Annandale in Focus


Annandale 1890

Annandale in re focus…alot of exciting research is under way in regards to Annandale’s history, from indigenous beginnings to early land grants and development. Keep posted for the first two editions of AURA (Annanadale Urban Research Association) journals to be released as an ebook early next year. Strong Women and subdivisions are common themes in the history of Annandale, according to local architect David Springett. Annandale is a unique suburb within this LGA because it was a single block of land until the 1880s with alot of the development taking place from 1890 onwards. The land was first owned by George Johnston midshipmanon the First Fleet, leader of the Rum rebellion, soldier in the Napoleonic wars. He was married to Esther Abrahams, a young Jewish convict and they had four children together, none of who went on to inherent land. The land was left to run down from the 1840s until Melbourne developer Robert Young purchased it in the 1870s. Young subdivided the land and held a competition to plan the new suburb won by Glebe architect Ferdinand Reuss. Although the plan was for the suburb to become one of the finest-in the colony, the lots were re-subdivided and the rate of purchase was lower than expected. During World War I and II the suburb was largely considered a slum, but experienced a resurgence in the 1950s to 1960s. “It is a unique suburb because it was built in a few years.” “David Springett”

References: Local History Vertical Files.

5 thoughts on “Annandale in Focus

  1. I understood that Esther (nee Abrahams)and George Johnston had 7 children together and that both Robert and David both inherited substantial inheritances? The older son George Jr would have inherited much as well but died by accident on John Macarthur’s property not long before his father died?

    I am interested in any history of the family as my GGGrandmother lived with and worked for the Johnston’s in 1856 for a short period as a housemaid/servant in the household at Annandale House (that area now part of present day Stanmore, rather than Sth Annandale as it was known then). This part of the Annandale estate which gave the whole present day Annandale suburb its name was actually just south off Parramatta Road.

    I would love to find a researcher who has delved into the days whilst Robert Johnston owned the property from the 1840s until his death but particulalrly in the 1850s.


    Ross Wellington

  2. Ross, you are correct about the number of children, I can trace my ace story back to thus unique union. My GGGGGGG grandfather was George Johnston , marine.

  3. MY Great grand mother was Esther Johnston,aim looking up info on her and George amazing stories.My relations are from Issac Nichols side and they are another interesting story.

  4. I would also be happy to talk to anyone about the history of the Johnston family, as well as of Annandale. I am the author of Marine Officer, Convict Wife. The Johnstons of Annandale.

    Alan Roberts

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