Did your ancestor drive for Cobb & Co?

19 Dec

Lots of Australians ask me about relatives of theirs who drove for Cobb & Co or competitor firms in 19th century Australia. Check out the list to see if your relative is there. If there is a driver missing, let me know!

In the past years dozens of families have written to provide updates to the list below. It has been gradually enlarged to over 1640 drivers, owners and coach-hands through a painstaking review of old newspaper records.

Coaching Staff (Click to open)



190 Responses to “Did your ancestor drive for Cobb & Co?”

  1. JUDY FINLAYSON March 15, 2011 at 4:33 pm #

    I believe that my great-grandfather EDWIN ALFRED PALMER (TED) drove a Coach from Charleville – Augathella – Tambo. In an extrace from The Western Sun No. 28 on Wednesday January 1 1930 he is mentioned as having a passenger service. In a list of Charleville and District businesses 1923 it has after his name (late Cobb & Co). Car Hire Service Charleville – Augathella – Tambo and again in the Business list for 1924 he is down as a Mail Contractor. I would be grateful if you have any more information or could add him to your list if you find it to be 100% correct. With Thanks.

    • Sam Everingham March 15, 2011 at 5:22 pm #

      Thanks Judy
      Will certainly add Ted’s details to this list. Thats great research you have done. I havent more information on him at the moment, but will keep a look out.
      Sam Everingham

      • Nannette Sidebottom June 9, 2019 at 7:42 pm #

        G’day Sam, I have your book, ‘Wild Ride’ which was very enjoyable reading.

    • Andrew Palmer April 16, 2017 at 6:31 pm #

      Hi I’m Andrew Palmer my great great grandfather had Palmers Cob.N.Co coaches in Charleville, there is more information in the Brisbane museum I think, my grandfathers name was Kepple.

      • Beverley Palmer April 25, 2018 at 6:17 pm #

        My father Leslie Edwin Palmer had a brother Kepple and a son named Kepple from his first marriage.

      • Myron MC October 30, 2019 at 12:29 pm #

        Hi Andrew
        My name is Myron McCormick and Edwin Alfred Palmer is my grandfather. He was married to Ellen Kane.
        His father was John Charles Palmer and his mother was Margaret (McLeod).
        My mum was Dalma Palmer. Mum had Leslie, Hazel, Ena, Neta, Kepple and Byrel as her brothers and sisters in order of age, Les the oldest. Mum was the youngest and the last Teddy was born in Toowoomba and was 47 when my mum was born in Winton. I have a brother Khory who lives in Brisbane and a sister Shayne (White) who still lives in Ipswich where we were raised.
        Hazel married Tommy Pendergast and lived in Charleville. Ena married Len Stein and lived in Charleville. Neta married Len Lucas, second marriage, lived in Brisbane. Their son Edwin lives in Brisbane. Byrel married Rae Hersant and lived in Brisbane. One of their sons Harvel lives on the Sunshine Coast.
        That is a quick snapshot. Uncle Keppie used to call in to see us in Ipswich when carrying a load of wool from out west heading to Sydney.
        I was told that one of grandfather’s coaches is in the Cobb and Co museum? Not sure and have not been there.
        My email is:

      • Joanne Cox September 3, 2022 at 12:19 pm #

        My auntie tells me that my great grandfather Tom Humphriies owned the Cobb and co and went from Cobar to Hay.

        Mum thinks the place is where the Kidman way and Priory Tank road meet. It was a coach station he had about 30 horses
        5 coaches and a number of staff Drivers. The house was small no verandah with. Pitched roof. There were a number of out buildings down the side of the house even a few goats out the back.
        It was a long time ago I don’t know how much is still standing today if any.

        I’m not sure where to start looking for this info. Would be great is anyone knows the info

    • Beverley Palmer April 25, 2018 at 6:08 pm #

      I believe the same Edwin Alfred Palmer is my grandfather. I believe my father Leslie Edwin Palmer is his son. I would love to find out more about the

  2. Clive Bevan July 27, 2011 at 11:48 am #

    Hello Sam

    My ancestor is James Bevan, who is included in your list of drivers. James’ diary for 1863 is held as part of the manuscript collection at the State Library of Victoria (ref: MS MSB 452)and provides an interesting insight into daily life of a Cobb & Co mail contractor.

    As an aside, James’ son, James Alfred Bevan was the captain of the first Welsh national rugby side in 1881. In 2007 I was fortunate to attend in Sydney the unveiling of a trophy named The James Bevan Trophy to be contested for each time Wales plays The Wallabies in a test.

    • Sam Everingham July 27, 2011 at 12:55 pm #

      Thanks Clive for that, I’ll look up that manuscript at some stage. It will surely be interesting reading!

    • Richard Fly June 23, 2013 at 12:40 pm #

      Greetings Clive, my ancestor was Elizabeth Fly who married James A Bevan in 1856. I have been researching the Fly family tree and just discovered the tragic story of their shipwreck in the Bay of Biscay. The children James Alfred and Mary Sophye returned to Wales after the paren’ts death in 1866. It is fascinating finding out about their life. I’ve just found out about the Cobb and Co connection. The state library diary looks like a great thing to follow up on. Regards Richard Fly

  3. Lindy Balmforth June 15, 2012 at 9:00 pm #

    I was wondering if there was ever any female drivers that you know of?

  4. Mal Jordan September 21, 2012 at 2:07 pm #

    Hello Sam,
    The Queenslander Newspaper of 5 June 1920 shows a photograph of George Milne and family. Now it is a poor photo, but the text is interesting. It claims that George was a Cobb and Co driver from Brisbane to Ipswich. That would have been sometime between 1870 and around 1900. I am researching the family history. George came to Queensland in 1862 and went straight to Ipswich. in his birth country of Scotland the census prior to his departure to these shores show that he was a groom. So it all ties in, don’t you think?
    Is there any way that the story in Queensland can be confirmed?

    Thanks. Mal Jordan

    • Denise McMahon May 21, 2020 at 9:14 am #

      I have a R Milne who was in 1893 based in Chiltern for Crawford & Co.

  5. shirley Haupt November 22, 2012 at 8:08 am #

    My father Willliam ( Bill) Haupt drove a Mail Coach for Cobb and Co.
    It would have been a Queensland run.,but i dont know exactly where.

  6. Craig Sheppard January 29, 2013 at 10:25 pm #

    Thomas Henry Merritt was said to have driven for Cobb & Co, he was from Roma QLD. He died about 1886 possibly in Rockhampton.
    Cheers Craig

  7. Denise McMahon May 25, 2013 at 3:25 pm #

    Hiram A Crawford didn’t drive for Cobb & Co. He ran his own lines, one of which ran under a Telegraph Line banner but it was his own company. He merely connected with Cobb – eg Albury to Chiltern (Crawford) Chiltern to Melbourne (Cobb). I have hundreds of names of staff who drove for Crawfords, some having driven prior, or after, for Cobb. I have looked into the working life, for Crawfords particularly, of these men, most times having reasonable results, others only a brief time. Loved to find someone interested in coaching.

    • Denise McMahon May 25, 2013 at 3:28 pm #

      A quick look through the list above shows names I have as driving for Crawfords – Tommy Hoyle for example who in 1862 travelled to the US with Hiram Crawford and who eventually transferred to another line. His son Tom Hoyle drove for many years for Crawfords. And on it goes.

      • nicole June 17, 2014 at 10:24 pm #

        Hi Denise, I just saw this message when I was searching for information on Hiram Crawford. I’m doing a thesis that partly involves looking at the Eastern Arcade and would be really keen to get in touch with you if possible.

      • Denise June 18, 2014 at 11:05 am #

        Nicole. Please contact me on denisem at

    • Michelle Brodrick December 28, 2015 at 10:30 pm #

      Denise, I am researching my family tree. Included are several people who appear to have worked for Crawford or with him. They are Thomas Connolly, Thomas Plows and James flowers. George Milne seems to have been a Cobb & co driver too (Qld). Any info you have on these men or a direction I can take to find out more would be greatly appreciated.

