Early Days, Passing of Pioneers

Mr. George Woodward Pearce & Mrs. Jessie Annie Mitchell

The Sydney Morning Herald

2 August 1922

The death of Mr. George Woodward Pearce on Wednesday last at his home, Orange Grove, Seven Hills, removes one of the old pioneers.

He was interred in the Pearce's private cemetery, after a service at St. Andrew's Church of England at Seven Hills.

He was the last remaining son of Mr. Matthew Woodward Pearce, and grandson of Mr. Matthew Pearce who came to New South Wales from Kingslangly, a village near London in 1792 as a free settler, and in 1795 received a grant of 100 acres at Toongabbie now known as Seven Hills.

In the interval, Mr. Pearce went to England and returned with his wife, and settling on the grant he named the district Seven Hills, on account of being able to count seven continuing hills from the front of his house.

This grant has been held continuously for 127 years - probably the oldest so held in New South Wales.

Mr. Mathew Pearce's sister was married to James Kennedy, whose daughters were Mrs. Commissary Broughton and Mrs. Hume.

He was closely associated with Mr. Andrew Hamilton Hume whose son, Mr. Hamilton Hume, the explorer, was born at Toongabbie in 1795, on a grant now held by the Pearce family.

The death of Mr. George Woodward Pearce breaks a link in the pioneering history of New South Wales.

He was an early member of the Australian Pioneers Club and was a worthy descendant of the old pioneer stock.

The funeral service was conducted by the rector of St. Andrew's Church of England, Seven Hills (Rev. Noble Buron) assisted by a cousin of the late Mr. Pearce (Rev. Louis Pearce) of Naremburn.

The Rev. Noble Burton referred to the late Mr. Pearce as a man of quiet, unussuming manner and of kindly thought and action, whose word was his bond, and who see life was an exemplary one.

He was in his seventieth year, and is survived by his widow, four sons and two daughters.


The death recently of Mrs. Jessie Annie Mitchell, at the age of 83 years, breaks another link with the early days of this State.

The late Mrs.Mitchell was the youngest daughter of Captain Richard Tasker Furlong, who arrived in the colony in 1837 with his regiment, H.M. 80th Staffordshire Foot.

Captain Furlong was Military Commandant at Newcastle, where the late Mrs. Mitchell was born.

She married Edward, second son of Captain William Mitchell.

She had 11 children of whom seven sons and two dnughters survive her. The surviving children are:- Mrs. F. K. H. Mitchell of Albury, formerly of Khancobin, Upper Murray; Mrs. Bruce Hume of Ravenswood, Yass; Mr. R. T. Mitchell, Harden; Mr. W. S. Mitchell, Sydney; Mr. C. F. Mitchell, Holbrook; Mr F. B. Mitchell, Bondi; Mr. Alan B. Mitchell,Yarradool, Cryon; Mr. L. R . Mitchell, stock department Winchcombe Carson, Ltd.; Mr. D. R. B. Mitchell, Federal Attorney-General's Dept., Sydney.