|SAMUEL LANE AND CATHERINE (KATE) MARIE PARKER
Written by Gaye Gibbs (nee Jessep) and Bob Wilson, edited by Grahame Thom.
Samuel (Sam) Lane was born in Windsor on 22 June 1852, the eldest child of John Lane, a bootmaker, and Margaret Anderson. He suffered from severe asthma from the age of 8 and by 21 people thought he would die. Sam moved to Albury in an attempt to improve his health.
Sam must have returned to Windsor for he married Catherine (called Kate) Marie Parker at the Methodist Church, Windsor, on 14 May 1879. The Rev. Joseph Oram conducted the service. Sam was 26 and Kate was 32. Kate's father John and sister Emily were the witnesses. John Parker could not sign but made his mark.
Kate was the fourth child of John Parker, a storekeeper and orchardist at Parramatta, and Ann Cock. She was born in Parramatta on 1 May 1847. She was usually called Kate. Kate became engaged to be married when aged 20 and her fiance was a short time later killed in a horse accident. Then aged 32 she decided to marry Sam - a man six years younger than her and a chronic asthmatic.
Sam’s asthma kept him from working regularly for many years. The couple ran a series of shops, over which they lived. They moved from one shop to another, though they tended to keep to the Windsor area. For a time, around 1886, Sam worked as draper's assistant in George Street, Windsor.
It was while they were living in Windsor (before moving to Albury), when daughter Blanche (Birdie) was a baby, that Kate thought the house was haunted. Things would be moved around at night, e.g. ornaments on the mantelpiece, and thumps would be heard.
Later they moved back for a time (early 1890's) to Townsend Street, Albury - Wodonga where they had a fruit shop. Kate supported her family for much of the time by running the store, taking in boarders, washing and generally working extremely hard with the four children. She took in foster girls from time to time because she liked doing it, plus it provided a bit of extra money and some help in the house.
Sam was not a tall man, he looked a bit like his mother Margaret Anderson from the existing photos, but with dark hair and a heavy moustache and beard. He smoked special cigarettes for his asthma. He liked wild birds and would call them down to feed on his hands in all the country areas in which they lived. Kate was a tiny woman, only about 5 feet (1.52 metres) tall and slightly built. Her wedding dress survived until the 1950's when it fitted her great grand-daughter Susan Rowe as a girl.
Their children were :-
Eppie Alice - born 12 March 1880 at Little New Street, Windsor
Alfred Oram - born 10 July 1881 at Lambert , St. Windsor
Arthur Wesley - born 8 July 1883 at Molong where Kate's sister Emily lived
Blanche - 10 April 1886 at George Street, Windsor
Wesley Moulder - born 5 January 1891 at Wodonga, died aged 10 months, in Albury
Kate was 44 when she had Wesley. Blanche was called Birdie because of her lively chirpy nature.
Birdie recalled her childhood as a country one. She learnt to trap and skin rabbits, and could also shoot them very efficiently. They always kept a nanny goat for the milk and when there was a kid they would eat the meat. Birdie hated to think the young goat had to be killed but she ate it anyway. Birdie was raised on goat's milk as her mother did not have enough breast milk for her - Kate was 39 when she had Birdie.
In her later years, her granddaughter Joy recalls Birdie complaining of the hard life she had as a child. They were getting ready for a birthday party and Birdie said that as a child there had been no parties or presents. She had to do a lot of ironing with a heavy iron heated up on the stove top. Her daughter Thelma told Joy that she felt her mother had been rather spoilt as the baby of the family. In those days parents did not hold parties for their children or give presents and it was common for children to help with chores such as ironing. As her mother took in washing it was not unreasonable to get Birdie to lend a hand.
Birdie loved horses and was a good rider. The family made pets of them. On one occasion a horse got into the kitchen and ate all the lettuce soaking on the table. They couldn't get it out the back door and had to lead it down the hall and out the front door. He was a real pet. Once when Birdie was a small girl she wandered off and was lost. Eventually they found her out in the paddock, asleep, curled up in the horse's neck. Her parents were concerned the horses might tread on her and left her to wake up undisturbed. She survived uninjured. They had a horse and cart and as Birdie got older she would help harness the horse. When she was about 6 or 7 a horse trod on her foot, and she believed it was never the same again. Birdie was never to forget this love of horses. She even wanted her daughter Thelma to buy a horse when Thelma bought a home in Maroubra. However it was too expensive to keep a horse.
