Saturday, 30 April 2016

Z is for Zunker and time for ZZZ's #AtoZChallenge2016

My theme for the AtoZChallenge is exploring the Walker family . Thinking about the family I realised that they were around in Mackay, Queensland in the early days of settlement so I have decided to discover some snippets of early Mackay as it relates to this family and others in my family tree. I hope you enjoy the journey.




Z is for Zunker and time for some ZZZ's.

Daisy Louisa Harvison, my 2nd cousin twice removed, was the eldest child of James Harvison and Florence Elizabeth Walker. Daisy was born in Walkerston the 3rd of August 1895 and married Wilhelm August Carl Zunker on the 9th June 1926 probably in Mackay but perhaps in Walkerston. Daisy died on the 18th October 1983 in Mackay and I have not yet tracked down her burial.

I wonder if Daisy was called after her cousin Daisy Elizabeth Antoney who was born in North Eton on the 18th February 1884.

Now for some ZZZ's as the April A to ZChallenge is over so I can relax, read some blog posts of other bloggers and sleep in on Sunday morning.

Friday, 29 April 2016

Y is for Young #AtoZChallenge2016

My theme for the AtoZChallenge is exploring the Walker family . Thinking about the family I realised that they were around in Mackay, Queensland in the early days of settlement so I have decided to discover some snippets of early Mackay as it relates to this family and others in my family tree. I hope you enjoy the journey.



Nearing the end of the 2016 A to Z Challenge, Y is for Young.


Mary Jane Young, my 2nd great-great aunt, was a sister to Elizabeth Hanna Young, my 2nd great-grandmother. Both were the Dublin-born daughters of Henry Young and Hanna (Anna) Young nee Murry. Mary Jane was born about 1845 and Elizabeth Hanna in1846.

Elizabeth arrived in Australia on the Fiery Star in 1864 as noted in her obituary in the Daily Mercury of February 1921. Elizabeth married Joseph Antoney in Bowen on the 30th July 1867. Joseph coincidentally was the quartermaster on the Fiery Star, an obvious shipboard romance.  Elizabeth is buried in the Mackay Cemetery.
1921 'PERSONAL.', Daily Mercury (Mackay, Qld. : 1906 - 1954), 2 February, p. 2. , viewed 28 Apr 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article188692401

Mary Jane arrived per the Royal Dane on 2nd December 1871 as an Assisted Immigrant. No doubt her sister had encouraged her to emigrate. She married Alexander Walker in 1872 in Mackay. Mary Jane was widowed in 1909 and lived until 17th October 1931. She is buried with her husband in the Walkerston Cemetery.
1931 'OBITUARY.', Daily Mercury (Mackay, Qld. : 1906 - 1954), 20 October, p. 6. , viewed 28 Apr 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article170287898
There is a marked difference in their obituary published in the Daily Mercury, possibly because Elizabeth's family, the Antoney's, were better known in the district. I am sure that Elizabeth received comfort in her last illness with her sister at her bedside. I intend to travel to the Mackay district in the next year or so to visit places that both Elizabeth and Mary Jane lived.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

X is for X marks the spot #AtoZChallenge2016


I couldn't think of anything particular for X other than X marks the spot. But what spot, you may ask?

Well, the Urban Dictionary says:

"What is said upon finding your target has been marked out. Derived from an X on pirate treasure maps. 

The phrase was put into common usage by the British army, who performed executions by marking a piece of paper with a black x and positioning it on the heart of someone sentenced to death. The acting officer would say "X marks the spot" and the firing squad would shoot the x."

X marks the spot
I rather like the explanation of finding your treasure on a pirate's treasure map. I can relate to that on family history as I go on a search for  "lost relatives" and then find a treasure of information. Don't you find that as well? Such satisfaction when a treasure is unearthed.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

W is for Walker and Walkerston #AtoZChallenge2016

My theme for the AtoZChallenge is exploring the Walker family . Thinking about the family I realised that they were around in Mackay, Queensland in the early days of settlement so I have decided to discover some snippets of early Mackay as it relates to this family and others in my family tree. I hope you enjoy the journey.




W is for Walker, the Walker family that I discovered in January this year.

