Colin McPherson (Jr) and Jessie Melville

This is the family history of Colin McPherson who married Jessie Melville at Ballarat in 1870.

Colin McPherson and Jessie Melville marriage certificate part 1
Colin McPherson and Jessie Melville marriage certificate part 1
Colin McPherson and Jessie Melville marriage certificate part 2
Colin McPherson and Jessie Melville marriage certificate part 2

The Name McPherson

The name McPherson, meaning “son of the parson” is very common in Scotland. It is a Highland name with the McPherson Clan centred in the Badenoch area of the Grampians. While Badenoch and the Spey River valley is considered the “heartland” of the McPhersons, the name was long been used in various parts of the Highlands including Inverness, Argyll and Perthshire. The town of Newtonmore in the Spey valley has a McPherson Clan museum. The McPhersons in our line were at the start of the 1800s located around Killin in the Breadalbane (pronounced Bred-all-bn) area around Loch Tay in south-western Perthshire, some 70 miles south of the Badenoch region.

The McPhersons in Scotland: Colin McPherson and Catherine Cameron

Colin McPherson (Snr)

Colin McPherson and wife Catherine (Cameron) arrived in Tasmania in 1855 accompanied by 8 of their children.

The history of these people and their genealogy is subject to uncertainty due to inconsistencies in records and the commonness of their names in their homeland. The most authoritative source of Colin McPherson’s birth and baptism is probably the Killin Parish Perthshire record, which indicates that he was born in 1810 and baptised on 12 March in the same year. However we are faced with other records which indicate as follows:

  • Age on his death certificate indicating a 1801 or 1802 birth date.
  • A baptism record for 1808 to the same parents (possibly indicating the death of an older brother of the same name).
  • Age at marriage noted on death certificate indicates a 1803 birth
  • Age at the 1841 and 1851 censuses would lead to birth around 1806 and 1803
  • Age on emigration records, which commonly record younger that actual ages, indicate 1811
Old Parish Register 361/20324 Killin
Birth and baptism Old Parish Register 361/20324 Killin

The town of Killin is at the southern end of Loch Tay but the family may have lived elsewhere in the parish. His parents could have been:

    • Donald McPherson (1758?-1837?) and
    • Christian (Christina) McPherson (1765?-?)

The details of Donald and Christian McPherson are also uncertain. A Donald McPherson was born in Perthshire in 1758 (3066;368) and a Christian McPherson (also nee McPherson) on 23 June 1765 (3077;369) in Killin Parish. They were married 18 December 1790 in Killin Parish. She was from the neighbouring Kenmore Parish.  If you look at that marriage record (see the image below) it is apparent that Donald’s name is initially written as Daniel and then overwritten so that the IGI transcribed it as Danald.  As Donald and Daniel are often interchangeable in Scotland it would seem likely he was known as Daniel but christened Donald.

Marriage of 18 Dec 1890 entered as Danald McPherson
Marriage of 18 Dec 1790 entered as Danald McPherson

A Donald McPherson died in Killin 13 September 1837. There is a headstone in Killin Cemetery reading ‘Donald McPherson 13.9.1837 79 [age at death]. Christian McPherson 66 [age at death]’. Some contributions seek to connect Christina Ann McIntyre to ‘our’ Donald McPherson.  I believe there is no connection, particular as the marriage is of people from Weem Parish, somewhat to the east.

It is thought that Colin to be the fifth of the six sons born to Donald McPherson and Christian McPherson in Killin:

  • John McPherson, baptised 1 Jan 1792 in Killin (3086;370).
  • Duncan McPherson, baptised 15 Nov 1793 in Killin (3098;371)
  • Malcom McPherson, baptised 3 December 1795 in Killin. Source Scotland’s people parish records.
  • Alexander McPherson, baptised 1 July 1804 in Killin (3120;373)
  • Colin McPherson, baptised 12 March 1810 in Killin (3131;374)
  • Ronald McPherson, baptised 18 Nov 1813 Killin (3142;375). Ronald seemed to live in the town of Killin where he was a journeyman shoemaker, passing away at Monomore as an unmarried pauper on 15 August 1888 aged 75. His death notice indicates an unknown mother.

However it would seem unlikely that Christian McPherson born in 1865 would still be producing children when aged 45 and 48.  It may be worth noting that John, Duncan and Alexander were born in ‘Monimore’ within the Killin Parish according to the baptism records, while Malcom, Colin and Ronald are recorded as simply born in Killin.

Nineteenth century Killin map showing Monomore
Killin map showing Monomore

Colin married Catherine Cameron on 25 January 1830 in Killin parish. While Catherine’s death certificate indicates Alva, Stirlingshire as the location of the marriage, baptism and census report lead to the conclusion that in about 1835 they moved to the lowlands to work as weavers, initially in the village of Coalsnaughton and then to the nearby town of Alva in 1841, where they probably remained until they emigrated to Tasmania in 1855.

Catherine Cameron

Catherine (often spelt Catharine and sometimes Katharine) Cameron was born 2 May 1812 in the farm/village of Auchtertyre located in Strathfillan (i.e. valley of the Fillan river) some 16 miles west of Killin town.

Catharine Cameron birth record 2 May 1812
Catharine Cameron birth record 2 May 1812

Her parents were almost certainly John Cameron, born about 1771 and Margaret McNicol, born about 1786. John and Margaret still lived at Auchtertyre, which was a large sheep farm, at the 1841 census – he an agricultural labourer aged 70, and she aged 55. They lived alone.

Map showing the road from Killin to Auchtertyre through Docharet Glen and Strathfillan
Map showing the road from Killin to Auchtertyre through Glen Dochart and Strathfillan

An older sister, Margaret Cameron was baptised in 1810. At that time the family lived at Kirkton, the adjacent farm to Auchtertyre.

The Children of Colin McPherson and Catherine Cameron

Catherine had 13 recorded children.  Their order of birth varies in records and none can be considered authoritative. While the names of the children on Colin and Catherine’s death certificates are consistent, hardly any of their recorded ages match their birth dates in the Scottish records. I have listed them in the order shown on Colin’s certificate because Catherine was still alive and his son Alexander was the informant, while on Catherine’s certificate the informant was more distant – her son-in-law.

  1. Donald (Daniel) McPherson, born 13 March 1831 at Newton in the Parish of Killin.
  2. John McPherson, born 22 July 1832 at Newton, Killin.
  3. Margaret McPherson, details unknown, died early. Born after Alexander according to her mother’s death certificate.
  4. Mary McPherson, details unknown, died early.  Born after Catherine on mother’s death certificate but this is very unlikely given the time between known births.
  5. Alexander McPherson, born 17 October 1834 at Newton, Killin. There was also Alexander McPherson, born 6 October 1836 in Edinburgh to Colin McPherson and Catherine Cameron. Further while Alexander was the informant on his father’s death certificate  he gave a date of his own birth which indicated a birth in 1837 or 1838. However his own death certificate record him being 85 in 1920, thus born in 1834 or 1835, although the place of birth is given as Edinburgh.
  6. Duncan McPherson, born 12 October 1837 at Coalsnaughton, Clackmannanshire. There was also a Duncan born 28 September 1838 in Edinburgh to Colin McPherson and Catherine Cameron
  7. Catherine McPherson, born 4 May 1840 at Coalsnaughton.
  8. Annie McPherson [twin of Colin], born 18 January 1842 at Alva. Note that the Alva Parish records and the 1851 census note Annie as if she was twin of Christian, and the former with a birth date of 28 April 1846. Both are contradicted by all family sources sighted.
  9. Colin McPherson [twin of Annie], born 18 January 1842 at Alva.
  10. Christina (Christian) McPherson, born 28 April 1846 at Alva.
  11. Hugh McPherson, details unknown, died early.  Born after Colin and Annie on his mother’s death certificate.
  12. James McPherson [twin of Ronald], born 8 May 1849 at Alva.
  13. Ronald McPherson [twin of James], born 8 May 1849 at Alva.

Notes. The dates in some cases may be incorrect. Also some aspects of the order are a little uncertain; e.g. the time between the births of John and Duncan would indicate 6 births in less than 7 years. The only evidence of children Margaret, Mary and Hugh comes from their parent’s death certificates. Also a second Alexander was not mentioned on either parent’s death certificates. The IGI gives Annie’s birth date as 28 April 1846, which is clearly incorrect – as this meant she would have married at 13.

Baptism records of four McPherson children. Three born in Newton, Killin.
Baptism records of four McPherson children. Three born in Newton, Killin.
Baptism records of six McPherson Children, Alva 1853
Baptism records of six McPherson Children, Alva 1853

At the 1841 census the following McPhersons were living in Coalsnaughton Village (no street address), which is about 4 miles south-east of Alva:

  • Colin McPherson, aged 35, Woollen hand loom weaver.
  • Catharine McPherson, aged 30
  • Donald, aged 10
  • John, aged 8
  • Alexander, aged 4
  • Duncan, aged 2
  • Catharine, aged 1 month – according to the census the only one of the family born in Clackmannanshire
  • Also residing at the address were three Hunters: John aged 80, Helen aged 30 and Robert aged 11

At the 1851 census the following were living at 35 Ark Lane, Alva

  • Colin McPherson, aged 48, woolen handloom weaver
  • Catherine, 41
  • Duncan,12
  • Colin,7
  • Anne, 4
  • Christian (female), 4
  • James, 1
  • Ronald, 1

It is probable that Margaret, the first Alexander, Mary and Hugh had died by 1851; and that the elder sons Donald, John and Alexander were living away from home. It seems that the child Catherine, aged 11, was also living away from home. Other convincing evidence (e.g. parents’ death certificates) indicates that Colin and Annie were twins, rather than the census assertion that Annie and Christian (Christina) were twins.

