Byng Chapel Cemetery

Heritage Assessment

To assist in an assessment of the cultural significance of the Byng Chapel and the site area as a whole for a heritage grant, the Byng Church Trust and the Cornish Association of New South Wales put forward a list of reasons in 1984 for seeking a grant. Apart from the Chapel itself, the submission laid emphasis on the significance of the cemetery and its surroundings. Some of the points made bear repeating here:

a) The area was one of settlement early in the colony in the 1830s and 40s.
b) The Church cemetery contains the graves of many early settlers and their descendants.
c) The cemetery is of interest to family historians.
d) The complex of Church, grounds (including slip-rail fences and early plantings), and cemetery act as a cogent statement of an early Australian lifestyle. It has been in use for 112 years.

To these basic reasons were added two more which were classed as Cornish Reasons:

a) The contribution of the Cornish to our history and culture is demonstrated in this site area.
b) The Church, grounds and cemetery provide a concrete link between modern Cornish born or descended Cornish Australians and their kinsmen of last century.

Improving the Chapel Site

The Need & The Action

On the left, the tombstone reads:
Died Sep, 23, 1890.
Aged 60 Years.
"Thy Will be done".
One of the first Gold Discoverers
In Australasia in 1851,
Died July 3, 1904,
Aged 80 Years.

------------->>>One man went to mow
------>>>And there were more to help elsewhere.

After contacting Raymond Hawke and discussing a proposal to provide a group who would assist in a tidying up campaign around the Chapel and the cemetery, CANSW members went to Byng in 1976 to start on mowing grass and clearing undergrowth. This activity has become a regular effort by CANSW members over the years since that time. One concern in the summer months was Beware Snakes.

With the provision of a heritage grant in 1987, it became possible to launch other site activities, well supported by local folk who had noted the effort being put into the improvement of the site as well as the Chapel. A new slip-rail fence was constructed by Colin Harris and his son, using age-old methods, and the fencing around the Chapel was also remade. Colin lived in the area with his wife Evelyn nee Spicer who was also very active in the work being done. CANSW members gave assistance in fencing efforts. The appearance of the cemetery was completely changed by the clean up which had taken place and by the new fencing. Another extremely active couple were the Campbells, Barry and Kerry nee Spicer. Towards the end of 1987, Barry worked through five consecutive weekends on the upgrade of the Chapel and its surrounds. The whole operation had become very much a joint effort with CANSW members and the local folk, so much so that a splendid vellum, created by member Geoff Ford, is now in the Chapel, listing the names of CANSW members involved with the maintenance and restoration work.

The Cemetery Transcripts

By October 1980, the inscriptions on the tombstones in the Byng Cemetery had been transcribed by G.E. and Y.M. Tracey. These records cover an surprising span of time from 1834 up to 1970. Ultimately, it is hoped that records of births and marriages can also be extracted and placed in these Web pages because they do represent a very "concrete link" to the descendants of the people who once lived and worked around the Cornish Settlement and then Byng. Who knows? It may also be of value to those elsewhere in Australia and overseas, wishing to establish some link with "kinsmen of the last century"! The CANSW is grateful for the opportunity to present at least part of the records in the table below.

