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1 What do we believe is true so far?

In 1829 the Governor of NSW, Sir Ralph Darling, granted James Collits 640 acres of land fronting the Belubula River. It was "in remuneration for services in pointing out a line of road from Mt. York to Bathurst". There is evidence that he (or the succeeding owner, Thomas Iceley) named the property "Canoundra". Collits owned other great tracts of land in the area, along with a store and the first hotel. A settlement was gradually established around this nucleus, and as early as 1844 the settlement (now referred to as Canowindra) was the site of a government pound.

The land grant was in Wiradjuri country, and it is likely that the property was given a Wiradjuri name. Certainly the conventional view is that Canowindra comes from a Wiradjuri word meaning "home" or "camping place".

If that origin is correct, the nearest Wiradjuri words currently recorded are
    gundaymarra "shelter", or
    ganhawaadharra "hungry".

2 What more do we need?

Almost all the information above comes from secondary sources, such as well-known placename books, family history websites and media company tourist pages.

Primary source documents to support the following parts of the story are required:

  • The 1829 land grant to James Collits

  • Land titles evidence post-1829 to confirm the "Canoundra" name of Collits's property.

  • Evidence that Collits or Iceley named the property believing it to be a Wiradjuri word.

  • Pre-1844 evidence of the spelling shift to "Canowindra".

These are questions for historians and linguists. If you can help, contact David Blair.


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