Saturday, June 19, 2010


A ten minute walk from the Lanyon homestead (post here) in a paddock to the south is the private cemetery of the 'L'anyon Estate' in today's Australian Capital Territory. As you approach along the well worn dirt road you see a small grove of very mature pine trees surrounded by a white timber railed fence. The cemetery faces away from the homestead, towards Lanyon Drive. The walk takes you to the rear of the graveyard with a stone cross prominent within the enclosure.

Entering the cemetery through a set of white picket gates you enter the enclosure which measures approximately 35 meters square (40 yards). The enclosure is nearly vacant apart from about ten large pine trees and an impressive stone cross located center rear of the yard.

A few headstones lay on either side of the stone monument and from the number of recorded burials one wonders how the other 30 or so burials were marked. Perhaps they were marked with wooden markers that have since perished or perhaps they were destroyed in a bushfire long ago. Regardless, the exact location of most of the interred souls is unknown, although I believe there is consultation occurring to have an electronic forensic search conducted by the Australian Federal police to ascertain the location of individual burial plots. Unfortunately for the descendants this will not assign names to any discovered grave sites.

From the ACT Government Lanyon brochure (here)(pdf)

'Oral tradition suggests that William Wright's was the first grave, and that the coffin had to be weighed down with large stones to protect it from attack by dingos (native dogs). Equally bizarre was the story of twenty year old Jane Cunningham who died from a ruptured appendix, but as typhoid was suspected, she was buried in haste, at night, with the funeral procession guided by candlelight. All of her clothing - even her lace up boots - were subsequently burned as a protection from infection'.

The Sydney Morning Herald 17-11-1930
NLA article (here)

Below is a list of people buried in the Lanyon cemetery. I have organised the list into family groups in chronological order and have noted their order of burial with a number at the beginning of the entry.   Key: Number   Adult age    Child age

No. 01   William Wright    1837  ? years (William died in a shooting accident).

No. 13   Andrew Cunningham                  1887  73 years
No. 16   Jane Cunningham                       1895  83 years
No. 24   Jane Cynthia Cunningham          1910  20 years
No. 25   Andrew Jackson Cunningham    1913  65 years
No. 28   James Cunningham                    1921  71 years
No. 31   Mary Emily Cunningham            1931  61 years
No. 33   Unity Cunningham                      1945  43 years

No. 17   Mary White                  1889  64 years
No. 18   Martha Mary White      1899  13 months

No. 19   Margaret Noyle      1900    62 years
No. 20   Joshua Noyle         1900    69 years

No. 23   Archibald McIntyre   1905  69 years
No. 26   Peter McIntyre          1916  69 years
No. 29   Johanna McIntyre     1923  71 years  


No. 02   John Smith                       1840  7 months
No. 03   William Glover                 1841  16 years
No. 04   James Brown                   1861  48 years
No. 05   Catherine Paul                 1862  35 years
No. 06   Mary Ann McNee              1867  7 years
No. 07   Mary Ann Hegerty             1868  29 years
No. 08   Henry Girven                    1870  8 months
No. 09   John White                       1870  36 years
No. 10   Sarah Jackson                 1880  63 years
No. 11   Mary Esther O'Neill          1881  7 days
No. 12   John Crawford                 1881  52 years
No. 14   Francis Hines                   1895  41 years
No. 15   Francis Cecil Wall           1895  6 months
No. 21   Harry Lee                        1900  42 years
No. 22   Eliza McDonald               1903  76 years
No. 27   John Wilson                    1920  79 years
No. 30   Issac Daniel Cregan        1924  62 years
No. 32   Joan Margaret Nimmo    1940  44 years
No. 34   Jennifer Carol Truman    1975  22 years
No. 35   Mary Paul Dunlop           1978  85 years

The L'anyon Estate cemetery is closed to the public.

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