Gale Family

Building the first road to Marrawah (AOT, PH30/1/1552)

Aaron and Elizabeth Gale with four adolescent children arrived from Hampshire on the Coromandel in 1853. All obtained short-term positions immediately, and by 1856 were living at Stanley, employed by the Fords at Highfield. In 1859 Aaron was the first settler to take up land on the Cam Road (Elliott). Descendants of his eldest son James still farm in this area.

A daughter's descendants still farm near Somerset, and another son (Henry) farmed near Montagu. Six of his children including Alfred were early settlers at Marrawah and Alf built the first herring-bone milking shed in Tasmania, as well as a cheese factory. Large families (James seven, Henry twelve, Alf nine, a sister Lydia twelve) marrying into other large families (for example Wiggs, Sawards, Pokes) ensured that descendants of the family are widespread throughout the Circular Head District and the north-west coast. About 2000 descendants attended a family reunion in 1976.

Further reading: D Carne, 1853: the Gales blow in, Donald, Victoria, 1987.

Elisabeth Wilson