On her father’s death, she married John Dodd who owned 122 acres of Riverview and Linley Point. When he died suddenly, he died in debt.
He also died ‘intestate’ and his eldest son became heir to those debts. How Rachael helped her stepson gives a picture of how colonial women in Sydney town were able to face life’s challenges.
THOMAS BROOKS was Keeper of the Keys at Customs House in Circular Quay and he and Rachael, with two of his sons, lived on the Carisbrook land she had brought to the marriage.
When CHARLES BROOKS wed MARIAN SIM, he wrote ‘Mother’ under Rachael Dodd Brooks’ name on the marriage certificate. Rachael, who never had any of her own children, was a caring stepmother. She died in 1883 within a few months of her husband and Charles Brooks became sole heir.
This Brooks family moved between town and country. They lived in the sandstone house called Carisbrook and farmed the lands around Orange in rural NSW. Marian had 13 children, most of whom lived, and she ferried them between homes, faithfully following her husband. Their story reflects the difficult times of the1890s and goes beyond the shores of Australia.