Margaret Anne Byres and John Shaw

Margaret Anne Byres was born there on 16 and baptised on 30 October 1831 in Ecclesmachan. 1

Margaret Byres married John Shaw on 27 December 1852 in Ecclesmachan, West Lothian, Scotland. 2
John was born on 2 May 1831 in Glasgow, Scotland, the son of George Shaw and Helen Hamilton. 3

Margaret and John would go on to have eight children.

  1. George SHAW (1853-1929)
  2. Margaret SHAW (1854-1912) married (Irish) James SHAW (1846-1910) in 1875 (no relation)
  3. Helen Hamilton SHAW (c1856-1945) married David Greig CROMBIE (1860-1933) in 1885
  4. Catherine Byers SHAW (c1857-1932) married Alexander ROBBIE (c1857-c1936) in 1883
  5. Ann SHAW (c1861-1938) never married
  6. William Byers SHAW (1866-1938) married Lavinia Mary GLASTONBURY (c1876-1935) in 1898
  7. John Hamilton SHAW (1869-1930)
  8. Mary Elizabeth SHAW (1871-c1964)

DIAMOND WEDDING. - On the 28th of December, 1912, Mr. and Mrs. John Shaw, of "Brookvale," Kyneton reached the sixtieth anniversary of their wedding, having been married at Ecclesmachan, Linlithgowshire, on the 28th December, 1852, by the Rev. John Smith. The aged couple did not celebrate the unusual event until last week, when they had completed 61 years and one month of married life. Mr. and Mrs. Shaw, the former of whom was born at Glasgow, and the latter, at Ecclesmachan, left Scotland in 1854 in the sailing ship Chatham en route for Tasmania, whither the majority of Mrs. Shaw's relatives had preceeded her. They were accompanied by their only child: At the Cape en route for Tasmania another child, a daughter, was born. After staying for a short time in Tasmania, the young couple came to Melbourne, and there for some time Mr. Shaw followed his business of builder and contractor. With their family of three; the youngest of whom was born at Brunswick; Mr. and Mrs.Shaw in November, 1858, came to Kyneton to join Mr. Shaw's brother, Mr. Jas. Shaw, whom many, of our older residents will remember as a builder of many of the early buildings in the town; Mr. Shaw and his brother carried on brick making works at Hardie's brickfields, and also at North Kyneton, for a considerable number of years, but for a long period of time, having abandoned brick making, Mr. Shaw devoted his attention solely to farming on his property "Brookvale" Kyneton. Mr. and Mrs. Shaw during all the years of their residence in Kyneton have been most consistent members of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Kyneton, and have sat under all clergymen who have officiated in St. Andrew's. They arrived in Kyneton shortly after St. Andrew's Church was built, and they have, in their day, joined in all the activities of the church, both being members of the choir and teachers in the Sunday School. An interesting coincidence in connection with the celebration of their diamond wedding, is that Mr. Shaw's father also celebrated his diamond wedding in the month of December, and at the same age at which Mr. Shaw celebrated his. Mr. Shaw's mother was, however, 18 months older at the time of their diamond wedding, than her daughter-in-law was on the sixtieth anniversary of her wedding. Mr. Shaw's parents lived several years after the anniversary of their diamond wedding. Their many friends will wish for them continued health and happiness. Although suffering from some of the infirmities of age, such as an increasing deafness, both Mr.and Mrs. Shaw are in excellent health. The surviving members of their family are Messrs. George and William Shaw, of Orroroo and Kadina, South Australia, respectively; Mr. John Shaw of Foster, Gippsland; Mrs. Crombie, West Australia; Mrs. Robbie, of Melbourne and Misses Annie and Mary Shaw, at home with their parents. 4

During the war, John Shaw, the husband of Margaret Byres, died on 1 October 1916 in Kyneton, Victoria. 5


It was learned with regret during yesterday that there had passed away at his residence, "Brookvale" Kyneton, a very old and esteemed resident in the person of Mr John Shaw. He had reached the age of 85 years, and beyond at times experiencing those troubles which are the outcome of accumulated days, had been in excellent health. On the return of his daughters from church on Sunday evening Mr Shaw complained of a slight pain at the region of his heart. He sat, as was his custom, in his own chair, and seemed to his daughters as though he were not too well, and they sent to Mr James Rennick a request that Dr. Groves might he summoned. This was done, but the father soon passed peacefully to rest.

