Australian Relatives - THE VAYRO ANCESTRY

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Australian Relatives

Distant Relatives


One particular Vayro family are known to have emigrated from the Yorkshire Dales to Australia in 1909. A direct descendant, Ian Ross Vayro who lives in Bannockburn, Queensland first contacted me in 1983 when my own family research was in its very early stages. Since then we have maintained contact, sharing information and putting together the hard evidence and family tales that shows our direct descendancy from the same (G5) William Vayro and Esther Lye, of Angram Cote in Ellingstring, North Yorkshire.

One of William and Esther’s children was a certain Richard Vayro, baptised at East Witton on 31st July 1808, and thought to be the first Vayro child born at Angram Cote Farm, when his parents moved from Moorcote farm nearby. This was the start of over 150 years of Vayro occupancy of Angram Cote farm that would continue through to the early 1960s when Louie Croft (nee Vayro) died.

Richard Vayro married Mary Bussfield on 19th January 1833 at East Witton and the first of their eleven children was baptised as yet another William on 2nd December of the same year. This particular William Vayro appears to have acquired the nickname William of Jervaulx and there is a very large decorative headstone in East Witton churchyard that marks his passing. William of Jervaulx was an estate worker or tenant farmer and in the employment of the Marquis of Ailsbury, who had owned the whole of the grounds and estate attached to Jervaulx Abbey.

William can be found on the 1851 Census onwards firstly at Witton Lodge, and then at Abbey Hill Cottages, and South Lodge, with his wife Jane Robinson (who he married on 27th November 1861 at the Leyburn Register Office) and their seven children. The Marquis owned all of these properties and William may well have been more than a lowly tenant farmer, and have been rewarded by the Marquis for his loyal service with the gift of the headstone.

Family Links between Ian Ross Vayro and John Rennison

It is at this point that we reach the individual who is thought to be the first Vayro to consider leaving Wensleydale and emigrating to Australia. His name was James Vayro (yes yet another James) and he was the fourth child of William of Jervaulx and Jane Vayro (nee Robinson), born on the 3 rd June 1868 at Abbey Hill, High Jervaulx and baptised at East Witton on 5 th July in the same year.

At some point James is known to have moved to Otley near Leeds, where he met his first wife Sarah Homes who he married on 13 th April 1895. His first children, twins Jane and Alice Vayro were born at Abbey Hill Cottages, on 14 th July 1896, with Jane being named after James’s mother and Alice after his sister Alice Ann. Unfortunately Sarah died in childbirth or soon afterwards. James was married for a second time, to Frances Forbet who is thought to be the daughter of a French chef.

On the 28 th June the Brisbane Courier, a local newspaper carried a variety of stories, including the one giving details that the SS Perthshire would arrive from London, via the Torres Straits, a 9350 ton steam ship commanded by a certain captain C Forder, and would tie up at Norman Wharf at 10 a m. in Brisbane Harbour.

Among the passengers were James Vayro aged 40, his wife Frances aged 35, their sons William 9, George 5, Thomas 3, and their daughters Jane 12, and Minnie 2. The Vayro immigrants had arrived in Australia, on 29 th June 1909 on a cloudy drizzly day!. The Vayro family dwelt at the “Depot” in Brisbane for a couple of weeks then forfeiting a rail pass to Warwick because a farming job had fallen through, they travelled instead to “Sunnyside” farm Middle Ridge in Toowoomba, Queensland.

According to family legend James was a hard stubborn man who had been caught beating his son William for losing his garters, to such an extent that another passenger gave his own son’s garters to prevent him from being beaten any further. Whilst still in England as a wagoner or carter James is thought to have carried the twins with him on the trips round the farms, heating their baby bottles wherever he could.

When his daughter Jane had brought in firewood he is reported to have said she should go back out and get shorter sticks before he set his Viking ancestors on her, men with horns on their helmets. So there is yet another tale about where the Vayro name originated. James carried a bible with him and read it often, He bought a pew in the Middle Ridge church, but when they didn’t put it where he thought it should be, he never went back for the church services. James died in Toowoomba on 7 th August 1960 aged 92. Life in the outback was probably more comfortable, temperature wise, compared to the North Yorkshire dales.

IAN ROSS VAYRO on Vayro Road


Five local Toowoomba lads planned to join up together. William, Gench Martin, Alf Bogart, Harry Gillis and Bill Buniss. Bill Buniss got cold feet and was sent a white feather by the others. On 9 th July 1917 William joined the Australian Imperial Expeditionary Force (Private no 5334), and during the World War One served in Gallipolis as a stretcher bearer with the Light Horse in Egypt and the Middle East.  Due to being gassed which caused hum very serious lung problems for the rest of his life, William was discharged from the A I E on medical grounds on 27 th March 1919, and when offered five shillings a week pension, he told them rather impolitely where to put their pension.

On leaving he went to Millmeran, Queensland to work for Frederick Evans who had served with him in Light Horse Regiment during the war, and made money erecting telegraph poles, breaking horses and general farm work. William married Fred’s sister Freda Vita Evans, and moved to Tara in September 1921, having bought eleven hundred acres of rough cattle country.  In May 1926 he sold their property “Woodlea” and moved back to Millmeran.

When his father James died in 1957 he had left the Rangeville property to Thomas, younger brother of William, and when William heard this, he returned and tried to buy the farm from Tom.  William was a very capable horseman, and drove a stagecoach with draft horses in the Queensland Carnival of flowers.  

William and Freda had five children, Lawrence William 1924, Allan James 1928, Marjorie Jean 1932, Kevin George 1934 and Ronald Aubrey Vayro 1923, and William himself died in the Toowoomba General Hospital, Australia, on 15 th October 1959.

Ronald Aubrey Vayro was born in Toowoomba 9 th October 1923. He served in the 8 th Squadron Royal Australian Air Force in World War Two. He married Enid May Boone on 27 th April 1946 and began farming seven hundred acres of land at Jandowae, Queensland. He later moved to Brisbane and started a food-processing factory, and proved to be an astute businessman. He eventually retired to a small farm in Redland Bay, Queensland. Ronald and Enid had four children Graham Neil, Gwenda Lorrelle, Brian James, and Ian Ross Vayro

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