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MacKay Kin to Australia:

Barque Aurora, 1852-53

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In 1852, grandchildren of James and Janet MacKay of Rossal (Rogart, Sutherland, Scotland), left their homes in Pictou County to emigrate to Australia aboard the barque Aurora. They included:
{+} Angus MacKay and wife Janet Murray, their 3 month old son
{+} Angus Campbell and wife Jane MacKay, their infant daughter
Simon Fraser of Hopewell area of Pictou County was also on the Aurora, then only 20 years of age. His grandson was a recent Prime Minister of Australia, Malcolm Fraser.

[Green Hill] Green Hill, near their (1852) homes in Pictou County, Nova Scotia
[Click to view: 41K JPG]

When the ship stopped at Cape of Good Hope, the passengers mailed letters back home to Pictou County. Typhoid fever came on the ship at the Cape of Good Hope, in the interchange with local people and loading of new supplies for the remainder of the voyage. Jane MacKay Campbell nursed the passengers faithfully. Only one life was lost during the voyage, and they arrived safely in Melbourne in March 1853. Before the end of April, Jane and her (then) 10 1/2 month old nephew feel victims to the dread disease, and died. Their tombstones, in the Old Pioneer Cemetery in Melbourne, show "Native of Pictou" in the inscriptions.

It was the time of the gold rush in Australia, which drew many emigrants to the developing colony. After five years, Angus Campbell met and married Bertha Bailey; in 1990, their great-grandson returned to Nova Scotia to visit cousins, the graves of his ancestors and the areas where they once lived.

Angus MacKay worked in building roads, bridges and railway lines in Australia and New Zealand. He finally settled with his family in Dannevirke, New Zealand, where he became the first mayor of the newly founded town. A plague in memory of Angus and Janet MacKay remains in the Presbyterian Church near his home; his picture appears in the historical accounts of that church. Letters he wrote to his family in Nova Scotia still survive, and include newspaper clippings of an article featuring him.

We are still searching for any descendants of their only daughter, who married Samuel E. Luxford and moved with him to Awapuni, now a suburb of Palmerston North, New Zealand.

Janet MacKay, B.R.E., B.Sc.
Principal, MacKay Research Associates:
Research Specialties:
{*} Nova Scotia History
{*} Scottish Heritage in Nova Scotia
{*} Genealogy of Nova Scotia Scots
Located in Halifax, Nova Scotia (Canada)

Comments and inquiries are welcome at [MacKay Mailbox]

[Sailing Ship of the 1800s]

{+} [MacKay Hall] {+} [Heritage Hall] {+} [Copyright (C) 1996] {+}



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