O'Briens Bridge Chapel burials

Wesleyan Chapel O’Brien’s Bridge Glenorchy

Burials 1832-1857?.

                                                                                                                        Irene Schaffer

Last week I was contacted (via) my website, by a lady in Queensland who is a descendant of George Oakley, who came from Norfolk Island and settled at Glenorchy in 1808.  

She told me that while looking through some family items she found (some old handwritten pages entitled "Copies of Records") This list made up of burials that had taken place from 1832 at the Chapel at O’Brien’s Bridge Glenorchy.

The original Chapel in Glenorchy was built in 1828 on the corner of now Chapel Street and Main Road Glenorchy.[1]   By the early 1900’s the Chapel was regarded as no longer feasible and it was decided to build a new one.  The original Chapel is used today as a cafe, but it still reminds us of the part it played in our early history.

My early search for where Thomas O’Brien was buried led me to believe that the graves were where the Main Road now is, in front of the Chapel. Thomas O’Brien’s burial record has never been found, not even his death date, but I am sure he died on his property close to the Chapel. I hoped as I studied this latest burial list that I may have found his name there, no luck, but then he was Roman Catholic and not likely to be buried by anyone other than a priest.

Thomas is still one of my no finds, but there are other Norfolk Islanders on this burial list, Oakley, Nash, and Risby.

This valuable piece of paper was found amongst Parry family papers in a tin and located by Cheryl Macfarlane (3rd Great Grandaughter of George Oakley) Cheryl and her family have allowed me to add this list to my website and I thank them most sincerely, as I am sure some of the names will help clear up unfound family members.

Cheryl thinks the list was copied probably by Elizabeth Oakley, daughter of George and Dorothy before she and her siblings left Tasmania for Melbourne after her father died in 1843.  Elizabeth was married in Melbourne in 1851 to James Atkinson.


Wesleyan Chapel O'Brien's Bridge 2012

Copy of Records


1832                William Harding aged 32 years. Buried at Wesleyan Chapel
                       O’Brien’s Bridge 28 May 1832 was interred by Rev Mr Turner.


1832                Master Chapman of Hobarttown was 6 years 4 months old,
                        Interred by Rev. Mr Turner.

1833                Jany 10 - Susannah Risby aged 78 interred by Rev. Turner.


1833                March 20 - James Davis, female child 5 weeks old was interred by
                       Rev. Mr Turner.


1833                June 19 - Elizabeth Bumstead female child 12 months old was
                        interred ny Rev. Mr Turner.


1833                August 10 – Robert Clarck 31 years of age interred by Mr Miller at
                       O’Brien’s Chapel.


1833                Aug 28 – John Oakley 24 years old was interred
                       by Rev. Mr Turner.


1833                December 8 – Mr Chapman’s daughter of Hobarttown

                        Interred by Mr Turner.


1834                Febr 24 – John Oakley son of deceased aged was interred by Rev.
                       Mr Turner.

1835                April 23 – Mary Waddle daughter ....Waddle was interred by Rev.
                        Mr Turner.


1835                Oct 9 – Mary Ann Nash wife of Jo......was interred by Rev......aged
                        46 years.


1835                Dec 19 – George Oakley Junior 24 years of age interred by Rev. Mr


1836                Jany 14 – Dorothy Oakley wife of George Oakley 44 years of age
                        was interred by Rev. Raben (Rev. Stephen Rabone)
                        {See Evangelical Revivals in Tasmania Chapter 6}


1836                Apr 4 – Mary A Berresford wife of Joseph Berresford aged 46 was
                        interred by Rev. Mr Butters.


1836                June 16 –Ann Rodman wife of Jonas Rodman aged 26 was interred
                        by Rev. Mr Orton.


1836                Aug 16 – John Rosendale son of George Rosendale aged 15 years
                       interred by Rev Mr Butters.


1836                July 13 - .........wife of John Webber aged 31 years interred by
                       Rev. Mr Butters.


1843                Nov 1 – George Oakley aged 52 was interred.
1837 or

1857 ?             Sept 29 – John Johnson aged 78 was interred by Rev. Mr.....?...

