When David and Eliza Welsh and their four young daughters left the goldfields of the Hunter in 1868 heading for the Nambucca, they took the faster transport of sailing ship to the Macleay.
The next part of the journey was overland from Kempsey to Warrell Creek by bullock wagon.
The distance, which is just a swift half hour by freeway today, would have likely taken them at least ten days. Obstacles like bogged wheels, fallen trees or swollen creeks could extend a journey by weeks.
There were no roads just rough bush trails and the family slept under the wagon at night.
At the time of their arrival the population of Kempsey was around 700 people and Macksville, which was called Nambucca Central, was a community consisting of a few huts. Settlement over the preceding decade was concentrated around the lower reaches of the river and Bowraville.
David's selection of 100 acres was between what was later called Rhone's Creek and Welsh's Creek. Like the Argent family selection it was an isolated area.
In Norma Townsend's book, Valley of the Crooked River, she outlines the mindset of these early pioneering settlers:
"By moving into these more isolated areas, selectors it seems, were aiming to grow their own food and to earn money at outside work instead of producing crops for markets. Perhaps they were looking to land more as a future asset than as a present means of income. Although many undoubtedly came with the idea of becoming small farmers, they had to be content with establishing a base for themselves and their families."
Eliza was left with her young family at Nambucca Central while David was away cedar cutting. His absences were for long periods and he was still carrying out this work when they moved to their selection.
Young Eliza would have had a far harder introduction to farm life than families like the Argents, with no grownup sons and daughters to help and her husband seldom present.
Their first home was a simple slab building with bark or hessian lining and a shingle roof. They had cleared 40 acres of their holding and also built a barn.
In the following years to say that David and Eliza were an enterprising couple would be a huge understatement.
They took their isolated acres from corn grown among stumps to a dairy farm lauded for its efficiency.
Their earliest crops were known as scrub corn. The husking of the corn cobs and then the threshing was done at night in the barn by lantern light.
To get this crop, along with other produce to market, took a rowing trip to Nambucca Heads where the ships were tied up. David and his eldest daughters undertook this arduous task.
The Nambucca District News of 1950 described the journey:
"Almost every Saturday for years two of the Welsh girls would row with their father seventeen miles downriver to Nambucca Heads taking butter, bacon and vegetables to the sawmills and settlement there. The same day they would row the seventeen miles home again.
"Down at the Heads they sold the butter for 3 or 4 pence a pound, bacon for 2 pence a pound and cabbages 1 pence. There were no roads in the Nambucca District then. The river was the only highway."
While the load of work and responsibility of David and his older daughters was great there can be no argument that Eliza herself managed an even greater load.
She had 11 children over 23 years and with a husband often away from home, was left to cope with house and farm chores, crop growing and caring for children.
Lois Barr, great granddaughter of David and Eliza relates a remarkable story of Eliza and her neighbour Catherine Frank:
"Eliza and Mrs Frank were very pregnant and both of their men folk were away up the river. Eliza's labour started and Mrs Frank was called for. She came and helped Eliza deliver then returned home to her own brood.
"The very next day Mrs Franks labour started and Eliza left her own newborn babe with her older girls and took herself across the flooded river and helped her deliver before returning that night to suckle her own babe. The wonderful thing is that neither woman ever lost a child. They helped each other and neither ever had a doctor or midwife in attendance."
Part three of the historic Welsh family story will commence with their acquaintance with the "gentleman bushranger" Captain Thunderbolt.
This article was resourced from the records of the Nambucca Headland Museum, the Bowraville Folk Museum and Welsh family histories by Jennifer Hume MacDougall and H. G. Welsh.