Births, Marriages & Deaths Records of Western Australia


Of deaths, none are yet known to have occurred in 1829, although it is thought that a Charles B. Garrett, single, borne in Thorpe Malson, who arrived on the ship Lotus on October 6, 1829, died before the end of that year from drowning. The date of death and other particulars have not been traced.

The earllest authenticated death known at present to have occurred in the Colony, is that of John Mitchell, of Perth, born in England, a private in the 63rd Regiment, of Light Infantry. He died of dropsy, at the age of 22 years. He was buried by Archdeacon Scott on January 6, 1830, but of the burial place no record is available. This John Mitchell, however, was not the Bugler John Mitchell whose son was born on June 10, 1829, at Cockburn Sound. Bugler Mitchell lived to have other children.

On February 25, 1830, Mary Ann Burrett Skipsey, spinster and servant, was buried by the Rev. J.B. Wittenoom. She was 27 years old when she died, was born at North Minns, Herefordshire, England, was a Parmelia passenger, and late of Perth. The place, the date and the cause of death, and the place of burial are not recorded.

On February 27, 1830, William Lane, the son of Dr. William, and Elizabeth Sybil Milligan was buried, and the service was conducted by the Rev. J.B. Wittenoom. The child was born on February 21, 1830, and died four days later. Dr. and Mrs Milligan lived in Perth.

On December 22, 1830, John Hester, infant, who lived at the Canning, was buried. No burial ceremony was conducted.

Louisa Jones, aged 29 years, died on December 23, 1830. She was late of Perth, and was the wife of Richard Jones. The grave is to be seen to-day in the East Perth Cemetery, marked by a headstone.

On December 30, 1830, Sophia Hester, aged 35 years, who resided at the Canning River, was buried. Captain Thomas Hester and his wife Sophia, and five children arrived in the Colony on October 6, 1829, in the ship Lotus.

On January 4, 1831, Ann Budden, aged 20 years, and Henry Budden aged 17 months, both of Perth, were buried in the same coffin. Henry Budden was born on July 30, 1829, at Perth.

On January 6, 1831, Emily Gawler, aged 15 years, and on January 7, 1831, William Gawler, sawyer, aged 52 years, were buried by the Rev. J.B. Wittenoom. Both were residents of Perth.

Ann and Henry Budden, Emily and William Gawler were all drowned in Melville Water on Sunday, January 2, 1831. The Buddens were drowned as a result of the capsizing of a boat. The Gawlers were probably in the same boat.

On April 16, 1831, William Stirling, gentleman, late of Perth, was buried by the Rev. J.B. Wittenoom.

On May 2, 1831, William Stirling, infant, late of Perth, son of the Lieutenant-Governor, was buried by the Rev. J.B. Wittenoom.

On October 25, 1831, Charles Simmons, M.D., aged 28 years, was buried. He died on or about October 23, 1831. He was the first Colonial Surgeon and arrived in the Parmelia. He was born in Beverley, Yorkshire, England.

On December 17, 1831, William Hokin, publican, aged 42 years, and late of Perth, was buried. William Hokin was the father of a numerous family, who arrived in the Parmelia and whose names in the passenger list of that vessel, as given in various local authorities, are incorrectly recorded as "Hoking."

Charles Blisset Churchman, aged 43 years who resided at the Canning River, died of apoplexy or paralysis, and was buried on May 25, 1833.

The following six entries are records of burials at Fremantle. - The first entry is that of a George Mackenzie, aged 19 years. He was speared by the natives at the Murray River and was buried on July 22, 1830. The burial service was conducted by Lancelot Taylor Cook. George Mackenzie was clerk to Thomas Peel.

It was in May, 1830, that the first trouble with the natives occurred in this Colony. While attempting to commit a robbery, one black, was killed and three wounded. In retaliation they murdered, two months later, the youth Mackenzie.

Anion Entwistle, aged 30 years, speared by the natives, was buried on August 5, 1831, by Lancelot Taylor Cook.

William Owers, cooper, aged 35 years, died of inflammation, and was buried on April 11, 1832, by J. Duffield.

John and Thomas Velvich, or Velvic or Velvick, two white men, aged 25 and 22 years, respectively, and employed by Mr. J. Phillips, of Maddington, farm, on the Canning River, were both speared by natives during the early afternoon of April 30, 1833, and were buried by Daniel Scott on the same day. These two men, while driving a cart on the road from Fremantle to the Canning, and at a spot two miles beyond Bull's Creek, were ambushed by about 50 natives. The notorious Yagan, and two other aborigines, named Midgegooroo and Munday were recognised as of the band and Yagan was seen to spear one of the men. As a direct outcome of this outrage, the Lieutenant-Governor, Capt. Frederick Chidley Irwin, outlawed by a proclamation dated May 1, 1833, these three natives, and offered a reward of 30 for the body of Yagan dead or alive and 20 each for the apprehension of the natives Midgegooroo and Munday dead or alive. Midgegooroo was captured on May 16, 1833, and executed in the same month at the Perth gaol by a volunteer firing party of soldiers from the 63rd Regiment.

On July 11, a youth named William Keats, 18 years old, shot the outlaw Yagan when he (Yagan) was in the company of other natives, while James Keats, aged 13, a brother of William, shot another aboriginal. The surviving natives attacked the two whites, and the eider Keats was killed by spear thrusts. The younger brother escaped.

Nicholas Were Langley, surgeon, aged 34 years, died of apoplexy at Fremantle. He was buried by the Rev. J.B. Wittenoom on April 14, 1834. Dr. Langley was the surgeon who attended George French Johnson, after injuries he (Johnson) had received as a result of the duel fought with Clark in 1832, and from which Johnson subsequently died.

Other burial services were conducted at times by Robert M. Lyons, Robert Maydwell, Richard Maxworthy and J.B. Pengilly, apparently all laymen.

I was unable to trace any record of a burial of a William Gaze, killed by the natives at Freshwater Bay in June, 1832.

The burial places of some of the early Colonists are traceable only by the memorial stones in the cemeteries, and of their death apparently no other record exists.

In some instances where memorial stones have not been erected, no trace can be found of the burial place of persons known to have died in the Colony, nor at times can a record of death be found, as in the case of William Gaze. Without a record of the death or burial places of persons who might have died here, it will never be known for certain perhaps if many of the early Colonists actually died here or left the Colony. Three hundred and thiry-one deaths can be traced as having occurred in the districts of Perth and Fremantle from January, 1830, to the twenty-eighth of September, 1840, but these figures, in the absence of complete records, cannot be taken as conclusive.

P.E.C. de Mouncey, Perth, October 30, 1930

[The Western Australian Historical Society

Journal & Proceedings, 1930, vol.I, part VIII, pp.23-26]