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Rebecca KEARNS

Female 1845 - 1922  (77 years)


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  • Name Rebecca KEARNS 
    Born 1845  [1, 2
    Gender Female 
    Photos? Grave (9777-5), Grave (DSC_1786) 
    Died 16 Mar 1922  Forbes, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Buried Forbes Cemetery, Forbes, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Old Anglican Section 2, A22
    Notes 
    • Forbes Advocate 17.3.1922

      Funeral Notice:

      The friends of the late Rebecca Glauder are invited to attend her funeral which will leave her daughter’s residence (Mill Yard) at 4 o’clock this afternoon for the Church of England Cemetery.
      T. Peasley....Undertaker.

      ------------------------

      Obituary

      Another of the old residents of the district passed away at Forbes last night when the death occurred at her daughter’s residence (Mrs. A. Ferguson) North Hill, of Mrs. Rebecca Glauder, wife of Mr. Nels Glauder. The deceased was 77 years of age, and has been a resident of the district for about 60 years. She has been in remarkably good health until quite recently, and at the close of her days broke up more rapidly than was anticipated.

      The late Mrs. Glauder was twice married; she was a native of O’Connels Plains, Bathurst, her maiden name being Kearns.

      In the year 1963 she was married at Bandon to the late John Higgins, who died close on 48 years ago, just after the family moved to the River Farm just below Forbes. By the marriage there was an issue of five children, the sons being Messrs. Thomas & Jack Higgins (Forbes) and A. P. Higgins (Qld), while the daughters were the late Mrs. J. Birt and Mrs. Moses Brown (now of Sydney).
      There were also 5 children by the second marriage, but 3 are deceased, the surviving member being Mr. Percy Glauder and Mrs. A. Ferguson (both of Forbes).

      In addition Mrs. Glauder leaves 17 grandchildren and 23 great grandchildren and with the bereaved husband and relatives the sympathy of a wide circle of friends is felt.

      ----------------------

      Newspaper Item:

      2/63.2 REBECCA KEARNS
      Born about 1846
      “Married” to John Higgins
      Married 20/11/1875 at Forbes to Nels Glauder
      Died 16/3/1922 at Forbes “aged 77”
      Father: Michael Kearns
      Mother: Honorah Kearns (nee McCann)
      Note: Rebecca’s children by Nels Glauder were Nels Pierce. Honorah Joanne, Joseph Michael, Nels Percy and Christina Mary.

      -----------------

      The Jacky Bundaburra Story
      by Colin James, Great grandson of Josiah Strickland. 1991

      This story concerns the birth of a black child to one of the Strickland girls at Bundaburra Station, over 100 years ago.

      In the first instance the title is a misnomer as the great weight of opinion excludes Jacky Bundaburra from part of it. The native concerned is said to have met a sudden end: and he did not. He was a native of some note. As his name suggests he was on Bundaburra. He was born in 1829 and died in 1909. He had been at Tumbarumba having gone there with Mr. J. J. Leahy, later associated with Cadow and Wongajong. The title was the first encountered in the search for the full story.

      Obviously all present evidence is only hearsay, and second or third hand at that. However the consistency in outline given by a number of the older citizens of Forbes indicates it to be true in broad substance if not in detail. The actions of the girl’s family at the time were no doubt designed to hush the matter up but one can only say that it was the worst kept secret imaginable. There must have been few indeed who did not know of it.

      “The story goes that a young Strickland girl gave birth to a black child at Bundaburra, the father being an Aboriginal resident there, and, in fact, one entrusted with the care of the children, whether the result of rape or not generally mentioned by those relating the story. The steps taken to arrange rearing of the child indicate time to prepare, but one version of how the child was removed from Bundaburra indicates very little warning of the birth.

      It is said that the child was virtually smuggled away from Bundaburra in a wash basket by Mrs. Onions who at that time attended to washing there. This story is not burdened with details of how the child was kept alive or when the removal happened.

      The story concerning rearing of the child has some independent supporting evidence. He, (it was a male), was entrusted to a family retainer and her husband to be brought up. The Stricklands provided land to the foster parents in return. Here it must be said that only a broad general outline of the story has been provided by all those relating the story. The surrounding detail is the total of the comments of individuals and has not been supplied by everyone. All, however, without exception, identified the child concerned as Billy Arron. On the 1922 Electoral Roll he is William Arron Strickland; in a newspaper report in 1925 William Arron Strickland; on his Death Certificate, William Arron Strickland (1938) in a newspaper report of his death William Arron.

      But with one exception he was described as a very impressive and handsome man, very athletic and skilled at his occupation as a horse breaker. It is commonly related that female children were warned to keep away from him as he was a bad man.

      Billy, we will call him this because most locals now do, died of a heart attack in his camp at the Botanical Gardens on 12th July, 1938. The informant for registration of his death was the Coroner, Mr. Sam. The usual inquest was held on 16th July. The funeral was on 13th July. The papers relating to the inquest are long gone. The time frame however indicates pro forma rather than a formal inquest.

