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Jugiong General Cemetery

On our recent trip to Canberra we stopped at Jugiong in order to visit the Jugiong General Cemetery and locate the grave of my Great Great Great Grandfather James Henderson.  It does seem strange that my Great Great Great Grandmother Bridget Cooney formerly Henderson née Sheridan is buried at the Jugiong Catholic Cemetery while her first husband and son are at the Jugiong General Cemetery.  However her second husband Owen Cooney is buried at the Catholic Cemetery (with his first wife) not far from her grave and another son and one of her daughters are buried with her there too.  On the immigration documents for their voyage to Australia on board the ship Emily in 1850 James Henderson was listed as a thirty year old farm labourer from Convoy, Donegal whose parents Hugh and Isabella were both dead, his religion was stated to be Presbyterian, he could read and write and is it noted that he claimed to have married Bridget Sheridan prior to embarkation.  While Bridget Sheridan was listed as a twenty three year old farm servant, from Convoy Donegal, whose parents William and Jane were in Convoy, was also Presbyterian and could read.  The notes on their files mentioning them sharing quarters during the voyage and claiming marriage before embarkation are interesting.  Once they get to Australia rather than following their stated Presbyterian faith, Bridget in particular is very active in her local Catholic community.  Which leads me to believe that religion may have been a bigger issue for this couple than it seems at first glance.  Which might just explain the different cemeteries especially if James was not Catholic but Bridget was!  I will definitely need to do more research to find out if this was the case.

Jugiong General Cemetery as we found it on the day was easy to find but not so easy to navigate as it is on  the side of a hill. James Henderson grave was right up near the top of the hill and I was glad I had worn good shoes, learning from my visit to the Jugiong Catholic Cemetery.  There is less flat ground than the Jugiong Catholic Cemetery, but like that cemetery efforts have definitely been made to keep it well maintained.  Not an easy task I would imagine given the steepness of the hill and erosion over time!  

Jugiong General Cemetery

Jugiong General Cemetery

Jugiong General Cemetery

Jugiong General Cemetery

My Great Great Great Grandfather James Henderson is not the only family member buried at this cemetery, while he shares his grave with his son James and his brother Andrew, he also has a large number of descendants and/or their spouses surrounding him at this cemetery.  It is important to note that James daughter Isabella Fairall née Henderson was responsible for the headstones on both her Father and Mother’s graves. Isabella obviously regarded this as very important and had to wait a very long time to finally be in a position to do so, as she was only about seven years old when her father died and did not marry until she was about twenty four years of age.  I will have more posts on all of these family members and their lives and deaths in the near future.

Grave of James Henderson, his son James Henderson and his brother Andrew Henderson at Jugiong General Cemetery

Headstone for my Great Great Great Grandfather James Henderson, his son James and his brother Andrew Henderson at Jugiong General Cemetery.

While my husband does find genealogy and cemeteries interesting to a point, they don’t hold a candle to horses for him and after a quick look around he wandered off to talk to the nearby ones.


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