John Nevin’s marriages to Mary Ann Dickson and Martha Genge


Mary Ann Nevin nee Dickson (1810-1875)
Thomas Nevin’s photograph of his mother ca. 1873
Copyright © KLW NFC Imprint and the Shelverton Family Collections

The Dicksons of Newtonards
Photographer Thomas J. Nevin’s mother Mary Ann Nevin nee Dickson was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1810 and died at Hobart, Tasmania in 1875. She moved to Newtownards, County Down, Ireland with her brother Alexander Dickson who set up a seed shop in High St, Newtownards in 1836 and started a nursery, a business still in the hands of his descendants which is renowned to this day for his roses. The business is now likely to close (2019), according to this report from the BBC:

Dickson Roses no longer breeding after 140 years
Growing roses is not a hobby for Colin Dickson – it’s in his family roots.
Dickson Roses in Newtownards, County Down, has been in business for more than 180 years but the rose-breeding side of its business closed last year.
And Mr Dickson’s two daughters are not going down the garden path when it comes to their careers.

Video journalist: Jake Williamson

BBC report 19 Aug 2019

Records sourced from Surnames of County Down trace the very beginnings of Alexander Dickson’s nursery at Newtonards in 1836:

Alexander DICKSON Newtownards from Scotland; set up a seed shop in High St, Newtownards in 1836; renowned for his roses [ON 27]
Alexander DICKSON Newtownards of Francis St, Newtownards ; a grocer in 1846 [POD]
Alexander DICKSON Newtownards of High St, Newtownards; a seed merchant in 1852 [POD]
Alexander DICKSON Newtownards of High St, Newtownards; leased a house, offices & yard in 1863 from Alexander Robb [GV]
Alexander DICKSON & Sons. Newtownards of Canal Row , Newtownards ; leased 1 acre in 1863 to use as a nursery from Marquis of Londonderry & leased out a house in the old tower & leased 9 acres in Corporation South & leased out 3 cottages there [GV]

Mary Ann Dickson and John Nevin
Mary Ann Dickson (1810-1875) married John Nevin snr (1808-1887) in late 1841 at Newtonards on his return to Grey Abbey, County Down after his discharge from the Royal Scots 1st Regiment of Foot at London, West Canada on 31st May 1841.

John Nevin snr was born at Grey Abbey, or “Greba” (Ulster-Scots for Grey Abbey) County Down, on the Ards Peninsula, 7 miles (11 km) from Newtownards, near Belfast, Ireland in 1808. He was possibly descended from the Rosemount and Montgomery clans. Enlisted at Newry in the Royal Scots 1st Regiment of Foot at the age of seventeen on 7th October 1825, John Nevin served in the West Indies from 30th November 1827 to 18th January 1836. His service continued in Canada from 16th June 1838 during the Canadian Rebellions. On the 17th May 1841 he was discharged on medical grounds at London, West Canada. He had served a total of 14 years and 237 days, and was granted a pension. John Nevin was repatriated to London, England and convalesced at the Chelsea Hospital as a pensioner, returning to Grey Abbey where he married Mary Ann Dickson in 1841, sister of nurseryman Alexander Dickson at Newtonards, 11 kms from Grey Abbey. Mary Ann Nevin nee Dickson gave birth to their first child Thomas James Nevin on 28th August 1842.

On John Nevin’s repatriation to Chatham (UK), the Principal Medical Officer’s reported that:-

After examination at the General Hosptl I am of the opinion that Thomas [sic] Nevin is unfit for service and wholly to be permanently unqualified for military duty and I approve the opinion of Mr Surgeon

Doctor Smith [? unnreadable] …. OMD [ 28th August 1841]

The OMD made an error in his report, naming John Nevin as “Thomas” on this page – and this page only – for some inexplicable reason. It wasn’t as if John Nevin’s first-born son, Thomas James, was present at the examination, since he wasn’t born until  one year later and coincidentally on the same day, the 28th August 1842. On discharge, John Nevin’s application to serve in the Horse Guards was approved.

