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52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Week 4 – Close to Home

January 21, 2020

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

Professional genealogist and podcaster Amy Johnson Crow has put out the challenge to genealogists and family historians, to write stories about 52 of their ancestors in 52 weeks. I am happily taking up the challenge and look forward to writing stories that will collate many years of research results. Each week a prompt will be given as the theme for the week.

Week 4: Close to Home

Francis (John) William Morison

My great grandfather Francis (John) Morison lived in Echuca, close to my home town of Shepparton. He was known as John. I have no idea at all of the reason for him being known as this name. When I was a beginner research I had dreadful trouble trying to find him, until one day I came across a mysterious John in the indexes. As I continued my research, I found that he was known as John in all situations. The only time he was referred to as Francis William, was on his birth certificate on which his father was the informant. Last week was the 150th anniversary of his birth.

Francis William Morison was born on 13 January 1870 at Wild Duck Creek, near Heathcote, Victoria. His parents were Farquhar Francis Morison and Anne McPherson. Farquhar and Anne both came to Australia from the highlands of Scotland and married in Australia.

In about 1897, when he was aged 27, John and his wife and son Archibald aged one year, relocated to Echuca.

John married ADA LOUISA LOVE in Heathcote, and they had 10 children.

  • Archibald John born 1896
  • John James born abt 1898
  • William Farquhar born 1891
  • Rupert Reginald born 1902
  • Thomas Albert born 1904 (my grandfather)
  • Frederick born 1906
  • Elsie Annie Victoria born 1909
  • Stella Mary Ada born 1911
  • Donald Adam born 1913
  • Verna born abt 1915

In about 1897, John, Ada, and Archibald relocated to Echuca, on the Murray River.

I know very little about John Morison. His son, THOMAS ALBERT was my grandfather. I never heard my grandfather or anyone mention his father. It’s my deep regret that I didn’t ever think to ask him about his life growing up. By the time I started to think about family history, and those who came before us, my grandfather had passed away. The only thing I know about my great grandfather’s life, is that he was a cartage contractor in Echuca.

The photo below, was given to me by my mother. My grandfather Thomas Albert Morrison is on the left. My great great grandfather Francis (John) Morison is on the right on the edge of the photo.  The photo was taken in front of the flour mill, as the cart was being loaded for delivery.

John Morison died at Echuca on 21 September 1925, aged 55 years, and was buried at the Echuca cemetery, without a headstone.

The earlier generations of Morisons both in Scotland and in Australia spelt their name ‘Morison’ but from the generation of my grandfather and onward the spelling became ‘morrison’ as it is usually spelt today.

Death notice
from: Echuca & Riverine Herald, 22nd Sept 1925
Morrison: On 21st at Nish Street, Echuca, John William, beloved husband of Ada Louise and loving father of Archie, Jack, William, Rupert, Tom, Fred,
Elsie, Stella, Donald (dec) and little Verna. Aged 55years

A patient sufferer at rest.

from: Echuca & Riverine Herald, 23rd September 1925
A well known resident, in the person of John William Morrison, passed away at his residence, Nish Street, on Monday, after an illness extending over 3 weeks. The cause of death being haemorrhage and paralysis. The deceased, who came to Echuca from Heathcote, 28 years ago, followed the occupation of Carter,
and of late years did a large amount of work for the Borough Council. A wife and family of six sons and three daughters are left to mourn their loss.


Victoria birth certificate (certified copy) No. 2115/1870 06 March 1870, district Heathcote, Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages, Victoria
Victoria marriage certificate (certified copy) No. 131/1895, 04 December 1895, district Heathcote, Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages, Victoria
Victoria death certificate (certified copy), No 5627/1925, 22 September, 1925, district Echuca, Registry of Births Death & Marriages, Victoria
Personal information from family members

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