Family History Notebook

John Swindle

Son of George Swindle and Hannah Bell, born 1853 (probably in Garrigill, Cumberland) 3. Emigrated with his parents to Australia in 1862.

Married Anne Smeaton (born 1853) in Victoria, Australia in 1876 c


George, born 1877 at Creswick, Victoria
Helen Louisa, born 1878 at Mooroopna
Peter John, born 1880 in Victoria
Hannah Bell, born 1882 at Yielima, Victoria
Grace Maud, born at Yielima
Robert, born 1886 at Barwo
Charles Joshua, born 1897 in New South Wales
Peter John, born 1906 in Victoria

John was born in Cumberland, England. Ann was born in Edinburgh and emigrated with her parents in 1855. More information on the Smeaton ancestry is given in the reference below. 1

Newspaper cutting (date unknown) gives his address as Rose Brook Park, Canowindra (New South Wales)

Died in Canowindra, Sydney on the 5th of May 1937 (probate 232325)

PersonID 02292


0    Text in red represents information obtained from the internet (family trees etc) which I have not yet confirmed.

1    Information from the Smeaton family history site at
More information at

2    I had believed that this John was more likely to be the son of Robert Swindle and Hannah Bell, baptised in Ninebanks, Northumberland in 1855 (bearing in mind the name of the second daughter). However I have subsequently discovered that George Swindle's wife was also named Hannah Bell!  George and Hannah Swindle were living at Creswick in 1875 as evidenced by a letter sent back to England following Hannah's death.

3    Information from Mary Pattinson's family tree


a)    1861 census    John's wife Hannah is living at Alston, a lead miner's wife, with sons John (7) and Robert (5)

b)    The birth of John Swindle was registered in the second quarter of 1853 in the Alston district (FreeBMD 10b 301)

c)    Australia Marriage Index 1788 - 1950 (Ancestry)

Name: Ann Smeaton
Spouse Name: John Swindle
Marriage Place: Victoria
Registration Place: Victoria
Registration Year: 1876
Registration Number: 289

d)    Australia death index 1787 - 1985 (Ancestry)

Name: John Swindle
Death Date: 1937
Death Place: New South Wales
Father's name: George
Mother's name: Hannah
Registration Year: 1937
Registration Place: Canowindra, New South Wales
Registration Number: 7495

Index to Deceased Estate Files
Swindle, John
Date of death 5:5:37 Location Sydney
Retd Farmer

e) Biographies from

  • Anne Smeaton (Swindle) (1853-1926)
    Born 1853. She married John Swindle (ca 1853-1937) in 1876. He was born in Cumberland in the North of England, Anne's birthplace is given as Edinburgh. According to Alan Swindale from England (see his web site), John Swindle was probably the son of George and Hannah Swindle who emigrated with their sons John and Robert arriving in Victoria on the Mistress of the Seas in 1862.

    George Swindle and Peter Smeaton (Sr) were both miners who had land at Creswick. It looks as though George Swindle's sons John & Robert and Peter Smeaton's son/Annie Swindle's brother - Peter Smeaton Junior, all moved north to take up farm land in the Canowindra area in the central west of NSW.

    The places of birth of John Swindle and Annie Smeaton's children indicate their movement from Creswick to the Goulbourn Valley area of Northern Victoria (Creswick-Mooroopna-Yielema-Barwo) and then into the NSW central west. The 1903 Victorian census listed John & Annie Swindle at Woodstock, Merna (just north of Melbourne) with Peter John Smeaton.

    By 1909 they lived at Carroll near Gunnedah, but before and after that date were in the central west. They had a farm called "Auburn Vale" on the Cudal-Cargo Road (now called Davy's Plains Rd). They moved into Canowindra in September 1918. Some property sales. Anne Swindle died in 1926 (dc 8340) in the Canowindra district. She is buried in Canowindra cemetery adjoining her younger sister Catherine. In 1930 John Swindle, Grazier, lived alone at Pine Grove, Cudal. He died in the Canowindra district in 1937 (d/c 7495).

