Week 7 of 52 (2022) Ancestors – Landed

Week 7 (15-21 Feb) prompt is Landed

As I have already covered my other ancestors who ‘landed’ in Australia it was an easy choice to pick my 3rd great grandparents Robert Snowdon & Margaret Ann Young McGregor.  

Although at the time I was researching their voyage to Australia it definitely wasn’t easy!

Robert and Margaret were Scottish.  I had easily found their births, baptisms, census and marriage using both Ancestry and Scotlandspeople websites.  But numerous searches of the passenger lists for both the surname Snaddon or Snowdon showed no results.

They had gotten married on 16 September 1859 in Borrowstounness in West Lothian, Scotland and their first son, Thomas, was born on 20 July 1860 in Sebastopol, Victoria.  That narrowed down the search window but still no results.  I decided to leave it hoping that one day I might stumble across their names.

Unfortunately Robert passed away only five years after they arrived in Australia on 10 April 1865 in Beechworth Hospital from hepatitis.  He left behind Margaret and their four children, the youngest Euphemia was only eight months old. He was the first interment in the Milawa (Oxley) Cemetery.

I then turned to researching Margarets family and found the answer to how they arrived. I was very surprised to find that both Margaret’s parents, William & Agnes McGregor died in Australia.  I came across a passenger list with Agnes being listed with children Alexander and his wife Helen, David, Ellen and John. Her husband and son, William Jnr, had emigrated to Australia in 1854.

As Alexander was the first born I started researching him and found that he and Helen had never immigrated to Australia.  If they had, their first two children would have been listed on the passenger list but they weren’t. They went on to have more children in Scotland and I obtained a copy of Alex’s death certificate and his parents were correct.

So mystery solved!.  

Only eight days after their marriage Robert & Margaret Snowdon boarded the White Line ship “Hilton’ in Liverpool England, with the McGregor clan on 22 Sep 1859 presumably under the name of Alexander & Mrs McGregor. They arrived in Melbourne on 9 January 1860.

Six months later they had their first child Thomas who was quickly followed by Agnes in 1861, William in 1862 and Euphemia in 1864.  After Robert’s early demise, Margaret went on to marry Thomas Newton in 1872 and had four more children – Alexander (1874), Susan (1875), Helen (1877) and Samuel (1879). 

Obviously Margaret was grateful for the chance to immigrate, naming two of her children after her brother and his wife whose names they had traveled under to the land of promise!

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I have been researching my family history since 2009. I am interested it the family names Shingles, McEwan, Snowdon & Witt around Gippsland and Wodonga areas of Victoria, Australia

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