This website is mainly concerned with the ancestors and descendents of Catherine McIver who emigrated in 1861, aged 9, with her parents George and Isabella, from Loch Ewe, Wester Ross, in Scotland, to Australia.
The Name McIver
McIver originates from the Norse given name Ivarr, thus ‘son of Ivarr’. Norse settlement of the far north of Scotland and the Western Isles began in the 9th century.
However below is edited correspondence from Ormiscaig, Wester Ross on the name McIver exphasising Gaelic/Celtic rather than Norse heritage:
The McIvers are, in fact, a sept of the northern branch of Clan Campbell. In the 18th and 19th centuries, here in Ross-shire, the names McIver and Campbell could be interchangeable. The Gaelic speaking Highland Genealogist, based at the Central Library in Inverness, pointed out that Iver was a pet name of Campbells in the area, and came from one Iver, a Campbell who created a cadet branch of that family in the Ross-shire area. After Iver, many Campbells would call themselves McIver, and at other times McIvers would use the Campbell name. Campbell is itself a Gaelic name (‘crook mouth’), and thus the McIvers are more likely to have an ultimately Celtic rather than Norse origin. Records of clearances from the Aultbea/Ormiscaig townships actually refer to two families there as ‘McIver, also known as Campbell.
McIver is particularly common in Wester Ross and the Isle of Skye. Scottish records consistently spell the name McIver or Maciver, however McIvor appears in some Australian records. Here Mclver is used unless records indicate that the preferred form for the person was Mclvor.
Notes on Scottish Places
Aultbea, Ormiscaig and Bualnaluib (which seems to be pronounced as Bulnerlube) the crofting villages the McIvers came from, are situated in a remote costal area of north-west Scotland. Until the 1850s there were no roads so people lived within close-knit communities. Meagre livings were extracted on rented property. People spoke Gaelic and engaged in cattle and sheep rearing, kelp-gathering, potato growing and other subsistence crops and perhaps some fishing.
In 1846-1848 the area was hit by the failure of the potato crop and many people were brought to the “verge of destitution”. The crofters until 1886 had no security of tenure and could be dispossessed at will by the proprieters. However the Mackenzie family who owned the land seemed relatively supportive of their tenants and these villages where free of widespread forced clearances. This is witnessed by the survival of most of the crofting plots and many houses to this day.
The maximum population of the Gairloch Parish in which these settlements were located was 5,449 in 1871. In 1961 it was only 1,999 – rising to 2,289 in 2001, as increasing ‘incomers’ have become attracted by the beauty of the area. Most emigration was initially to Nova Scotia in Canada. However this had practically ceased by 1845 and from then “saw the commencement of a small and intermittent stream of emigration to Australia.”
The crofting villages of Loch Ewe were always quite small. Bualnaliub had 11 houses and 50 people at the 1841 census – 23 of whom were McIvers. Mellon Charles had 216 people in 41 houses – including 17 houses headed by a McLennan. Ormiscaig had 10 houses (4 headed by McGregors) totalling 48 people. 140 years later, in 1981, the population was 10 at Bualnaluib, 24 at Ormiscaig and 110 at Mellon Charles.
Sources of general historical information include:
- Caird, J.B. The Making of the Gairloch Crofting Landscape [which is a study of mid 19th century land tenure focused on Ormiscaig] – in Peoples and Settlements in North-West Ross, edited by John R. Baldwin, 1994. ISBN 0-9505884-8-4
- Mackintosh, S. The Parish of Gairloch – in The Third Statistical Account of Scotland, edited by A.S. Mather.
Notes on Scottish Information Below
The ages given at censuses tend to be rounded and often inaccurate. I had added birth or christening dates to census data from parish records where they seem to match. Where reference is given to an event at Aultbea it may mean Bualnaluib or Ormiscaig – as registration was at the local church which was, and is, in Aultbea. In 1845-46 the crofts throughout the parish were reformed from run-rig to fixed holdings. Related to this the croft house numbers change between censuses. A different number does not necessarily mean that people moved. However in general people did move from croft dwellings clustered together to being more spread out – being relocated so that their dwelling sits on the household’s fixed holdings.
George McIver’s Ancestors and Siblings
George McIver and wife Isabella McIver emigrated to Victoria, Australia in 1861 with their 3 children, Catherine, Christina and George.
George Mclver (ca.1829-1892) was born in the Aultbea area which is located alongside Loch Ewe seven miles from the village of Poolewe and 13 miles from Gairloch in Ross-shire. He married Isabella McIver (same family name) in 1851. They had three children in Scotland, one at sea, and a further five in Australia.
