Biddy Lewis’ farm, Marramarra Creek

A land grant of about one hectare on Marramarra Creek was the first permanent home of Biddy Lewis (also known as Sarah Wallace). Title to the land was granted to her in 1835, though Biddy and her husband John Lewis (also known as John Ferdinand) may have lived on the site for some years previously.

Biddy was the daughter of Matora, wife of the Sydney Aboriginal identity Bungaree. In the absence of clear genealogy, it is also held by some of her desc endants that Biddy Lewis was Matora’s grand-daughter.

Biddy Lewis was born in about 1803. Her death certificate names her father as ‘Richard Wallace, Aboriginal’, but some of her descendants believe that he may have been British. It is said that the couple met while Lewis, a convict, was working at the farm granted to Bungaree by Macquarie in 1815 at Georges Head, and while Biddy was living there.

Biddy Lewis died in 1880 and was buried on Bar Island, at the mouth of Marramarra Creek. Her grave has not been located.

From the rich river flats on Marramarra Creek the family produced shingles for roofing, cabbage-tree grass for thatching, lime for mortar, fish and oysters. Biddy bore seven surviving children, mostly born on this site, some of whom took up land further down Marramarra creek. Elizabeth, for example, lived with her husband Israel Rose at Doughboy Beach further down the creek. Another child, Catherine, married Joseph Benns and lived on Scotland Island.

The site today can be visited by water during very high tides, or by the Marramarra Ridge walking track. The cleared spaces of the farm, and those of other land grants nearby, are easily discernable today. An adjoining grant, was probably abandoned in the 1950s, still has an orange orchard.


Biddy Lewis’ farm, Marramarra Creek
33° 31' 18.0012" S, 151° 5' 12.0012" E