The Kippax family came to reside in the Springwood area in the late 1890s, taking up residence in the cottage known as The Ferns. A news item in the Nepean Times in July 1897 noted that Judge Kippax had been keeping a boarding house there for the last twelve months and, because he was happy with the business, purchased the property from Mr Ogle for seven hundred and fifty pounds.
It was commonly thought that the Kippax family built The Ferns guesthouse, situated on Bathurst Road (now Macquarie Road), however, that was not the case. The Ogle family built the home in approximately 1883.
However, it is not clear if the entire Kippax family resided in Springwood and further research will have to be carried out to establish this.
William Kippax senior married Elizabeth Robertson in 1849 and eleven children were born. Annie R. was the first, born in 1850, followed by Eliza 1852, William 1854, Elizabeth 1857, Edwin 1859, Frank 1862, Walter 1864, Lizzie 1867, Kate 1869, Norman Surrey 1871 and Elsie May 1874.
Annie married William Robson in 1868, William H. married Elizabeth Rayner in 1885, Edwin married Agnes Deaker in 1885 and Elsie May, born in 1874, married Norton J. Neave. Neave owned property in Springwood along Hawkesbury Road.
The 1903 electoral roll impressively listed Norman Surrey and William Kippax as ‘men of independent means’ while Eliza, Elizabeth, Elsie May and Lizzie were noted as performing mere domestic duties. This seems ironic when one considers that the women of the family, and in particular Lizzie, were the driving forces behind the operation of The Ferns as a guesthouse.