Saturday, 30 August 2014

A Grave Mystery


This is the gravestone of Alexander Dun(n) Smith in Toowoomba Cemetery (Presbyterian Section 1, Block 3 Allotment 40). He died 2 May 1877 at Emu Creek, on the Darling Downs.

Here is the mystery, back in the days when you could read it, this stone was transcribed, and it says "Native of Angus"! 


But, I found Alexander in the Old Parochial Register for Barrachan, Mochrum, Wigtownshire, Scotland (around 320km or 200 miles away), being christened 3 October 1823, he was the youngest of 7 children in the family, all christened at Barrachan, to Francis Smith (a weaver) and Agnes (nee Young). Alexander's wife was Helen (nee Turner).


I have a couple of theories:

  1. The stone was originally made for someone else, and the family was too poor to have another made (in this case, why not have the incorrect text erased?), or
  2. Angus is where his father Francis was from, and so he felt the family was from there..?, or
  3. Alexander was actually born in Angus, and his family travelled to Barrachan for the christening (I don't feel this could be correct as all his elder siblings were also christened in Barrachan).
I would love to hear of any other theories, and any ideas of how I might prove/disprove them.

So far, I have been unable to trace the marriage, deaths or births of Francis or Agnes. Although, there is a possible marriage of a Francis Smith to Alison Young, St Cuthbert's Edinburgh, 6 March 1805, which is before any children I can find.


This is the timeline for Alexander:

Year Date Event Age Location Comments
1823 3/10/1823 Christening 0 Barrachan, Mochrum Father Francis, Mother Agnes Turner
1824

1

1825

2

1826

3

1827

4

1828

5

1829

6

1830

7

1831

8

1832

9

1833

10

1834

11

1835

12

1836

13

1837

14

1838

15

1839

16

1840

17

1841 4 Jun 1841 Census 18 Auchengellie Farm Servant to James Muir
1842

19

1843 4 Dec 1843 Marriage 20 Mochrum, Wigtownshire to Helen TURNER
1844

21

1845
Birth of Child 22 Whithorn, Wigtownshire Robert SMITH
1846

23

1847
Birth of Child 24 Symington, Ayrshire James SMITH
1848

25

1849

26

1850

27

1851
Birth of Child 28 Riccarton, Ayrshire Alexander Turner SMITH
1851 31 Mar 1851 Census 28 Riccarton, Ayrshire Head of Household
1852

29

1853 26 Feb 1853 Emigration 30 Australia with family on “Agricola”
1853 13 Oct 1853 Birth of Child 30 Ipswich, Australia John Turner SMITH
1854

31

1855
Birth of Child 32 unknown Helen SMITH
1856

33

1857

34

1858

35

1859

36

1860

37

1861

38

1862

39

1863

40

1864
Electoral Roll 41 Ipswich, Australia
1865
Electoral Roll 42 Ipswich, Australia
1866
Electoral Roll 43 Ipswich, Australia
1867
Electoral Roll 44 Ipswich, Australia
1868 16 Sep 1868 Land purchase 45 Aubigny, Queensland
1869

46

1870

47

1871

48

1872

49

1873

50

1874
Electoral Roll 51 King's Creek, Aubigny
1875
Electoral Roll 52 King's Creek, Aubigny
1876
Electoral Roll 53 Emu Creek, Aubigny
1877
Electoral Roll 54 Emu Creek, Aubigny
1877 2 May 1877 Death 54 Emu Creek, Aubigny