Kate also had a partiality for tortoise shell cats - even though this meant they were female and would have kittens regularly. She loved their pretty dappled colours.
The Lanes all had a special whistle which they would use to herald their arrival. When Birdie was married and her brothers visited her, she could always tell they were coming by their whistle - especially her brother Arthur.
In 1894 the family moved back to Windsor after three years in Albury - The Windsor and Richmond Gazette reported on 3 March 1894:-
Mr. S. Lane, who has been living at Albury for the past few years, returned to his native town, Windsor, last week. He often saw Mr. D. Gallaher and Mr. A. B. Kirk, who were once living here. Mr. Lane, whilst liking the town, does not think the people on the N. S. W. border are to be compared with the Hawkesburyites. Trade is very bad there, and where formerly, when he first went there, most of the people were protectionists, the majority are now freetraders - or, rather, Single-taxers. Albury is stated to be the stronghold of Single-taxers.
Once he got back to Windsor Sam again became active with the local Wesleyan Church as this article in The Windsor and Richmond Gazette of 3 October 1896 indicates:-
It is said that Mr. Sam Lane intends to bring a Sydney Sunday-school picnic party up to Windsor Park shortly. It is to be hoped that this will be the beginning of such parties coming to the town.
On 15 December 1899 the Hawesbury Advocate reported that Sam had given evidence in a libel case, supporting the efficiency of a herbal medicine which had helped with his asthma:-
Mr. Samuel Lane, a one-time resident of Windsor, and a son of our respected townsman, Mr. John Lane, gave evidence for Kugelmann, in the libel case v. John Norton, of "Truth," as to the efficacy of Kugelmann's herbal remedies.
Sam's asthma improved and he attributed his cure to Dr Kugelmann's herbal treatment. He gave a testimonial for this treatment in the Sydney Morning Herald on Saturday 20 July 1901, under the heading “Extract of sworn evidence of Samuel Lane of Petersham. He said:-
I had been in a bad condition of health from the time I was eight years of age, suffering from Chronic Asthma and other ailments. One doctor told me one thing and one another, and at 21 years of age I was given up to die. I had great difficulty in breathing. The trouble seemed to be on my chest and I was under doctors for 15 years, trying to get relief from it, but their treatment gave me no relief. I felt very ill indeed, and tried all the remedies I could, without result, and was left in a wrecked condition. I tried no end of doctors in different parts - in Parramatta, Bathurst, Windsor, and Sydney. I also tried Albury, but only got worse and eventually went back to Windsor to die amongst my friends, when I heard of Mr. Kugelmann, and decided to consult him at the Grosvenor Hotel Sydney. He told me at once what was the matter with me, and that he could cure me, and, as a result of his Herbal treatment, I was able to sleep at night, which I could never do before and was no longer troubled with the asthma as I had been for so many years. I got quite well and able to follow employment, and look upon my cure as being a marvellous cure, brought about by Mr. Kugelmann's treatment.
I also had a son, aged 15 years, who was suffering from Haemorrhages of the Lungs, and a cough, especially at night time. I took him to Mr. Kugelmann, and he cured him completely in 4 (four) months.
The son was probably Arthur who was known to have had lung problems later in life. Thelma recalled that her father smoked special herbal cigarettes for his asthma and these may have been prescribed by Dr Kugelmann or perhaps his cure was some other form of herbs. Thelma thought perhaps he had been allergic to something which he was no longer exposed to - something in his diet or in the district he lived in. Perhaps it was indeed Dr Kugelmann's amazing cure! The good doctor claimed to cure just about every known disease as shown by his long advertisements with many testimonials like Sam's.
Sam, like many members of his family, performed in public gatherings. A Temperance Meeting (Windsor and Richmond Gazette 9 July and 13 July 1904) included a Song by Mr. S. Lane, of Windsor, with a recitation as an encore; Mr. Lane received an enthusiastic reception as an old Windsorite.
