Cecilia Sophia Rutter

Plaque in Hindmarsh Park at Kiama about Michael Hindmarsh and Cecilia Sophia Rutter, the founding orphans of Kiama.

Johnston Family Ancestor 3rd Great-grandmother 1808–1869

When Cecilia Sophia Rutter was born on 15th June 1808, in Parramatta, New South Wales, her father, William, was 42 and her mother, Charlotte, was 33. She married Michael Hindmarsh on 15th August 1826, in Campbelltown, New South Wales. They had 14 children in 26 years. She died on 1st October 1869, in Gerringong, New South Wales, at the age of 61.

Cecilia Sophia Rutter - portrait photo probably taken by William Blackwood in 1862-3
Cecilia Sophia Rutter – portrait photo probably taken by William Blackwood in 1862-3
Place holder for birth details.

Cecilia Sophia Rutter was born on 15th June 1808, in Parramatta, New South Wales to Charlotte Robinson, age 33, and William Rutter, age 42. She was baptized twice, first on 21st August 1808 by [Rev] William Pascoe Crook and then again on 25th November 1821 by [Rev] Samual Marsden. Both baptisms were conducted at St John’s Church of England, Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia.

Fan Chart showing two generations of Michael and Cecilia Hindmarsh ancestors.
Fan Chart showing the parents and grandparents of Michael Hindmarsh and Cecilia Sophia Rutter.

In the following thirteen years the significant events occurring in Cecilia’s life included:

  • Her sister Caroline Blake was born on 28th November 1809, in Parramatta, New South Wales;
  • Her sister Catherine Newell was born on 16th November, 1811, in Parramatta, New South Wales;
  • Her father William passed away on 31st December, 1812, in Parramatta, New South Wales, at the age of 46; and,
  • Her mother Charlotte passed away on 13th November 1821, in Parramatta, New South Wales, at the age of 46.

1821 to 1826

When Cecilia Sophia Rutter was four years old her father William died, her mother Charlotte, now a widow, was left with three children under the age of four. Just nine years later, her mother Charlotte died on 13th November 1821.

Cecilia Sophia Rutter, together with her sisters Caroline and Catherine were now orphans. At thirteen, Cecilia was the eldest, her sister Caroline was twelve and Catherine was ten years old. Cecilia and her sisters Caroline and Catherine were baptized on 25th November 1821 by [Rev] Samuel Marsden at St John’s Church of England, Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia. Later Cecilia, Caroline and Catherine were admitted as Apprentices to the Female Orphan Institution at Parramatta.

Original painting of Female Orphan School by Joseph Lycett
Female Orphan School by Joseph Lycett the original painting is in the State Library of Victoria

During 1823, Cecilia was apprenticed from the Female Orphan School, to Mrs. Harper on 12th February 1823 and to Mr. George Rankin on 14th May 1823. Later, Cecilia was Housekeeper for the Hassall family, where she met Michael Hindmarsh.

By early 1826, Michael who had been living with the Hassall family for three years become infatuated with Cecilia, the family Housekeeper. Having finished his three year appointment with Mr. Hassall, Michael left his position in June and married Cecilia Sophia Rutter two months later.

Michael Hindmarsh wrote to his Sister at Leith in October 1826 and told her of his marriage to Cecilia Sophia Rutter, and how his wife went as teacher to the Female Orphan School. Like the Hindmarsh family the children of William and Charlotte Rutter family were left orphans for about six years from 1821.

Place holder for marriage details.
Old photo of St Peter's Church at Campbelltown where Cecilia Sophia Rutter married Michael Hindmarsh in August 1826
Cecilia Sophia Rutter and Michael Hindmarsh were married at St Peter’s Church of England at Campbelltown in August 1826

Cecilia Sophia Rutter married Michael Hindmarsh on 15th August 1826, at St Peter’s Church of England, in Campbelltown, New South Wales, when she was 18 years old and he was 26 years old. Jonathan Hassall, of Matavia, Cook and Jane Rouse, of Rouse Hill were witness to the marriage.

Census of New South Wales

In the 1828 New South Wales, Australia Census Michael Hindmarsh was recorded as a landholder living in the Illawarra with his wife Cecilia and son George.

Early photo about 1850 of the Gerringong Road
The Gerringong Road in the 1850’s

Thirteen years later, the 1841 New South Wales Census records Michael Hindmarsh as the proprietor of “Alne Bank” in the Camden District of Illawarra. The wooden dwelling is completed and was inhabited by a total of 24 persons, including Michael and his family. Seventeen of the Alne Bank inhabitants were free. The census also records the numbers of each age group, civil condition, religion and occupation of the 24 occupants.

Children of Michael Hindmarsh and Cecilia Sophia Rutter born at Gerringong, New South Wales
Children of Michael and Cecilia born at Gerringong, NSW during a period of 26 years from 1827 to 1853.
  1. George John, born 22nd September 1827, passed away 4th March 1918
  2. William Rutter, born 28th June 1829, passed away 6th May 1914
  3. Charlotte Alice, our direct descendent was born on 22nd April 1831, passed away 28th July 1914
  4. Michael Nisbet, born 14th January 1833, passed away 8th January 1912
  5. Cecilia Sophia, born 8th December 1834, passed away 17th January 1913
  6. Hannah Isabella, born 5th February 1837, passed away 12th July 1919
  7. Catherine Newell, born 20th June 1838, passed away 3rd April 1920
  8. Robert, born 14th February 1840, passed away 26th October 1920
  9. Thomas Alfred, born 30th April 1842, passed away 25th July 1908
  10. Ellen Caroline, born 20th February 1846, the date of her death is subject to verification
  11. Jane Elizabeth, born 15th September 1847, passed away in 1936
  12. Margaret was born 15th September 1847, and passed away soon after
  13. Frederick James, born 16th June 1850, passed away in 5th  July 1911
  14. Emma Lee, born 23rd June 1853, passed away 14th April 1921
Place holder for death details.

Her husband Michael Hindmarsh died from natural causes accelerated by excitement on 25th January 1867, at “Alne Bank” in Gerringong, New South Wales, when he was 66 years old.

Cecilia Sophia Rutter died on 1st October 1869, in Gerringong, New South Wales, when she was 61 years old.

Links to further information

In 1945, a book “Michael Hindmarsh of Alne Bank” was published. It was published by the Suburban Herald Printery, 390 Pacific Highway, Crows Nest, New South Wales.

The Alne Bank Private Cemetery sits on a hill overlooking the majestic Alne Bank homestead. It is surrounded by an impressive stone wall and contains the graves of Cecilia Sophia Hindmarsh and six other members of the family.

Family history information regarding Michael Hindmarsh, Cecilia Sophia Rutter and their children is available on the Ulladulla.info web site.