John Nevin’s Service Records
OMD’s error, naming John Nevin as Thomas
National Archives, London

John Nevin’s trade was “weaver” when he enlisted in 1825 as a seventeen year-old, but on his return to Ireland as a 33 year old, he supported his family through journalism and teaching. He contributed to the Freeman Journal owned by his childhood friend James Hurst who was a surveyor by trade, publishing accounts of slavery in the West Indies, rebellions in Canada, poems and humorous pieces. With the birth of four children in total in County Down Ireland – Thomas James in 1842, Mary Anne in 1844, Rebecca Jane in 1847 and William John (Jack) by late 1851 – John Nevin applied as a pensioner guard to emigrate to Australia. The family departed Portsmouth aboard the convict transport the Fairlie, arriving at Hobart Tasmania in July 1852, accompanied by soldiers of the 99th Regiment.

On board the Fairlie 1852

The convict transport the Fairlie sailed from Plymouth on March 11, 1852 with a total of 292 male adult prisoners and 32 Parkhurst boys and arrived in Hobart on July 3, 1852. The contract was signed on 18th February 1852 to transport 294 convicts.

Reference:National Archives, Kew, UK :
Treasury Solicitor: General Series Papers TS 18/494 Transportation of 294 named male convicts from Great Britain (Plymouth) to Van Diemen’s Land by the convict ship Fairlie: contract dated 18th February 1852 . Transportation of 294 named male convicts from Great Britain (Plymouth) to Van Diemen’s Land Date: 1852. Source: The Catalogue of The National Archives.

Arrival of the Fairlie 1852
Source: State Library of Tasmania, Series Number MB2/39
Start Date 24 Mar 1828
End Date 31 Dec 1970

Guard and pensioners with families numbered 24 women and 47 children, under the supervision of Supt. Meagher for the 99th Regiment. Several crew were accompanied by family members. On board was the entire family of young Thomas James Nevin, then aged 10 yrs. His father, John Nevin, pensioner guard (1808-87) and former soldier in the Royal Scots 1st Regiment, with service in Canada during the 1837 Rebellions, worked the family’s passage. He was accompanied by his wife Mary Ann Nevin nee Dickson (1810-75) and their four children:

  1. Thomas James Nevin: (1842-1923) who died at age 80
  2. Mary Ann Nevin: (1844-1878) who died at age 34
  3. Rebecca Jane Nevin (1847-1865) who died at age 18
  4. William John Nevin (1851-1891) who died at age 39

The Fairlie prepared for departure from the UK from the Isle of Wight on March 2, 1852, embarking convicts and juvenile exiles from the Parkhurst Prison. While conditions on board must have been rudimentary for women and children accompanying a crew member, for a mother and baby it must have been a floating hell.

The medical officer for the voyage which began on March 2-11, 1852 recorded that prior to departure, on February 28th, both John Nevin and his wife Mary suffered diarrhoea, and were discharged from the list on the day of departure. Mary (Anne) Nevin, aged 5 yrs, was put on the sick list on the 23rd April. Her mother Mary Nevin, aged 40 [sic], joined her daughter on the sick list a day later, on the 24th April. Both were listed in the “QUALITY” column with their status: child of guard and wife of guard.

Nevins on sick list Fairlie 1852

Mary Nevin, aged 5, child of guard; Mary Nevin, aged 40, wife of guard.

Nevin on sick list Fairlie 1852

William Nevin, aged 6 months, child of guard

Reference: ADM 101/27/2
Medical journal of convict ship Fairlie .
Admiralty and predecessors: Office of the Director General of the Medical Department of the Navy and predecessors: Medical Journals Convict Ships etc. Date: 1852. Source: The Catalogue of The National Archives [UK]

On the 2nd June, the babe in arms, William Nevin, aged 6 months, was also put on the sick list, “QUALITY” also listed as child of guard. As the sick lists indicate, they were named in the company of other wives and children of guards, and of convicts of all ages.

