So, last post we left off in Wagga which was, in relation to family history discoveries a bit of a mother-load of information and emotional connections, next stop was Albury.
We arrived about mid afternoon after a three or so hour drive from Wagga of course stopping for morning tea, elevensies and lunch on the way. Have to share that Calan and Xander were doing so well at this stage in showing that they were still interested in what we were doing, by the end of the following day and a couple of hours in Holbrook, not as much.
Note to self and anyone else interested, three days of family history discoveries for 14 and 15 year old’s might be a little too much. (Boys, if you find this in 50 years time, can’t thank you enough for your patience, now stop reading, I’m sure my butt needs wiping, I’m 100 and the contract is still binding.)
Of course, I was aware that my 3x Great Grandparents were buried there with my Great Grandfather but didn’t have any information on why this was chosen as their final resting place. After this visit to Albury I think I can hazard a guess as to why.
This is the view from the Family Plot, towards the Gate of the Pioneer Cemetery.
Another great find, multiple members of the family buried in these two plots. The Obelisk must have cost a fortune but as I’m fully aware now the Family could afford it. It has been standing here in the elements for 125 years.
This is my 3x Great Grandparents, John Hugh and Hannah Macvean. Parents of Alexander who I introduced you to in my last post and who is buried at Wagga. John is the Macvean who established us here in Australia. It is believed by some other family history researches that he arrived in Australia on the 3rd of August 1841 but I have been unable to confirm this. There are no shipping arrivals that I can find for this date. The closest I can come to confirming he was here around that time is this mention below.
An unclaimed letter listing from Geelong Post Office. A scan of a few scratches of ink almost ineligible, printed 177 years ago. I keep trying to imagine how people did this before computers, databases and search algorithms. This only came up for me after a number of different permutations on the spelling of the name and leaving out the a and the c just MVean. Here is a picture of my 3x Great Grandfather. There is no doubt that I come from this stock.
I am also again, so lucky to have this picture of him later in his life.
This was a real bonus to find in the folder shared by Cousin Sally of ancient Macvean photos. Hannah Macvean nee Hill, my 3x Great Grandmother.
I know hardly anything about Hannah but I have a huge admiration for her. She and John married on the 23rd September 1844 in Geelong Victoria.
Hannah gave birth to their first child, Annie on the 23rd July 1845 and then proceeded to have another 7 children over the next 13 years on stock runs in central Victoria.
I can’t help but notice in the marriage extract above the almost minuscule cross from Hannah’s hand, showing that she couldn’t write. I hope she didn’t feel that small. I can only imagine how strong she must have been to establish and maintain a home for all of those children in the middle of the Victorian bush in the mid 19th century.
The other side of the obelisk is dedicated to their second born Grandson, my Great Grandfather, Alexander Ballantyne Smith Macvean.
It is hard to not make the assumption here of how close they must have been as a family. My Great Grandmother and Grandfather and all of his siblings were still living at Rooksdale at Germanton. Alexander’s Father was still alive but his Mother was buried in Wagga yet the decision was made to bury him in Albury with his Grandparents a good 2- 3 hour buggy ride away from Germanton and the family. Alexander died at Meramie Private Hospital in Albury.
I happened to come across a document in the family history folder containing some reminiscences from my Great Aunt Jean Isabel Moffat nee Macvean, my Grandfather’s Sister. Again an echo from the past and few lines that breaths life into their story.
I found a picture of the Hospital from 1963 when it was operating as an Inn.
Amazing to see the place my Great Grandfather passed away in. I wasn’t aware of this information when we were on the road trip and unfortunately the building has been demolished. In its place is the Meramie Motor Inn.
I’m sure it won’t have the same feeling as sitting in the church that his Parent’s helped build but I’m still going to go visit next trip to Albury.
The next plot over is the final resting place of Samuel Hill, my 4x Great Uncle, his Wife, Mary Hill, nee Macvean, their youngest Daughter Eliza and their Grandson, Alexander Peter Macvean Cameron, Great Nephew of John and Hannah and 2nd Cousin of Alexander buried next to him.
Sad to see the damage to the headstones but very lucky that they are still there considering that they have been there so long.
This photo above is of Samuel Hill. He is actually my 4x Great Uncle by birth and marriage. He is Brother to my 3x Great Grandmother Hannah Macvean, nee Hill pictured earlier in this post and his Wife, is Hannah’s Husband, John Hugh Macvean, my 3x Great Grandfather’s Sister, Mary Macvean, pictured below. (Did you manage to follow that? it was damn hard to write.)
There is no photo I can find at this stage of Eliza but here is her death notice from The Argus.
Alex below, was the son of Samuel and Mary’s eldest Daughter, Margaret. Margaret married a gentleman by the name of John Hugh Cameron and they all lived in Howlong. (Howlong is so the first stop on my next road trip, considering that the whole family came from or settled there.)
This is his Mother, Margaret Cameron nee Hill, my 1st Cousin 4x removed.
And here is a picture of her Husband and Alex’s Father, John Hugh Cameron.
The Riverina which Howlong, Albury and Germanton/Holbrook are apart of has really revealed itself as a significant area for my family. A significance that a century and a half later has all but been erased from memory. I’m hoping that these post although shallow compared to the lives they describe go a small way to restoring those memories.
I’m going to end this post here as it is getting a bit lengthy and I still have a number of other family members stories to share from Albury Pioneer Cemetery as well as an Ancestor who’s significance to the area I was unaware of whilst on the road trip and who I only discovered whilst conducting research for my last post. Look forward to sharing that with you soon.