Alexander Walker was born in Belfast,  Co. Antrim, Ireland on the 11th June 1825. His obituary states that he went first to New Zealand and then to the Mackay district in Queensland in the mid-1860s. See the Daily Mercury notice below:
1909 'DEATH OF AN OLD RESIDENT.', Daily Mercury (Mackay, Qld. : 1906 - 1954), 23 November, p. 4. , viewed 27 Apr 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article173266812
I have found a record of Alex arriving in Hobson's Bay, Victoria on board the Alhambra from Port Chalmers, Dunedin, New Zealand but as yet have not found an immigration record of him leaving Ireland or arriving in New Zealand.

There are many other mentions of Alex Walker in the Mackay Mercury and the then Daily Mercury over the years, principally about stallions standing at stud and other farming news. Two very intriguing snippets occurred in the Mackay Mercury in August 1888, see below:


1888 'No title', Mackay Mercury (Qld. : 1887 - 1905), 25 August, p. 2. , viewed 27 Apr 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article167928232

1888 'No title', Mackay Mercury (Qld. : 1887 - 1905), 28 August, p. 2. , viewed 27 Apr 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article167929458
So we are left to wonder, what was the narcotic used and was Alex taking it for pain relief? Perhaps it was laudanum which "is a tincture of opium containing approximately 10% powdered opium by weight (the equivalent of 1% morphine)" (Wikipedia) and was frequently used in the 1880s for pain relief and sedation. We will never know.

Alexander Walker died on the 13th November 1909 and was buried the next day in the Walkerston Cemetery.

Now for Walkerston ...

Walkerston, a rural town on the Peak Downs Highway is six km west of Mackay. Situated on Bakers Creek in a sugar cane area, the settlement was known as Scrubby Creek in the late 1860s and early 1870s.

Town named by the Surveyor General 22 December 1881 (listed in the Queensland Government Gazette p.1411) when the townships of Walkerston and Alsatia were combined. Walkerston named by John Walker ( - ) lessee of Homebush pastoral run 31 May 18661.

 In 1903, when Walkerston's population was approaching 400 people, it was described in the Australian Handbook
http://queenslandplaces.com.au/walkerston
I think it is quite ironic that Alexander Walker first chose to settle in Walkerston, perhaps he told his children it was named after them? That would be an interesting "family story".


[1] https://www.dnrm.qld.gov.au/qld/environment/land/place-names/search#/search=walkerston&types=0&place=Walkerston44221 accessed 26 April 2016

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

V is for Vivian and Victoria Mill #AtoZChallenge

My theme for the AtoZChallenge is exploring the Walker family . Thinking about the family I realised that they were around in Mackay, Queensland in the early days of settlement so I have decided to discover some snippets of early Mackay as it relates to this family and others in my family tree. I hope you enjoy the journey.



While researching the Walker family I noticed that there were four males with the name Vivian. The first Alexander Vivian Poulson (23 Oct 1909 - 9 Dec 1911), Ronald Vivian Jackson (1929 - 2001), Douglas Ronald Vivian Price, and Vivian Harold James Harvison (1928 - 2008).

Vivian Harold James Harvison, a 3rd cousin once removed, is the only Vivian that I could find in Trove. On 19 June 1943, the Daily Mercury printed a letter and response from Vivian asking to be enrolled as a member of the "Corner". Vivian says he was 14 years old and very small at 4'9" and was working at the Marian Mill, you can read the letter below.


1943 'Letter Box', Daily Mercury (Mackay, Qld. : 1906 - 1954), 19 June, p. 5. , viewed 25 Apr 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article170881990

The Daily Mercury on 20 July 1948 recorded that Vivian suffered an injury to his index finger, you can read the article below. Vivian was still working at the Marian Mill and was now a fireman. As noted in the above article Vivian's father was an ambulance man at the Marian Station so he would have received extra special care.

1948 'LOCAL and GENERAL', Daily Mercury (Mackay, Qld. : 1906 - 1954), 20 July, p. 2. , viewed 25 Apr 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article171192478
Vivian was the great-grandson of William and Mary Jane Walker. See below for the meaning of the name Vivian.

VIVIAN
English via Old French from Latin "alive". Vivian is mainly male in English use while the female form is now more commonly rendered Vivien or Vivienne, the French form. The Oxford Names Companion, OUP
"Scottish Forenames" - Donald Whyte, FGH, FSG


Now for the Victoria Mill ...

The Mackay Sugar Company built the Victoria Mill on the Savannah Plains north of Eton. The name of the Company reflected the influence of the Mackay sugar experts but the name of the mill reflected the origin of most of its capital. The company was registered in Melbourne on 18 March 1881, its capital twenty shares of £500 each.

