Monday, September 24, 2012

Widow's weeds


John McArthur was only 35 when he died at his home in Nelson Street Annandale. Only 35, and with a wife 7 months pregnant with their third child. I have not been able to find a coroner's report, so I will figure he had a heart-attack until something more informative jumps out in front of me. Mary McArthur was born McFarlane: they don't fall far from the tree, these canny Scots! There were two things about her that I really needed to know: when she was born; and did she remarry. The dearly departed John was born in Patrick, Scotland; perhaps Mary was a native of Scotland, too. So aged in her early 30s (conjecture, conjecture) Mary was a widow with three small girls: Maggie born in 1884, Jane in August 1885; and Jennetta in June 1887. But worse was to come ...



In July 1892, Maggie died in Parramatta Hospital as the result of burns accidently inflicted, according to the coroner's report. A house-fire would be ironic, considering her departed father, John was a builder, as was HIS father, Peter. They lived in the same set of terraces - Kilmartin Terraces - in Nelson Street Annandale. But the coroner's report did not specify the type of fire. To compound all this, another son of Peter McArthur died in October 1888, once again at his home in Kilmartin Terrace. Ready for this? Archibald, Peter McArthur's oldest son, lost his 23 year old wife in 1884. Talk about not being able to take a trick!

I never did find out when Mary was born, nor if she remarried. However, I could not find a date of death either, so figure she did remarry. All this gets very complicated, yes?

That is very final, that 'Farewell'. Death is a bit like that.


10 comments:

marbletowns said...

Beautiful photos -- and such detail! Always interesting to see, and to read all the information you've found.

Nicola Carpenter said...

How awful to lose one's husband and then your child.

Beautiful pictures.

Beneath Thy Feet

CaT said...

that is sad...
i do like the graves with the heads of the children. very well made... true to looks?

Julie said...

I am assuming 'true to looks', CaT. We do not get many memorials in Australia with a replica of the departed. Not as many as I have noticed in Paris, at any rate. And these are particular 'looks', as well. Not overly beautiful or angelic ...

hamilton said...

I wonder if Kilmartin Terrace has a few haunted houses from these deaths?

Julie said...

I cannot find Kilmartin Terrace anywhere along Nelson Street, Annandale. Father and son lived in #7 and #8 so they are the numbers within the terrace not the folio number of the plot of land. Our plots are numbered odd down one side of the street and even down the other side of the street.

There are many many new apartment blocks in Nelson Street, but this being a long weekend coming, I many walk it to see if there are any clues left.

CaT said...

haha, yes, especially the one of the (i assume) boy! but i do like them as they are..

hamilton said...

and the faces both have the same downturned mouth showing a good family resemblance.

Ann said...

Beautiful carvings on the tombs, especially the girl? at the top.

Julie said...

I think the infant and the little girl are both the same person. No point otherwise ... but yes, quite touching.