Notes on Some Scottish Places and Events


Killin Parish covers a large area and it is possible that both the McPhersons and Camerons lived in or near the village of Auchtertyre some 16 miles west of the town of Killin. This area in the western section of Perthshire is considered by some commentators as an idyllic Highlands locale. The Breadalbane range is the backdrop to the valley of the Fillan River (Strathfillan). Killin town is on the shores of Loch Tay


In contrast Alva was a town “made” by the industrial revolution. Situated in central Lowland Scotland, at the base of the steeply rising Ochil Hills, the rapidly flowing streams (burns) of the area were perfect sources of energy to power woollen mills. Located close to both the sheep-producing areas of Scotland and shipping facilities in the Firth of Forth, Alva could take advantage of the mechanisation of woollen manufacturing and the expansion in world trade.

Although Alva had long been known as a source of quality tartan, the nineteenth century saw its rise from a small village to a town. The introduction of finer wools, especially from Australia, facilitated shawl manufacture. This became the major industry for a time. In 1845 out of a population of about 1,500 some 565 people laboured at 80 looms in their own houses. This appeared to be the case with the McPhersons and others in Ark Lane at the 1851 census.

Living conditions in Alva, and particularly “The Ark” were undoubtedly poor. In the 1870s “the parochial board touched the fringe of the housing problem by investigating overcrowding in an area appropriately known as The Ark”. Cholera was a problem of the age, and Alva was hit particularly in 1832 and 1853. Its spread was fostered by the incredibly crowded housing conditions as by “middens, ashpits, cesspools and small backyards full of livestock”.

Highland Clearances

While the McPhersons and Camerons could look back with pride on their membership of particularly powerful clans, by the nineteenth century this feudalistic system was all but destroyed. The basis of the demise of the clans was simply that the market economy began to replace subsistence agriculture and intra-clan loyalty and dependency. The farming methods of the Scottish peasantry were seen as particularly backward. The new emphasis was on improved farming techniques which reduced the demand for agricultural labour, and on the introduction of sheep. The land owners (lairds) saw that great profits could be generated by running sheep, while crofters and tenants were an impediment to their economic aspirations. The chiefs, the lairds and their factors were attracted to the salons of London and Edinburgh and the world of money and property.

After the defeat of the clans at the Battle of Culloden (1746) emigration from the Highlands started to become a way of life. Initially most emigration was to Canada, the United States, or to the industrial towns of the Lowlands. However from 1840 Australia and New Zealand became popular. Most people voluntarily left to seek a brighter future, some went only to escape starvation, and a few had their houses destroyed by their lairds in order to ensure their removal and their replacement by sheep.

It is particularly ironic that the McPhersons were probably replaced by sheep, then went to the slums of industrial Scotland weaving wool, then came to Australia and farmed wool. My grandfather, James McPherson was a shearer

The McPhersons Arrive in Tasmania

Colin McPherson, wife Catherine, and 8 of their children arrived in Hobart on 28 July 1855. They had left Liverpool three months earlier on the “White Star”. The White Star docked in Melbourne where 425 passengers disembarked and 135 bounty immigrants went on to Hobart in steerage on the “City of Hobart”. The ship’s record reads:

    1. Colin McPherson, aged 44, native of Perthshire, religion Church of Scotland, able to read and write
    2. Catherine, aged 43
    3. Alexander, aged 19 from Stirlingshire, farm servant, can read and write
    4. Duncan, aged 17 from Stirlingshire, farm servant, can read and write.
    5. Catherine, aged 15 from Clackmannanshire, farm servant
    6. Colin, aged 13
    7. Ann, aged 13
    8. Christine, aged 9
    9. Ronald, aged 6
    10. James, aged 6

[N.B. The age for Colin (Sr) above conflicts with other records. It may have been falsified to support an assisted settler application.]

It is thought that the family stayed in Tasmania for up to 6 years, as that is the length of time in Tasmania that is recorded on Catherine McPherson’s death certificate. Some of the children stayed longer. The McPhersons lived at Falmouth on the eastern coast at least during the years 1857 to 1859. Falmouth was an early Tasmanian settlement. While today it is of historic interest, with very few residents, in the nineteenth century it was a prominent whaling station.

They worked on a farm owned by Michael Steel. The following mention is from the book Thanks to Providence: a history of Falmouth and its people, by Tim McManus:

“It must be remembered that many of the tenants were married with children; the McPhersons – Colin and Catherine – brought eight offspring out with them. They arrived in the same month, July (but not on the same ship) as the German immigrants in 1855 [NB The majority of Steel’s tenants were German]. Alex was the eldest at 19,then came Duncan, 17, Catherine Jr., 15, twins Colin Jr. and Ann, 13, Christina, 9 and finally, poor woman, another set of twins, Ronald and James, the aged 6. When these and all the others were added to the as yet unattached labourers on the property…it amounted to a small army of approximately 100 people dependant on Michael Steel and “Thompson Vale” for their livelihood”. [I think that should read “Thompson Villa”].

Two daughters, Catherine and Anne, married during this time at Falmouth. Tragically James was killed at Cluny near Falmouth on the 7th October 1858 aged 10 “by the accidental upsetting of a bullock dray”.

James Mcherson death aged 10
James Mcherson death aged 10

While it is thought that some of the family moved by Victoria in 1861, and possible went directly to Ballarat, Catherine and perhaps Duncan stayed in Tasmania. Annie was in Ballarat by 1864.

The McPhersons In Ballarat

According to Baillere’s 1865 directory of Ballarat, Colin McPherson (sr) was the proprieter of a store in Macarthur Street, Ballarat. The store was on the north side of the street, the sixth building from the western end. It was only a few lots away from Ballarat cemetery. The shop was the only one in this residential area, then on the outskirts of the city. Most householders in the Macarthur Street area were miners, tradesmen or labourers.

Colin McPherson (sr) died 19th June 1866 aged 64. He is buried in the cemetery in Macarthur Street. It is thought that his son Alexander took over the store upon his death.

Colin McPherson death certificate part 1
Colin McPherson death certificate part 1
Colin McPherson death certificate part 2
Colin McPherson death certificate part 2

Catherine McPherson (nee Cameron) died 10th September 1887 when living at Chisholm Street, Ballarat. [The death certificate gives her age as 87, I believe it should read 77 – as otherwise she would have had children from ages 30 to 49 rather than more probable 20-39]. There is no headstone remaining in the “Old” Ballarat Cemetery. Their plots are located at C-12-27R1.

Catherine Cameron death certificate 1887 part 1
Catherine Cameron death certificate 1887 part 1
Catherine Cameron death certificate part 2
Catherine Cameron death certificate part 2

The Children of Colin McPherson (sr) and Catherine Cameron

Children Who Died Prior to Emigration

It is most probable that Margaret, Mary and Hugh died in infancy. They were all deceased by 1866.

1. Donald/Daniel McPherson (1831- 1907)

The IGI provides a record of Donald McPherson being born 13 March 1831 at Alva, Stirlingshire. On his father Colin’s death certificate the first born child is listed as Donald, while on mother Catherine Cameron’s he is listed as Daniel. So there is no Donald on her certificate and no Daniel on his. Because the Gaelic form of Donald Domhnall may be Anglicised as Daniel the two names are sometimes used interchangeably in Scotland.

He was a carpenter.

Proof of the application of this name interchangeability is that on 25 July 1898 Daniel McPherson of the Royal Coffee Palace (a temperance hotel) was arrested and gaoled for begging. The listing references a previous conviction for drunkenness on 12 May 1898 where he was entered as Donald McPherson of 615 George Street Sydney.  In both cases he was 69 years of age, five foot five tall, with grey hair and eyes and had arrived in the colonies on the ship Elizabeth in 1851.  He used other aliases, John and Duncan.

Daniel McPherson had a history of drunkenness and was even charged with ‘lunacy’. In January 1896 he was admitted to a NSW Government asylum.  The record includes: born Edinburgh, arrived 40 years ago on Elizabeth, single, miner last working at Wyalong a few days ago; Brother – Alexander, address unknown; Sister: Mrs Kate Gregory, Chisholm St., Ballarat, aged 67.

He spent many short stints (at least in the years 1898 to 1901) in Biloela Gaol on Cockatoo Island for drunkenness, and probably earlier dates in Darlinghurst Gaol.

He died 18 September 1907 at the Rookwood Asylum on the edge of Sydney. His parents are listed as Colin McPherson, storekeeper and Catherine Cameron. He died from asthma, heart disease and “alcoholism (result of senile decay)”. The record states that he was born Edinburgh, had been in NSW for 56 years (that is from about 1851) and was not married. The schooner Elizabeth disembarked from Melbourne for Sydney on 14 July 1851. Perhaps he was on that boat.