Folio 2: John Nevin, aged 43, Private of pensioners; sick or hurt, diarrhoea; put on sick list 28 February 1852, discharged 2 March 1852 to duty. Folio 2: Mary Nevin, aged 40, Wife of pensioners;
Folio 2: Mary Nevin, aged 40, Wife of pensioners; sick or hurt, diarrhoea; put on sick list 14 March 1852, discharged 25 March 1852 to duty.
Folio 4: Mary Nevin, aged 5, Child of Guard; sick or hurt, diarrhoea; put on sick list 23 April 1852, discharged 30 April 1852 to duty.
Folio 4: Mary Nevin, aged 40, Wife of Guard; sick or hurt, diarrhoea; put on sick list 24 April 1852, discharged 14 May 1852 to duty.
Folio 5: William Nevin, aged 6 months, Child of Guard; sick or hurt, convulsio; put on sick list 2 June 1852, discharged 9 June 1852 to duty.

Absent from the sick lists were Thomas, and his sister Rebecca Jane. Whatever ailments they endured on the voyage apparently left few permanent effects on Thomas and his father: Thomas James Nevin (photographer) lived to the age of 81 yrs (d. 1923). His father John also lived to the age of 80, and remarried at the age of 71 to a 46 year old widow, Martha Salter nee Genge, soon after the death of his first wife and mother of his children, Mary Ann Dickson (1810-1875), who lived just 65 years. However, the two sisters did not survive to the 20th century: Rebecca Jane Nevin died of illness in 1865, aged 18 years at Kangaroo Valley; Mary Anne Nevin died in Victoria, aged 34 yrs in 1878, shortly after her marriage in 1877 to John Carr and 21 days after the birth of her daughter Mary Ann Carr; and younger brother Jack (William John) died in 1891, aged 39 yrs of typhoid fever while in service at H. M Prison, Hobart. Jack joined the H.M. Prison administration at the Hobart Gaol while still in his teens,and remained there until his untimely death, assisting his brother Thomas there as the official photographer supplying convicts’ identification photographs for the Municipal Police Office and Prisons Department. Jack was variously enrolled as an elector with the name (Constable) John Nevin and William John Nevin, not to be confused with Thomas Nevin’s son, William John Nevin, born in 1878, who died in 1927 in a horse and cart accident.

Death of Mary Ann Nevin nee Dickson 1875
This pioneer Tasmanian family brought their four children, all under 12 years of age – Thomas (born 1842), Mary Ann (born 1844), Rebecca (born 1847) and William John (called Jack by the family, born 1851, babe in arms on the voyage out). They settled on a farm and orchards at Kangaroo Valley, known as Lenah Valley since 1922, with gardens stretching down to the Lady Franklin Museum (Ancanthe). Soon after settling at Kangaroo Valley, John Nevin built their cottage and became the keeper and school master on the property owned by the Trustees of the Wesleyan Chapel (1 acre). He established orchards (1 acre) on an adjoining property leased from Mary Nairn and exported jam to the colony of Victoria .

John Nevin’s wife and mother of his four children, Mary Ann Nevin nee Dickson, died of bladder complications and natural decay, 65 yrs old, on 13th April, 1875.

Last entry on this page: death of Mary Nevin, 13 April 1875, of bladder complications, described as “farmer’s wife”. Source: Archives of Tasmania.

Thomas Nevin’s photograph of his father John Nevin, early 1870s
Copyright © KLW NFC Imprint and the Shelverton Collection 2006-2009 Arr

John Nevin snr wrote and published poetry. Three poems are known to be held in public collections, another was published in the Weekly Times, Hobart, Tasmania, on 29th August 1863 to commemorate the death of his friend James William Chisholm.

NEVIN, John (1863) “Original Poetry WRITTEN on the much-lamented death of the late JAMES WILLIAM CHISHOLM, of Hobart Town, a native of Edinburgh, aged 61 years.” Weekly Times, Hobart, Tasmania, 29 Aug 1863

NEVIN, John (1866) “Lines on the much lamented death of Rebecca Jane Nevin : who died at the Wesleyan chapel, Kangaroo Valley, on the 10th November, 1865, in the 19th year of her age.” [s.n.], Kangaroo Valley [N.S.W.]- (to be amended to Kangaroo Valley, Tasmania.) is held at the University of Melbourne Library, Special Collections.

NEVIN, John (1868) “My Cottage in the Wilderness”, published in April 1868, is held at the Mitchell Library NSW;

NEVIN, John (1881) “Lines written on the sudden and much lamented death of Mr William Genge who died at the Wesleyan Chapel, Melville-street, Hobart on the morning of 17th January 1881, in the 73rd year of his age” as a ten stanza lament, is held at the State Library of Tasmania.

Poems by John Nevin snr, 1863, 1866 (Univ. Melb); 1868 (SLNSW) and 1881 (SLTas)

These two photographs by Thomas J. Nevin of his parents of Mary Ann Nevin nee Dickson and John Nevin are scans from paper prints which had been pasted into the scrapbook of Thomas’ son George Ernest Nevin, now held in the Shelverton family collection..

Thomas J. Nevin’s photographs of his parents Mary Ann nee Dickson and John Nevin ca. 1873.
Copyright © KLW NFC Imprint and the Shelverton Collection 2006-2009 Arr

The studio decor of these standard studio full-length portraits by Thomas Nevin of his family, and of other clientele during these years, consistently featured a diamond-patterned carpet, a shiny-backed low easy chair, a table with griffin-shaped legs, a curtain draped down one side of the frame, and a river-scene wall-hanging (not visible here). They were taken in his studio, The City Photographic Establishment, 140 Elizabeth Street, Hobart Town, ca. 1870, and no later than 1875, the year his mother Mary died.

John Nevin snr and Martha Genge
Four years after the death from bladder complications of Thomas J. Nevin’s mother Mary Ann Nevin nee Dickson (1810-1875), his father John Nevin snr (1808-1887) re-married, and to a much younger woman, widow Martha Salter nee Genge (1833-1925), daughter of his close friend, Methodist preacher William Genge. At the time of their marriage in October 1879, John Nevin was 71 yrs old, and Martha Salter was 46 yrs old. The difference in their ages might even stir comment in this day and age, but there was an urgent reason behind this marriage which centred on John Nevin’s daughter’s daughter, his grand-daughter, Mary Ann or Minnie Carr.

[Above right] Martha Nevin, formerly Salter, nee Genge (1833-1925)
Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office
TAHO Ref: NS434/1/194 copy
Original photo by Thomas J. Nevin taken at his New Town studio October 1879
Photo copyright © KLW NFC 2012
[Above left] John Nevin snr, (1808-1887)
Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office
TAHO Ref: NS434/1/155 copy
Original photo by his son Thomas J. Nevin taken at his New Town studio October 1879
Photo copyright © KLW NFC 2012

Archives Office Tasmania
Record ID: NAME_INDEXES:888757
Resource RGD37/1/38 no 711

[Above]: The marriage registration of John Nevin snr and Martha Salter nee Genge, 23rd October 1879 at Kangaroo Valley New Town. His age was 71, and his status/rank was listed as gardener. Her age was 46, living with her father, William Genge who was a stonemason and sexton of the Wesleyan Church, Melville St. Hobart. Description given was John Nevin, widower, Martha Salter, widow. Her mark X was inserted between her first name and surname, possibly indicating that her maiden name was to be added. Witnesses were James Genge, Martha Salter nee Genge’s father and F. R Alomes, a 30yr old farmer. Henry Moore officiated as Clergyman.

The 25 year discrepancy between their ages at the time of their marriage in 1879 – John Nevin was 71, Martha Salter nee Genge was 46 – might have been viewed askew, but at least one reason for this marriage was the necessity of providing a home for John Nevin’s grand-daughter Mary Ann Carr  (1878-1898). Known as Minnie, daughter of his own daughter, recently deceased Mary Ann Carr nee Nevin (1847-1878), who was the only surviving sister of John Nevin’s other children – photographer Thomas Nevin and younger brother Jack (Constable William John Nevin) by 1866 after the death of their sister Rebecca Jane Nevin – Mary Ann or Minnie Carr is not be confused with the other Minnie  in the family, Thomas Nevin’s last born daughter Mary Anne known as Minnie Nevin (1884-1974).

