Jemima Forrest/Jenkins and family

Jemima married twice. Husband number one was Captain Austin Forrest, whom she wed on 18 April 1810 in the parish of St Matthew’s at Windsor – the first to be registered. They lived at Swilly Farm, not far from Jemima’s mother and brother in the Hawkesbury district.

Jemima and Forrest had one child, Eliza, who was born on the 14th April 1811 and died one month later. On 24th December Forrest was killed by a fall from a horse.

Two years later on 22nd March 1813 Jemima married her first (alleged) love, Robert Jenkins, again at St John’s, Parramatta. By this time Jenkins had made a name for himself as a merchant and was a patriotic supporter of Governor Macquarie, hosting anniversary dinners for the governor at his house in George Street. Jenkins went on to become the third richest man in New South Wales and served on the founding committee of Australia’s first bank, the Bank of New South Wales.

Jemima and Robert had two children, Robert Pitt and William Warren, who married Hester’s daughter Matilda. By awful coincidence Robert also died from a fall from a horse, in 1822, at the age of 45.

Jemima had already been granted land in her own right before either of her marriages, and in 1817 she and Robert were granted 1000 acres in what is now the Illawarra district, south of Sydney, which Robert named Berkeley.

Berkeley (Wollongong City Library)

Jemima expanded the properties after her husband’s death, and according to the 1828 census she was in possession of 9075 acres and also owned property in Sydney and Parramatta.

Click to see Jenkins’ Berkeley estate and Jenkins’ grant Illawarra.

Susanna’s son William Faithfull acted as overseer on Berkeley and Jemima’s widowed sister Lucy also came to live with her. Jemima died suddenly on 22nd March 1842, at Eagle Vale. Nearby Jemima’s Park is named after her.

The farm at Berkeley is now a steel works and the only existing reminder of what used to be there is the Pioneer Cemetery, where most of the Jenkins family are buried.

Pioneer Cemetery


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