Saturday, 21 March 2015

Happy Birthday Elizabeth Croal (1873 - 1952)

My Great Grandmother Elizabeth Croal was born on the 21st of March, 1873 in Edinburgh, Scotland. According to the Extract Entry of her birth below (which was extracted on the 10th of April, 1873), she was born at 11pm. At the time of writing this, that is right now! Yay!

Extract Entry of Elizabeth Croal's Birth. It is too long to fit on the scanner. We've had this for more than 100 years!
[Source: Personal Collection]
Elizabeth's parents were David Croal and Christian Alves. She had two older siblings, Alexander and Margaret, plus a younger brother David who died as a baby. On the 2nd of August, 1883, when Elizabeth was 10 years old, she and her family arrived in Sydney on board the ship Iberia.

X marks the Croal's!
[Source: Personal Collection]
 In 1893, Elizabeth lost her father David when she was 20 years old. He died at sea while travelling to New Zealand and supposedly committed suicide. I cannot imagine how tough that would have been for the family. 

Elizabeth married my Great Grandfather William Gow on December 14, 1904. They had two children - Adam, who lived for only 24 hours in 1905, and my Grandfather who passed away 12 years ago. They lived in Stanmore, Sydney until about 1913 when they moved to Gumma, near Macksville. 

Wedding of William Gow & Elizabeth Croal, 14 Dec 1904, Sydney.
[Source: Personal Collection]
After William died in 1943, she moved back to Sydney to be closer to my Grandfather. Elizabeth passed away on the 16th of May, 1952, at the age of 79. 

Happy 142nd Birthday Nanna Gow!

I found this sweet postcard Elizabeth received for her birthday one year. The stamp says it is from Newcastle which is where her sister Margaret lived. The date on the stamp (I had to zoom in a lot) says 20 MR 11. The 20th of March 1911 perhaps? It seems likely. I also wonder if the fact that it came from Newcastle and it is not signed, meant that Elizabeth would know who it is from, that person potentially being her sister?

Birthday Postcard for Elizabeth Croal
[Source: Personal Collection]


  1. A lovely tribute.. A clever twist to post this at the time that your great grandmother was born. Well done, Caitlin.

  2. A very nice way to remember your great grandma.