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Helen de Mestre

Helen de Mestre and Charlie Ahoy

Recently, three occurrences brought to light the family of Etienne de Mestre and Sarah Lamb. The "de Mestre Researchers" were contacted by two descendants of Ellen Ahoy and William Callan, looking for information about their ancestor, Etienne de Mestre. These two did not know each other.

We were also contacted by Barry Kelly, who is married to a descendant of Gwedoline Linno Mary Ahoy, who married William I Thomas. At the same time, a Ramsay/ de Mestre cousin lent me a book, "The Calling of the Spirits" by Eileen Morgan, also a descendant of Gwendoline and William Thomas, in which she describes her life growing up on the South Coast of New South Wales. All these families had grown up knowing of the connection of Helen de Mestre to Etienne, but because there were no documented records, this family had been overlooked in most family histories.

Since then, I have also become aware of the studies of Aboriginal families by Norman Tindale, who documented this family in the 1920's.


The following is how I believe this family fits in to the de Mestre family as  a whole.


Helen (or Ellen) de Mestre was the daughter of Etienne de Mestre and Sarah Lamb. Little is known about Sarah, no records have been found of her life after the birth of Helen. Etienne Livingstone de Mestre was born in 1832, the son of Prosper de Mestre, and was the owner of Archer, the winner of the first Melbourne Cup. Helen was born about 1850, when Etienne was about 18, and died in 1934 at Wallaga Lake. Helen lived at Wallaga Lake, and is buried in Wallaga Lake Koori Cemetery. In 1873, when he was 41, Etienne married Clara Rowe. She was 21.


Helen de Mestre had 4 children with Alick (Jacky) Bond. Jacky Bond was a Tracker. They were William, Andy, Joe and Jack. Andy served in World War I in the 33rd Battalion.


Helen then had 3 children with James Ahoy, a Chinese market gardener from Braidwood. James Ahoy had arrived in Australia in 1859, but later returned to China, leaving his Australian family behind.


James and Helen’s family were Gwendoline Linno Mary, born 1886, Ellen, and Charlie who married Louisa Blundell in 1911.


Gwendoline married William Iberia Thomas, and with him had 10 children. Ellen Ahoy married William Callan, and moved to Queensland. They had 7 children. William Callan was a professional cyclist, who, was killed by a falling tree during a race.


Lloyd Hornsby is an artist who is a member of this family. His web site is at

Have a look!

Gwendoline Mary Linno Ahoy

Helen de Mestre at Wallaga Lake, where she was known as Granny Ellen or Granny Helen.

Wallaga Lake on the South Coast of NSW

Wallaga Lake, South Coast of NSW

These are some links to web sites which might interest you. There are many sites which mention Guboo Ted Thomas, if you search Google.
Norman B Tindale


Cathy Dunn’s site on Ulladulla Local History and local Aboriginal and Chinese families.


The Koori History website – Guboo Ted Thomas


Senator Ridgeway’s tribute to Guboo Ted Thomas


The Yuin People







I'd like to thank Amanda Greaves, Amanda Foy, Barry Kelly and Cathy Dunn for their help in tracing the family of Helen de Mestre.


First Generation



1. Etienne DE MESTRE and Sarah LAMB


They had one child:

     2    i. Helen (Ellen) (about 1860-1934)



Second Generation



2. Helen (Ellen) DE MESTRE. Born about 1860. Helen (Ellen) died in Wallaga Lake in 1934, she was 74. Buried in Cemetery Point, Wallaga Lake, NSW.


Helen (Ellen) and Alick (Jacky) BOND. Born in 1834 in NSW. 

They had the following children:

     3    i. Joe (1870-)

         ii. William. Born in 1870s.


     4  iii. Andy (1879-1943)

         iv. Jack.



Helen (Ellen) and James AHOY. Born in China. They had the following children:

     5    i. Gwendoline Linno Mary (1886-1959)

     6   ii. Ellen (Helen) (-~1974)

     7  iii. (Charles) Charlie


Helen (Ellen) and Samuel HADDIGADDI, son of Paddy HADDIGADDI & Lucy. Born in 1866. Samuel died in Lidcombe State Hospital in 1942, he was 76.



Third Generation



3. Joe BOND. Born in mid 1870s in Araluen, NSW.


Joe and Mariah PICKALLA, daughter of Henry PICKALLA & Sarah HADDIGADDI. Born in 1872 in Turlinjah, Moruya, NSW. They had the following children:

          i. Nellie (1903-)

         ii. Jim (1905-)

        iii. Joseph

         iv.  Emma


4. Andy BOND. Born in 1879 in Braidwood, NSW. Andy died in Berry, NSW on 11 Oct 1943, he was 64.


Andy and Butter THOMAS, daughter of Peter THOMAS & Charlotte BURN. Butter died in 1926. They had one child:

          i. Evelyn


5. Gwendoline Linno Mary AHOY. Born in 1886 in Jerubaicumbene, near Braidwood. Gwendoline Linno Mary died in Wallaga Lake, NSW in 1959, she was 73. Buried in Cemetery Point, Wallaga Lake, NSW.


On 21 Dec 1909 when Gwendoline Linno Mary was 23, she first married William Iberia THOMAS, son of Peter THOMAS & Hannah (Nyaadi) McGRATH, in Narooma, NSW. Born in 1888 in Eden, NSW. William Iberia died in Bega, NSW. They had the following children:

          i. Beatrice Isabel (1905-1924)

         ii. William Iberia (1907-1991)

        iii. Edwin (Guboo Ted) (1909-2002)

         iv. Arthur Hayden (1911-1989)

          v. Roy James (1913-1987)

         vi. Cecil J

        vii. Ronald Peace (1918-1979)

       viii. Eileen Mary

         ix. Elva Mavis Margaret (1924-1946)

          x. Percy (1926-1989)


In 1953 when Gwendoline Linno Mary was 67, she second married Robert PARSON, son of Louisa PARSON


6. Ellen (Helen) AHOY. Ellen (Helen) died  about 1974 in Toowoomba Hospital, Qld, Age 97.


In 1906 Ellen (Helen) married William CALLAN, in Goulburn, NSW. They had the following children:

          i. Doris Elsa

         ii. Irene (Renee) (1907-2003)

        iii. Muriel E (1910-)

         iv. William (Bill)

          v. Gladys

         vi. Thomas


7. (Charles) Charlie AHOY. Charlie died on 14 July 1961, and is buried in Armidale, NSW.


In 1911 (Charles) Charlie first married Louisa BLUNDELL, daughter of Peter BLUNDELL & Annie, in Braidwood, NSW. Born in 1882. Louisa died in La Perouse, Sydney, NSW on 15 Nov 1930, she was 48. They had one child:

          i. Gordon (1910-1918)


In 1934 (Charles) Charlie second married Mabel Z I RYAN, in Redfern, Sydney, NSW. Mabel died on 22 Dec 1952 in La Perouse, Sydney, NSW. They had one child:

          i. Charles Gordon (1933-)

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