Duncan McPherson McLachlan was born on the 13th September
in the year 1862 at Mitchell's Creek when his father had changed his work
status to that of quartz crusher in the gold mines there. He was the
seventh child & the very eagerly awaited second son of Daniel McLachlan &
There seemed to have been some discussion by the parents as
to whether the name should be "Duncan" or distinctively "Duncan
McPherson". On the original birth certificate, the name was recorded as
"Duncan" & on the certificate of the premature & unexpected death of
the mother in 1871, as "Duncan McPherson".
Duncan McPherson McLachlan was the first of the McLachlan
children to be registered at "Mitchell's Creek". Mitchell's Creek was
doing well enough to have the right to register Births, Deaths & Marriages
at that location. The last two children were also registered at Mitchell's
There must have been a great deal of excitement, pride &
pure happiness in that McLachlan family in the days following the birth of
Duncan McPherson McLachlan. The fact that there was another boy, a "wee
laddie" in the family at last was a most celebrated event. His elder
brother, Daniel McLachlan, who had been the only son for almost ten
years, would have been delighted.
At last there was another boy in the family with whom to do
the manly things Scots' style, such as ... wrestling, weight-lifting,
digging, hurling, curling & whirling & other exploits that a boy becoming
a man should practise to ensure that he would be fit, healthy & strong in
his manhood. These two boys did indeed become fit, healthy & strong young
men; but above all else, they became firm friends, & as time went by,
although distance was to separate them, the bonds of brotherly love &
honour stayed strong &
Duncan McPherson McLachlan was one day less that his ninth
birthday when his mother, Jane McPherson McLachlan, died tragically by
"accidental drowning in the inn's well" on the 12th September 1871. He
was one day more than nine years of age on the day of his mother's funeral
at the Meadow Flat cemetery. It would be highly likely that he would meet
each birthday with great sadness.
Duncan McPherson McLachlan - Montefiores St
Wellington NSW - last home
By the year 1875, Duncan McPherson McLachlan had joined his
elder brother, Daniel McLachlan, who was in the area of the Northern
Tablelands of New South Wales, near Armidale, called Samaurez Ponds. They
were working on the development of yet another of the expansive properties
of the great entrepreneurial pioneer developer, Francis White.
As the two young men were recognized as skilful carpenters
& builders , which expertise they had initially acquired from observation
of their father's demonstrations, they probably were involved in the
construction of "The White mansion". Other work pursuits in which they
were engaged while there, included the digging of dams & wells, as well as
the making of roads through the area in the old hardship pioneer way.
The two young men must have been a "bonny" sight to
behold. They were both fit, healthy & strong. They were both of the
red-haired, fresh rosy skin Scots' variety, with each wearing the beard of
the era. While Daniel, the elder brother, was of average height, Duncan
McPherson McLachlan was extremely tall, towering over most others, thus
most imposing. Both men smoked pipes, another fashion of the Day.
During the years 1882 - 1884, Agnes McLachlan, the
youngest sister of the brothers was at Samaurez Ponds helping Marie
McLachlan, Daniel's wife, with the household & increasing family. During
these years, the Duncan McPherson McLachlan with his brother, Daniel, was
on the lookout for a suitable marriage partner for Agnes McLachlan.
Agnes was about sixteen years of age when the brothers
began their search. They found a hard-working, honourable gentleman of
mature years & of impeccable character, named Andrew George, who hailed
from Malvern in England. Andrew George was most impressed with the young
Agnes McLachlan, & realizing that it was "high time" that he settled
down to marriage & family, he agreed.
John McLachlan - 2nd son of Duncan - seated centre - capt f-ball prem
circa 1920 Junee NSW
Agnes must have been equally impressed & approved of the
suitor of her brothers' choosing as the pair married on the 4th day of
June 1884 in St Peter's Anglican Cathedral Armidale & began a long & loyal
life together. (The two brothers were witnesses to the marriage).