The Mill operated between 1882 and 1887 and the erection of the North Eton Mill was a prime factor in the mill closing.

Victoria Mill circa 1883. (picture courtesy of John Oxley Library, Brandon Collection no. 6298-0001-0054r. )

The former Savannah Plains are now known by locals as Victoria Plains after the former Sugar Mill.

About 1964, Ray Blackburn acquired the site of the old Victoria Mill as a new cane assignment. He used one of the old wells used to supply the Victoria Mill as his source of water. All that survives today is an old concrete block on his farm [1].

[1] Rolleston, Frank. (1987). The Defiance – The story of North Eton Co-operative Sugar Milling Association Limited, 1888-1987. North Eton, QLD: North Eton Co-operative Milling Association Limited.   p.3.

Monday, 25 April 2016

U is for the Unforgotten and the Unknown #AtoZChallenge2016


Today's theme is U for the Unforgotten and the Unknown, the family members that by researching and finding them means that they are not forgotten. 

My theme for the 2016 Challenge is the newly-discovered Walker family and their connections. This family was unknown to me until a few months ago as I have previously posted and the 2016 Challenge has given me the opportunity to discover more about them. 

Staying on the Walker family, I have been unable to find any service records for WWI and have found six records of service in WWII, these are listed below:

Edward Powell Poulson
William James Harvison
William Alexander Higham
Rupert John Higham
Patrick John Jackson
Herbert Claude Ellems

So on this Anzac Day 2016, I have six new family members to remember along with all my other ancestors who fought in wars. Lest We Forget.




Saturday, 23 April 2016

T is for Dorothy May Thomas and The Hollow #AtoZChallenge2016

My theme for the AtoZChallenge is exploring the Walker family . Thinking about the family I realised that they were around in Mackay, Queensland in the early days of settlement so I have decided to discover some snippets of early Mackay as it relates to this family and others in my family tree. I hope you enjoy the journey.



T is for Dorothy May Thomas and later The Hollow. 

I have written many times before about my maternal grandmother, Dorothy May Thomas and her early life in the Mackay District and in my post of 19 April I included a description of her bridesmaids dress (you can read the post here) so I did some more searching in Trove and found some other mentions of her and her dresses.

In 1910, "The Ambulance Cinderella held at the School of Arts was largely attended, particularly by the young folk..."(I think this was a social with fancy dress), notes Dorothy as "Matron".

1910 'SOCIAL NOTES.', Daily Mercury (Mackay, Qld. : 1906 - 1954), 16 July, p. 6. , viewed 23 Apr 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article170553223
In 1914, again at an Ambulance function, Dorothy was noted that her costume was "scraps", I cannot imagine what type of costume that was, perhaps pieces of material sewn together to form a costume?

In 1919, Dorothy was a debutante at the Military Ball in North Eton and her dress was described as "...white crepe de chine with an overdress of georgette..." in the Daily Mercury. Her mother and recently returned from WWI stepfather, Col.  G.S.C.L. Birkbeck, organised the Military Ball.

1919 'Personal.', Daily Mercury (Mackay, Qld. : 1906 - 1954), 23 August, p. 9. , viewed 21 Apr 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article178630733
I should mention that Dorothy May was born on the 4th October 1898 so that you can tell her age at the time of these functions. As Chris commented previously it is wonderful to read snippets of my grandmother's life as a young girl. 

Now for The Hollow...

Brothers Charles Collinson Rawson and Edmund Stanfield Rawson purchased the grazing property Abington in the Pioneer Valley, including a portion known as Shamrock Vale in 1867, and nicknamed it Sleepy Hollow, and hence its popular name The Hollow. 
Two houses, The Hollow, and The Nyth were built on the banks of the Pioneer River, the present township of Mirani occupying the home paddock of The Hollow. 
Verandah at The Hollow, near Mackay, Queensland about 1875, creator unidentified, State Library of Queensland:hdl.handle.net/10462/deriv/27494
The Rawsons attempted to recreate formal English gardens, including a tennis court, gravel paths with shrubberies, exotic vines and trees, a weather station, an attractive English-style fowl-house, and to the side of a fourteen-foot wide verandah, a large fernery of split palms which housed a bathroom at one end.