Then at a pleasant social evening at the Methodist School Hall, Sam performed again a recitation, ‘Paddy, the valiant’ , Mr S. Lane, who for encore gave 'Buy your own cherries'
On 3 August 1907 The Windsor and Richmond Gazette reported that Sam was taking up the management of a drapery business in Windsor:-
Mr E. Board has removed from his business premises to his cottage in Macquarie - street. Mr S. Lane has gone into residence at 'Victoria House,' and will manage Mr Board's drapery business, we understand.
In 1907 (Windsor and Richmond Gazette 1 June 1907) Sam at attended a farewell party for his cousin-in law Elizabeth Anderson, widow of Thomas Anderson, accompanied probably by one of her daughters.
KURRAJONG - On the occasion of Mrs and Miss Anderson leaving Kurrajong to reside in Parramatta their friends decided to mark their esteem and affection. With this object in view the friends gathered in the Comleroy Road Methodist Church on Monday evening last, when the Rev J Colwell and Messrs Fraser, Dingwall and J Lane spoke in high terms of the services rendered to the church and district by Mrs and Miss Anderson, and the chairman asked Mrs Anderson to accept an easy chair, and Miss Anderson a lady's dressing case, as a tangible token of their goodwill. Mr Sam Lane replied on behalf of the family. Solos were given by Miss Mitchell and Mr Dingwall, and a duet by Miss Anderson and Mr Dingwall. Previous to the meeting a working bee was formed, and the church grounds were cleared of bush wood, and a commencement was made with the dividing fence now being erected around the graves.
On 18 July 1908 Birdie and Urbane Row were married in the parsonage, Dowling Street, Paddington by the Rev. M. Scott Fletcher MA. By then the Lane family had moved back to Windsor, at Hinton Cottage, "The Terrace". It was here that a little over a year later, Kate fell over an old black retriever dog in the hallway and hurt her hip. She was sent to bed and as a result she developed pneumonia or pleurisy. On 7 September 1909 she died aged only 62. Kate was buried at St Matthew's Windsor. Birdie had to find places for the two foster girls aged about 14, who were living with her.
The remains of the late Mrs Catherine Maria Lane, wife of Mr Samuel Lane, of The Terrace, Windsor, who died on the 7th instant, were laid to rest in; St Matthew's C. E. cemetery, Windsor, on the 9th inst. The deceased was 62 years of age and succumbed to an attack of pleurisy, after a few days' illness. The Rev. G. Thompson (Methodist) held a service at the house, and assisted Rev. N. Jenkyn at the graveside. The late Mrs Lane was much beloved for her charity and benevolence. She leaves two sons and two daughters, and, for them and the bereaved husband, much sympathy is felt. Mr Chandler was the undertaker. Windsor and Richmond Gazette, 18 September 1909
Sam was only 57 when Kate died. Now he had to support himself and his health had never been very good. He was granted a hawker’s license on 13 November 1909. (Windsor and Richmond Gazette)
He was able to put in a few weeks work from time to time possibly with his deceased brother Edwin’s tailoring business, now run by Edwin’s sons, as reported in the Windsor and Richmond Gazette of 27 February 1914 :-
Mr. S. Lane, of Windsor, is home after putting in a couple of weeks with a City drapery firm while their summer sale was on.
When his health improved, Sam was able to work as a floor walker at Grace Brothers. The Windsor and Richmond Gazette 26 November 1915 reported:-
Mr. Samuel Lane is engaged as shop walker, in the toy department at Grace Bros’ establishment, and will be retained in that position till the end of next month.
Then later on 7 January 1916 the same paper reported:-
Mr. Samuel Lane of Windsor, is engaged for three weeks at Farmers, in Sydney, during their 'sale’, and afterwards goes to Grace Bros, for a few weeks.
The First World War had an impact on Sam (Windsor and Richmond Gazette 9 July 1915 and 18 May 1917). His son Arthur and nephew Gordon were both involved in the fighting.
Mr. William Lane's son, Gordon, has enlisted for the war. He is a nephew of Mr. S. Lane, of Windsor.
