Mary Byres and Robert Kerr

Mary Byers does not appear to have had her birth registered, but from her age stated at later events was born about 1825, probably in Kirknewton, Midlothian, Scotland.1 Mary Byers married Robert Kerr in two ceremonies on 3 July 1846, one in Ecclesmachan, and one in Bathgate, both in West Lothian, Scotland.2 Robert was born on 18 July 1822 in Crammond, Scotland, the son of John Kerr and Margaret Corstorphine.3 Robert Kerr and Mary Byers would go on to have eleven children.

Name Birth Married Death
bn. 00 XXX 1847
Un-named Female
bn. 00 XXX 1848
bn. 23 Apr 1850
Edinburgh, SCT
dd. 26 Jul 1887
Melbourne, VIC
Christina Tulloch
bn. 03 Feb 1852
Edinburgh, SCT
George William
dd. 10 May 1879
bn. 02 Mar 1855
Williamstown, VIC
Anne Marie
dd. 10 Feb 1913
Perth, WA
bn. 00 XXX 1856
Brunswick, VIC
dd. 22 Dec 1934
Abbottsford, VIC
William Byers
bn. 00 XXX 1859
Collingwood, VIC
Mary Johanna
dd. 10 Jan 1930
Kew, VIC
Robert Henry
bn. 13 Dec 1861
Collingwood, VIC
Susan Jane
dd. 20 Oct 1919
Tatura, VIC
Archibald Corstorphine
bn. 19 Oct 1863
Abbottsford, VIC
dd. 01 Apr 1933
Alphington, VIC
Matilda Serrell
bn. 16 Jul 1865
Collingwood, VIC
Benjamin Joseph
dd. 27 Dec 1898
Koondrook, VIC
Mary Isabella
bn. 00 XXX 1868
Collingwood, VIC
Charles William
dd. 00 XXX 1953
Kerang, VIC

As part of the first wave of emigrants to leave the difficulties of life in Scotland behind them, Mary Byers and Robert Kerr, and their children Margaret and Christina, arrived in Victoria on 24 November 1853 aboard the Australia.4 Christina Kerr married George William Priestly on 7 June 1873 in Collingwood, Victoria.5 George was born about 1850 in Richmond, Victoria, the son of John Priestly and Ann Hamilton.6 George and Christina had two children that have been traced.

Margaret Kerr married William Fraser on 12 May 1877 in Collingwood, Victoria.7 William Fraser was born on 25 July 1829 in Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland, the son of Robert Fraser and Isabella Crawford.8 William and Margaret had three children that have been traced.

Christina Tulloch Priestly, nee Kerr, the wife of George William Priestly, died in 1879 in Victoria.9 The circumstances of her death are currently unknown. William Fraser, the husband of Margaret Kerr, died on 20 November 1884 in Richmond, Victoria at the reported age of 55.10

FRASER. On the 20th inst, at 5 Baker street, North Richmond, William, the beloved husband of Margaret Fraser and eldest son of Robert Fraser, Langridge street, Collingwood. The friends of the late Mr. WILLIAM FRASER are most respectfully invited to follow his remains to the place of Interment, Melbourne General Cemetery. The funeral is appointed to leave his late residence, No. 5, Baker street, North Richmond, THIS DAY, (Saturday, 22 inst.), at 2 o'clock sharp.11

Margaret Fraser, nee Kerr, the wife of William Fraser, died on 26 July 1887, Melbourne, Victoria, after a fire at the business of Robert Fraser.12

A SERIOUS ACCIDENT. At about 11 yesterday morning a Serious occurrence took place at a dyer's shop in Smith-street, kept by a woman named Margaret Fraser. She was engaged lighting the fire, seated on a tin of benzine, when her clothing caught fire, the tin of benzine upsetting at the time, causing a general conflagration, burning Mrs. Fraser very badly about the face and arms. The neighbors, hearing the screams of the unfortunate woman, rushed in to her assistance and extinguished the flames. Mrs. Frazer was conveyed by the police to the Melbourne Hospital, where she was admitted as an in-patient.13

FIRE IN FITZROY. A fire occurred between 10 and 11 o'clock yesterday forenoon on the premises of Mr. Robert Fraser, dyer, Smith-street, Fitzroy. A tin of benzine exploded in a room adjoining the front shop, blowing out the window and destroying almost everything in the apartment; but the Yorkshire Brewery Fire Brigade being promptly on the spot, the flames were speedily stopped, little damage being done to the building, which is the property of Mr. Heinbockel, and is insured. The furniture belonging to Mr. Fraser was, however, uninsured. Mrs. William Fraser, the proprietor's daughter-in-law, who lived on the premises, was so severely injured by the fire that she had to be removed to the Melbourne Hospital.14

Catherine Kerr married Archibald McFarland in 1887 in Victoria.15 Archibald was born in 1849 in County Armagh in Ireland, the son of Patrick McFarland and Rebecca McCrae.16 Archibald and Catherine had two children that have been traced. Archibald has been linked as the individual by that name who died on 4 March 1905 in St. Kilda but that individual was the high profile Sherrif of Victoria, son of Robert Huston McFarland.17 He was also recorded as a native of County Derry and a widower when he died, additional points of divergance from the man who married Catherine Kerr.