      The burial was in the Forbes Cemetery, Roman Catholic Section. This may be indicative of the funeral being arranged by someone in the Pierce Strickland Line as both the members of the Josiah line and the foster parent’s line were Anglican.

      The only aspect of the Inquest which is of any importance to the story is the age of the deceased - to establish the date of birth. The death certificate says 66. The newspaper report says 72. The newspaper also referred to him as a pensioner. Inquiries at the Department of Social Security reveal that the records of this era has been destroyed but the Department has a very well informed historian who advises that he could not have been a Pensioner in any sense as is now understood. Pensions were subject to review and he would have been immediately disqualified by race. Inclusion in an Electoral Roll was by written application without interview which explains this apparent discrepancy in logic.

      It seems we have to be satisfied with a range placing the date of birth between 1866 and 1872. The date the Coroner is more likely to have been authoritative. Here the Roman Catholic burial may be significant, as Billy had long been associated with a family of this religion and they would have been consulted by the Coroner if he did his job thoroughly. They may only have known Billy’s idea of his age, but this closer to that established below by other means than the newspaper report. Perhaps reporting was more personal in those days and away from the city but the writer cannot help but be influenced by experience, over a long period in business, of never having had statements to the press reported accurately.

      There is another indication of date of birth. The identification of the foster parents came from a source whose family was closely connected with Bundaburra. The identification is substantiated to some extent by records of land held by them.

      The foster parents were identified as Rebecca (or Robina) Kearns, one time employee at Bundaburra and her second husband Nels Glauder. Rebecca had been “married” to John Higgins. There is no record of such a marriage; they had 5 children between 1864 and 1873 and the form of registration of these births indicates that they were not legally married. John Higgins died in 1874. Rebecca married Nels Glauder on 20th November, 1875. They also had 5 children the first registered in 1877. This child died in October 1879 and the headstone indicated his age as 10 which placed his birth as 1869.
      As Mrs. Higgins, Rebecca had children in 1866 and 1870 so it is possible that she had one in 1969, but the most likely explanation is that the Glauder child was “two” not “ten” It is generally accepted by Higgins researchers that Rebecca did not have the child during the marriage to John Higgins. Another researcher has placed Rebecca at Bogabigal in 1873.

      If the story of Rebecca and Nels bringing up the child is true, and the land transaction indicates this, then the birth must have been around 1875 which would make Billy 63 at death. The time frame established is therefore not compatible with all the data. All that can be said is that 1966 is out of the question, and that birth was later rather than earlier in the range.

      Another common factor of the story as told is that the Strickland girl married a bank manager. A further detail given by some was that he found out about “the child” some years later and this caused him to become grey overnight and the marriage was never the same again.

      Two of the Strickland girls married bank managers, but only one of the husbands was commonly identified as such.

      Mary Ann was born in 1852. She has been identified by name by one researcher, who also states the girl was 17 making Billy’s birth year as 1869 and his age at death as 69 -within the time frame set at death. Was her age deducted this way? In any event, she married Fred Morrow CBS Manager in March 1875 and she had a child in December 1875. This makes it virtually impossible for her to have been Billy’s mother if his birth was as late as placed by the Glauder marriage.

      Fred Morrow did in fact go white overnight. This occurred in 1890 when, as a 49 year-old bank manager, he contracted measles, lost his hearing and had his health badly undermined, and then was dismissed from the bank as they had no use for a deaf manager. He needed nothing else to send him white. He and Mary Ann had another child shortly afterwards. Due to family misfortunes, this couple lived with, or brought up others, commencing about 1907, and the persons concerned all testify that there was never a more devoted couple - so much for the affected marriage.

      Another girl married a bank manager, Virginia, who was born in 1857. She married John Lindsay Waugh in 1877. There are many newspaper reports and other records referring to him in his later capacity as Auctioneer, Stock & Station Agent, and grazier.

      However, following a reference in a certificate by the Registrar General, enquiries were made at Westpac who report he was a bank employee eventually rising to manager. He was first recorded as an employee of the Australian Joint Stock Bank in 1867. He occupied various positions at various branches (with glowing reports as to his ability) and became Manager at Grenfell where he was when he resigned in 1875. He later joined the Wales at Grenfell as Manager. This was in 1885 and he resigned in 1886. There is no record of him being in Forbes. It was the site of his bank (in Forbes) which one person connected with Bundaburra, identified as the bank at which the husband of Billy’s mother worked. he did leave his family later.

      Let us forget that the portion of the story relating to the bank manager and his family upheaval could have been included after the upheaval occurred, which was long after the birth. Was it added to improve a good story?

      That Billy was the child of a Bundaburra girl is supported by other events (if they really happened). One old resident recalls that Billy stood outside the school hostel where Strickland children were housed; calling out “come and see your black brother” It is of note that Mary Ann’s children did not attend school in Forbes - the family moved to Orange when the youngest was three.

      There were a number of stories of Billy obtaining money from Stricklands with reference to his connection. On one occasion he called Shaw Strickland ‘uncle’. This would have of course been incorrect in a strict sense. Could it have been part of the basis for another researcher believing that Billy was the son of Muriel Strickland/Bull/Cobcroft, the daughter of Joseph, brother of the two girls mentioned before? Muriel was born in 1884, so obviously the idea is completely wrong

      It is clear that all the ‘facts’ gathered cannot be true.