      • Denise December 29, 2015 at 12:41 am #

        Michelle- you are related to Crawford? He was my great-grandfather. I can probably help out with descendants of Thomas Connolly in the US. I used to be in touch with his son’s daughter, and then her daughter. Cobb & Co were not connected with Crawford & Co in which Thomas was involved. I’ve spent over a decade researching the history of the coaching company Crawford & Co and have hundreds of names of drivers and other workers in the firm. Plows and Flowers are not among those names I have – doesn’t mean they didn’t work for Crawfords, I just have not located them. Nor Milne. There was a family of Milne in northeast Victoria where Crawfords were mainly based (and southern NSW). They didn’t go into Queensland. I can only therefore help with Thomas Connolly. If you would like to get in touch denisem(AT)

    • Steve Ray January 22, 2016 at 1:15 pm #

      GDay Denise I think I have written to you before. My G.G. Grandfather i think drove with Tommy Doyle He was Harry Ray. I know Harry had a coach accident at Everton but I think he had another at Tarrawingee but havent been able to find anything. Would you know of this accident. He also had a son Frederick John Ray drive for Cobb& Co. in th wilcannia area. He also had another son who also drove coaches but I do not know who for. I have him driving in Lawlers in 1903 and 1912 in Leonora. I would love to know if you have any info on Him.
      Steve Ray

      • Denise January 22, 2016 at 1:48 pm #

        Hi Steve – I remember you contacting me last year. I’ll check everything in the files again and get back to you in the next day or two. It wasn’t unusual for son to follow father in driving, brothers, and other family members often followed the same trade. I have instances of a few families (known) to have done this with Crawford & Co. Crawfords also ran in the Wilcannia area, so unless you have proof positive that it was Cobb, it may have been Crawfords. I’ll see what I can find. The Doyle father and son also drove for Crawfords – the father moving to another line after his American trip in 1862. Sad story with this family. Denise

      • Denise January 23, 2016 at 9:53 pm #

        Steve hi. I need to correct myself – Crawfords didn’t to my knowledge go as far northwest as Wilcannia. I am thinking along the lines that Harry’s accident referred to in his obit in the Ovens and Murray Advertiser 8.8.1872 P2 was actually the one in 1866. The obit refers to his head problems and the accident in 1866 was when a coach ran over his head at Everton (Golden Ball). I too have found no other reference to an accident around 1869/70. Denise

      • Seve Ray April 24, 2016 at 5:36 pm #

        Thanks Denise

      • Seve Ray April 24, 2016 at 6:00 pm #

        Gday Denise do you know anything about Nye and Hooper coaches
        Thanks Steve

      • Denise April 25, 2016 at 10:19 pm #

        Hi Steve. Yes we communicated about Tommy and Harry about 18 months ago. I’ve not located anything else. Harry drove for Crawfords during the early years. The firm also ran throughout the Riverina area. I have your emails from the last communication so if I find anything I’ll forward on to you.

    • christine July 20, 2016 at 8:36 am #

      Thank you Denise for caring about Crawford’s part in coaching a lot of people thought there was only Cobb and co but there wasn’t as you know also I think there were another two companies had list of all companies can’t find now thought I had saved it but obviously hadn’t.also I am descendant of crawfords

      • Denise July 20, 2016 at 10:29 am #

        Christine hi. You are related to my Crawfords – I received your brief email but couldn’t work out the connection. Would love to hear from you in more detail.

  8. Rhondda Rasmussen June 2, 2013 at 3:51 pm #

    My grandfather was Jack Thompson. He drove the Hughenden to Muttaburra run, I think in the early 1900s. Would love more information if you have any.

    • Judith McClymont January 19, 2014 at 5:13 pm #

      I have been researching local Muttaburra area history, and have seen a 1905 photo of Jack on the QSL website. I think I read somewhere that Jack did the Hughenden-Muttaburra run for 16 years, and his brother Tommy drove on the Hughenden-Winton run.

    • rita cauchi November 9, 2016 at 10:59 pm #

      have several paper cuttings on jack thompson if you would like copies

  9. Brian McMullen June 26, 2013 at 1:00 pm #

    I am 60 years old. I remember, as a kid, my grandmother showing me a photo of her and her father sitting on the seat of a Cobb & Co coach. His name was King (not sure of chrsitian name). She said he drove a coach between Bourke and somewhere (can’t remember). I don’t know where that photo is now. My grandmother’s place was cleaned out by some unscrupulous uncles when she was moved into a nursing home. I don’t see a King on your list so I better do some research and let you know. Cheers

    • sharryn February 24, 2014 at 5:21 pm #

      Hi My great Great grand father William King was a stage coach driver hope this helps.

  10. Bruce Phillips June 26, 2013 at 3:26 pm #

    My great great grandfather was James Edwards who reportedly ran a line of coaches between Ballarat and the outlying towns of Gordon and Mount
    Egerton circa 1870s. He is then said to have thrown his lot in with Cobb and Co and managed their operations at Gordon Gordon (near Mount Egerton) late 19th century. I understand many of those involved in the coach industry moved over to work in railways. James’ Son Tom was one of these working his way up from signalman to safety officer .(sources The Victorian Railways Magazine 1927. Any additonal info greatly welcomed.

    Bruce Phillips 276 June 2013

    • Rosalee Firth April 7, 2019 at 8:19 am #

      Hi Bruce,I’ve put some info on ancestry in James’ profile that came from Trove, some quite interesting. You should be able to access it – lolaruby48. Kind regards Rosalee

      • Anonymous March 8, 2021 at 5:16 pm #

        Thanks heaps Rosalee

  11. Jo Monigatti July 1, 2013 at 4:22 pm #

    My grandfather Charles Edward ANDREWS was a Cobb & Co coach driver. Charles died in Healesville Victoria aged 90yrs in 1943. His obit notice in The Healesville Guardian Saturday 24th April 1943 pg 3 stated Mr Andrews was employed by Mr Sheehan and drove mail coach from Healesvill to Melbourne. He drove Duke & Duchess of York (later King George & Queen Mary) over the Black spur to Fernshaw for a picnic. Also another reference in The Healesville Guardian Firday May 17, 1901. Have you any further details/photos or lists of coachdrivers?

    • Brian O'Shannessy July 7, 2020 at 7:27 pm #

      Charles (Charlie) Edward Andrews was the husband of my 2nd great aunt – Eileen Ellen Andrews nee O’Shannessy. Would be interested in more family history. I believe my mum Pat (now deceased) met you at a funeral for a Roche family member many years back.

  12. Jo Monigatti July 2, 2013 at 5:58 pm #

    In addition to the comment above. I also had an Uncle Charlie ANDREWS (probably the one on your list above) who also drove Cobb & Co mail coach from Healesville to Marysville pre 1911. He lived in Narbethong Victoria and was the son of my grandfather Charles Edward ANDREWS.

    • Leonie February 14, 2015 at 12:44 pm #

      Hi Jo, My G G Grandfather is Charlie Andrews. My G Grandmother is Gertrude. Photos of Charlie driving for the Queens Visit are available in Healesville at the Historical Society and at the Fernshaw reserve car park

      • Jo Monigatti April 25, 2018 at 3:50 pm #

        Hi Leonie I was just flicking through this site today (25.4.2018) & noticed your reply. I would dearly love to make contact & share other family history with you. Your G Grandmother Gertrude was from the first family, as my grandfather Charles Edward remarried & went on to have another 5 children, my mother being the youngest of the five.

  13. Kevin Toohey August 11, 2013 at 11:43 am #

    Just found your site. I have another NSW driver to add to your list. His name is Peter Toohey and he was an original driver from Bathurst. I have lots of newspaper references to him. The best is an attempted hold up on the Lambing Flat to Cowra run. reference Brisbane Courier 22/09/1862.

    • helen August 6, 2014 at 9:27 am #

      Hi Kevin, my GGG Grandfather, Edward E Moon had the first Royal Mail Lease for the Bathurst to Wellington run & he built the first Freemasons hotel in Molong

      • Ellizabeth Agnew September 13, 2017 at 6:59 am #

        May I interrupt the coach forum and ask Helen to contact me off-line regarding Edward Wright Moon?

      • Helen Dell March 9, 2021 at 6:41 am #

        Hi Elizabeth please email me using re my 3x grt grandfather

      • Anonymous February 9, 2019 at 2:32 pm #

        I am interested in anything to do with Molong – I manage the Cobb & Co Coach House in Molong and would love any info or photos you may have – payment will be made of course – any info in the your ggg grandfather Moon would be really interesting – thank you Barbara 9.2.2019

      • Helen Dell March 9, 2021 at 6:37 am #

        Just saw your reply to my message regarding my 3xgrt grandfather Edward Moon of Molong . My email is . The Molong Historical Society, who I have been in touch with over the last few years have information about him him too. Cheers Helen . Hi happy for you to directly email me

  14. Len Baldry September 4, 2013 at 9:45 pm #

    My name is Len Baldry I am restoreing a Cobb coach at the moment and I belive it was driven by Mr. Ernest James Vaughan Possibly from Richmond (N Q )to Marathon and perhaps beyond. I am trying to find out the details of the route he drove for the sign writeing on the finished coach. The time line is late 1890 to 1913 Many Thanks for any help aviable.

    • Denise December 9, 2013 at 11:51 am #

      Len Baldry – a suggestion for you if you haven’t done so already. Deborah Tranter’s “Cobb & Co, Coaching in Qld” possibly will help you. It has maps of routes the firm ran. I looked up the index and Vaughan is not listed.

  15. Denise December 9, 2013 at 12:08 pm #

    When coaching companies applied for their annual license (essential to operate) the courts required the coach to be present and the number of passengers it would hold and the name or # of the coach. There would be an inspection and if passed the license granted. In the early days, the courts needed the driver’s name also – how long this lasted I don’t know as the renewal was yearly but drivers came and went, often transient men, so he may have been driving at the time of the license but not a month later! At times even the name of the horse/s used on that run was noted. I don’t think this sort of data was taken for long. Horses and drivers changed.
    Therefore if you are seeking data on a coaching company – try the local licensing court. Local papers often referred to drivers – coaching was a hazardous occupation so they were often noted in papers that something had happened.
    Seeking data on mail run contracts? Try the Gov Gazettes, fortunately Victorian gazettes are online.

