A Not So Quick Glimpse: The Mercer & Macvean Wedding.

My Paternal Grandparents, Margaret Agnes Mercer and John Hugh Macvean.

Today is the 8th of January 2023, and it is the 86th wedding anniversary of my grandparents, Margaret and John.

Figure 1: Courtesy of Macvean Family Archives

This is the only photo I have of them together. It is also the only photo that my Dad ever gave me of his family. Oh, but to know what was going on. Those expressions, were they unhappy, caught mid argument or just surprised by the photographer?

I have been hoping for many years that another member of the family might come forward with a wedding photo of Margaret and John. My cousin Greg very kindly shared the small number of family photos from his Mums’ collection, but unfortunately there was no wedding photo. Greg’s mum was my Dad’s sister, my Aunty Karen.

I was lucky enough however to find their wedding notice printed in the press at the time. Trove once again provided. This notice was actually my first ever Trove find when I first started my family history journey. There have been literally thousands of other finds since that day but I will never forget the feeling. It was a bolt of electricity that hit me, this notice was about my Grandparents, my family.

Figure 2: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

I next found this somewhat artistic photo of Rev. Father Michael Macnamara, that accompanied his obituary in 1939. It was strange when I first saw it, his face was instantly familiar. I was soon to find out why.

Figure 3: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

I then went looking for the church where Father Macnamara married John and Margaret in. These are the only two photos I have been able to find of the original church, St Monica’s at North Parramatta.

Figure 4: Courtesy of JanetJ16 on Flickriver
Figure 5: Courtesy of JanetJ16 on Flickriver

The original church was unconsecrated as a holy place of worship and turned into a hall when a new church was built next to it in the late 1950s.

Here is a photo of the two churches together.

Figure 6: Courtesy of JanetJ16 on Flickriver

The new St Monica’s still stands today but the old church that Margaret and John married in is long gone.

Figure 7: Courtesy of JanetJ16 on Flickriver

Referring back to Figure 2, the wedding notice. John’s parents, my Great Grandparents are actually Mr Alexander Ballantyne Smith Macvean, and Mrs Agnes Brookman Macvean, née, Cox.

I’m currently writing a post on them and their branches of the family tree as they had a wedding anniversary at the beginning of last month. I’m doing a deeper dive into their story, so I won’t share any other details about them here and just say they will be appearing very shortly in their own post.

With regard to Margaret’s father, my great grandfather, John Fleming Mercer, his is a very sad story.

He died when Margaret was about 18 months old and only a couple of months after he moved with her and my great-grandmother, Mary Agnes Mercer, née Stapleton to Tilba Tilba. Which is a small town on the South Coast of NSW. John set up his own business when he took over the local blacksmith workshop.

Figure 8: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

I, unfortunately, have not uncovered a photo of John to date but I wonder if he might have looked something like this.

Mr Les Darcy, circa 1910
Figure 8a: Courtesy of State Library of NSW

This rugged-looking young man is Les Darcy, the famous Australian boxer. This was taken around 1910 in East Maitland, so only a few years out and a few hours north of John.

This is how the Police Report on John’s disappearance described him.

Figure 8b: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

The big difference in the descriptions is that John was sporting a heavy moustache and was described as stout. I do hope a photo of him turns up somewhere down the track.

You won’t believe this, not a photo of John but two of his brother Charles Henry Mercer have appeared just as I have been researching info on the Mercers.

Charlie Mercer Delivery Boy.
Figure 8c: Courtesy of the W H Corkhill collection “Taken at Tilba”
Charlie Mercer at Mt Dromedary circa’ 1900
Figure 8d: Courtesy of the W H Corkhill collection, National Library of Australia.

How amazing is that! I know I can’t be 100% sure it is him but I’m making the leap with the information I have that lines up. William Henry Corkhill the photographer and his family were locals of Tilba Tilba and according to the preface in the book, William was a prolific photographer of the area and the people in his community. At his death, he had about 1000 glass negatives that he had taken from around 1890-1910. https://www.nla.gov.au/sites/default/files/takenattilba.pdf

Charlie was 30 years of age in 1903 and living in Tilba at the same time as William Corkhill, Mary and John. The Electoral Rolls confirm this.

Figure 8e: Courtesy of Ancestry.com

Charlie Mercer the delivery boy above certainly looks like he could be 30 and a salesman is not a far stretch from a delivery boy in my thinking.

