Tyson James (2) This is the story of James Tyson, an Australian pioneer born of a convict mother in 1819. He was to become the wealthiest man in Australia by the time of his death in 1898. He was very well known during his life, not only for his wealth but for his idiosyncratic nature. He lived a frugal life, never smoked, drank liquor, swore or married. He died without leaving a will and as a result his estate was the subject of long-running litigation. My great grandmother was one of the legatees.

This web site tells the story of James Tyson through the eyes of a Sydney newspaper called The Sydney Morning Herald. I’ve begun trawling the pages of the newspaper starting with the first mention of Tyson in 1848. As I find interesting news items I’ll add posts with extracts and comments.

To see all the posts click here.

Scanned copies of editions of The Sydney Morning Herald from 1842 to 1954 are available for searching on the Trove web site of the National Library of Australia. Here’s the link:


The Tysons were one of three families who intermarried during the early colonial years of Australia. The other two  were the Doneley and the Sheil families. You can view the combined family tree here:


This tree is primarily a transcription of the original family tree of the descendants of James Doneley, William Tyson and Dennis Sheil published by the D., T. & S. Committee to commemorate the family gathering at Campbelltown, NSW, on Australia Day, 1980.

For more information on Tyson I thoroughly recommend this book:

T.Y.S.O.N : the life and times of James Tyson, pastoral pioneer, 1819-1898
Author: Zita Denholm, Publisher: Triple D Books, ISBN: 0-9578681-2-X