Matilda Eyles - Sonter

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Matilda Eyles - Sonter (Mitchell)

Also Known As: "Matilda Eyles", "Matilda Sonter"
Birthdate: (80)
Birthplace: Portland Head, New South Wales, Australia
Death: April 11, 1913 (80)
Ballina, New South Wales, Australia
Place of Burial: Ballina, New South Wales, Australia
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Michael Malcolm Morgan Mitchell, Free 1810 and Jane McKenzie - Mitchell
Wife of John Eyles and Edward Sonter, Free "Maitland" 1838
Mother of Johnny Wang; Alexander John Eyles; George Eyles; William Eyles; James Eyles and 3 others
Sister of James Mitchell; Sarah Jane Sonter; George Mitchell; Anne James; Jane King and 2 others
Half sister of Elizabeth Mitchell and John Robert McKenzie

Managed by: Bodey Royce Baker
Last Updated:

About Matilda Eyles - Sonter

John and Matilda travelled to Richmond River with Edward Sonter and his wife Sarah, who was Matilda's sister. They were very early on the river, 1850's as cedar getters and probably worked for a time in the vicinity of Terania Creek. Then they selected land on adjoining lots at what is now South Ballina. There they farmed and prospected together for alluvial gold on the beach front of their property.

Sarah & Matilda Mitchell were from a Hawkesbury River Pioneer family.

In 1856 John submitted a tender to carry out work on the Ballina Court House (Informant Leeanne Goodwin).

John and Matilda probably moved to Ballina at the urging of of John's older brother Joseph Eyles.

In the mid 1860's and 1870's, John became one of the founders of Ballina's fishing industry (paper by Glen Cowell).

In 1863 Edward Sonter and John Eyles were granted 40 acres each of river flat in South Ballina, Portions 1 & 2.

Greville's Post Office directory for Ballin 1875/1877, lists a John Eyles and Alexander Eyles (probably John Eyles' son), as beach miners at West Ballina. Beach gold mining continued to be carried on by some of John Eyles sons after John died in 1878.

On 19 June 1886, the Northern Star newspaper carried a report from the correspondent in Ballina that stated "on the North beach and within half mile of the lighthouse, there are six parties of gold diggers at work on the black sand on which the operations are confined. One party Eyles and Co. have been at work for eight weeks, and during that time have got 17 ounces of gold, or an average of something over 8 pounds per week. That is the best claim on the beach."

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Matilda Eyles - Sonter's Timeline

July 28, 1832
Portland Head, New South Wales, Australia
December 11, 1832
Portland Head, New South Wales, Australia
December 11, 1832
Portland Head NSW Australia
October 23, 1852
Age 20
Dundas NSW Australia
March 13, 1854
Age 21
Dundas NSW Australia
February 11, 1857
Age 24
Tabulam NSW Australia
September 25, 1858
Age 26
Tabulam NSW Australia
February 5, 1860
Age 27
Ballina, New South Wales, Australia