George McIver took up land at Glengower. In about 1875 the family moved to a farm at Charlton, and later farmed near Kyabram and Mooroopna in the lower Goulburn Valley. He died at Mooroopna North on 21 August 1892 aged 63. His obituary reads;
Another old pioneer was laid to rest on Tuesday afternoon, in the person of Mr. G. Mclver, a well known and highly respected resident of West Mooroopna. He has long time ago been suffering from influenza and apparently had recovered from the attack. Last week however, he was seized with a severe cold, and he took to his bed Tuesday, the family little thinking that he would never rise therefrom, but on Sunday last it was apparent that his end was near and he passed quietly away at eventide, at the ripe old age of 63 years. During his residence in the district he took a great interest in all events transpiring around him and was in touch with the leading topics of the day. He leaves a wife and grown up family to mourn his loss. The remains were interred in the Mooroopna cemetery, being followed by a large number of sympathising friends…
George McIver’s parents were John Mclver (ca.1794-1871) and Isabella McLean (ca.1793-1861). John was the son of Murdo Mclver, crofter, and Mary McDonald. Isabella McLean’s parents were George Maclean, crofter, and Mary Maclean.. John and Isabella were married 2 February 1822.
At the Scottish census of 1841 the family is listed as living at No.2 croft Bualnaluib:
- John McIver, aged 40, tenant, born in Ross & Cromarty (as were all other members of the family)
- Isabel, aged 40
- Catharine, aged 15
- Isabel, aged 15
- John, aged 14, christened 27 October 1824.
- Donald, aged 12, born 1 February 1826.
- George, aged 10
- Mary, aged 8, christened 25 April 1830.
- Kenneth, aged 7
- N.K, 6 months (un-christened baby)
In 1851 John & Isabel still lived at Bualnaluib where John is described as being aged 55, a crofter of 4 acres, born in Bualnaluib as were his wife (now aged 50) and children. At home were only Kenneth, aged 14 a farm labourer and Hannah aged 6.
In 1861 their address was given as No.1 Crofter’s House, Bualnaluib. There lived John aged 69 and Isabella aged 68, with:
- their son John 35
- daughter-in-law Ann (probably John’s wife; possibly Ann McDonald)
- grandchildren Murdo aged 4
- and Donald aged 1 (these are possibly John and Ann’s children; Donald born 29 September 1859)
- unmarried daughter Johanna (Hannah) aged 19
- granddaughter Catherine McDonald 2 (possibly of John McDonald & Mary McIver, born 19 October 1858).
- grandson George Sinclair 5 (possible of William Sinclair & Isabell McIver, born, 19 January 1856).
- and visitor Isabella Mclver, married aged 32
Isabella listed above as a visitor is almost certainly their daughter-in-law and George’s wife. It follows that 2 of John McIver and Isabella McLean’s 3 daughters (Catherine, Isabel and Mary), married Sinclairs and McDonalds.
John Mclver crofter of Bualnaluib died on the 8 June 1871, aged 76. His wife Isabella McIver (nee Maclean) died at croft no.1 Bualnaluib on the 5 October 1861 aged 68.
Murdo McIver and Mary McDonald
It looks as though Murdo McIver was born in Ormisgaig in 1762. At the 1841 Census for Bualnaluib, John’s parents Murdo and Mary, age for both given as 60, lived at croft no.9 with son Myles, aged 24 and grand-daughter Catherine aged 8. Murdo Mclver was alive at the 1851 census living at Bualnaluib. His age then was listed as 88, retired crofter, pauper, born in Ormiscaig. He lived with his grand-daughter Catherine aged 18. It is probably that his wife Mary died in the 1840s.
John McIver’s Siblings (Uncles and Aunts of George McIver)
Children of Murdo & Mary and thus brothers and sisters of siblings of John McIver include:
- Donald McIver christened 14 April 1808,
- Jannet McIver christened 9 July 1811. She married a Roderick McGregor
- and Miles McIver (also spelt Myles) christened 21 September 1813.
John’s brother Donald is listed in the 1841 Census as a boat carpenter living nearby on the Isle of Ewe (which was cleared of crofters in the mid-1800s). He wife was Ann Mackenzie, 35 – and their children were listed as Alexander 5, Donald 3; Margaret, 6 months.
By 1851 they had moved the few hundred metres to the mainland at Aultbea. The 1851 Census listing is:
- Donald, head, aged 42, crofter of 4 acres, born in Slaggan
- Ann, wife, aged 42, born in Culconich
- Alexander, son, aged 13, born in Inverewe
- Margaret, daughter, aged 10, born in Island Ewe
- Catherine, daughter, aged 7, born in Aultbea
- Ann, daughter, aged 4, born in Aultbea
Donald McIver and family emigrated to Australia in the “Fortune” in December 1855. The settled in the Brisbane area.
In 2004 I received an email from Ormiscaig from the sister of the man who now owns the croft at No.1 Bualnaluib that descendants of a Donald McIver who lived at 5 Bualnaluib still live in that cottage [perhaps not our line].
Miles was also a crofter of 4 acres at Bualnaluib, listed as follows in 1851.