This was all well documented in the Mackay Mercury in the 1870s. It must have taken quite some work to create a formal English garden in the sub-tropics but I suppose that they were wanting memories of England. In the Mackay climate, they experienced it is little wonder that they built fourteen-foot verandahs as much of the life of the household could have occurred on the wide verandah.

Friday, 22 April 2016

S is Schooner #AtoZChallenge2016

My theme for the AtoZChallenge is exploring the Walker family . Thinking about the family I realised that they were around in Mackay, Queensland in the early days of settlement so I have decided to discover some snippets of early Mackay as it relates to this family and others in my family tree. I hope you enjoy the journey.



I was thinking about what I would write for S and the word schooner came to mind.  The type of sailing ship that many of my ancestors would have arrived onboard to Australia.

Dictionary.com defines schooner: noun
  1. Nautical, any of various types of sailing vessels having a foremast and main mast, with or without other masts, and having fore-and-aft sails on all lower masts.
  2. a very tall glass, as for beer.
While researching on Trove and on the Internet I came across the fascinating story of the "Rosebud" after which the town of Rosebud on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria is named. 
The Argus July 1852, an advertisement for auction the Rosebud and its cargo

In early 1852, Rosebud was caught inshore by a westerly gale and was soon a total loss after running on to a sandbank. All the goods etc were washed up and were eagerly claimed by the locals. You can read more about Rosebud here.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

R is for Rupert John Higham and Racecourse #AtoZChallenge 2016

My theme for the AtoZChallenge is exploring the Walker family . Thinking about the family I realised that they were around in Mackay, Queensland in the early days of settlement so I have decided to discover some snippets of early Mackay as it relates to this family and others in my family tree. I hope you enjoy the journey.



R is for Rupert John Higham (also called John), my 2nd cousin twice removed, the third son of William James Higham and Frances Helena Margaret Walker. Rupert was born at Walkerston on the 5th July 1907.

John and his brother Clary successfully bought a farm at Mt Pelion in 1932 from a Mr. Robinson and were wished success in the Mt Pelion District notes in the Daily Mercury of the 8th March 1932.

Trove tells us that in February of 1935 Rupert won the chocolate waltz at the school dance at Mt Pelion. Doesn't that sound scrumptious?

1935 'DISTRICT NEWS.', Daily Mercury (Mackay, Qld. : 1906 - 1954), 23 February, p. 5. , viewed 20 Apr 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article173068185
Rupert married Violet Jean Henderson Allan (Jean) in 1936 probably in Mt Pelion. Next, I came across Rupert in Trove selling land in Finch Hatton in January of 1949 and noticed that this was from The War Service (Sugar Industry) Land Settlement Act. So did that mean Rupert had served in WW2?

1949 'Advertising', Daily Mercury (Mackay, Qld. : 1906 - 1954), 5 January, p. 4. , viewed 20 Apr 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article171110638
From the National Archives of Australia's Record Search I found the following in the World War 2 enlistments:

HIGHAM RUPERT JOHN : Service Number - Q215340 : Date of birth - 05 Jul 1907 : Place of birth - WALKERSTON QLD : Place of enlistment - MACKAY QLD : Next of Kin - HIGHAM VIOLET

I wonder what sort of war Rupert experienced, where he served and what was he like after the war, another quest for future research.

Rupert obviously took up further land and farmed in Finch Hatton as he is mentioned several times at meetings of the Cattle Creek Mill  at Finch Hatton during the 1950s.

Now for Racecourse ...
In 1885, the Mackay to Eton railway, via Racecourse, was opened, and in the following year, Racecourse sugar growers succeeded in establishing the Racecourse Central Sugar Company Ltd. The company's new mill, two km west of the racecourse, began crushing in 1888. 

My grandmother often mentioned the Racecourse Mill having uncles and cousins who worked at the mill at different times. I believe her younger brother Claude was apprenticed at the mill but I may be confused.

Mackay was hit by a large cyclone in 1918 which caused significant damage throughout the region and again my grandmother mentioned the storm. The Racecourse Central Mill was devastated as evidenced by the photo below.

Racecourse Mill after a cyclone in Mackay, 1918, John Oxley Library, Picture Queensland - State Library of Queensland: digital image collection

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Q is for the Queries,Quest, and Questions #AtoZChallenge2016


My theme for the AtoZChallenge is exploring the Walker family . Thinking about the family I realised that they were around in Mackay, Queensland in the early days of settlement so I have decided to discover some snippets of early Mackay as it relates to this family and others in my family tree. I hope you enjoy the journey.


Q is for queries, quest, and questions. This is what we as family historians go on, a quest to find new information about our ancestors and we query our findings to validate our finds. I have often lain awake at night thinking about a relative, a brick wall, a new discovery and wondered how I could find out more - that's the quest and the questions.


So when we ask the question - where were they married, for instance, if we find a record that is not in the place we thought it should be, then we query the record to see if there is any other evidence. And, if we are lucky we will find extra evidence. It may be in a newspaper report or a shipping list that places them in that locality. 

It's all part of the fascinating hobby of family history, no wonder I like mystery novels.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

P is for Powell Poulson and Palmyra #AtoZChallenge 2016

My theme for the AtoZChallenge is exploring the Walker family . Thinking about the family I realised that they were around in Mackay, Queensland in the early days of settlement so I have decided to discover some snippets of early Mackay as it relates to this family and others in my family tree. I hope you enjoy the journey.



This post is about Powell (Paul) Poulson and Palmyra and they are connected. Powell Poulson was the second husband of Florence Elizabeth Walker, who he married on the 17th June 1904 probably in Mackay. The couple had seven children, four girls, and three boys. 
At one time the Poulson's operated the Marian Bakery and General Store before moving to Mt Pelion to farm.

Now for the connection to Palmyra ...

Hugh McCready established the Palmyra Plantation in 1879 on 550 acres on Bakers Creek. Hugh McCready bought more land and doubled the size of the plantation.

Parish of Greenmount map showing portion 92 which was part of McCready's selection for the Palmyra plantation.  The Palmyra mill was located towards the eastern section of this portion.  The rest of the plantation extended to the south of portion 92.
In 1881, McCready began importing machinery for a sugar mill and the mill began crushing in 1883.
Palmyra Sugar Mill (Source: Mackay Historical Society Archive No. 85-318h)
Now for the connection to the Walker family and the Antoney family. Hugh McCready's third son Lionel Campbell McCready married Daisy Elizabeth Antoney (my great great aunt) on the 3rd May 1911 at Holy Trinity Church Mackay. Daisy was the second daughter of Joseph Antoney and Elizabeth Hanna Young - Mary Jane Young sister. So Daisy was Mary Jane's niece and Florence Elizabeth's first cousin. 

My grandmother, Dorothy May, often talked about her Aunty Daisy and Uncle Lionel and visits to Palmyra. In fact, I have just found a report of Daisy's wedding in the Daily Mercury of 4th May 1911 and discovered that my grandmother was a bridesmaid.  You can read a description of her dress below.

1911 'McCREADY--ANTONEY.', Daily Mercury (Mackay, Qld. : 1906 - 1954), 4 May, p. 6. , viewed 19 Apr 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article172439749

I wonder if the Walker family were there? I can't imagine that they weren't present can you? Unfortunately, the very informative reporting of the wedding didn't include guests so I will just have to wonder.

Monday, 18 April 2016

O is for Ordinary and Ooralea #AtoZChallenge2016


My theme for the AtoZChallenge is exploring the Walker family . Thinking about the family I realised that they were around in Mackay, Queensland in the early days of settlement so I have decided to discover some snippets of early Mackay as it relates to this family and others in my family tree. I hope you enjoy the journey.


Today's post is about Ordinary - ordinary people and ordinary lives. As I thought about the post for O in the #AtoZChallenge the word ordinary came to mind. The Walker family were certainly ordinary people, Alexander and Mary Jane came to Australia as free settlers, farmed and raised their three daughters with little or no fanfare. They become involved with their local community, with the local Church of England and local businesses.

Their three daughters, Florence Elizabeth, Frances Helena Margaret and Georgina Louisa married local men and started their families in and around Walkerston, Mirani and Marian. The Marian Bakery and General Store was conducted by Paul and Florence Elizabeth Poulson until the early 1920's when they took up land at Mt Pelion. Florence was well known in the district for her fancy cakes.

So you see the family was ordinary and led ordinary lives - by this I don't mean to be disparaging, far from it, they overcame difficulties and Mary Jane's daughters lost children at a young age, managed to lead lives without apparent scandal and as my mother often said "...they got on with life because that's what you do..." 

I come from strong female stock and I think that the Walker family was also strong. Mary Jane left Dublin to travel here by herself, certainly her sister Elizabeth was already her in Queensland, but I think that traveling alone in 1870 was very different to me hopping on a plane and traveling to the UK. My life now is so very different to their lives in the late 1870s and at the turn of the century. 

