...do YOUR families link back to first South Australian wheat growers?
 Christina and Donald McLEAN from Scotland 1837



Matthew  JOHNSTON

Matthew JOHNSTON

Male 1864 - 1936  (71 years)

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  • Name Matthew JOHNSTON  [1
    • Patricia Long created the memorial HS and named Matthew with a second name Robert. No evidence found. TBA followup with Pat Long Midland WA 20.02.2018 Lorna Mclean
    Born 20 Oct 1864  Bremer SA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    • Matthew was born on either 20/10/1865 OR 1856 OR 3/11/1864. Author of this information did not provide source nor dates.

      BIRTH DATE provided by Pat Long 19/7/2016 to researcher Lorna McLean. Documents pending for evidence of sources

      thought to be Bremer for birthplace TBA
    Gender Male 
    Biography Notes "Johnston - McLean. At the residence of Mrs Jeffreys of Strathalbyn, the aunt of the bride, by the Rev. G. C. Love B.D. Matthew Johnston of Kalgoorlie, W.A. son of Mr Johnston of Woodchester WA to Elizabeth Ann, daughter of Mr Hugh McLean " Matthew was born on 20/10/1865.

    DEATHS: of Matthew Johnston in 1936 at Perth, W.A. interred at Karrakatta Cemetery. He was a son of John Johnston of Woodchester. S.A. 8 his wife Brigette (nee Corrigan). His birthdate has been given as 1865 and by another family member as 1856. Registration in S.A. was 3/11/1864.

    Elizabeth Ann Johnston died at hospital on 17/11/1948 aged 74 years. at Merredin, W.A. She was interred at Karrakatta. Perth, according to family.

    HISTORY from a descendant:

    Matthew had opened a store at Kalgoorlie, W.A. in partnership with his brother Edward during the gold rush there in the 1890s and later one at Lakeside, then a branch at Mt Malcolm where they also set up an hotel. Matthew came back to Strathalbyn to the home of his bride's aunt, Mrs Jeffrey for the ceremony, as her mother was deceased. The witnesses were Mary Ann & Robert Johnston.

    It was to arid Kalgoorlie and its environs that Elizabeth was taken to commence her married life. They travelled as far as Albany, W.A. by boat as it was not until 1917 that the railway reached W.A. and by this time the brothers were at Mt Malcolm, Elizabeth 8. Matthew reached there by wagon and the last few days their diet consisted of only ginger biscuits. From Malcolm they moved to Leonora & Gwalia as further gold discoveries were made.

    Elizabeth found her life frightening amongst primitive aborigines and she feared to venture out of doors, so the natives advised Matthew to kill her, as they believed that she was sulky & "no good". Her first child survived only eight months. Forthe birth of her second child she returned to Strathalbyn which meant a journey of three weeks by stage coach to reach a boat. The effort was worthwhile as the girl child was strong and healthy (1899).

    So it was then back to her husband at Mt Malcolm. Fortunately by the third child's arrival a trained nurse, Hannah Harper came to town 8. commenced a hospital and saw Elizabeth through the next several births. So great was Elizabeth's faith in Hannah Harper, that when she left Mt Malcolm to start hospitals at Armadale 8. Kelmscott (from 1910) Elizabeth followed her for the births of her two youngest babies.

    Her fear of the blacks was not surprising as they were primitive & held their corroborees nearby & dispensed their justice that often ended in the death of the accused. When Elizabeth gave her wedding gown to one of the young women as it no longer her, she had to witness other gins in their jealousy, tear it to shreds. When a gold robbery was reported to be imminent the mine manager had the Johnstons hide a large quantity in their chimney. In appreciation a brooch, a solid gold bar, was presented to each of the two eldest daughters, their names being engraved on them. Myrtle's is still in her possession, but Margaret lost hers in 1966 with other jewellery, a ruby & pearl bracelet 8. a brooch Matthew designed for Elizabeth to mark an anniversary, during a break-in by a thief.

    At Mt Malcolm their residence adjoined the shop 8. the natives were continually robbing them of liquor and butter grease paper which they used to rub grease into their hair with red clay which hardened and rattled and gave them great pleasure. Owing to the heat and to the materials used in the construction of their dwellings was a constant danger, even mice chewing on wax matches causing them to ignite would start a one fire a dressing table with a small drawer on each side used by Elizabeth & Matthew to keep their personal effects safe was burnt in the centre causing the two small drawers to fall together and bum and melted and interlocked their wedding and signet rings. These rings were on display in the window of a Perth jeweller where they had been taken for remoulding into one heavy wedding ring. This was stolen together with the other items in 1966.

    Elizabeth mothered two of her grandsons when their mother died shortly after the birth of Russell, the younger. She had cared for children of family members whenever called upon.

    Of other reminiscences: during the court case in the town there was no Bible available to swear in the witnesses so a call was made to Elizabeth to lend the Bible given to her on her wedding day at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Strathalbyn (according to the writer of the above) but as has been seen in the newspaper notice the ceremony was at Aunt Ann Jeffreys house.

