Search for content in message boards

Colin & Catherine McCrae of Melbourne/Yarra, Victoria, Aus.

Colin & Catherine McCrae of Melbourne/Yarra, Victoria, Aus.

Posted: 10 Feb 2008 9:15AM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: McCrae, Royse
I'm looking for any information on Colin and Catherine McCrae, and their family, of Melbourne/Yarra, Victoria. The first reference I can find for them is the 1841 Census of NSW in which they are listed as living in Port Philip with at least three children - one of their daughters was aged under two years at this time and not born in Victoria suggesting they may have arrived around 1839. I have had no luck with shipping records to prove this. Colin also appears in early directories of Port Philip - one from 1841 records him as living at McCrae’s Ponds, Yarra Yarra, Melbourne, and another around this time records him as milkman of Batman’s Swamp. One of their children was Catherine McCrae, born 1842, Melbourne; she later married William Royse in 1869, Melbourne, and they immigrated to New Zealand where they lived in Dunedin and Christchurch. I have plenty of information on their lives in NZ. Other possible children of Catherine and Colin McCrae are Annabella (born 1841, Melbourne), Daniel Stodhart McCrae (born 1845, Melbourne), and Colin (born 1850, South Yarra). I have searched birth, death, marriage records on the Dept of Justice of Victoria and the New South Wales BDM registry and can find birth records but no death records. I would appreciate hearing from anyone linked to this family or who can add to this information.

Re: Colin & Catherine McCrae of Melbourne/Yarra, Victoria, Aus.

Posted: 11 Feb 2008 12:49PM GMT
Classification: Query
Found a couple of other possible children but no marriages apart from a possible for Annabella.

Surname: MCRAE
Given Names: Alexander
Event: B
Spouse Surname/Father: Colin
Spouse Gvn Names/Mother: Catherine
Sex: M
Birth Place: MELBOURNE
Death Place:
Year: 1847
Reg Number: 33242
Denomination: PRESBYTERIAN
Fiche: 477
Can’t see a marriage

Surname: MCRAE
Given Names: Colin
Event: B
Spouse Surname/Father: Colin
Spouse Gvn Names/Mother: Catherine
Birth Place: STH YARRA
Death Place:
Year: 1850
Reg Number: 16758
Denomination: Church of England
Fiche: 294
Can’t see a marriage

Surname: MCRAE
Given Names: Annabella
Event: M
Spouse Surname/Father: STAFFORD
Spouse Gvn Names/Mother: Charles James
Sex: F
Birth Place:
Death Place:
Year: 1858
Reg Number: 2251

Daniel- Can’t see a marriage

Re: Colin & Catherine McCrae of Melbourne/Yarra, Victoria, Aus.

Posted: 12 Feb 2008 9:17AM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: McCrae, Royse
Many thanks for this! I had found a few of these possibles but not Alexander. I also did not have your level of detail - ie. churches etc, so this was great!

I do have a possible death for Daniel Stodhart McCrae (born 1845), in 1852, Geelong, but it doesn't list his middle name, nor does it list his parents, so I haven't regarded it as too much yet; still it is at the right time and could explain why no marriage is found.

If you or anyone else is looking for more information about Colin and Catherine McCrae's daughter Catherine (who married William Royse), I'd be happy to provide what I have on her and her family in New Zealand.

Thanks again,

Re: Colin & Catherine McCrae of Melbourne/Yarra, Victoria, Aus.

Posted: 16 Feb 2008 11:37PM GMT
Classification: Query
I have Catherine McRae daughter of Colin and Catherine McRae, baptized at St James Church in Melbourne in 1842. She married George Seward TREACY, parents: George Seward TREACY & Maria WINTER, on 20th October 1857. I couldn't find any children from this marriage.
George Seward Treacy & Catherine McRae were divorced in 1861. File no 1861-84/47. You can find this at the Public Records Office - Victoria. or at Macbeth Genealogical Services -
I would be interested in any further information on Catherine as I did spend some time trying to find out what happened to her. Ruth.

Re: Colin & Catherine McCrae of Melbourne/Yarra, Victoria, Aus.

Posted: 17 Feb 2008 8:57AM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Royse, McCrae
Hi Ruth
Many thanks for this – I had no idea she was married twice! I have quite a bit on Catherine (Kate). She married William Royse 2nd September 1869, at Holy Trinity Church in east Melbourne; William was aged 31 and Kate was 25 at this time. I have an electronic copy of their marriage certificate from the Department of Justice of Victoria’s website if you’re interested. William was the son of Isaac and Rachel Royse and came from Derbyshire; I’m not sure when he first arrived in Australia, but family lore has it that he made a bit of a fortune on the Victorian goldfields; he started turning up in Dunedin, New Zealand, about October 1861, working as a shipping agent under the business of Royse, Mudie & Co. and regularly travelled back and forwards between Dunedin and Melbourne. I guess he would have met Catherine during these travels. I’m not sure when Catherine permanently moved to New Zealand with him; there are mentions of a Mrs Royse on the ships William was an agent for as early as 1869; her eldest child was born in NZ in 1871; and her death certificate records she was in NZ for 46 years, making her arrival about 1872.