Perhaps because they survived, farmed, ran businesses and became part of their communities makes their lives not ordinary but extraordinary.

Now for Ooralea ...

Ooralea, formerly Planlands, is eight km south-west of central Mackay. It was formally named in 1999 and the origin of the name is from a local aboriginal word meaning "Kangaroo Park".
Its north-east area is bounded by the Bruce and the Peak Downs Highways, and it was there in 1866 that the Mackay Turf Club secured a grant of land for a racecourse. The railway to Marian and Finch Hatton ran parallel to the Peak Downs Highway, and the Planlands station was opposite the racecourse entrance. 

The Club raced in 1868 but later lapsed. It was reformed on May 1st, 1872 and in 1972 the Mackay Turf Club held its Centenary meeting, accepting 1872 as the foundation year

The racecourse's most notorious event was a riot between South Sea Islander indentured plantation workers (known then as Kanakas) and European inhabitants at the Boxing Day race meeting in 1883 [2]. The paper by C.R. Moore about the riot and the conditions that led to the riot is certainly well worth a read to gain further insight into race relations in early Mackay.

The first aeroplane to land at Mackay caused a tremendous stir.  Hundreds of people turned out to see the "Flying Machine" at Ooralea Racecourse on 17 September 1920.  The airmen, Lieutenant A.W. Murphy and corporal G.R. Simpson were on a tour of Queensland promoting a Peace Loan at the end of World War 1.  Over their three day stay in Mackay, $74,000 was subscribed to the Loan.
Google Map, showing racecourse and Mackay airport

It was ten years before Mackay Airport was established, and the site was the choice of Captain Ronald Adair, the founder of Queensland Airlines.  He landed his Avro bi-plane at Ooralea in 1927, the only landing ground available.  With J. H. Williams senior, he inspected the town common and marked out a landing strip with calico, then flew his plane from the racecourse to make the first landing on what was to become Mackay Airport [3].




[1] Pioneer Pageant. Mackay, QLD: Pioneer Shire Council.

[2] Moore, C.R. The Mackay Racecourse Riot of 1883,  https://espace.library.uq.edu.au/view/UQ:207961/DU270_J33_1978_pp181_196.pdf, viewed 18 April 2016

[3] http://www.mackayhistory.org/research/history/10_air_transport.html viewed 18 April 2016

Sunday, 17 April 2016

N is for Joyce NITA Meng and Newbury Junction #AtoZChallenge2016

My theme for the AtoZChallenge is exploring the Walker family . Thinking about the family I realised that they were around in Mackay, Queensland in the early days of settlement so I have decided to discover some snippets of early Mackay as it relates to this family and others in my family tree. I hope you enjoy the journey.



N is for Joyce NITA Meng, my third cousin once removed, youngest daughter of Jens Frederick Lauritzen Meng and Florence Mary Elizabeth Harvison. Joyce is a great granddaughter of Alexander Walker and Mary Jane Young. 

It appears that Joyce was living in Cairns in 1950 when she was a passenger in William Boutle's car involved in an accident, as reported in the Cairns Post [1] perhaps she was already engaged?


Joyce married William Edwin Boutle on the 12th April at the Holy Trinity Church Mackay, as noted in the Cairns Post on 17th April and the Daily Mercury on 26th April [2].



The wedding report is much longer than I have posted here, to read the complete reporting use the link [2] below.

Miss Dawn Boutle, a sister of William Boutle, appears frequently in Trove as a soprano and contributing as a soloist at many occasions, including at the wedding of William and Joyce. Dawn was obviously a popular member of the Cairns community.

Now for Newbury Junction...

Newbury Junction was possibly named in 1885 when the Mackay to Eton and Hamilton Railway line was built in honour of David Hay Dalrymple who was the first Mayor of Mackay and was also born in Newbury, Berkshire in England and owned property in the vicinity.

The opening timetable provided a daily train to both branches, each day except Sunday:
Eton Departs 7 a.m.
Newbury Junction 7.27 - 7.30
Hamilton 8.00 - 8.30
Newbury Junction  8.58 - 9.00
Walkerston 9.26
Mackay Arrive 10.00am

Mackay Departs 3.00pm
Walkerston 3.36pm
Newbury Junction 5.13-5.15pm
Hamilton 4.30-4.45pm
Eton Arrive 5.42pm.

