Isaiah William Wenham, labourer, timber getter and farmer, was born in Wendy, Cambridgeshire, England around July 1833 to parents Tamer Simpson and William Wenham. He arrived in Moreton Bay on board the Argyle on 19 July 1852. Sometime between July 1852 and 1855, Isaiah relocated to Armidale in northern New South Wales, where he met and married Sarah Goodfellow on 20 September 1855. The couple had three children in New South Wales before returning to Moreton Bay ca. 1861 where another four children were born. Isaiah farmed land that he took up in 1877 in Westbook Parish, near Toowoomba, now known as Biddeston. Isaiah died at Toowoomba on 31 July 1884 and is buried in the Drayton and Toowoomba Cemetery.

On his arrival in Australia in 1852 Isaiah, or William as he was referred to, worked as a labourer in Queensland and northern New South Wales. Isaiah worked and resided at the Gara Homestead near Armidale, where he met and married is wife Sarah Goodfellow in St Peter’s Church at Armidale on 20 September 1855. Isaiah’s best friend Joseph Whitby travelled with him from Wendy in Cambridgeshire to Moreton Bay on the Argyle in 1852. Joseph married Sarah Goodfellow’s sister Ellen in 1855 in St Peter’s Church at Armidale. Isaiah and Sarah remained at Gara until ca.1859, then moved to Inverell for a short time ca.1860 before relocating to Queensland. They had 10 children, Charles, William Benjamin, Frederick, George, Henry Pardie, Emma, Mary Ann, Eliza and two unnamed babies. Archival records show Isaiah was granted a hardwood timber licence in 1862 that allowed him to cut timber and remove logs. He obtained a Deed of Grant on land at Jondaryan, Toowoomba in August 1876 and selected 80 acres of land at Westbrook Parish, now known as Biddeston, in July 1877. Isaiah farmed the land until his death on 31 July 1884.

Citation: Carmel McMullen, ‘Isaiah William Wenham (1833-1884)’, Harry Gentle Resource Centre, Griffith University, 2024,

Archival Resources

Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire Family History Society, Wendy, Cambridgeshire Baptisms, Isaiah Wenham, baptism date 28 Jul 1833

Accessed on Findmypast

TNA, 1841 England, Wales & Scotland Census, HO107, Piece Number 63, Book No. 25, Folio 3, p. 1

Accessed on Findmypast

NSW Government Gazette, Unclaimed Letters, 1 Jan 1854, p. 239, Isaiah Wenham, Mr Biggs, Brisbane

Accessed on Findmypast

Queensland Government Gazette Year 1890, p. 771

In the Supreme Court of Queensland. ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION. In the Will of William Wenham (sometimes called William Wenham, senior), late of Westbrook, in the Colony of Queensland, farmer, deceased. NOTICE is hereby given, that, after the expiration of: fourteen days from the date of publication hereof, application will be made to the said Honourable Court that Probate of the Will of the abovenamed William Wenham (sometimes and in the said Will called William Wenham, senior), deceased, may be granted to William Wenham, of Westbrook aforesaid, farmer (in the said Will called William Wenham, junior), one of the Executors named in the said Will, Charles Campbell, of Toowoomba, in the said Colony, butcher, the remaining Executor therein named, having renounced Probate thereof. Dated at Toowoomba this twelfth day of December, A.D. 1890.

QSA, ITM23651, Index to registers of applications by selectors (3 volumes)

William Wenham, Jul 1877, Westbrook Parish, Lot 2350, 80 acres.

QSA, ITM60664, Selection file: Wenham, William

William Wenham, Jul 1877, Westbrook Parish, Lot 2350, 80 acres.

QSA, ITM77025, Land purchase: Wenham, William

QSA, ITM77026, Land purchase: Wenham, William

QSA, Wenham William Snr – Ecclesiastical (will) file, ITM2807822

NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, marriage registration, William Wenham and Sarah Goodfellow, m. 20 Sep 1855

Record ID 488/1855 V1855488 43B.

Queensland Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, death registration, William Wenham, d. 31 Jul 1884

Record ID 1884/C/1651.

NSWSA, Whenhan [sic] Isaiah, Assisted Immigrants Index 1839-1896, Ship: Argyle, Year: 1852, Reels 2136, 2463


Ian W. Clarke, From Tent To Triumph: A Celebration of 75 Years of Education at Biddeston

Published by Biddeston State School. Includes a parish map with the names of the early settlers of each block, including those of Isaiah William Wenham and his sons.



Shipping, The Moreton Bay Courier, 28 Jul 1852, p. 1.

Shipping Intelligence, The Moreton Bay Courier, 7 Aug 1852, p. 2.

Land Court, The Darling Downs Gazette and General Advertiser , 25 Jul 1877, p. 3.

Police Court, Toowoomba Chronicle and Darling Downs General Advertiser , 25 Aug 1877, p. 5.

Obituary - Mrs A. Wenham, The Daily Herald, 15 Dec 1942, p. 3.

Online Resources

Find a Grave – William Wenham