Thursday, November 18, 2010

The CONLON plot at Rookwood Cemetery

When I was visiting Sydney last year I spent some time at Roodwood Cemetery in the 'Necropolis', the Catholic section of the cemetery. Among the headstones on my list were  a couple of CONLON headstones, including my ancestor Michael Joseph CONLON (1841-1913) and his wife Ellen Teresa nee ALLEYN (abt 1845-1902) and associated headstone. I actually found a cluster of headstones from the extended family (including two of Michael's brothers). It has taken me some time to decide the best way to lay out the information on the headstones, as I wanted to demonstrate how they were arrange and highlight the fact that the information on the headstones helped reveal family connections.

August 2009. In visiting the grave of Michael J. CONLON, I found that the family plot abuts the plots of his two brothers, John and Thomas. The day was bright and cold, resulting in considerable glare. Thomas Conlon’s headstone had fallen over, and was carefully turned face up (on a second visit) to allow photographing and transcription. Along with photos, several videos of the plots were taken. The headstone layout is shown in the scheme below, and lettering overlaid on photos. Transcriptions are included with each headstone.

The Rookwood Necropolis (Catholic Cemetery) burial index (http://www.catholiccemeteries.org.au/rookwood/rookwood.html) lists Michael Conlon's burial as:

Surname     Conlon     Type     Burial
First Name     Michael JInterred Date     27/11/1913
Mortuary Mortuary 1
Area 3 Mon Block 11
Grave 30



On arrival it was immediately clear that a number of other Conlon graves were nearby, and while not all the relationships were immediately obvious, I plotted these in a diagram.

Here I show the approximate location on the Rookwood map, along with the layout of the graves. I've lettered each grave to for reference, and the number at bottom of each box shows the grave numbering from the burial index.


Remarkably, the headstones can be seen using Google maps (maps.google.com.au) thanks to the shadows (sun is setting in west, shadows pointing to the east). The exact site is confirmed by the huge fallen Thomas Conlon headstone (e). Based on the position of the fallen headstone this satellite was taken prior to Aug 2009, as we turned the huge headstone over at that time (it took three people) to reveal the inscriptions.


I also prepared the following three views with labelled headstones as a guide, using photos taken prior to transcription - note that headstone e had fallen face down at some point. Headstones b and e were well over six feet tall.





To show the layout I also filmed a walk-around of the main cluster of headstones.

video

I then transcribed each headstone (in order of the lettering used above). The headstones reveal a great deal of information regarding family relationships, and the main three headstones are those of three brothers who all lived in and around the Glebe area, sons of Patrick CONLON from Kinvara, Galway of the 50th Regiment of Foot (abt 1793 - 1870) and his wife Catherine nee LOWRY (abt 1807-1877). The brothers were their third, fourth and fifth John Joseph Conlon (1839 Wollongong NSW - 1904 Canley Vale NSW), Michael Joseph Conlon (1841 Wollongong NSW - 1913 Glebe NSW), and Thomas Joseph Conlon (1844 Sydney NSW - 1913 ??? NSW).

In each case I have listed the transcription in italics, with comments where necessary on family connection to the above three brothers.

Transcriptions of headstones, Rookwood (Catholic) Necropolis, Area 3 Block 11

a
In Loving Memory Of
ELLEN TERESA
MACKEY
WHO DIED 1ST APRIL 1907
AGED 1 YEARS & 9 MONTHS
GRAND-DAUGHTER OF M.J. & E.T. CONLON


Notes. Daughter of Anne Jane Conlon and her husband Charles Mackey. Cause of death show she drowned at her grandfather's pottery works, described in Sydney Morning Herald, 3 Apr 1907, p9: "A CHILD DROWNED. A report has been furnished to the City Coroner regarding the death by drowning of a 17-month-old child named Eileen Theresa... lately living with her parents at Broughton St, Glebe. It appears that the child was missed on Monday at about 6 a.m. Upon a search being made, her mother found her lying dead in a pool in a pottery yard. The pool contained a few inches depth of water".

b
In Loving Memory Of
OUR DEAR SON
HAMMOND BENEDICT CONLON
WHO DIED 8ND JANUARY 1893
AGED 11 YEARS 7 MONTHS
Death ?
Also In Fond Memory Of
MAY JULIA
WIFE OF HUBERT JUDD
AND BELOVED DAUGHTER OF
M.J. & E.T. CONLON GLEBE
WHO DIED NOV 11TH 1900
AGED 21 YEARS ? MONTHS
LOWRY MELITUS CONLON
BELOVED INFANT SON OF
M.J. & E.T. CONLON
BORN 22ND MAY 1891
DIED 23RD FEBRUARY 1892
Also
MICHAEL JOSEPH CONLON
BORN AT WOOLLONGONG 27TH SEP 1841
DIED 26TH NOVEMBER 1913 AGED 72 YEARS
R.I.P.