I also know that Charlie is married to Ethel Pattemore by this stage (m:1901) and, I must admit I was a bit worried when I noticed that she wasn’t on the roll but then I noticed it was an all-male list. So I went searching and I found Ethel on the all-female list. I have never come across this before, separate listings and luckily for us her information matches perfectly with Charlie’s above.

Figure 8f: Courtesy of Ancestry.com

So I am confident in suggesting that this is, indeed a couple of photos of Charlie Mercer, (my great uncle) John’s brother.

This photograph below is another stunning find and it is from the Corkhill collection too. It shows the actual blacksmith workshop John worked from. It is the smaller shed on the right-hand side of the photo. The building next to it is the local Temperance Hall.

Tilba Tilba Temperance Hall and Blacksmith Workshop, circa 1910
Figure 9: Courtesy of the W H Corkhill collection, National Library of Australia.
The rear of Blacksmith shop and Temperance Hall, Tilba Tilb circa 1909?
Figure 9a: Courtesy of the W H Corkhill collection, National Library of Australia.

There is a good possibility if the dates are correct, these men pictured here would have known John and Mary. Oh to be so close yet so far away, it is so frustrating.

I have been trying to pinpoint the exact location of the workshop but I haven’t been able to find any information on the history of the blacksmith premises in Tilba to confirm what street it was situated on.

I did a virtual tour of Tilba with Google Maps and found something that looks similar but the landscape doesn’t match. There is definitely no hill to the right of the workshop in Figure 9 above, were as below in the potential site photo there is a small hill.

2 Bate Street, Tilba Tilba, 2010
Figure 9b Courtesy of Google Maps

I sent off an email to the local Historical Society asking if they knew the location, and I’m hoping some answers might be coming our way soon.

So, back to that fateful day for John, Mary and my grandmother Margaret, Monday the 19th of June 1905, the day John died.

Figure 10: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

You’ll note that in Figure 8b, the article mentions exactly the spot where it happened. It didn’t take long to source a photo of Murunna Point near Wallaga Lake.

Wintles Rock, Murunna Point, NSW circa 1900
Figure 10a: Courtesy of the W H Corkhill collection, National Library of Australia.
Wintles Rock, Murunna Point
Figure 10b: Courtesy of Peter Eastway

This is where John died. Somewhere on these rocks on this point, John set up to fish with his mate, named as Ryan, probably with the hope of just having a bit of a relax and a good time with him, but it would be the last thing he ever did and Mary and Margaret would never see him again.

Murunna Point Wintles Rocks 2021
Figure 10c: Courtesy of Silver Dory Productions and Facebook page, Beautiful Tilba

After John was swept off the rocks and disappeared Ryan raised the alarm and the search for his body went on for a number of days. Eventually, after a number of weeks, the search was called off.

Then, after seven long years, it looked like the mystery of John’s disappearance might have been solved with the discovery of a body.

Figure11: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

I wonder if Mary was ever told or had to read about this development in the newspaper. Sadly, it only took a week to confirm it wasn’t John.

Figure 12: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

Hopefully, this indigenous person’s family were able to be reunited with their lost family member. As it was 1905, and the technology was non-existent coupled with the fact that indigenous needs or rights were not seen as a priority in general, I suspect not. As I said, I am generalising here, but with the reading, I have done to date on the issue it is not such a big step in coming to this conclusion, in my opinion.

John’s body was never recovered, and he remains missing to this day, 118 years later.

The next photo below is of Mary Agnes Mercer, nee Stapleton. John’s wife, Margaret’s mother, and my great-grandmother.

Figure 13: Courtesy of Greg Palmer (Cousin)

She is seen here with my Aunty, Jerroldine Mercer Macvean (on the right), my Dad’s other sister.

Not long after losing her husband John, Mary joined Father Michael Macnamara in Kiama then Moruya as his housekeeper and worked for him for the next 35 years, following him wherever the church sent him. Yes, that’s right. The very same Father Macnamara who marries Margaret and John 30 or so years later.

There must have been a strong bond of friendship there, probably borne from the fact that Father Macnamara was the priest who also married Mary and John back in 1903 in Cobargo.

Look at all these pieces falling into place and here is the next one.

Remember how I mentioned that Father Macnamara was familiar? Well, this is why. I have looked at this photo below many times over the last 40 years as I knew it was of my great-grandmother, but I never knew who the priest was that she was standing with. I now know that this is Father Michael Macnamara, and he is standing with Mary, in the grounds of the presbytery in Parramatta, just up the road from St Monica’s.

Figure 14: Courtesy of the Macvean Family Archives

The Electoral Roll listing confirmed that they were all living at the Presbytery together.