William had moved away from Dunedin for a short time, working in Hokitika and then Christchurch; his business partnership of Royse, Mudie & Co. ended about 1868-9 and he started a new one as a grain importer in Christchurch with George Stead as Royse, Stead & Co. William and Catherine had eight children – Elsie Frances, Kate, George Herbert, Mary Adelaide, William Graham, Reginald Thornhill, Nora Bell Eaton, and Olive Lee Darwent. The two eldest – Elsie and Kate - were born in Christchurch – the others were all born in Dunedin after William moved back there more permanently around 1875. William’s grain business also involved a flour mill on the Water of Leith in Dunedin, and he built a large house across the road from it; the house was called Leith House and still exists under that name as a rest home for the elderly on George Street; the house had fairly extensive grounds running up to the Water of Leith – these grounds are now the part of Woodhaugh Gardens running along the edge of George Street.

William Royse died quite young - in his 50s - of an aortic aneurysm which had affected him for about 5 years and had reduced his business activities. I think this may have affected the family financially as he is said to have died on a low. After his death in 1892, Catherine continued to live at Leith House until 1898, eventually moving to Queen Street, Dunedin, where she stayed until her death, 24 April 1918. She is buried in the Northern Cemetery, Dunedin, with William and her daughter Mary Adelaide (Mary died as a child). I have a lot of more personal information about Catherine and her children, particularly her daughters, from newspaper social columns, but I haven’t had much time to sort through it all. If you’re interested in this, you can find it on the National Library’s (NZ) Papers Past - – which has scanned a lot of its newspapers, including some with text recognition and keyword searches. The newspapers able to be searched by keyword include the ‘Otago Witness’. Catherine and her daughters often pop up in the social columns and its fun to see what parties and social events they went to – right down to what they were wearing. There is only one Royse family in Dunedin, so it’s fairly easy to find them! There’s also quite a bit on William Royse and his businesses, although it can be a bit of a slog as a lot are just shipping notices. Let me know if you’re interested in their children too, as I have a little bit on them all. Catherine is my great-great-grandmother through her daughter Kate (later Kate Watson). I do have a photo of Catherine when she is a bit older – probably taken when she was about 40 if you’d like a copy.


Re: Colin & Catherine McCrae of Melbourne/Yarra, Victoria, Aus.

Posted: 17 Feb 2008 2:21PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: McRae/McCrae/Treacy
Hi Barbara, Thank you for the details for Catherine, that ties things up better. My 3X Great-Grandmother was a sister to Catherine's first husband George Seward Treacy.
I have 7 children for Colin & Catherine McRae.
Anabella McCrae 1841 Melbourne B.Cert No 12427
Catherine McCrae 1842 Melbourne B. Reg No 12874
Daniel Stodhart McCrae 1845 Melbourne B.Reg No 14115
Alexander McRae 1847 Melbourne B.Reg No 333242
Colin McRae 1850 South Yarra B.Reg No 16758
John McCray 1852 Prahran B.Reg No 6818 (this was St Francis -Roman C, Prahran is near South Yarra)
Donald MacRae 1854 Prahran B. Reg No 6391 (no church mentioned)
I've added Reg Nos incase you wish to sent for certificates.

Re: Colin & Catherine McCrae of Melbourne/Yarra, Victoria, Aus.

Posted: 17 Feb 2008 2:26PM GMT
Classification: Query
Hi Barbara, Sorry Reg No for Alexander 33242.

Re: Colin & Catherine McCrae of Melbourne/Yarra, Victoria, Aus.

Posted: 9 Oct 2008 3:25AM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Mcrae
I have more info on the family of Colin & Catherine Mcrae. Colin died in Daylesford,Victoria 1883 and Catherine died in Western Australia in 1898.There children were Annabella, Catherine, Daniel, Alexander, Colin, John, Donald and George. Daniel died in 1852 Geelong ?, Aleander died in Sydney NSW 1893, Colin in New Guinea ? ,John in Fremantle, W.A. 1905, George in Victoria, British Columbia 1901. I have more info if you care to contact me.

Re: Colin & Catherine McCrae of Melbourne/Yarra, Victoria, Aus.

Posted: 10 Oct 2008 11:30AM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Re: Colin & Catherine McCrae of Melbourne/Yarra, Victoria Aus.
Hello, In this search for family McCRAE and mention of Geelong, has anyone come across an Isabella NICHOLSON marrying
......McCrae and having at least three children in Geelong c1867 onwards (Sorry don't have records with me at present)
Children's names: Elizabeth, Isabella and Alfred/Albert. Elizabeth married Thomas Clencie NSW 1897; Isabella m .....
Ayers/Ayres; not sure about the son. Would appreciate any help if you have any of these names in your records. Have found under various spellings of: McRae; McCREAY; McCRAE etc.Thanks.

Re: Colin & Catherine McCrae of Melbourne/Yarra, Victoria, Aus.

