PECULIAR FAMILY TRIALS
Have you ever been curious about why people visit cemeteries or headstones? I recently visited St John’s Cemetery for a tour by the Friends of St John’s Cemetery. These dedicated volunteers are passionate about St John’s and are doing their best to improve its appearance and maintenance. It is the oldest existing burial ground in Australia with the oldest headstone still in its original place and dated to 1791, so it is worth looking after. There are gravestones for 17 First Fleeters and many more early settlers and still more that are unmarked. There are different denominations too but as the cemetery is not divided into denominations these are hard to identify from the headstones. One grave I found particularly interesting had a connection to Yass and an interesting epitaph. It was for Sarah Moses who died on April 1st 1841, Aged 47 Years. It reads:
IN MEMORY of SARAH WIFE of Mr MOSES MOSES formerly of HOBART TOWN and now of YASS
Died of broken heart from peculiar family trials April 1st 1841 Aged 47 Years
Peace to her Shade, May the Divine Creator receive her Soul into everlasting rest – and pardon her former unnatural oppressor(s?)
The Sydney Morning Herald for the 5 April 1841 simply says: DEATH. On Wednesday last, March 31st, at Parramatta, Sarah Moses, formerly of Hobart Town.
Moses Moses died in Yass in 1858. Now what is the story here? Who organised the headstone?
2 thoughts on “Parramatta, NSW. St John’s Cemetery”
I remember reading about that – it seems that Moses Moses got remarried (to a Hannah Dray) whilst still married to Sarah:
Sarah, nee BROWN, was a convict who came to Hobart per “Morley” in 1820, for having forged bank notes.
18 June 1821 she married at Hobart to Moses MOSES, who had arrived per “Marquis of Wellington”, 1815.
14 Aug 1833 – she was free by servitude.
That epitaph is one of the most haunting, and intriguing, that I have ever seen.