Figure 14a: Courtesy of Ancestry.com.au
Figure 14b: Courtesy of Ancestry.com.au

Of course, progress happens and the presbytery made way for this beautiful block of units. Here is the site in May 2021.

9 Dunlop Street, site of Cobargo, St Monicas Presbytery
Figure 14c: Courtesy of Google Maps

Cobargo was obviously the name given to the presbytery, I wonder if this was Father Macnamara’s doing, a nod to his past. He was the parish priest in Cobargo for 8 years. I found this electoral listing for him from 1903. This wasn’t even on Ancestry, it took me ages to find it on a site called “IHR NSW Family History Documents” and as I have said many times, what a find. Look who I found on the same page as Father Macnamara.

Figure 14d: Courtesy of IHR NSW Family History Documents

My great grandfather, John Fleming Mercer, this is before he married Mary and moved to Tilba Tilba. I also found listings for most of his siblings and amazingly, his parents my 2x great grandparents, James and Jessie Mercer and Mary’s parents, Margaret and Peter Stapleton.

Figure 14e: Courtesy of IHR NSW Family History Documents

I have found some information on these members of the family but I will save this too for another post.

Figure 14f: Courtesy of IHR NSW Family History Documents

Now back to Margaret and John. After finding their wedding notice, I then discovered this hidden gem. I’d never seen it before, an article describing their actual wedding day. So damn lucky.

Figure 15: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

The first thing that stands out for me, is that it is full of so much great information. I couldn’t read it quick enough. The next thing is the fact that my grandmother was a nurse at Nepean District Hospital. This is brand new information for me, the Nepean Hospital connection that is.

I know next to nothing about my grandmother, but one of the things I was aware of was that she was a nurse. I also had it in my mind that she had started her training at the Coast Hospital in Little Bay, Sydney, which is now Prince Henry Hospital. I did a bit of digging, and I couldn’t seem to find the Coast Hospital connection, but I did come across this.

New South Wales, Australia, Medical Registers, 1925-1954
Figure 16: Courtesy of Ancestry.com

This is the first registration that I can find for Margaret, 6th October 1927. The Ancestry listing that goes with this registration has her address down as North Parramatta, and this is a full ten years before she and John are married.

You will note above that it states that Margaret completed her training at Renwick Hospital. I did not know of this hospital, a few strokes on the keys with Google, and this amazing bit of Sydney history revealed itself.

The original Renwick Hospital was in Thomas Street Ultimo from 1911-1920. At this time, it was known as the Thomas Street Asylum, and it was the only hospital in Sydney that cared for destitute or homeless mothers, nursing their infants. They also took in orphans and foundlings off the street.https://www.findandconnect.gov.au/ref/nsw/biogs/NE01146b.htm

It was set up by the Benevolent Society, and in 1921, it moved to a site in Summer Hill, taking over an old mansion called Carleton that dated from 1884. The Renwick in Summer Hill was a lying-in hospital and a hospital for children for parents who couldn’t pay for their medical care. https://www.findandconnect.gov.au/ref/nsw/biogs/NE01146b.htm

It closed its doors in 1965 and for many years after it became a disability services centre. I, unfortunately, can find no historical photos of the site, but here it is today, (well, as close as we can get, 2019) thanks to Google Maps, showing that it has now become a gated estate. The mansion, stables and outer buildings have been converted into 78 apartments centred around a communal garden and offer a private swimming pool, parkland, billiards room and gym services to its residents. https://www.7dayadventurer.com/tag/grosvenor-hospital/)

The Original Renwick Hospital Summer Hill, Sydney
Figure 17: Courtesy of Google Maps
The Original Renwick Hospital Summer Hill, Sydney
Figure 18: Courtesy of Google Maps
The Original Renwick Hospital Summer Hill, Sydney
Figure 19: Courtesy of Google Maps

This is the building where Margaret learnt her nursing skills in the early 1920s. How lucky that it wasn’t demolished.

Going back to the article in Figure 15, the next thing that really stood out for me was the fact that my grandmother was unattended at her own wedding. No bridesmaids. I have never seen this before either. I wonder what her reasoning for this was. It makes me sad to think that she didn’t have anyone to stand by her.

This sent me on a bit of a chase to see if I could find anything in Trove on Margaret in the early to mid-1930s before the wedding. After what seemed like hours of searching this appeared.