Byng Cemetery Tombstone Records

SurnameOther NamesYear of DeathAgeInscriptions
AbrahamsMargarite197080yAunty Madge
AdamsonAnne Elizabeth187119yWife of Robert
AdamsonRobert James18716wksSon of Anne & Robert
BennettMary18982ySister & Daughter
BennettJames191246yDear Brother
BennettHerbert George192021ySon & Brother
BrayMary Ann186758y--
BurnsHenry Bertram18831y11m--
CaroCatherine Mary196790yLast Descendant of Thomas & Jane Geake Webb
CornwallMary E.186312yDau. of Sally & Francis
CornwallSally187016yWife of Francis
CornwallFrank187520yOnly son of Sally & Francis
CornwallAnne189462yWife of Francis
DowtonAda Violet Randall191428yRem. by Claude
DunlopJane1903--Wife of William
EvansCelia Bertha188818y11m--
FieldMay Beryl19222y--
FieldArthur196372yHusband & Father
FieldSarah Ellen196669yDear Mum
FullerHarriet187360yWife of Edward
Geake WebbThomas187953y--
Geake WebbJane189751y--
GlassonAnnie187232yWife of Gustavus
GlassonIrene Millicent196279yWife of Wesley
GoodlockVic. May194148yOur Dear Parents
GoodlockAlbert Ed.195371yOur Dear Parents
GrenfellRichard187386yNative of St Just CON
HawkeMary18651y6m3rd Daughter of Anne & Frederick
HawkeFrederick186746yBeloved Husband of Anne
HawkeJane187568yWife of George
HawkeGeorge188280yOf Pendarves
HawkeAda Alice189428yDaughter of Ann & Francis
HawkeMary Wilkinson189646yWife of William
HawkeEdith Violet191941yBorn at Pendarves
HawkeAlma Jane194463yDaughter of William & Mary Hawke
HaywardAnnie Marion193672yWife of William
HaywardWilliam Edward194379y--
LaneEliza186562yBeloved Wife of Richard
LaneMary187258yBeloved wife of John
MartinJohn A.E.193560y--
MartinAmy Maud195365y--
MooreRobert193155yDear Husband
OatesElizabeth Mary186912yDaughter of Wm. & Eliza
OatesFrancis James187011mSon of Wm. & Eliza
OatesEliza1892--1834-1892 Of St Kevertine CON
OatesWilliam John189317y--
OatesWilliam1900--1832-1900 Of St Kevertine CON
OatesElizabeth191572yWife of Thomas
PaskerWilliam John186524ySARAH JEFFERY Erected by Mother
RobinsonPeter192660yOur Dear Brother
SpicerMary190518yDaughter of Charles & Matilda
SpicerJames Caleb1920--Private 5119 5th Mach. Gun Btn.
SpicerSamuel Archibald192333yDear Son
SpicerMatilda Mary193472y--
SpicerMargaret194177yOur Dear Mum
SpicerValma Jeanette19429yDaughter & Sister
SpicerClaude194638yOur Dear Son & Brother
SpicerRobert Samuel194689yOur Dear Parents
SpicerJames195376yOur Dear Father
SpicerEllen Hetherington195776yOur Dear Parents
StevensDavid187620y3rd son of Alfred
ThomasMary186259yWife of William
TomAnnie Selena18614y6mEldest daughter of James & Marion
TomAnn187074yWife of William
TomWilliam188391yBorn at Bodmin CON
TomNicholas188859yBorn at Tarana
TomSarah Susanna189060y--
TomWilliam190480yFirst discoverer of gold in Australia
TomEliza190673yWife of Nicholas
TomWilliam Wesley193776y--
TomMathew Henry194888y--
TomAnnie Theresa194979y--
WebbCharles Edward183476ySon of Emma & Thomas
WebbHorace Wesley187014m7th Son of Emma
WebbEmma Fletcher187239y--
WebbAlfred Norman18722m8th Son of Emma
WebbFlorence Ellen18847mDaughter of E.R. & Lilly
WebbHugh Claude193773y--
WebbIsabella Alice194280yWife of Charles Edward
WebbGertrude Maria195683yDied at Brisbane: Wife of Hugh Claude


1. The original Tracey list has been sorted first alphabetically and then on Year of Death to make it easier to find a particular person. Some inscriptions are on the same tombstone and may refer to a person 'above'. In these cases, care has been taken to ensure that the name of the person is given instead the word 'above'.
2. In the inscriptions, where Cornwall is named as the origin of the person, the usual abbreviation 'CON' is used to decrease the amount of space required in the table. Some inscriptions were already abbreviated.

Messages Received

On 22 June 2003, Janine Wakefield provided the following death certificate information about her 2xGGF Joseph Stock who was buried at Byng:
Joseph Stock, d. 26 April 1880, certified by John Randell, a friend at Lewis Ponds; buried 28 April 1880 at Byng.
Occupation, Labourer: 26 years in NSW.
Wife: Mary Anne Denning (deceased 1862). Children: One Daughter - Lydia; One Son, Joseph Denning Stock (deceased 1871)

You can reach the other pages in the Byng Story through the following Menu Items:
The Cornish Settlement starts: Byng & its Chapel - Bethel Rock and 'Parson' Tom (Byng Two) = A Visit to the Orange & District Historical Museum - William Tom's Pipe Organ & a Tribute to William & Ann Tom - Wesleyan Baptisms at Byng - The First Australian Payable Gold Discovery (Gold from Ophir).

This page was constructed by the CANSW Webmaster, Dr John L. Symonds and upgraded 1 June 1998.