Search just our sites by using our customised search engine

Unique Cottages | Electric Scotland's Classified Directory

Click here to get a Printer Friendly PageSmiley

The Avondale Poets
Duncan McPherson  McLachlan

Duncan McPherson McLachlan seventh born child & second son

Duncan McPherson McLachlan -  headstone - cemetery Wellington NSW
Duncan McPherson McLachlan - headstone - cemetery Wellington NSW

Duncan McPherson McLachlan was born on the 13th September in the year 1862 at Mitchell's Creek when his father had changed his work status to that of quartz crusher in the gold mines there. He was the seventh child & the very eagerly awaited second son of Daniel McLachlan & Jane McPherson.

There seemed to have been some discussion by the parents as to whether the name should be  "Duncan"  or  distinctively  "Duncan McPherson".  On the original birth certificate, the name was recorded as   "Duncan"   &  on the certificate of the premature & unexpected death of the mother in 1871, as  "Duncan McPherson". 

Duncan McPherson McLachlan was the first of the McLachlan children to be registered at  "Mitchell's Creek".  Mitchell's Creek was doing well enough to have the right to register Births, Deaths & Marriages at that location. The last two children were also registered at Mitchell's Creek.

There must have been a great deal of excitement, pride & pure happiness in that McLachlan family in the days following the birth of Duncan McPherson McLachlan. The fact that there was another boy, a   "wee laddie"  in the family at last was a most celebrated event.  His elder brother,  Daniel McLachlan, who had been the only son for almost ten years,  would have been delighted.

At last there was another boy in the family with whom to do the manly things Scots' style,  such as  ...  wrestling, weight-lifting,  digging,  hurling, curling & whirling & other exploits that a boy becoming a man should practise to ensure that he would be fit, healthy & strong in his manhood. These two boys did indeed become fit, healthy & strong young men; but above all else, they became firm friends, & as time went by, although distance was to separate them,  the bonds of brotherly love & honour stayed strong & sincere.                                                    

Duncan McPherson McLachlan was one day less that his ninth birthday when his mother,  Jane McPherson McLachlan,  died tragically by  "accidental drowning in the inn's well"  on the 12th September 1871. He was one day more than nine years of age on the day of his mother's funeral at the Meadow Flat cemetery. It would be highly likely that he would meet each birthday with great sadness.

Duncan McPherson McLachlan -  Montefiores St Wellington NSW  - last home
Duncan McPherson McLachlan - Montefiores St Wellington NSW - last home

By the year 1875, Duncan McPherson McLachlan had joined his elder brother, Daniel McLachlan, who was in the area of the Northern Tablelands of New South Wales, near Armidale, called Samaurez Ponds. They were working on the development of yet another of the expansive properties of the great entrepreneurial pioneer developer, Francis White. 

As the two young men were recognized as skilful carpenters & builders , which expertise they had initially acquired from observation of their father's demonstrations, they probably were involved in the construction of  "The White mansion".  Other work pursuits in which they were engaged while there, included the digging of dams & wells, as well as the making of roads through the area in the old hardship pioneer way. 

The two young men must have been a  "bonny"  sight to behold.  They were both fit, healthy & strong. They were both of the red-haired, fresh rosy skin Scots' variety, with each wearing the beard of the era. While Daniel,  the elder brother, was of average height,   Duncan McPherson McLachlan was extremely tall, towering over most others, thus most imposing.  Both men smoked pipes, another fashion of the Day.

During the years 1882 - 1884,  Agnes McLachlan, the youngest sister of the brothers was at Samaurez Ponds helping Marie McLachlan,  Daniel's wife,  with the household & increasing family. During these years, the Duncan McPherson McLachlan with his brother,  Daniel, was on the lookout for a suitable marriage partner for Agnes McLachlan.    

Agnes was about sixteen years of age when the brothers began their search. They found a hard-working, honourable gentleman of mature years & of impeccable character, named Andrew George, who hailed from Malvern in England. Andrew George was most impressed with the young Agnes McLachlan, & realizing that it was   "high time"  that he settled down to marriage & family,  he agreed.        

John  McLachlan -  2nd son of Duncan - seated centre - capt f-ball prem circa 1920 Junee NSW    
John McLachlan - 2nd son of Duncan - seated centre - capt f-ball prem circa 1920 Junee NSW

Agnes must have been equally impressed & approved of the suitor of her brothers' choosing as the pair married on the 4th day of June 1884 in St Peter's Anglican Cathedral Armidale & began a long & loyal life together.  (The two brothers were witnesses to the marriage).       

