Ann Miller nee Pinkerton
Featured Image: Anne Pinkerton 1818 – 1877 Courtesy of Max Drury, North Richmond
Ann and Mathew Miller would have lived at ‘Belmore House’ (now my home ‘Geraldton’) from the time of construction and its occupation in c. 1860/1861. All nine children including those who died in infancy were born before that time.
Ann and Mathew Miller arrived as free settlers in Sydney aboard the ‘Clyde’ on 21 April 1840. Ann’s parents James and Martha Pinkerton from ‘Ardstraw’ County Tyrone never came to Australia. Both Mathew and Ann Miller and all their children who died in infancy are buried at Saint Luke’s Churchyard in the MILLER vault. Their daughter Sarah who never married and who lived to be 89 years of age was the last person to be buried in the Churchyard vault in 1937. Three of Ann’s brothers came to Australia including two single younger siblings William and David. An older married brother James followed and also brought his extensive young family. Obviously the Pinkerton connection was incredibly important with family ties and origins in rural County Tyrone. The bond would have been strengthened with the improbability of any family members seeing their parents and other siblings again.
David Pinkerton was born in about 1840. He married Ann Isaac who was born in Scone at St Luke’s Church on 24 October 1861. Ann’s father Francis Isaac was Scone’s first Post Master and one of its early store keepers. David and Ann lived at ‘The Denison’ or Denison Diggings now known as Moonan Brook where all the children were born. The Denison was proclaimed a Gold Field in 1865 but David and Ann were living there when their first child was born in 1862. At first David was employed in the gold diggings but later acquired the mail contract from Scone to Moonan Brook twice weekly ‘to be conveyed on horseback’. David and his family settled on the North Coast when the children were very young. He continued with a mail run between Grafton and Glen Innes but later branched out into pubs, notably the Golden Fleece at Dalmorton. Ann became post mistress. Both David and Anne Pinkerton are buried in South Grafton cemetery
William Pinkerton arrived aboard the ship ‘Lloyds’ on 4 September 1856 and married Elizabeth Dunbar (born in Scone) in 1863 at St Luke’s. Elizabeth was the daughter of Samuel Dunbar who arrived with the Millers and his wife Elizabeth (nee Parsons) who lived at ‘Gum Flat’, Gundy. William was sponsored to Australia by William Dumaresq of St Aubins. William selected a ‘Conditional Purchase’ of 40 acres, near Gundy on 15 April 1862 and built ‘Gum Flat’, his family property. The farm was eventually resumed and ‘drowned’ when Glenbawn Dam was constructed. Like his brother David, William acquired the mail contract from Scone to Moonan Brook twice weekly between 1869 and 1875 ‘to be conveyed on horseback’ with a stop at Gundy from 1875. At this time Gundy was a thriving village with three churches, a school, Literary Institute, two general stores, post office, hotel, baker, butcher, blacksmith and wheelwright. It would have been self-sufficient. William and Ann produced at least 11 registered children and there may have been two others? Both William and Ann survived well into their 70s and are buried in the Church of England cemetery in Scone.
James Pinkerton had married Mary McCallum on 8 August 1844 at Barakell in Ireland and had a family of nine children when they arrived in Australia in the early 1860s. James’ exact arrival date is unknown but Mary and the children arrived on the ‘Fairlie’ on 29 April 1863. James had come ahead of them and they settled in the Gundy district. James built a small cottage before acquiring ‘Tanborough’ on the Hunter River east of the village of Gundy under the ‘Conditional Purchase’ system which became the family home. Like his younger siblings before him James acquired the mail contract from Scone to Moonan Brook in 1868. James was a renowned horseman and once at age 64 won a ‘race’ between Moonan Brook and Scone when he may have substituted one pie bald mount for another fresh one? Both James (84 at Gundy) and Mary (90 at Moonan Flat) lived to a great age. Both are buried in the Gundy General Cemetery. James and Mary had eleven children. The Pinkerton dynasty is an expansive one in the Upper Hunter Valley and many direct descendants still call the district home.
Mathew and Ann (nee Pinkerton) Miller’s nine children were:
- Matilda Miller b. 10-3-1841, Scone d. 5-4-1893, Ellerston
- Jane Miller b. 25-10-1842, Scone d. 26-3-1846, Scone
- Mary Ann Miller b. 6-1-1845, Scone d. 6-5-1846, Scone
- Ann Jane Miller b. 16-6-1847, Scone d. 1924, Randwick
- Sarah Miller b. 8-11-1849, Scone d. 6-7-1937, Scone
- Rebecca Miller b. 1845, Scone d. 14-11-1921, Gundy
- William James Miller b. 1-6-1856, Scone d. 27-6-1858, Scone
- Elizabeth Ann Miller b. 2-6-1858, Scone d. 1940, Randwick
- Barbara Miller b.16-9-1860, Scone d. 9-5-1862, Scone
Four of the children (Jane, Mary Ann, William James and Barbara) died in infancy and Sarah never married. The only male child William James (No 7) died at only 2 years of age so poignantly there are no direct Miller male line descendants. Matilda first married Walter Hayne at Scone on 13-9-1859. Walter had been born in England on 31-10-1829 and died at Gundy on 12-11-1872. Matilda then married Charles Hines (b. England 1846) at Pages River on 21-4-1881. Charles died in Maitland on 21-5-1897. Both Walter Hayne and Charles Hine were listed as farmers by occupation. Ann Jane Miller married publican John Hannabus in Scone on 18-8-1870. John was native born at Windsor NSW in 1847 and died at Randwick in 1924. In 1874 – 1879 John Hannabus was owner of the Belmore Hotel. Rebecca Miller also married a native born in Charles James Walters who was recorded at Darlinghurst on 2-11-1856 and passed away in Gundy on 6-7-1917 where he had been a butcher. Patrick McCue was born at sea in 1842. His second marriage was to Elizabeth Ann Miller at Singleton in 1875 before Patrick pre-deceased Elizabeth at Scone on 19-5-1915. Patrick McCue operated his blacksmith’s and wheel-right business from a vacant block on one of the two Mathew Miller cottages opposite the Belmore Hotel while Joe Cumberland occupied the northern unit. Unmarried daughter Sarah was the last person to be buried in the Miller family vault at St Luke’s Church of England.