Eton residents were not happy with the early start as it left them no time to milk the cows when they left and they had to get breakfast at Newbury Junction while the train travelled to Hamilton. Hamilton was renamed Mirani by November 1885 probably to avoid confusion with the Brisbane suburb of Hamilton [3].

Alexander Walker selected land in both Hamilton (Mirani) and Newbury, his land at Newbury was adjacent to the Pioneer River.

Map showing distance from Mackay to Newbury Junction
A piece of trivia gleaned from Trove is how a patient absconded from the Mackay Base Hospital in 1952 and was found wandering in his pyjamas at Newbury Junction as reported in the Daily Mercury on 7th February 1952 [4].


I have clipped the image to fit, should you wish to read the entire reporting please follow the link [4] below.


[1] 1950 'Grove-street Accident', Cairns Post (Qld. : 1909 - 1954), 17 November, p. 5. , viewed 17 Apr 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article42687891

[2] 1952 'WEDDING', Cairns Post (Qld. : 1909 - 1954), 22 May, p. 6. , viewed 17 Apr 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article42739208

1952 'Wedding Bells', Daily Mercury (Mackay, Qld. : 1906 - 1954), 26 April, p. 5. , viewed 17 Apr 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article172095914

[3] http://www.mackayhistory.org/research/railway/qrbriefhistory.html accessed 17 April 2016.

[4] 1952 'WALKED 20 MILES IN PYJAMAS', Daily Mercury (Mackay, Qld. : 1906 - 1954), 6 February, p. 2. , viewed 17 Apr 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article172081826

Saturday, 16 April 2016

M is for Mary Jane and Marian #AtoZChallenge2016

My theme for the AtoZChallenge is exploring the Walker family . Thinking about the family I realised that they were around in Mackay, Queensland in the early days of settlement so I have decided to discover some snippets of early Mackay as it relates to this family and others in my family tree. I hope you enjoy the journey.


M is for Mary Jane Walker, my newly discovered 2nd great-great aunt. I came across Mary Jane when I  discovered my great- great grandmother Elizabeth Hanna Antoney's obituary in the Mackay Daily Mercury on Wednesday 2nd February 1921 [1].  The obituary noted that: "A sister, Mrs. Alex Walker, also resides in the district and had of late been at the attendance at the  bedside of her sister..."

So, of course, I followed up on this hint and found Mary Jane's marriage to Alexander Walker in 1872 in Mackay and her death on 17th October 1931 in Marian. Mary Jane is buried in the Walkerston Cemetery with her husband Alexander.

I found Mary Jane immigration on the Royal Dane on 2nd December1871 [2] so she married quite quickly after her arrival. Perhaps her sister knew Alex Walker and introduced her? Or perhaps it was an instant attraction? We will never know.

Now for Marian...

Marian, a rural town, is 24 km west of Mackay. Situated in the Pioneer River Valley, it is in the heart of a sugar growing area.
By the late 1870s, cane was the dominant industry, and David McEachran owned substantial acreage. In 1883 he built a sugar mill, employing Marian Smith for secretarial work. She was the daughter of local commission agent, and McEachran named the mill and its associated plantation after her. 
He also engaged a Melbourne builder, David Mitchell, to construct the mill works. Mitchell was accompanied by his 22-year-old daughter, Helen, who married the mill manager, Charles Armstrong. The Armstrongs lived in the mill manager's house until Helen left him with their son. She embarked on an operatic career under the name Nellie Melba. The Melba house (the former mill residence) was acquired by Mirani Shire and re-erected on the river bank, two kilometres from Marian [3].
The Walkers farmed near Walkerston, probably closer to Newbury and their daughters and grandchildren lived in and around Marian. At different times, their families had the Marian Bakery and General Store. 
I do remember my grandmother telling me that Dame Nellie Melba lived in Marian in the mill manager's house so her memory was accurate. She just didn't mention the Walkers. I find it interesting to discover how places were named.

[1] 1921 'PERSONAL.', Daily Mercury (Mackay, Qld. : 1906 - 1954), 2 February, p. 2. , viewed 06 Apr 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article188692401

[2] Queensland State Archives, "Assisted Immigration 1848 to 1912," 
online index, Queensland Government (https://data.qld.gov.au/dataset/assisted-immigration-1848-to-1912: accessed 22 February 2016).
[3] http://queenslandplaces.com.au/marian accessed 16 April 2016