Passengers on Aurora:
Pictou to Australia 1852-53
Flag of Australia
The Aurora departed from Pictou, Nova Scotia,
in early September of 1851 and sailed around the colony to pick up
passengers in Halifax. Angus MacKay, wife Janet Murray, and 3 month old
son; also Angus Campbell, wife Jane MacKay, and infant daughter, of Lovat
area of Pictou County, did not board the Aurora at Pictou.
Instead, they walked south to Halifax (almost 90 miles). Several of their
relatives walked with them, for the last farewell.
1987 Festival of the Tartans: New Glasgow,
near their (1852) homes in Pictou County, Nova Scotia [JPG: 40K]
Janet Murray MacKay did not want to go to Australia, and her infant son
was only three months old in September 1852. When it came time to board
the Aurora, she fainted and, in the words of her distant relative, "had
to be peeled from the ground and carried up the gangplank to the ship."
Her sister-in-law Jane MacKay Campbell, and her infant son, would die
shortly after arrival in Melbourne. Their graves are in the Old Pioneer
Cemetery there, the word "Pictou" on each of their tombstones.
The Aurora was delayed in Halifax due to stormy conditions, but finally
set sail 13 September 1852. It arrived in Melbourne in March, 1853.
Garry McKay, of Wellington, New Zealand, found the following in his
The Cyclopedia of New Zealand
Wises NZPO Directory
Angus MacKay and Angus Campbell, with their families, had gone to
Australia at the time of the gold rush there. Angus Campbell also found
work in the colony, and five years later met Bertha Bailey, whom he later
married. In 1990, one of their descendants returned to Scotland, and then
to Nova Scotia, to visit the areas where his ancestors once lived.
If any reader knows of this family, and can share information about their
adventures in Australia, I would be delighted to hear from you, at
[Copyright (C) 1996]