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Mini Biographies of Scots and Scots Descendants (Mc)
Agnes McLachlan


McLachlan of Avondale in Australia
Agnes McLachlan
ninth born child & sixth daughter

Agnes McLachlan with her first born son William born in 1887 @ Stewarts Brook nr Scone NSW
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 brother. 

(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
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 survival. 

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 McLachlan.                                                          

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
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 Dungog.    

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 ...  ''Jack").

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 other.

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
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 War.              

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 "British Empire".

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, Dubbo.

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 -

Alison Elizabeth McLachlan-Crowe
for the  "McLachlan of Avondale" Descendants' Reunion,
held @ Bathurst NSW Australia, on Saturday 17 May 2003


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