Donald NICHOLSON 1823-1889 & Mary LAMOND 1826-1875

Catherine McPHERSON 1777-1889

Isle of Skye, Scotland; Hotspur & Digby, Victoria, Australia

Donald NICHOLSON b. c.1823 Isle of Skye, Scotland was married in 1844 Snizort, Isle of Skye, Scotland to Mary LAMOND b. c.1826 Snizort, Isle of Skye, Scotland, daughter of Duncan LAMOND and Catherine McPHERSON.

Donald NICHOLSON, aged 31y, his wife Mary, aged 28y, daughter Margaret NICHOLSON, aged 3y and 54 year old Catherine McPHERSON emigrated from Scotland in 1854 under the Highland & Island Emigration Scheme, arriving at Portland, Victoria on the "Arabian" in September 1854.

Donald & Mary NICHOLSON had six more children who were born at Byaduk, "Monivae" Station (near Hamilton) and at Hotspur from 1856-1867. The last two children died young.

Mary NICHOLSON (nee LAMOND) died at Hotspur in 1875, leaving 5 surviving children aged from 21 to 12y. She was buried in the Hotspur Cemetery.

Donald NICHOLSON died at Hotspur in 1889 and is also buried in the Hotspur Cemetery.

Donald NICHOLSON & Mary LAMOND had the following children:

  1. Margaret NICHOLSON b. 1851, Isle of Skye, Scotland, d. 1936, m. 1876 to Charles William WELLNER 1852-1939 from Hotspur, Victoria;

  2. Alexandrina 'Lexie' NICHOLSON b. 1856, Byaduk, Victoria, d. 1922, m. 1885 to Harry John HARVEY 1862-1949 from Digby, Victoria;

  3. Peter James NICHOLSON b. 1858 "Monivae" Station, near Hamilton, Victoria, d. 1917, Bairnsdale, Vic, m. 1885 to Annie Dixon KEMP c1866-1953 of Clare Valley, South Australia (in the 1890s this family lived near Omeo, Victoria). They had the following known family...
    1. Thomas Oscar NICHOLSON b. 1886, South Australia, d. 1926, m. Ellen Margaret KING;
    2. Alexander Kemp NICHOLSON b. 1888, South Australia, d. ____, m. ____;
    3. Agnes Lexie NICHOLSON b. 1889, Omeo, Victoria, d. 1950, m. Francis Edward MAGUIRE;
    4. Annie NICHOLSON b. 1891, Omeo, Victoria, d. 1982, m. ___ HENDERSON;
    5. Percy NICHOLSON b. 1892, Omeo, Victoria, d. 1952, m. Elsie May HUMPHRIES [Percy served in France in WW1 where he was wounded with the 2nd Tunneling Company, AIF];
    6. Harold Archibald (Hotspur?) NICHOLSON b. 1894, Omeo, Victoria d. 1916, Pozieres, France [Harold served with the 5th Battalion, AIF in France where he was killed 4 months after arrival];
    7. Ida May NICHOLSON b. 1896, Omeo, Victoria, d. 1975, m. Philip MURPHY;
    8. Mary Eliza NICHOLSON b. 1898, Glen Wills (nr Omeo), Victoria, d. ___, m. ___;
    9. Alice Elsie NICHOLSON b. 1900, Glen Wills (nr Omeo), Victoria, d. 1979;
    10. Iris Nellie NICHOLSON b. 1902, Glen Wills (nr Omeo), Victoria, d. 1980, m. Leslie William WALKER;
    11. Allan Duncan NICHOLSON b. 1903, Glen Wills (nr Omeo), Victoria, d. ___, m. Thelma May SWETMAN;
    12. Charles Donald NICHOLSON b. 1906, Glen Wills (nr Omeo), Victoria, d. 1925;

