April A-Z Challenge – M for Alexander McQueen
The Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is a challenge put out to bloggers to publish a post from A-Z every day in April, except for Sundays. April 1 is A, and so on throughout the month. Bloggers can post randomly or on a theme. The theme I have chosen is ‘My Ancestors’. I used this same theme for the Blogging from A-Z April Challenge in 2015. This time the ancestors posted about will mostly be more distant members of the family. Hopefully, when combined this will form a full picture of my family history.
ALEXANDER McQUEEN was born on 14 December 1844 at Launceston, Tasmania. His parents were THOMAS JAMES JONATHAN McQUEEN and JANET YOUNG. Thomas came to Australia from Jamaica and Janet came from Scotland.
Alexander was the eldest of ten children – five boys and five girls. The sixth child, Janet was my great grandmother.
The family moved to Victoria, sometime between 1845 and 1848, with their son and daugher, Alexander and Sarah Annie. They settled in Collingwood where Thomas worked as a carpenter and a painter.
Tragedy struck when Alexander was drowned in an accident at Flinders Street, Melbourne, when aged 10.
The Argus, Friday 01 December 1854, page 5
DEATH FROM DROWNING: An inquest was held yesterday at the Duke of Wellington Hotel, before the Acting City Coroner, Dr. Youl, upon the body of a boy named Alexander McQueen, who fell into the race which supplies the waterworks at the east end of Flinders Street, and was drowned. Deceased had been bathing in the swamp on Wednesday, and there being nothing to indicate the presence of the deep ditch in question, he had walked in and met his death, in about fifteen feet water.
Verdict was accidentally drowned. The jurors expressed their sense of the impropriety of such a dangerous place being left exposed, and wished to append a rider to their verdict, to the effect that the race should be fenced in and a caution board displayed. The coroner would not accept a rider to the verdict, but promised to communicate with the proper persons with a view to carrying out the suggestions of the jury.
Alexander’s father, Thomas testified at the inquest that Alexander often stopped off at Flinders Street with his friends, after school to swim. He felt he must have slipped.
Just to add to research confusion, I’ve found this surname spelt many ways over the years – McQueen, McEwan, McQuien.