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

"McLACHLAN     of      AVONDALE" 
a celebration of the original family from 1850
in the then colony of
by Alison McLachlan-Crowe

(The 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 Scotland.

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 Avondale”. 

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.

Your Convenor,

Alison McLachlan-Crowe  (great granddaughter of Daniel & Jane McLachlan)


"The axes 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. 

 Whose axes 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)

On the 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".

This 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 in 1814.

HONOUR ROLL  ..... the  original  family


Daniel McLachlan ...1825 sct - 1882 nsw
Jane McPherson ... 1827sct - 1871 nsw


Jane McLachlan ... 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
Agnes McLachlan ... 1866 nsw-1946 nsw 

Daniel 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 Campbell.

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 land.

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.

Jane  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, 1859.

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". 

On the 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 follows:

'Hearts will not be practical until they are made unbreakable".

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 2003

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