- Myles, head, aged 35, crofter of 4 acres
- Jean Sinclair, wife, aged 26
- Alexander, son, aged 6
- William, son, aged 4
- Mary, daughter, aged 2
- Margaret, daughter, aged 3 months
Isabella McIver’s Ancestors and Siblings
Isabella Mclver has born in the Aultbea area between 1827 and 1829. She married George McIver on 11 November 1851 at Aultbea or Poolewe. At the census of 1861 Isabella was visiting her parents-in-law’s house at Bualnaluib. Between 1852 and 1871 she had 9 children. Isabella died 6 July 1899 at Undera near Mooroopna in the Goulburn Valley of northern Victoria, aged 72 years. Her obituary reads in part:
Last Thursday the above lady, who had reached a good age was laid to rest at her residence, Gillieston. She had been a resident of this district for a number of years, and had made a large circle of friends by reason of her kind and cheerful disposition. Her end has not unexpected, as she had been ailing for a considerable time. Her remains were interred in the Mooroopna cemetery…. She leaves a grown up family…amongst whom is Mr. D. Mclver, commissioner of the Rodney Trust”.
The monument on the grave of George and Isabella is quite impressive
Her parents were John Mclver (born about 1803) and Annie McKenzie (born about 1807). They are perhaps the same as John McIver from Mellon Udrigle and Ann McKenzie of Tignafiline who married 1 February 1837. In 1841 they were at Mellon Udrigle (a few miles to the north on Gruinard Bay) – as per the 1841 Census:
- John MacIver, aged 40, tenant
- Ann, aged 35
- Isabel, aged 14, christened 1 December 1827.
- John, aged 12, christened 8 June 1829.
- Annabel, aged 9; born on 2 February 1833.
- Catherine, aged 6
- Roderick, aged 3; christened 15 May 1837.
- Murdo, aged 1
The McIvers Arrive in Australia
The Mclver family left Southampton on 1st September 1861 on the Oithona. They arrived in Melbourne on 7th December 1861. The Oithona coming from London via Southampton carried 299 passengers, including 26 married couples, 206 single women and 39 children. The Melbourne Age reported that passengers were in excellent health with only 2 deaths on board, both of infants. They were assisted passengers. The ships list gives the following details:
- George Mclver, agricultural labourer, aged 29.
- Isabella Mclver, aged 31
- Catherine, aged 9
- Christina, aged 5
- George, aged 2
They were Presbyterians, George and Isabella could read and write, and they were not engaged by a particular colonist. The ships list indicates they came from Inverness, although we know that they originated from Ross-shire. On the shipping records George’s occupation was listed as ploughman.
Isabella was mony months pregant when the ship sailed, as a 4th child, Johannah was born at sea.
George’s uncle, Donald McIver had earlier emigrated to Australia in 1855. Also George’s brother Kenneth McIver and his family emigrated in 1863. Kenneth arrived on the SS Theresa to Melbourne March 1863 aged 28. He was accompanied by his wife Henrietta, aged 24, daughter of John MacLean and Ann MacLeod MacLean and their son George McIver, aged three. There was also another Kenneth McIver aged 28 from Ross-shire on that boat, wife Ann, aged 24, Duncan aged 8, and Kenneth aged 3. In addition there were McKenzies from Ross-shire.
The Children of George and Isabella McIver
After arriving in Australia the family grew from three to nine children. Their place of births indicate that the family was somewhat nomadic for many years. They finally settled in the Mooroopna area in the Lower Goulburn Valley. The children of George and Isabella are as follows:
1. Catherine Smeaton (nee McIver) (1852-1925)
Catherine McIver was born, probably in the Aultbea area (her death certificate gives place of birth almost certainly incorrectly as Glasgow), in 1852. She arrived in Victoria with her parents in 1861, aged 9. She gave birth to William James McIver (1878-1940) at Mooroopna on 11 July 1878 – no father given. William Mclver stayed in Victoria but moved to New Zealand in 1911 at Temuka where he married Mary Proudlock (1886-1945) on 11 July 1916. Mary’s parents were John Proudlock and Ellen (nee Taylor, who was born in Northumberland UK in 1865. William McIver died at Temuka 2 March 1940, and Mary five years later.
Catherine married Peter Smeaton at the Presbyterian manse Mooroopna on 19 January 1885 [m/c 885] . At the time of the wedding Peter Smeaton was a farmer of North Mooroopna. They had four children at Mooroopna before moving to Eugowra in NSW in the early 1890s. A fifth child was born while at Eugowra. Catherine Mclver died 26th July 1925 [d/c 14963] and is buried in the Parkes cemetery. For more details see the Smeaton file
Registered as Christy, she was born 30 January 1857 at Ormiscaig, parish of Gairloch. She married Thomas Wilson (1848-1927) at Mooroopna in 1878. They moved to Balldale, NSW in early 1904, to “Cluster Hills” on the subdivided Quatt Quatta Station. This farm was still in 1990 owned by the Wilson family.
About Thomas Wilson
Thomas Wilson (1848-1927) was a pioneer of the Balldale area. He was a prominent community member – being on the Hume Shire Council for many many years. The first Presbyterian Church services were held at “Cluster Hills” in 1905 before a local church was built.
