Descendants of early pioneer Joseph Westcott to descend on Parkes and Alectown

Descendants of Joseph Westcott are holding a family reunion on the October long weekend.

Descendants of Joseph Westcott are holding a family reunion on the October long weekend.

Descendants of one of the early pioneers of the Alectown and Parkes region, Joseph Westcott and his wife Jane (nee Thornbury), will be descending on the towns for a family reunion on the October long weekend.

This will be the first such reunion of this line of Westcotts in their Australian History and will bring many people back to the district to re-engage with family members who have been spread out across the nation over many generations.

Joseph Westcott originated from Devonshire in the UK, making his way to Australia with his brother Henry in 1859.

After a short while farming with his brother around the St Arnaud region in central Victoria, he struck out on his own, settling on land near Alectown.

In 1866 Joseph married Jane Thornbury in Forbes.

In 28 years of marriage they had 11 children of which eight survived to adulthood.

Their eldest son, John, founded Westcott Coachbuilders which was situated in Clarinda street with an example of his wagon building skills permanently on display at Sydney’s powerhouse Museum.

Another son Alfred built the premises which were to be eventually licenced and later become the Star Hotel in Parkes.

Another well-known descendant is 2016 Olympian Scott Westcott.

Several events are planned for the weekend starting at an informal kick off on the Friday evening in Parkes, before festivities kick off at the Alectown Hall on the Saturday morning.

Tours are planned of properties in the region associated with Joseph and his family with a lunch at the site of Joseph's original property “Bridgewater”.

Activities and fun events will also be happening throughout the day for the kids.

There will be a reunion dinner held that night also at Alectown.

The Sunday will start with a family thanksgiving service at Mamre Farm (formerly Kadina Park) prior to further activities and visits to family sites in Parkes throughout the afternoon before the reunion ends that evening.

Organisers of the event, Mark and Neil Westcott are wanting to ensure that all descendants and their families are aware of this event and would encourage them to come along and reconnect and meet with other family members to celebrate their heritage.

Interest has been expressed from all over Australia and as far away as the UK, Canada and the USA.

Both Neil and Mark are fifth generation descendants, who have a keen interest in their family history.

Both were born and bred in the district, with Neil now a prominent farmer and local council member and Mark now residing and working in Canberra.

The Westcott family still farms the original area Joseph settled, along with several other properties nearby.

Many others are active in the Defence Forces and other business interests around Australia and internationally.

If you are a descendant or married to a descendant of Joseph Westcott, or would like further information on the reunion, please email Mark and Neil at westcottreunion@outlook.com or call Mark on 0407 616 784 and request further information and a registration form.

There is also a Westcott Family Reunion group on Facebook that people can join and engage with about 150 others in the group.