Sunday, 10 February 2008

Bebeannah Reeves and Bridget Clarke

This chart is a new addition the Craft Genealogy Section covering the Lancaster Branch - more of Heather's and Gina's ancestors.

It has been compiled purely from NSW BDM Indexes and the Australian Cemetery Indexes, it is definitely open to corrections, additions and adjustments, I was seriously fascinated with the name Bebeannah which is what got me started! Anybody know the history of it? Please come forward.

Bibiana was born about 1823 apparently at Valapariaso, Chile.

There is speculation that he arrived in Australia from Chile on the John Barry which was captained by Robson and sailed from Valparaiso 26th Dec. 1839, sailed from Tahiti 21st Feb. 1840 and arrived at Port Jackson 26th Mar. 1840 with a cargo of 19 mules and 2 asses (11 mules died on the voyage). Three Chilean 'huasos' were steerage passengers to drive the mules, were under a 1 year contract with the Australian Agriculture Co. through Alexander Caldeugh of Santiago and John Bernard. Personally, I have not found anything to confirm this, although I have posted on a few old forum boards to see if I can confirm sources.

Updated 2 Nov 2016: Sadly, Heather is no longer with us, I am very grateful I thought it prudent enough to get her DNA done, to start with I purchased Family Finder, as I have no direct need for mtDNA I will not be upgrading it at this time, however to assist family members, should you wish to upgrade her kit she is part of our "Family Project" and you are welcome to make a donation to her kit to upgrade it, here is the link: Heather's Family Finder DNA kit is up on Gedmatch, her number is T148000.

Descendants of Bebeannah REEVES



  1. I believe this is a corruption of Viviana Reva, born 1823, Valparaiso, Chile, died 10 February 1861, married Bridget Clarke (b. 1829, Killoran, Galway, Ireland) on 31 May 1847 in Sydney

    also spelt Behiannah Ripa, Babyhana Ripa

  2. Hi There,

    Yes the above is true he was brought to Australia by the Australian Agricultural Company as a Muleteer in the Tamworth and surrounding regions.

    I am currently researching him so if you would like to discuss my email is

    1. See more information I put under Rhonda Lucas

  3. Apparently through Family Tree DNA Heather Johnson was my 3rd to 5th cousin. We are apparently related through Bebeannah Reeves (Bibiana Reva), Viviana Reva not sure the exact name. This person traces to Valaparaiso, Chile a main world shipping port at the time of the birth in 1823. I was born in Valparaiso and my family has resided there for generations. I am currently trying to figure out which branch this man (or woman?) is related to us.

    1. He is my 3rd GGfather If you fine out information I would be grateful and his DOB

  4. His name was Bernardo Riba. He left Valparaiso on an Australian Agricultural Company ship with a group of boys also from Valparaiso.

    Other muleteers who accompanied him to Australia were Bernardo Riba and Santo Crina (spelt Creanor on Australian records)

  5. His name was Bernardo Riba. He left Valparaiso on an Australian Agricultural Company ship with a group of boys also from Valparaiso.

    Other muleteers who accompanied him to Australia were Bernardo Riba and Santo Crina (spelt Creanor on Australian records)

    1. Hi Marlene, thanks for the contact, how wonderful to get a DNA match! Let's chat, can you email at the address on her profile please?

    2. Bibiana Bernardo Riba is my 3rd GGfather
      Christianna Anne Reva is mt 2nd GGMother
      Bibiana first child with Bridget Clarke, they had six children. Christianna Anne Reva, Joseph Michael Reeves, John,Catherine Agnes,Margaret Ann Rever, William George Reeves (Their surnames changes under Births Deaths and Marriages NSW many ways)
      Christianna Anne Reva married Martin J Maher 25 May 1872 Mount Vale, Somerton, New South Wales (near Narrabri)they have 7 children one being my GGMother Roseanah Mary Maher

    3. Hi there anonymous, would love to communicate with you about connection. Would you kindly contact me at dixie9 (, many thanks