Disambiguation: Mary Ann Nevin
Thomas Nevin’s sister Mary Ann Nevin had married master mariner John Carr at the Wesleyan Chapel close to the Nevin family home at Kangaroo Valley Tasmania on 3rd May, 1877, but she died one year later at Sandridge, Victoria only 22 days after giving birth to her only child, a daughter also named Mary Ann or Minnie. The only surviving child of this marriage was named after three Nevin family members; –

-her deceased mother Mary Ann Carr nee Nevin;
-her mother’s mother, i.e. grandmother Mary Ann Nevin nee Dickson; and
-her first cousin Mary Ann Drew nee Nevin, also known as Minnie, last daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Nevin.

Resource RGD37/1/36 no 359

[Above:] Marriage of Mary Anne Nevin, 31 years old, gardener’s daughter, to John Carr, 37 yrs old, seaman, on 3rd May 1877 at the Wesleyan Church, Kangaroo Valley, New Town Hobart.
Witnesses were her father John Nevin snr, her brother John Nevin jnr, her sister-in-law Mary Sophia Day (sister of Thomas Nevin’s wife Elizabeth Rachel Nevin nee Day) and Mary Hurst, sister of Thomas Nevin’s friend, surveyor John Hurst.

There was tragedy awaiting Thomas Nevin’s younger sister Mary Ann, though they would hardly have anticipated what it might be when he took this photograph – almost as a snapshot – of her ca. 1868-1870 . The family had  already lost one sister, Rebecca Jane Nevin to illness by 1865, the year that Mary Ann applied unsuccessfully to the Board of Education to establish a school at Kangaroo Valley with the support of family friend Morton Allport. But she persisted on her own account with support from her father, John Nevin snr, and used the schoolhouse adjoining the Wesleyan Chapel close by the house her father had built on land owned by the Wesleyan Trust, up the hill from the Lady Franklin Museum at Ancanthe.

[Above] Thomas Nevin’s stereograph of his sister Mary Ann Nevin ca. 1870
Photographed with four children, one holding a toddler, and a tall man in shirt sleeves at the Kangaroo Valley school (in background) where both she and her father John Nevin snr were teachers.
Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery Collection
TMAG Ref: Q16826.1.2 [scan 2015]. Verso below.

Verso: Thomas Nevin’s stereograph of his sister Mary Ann Nevin ca. 1870
Photographed with four children, one holding a toddler, and a tall man in shirt sleeves at the Kangaroo Valley school (in background) where both she and her father John Nevin snr were teachers.
Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery Collection
TMAG Ref: Q16826.1.2 [scan 2015]. 

In 1875, her father John Nevin snr was granted a license to teach adult males at night at the Wesleyan schoolhouse, Kangaroo Valley. His wife Mary Ann nee Dickson, mother to Mary Ann and her two brothers, photographer Thomas Nevin and Constable John Nevin, had died in the same year. By 1877 Mary Ann Nevin had married mariner Captain John Carr and moved to Victoria. In 1878, she died of peritonitis 22 days after delivering her daughter Mary Ann Carr at Sandridge. Her daughter was returned to the care of Thomas and Jack Nevin’s father John Nevin snr in 1879 at Kangaroo Valley, near Hobart, Tasmania.

John Nevin snr had made the heartfelt decision to remarry in order to provide his grandchild Mary Ann Carr with a maternal presence. He married Martha Genge, the widowed daughter of his close friend, Wesleyan preacher William Genge. At the time of their marriage and their adoption of his daughter’s daughter, John Nevin snr was 71 yrs old, and Martha Genge, (widowed as Salter) was 49 years old. The grandchild was named Mary Ann after her mother (Mary Ann Carr nee Nevin, 1844-1878), her grandmother (Mary Ann Nevin nee Dickson, 1810-1875) and later nicknamed Minnie after her cousin Mary Anne Drew nee Nevin (1884-1974), who was born to Thomas and Elizabeth Nevin in 1884.