In our family history the Wilsons and the Pollocks/Kilpatricks/McIvers/Smeatons are closely linked
- Christina McIver married Thomas Wilson.
- Their daughter Isabella Annie Wilson married Robert Pollock. He died young and her family was brought up in the Thomas & Christina Wilson household.
- Isabella Wilson’s cousin Isabella (Bell) Smeaton, who was my grandmother, married George Pollock, Robert Pollock’s brother.
- Thomas Wilson’s brother Robert Bruce Wilson married Elizabeth Kilpatrick, the sister of Mary Jane Kilpatrick who has the wife of Alexander Pollock, and was my great grandmother.
- Thomas Wilson’s younger brother, Mungo Wilson, had a farm called “Kavason” which bordered the Alexander Pollock farm at Balldale
Thomas and Mungo Wilson were farming in the 1890s at Mooroopna. They along with Alexander Pollock and a party of thirty Mooroopna area farmers and their families were the first settlers of the Quat Quatta subdivision in about 1904 and the founders of Balldale
Thomas Wilson’s father was also named Thomas Wilson. Thomas Wilson Sr. married Rebecca Wilson nee Bruce on 4 July 1843 in the parish church of St Quivox (and Newtown) in Ayrshire, Scotland. St Quivox is about 2 miles east of the twin cities of Ayr & Prestwick, on the Mauchline Road. Mauchline is 9 miles further east. Kilmarnock is about 10 miles north.
They seemed to have had eleven children. The following were born in Scotland: James (1844 – seemingly died in infancy), Rebecca (1846), Thomas (1848), Margaret (1851) and John Bruce (1853), twins Alexander and William (1856 – died in infancy) another William (1858 – died in infancy). The last five births above occurred while the family were living in The Gorbals (Tradeston) in Glasgow.
In 1859 they emigrated to Victoria on board the Monica with their four surviving children.
In Australia three more children were born: Jeanette (Janet) Sep 1860-29 Jul 1868, Mungo (25 June 1862 at Deep Creek, Bullarook) and finally Agnes.
Thomas & Rebecca later settled at Glengower at few miles to the north where they are buried. Thomas died in April 1873
- Rebecca Wilson (jr) born 25 March 1846 at Mauchline, Ayrshire. Rebecca married James Martin 17 June 1864 at Creswick Vic. She died 4 March 1906 at Mooroopna.
- While there is no IGI record of Thomas Wilson (Jr)’s birth in 1848, census records indicate he was born that year in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire.
- Margaret Wilson was born 10 May 1851 and christened 29 June 1851 to Thomas Wilson and Rebecca Bruce in The Gorbals, Glasgow. She married Michael Cavanagh at Middle Creek Victoria 11 April 1868. They later lived at Mooroopna.
- John Bruce Wilson was born 7 October 1853 and christened 30 October 1853, also in The Gorbals
At the 1851 Scottish Census the family lived at 32 King Street, Gorbals
- Thomas Wilson – born Seaford, Ireland. Head of household, age 28, jobbing labourer.
- Rebecca Wilson – born Maybole, Ayrshire. Wife, age 29.
- Rebecca Wilson – born Mauchline, Ayrshire. Daughter, age 6.
- Thomas Wilson – born Kilmarnock, Ayrshire. Son, age 3
Rebecca Bruce (Sr) was christened 25 October 1825 at St Quivox and Newton, Ayrshire. Her parents were John Bruce and Rebecca Guthrie. Note that Maybole the town of birth indicated above is about 10 miles south of St Quivox.
Her mother Rebecca Guthrie was christened 9 November 1805 at St. Quivox And Newton. Her parents were Mungo Guthrie and Rebecca Ritchie.
Thomas Wilson (Sr) was christened January 1822 in the small village of Seaforde County Down Ireland. His parents were Alexander Wilson and mother probably Margaret Cherry. An Alexander Wilson was born 12 January 1787 in Seaforde, Down, Ireland. His father was Thomas Wilson
Information about some of Thomas Wilson’s siblings
John Bruce Wilson married Elizabeth Kilpatrick 4 Mar 1875 in Dargalong Victoria. The initially settled in the North Mooroona district in the Goulburn Valley. In 1894 they moved to land between Finley and Berrigan, and then in 1902 to Boree Creek. John Wilson died 26 March 1925 and is buried at Lockhart. Elizabeth died 25 Apr 1943, aged 92, at Wagga and is also buried at Lockhart. They seemed to have had twelve children:
- Thomas Wilson (1875-31 Dec 1940). He later farmed in the Lockhart district. He married Clara Cooper in the Narrendera district in 1911. Clara died 2 August 1966, aged 76 years.
- Janet Wilson (1877-1955). She married a J.Marks and lived at Leeton, where she died in 1955.
- Rebecca Catherine Wilson (1879 Mooroopna – 1881 Mooroopna)
- George Wilson (1881 – ?). He later settled at Peak Hill, NSW
- Rebecca Wilson (1882 Mooroopna. Died in infancy)
- John Wilson (1883 Mooroopna – ?). He farmed near Lockhart and later settled in or near Wagga
- Matthew Wilson (1885-1971). He married Edith Matilda Hicks in the Wagga district in 1913. He settled at Junee until he died in 1971. Edith died 6 October 1981 at Junee.