Duncan McPherson probably stayed on in the Dumaresque area
from 1885 to 1887, when Daniel McLachlan acquired the contract to build a
section of the Armidale to Grafton road. Some time around about
1887/1888, Duncan McPherson McLachlan went to Yullundry-Cumnock to claim
his portion of the Daniel McLachlan estate, to find a future spouse &
settle down to a family life of his own making.
On his arrival in the area, he decided for his future life
partner, on Sarah Butler one of the daughters of Peter Butler & Annie Gadd
of "The Gap" near Molong. Sarah Butler & Duncan McPherson McLachlan must
have been a striking pair to behold, as Sarah was a very tall & fit
person like her future husband.
The couple was married on the 29th October 1888, according
to the rites of the Roman Catholic Church, at the home of the bride's
parents at Butlers' Gap on the Cumnock Road. They set up home in that
vicinity where their eldest son, Peter (in honour of his maternal
grandfather), was born in 1889.
In the years that followed, there were five more children,
of whom four survived to adulthood. They were ... Ann (Annie) born
1891, John (Jack) born 1894, Mary (Mary Jean) born in 1897, Stephen
(Steve) born in 1899, & finally the little girl who survived only a few
days, Jean, born & died in 1901.
During his working life in the Cumnock area, Duncan
McPherson McLachlan was known to have worked as a farmer & a builder, two
of the occupations that his father had demonstrated to him during his
lifetime. It seems that for a time in Cumnock, Duncan McPherson
McLachlan held an auctioneer’s licence. He apparently had an office
situated in McLachlan Street, near the creek that runs through the village
of Cumnock. This office was next door to the premises of the Cumnock
Hotel where the “mine host" was his younger brother, John Angus
McLachlan, known as … “Jack” or “Jock”.
car owned by Andy George - used to drive his
mother Agnes - visit brother Duncan McLachlan - 1920s - Wellington NSW
At the beginning of the second decade of the twentieth
century, the family was in the town of Wellington, where their eldest
daughter, Annie McLachlan wed Norman Harold Brown in the year 1912, in the
Roman Catholic Church at Wellington. In 1918, Annie presented her father
with his first grand child, Sadie (Sarah) Brown. In the years that
followed, Annie McLachlan-Brown & Norman Harold Brown were to have four
more children, Des (Duncan Desmond), Molly (Mary), Eadie/Edie (Edith) &
Mary McLachlan the second daughter of Duncan McPherson
McLachlan, married twice ... the first time in 1922, to Edward Sayer &
secondly to William Wyatt Day, in 1941. Both marriages were in the
Wellington Roman Catholic Church. The first marriage resulted in two
bonny sons, Kevin Edward Sayer & Duncan Jack
The second marriage was celebrated in the Roman Catholic
Church in Wellington on 26th December 1941, when the bride was aged forty
four years & the bridegroom was forty six years of age. The officiating
minister was J.P.Kelly, who conducted the marriage according to the
rites of the Roman Catholic religion. The witnesses to the marriage were
the eldest brother & elder sister of the bride ... Peter McLachlan & Anne
Browne. (The last-named is .... Annie nee McLachlan-Brown). The marriage
was received & registered on the 30th day of December 1941 by the District
Agnes nee McLachlan George & gr dau Heather on
visit to Duncan McLachlan
In about 1910, Duncan McPherson McLachlan's second son,
Jack McLachlan, began his highly successful climb up the grocery empire-
ladder, firstly with "Meaghers", then "Taylors" & finally that of
"A.J. Reid". He started as a "grocery boy" in Wellington & ended as a
grocery empire executive.
Jack McLachlan was to show leadership skills in other parts
of his life activities as well. He was the captain of a football team in
Junee after WWOne that won the premiership several times in a row.
Although a mature man, he distinguished himself extra-ordinarily well in
military service during WWTwo.
