THOMAS GRENIER AND HIS FAMILY
Parents: Thomas Grenier and Martha Hamper.
Born: 4 July 1808
Died: 7 October 1877
Married: Mary Ann Pannell On: 25 November 1832
MARY ANN GRENIER (NEE PANNELL)
Born: 25 October 1813
Died: 2 March 1876
|Ann Grenier||13 Oct 1833||10 Sep 1834|
|Mary Ann Grenier||10 Sep 1834||?|
|Eliza Grenier||9 Aug 1836||17 Jun 1875|
|Sarah Grenier||2 Apr 1838||?|
|Thomas||22 Mar 1840||25 Aug 1857|
|George Alexander||23 Nov 1841||4 Mar 1915|
|Volney Grenier||7 Jul 1843||26 Oct 1859|
|Henry Grenier||25 Jan 1847||5 Feb 1847|
|Henry John Grenier||6 Apr 1849||5 Jan 1889|
|Franklin Grenier||1 Nov 1850||17 Feb 1851|
|Franklin Grenier||29 Nov 1851||5 Jan 1889|
|William Leichhardt Grenier||13 Dec 1854||16 Sep 1930|
In 1838, Thomas and Mary Ann GRENIER and their three young children, sailed for Sydney, Australia on the brig "Perfect" in search of a fortune. They arrived on 31 January 1839, but, three weeks later, not satisfied with the new country, they embarked on the "James Lang" for Port Phillip, but ran into heavy weather and lost the foretop mast and returned to Sydney, eight days later.
They set sail once more one week later on the "Success" and landed in Melbourne in March 1839. Still not satisfied, they set sail in the following February 1840 for Port Nicholson, arriving on 20 March 1840. Their son, Thomas, was born on board the barque "Earl Stanhope" on 22 March 1840. They searched the Bay of Islands and landed at Kororareka, where they opened a general store.
On the 11, 12 and 13th March 1845, the Maori attack on the settlement destroyed all their property, so they sailed on 14 August for Auckland. Leaving his wife and children temporarily in Auckland, Thomas sailed for Sydney and then to Brisbane, arriving on 3 June.
On the 9 June, he took possession of the house in Grey Street. On 2 August 1845, Mary and their 6 small children left Auckland. After a difficult journey they finally arrived at Amity Point, Moreton Bay on 18 September 1845.
The family lived in this home for 7 years and it was not until 1852 that Thomas GRENIER took over the licence of the "Brisbane Hotel" in Russell Street. The administration by Thomas and Mary GRENIER was a distinct success and "Grenier's Inn" was very soon the Mecca of most of the travellers.
Thomas was a constant buyer of real estate and all his purchases were at Government sales. In all, his property amounted to about 130 acres of metropolitan land and 660 acres at Yeerongpilly. All of this land was purchased between 1853 and 1856 with the exception of the original block in Grey Street, bought in 1842. In July 1856, Thomas purchased 640 acres of land at Yeerongpilly. This was definitely a New South Wales purchase. This land lies between present day Boundary Road and Mortimer Road.
The cemetery reserve to be referred to later, was one third acre. It would seem that this large property was bough for the purpose of settling the older sons. It was the tragic death of son Volney that caused Thomas to set aside a small area known, even to this day, as Grenier's cemetery, for the resting place of Volney and his friends and neighbours. Generally known as Coopers Plains Cemetery, - also as Archerfield Cemetery, Oxley Cemetery, Eight Mile Plains Cemetery, Oxley Creek Cemetery, Grenier Cemetery, Browns Plains Cemetery and Mr. Grenier's Burial Place, - it was closed when the Department of the Interior resumed an area of about 225 acres in 1929 in order to build Archerfield Aerodrome.
A neat homestead was built on the property which faced Mortimer Road. It was long, and low-set with cedar doors and window frames. It had wide verandahs at front and back, with a kitchen off the back verandah and a large, well-kept garden, including fruit trees and flowering shrubs. At the bottom of the garden, was a clump of bamboos and two willow trees, which caused the family to call the property "The Willows". Cotton and maize were grown there and, having a large frontage to Oxley Creek, then called Canoe Creek, suitable for punts or small boats, trading with Ipswich and Brisbane, it was a valuable property.
© Peter Dunn 2015
This page first produced 08 August 1999
This page last updated 04 September 2015