Saturday, March 29, 2014

Sentimental Sunday - Christina McGregor 1870-1901

Christia Sterland (nee McGregor) and Family

I have always wondered why my Grandmother Christina Sterland Lee (1901-1984) was called Christina Sterland and where her unusual middle name of Sterland came from.  

Then when I began to research the McGregor Sisters, I realised that she had been names after her Aunt Christina Sterland (nee McGregor).17th May 1901.

Sadly Christina Sterland (nee McGregor) passed away at the tender age of  30 on the 17th May 1901 and my grandmother was born only twelve days after her death (29 May) and her sister Catherine Lee, still in mourning,  named her new baby daughter Christina Sterland Lee.
McGregor Home - Balmain

Like her sisters Christina was born in the mining town of Araluen in the Braidwood district of southern New South Wales. Soon after her birth James and Margaret McGregor moved their family from the gold fields of Araluen to try their luck at a little further away at Bombay on the Shoalhaven River. 

During the 1870-1872 times in the gold fields of Araluen had become quite tough. Little gold was found and many families moved on to different areas.  This may have been the reason that the James McGregor decided to move his family to Bombay Creek. Christina would have been eight years old when the family finally moved to the Sydney suburb of Balmain. 

 In 1892, at the age of 22 Christina married a widower, Mr Thomas Arthur Sterland, who had lost his first wife of five years in the previous year.  Christina and Thomas lived in Thomas's greengrocer store on the corner of  Darling Street and Nelson St, Balmain and Christina became step mother to Thomas's small son Albert.   Christina and Thomas had three children of their own, Leslie, Stanley and Roy.  The photo above shows the children and their parents. 

Tragically, in the year after this picture was taken Christina passed away leaving Thomas with a young family of four children to look after. Christina's  funeral left their home in Balmain for the "Field of Mars Cemetery".  I recenly visited her grave which is next to the grave of her parents James and Margaret McGregor. It must have been a shock to Thomas and the McGregor family to lose a wife and sister as such a young age.  In the space of fifteen years Thomas has lost two wives and baby from his first marriage. Thomas remarried a couple of years later to Sarah Parks and they remained married until he passed away in 1954.
Christina's Grave - Field of Mars Cemetery

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Matrilineal Monday - Margaret McGregor

Margaret Cullen (nee McGregor)
On the 27th September 1868, Margaret and James McGregor’s family numbers swelled by two more, when twins Margaret and Peter McGregor were born.  The family at this time was living at Araluen, in the Braidwood district. Unfortunately, Margaret's twin Peter passed away at an early age, at this stage I am not able to confirm the date or cause of his death. 

Old photocopy of Margaret and Albert Wedding Picture

When the family moved to 7 Booth Street Balmain in 1878 Margaret  or as she liked to be called Maggie, would have been 10  years  old. It was quite likely that Margaret and her younger siblings attended the newly opened Balmain Public School, which was within walking distance from their new home. An article giving details about the opening of the new school on the 4th May 1878, can be found on Trove,

In 1896 at the age of 28 Maggie met and married Albert James Cullen (1870-1946) who had immigrated to Australia from London. They started married life living in the Leichardt district of Sydney, close to Margaret's parents and family. Margaret ad Albert had three children, Anthea Vivian (b. 1896), Ethel (b. 1898) and Frederick James (1903-1966).

The census from the 1930's show that Margaret and Albert lived in Richmond Road, Flemington. Albert passed away on the 26 September 1946 and Margaret continued to live in their family home in Flemington until she passed away at the age of 85 on the 16th February 1954.  Both Margaret and Albert were interned in the Methodist Section of the Rookwood Cemetery.

1878 'BALMAIN PUBLIC SCHOOL.', The Sydney  Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 6 May, p. 3, viewed 23 March, 2014,

Friday, March 7, 2014

Funeral Card Friday - with a twist

Today's Funeral Card Friday post has a little twist, as you can see below.  I have had one of the funeral cards that was sent out to family members when my great grandmother Catherine Lee (nee McGregor) passed away on the 12 August 1945, for quiet sometime.  However, recently when I was going through and sorting a couple of boxes of photos I found a little gem.  Amongst the photos, was a small brown envelope addressed to my Nanna, Christina Carraige (Shepherd, nee Lee) .

Imagine my delight when inside the envelope I found the receipt from the printer who had printed the funeral card for Catherine. 

Funeral Card for Catherine Lee (nee McGregor)