McLachlan of Avondale in Australia
ninth born child & sixth daughter
Agnes McLachlan with her first born son
William born in 1887 @ Stewarts Brook nr Scone NSW
Agnes McLachlan, the sixth
daughter, & final child of the family of Daniel McLachlan & Jane
McPherson, was born on the 14th day of December 1866, ... the sixth
birthday of Barbara McLachlan born in 1860, ... at McLachlan's inn by
Mitchell's Creek. Her mother, Jane McPherson McLachlan, was assisted in
the delivery of baby Agnes, by the midwife, Mrs Inglis.
By the time of this birth, the
parents' ages were respectively, Daniel aged forty two years of age & Jane
was recorded as being forty years of age, although she was in reality
thirty nine years & five months old. The birth of baby Agnes was
registered at Bathurst on the 13th day of January 1867. (On this birth
certificate, not only is there the evidence of the father, Daniel
McLachlan being the informant, but there is able to be viewed the actual
signature of the father, Daniel McLachlan as well).
The name "Agnes" is a name of the
maternal part of Jane McPherson's maternal ancestry, i.e. the
"Wagstaff-Brown" female kith & kin. Jane McPherson is reputed to have
had a connection to the family of Robert Burns, the great Scots poet. His
mother had the name of "Agnes". She was Agnes Brown, by birth, & was
very likely the aunt of Jean Brown who married Joseph Wagstaff & had as
their second daughter, Jean Wagstaff, who was the mother of Jane
McPherson-McLachlan as well as Robert Mann, Jane McPherson's half
(The Burns' family farm adjoined
the Lawries' family farm. Often the Lawrie family had intermarried with
this particular "Brown" family. Indeed, Jane McPherson's great
grandmother was Susannah Lawrie who was the daughter of the farmer, Hugh
Lawrie. Susannah Lawrie had married James Brown circa 1750.)
From birth, it was very likely
that it was Martha McLachlan, the second eldest sister, who had the care &
responsibility of baby then toddler Agnes, up until at least the date of
the tragic event of Jane nee McPherson McLachlan's tragic death in the
evening of the 12th September 1871.
It was the third sister, Elizabeth
McLachlan, who took over the guardianship of young Agnes, when the three
daughters, Elizabeth, Mary & Agnes, travelled with their father, Daniel
McLachlan, to begin the new chapter of their lives at the property of
"Avondale", at Yullundry-Cumnock near Molong & Orange in central New
South Wales, in 1875.
Agnes McLachlan @ Andrew George with grandsons
John & Max George & their mother, Iris, wife of Andy George
At this time, Agnes was about
eight & a quarter years of age. By then, it was her "big" sister,
Elizabeth McLachlan, who was shouldering the responsibilities of
"surrogate" housewife & mother in the Daniel McLachlan household. During
those years, young Agnes McLachlan was learning the "skills of the
trade" about housewifely things.
In 1881, Agnes probably assisted
Elizabeth during her pregnancy with her first child. Young Agnes would
have attended the birth of the new baby, who was a little girl. The new
baby girl received the young aunt's first name as her first name . The new
baby was called "Agnes Mary".
Some time after the safe arrival
of baby Agnes Mary Gant, the eldest child of Elizabeth McLachlan & Charles
George Gant, Agnes went to reside with her eldest brother, Daniel
McLachlan probably in the "big" house, the "White" mansion situated at
Samaurez Ponds near the Armidale (airport of the year 2003). Possibly,
Duncan McPherson McLachlan, born 1862, the second brother, who at that
time, was living & working with Daniel, went to get Agnes & escort her to
the "White" mansion.
When Agnes joined the family
group, she gave valuable assistance to Daniel McLachlan's wife, Marie, on
the household front & with the toddler, Alice Jean McLachlan born in 1880.
During the year 1883, Agnes was helping Marie while she was preparing for
the birth of her child to Daniel McLachlan. In the last weeks of the year,
1881, Marie McLachlan had fallen from a sulky just before the birth of a
little baby boy. Possibly the baby was then delivered "prematurely" as
well, which would have made if well- nigh impossible for the little one's
Thus, Daniel McLachlan & Marie,
desperately wanted the very best care & attention for Marie during
pregnancy & for the delivery of the next baby. Indeed the little one had
a safe & secure birth. Amazingly this baby was a girl & born on the same
date as her Aunt Agnes & the deceased Aunt Barbara (died 1876), that is
... the 14th day of December.
