My Interests Donald and Georginia Munro
- Hi everyone
My interest is in Donald Munro and Georginia Mackay of Armadale and to
get the ball rolling about their adventures in Australia, here are
some notes about what I have found out about them.
Born 12 August 1801 Armadale Parish of Farr Sutherlandshire died 1869
married 29 January 1826 Braetongue Sutherlandshire
Georgina Ann Scobie Mackay
born 1804 Parish of Tongue Sutherlandshire died 1889 North Carlton
.....29th. July 1854 the entire family was on the "Hornet" which
sailed from Liverpool the next day, August 1st, arriving at Geelong,
after an 81-day voyage on October 23rd. 1854. .
On arriving at Geelong the new colonists were required to seek
employment as part of their contract and these details were recorded
by the Victorian Colonial Secretary's Office . Within a few days of
their arrival John, Lexy and Catherine had been taken into employment.
Donald 52 Ag labourer Sutherland Presbyterian, read and write disposed
6 Nov. Also Georgina 50, and Jessie 13 same details. On own account to
Alexia 18 Domestic servant, Sutherland, Presbyterian read only to Mrs.
A McCullum, Market Square 30 Oct £20, 3 months and Catherine 16
Domestic Servant, Sutherland, Presbyterian read only to James Fait Gt
Malop St 30 Oct £15, 3 months
392 Munro, John 27 Ag Labourer from Renfrew Presbyterian read and
write, 31 Oct to Timothy McCarthy Ryansford £52 3 months.
The other members of the party were recorded as follows: -
82 McDonald, Norman, 26 Ag Labourer Skye, Presbyterian, read and write
On own account to Geelong
83 McDonald, Johanna 20 Wife read and write
84 McDonald, Elizabeth 1
35 Jack, Andrew, 22 Blacksmith Fife Presbyterian, read and write On
own account Chelwell
36 Jack Jane, 24 Wife not read and write
37 Jack, Robert, infant
On the basis that the two girls were under a three month work contract
it is probable that the family stayed in Geelong for that period.
Donald certainly made the the most of the opportunities that opened
to him. Not for him the squalor and uncertainties of the Gold
diggings. Georgina and Donald moved to the outskirts of Melbourne to
the new suburb of Prahran and within a very short time, probably in
1855, he was in charge of the water pump on the Yarra River selling
water to the citizens of Prahran on behalf of the local Council. The
area at the time was still mostly bush.
Towards the latter part of 1857, Melbourne was supplied with water
from the Plenty River source, and it was not long before service pipes
were extended to Prahran. That put an end to the usefulness of the
Prahran municipal pump in Yarra Street, and of the South Yarra
Waterworks on Forrest Hill.
When this boon of Yan Yean reticulation came along, Munro took charge,
until his death, of the municipal pound, situated on the present site
of Grattan-street Gardens. Munro and his wife lived in Arthur-street,
in a two-roomed hut. He subsequently bought land in Pine-street, where
he built three houses, living in one. Evidently, he wrote home to Auld
Reekie, for his son James and his wife arrived in 1858 or '59, and
they rented from Donald the cottage at the comer of Hazeldene-place.
The late Hon. James Munro, politician. Premier, banker, building
society promoter, and "land boomer," started his colonial career as
the owner of a small grocery business in Prahran. That was not a
success, for the future Premier of Victoria drifted into a printing
office seeking employment."
The position of Prahran's pound keeper was not that of
employer/employee but was rather an early form of a private/public
enterprise. Donald was expected to operate the pound at a profit and
any shortfall in funds was to be made up by him. In 1865 the pound
lost £26 sustained by the loss from the sale of cattle and the council
in order to keep what they considered a service to the public's
benefit agreed to increase the Donald's salary to £40 per year, "any
excess of fees to be voted him by the council as an increase of
salary, and he to pay any deficiency: and that he use his own
discretion as to the recovery of fees from the parties impounding.
They do this as it is believed the pound is a great public convenience
and although they would like to see it self supporting they do not
wish to see it done away with."
Donald used his discretion about the fees in 1867 when he was having
trouble with cattle being impounded at Prahran rather than Emerald
Hill after been found wandering into the enclosed ground behind
Victoria Barracks on St. Kilda Road. It is the type of situation where
you can imagine him saying in his highland accent, "The next lot of
cows from Emerald Hill I'm going to charge the owner the maximum."
Unfortunately, the next lot of cows ending up in his pound was seven
owned by a poor woman who had nothing else to depend on. £2 11s for
one hour in the pound, oops nice plan but the Law of Murphy came into
Georgina Ann Scobie Mackay
Unfortunately there is little information about Georgina, even her
date of birth is in doubt. Her death Registration and notices in the
Argus and Age in 1889 gives her age as 91 in which case her birth
year is 1798, however her entry in the International Genealogical
Index gives a date of 1806. Her parent's names are known, however, as
John MacKay and Catherine (Ketty) MacKenzie and that she was Donald
What ever Georgina's date of birth we know more about her death. The
house were she died is still standing in Lygon Street Princess Hill,
Carlton at number 517. The house itself was owned by her daughter Jane
Scobie Munro, the widow of Andrew Sharp Jack, and is the centre of a
terrace in what is now one of the better areas of Melbourne where even
a small Terrace house, like "Sunnyside" are brought for premium
prices. It was probably an above average dwelling in the 1880s. By
1889 Lygon Street was serviced by a Cable Tram and Carlton Station, on
the inner circle line, was a few minutes walk up the road and the MMBW
had laid sewerage and piped water in the area. A far cry from the
Crofters house of Sutherland.
So that is these are my Sutherland ancestors. In a latter message I
will add what happened to Donald and Georginia's children