Matilda Serrell Kerr married Benjamin Joseph Munday in 1889 in Victoria.18 Benjamin Joseph was born on 6 August 1852 in St. Arnaud, Victoria, the son of Benjamin Joseph Munday Snr. and Sarah Ann Sharpe.19 Benjamin and Matilda would have six children that have been traced.

Robert Henry Kerr married Susan Jane Hawken on 20 March 1889 in Victoria.20 According to Margaret Rackham, Susan Jane was born on 22 May 1866 to Henry Hawkin and Susan Coad, but the location is not recorded.21 Robert and Susan had eight children that have been traced.

Archibald Corstorphine Kerr was married to Mary Woodman on 6 November 1889 in St. Peter’s Church of England, Muckleford, Victoria.22 Mary was born on 4 September 1868 in Muckleford, Victoria, the daughter of Samuel Woodman and Hannah Carter.23 Archibald and Mary had six children that have been traced.

William Byers Kerr married Mary Johanna Trinkaus in 1890 in Victoria.24 Mary was born about 1866 in Victoria, the daughter of Albert Trinkaus and Dorothea Rackleben.25 William and Mary had seven children that have been traced.

Mary Isabella Kerr married Charles William Thorne in 1890 in Victoria.26 Charles was born on 3 August 1867 in Kyneton, Victoria, the son of Charles Richard Thorne and Sarah Ann Guest.27 Charles and Mary had eight children that have been traced.

John Kerr married Annie Clarke, later known as Cissie, in 1894 in Victoria.28 According to Margaret Rackham Annie was born on 6 April 1870 but Margaret does not record where or the names of her parents.29 John and Annie Kerr had seven children that have been traced.

On 20 June 1898 Robert Kerr, the husband of Mary Byres, died at his property "Harden Green" in Cohuna, Victoria.30 Robert left a last will and testament which has yet to be transcribed.31 Matilda Serrell Munday, nee Kerr, the wife of Benjamin Joseph Munday, died on 27 December 1898 in Koondrook, Victoria.32

MUNDAY - On the 27th December, at her residence, Koondrook, Matilda Serrell, the dearly beloved wife of Benjamin Munday, and second youngest daughter of the late Robert Kerr, Cohuna.33

John Kerr died on 10 February 1913 in Perth, Western Australia.34

KERR. The Friends of the late Mr. John Kerr, tailor, are respectfully invited to follow his remains to the place of Interment, the Roman Catholic Cemetery, Karrakatta. The Funeral is appointed to leave his residence, Rathay-street. Victoria Park. at 2 o'clock THIS Truesday) AFTERNOON, per road. Friends wishing to attend the Funeral may proceed by the 3.30 train leaving Perth.35

The proceedings of the funeral were reported on 19 February 1913.

The funeral of the late Mr. John Kerr, of Rathay-street, Victoria Park, took place on Tuesday afternoon. The deceased, who was 54 years of age, was born at Williams town, Victoria, where he resided for 38 years, the latter 16 years of his life having been spent in this State. The cortege moved from the residence and proceeded to the Roman Catholic Cemetery at Karrakatta, where the remains were laid to rest, the Rev. Father O'Grady conducting the burial rites. The chief mourners were Mrs. A. Kerr (widow), Messrs. Godfrey, Albert, and Arthur Kerr (sons), Misses Irene and Ethel Kerr (daughters), Mrs. E. Clarke (mother in-law), Mr. J. Clarke (brother-in-law), and Mr John Clarke (brother-in-law). The pall bearers were Messrs. J. Preston, sen., J. Preston, jun., T. Stanley, W. B. Cooling, and J. Tulley. The funeral arrangements were carried out by Messrs. Bowra and O'Dea.36

Mary Kerr (nee Byres) died on 5 October 1919 at 91 Park Street, Abbotsford, Victoria, the home of her sister. Mary was recorded as the daughter of William Byers and Margaret Boag.37 Mary was buried in Melbourne, Victoria.