    As I have researched a large coaching company over the last decade, I have found, and would like to pass on, that the name Cobb & Co. then and even now, was used too often and incorrectly. Be aware that you might need to look at other company names. When Cobb himself returned to the US in 1856, his firm was broken up and bought by several independent coaching firms already operating in an area Cobb ran, and who continued to use that name. References may be found in papers to the original name. It’s a bit like the expression “I’m going to Hoover the carpet” when in fact you are using a Dyson. So Bob Smith may have for example started working for Independent Coaching Co Pty. Ltd. but ended up working under the banner Cobb – which in fact the original Cobb company never had anything to do with.
    The firm I researched was started by my great-grandfather in 1857 in Beechworth Victoria and soon expanded following the gold rushes. When mining slowed in an area, the coaches moved to the next rush, and so on. This firm I researched lasted 64 years, covering all n/e Victoria and the Riverina District of NSW.
    Always happy to help if I can.

    • Graham g June 8, 2018 at 9:22 pm #

      Hi Denise, my great grand father drove for Cobb@Co, Robert Hunter Grover, his partner Dirk Harris drove the first six team of horses across the Murray Rover to Wagga Wagga, he was regularly held up by Ned Kelly and was well known to Powell the bush ranger do you have know leg of him, he was also a breath horse rider.
      Graham Grover

      • Denise McMahon March 8, 2021 at 3:07 pm #

        Graham. Hi. Your message above arrived today – March 2021. Yes I know of Grover. He was also a member of Old Coach Driver’s Association in Melbourne. At 89 Bob claimed the honour of having been the first man to drive a six horse coach across the Murray from Beechworth to Wagga for H A Crawford & Co. If you want more please contact me As for his partner I have info on Reibard Harris among a couple of others, not Richard/Dick.

  16. Denise December 9, 2013 at 12:11 pm #

    Another thought. If your man was a Victorian driver, check out the papers at the SLV for Old Coach Driver’s Association. Many men, those more permanently employed by a coaching firm as their full time occupation, were listed in the annual ‘newsletter’. I have copies of these documents here and if anyone is interested, I am happy to check when I have time. Some of these members were by this time (1920s-30s) living in other states.

    • Liz Hayward August 12, 2014 at 5:04 pm #

      Hi Denise, it sounds like you have done some very comprehensive work on this subject. My great grandfather was Christopher John Rowbottom and I believe he drove for Cobb & Co out of Queenscliff, Victoria 1900-1910ish and possibly around Deniliquin prior to that.
      Any suggestions you may have for confirming this information would be more than welcome.
      Thank you.

      • Anonymous August 12, 2014 at 5:17 pm #

        Unfortunately Liz I can’t help with Cobb details. I have researched 64 years of Crawford & Co – records show it was bigger than the original Cobb by far. However, I might suggest you read the old papers for reports as the drivers were often mentioned. Also look at licence records – I know in the early days it mentioned the name of the driver and even the horse used on the route the licence was for. Maybe by the 1900s they were less ‘particular’! The reason it may prove difficult for you is that Cobb may not have been the company but some other company As you are probably aware, in Vic at least, Cobb & Co was the name, not the owner’s name after 1856 – many companies (even small ones) bought out parts of Cobb when the partnership dissolved and they went home or on their own journeys. I would start with Rowbottom on old papers and see how that works. Good luck. Denise

      • Denise McMahon March 8, 2021 at 3:10 pm #

        Liz hi. You asked a long time ago, sorry I haven’t had this request before today (8.3.21). To find if your ggrandfather worked for Cobb & Co, isn’t that easy. I have found hundreds of staff members of Crawford & Co by trawling newspapers, company documents (not always easy to get), various archives. Was it Cobb for sure? The name is used habitually in Australia when in fact the company in question had nothing to do with Cobb. Bit like we use the Hoover to vacuum when in fact you own a Dyson.

  17. Christine Lee January 20, 2014 at 9:51 pm #

    Hi. just reading your list of Cobb&Co Stage Coach Drivers, my Grandfather was H.Chatfield and I have a photo of him on coach getting ready to leave Yeulba for Surat (some one has written Carnarvon Hwy out of Roma Qld. Don;t know what dates as we don;t gave a lot of history on my Grandfather (they lived in Townsville/Ravenshoe? area later on.
    Joy January 20th, 2014

    • Lorraine Lewis April 7, 2016 at 9:22 am #

      Hello Christine, ‘Harry’ Henry Chatfield is my GG Grandfather I live in Ravenshoe, I am also researching my family tree and have come across some information about Harry. He was born Henry but always called Harry. He did drive for Cob&Co at the age of 16. In the Riverina but for a reason never explained he left this celebrated firm and started business as a mail and coaching contractor. He drove teams throughout NSW and QLD where he with his four horse teams (I have a charcoal etched painting of him driving 5 horses) for more than 50 yrs he drove loads of prospectors and miners from Aramac into the Northern Territory, and then back to the mining fields in Northern Qld. His sense of direction was uncanny.

      The region that knew him best was the wild, semi civilized districts west from Port Douglas and Cairns and the mail track that took him up a mountain side and twisted its way over the Mitchell, Granite Ck, on to and beyond the Atherton Tableland, past Herberton, Mount Albion, the Tate, Georgetown, into Croydon delivering the mail often in serious competition with Cobb&Co. Aged 82 d. 07/01/1939 Harry passed over the horizon and laid his whip down in Herberton NQ, there closed the remarkable life story of a remarkable man.

      Coach Driver for Cobb&Co and Chatfield Coaches, at his retirement he sold his coach business to T. Galloway and C. Kidner.

    • Letitia Travers March 6, 2021 at 11:06 pm #

      Hi Joy,
      Harry Chatfield was my Great Grandfather. I would love a copy of the photo you say you have and maybe I could tell you a bit about him.
      Letitia Travers

  18. kate mcmanus June 7, 2014 at 1:39 pm #

    Hi, my great great grandfather Henry Raynor Blunden drove for cobb and co on the Carathool, Booligal, Gunbar run as a young man. It is mentioned in his obituary in the Narandera Argus and Riverina Advertiser 11 December 1942.

    Regards, Kate

  19. Terence M Hansen June 9, 2014 at 5:50 pm #

    I have been told that my grandfather Hans Hansen was a driver, not sure when.

    • Denise June 18, 2014 at 11:08 am #

      Terence – do you know which area? I have a Johnson Hansen who was employed by Crawford & Co in 1880 in Beechworth. Perhaps a relative of Hans?

  20. John Francis June 25, 2014 at 3:51 pm #

    John Francis.

    My Great Great Grandfather Edward Rushbrook was a driver of the Cobb and Co Coach between Stawell and Horsham, First stop Glenorchy, second Stop Ashen’s Halfway House near Lubeck then into Horsham via Dooen Road. All horse changes and the route had to be north of the Wimmera River as there were no bridges across. We have a photo of him and the coach.

    • Sam Everingham June 25, 2014 at 6:33 pm #

      Thanks John. Thats great to hear. Will add him to our list!!

  21. Catherine Scott August 5, 2014 at 8:13 pm #

    My family member Henry Gawthorne drove Cobb and Co coaches near Mudgee NSW. He was my great grandfather’s brother.

  22. Rebeccar Riordan August 5, 2014 at 9:16 pm #

    Hi Sam
    My Great great Grandfather John Christopher Riordan was a driver & travelling manager for Cobb & Co from about 1880 to 1886.On his marriage certificate in 1880 he was living in Glen Innes & driving the route from Tamworth to Tenterfield. In the later years was driving in Glen Innes & Walgett NSW & Cunnamulla Qld areas, unfortunately dismissed for habitual drunkeness in 1887, hard men for hard roads perhaps

  23. Robyn Pike August 6, 2014 at 2:32 pm #

    Hi there I have a Thomas Toy who was a driver, started as a groom. He was a transported Convict and my first records of him are his marriage and children s births at Windsor and Penrith before they moved to Bathurst. He left his family but continued to drive with a report later on involving an accident causing the death of a man. He then borrowed money to start his own coach service but absconded and sold the coach and did not repay the loan.

  24. Margie Brace August 6, 2014 at 8:24 pm #

    I believe that my great grandfather John Oscar Stait from Meadow Flat, NSW, drove Cobb & Co. Coaches over the Blue Mountains. This is a quote from his obituary in Oct 1920 from a Lithgow newspaper: “For many years before the construction of the railway, he drove teams over the mountains, and for some years was employed by Cobb and Co.” I can’t give the name of the paper because I just had the clipping. My father told a story of the teams tying logs behind the coaches to slow them down as they came down the steep trails on the west of the mountains and a big cross that was erected to remember all of those who had died either in the building of the track or driving the teams over it.

