Mary Matcham Pitt (Jnr)

I am indebted to Jeff Pitt and Margaret Ferguson for the following information.

Mary Matcham Pitt was born on the very day in 1815 that her grandmother Mary Matcham Pitt, our original pioneering ancestress, died. She lived the first twenty years of her life on the family farm at Richmond along with her brothers GM, Robert and William Henry and her sister Eliza.

She was the first of the siblings to marry, on 31 August 1835, the year her mother died and her brother GM turned 21 and inherited part of the family properties. Her spouse was her cousin Thomas WEB Laycock, son of Thomas Laycock and grandson of Quartermaster Thomas Laycock, one of New South Wales’s very earliest pioneers and father of Elizabeth. The marriage took place at St Matthew’s Church in Windsor.

Thomas WEB had been living at Putty Farm and working for his uncle Samuel – who inherited the property from his mother Hannah Laycock – since 1824. Samuel died in 1832 when Thomas was only 17 years old, at which point the young man became caretaker of the property. However for some reason he and Mary did not live at Putty until 1845, by which time they had five children.

Mary and Thomas lived at Putty Farm for the rest of their lives and produced four more children, totalling five boys and four girls. Mary died quite suddenly of a heart attack on 15 July 1878. Husband Thomas was away at the time seeking his fortune on the Gulgong-Mudgee goldfields.

Thomas WEB died three years later, also on Putty Farm. He was buried alongside Mary in a small graveyard established on the farm, where a number of other family members were eventually buried. Putty Farm stayed in the hands of the Laycock family until 1909.

There were, confusingly, several Thomas Laycocks and several Mary Matcham Laycocks. Mary Matcham Laycock nee Pitt also gave birth to a Mary Matcham Laycock in 1855, who produced another Mary Matcham Laycock in 1875, months before marrying the infant’s father James Timmins. James was the son of Jack Timmins (the drover who worked for GM all those years ago) and Elizabeth Scott, who was the eldest child of Elizabeth Laycock and her overseer William Scott. Confused? It’s not surprising. Mary and James married at Putty in September 1875, thereby ‘legitimising’ their eldest daughter Mary.