- Elizabeth Wilson (1886 Shepparton – 1891 Mooroopna)
- Margaret Wilson (2 Oct 1889-1971). She married J.E.(John Edwin) Carroll and farmed at Boree Creek. A Margaret Elizabeth Carroll, formerly of Boree Creek, died at her daughter’s residence at Lane Cove 19 July 1971.
- James Wilson (1891 Mooroopna – ?). He become a police constable later settled in Sydney.
- William Wilson (1893 Mooroopna – ?). He died sometime before 1925
- MK (Mungo Kavanagh) Wilson (19 Jul 1895-1975). He also farmed at Lockhart.
Mungo Wilson married Marina Richards in 1890 (Vic MC 7633). He died 23 Oct 1922 aged 60. Marina died 19 July 1919 aged 52 years
They had a large number of children – possibly eleven. The first six were born in Victoria, the remainder in NSW.
- Benjamin (1892-1908). He fell from a haystack on to a rake handle and died a few hours later.
- Emma (1895-?). She married John Berg in 1916.
- Agnes (1897-1916).
- Randolph (1899- ). He married Doris Anderson in 1922.
- Bruce (1901-1910)
- Marina (1903- 1974). She married a Mr Richardson.
- Rose (1906 – ? )
- Margaret R. (1908 – ? )
- Victor (1911 – 1977 )
- 2nd youngest (name unknowwn)
- Youngest (name unknown)
Christy died 1 December 1907 and is buried at Goombargana cemetery near Balldale with Thomas Wilson.
Christy and Thomas Wilson reared ten children:
- Thomas Wilson (Jr) (1875-1953)
- Born at Mooropna 20 December 1875 he married Elizabeth Mary Stratton at Wyuna 5 October 1909. Their children were George Thomas Wilson (b. Corowa 4 July 1910), and Wilbur Henry Wilson (b. Corowa 17 July 1912). Elizabeth died in 1945 and Thomas at Corowa 31 October 1953. They are buried at Goombargana.
- Rebecca Hewett (nee Wilson) (1879-1963)
- Also known as “Ray”. Born at Mooropna 22 May 1879 she married Jim Hewitt in 1909. Their children are: Thomas Wilson Hewett (1910, Corowa), James George William Hewett (b.1912, Corowa), Isabel Joan Hewett (b.1914, Corowa) and Rebecca Margaret (b. Corowa, 1917). She died in West Wyalong 26 October 1963. Husband James Hewett died in Wagga, 1927.
- Isabella Annie Pollock (nee Wilson) (1880-1942)
- Born 9 August 1880 at Mooroopna, she married Robert Pollock in 1905, raised six children and died 22 September 1942. She is buried at Goombargana. For more details see the Pollock file under Robert. [I have a conflicting statement that she died 9 Aug 1960 in Wagga where she had been living with her sister Rebecca Hewett] .
- Margaret (Madge) Wilson (1881-1967)
- who married a George Wilson (no relation) and lived in Wodonga. She died in Ballarat 29 January 1967.
- Catherine McIvor (Kit) McDonald (nee Wilson) (1883-1972)
- Born 8 July 1883 at Mooroopna she married Charles McDonald in 1906. Their six children were: George Thomas Ivor McDonald (b.1907), Bruce Wilson McDonald (1909-1976), Mary Isobel McDonald (b. Walla Walla 1912), Eugene Michael McDonald (b.Albury 1915), John Wilson McDonald (b. Albury 1917) and Christina Joan Margaret McDonald (b. Albury 1920). She died in Sydney.
- George McIvor Wilson (1885-1965)
- Born 18 July 1885 at Mooroopna he married Lena Barling from Moorwartha. Their children being: Isobel Jean Wilson (b. Rutherglen 1915) and Grace Elva Wilson (b. Rutherglen 1917). They later lived at Wodonga where he died 30 July 1965.
- Christina Hall (nee Wilson) ( -1967)
- Date of birth unknown. She married Norman Hall of Ballarat and Wagga. She died at Ballarat in 1967.
- John Mclvor (Jack) Wilson (1892-1966).