Public Records Office, Victoria
Death certificate: On 27th July 1878, Mary Ann Carr of Railway Place, Borough of Sandridge (Victoria), married woman, 33 years old, died of perintonitis, 22 days after the birth of her daughter Mary Ann Carr. Her parents John Nevin and Mary Ann Nevin formerly Dickson were listed on the death certificate as was her husband John Carr, mariner, and the birth of her daughter.

So, Thomas Nevin’s niece, known thereafter as Minnie Carr who survived her mother’s death three weeks after birth was raised by her grandfather John Nevin snr and his second wife Martha Nevin nee Genge, When John Nevin snr died in 1887 (b. 1808), Martha Nevin moved from Kangaroo Valley (New Town) to Patrick Street, Hobart and continued to care for her step-granddaughter Minnie Carr but within a decade Minnie Carr would also “join the great majority“, to use her grandfather’s poetic turn of phrase. In 1898 and just  20yrs old, Minnie Carr died suddenly of gastric poisoning and haemorrhage. The funeral notice simply stated that at the time of her death she was living at her mother’s house, though that was not strictly correct. Martha Nevin was her step-grandmother by way of her grandfather John Nevin snr’s ‘second marriage, not her mother or even step mother, but because of Martha Nevin’s relative youth in 1879 when she married John Nevin, she was most likely considered a step-mother rather than step-grandmother to the child whom she had raised, practically from birth.

Four women, therefore, across three generations in Thomas Nevin’s family were given the name “Mary Ann” at birth:

1. Thomas J. Nevin’s mother, Mary Ann Nevin nee Dickson (born Edinburgh 1810, sister of Alexander Dickson, nurseryman of Newtonards, Ireland) who died in Hobart on 13th April 1875, aged 65 yrs, wife of John Nevin snr, and mother of Thomas James, Rebecca Jane, Mary Ann and William John Nevin. The family arrived in Tasmania in July 1852.

[Above:] Thomas Nevin’s photograph of his mother Mary Ann Nevin ca. 1873
Copyright © KLW NFC and Shelverton Collections 2007

2. Thomas J. Nevin’s sister, Mary Ann Carr nee Nevin (born Newtonards Ireland 1847) who married John Carr at Kangaroo Valley, New Town, Hobart in May, 1877 and died at Sandridge Victoria on 27th July 1878 giving birth to her daughter Mary Ann Carr, christened with the same name.

[Above] Thomas Nevin’s mounted carte-de-visite portrait of his sister Mary Anne Carr  ca. 1874
Photo copyright © KLW NFC 2005. Private Collection.

3. Thomas Nevin’s daughter, Mary Ann Nevin (Hobart 1884-1974), known as Minnie to the family, and as Minnie Drew when she married.

[Above]: Mary Anne, known as Minnie Nevin (1884-1974), aged 15 yrs, ca. 1900
Daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Nevin
Tasmanian Archives Collection (TAHO)
Black and white copy deposited 30/8/1974
Ref: NS434/1/230

4. Thomas Nevin’s niece, Mary Ann Carr (born Sandridge Victoria 1878 – died Hobart 1898), daughter of his deceased sister Mary Ann Carr nee Nevin, was also known as Minnie.

The loss to Thomas Nevin and his younger brother Jack (William John) of their sister Mary Ann in childbirth in 1878 was a sudden shock,and yet one more loss to the family of immediate female relatives. Their only other sister Rebecca Jane Nevin had died in 1866 at Kangaroo Valley, aged 18 years, and their mother had died in 1875. In 1879, their father John Nevin made the in loco parentis decision to adopt his motherless grand-daughter Mary Ann Carr by bringing her back to Tasmania from Victoria, and marrying Martha Salter nee Genge, as a means of providing the child with a maternal carer.