Underneath:
Family Grave Of
M.J. CONLON OF 20 BROUGHTON ST GLEBE



c.
In Loving Memory Of
ELLEN TERESE
DEARLY BELOVED WIFE OF
M.J. CONLON
A NATIVE OF GOLDEN CO. TIPPERARY
IRELAND
DIED 5TH MARCH 1902
AGED 54 YEARS


Also their last Beloved Son
MICHAEL JOSEPH
DIED 17TH SEPT 1902
AGED 27 YEARS AND 9 MONTHS
MAY HIS SOUL REST IN PEACE


Notes. Born Ellen Terese ALLEYN or ALLEYNE (abt 1845 Golden, Tipperary, Ireland - 1902 Glebe NSW), arrived in NSW with her parents on 'Thetis' in 1850. Married M.J. Conlon at St Mary's Cathedral, Sydney, 1865. The Sydney Morning Herald, Sat 8 Mar 1902: "THE LATE MRS. CONLON. The funeral of the late Mrs. Ellen Teresa Conlon, wife of Mr. M.J. Conlon, of Broughton-street, Glebe, which took place yesterday afternoon, was numerously attended. Amongst those who were present were Mr. and Mrs. F.W. Priestly (daughter and son-in-law, Mr. M.J. Conlon, jun., and the Misses Ann, Jane and Violet G. Conlon (children), Mr. John Conlon, Mr. and Mrs. J.W. Dickinson, Mr. and Mrs Thomas J. Conlon, Mr. and Mrs. Margaret Conlon (brothers and sisters) Messrs. J.J. and Albert Conlon, Mr. and Mrs. S.H. Walker, Mr. and Mrs. John Reedy, Mr. and Mrs. W. Walker, and Mr. and Mrs. John McGrath (nephews and nieces), the Hon. R. Fowler, M.L.C., Mr. R. Fowler, jun., and Mr. Michael Chapman. The services at the grave side in Rookwood Cemetery wree conducted by the Rev. Father Coonan. Messrs. Coffill and ? had charge of the arrangements.". According to SMH of 20 Sep 1902, son Michael Joseph Conlon died after an illness of six days.

d. Headstone deteriorated.

In Loving Memory Of
EMELINE
? ? OF JOHN MACKEY
DIED ? ? 1919
AGED 58 YEARS R.I.P.


Notes. Emeline MACKEY nee EUGENE (abt 1861 - 1919 Newtown NSW), mother-in-law of Anne Jane CONLON (daughter of M.J. Conlon) above. Note that her husband John MACKEY (abt 1852 - 1930 Randwick NSW) is buried in same grave (though it does not appear on headstone). Note also that this is plot number "30.5" suggesting it was allowed to be added after the cemetery area had been set.

e. Headstone had fallen down, was overturned to transcribe.
In Loving Memory Of
MY DEAR HUSBAND
THOMAS JOSEPH CONLON
WHO DIED 12TH APRIL 1913 AGED 70 YEARS
ALSO HARRIETT CONLON
WIFE OF THE ABOVE
WHO DIED 25TH MAY 1936 AGED 93 YEARS
ALSO ARTHUR BELOVED SON OF ABOVE
WHO WAS DROWNED AT SAN SOUCI 26TH JAN 1902
AND WHOSE BODY WAS NEVER FOUND
ALSO ROSE FLORENCE
DEARLY BELOVED WIFE OF JOSEPH CONLON
WHO DIED 21ST AUGUST 1911 AGED 31 YEARS
ALSO THEIR INFANT DAUGHTER ALMA
ALSO MARGARET WILD
WHO DIED 20TH SEPTEMBER 1905 AGED 85 YEARS
ALSO EMILY A CONLON
WHO DIED 28TH NOV 1947 AGED 76 YEARS
R.I.P.