  25. Margie Brace August 7, 2014 at 7:38 am #

    Hi Sam, I wrote last night about JOHN OSCAR STAIT. When I checked my records I found that obituaries were published in the Wellington Times and the Parkes Observer when he died. That made me wonder if these were places he had driven coaches to.

  26. Kent Piercy August 7, 2014 at 1:07 pm #

    Hi, From her story my grandmother, Ivy Mary Kent (nee Woods) indicated that her father, William Woods, drove for Cobb & Co.
    William Woods came to Sydney in the early 1880’s and applied for land. While he waited it is said that he drive for Cobb & Co Sydney and Brisbane.
    He was a school teacher by occupation but chose to farm. he was eventually allocated land on the Winson Road at Kellyville 8 miles from Parramatta.

    How long he worked as a driver I do not know.

  27. pedr Marshall August 9, 2014 at 3:56 pm #

    I believe my Great Grandfather William Jones drove for Cobb & Co between Ballarat and Ararat circa 1865. He was living in Armstrong Street Ballarat at this time with his wife and 8 children. Brian Moritz in his history of Postal Services in Victoria identifies William. William moved to Red Jacket in circa 1877 as a school teacher, and died in Brunswick in 1911
    Pedr Marshall


  28. Don McLennan August 9, 2014 at 7:40 pm #

    Hi Sam, My great Grandfather Oliver Rayson was attached somehow to Cobb and Co I think in Victoria, he then went on to manage Sydney Tram and Omnibus. Would love any information or photos if you ever come by some. Great project you are undertaking well done…

    • Wendy Garcia February 28, 2016 at 7:53 am #

      My great grandfather was Wilfred Travers. He was Manager of the Sydney Tramway and Omnibus Company from 1878 to 1880. Prior to that he held the position of Stables Manager with the Melbourne Omnibus Company from early 1870’s. He suffered from a near fatal buggy accident in March 1880 whilst on company business in the company of Mr Merriman.

  29. Heather Thomson August 11, 2014 at 11:04 am #

    My great grandfather WILLIAM COOPER, became a driver for Cobb & Co in around 1879 and did the runs between Deniliquin and Hay, Hay and Wilcannia and Moulamin, Balranald and between the stations in that area. He later went to Melbourne to drive the carriage and four greys of Alfred Deakins father-in-law, H.S. Brown of the Australian Distillery. I have an old newspaper photograph which appeared in the old Bendigo Advertiser newspaper, of a number of retired Cobb & Co drivers at their annual Cobb & Co Old Drivers Association re-union which was held in The Weekky Times Lounge.

  30. Liz Hayward August 12, 2014 at 4:25 pm #

    Hi Sam, I believe my great grandfather, Christopher John Rowbottom drove for Cobb & Co from Queenscliff (on the Bellarine Peninsula, Victoria) around the first decade of the 1900’s and possibly drove coaches (not sure if Cobb & co) in Deniliquin prior to that. Can you suggest any contacts that may help me to confirm this?
    Thank you for any assistance you may be able to provide.

  31. sheryl August 14, 2014 at 7:46 pm #

    my great grandfather drove cobb n co coach st george to cunnamulla-he is also listed in cobb n coaching book

  32. sheryl August 14, 2014 at 7:49 pm #

    my great grandfather, GEORGE VALENTINE ISLES drove coach st george to cunnamulla run later had private mail run.

  33. Ian Wade September 11, 2014 at 2:39 pm #

    My Grandfather, William Humphrey was a Cobb &Co. Coach driver operating in the Hay, Boorooban, Ivanhoe and Willcannia runs.
    I have alist of driver’s whose names do not appear on your list. This list is an itinerary for drivers duties in the coming weeks.
    My name is Ian Wade and my email is
    Am happy to provide a copy

  34. Allan November 1, 2014 at 11:37 pm #

    Thomas Bradley owned Bradley’s Express from Dalby to Roma in May 1872 and they were forcing Cobb & Co to reduce their rates in competition, Thomas may have join Cobb& Co eventually. Do you have any info regarding him or Bradley’s Express.

  35. David Robinson December 8, 2014 at 7:42 am #

    James Robinson and son Benjamin Robinson started off in Victoria around 1863 with Cobb & co before moving to Deniliquin. James died in 1926 and Benjamin retired in 1937 Jerilderie.

  36. Sharon hogan January 8, 2015 at 10:05 am #

    My great great grandfather Frederick Shaw was the manager for Queensland Cobb & Co from 1871. He worked as agent with the previous manager since arriving in Australia in 1865. Frederick’s sons all worked for Cobb & Co at different times, either as agents or drivers. His son’s were, Lewis Henry Shaw, Frederick Ellison Shaw, and Herbert Walter Shaw. Herbert is in your list.

    • Jo Cucchiaro April 8, 2016 at 5:53 am #

      Hello Sam and Sharon,
      I’m also directly related to Frederick Shaw, Frederick Ellison Shaw and Follett Charles Shaw, all Cobb & Co employees. Am a little confused as to whether it was Frederick or his son Frederick Ellison who was appointed Qld manager in 1871, as their dates of birth point to it being Frederick Ellison Shaw.

      • Trevor Shaw June 8, 2016 at 7:56 pm #

        Hi Sam and Sharon and Jo,
        Frederick was my Great Great Grandfather, b. 1824, d. 1902, and was general manager Qld. He was an MLA and, with his brother Isaac, had cane at Logan. His son Frederick Ellison, as you said, also worked for Cobb & Co. Lewis Henry died at Bogantungan. Frederick E. and his brother Farquhar both went to the Boer War. Farquhar was my great grandfather.

  37. victoria Burke January 10, 2015 at 1:48 pm #

    Hi I was just looking at your list and you have john Jacobs he was an ancestor of mine which I found while researching my grandmothers tree.

  38. Anonymous January 22, 2015 at 9:15 pm #

    I am sure Sam will agree with me. Do check which firm your ancestor worked for before writing in a book or family history it was Cobb & Co. The name Cobb & Co has become a household name and in fact it is used too often when in fact it was another coaching company which operated in the region, or perhaps for whom your ancestor drove. A prime example is book on Cobb (not Sam’s by the way). The author claimed that a very well know driver, one reputed to be the most famous of all, drove for Cobb. This man in fact drove for my great-grandfather’s line, Crawford & Co, in northeast Victoria for 40 years until he had an accident in 1919 which prevented him driving coaches again. Another example, recently I was given a 1880s photo of workmen at stables belonging to Crawfords. On the back the descendant of one of the men wrote – Cobb & Co. That man, a coach trimmer, didn’t work for Cobb! Even descendants can get it wrong, so please, for your own sake, before claiming in a book, family or otherwise, make sure you have the right company. It’s not always hard to do. Let’s not rewrite history and get it wrong, far too many people do that.

    • Sam Everingham January 22, 2015 at 9:28 pm #

      YEs I quite agree. The list on this webblog may provide you with some clues, but indeed its a common mistake to assume Cobb & Co ran all the coach routes in some states. There was certainly much competition
      Sam E

    • Sharon February 15, 2015 at 6:47 pm #

      I agree, the Cobb & Co Musuem in Queensland, has a book on the history of Cobb & co in Queensland, I bought it, sat down to have a read, got the page of my great great grandfather Frederick Shaw and I have seen that photo before and it’s not him. Go to the index and the index has his sons name against the details of Frederick, an easy mistake, the sons name is Frederick Ellision Shaw. Frederick snr has no middle name.

  39. Mark Smith January 25, 2015 at 10:34 pm #

    My Great Grandfather, Walter Oliver Smith was a driver for Cobb & Co in Central Queensland latter ran a coaching business between Mount Morgan & Kabra then Mount Morgan to Emu Park. The coming of the Railway put him out of business on the three occassions

  40. Morganpoet January 28, 2015 at 8:16 pm #

    My Great Grandfather Dennis Toohey and his brother Jeremiah were both pre Cobb and Co coach drivers in the Central West of NSW

    “Denny Toohey started the first coach direct from Orange, via,Manildra, across the Dungeon to the Bushman’s.”|||l-category=Article

    “Mr Toohey took a mail contract for some five or six years to run the coach from Parkes to Orange, the half stage being Manildra. At that centre Mr. ‘Toohey established the “Coach and Horses” hotel which he conducted with success for 13 years, in 1889 he built Tattersall’s Hotel in Parkes which he made one of the finest and most popular houses in
    the West. ”|||l-category=Article

    “The spirited whip,Toohey, has put a coach on between Parkes and Forbes, and, by the consequent competition, we have cheap travelling— one shilling passenger- fare to or
    from Forbes.”

