The Saga of the Bouren Family of Bulli

A number of families lost more than one member in the 1887 Bulli Mine Disaster, however it was the Bouren/Bourn/Bourne/Burn/Bowen family of Bulli who in losing 4 family members, lost the most of any family affected by the disaster. English born father William Ottaway (Attaway) Bourne/Bouren was killed along with three of his young sons – Felix John, William & James.  One of the remaining sons, David Bouren,  died in the Old Bulli Mine due to natural causes about 40 years later  in 1928. David had married Martha Selina Smithers in 1902 and thus joined the LovedaySmithers Families of Sherbrooke on Bulli Mountain.


Bouren/Bourn/Bourne Famil(1)y Tree … subject to further verification

Daniel Bourne married Dorcas Ottaway in 1720 (1) – may have been 3x great grandparents of William Ottaway Bouren / Bourne (5)

William Bourne married Elizabeth Comber in 1798 (12)

  • Felix Bourn (1801 – ) married in 1823 to  Maria Hampshire in Lenham England – following Felix’s death between 1834 and 1838 Mary remarried in 1838 to Brewer  Rayner
    • James Bourne (1826 – )
    • Dorcas Bourne
    • Phoebe Bourne (1826 – )
    • Mary (Maria) Bourne (1829 – )
    • Felix Bourne (1831 – )
    • William Ottaway (Attaway) Bouren (Bourne)
    • Susannah Rainer (1839 – )
    • Frances Rainer (1844 – )

