"McLACHLAN of AVONDALE"
a celebration of the original family from 1850
in the then colony of
NEW SOUTH WALES
following passage, entitled “ The Convenor’s Message” is taken from the
Program booklet of the “McLachlan of Avondale” Descendants’ Reunion
held at Bathurst New South Wales, Australia, on Saturday, 17 May 2003).
“Dear "McLachlan of Avondale" cousins,
It is with great appreciation to each one of you indeed
that I am writing on this important occasion of the reunion of
“McLachlan of Avondale” …the bringing together (after many years) of the
descendants of the original children of the progenitors, Daniel McLachlan,
1825-1882, & Jane McPherson, 1827-1871. Sometimes I am asked, “ Alison,
why ..... ‘McLachlan of Avondale’?”
Although our McLachlan origins emanate from the Western
Isles & Highlands of Argyllshire Scotland, in the immediate generation of
our McLachlans in the then colony of New South Wales, our McLachlan family
had been in the “Parish of Avondale”; actually on the farm of “Hareshaw
Hill”, Lanarkshire Scotland.
Thus, when the time came for Daniel McLachlan his property
at Yullundry-Cumnock, he bestowed upon his land developments the name of
“Avondale”. (Other persons in the Yullundry-Cumnock district were doing
likewise. The Sherringham family patriarch with whom Daniel McLachlan had
a strong association, called his place, “Norwich”, because he had set
out for the Colony of New South Wales from Norwich in England).
Furthermore, anecdotal history indicates that Daniel
McLachlan was envisaging all his children marrying, settling themselves &
rearing their families in the area round & about the property of
“Avondale” both while he was alive & for the generations to come … a
McLachlan glen so-to-speak similarly to the custom of times gone by in
Amazingly the name of “Avondale” lived on as a name of a
family property. The property concerned was the homestead of
Daniel’s youngest daughter, Agnes McLachlan 1866-1946. Agnes married
Andrew George in Armidale on the Northern Tablelands of New South Wales.
They settled in the Scone area, by Stewarts’ Brook, in the Hunter Valley
region of New South Wales. The name on the front gate of the homestead
read … “Avondale”.
So here we are ….. more than one hundred & fifty years
after Daniel McLachlan & Jane McPherson landed in the then colony of New
South Wales ..... here we are ….. breathing some small amount of
life back into the far away almost forgotten dream now immersed in a deep
sound slumber that once existed as ….. ”McLachlan of Avondale” ..... in
short ..... part of the being of each one of us is ….. "McLachlan of
So ...have a wonderful “McLachlan of Avondale” Reunion
Day; & encourage your children to fulfil the precious advice to ….."Always
have a dream in your pocket” (quote from David Kossoff, a Jewish writer);
& to …“Carry on ... life is worthwhile!”
God bless & keep always.
Alison McLachlan-Crowe (great granddaughter of Daniel &
rang, and the bell birds sang
In the valleys dark with shade;
While the timbers fell, to the merry knell
Of hi-ho! and the merry blade.
From dawn till dark, the trails they marked
With the sweat of the pioneer,
And by the camp fire's glow of the long ago
Their songs rang loud and clear.
rang while women sang
Moulding food from corn?
And while forest slept ... someone wept?
.... So a pioneer new was born.
A pioneer born, in the early morn
Found life was sweet and clean
With the forest smell, and horse's bell
In place of .... 'the doctor's been'.
Now, of them we sing, while church bells ring
Their praises of the past.
Though timbers rot ... forget them not,
Of heart and courage fast.
For pioneers' blood is slow to flood
Pale skins where veins run blue;
Though we follow the trail we're only frail
Compared to the 'Mighty Few'. "
by Poppy McLachlan-Day (another great granddaughter of the Pioneer couple)
occasion of the "McLachlan of Avondale" descendants' reunion, on Saturday
17 May 2003 a plaque was unveiled in honour of the pioneer couple, & the
original family, "McLachlan of Avondale".
plaque is to be found in the Pioneers' Heritage Wall @ Bathurst NSW.
Bathurst is now a provincial NSW city but was first proclaimed as a
settlement of the colony of New South Wales, in 1815, by the fifth NSW
governor, Governor Lachlan Macquarie. The opening up of the area had been
made possible by the Crossing of the Blue Mountains by the explorers,
Gregory Blaxland, Lieutenant William Lawson & William Wentworth in 1813; &
the building of the road over the Blue Mountains, overseen by William Cox
..... the original family
THE PARENTS ...
Daniel McLachlan ...1825 sct - 1882 nsw
Jane McPherson ... 1827sct - 1871 nsw
THE CHILDREN ...