    Their children:

    1. George Swindle (Jr) (1877-1919)
      Born at Creswick [b/c 1922]. George Swindle became an engineer in Sydney. He married Florence A.F. Woodham in NSW in 1902 [m/c 8693]. A child William Swindle was born in 1903 [b/c11021]. However Florence Swindle died in 1905. At the time they lived at 144 Francis Street Leichhardt. George then married Esther Ellen Graham in 1906 [m/c 3335]. They had a daughter Grace. George Swindle died 29 April 1919 at his Stanmore home [128 Percival Rd. aged 42 [probate 102135, dc 10276]. He is buried at Rookwood.
    2. Helen Louisa (Louise) Swindle (Rice) (1878-1973)
      Born 1878 at Mooroopna [b/c 17723], she died in the Canowindra district in 1973 [d/c. 71658]. She married Frederick Rice (1866-1927) in the Canowindra area in 1898 [m/c 7599]. They had a farm "Carlane" at Long's Corner Road which was carried on their son George after his father's death. Fred Rice owned trotters including the horse "Auburn Vale". Frederick Rice died at Canowindra in 1927 [d/c 10623]. Helen Louisa was living at "Carlane" Canowindra in 1930 & 1936, with son George. The two children were:
      1. George Henry Rice (1899-1957)
        Born [b/c 2166] at Canowindra. A report of an accident he had as a boy. George H. Rice died in 1957 [d/c 5009] at Canowindra. He married Emma Parker (1901-1973) in the Cargo district in 1925.
      2. Amelia Eva Annie Rice (Mulligan) (1901-1978).
        Born at Cargo in 1901 [b/c 21143]. Amelia married Clarence Gilbert (Gil) Mulligan at Canowindra in 1922 [mc11850] but divorced on desertion grounds in 1938 [SMH 25 Oct 1938]. Amelia died 25 March 1978 and Gil 3 October 1981 - both at Canowindra.
    3. Peter John Swindle (c1880-1943)
      Peter John Swindle who was the second son of John Swindle. He married Ethel May Broad at "Auburn Vale", Cargo in 1917. He was described as a well known trotting enthusiast and horseman. Ethel May Broad was one of the best contraltos in the Goulburn Valley. They had a farm at Bangaroo Siding, five miles from Canowindra which they sold in 1922. Peter John Swindle & Ethel May later lived at Manadgery Farm, Toogong Rd, Manildra in 1936. A newspaper report from 11 December 1942:
      Mr. Peter Swindle, of Toogong, ...sustained serious injuries while working on his farm and was taken to hospital. A few days later 24 neighbouring farmers, with wagons and trucks, visited Mr. Swindle's property, carted in and stacked 46 tons of hay and shore 700 lambs. Everyman who attended was himself short handed. ...measure of co-operation between those engaged tn the primary, enterprises during the war...
      He died at Drummoyne in 1943. Ethel May of Turramurra died in 1970 aged 88.

    4. Hannah Bell Swindle (Broad) (1882-1971)
      born 1882 at Yielima, northern Victoria [b/c 20334]. She married Joseph Gifford Broad in the Gunnedah district in 1910 [m/c 1627]. They soon moved to Lawson in the Blue Mountains. He was a signaller in WW1 and was killed in action in France. An obituary. She then married Francis Hepburn (c1879-1958) in 1923. I think that they lived at Cudal before moving to Parkes. Hannah died in 1971 aged 88.
    5. Grace Maud Swindle (Bedwell) (1886-1963)
      Born at Yielima in 1886 [b/c 28840]. She married Heriot G.Percy Bedwell in the Gunnedah district in 1909 [mc11335]. The Bedwells were from Numurkah. In 1919 he is listed in Sands Directory as a farmer at Dubbo. In 1930 they lived at 329 Howick St., Bathust, he was a business manager. He died in 1934 [d/c 15979] at Bathurst. Here is an obituary. In 1936 she lived at 210 Russell St Bathurst. Grace died at Manly in 1963 [d/c 23036].
    6. Robert Swindle (1886-?)
      Born at Barwo. He is thought to have died in infancy.
    7. Charles Joshua Swindle (1897-1973)
      He was born to John and Annie Swindle in the Molong district in 1897 [b/c 33051]. He married Linda M. Green in the Cowra district in 1923 [m/c 11911]. He died in the Parkes District in 1973 [d/c 68907]. The Sands Directory lists a C.J. Swindle as having 166 acres at Manildra in 1929 and in 1930-1933 some 2035 acres on "Cudgelbar" at Bogan Gate. However as the census lists him as a labourer of Bridge St Canowindra in 1930 and the same of Ryall St Canowindra in 1936.
  • Note 4 to "The Riddle Dynasty"

