Friday, August 21, 2015

Janet Stewart 1814 - 1900

23 Dec 1814      Janet, Lawful Daughter to William Stewart, shoemaker, & Margaret Livingstone in Little Clochfoldich, was born Dec'r 23rd & bap 26th 1814 (Logierait Parish Register, p105, FHL102756).
Thomas Gray was born in 1817 Kockbain Inverness Shire Scotland. Thomas, a Brisbane boot maker, had emigrated to New South Wales in 1841/42 from the Black Isle, Scotland, to work for fellow highlanders the McConnels at Moreton Bay. He was on the ‘Ann Milne’. During the voyage Gray befriended fellow Scot John Stewart and his sisters Jessie (Janet) and Margaret, and the Duncan brothers and their families.

Once they had completed their two year obligations to their individual sponsors, Thomas went back down to NSW, where he and Janet were married by John Dunmore Lang in Scotts Church, Sydney.  He had set up the beginnings of his boot making enterprise before he claimed Janet as his own.

Thomas Gray, who was responsible for encouraging the Stewart and Duncan families to take up land at Bald Hills, and who was connected with the McConnels; and the fact that both he and WJ Loudon, who had invested heavily at the first sale of Sandgate allotments, both purchased allotments at the first sale of Bald Hills land

In 1845 Gray married Janet Stewart and John Stewart married the Duncan's sister, Jane. Stewart and the Duncans eventually settled on the Hunter River, while Gray established a boot making business in Brisbane in 1844. In the mid-1850s Gray convinced the Stewarts and Duncans to leave the flood-stricken Hunter River district and move to the South Pine River north of Brisbane, to the area now known as Bald Hills.

They had 7 Children -

1.  Margaret Gray - April 15, 1846 -1932 married Aneas Walker [1835-1906], they had 5 children,

2.  Thomas Roderick Gray - March 5, 1848-1911 married Helen Smith [1858-1941], they had one daughter,

3.  William James Stewart July 20, 1849-1926 never married,

4. Ann Young Stewart Gray - April 20 1851 -  May 31, 1928 never married.

5.  John Stewart Connoly Gray - February 27, 1853-1932 married Agnes McKinnon [1863-1925], they had four children.  Isobel Agnes (JSC & A’s daughter [1889-1928]) and Jeanette (JSC&A’s daughter [1886-1889]).  Note: The grave site of John and Ann is next to Thomas and Jane's, and like his parents, their graves lost everything above ground in 1975.

6.  Alexander 1855-1857 (Drowned at 2 he wandered off whilst visiting relatives at West End)

7.  Jane Elizabeth October 24, 1858-1930 married George Prentice [1841-1902], they had 4 children.
Thomas started a shoe emporium in Queen/George Street of now City of Brisbane.  They lived in George Street.  Thomas Gray was the boot maker on the opposite corner and later his business was carried on by his sons and daughter in George Street, near the corner.

Janet was a founding member of the Presbyterian church.  Her husband Thomas passed away in 1877 in Queensland, Australia, at the age of 60. Janet passed 23 September 1900 in Queensland, Australia.  They had been married 32 years. Thomas Gray and Janet Stewart are buried in the Toowong Cemetery.  The structure above their graves has been removed.

Walker death:

Presbyterian Church erected in 1885, Brisbane.

1905 Newspaper article excerpt written by Rev James Stewart: The Maitland Weekly Mercury, April 1, 1905:
Janet Stewart and Thomas Gray were married by Rev. Lang (Scots' Church), in Sydney, to, and shortly alter one of the finest young couples' ever seen in Moreton Bay reached Brisbane, and went into their home, though but a humble one, in George-street, near Queen street, and where the business which was then begun, is still carried on. He died there under a severe attack of English cholera, nearly 30 years ago, 'deeply regretted by all who knew him, and one of ''Nature's truest gentlemen.' His widow lived, on that spot till 55 years had passed, and in her 80th year left her three stalwart sons and three vigorous daughters to carry on tho business which her helpmate and. So had so industriously and honorably established that the reputation lasts, and I am pleased to say is being maintained to this day...... 
I have mentioned that the Ann Milne arrived in Sydney on January 17, 1841, and that it was mother's fourteenth birthday. And when 58 years had passed, bringing, many wonderful historic changes in Australia, tho circle composed of John, Janet, and Margaret Stewart, who came out from Perthshire and Jane, Charles, and David Duncan who "cam from Brechin," remained an unbroken circle, apparently hale and hearty after their years of strenuous pioneer Service. But in the November of 1899 my brother died in her 73rd year, and in the September following Janet Gray 'passed, ' not so sick or sore, as tired, in her 86th year, just a year younger than her sister, Aunt Crichton, who died in her native land, and whose bonny helpmate, James Crichton, died where he had lived all his life, in Madderty parish, Perthshire, (not true, the family lived for many years in Kinclaven, Perthshire)  in 99th  year, the day after his dear old Minister - died, with whom he had been associated as member and ruling elder for 60 years or more, and by whose graveside he was buried: by a great company of relatives, the Minister being only one year younger than the elder to whom he was so warmly attached. 