  4. Alexander NICHOLSON b. 1860, "Monivae" Station, near Hamilton, Victoria, d. 1932. Melbourne, Vic, m. 1894 tp Lizzie KEMP c.1871-1949, b. Essex, England, sister of Annie Dixon KEMP (in the 1890s this family lived near Omeo, Victoria); They had the following known family...
    1. Reg Alexander NICHOLSON b. 1895, Glen Wills (nr Omeo), Victoria, d. ___, m. ___;
    2. Leslie Allan NICHOLSON b. 1897, Glen Wills (nr Omeo), Victoria, d. 1922 [served in France in WW1 with the 57th Battalion, AIF];
    3. Mary Nina NICHOLSON b. 1900, Glen Wills (nr Omeo), Victoria, d. ___, m. ___;
    4. Myra Myrtle NICHOLSON b. 1902, Glen Wills (nr Omeo), Victoria, d. ___, m. ___;
    5. Donlad Thomas Duncan NICHOLSON b. 1907, Glen Wills (nr Omeo), Victoria, d. 1978, m. ___;

  5. Duncan NICHOLSON b. 1863, Digby, Victoria, d. 1898, m. Maria TAYLOR 1864-1921 [no issue];

  6. Catherine NICHOLSON b. 1865, d. 1871, Hotspur, Victoria;

  7. Mary Ann NICHOLSON b. 1871 Hotspur, Vic., d. before 1875.

Grave of Catherine McPHERSON 1777-1889 in the Ararat Cemetery Catherine McPHERSON
The 54 year old Catherine McPHERSON who accompanied this family group on the "Arabian" and arrived at Portland on 19 Sep 1854 may have been the very old Catherine McPHERSON who featured in the following newspaper article in 1881. It was quite common for elderly family members to understate their age in order to qualify for the emigration scheme from Scotland.

Catherine McPHERSON may have been Mary NICHOLSON's (nee LAMOND) grandmother as Mary NICHOLSON's death certificate in 1875 stated that her parents were Duncan LAMOND and Catherine McPHERSON. Mary had been born c.1826 on the Isle of Skye, Scotland so her parents may have been born around 1800. Her mother's name being Catherine McPHERSON indicates that her parents were probably ____ McPHERSON (father) and _______ (mother). Assuming they were married then this Mrs McPHERSON may well have been the Catherine McPHERSON 1777-1889 in this article.

The following article is from "The South Eastern Star", 19th April 1881.

The "Oldest Inhabitant"

Under this heading the Spectator has the following -

"Arrested as a vagrant, aged 104, was the police report with reference to Catherine McPHERSON, a poor, decrepit old body, who was found wandering about in the bush near Digby a few days ago, and who was taken charge of by the guardians of the peace and lodged in the Hamilton lockup on Monday. The Police Magistrate visited her in the lockup, and elicited the following facts - She was born in the Highlands of Scotland in 1777. After spending somewhere about three quarters of a century in her native land she came to this country, experienced many vicissitudes of fortune, and finally settled in the neighbourhood of Digby, where she took up her quarters with a married son-in-law. The latter, however, had the misfortune to break a leg, and is now an inmate of the Hamilton Hospital. The old adage that "misfortunes never come singly" was never more truly exemplified than in the case of the centenarian under notice. Shortly after the removal of her son-in-law to the hospital, her daughter-in-law died, and the old woman who had reached Shakespeare's "last stage", was left in the hut with several small children, who had no protector. As might be expected, the poor old creature was not equal to the task of undertaking any such responsibility and, indeed, did not attempt to do so. On the contrary, being half insane, she left the cottage, and took to wandering about in the bush night and day, until she was arrested on a charge of vagrancy. How she survived the constant exposure to the elements, at her wonderful age, is a mystery. Another strange fact is, that not withstanding her long residence in Australia and intercourse with English people, she could speak nothing but Gaelic, and her statement had to be made through an interpreter. She was sent to the hospital where she will receive the best attention for the remainder of her days."

Catherine McPHERSON, aged 111, who died at Ararat, Victoria in 1889 may have been the very old Catherine McPHERSON who featured in the above newspaper article in 1881.

The Ararat Asylum records show a Catherine McPHERSON being admitted on 12 October, 1883 and died on 11 March, 1889 and buried in the Ararat Cemetery on 13 Mar 1889. Her grave, which does not have a headstone, has been featured on the Ararat Genealogical Society's tour of the Ararat Cemetery as the grave of the oldest known person to be buried in the cemetery. The above image was taken at Catherine McPHERSON's grave in the Ararat Cemetery on the tour of October 18th, 2008.


Looking for any input on the above family and story.

Daryl Povey

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