Editha Annie McPherson




Editha Annie McPherson was born in 1815 on the Isle of Skye, Scotland, the daughter of William McPherson and Elizabeth McDonald.  She had two known siblings, William born 1802 and Catherine born 1805.  William McPherson Snr was a soldier in the 93rd Regiment of Foot, also later known as 93rd Sutherland Highlanders and lastly as 93rd (Highland) Regiment of Foot. He is listed as a soldier of the 93rd when he married Elizabeth McDonald in 1801.


Esther Emily Parsons was the daughter of John Parsons and Susanna Roberts (nee Pittman) born on the 6th August 1845, her birth was registered as unnamed female by Louisa Hanley, inmate of Argyle St, Hobart.  Esther Emily was baptised on the 5 October 1845 in Hobart as the daughter of Alexander Laing and Susanna Roberts.  Esther Emily Parsons/Laing was 'adopted' by George and Editha Annie Basell. Her death is registered in Victoria in 1863, and on this entry she is recorded as Esther Emily Basell.






The first documented evidence in Australia of Editha Annie is her marriage to John LEWIS on the 7 March 1849 in Hobart, Tasmania.  Editha married as a ROBERTS.  So this is some indication that she may have had an association with William Henry ROBERTS, father of Henry George ROBERTS.  (See Roberts Family page.)  Editha was supposedly 29 years old at this marriage, but in fact she would have been 34 years of age.


On the 19 July 1849 a son, Douglas, was born to John Lewis and Editha Annie, in Hobart, Tasmania.   Douglas died on the 16 October 1849 from Influenza.


On the 21 September 1850 a daughter, Georgiana Kate was born to John Lewis and Editha Annie in Melbourne, Victoria.  She was baptized on the 31 January 1851, at St Peters in the county of Bourke, Melbourne.


In Melbourne, on 22 July 1852 Editha gave birth to another daughter, Rebecca Mary, and her father is listed as George BASELL.  Rebecca Mary Basell died at Maldon, Victoria on 25 July 1854.


In 1860, in Beaufort, Victoria, Editha gave birth to a son, Kennith William, whose father is also listed as George BASELL.


1863 - Esther Emily dies in Melbourne, Victoria, aged 17 years.  You will understand at this point why Esther Emily could not have been George Basell's daughter, as George and Editha were not together when Esther was born in 1846.


John Lewis died on the 30 May 1865 in Hobart from an aneurism, at age 47 years.  According to his death entry John Lewis was born in Wales.


There is no record of Editha Annie McPherson ever marrying George Basell.  In fact George Basell married Jane Green in Hobart on the 25 May 1840.  Jane Bazel (sic) died in Victoria on 3 November 1875, and as John Lewis did not die until 1865, this is probably why Editha and George never married.


George Basell died on the 15 January 1877 in Ballarat, Victoria.  He is buried in the Beaufort Cemetery, Victoria.  George was born in London circa 1808, his father was George Basell, and his mother was Rebecca LAMMON.


Editha Annie died on the 18 Nov 1887 in Ballarat, Victoria.  She is buried in the Beaufort Cemetery with George.  Editha died and was buried as a Basell, when in fact her legal name was Lewis.  Editha's father on her death certificate is listed as William Kenneth McPherson, Lieutenant and her mother is unknown.


I am now going to move on to Elizabeth McPHERSON, nee McDONALD.  On the 23 December 1829 Elizabeth was convicted to a life sentence for attacking her husband with a knife and sent to Van Diemen's Land under her maiden name of McDonald.  On her convict papers it states that she was the wife of Lieutenant William McPherson, Glasgow, of the 82nd Regiment.  He had been recently discharged from the Army.  Elizabeth was 43 years of age and she had three children.  It also stated that she was of 'violent disposition'.


I have no evidence (as yet) that William Kenneth McPherson ever came to Australia.


I am now comfortable with the fact that Elizabeth McDonald was Editha Annie McPherson's mother.  Elizabeth McPherson died in Morven, Tasmania on the 14 December 1858.  She burned to death in a house fire.


It would appear that Editha did not want it known who her mother was, and I wonder if she went to Van Diemen's Land to see her mother.




Convict Connections






9 February 2019