Elizabeth Wye


Born:        11 November, 1841     Sydney   NSW


Died:        05 September, 1920     Beechworth  Vic


Father:    Francis Wye


Mother:    Anne Martin


Place Story here

Elizabeth's father, Francis, was a convict.  He was 'sold up as a bankrupt' when Elizabeth was a baby, even her cradle was sold to pay the debt.  It must have been a difficult childhood, the family moved around a lot.  From Sydney to Melbourne, where her sister Anne was born in 1843. On to Goulburn, where her brother Francis was born in 1845.  Not much is known about Elizabeth's early years but she is mentioned in the book:

'Wangaratta'  by D.M. Whittaker  page.117  paragraph:2

"Educationally Wangaratta has come a long way since 1848, the year when Mr. Bendall opened the first school at Ovens Crossing, a little slab structure situated close to the one bush track that ran through the township to the crossing near Clark's "Hope Inn". The 16 pioneer students, practically the entire juvenile population,  were Ann and Joseph Capsticks, Sarah and Elizabeth Clark, Eliza and Charlotte Grimshaw, Elvira, Cordelia and Edgar Larkings, Sarah and James Orr, George and Reuben Vincent, Thomas and George Worcester and Eliza Wye".

So Elizabeth was living in Wangaratta around 1848.  It is not known what the family did after that, Francis, her father, committed another crime and was sentenced to Cockatoo Island in 1851 and he may have died there as there are no further records of him.

Elizabeth did not marry or have children but she lived a long life, dying aged 80 years.  In his writing, her nephew Billy Wye (the poet) says he remembers his Aunt Elizabeth living in Bright, selling cakes and drinks from her front room.

SUBMITTED BY Denise Mascaro