He was a quiet man, of no ostentation, and followed for years his calling of a brick and tile maker at his picturesquely situated abode, "Brookvale". During a very long time he has not found it essential to work so hard as was his earlier custom, so he had retired from toil for a considerable period. He had a family of three sons and five daughters. George and William are in South Australia, and John is at Foster, in Gippsland. The daughters were Mrs James Shaw, she having become united to her name sake. She, however is now deceased, whilst Mrs Crombie and Mrs Alex Robbie, and the two daughters who are still at home are the other members of this family. Besides them, Mr John Shaw is survived by his loving wife, who is also well advanced in years. 6


On Sunday morning the Rev.Lithgow Tait. B.A.. conducted a service in memory of the late Mr John Shaw of "'Brooklyn", Kyneton, who died at the advanced age of 85 on Sunday October 1, and who during all the years of his lengthy residence in Kyneton had been a member of St. Andrew's Church and had until, prevailing healthy prevented him, been on the church board of management. Prior to the service Mrs Mackenzie (nee Miss Rita Heriot) sang with exquisite taste and sympathetic feeing, Mr Shaw's favorite hymn, "Nearer My God To Thee".

Mr Tait took his text from Genesis 5-24: "And Enoch walked with God. and he was not, for God took him." and Hebrews 11-5: "Before his translation Enoch had this testimony, that he pleased God". In describing the salient features of a life that could be described as "a walking with God" which naturally resulted "in pleasing God." Mr Tait said that it is our thoughts and our ideas of God that make our religion. Enoch's ideal of God was the ideal that in generations after he had passed to the presence of the God was made manifest to all mankind in the person of Jesus Christ. Enoch's God was a being approachable, full of the loving kindness and tender mercy of a father - a being nearer to men than breathing, closer than hands or feet: a being with whom to live in close communion meant a breaking away from all that stains and corrupts a pure and holy soul. The motive power of Enoch's life was the desire to please God and with that as his aim he tasted the joys of true happiness. The spirit of his life and the deepest desire of his prayerful soul are contained in the words of the well known hymn —;

"Abide with me, fast falls the eventide,
The darkness deepens: Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, oh abide with me.
I need thy presence every passing hour,
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter's power,
Who like Thyself my guide and stay can be ?,
Through cloud and sunshine, oh abide with me."

A man whom many of us knew and honored has passed away from our midst, and another of the few remaining links that bound St. Andrew's of the past to St. Andrew's of the present has been severed. One by one the worshippers who attended our church in its early days are dropping out and our congregation is becoming a new congregation. Mr John Shaw, who is the last to hear the summons to higher service, was a man of retiring disposition, who shrank from notice, a man of few words, but of quiet, unassuming worth; he was like Nathaniel, an Israelite, indeed, in whom there was no guile; a spirit rare in its gentleness, patience and unselfishness. As long as health permitted him he was regularly, morning and evening, in his accustomed place in St. Andrew's, reverent and attentive, devout in his walk and behaviour, adorning the doctrine of God his Saviour. To stay at home from Divine service was a trial to him. and his services on the board of management were inestimable in their consistent faithfulness. Last Sunday he passed a quiet and peaceful day: in the evening when the members of his family returned from church he spoke a few words to them and then suddenly the end came, and leaning quietly back in his chair "God's, finger touched him and he slept" — passing quietly and peacefully through the mystic border land that separates us from the world beyond. In another church a prayer is offered for deliverance from sudden death, but who would not pray for such an end — so calm, so peaceful and so trusting. Our hearts go out in love for the fragrant pleasant memory of his goodness and kindness and unselfishness and in sympathy to his nearest and dearest who knew him best and loved him most, and prayer fully we say —

Now the labourers task is o'er. Now the battle day is past.
Now upon the farther shore . Lands the voyager at last;
Father in Thy gracious keeping ; Leave we now Thy servant sleeping." 7

Margaret Shaw (nee Byres) died 16 September 1921 in Kyneton, Victoria. 8

SHAW. — On the 16th September, at her residence, "Brookvale" Kyneton, Margaret, widow of the late John Shaw, aged 89 years 11 months. (A colonist of 60 years) 9

KYNETON - Mrs Margaret Shaw, one of the earliest pioneers of the district, died on Friday. She came to Australia with her husband in the sailing ship Chatham in 1855. After spending two years in Tasmania they came to Victoria and settled at Kyneton. Mrs. Shaw was within one month of 90 years of age. 10

  • 1. GROS : OPR Births 666/00 0020 0026 - Ecclesmachan
  • 2. GROS : OPR Marriages 666/00 0020 0087 - Ecclesmachan
  • 3. Rackham, Margaret, Family Group Sheets, "Wilson Descendants," Book 2, Page 66 - John's parents were recorded in his later death registration
  • 4. Kyneton Guardian : Tuesday 3 February 1914 page 2 - Article
  • 5. VIC : BDM Death Registration 1916/14860
  • 6. Kyneton Guardian : Tuesday 3 October 1916 page 2 - Article
  • 7. Kyneton Guardian : Tuesday 10 October 1916 page 3 - Article
  • 8. VIC : BDM Death Registration 1921/10606
  • 9. The Argus : Saturday 17 September 1921 page 17 - Death notice
  • 10. The Argus : Saturday 17 September 1921 page 26 - Article