Early in the year I had embarked on a project to investigate in more detail, the history of both my maternal and paternal family trees. Part of the process was to locate the resting place of my Australian ancestors. On my paternal family branch of the tree, I located three ancestors who were in unmarked graves. My Great Grandmother, my Grandmother and my Grandfather were all in unmarked graves.
The initial search did locate the grave of my Great Grandfather, James O’Connor in Swan Hill, who died on his property at Ultima in 1903 aged 62, however his wife Janet Margaret, or Jessie as she was known, lived on for many years. She died in 1940 at the age of 92. It appears that she was buried with James, but there was no reference to this on the grave stone. It is somewhat puzzling that her burial place is not marked. She had three daughters and two sons living at the time of her death. It may have been due to the size of the gravestone and the cost of having it transported to Bendigo and engraved again.
Further investigation revealed that the cemetery records were incorrect in relation to Great Grandmother’s resting place. The O’Connor family that she was shown as being buried with, were no direct relation to my family. When I presented my evidence to the Swan Hill Cemetery Trust, the records were amended.
My Grandmother was Eva Muriel (Few). She married my Grandfather, Michael O’Connor in Swan Hill on 2nd December 1906. Eva died suddenly on 1st January 1928 at Annuello of cardiac failure. She was only 47 at the time of her death, and the five children were aged from 20 to 11 years of age. Eva’s death certificate showed that she was buried in Manangatang. Contact was made with the Manangatang Cemetery Trust and it was confirmed that she was buried in Manangatang, but the grave was unmarked. Having completed the work at Swan Hill earlier in the morning, it was decided to travel to Manangatang, which is about one hours drive north west of Swan Hill, whilst we still had our work clothes on. The grave site for my Grandmother was in a section of unmarked graves, however following some detailed directions supplied by a trustee of the Cemetery Trust, her grave was soon located and the plinth placed.
20th February 2021