From OBITUARY. (1928, November 3). Williamstown Chronicle (Vic. : 1856 – 1954), p. 2. Retrieved August 27, 2013, from

John Young was my husband’s great grandfather.

He was the oldest surviving son of George Young and Caroline née Clarke. He was born at Dunolly on 27 August 1856. His father was a gold miner and the family moved around the rushes until settling at Lamplough as can be seen from the birth places of the children:
  • George born and died at Beechworth about 1854
  • John born 27 August 1856 at Dunolly
  • Alice born  1859 at White Hills near Maryborough
  • Charlotte and Harriet, twins, born 1861 at Lamplough
  • Maria born 1863 at Lamplough
  • Rachel born 1865 at Lamplough
  • Caroline born 1867 at Lamplough, died 1876
  • Edmond born 1870 at Lamplough died 1876
  • Annie born 1872 at Lamplough and died 1873
  • Laura  born 1874 at Lamplough and died 1876
  • William Robert born 1876 at Lamplough
  • James Ernest born 1878 at Lamplough

With the birth of the twins at the Lamplough rush of 1860, the family didn’t move on. George bought land and the family settled in the district.

John worked as a miner.

He travelled to New South Wales and, according to his death certificate, spent six years there.  In Parkes he met a widow, Sarah Jane Whiteman née Way. They married in Melbourne on 26 September 1894 at 430 Bourke Street according to the rites of the Church of Christ.   Their residences stated on the marriage certificate was that he was living at Bowenvale and she was at the Mechanics Hotel, Bourke Street.
Sarah Jane had two children by her first marriage, Robert born 1883 and Mary Ann Whiteman, Mary Ann was born on 19 August 1884, seven months after Sarah Jane’s first husband died of pneumonia. Sarah Jane had a third child, Jack Walsh Whiteman born 13 August 1894 at Parkes, just weeks before her marriage to John Young. The child was born to an unknown father and stayed in Parkes to be brought up by Sarah Jane’s parents and sister. He was renamed Leslie Leister; Sarah Jane’s sister Eliza marrying Robert Leister and the two of them brought up the boy.

John and Sarah Jane had three children together:
  • Caroline born and died 1895 at Timor (near Bowenvale)
  • John Percy 24 August 1896 at Bowenvale
  • Cecil born 5 July 1898 at Rokewood

Sarah Jane died of following the birth of Cecil on 6 July 1898 at Rokewood.

The two young boys were brought up by John’s sisters. In particular by Charlotte who had married George Wilkins and lived at Homebush, near Avoca. The boys also spent time with Harriet who had married William Richards and lived at Clunes.  The era was not one where widowed fathers brought up their children.  John continued to work as a miner at Bowenvale and Betley just south of Dunolly.
Sarah Jane’s oldest two children stayed very close to the Young family; for example visiting Charlotte and writing frequently to their two young half-brothers (we have a collection of post cards from the young Jack Young which he collected through his child hood).

At the end of his life, John Young lived with his step daughter Mary Ann and her second husband, Henry White Nichols, in Henry’s house in Seddon, also known as Yarraville.  According to the electoral rolls, John was still living at Betley in 1924.  I do not know of any connection to Beveridge as mentioned in the obituary.

John died on 23 October 1928 after a three month illness from arterio sclerosis and cardiac failure.  He is buried at Footscray cemetery.