Brisbane General Hospital, George Street, Brisbane, 1865
Ploughing George Street towards Roma Street, 1890s: Chamberlain and Wyllie tendered to put down wooden blocking for the length of Queen Street and George Street from Queen to Roma Streets. The contract was too big for them and George Charles Willcocks took over. Two plough teams were used each operating 12 powerful horses. Four drivers were required and three men to hold and guide the plough

Aboriginal history

When Thomas Gray, a successful boot maker in Brisbane, recommended the Bald Hills area to John Stewart and his brothers-in-law Charles and David Duncan, he also wrote to Captain Wickham requesting a deployment of mounted police to protect the newcomers. Previously, Aborigines had murdered some cedar cutters in the area, a Mr Gregor and a Mrs Shannon. A Bribie Island Aborigine, Dundalli, was tried and sentenced for the crime. He was hanged on 5 January 1855. The police patrolled the area from late 1857 and were stationed permanently at Sandgate from 1858. 

Notable residents

Thomas Gray, Queen Street boot maker, bought a small portion of land when the first land sales in the area were held in January 1857. He recommended the area to his relatives in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales. John Stewart and his brothers-in-law Charles and David Duncan came to Bald Hills late in 1857. They first erected wattle and daub huts on the site of St Paul's School. A few years later, William Carseldine was recommended to the Stewarts as a fencing contractor. His son, James Carseldine, later established the first store in Bald Hills. His eldest son John was instrumental in bringing the Wesleyan Church to the area. He also cut a more direct track to Brisbane, which roughly followed the current Gympie Road. Between the 1890s and the 1920s families in the area including the Days, Feuerriegels, Hawkins, Hennesseys, and McPhersons involved themselves in dairying. 
 Link to above article:

Thomas Gray from Wikipedia:
Thomas Gray, a Brisbane boot maker, had emigrated to New South Wales in 1841/42 from the Black Isle, Scotland, to work for fellow highlanders the McConnels at Moreton Bay. During the voyage Gray befriended fellow Scots John Stewart and his sisters Jessie (Janet) and Margaret, and the Duncan brothers and their families. In 1845 Gray married Janet Stewart and John Stewart married the Duncan's sister, Jane. Stewart and the Duncans eventually settled on the Hunter River, while Gray established a boot making business in Brisbane in 1844. In the mid-1850s Gray convinced the Stewarts and Duncans to leave the flood-stricken Hunter River district and move to the South Pine River north of Brisbane, to the area now known as Bald Hills. Stewart made a preliminary trip to the district c. 1855 to select suitable land, not just for himself and the Duncans, but also for a large number of Hunter River settlers who were equally interested.

Stewart immediately applied to the New South Wales survey office to have the land surveyed, but it was not proclaimed available for sale until December 1856, with Stewart finally purchasing land in February 1857. Due to the delay in survey, most of the interested Hunter River settlers meanwhile had moved to the Clarence River where new land was available. Only Stewart and the Duncans and their families from the Hunter took up land at Bald Hills, moving onto their selections in early October 1857. They are generally acknowledged as the first non-indigenous settlers at Bald Hills.  After their experiences on the Hunter River, the settlers selected the higher ground for their farms, erecting their first houses (apparently slab and bark) on the low ridge above the South Pine River where St Peter's Anglican School is now situated. Fearing attack from Aborigines, their houses were loop-holed for rifles and located within sight of each other. These precautions proved unnecessary, for at the request of Thomas Gray and other settlers in the area between Cabbage Tree Creek and Caboolture, a detachment of Native Police was stationed at Sandgate from 1858 to 1862. Under the command of Lieutenant Frederick Wheeler, the Native Police eliminated Aboriginal resistance to white settlement in the Pine Rivers, Cabbage Tree Creek and Caboolture districts by the early 1860s.[

The Stewart and Duncan families cleared the gentle slopes along the South Pine River for their crops. By the end of the 1860s most of the valuable stands of red cedar and hoop pine in the Bald Hills district had been removed, although much scrub remained. Through the 1860s, 1870s and 1880s maize, potatoes and some oaten and wheaten hay were the principal cash crops, and John Stewart had early experimented with arrowroot and cotton, for which he won bronze and silver medals at the London International Exhibition of 1862. Following the opening of a railway to Bald Hills in 1888, dairying became the principal economic activity in the district. By 1929, dairy farmers at Bald Hills were supplying up to 1000 gallons of milk daily to Brisbane and Sandgate.

