yass. Not a success. Sold at a loss.
1908 George18 owned the “Koonamore” sheep station with 40,000 sheep. See footnote 18
1912c George bought a single seater Renault car, 257. A rubber bulb horn, hand operated
    windscreen wipers, no hood.
1909 June 14 Jean born
    1909 World History Notes Plastic Is Invented
    1910 Australia's white population 4,425,083
    1910 World History Notes King George V, from May 6 1910
1910 Aug 25 “Betty" Norton born at Quirindi, NSW on 'Blythswood' a sheep property.
1911 June 15 Jack Wilcox born
1912 "Okinya" was extended.
1913 Business was getting difficult and George had a nervous breakdown. He and Venie
    went to England to see relatives. On the way back war broke out. They returned in
    the ship "Beltana", (or "Mooltan"?) via Cape Horn, South Africa.
    1913 World History Notes Henry Ford Creates Assembly Line
    1914 Australian History Australia's white population 4,971,778
    1914 World History Notes World War 1. Panama Canal Officially Opened
1914 to 1915 George's condition got worse on his return and he was in and out of hospital     (Venie had to have a nurse to be always with him) and felt himself too big a burden to the
    family with continuous depression and worry of business and the war.
1915 July 14 or 15 George Seaborn died by his own hand. He shot himself and was found in     the     bedroom by Alan. He was buried in the family vault at Waverley Cemetery, Watson's Bay.
1915 July George Wilcox & Co was converted into a limited liability company.
1917 It had become apparent that if the resources of the two concerns were combined and
    merged into one company, the business be more easy to conduct
1917 Sept 5 George senior died in great pain. (Phlebitis in both legs.)
1918 George Wilcox & Co. became Wilcox Mofflin Ltd.
    1918 World History Notes Electric light
    Treaty of Versailles Ends World War I
    1919 World History Notes Short wave radio invented
    1919 Australian History Ross and Keith Smith fly from England to Australia
    by airplane.
1920 Jack’s sister, Rita went to China returned in 1921 and did medicine at Sydney Uni.
    1920 World History Notes First Commercial Radio Broadcast Aired
1920 ACELEC (Alan Crook Electrical Company) formed. Jack formed a partnership with
    Alan and later Greg Kater. The company later became Electrical Equipment of Australia.
    1921 Australian History Australia's white population 5,510,944
1926 Rita Wilcox awarded Bachelor of Medicine & Master of Surgery, 24th April, from Sydney     University
    1927 Australian History Federal Parliament opened by Duke of York at the Commonwealth     capital, Canberra.
1932 July 17 Constance (Venie) Wilcox died in England.

1 The Huguenots were members of the Protestant Reformed Church of France (or French Calvinists) from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries. Since the eighteenth century, Huguenots have been commonly designated "French Protestants", the title being suggested by their German co-religionists or "Calvinists". Protestants in France were inspired by the writings of John Calvin in the 1530s and the name Huguenots was already in use by the 1560s. By the end of the 17th century, roughly 200,000 Huguenots had been driven from France during a series of religious persecutions. They relocated primarily in England,Switzerland, Holland, the German Palatinate, and elsewhere in Northern Europe, as well as to what is now South Africa and to North America. Source - Wikipedia
2 The business was then taken over by his great friend, Joseph Wilcox (1816-1894) Quote – St. Neots Chronicle
3 A currier is a person who dresses leather.
4 The leader of his tribe in St. Neots managing to get all the Gentry jobs. He specialized mainly in uniforms, livery for the Dukes of Manchester and Rutland.
5 The older Joseph Wilcox (Georges father, not brother) was very much involved in local affairs. He was a Deacon of the Congregational Church for 30 years, a member of the Committee of St Neots Gas, Light and Coke Company, founded in 1845, a member of the Local Board from 1876 onwards, and a Director of St Neots Paper Mills Company in 1888. Source – St. Neots Chronicle
6 George Wilcox, born 1838, was first employed at James Paine’s office on the Market Square at the age of 12, and afterwards served a five-year apprenticeship with S Bedells, grocers, of 9 High Street, and a year with a Leicester grocer. Source – St. Neots Chronicle
7 By about 1858 Joseph heard of this further trouble, and gave the second son, George, a free hand to go to Gawler and ‘properly clean up the job, fire Thomas and Emery, and Barker, and sell up.’
8 In 1857, at the age of 19, he sailed in the ‘Royal Charter’ to Australia and, possibly under the wing of W. Barker,and got a job as a clerk at one pound a week. In 1858 he joined a small grocery business which a year later amalgamated with an old established drapery shop. This in partnership with his father, he took over under the name of J & W Wilcox, although his father never visited Australia. Quote – St. Neots Chronicle
9 “Admella”, a vessel remembered even today by old South Australians, because she struck the rocks in 1859, and only 24 survivors live to tell the tale out of 107 people on board at the time. Steamers passed close by, but did not notice the distress signals of those on the wreck who suffered intensely through lack of food and water. Quote from ?
10 Altogether George made 13 voyages between England and Australia and was joined at Adelaide by his brother Joseph. - Quote from ?
His knowledge of the goods needed in the new colony enabled him, with the assistance of his father, to build up a large import business as well as to arrange the export of wool, hides and frozen meat to England.
In 1899 he was the largest exporter of frozen lamb in Australia. He also practised farming and in 1908 George senior and partner owned the Koonamore sheep station with 40,000 sheep. 1,000,000 acres at Mannahill Waukaringa, S.A.
11 In 1864 George made a voyage back to England, taking with him some Australian parrots,
2 emus, some kangaroos, and a pingoe (or Pinkie). - Quote from ?
12 “City of Adelaide” a 3 masted composite ship with iron frame and wooden planking, 178’ long sailed from London to Adelaide for 23 years taking passengers, but also high valued cargo such as wool..The trip usually took 90-100 days days, but for some time she held the record for the fastest trip, being 65 days. - Quote from ?
13 Norton History
14 Towards the end of 1880 he (Sidney) obtained his first employment with a firm of grocers for a few months, after which he entered the services of the old Commercial Bank of South Australia, in which he remained until 1887. He then went into the office of Messrs. George Wilcox & Co., and was the only clerk employed there at the time.
15 In his 20's George was sent from Adelaide to manage office of Wilcox Mofflin in …… Street, Sydney. Later big wool store and offices built at Glebe, then George Wilcox & Co. wool merchants.
Bought grazing property near Harden with Murray called “Bojalana”. Not successful. Sold about 1914. Started a company to make bricks at Bondi (all sand dunes in 1912) but not successful.
Very well thought of in Hide and skin trade and known as the ‘King of buyers’.
16After an absence abroad for two years Mr Sidney Wilcox returned to Adelaide, and occupied an office alongside of Mr Glen Legoe, and they proceeded to develop the big business from this end. Quote from - ?
17 Sidney is also a member of the firm of Hamilton & Wilcox Limited, owners of Koonamore Station
18 Altogether he (George) made 13 voyages between England and Australia and was joined at Adelaide by his brother Joseph.
His knowledge of the goods needed in the new colony enabled him, with the assistance of his father, to build up a large import business as well as to arrange the export of wool, hides and frozen meat to England.- St. Neots Chronicle.