This post includes a download link to a short biography of my great grandmother Barbara Ziymack. It’s a rags-to-riches story that contains elements of great strength in the face of difficulties and also great misfortune, sadness and, I suspect, bitterness and disappointment.
You can download the mini-biography here, or continue reading for a short background.
There are three key historical figures amongst my ancestors:
- Isabella Tyson (née Coulson) (1786-1874), a convict transported to Australia in 1809.
- James Tyson (1819-1898), Isabella’s seventh child, who was enormously influential in shaping early white Australia, and who was the richest man in the country at the time of his death.
- Barbara Ziymack (1857-1922), Isabella’s granddaughter and my great-grandmother
Relatively little is known of Isabella Tyson. James Tyson on the other hand left behind a massive trail of information in the form of newspaper reports, parliamentary records, land titles and court records. Zita Denholm’s definitive book “T.Y.S.O.N.” is a wonderful record of his life1.
Barbara too left behind a trail. Unfortunately there are no first-hand accounts, as all those who knew her personally are now dead. However her surname from the second marriage to John Ziymack is unique in Australia, and this has made it quite easy to locate information about her from that point forward in the form of newspaper and court reports1.
This story about Barbara Ziymack is based on these reports. Of course newspapers are not a perfect record of truth, but apart from the court records that was all I had. I’ve taken the liberty of flavouring the story with some “reading between the lines”, combined with some memories my father has of matters relating to Barbara. Because of this there may be some inaccuracies and I welcome comment from anyone who can point those out or add to the story in any way. Please contact me by leaving a comment below.
You can also visit my family tree website2 for more information about the Tyson descendants. Here is the link: http://www.familytree.angeles-hill.com/. Request registration if you would like to see information on the living.
You can download the story of Barbara Ziymack’s life by clicking on this PDF icon.
- There should also be some land titles, but at this point I have not looked into this aspect at all.
- This is primarily a transcription of the original family tree of the descendants of James Doneley, William Tyson and Dennis Sheil published by the D., T. & S. Committee to commemorate the family gathering at Campbelltown, NSW, on Australia Day, 1980.