    ‘… In 1864 a coach ran between Forbes and Billabong three times a week conveying
    passengers and goods. The man regarded as the pioneer Parkes-based coachman was Dennis Toohey… Toohey said the nearby post office was a shed. When the mail coach arrived the postmaster stood on a box and called the names of those receiving papers and letters… Although in the 1870’s Cobb and Co. was harnessing 6000 horses a day and logging 28 000 miles a week there was still scope for the smaller operators, of whom Toohey became one… Toohey took a contract carrying the mails three times a week between Parkes and Orange over a 70-mile route. Toohey developed his half way stage in the area now Manildra where he established his Coach and Horses Hotel and conducted it for 13yrs. Toohey’s first stage was Parkes to Bumberry, a distance of 21 miles to the inn kept by H.Packham. The next stage was 20 miles to Meranburn, but this was considered by Toohey too close to Bumberry and he moved it on to Flash Jack Creek – the foundations of Manildra. / Toohey received (pounds)10 a week from his mail contract and his passenger fare from Parkes to Orange was 35/-. In February, 1877, Tooheys coaches carried 177 miners en route to the Palmer rush in Queensland… As the railway
    extended Cobb and Co. lost some of its lines. To compensate it undercut other operators to gain new coach lines…’ (Source: Parkes: One hundred years of Local Government, by Tindall, R.T, & Parkes Centenary Book Committee (comp.), ca.1983, Chap.32, Transportation, pp.151-152, Griffin Press Ltd, Netley, Sth. Australia, ISBN-

    Jeremiah Toohey had the mail contract for Grenfell and Forbes

    ‘MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS. / COACH ACCIDENT.-At about two o’clock yesterday morning (says Saturday’s Forbes Times) the Grenfell coach was completely overturned, and the occupants, a lady and gentleman, together with the driver were thrown out and more or less seriously injured. We learn from Mr. Toohey, the driver, that the coach started at about twelve o’clock on Thursday night from Forbes, and after proceeding some three miles along the road to near Mr. Ferrand’s paddock, one of the wheel horses shied at a possum, and in jumping about got the reins under his tail; this made the animal still more frightened, and resulted in all the horses bolting. The lights went out through the galloping and defective lamps and in the gloom of the night the driver was unable to guide the
    coach clear of a tree, the collision with which caused the vehicle to overturn-smashing the front wheel and the pole. The passengers, Miss Sarah Farbrother and Mr. Carter (traveller for Messrs. Collins and Sons), were thrown violently to the ground, the former receiving a cut on the forehead and several severe bruises about the body, while the latter miraculously escaped with a a great shaking. Toohey was, after being thrown off his box, dragged a considerable distance by the terror-stricken and furious horses through becoming entangled with the reins and narrowly escaped with his life. He has received serious injury to his ribs, and is otherwise cut and bruised all over his body ; his medical attendant, Dr. Sam, says it will be some time before he will be sufficiently recovered
    to resume his duties. The mails and Mr. Carter were taken on by another coach, but the young lady was too severely shaken to continue the journey. Later in the day the runaway horses were recovered. This is the second accident that has happened to the Grenfell coach during the past six weeks.’ (Source: National Library of Australia, Australian Newspapers, The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW : 1843 – 1893), Thu. 26 Jun. 1879, page ??, article,,

    A very old resident of Forbes, in the person of Mr Jeremiah Toohey, passed away in Sydney on Wednesday last at the advanced age of 80 years. He was one of the oldest mail contractors in the west. He first ran the mail between Parkes and Borenore, and later the Forbes-Grenfell and Forbes-Cowra mails one of his sons to-day holding the contract between Forbes and Grenfell.

    • janelle March 22, 2016 at 3:37 pm #

      would you have had a Mary Ann Toohey in your family…who later settled in the Darling Downs area?

  41. Morganpoet January 28, 2015 at 8:27 pm #

    Sorry about the length of the above post, please edit if necessary

  42. Margaret Ann Corrie February 2, 2015 at 9:55 am #

    Richard Halcroft Jr of Molong was a Driver, he was on the Gold Run (never Robbed) between Bathurst and surrounding area..he was my Great Grandmother Mary Ann Costello’s 1st Husband he Richard was son of Richard Halcroft Snr of Molong and Mary Ann nee George..

  43. dianne duscher February 28, 2015 at 11:33 am #

    T MOORE , Driver his name Edward john moore known as old ted, he was my great grand father,he did the mail and coach run Bombala area

  44. Bev todd April 12, 2015 at 10:29 pm #

    My husband’s grandfather lived in Hay and drove the mail coach. His run was from from Hay to Hillston on a round trip. When they commissioned him off after they terminated the run , Loyds of London presented him with a silver and gold fob watch for his services . I think the coach is still in the Hay High School museum. When my husband’s father passed away he still had the whip from the coach. We sent it back to relatives in Hay, who then presented it to the museum. His name was John Todd. who lived in Hay with his family until he passed away.

    • Anonymous April 13, 2015 at 11:55 am #

      Was John from Scotland? Did he marry Mary Rowan? I have information if this is one and the same chap.

    • Linda McCarthy June 8, 2018 at 4:13 pm #

      Hello Bev, I’d love to chat with you about this ancestry as my husband’s grandmother was John Todd’s younger sister.
      Cheers, Linda

  45. Melissa Smith April 19, 2015 at 5:26 pm #

    My Husbands Great Grandfather drove Cob and Co Coaches . His name was George Walter Smith and Im not sure exactly what years drove the coaches but he was married in 1881 at Blackall and he later had 4 children while working in western Central QLD in the Towns of Tambo, Winton and Augathella, In the 1880’s. By 1903 he was living in Mackay and was then a woodcutter.

  46. Shirley Beaumont--nee Rutherford. May 15, 2015 at 4:37 pm #

    My Grandfather —Charles George Rutherford—was supposed to be a coach Builder / Driver for Cobb and Co. Could that be the George in your list?
    If so there is another family story about the founder of Cobb and Co in the USA—a direct relative.–if you are interested. Shirley

    • Sam Everingham July 28, 2015 at 3:02 pm #

      Hi Shirley, Would love to know the family story about James Rutherford. Do tell!

  47. Colleen Wells July 1, 2015 at 6:39 pm #

    Richard Wells, Tamworth/Armidale/Casino/Lismore/Maitland NSW drove for Cobb & Co, Actually there is a news article in Trove archives of an accident he had while driving the coach..27th November 1879….Colleen

  48. Cynthja Pappin July 7, 2015 at 9:28 pm #

    I believe you Mr Marshall may have been Cecil Charles Marshall. His family knew him as a ‘driver’ from near Bourke around the turn of the century. He later lived in Bombala, NSW.

  49. Anonymous July 26, 2015 at 10:09 am #

    Henry James Gibb of Tumut was a coach driver when he enlisted in the 2nd NSW Mounted Rifles serving in the Boer War. He had a very chequered career – cattle rustler, Matabele fighter and oldest Australian to be kia in WW1. Bruce.

  50. Sharon Donnelly July 28, 2015 at 8:43 pm #

    Hi, My Great Great Grandfather, WILLIAM DAWKINS HOWLETT was the mail contractor working on the run between Bourke and Belalie, NSW in the years between 1856 and 1872. He is mentioned a few times in reports written by Oscar Hughan, the Bourke correspondent, for the Maitland Mercury at the time. I am not sure what stage coach company had the contract during those years but would love to know.

  51. Margaret Skene Nixon August 11, 2015 at 12:08 pm #

    Thomas Skene drove the Cobb & Co coach between Hay and Deniliquin. He lived at Boooroorban NSW

  52. Debra Foddy August 15, 2015 at 1:57 pm #

    It was a family story that my Great Grandfather, James Henry Smith drove for Cobb & Co in Victoria (Benalla area). It has also been rumoured that he used to deliver letters between Ned Kelly and his mother. If this was the case he would have been a teenager at the time. We have never been able to prove this. However, I do have records of him owning his own Postal Line contract in 1897 in Narrandera, NSW. Census records record him as a mail contractor into the 1930’s. In doing the family tree, we could go no further back then James (it was said he may have changed his name) until we were able to trace him through his mother. Funnily enough, it seems that he was actually James Henry Britton. I have often wondered if he may have been related to the J Britton and W Britton on your list.

    • Denise January 22, 2016 at 1:44 pm #

      Was James known as Henry? I have a H Britton driving in the Yackandandah area early 1901, for Crawford & Co.

      • Debra Foddy January 26, 2016 at 2:29 pm #

        Thanks. No, hw wasn’t known as Henry but I think they were related. James was in Narranderra by 1901 and ad his own run.

  53. Arthur Steele October 26, 2015 at 10:04 pm #

    Have you any information on William Ashmore of Roselea Gunbar, He is my paternal Great Grandfather He was a driver and had a trading stop at Gunbar nsw.

    • Sam Everingham October 30, 2015 at 2:11 pm #

      Unfortunately I dont Arthur but I will do some research on this

  54. Bill Hanna November 11, 2015 at 11:50 pm #


    Nothing was known about it within the family, but researching in Trove, I found reference to my Great Grandfather – David Hanna being “lately a driver for Cobb & Co.” This was reported – 1885-05-23 The Riverine Grazier.

