I also visited another of their daughters, Elizabeth, who is interred in the old cemetery. It has since been redeveloped as a pioneer garden (I fucking hate that - especially as a celebration. Yay, the state is 120 years old, let's celebrate by desecrating the graves of our pioneers! What a great idea! Fucktards.), but luckily hers is one of the stones which has been retained. While I will never know the exact spot she lies with her newborn son, at least I could see her tombstone <insert rant about sacred sites here>. I then spent Day 2 in planning. Of course as genealogy synchronicity so often has it, that same day I received an email from another of the Darby descendants who is planning a trip to Pitney, their original home. Always funny how that happens!
Before checking in at the hotel I also went to the Clare Museum, on the lookout for my Lavis related family history mysteries. The volunteer there was extremely helpful and dug up the Maynard family history book. Unfortunately the book's author knew about as much as I did, and had even omitted any reference to the Bigamy Incident, so no joy there. Although there were many Maynard related things in the museum, nothing further could be found about the Lavises.
Day 3 I went to visit a site which is of family and local history significance, the Sevenhill Winery/Church/Cemetery. It's the oldest winery in Clare, was once host to St. Mary Mackillop, and is also where her spiritual director, Fr. Tappeiner, is interred. It's also a place where some of my husband's family, the Fudges, worshipped and were interred. I went on the walk hosted by the exceptional Br. John May, former head wine-maker of the Sevenhill winery. One of the stops we missed but which features in the walk booklet is the World Youth Day cross. In the booklet it makes it sound like it is the actual World Youth Day cross which is up in the Radiata Pine grove, but the WYD cross carries on its journey the following WYD, so I'm not sure exactly what it is that's up in the grove. If it had been the actual cross I'd have taken the time, as the cross and icon are very special to me, but I was a bit too busy for replicas and commemorative models.
Day 4 was pretty action-packed. When I was doing the dog-leg to Riverton I realised I was going to be not-a-million-miles from Burra and Hanson, which are also areas of importance to the family, so Day 4 I hit the road (again) and went out to Burra.
The first stop was the cemetery. There are a few married-into-the-family types who are interred there, but I must admit I completely forgot about them in my hurry to see one very special person: a four month old baby named Mervyn Clifford Dawson.
- He's the only one I know for a fact was lied about during his life-time
- He was my grandmother's half-brother, but I don't know if she even knows he exists, and of course I am not game to ask in case she doesn't know
- I wonder what manner of mummy-guilt my great-grandmother must have suffered with, between the circumstances of his conception, his birth, his illness, her other son's death many years later in the war...
- Glad's parents were expecting her when they married, so pot, kettle, black to them.
- Oddly enough, Mervyn's existence was alluded to by a tarot reader I saw in the late 90s, who said that my grandmother had a brother who died as a baby, but I didn't find out about him for many years after that.