His age at death was noted as 81 (rather than the expected 76). The former is probably an estimate as it would mean his birth predated his parent’s marriage and mothers’ coming of age.

[Note that an unrelated Daniel McPherson 1830-1907 died at Parramatta Asylum on 3 January 1907]

Daniel McPherson death certificate 1907
Daniel McPherson death certificate 1907

2. John McPherson (1832-1920)

A John McPherson, parents Colin McPherson, farmer and Catherine Cameron, died 22 July 1920 at the Rookwood Asylum. The death certificate reads, he was an “imperial pensioner” with the career of soldier, died from senile decay, aged 88, buried at Presbyterian Cemetery Rookwood, born in Perth Scotland, 55 years in NSW, not married. Although John McPherson was probably born in Alva, his parents were born in Perthshire.

John McPherson had his arm ripped off by a lion on the Murray riverbank in 1882. There are many versions of the article on Trove. Here is one: It states that McPherson says he had no settled abode or business, but his sister is married to a man named Ryan, sergeant of police in Tasmania, and he has two brothers in Ballarat. This of course ties in with our family line.

I am guessing that John McPherson was in the British Army as a young man, probably in India, and arrived in Australia in about 1865. There are records of an able seaman and sail trimmer named John McPherson who worked from Sydney, mostly to and fro from New Zealand between about 1861 and 1881, with first mention being as a seaman from Hong Kong to Sydney in 1861.

John McPherson death certificate
John McPherson death certificate

3. Margaret McPherson (about 1833-?)

She probably died in infancy.

4. Mary McPherson (about 1834-?)

She probably died in infancy.

5. Alexander McPherson (1834-1920)

Possibly in Edinburgh in 1834 (although there is conflicting evidence in place and date), Alexander was not living with his parents at the 1851 Scottish census. He may have been a tailor’s apprentice living at “Head of Green”, Alva with the Donaldson family.

When he arrived in Australia he was listed as a farm servant. He lived at Ballarat after leaving Tasmania and married Marcella Grant (also called Marjory) in St. Peter’s School house, Ballarat on 23rd April 1863. [Although both were Presbyterians they were married under Church of England rites. Indications are that Marjory was pregnant at the time of marriage]. Marcella Grant came from Ross-shire; her parents being James Grant and Mary Mc(Crae?). Both the Grants and Alexander McPherson were at the time farmers in the district of Miner’s Rest a few miles northwest of Ballarat. It is probable they farmed in the locality of Burrembeet near Miner’s Rest.

In 1866 Alexander was given as the informant on his father’s death certificate, with his occupation noted as storekeeper. If he was a storekeeper he definitely moved back to farming. The family moved to the West Gippsland area where they farmed near Leongatha. In 1899 Alexander was listed as a contractor. He died in Wonthaggi hospital 31 July 1920 and is buried in Leongatha cemetery.

Alexander McPherson death certificate part 1
Alexander McPherson death certificate part 1
Alexander McPherson death certificate part 2
Alexander McPherson death certificate part 2

Wife Marcella McPherson died 13 October 1913 at Leongatha aged 81.

The following children were born:

5.1 Colin McPherson (1863-1946).
He was born 12 June 1863 in Carlton, Melbourne (cert.9603). He married Irene Broadhead (1877-1948), who was born at Beechworth, on 7 August 1899 at Newport. They settled at Leongatha. Colin was a carpenter and later an engine driver at the Leongatha Butter factor for 34 years until he retired in 1937. He died 2 July 1946 at 12 Peart Street Leongatha aged 83 (cert.21207). Irene McPherson died shortly after on 20 January 1948 aged 71 (cert.19672). She seemed to have had at least 15 children, including a set of triplets:

5.1.1 Catherine Fanny McPherson, born 1900 (cert. 13266). She married Thomas Millar Tait at Wonthaggi 23 May 1925. It seems that their marriage did not last.  A Catherine Fanny Tait married a Henry Travers Bale at Parramatta in 1966.

5.1.2 Margaret Lucy McPherson, born 1901 at Korrumburra (cert. 12273). She died in infancy in the same year (cert. 14274)

5.1.3 Alexander William McPherson, born 15 Nov 1902 (cert. 19618) and died shortly within weeks (cert. 14377).

5.1.4 Colin McPherson, born 11 August 1903 at Leongatha (cert. 26796). He enlisted in the army as an unemployed single man in 1936 and re-enlisted at Armidale NSW in 1939.

5.1.5 Neil Albert McPherson, born 5 November 1904 (cert. 26903). Single, he worked in the Civil Construction Corp in the Northern Territory during the war. It is thought that he married Rachel Emma Sealby in the Redfern area in March 1949 and they lived in Botany. Rachel died in 1959 and Neil moved to Melbourne. A Neil Albert McPherson died 30 May 1981 aged 76 and is buried at Footscray.

5.1.6 Phoebe Lucy McPherson, born 14 December 1906 (cert. 4277), she married Francis John McDonald (1886 – 5 August 1962) on 21 July 1924 at Fitzroy South.  He was a linesman. The record indicates she had ten children and died 6 January 1991 at Hampton.  Some of the  children include: Donald Francis McDonald (1925-1950). He died in the Korean War. Colin Stewart McDonald (1928-2007).  Born 16 September 1928 in Melbourne he became an RAAF photographer. He married Patricia June O’Donnell (1936-1992) on 1 April 1959. John Neil McDonald (1930-1973). Born 15 September 1930. He lived at Bairnsdale where he died aged 42 on 9 April 1973.

5.1.6.x.Robert Bruce McDonald

5.1.6.x Jean Marie McDonald (Scott)

5.1.6.x Leslie Gordon McDonald

5.1.7 James McPherson, 12 July 1908 (cert. 20521) -1957? He enlisted in WW2 (VX14323). He died, aged 48 at Bairnsdale (cert. 20071)

5.1.8 Irene Marcella McPherson, 1910 (cert. 20783). She seems to have married a ‘Boxer’ Martin in the 1940 and lived at Leongatha.

5.1.9 Alfred Alexander McPherson, 28 November 1912 (cert. 4873) – 24 March 1993. There are two reports of marriages Dorothy O’Connor of Rosedale (unverified) and Jane Roxborough Ross in 1948 which appears to be more accurate.

5.1.10 Allan Samuel McPherson, 27 April 1913 (cert. 14015) – 4 August 1972. He married Edna May Goff in 1940 (cert. 16007). They later lived at Waaia. He died at Nathalia in 1972 (cert. 17756)

5.1.11 Albert McPherson, born 1915 (cert. 5149)

5.1.12 Emma Ellen McPherson, 30 January 1919 – 29 March 1920 (cert. 2264)

5.1.13 Annie Florence McPherson, 30 January 1919 – 1 April 1920 (cert. 6539)

5.1.14 Ada Jean McPherson, 30 January 1919  – 27 February 1919 (cert. 2412)

5.1.15 Olive Edith McPherson, 1922-1938. She died aged 16 when hit by a train at Leongatha (cert. 18470).

5.2 James Grant McPherson, (1864-1938)
Born August 1864 at Burrumbeet just west of Ballarat, he lived for about 50 years, from about 1888 at Leongatha in Western Gippsland. Marrying Phoebe Lucy Shillington (22 November 1875 – 24 November 1957) in Ballarat on 25 October 1899, he died in Melbourne 8 November 1938 and is buried at Leongatha as is Phoebe. He was a keen bandsman. All their children below were born at Leongatha:

5.2.1 Laurence Neil McPherson (25 August 1900-1974). He married Alice Maude Howlett on 23 April 1932. In 1940 they lived at Pioneer Street, Foster. He was a carpenter. He died at Preston.

5.2 2. Percy James McPherson (1901-1901). He died in infancy.

5.2.3 Stanley Thomas (Scotty) McPherson (8 September 1902 – 11 July 1976). His was a storeman at Leongatha. His gravestone indicates that he probably did not marry.

5.2.4 Dorothy Jessie McPherson (McFarlane) (12 August 1903 – 1988). She married James (Jim) McFarlane. Their children were: Stuart McFarlane (born 1925) and Rae McFarlane (born 1926). She died in 1988 at Leongatha, aged 85. Her headstone.

5.2.5. Marcella Margaret McPherson (Stubbs) (2 November 1904 – 12 February 1982). She married George Stubbs (1883-1973). Their children were: Stanley Stubbs (about 1925), Marcella Jessie Stubbs (about 1926) Mervyn Stubbs (about 1927) and Trevor Grant Stubbs (1932-2003). Marcella Margaret died at Inverloch (near Leongatha) aged 78 (cert. 9788). Her gravestone.

5.2.6 Leslie John McPherson (16 May 1906 – September 1956). A carpenter, he is buried at Leongatha.

5.2.7 James Grant McPherson (Jr) (29 January 1908 – 1 October 1976). He married Charlotte Emma Blanchard (1912–1995) on 3 June 1939. He died at Caldermeade in the Gippsland.

