Convict & Pioneer records of Australia
VOLUME FOUR

Introduction by James McClelland, O.A.M.

There is such a wealth of Australian Historical Records waiting to be published that one would need the wisdom of Solomon to know which to select for publication, so for this volume I think it best that I continue with names of convicts & pioneers who I have found in the records, and include their date of death and place of burial.
Within us all there seems to be some driving force which wants us to know whom our ancestors were, and, if possible, to eventually be able to find & view the little piece of
Australia where they have been laid to rest.
Unfortunately, it annoys me as to why & how so many thousands of convicts & pioneers who came to this Colony could vanish into infinity without leaving any trace.
For the first year of the Colony's history, the first persons to be executed, or who died, were buried in a little cemetery outside the perimeter of the tent lines somewhere in the present Rocks area. No trace of the whereabouts of this cemetery are known today.
The first major site for a cemetery is now the site of the
Sydney Town Hall. All the remains from this site were exhumed about 1869 & re-interred in the present day Rookwood Cemetery. Unfortunately, most of the headstones were destroyed during removal & it was not possible to keep accurate records of the persons exhumed.
The second major cemetery for Sydney Town is now the site of Sydney Central Railway Complex. This cemetery was known as the Sandhills or the
Devonshire Street Cemetery. In this case the exhumation of the remains of our pioneers was done in a most professional way. Private individuals & Government surveyors made accurate records of all the headstones & most of them were re-erected in a special Pioneers Park portion in the Bunnerong Cemetery near Prince Henry Hospital where they can be seen today. The remains were collected, packed ten sets to a box & re-interred at Bunnerong, with special lines for steam trams being laid down for the purpose.
In as many cases as possible the date of death, & place of burial of the people mentioned in this volume is shown. Of course, from the date of death, a burial certificate can be obtained which would be of great benefit to anyone searching for ancestors.
This volume has also helped me with my study of our names. It is simply fascinating how many English surnames there are, well over 220,000. How they originated & how they have evolved over the centuries, is a very interesting study.
A study of the book will show up some of the heartbreak of the pioneers; mothers dying in childbirth, young children dying by the score. It will also show how some names are only found in certain areas; how people seem to live longer in certain areas.
Of special interest, I think, is that this volume has shown me what true love is; what true love is all about. There are countless instances where couples who have been married for many, many years, dying within a few months of each other. Just as if one partner finds that it is impossible to go through life without the other.
It has also occurred to me in recording this book of how members of so many families all seem to die at exactly just the same age, just as if there is some inbuilt time clock within us which has been timed by our good Lord with the time & date of our demise.

Book 9. Convict & Pioneer Records of Aust. Vol. 4 - 214 pages.
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