... 1850 nsw-1933 nsw
Daniel McLachlan ... 1852 nsw-1917 nsw
Martha McLachlan ... 1854 nsw-1919 nsw
Elizabeth McLachlan ... 1856 nsw-1931 nsw
Mary McLachlan ... 1858 nsw-1881 nsw
Barbara McLachlan ... 1860 nsw-1876 nsw
Duncan McPherson McLachlan ... 1862 nsw-1940 nsw
John Angus McLachlan ... 1864 nsw-1940 nsw
McLachlan ... 1866 nsw-1946 nsw
McLachlan the husband & father
Daniel McLachlan was born at Hareshaw Hill, south west Lanarkshire,
Scotland, near the border with Ayrshire SCT. (Hareshaw Hill is slightly to
the west of the town of Strathaven). Daniel was baptized on the 17th day
of August in the year 1825, in the Parish of Avondale. (This McLachlan
family had originated in the Parish of Kilbrandon, Argyllshire Scotland).
He was the second child & son of Dan McLachlan (baptismal name- Donald),
the son of Colin McLachlan & Mary McDonald, & Martha Livingston, the
eldest daughter of Daniel Livingston & Mary Smith.
(This Livingston family, although of Scottish ancestry, had originated in
Northern Ireland possibly from the time of Scotland's Covenanting Wars).
Although Daniel was the second son, he seems to have been showing the
signs of leadership & entrepreneurial ability from an early age. He seems
to have had his eye firmly on a life in "the colonies" & as soon as he
found his life partner, the couple was married & set off straightaway for
the colony of NSW.
When the couple arrived in the colony, & after a very short time in the
Scottish settlement at West Maitland, of the Hunter Valley in the then
colony of New South Wales, where the eldest child, a bonny daughter, Jane,
was born in 1850, the little family came to "Sorn Bank", a property
between Bathurst & Lithgow, owned by another Scots emigrant, Archibald
Daniel McLachlan was farming at "Sorn Bank"; although he very likely had
the leasehold of the property, as this was the type of occupancy that his
father had at Hareshaw Hill in Scotland. Also it is known that living
conditions were not the best at "Sorn Bank" due to the lack of proximity
of water for all human living use & especially the needs of the family
household particularly the care of babies & little children. It is very
probable that Archibald Campbell, his wife & family were in the town (as
it then was) of Bathurst, where the lifestyle-human facilities were far
superior to that of "Sorn Bank". During the years at "Sorn Bank",
Daniel McLachlan & Jane McPherson welcomed their first born son & four
more daughters into the family. The eldest son, Daniel, was born in 1852
& baptized in 1853. To celebrate this milestone in their lives, Daniel
McLachlan, the father, began his purchase of many & varied "parcels" of
After about ten years of farming at "Sorn Bank", Daniel McLachlan was
attracted by the "gleam of gold" in "them thar hills" on the Turon
goldfields around & about Mitchell's Creek. He moved his wife, his family
with himself to one of the "parcels" of land that he had in the Turon
district. The father's first employment on the goldfields, was as a gold
digger, but he soon improved this work status to the job of quartz
crusher, a "step up the ladder" in the gold miner's work. While at that
work, the second son, Duncan McPherson McLachlan, was born in 1862.
Great confidence must have been his, as shortly after this, Daniel
McLachlan gained the licence for the hotel called the "Miners' Inn".
Because of his popularity, goodwill & success in the innkeeping business,
assisted by his wife & eldest offspring, the inn was more & more often,
called "McLachlan's" or abbreviated further to "Lachlan's" inn.
During this period, Daniel McLachlan was growing more & more prosperous.
Because of this confidence & prosperity, Daniel McLachlan, encouraged by
his wife, sponsored the emigration from Scotland, to New South Wales of
his brothers, William & John McLachlan, & his wife's half brother, Robert
Mann. This family group arrived in New South Wales in 1859. He sponsored
his elder brother, Colin McLachlan, & wife, Jean nee Morton, & at that
time five children, for emigration to NSW. This family group arrived in
the colony of New South Wales in 1860. (Previously this part of extended
family had been in New York in Northern America).
During this time of prosperity @ Mitchell's Creek , Daniel McLachlan &
Jane McPherson welcomed two more children into their family. They were
John Angus McLachlan, in 1864, & Agnes McLachlan born in 1866. All seemed
to be going extremely well, when the beloved mother, Jane nee McPherson
McLachlan, passed away on the 12th day of September 1871. Without his
wife's intensely loyal & hard-working support both in theory & practice of
all Daniel's vision & aspirations, his eldest daughter, Jane stepped into
"the breach" to help her father in his money-making endeavours as well as
housekeeping & child-rearing duties.
In 1875 when the eldest daughter, Jane, married Andrew McDonald & set off
from her father's domain & dominion to begin a life of her own, Daniel
McLachlan, the father, decided it was time to leave Mitchell's Creek.
