The Chard Family

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It is thought that perhaps James Chard, who arrived in the colony in 1818 on the ship "Ocean", could have resided in the Moorefields district from that time. His wife Rachael (who was his first wife) arrived in NSW in 1823. She had travelled with their two sons, John and Thomas, on board the "Jupiter".

In February, 1827, James Chard purchased Charles Watson’s grant of 80 acres of land for £1. 0.0. an acre. This land had been given to Watson in 1823. A year later in 1828, James Chard had cleared 30 acres of this land and had about 20 acres under cultivation.

It is thought that James Chard also purchased Thomas Braimson's original grant of 40 acres, this land was received by Braimson also in 1823. It adjoined to the west, the land on which the Methodist Peace Memorial Church is now built.

James Chard is said to have lived on the land that he purchased from Braimson for some years, before he died in 1855. His grave can be seen in the small cemetery at the rear of the Moorefields church.

John and Thomas Chard

In 1845, James Chard transferred some of his land to his sons. John received 50 acres and Thomas 30 acres. It was one acre of this land that John subsequently gave to the Wesleyans in 1850, on which to build a church.

Six years later, John Chard sold out to Charles Saxby for £3,000. He is thought to have gone to live in Newtown, as he had a considerable amount of property there.

It seems that Thomas Chard, the younger son, lived on the district, as we find his name cropping up at various times.

In 1878, when a petition for the formation of the municipality of Canterbury was in force, there were a number of people of the surrounding districts who were against this and signed a counter petition. One of the signatures on this document was that of Thomas Chard.

His two daughters both married and probably continued to live in the district, as both of their husbands purchased land from the Kingsgrove Estate in 1855. One married James Forrester who was a ganger on the construction of the first railway. The other married a William Coleman.

Again as late as 1890, a Thomas Chard was said to be the oldest resident in Moorefields. From then on no more is heard of this family, who with other early settlers helped to lay the foundations of this area as we know it today.


Canterbury and District Historical Society Journal, Series 2, No.2. "The Chard Family". 1970. pp. 4-5.