I’ve made my way to Grudgery on the Bedgerabong road about 30 kms west of Forbes and it really is a one word town, that’s it one word, on a wooden sign, “GRUDGERY”. There is not much you can say about “GRUDGERY” – there are no cafes, shops, motels, pubs or petrol stations, so just one word “GRUDGERY”

The farmland hereabouts is flat to slightly undulating with many areas planted with lucerne and clover for stock feed.

The Lachlan River runs through many of the properties, with some wonderful river bends and water holes surrounded by dozens of old river gum trees.

Edward Francois Barbe, from Paris and my Great, Great Grandmother Mary Jane Peacock are in the nearby area known as Carrawobitty. By now they have eight children Edward Francis Barbe Peacock born 1866 at Carrawobitty, Phillip Barbe born 15/10/1867 at Carrawobitty, Esther Louise Barbe born 4/4/1871 at Forbes, William Barbe born 30/10/1873 at Grudgery, Charlotte Jane Barbe born 30/1/1875 at Carrawobitty, Martha Marian Barbe born 17/2/1876 at Carrawobitty, Arthur James Barbe born 10/10/1877 at Forbes.


William Barbe born on the 30/10/1873 at Grudgery is to become my Great Grandfather on my father’s father’s side. He married Catherine Victoria Stanley who is my Great Grandmother on my father’s father’s side . The above photo was taken on their wedding day.

Carrawobitty today.

Squint your eyes closed, listen to the birds and the sounds of the bush and take yourself back to 1877.  Let your imagination have its way and feel you are in the olden days and you are witnessing a sunny autumn day on the Bedgerabong Road. Perhaps this is what happened.

The sound of travellers on the road outside the Barbe holding interrupts the activities of the Barbe children. They run to the edge of the road to see what’s happening.

It is William and Harriet Hodges arriving with their wagonette and on horse back. The Hodges are with their twelve children including Ellen, then aged 14,  my Great Grandmother on my father’s mother’s side. The family has walked 200 kms all the way from Bathurst to settle in Grudgery at Bedgerabong on the Lachlan River. 

The original Hodges home and farm at Grudgery, Bedgerabong.

William and Harriet will spend the rest of their lives at Bedgerabong where they buy a farm and build and manage the Grudgery Hotel which is known as the “Carriers Arms”. The hotel also provided services to the passengers and supplied the horses for the Cobb & Co coach company mail change from Forbes to Condobolin. Their children will become landowners in the area and their descendants still live there today.

The Hodges house in better times.

The Cobb & Co monument outside the location of the Grudgery Hotel.

A very old photograph of the Carriers Arms hotel at Grudgery.


William and Harriet are buried in the Grudgery Private Cemetery on the banks of the Lachlan River behind where the Grudgery Hotel was located. My next place of call is Bedegabong, 5 kms further down the road.



  1. Hello Sean,
    Wow wow wow. I think we are related, as a matter of fact i know we are. You look so much like my family. I was born in Forbes NSW and its a long story but It sure would be nice to have a chat to you.
    My grandfather William Barbe and my great grandfather francios Edward Barbe and his wife Mary Jane Peacock.
    I stumbled accross this site while hunting for my great grandfather.
    I would love to hear from you

  2. Hi Sean
    guess what!!!!
    I’ve been in the big house at Carrowobitty.
    Also French film is on this Friday at Anita’s Theatre 7.30pm, do you want to come?

  3. My great great grandfather is Edward Francis Barbe from Paris. His son Edward is my mothers grandfather. Mothers grandmother was Therese Jane Green

  4. Hi Marilyn,

    As you can see from the posts I had a really enjoyable trip out to Forbes following the family tree and along the way I have come across many relatives of Edward Francis Barbe from Paris

    Good to hear from you

  5. Hello Sean,
    Just wanted to let you know, my family and I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your story, which is actually our story. My father is Keith Hodges, his father is Clarence Hodges and his father is William Alfred Hodges who was Ellen’s brother children of William and Harriet Hodges. We live in Cootamundra and recently visited Bedgerebong and were thrilled to find and read your story. Thankyou

  6. I am trying to track some information for a relative of mine. Her Grandfather’s name was Jim Keenan Hodges married to Margaret Lorraine Villotet. She also told me her grandfather was born and raised at Bedgerebong.

  7. I am pleased to see of so much effort placed into this article, I to am a HODGES, my grandfather was born out at the HODGES homestead. Jim Keenan Hodges (SNR)

    He married Margaret VILLOTET
    Margaret already had a child by the name of HELEN (BUCHANAN)

    MY father is JIM KEENAN

    Jim Keenan Hodges (JNR)

    Thanks for the info


  8. Hi Sean, Its Darren from Queensland, my grandfather as you know was Reuben William Barbe, (William Hector Mclean). Just checking in as I usually do this time of year to see if there is any additional photos on your site or info. Some other info regarding Reuben’s family and military service: his son Ronald Mclean, served in Vietnam; his grandson’s Dennis, Darren (me), Shane and Michael (twins) all served either Army or Airforce.


  9. Hello Sean, I spoke to you a year or two ago about William and Harriet and I am planning to go back to Forbes this coming February and would like to know where their private cemetery is located.
    I know where the old house is. So that will give me a starting point. I’m having trouble locating George Ablett’s death. I know that he was gone by 1910 as stated on Pa’s wedding certificate as father is deceased, (Pa being Fredrick Ablett)
    If possible I would like to make contact by phone again. I have searched everywhere for your number with no success. My numbers are as follows; Home 07-3162.8404; Mobile 0416-290.315.
    Also, having read your adventure again I noticed that you stated that William helped build Tooths brewery. You noted the address as Parramatta Road Broadmeadow is this meant to read Broadway at Central?
    Cheers for beers, hoping to hear from you soon Ruussell.

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