Some years later, the third son, Steve McLachlan, also
began a career in the grocery business but he chose to work as a grocer in
the independently owned type of grocery store. Steve had a grocery store
in Scone during the 1920s & by the end of the 1930s & through the 1940s,
he was in Barney Street in Armidale NSW. During the time that Steve
McLachlan was in Armidale, he was in regular contact with the kith & kin
of his Uncle Daniel born 1852 at "Sorn Bank".
Jack McLachlan wed Nora Gillis on the 7th April, 1923, at
Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Church at Randwick where the ceremony was
conducted according to the rites of the Roman Catholic religion. The
minister officiating was .... Paul Fleming. The witnesses were ... Peter
McLachlan, Jack's brother, & Mary Gillis, Nora's sister. Jack & Nora
McLachlan were to have two beautiful daughters, the elder daughter was
named Mary McLachlan born in 1924 & the second daughter was Margaret
McLachlan born in 1927.
Steve McLachlan wed Rita Ann Scully in the Roman Catholic
Church at Merriwa on 25th September,1929, at St Anne's Roman Catholic
Church, according to the rites of the Roman Catholic religion, with H.Ward
officiating. Steve & Rita McLachlan had one daughter, Jean McLachlan born
Max George - gr son of Agnes & future wife -
late 1930s- Max memories - visits - Duncan McLachlan
The eldest son, Peter McLachlan, however, endeavoured to
follow in his father's footsteps as a farmer & a builder. He also chose
to stay close by his parents. Some time during the 1920s, Duncan McPherson
McLachlan, his wife Sarah & his eldest son, Peter McLachlan bought farming
land at what in 2003 is the wealthy suburb of Kellyville on the western
outskirts of Sydney. There they took up farming once again. Their farm
produced poultry & vegetables. The threesome was to work very hard & very
long hours but the efforts were mostly unrewarded.
Thus in about 1930, the group returned to Wellington where
the two daughters of Duncan McPherson McLachlan were still residing.
There they settled in the residence at 56 Montefiores Street, with Peter
McLachlan still choosing to remain a bachelor. After the death of Annie
McLachlan-Brown's husband, Annie was there as well.
In the latter part of the 1930s, Duncan McPherson
McLachlan received regular visits from his youngest sister, Agnes
McLachlan-George. Some years after the death of her husband, Andrew
George, at West Concord, in a house near that of their eldest surviving
daughter, May George-Turner, Agnes had come to live with her second
surviving son, Andy George in Dubbo. When Agnes visited she would come
with her son, Andy George, his wife & part of his family. Andy George was
the proud owner of a motor vehicle in the days when motor vehicle
ownership was rare.
On the 3rd September 1940, Duncan McPherson McLachlan died
in the Wellington District Hospital. He was in the care of the registered
medical attendant, R.M. Glasson, who recorded the cause of death as ..
prostate enlargement. R.M. Glasson last visited the patient on the 2nd
day of September. On the 3rd September the death was registered at
Wellington by the informant of his death, his eldest son, Peter
McLachlan, of the address ... 56 Montefiores Street.
John McLachlan - 2nd son of Dunc - with wife &
daus - Margaret & Mary
Duncan McPherson McLachlan was buried in the Roman Catholic
portion of the cemetery at Wellington on the 4th September 1940. The
funeral service was conducted by J. Scanlon, according to the rites of
the Roman Catholic religion. The undertaker was .... P.H.Jewell of the
firm of C.J. Shakespeare & sons. He was joined in that grave, by his
loyal & loving wife, Sarah Butler-McLachlan, on the 12th June, 1951; &
finally resting there with them was Annie nee McLachlan Brown who was
placed there on the 23rd April in the year 1959.
researched, compiled & written by -
Alison Elizabeth McLachlan-Crowe
for the "McLachlan of Avondale" Descendants' Reunion
held @ Bathurst NSW AUSTRALIA
on Saturday 17 May 2003
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