Jane MITCHELL (GRONO) (c.1803 - 1865)

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Birthplace: Berry Hill Lower Portland, New South Wales, Australia
Death: Died in Kanimbla (near Hartley), New South Wales, Australia
Managed by: Aileen Elsie Rowe
Last Updated:

About Jane MITCHELL (GRONO)

In 1810 Jane's father John went sealing and returned to celebrate Christmas 1813 with an amazing haul: 14000 seal skins, three tons of whale oil and ten sealers marooned four years on the New Zealand coast.

One was Alexander Books ‎(1787-1964)‎, scottish born child arrival of the Third Fleet, who continued to sail with Grono, married his daughter Margaret and settled at Webb's Creek. Daughter Jane married another survivor, the middle aged Robert McKenzie, and after his death she married yet another of the castaways.

From Grono Newsletter No 7 dated 14 Jul 09

ELIZABETH McKENZIE Grand daughter of John and Elizabeth Grono Daughter of Jane Grono and Robert McKenzie


John and Elizabeth Grono’s daughter Jane married Robert McKenzie on 13 April 1818 in Windsor. It is believed that Robert McKenzie was one of the sailors from the ship Active marooned on the New Zealand coast and rescued in 1813 by Captain John Grono and his crew on the Governor Bligh.


Jane had two children to Robert: Elizabeth, born 1821 and John Robert, born 1823. Robert McKenzie died in 1825 and is buried at Ebenezer Church. He would have only been around 33 years of age. Jane later married Michael Mitchell and had a further six children.


Elizabeth McKenzie married a former convict, Robert Beavis, at Scots Church, Windsor on 22 April 1840. Robert had been arrested in Dorset in 1830 for stealing a sheep. He was sentenced to Life Imprisonment at Dorset Assizes on 12 March 1830. He was fortunate he was not hanged! Instead he was transported to Australia in 1830 on the convict ship Burrell. He was sent to Port Stephens where he was employed by the Australian Agricultural Company. This company had been given a huge land grant and comprised a village called Carrington, a church, lime kilns, tarring pits, school and a population of 500. Due to his good behaviour, Robert was granted a Ticket of Leave on 18 February 1839, but he was never allowed to return to England.


How he came to meet Elizabeth McKenzie is not known, but they were married only a year later, in 1840, at Windsor. The couple had nine children. The first two were born in Windsor and Ebenezer, so perhaps Robert worked for Elizabeth’s grandfather, John Grono. After a few years, they moved to the Marsfield area, possibly on an orchard or farm; then later to Paddington. By then Robert’s brother Jacob had arrived in the colony as a free man, and became an agent in the Belmore Markets in Campbell Street, Haymarket. It is likely Jacob employed Robert there.


In 1874 a great tragedy befell the family. One of their sons, Jacob, aged 21, died of Phthisis, a form of consumption/tuberculosis which wasted the body. He was tended by his mother, Elizabeth. He died March 18, 1874. Then a few months, later, Robert, aged 24, died of Brain Congestion. This could have been caused by meningitis or an accident – which is not known. Robert was ill for only 14 hours and died 18 October 1874. Within a space of a few months, Robert and Elizabeth lost two of their sons.


Elizabeth herself also died of Phthisis, only two years later, on 12 December 1876. Her death certificate states she had been ailing for two years, so it is likely she contracted the disease from nursing her son, Jacob.


Elizabeth, her husband Robert and sons Jacob and Robert, rest together in Rookwood Cemetery.


Robert Beavis and Elizabeth McKenzie are my great grandparents x2 Robert McKenzie and Jane Grono are my great grandparents x3 John Grono and Elizabeth Bristow are my great grandparents x4


Les Tod Woodcroft, NSW 6 April 2009

Death Details: MITCHELL Jane Father: GRONO John Occupation Mother: BRISTOW Elizabeth Date: 09 August 1865 Place: Hartley State: NSW ID 9367 Source: ausbdm.org

Michael (Malcolm) Mitchell arrived 20 January, 1820, as carpenter on the Lord Wellington, Lewis Hill master. Michael left the Lord Wellington and on the 25 October 1820, is a member of the crew of the brig Lynx of Calcutta, Richard Siddins master, on a sealing expedition to the South Shetland Islands. From about October 1822 to May 1824 he was on the Elizabeth with John Grono[4]. In May 1824, he joined the brig Wellington, John Day master. The Wellington returned from New Zealand in March 1825. After this voyage, John Grono, may have employed Michael as a shipwright. AONSW: Colonial Secretary's Ships Musters; Reel 561, Pages 268-9. Reel 562, Page 189.

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Jane MITCHELL's Timeline

1803
1803
Berry Hill Lower Portland, New South Wales, Australia
1818
April 13, 1818
Age 15
Parramatta, NSW, Australia
1821
November 11, 1821
Age 18
Windsor NSW Australia
1823
November 29, 1823
Age 20
Pitt Town NSW Australia
1827
January 8, 1827
Age 24
Parramatta
1828
September 30, 1828
Age 25
Webbs Creek NSW Australia
1830
September 30, 1830
Age 27
Paramatta, New South Wales, Australia
1831
1831
Age 28
Parramatta NSW Australia
1832
July 28, 1832
Age 29
Portland Head, New South Wales, Australia
1833
November 26, 1833
Age 30
Newcastle NSW Australia