Mr. Samuel Lane has received word that his son Arthur, who sailed for the front in the ‘Osterley’, has arrived in England. On landing he was mentioned for good service, and given the rank of sergeant. Sergeant A.W. Lane's name has been entered on the ship's log for meritorious service on the voyage. His cousin, Gordon Lane, son of Mr. William H. Lane, of Enmore, has been invalided home, and is expected to arrive in Sydney this week, after 18 months' service.
Birdie gave Sam 5 shillings a month to help and he was able to live for a time in rooms.
When Sam was about 70 years old he went to live with his son Alfred for a time. Urbane wouldn't have him since he was already looking after his brother Jabez and Sam was hard to live with. His asthma unfortunately returned, perhaps he was allergic to something in the area. The Windsor and Richmond Gazette (14 October 1921, 12 January 1922, and 13 October 1922) reported:-
Mr. S. Lane, formerly of Windsor, and now an employee of Messrs. Marcus Clark and Co., is on a month's sick leave, portion of which he spent in the old town. Mr. Lane leaves on Friday for Warrah Creek, Willow Tree; where he will spend the remainder of his vacation with his son, Mr. A. O. Lane, school teacher.
Mr. S. Lane, who is now living with his son, at Warrah Creek, Willow Tree, has not been enjoying good health for some time, and has not been able to do any work for the past, 15 months. Mr. Lane suffers acutely from that distressing malady asthma.
The many friends of Mr. Samuel Lane will regret to learn that his health is very unsatisfactory. It is twelve months since he has been able to do any work, and he is at present staying with his son, at Warrah Creek, Willow Tree, in the hope that the change will benefit his health.
Eventually Sam moved to an old men's home, "The Outlook" at Lagoon Street, Narrabeen. He died on 26 January 1932 at the "Home of Peace" Marrickville from cerebral thrombosis and hempleger (10 days), and cardiac senile myocardia (3 days) at the age of 80. He was buried at Rookwood Methodist Cemetery.
The Windsor and Richard Gazette 5 February 1932 reported:-
MR. SAMUEL LANE, eldest son of the late John Lane, of Windsor, passed away on Anniversary Day at a ripe old age. A draper by trade, the deceased lived in New-street Windsor, for many years, during which time he was, like his father before him, actively associated with the local Methodist Church. He is survived by two brothers and two sisters, Mr. James Lane, (Manly), Mrs. S. W. Sims (Queensland), Mr. Albert Lane, M.H.R. (Roseville) and Mrs. W. H. Pinkstone (Cootamundra).
Sam and Kate had five children:-
Eppie Alice,born 12 March 1880, Windsor, a spinster.
The Sydney Morning Herald, 30 March 1880 reported her birth:- LANE, March 12, Windsor, Mrs. Samuel Lane, daughter.
Eppie had a weak heart as a result of having rheumatic fever as a child. She was going to be married and had made her clothes for her trousseau, including her wedding dress with satin slippers. She kept them in an old tin trunk at her sister Birdie’s home. She would get out her trousseau and show her niece Thelma. It was all beautiful hand work. The wedding was called off suddenly, it may have been her poor heart which made marriage a risk. She would say to Thelma when Thelma was being picked on by bigger kids "Good things are wrapped up in small parcels" - this was very appropriate since Eppie herself was a tiny woman like her mother. She and Birdie worked as servants. Eppie also helped out with Alfred’s children and in his turn he helped look after her when she was sick. Eppie supplemented her income later in life by knitting baby clothes for David Jones. She was an excellent embroiderer and knitter of lace. Two beautiful knitted round doilies survive with tiny stitches. She died aged 43 on 26 February 1923 at Parramatta Hospital and was buried at St Matthew's Windsor. The Windsor and Richmond Gazette 2 March 1923 reported:-
The death took place in Parramatta Hospital this week of Miss Eppie Lane, daughter of Mr. Samuel Lane. The deceased was 42 years of age. The remains were laid to rest in St. Matthew's C.E. Cemetery, Windsor, on Tuesday. Deceased's mother was buried there.