- Born at Mooroopna 10 May 1892. He was a driver in WW1 and fought in France. He married Hilda Victoria Emerton (1897-1980) in 1927. Their chidren: Flora Jean Wilson (b. 1928, Corowa), Colin McIvor Wilson (b. 1931 Corowa) and John Neville (Nev) Wilson (b.1934, Corowa). Jack Wilson farmed at “Cluster Hills” Balldale and retired to Corowa. In 1988 Nev Wilson still farmed at “Cluster Hills”. Jack and Hilda are buried at Goombargana cemetery
- Joan Wilson (1893-1913)
- She died aged 19 and is buried at Goombargana with her parents
- Michael (Mick) Kavanagh Wilson (1894-1973)
- Mick was born 14 May 1894 at Mooroopna. He married Ethel Bishop at Corowa in 1918. Their children: Ethel May Wilson (Maise) (b.1918, Corowa) – married Harry Martin, 1941 and lived in Corowa; Michael McIvor Wilson (b.1923, Albury – died RAAF Germany in 1944); and Noel Thomas Wilson (b. 1927, Balldale – d.1960)
3. George McIver (1859-1945)
George McIver was a stockman, grazier and writer. He wrote that he was born “close to Altbea”, at Ormiscaig on 3 June 1859,
He produced three published books: Neuroomia:a new continent: a manuscript delivered from the deep (1894); A Drover’s Odyssey (1935); and The Bunyip and other verses (1945). He also wrote articles for the Sydney Morning Herald and The Land and various rural newspapers. Some of these articles can be viewed via Trove and in the Bunyip book
In The Bunyip and other verses it is stated that he went to school at Campbelltown [Victoria], and ‘herded sheep at [nearby] Joyce’s Creek'[which is about 5 kilometers west pf Newstead]. The preface to A Drover’s Odyssey reports that from the age of sixteen he spent eight years as a drover and stockmen. This indicates that the book was set in the late 1870s or early 1880s. It chronicles a drive of 25,000 sheep from Bourke to the Northern Territory. He also drove around the Murrumbidgee and Lachlan rivers of NSW and in Western Victoria.
After he finished droving he became a school teacher. A newspaper article states that he was teaching at Corindi, Woolgoolga and Macksville, and “thence to the Clarence”. The record of his teaching appointments is as follows: Mt. Arthur 15 Apr 1884; Corinda & Woolgoolga 3 July 1885; Whiteman’s Creek 16 Feb 1888; North Forster 24 Feb 1891; Simpson’s Ridge (just west of Bowraville, near Mackville) 30 June 1891; Macksville 11 April 1894; Gulgamree 18 Oct 1894; Hobbys Yards 8 Aug 1895. He retired from Hobbys Yards in 1910.
He married Emma Eugene Reid in Redfern on 6 April 1891. Her parents were Charles and Margaret. Emma died on 4 December 1894 at her residence, Gulgamree Public School, near Mudgee, aged 24, leaving three children. Her headstone. They had only moved there a couple of months before. She is buried in Cudgegong General Cemetery. Note that her headstone reads 23 years. The children included: Sydney, born at Springwood in 1891; George (Jr), both in the Nambucca district (probably at Mackville) in 1893; and Isabel. Her birth record indicates she also was born in the Nambucca district in 1893, however her father’s death certificate indicates she was two years younger than George Jr.
Neuroomia was written when he was in Macksville. It is stated that he made some money from this book and his other writings, and went on a world tour in 1911 or 1912, which included Canada. He wrote under the name of “Eucalyptus” for the Clarence and Richmond Examiner.
Before 1903 he had settled at a grazing property named Kempfield, which is near the village of Trunkey Creek (as well as Hobbys Yards), close to Blayney and Carcoar. Here is a video of the property. Here is a map indicating his farm holdings in 1940 from Trove. He seemed to have lived at (or at least owned) Kempfield until about 1940.
In 1912 he sought to stand for the Liberal Party in the NSW elections as the candidate for Raleigh on the north coast. He did not win preselection.
He ventured overseas again, as there is an article in The Argus 6 May 1916 of his eyewitness account of an attack on a French passenger ship, named The Sussex in the English Channel. This is also rendered in verse in The Bunyip and other verses. The Sussex sinking did not receive extensive coverage at the time, but due to the number of Americans who died on board it influenced the US government attitude to Germany. George McIver’s writings indicate that he also had visited Ceylon, Hawaii and New Zealand.
In this article he states that “after the war [I] acquired the old Dykehead cattle station on the Auburn River not far from its confluence with the Burnett in south eastern Queensland”. His younger brother Donald McIver also had purchased property in the area in 1903. In his writings he frequently refers to the Auburn and Burnett Rivers and the Aboriginal people there. It may be that George bought Don’s property following the latter’s death in 1916. George must have have lived there at some time as George McIver grazier and Isabel McIver (his daughter) are listed at his deceased brother Donald’s “Glenwood” property on the Auburn in the 1924 electoral rolls, and George alone in 1913. In July 1937 George and Isabel travelled from London to Sydney on the P&O ship Strathaird.
In 1943 he was living at “Wodonga” Coomonderry Street, Katoomba, with Isabel.
George McIver died at 157 Pennant Street, Parramatta, aged 86 on 1 September 1945, and was cremated at Rookwood. In December 1946 his son Sydney auctioned off 50 acres belonging to his father just north of the wireless station at Wonga Road and Wonga Streets Lurnea and 14 acres at Frenchs Forest Road and Old Pittwater Roads, Brookvale.
Sydney McIver (1891-1967).
He married Elvira Brown in Sydney in 1926. He was an engineer who lived at Ewos Parade, Cronulla from at least 1945 to his death on 19 July 1967.