    Would be happy to send you a copy of the small note on him in this paper to validate my claim and would be honoured if you could recognise his service with the coach line by including him on your website.

    Kind regards,


  55. Anonymous November 18, 2015 at 10:13 am #

    My Great Grandfather Frederick (Yappy) Taylor worked for Cobb & Co I thought in the Cobar area. The list mentions a Frederick Taylor who was a groom at Yowaka from 1894-1900. Was wondering if this was the same person. I know my grandfather came from Cobar. Could you please clarify if this is correct.

    • Sam Everingham November 20, 2015 at 12:22 pm #

      Hi Dale, yes I think this is the same person!!

  56. Steve Blackwell January 5, 2016 at 11:32 am #

    My great-great-grandfather Police Sergeant Leonard Fawssett didn’t drive a Cobb & Co coach but he was killed in a coach accident in Kerang in 1880. The coach owned by Roberson & Co (which I believe was associated with Cobb & Co) was being driven by W Walsh when the pole snapped resulting in the coach overturning on a sharp bend before the driver could stop. My g.g.grandfather was thrown from the box where he had been sitting and suffered a broken leg which was amputated leading to gangrene and death. A newspaper report of the Magisterial Enquiry can be found at

  57. Susie Zada February 2, 2016 at 7:52 am #

    Reblogged this on I just love history and commented:
    Great Blog with Cobb & Co employees – worth following!

  58. Kerry Boyd February 2, 2016 at 2:42 pm #

    Wondering if anyone has any further information about Charles Carlos Cole who is listed here as an owner? Much thanks, Kerry

  59. June Hopkins February 2, 2016 at 9:03 pm #

    My dad, Anthony (Tony) Cole always told us he was a driver on the last Cobb n Co run from Surat to Hebel when he was 24…( he was born in 1899). Can’t see his name on theorist. He lived in St George.

  60. Vicki Matthews February 7, 2016 at 6:41 pm #

    Hi Sam
    My grandfather John Frederick William Everett (known as Fred) is reputed to have been a driver for Cobb and Co. He was born 28 May 1876 at Rokewood, Victoria and although he was of a farming family he had no desire to be a farmer (or a bullock driver as most of his brothers were). I know he worked in a draper’s store in Rokewood for a while and presume that the driver’s job came after that say around 1900. He was married around 1906 so it was probably in that 6 year time frame. Do you have any information on him at all?
    Vicki Matthews

    • Sam Everingham February 8, 2016 at 6:18 pm #

      Hi Vicki
      I will try to look up something on your granddad, as there is nothing to hanmd I have. There were not many coaches running in Victoria after 1900 apart from day trippers, as the trains went everywhere back then, but he may have been driving in NSW

      • Denise February 8, 2016 at 6:27 pm #

        Crawford & Co ran until 1921. I have a James Everett who drove for the firm in Wangaratta in the 1890s that I know about. He was also a member of the Old Coach Driver’s Association. Perhaps a connection?

    • Denise February 8, 2016 at 6:35 pm #

      Trove has something on your grandfather – including a couple which mention his occupation. Have you checked his war records for an occupation? good luck.

  61. Joanne February 16, 2016 at 7:17 pm #

    No Mention of the family WATSFORD.
    James Watsford was the first to cross the Blue Mountains with his coach.

    The trek down Mt York to Hartley was incredible.

    Check him out on Google.

    Im kinda surprised you dont have any of the Watsford family on here.

    They owned hotels in Parramatta and ran coaches from there.
    They had coaches that ran between Sydney and Parramatta in the early days
    and the family continued the coach driving tradition with James son Henry continuing to
    drive coaches and then Henrys son George Henry Watsford drove for Cobb and Co for 13 years and was held up by bush rangers 13 times. Morgan being the worst..!

    Does anyone else have any info on the Watsford family of Parramatta?
    Id be interested to hear from you.

  62. Ron Hourigan March 14, 2016 at 12:33 pm #

    Sam My grandfather Jim Hourigan drove for Pooley on the Tarago to Braidwood run from about 1890 until 1911. I beleive Pooley later amalgamated with Malone, Jim continuing to drive for the amalgamated firm.
    Family legend has it that he also drove the first “five in hand” down the mountain from Braidwood to his home town in the vballey at Araluen.

    Ron Hourigan

  63. Powter Sara & Steve March 21, 2016 at 6:59 pm #

    Thanks for including Jim Hunter ( known as Jordy Jim) in the list! James was a driver for Rutherford in Melbourne in 1856. Having arrived from Durham UK in aug of that year. Within 3 months he was put on the Gold run form Ballarat. He stayed with the company for decades and was one of the 6 driver stop take coaches to Sofala in 1862 and then was the first Cobb & Co driver to take a full coach from Sofala to Emu Plains. In 1863 he was held up by Ben Hall & Frank Gardiner on the Sofala run – but thankfully was the decoy coach that day. In 1865 Jim was one of the first drivers on the Ipswich run, but moved back to Emu Plains and later Sofala then Emu again early in 1870’s. He stayed with the coach company until the rail went through, when he then became a ‘carrier’ for the railways until his retirement close to the turn of the century. He lived at “Mortimer House” ( his wife Sara Ellison’s parents Coaching Inn) now known as “Arms of Australia” in Emu Plains. It still exists and in a Museum in Emu Plains. He died in Emu Plains in 1906. My dad was 2 and remembered his huge hands.

  64. Powter Sara & Steve March 21, 2016 at 7:04 pm #

    Sam is there a chance you could add Vic & NSW to James ( Jim) Hunter please…

    • Sam Everingham March 31, 2016 at 5:39 pm #

      Thanks Sara & Steve, am updating this now!

    • Powter Sara & Steve January 12, 2017 at 9:24 pm #

      oh and his Nick Name while driving was “Jordy Jim” as he was from Durham UK! PS and thanks for adding the other states to his profile!

  65. Powter Sara & Steve March 21, 2016 at 7:06 pm #

    Hi – another name to add to the list is McCauseland Lamrock, who drove the Tenterfield/Tamworth area.

    • Sam Everingham March 21, 2016 at 9:15 pm #

      Thanks Will get this updated!

      • Powter Sara & Steve January 12, 2017 at 9:30 pm #

        Sam – I have a LOT more information about James Hunter. and also the routes he drove – dates form 1856 with Rutherford in Ballarat to 1875 when he retired to be a railway Carter in Penrith /Emu Plains! One of the famous stories was a hold up by Ben Hall and Frank Gardiner outside Sofala. Thankfully he was on the mail run not he gold run and was the decoy for the day, but there is an article in the Emu Plains paper that tells of the story!

        but here is his obituary:-
        100 years ago in Penrith – the following article
        comes from the Nepean Times 4 August 1906

        Beyond the Veil:
        James Hunter

        The many friends of Mr James Hunter will regret to hear of his death, which took place at his residence, Emu Plains, on thursday last, at the age of 70 years. Mr Hunter in his day was one of the most popular men, especially in the good old days, when he was one of Cobb and Co’s best driver of the Western-road. His many experiences among “the gentlemen of the road” were particularly interesting. It was whilst on this particular kind of work that he married the eldest daughter of the late Mr Thomas Ellison, by whom was raised a large family, who, like their parents, were among the most highly respected people of the district. Two or more of these died. Those remaining are Mr Lance, Hunter, Mr James Hunter, Mrs William Howell, Mr Norman A Hunter, Mr Hilton Hunter and Mr Jack Hunter. As the railway proceeded west, Mr Hunter, like many other of the old coach drivers, drifted into other lines of business, vix. hotelkeeper, railway employee, and finally settled down in the business of general carrier, where he did well. He carried on that business until frequent attacks of rheumatism compelled him to lay aside. Occasionally he got better and was able to get about, and was as cheery as ever. Eventually the disease got a firmer hold, and he was compelled to give up, finally passing peacefully away. We propose getting some further particulars of this interesting life next week. The writer, as a personal friend of deceased, joins with his numerous friends in expressing the deepest sympathy with the bereaved ones.

        Local Indexing Database can be searched at:

  66. Naomi March 30, 2016 at 1:15 am #

    Hi Sam –

    I believe another name that may need to be added to the list is George Arnold, who drove the Ballarat/Melbourne route. This was mentionedin an in The Ballarat Star newspaper on 2 March 1917, where George Arnold he reminisced about his working as a jack coach driver.

  67. Tyler Cobb April 4, 2016 at 1:30 am #

    My ancestor Freeman Cobb was the one who created Cobb & Co

    • Anne Both October 31, 2016 at 3:35 pm #

      If you have any information about employees in the 1860s I would be interested to know if the name of Frederick Harradine figures among them he is said to have been o horse dealer for them after arrival from UK and later worked on NSW railways

  68. Judy till April 22, 2016 at 3:55 pm #

    My relative William Eastley was one of oldest Cobb and Co drivers on the Coonamble WArren Dubbo run. his memorial notice Lithgow Mercury 31.1.1839. If you have any other information would be appreciated. Judy Till

  69. Steve Ray April 28, 2016 at 5:37 pm #

    Thanks Denise

    • Steve Ray July 3, 2017 at 2:45 pm #

      GDay Denise Just a bit of info.Frederick John Ray also drove for Morrison Bros. Wanaaring to Wilcannia. After he got crook drove from Bourke to Wilcannia.
      His father Henry also drove for Foster and Vinge before Cobb and Co. bought them out in 1857. He also drove for James Bevan and Hiram Crawford.