 
Notes. Harriett Conlon nee WILD (1844 Maitland NSW - 1936 Petersham NSW) marred Thomas Joseph Conlon in Newtown in 1869. Death of Arthur described in Sydney Morning Herald, Mon 27 Jan 1902: "A YOUNG MAN DROWNED AT SANS SOUCI. Yesterday evening a young man named Arthur Conlon, a resident of Glebe-street, Glebe, lost his life by drowning at Sans Souci. He was one of a fishing party in a steam launch, and by some means his hat fell overboard. In endeavouring to recover it he fell overboard and fell into the water. He was not able to swim, and sank almost immediately. Two of his companions, J. Denmeade and H. Craig, jumped overboard and attempted to rescue hum, but without avail. In the effort to save Conlon, Denmeade almost lost his own life, and was rescued in an unconscious condition, the launch put to land, and Dr. Lamrock, who was telephoned for, was promptly in attendance, and restored Denmeade to consciousness. Conlon's body had not been recovered up to a late hour last night". Margaret WILD (1820 - 1905) mother of Harriett above.
Monday 27 January 1902
A YOUNG MAN DROWNED AT SANS SOUCI
Yesterday evening a young man named Arthur Conlon, a resident of Glebe-street, Glebe, lost his life by drowning at Sans Souci. He was one of a fishing party in a steam launch, and by some means his hat fell overboard. In endeavouring to recover it he fell overboard and fell into the water. He was not able to swim, and sank almost immediately. Two of his companions, J. Denmeade and H. Craig, jumped overboard and attempted to rescue hum, but without avail. In the effort to save Conlon, Denmeade almost lost his own life, and was rescued in an unconscious condition, The launch put to land, and Dr. Lamrock, who was telephoned foor, was promptly in attendance, and restored Denmeade to consciousness. Conlon's body had not been recovered up to a late hour last night.

f.
IN LOVING MEMORY OF
JOHN JOSEPH CONLON
WHO DIED 7TH SEP 1904
AGED 65 YEARS
R.I.P.
Also JOHN BEDE
ELDEST SON OF THE ABOVE
DIED 6TH JULY 1908 AGED 31 YEARS
Also ANN BELOVED WIFE OF
JOHN JOSEPH CONLON
DIED 18TH MARCH 1910, AGED 71 YEARS
Also JOHN REIDY
BELOVED HUSBAND OF
ANNIE REIDY
DIED 1ST MAY 1930 AGED 63 YEARS
Also ANNIE REIDY
DIED 8TH DEC 1930 AGED 59 YEARS
MY JESUS MERCY
R.I.P.        R.JONES


Notes. John Bede Conlon committed suicide (http://thehistoryofmatt.blogspot.com/2010/10/john-bede-conlon-1877-1908.html). Ann Conlon nee ALLEYN or ALLEYNE, sister to Ellen (wife of M.J. Conlon). Anne REIDY was Anne CONLON, daughter of J.J. Conlon - she married John Reidy in Glebe in 1894.

g. Small plaque attached to f above.
IN LOVING MEMORY OF
ELLEN THERESE DAVIS
1903-1986
 

Notes. Ellen Therese DAVIS nee CONLON (1903 - 1986) was the daughter of John Bede CONLON (grave f) and Catherine BESTON. She married David J DAVIS in 1923 in Glebe. This is the most recent burial in the plot area by over 50 years.

h.
MELITUS JOSEPH
DIED ?9TH FEB 1872 AGED ? MONTHS
JANE EMMA
DIED ? 1877 4 YEARS 7 MONTHS
Beloved Children of
M J & E T CONLON
OF 20 BROUGHTON ST GLEBE SYDNEY
GODS WILL BE DONE


Notes. Sydney Morning Herald of 3 May 1883 notes: " - In loving remembrance of Jane Emma, the dearly beloved child of M J and E T Conlon, of Broughton-street, Glebe, who was accidentally burned on 9th April and died on 3rd May, 1877, aged 4 years and 4 months. "Suffer little children to come unto Me, for of such is the kingdom of Heaven".

i.
In Memory Of
The Beloved Children of
THOMAS & HARRIETT CONLON
THOMAS DANIEL
BORN 17TH MAY 1870 DIED 11TH AUGUST 1871
AND WILLIAM PATRICK
BORN 30TH JULY 1875 DIED 12TH FEBRUARY 1880
THY WILL BE DONE

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