Figure 19a: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

I was stunned and so damn excited. It’s shitty quality, but wow! I knew immediately, even though I only have two photos of my grandmother that she was here, sitting right there, second from the left. It is grainy and if you look back at the first photo in this post,  it is like, how do you know? But I do. I inherited the same shaped face, my Aunty Jerroldine did too.

Take a look at this photo that a long-lost cousin of mine, Robyn, shared with me. This is Jerroldine and her brother, my dad, Gary Hugh Macvean. I can see the resemblance straight away with Margaret’s face above.

Gary Hugh and Jerroldine Mercer Macvean
Figure 20: Generously shared by Robyn Hilado (Cousin)

There are not many details accompanying the photo of Margaret with her friends at dinner but I was able to work out that it was from an expose on the Kosciusko Hotel printed in the Daily Telegraph. It was showing a different range of guests who were enjoying all the benefits that the hotel had to offer during the current 1934 snow season.

Figure 20a: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

Take a look at some of the amazing photos I was able to find of the resort. It was Australia’s first planned Alpine Resort built by the Tourist Bureau in 1909.

It had work done to it over the years and a large staff accommodation block was added to it in 1926. This is the Hotel Kosciusko that Margaret would have been familiar with. https://perisherhistory.org.au/ski-area/hotel-kosciusko/

Figure 20c: Courtesy of Museum of History NSW
Hotel Kosciusko, c.Aug 1934
Figure 20d: Courtesy of flicker user, William Edwin Pidgeon
Hotel Kosciusko, c.Aug 1934
Figure 20e: Courtesy of flicker user, William Edwin Pidgeon
The Ballroom, Hotel Kosciusko, circa 1934
Figure 20f: Courtesy of flicker account, the University of Newcastle Australia, Special Collections
Hotel Kosciusko Dinning Room, circa 1934
Figure 20g: Courtesy of Perisher Historical Society

Perhaps Margaret was into skiing and this was where nurses took their mid-year break. There is no one left to ask, so I will never know for sure, but what a find, that dinner picture from figure 20 is. A third picture of my Nan.

And just to finish off, this is what happened to Hotel Kosciusko.

Hotel Kosciusko Burning 18th April 1951
Figure 20h: Courtesy of Perisher Historical Society

I know, more than just a Quick Glimpse, I will have to change the title of this post. I can’t help myself, I just keep finding great stuff. In that light and to see if I can add a bit more to Margaret’s story I had a look for the friends she was dining with, in the photo above.

You are not going to believe this, I found the Caldwell sisters, Nance and Jess on Ancestry.

Nancy Caldwell
Figure 21: Courtesy of Linda Hunter, Urquhart Family Tree, Ancestry.com
Margaret Jessimina Caldwell
Figure 22: Courtesy of Linda Hunter, Urquhart Family Tree, Ancestry.com

Again, even though the dinner photo is newsprint pixelated you can still see these faces match Nancy and Jess above. I just couldn’t believe I found them. No such luck with Olive or Gladys. Their stories remain hidden.

As I mentioned earlier, I wondered if Nursing might have been the common factor. I put all five names in to search the Nursing registers for the 20s and 30s and two names came up. Margaret and Nancy. They trained together at the Coastal Hospital. Yes, I did remember correctly, Margaret worked there for five years after her training at the Renwick.

Figure 23: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia
Figure 24: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

I found all of Margaret’s registrations gazetted after that. The interesting thing here, is that the Coastal Hospital is given as her address right up to 1940 even though she marries in 1937 and becomes Mrs Macvean.

Tiled Gallery 1: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

The photo below is the Coast Hospital that Margaret and Nance would have been familiar with.

The Prince Henry Hospital Museum site states that the nursing training Margaret and Nance went through at that time was four years in length. The Nurses worked hard but took advantage of the beach at Little Bay in their downtime and played tennis and organised dances and balls on site so if called to work they could attend immediately. (https://princehenryhospitalmuseum.org/ )

Tiled Gallery 2: Courtesy of Prince Henry Hospital Museum


Turning our attention back to the wedding article in Figure 15, we know who Rev’ Father Macnamara is now, so skipping to the next person of interest I definitely feel like there is a bit of a shining light in terms of someone to support Margaret.

Miss M A Boland, friend of the bride,” Yay! “…decorating the church beautifully“. So, first thought, who Miss M A Boland is and can I find out anything about her? The answer is yes to both of these questions.

And Ancestry provided the details again. Miss May Alphonsus Boland, Matron of Bundaberg Hospital for a time and also Matron of Nepean District Hospital.