Duncan McPherson probably stayed on in the Dumaresque area from 1885 to 1887,  when Daniel McLachlan acquired the contract to build a section of the Armidale to Grafton road.  Some time around about 1887/1888,  Duncan McPherson McLachlan went to Yullundry-Cumnock to claim his portion of the Daniel McLachlan estate, to find a future spouse & settle down to a family life of his own making.

On his arrival in the area, he decided for his future life partner, on Sarah Butler one of the daughters of Peter Butler & Annie Gadd of  "The Gap" near Molong.  Sarah Butler & Duncan McPherson McLachlan must have been a striking pair to behold,  as Sarah was a very tall & fit person like her future husband.

The couple was married on the 29th October 1888,  according to the rites of the Roman Catholic Church,  at the home of the bride's parents at Butlers' Gap on the Cumnock Road.  They set up home in that vicinity where their eldest son,  Peter (in honour of his maternal grandfather), was born in 1889.

In the years that followed, there were five more children, of whom four survived to adulthood.  They were  ... Ann (Annie) born 1891,  John (Jack) born 1894,  Mary  (Mary Jean) born in 1897,  Stephen (Steve) born in 1899,   & finally the little girl who survived only a few days, Jean, born & died in 1901. 

During his working life in the Cumnock area, Duncan McPherson McLachlan was known to have worked as a farmer & a builder,  two of the occupations that his father had demonstrated to him during his lifetime.   It seems that for a time in Cumnock, Duncan McPherson McLachlan held an auctioneer’s licence.  He apparently had an office  situated in McLachlan Street, near the creek that runs through the village of Cumnock.   This office was next door to the premises of the  Cumnock Hotel where the “mine host"  was his younger brother, John Angus  McLachlan,  known as …  “Jack” or “Jock”.

car owned by Andy George - used to drive his mother Agnes  - visit brother Duncan McLachlan - 1920s - Wellington NSW
car owned by Andy George - used to drive his mother Agnes - visit brother Duncan McLachlan - 1920s - Wellington NSW

At the beginning of the second decade of the twentieth century,  the family was in the town of Wellington, where their eldest daughter, Annie McLachlan wed Norman Harold Brown in the year 1912, in the Roman Catholic Church at Wellington.  In 1918,  Annie presented her father with his first grand child, Sadie (Sarah) Brown.  In the years that followed,  Annie McLachlan-Brown & Norman Harold Brown were to have four more children,  Des (Duncan Desmond), Molly (Mary),  Eadie/Edie (Edith) & Peter.                                                  

Mary McLachlan the second daughter of Duncan McPherson McLachlan,  married twice ...  the first time in 1922,  to Edward Sayer & secondly to William Wyatt Day, in 1941. Both marriages were in the Wellington Roman Catholic Church.   The first marriage resulted in two bonny sons,  Kevin Edward Sayer & Duncan Jack Sayer.                       

The second marriage was celebrated in the Roman Catholic Church in Wellington on 26th December 1941, when the bride was aged forty four years  & the bridegroom was forty six years of age. The officiating minister was  J.P.Kelly,  who conducted the marriage according to the rites of the Roman Catholic religion. The witnesses to the marriage were the eldest brother & elder sister of the bride  ... Peter McLachlan & Anne Browne.  (The last-named is  .... Annie nee McLachlan-Brown). The marriage was received & registered on the 30th day of December 1941 by the District Registrar, R.Astill.

Agnes  nee McLachlan George & gr dau Heather on visit to Duncan McLachlan
Agnes nee McLachlan George & gr dau Heather on visit to Duncan McLachlan

In about 1910,  Duncan McPherson McLachlan's  second son, Jack McLachlan,  began his highly successful climb up the grocery empire- ladder, firstly with   "Meaghers",  then  "Taylors"  & finally that of   "A.J. Reid".  He started as a  "grocery boy"  in Wellington & ended as a grocery empire executive. 

Jack McLachlan was to show leadership skills in other parts of his life activities as well.  He was the captain of a football team in Junee after WWOne that won the premiership several times in a row. Although a mature man, he distinguished himself extra-ordinarily well in military service during WWTwo.

