Burying Ground Creek
On 16/11/1839 John Ryan, his wife Catherine and their four children, Mary 10, Edward 7, Victoria 5 & Judith 2 left their homeland, Cove of Cork, Ireland on the ship Adam Lodge arriving in Sydney on 14/2/1840. The Ryans made their way to Armidale where John worked as a shepherd on land owned by Lee, Frazer and Anderson situated 10 kilometres east of Armidale.
In 1840 or 1841 John Ryan and two of his children, Judith & Edward developed diphtheria and died beside what is now known as Burying Ground Creek. Catherine Ryan’s cries for help attracted the attention of Patrick Kennedy who was employed on Gara station at the time. Patrick buried John, Judith & Edward Ryan where they died, the grave being situated on a property presently owned by Bill Anderson, “Brookside” Armidale.
Sometime later after burying the Ryans, Patrick Kennedy and Catherine Ryan began a relationship which led to the birth of 3 children: Margaret 1842-1926, Dennis 1844-1933 and James 1846-1925. A booklet published in 1853 by the Roman Catholic Church on The Centenary of the Roman Catholic Church in Armidale indicates that Margaret Kennedy, born 1842, was baptized in 1844 by Dean Hanly, a priest who was travelling from Brisbane to Sydney on horseback and that she was the first white child born in the Armidale area.
Because of the proximity to the nearby waterway, it is not unreasonable to assume the local people referred to it as Burying Ground creek, a name which was picked up and used by the surveyors who came through much later in the century.
- Excerpt from Unravelling The Mystery of Armidale’s Burying Ground Creek by John Davies, Armidale
A personal footnote to the above information.
Mr Bill Hillard provided the valuable information about the Ryan family grave at Burying Ground Creek. Bill lived at “Wayford” on Herbert road and had a large family of six sons and six daughters, of which I, “HavaChat” am the oldest grandchild of 26 grandchildren, I fondly remember as a child his many stories of the history of the Armidale region, and the history of Burying Ground Creek which he told many times. That is what has encouraged me to place a cache at this historic creek.
Please... Do not pass on clues to your caching friends if you are successful. Spoiler images will be removed by the CO.
Please note, you MUST remain inside the guard rail for safety sake. There is no need to be on the road at any time. WATCH YOUR CHILDREN...