    4. Part 1
      The Australian Agricultural Company mules
      The mainstay of the Chilean economy in the 19th century was cattle ranching, but there was also a market for the tough, wiry horses bred in the Central Valley, and for mules. The mules were valuable in areas of South America where roads were poor, especially for gold and silver mining in remote locations.
      In New South Wales, Surveyor-general John Oxley crossed the Liverpool Range on an 1818 expedition and explored the plains beyond, which he suggested as the original land grant when the Australian Agricultural Company, of which he was a shareholder, was formed. But it’s distance from the coast led to it being rejected in favour of Port Stephens, where the Company was granted a million acres of land in 1825 and established Carrington and No 2 Farm, later called Stroud, as major centres. Stroud had a military garrison, school, church, shop, hospital and water-powered timber and flour mills.
      The coastal area was found to be unsuitable for sheep and surveyor Henry Dangar was sent to assess the Liverpool Plains again. In 1833, two parcels of land - the Peel Estate of 313,000 acres extending south from the Peel River and the Warrah Estate of 240,000 acres near the present Willow Tree - were granted in exchange for some of the Company’s Port Stephens land. The first 6,000 head of sheep arrived on the Peel in 1834 and, at a site originally called Calala and later Tamworth, houses and stores for its employees and 200 convicts were built, together with a slab-walled house for Superintendent Charles Hall. In 1840, a new homestead and chapel were built about 25 kms south at Goonoo Goonoo, Aboriginal name ‘plenty of water' for the nearby creek, which became the Company headquarters.
      A new track over the Liverpool Range via Nowendoc, the “Peel Line” or “Company Line,” was established. All stores and rations had to go west along this track and wool bales brought east. But much of the way was through mountainous country and attempts to use bullock drays were not practical. Pack horses had limited loads and pack bullocks developed foot soreness on the prevalent stony ground.
      Capt Phillip Parker King R.N. took the reigns as Company Commissioner in 1839 and decided the use of mules would soon recover the expense of bringing them from South America. It was a natural decision to also bring experienced mule drivers -- the approaching end of convict assignment was creating a labour shortage for the Company and it was already bringing out immigrant shepherds and coal miners from Britain.
      King arranged with Alexander Caldeugh of Santiago des Chiles for 30 mules and two asses (a male and female) to be purchased and for four “huasos,” Chilean ranch horsemen like the Argentinean gaucho or Australian stockman, to be contracted for a 3 year period. Master John Bernard was engaged to convey them as supercargo on the John Barry, which sailed from Port Jackson on 9 August 1839 to Valparaiso in Chile.
      From Chile to Stroud
      So at the age of about 20, huaso Agustin de Alderete contracted in Santiago with “Juan Bernard” (John Bernard) on behalf of “Felipe King “ (Philip King) to work for 3 years in "Nueva Holanda". Mr King was obligated to pay him the equivalent of 10 pesos per month, as well as food and housing and to provide him with a ticket back to Valparaiso on the first available ship if he chose to return at the end of the three years.

  6. Part 2
    Text of the contract between the AA Company's Representative and Agustin Alderete:
    (Translation of document: Agreement. Dn Juan Bernard with Agustin Alderete. Notarial Registers of Santiago, Volume 126 page 307v-308 In the city of Santiago de Chile in nineteen days of the month of November eight hundred and thirty-nine years, before me the clerk and witness seemed, on the one hand, Don Juan Bernard as attorney of Don Felipe King, and with person personality, Augustine was conformed Alderete, which has for the other, which I bear witness to and wallpaper: that they have entered into an agreement for which the second to serve is required which represents the first in New Holland for the term of three years that will begin run and count on this date, in what time to obey punctually in everything that the order and cannot stop doing it. King under any pretext until the time for which he was convinced or establish by his own account; Forcing Don Juan to give a name of his account in exchange for ten Chilean pesos per month or the equivalent of this currency, giving him more of the necessary food and a house in which he owns. It is necessary that the purchase agreement be made after three years. It will be sent to the client's account so that the payment is made in New Holland. that the ten pesos of the salary is at the beginning of this date, which is a job to keep in mind that it occupies it from itself, warning of having received my presence and that of the witnesses, the first advance salary of which I attest. To their firmness and compliance both grantors were forced with their present and future assets, renounced the demand for their favor and submitted fairly to the causes and courts of the state that their causes. This was granted and signed by witnesses Benito Cármen del Villar and José María Guzmán. (firms) A request from Agustín Alderete - Benito Cármen del Villar Juan Bernard In front of me José Camilo Gallardo Esco Post.)

  7. Part 3
    Two of the other muleteers were Santo Crina and Babyhana Ripa. Another huaso returned to Valparaiso at the end of his contract but there is no other information on him. AA Company records only refer to them by their nicknames: Sancho must have been Santo Crina, Raymondo/Bernardo was Babyhana Ripa and Big Amelia/Ramelia was Agustin Alderete. They all have many descendants in Australia with their anglicised names of Creanor, Reeves and Alterator.
    There is no record of Agustin prior to his contracting to come to Australia, so we cannot be absolutely certain of his exact lineage but we have a fair idea. We do know that only true descendants were using Spanish surnames in 1800s Chile (servants began to adopt them later), so he was definitely a member of the Alderete family who were prominent landholders and office bearers there. And this family was descended from the Alderete family of Spain, lords of the city of Tordesillas, some of whom went to Chile in the footsteps of conquistadors such as Jeronimo de Alderete and Julian de Alderete. But from the lack of records for his father after his birth, Agustin may have been the son of a “black sheep” and this is how he came to be an impoverished huaso, when his grandfather was “Provost of Santiago”.
    Neither Agustin (nor his later spouse Mary) could read or write, so his Spanish name recorded on documents in Australia varies according to how each English-speaking writer heard it. On his 1842 marriage certificate it is recorded as Augustine Aldriette and the surname on the birth certificate of son James is Aldreader. On other documents his first name has been listed as Austin or Hosken and his surname as Alterator or Alteratar. Eventually, his usual name became Houston Alterator, as recorded on James' 1868 marriage certificate.
    The payment to Bernard was to be £20 for each of the mules and asses landed and £25 for each of the huasos. Eleven of the mules died en route. The remainder , with their muleteers, arrived in Sydney on 26 March 1840.
    The mules coped well on the Company Line, though there were difficulties in the drought of 1841-42 when feed was scarce. Each mule could transport over 100 kg, and a mule train was able to move three tonnes of flour from Port Stephens to Tamworth in about four weeks. The huasos were well conducted, particularly when compared to the “insolent and extremely careless” bullockies.
    The Spanish ass, and his sons from the Spanish mare, bred well with the Australian horses they were mated to and the number of mules increased dramatically. Some of these were supplied to explorer Ludwig Leichhardt for his expedition when he left from Stroud in 1847, never to return.

  8. Hi Rhonda,

    sent you a message have to heard