Some years later,  the third son, Steve McLachlan,  also began a career in the grocery business but he chose to work as a grocer in the independently owned type of grocery store. Steve had a grocery store in Scone during the 1920s & by the end of the 1930s & through the 1940s, he was in Barney Street in Armidale NSW.  During the time that Steve McLachlan was in Armidale, he was in regular contact with the kith & kin of his Uncle Daniel born 1852 at   "Sorn Bank".                 

Jack McLachlan wed Nora Gillis on the 7th April, 1923, at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Church at Randwick where the ceremony was conducted according to the rites of the Roman Catholic religion.  The minister officiating was  .... Paul Fleming. The witnesses were ... Peter McLachlan, Jack's brother,  & Mary Gillis,  Nora's sister. Jack & Nora McLachlan were to have two beautiful daughters, the elder daughter was named Mary McLachlan born in 1924 & the second daughter was Margaret McLachlan born in 1927.  

Steve McLachlan wed Rita Ann Scully in the Roman Catholic Church at Merriwa on 25th September,1929, at St Anne's Roman Catholic Church, according to the rites of the Roman Catholic religion, with H.Ward officiating.  Steve & Rita McLachlan had one daughter, Jean McLachlan born about 1930. 

Max George - gr son of Agnes & future wife - late 1930s-  Max memories - visits - Duncan McLachlan
Max George - gr son of Agnes & future wife - late 1930s- Max memories - visits - Duncan McLachlan

The eldest son, Peter McLachlan, however, endeavoured to follow in his father's footsteps as a farmer & a builder.  He also chose to stay close by his parents. Some time during the 1920s, Duncan McPherson McLachlan, his wife Sarah & his eldest son, Peter McLachlan bought farming land at what in 2003 is the wealthy suburb of Kellyville on the western outskirts of Sydney. There they took up farming once again. Their farm produced poultry & vegetables.  The threesome was to work very hard & very long hours but the efforts were mostly unrewarded.

Thus in about 1930, the group returned to Wellington where the two daughters of Duncan McPherson McLachlan were still residing.  There they settled in the residence at 56 Montefiores Street,  with Peter McLachlan still choosing to remain a bachelor.  After the death of Annie McLachlan-Brown's husband,  Annie was there as well.

In the latter part of the 1930s,  Duncan McPherson McLachlan received regular visits from his youngest sister, Agnes McLachlan-George. Some years after the death of her husband, Andrew George, at West Concord, in a house near that of their eldest surviving daughter, May George-Turner,  Agnes had come to live with her second surviving son, Andy George in Dubbo.  When Agnes visited she would come with her son, Andy George, his wife & part of his family.  Andy George was the proud owner of a motor vehicle in the days when motor vehicle ownership was rare.

On the 3rd September 1940,  Duncan McPherson McLachlan died in the Wellington District Hospital. He was in the care of the registered medical attendant, R.M. Glasson, who recorded the cause of death as .. prostate enlargement.  R.M. Glasson last visited the patient on the 2nd day of September.  On the 3rd September the death was registered at Wellington by the informant of his death, his eldest son, Peter McLachlan,  of the address ... 56 Montefiores Street.

John  McLachlan -  2nd son of Dunc - with wife  & daus -  Margaret & Mary
John McLachlan - 2nd son of Dunc - with wife & daus - Margaret & Mary

Duncan McPherson McLachlan was buried in the Roman Catholic portion of the cemetery at Wellington on the 4th September 1940. The funeral service was conducted by J. Scanlon,  according to the rites of the Roman Catholic religion. The undertaker was .... P.H.Jewell of the firm of C.J. Shakespeare & sons.  He was joined in that grave, by his loyal & loving wife, Sarah Butler-McLachlan,  on the 12th June, 1951;  & finally resting there with them was Annie nee McLachlan Brown who was placed there on the 23rd April in the year 1959.

researched, compiled & written by -
Alison Elizabeth McLachlan-Crowe
for the  "McLachlan of Avondale"  Descendants'  Reunion
held @ Bathurst  NSW  AUSTRALIA
on Saturday 17 May 2003  

Return to The Avondale Poets Page


This comment system requires you to be logged in through either a Disqus account or an account you already have with Google, Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo. In the event you don't have an account with any of these companies then you can create an account with Disqus. All comments are moderated so they won't display until the moderator has approved your comment.

comments powered by Disqus