Most of our ancestors were city or rural urban dwellers. The experiences of those immigrants who arrived with little but soon purchased rural properties, represent the transformation of the bush in the 19th century, with all the attendant hardships and challenges that entailed. They cleared virgin forests and created viable farms. John Blow laboured for 13 years before purchasing 300 acres of Crown Land in the fertile Foxground Valley in 1851. His sons and grandsons continued to successfully farm in the Illawarra district for many years. William Adams faced the same challenges when he took up his 100 acres at Cambewarra in 1851. In 1871 William and his son John Adams sold the farm at a profit and selected Crown Land on the North Coast at Duck Creek, later Alstonville. John took on clearance of the Big Scrub to establish sugar cane on his 200 acres only to lose his conditional purchase due to insolvency brought on through the need to build his own mill. William’s daughter Jane and her husband John Camps were successful selectors at Cambewarra from the 1870s.
John McAllister and Archibald Campbell first worked as shepherds on Glenlyon Station after arriving at Moreton Bay. John purchased Lot 1 in the Mole River Valley and his wife Jennett McAllister (nee White) managed the property, ‘Reedy Creek’ for 30 years, significantly enlarging her holdings after his early death. A memorial on the property (now ‘Innisbrae’) celebrates the McAllister pioneers. Archibald Campbell, a widower at 37 years, who purchased Crown Land at Bryan’s Gap, Tenterfield, was supported by a clannish network of relatives and friends. He became a successful farmer and like his sons, contributed to the local economy and society.