Attention Internet Explorer User

Your web browser has been identified as Internet Explorer .

In the coming months this site is going to be updated to improve security, accessibility and mobile experience. Older versions of Internet Explorer do not provide the functionality required for these changes and as such your browser will no longer be supported as of September 2020. If you require continued access to this site then you will need to install a different browser such as Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome.

Obituaries Australia

  • Tip: searches only the name field
  • Tip: use double quotes to search for a phrase
  • Tip: lists of awards, schools, organisations etc

Browse Lists:

Cavanough, Mary Ann (1835–1923)

The death of Mrs. Mary Cavanough, which occurred at the residence of her grand daughter, Mrs. Leo. Sapsford, at Coorparoo on Christmas Day, removes from earthly life one of St. George's oldest residents. The deceased old lady, who was popularly known as "Grandma" celebrated her 88th birthday in June last, when she was the recipient of numerous congratulatory messages from a large circle of friends. Like many other early day wanderers on the Balonne, the deceased lady was born on the Hawksbury river, and was the third generation of an Australian family. She came to this district some 60 years ago with her husband the late James Cavanough, who established a general store business, which is still under the firm name, and later became interested in pastoral life, owning holdings on the Maranoa and Moonie. Naturally many changes have taken place since Mrs. Cavanough first arrived on the Balonne. Travelling those days was by means of dray or waggon, the journey necessitating months through an almost trackless area with great distances between habitations, pioneers under-going hardships in their travelling and settlement of a new land not known to the present generation. When Mrs Cavanough first settled in St. George, the nearest town of any importance was Tamworth, and the means of communication a periodical horse mail. So having lived such a long time in St. George, the deceased old lady was naturally able to note the various changes that occurred during the passing years, when horses were entirely relied upon for transit purposes up to the present rapid means of locomotion. She also saw death claim many of her contemporaries who helped to pioneer the south-west, when settlement was young and like the far north now, scarcely a fence for a hundred miles. Nevertheless the period in which the pioneers lived and worked was a grand one, and teems with happy memories for those who still remain. The deceased lady was widely and affectionately known by all classes, and being possessed of remarkable energy on many occasions, even during recent years, she has been an energetic organiser and worker on behalf of local institutions. Recently mature years began to affect the old lady's health, and a few months ago was seriously ill, but being possessed of remarkable vitality and fond of travel she recovered sufficiently to leave early in December last for her annual visit to see her relatives and friends, it was while there that she suddenly but peacefully passed away. The late Mrs. Cavanough was predeceased by her husband about 23 years ago, and she also suffered misfortune in the loss of her two sons — John Wallace and William Edward. She leaves two daughters — Mrs Rodney Boyce (who is in London) and Mrs. J. G. Portus, as well as a number of grand children and great grand children. The funeral moved to Toowong cemetery on Wednesday, 26th December, and thus passed away a grand old lady who will be greatly missed by a large number of friends.

Original publication

Citation details

'Cavanough, Mary Ann (1835–1923)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 29 September 2020.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2020

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Dunstan, Mary Ann

9 June 1835
Wilberforce, New South Wales, Australia


25 December 1923
Coorparoo, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Cause of Death

heart disease

Religious Influence