The little girl was given the
second Christian name of her loving & caring Aunt Agnes; & the first name
of Mary in loving remembrance & respect for the other deceased sister, who
had been the father's "favourite" & possibly the "bosom
pal-girlfriend" of Marie Spenser-Dwyer McLachlan; & certainly had been
the much loved sister of Marie's husband, Daniel McLachlan. Thus the
little girl's full name was .... "Mary Agnes McLachlan".
Agnes McLachlan was certainly
being prepared extremely well for the tasks of wife & mother. These
positions were of the highest significance & were the recognized
anticipation for a female of each level of society in that day & age. She
had had the preparation from, her sisters in turn, Martha & Elizabeth, &
finally with Marie McLachlan, the wife of her eldest brother, Daniel
During Agnes' time at the "White"
mansion, her brothers, Daniel & Duncan McPherson McLachlan, were on the
lookout for a suitable marriage partner for her. The brothers sought &
finally found what they were seeking. There he was .. a reputable
presentable gentleman of mature years & honourable behaviour. This man was
by name .... Andrew George. Agnes McLachlan must have agreed with her
brothers' choice as she went into the marriage very happily with this
gentleman, Andrew George.
Andrew George husband of Agnes McLachlan @
Stewarts Brook NSW circa 1925
Thus on the 4th day of June in the
year 1884, in the St Peter's Anglican Cathedral in the heart of Armidale,
Agnes McLachlan wed Andrew George. It would have been a blessed & joyful
family gathering with Agnes' two brothers, Daniel & Duncan McPherson
McLachlan providing loyal & strong support beside them, while in the
congregation was Daniel's wife, Marie, with toddler, Alice Jean beside her
mother, & babe-in-arms, Mary Agnes, born just six months previously
After the marriage, Agnes & Andrew
George went to live in the Barrington Tops area at Dungog for the first
few years of their married life. The work pursuit of Andrew George was
principally gold miner for the most part of his working life. In the
early years, Agnes McLachlan-George, loyally & tirelessly went with her
husband, Andrew George, to the many & varied gold-bearing locations in
the colony then state of New South Wales. There Andrew George was
endlessly but industriously & valiantly "seeking his fortune".
At this location, the first child
was born on the 19th day of May in the year 1885. She was given the
beautiful name of "Barbara", in memory of her Aunt Barbara who had died
nine years before, when only sixteen years of age. Very sadly, Barbara
George did not reach maturity either. Little Barbara died as the result of
house fire, (very frequent death & especially for little children in those
days ... the time before the now commonplace use of electricity).
Barbara Jane George was only four
years & nine months old at the time of her demise on the 30th day of
January 1890. She was buried in the cemetery of St Matthew's Church of
England at the small locality of Gundy Gundy in the Barrington Tops near
Dungog. Little Barbara's grave is at Plot "5" in that cemetery. What a
tragic day especially for Agnes McLachlan-George herself.
Just fourteen months after the
birth of Barbara, the first-born son had been born to Agnes & Andrew
George. He was named "William" in honour of Andrew George's father,
William George. The baby boy, William, soon gained the name of "Willie"
which as he grew older was shortened to the name of “Will". Thus when
this son's name was mentioned, it was the name, Will George, that was
used. William George was born on the 8th day of May in the year 1886, at
For some time then the family was
living at Stewart's Brook also in the Barrington Tops. There the next two
children were born. These children were ... Mary Emma born 4th August,
1888 (& known as ... "May"), also Henry John George born 3rd July 1890.
The children that followed were ...Andrew George born 26th July 1892 (&
known as ..."Andy"), & Ellen Edith born 20th July 1897 ( & known as ...
"Nell"). Both of these children were born at Bringelly a place southwest
of Sydney. Then the family was at Stewart's Brook once again where were
born ... Winifred Agnes born 20th day of April 1899 (& known as ...
"Win"), & the last sibling ... John born 5th September 1901 (& known as
The homestead that had been
established at Stewart's Brook was given the name of "Avondale". On this
property, Agnes was establishing a garden of nourishing fruit & vegetables
as well as sweet-smelling & colourful flowers. (The "gift of
horticulture" was hers as well as that of Martha McLachlan-Buckley & her
offspring. At least one of Agnes' descendants recalled her garden as a
beautiful, peaceful & pleasant place at "Avondale" by Stewart's Brook).