Miss May Alphonsus Boland
Figure 27: Courtesy of Jeremy Boland, Boland Family Tree, Ancestry.com
Figure 28: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

Jeremy Boland who provided the photo above on the left and his family are very lucky, there is a treasure trove of information written about May and her nursing career. From the little bit of reading I have done so far she was a pioneer in championing the opinion of professional women and had the radical idea that nursing care was centred around the patient and getting them back to a state of health.

It is now clear that the link between Margaret and May was their time at the Nepean District Hospital. You might have noticed at the bottom of May’s photo in the Trove article on the right, about May being mentioned in “…many statements before the inquiry“. This is related to a “scandal” where the inspector of health accused the hospital of maladministration, and in particular, Matron Boland’s part in it and suggested that the community had lost faith in the hospital.

Figure 29: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

I’m not going to address all the issues that were happening here, it is too complex. It is very interesting for the time but putting it up here is to just give us a bit of context for the next piece of information I uncovered on Margaret and it is fantastic considering how little I had when I started this post.

So, quick highlight of the issue. Basically, the gentleman pictured on the left of the article above is Mr Valentine Heher, the former secretary of the Nepean Hospital at the time of the inquiry. He highlighted a number of serious charges against the hospital, this article below outlines what they were as well as suggests that there was an issue with the Matron’s management of the petty cash book.

Figure 30: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

The article below is Mr Heher’s account of his investigation into Matron’s petty cash. This is where Margaret enters the picture.

Figure 31
Figure 32
Figure 33

Figure 31-33: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

Like I have said many times before, they are tiny slivers of information. But to now know that my grandmother was a senior sister at Nepean Hospital, that her nursing skills were of a competency level that enabled her to be appointed relieving Matron and that her management style was complimented by the chairman of the hospital board is amazing. All this insight gleaned from digital copies of newspapers that are over 90 years old.

I haven’t come across the outcome of the inquiry in my searches but I can only assume it was positive for May. I have seen notices of her farewell from the hospital in 1941, ten years later and they all are profusely complimentary. I would like to think that May’s and Margaret’s friendship was only strengthened by these shared professional trials and this is why she was happy to be in charge of decorating the church for Margaret and John’s big day. Big assumptions I know but it is all we have to work with.

Just three more people to discuss from the wedding article.

The first is Mr Peter Hubert (Bert) Stapleton. Margaret’s Uncle, he walked her down the aisle. Bert was one of Margaret’s mother’s younger brothers. There is no photo of Bert and the only thing I know of him at this time is that he is married( in, 1916) to Sylvia Stewart, they lived in Maroubra in Sydney and Bert was working as a shop assistant.

Figure 34: Courtesy of Ancestry.com.au

The Lady Huon title above, I’m assuming, refers to the name of the house. I can find no reference for that today, but here is a photo of Boyce Street. Somewhere along here, Bert and Sylvia were living at the time of Margaret and John’s wedding.

Boyce Road, Maroubra 2021
Figure 35: Courtesy of Google Maps

Although I’m sure that the wedding day was a very happy occasion, I’m also sure that there would have still been that tinge of sadness for Margaret. The fact that her father is not there, that she has no brothers or sisters and of course, my grandfather John’s parents, my great grandparents are both dead by this stage.

Perhaps this is why John didn’t ask his brother, Alexander Douglas to be an attendant for him, in support of Margaret. Rather, he asked John Moffat to be his best man. John was my grandfather’s brother-in-law as he was married to his sister, Jean Isabel Macvean.

James Moffat
Figure 36: Courtesy of Alexander Moffat,
Alexander Moffat Family Tree, Ancestry.com
Jean & James Moffat
Figure 37:
Courtesy of Alexander Moffat,
Alexander Moffat Family Tree, Ancestry.com

The final person in the story of John and Margaret’s wedding day is Miss Elsie Condon who sang Ava Marie at the ceremony for them. I was thinking that Elsie might remain hidden like Olive and Gladys from the dinner at Kosciosku but no, there is a virtual gold mine of information on Elsie out there.

And a fabulous photograph of Elsie turned up right from the get go. This is Miss Elsie Condon.

Figure 38

She was, according to multiple reports of the time a very popular and hard-working contralto. She is also reported as being a very competent arranger of music and also staged many musical acts. Here are just a few examples of what I found on Elsie and two more photos of her.

Figure 39
Figure 40
Figure 41
Figure 42
Figure 43
Figure 44
Figure 45
Figure 46
Figure 47

Figures 38-47: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

My next thought was, I wondered if there was a link between Margaret and Elsie or John. I know it’s a really long shot again, but I thought I would give it a try. I started searching but nothing came up! I did find an article from way back in 1910 when Elsie was a child and was already being heralded as a future star, which is amazing in itself.

Figure 48: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

I straight away noticed, Wollongong, and Nowra, the South Coast villages listed. I knew that Father Macnamara moved to Kiama and that Mary followed him with Margaret when she was a baby. Then I found this.

Figure 49: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

Kiama and Shoalhaven paper? This is the area where the Stapletons were from, Margaret’s Mums family. I wonder if that could be the link. I tried searching Condon and Mercer together and nothing again. Arghh!

I then drilled down by using a trick that I picked up from one of the Librarians at the Mitchell Library on one of my research visits. As the scanning of the newspaper uses OCR (Optical Character Recognition) it sometimes can’t recognise the character in words so it won’t flag the word in searches. So while in the article that had Elsie’s details come up, I used (Ctrl F), this is the trick. It will pick up any word on your screen as long as you have the combination of letters it has scanned. I tried a couple of variations of Mercer and then dropped the M and er, _erc delivered.

Figure 50: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

There it is, a possible link, Miss Mercer. I so enjoy it when stuff like this works. I then found another article describing this musical evening and this confirmed it.

Figure 51: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

And her is the link for certain, Miss M Mercer and Miss Elsie Condon mentioned performing in the same school concert. We are so lucky again.

I knew from previous searching that when Mary and Margaret moved to Kiama that Margaret went to St Joseph’s Convent School in Kiama and there it is, another point lining up for us. Margaret and Elsie had been friends since at least 1914. So by the time, Elsie sings for Margaret and John on the 8th of January 1937, their friendship had been going strong for 23 years.

Ahhhh, I’m such an idiot! I just spent the last couple of hours searching this link between Elsie and Margaret and right at the end here as I finish typing the last paragraph above, I have the thought, Oh I wonder if Elsie is in Ancestry?

She is. I found her and she is in my own damn family tree. What? I know.

Elsie appears at the bottom of the list of children for Catherine Stapleton and Thomas Condon.

Figure 52: Courtesy of Cannon Macvean Family Tree, Ancestry.com

As soon as I saw the Stapleton surname I knew that Margaret and Elsie weren’t just friends, they were family. Elsie’s mother, Catherine Stapleton, as shown above, is a sister to Margaret’s grandfather Peter, my 2x great-grandfather. Shown below.

Figure 53: Courtesy of Cannon Macvean Family Tree, Ancestry.com

This makes Mary, Margaret’s mother and Elsie, cousins which in turn means Elsie and Margaret are first cousins 1x removed. And just to tie it all up, Elsie is my first cousin 3x removed. That must be where I get my musical talent from, thanks cousin Else’.

You might have noticed in all of this that there isn’t much about my grandfather, John Hugh. There is a reason for this, there is basically very little printed about him.

I have pieced together what I know from the information I have been lucky enough to find on what is happening to other members of the family at the time. I have then attempted to see if I can link John to these family events.

I started to include this information here and realised that I had a whole other post with what I have found. So I will finish off and continue on with John’s story in the lead-up to his wedding day with Margaret in the next post.

I hope you have enjoyed getting to know a little about my grandparents Margaret and John. I really wish that fate had allowed us the chance to get to know each other in person but I’m so grateful to Trove and their volunteers once again for providing me with the opportunity to find these little snippets of their lives left behind in print.

And to finish off, here is the only other photo of my grandmother I have, so generously shared by my cousin Greg.

Figure 53: Courtesy of the Macvean Family Archives, shared by Greg Palmer (Cousin)

My grandmother, Margaret is second from the left, the more mature lady in the centre of the photo. She has her hands on the shoulders of her daughter Karen, (cousin Greg’s mum) and the young woman on their left is my Aunty Jerroldine, Margaret and John’s eldest daughter.

The other people unfortunately are unknown but I’m sure they are family. When I look at that face, I wonder if the other woman might be my grandfather’s younger sister, Marjorie Wilson nee Macvean and her husband Arthur Wilson on the far right. I can’t confirm it yet but hopefully somewhere down the track another long-lost cousin from this branch of the family will find us. Fingers crossed.

4 thoughts on “A Not So Quick Glimpse: The Mercer & Macvean Wedding.

    1. Ms Kay, as always, thank you so much. Love hearing what you think and the photos are gold. You are speed reader by the way, no? I just posted, and you have read and commented already. Love it. You are ticket holder No2 on the blog after Alex of course who is No1.


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