John Carswell, Stewarts River, NSW Austalia               

A Short Biography.


(John is the one of the pre-eminent Carswell genealogists - Ed.)


I was born in 1947 & had an idyllically happy & free upbringing on orchards in the Mangrove Mtn district near Gosford, NSW. Australia. The carefree life which included bare feet , trapping & shooting all came to an abrupt end when my parents who were a little concerned with the ‘little savage’ they had reared , sent me to a Sydney boarding school at age 12. All & sundry had some problems keeping me there as in the first 3 months I ran away & hitchhiked the 50 miles home three times. Eventually I accepted the posting & stayed for 5 years.

I was destined for a life in   agriculture , being booked in to Hawkesbury Agricultural College but after a frivolous last year at school my father decided that I should support myself & go my own way. I chose marine engineering & served a traineeship at the steelworks in Newcastle .After 4 years at sea on the Australian coast & on the Mediterranean fruit run ,   I met my lifetime partner Christine Penman of Gosford. We married in Gosford & after a brief spell working   in Fiji on the Mana Island   Resort we moved south to Geelong, Victoria where I worked as a power station operator for Alcoa Australia for 24 years. When all the   children began attending school ,Christine resumed her career as a Registered Nurse at Geelong Hospital. During the 24 years we lived on a small farm where we ran a few Suffolk sheep & Dairy Shorthorns. The children had their goats, horses , poultry & farm motorcycle.

Once the children were ‘ launched’ we retired from shift work & settled on our own hill of 38 acres on the Mid North Coast of NSW. We enjoy the Do it Yourself theme & are interested in fruit trees ,vegetables, brewing, DIY superannuation, family Peugeot vehicle maintenance & travelling. An old English aunt kindled my interest in genealogy by writing to me when I was 12 with stories of Redcoats chasing Covenantors   over   acres of old Carswell moorlands in Renfrewshire   & of Bishops in castles in Argyll.