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Ghikas Boulgaris (Jigger Bulgary)
(Last changed Thursday August 09, 2012)
By 1836 he became known as Jigger Bulgary and worked as a shepherd, moving from place to place in southern New South Wales.
In 1836 Jigger Bulgary married Mary Lyons ( a 19 year old servant girl from County Cork in Ireland) at the pioneer grazing property “Arnprior” (once owned by the Ryrie family) located 19 kilometres north of Braidwood. Over the next 20 years they had 5 sons and 5 daughters:
Soon afterwards the family moved to settle at Bukalong, a village west of Bombala, where they remained for 10-13 years
In 1858, at a Crown lands sale, Jigger bought a block of 65 acres of lightly timbered hillside above a sweeping bend on the Bombala River, close to Bukalong. On its upper slope he built a substantial sawn-timber house, which remained standing until 1967, when it was demolished
Around the turn of the century the land was purchased by AWJ Peadon, and later inherited by his son. In 1973 on its bare grassy slope, a few remains of the garden still survived – a hawthorn hedge, three sturdy acacias and an ancient apple tree, which still bore fruit.
Over the years his name was spelt 33 different ways in Australian records. In his will he signed in Greek as Tsikas Bolgkeris In 18671 he took out naturalisation papers in Bombala.
In 1863, at a Crown land auction he purchased 313 acres on a well-watered eastern slope of Ando Hill, fronting the Nimmitabel Road, 24 kilometres north of Bombala. He acquired the land as a “free selector”.
In purchasing the land he fell foul of the strong-minded manager of Bibbenluke Station, Henry Tollemache Edwards, who went to great lengths to prevent the enormous Bibbenluke estate (originally owned by Ben Boyd and exceeded 60,000 acres) from being broken into smallholdings.
Soon after Jigger took up his Ando block, Edwards wrote to the owner
of Bibbenluke vehemently opposing Jigger’s grazing of sheep on it. He complained that Jigger, who he described as “an old shepherd”, had selected a block in the centre of four others in an attempt to assert his grazing rights and to prevent Edwards from buying up the blocks around it. “This man has been constantly employed as a carrier at Bibbenluke, and this is the return he makes!” added Edwards, who expressed regret that Bibbenluke’s owner took a much more relaxed view of Jigger’s conduct.
Jigger built a timber-slab house on his Ando land, which was demolished in the 1930’s. A grove of pines, which he planted still stand today. After his death the land passed to his son, William and then on to his son, James, who sold it in July 1889 to HT Edwards.
Some time after 1866 Jigger and Mary moved north to Nimitybelle Station a sheep-run near Nimmitabel. The land may have formed part of the 8,000 acre property “Yandra” about 11 kilometres south-west of Nimmitabel. It was bordered by Boco Creek and the McLaughlin River. There he spent the rest of his life, and 12 July 1874, he died at his home of ‘apoplexy’’
He was buried with Roman Catholic rites in the Old Nimmitabel Cemetery, where his well-kept headstone marks his grave.
In his will, made 15 months earlier, Jigger left 100 pounds to each of his surviving daughters, his ‘Ando ‘property to his eldest son William, and the rest of his estate to his 5 sons in equal shares as tenants in common, subject to a life tenancy of the Nimitybelle Station to his widow, Mary, whom he directed to carry on the property.
Mary Bulgary survived her husband by 25 years, living either at Nimitybelle Station, or at nearby Boco Creek, or in 1886 in Cathcart.
After a year of illness she died in 1899, aged 84 years, and was buried in an unmarked grave in the Catholic portion of the Old Nimmitabel Cemetery.
Transcribe by Ian Blyton from ??