George McIver (1893-1968).
He was born at Macksville 28 September 1893. He enlisted early for the war, leaving with the First Expeditionary force on The Euripedes 18 October 1914. He served in 3rd Battalion AIFa. From the The Sydney Morning Herald of 11 August 1915: “Private George McIver who was recently wounded at Gallipoli is the second son of George McIver of Hempfield(sic) Station, near Carcoar, and Sydney. He has born of the Nambucca River, North Coast, 22 years ago”. He was returned to Australia and served here as sapper. In 1919 he is listed at 17 Ormond Steet Paddington. He married Maud Conway at Newcastle in 1924. They lived at 6 Dudley Street Bondi in 1931. George McIver Junior owned the Adelaide Hotel at Moruya. He died at Moruya 9 September 1968. I don’t believe they had children.
Isabel McIver (1893?-1984).
She seemed to have lived with and cared for her father all her life until he died in 1945. She married Frederick George Read, an engineer, late in her life, in 1952 in Sydney. She died 27 July 1984 aged 91 years and was cremated at the Northern Suburbs crematorium. Her death notice includes “beloved mipps of Joan and Lindsay McPherson. Sue and Lindy and their families”. She thus may have been a midwife. Fred Read died 12 October 1975 when living at Parramatta. He had a deceased daughter, Janet.
4. Johannah (Joan) McKenzie (nee McIver) (1861-1935)
Johannah was born at sea on the voyage from Britain. She married John McKenzie (also written as Mackenzie). In 1916 she lived at Kilsyth on the eastern edge of Melbourne. She was known as Joan. They had one child, Hector. She died on 23 Nov 1935 when living at Liverpool Rd, Kilsyth and is buried at Lilydale cemetery.
5. John McIver (1863-1938)
Born at Sandhurst (later known as Bendigo) (Reg. 17064), he married Alice May Gibson 4 November 1897 at Byaduk (Reg. 6921). He became a policeman in the mounted force and was promoted to sergeant. The 1899 electoral roll lists his as being a Constable living at Moonambel, near Avoca. In 1903 and 1909 electoral rolls indicate that he was a constable at Dunkeld, and in 1914 the same at Mortlake. In 1916 he lived in Bendigo. In 1924 they were at 22 Camberwell Rd, Hawthorn and by 1931 at 19 Athelstan Rd, Camberwell. John was a senior constable by 1919 and sergeant by 1924.
They had one child, William Eric McIver – born at Moonambel in 1900. He became a Church of England Minister in Victoria, living variously at Warrnambool, Murchison, Harrow and Athelstan Road and Sandringham before moving in the 1960s to Redcliffe, Queensland. His wife was Jean Harrington Wade.
John McIver died in 1938 (Re.6035)and Alice McIver died 22 February 1944 (Reg. 1607). Alice’s parents were Jonathan Gibson and May Barklay. Eric and Jean had an only child Marie Clare McIver. Marie Clare married Athel Lancaster in Melbourne, lived in Healesville and Toolangi in Victoria for about 12 years, and then moved to Woolgoolga, near Coffs Harbour. They had seven children ( Keith 1955, Julie 1956, Susanne1960, Ian 1962, Catherine 1964, Robert 1966 and Michelle 1969).
6. William McIver (1865)
Born 1865 at Leichhardt near Bendigo [b/c3352]. He died in infancy.
7. Roderick McIver (1866-1940)
Born 1866 at Glengower near Clunes [b/c 10174]. His death certificate gives Middle Creek (which runs through Glengower) as the place of birth. He married Jane Sommerville Reddan at the age of 27, at Brunswick in Melbourne.
In 1899 Roderick is listed as living at 102 Brunswick Rd.,Brunswick and being a “Clerk of Court”. In 1903 he was in Stewart Street, Bendigo. By 1914 he was promoted to “Clerk of the Courts” and was living at 58 Moreland Rd., Coburg. In 1916 he is listed as living in Bairnsdale. In 1919 he was at Radnor Street, Camberwell, in 1924 at 27 Broadway Camberwell, and by 1931 at 55 Broadway. He became a police magistrate in Melbourne in 1926.
His death notice from The Argus 28 February 1940 reads:
Lieut. Colonel R. McIver, who died last Saturday, was for many years commanding officer of the Australian Army Service Corps, and occupied several important positions in the Crown Law Department. He was aged 73.
Born at Middle Creek, near Campbelltown, Lieut. Colonel Mciver began his career in the Education Department, and taught for some time at the Brunswick Central State school. He transferred to the Crown Law Department and served as clerk of courts at South Melbourne and Bairnsdale before being appointed to the City Court. Later he became registrar of the County Court.
He was inspector-general of the Penal Department for several years, and retired eight years ago from the position of police magistrate in the Maryborough circuit. Most of his spare time was devoted to voluntary military duties. The funeral took place privately at the Springvale Crematorium.
