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Rediscovering Ginninderra:
Mary Smith

Born: 1819; Died: 1907; Married: Edward Smith

Mary Kilby was born in 1819 in Cambridgeshire, UK. In 1840, at the age of twenty-one, she married Edward Smith of Huntingdon. Over the following ten years they had four children, one of whom - Maria - died in childhood. The others were Shelton (1842), Louisa (1844) and Anne (1846). In 1852 the family sailed for Australia as assisted migrants on the Irene. The three children who journeyed with their parent to Australia were joined later by three more children - George, Ellis and Amelia. Three of them - Louisa, Ellis and Amelia - married children of Thomas Southwell.

Mary was known as an extremely devout woman. Described at immigration as a 'Primitive Methodist', she was diligent attender and supported of three Methodist churches - the Parkwood chapel of Thomas Southwell, the Weetangera Methodist church, and finally Wattle Park.

Some time after her husband died in 1888, Mary moved to Hall, where she lived in a cottage a short distance from her daughter Louisa ('Aunt Lou') and son-in-law John ('Johnnie') Southwell in the house they had built for themselves, 'Otto Cliff'. In 1907 when Otto Cliff was tragically destroyed by fire, 'Grandmother Smith' (apparently Mary had a strong objection to being called 'granny') moved into the care of another of her daughters, Amelia, and her husband Richard Southwell, at 'Brooklands', Wallaroo.

This was to be a short stay, as she passed away on 7 August 1907 in her 90th year. According to her grandson Leon Smith, the funeral was rather distinctive:

A sight rarely seen in those days and never seen in these days was the appearance of six female pall bearers. They were her grand-daughters, Mrs H W Jones, Miss Amelia Southwell, Miss Alice Cameron, Miss Rebecca Smith, Miss Lily Smith and Miss Adelaide Southwell
[Smith, L p.37]

Obituary - Mrs Edward Smith

Mary, relict of the late Mr. Edward Smith, a prominent farmer and horse breeder, who pre-deceased his widow some years ago, and for many years carried on his avocations in the neighbourhood of Gininderra, died at the residence of her son-in-law, Mr. Richard Southwell, Woodgrove, Wallaroo, on Tuesday. For many years the deceased lady had been very feeble and infirm, and had almost reached her 89th year when she passed away. She was venerated for her simple piety and general kindness of heart.

She leaves several childen and a host of grand-children; and even some great grand-children. The former include Messrs. Shelton and George Smith (Richmond River); Ellis Smith (Wallaroo); and Mesdames Cameron, (Weetangera) ; John Southwell sen., (Hall) and Richard Southwell (Wallaroo). The remains of the deceased lady will be interred today in the Methodist cemetery at Weetangera side by side with those of her husband.

[Queanbeyan Age, 9 August 1907, p. 2].

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