Being a true "canny" Scotsman, Daniel McLachlan probably realized that
the Mitchell's Creek gold mines had seen their "best of days".
Daniel McLachlan had been continuing his acquisition of "parcels" of
land. These included "selection" at Yullundry-Cumnock near Molong. In
1875, Daniel McLachlan & three of his daughters, Elizabeth, Mary & Agnes
McLachlan, were the only ones of his children that journeyed with him.
Daniel's brother, William McLachlan, his wife, & eldest offspring, went
with him, as did some members of the Mitchell's Creek mining fraternity
such as Charles George Gant, at that time about twenty two years of age.
The property at Yullundry-Cumnock was called "Avondale". Daniel McLachlan
was working endlessly at developing this property, especially with regard
to "catching" the maximum of rainfall as he would have remembered the
"water" difficulties at "Sorn Bank". It was during one of the episodes
of building dams & sinking wells for the conservation of the precious
commodity "water", that on the last day of January, 1882, Daniel
McLachlan caught a cold that developed into pneumonia.
Daniel McLachlan died on the1st day of February, 1882. He is buried in the
same grave as his beloved fourth daughter & fifth child, Mary nee
McLachlan Sherringham, in the cemetery at Molong, NSW. Daniel McLachlan
had amassed a substantial estate, but had not drawn up his will, so he was
termed "intestate". The district magistrate appointed an administrator.
Finally the estate was "carved up" (not what the patriarch had wanted to
happen), so that each offspring would gain a share.
McPherson the wife & mother
Jane McPherson was born at the town of New Milns in Ayrshire SCT, on 11th
July, 1827 & "baptized publicly" at the Loudoun Kirk on the 12th day
in the month of August 1827. She was the eldest surviving daughter &
second surviving child of Duncan McPherson, the son of Angus & Isabella
McPherson, & Jean Wagstaff, the second daughter & sixth child of
Joseph/Josiah Wagstaff & Jean Brown.
Some time during the decade of the 1830s, her parents separated, not by
Duncan's death but by either mutual consent or the departure of Duncan
McPherson for one of the "new" lands, possibly the colony of New South
Wales. At the time of the separation, Jane had at least two brothers, the
elder one, Angus, & the younger one, Joseph. When Jean neeWagstaff
McPherson united with Robert Mann, sometime near 1835, Jane McPherson &
her brothers went to reside with their mother & her new partner, Robert
Mann, in the same district near New Milns in Ayrshire.
On the eighteenth day of August in the year 1849, Jane McPherson went with
Daniel McLachlan, to "give in their names to be married" in both the
Parish of Avondale in Lanarkshire, & the Parish of Loudoun, in Ayrshire.
The couple were married in the Loudoun Kirk on the 27th day of August in
the year 1849. Very shortly after, the couple set off for the colony of
New South Wales, arriving finally in the Scottish settlement at Williams
River, West Maitland, probably very early in the year 1850.
Jane McPherson-McLachlan was the most loyal supporter of the vision of
Daniel McLachlan. She became the mother of their nine children ... six
bonny lassies & three healthy sons. As well as that she was the diligent
& hard-working wife of the household & during the "running of the inn" was
the "silent" but all-important partner of the innkeeping management at
McLachlan's inn at Mitchell's Creek.
In 1858, Jane encouraged Daniel McLachlan to sponsor her half brother,
Robert Mann, to come to NSW, alongwith Daniel's brothers, William & John
McLachlan. These three young men arrived in Bathurst, late in the year,
By 1871, the "rough & tumble" of the pioneer innkeeping lifestyle was
overpowering the gentle, genteel lady. Thus it was that when she received
news from Scotland, that her dearly loved mother, Jean Mann (born Wagstaff
& formerly McPherson) had passed away on a day in June of the same year,
Jane nee McPherson McLachlan, the mother, was reported as "desponding".
On the 12th day of September, 1871, Jane McPherson-McLachlan died by
"accidental drowning" in the well at McLachlan's inn by Mitchell's Creek.
Jane nee McPherson-McLachlan was buried in the very beautiful little
cemetery at Meadow Flat, situated between Lithgow & Bathurst NSW.On
the14th day of September 1871. It was reported in the local Bathurst
newspaper of the day, that there was a "large number of mourners present
as she was greatly respected".
17th day of May 2003, a group of her descendants added a new memorial
plaque to the headstone already in existence.
As a special tribute to her, the quotation on the new plaque reads as
'Hearts will not be practical until they are made
compiled & written by -
Alison Elizabeth McLachlan-Crowe
(one of the younger great granddaughters of this Pioneer couple)
for "McLachlan of Avondale" Descendants' Reunion held on Saturday 17 May