5.2.8 Ray Blanchard McPherson (1911-ca1980). Born 1911 (cert. 4687), he died about 1980.

5.2.9 Ethel Lily (Lillian) McPherson (8 May 1912 – 5 July 1997). She lived at Leongatha, married Douglas George Kerr (1902-1983 ) and had four children: Bonnie, Barbara, Wayne and Ron Kerr.

5.2.10 Isabella Flora McPherson (29 October 1915 – 21 September 1996). She lived at Leongatha, married John Elliott Kerr (1908-1977), a mechanic.

5.3 Mary Anne McPherson (1868-1872).
Born 1868 at Beaufort, she died 28 May 1872 at Yuilles Creek

5.4 Neil McPherson (1871-?.
Born 1871 at Beaufort (cert 21463). In 1899 he worked as a baker in Leongatha and was charged with carnal knowledge with a girl aged 12 there in 1901 (see Dianne Kirkby (ed) Past laws, present histories, page 101).  He was sentenced to three years in Pentridge Gaol.

5.5 Margaret Ann McPherson (1873-1941)
Born 7 September, 1873 at Trawalla near Beaufort. She married Alfred Charles Needs,  (1876-1959) a miner, in the Hunter coalfields at Minmi, NSW in 1903. Her children include: Olive Maria Needs (27 May 1904 – 1979) and twins Neil Alexander Needs (26 December 1908 – 1974) and Leslie Charles Needs (1908–1922).  They later lived in various mining towns including Wonthaggi and Lithgow before settling at Warragul.  She died in Warragul in 1941 (cert. 20358).  Daughter Olive married Leonard Middleton Yemm (1904-1973).  Her son Norman Yemm was a well-known actor.

6. Duncan McPherson (1837-1924)

Being aged seventeen upon arrival in Tasmania it is likely that Duncan did not accompany his younger siblings and parents in the move to Victoria in the early 1860s.

I have the death certificate of Duncan McPherson which should be read with those of elder brothers Daniel and John. All three were unmarried and died at advanced ages at asylums on the edge of Sydney. According to his certificate he died aged 90 on 10 September 1924 at the mental hospital Parramatta, from senility/arterio sclerosis.

His was listed as an old age pensioner with the occupation of farmer. Like Daniel and John he was unmarried and without children. His parents being Colin McPherson and Catherine Cameron. Also like his brothers he is buried in the Presbyterian Cemetery, Rookwood.

The aged of 90 at death would indicate a 1833/34 birth. The IGI has a 1837 birth while his parents’ death certificates indicate more like 1839. So I doubt that he would be as old as 90 at death.

His place of birth is given as Edinburgh, and had been living in NSW for 40 years plus 12 years in Victoria. The latter does not tie in with the clear record of his arrival in Tasmania 69 years before his death, in 1855, leaving open the possibility that he lived in Tasmania until about 1872.

Duncan McPherson death certificate 1924
Duncan McPherson death certificate 1924

There is a Duncan McPherson who lived in the Ulverstone area of Tasmania. Originally I thought this was “our” Duncan but I am convinced that he was not directly connected. There are many family trees on that link him with us – but I think they are all wrong.

7. Catherine Ryan (nee McPherson) (1840-1890s?).

Catherine McPherson was born 4 May 1840 in Tillicoultry, Clackmannanshire. She married Owen Ryan at Falmouth, Tasmania 7 December 1857 in the Catholic church. This was the first (and rare) Presbyterian/Catholic union known in our family. He was a police constable of Falmouth aged 28, she was described as an 18 year old servant.

Catherine McPherson and Owen Ryan
Catherine McPherson and Owen Ryan

Owen Ryan was born in 1823 or 1824. He arrived in Tasmania on 26 August 1843 as a convict from Tipperary. His record. Owen Ryan (alias Russell) had been sentenced as one of 15 “in an affray” in March 1843 in Tipperary township and caught with a sword in hand. Sentences for the other 14 men ranged from one to 14 years, Owen Ryan getting life and transportation. He came by way of Kilmainham Prison (six days inside) in Dublin. They sailed on 8 May 1843 (203 convicts aboard the brand new English transport Constant, three died en route), which came direct and landed at Hobart 26 August 1843.

He was offered his Ticket of Leave (his second application) in 1856 if he joined the Police. He became a mounted trooper based first at Fingal township and later at nearby Mangana and Falmouth on Tasmania’s north-eastern coast. Each place he went, he acquired a small plot of land, grew fruit and vegetables and described himself in census and ratepayer documents as a “farmer”. At Falmouth he grew his crops on the fairly large police allotment. He lived most of his police life on the coast at Falmouth, which had been a major whaling port. In due course he was promoted to sergeant, and ended his police career in the early 1880s as a sub-Inspector, the highest rank then possible for a former convict.

He married Presbyterian Catherine McPherson in the Catholic Church (Owen was not a devout Catholic) in December 1857 at Fingal. They had 10 children. Later in life Owen is said to have had an serious argument with a Catholic priest at St Marys Township who told him he (Owen) was “no longer a Catholic.” John Ryan wrote: “I understand from a recent St Marys priest who looked up the extensive diocesan record, that Owen Ryan’s “withdrawal speed was very colourful.” The argument was about – of all things! – potatoes!”.

He was “allowed to resign” from the police force in 1889 for “neglect of duty”. A charge he defended himself against. He died on his 97 acre farm Riverside at Upper Scamander (between the townships of St Marys and St Helens) on 6 April 1900, aged 76. Inquest record. He is buried at the Cullenswood Cemetery west of St Marys on the road leading to Conara, alongside, the rounded-top headstone of Margaret Edebohls, the first wife of Owen’s first son Jeremiah. Owen’s headstone has a grand crucifix atop

There is a report that Catherine became an alcoholic. She is thought to be also buried at Cullenswood Cemetery . They had the following children:

7.1 Catherine Margaret Ryan (Berwick)(1858-1941). Born in Falmouth on 23 December 1858. She married James Berwick (1853-1930) (son of John Berwick and Margaret Fitzgerald) at Fingal on 4 August 1885. They had a farm at Upper Scamander. Later she lived at Bicheno and St. Helens. Catherine Berwick died on 5 December 1941 at St Marys, aged 83 and was buried at Grays Cemetery, St Marys. According to James Berwick’s obituary he lived at “Wattle Banks” and “had lived at Upper Scamander all his life, and was well known and highly respected throughout the East Coast district, he was a farmer of the old days, and his father, the late John Berwick, was the first pioneer of the Scamander district”. Catherine’s obituary includes that “she was born at Falmouth nearly 84 years ago and lived on the East Coast all her life. Her late years were spent between Bicheno, where she resided with her youngest daughter, Mrs. E. Marshall, and St. Helens, where she lived with her daughter Mrs. A. Hartnett. Their children appear to be:

7.1.1 Michael James Berwick (3 Jan 1887-August 1974). He married Emily Caroline Maney (1884?-1947) in 1909 at St Marys. He was a joiner and later a building foreman. In 1925 they moved to Goulburn in NSW. The had eight children: Clive, Fabian, Roy Alphonsus, Kevin, Dennis, Terry, Keith and Jean Kathleen. Emily Caroline died at Goulburn in 1947. Michael James remarried to Mona Blanche Bill at Goulburn in 1955.

7.1.2 John Russell Berwick (7 Sep 1889-14 Feb 1955). He Edith Ellen (Eadie) Sykes in 1919 at Lilydale. They lived in Launceston. Children were Maxwell John Berwick (1920-1998) and Betty May Berwick (1928-1999)

7.1.3 Stanley Francis Berwick (5 Oct 1892-?) He fought in the Great War where he was wounded. He married Dorothy Sara Ann Elms in 1918 and they lived at Upper Scamander. An interesting court case.

7.1.4 Honora (Nora) Berwick (Dudgeon / Hartnett) (6 Jan 1896-28 Oct 1978).  She married Robert Thomas Dudgeon at Launceston in March 1930 but divorced in 1936. She later married Arnold Hartnett (1896-1968) who served in WW1 and was a miner. They lived at St. Helens and later Launceston.

7.1.5 Linda Mary Berwick (14 Oct 1899-11 Nov 1986) Married H. Smith and lived at St. Marys

7.1.6 Catherine Margaret Berwick (26 Mar 1902- ?) the youngest daughter was born at Scamander. She married Eldred William Marshall and lived in Bicheno.

7.2 Jeremiah Ryan (1860-1948). He was born 25 Jul 1860 at Falmouth (1011) and died 20 May 1948 in St Marys, Tasmania. Early in life he went to Victoria to learn about vineyards and wine-making. He married Margaret Edebohls in Hotham East in Melbourne in 1882. At the time, Jeremiah was a labourer and lived in Bourke Street, Melbourne. Margaret Edebohls was born in Berwick, Victoria to Heinrich (Henry) Edebohls and Christina (Christine) Walsdorf.
Jeremiah and Margaret had 6 children:

7.2.1 Lilly May Ryan (Carlton,Vic., 1883?-1958). She married William Thomas Swanger (1887-1933).

7.2.2 Eugene Percy Ryan (Carlton, Vic., 1885-1973). In census rolls he is listed as a labourer at Mildura in 1919 and 1924. By 1930 he had moved to Queensland at Ilbilbie. He later moved north to Kidston where he died. It seems unlikely that he married.

7.2.3 Leslie Ryan (Sunbury, Vic., 1887- Scamander, 1 Sep 1950)

7.2.4 Jeremiah John Ryan (Sunbury, Vic., 1888- Tasmania 1952)

7.2.5 Frederick Ryan (Sunbury, Vic., 1890-1943). He served in the 4th Field Ambulance during WWI. He died in Melbourne in 1943.

7.2.6 Tasman Louis Ryan (Fingal, 16 Jan 1893-?). Tasman was jailed for manslaughter in 1917. Age was recorded as 30 in newspaper reports. The is also a report of a Tasman Ryan being injured at Upper Scamander, aged 52, in 1952.

The is a report that Jeremiah brought Margaret home to Riverside, his father’s property in the mid-1890s after Catherine McPherson died and elderly Owen Ryan needed help. Margaret died in childbirth (11 February 1896, aged 31) around that time with her “fifth child, who survived”. “We call this first marriage Jeremiah’s Catholic Family”.

Meantime, back on the farm Jeremiah needed help with the children. Jeremiah and Owen Ryan reached an agreement with the neighbouring Protestant family to make their daughter Marion Dunn (29 January 1873 – 17 November 1954) available as Jeremiah’s housekeeper. Her parents were George Dunn and Rebecca McIntyre. As they say, one thing led to another. Marion became pregnant and they married somewhat quietly at St Helens Township on 8 November 1899, took the train to Launceston, and had their official wedding photograph taken there. “Marion Dunn lived with us at 77 Howick Street Launceston for more than two years”. She then went off to live with a relative at Hobart, where she died and is buried at Cornelian Bay Cemetery.

Marion left the following children:

7.2.7 Rebecca Frances Ryan (27 March 1900-19 March 1980). Known as Frances, she married Robert James Horne (1888-1954)

7.2.8 Jean Ryan

7.2.9 Frank Edward Ryan (19 May 1902-27 Oct 1970). He married Muriel Mary Semmons at St Marys in 1931.

7.2.10 Marion Geraldine Ryan (2 November 1903 – 1987). Born at Scamander

7.2.11 Clarence Alexander (Alec or Alex) Ryan (4 November 1904-?). He married Ruth Joyce Semmons at St Marys in 1927. In 1947 they were living at Scamander.

7.2.12 Alfreda Edna (Freda) Ryan (12 October 1906-1988). Born at St. Marys. She died in Adelaide?

7.2.13 Rupert Owen (1 June 1910-1981) Ryan.  Born at St. Marys.

7.2.14 Christine Dorothy Ryan (6 June 1912 – 28 Feb 1966).  Born at St. Marys she married Eric Charles Radford on 12 Dec 1947.

7.2.15 Kitty Ryan

See also Jeremiah’s obituary reads He was widely known on the North-East Coast. His boyhood was spent at Falmouth, St. Helens and Fingal. His father was a sub-inspector of police. As a young man Mr Ryan spent some years in Victoria where he gained experience in vineyards and orchards. In 1890 Mr. Ryan returned to Tasmania and took up farming at Upper Scamander. He farmed there for 40 years. Mr Ryan lived in retirement on his property, Wood Spean. He left a wife, six daughters and seven sons.

7.3 Nancy Ryan (Berwick)(1861-1922). Born 2 May 1861 at Falmouth [one source gives 1862](456). She married David Myles Berwick, son of John Berwick and Margaret Fitzgerald, on 9 April 1885 at Cullenswood Church, Cullenswood, Tasmania, Australia. She died on 20 August 1922 at Launceston aged 60, and is buried at Carr Villa Cemetery, Launceston. David Berwick was born 13 May 1859 at Scamander and died 31 Mar 1929, Her children were:

7.3.1 Elisie May Berwick (12 Nov 1885-). She married R.Oliver and lived at Ballarat.

7.3.2 Charles Berwick (11 Mar 1887-before 1950)

7.3.3 David Berwick (14 Nov 1889-).

7.3.4 Daniel Berwick (6 Jan 1896-22 Nov 1959) Went to WWI. Lived at Rossarden.

7.3.5 Jemima (Mima) Berwick (10 Aug 1897-) She lived in Sydney.

7.3.6 Amy Berwick. (26 Jan 1902- ). Born at Scamander she became Mrs Lawson and lived in Sydney.

7.3.7 Lionel Howard (5 Nov 1906-12 Jun 1950). Born at Scamander, he later lived at Rossarden. He died in a mining accident. His wife was Elsie.

7.4 Colin Ryan, 23 June 1863 in Falmouth. He drowned when young.

7.5 Daniel Ryan, 11 June 1865 in Falmouth (479).

7.6 Eugene Ryan, 12 August 1867 in Mangana (437). I believe he lived in the Scamander area and had a son Leslie Ryan who lived at Upper Scamander. (ca.1886-1950).

7.7 Mary Anne Ryan, 22 August 1869 in Georges Bay (409)

7.8 Jemina (Mina) Christina Ryan, 24 June 1871 in Fingal (417). In 1901 she lived at Invermay. She seemed to have married late in life. According to the Zeehan and Dundas Herald on March 23, 1913 (Easter Sunday), at St.Martin’s Church, Queenstown, Mina, aged 42 married John Thomas Freestone. They later lived in Letitia Street North Hobart. They had a daughter, Ruby May Freestone (1913-1999) who married Henry Champion Graveley (1910-1959)

7.9 John Ryan, 10 November 1873 in Falmouth (471)

7.10 Dorah Ryan, 17 December 1876 in Falmouth. She is thought to have died at Bendigo in 1950.

8. Annie McPherson (Neil / Reid / Lochhead) (1842-1878)

Annie twin of Colin McPherson, born 18 January 1842, married Benjamin Neil (or Niel) at Colin McPhersons’s house Falmouth on 15 December 1859, he aged 30 and she listed as 18, but probably was 17.  Benjamin Niel was a shoemaker. Witnesses at the wedding included her sister Catherine and brother Alexander.

Annie McPherson marriage certificate 1859
Annie McPherson’s marriage certificate 1859

Annie gave birth to a daughter, Jessie Neil, on 17 September 1860 at Falmouth. Jessie married James William Hart in 1877, and according to an Ancestry entry had six children an died in Tasmania on 27 November 1926.

According to the book Thanks to Providence: a history of Falmouth and its people, by Tim McManus, Benjamin Neil ran the post office from a little wooden cottage in Hammond Street Falmouth. He absconded with the takings after only three months in March 1860. He seems to have died soon after the marriage, or perhaps it was annulled, as Annie re-married to Alexander Reid (or Read) on 15 April 1862.

Annie’s second wedding was held in the house of Robert Wardlaw at the “Chains of Lagoons” under special licence (as she was still under 21) under Church of Scotland rites. Alexander Reid was a carpenter. She gave birth to a son, Alexander Reid (Jr), on 20 August 1862 in the Fingal registry area.

Between 1862 and 1864 it appears as though she moved to Ballarat where she had another daughter, Catherine Reid, born 1864. The baby died in October 1866 (cert.9543) and is buried in the same grave as her grandparents, Colin and Catherine McPherson at Ballarat. Two other children, Ronald Reid 1866 (cert.19274), and Elizabeth Annie Reid 1869 (cert.13599) were also born in Ballarat.  This article in the Ballarat Star of 29 August 1868 reports of an Alexander Reid (alias McPherson), conman, arrested at Buangor. This is most likely to be Annie’s husband.  The report notes that he had not supported his wife for some time, and she had five children.  Reid was convicted to two years imprisonment.

Annie married a third time aged 31, to James Henry Lochhead (also spelt Lockhead; who was born in Stirling, Scotland), in 1873 at Emerald Hill (later named South Melbourne). This suburb has also the home of her younger brother Ronald McPherson. Annie gave birth to a daughter Mary Christian/Christina at Collingwood in 1877. This infant died the same year. Mother Annie died in Melbourne Hospital in 1878 from phthises and is buried in Melbourne New Cemetery. (9136).

Annie Lockhead (nee McPherson) death certificate 1878
Annie Lockhead (nee McPherson) death certificate 1878


9. Colin McPherson (Jr) (1842-1926)

Colin went to Ballarat from Tasmania with his parents. On 13 August 1870 he married Jessie Melville at St. John’s Manse, Ballarat. The certificate claims he was aged 26 and she 20. See Melville file for more information on Jessie Melville. There children were:

9.1 Colin (III), born 25 November 1870 at Ballarat

9.2 John, 11 December 1872 at Ballarat

9.3 Jessie, 10 October 1874 at Ballarat

9.4 Duncan, 13 October 1876 at Buangor

9.5 Margaret, 19 April 1878 at Buangor

9.6 James, 26 March 1880 at Buangor

9.7 Mary, 19 March 1882 at Shirley

9.8 Flora, 1 December 1883 at Shirley

9.9 Louisa Jane, 28 November 1885 at Shirley

9.10 Alexander, 3 December 1887 at Beaufort

9.11 Thomas William, 8 January 1889 at Beaufort

9.12 Norman, 13 May 1892 at Beaufort

9.13 Mabel Olive, 8 October 1895 at Beaufort

9.14 Malcolm, 3 January 1897 at Beaufort

Colin and Jessie lived at Ballarat until 1875 when they went to Middle Creek near Buangor. He worked on the railway as a fettler (from 6 July 1875) and she as a “keeper of the gate” (from 4 April 1875). They also established a farm at Buangor itself. The farmhouse “Rosedale” was just a few hundred yards northwest of the Buangor school. They moved a second house on to this farm. This may have come from Middle Creek. They farmed for more than 35 years before retiring back to Ballarat in 1920.

According to my late auntie Adeline McPherson, Colin invested successfully in a mine at Leonora in Western Australia. This is partially verified by an advertisement in the Kalgoorlie Miner on 28 February 1900 regarding a mining lease at Gwalia Main Lode. The electoral rolls of 1903 & 1906 also indicate that a Colin McPherson mined at the Trump goldmine at Leonora already I suspect this may be another Colin McPherson. When Colin and Jessie retired they moved with their daughters Louisa Jane and Flora back to Ballarat. I think they lived initially at 707 Eyre Street and then 406 Talbot Street and later at 702B Dana Street. Picture of the house

Jessie McPherson (nee Melville) died 20 June 1924 at Dana Street, aged 74. She left behind 31 grandchildren and a great grand-daughter. Her gravestone records ‘native of Dundee, Scotland’.

Jessie McPherson death certificate 1924 part 1
Jessie McPherson death certificate 1924 part 1
Jessie McPherson death certificate part 2
Jessie McPherson death certificate part 2

Colin died 17 July 1926 at Dana Street, aged 84. By the standards of the day he died a quite wealthy man with a will of over £6,000. They are buried together (with son Thomas William) at Buangor cemetery.

Colin McPherson death certificate 1926 part 1
Colin McPherson death certificate 1926 part 1
Colin McPherson death certificate 1926 part 2
Colin McPherson death certificate 1926 part 2

The farm “Rosedale” was worked by son Colin until the late 1920s and in the 1990s was owned by Mervyn White.

On 11 September 1928, according to the book “Coaches Called Here: a history of Buangor and Surrounding Districts”, a memorial chair was unveiled for Colin and Jessie in the Buangor Presbyterian church. After its closure in 1971 the church was sold for removal and the furnishings donated to other Presbyterian churches.

The Children of Colin McPherson and Jessie Melville

9.1 Colin McPherson (III) (1870-1932)
He was a farmer at Buangor in 1912 (taking over the farm at “Rosedale”). He married Annie Elizabeth Fisher (called Ivy?). Annie Fisher (1889-1969) was born at Ballarat. It is thought they had five daughters and a son. His eldest daughter was called Joyce Melville McPherson. Another daughter, Mabel Clarice was born at Raglan near Beaufort in 1913. In 1921 three McPherson children attended Buangor school – Joyce, Mabel and Mary. Colin [later lived at Geelong ? – doubtful] died at Ararat, aged 61 (dc8016). He was buried at Buangor cemetery 9 July 1932. The 800 acre farm was sold the same year. In 1937 Annie Elizabeth McPherson, Amy Gladys McPherson and Mabel Clarice where employed in home duties at Mount Moriac. Annie Elizabeth McPherson lived until 1969 and died at Ballarat.

The following reminiscence of Colin McPherson from the 1920s comes from Reg White in the book Coaches Called Here

He was a very wild man, he was very cruel on the horses. His language was awful and it would have been very easy to walk out on him.

9.2 John (Jack) McPherson (1872-1950)
Born in 1872, he was an inspector on the Victorian railways. His children include two daughters. He died in 1950 (cert 17936). John McPherson (labourer of Ballarat) buried at Buangor cemetery 11 May 1950 aged 77 is probably the above notwithstanding the inconsistency in employment status.

9.3 Jessie McPherson (Erwin) (1874-1918)
Born in Ballarat -cert.20772, she married John Albert Erwin (18 April 1881-27 May 1951) in 1900. He was born in Pleasant Creek near Stawell. They lived in Queen Street, East Ballarat until 1913 when they left Victoria and settled in Grafton where he was a bacon curer. Jessie Erwin died at Paddington in 1918. John Albert Erwin returned to Victoria briefly after her death and then spent the rest of his life in Sydney. He died 27 May 1951 when living at 33 Charlotte Street Leichhardt. Children included:

9.3.1 Mabel Melville Foyster Erwin (Simes) (1900-1966) was born in Ballarat 26 August 1900. She married Charles William Simes (4 April 1897-26 Nov 1966) in 1921 at Petersham. They farmed at his father’s property at Dorroughby near Lismore in the 1920s and then moved to Sydney, settling in the Botany area and later at Connell’s Point. She died at Ramsgate 18 July 1966 and Charles a few months later.  Their children were: Ronald Graham Simes (5 July 1922-17 Oct 1997), who married Ida June Blaxter in 1949; Yvonne Dawn (known as Dawn) Simes (1928-1996) who married George Nathan Rook in 1951; and Charles Rex Simes (known as Rex) who married Thora Susan London in 1959.

9.3.2 Viola Margery Erwin (Scott) (1902-1982). Born Ballarat 1902. She married Walter Percy Scott who was a piano tuner. She lived later at Umina and Leichhardt.

9.3.3 Graham Colin Erwin (1904-1978). Born Ballarat 1904. he lived in Sydney and was an accountant. He died at Kyle Bay 9 August 1978.

9.3.4 Lexie Madeline Erwin (1910-?). Born Ballarat 1910. She was later Mrs. Patrick

9.3.5 Jean Erwin. She was later Mrs. Bates.

9.4 Duncan McPherson (1876-1953)
He was a farm labourer at Buangor in 1908. By 1912 he had moved to Carranballac, about 40km south of Buangor. He seemed to have been a labourer there for most of his life – still living there in 1949. He died in 1953 at Ballarat (dc16222).

Margaret McPherson. Posted by Fran Stewart on Ancestry
Margaret McPherson. Posted by Fran Stewart on Ancestry

9.5 Margaret (Maggie) McPherson (Welsh/Ellis) (1878-1950)
She married Robert Welsh (1883-1907) in 1905. He died in a tragic sulky accident in 1907 when at Old Pitfield Hill near Ballarat he was “shifting a load of furniture from Pitfield to Waterloo.  In 1915 she remarried to Alfred Ellis (1872–1951). Margaret had three daughters:

9.5.1 Olive Ruth Welsh (1903-1962). She married mechanic William James Saffron (1906–1979) in 1925.  They lived at Daylesford, Charlton and Campbell’s Creek.

9.5.2 Lillian Pearl Welsh (1905-2004). She married Thomas Hill Paul Stewart (1900–1950) in 1932 at Footscray.

9.5.3 Grace Winifred Welsh (1907-1999). She married Reginald William Lewis Lloyd
(1914–2000) in 1946. They lived at St. Albans, Melbourne.

9.6 James McPherson (1880-1949)
He married Maud Meier at St. Andrews Kirk, Ballarat on 29th October 1912. For details on Maud Meier see the Meier File.

James McPherson marriage certificate part 1

James McPherson marriage certificate part 1

James McPherson marriage certificate part 2

James McPherson marriage certificate part 2

James McPherson with grandson Tony Pollock in 1949

James McPherson with grandson Tony Pollock in 1949

They were both living at Buangor at the time of their marriage. James later had a “Sunshine” machinery dealership at Piangil near Swan Hill. He went broke in the 1914 drought. After this it is thought that he farmed at Wilaura (25km south of Ararat) and lived at Lilydale, outside Melbourne, before they moved to West Wyalong between 1919 and 1922. James became a shearer. A picture of James in the 1940s. He died at Coonamble in 1949 and is buried there.

James McPherson death certificate 1949

James McPherson death certificate 1949. The children of James McPherson and Maud(e) Meier

The six children of James McPherson & Maud Meier 1927
The six children of James McPherson & Maud Meier 1927

9.6.1 Adelaide Charlotte (Adeline) McPherson (1913-1993)

Adeline as a baby

Adeline as a baby. Born 29 August 1913 at Swan Hill. She married Ken Cavanagh, a policeman at West Wyalong. Their children were Lesley and De-arn: Lesley Cavanagh, born 1943, is a school teacher. She married Milan Carnagursky in Canada and lived there most of her life. In 2013 she lives in Gawler, South Australia. She has a son, Kent, born in 1979 De-arn Hampel (nee Cavanagh) married Gerry Hampel. They have two daughters, Chelsea (born 1977) and Gina (born 1978). Diane is a registered nurse and Gerry is an electrician. The lived at Barrack Point in the Illawarra for many years. In 2013 they were living at Taren Point.

Adeline and Mrs Tait are off to the Randwick races

Adeline and Mrs Tait are off to the Randwick races. After leaving West Wyalong Adeline lived at Jerilderie, Singleton, Tighes Hill in Newcastle, Bourke, Drummoyne and West Ryde. Adeline died in June 1993 when living at 1181 Victoria Rd., West Ryde. Adeline gave her body to science, but shares a plaque on her mother’s grave at Pakenham Cemetery. She provided much of the anecdotal information contained in this website.

9.6.2 Colin James McPherson (1916-1966)

Colin, Norman and Adeline about 1919
Colin, Norman and Adeline about 1919

Born 23 July 1916 at Ararat. He married Jean Kathleen Chambers (1918-1977) on 4 April 1940 at Young. Jean’s father was Roy Chambers. Col served in New Guinea during WWII and afterwards worked for the local council. They opened the Park corner store between the caravan park and the public school. Colin passed away 26 January 1966 at Queanbeyan and Jean in 1977. Daughter Lynette married Ronald Wall. In 2013 they lived in Wollomi near the Hunter Valley. Lynette has worked in publicity and conference convenor, and was a champion triathelete. Ron has long been involved in the computer industry. They have two children Kiaja and Cameron.

9.6.3 Norman Duncan McPherson (1919-1987)

Born 25th June 1919 at Buangor, Norm served in the war and married Gladys Cornwall [born 12 July 1923 at Pakenham] at Pakenham on 8 April 1950. They had three daughters: Collette Gayle, born 1 May 1951 at Pakenham. She married Jan Parniak on 12 January 1974 at Pakenham. They have two children Michelle (born 1979) and Andrew (born 1983). They live in Moe. Gloria Yvonne, born 16 June 1952 at Pakenham. She married Alan Mitchell at Pakenham 24 June 1972. They have four children, twins Scott and Kylie (1973), Donna (1976), and Tara (1978). Sharyn Kaye,, born ll May 1956 at Pakenham. She married Alan Anderton. They live at Bargo, near Sydney with their daughter Jacqueline (1988) son Christopher (about 1992).

Norm worked on the railways and at General Motors, Dandenong and later was a quarryman. He died 3 April 1987 and is buried at Pakenham. Gladys lives in Moe (2013).

9.6.4 Jean May Wyatt (nee McPherson) (1922-1987)

Born 1 September 1922 at West Wyalong. She moved to Melbourne and later Pakenham. She married Reginald Wyatt aged 30, and she 20, on 21 November 1942 in a Presbyterian ceremony at Jean’s home at 32 Essex Road Surrey Hills (in Melbourne). They had a dairy farm on the Gembrook Road for many years before moving into Pakenham town.

Jean McPherson marriage certificate
Jean McPherson marriage certificate

Jean’s seven children are: Franklin. He married Wendy Small. Frank was an accomplished Australian Rules footballer who long worked for Telecom. He has long been involved, with the Rythdale-Officer Australian Football Club. They have three daughters, Samantha, Tracy and Rani, and live at North Dandenong. Douglas. Doug worked at Pakenham for many years and then with heavy earthmoving equipment in northern Australia. He later had a dairy farm at Yarroweyah just outside Cobram with his wife Marissa. Their children are Nicole, Joshua and Jean. Jonathon. Jon lives in Carlton. Winnie was married to Kaylene Blake. They have three children, Reginald, Elizabeth and Benjamin. In 2008 Winston was living at Yarroweyah. Dallas. Dallas and Judy have a dairy farm at Koyuga near Kyabram. They have three daughters and a son. Janine. Janine was a school teacher. She married Nicholas Power and they live at Ultima near Swan Hill. They have five children Lauren Rose, Garth, Dustin, Patrick and Louise Jean. Suzanne. She married Peter Lewis. Her children include Chad (1983), Matt (1988), Linda (1990) and Anne. In 2013 they were living at the old family house on Gembrook Road at Packenham.

Jean passed away in May 1987, her husband Reg in Feb 2008. They are buried at Packenham.

9.6.5 Heather Melville Pollock (nee McPherson) (1925-2012)

Born 16 January 1925 at West Wyalong. Photo when aged two She nursed before marrying Ted Pollock at West Wyalong on 18 July 1947. They farmed at Clear Ridge, at Wyalong, and since 1962, at Caragabal. They retired to Young in 2002. They have two sons: Anthony John (Tony) a farmer of Caragabal and Neil (the compiler of this information). Tony married Lindy Rumble and they have three children, Natalie (1975), Mitchell (1979) and Karla (1982). Neil lives in Lilyfield, Sydney. He married Michelle Vogel in 1980, divorced 2012. They have a daughter, Nina (1984).

9.6.6 Donald McPherson (1926-1998)

Born 12 December 1926 at West Wyalong, he married Valerie Armstrong from Young on 21 November 1953. He worked at the Young Mercy Hospital. Their children are Rose-Ann and Leonee. Rose-Ann married Robert Quinlivan at Young. Her children are sons Todd, Brad, Dane and daughter Laryn. Leonee married Patrick Schiller, had two sons, Deane and Brett, and passed away in March 2011..

9.6.7 Gordon Malcolm McPherson (1927-1927)

Born 14th December 1927. He lived just one week.

 9.7 Mary Scarlett (nee McPherson) (1882-1957).

She married George Scarlett in 1904. They are recorded as living at 9 Yarrowee Street, Ballarat East in 1907 and 1912. George’s occupation was listed as a brass finisher. They also lived at 13 Nelson Street, East Ballarat later. The address was later modified to 312 Nelson Street. Mary Scarlett died 23 April 1957 aged 75 and is buried at Buangor. George died aged 87 at Ballarat in 1968. Children included:

9.7.1 Frederick James Scarlett (1905-1972). Born Ballarat 28 April 1905. He lived in Nelson Street and was a labourer. He died in Ballarat in 1972.

9.7.2 Jack Neville Scarlett (1911-1995). Born 28 January 1911. He married Mabel Edith Louisa Ellis (1913-2004). He enlisted in WW2 when they lived at 14 Olive Street Ballarat. He was a sapper. After the war he was a clerk. Jack Scarlett lived later at Norlane, Geelong in 1985. He died 11 November 1995.

9.7.3 Dorothy Scarlett (later Mrs Palmer of Bondi).

9.8 Louisa Jane McPherson (1884-1965)
Raised at Buangor Louisa looked after her parents and lived with them at 406 Talbot Street in 1909 and 1914 and was a major beneficiary in her father’s will. Louisa had a “turned eye”, the result of falling from her pram. My auntie recalled that she had an unsuccessful marriage late in her life. She seems to have married Charles Michael May in 1928 (mc9156). According to Stewart Masters Louisa Jane “kept house” for her sister Flora’s family until 1962. Louisa Jane May died in Thornbury, aged 79 in 1965 (dc19587).

9.9 Alexander McPherson (1887-1969)
Alexander married Laura Grace Dean (1888-1977) at Ballarat in 1920. They farmed, first at Yendon near Ballarat, in the 1930s at Galah, near Ouyen and later off Mill Road at Heywood. In the 1950s they moved to Thornbury in Melbourne. They had three sons: Alexander Colin (1922), Murray Allan (1925) and Kenneth Robert (1931). Alexander died (in Melbourne?) in 1969 (dc6932)

9.10 Thomas William McPherson (1889-1908)
He died in Ballarat on 14 July 1908 aged 18 from appendicitis and is buried at Buangor. His Grave

9.11 Norman McPherson (1892-1927)
Born 23 May 1892 at Buangor, he joined the 15th (Victorian Mounted Rifles) Australian Light Horse Regiment in March 1915 and went to the first World War. He was transferred in 1916 and became a farrier/blacksmith among the mounted soldiers in the 14th Field Artillery Brigade. A family member has reported that he was kicked by a horse and also “buried alive” for two days, but survived. However his war record mentions no injuries except VD. In August 1919 he joined special services on the ship Rio Negro deporting German detainees from Sydney to Rotterdam. He farmed at Buangor after the war and took up a soldier settler’s block at adjoing localities Prooinga and Natya in the Mangatang area. According to a family member “he bought a car and, with some friends, went to the Murray River for a few days. Although a good swimmer he drowned in the river, possibly from cramp”. The Riverina Recorder wrote up the the magisterial report.  He died 16 January 1927 and is buried at Buangor cemetery, aged 35, a farmer of Natya on his death certificate.

9.12 Mabel Olive McPherson (1895-1896)
She died at 6 months and was buried at 31 Jan 1896 Buangor. Her Grave

9.13 Malcolm McPherson (1897-1960)
He married Janey Myrtle? He became an accountant and at his father’s death in 1926 lived at 307 Eyre Street. When he died on 3 March 1960 (dc20197) he was listed as a manager living at 106 Cardigan Street, Ballarat. His wife died aged 78 in 1974. According to Jack Scarlett his two sons Malcolm and Lloyd were respectively in the motor world and in the electrical field.

9.14 Flora McPherson (1883-1973)
Flora is listed as living in Buangor in 1908 and with her parents in Ballarat in 1912. Her occupation was given as dressmaker. She married William Buckingham and gave birth to a son Eric Jonathon at Ballarat – also in 1912. Eric died early in life. She had two other children: Florence Emily Buckingham & Norman William Keith Buckingham. Flora was living at 21 Davies St Preston in 1963 with Norman and his wife Shirley. Flora died in Brunswick on 10 June 1973, aged 89 (dc14011). She was predeceased by her daughter Florence in 1956. Norman died 27 June 2000 aged 82 and is buried in Fawlkner Cemetery.

10. Christian, known as Christina Gregory (nee McPherson) (1846-1910)

Christina came from Clackmannanshire to Tasmania aged about 9, When she was about 14 the family moved from Tasmania to Ballarat where her father had a store in the 1860s. Christina married George Gregory in 1865. They lived at 6 Dawson Street, Ballarat. She seemed to have give birth to some 14 children. She died in 1910 in Melbourne.

Her husband George Gregory (1839?-1911) was born in Yorkshire. He was a miner at Ballarat for a time. They later moved to West Melbourne where he died in 1911 (Reg.14174) aged 72. I suspect the following is the background of George Gregory. Born in 1838 or 1839 in Yorkshire his parents were James Wellington Gregory and Sarah Birchall. James and Sarah were married after his birth in Manchester 28 August 1841. George was baptised at Headingly, Yorkshire on 29 May 1843. Two other children of Sarah (Alfred and Mary) were baptised at the same time.

George’s mother Sarah Birchall (1821?-1897) was probably born 1821 in Leeds. After marrying James Wellington Gregory I believe she remarried in 1847 to Charles Grant Lawson in Manchester. She then had two more children who along with her son George Gregory came to Australia on the Atrevida landing in Melbourne in December 1852. These children were Charles Lawson (1848) and Jane Lawson (1850). Two more children were born in Australia: Sarah Amelia Lawson (1856) in Buninyong Victoria, and Ernest Henry (Harry) Lawson (1857) in Hiscocks Gully Victoria. In 1897 she lived in Chisholm Street Ballarat and was buried 27 Jan 1897 in the Old Ballarat Cemetery. George Gregory and Christina McPherson’s children were likely to be:

10.1 John (Jack) Gregory (1864-1923).
Born in Ballarat. Perhaps he married Alice Sarah and lived at 82 Ireland St Melbourne in 1919. Blacksmith.

10.2 George Wellington Gregory (1866-1907). Born in Ballarat East. He died at East Melbourne. At that time he was living in Chetwynd Street, North Melbourne. He married Annie Louisa Scales and had the following children Harold Valentine Gregory (1896-1947); George William Gregory; Arthur Lawrence Gregory (alive in 1947) and Clara Gregory (deceased by 1947). Annie Louisa seemed to be alive in 1947.

10.3 Charles Waterloo Gregory (1867-1939). In 1909 a driver 6 Abbotsford St., in 1919 at 144 Rosslyn St W Melbourne and in 1937 at 25 Palmer St Collingwood. His wife was Harriett Isabella.

10.4 Anne (Annie) Gregory (1869-1871). Born in Ballarat East. Died when a toddler.

10.5 Sarah Amelia Gregory (Laland) (1871-1903). Born at Sebastopol. Married George Martin Laland in 1890. Had five children and had an abusive relationship.

10.6 Collin Gregory (1874-?). Lived at 6 Abbotsford St Labourer 1903. Died before 1949.

10.7 James Grant Gregory (1876-1949). Bootmaker at 6 Abbotsford St 1903. He married Norah O’Connor in Perth 24 November 1905. Children: Dorothy May (1908-2007), Leonard James (1911-?) and Edgar. Norah died aged 74 in 1948. In 1949 he lived at 44 Karma Ave East Malvern.

10.8 Frederick Birchall Gregory (1878-1968). Born in Ballarat. In 1919 he lived at 260 Adderley St Melbourne and was a railway employee. He seems to have married Helen Nellie Ripper in 1902. I have conflicting information about a wife named Ellen Matilda.

10.9 Duncan Alexander Gregory (1880-1964). In 1919 he was a railway employee living at 259 Adderley St Melbourne. He married Ellen Nellie Craig in 1902. Children: Ernest Henry Gregory 1903-? ; John James Gregory; Liley Agnes Gregory 1907-1923; Frederick George Gregory 1909; Alex Duncan Gregory 1911-1912; Abigail Helen Gregory 1914-1974; Nancy Gregory 1921-1923; Duncan Gregory 1922- 1923

10.10 Henry (Harry) Ernest Gregory (1882-1945).  Born in East Ballarat, he married Julia Bryce in 1908. Children: Alma Josephine 1909-; Elsie Mary (Saunders)1910- ; Chrissie; Gertrude (Brophy); Alfred; Arthur; Charles; John; Julie. In 1919 they lived at 687 Spencer St. He was a striker (which I think is a blacksmith’s assistant). There is a report of a dispute with his mother over a piano in 1908. He served in France during WWI and earlier in the Boer War. He lived at Pascoe Vale South when he died and previously in West Melbourne.

10.11 Alfred Compton (known as Compton) Gregory (1884-1924). He did aged 39 burnt to death in his bed at Curzon St West Melbourne. In 1919 he also was a striker

10.12 Arthur Colin Gregory (1886-1966). In 1909 driver 6 Abbotsford St. In 1919 at 163 Hawke St (with Compton) also a striker. There is a doubtful claim that he married Amelia Mary Adams at Cootamundra in 1903 – had following children: Arthur Colin Gregory 1903-1973; George Gregory 1904-?; Annie R Gregory (Sinclair) 1906-?; James Gregory 1908-1916. Possibly he went temporarily missing when fishing. He died in Brunswick.

10.13 Francis (Frank) Gregory (1888-1951). Born in Ballarat East. In 1909 was driver of 6 Abbotsford St. In 1919 he was at 29 Howard St N. Melbourne. He died in West Melbourne.

10.14 Christina Alice Gregory (1890-1910). Born in Ballarat and died aged 19 in West Melbourne.

11. Hugh McPherson (probably 1847 or 1848)

He probably died in infancy

12. James McPherson (1849-1859)

He died in 1859, aged 10 in a bullock dray accident in Tasmania

13. Ronald McPherson (1849-1904?)

Ronald, James McPherson’s’ twin brother, married Isabella Bennett (1854-1943) in 1875. Their children included:

13.1 Sarah McPherson (1876-?). Born at Emerald Hill, Melbourne. Cert. 16088

13.2 Mary McPherson (1878-1899). Certs.11698 and 10348

13.3 James McPherson (1879-1879). He died in infancy – certs. 19261 and 9136

13.4 Colin McPherson (1880-1965). Born at Port Melbourne – cert.12952. He lived with his parents at 13 Spring Street, Port Melbourne and was a foreman. He died at Middle Brighton aged 85 in 1965 -cert.13830.

13.5 Caroline McPherson (Waller/Craven) (1882-1973). Born at Port Melbourne -cert.12050. Known as Carrie she married George William Waller in 1908 -cert. 2963. A dairyman of Anderson Street, Lilydale he died aged 71 on 22 September 1954. They had a daughter Clarice Isabelle Waller in 1913. cert-3118.  Clarice married Ewan Forrest Boord on 1 June 1940. After the death of her sister Ruby (in 1956) Carrie married Ruby’s widower Thomas Goddard Craven and they lived at 68 Anderson Street, Lilydale. Caroline Craven died at Moorabbin in 1973 aged 91 -cert. 20133).

13.6 Malcolm Bennett McPherson (1884-1954). Born at Port Melbourne -cert.19474. He was living in Perth and working as a wood turner when he enlisted for WW1. He fought in France and was discharged with defective vision. He returned to Melbourne after the war and was a storeman and clerk. He married Mary Evelyn Williamson in 1927 -cert. 2677.  She had a son Malcolm Gilbert McPherson. He died at Caulfield and Mary at Moorabbin.

13.7 Ronald Alexander McPherson (1886-1956). Born at Port Melbourne -cert.12871. Known as Alec, he died at Caulfield.

13.8 Bertha Alma Eveline McPherson (1889-1890). Born at Port Melbourne -cert.15372. Remembered as Alma, she died aged 10 months -cert.3958.

13.9 Ruby May Isabella McPherson (Craven). (1891-1956). Born in Port Melbourne -cert.16062. She married Thomas Goddard Craven (1891-1969) in 1916 -cert.5911. She died in 1956 at Hawthorn, aged 64.

13.10 Myrtle Victoria McPherson (Storrie) (1895-1994). Born in Port Melbourne -cert.15156.  She married Sydney Kelway Storrie (1890-1979) in 1917 -cert.6482.  A daughter Alva Kelway Storrie  (1918-2014) was born 9 November 1918.  Alva served as an army nurse during world war II.  She later married Eric Alphonse Wuttrich (1908-1977) and they lived in Western Australia. She married again to a Mr Courtis. Other children included twins Donald Kelway Storrie (1920-1945) who died in world war II, and Merle Kelway Storrie (born 1920) who also did war service and married Robert Hare in 1944.  Myrtle and Syd, lived at Sassafras.  He was an engineer. Myrtle died at Ringwood 20 May 1994.

Ronald was a gas stoker living at 13 Spring Street, South Melbourne in 1904. He died that year aged 55.  Wife Isabella died 22 September 1943 aged 89 at her daughter’s house 14 Albert Street South Melbourne


To all who have included information for the above: including my late Auntie Ad (Adelaide Cavanagh nee McPherson), Fran and Bruce Stewart, Jon Wyatt, Ann Edwards, Joycelyn Richter, Stewart Masters, Jimmy Macpherson, John Ryan of Alton Downs, Murray McPherson. Note that this is always a work in progress. There will be errors. Any assistance in increasing our understanding is always appreciated

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