They had two children, Alfreda Isabella (born 1893 or 1894) and Adrian Roderick George (born 1901 or 1902). Adrian married Laura Frances Blake in 1938. In 1954 he was manager of the State Savings Bank in Myrtleford. Alfreda was a school teacher and married Walter Thomas Pollard. Walter died in 1941 “late of Solomons Islands and Sydney, at “Clan Iver”, 55 Broadway, Camberwell”
8. Donald McIver (1869-1916)
Born 14 September 1869 at Glengower, near Castlemaine [although birth certificate reads born at nearby Newstead – b/c 24113]. He married Margaret McKenzie in 1896 – thought to be at Gillieston in the Goulburn Valley. In 1899 he was listed as a farmer of nearby Undera, north of Mooroopna and was commissioner of the Rodney Trust. The Trust was set up following the introduction of formal irrigation in 1884 in order to control the flow of water.
In June 1902 they moved to a grazing property called “Glenwood” , Dykehead Queensland, where the Burnett and Auburn Rivers meet – “when Degilbo was the terminus of the railway”. The area was later known as Munduberra. He died at Mooroopna 2 August 1916 and is buried there. Death Notice in The Argus
Margaret McKenzie was born at Shepparton in 1870. Here parents were John McKenzie (born Poolewe WesterRoss 1833) & Mary McLeod (born Snizort Parish Skye 1842). Margaret died 8 December 1932 at Munduberra, Queensland.
Their children were: (1) John Claringfeld McIver; born 17 February 1897 at Shepparton. He married Marjory Clara Peterson in 1934 and died 26 May 1991 at Munduberra. (2) Mary Isabella McIver; born 1901. It looks as though she did not marry annd lived at Glenwood to at least 1977. (3) George Roderick McIver; born circa 1905. (4) Margaret Catherine McIver (known as Marjory), born about 1909. She become engaged to James Atherton Sydney Elliot (AIF)of Buderim in July 1942. He died in 1964.
9. William McIver (1871-1930)
He was born 12 September 1871 at Middle Creek, Glengower. near Clunes[b/c 26337] and was brought up with the family at Charlton and Kyabram. He was early on listed as a teacher of Yalca near Nathalia. He married Martha Sarah Mounter, a farm neighbour at Kyabram in 1894 (cert 3800). They had five children: Ada Isabella Jean, Alma, Flora, Harold Winford and Ivan Stuart.
By 1900, perhaps before, he had joined The Victorian Lands Department – eventually rising to the position of Director of Land Settlement.
In the 1903 and 1909 electoral rolls they are listed as living at 59 Wilson Street, Moonee Ponds. From 1914 onwards they were at Avondale, Kiora Street, Essendon.
In 1925 he was awarded the Knight Grand Cross of tho Order of St.Michael and St. George. The following article appeared in The Argus 3 June 1925
Mr. William McIver, director of Land Settlement. As director of settlement Mr. William Mciver has been chiefly responsible, for the difficult task of establishing 8,500 former soldiers and more than 4,000 civilians upon the land. To this work he has brought a wide knowledge of, and an interest in, rural matters, which has been lifelong, and a practical sympathy and understanding of the position of the man on the land. Mr. Mciver was born upon his father’s farm at Glengower, near Clunes,in 1871. Four years later the family acquired a farm near Charlton, and later again moved to a properly in the Goulburn Valley, near Kyabram. In 1890 Mr. McIver joined the Lands department, and in 1908 he was appointed accountant to thc Lands Department and the Closer Settlement Board. He was appointed a member of the Closer Settlement Board in 1915, and in 1917 he became chief clerk of the department. Later in the same year he became chairman of the board, and took up the work of soldier settlement. In 1919 Mr. McIver was appointed Secretary for Lands, in 1919 director of soldier settlement, and in, 1922 director of land settlement.
In 1894 Mr. McIver married Miss Mounter, the daughter of a farmer whose property adjoined that of the McIvers in the Goulburn Valley.
His Excellency the Governor General has received advice that His Majesty the King has been pleased to confer the following honours: Knight Grand Cross of tho Order of St.Michael and St. George (G.C.M.G.).
Martha McIver later moved to 18 Tintern Avenue, Toorak and later again to Sydney. She died aged 88 on 13 October 1962 at her residence 4/130 Majors Bay Road, Concord. Their first child Ada Isabella Jean died in infancy in 1895. Alma was born on 1898 at South Yarra. She died 23 January 1940 at Yarranabbe Road, Darling Point, Sydney. The younger daughter Flora married Philip Francis Acton in 1937. She had a son, Anthony, in 1941. Harold Winford McIver was born in 1902 at Essendon. He married Thirlby Noelene Burgess in Sydney in 1941. He was an architect who had offices in Hunter Street in the city. Harold died 11 August 1970 at Clareville. Thirl died 6 September 1982, late of Cremorne. Brother Ivan Stuart McIver has also born in 1902 but died in 1914.
For valuable information to Barbara Geeves, Bert Pollock, Roy Bethune-Emmett, Karen Hamilton, Geoff Hayes, Leigh Oliver, Julie Parmenter and Marlene Wilson