Category Archives: Cemeteries

South Coast Family History Tour – Eden Historic Cemetery

In October we headed off up the coast to Sydney and spent a few days en route exploring some of the cemeteries on the NSW Far South Coast.

First stop was Eden Historic Cemetery located in Eden overlooking Aslings Beach.

The earliest burial here was 1834 and it is the final resting place of a number of prominent founding members of the local area and a number of my husband’s Power Family relatives.

It is a well-maintained cemetery that is now managed by the Bega Valley Shire Council. Information regarding inscriptions can be found through the Bega Valley Genealogy Society or if you are in the area you can pop into the local library and access the very useful series of books Monumental Inscriptions, Known Graves and War Memorials in the Bega Valley Shire. There are three books in the series which cover the cemeteries in the local area, both large and small (Just a note that I found the three books in the series in the local studies collection at Merimbula Library).  These books can also be purchased through the Bega Valley Genealogy Society – http://thebegavalley.org.au/3598.98.html

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James Rixon1836-1893

James Rixon
1836-1893

Norah & Mary Jane Power

Norah & Mary Jane Power

Catherine Power 1874-1888

Catherine Power
1874-1888

Frederick & Johanna Lindwall

Frederick & Johanna Lindwall

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St John’s Cemetery, Parramatta

I have to admit that I have a particular fascination with historical cemeteries. Nothing macabre mind you, I just have a special appreciation for their place in history and the unique opportunities that they offer for historical research.

One cemetery that is a particular favourite of mine is St John’s Cemetery at Parramatta in Sydney’s west.  St John’s is actually the oldest cemetery in Australia, established in 1790, and it includes the graves of many of our First Fleeters and early pioneers, including a number of my ancestors…

  • Isaac Augustus Mobbs (1851-1938)
  • Edith Mary Mobbs (nee Crabbe) (1852-1946)
  • Mary Ann Tunks (1824-1824)
  • Sarah Tomlinson (nee Lester) (abt 1780-1837)
  • Mary Martin (nee Randall) (1793-1857)
  • John Martin (1757-1837)
  • Mary Ann Bowerman (nee Martin) (1822-1870)
  • George Best (1758-1836)
  • Martha Best (nee Chamberlain) (1778-1833)
  • George Best (1801-1823)
  • Sarah Pye (nee Best) (1809-1882)
  • William Best (1816-1902)
  • Susan Best (nee Gilbert) (1822-1865)
  • Hannah Carter (nee Best) (1851-1927)
  • Gwendoline Best (1888-1897)
  • Robert Roy Best (1886-1904)
  • Vera Best (1882-1913)
  • Robert Holt Best (1856-1933)
  • Emily Jane Best (nee Luke) (1856-1935)
  • Hilary Susan Best (1884-1950)

And probably many more to add. I still have quite a lot of research to do and will visit again on my next trip to Sydney.

St John’s is located right on the edge of the Parramatta CBD. It is quite a strange experience visiting the cemetery as it is surrounded by tall apartment blocks and retail buildings. It is well worth a wander around and certainly isn’t the same bushwhacking experience as visiting St Paul’s at nearby Carlingford. While doing some research today, I also found a link to ghost tours of St John’s operated by Past Times Tours – http://www.paranormalaustralia.com/tours/tourbones.html.

St John's Cemetery, Parramatta

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St Paul’s Church Cemetery, Carlingford NSW

The historic St Paul’s Church Cemetery is located in Carlingford on what was once part of William Mobbs estate. This cemetery is the final resting place of many of the pioneers of the Parramatta district including the Mobbs, Bellamy, Sonter, Catt, Bowerman and Eyles families.

The land for the cemetery was donated by William’s son, William Mobbs Jnr, in 1847. The gift was originally intended to provide a site for a church and adjacent burial ground, however the nature of the shale foundation made the area adjacent to St Paul’s Church unsuitable for a burial ground. Consequently, William made a further gift of  land farther down Marsden Road. This explains why the cemetery is located quite some distance from the former St Paul’s Church which is nearer the corner of Marsden and Pennant Hills Roads.

William Mobbs Snr was the first person laid to rest at St Paul’s Cemetery on 14th July 1851.

Keep checking my Flickr page (links on right side tool bar of this page) for photographs from St Paul’s. I have made a few visits to the cemetery over the past 2 years and despite the terrible state of the cemetery, I have managed to photograph many of the graves. I will be uploading photographs to Flickr over the next few weeks.

If you would like to visit St Paul’s yourself, you can find it hidden away just off Kay Street, Carlingford. The cemetery is hidden between Simpson Reserve and Swaines Nursery. It is very overgrown and I would suggest that long pants and boots are a must if you are going to do some exploring.

St Paul's Church Cemetery, Carlingford.

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Australian Heritage Week 14 – 20 April 2011

In a few short weeks it will be time to celebrate Australian Heritage Week (AHW). AHW has been developed by the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities to showcase Australia’s unique local heritage.

This year AHW runs from Thursday 14 April – Wednesday 20 April and includes a wide range of activites right around the country. Some of my picks include….

Open House – Old Government House, Parramatta NSW. Sunday 17th April from 10.30am – 4.30pm. A chance to visit this amazing property on National Trust Day.

Military Heritage Tour – Brisbane CBD, QLD. Sunday 17th April from 9am – 12.30pm. A guided walking tour that explores Brisbane’s fascinating military history.

Full Moon Walking Tours – Melbourne Cemetery, Parkville VIC. Sunday 17th April with several tours running from 6.20pm – 8.50pm. A guided tour including stories of the many famous identities that are buried in the Melbourne General Cemetery.

The Best of the Mornington Peninsula – Briarswood Cottage & Heronswood Estate, Mornington Peninsula, VIC. Saturday 16th April 11.30am – 3pm. A local event for me! This is a self-drive event that includes visits to these two beautiful cottages and gardens.

Missing ANZACs at Fromelles – Hambledon Cottage, Parramatta NSW. Saturday 16th April 2 – 4pm. Includes a talk by Tim Whitford, part of the team that worked on the mass burial site at Fromelles.

Afternoon at the Archives – Our Collections, Your History – Brisbane City Archives, Moorooka QLD.  Saturday 16th April 1 – 5pm. Includes talks about the collection and a behind the scenes tour.

Penitentiary Chapel Open Day – Hobart TAS. Friday 15th April 10am – 2.30pm. Tour the court rooms, tunnels, cells and gallows of this historic building.

For more information, visit http://www.environment.gov.au/heritage/about/heritage-week/index.html.

Penitentiary Chapel, Hobart TAS.

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Filed under Australian history, Cemeteries, Military history, New South Wales history, Pioneers, Queensland history, Tasmanian history, Victorian history, WWI