Place Names of South-East Queensland




George Griffin married Janet Taylor at Stromness in the Orkneys, 13 October, 1812, and the couple moved to the Cape of Good Hope where most of their family of three boys and two girls were born. George worked at a trading post there and then was given command of trading vessels.

The family moved to Sydney although the captain was away most of the time with his ships. The Rev. John Dunmore Lang was promoting northern development so Griffin took up land north of Brisbane. The head station was built when the eldest son, Francis, came back from the sea and helped to run the property which they called Whiteside.  It took all the country from the coast to Terrors Creek, Pine River and almost to the Caboolture River. Janet Griffin took up residence 1844, and in the following year her husband came to reside there full-time.

Government laws restricting the size of runs forced them to divide the property into two. The part where the homestead was situated retained the Whiteside name. The other one, towards the sea, they called Redbanks. It was from Redbanks that Tom Petrie carved out his Murrumba  property.

In early days when they lived in a slab hut they rigged up a carpet in such a way that during the day it was 'triced up', but at bedtime the order was given,  'Let go the halyards', and the carpet came down to form a partition forming two rooms.

Captain Griffin came in one hot day and took a drink from what he thought was a cask of water not knowing that it contained a footrot wash for the sheep. So he died of accidental poisoning, 1851. Mrs Griffin had her coffin ready years before she died in 1863. Visitors used to be shown it when they came to the house.

Wide Bay

Cook's description of this geographical feature lingers on as a name.


It is thought that the name comes from wudha or wootha, Aboriginal for red cedar.

Wight's Mountain

The name derived from George Wight who, with his son, took over land here in the later 1860s, but the first settler was Henry Howard Payne after whom Payne Road at The Gap is named and who was a founder of the Royal Brisbane Show. 


In its Aboriginal origins the word meant the junction of two creeks. 


Queensland Railways say they named their station after willows growing by an adjacent creek. 

Wilson's Peak

Captain Logan named this mountain after a friend of his, Captain Wilson, Director of Public Works in Sydney, 1827. 


It is thought that the Toowoomba suburb of Wilsonton was named after a 19th century  Toowoomba businessman, James T. Wilson.


The Irish-born William Wilson was 36 years of age and well started on his career as a mercantile agent in Brisbane when in 1868 he bought 46 acres from William Lovell who had originally received it as a grant from the Crown. He married Eliza Coutts and built a house on the property which he called Wilston House. It saw a number of occupants over the years. In the 1880s land around there was sold as Wilston Estate, and in December 1929, Charles Elliot and Sons auctioned blocks for what they called the Wilston Hill Estate. Thus came into existence the suburb of Wilston. William Wilson was a member of the Queensland Legislative Council from January 1874 to June 1878. He died 1903. 


The meaning is not known, but it used to be the name of a large sugar plantation managed by William Stanley Warren.  


Around the time of Queen Victoria's jubilee in 1887 there was a strong pro-royalty sentiment in the community, and this is reflected in the naming of subdivisions which took place around that time. The name Jubilee was given to a development between Bardon and Ashgrove where we still have Jubilee Terrace, but also about the same time there was the opening up of a subdivision called Windsor, a reference to the royal residence in Berkshire, England. Windsor Castle has been the home of royalty for longer than any other building in the world.

The name Windsor is derived from the Old English windels meaning windlass and ora meaning bank or shore. It is thought that the town of Windsor in England got its name from a windlass set up on the bank of the river there, probably to help carts negotiate the muddy hillside as they came up from the river.

Earlier, in the 1880s, Chief Justice Sir James Cockle acquired Oakwal in this area, a house which, when he and Lady Cockle returned to England, was taken over by James Cowlishaw. Some of the present Windsor area was earlier known as O'Connel Town after Sir Maurice Charles O'Connell  who administered the colony on four separate occasions. 


The name was adopted in 1967 to honour an early settler in the area. 

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