This section of the website is based on the book, A Goodly Heritage, published in 1988 recording the heritage of Michael and Sarah Walker.
An introduction to the entire website may be found here:
Michael lives in memory as a good provider, a crusader in religious matters, and a good teacher who passed on a wide range of skills to his six sons who grew to adulthood.
Sarah was equally successful in training five matronly daughters each of whom founded a large and successful family of her own. She lives in our hearts in an old family saying: "Many a good man had a bad father, but no good man ever had a bad mother."
In 1983, one of Michael and Sarah Walker's great-granddaughters, and one great-great-granddaughter, Daisy Chatwin and Jessica Reid, decided to organise a family reunion. With unflagging zeal they set about locating Michael and Sarah's descendants, visiting a great many of them and comprehensively selling them the notion of suitably honouring the memory of two worthy pioneers.
Daisy and Jessica's work, which involved a staggering amount of time, travel and recording, was crowned by the gathering of over 2,000 cousins at Spreyton Racecourse in March 1985. Throughout the long months of preparation Daisy and Jessica were loyally supported by a committee composed of representatives of the clan's eleven branches. All contributed usefully but a particularly valuable contribution came from Audrey Dobson who had entered the family through marriage to Michael's great-grandson Neil.
At Audrey's suggestion and under her guidance a cook book of family recipes was compiled and published not only for interest sake but also as a means of raising revenue. Its sale not only substantially defrayed the expense of the reunion but provided a surplus of over $5,000 for application to another family project — the publication of a history.
Following the reunion in 1985 it was decided that we should form a book committee made up of two members from the branches of each surviving child of Michael and Sarah. The committee was as follows:
- Margaret Bramich
- Thea Plapp
- Joy Clarke
- Jessica Reid (Secretary)
- Daisy Chatwin (Treasurer)
- Athol Richardson
- Audrey Dobson
- Joan Richardson
- Neil Dobson (Vice-Chairman)
- Gladys Walker
- Bill James
- John Walker (Chairman)
- Jill Kelly
- Reg Walker
- Mavis Maclaine
- Vera Walker
For almost four years the committee met regularly, usually at Westbury, to put together the family history which was published as A Goodly Heritage in 1998. The committee acknowledged with gratitude the wonderful contribution made by our two cousins, Daisy Chatwin and Jessica Reid. It has been their inspiration and dedication to detail which have spurred other members of the wider family to research information and supply their family tree and history for this narrative.
The committee noted that it should only be seen as a first instalment or Volume I, for the picture it presents is far from complete and indeed a few printing errors crept into the book. They devoutly hoped that it would enthuse younger and more agile pens to tackle Volume II.
The first version of this website in March 2009 was an attempt to share their good work with our broader family and to provide a means for our cousins anywhere to reflect upon our wonderful heritage and to contribute to and update our history. Since that time all the content has be reviewed and where possible verified. Significant additions have been made and it is hoped that these will continue.
The second version, in 2015, sees the site redeveloped with CSS and PHP to comply with contemporary web standards and deliver a better user experience. The narrative from the original book remains unaltered although it has ceased to be contemporaneous in some places. However the Walker history is now also linked across various families which can be explored along with many new pages of ancestor details.
Although many have been corrected it is inevitable that there are still some mistakes and omissions within these pages; perhaps a living person exists on these pages and would prefer not to. It is my fervent hope that people will contact me so that appropriate corrections can be made. If readers have access to additional information or a photo of anyone from this site who is deceased I would love to be able to add that. Contributions in the form of a short story telling our ancestor's are very welcome. Please contact me using the email link below.
Andrew Cocker great great grandson of Sarah and Michael