John Stewart and his family were well respected in the Bald Hills community and active members of the local Presbyterian church, John serving as an Elder for nearly 40 years. The earliest Presbyterian services in the Bald Hills district were conducted at the Stewart home until a small slab and shingled church was erected in 1863 at the corner of the Strathpine and Bald Hills roads. In 1889 the slab church was replaced by a milled-timber building erected on land donated by John Stewart in 1887, further west along Strathpine Road. (This building was destroyed by fire in 1909, and replaced with the present building in 1911.) Two of Stewart's sons, James and Charles, became Presbyterian ministers. Rev. James Stewart was the founder of the Brisbane City Mission.[1]
Many local events also were celebrated at the Stewart home, including the opening of the bridge over the South Pine River in May 1865, when a ball was held in the Stewart barn.

In 1890, John Stewart took out a £600 mortgage from the Brisbane Permanent Building and Banking Company Ltd, which may have financed construction of a new residence. If he did, the Stewarts occupied their new house for only a few years, for in 1895 the main portion of the farm - nearly 67 acres, including what is understood to be the site of the Stewart family's first residence and the possibly c. 1890 house - was transferred to William Thomas Taylor. The remaining Stewart property was developed as the Woodlawn dairy farm, managed by Alexander Caldwell Stewart until his accidental death in 1900.

The Woodlawn Farmhouse survives at 15 Listowel Street, Bald Hills. Jane Stewart died in 1898, and her husband John in 1905, but at least one son continued to dairy farm at Bald Hills for many years. Taylor held the original Stewart property for only a few years, transferring it in February 1898 to Samuel Unwin of Eagle Farm, who in November 1905 took out a £600 mortgage on the property. The residence located on this property and which now functions as the Administration Building at St Paul's Anglican School, appears to date to the 1890s or very early 1900s, but it has not been established whether it was erected by Stewart c. 1890 or a later owner. A photograph dated 1906 shows the house prior to additions and veranda enclosures, with the two already mature hoop pines forming a natural frame to the front entrance. From this evidence it is clear that the trees were not late 19th or early 20th century plantings, and it would have been unusual for them to have survived to the 20th century, were they not incorporated within the earlier Stewart house garden.

Janet Stewart and Thomas Gray grave site.  The markers have been removed.  Janet Stewart and her husband Thomas Gray are buried in the Toowong Cemetery with their grave markers removed or missing.  When I went to Toowong Cemetery about 8 years ago, I spoke to the a chap working in the office who pulled out the file for the Gray family.  In 1975 they sent a letter to a Miss A Walker, Thomas & Janet eldest daughter, Margaret is married to a Walker so I am guessing that “A” is one of Margaret’s daughter or grand-daughters.  Anyway BCC wrote to her about maintenance on the graves.  When they hadn’t herd anything after 6 months, the council removed what was on the ground.  They are in sections 6,9, and 13 near the main gate. Thomas Gray has a park named after him.   N.H.
Before the BCC removed all the monuments etc. from Thomas Gray & Janet Stewart’s grave and the one behind it containing other family members, this B&W photo was taken.  I was given a photocopy of that photo when I went to Toowong Cemetery to find the graves in 2007.  NH.

Grave location: Location 9-43-5
Surname GRAY
Given Names JANET
Date of Birth Unrecorded
Date of Death Unrecorded
Date of Service 24-09-1900
Service Type Burial

NH, Thanks for the photograph. It looks like there was a curb around the grave markers and that there was a standing stone to mark the graves.  Janet is buried in 9-43-5.  That looks pretty near the main entrance to the cemetery.

When you say "other family members,” do you mean William James? and /or Agnes Gray, John Stewart Conoly, Isobel Agnes and Jeanette who are in 9-43-8.   Do any of the "other family members" have marked graves?

If I am looking at the cemetery map correctly section 9-43 is quite a ways from the Mellor’s who are buried in 9-38-4.  Kent

Toowong Cemetery information:

The Brisbane General Cemetery also known as Toowong Cemetery is a heritage-listed cemetery located at Toowong, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. It was established in 1866 and formally opened in 1875. It is Queensland's largest cemetery and is located on forty-four hectares of land at the corner of Frederick Street and Mount Coot-tha Road approximately four and a half kilometres west of Brisbane.

A Faithful Angel, Toowong Cemetery

They ran the freeway under the cemetery.
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