Thomas Nevin’s stereo of his sister Mary Anne Nevin ca. 1870 dipping a glass at the creek,
Kangaroo Valley Hobart.  Photo copyright © KLW NFC 2012. Private Collection.

Mary Ann Carr poisoned
Mary Ann Carr, John Nevin’s granddaughter was brought up within the family circle of her cousins of about the same age, the children of her aunt and uncle, Elizabeth Rachel Nevin nee Day and photogapher Thomas James Nevin. But she was soon to lose her adoptive grandfather John Nevin snr. When he died in 1887 at Kangaroo Valley, she moved to 76 Patrick Street, Hobart, with her adoptive “mother”, her step-grandmother, Mrs Martha Nevin (formerly Salter, nee Genge) who was a widow again at 54 yrs old.

At 76 Patrick Street, widowed Mrs Martha Nevin took in a lodger, a young clerk called Arthur William Thomas Edwards, aged 22 yrs old. He was living there under the same roof in 1898 when Mary Ann or Minnie Carr, 20 years old, died suddenly of gastric poisoning and haemorhrage. The funeral notice said she died at the home of her mother, which was incorrect because her mother had died giving birth to her in 1878, twenty years previously. Her step-grandmother, Mrs Martha Nevin, 63 years old by this time, was regarded as her mother. The Post Office directories of the years preceding and following 1898 mispelt her name as Mrs Martha “Niven”. Other variations recorded in 19th century documents for Thomas Nevin include “Nevan” and “Navin”.

So what really caused 20 year old Mary Ann Carr’s death in 1898? Had she self-administered poison because she might have fallen pregnant to the 22 yr old Arthur W. T. Edwards? Did Mary Ann Carr, known as Minnie,  want to end an affair going on under the nose of her “mother” (i.e. her step-grandmother) Mrs Martha Nevin  because the eligible Arthur W. T. Edwards had  met Jane Wale and loudly proclaimed his intention to marry said Jane. who also resided in Patrick Street. Strange indeed that Arthur W. T. Edwards had moved out of Mrs Martha Nevin’s house to another lodging in Melville Street between the time of Mary Ann Carr’s death and his marriage to Jane Wale just a few months later, on February 19th, 1899. Had Mary Ann been raped, to have suffered such haemorraging? Had he poisoned her? Was Arthur more than just a cad??? Was he totally innocent of the misadventure, or was his fiancee the perpetrator and his accomplice?

Marriage certificate of Arthur William Thomas Edwards to Louisa Jane Wale, 19th February 1899.

Desecration of Minnie Carr’s grave 1898
Whatever the story behind the painful death of Mary Ann or Minnie Carr, born in Melbourne in 1878,  the only other first cousin of Thomas and Elizabeth Nevin’s children, within days of her burial at the Cornelian Bay cemetery, her grave was desecrated. Some one had stolen ribbons and cards from the grave site. Her first cousin, Thomas James Nevin jnr, eldest son of photographer Thomas Nevin, inserted this notice in the Mercury on the 3rd October, 1898:

Ribbons and Cards having from the grave been STOLEN from the grave of my cousin, Miss M. A. Carr, who was interred in the Cornelian Bay Cemetery on Saturday last, a reward will be paid for information as to the thief.
T.J. Nevin Elizabeth-street.

[Above] Cousin of Mary Ann Carr [Minnie] who died in 1898, eldest son of photographer Thomas Nevin, Thomas James “Sonny” Nevin (1874-1948), in Salvation Army uniform
Taken shortly before his death in Salvation Army uniform, late 1940s.
Photo copyright © KLW NFC Imprint 2009

Martha Nevin nee Genge and Mary Genge ca 1920

[Above] Martha Nevin nee Genge (1835-1925) on left, with her sister Mary Chandler nee Genge on right
Taken by their nephew James Chandler at Mt. Stuart ca. 1920
TAHO Ref: NS434/1/103
Photo © KLW NFC Imprint 2012

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