Skip to content

Violet Town Cemetery Victoria Australia

June 22, 2021

The Cemetery

Many of my ancesters were buried in the Violet Town Cemetery, in the 19th century, however, all but four had no headstone.

This cemetery is not far from Shepparton, where I was born and lived for 51 years. Many years ago, when I was new to family history research, I decided to take the drive to Violet Town, and explore the cemetery, where hopefully, I would find headstones with information that would help me further my research. In those early days, when I knew very little about how to research my family history, it hadn’t occurred to me that my ancestors who died in the 19th century, were very unlikely to have headstones. After a while looking in vain at names on the headstones, I came across one lone headstone, a large family plot containing four members of my BOYLE family. Patrick BOYLE came to Australia in 1857 on the SS Pomona. Travelling with him were his mother, Ann BOYLE (nee GALLAGHER) his wife Margaret (nee McCLINTOCK), and his daughters, Ellen, Ann and Margaret, all under 4 years of age. Patrick successfully farmed land on the Honeysuckle Creek, near Violet Town, and was well respected by those who knew him.

The Headstone

The following were buried in the Boyle family plot

  • 1862 – Margaret BOYLE (Patrick’s wife)
  • 1871 – Ellen CHUTE (nee BOYLE), Patrick’s daughter
  • 1891 – Patrick BOYLE
  • 1913 – Maria BOYLE (nee CHUTE), Patrick’s second wife

The Stories

My first reaction when I saw this plot, was to be surprised that the two wives of Patrick were buried together. I then noticed that Patrick’s daughter Ellen was buried there, with her father. At that time, all that I knew about Ellen, was that she was married to Richard CHUTE. I thought it very unusual for her to be buried with her father, and not with her own family.

I had a feeling there was a story to investigate, and went home to do some research. I very quickly found an inquest file for Ellen, at the Public Records of Victoria (PROV), and being very keen to view the document, made the two hour trip to Melbourne, just a few days later.

I was very surprised and saddened to find that Ellen had been murdered by her husband Richard. She was 18 years old and had two children. The second child, whose birth hadn’t been registered was two weeks old and she was holding him in her arms when she died. There are links to previous posts about the inquest, at the bottom of this page, if you are interested to read the details. The information in the inquest document answered the question of why Ellen wasn’t buried with her husband.

Quite some time later, I came to do further research into Patrick BOYLE, his two wives and eleven children. I found that his second wife Maria’s name was CHUTE, the same name as Ellen’s husband, Richard who was found guilty of her murder, due to insanity, and sentenced to life at Ararat Asylum due to his insanity.

Patrick married Maria in 1866, five years before the murder of his daughter Ellen. Maria was Richard CHUTE’s younger sister. So, Patrick and his daughter, Ellen were married to siblings. At the time of their marriage, Richard CHUTE was aged 41 and Ellen BOYLE was aged 16.

When I came across this burial plot at the Violet Town cemetery and followed the trail to find out all I could about each person buried there, I became extremely interested in family history. Each person buried here had an amazing story to tell. I learnt so much about researching my family history as I traced each person and learned about their lives.

All four buried here were born in Ireland. The Boyles were from Inver, Donegal and the Chutes were from Tralee, Kerry. Other than where they were from, I know nothing about their lives in Ireland. This is mainly because, I know very little about tracing Irish ancestors.

Researching the lives of these families in Ireland is at the top of my genealogy to-do list. A few weeks ago on #ANZAncestryTime the topic for discussion was Irish research. Due to my lack of knowledge I didn’t contribute much to the discussion, but I soaked up all the information I could. This information will be my starting point to research these families’ lives in Ireland

#ANZAncestryTime is the hashtag used for genealogy discussion on Twitter each Tuesday night at 7pm AEST. I am one of the moderators and would love you to join us.

Further on the murder of Ellen CHUTE:

The Murder of Ellen Chute Part 1
The Murder of Ellen Chute Part 2

©2021 copyright. All rights reserved

From → family history

  1. mollyscanopy permalink

    Having read your previous blogs about Ellen Chute, I found this post particularly moving. Such a sad demise for one so young. Thank goodness Ellen was buried with her father so you were able to trace her and tell her story.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Retirement Reflections

What I Wish I Knew Before I Retired

The Chocolate Lady's Book Review Blog

For mostly adult, literary, fiction; focusing on historical, contemporary, biographical, and women.

And Anyways...

Author, Baker, Sunrise Chaser

Barroworn Succulents

Succulents, Geraniums, Iris and much more. All grown on our local property

Kerryn's Kin

A Tribute to my ancestors by Kerryn Taylor

Next Phase In Fitness & Life

Over 60 and living my best life

'Genealogists for Families' project

Family History and Genealogy


Family History and Genealogy

Western District Families

Family history from the Western District of Victoria, Australia

%d bloggers like this: