THE HISTORY OF THE SYKES FAMILY IN AUSTRALIA
Ellen Sykes (fourth generation)
Ellen was the sixth child of Stephen and Charlotte Sykes and was born at Telegraph Hill on 16th June 1879. She was educated at the Spring Valley Public School and helped at home with the large family. She married William Cantwell at Spring Valley, and lived at Morpeth for the next few years. They had two sons and a daughter born while at Morpeth and then the family moved to Cessnock on the coalfields.
Ellen was a very devoted Catholic wife and mother. She brought up her children very well and insisted on a good Catholic education. Her leisure moments were devoted to church social activities. She died at the age of 52 on 15th June 1931. William, her husband, lived until he was 77 years old. They are buried in the Catholic Cemetery at Morpeth.
For more details of Ellen, William and descendants, see Stephen - Stephen and Ellen line.
Mary Dickson (Nee Cantwell)
Mary (fifth generation) was the only daughter of William and Ellen Cantwell and was born at Morpeth in N.S.W. on 2nd April 1912. Mary died 54 years later at Umina, N.S.W. She was educated at Lockinvar in the Maitland district, and spent most of the time between leaving school and getting married in looking after her father and their home, as her mother Ellen died in 1931. For a few months, prior to the time she married James Dickson, she worked with the Fisher girls at Crookwell. Jim and Mary were married at Spring Valley on 20th July 1938. After their wedding they went to live at Reid's Flat, in the Boorowa district, where Jim managed a property. Leaving there in 1959 they moved to Umina, buying their own business. It was here in 1966 that Mary died, an event which saddened many. She had a great number of fine qualities and characteristics and the ability to live for today and to extract every good moment from it was an outstanding one. She could best be described as having achieved success; having lived well, laughed often, and loved much. Mary gained the respect of intelligent men, and the love of little children, filled her niche and accomplished her task in life, as she left the world a better place than she found it. She appreciated earth's beauties, and never failed to express her appreciation. She was always able to see the best in others and give the best she had. Her life was an inspiration to all who had the honour to know her.
Mary and Jim Dickson had three sons, Terence, Michael and Robert. She died on 29th May 1966, and is buried in Wyong Cemetery. Her brother, Father William Cantwell, officiated at the funeral.
Mary Martina (Stella) Sykes (fourth generation), sister of Ellen