An Australian clan: the Nivisions of New England

Title:An Australian clan: the Nivisions of New England
Author:Jillian Oppenheimer and Bruce Mitchell
Publication date:1989
Publisher:Kenthurst, N.S.W. : Kangaroo Press
Digitizing Sponsor:Kahle/Austin Foundation
Contributor:Internet Archive
Repository:Internet Archive
An Australian clan: the Nivisions of New England
An Australian clan: the Nivisions of New England

This history follows a Scottish couple who came to Australia 150 years ago to establish a home and several pastoral properties. Their story tells how people migrated and adapted their skills and traditions in a new land, how they coped with droughts, wars and depressions, and how later generations continued to meet the challenges of Australia.

In the last days of 1839 a young Scotsman and his bride arrived in New South Wales. They came from long-established farming families in the Drumfries region of southern Scotland and they were to establish their own clan in Australia. They brought from Scotland their strong Presbyterian faith and generations of experience in sheep rearing, and applied both to their chosen home, Ohio—situated beside a creek on the tablelands of the New England region. At first as a squatter and later as a prosperous land owner, Abraham Nivison established his pastoral run, improved the pastures and the breed of his sheep and reaped rewards from the wool boom of the second half of the nineteenth century. The Nivison descendants, now to the fifth generation, are still producing fine merino fleeces from their sheep on the former Ohio lands in the Walcha district.

The story of Abraham and Mary Nivison begins in Scotland and traces their lives and those of their extensive Australian descendants. Their story is told against the background of agricultural revolution in Scotland, and the drama of 150 years of Australian history, through droughts, economic booms and depressions, the struggle for land, the disruption of world wars, and extensive social changes.

The focal point in the story is the Scottish-style stone house which Abraham built in the 1840s. Ohio Homestead has been extended, altered and renovated several times during, its chequered career, which includes a period as a Boys’ Home. The fabric of the house has been witness to changes in the family fortunes as well as in technology. Throughout it all the fascinating old house has been a welcoming place for the families who lived in it and for the families who worked on the property.

An Australian Clan, the Nivisons of New England is an exceptional history of a family and a region because it traces the themes of pastoralism, economic change, social life and architecture, making a contribution to the general stream of Australian history.

Notes About the Book

  • Includes bibliographical references (pages 158-168)
  • 168 pages, 8 pages of plates : 25 cm

Nivison, Wightman,


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