      • Denise McMahon March 8, 2021 at 3:19 pm #

        Steve – I have just got this message from you on 3/7/17. It is 8/3/21, so apologise for not answering. Harry Ray yes, I have him in the files. it seems sons followed fathers footsteps as Ray is not the only instance. I have a couple of Ray’s- B F Ray and Harry.

  70. Julie Thomas May 23, 2016 at 8:49 am #

    Sam, my great grandfather William George Rochester was a Cobb and Co driver from Hay to Booligal. He drove for Shaw and Rochester on the Narrabri to Collarenabri run in the 1890s and in the early 1900s he worked between Raymond Terrace and Hexham and Hexham and Taree. E.P.Nowland could have been the owner or Walter Reichert.

    • Sam Everingham May 23, 2016 at 9:42 am #

      Thanks Julie
      Thats terrific to know! Much appreciated

  71. Max brumby June 28, 2016 at 11:25 pm #

    My grandfather was a Cobb &co driver @ hay his name mensforth

  72. judith talanoa July 17, 2016 at 12:33 pm #

    Yes, my great grandfather, George Bond, drove for Cobb & Co. He died, apparently of a heart attack, whilst driving near Tocumwal (I think). The coach left the road but did not overturn, I believe the report said.

  73. Denise July 20, 2016 at 12:19 pm #

    Steve Ray – you asked about Nye and Hooper – that query has just come into my email box. Can you contact me via email and I’ll share what I have. regards Denise denisem @

  74. Trevor Corrigal October 9, 2016 at 5:43 pm #

    My Great Grandfather William McRostie was in charge of the coaching stables at Fishers Creek. I have a character reference dated 13th May 1895 from the Melbourne office of C & C. I have no further information regarding his employment with them

  75. Denise November 3, 2016 at 2:24 pm #

    Today TROVE announced it has digitalised NSW Gov Gazettes. For those trying to search details of their ancestor’s coaching history, this probably will be a gold field for you.

  76. Gini Lee December 4, 2016 at 8:17 am #

    Hello Sam I my great grandfather Charlie Lee drove coaches around Hay and Deniliquin and there is/was a plaque on the road between the towns at the black swamp where it was recorded that he saw the headless horseman – he doesn’t look to be on the list cheers Gini

  77. Gini Lee December 4, 2016 at 8:24 am #

    Hello Sam my great grandfather Charlie Lee drove coaches around Hay and Deniliquin and there is/was a plaque on the road between the towns at the black swamp where it was recorded that he saw the headless horseman – he doesn’t look to be on the list cheers Gini

    • Sam Everingham December 4, 2016 at 10:01 am #

      Hi Gini
      Thanks so much for this. Will add him in the next update!

    • Barbara Elinor June 14, 2018 at 6:20 pm #

      Hi Gini , Charles Lee was my Great Great Grandfather. His daughter Clara Lee was my great grandmother. Are you Jacks daughters.

  78. carrey56 December 11, 2016 at 10:57 am #

    Hi Sam
    I have just come across the husband of a distant cousin who is not mentioned on your list of drivers but his obituary lists him as a driver for Crawford and Co in many parts of Victoria and Southern NSW. He was Arthur Richard Curd. He died on 1 Jan 1950. I found these obits in Trove.

    • Denise McMahon March 8, 2021 at 2:57 pm #

      Carrey56. Your message has just arrived in my inbox – March 2021. I have no idea why it has taken so long. I hope to hear from you regarding A R Curd. Denise

  79. Jim Hoppitt January 7, 2017 at 9:06 am #

    On my Great Grandfathers marriage licence he is shown as a mail coach driver at Bathurst dated 19th May 1875. Can you give any info on this. His name was James Holloway .
    Thanks Jim Hoppitt

  80. Robert Willis January 15, 2017 at 6:41 pm #

    I am related to Silent Bob Bates driver from Glen Innes to Inverell 1890 also listed is Bob Betts Inverell to Glen Innes 1898 are these the same person? I believe Silent Bob set the scene for Tom Roberts painting BAIL UP . Have you any information confirming this.

    • Ann October 3, 2022 at 2:04 pm #

      Hi Robert, I am also a descendant of Bob Bates (Betts) and can confirm they are the same person. My mother did extensive research and including oral history and can also confirm he set the scene and was depicted in Tom Roberts painting and Tom also painted his portrait on a cigar box lid. Regards Ann

  81. Jacqueline Russell January 16, 2017 at 12:03 pm #

    My Great grandfather John George Pike drove for Cobb and Co. This was mentioned in his obituary. I have no other information about this.

  82. Jacqueline Russell January 16, 2017 at 12:05 pm #

    Great great grandfather!

  83. Anonymous January 16, 2017 at 2:41 pm #

    Hi. I’ve been researching the staff of Crawford & Co and would love to hear from you re Curd. Regards Denise denisem@ No space after @.

  84. Shane Cassidy June 8, 2017 at 2:03 am #

    Thomas Kelly is my Great Grandfather
    He had 3 bad crashed as a coachman
    He also had his own coaches

    He had 2 operations for a brain tumor and committed suicide here in Perth 1899

    • Jim Hoppitt June 14, 2017 at 9:07 am #

      On my Great Grandfathers Marriage certificate he states he is a mail coach driver for Cobb & Co at Bathurst NSW. Although I have emailed the Bathurst Historical Society twice and contacted the Bathurst Library once, I can get no assistance to verify this statement. His mane was James Holloway. The date appears to be May 1875

      • Denise June 14, 2017 at 10:18 am #

        Hi Jim. If I may suggest a couple of things in regard to locating your ggf as a coach driver. I’ve researched hundreds of coach drivers who drove for Crawford & Co. and apart from contacting descendants and company documents, the main source in locating a driver has been for me through newspapers. This informationof course can be followed up later by other sources. Newspapers often reported an incident involving a coach and driver. I was fortunate also to get hold of company financial documents which listed a number of these drivers. It will be hard trying to confirm his driving, but try TROVE first. There is another way but pretty involved and a lot of reading – licence applications by the company in the town where the coach was based was an annual thing and often had name of driver attached. I gather you have his Obit? Good luck.

  85. Shane Cassidy June 14, 2017 at 10:42 am #

    Were did this information come from?
    My GGG Grandfather is mentioned and he was a coachman/driver for Cobb and Co a lot earlier than the date listed her.He also owned 3 coaches of his own.

    The company listed here isnt the name on any od the family coach photos we have.The company listed here we cant find any information on in Both NSW and Victoria were he worked and lived.

    He moved to perth in 1860 after he was driving a motorised taxi for Cobb and Co and it was hit my a tram.

    There has been a book written on my GGG Grandfather that tells his story.The book has many photos

  86. Fiona Anderson November 30, 2017 at 1:38 pm #

    Looking for information on John Murray Peck. It is written in his son Harrys book that they held their sheep on my parents property in Victoria. After bringing them down from up North they were then shorn then headed off to Melbourne. Harrys daughter Louisa was very interested in her father history and the history of the Cobb and Co. I have read the articles on Trove. We have contacted Bendigo history and Victoria land titles but the records for my parents property are missing which was so disappointing. I know this is a long shot but i thought i would put it out their if any one knows where is could go to get some information.

    • Denise November 30, 2017 at 3:16 pm #

      From my research into coaching I have a little but perhaps it may be of some help in time. the papers of The Old Coach Drivers’ Association mention, Harry H, Harold, and John Murray Peck. If you want more please contact me directly as I have these papers in my files. John Murray P was in partnership with many others in The Victorian Stage company and the partnership was dissolved on 25.6.1860 and also with Freeman Cobb which I suspect you know. Harry wrote an article in The Argus mentioning my great-grandfather.. I have something on a Solon Peck if connected. regards, Denise

      • Fiona Anderson December 4, 2017 at 8:21 am #

        Hello Denise, At this stage we are trying to find anything to back up what John M Pecks son Harry Peck wrote in his book about hissheep at my parents property. I would appreciate anything you have about him. Thank you, Fiona

      • Denise May 18, 2018 at 11:06 am #

        Hi Fiona,

        I don’t have anything on Harry’s involvement in cattle or a farm. What I have is mostly from the papers of the Old Coach Driver’s Association . these told who was absent, who was present, what they did the past month, drives, dinners and so on. If you think these might be of interest, write to me direct please – Thanks, Denise.