Following William Ottaway Bouren’s line in Australia …

  • William Ottaway (Attaway) Bouren (Bourne), coal miner  (3.4.1833 Otterden England – 1887 Bulli) married in 1862 in Wollongong  to Mary Taylor ? (1841 Cupar Fifeshire Scotland – 1913 ? – daughter of John Taylor and Rachel Christie ? – did Rachel marry 1863 in Wollongong to David Turnbull Ballentyne and/or John Kluss ??  and in 1898 to John Pritchard ??? ) Some have cited two criminal records for the young William Ottaway Bouren (Bourne) – in January 1852 for Larceny and again in October 1852 for stealing. It is possible that William had sailed to Australia in 1853 (3) on the Herefordshire (Note – the Herefordshire had sailed from Southampton and Plymouth) and arrived in Sydney in December 1853 – bringing about 400 emigrants most of whom were bonded to the Sydney Railways for two years) (8, 9, 1011). Attaway Bourne was recorded in the Wollongong Courts in 1860 as the son in law of James Holden, who was a Bulli resident in 1862 and in the 1870’s. In 1862 William’s mother in law Rachel Taylor took him to court also. William Bouren is listed as being a miner in Woonona in 1867 (16), but living in Wollongong in 1868. He was called as a witness in the courts in 1869. Some researchers suggest that Mary had left William  before his tragic death in the Bulli Mine Disaster in 1887, and that she had returned to the area after the disaster (4, 6). However it was William’s housekeeper Margaret Tobin who was compensated (14), along with the younger sons George Albert and David Clarence. Margaret Tobin also successfully  took Mary Bouren to court (17). There are some who believe that Mary Bouren nee Taylor died in Boulder Western Australia in 1913.
    • Jessie Maria  Bouren  (1863 Wollongong 15011/1863- 1926 Dandenong Victoria) married in Wollongong in 1881 to John O Blackwell (1861 – 1922)
      • William F Blackwell (1882 Woonona – 1884 Newcastle)
      • John O Blackwell (1883 – )
      • Francis Blackwell (1885 – 1961)
      • Violet M Blackwell (1888 – 1944)
      • Mary Blackwell (1892 – ) married Joseph Raven (1887 – 1972)
        • Hector Oliver Blackwell Raven (1911 – 1982)
        • Francis Clive Raven (1913 – 1972)
        • Lorna Victoria Raven (1915- 1991)
    • Felix John/John Felix Bouren/Bourne , coal miner ( 1864 Wollongong 16553/1864- 1887 Bulli)
    • William I  Bouren  ( 1866 Wollongong 16716/1866- 1869 Wollongong 585/1869)
    • Phoebe Rachel Bouren/Bourne ( 1868 – 1935) married in 1885 in Wollongong to David Birch ( – 1928) – both are buried at Bulli Anglican Cemetery
      • William Thomas Birch (1887 – 1958) (Tennyson)
      • Ann Birch (1889 – 1966) married ? Oke (Gladesville)
      • David Birch (1891 – 1970 ) (Bexley)
      • Joseph Birch  (1893 – 1949)
      • Walter Noah Birch  (1895 – 1970 ) (Thirroul)
      • Alice Birch (1898 – 1899)
      • Herbert Kitchener Birch (Tennyson)
    • William Andrew Bouren coal miner (1869 – 1887 Bulli 9658/1887  – note birth registration not yet located)
    • James Ernest Bouren boy coal miner( 1871 Wollongong 651/1871 – 1887 Bulli )
    • George Henry Bouren/Bourne (1873 Wollongong 20874/1873 – death is said to be by 1875 but death registration not yet located)
    • George Albert Bouren (1875 Newcastle 16156/1875 – ) not much has been located that can be concretely associated with George.
    • Edith Maude Bourne (1877 New Lambton  – 1941 Collie WA ) ?? Not sure about this ?? Did she marry Thomas Henry Manuell (1865 – 1906) in 1895 in Victoria – if so then why is she not mentioned in the Bulli Mine Disaster – or did her mother take her when she left William ?? Did she marry in 1909 to Boulder WA to John  Alexander Calder (1874 – 1946)
      • Eva May Manuell (1896 – 1917)
      • Lilian Muriel Manuell (1898 – 1970)
      • Nimrod Manuell (1900 – 1902)
      • Ruby Myrtle Manuell (1904 – 1953)
    • David Bouren coal miner ( 1878 Wollongong 24725/1878- 1928) married in 1902 to Martha Selina Smithers  1882 –  1952). Martha was a daughter of Albert Smithers and wife Emily Loveday – a Sherbrooke family)
      • Emily Florence Bouren (1903 Woonona – 1970 Wollongong) married in 1920 in Bulli to  John T “Jack” Swan
        • Lucy Swan
        • Ernie Swan
        • Florie Swan
      • Alice  May Bouren (1904 Woonona – 1971) married in New Lambton in 1922 to James Lay – lived in Charlestown Newcastle in 1929
        • Beryl Lay
        • Norma Lay
      • William J (1908 Woonona – 1909)
      • Edith Matida Bouren ( 1910 Woonona – ) married Sidney/Sydney Walter John Booth
        • Barbara Booth
        • Gloria Booth
      • Martha S “Mattie” Bouren(1912 Woonona – ) married in 1930 in Bulli to Eddy Harriss,
        • Edna Harriss who married into the Hammond family
          • Kim Hammond
          • Marilyn Hammond
          • Sharon Hammond
        • Billy Harriss
      • David Clarence Bouren (1914 Bulli – 1995 Bulli ) married Mary Elizabeth Johns “Lizzie” Poole
        • Billie Bouren?
        • Ruth  married Richard JJ Miller
      • Ruth Bouren (1920 – 1970) married Amos Plummer
        • Geoffrey Plummer
        • Daughter ?
        • Daughter ?
      • Joyce Bouren (1924 – 1924)
      • Olive Bouren married William Charles Cunningham
        • Donna Cunningham
        • Denise Cunningham
      • Pearl Bouren married in Bulli in  1937 to Bob McInnes,they had possible 3 children, including
        • Robert McInnes
        • Ruth McInnes
      • Mary Jane Bouren-married in 1922 in Bulli to William Booth,
        • William Booth
        • Henry booth,
      • Sidney Stanley Bouren ( – 2001 Bulli) married in 1940 in Campbelltown to Sybill Ellen Byrne ( 1922 – 2004 Alstonville aged 81 years), daughter of John Hubert and Mona Byrne of Appin
        • David – lived in Stanhope St Woonona
    • Mary Ellen /Ellen Mary Bouren (1880 Wollongong 27324/1880 – 1961 Victoria) married in 1899 in Victoria to Samuel Williamson (1876 – 1952)
      • Vera May Williamson (1899 – 1900)
      • Pretoria Pearl Williamson (1900 – 1967) married William Robert Lee (1899 – 1973)
        • William Verdun Lee (1930 – 2008)
        • Noel Robert Lee (1936 – 2005)
      • Samuel Roy Williamson (1902 – 1953)
      • Eva May Williamson (1904 – 1929)
      • Harold Williamson (1905 – 1906)
      • Priscilla Williamson (1907 – 1929)
      • Mary Williamson (1909 – 1909)
      • Alma Phyllis Williamson (1911 – 1975)
      • Mabel Jean Williamson (1914 – )
      • Claude Verdun Williamson (1916 – 1975)
      • Ina Joyce Williamson (1921 – 1974) married Ronald James Ross (1918 – 1986)
        • Rodney Graeme Ross (1949 – 1974)
        • Daughter
    • Was there another daughter who married a Holden ?
    • Robert George Bouren (Bowren) (1882 Wallsend Newcastle – 1948 Thirroul). Worked for South Clifton Colliery in 1920’s – Living in George Street Thirroul in 1930’s – and Main Road Thirroul at his death in 1948 – married in 1913 to Leah Violet Bouren nee Munro ( – 1978) – Leah also lived in Wombarra  – they are believed to have had five children
      • Pearl A Bouren-married in Bulli 1934 to William A Hewitt
      • Vera May Bouren married in 1936 in Campbelltown to William Thomas Newstead
      • James Robert Bouren – married Ida Jane Wood lived in Station St Thirroul and Main Rd Thirroul – divorced from Ida Jane in 1960, she lived in Helensburgh – was he living in Mt Mulligan in 1954 ? in Kalgoorlie in 1977 ?  and in Cairns in 1980 ?
        • Sandra Bouren – lived in Helensburgh
      • John William/ William John BOUREN,  (1923 Camden – about 1990) – lived in Thirroul and Clifton – married Gloria
      • Served in WW2 Enlisted Royal Australian Navy, 30 November 1944, Sydney, NSW – Stoker 1 S/9870 – Residence Thirroul, NSWNext of Kin Leah Bouren Unit Motor Launch Base, Moreton Discharged 03-December-1946 – Mentioned on Thirroul Honour Roll see below
        • Living Son
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Thirroul RSL War Memorial 

Other Bouren’s

Ruth Bouren married in 1935 in Wollongong to Richard J J Miller – is she the Ruth Miller who died in Bingara in 1962 – parents were David and Mary – 26744/1962