The Jackson family sail to Ulladulla on the “Gilmore”

So far, this blog has focussed mostly on the Hapgood’s – specifically descendants of Thomas Hapgood who arrived in New South Wales with his brother George Hapgood in 1854 and ended up in Milton Ulladulla. This is my fathers paternal side of the family. But there was another family – the Jacksons – who arrived in Milton Ulladulla area around the same time, and the Jackson and the Newtons descendants are interlinked across the generations. You can’t really talk about any one family without the others- it’s the Jackson-Newton-Hapgood family. And since I recently scanned a ton of Jackson-Hapgood family photos, its time to introduce Nelson Savage Jackson b1825 and Sarah Horne b1827. Nelson and Sarah are my 3rd great grandparents.

Nelson Savage Jackson born in Sundon, Bedfordshire in England in 1825 to Hannah Jackson b1806 She had 3 children who were all baptised in Sundon with no father being named in the christening documents – Hannah Jackson b1822, Nelson Savage b1825 and Humphrey Jackson b1827 (who died aged 6 in 1833). Nelson’s baptism is below. It is possible his fathers last name was “Savage” as the use of the fathers surname as a middle name for illegitimate children was common [1]. Maybe DNA will be able to tell us the answer one day…

[Update: I have a very small, faint 9cM DNA link to a person who has ancestors from Sundon with the last name “Savage”. The link is to “Charlotte Savage b1790” so not a direct link to Nelsons father. Maybe Charlotte was his sister?]

Baptism Certificate Nelson Savage Jackson, 23 Jan 1825 at Sundon, Bedford, England. via Ancestry

On 9th May 1847 Nelson married Sarah Horne b1827 at the Sundon Parish Church. He is listed as a labourer, and she is a spinster and they both live in Sundon. Sarah’s brother William Horne was a witness at their wedding.

Postcard of Sundon Church of St Mary, c1905 [2]
Marriage entry in the Sundon parish church register for Nelson Jackson and Sarah Horne, 9th May 1847. via [1] and via Ancestry.

There is a wedding photo of Nelson and Sarah in 1847 that has popped up in a recent family history book by Narelle Parkes [3] . Its spectacular! and accompanied by a copy of their marriage certificate – not the church register entry but their actual marriage certificate. (I highly recommend getting in touch with Narelle for a copy of her book and the photos she has compiled).

They had 11 children together, starting with William Jackson b1848 and ending with Jesse Jackson b1870.

  • William Jackson 1848–1860 Born in Sundon, killed by falling timber at Ulladulla.
  • Elizabeth Jackson 1850–1923 Born in Sundon
  • Anne Jackson 1852–1937 Born in Sundon (my 2nd great grandmother)
  • Thomas Gilmore Jackson 1855–1942 Born on the ship “Gilmore” enroute to Australia
  • John Jackson 1857–1940 Born in Ulladulla (married Mary Ann Hapgood b1868)
  • Mary Christian Jackson 1859–1934 Born in Ulladulla
  • Sarah Jackson 1861–1907 Born in Ulladulla
  • James Jackson 1863–1935 Born in Ulladulla
  • Phillip Jackson 1865–1885 Born in Ulladulla, died tragically in Sudan.
  • Rose Bella Jackson 1867–1902 Born in Ulladulla
  • Jesse Jackson 1870–1968 Born in Ulladulla

After having 3 children together, Nelson and Sarah decided to emigrate to Australia as assisted immigrants. The left Southhampton on 12th June 1855 under Captain Scott [5]. By the time they arrived almost 4 months later on 18 Oct 1855, they had 4 children – Thomas “Gilmore” Jackson was born on the voyage enroute to Australia on 10 Oct 1855 – only a few days before they reached land. Poor Sarah – imagine spending 4 months at sea, from months 5-9 of pregnancy…. Nelson is listed as an agricultural labourer and the whole family are listed as being able to read. The family made their way to Ulladulla in NSW together with several other families who also travelled on the Gilmore – Butson, Coe, Coller, Davis, Field, and Smart families [6]. They worked on the Miller and Warden estates [6]

Gilmore arrival manifest for Jackon family – Nelson and Sarah with William Elizabeth Anne and Gilmore, 18 Oct 1855 [4]

There is a lot written about Nelson and Sarah Jackson and their descendants – the “Our Jacksons” book by Barry Cannon (rare as hens teeth to find a copy!), plus books about their children: “Emily Rose Prior” book by her granddaughter Merlene Hellyar and the “Jacksons at Lillian Rock” about James Jackson and family by Narelle Parkes. There will no doubt be many blog posts as I work through a treasure trove of photos. So for now I will share the best known photo of Sarah and Nelson in old age. I haven’t seen a good scan of this image, or a whole scan of the image in any better condition. It appears to be a relatively recently discovered image because it did not appear in the Jacksons Reunion photos or the “Our Jacksons” book.

They were able to celebrate 50 years of marriage, which was noted in the Ulladulla and Milton times in 1897 and their prodigious brood of 52 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren! [7]


It is not given to; many people to spend 50 years of married life together, and when such cases occur they are worthy of special mention. On Sunday last, May 9th, Mr.and Mrs. Nelson Jackson, of Charles-street, Milton, celebrated their golden wedding. The old couple were born in the same village, Sundun, Bedfordshire, England, where they were married on May 9th 1847.They emigrated to New South Wales in 1855 with three children, and landed with four, Mr. Thos. Jackson (now on the Richmond River) being born on the high seas. They found their way to Milton – or rather Ulladulla, for Milton did not then exist.The family increased until the number stood at eleven. A break was made through the untimely decease of their eldest son William by the fall of a tree. The Sudan contingent took two of their brave sons (James and Phillip) to uphold the arms of the mother country. One (James) returned and is still living amongst us; the other (Phillip), at the conclusion of the campaign succumbed to an attack of fever, and was buried at Suakim. All the surviving children are grown up and in comfortable and respectable positions, and married with families, except the youngest, who is now building up a home on Richmond. The old couple have 52 grand-children and 2 great-grand-children

See [7]

Nelson Jackson died on 25 July 1902, and Sarah Jackson nee Horne died on 9 March 1908. According to their death certificates, they both died at Knockrow NSW, which is in nothern NSW near Ballina, where many of their children lived, and were buried at Tintenbar Cemetery, NSW. There is no gravestone.


[1] “Emily Rose Prior 1903-1985” by Merlene Hellyar 2015. Self-printed family history book.

[2] Postcard of Sundon Church of St Mary, 1905.

[3] “The Jacksons at Lillian Rock. Children of James Jackson, Clara and Catherine Smith” by Narelle Parkes, May 2021. Self published. [email me at if you would like to get in touch with Narelle to request a copy)

[4] Immigration records, NSW Records. Gilmore arrival 18 Oct 1855

[5] SYDNEY SHIPPING. (1855, October 24). The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW : 1843 – 1893), p. 2. from

[6] Ewin, Joanne.  Meet the pioneers : early families of the Milton-Ulladulla district with photographs / Joanne Ewin  J. Ewin Milton, N.S.W  1991

[7] Golden Wedding.” The Ulladulla and Milton Times (NSW : 1891 – 1917) 15 May 1897: 1.

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