Actually, Martha McLachlan-Buckley & Agnes McLachlan-George, carried on a
prolific written correspondence throughout their married lives. They might
even have discussed the growing of certain fruit, flower & vegetable as
well as family matters in those long & interesting letters one to the
The property name of "Avondale"
was placed on the gate of that property. Possibly the signpost-name
itself, or this & the gate, came from the original Daniel McLachlan
homestead of that name in Yullundry-Cumnock. This property of
"Avondale" remains in the hands of the Agnes McLachlan & Andrew George
descendants to this day.
Agnes McLachlan after Andrew George's death
circa1930 @ Stewarts Brook NSW with daughter, Nell
During the years that Agnes,
Andrew & their children were living there, & also later when the
grandchildren went to visit there, many peaceful & pleasant times were
celebrated with the grandparents, by the Stewart's Brook in the Barrington
Tops. There are many old photos that record those wonderful times & scenes
of the past. (The property is not used in 2003, but it is still in the
hands of the "McLachlan-George" family).
During the years of World War One.
three of Agnes' four sons "joined up" with the Australian Imperial
Force. The first of Agnes' boys to enlist was ... Henry George, who was in
the Australian training camp in Egypt by Christmas of the year 1914; so
he was one of the first to set off from Australia, on what was being
called ... "the great adventure". Henry served at Gallipoli & in France.
The next son to "go to war", was
... Andy George. He served in Palestine. These two sons returned safely
at the "cessation of hostilities", although Andy George had lost one leg.
The last son to join the war effort was the eldest son ... Will George.
Sadly he was the son that "lost his life" in the Great
Will George was killed on the 12th
day of October in the year 1917, at possibly the greatest tragedy of
slaughter of that War, that is ... the battle of Passchendaele Ridge, in
Belgium, when the sodden muddy bogs were as much the enemy as the
artillery of the opposing forces. His memorial is at Tyne Cote in Belgium
with the remains of a multitude of other young manpower of the old
In the later part of the life of
Andrew George, he was ill. It became necessary for the couple, Agnes &
Andrew George, to go to live in the city of Sydney. They went to the
suburb of Concord near the residence of their eldest surviving daughter,
May (McLachlan- George) Turner. May had married Henry Leslie Turner, on
the 8th day of May 1918. By the time that Andrew & Agnes George went to
Concord, May & her husband, were the proud parents of two little girls
... Marjorie & Jean.
After the death there of Andrew
George on the14th January 1929, Agnes was in the home & care of May
(McLachlan-George) Turner for some time until she went to reside with her
son, Andy George, & his wife, Iris nee Langston. In the last years of
her life, Agnes McLachlan-George was living with Andy & Iris George, in
Dubbo, in the west of NSW. Andy & Iris George were the proud parents of
John, Max & Heather George.
With the passage of time, the
other surviving daughters of Agnes & Andrew George, had married ... Nell
to Jack Thompson & ... Win to Charles Carr. Nell had one son who was
named John, while Win had twin sons, Colin & Allan, & a daughter, Joan
Agnes. The youngest son of Agnes & Andrew, called Jack married Kath
Sweeney. Their son was named Jack also.
The place where Agnes resided with
her son Andy & his wife was at ..... 19 Short Street, Dubbo, in the west
of New South Wales. During the time that Agnes lived in Dubbo with them,
many warm happy family visits & reunions were celebrated. It is reported
that Agnes McLachlan-George was a very happy personality & people loved
her company, especially her children & grandchildren.
Agnes McLachlan-George died on the
15th day of July in the year 1946, at the Base Hospital at Dubbo, NSW.
She was almost eighty years of age at the time of her demise. She had
lived a long & busy life of very much "loving caring & sharing".
Her death was caused by
"Hypostatic pneumonia" after a "Fractured femur". Her registered medical
attendant was J.R. Trevor Williams. The following day the 16th July 1946,
her death was registered at Dubbo by the District Registrar, A.J.Paton.
The informant of her death was her son, Andy George, of 19 Short Street,
Agnes McLachlan-George was buried
in the Methodist portion of the cemetery at Dubbo on the 17th day of July
1946. The funeral was according to the rites of the Methodist religion.
As well as Andy & Iris George, there were gathered at the funeral many of
her children & grandchildren. Everyone of them was able to remember his or
her own individual thoughtful & loving activities, experienced with the
loving & lovely lady, Agnes McLachlan-George.
Researched, compiled & written by -
for the "McLachlan of Avondale" Descendants' Reunion,
held @ Bathurst NSW Australia, on Saturday 17 May 2003