Posted: 16 Jan 2010 7:57AM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: McCrae/Treacy
Hi Barbara, I thought you may be interested in this Newspaper article I found at
this is online at the National Australian Library
The Argus. Saturday 5th May 1866
Pg 6

(Before their Honours Chief Justice Stawell,
Mr. Justice Barry, and Mr, Justice Williams.)

A suit by Catherine Treacy (born M'Rae) for divorce from her husband, George Seward Treacy, on the grounds of cruelty, desertion and adultery.
Mr. Wood and Mr. Dobson for the petitioner.
No counsel appeared for the respondent, but he was present in court.
The petition alleged that the petitioner was born at South Yarra, near Melbourne, and is twenty-three years old. The respondent was born In King's County, Ireland, and is twenty nine years old, and has been a livery-stable keeper. They were married at the Independent Church, Collins-street, near Melbourne.
After marriage the respondent deserted her many times, and finally in February, 1860.
There has been no issue of the marriage. Since her desertion she has maintained herself, formerly as a governess, at the schools of Mrs.Damm, Miss Glenn, Mrs. Simpson, and Mrs. Parson by, and now as a schoolmistress on her own account. Mr. Sturt, the police magistrate, on the 23rd September, 1864, made
A protection order" as to the property acquired by her since the desertion. The respondent was guilty of cruelty by abuse of her, by charges of conduct improper in a virtuous wife, by attempts to deprive her of her character and situations as a governess,
and by threats of personal violence. A petition had been filed by the husband against the wife in July, 1663, praying a divorce on the ground of adultery with the co-respondent, Adalbert Krugo, now the Prussian consul. The wife and the co-respondent
Forth with answered that petition, denying on oath the charges made in it. The petition was not further prosecuted, and it was lately dismissed by his Honour Mr. Justice Barry in chambers, for want of prosecution.
The facts of this petition having been presented by the husband, and been dismissed as against him, after denial on oath of the charges made by it, were now brought under the notice of the Court by counsel for the petitioner, and the Court expressed its approbation of the course taken by counsel in not leaving the Court in ignorance of those facts. The co-respondent in the former petition also now attended, and offered himself for examination by the Court as to the statements made in it.
Catherine Treacy was examined by her counsel, and questioned by the Court.
Adalbert Krugo was also examined by the Court.
The CHIEF JUSTICE delivered the judgment of the Court:-The circumstances or the case were peculiar, but on the whole the petitioner seemed to have established her right to a divorce. There was no doubt of the adultery of the husband, The only doubt was, whether the other charges of desertion or cruelty, or the counter charges against tho petitioner herself, were made out. Those other charges, coupled with that of adultery made against the husband, were charges of cruelty and desertion. As to the charge of cruelty, the Court thought it not sustained. Tho husband was addicted to drunkenness, and had used coarse and filthy abuse, but the circumstances did not amount to cruelty. It was plain from the wife's own conduct that the alleged menaces did not cause her any real alarm.
His conduct, too, in accusing her in a way which nearly caused her to lose her situations, was not, under all the circumstances, that of a person deliberately seeking to cause that injury to her. It would on the whole, be stretching the evidence to deem it proof of the charge of cruelty. But this view of the evidence as to that charge rather increased
the difficulty of dealing with the other charge, that of desertion for it increased tho doubtfulness of the question-whether the desertion were not, in fact, rather a voluntary separation by mutual consent than a desertion by the respondent. It did not at first appear whether she would not have been ready to go back to her husband if there had not been a want of means to support her.
The evidence of desertion was not so satisfactory as might be desired, but, on the whole, the Court thought it was sufficient. The loath some conduct of the husband was in this aspect of the case an incentive to the wife to desire that he should leave her; and a mere voluntary separation was not desertion. But looking to the whole history of the case to the very proper struggle on the part of the wife to bear with and remain with her husband at first, to the circumstances under which he left her repeatedly without any, means of support, to the charges made against her and the manner in which they had been met by her and abandoned by her husband, to the circumstances under which she had entirely maintained herself-the Court thought that the charge of desertion was sustained. There remained only the counter-charges and the question of collusion. The co-respondent in the former case had been very properly called as a witness for the satisfaction of the Court.
He and the petitioner had denied on oath the imputations against them. The facts on which suspicion bud been based had been explained.
One of those very facts was originally stated by the petitioner herself, the borrowing of money from the co-respondent, and would not have been known had she herself not mentioned it. Tho volunteering of those facts by tho petitioner was in her favour. The Court with satisfied with the denials and explanations on oath of the present petitioner and tho co-respondent in the former suit. As to the collusion, the case was also peculiar. The former petition was apparently resisted in the most effective way possible it was contested, and ultimately defeated. It may possibly be that the husband may now be ready to permit the success of this petition without being guilty of collusion, by misleading the Court, or in any way keeping from the Court the real nature of the case, or any facts which the Court ought to possess. Tho mere fact that the respondent is not adverse is not sufficient to constitute collusion with the petition.
On the whole, we think that the petitioner is entitled to a decree for a divorce. Having regard to the respondent's conduct, we think that if he has the means he should pay the costs.
Decree for divorce, with costs.

per page

Find a board about a specific topic