This day marks the 140th anniversary of the death of George Moore at the tender age of 28 years. George died at the home of his parents on the One Mile Creek after a four week battle with typhoid fever. It must have been a horrible lingering end for the young man.
George was born on the 23 November 1845 at Hedi Station (otherwise known as Oxley Plains or Edi) on the Ovens River where his father John Moore was an overseer for the brothers George and William Pitt Faithfull. His mother Margaret (nee Considine) also worked on the property. George’s birth was quite unusual for the time as he was a twin, and both babies survived to adulthood. His (possibly identical) brother was William Moore, my great great grandfather.
The death of George was a tragedy greater than the loss of a son and brother. George had married Moyhu resident Mary Jane Armstrong less than three years before his death. The marriage took place on 25th September 1872 at the old Holy Trinity Church and was conducted by William Charles Ford. Witnesses to the union were John Moore junior (George’s eldest brother), and Harriet Marum, one of George’s sisters. Mary Jane was only 17 years old and permission for her marriage was given by her mother Sarah Ann Montgomery Staton. Sarah had been widowed when her husband John Armstrong, a mines inspector died, and had remarried when Mary Jane was around two years old.
On the 1st February 1874 Mary Jane had given birth to George Earl Moore. Now, less than 18 months later she was aged 20, and was a widow with a child to raise. The parallels between Mary Jane’s experience and that of her mother are obvious. Mary Jane continued to be part of the Moore family, with her son George Earl visiting the Moore family until well into the 1930s.
Mary Jane did marry again, to Moyhu blacksmith James Lonnie Fulton in 1879.
She continued to live at Moyhu, and had seven daughters in a row and finally another son with James. When that son William Dunsmore Fulton was only two years old James Lonnie Fulton died aged only 42. Incredibly, the cause of death was typhoid. Mary Jane was again a widow, this time with eight children, the oldest of whom was only 16. At least in these circumstances Mary Jane inherited the land at Moyhu that the family lived on. George Earl, by now aged 23, assisted his mother and remained close to her all his life.
This is an image of Mary Jane Fulton and her first child George Earl Moore taken in 1935, probably on the occasion of Mary Jane’s 80th birthday. Mary Jane passed away in 1936. George Earl married Rosalie Salmon in 1901 and raised five children in Melbourne. This image was kindly given to me by George’s son Charles Bertram Moore in 1991.