stories, photos, anecdotes….. sharing the past
Continuing our series on the local counties of the early colony of New South Wales, this post focuses on the county of Narromine. Part of the 141 counties of New South Wales, Narromine was proclaimed a county in 1862 (the same year as Kennedy and Cunningham became counties and twelve years after the establishment of Ashburnham county) (Atchison, J.F. (1980) pages 39-42).
There are some differences to the story behind Narromine County to the other three counties that make up the Parkes Shire. Firstly, Narromine is not named after a person. It is also one of the then growing development to embrace Aboriginal words for places and landmarks. Prior to 1862, all county names were named after Europeans. Some were English aristocrats or military leaders – many of whom never even set foot in the colony (such as Bertram Ashburnham). Later others were Europeans who had impacted the colony of New South Wales in some way – explorers (such as Cunningham and Kennedy), governors or those with prominent occupations that assisted the European settlers here.
Aboriginal County Place Names in New South Wales
1862 Arrawatta, Baradine, Benarba, Caira, Courallie, Ewenmar, Menindie, Nandewar, Narromine, Taila, Tara, Urana, Wakool, Waljeers, Waradgery,
1875 Canbelego, Gunderbooka, Killara, Werunda, Yanda,
1884 Booroondarra, Culgoa, Irrara, Kilfera, Manara, Mootwinge, Mossgiel, Mouramba, Tandora, Thoulcanna, Tongowoko, Ularara, Yancowinna, Yantara, Yungnulgra
Atchison, J.F. (1980) pages 39-42
According to sources, Narromine was a name of a property in the area. This property owners (sadly lost in the mists of time for now) called their property Narromine which was Wiradjuri for “honey person”. This is mentioned on Wikipedia’s entry for Narromine (town) and Narromine (county) as is also found in The Romance of Australian Place Names a feature that appeared in The Australian Women’s Weekly Wednesday 13 May 1964 page 45.
The first mention of Narromine found on Trove was in The Sydney Herald Tuesday 10 November 1840. The report, which can be viewed here, refers to a witness in a cattle theft case. The witness, Mr Arthur Wiggins, had a station at Narromine on the Macquarie. Sadly the article highlights the poor treatment of Aboriginal Australians in colonial days.
Another newspaper report mentioning Narromine and also highlighting to tension between the indigenous community and the colonial settlers. Read the full article here which can be found in The Sydney Herald Monday 22 September 1845 page 2
Parkes Shire Library would like to thank the following people and organisations for their assistance with this blog post:
If you have stories of Narromine county that you are willing to share please contact Parkes Shire Library via firstname.lastname@example.org so that they can be shared and kept for posterity on this blog. Alternatively you may leave comments on this page.