?                      A. Manton aged 2 years interred by Rev. Mr Butters.

Jane Warrender Watchorn daughter William Watchorn of Hobarttown aged 20 years was interned by Rev. Mr Longbottom.


Please contact me if you recognise any of those named on the list, as I have not been able find any of these burials on the Pioneer Index.

[1] Graves of Tasmania – Methodist Church Glenorchy.

Information forwarded to me.

John Rosendale was found under Rosendall on the BDM. He was the son of the convicts Ellen Carr and George, also known as Thomas.

There is an account of his death in the Hobart Courier 19 August 1836. He was killed when a cart upset and fell on him, " a fine lad about 14 or 15 years old". 
Thank you Rosemary.

Jane Warrender Watchorn died in February 1838. Article of her death in Hobart Town Courier 9 February 1838 pages 1-2. Thank you Cheryl.

The Rev. Mr Nathaniel Turner was in charge of the Hobart Circuit of the Wesleyan church from 1831-1835 and was based at the Melville Street church. 
He had been in Hobart briefly in 1823 when the early foundations of the Melville church building was being laid, before heading off to New Zealand and then Tonga in the intervening years.  The Turner family wasback  in Hobart from 1839-1846.
 The Pioneer Missionary: Life of the Rev. Nathaniel Turner, Missionary in New Zealand, Tonga and Tasmania.  This book can be read on line. http://www.archives.org/details/pioneermissionar00turn   Published in 1872.


John Oakley   A poor man John Oakley was killed by a fall of a tree at Glenorchy on Wednesday - HTC 30 August 1833 p2 c3 .   Thank you Maree.

Mary Nash  Died at Hobart on the 18th last. Mary Nash, wife of Mr John Nash of Glenorchy, late of the Royal Veteran Corps.  Her loss is much deplored by all who had the pleasure of her acquaintance.    HTC 24 July 1835 p2 c2.  Thank you Maree.


  Maree compared the burial list with that of Alexander Buchanan's Burials, she could only find three names on the above list, the other one was:

Jane Wandender Watchorn
. Death - On Monday the 29th of a ruptured blood vessel of the heart, Jane Wandender, eldest daughter of William ans Susan Watchorn, of Liverpool street, in the 20th year of her age. She was as unasuming amlable girl, and was always most anxious to anticipate the will of her parents.  HTC 2 February 1838 p2.    Thank you again Maree.  

Mary Waddle.  Her death and burial have never been found by the famil,y but was thought that Mary died about this time.. They are now able to add her to the family history.  Thank you Barbara.

It now seems that Mary Waddle was the daughter of Alexander Waddle and Sarah Berresford. Mary Ann Waddle born 12 January 1822 at Hobart. Again I have to thank Barbara for this information. 


Mary Ann Berrisford. Family knew she died in the 1830's but did not have her burial. They were very pleased to be able to put her to rest at last.   Mary Ann was the daughter of William Leviston and Margaret Leslie. Thank you Neil.


Susannah Risby (possibly Anna Risby)  Descendants of Edward and Anna Risby are wondering if The name Susannah was meant to be Anna Risby.  Edwards Risby's wife was Anna Gibson (Lady Juliana) Edward and Anna were married on NI and arrived in VDL on the City of Edinborough in 1808 with their 5 children. Another child Edward was born in VDL in 1810.  Edward was granted land in what is now Glenorchy and died in 1823, he was buried in St Davids in Hobart. Nothng more was known of Anna after this date.  Now the family is wondering if it was Anna buried at O'Brien's Chapel in 1833.  Another problem is the age of Susannah, she is stated to be 78 years old. If it is Anna then the age would be out by about 12 years. This is not unusual I have often found deaths can be out by 10 years or more. If it was Anna (and I think it was) she would have been about 66 not 78, and this would have made her age in the 50s when she had her last child Edward in 1810, much too old (she was in her 40s) - born 1867.  There was a daughter called Susannah but no records can be found for her. 

If anyone can held with this query and known more about the where about of Susannah or Ann during the first 30 or more years in Hobart Town, please I would like to hear from you as would the descendants of the Risby family.