Saturday, 12 April 2014

The Gow Siblings: Robert William Gow

Robert William Gow was born on September 14, 1857 in Cairn Farm, Muthill, Perthshire, Scotland. He was the second eldest child of William Gow and Jean Drummond. He lived on his family's farm until the late 1870's. According to the 1881 Scotland Census, he was working as a gardener. Robert left Scotland and arrived in Sydney on May 23, 1884 via the ship Potosi. He was the first person in his family to leave Scotland.

Robert Gow, 1879, Scotland.
[Source: Personal Collection]

On August 4, 1886, Robert married Mary Agnes Ryan in Sydney. Robert was Presbyterian, however Mary was Catholic. Apparently it was looked down upon if Catholics married Presbyterians. Robert and Mary married in the Catholic Church. There might have been an increased risk of Mary being ostracized from her family if she did not marry in the Catholic Church. I wonder if this risk wasn't relevant for Robert?

Robert and Mary lived in Willoughby, Sydney where they had eight children together -

  1. Myrtle, born 1887, Sydney
  2. Allen Drummond, born 1889, Sydney
  3. Mary, born 1891, Sydney
  4. Nellie, born 1893, Sydney
  5. William Drummond, born 1895, Sydney
  6. Ronald Drummond, born 1897, Sydney
  7. Millicent, born 1900, Sydney
  8. Eric Drummond, born 1902, Sydney

All four boys were given the middle name Drummond - Robert's mother's maiden name.

Robert passed away on December 8, 1927, four years after Mary died. Robert and Mary are both buried in Macquarie Cemetery in Sydney. They are not buried together because of their different religions - Robert is buried in the Presbyterian section and Mary in the Catholic section. When they got married, I wonder if they knew they weren't going to be buried together? Robert is buried with their eldest daughter Myrtle.

Grave of Robert William Gow & his daughter Myrtle
Macquarie Cemetery, Sydney.
[Source: Personal Collection]

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