    Born in Cumberland in the north of England in 1853 John Swindle Immigrated to Victoria In 1862 with his parents and brother Robert. His father George took up goldmining at Creswick and bought land there building a farmhouse not far from another miner and landholder Peter Smeaton.
    John Swindle claimed In his brief memoirs 60 years later that he was connected with trailers since he was 12 years of age. However it may be John Swindle married Ann Smeaton (born 1853 at Edinburgh, Scotland) and who came to Australia with her parents (Peter and Helen) in 1855. Ann was the sister of Catherine Maria who later married Walter Riddle in 1881 at Creswick.
    John and Ann's first born (George b 1877) was born at Creswick but thereafter the Swindle's moved to Mooroopna (in 1876), Yielrma Forest (near Barmah) 1878), Barwo (1886) In northeast Victoria before moving to Mount York near Cowra NSW around 1887.
    John Swindle appears to have been a grazier taking up pastoral leases at these localities before moving on at a profit. Nevertheless he also appears to have been a horse breeder and trainerldriver racing his trotter Torpedo and winning at Kaarimba and at Forbes when he moved to Cowra. During this time in his life ho also bred some fillies by Torpedo whose descendants played a role for him in trotting at a later stage.
    Moving on again to Rosebrook Park, Canowindra around 1889-90 he transferred his Mount York property to his brother in law Walter Riddle and his wife Catherine Maria the sister of his own wife Ann.
    Towards the end of the 19th century the Swindle's purchased the stallions Don Cleve and Claredo racing and winning with them around the Sydney area where Don Cleve won at Forest Lodge (later Harold Park) and Kensington. Both of the stallions were also used as sires in this time.
    In 1901 the Swindle's moved again this time to the Melbourne area where successfully raced Don Cleve, Claredo and the mare Princess around the country and Metro Melbourne tracks. Don Cleve and Claredo were also advertised to stand at stud at Craigieburn and Whittlesea in 1902. By 1905 the two stallions were located at Shepparton.
    By 1909 the Swindle's were back In Sydney but shortly after moved to a property called 'Ivanhoe Farm" at Gunnedah in the north of NSW. Prior to moving to Gunnedah and whilst in Sydney John Swindle had purchased the winning performer Black Huon from the Woodham family wto were now related to the Swindle's through a marriage of their son (George Swindle) to a daughter of William R Woodham (Florence).
    The Swindle's sold the Gunnedah property in 1914 and now with about 20 horses and cattle stock moved to a 6000 acre property called "Nebraska" at Cundumbul on the Molong Road but then proceeded to sell pieces of "Nebraska" so that by 1925 the whole had been sold. Early in the 1920's the family had moved to "Pinegrove" and later "Glenelg Farm" on the Canowindra Road, near Cudal.
    In 1920 John Swindle had bred his mare Crystal Clare by Claredo to Black Huon to produce Torpedo Huon (P.2:13.9) in 1921 who went on to win the 1925 Melbourne Derby Thousand. Torpedo Huon was the best pacer that John Swindle ever owned, however, Swindle could not take advantage of Torpedo Huon's win as he had leased Black Huon his sire to a Shepparton breeder in 1921. Black Huon was renamed Grand Huon for his stud career in Vittoria.
    Mrs Ann Swindle died at "Pine Grove" Cudal In July 1926 at 73 years of age and was buried at Canowindra next to her sister Catherine Maria Riddle who died in 1900. John Swindle himself died in 1937 and was also burled at Canowindra. Someone in the Swindle family must have had a fair sense of justice for Catherine for In a quiet corner of the Canovnndra General Cemetery you can find the headstones for the sisters Ann and Catherine together with that of John Swindle buried alongside each other. :