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Y: Yarrawonga Deaths: William Taylor and Janet McEwan #AtoZChallenge

April 29, 2021

The Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is an annual 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. Participants can post on a chosen theme or just do random posts with no theme at all. The theme I have chosen for 2021 is Newspaper Articles About My Family Found in Trove


Yarrawonga is a town in Victoria, which is situated on the southern border of the Murray River, between Victoria and New South Wales. Yarrawonga was named after a pastoral station which was taken up by Elizabeth Hume in 1842.

Many of my Taylor family lived in Yarrawonga. Those who were farming at Bundalong, just outside Yarrawonga on the Victorian side of the Murray River, retired to Yarrawonga. The town was surveyed in 1868, and quickly grew with the opening of the railway.

William Lloyd TAYLOR and Janet McQUEEN

William Lloyd TAYLOR and Janet McQUEEN are my great grandparents. William was born in October 1842 at Diamond Creek, Victoria to parents, John TAYLOR and Martha LLOYD. Janet was born in 1853 at Collingwood, Victoria to parents Thomas James Jonathan McQUEEN and Janet YOUNG. There are many variations to the McQueen name – McQueen, McQuinn, McQuien, McEwan are the most commonly used names. In her adult years, Janet used the name McEwan until her marriage to William.

William and Janet had a large family of 10 children, four boys and six girls. My grandmother, Emily was their fifth child and their third daughter.

William and Janet married in 1878 at Broken Creek. In 1875, before the marriage, William took up a selection of 100 acres of farming land at Stewarton, in Victoria. He abandoned this land in 1876, saying he wished to farm on the Murray. Possibly this land was unsuitable for farming, due to lack of available water. Presumably he wished to farm near his brothers, at the much more fertile area of Bundalong. He then went on to farm at Devenish and later at Bundalong. In his later years, William lived in the nearby township of Yarrawonga.

Death of Janet Taylor, maiden name McQueen/McEwan

Janet died tragically in 1894, at age 41, from burns after an accident at her mother’s house, in Yarrawonga. She is buried at the Yarrawonga Cemetary. Her youngest child was just 4 months old at the time of her death.

From ‘The Yarrawonga Mercury and Mulwala N.S.W News’, Thursday, August 23, 1894
DEATH: Our readers will remember that some four weeks ago, the wife of Mr. Wm Taylor, of Bundalong, was very badly burned, while staying at her mother’s home in Yarrawonga, and that she was conveyed from there to the Wangaratta Hospital.  We now regret to state that Mrs. Taylor died in that institution, on Monday last, from the effects of the burns.  The deceased, who was but 41 years of age, resided for many years in the district, and was highly respected.  She leaves a family of young children to mourn their loss, and much sympathy is felt for Mr. Taylor in his bereavement.  The deceased was laid to rest in the Yarrawonga cemetery yesterday, a number of friends testifying their respect by following the remains to the grave.  The Rev. C.A. Jenkins, Wesleyan clergyman, read the burial service. 

Death of William Taylor

William died at 63 years of age, on 20 November 1905, at Yarrawonga. He is buried at Yarrawonga Cemetary, Victoria.

From: Yarrawonga Mercury, November 23, 1905
Obituary: Another old and respected resident of the district, Mr. William Taylor, died at the residence of his two sisters, in Telford Street, Yarrawonga, early on Monday last, 20th inst.  About 25 years ago Mr. Taylor took up a selection of land at Bundalong, where he brought up a large family. He was aged 64 years at the time of his death, and for the past 17 years had been an active member of the Salvation Army at Yarrawonga, taking a leading part in the open air services of that body.  He was a kindly dispositioned man, well liked by his neighbours and those who had the pleasure of his acquaintance.  The funeral took place on Tuesday last, when the body of the deceased was placed at rest in the Yarrawonga Cemetery, the funeral service being read by Ensign Watkins of Benalla, Mr. S. T. Bowles, attending to the mortuary arrangements. 

from ‘Yarrawonga Mercury’, Novermber 23 1905
THANKS:  The Messrs. Taylor Bros and family of the late Mr. W.L. Taylor desire to thank their friends for their kindness during their recent sad bereavement, also D. Jamieson for his prompt care and attention.

from Salvation Army publication ‘War Cry, February 8, 1896
Brother Taylor, our colour sergeant lives about five miles out, but he is at the meetings as often as possible, and is always ready to give his testimony, and warn the people to prepare for death, judgment, and eternity.  About ten miles from Yarrawonga, at Bundalong, the corps – Mulwala, New South Wales.  The people there help well and are supplied with War Crys etc. weekly.  At present the spiritual conditon of the corps is very good.

William and Janet’s daughter Emily, is my grandmother. Emily also passed away at a young age, leaving a large family of young children, including my father.

The Yarrawonga Mercury and Mulwala N.S.W News’, Thursday, August 23, 1894
Yarrawonga Mercury, November 23, 1905
Salvation Army publication ‘War Cry, February 8, 1896

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  1. I have come across too many cases of people dying from burns – very sad – I think we are safer now without relying on open fires.

  2. mollyscanopy permalink

    It’s sad that sometimes the only item about an ancestor that makes the papers is their obituary. Yet these two obituaries do paint a picture of Janet and William’s lives — which is after all why we search for them.

    • What would we do without obituaries. For most of my ancestors, they are the only insight I have into their real lives

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