2) Alfred Oram, born 10 July 1881 at Lambert Street, Windsor
He was named after the minister who married Sam and Kate, and was always called Orrie. He married Ruby Lillian Russell at the Presbyterian Church at Annandale on 20 January 1916. They had 5 children:-
i) Lillian Merle (Merle) born 4 February 1918, Annandale, NSW, died 22 October 2005, Brisbane,Qld.
ii) Oram Trevor (Trevor), born 4 June 1919 married Marjorie Grace McCoy in 1947 in Canterbury, died 30 July 2004, Swansea, NSW.
iii) Arthur Edgar (Edgar), born 23 July 1920, married Violet Noreen Oberg in 1943 in Hurstville, died 27 July 1997, Ballina, NSW
iv) Noela Jean
v) Eric Victor, born 24 May 1922, married Joyce Noelene Donaldson in 1943 in North Sydney, died 8 December 1993, Adelaide.
Merle's son, Grahame Thom, is a keen genealogist and came to see Harry Jessep in the early 1970s. His small son Michael played in Harry and Thelma’s backyard. Thelma cooked marmalade while he played. From Grahame we know about his mother Lillian Merle Lane (called Merle). She was born on 4 February 1918 in Annandale, Sydney and married on 6 January 1940, Sydney to Robert Alexander Thom. Her second marriage was in 1969 to Alexander Gibson at St Leonards, Sydney. Her third marriage was 1972 in Chatswood, Sydney to Hedley William Hunter. She took the surname Gibson after her divorce from Hedley Hunter. She died on 22 October 2005 in Brisbane, Queensland. Her children were Grahame Robert Thom and Carole Barbara Thom.
Orrie was a school teacher and taught at many country schools from 1897 to 1945. He kept strict discipline in his home. The children would sit around an oblong table at tea. He kept a cane pointer beside him and if they mucked up he would tap them on the head and tell them to go to their room. As a result he had no trouble with them.
As youngsters, Thelma and Ray visited them for holidays. Thelma didn't like her Uncle Orrie as much; Aunty Ruby was much nicer and kinder. She and Ray would catch the steam train down to their weatherboard home in the country. They would stay a few weeks in the school holidays. Thelma hated the steam puffing out the back unexpectedly. Uncle Orrie would meet them with the car. On a Sunday though they could not all fit in to go to church. Some of the kids would sit on a hump in the road and wait for a passing car to pick them up. Orrie would cut out trousers for the boys and Ruby would sew them up. She didn't make dresses but liked to do some craft work, sew doilies etc. She would show Thelma how to do some of these. In her last years she cross stitched a supper clothe for Gaye Jessep. Ruby was a good cook ñ once they ran out of meat but Birdie Rowe quickly went out and shot a few rabbits and all was well. Water was from tanks and the children had to be careful not to waste it. Once they were very short so they all went down to the dam for a wash. Thelma came out covered in leeches. She wouldn't go back again.
Orrie died at Loftus on 3 January 1951 aged 70 and was cremated at Woronora Cemetery. The SMH 4 August 1951:-
LANE Alfred Oram -August 3 1951 at hospital late of 94 Loftus Avenue Loftus dearly beloved husband of Ruby Lillian Lane dear father of Merle, Trevor, Edgar, and Noela and Eric aged 70 years At Rest
Ruby lived to a great age (96) and was good natured and lively to the end. She died on 24 May 1978 at Manly, Sydney. She was very interested in family history and was one of the forces who got Gaye interested and spurred on Harry Jessep Senior to start his research.
3) Arthur Wesley born 8 July 1883 at Molong. He was enlisted in the First World War on 22 December 1915 aged 32 years and 7 months. He was described as coming from Molong and having been discharged from the Royal Navy. He was 5 foot 7 inches tall with chest measurements of 32-36 inches, grey eyes with 6/6 eyesight and black hair. He was a Presbyterian and given the rank of corporal and the duty of sanitary inspector. Arthur married Jean E. I. Broadfoot McPherson at St Leonards in 1916 just before he embarked to go to England. Jean was the daughter of William and Emma McPherson. He left Sydney on 10 February 1917 and disembarked in Plymouth on 12 April 1917. However Arthur’s career in the Navy was short lived. He returned early due to ill health. Thelma thought he was gassed and as a result his lungs were affected and he did not enjoy robust health. The truth is he had mumps (admitted sick to the hospital on 13 April 1917) soon after he arrived in England and this developed into an abscess in the scrotum (27 July 1917). He was discharged on 7 February 1918 as medically unfit (tubercular testicle phthisis) and returned to Australia. His sister Birdie was always very concerned about boys getting mumps. When Thelma’s son Harry caught mumps she couldn't understand her mother’s concern.