    After the of 1903 at Mt Malcolm Elizabeth & Matthew built a block of shops at Gwalia. This business was sold in 1911 and they settled at Perth where Matthew worked for the council. After his death and during the war Elizabeth lived with her daughter Clover at Wagin. Then while visiting them at Merredin, W.A. in 1948 she died in the hospital.

    Both Matthew's parents are buried at the Strathalbyn Cemetery in grave no. 1/225.

    His mother Brigette (nee Corrigan) died at the age of 59 on 17/10/1892. His father John Johnston died aged 81 years on 25/9/1911 - so their birthdates were approximately: Bridgette in 1833 8- John in 1830.
      [1
    • See the biography of his wife, Elizabeth Ann McLean profile number 5713
    Biography Notes Matthew was born on either 20/10/1865 OR 1856 OR 3/11/1864. Details entered by researcher Don Gordon, date not provided nor sources of conjecture.   [1
    • Matthew was born on either 20/10/1865 OR 1856 OR 3/11/1864.
    Occupation c1890's  Gwalia WA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    General goods store in Gwalia and Mt Malcolm
    left Gwalia when a child passed away in 1915 
    Residence Kalgoorlie WA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Before he married, his father lived in Woodchester SA 
    Buried 1936  Karrakatta WA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Died 28 May 1936  Perth WA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Person ID I-5711  Christina and Donald McLean | Ewen (Hugh the younger) McLean's descendants
    Last Modified 19 Feb 2018 

    Father John JOHNSTON,   b. 1830,   d. 25 Nov 1911  (Age 81 years) 
    Relationship -1864 
    Mother Briget CALLAGHAN,   b. 1833,   d. 17 Oct 1892, Strathalbyn SA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 59 years) 
    Relationship -1864 
    Married 23 Apr 1858  New Hamburgh SA Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Family ID F-1864  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Elizabeth Ann MCLEAN,   b. 9 Dec 1874, Strathalbyn SA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 17 Nov 1948, Merredin WA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 73 years) 
    Married 17 Nov 1896  Strathalbyn SA Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Children 
     1. Robert Malcolm JOHNSTON,   b. 8 Aug 1897, Mt Malcolm WA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1898  (Age 0 years)  []
     2. Margaret Olive JOHNSTON,   b. 8 Apr 1899, Strathalbyn SA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 6 Oct 1986, Mt Lawley WA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 87 years)  []
     3. Myrtle Annie JOHNSTON,   b. 9 May 1901, Mt Malcolm WA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 13 Feb 1986, Maylands WA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 84 years)
     4. Gordon James b1903 JOHNSTON,   b. 22 Aug 1903, Leonora WA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 11 May 1986, Perth WA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 82 years)  []
     5. Ivy Elizabeth JOHNSTON,   b. 4 Oct 1905, Leonora WA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 15 Jun 1976, Derby WA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 70 years)  []
     6. May JOHNSTON,   b. 25 May 1907, Leonora WA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1912  (Age 4 years)
     7. Ivan Matthew JOHNSTON,   b. 5 Apr 1909, Gwalia WA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 4 Feb 1936, Collie WA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 26 years)  []
     8. Clover JOHNSTON,   b. 18 Oct 1912, Armadale WA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 Oct 2001, Perth WA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 89 years)  []
     9. Muriel Heather JOHNSTON,   b. 4 Oct 1915, Kelmscott WA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1999, Subiaco WA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 83 years)  []
    Last Modified 22 Feb 2018 13:21:53 
    Family ID F-1863  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos
    0629 - Elizabeth Ann (nee Mclean) & Matthew Johnson with Margaret & Myrtle in 1901.jpg
    0629 - Elizabeth Ann (nee Mclean) & Matthew Johnson with Margaret & Myrtle in 1901.jpg

    Stories
    1995 - Elizabeth Ann McLean & Matthew Johnston
    1995 - Elizabeth Ann McLean & Matthew Johnston
    Biography as published in the BRB in 1995

  • Sources 
    1. [S-3] BRB - 'Donald & Christina McLean & Their Descendants', 1995, The BRB has a good index for each individual. Copies of the BRB available Strathalbyn National Trust Museum & Library, several libraries around Australia including State Library SA, and Western Australian Genealogical Society Bayswater WA Request assistance for locating a copy through 'Contact us' on this website. .

    2. [S-10] Headstone detail, HS image attached, 20 Feb 2018 Researcher Lorna McLean.
      dates, names of parents, children and creator of HS great granddaughter Patricia Long

    3. [S-75] http://www.genealogysa.org.au, https://www.genealogysa.org.au/index.php?option=com_search&Itemid=32, 16 Jun 2017 Researcher Lorna McLean.
      Matthew JOHNSTON and Elizabeth Ann MCLEAN Marriage Date: 1896, November 17 Marriage Place: Res of Mrs Jefferis StrathalbynSA Groom Age: 31 Groom Approx. Birth Year: 1865 Groom Father: John JOHNSTON Bride Age: 20
      Bride Approx. Birth Year: 1876 Bride Father Name: Hugh MCLEAN Book/Page: 189/525