KERR - On the 5th October, at 91 Park street, Abbotsford, Mary, widow of the late Robert Kerr, late of "Harden Green," Cohuna, and Finley, N.S.W.,. in her 94th year; beloved mother of William (Drouin), Robert (Tatura), Archibald (Alphington), Kitty (Abbotsford), Mary (Kerang), Mrs. Thorne, Margaret, John, Christina, Matilda (deceased); three grandsons, John B. McFarland, John William, and Simon Alexander Fraser. Interred privately in Melbourne General Cemetery, October 8, 1919. Thought of and loved till the last at early morn the angels gently called her home to rest.38

Robert Henry Kerr died just fifteen days after his mother on 20 October 1919 in Tatura, Victoria.39

KERR. On the 20th October, at Toolamba. Robert Kerr, late of Drouin South, loving husband of Susan Jane, father of Christina (Mrs. Richardson, Poowong), Robina (Mrs. Mount, Springvale), Robert, Albert, Leslie, Horace, Reginald (deceased), Vida. A patient sufferer at rest.40

Archibald McFarland died on 21 June 1925 in Queensland.41 He was buried on 23 June 1925 in the Toowong Cemetery at the reported age of 76 years.42

McFARLAND -The funeral of ARCHIBALD McFARLAND (late of Victoria) will move from the Funeral Parlour, Wickham street, Valley, THIS (Tuesday) FORENOON, at 10 o'clock, to the Toowong Cemetery.43

Mary Kerr, nee Woodman, the wife of Archibald Kerr, died on 6 December 1925 in 'Millewa', 42 Como Street, Alphington, Fairfield, Victoria.44 William Byers Kerr died on 10 January 1930 in Kew, Victoria.45

KERR, On the 10th January, William Byers Kerr, the dearly beloved husband of Mary Kerr, of 52 Peel-street, Kew, loving father of Robert, Vera (Mrs. A. W. Reed), John and Albert, aged 71 years. Remains at Chas. P. Frilay's chapel, 28 Blyth-street, Brunswick. Thy will be done.46

Charles William Thorne was buried on 26 December 1930 in Kerang, Victoria.47 Archibald Corstorphine Kerr died on 1 April 1933 at 'Millewa', 42 Como Street Alphington, Victoria.48

KERR. On the 1st April at Millewa, Como street Alphington, Archibald Corstorphine, dearly loved husband of the late Mary Kerr, loved father of Myrtle (Mrs. Stringer), Arch, Ivy (Mrs Clementson) Byers, Vlolet, and Daphne (Mrs Beer).—Passed peacefully away after a short illness to a higher life Mother and father reunited. KERR. The Friends of the late ARCHIBALD C. KERR are informed that his remains will be interred in the Heidelberg Cemetery. The funeral will leave his residence, Millewa, Como street, Alphington, THIS DAY (Monday, 3rd April), at 11 a.m.49

Catherine McFarland, nee Kerr, died on 22 December 1934 at 91 Park street in Abbotsford, Victoria.50 Susan Jane Kerr, nee Hawken, the wife of Robert Kerr Jnr., died on 3 November 1937 in Prahan, Victoria.51 The Springvale Methodist Church reported that she was in hospital as follows.

All will be sorry to hear of the serious illness of Mrs. Susan Kerr, our old and esteemed resident of Virginia street. Mrs. Kerr is an inmate of the Alfred, and she underwent an operation for appendicitis on Friday.52

But there were obviously complications and her death was reported soon after. An obiturary was published on 11 November 1937.

Springvale News OBITUARY. It was with great regret the public learned off the death of Mrs. Susan Kerr, aged 71 years, of Virginia street. Deceased was a native of Tatura, where her remains were interred. Genial and possessed of a pleasant manner, Mrs. Kerr endeared herself to all, and many will miss a loved soul. All her life she helped others, and philanthropy was a feature of every day. To her relatives much sympathy is conveyed.53

Benjamin Joseph Munday, the husband of Matilda Kerr, aged over 90 years, on 13 July 1943 in Cohuna, Victoria.54 Benjamin had survived his wife Matilda by 45 years. Mary Isabella Thorne, nee Kerr, died in 1953, Kerang, Victoria.55 Mary Johanna Kerr, nee Trinkaus, died on 16 July 1953 in Malvern, Victoria.56

KERR. On July 16, at her residence, 10 Parslow Street, Malvern, Mary Johanna, beloved wife of the late William Byers Kerr, loving mother of Robert (deceased), Vera (Mrs. A. W. Reed), Jack (deceased), Albert (Andy). In her 88th year. Peacefully sleeping. KERR. On July 16, at 10 Parslow Street, Malvern, Mary, beloved grandma of Lily (Mrs. Ted Caton), great grand-mother of Albert. At rest. KERR. The funeral of the late MARY JOHANNA KERR will leave our parlors, 215 Glenferrie Road, Malvern, THIS day, after a service commencing at 1.45 p.m., for the new Melbourne general Cemetery, Fawkner.57

Mary and Robert's grandson, John William Byers Kerr (1896-1950) also saw active service in France - Byers Family World War 1 Honour Roll.