Arthur was very fond of his wife Jean and when she died in 1919 of kidney trouble, he was shattered. He was a fitter and turner, and after Jean's death led a wandering life, moving from one job to the next, all over the world. He visited Cuba at least twice. Thelma remembers as a child he took her and Ray down to the beach near where he lived and they watched the little crabs going to bed; it was a magical moment. He and Birdie were very close. All the Lane’s had a special whistle to herald their arrival and he would give this whistle as he came up the road. Urban did not have a lot of time for him; he called him a rolling stone.
Joy remembers Arthur visiting Birdie when she was a child. He used to stand in doorways looking as if he was ready to run away. He was a shadowy figure. He didn't speak to her or Harry at all and not much to Thelma or Harry senior either. With hindsight, he was probably just very shy.
Arthur met Violet L. Brant in England and brought her home to marry her in 1928 in the Woollahra Congregational Church. The wedding was registered in North Sydney. They went back to Bundaberg, Queensland for a while where he worked as a mechanic for the cane field trains. Violet couldn't stand the climate and they returned to Sydney where he worked at Cockatoo Island. He would go out to help pilot large boats as they came into Sydney Harbour. They had two children :-
i) Birdie - born about 1930 and named after Birdie/Blanche Rowe. She became a school teacher. She was Thelma’s flower girl at her wedding.
ii) Bryan - born about 1934 (a bit older than Harry Jessep, born 1936).
Lola (Ray Rowe's wife) recalls that Arthur was working on the boats before the war. He lived on the opposite side of Grafton Street. But he and his wife parted. He had two children. He didn't get on well with Birdie Rowe. He was very quiet.
In 1938 Arthur gave his address as 73 Hargrave St, Paddington, Sydney. He had lost his discharge papers - stolen amongst other documents on my first visit to Cuba. I have verification of this issued by the British Consul in Karama, Cuba on October 1924. He continued to give Birdie Rowe’s address for official correspondence with the Navy; in 1948 he lost his discharge papers again and needed them for repatriation purposes (probably lost during spring cleaning spasms that frequently took place). This letter indicates he was staying with the Rowes then but his wife was living separately in ‘Lochiel’ Shirley Road. Wollstonecraft. Thelma believes she later lived in the Blue Mountains. Arthur’s medals were also delivered to the Rowes in 1948. Arthur was very crippled with arthritis and after he retired he was killed crossing Old South Head Road by a car, on 18 April 1952 aged 69. It was on the intersection where the trams turned from Bondi Junction to go down to Bondi Beach. Harry Jessep had to go to the morgue to identify the body.
4) Blanche born 19 April 1886 at George St Windsor, called Birdie. She married Urbane Rowe on 18 July 1908. They had two children;
i) Thelma Catherine Marie (1911)
ii) Urbane James Raymond (1913).
She died on 29 November 1964 aged 78. See further notes.
5) Wesley Moulder born May 1891 at Albury. He died on 7 March 1892 aged 10 months at Townsend Street, Albury, Wodonga and was buried there. He died from hydrocephalus (water on the brain) and convulsions (3 hours). He was a difficult baby and cried a lot. The name Moulder is after an Uncle William Moulder who had no children of his own.
1) Australian Military records
2) Birth Death and Marriage Certificates NSW
i) Birth Certificate of Samuel Lane 1852
ii) Marriage Certificate of Samuel Lane and Catherine Marie Parker 1879
iii) Death Certificate of Samuel Lane 1932
3) Memories of Thelma Catherine Marie Jessep (nee Rowe) daughter of Blanche Rowe (nee Lane) and granddaughter of Sam and Catherine Marie Lane.
4) National Library of Australia, Newspapers, photographs, http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper
5) NSW Births, Deaths and Marriages
Email address for Gaye Gibbs - firstname.lastname@example.org
Return to my home page
Return to the Lane story
Parker, Cock, Buscombe, Rogers, Allen
Anderson family in early NSW
The poems and writings of Alfred Oram Lane
The story of Blanche Lane and Urnane Rowe