Dewhurst is probably derived from two Old English words “dew” or “dewy” meaning wet or misty and “hurst” meaning wood or forest.
The name Dewhurst has been passed down (as a second name) for five generations in the Smith family, commencing with Clive Dewhurst Smith, who was born on 17 June 1891. His birth certificate records the place where he was born as “Dewhurst, near Mudgee”.
Dewhurst was a grazing property close to Mudgee owned by his father Henry Smith (Jnr), and the name was obviously bestowed on his son in recognition of his place of birth. Having acquired properties at Guerie, in 1904 Henry decided to subdivide and sell the Dewhurst Estate, as indicated by a sale notice that appeared in The Mudgee Guardian on 4 January 1904. The sale notices was placed by the firm of Stewart & Smith, which was probably a partnership including Robert Henry Smith, a first cousin of Henry Smith (Jnr), who’s occupation was recorded as a Stock and Station Agent on his death certificate.
The exact location of the Dewhurst Estate has not yet been identified, but can be indicated by looking at the current street map of Mudgee, which shows Libson, Burgundy, Oporto, Constantia and Palermo roads (and also includes a road named Dewhurst Drive).
Henry Smith (Jnr) probably inherited the Dewhurst Estate, amongst other properties, from his father Henry Smith (Snr) who died in 1866 owning a number of properties in the Mudgee area.
Henry Smith (Snr) had arrived in Sydney on 31 May 1841 at the age of 21 as a “bounty immigrant” (i.e. his passage had been paid for in return for which he was expected to work as an agricultural labourer for a number of years).
Henry Smith (Snr) had probably been born in the Sussex village of Rotherfield where his parents were living when he was baptised on 4 February 1821. The family moved to the nearby village of Wadhurst a few years later (as indicated by the baptism records of a number of Henry’s younger siblings), and he obviously grew up there. He was living in Wadhurst at the time of he decided to migrate to New South Wales. Near Wadhurst was a substantial property named Dewhurst, and currently in the area are a number of features named Dewhurst:
These are all located in close proximity.
It seems likely that Henry Smith (Snr) when naming one of his properties, chose a name of a property he would have been familiar with in Sussex.
Interestingly, the English census of 1861 records Henry Smith’s (Snr) mother-in-law (Sarah Stapley, nee Reed) as living in Dewhurst Cottages, Durgates Road, Wadhurst.