      Here the story rests for the present. Enquiries are in train to locate exactly all the building sites of the various banks in the period in question and no doubt there are others who will have something to add when they read this.

      Colin James.

      Recollection of John Kolges of Forbes whose adoptive mother was Mrs. Ryan (later Kolges) and in service at Bundaburra and who appears in the photographs with various family members. Mrs. Ryan was a trusted servant (more like one of the family) and a confidante of the family. Note that her period at Bundaburra was sometime after the alleged birth of William Arron to a Strickland girl but she professed to know all about it. She identified the bank manager as the one who ran the bank at the taxi stand. Enquiries show that the stand has never been moved and adjoins a building (no longer a bank) which had been occupied by the Commercial Bank of Australia (later absorbed into Westpac).

      Enquiries at Westpac as to whether J.L. Waugh was ever employed by the Commercial Bank brought the attached reply. It looks as though he was not the bank manager concerned.

      The building said to have been occupied by the Commercial bank of Australia in Forbes appears to be much older than 1928 vintage. It could have been occupied by another bank previously.

      The Commercial of Sydney where Fred Morrow was employed is on the opposite side of the street and two blocks away. It could not be considered even as ‘opposite’ the taxi-rank.

      If everything which has been told is reasonably close to the truth, it is impossible to believe that it was one of Josiah’s daughters who had the child.
      Later.........

      More can now be added to the story. Despite going to great lengths the Archivist at the National Bank has been unable to ascertain the address of the Commercial Banking Company of Sydney prior to its occupancy of the present National Bank site. Westpac has been unable to state when the building at the taxi-rank was acquired. There was a single-storey wooden structure on the site at the turn of the century.

      Perhaps all this is unimportant now. Perhaps, as surmised, the Bank manager portion of the story was added without foundation. This is certainly so if the latest information is correct.

      A descendant of Virginia Strickland, with whose family Virginia lived for a time, has brought forward another possibility - perhaps more a probability. Virginia is said to have identified the mother of Billy as her younger sister Eva, who was 14 or 15 at the time. Apparently Eva was a little simple and was taken advantage of by a native who was looking after her. Eva’s age corresponds with the Glauder marriage. it would make Billy 63 or 64 at the time of death. His age was by no means certain from other indications.

      Is this the end of the story?

      Written by Colin James,
      Great Grandson of Josiah Strickland
      November, 1991
    Person ID I893  The Rawsthorne Family Tree
    Last Modified 14 Nov 2015 

    Father Michael KEARNS,   b. 1811, Dublin, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Oct 1846, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 35 years) 
    Relationship Natural 
    Mother Honorah MCCANN,   b. 1826, Limerick, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 12 Jun 1891, Young, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 65 years) 
    Relationship Natural 
    Family ID F1011  Group Sheet

    Family 1 John HIGGINS,   b. 11 Nov 1831, Castlereagh, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 03 Jul 1874, Bogabagil Station, Forbes, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 42 years) 
    Married 1863 
    Children 
     1. Thomas Steven HIGGINS,   b. 12 Jan 1865, Bandon Station, Forbes, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 Nov 1944, Forbes, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 79 years)
     2. John HIGGINS,   b. 08 Jun 1866, Bandon Station, Forbes, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 Jul 1942, Camperdown, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 76 years)
     3. Mabel KEARNS,   b. Abt 1870, Bandon Station, Forbes, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 02 Feb 1894, Forbes, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 24 years)
     4. Winifred KEARNS,   b. 20 May 1871, Wowingragong, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 Jul 1942, Condobolin, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 71 years)
     5. Arthur Patrick KEARNS,   b. 08 Jul 1873, Wowingragong, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location
    Last Modified 14 Nov 2015 
    Family ID F418  Group Sheet

    Family 2 Nels GLAUDER,   b. Jun 1846, Sweden Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 21 Jun 1936, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 90 years) 
    Married 20 Nov 1875  Forbes, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Children 
     1. Nels Pierce GLAUDER,   b. 1877, Forbes, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 06 Oct 1879  (Age 2 years)
     2. Christina Mary GLAUDER,   b. 1879, Forbes, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Oct 1961, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 82 years)
     3. Nels Percy GLAUDER,   b. 1882, Forbes, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 01 Oct 1968, Westmead Hospital, Westmead, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 86 years)
     4. Joseph Michael GLAUDER,   b. 1884, Forbes, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 04 Jul 1896, Forbes, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 12 years)
     5. Honorah Joanne GLAUDER,   b. 1887, Forbes, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 06 Feb 1894, Forbes, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 7 years)
    Last Modified 14 Nov 2015 
    Family ID F419  Group Sheet

  • Headstones
    DSC_9589.JPG
    DSC_9589.JPG
    Plot: Old Anglican Section 2, A22

  • Sources 
    1. [S79] From a Distant Field, Colin Field, Book: Version 3 (Self Published).

    2. [S137] Irene MASON (Nee DOVER).