A Quick Glimpse: Jessie Davina Macvean née Ballantyne.

My Paternal 2x Great Grandmother.

Jessie Davina Macvean nee Ballantyne with Ivan Macvean (Grandson)
Figure 1: Courtesy of Macvean Family Archives

Today is the 30th of January 2023 and it is the 169th anniversary of Jessie’s birthday. She was born in 1854. It was announced in both the colonies of Victoria and New South Wales.

Figure 2
Figure 3

Figures 2 & 3: Courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

This is the only photo of the original manse and church available online, that I could find. I spent the better part of the day searching and this was it.

St David’s United Presbyterian Church & Manse, Smollett Street, Albury circa, 1890-1900
Figure 4: Courtesy of Archive.org,
Extract from,Centenary History of the Presbyterian Church in New South Wales.Rev’ James Cameron, 1905

I did came across a map of the area that shows how the Catholic Diocese owned the corner block of Smollett and Olive Street and the United Presbyterians owned the rest.

Section of Land Sale Map, Albury, 1901
Figure 5: Courtesy of the State Library of New South Wales

The photo above in Figure 4 shows the presbyterian church on the far left and the manse on the right behind the tree, which I was soon to find out had some significance in this story. The photo below shows the site from the corner opposite the Catholic church, marked with State School in the map above.

Albury Historical Society, Then & Now – Albury, Plate 20
Figure 6: Courtesy of Albury Historical Society

The “Then” photo above, shows the Old St David’s church and manse are gone, demolished and in their spot the new St Patrick’s Catholic church is being constructed. The Presbyterian’s moved three blocks down Olive Street and built a new St David’s church on the corner of Wilson Street. It still stands today and the Uniting church has taken it over.

Albury Historical Society, Then & Now – Albury, Plate 22
Figure 7: Courtesy of Albury Historical Society

The Albury Historical Society has a note sheet that goes with their Then and Now series galleries and it has a really nice description that pinpoints exactly the site of the manse and the spot where Jessie was born. Extract below.

Image 22:
The first Presbyterian Church in Albury was built in Smollett Street where St Patrick’s Church
Hall now stands. The manse was near to the Morton Bay fig tree which is still in the grounds of
St Patrick’s School. The trustees of the Presbyterian Church sold their site to the Catholic
convent school in November 1904 and moved to Olive Street in 1905,


How is this for a nice visual, thanks to Google Maps. The tree shown in Figure 4 from the late 1890s to 1900 is still there nearly 130 years later. So just behind that is where Jessie came into the world.

Site of the Original St David’s Church and Manse, Albury, NSW, 2021
Figure 8: Courtesy of Google Maps

This is Jessie’s mum, “…the wife of D H Ballantyne…” Sorry, couldn’t help myself. My 3x Great Grandmother Margaret Kennedy Ballantyne nee Smith. She is pictured here holding her granddaughter, Margaret Ann Macvean, Jessie’s eldest daughter.

Margaret Kennedy Ballantyne with Granddaughter, Margaret Ann Macvean
Figure 9: Courtesy of the generosity of cousins, Tony & Michael Edwards

This photo of the two Margarets is a brand new addition to the family pictures for me. An amazingly generous share from Michael and his dad, Tony, cousins from a branch of the family that has been long lost to my side of the tree for four generations. Margaret Ann is sister to my 2x Great Grandfather, Alexander Ballantyne Macvean.

And just to finish off this glimpse of Jessie’s birthday anniversary, this is her father, my 3x Great Grandfather, David Hunter Ballantyne, husband to Margaret, the elder above.

Rev’ David Hunter Ballantyne
Figure 10: Courtesy of the Macvean Family Archives