  87. Serina Morgan December 3, 2017 at 4:30 pm #

    Hi Sam, my great great great grandfather was Frank (Onias was is real first name) Rutherford and the brother of James Rutherford. He drove a coach in Melbourne and to Bendigo and Ballarat I believe. He went over on the Albion in 1853 under O Rutherford but went by Frank. Frank went to NZ in 1861 I believe after his son died in Melbourne. He had a daughter as well but I don’t know if he was actually married. His daughter Elizabeth also went to New Zealand with her mother. Frank stayed in NZ-driving at first to the Dunstan (Clyde) and then Palmerston…all out of Dunedin. Frank went to Yokohama in 1868 for Cobb and Co (Hoyts) where he died of small pox in Jan 1871. His daughter, Elizabeth, went to live with Frank’s (Onias) and James’s brother in Santa Clara, California. His name was George Washington Rutherford. James came to see George (who’s sister and brother also lived nearby) I believe before George died in 1890 but I don’t know a lot of details of the trip. My great uncle and grandfather lived with Elizabeth (their grandmother) growing up and I have their stories but not a lot of detail. I did try to find more information but there seems to be a book “out there” that says that Frank came over on the Albion with Onias and James and that Frank is just a friend. Only Onias and James are on the passenger list. There is mention of a death notice of Frank Rutherford being sent to James when he died in Japan. The author states it is a friend, however, Frank is Onias, that is why James got the death notice. I was born in San Jose but now live in Christchurch New Zealand.

    • Sam Everingham December 3, 2017 at 10:34 pm #

      Dear Serena
      Thanks so much for this fascinating account of Onias. I’d love to find out a bit more from you on the stories you remember! Sam Everingham

  88. Joan Hansen March 3, 2018 at 6:50 pm #

    My great grand father drove for Cobb and Co.
    Here is his obituary:

    Another link with the famous coaching firm of Cobb and Co. was broken when Mr Thomas Hogan, a former driver, died during the week-end.
    Mr Hogan was well known in Fitzroy, for he had lived there for more than 70 years. As a young man he was head driver for Cobb and Co. and he drove their coaches on the Frankston, Hastings and Whittlesea routes for many years.
    At the age of 9 he became an apprentice to a racing stable, and he afterwards rode for Mr Samuel Hardy. He earned a reputation as a steeplechase rider, and he often gave exhibitions with visiting travelling circuses. During one of these exhibitions, his riding partner was killed, whereupon Mr Hogan gave up horse riding as a profession. It was then that he joined Cobb and Co. He was also a great friend of constable Fitzpatrick, who was shot by Ned Kelly as he was trying to arrest Dan Kelly.
    Many years ago Mr Hogan was a driver for “The Argus,” The funeral was attended by Mr F Smiley, who is also a former Cobb and Co driver. Many floral tributes from old friends were received.

  89. Anonymous March 12, 2018 at 7:33 pm #

    my name is Carol Penna (nee Aisbett) March 12 2018
    My great great Grandfarthers Brother born in DURHAM ENGLAND in 1837.
    He was a coach builder and proprietor of AISBETT ROYAL MAIL LINE, he was a coach owner at Newtoun and Scarsdale. Coaches ran from Ballarat to Scarsdale and to Pitwater.
    The Coachwas

  90. Raymond Verdon August 5, 2018 at 1:56 pm #

    Hi my name is Ray Verdon as i was reading some of the posts i noticed reference to Crawford & co while i am not certain i belive that they ran to Urana in the 1870’s i am trying to find information about a what i belive was a stop near Urana a Hotel ,The Carriers Arms listed as being on Buthawah Station near Urana //My great grandfather held the licence 1870-1874 during this time he had two children die and are buried on site ,,i have not been able to get an exact location ,,,are there any rout maps for this company that may be able to help me

  91. Raymond Verdon August 6, 2018 at 11:03 am #

    Hi my name is Ray Verdon I have been reading some of the comments and noticed that the name “Crawford & co “this co was mentioned in a book about “Urana” I am interested because my great grandfather held the licence for “The Carriers Arms Hotel “on “Buterwah Station”from 1871 to 1874 during this time he had two children die and are buried on site ,I have not been able to find the location,maybe there may be a route map that may help find the spot ,,,would there be anyone that can help me or point me in the right direction

    • Denise McMahon March 8, 2021 at 3:01 pm #

      Raymond Verdon. I have just had an email in my inbox (March 2021) regarding your message. Sorry, I get one earlier. Yes Crawfords drove to Urana. The founder of Crawfords was my great-grandfather Hiram Crawford. I have, in years past, seen a map online for Crawfords route (and other lines) in southern NSW. Someone was collating this date. This was many years back and I don’t know if I can find that link now. I will try and let you know.

    • Denise McMahon March 9, 2021 at 11:47 am #

      Ray hi
      The name of the chap who put the coaching map online in the Riverina area was Bill Strong. The link I had in 2005 has gone; I have written to him in the hope he still is involved and if he replies I will let you know.

  92. Sandra Skaines April 12, 2019 at 9:58 pm #

    Hi I’ve just noticed this site and the list compiled of drivers for Cobb & Co. My 3rd Great Uncle on my paternal father’s side was a Cobb & Co driver during the time of James Rutherford. His name was John Cusick (1841-1914) originally from the Hawkesbury (Windsor) area and later settled in the Bathurst area driving between the two.

  93. Julia Fergson May 26, 2019 at 6:53 am #

    Hi, I understand from my father that my great grandfather Archibald William Ferguson drove the Cobb and Co coaches in about 1879-1887. He originally came from Scotland and lived in Blinman and then in Parachilna, where he had 4 children including my grandad, before returning to the UK.

  94. Julie June 12, 2019 at 1:55 pm #

    My great grandfather, John William Johnson (Billy), owned the Junction Hotel in Dimbulah, QLD and ran the Cobb & Co. coaches out to Wolfram Camp.

  95. Peta-Anne Tenney August 19, 2019 at 9:41 pm #

    My step mom’s great grandfather was Richard Palmer. I have a full story from a newspaper of his experiences and am willing to share if you are interested. Please reply to
    Peta-Anne Tenney

  96. Alison October 11, 2019 at 11:21 am #

    I’m after some advice/information about my 2x great grandfather. I was always told that he drove for Cobb and Co. He’s not on your list – I don’t think. His name was James Donnelly. I have an advertisement from the Armidale express from 1888 where he advertised that he as running a coach from Beardy Street, Armidale to Hillgrove Mines. I’m wondering if it was a Cobb and Co coach or another company?
    Your opinion would be most valued!

  97. Gail Sheehan November 16, 2019 at 11:59 pm #

    my great grandmother used to drive the Cobb&Co coaches in the victorian mines her name was Whiteman I found her name but no first name as Im in QLd now its hard to look up

    • Denise McMahon March 8, 2021 at 2:47 pm #

      Wow this is a first after 20 years of finding a woman coach driver. Gail which mines ? I’m in Qld and have spent many many years researching Crawford & Co including hundreds of staff. I have never heard Whiteman. Perhaps with a bit more information Imay be able to assist you. Are you sure it was Cobb & Co also?

  98. Greg Tev February 6, 2020 at 12:52 pm #

    Hello, I am researching the Connolly family that lived in the greater Bathurst area from the mid-1800’s to the early 1900’s. Family oral history has George Herbert Conolly or his father Thomas Davis Conolly driving coaches to Sofalah, it is believed to be Cobb and Co. If anyone has details of either driving coaches in the Bathurst area I would be interested. Regards Greg

  99. neathridge October 7, 2020 at 8:27 am #

    Not any relation, but in doing some other research came across a name your list does not appear to have “James Frost” who was apparently the last driver:

  100. Greg Robinson October 26, 2020 at 9:04 pm #

    Hi Sam, my G.G.Grandfather was John Vigers who drove stagecoaches in the Scone region NSW for 50 years. He had services to Belltrees and Moonan Creek, and out to Merriwa, His son Tom Vigers also ran coaches with him and took over from John when he died in 1914. I have a number of photos from the Scone Historical Society and others from the State Library of NSW. A son in law of John, George Bridges also ran coaches in the Cassilis area.

  101. Ray Harvey November 5, 2020 at 7:52 pm #

    The ‘Harvey’ that drove Stawell to Horsham, Stawell to Ballarat etc was William Dubbin Harvey. . He was employed by Robertson Wagner and Co

  102. Richard G February 1, 2021 at 9:15 am #

    I believe Vince Carr (3 September 1803 – 23 September 1889) Owner of the Red cow Inn in Paramatta, also drove a stagecoach.
    We have the history of the Red Cow inn but cannot find any information on Vince driving a stagecoach. Any assistance would be appreciated.

    • Denise McMahon March 8, 2021 at 3:20 pm #

      Richard – I wouldn’t discount the fact Vince was a publican and also drove a coach. Many in the country regions used driving to supplement their income. First thing I’d do is check newspapers as drivers were often mentioned in an incident or such.

  103. Ella October 14, 2022 at 9:14 pm #

    Would love to know how you are related to James Bevan as he was the great grandfather of my grandmother (Dorothea Grace Ancrum)
    My mother is currently visiting me In Australia and is doing a bit of research.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: