Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Aonaibh Ri Chéile - Let us Unite

I had planned to post something interesting from papers of old about Halloween, since that is the date today. But somehow I got sidetracked, and discovered a couple of pretty amazing articles unrelated to Halloween - but relating to the branch of my daughters father's family that would have celebrated Samhain instead of Halloween - so there is a slight connection still.

So this is about her Cameron forebears.

When I first began researching I went back generation by generation tracking direct descendants through birth and marriage certificates. One of the earliest marriage certificates I have is for my daughter's 4 x great grandparents - married at Christ Church in Queanbeyan 27 October 1862 - just over 150 years ago. Fortunately the names of the bride and grooms parents were on the certificate allowing me to step back another generation on both sides. Alexander McIntyre's parents were Margery Cameron and Duncan McIntyre both deceased. I set about looking for their immigration and found them on a card index at NSW State Archives at The Rocks, where I was able to view the film and get some pages printed. Margery had emigrated with most of her family - parents and 10 siblings ranging in age from 26 to 2 years. Duncan had come on the same ship as a single man. They were a part of the Bounty Scheme sponsored by Charles Campbell, resettling highland shepherds to care for his stock and work his land as they would have done in Scotland. There is some great documentation about this scheme, for every passenger for whom a bounty was paid on immigration there is a description and references from employers and parish Ministers in Scotland. The Hooghley arrived in Sydney 12 October 1836. Then, I thought I would look in the newspapers to see if there was anything about the arrival of the ship. Imagine my surprise reading microfilmed copies of the Sydney Morning Herald when I found this.

The Sydney Herald (NSW 1831 - 1842) Thursday 27 October 1836 page 3 article12862554-3-001

Another of Margery's sisters married a fellow passenger some years after their arrival. Was it a shipboard romance ? Or had they been an item before they left ? They were both from the same area of Scotland, in fact Duncan's brother John was the Minister who gave references for most of the family.

A family reunion was held in 1986 and a family member published a book "Cameron of the Waterholes" (Waterholes being the name of one of the properties where the family were employed.) There is also a lot of information on Cameron Genealogies, which is where I found the most exciting link. I often thought wouldnt it be great to be part of Clan Cameron, but how could a shepherd be related to the Lochiel ?

There was the twist - the connection is actually traced back throught the McIntyre line, daughters marrying sons of rival clans to try to make alliances, keep the peace or build their own clan strength. So there are Campbells in the mix too. Lucy Cameron was the 3rd daughter of Ewen Cameron the Black Lochiel by his 3rd wife Jean Barclay. Ewen Cameron was born 1629 at Kilchurn Castle and is my daughters 9x great grandfather. How exciting. Amongst Lucy's children - Colin Campbell aka The Red Fox who was the victim of the Appin Murder in 1752. So much history right there at our fingertips. Culloden and all the campaigns beforehand in the Stuart uprisings - they were there, some even paying with their lives on the battlefields or the scaffold.

In 1989 my parents toured through Scotland and spent some time near Spean Bridge and Fort William which are in the general area where the family originated. I visited myself in 2007 and found the actual Kilmonivaig church with adjacent schoolhouse. I met a local who had bought the schoolhouse and was moving in. It was built in 1836 so about the time the family left, but it was built by Rev John McIntyre, Duncan's brother who was Minister at the parish at the time. In the churchyard I found the headstone for John. 

The church itself was built between 1802-1814 so will have been the church used by the families before they left Scotland. Oh to have had more time to chat to that gentleman.

Each time I visit Sydney I manage to fit in a bit of research at the Mitchell Library or even roadtripping down around Queanbeyan, Royalla and Michelago. This branch really intrigues me.

So, as I said it wasnt my intention for this week to talk about this family, but then it was the 176th anniversary last Wednesday of Duncan and Margery's marriage as well as the 150th anniversary of Sarah and Alexander's. I remember wondering at the time I got their marriage certificate why they were married "at" the church rather than in it. A bit of research helped with that. The church was being rebuilt and not completed at the time of their marriage. They were married by the Rev A D Soares though who was the driving force behind the building of the new church.  Then over the weekend what did I find on Trove but this

The Canberra Times (ACT 1926 - 1954) Tuesday 25 October 1927 page 4 article1218757-3-002
I'm 95% sure that the baptism just mentioned by chance is the first child of Duncan and Margery born August 1838. (I feel another trip coming on !) A little mystery surrounds Duncan death. No record has been found and some members of the family assumed he had gone to the goldfields and met his end. Margery remarried in 1849 and died in 1853. Recently, I came across a tree online which had a death date for Duncan in 1844 and cause of death "accidentally shot". I still need to contact the tree owner to verify the source of this information. I wondered then, if his past had caught up with him as on the Cameron Genealogies site there is a reference to him in the Kirk sessions. He was named as the father of a child borne to Isabella Cameron (I dont believe she is related to Margery). It stated that the father had left the country already and gone to Australia (and married as soon as he could it would seem !) Isabella Cameron's family also emigrated to Australia, had they found him and dealt some form of justice ? No, a little more research found that they did not arrive until after this new death date.

Just in case I could find a report in the paper I searched some more, and came across this last wedding notice instead. Duncan's niece had emigrated to Tasmania, I wonder if she had any contact her cousins in New South Wales ?

The Courier (Hobart Tas 1840 - 1859) Wednesday 6 April 1859 page 2 article2468910-3-001

So, that's a little bit about the almost royal blood running through my daughters veins - never mind how diluted it is now. She is proud of this branch on her tree and I am sure that some of the characteristics of those fiercely loyal people are amongst her strengths today.

Thanks Trove for delivering such treasures again for me. Happy Halloween.

This post forms part of Trove Tuesday as suggested by Amy, from Branches, Leaves & Pollen.

1 comment:

  1. It's me, your almost royal daughter. I loved this post! Good to know how it all fits together because I always forget...