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William Wilson Mason (1853-1934)
Mary Jane Gallegos (1856-1928)

William Wilson Mason

William Wilson Mason was born 29 November 1853 en route to Australia from Canada and baptised 1 January 1854 at St. Andrews Scots Church, Sydney NSW Australia. William's uncle, Andrew Mason, a Shipbuilder, also migrated with the family aboard his ship the Indian Queen.

The Gleaner and Northumberland Schediasma newspaper of Northumberland, Chatham, Canada reported their departure 30 October 1852: Tea Party given to Andrew Mason in Hall of Sons of Temperance by Mechanics of Chatham (North. Co.) and workmen employed in shipyard of Johnson & Mackie of which Mr Mason was foreman. Andrew Mason and his brother William Mason are leaving for Australia.

The Provincial Archives of New Brunswick, Dictionary of Miramichi Biography records: The last and most celebrated of Andrew Mason's vessels was the Indian Queen, a 1040-ton clipper ship designed along the lines of Saint John's Marco Polo and was "a worthy rival of her famous sister ship." When she was launched in 1852 the Mason brothers sailed to England in her and then to Australia. Before they left Chatham they were given a tea party by the Sons of Temperance, "at which their sober and industrious characters were highly praised." Andrew Mason was presented with a silver snuff-box by the Sons of Temperance and with a piece of plate by the Mechanics. The Mechanics declared in their address that Andrew Mason's name was "second to none in New Brunswick as draughtsman and naval architect, and the Indian Queen was the greatest triumph of his shipbuilding skill which had yet been launched on our waters". In his response, Mason proclaimed the Miramichi to be unequalled as a ship building center, "on account of the size and quality of the hackmatack".

The following is an excerpt from the book The Ships of Miramichi, by Dr Louise Manny: The "Indian Ocean" was built in Chatham on Miramichi Bay, New Brunswick, Canada. It was built in 1851 by Johnson and Mackie, who also built the barque "Coral Isle", and the ships "Falcon", "Indian Ocean" and "Kaffirland". "Falcon", "Indian Ocean" and "Kaffirland" all made voyages to Australia.

William Wilson Mason married Mary Jane Gallegos 31 May 1883 Armidale NSW and died 9 September 1934 Rose Bay, Sydney NSW, his usual residence being Cessnock NSW Australia.

Portrait 'Indian Queen' 1859 (artist unknown) striking an iceberg in the South Pacific, suffered partial loss. Master and 15 crew deserted, never heard from again. Second mate and passengers arrived Valparaiso (Chile) in 40 days. Built at Miramichi, New Brunswick, Canada by Andrew Mason, launched 1852.
(Courtesy of Northern Shipwrecks Database, Bedford, Nova Scotia)

Portrait 'Indian Ocean' (undated, artist unknown) built at Miramichi, New Brunswick, Canada by Andrew Mason, launched 17 May 1851.
Part owner:
John Mackie, Merchant, Miramichi, New Brunswick
(Courtesy of the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, Halifax, Nova Scotia)

William Mason and Susannah Wilson

William Wilson Mason's father, William was born 1816 Bo'Ness, West Lothian Scotland to William Mason and Grace Smith. The family migrated to Canada where William Snr., was a Ship Contractor at Miramichi Island, New Brunswick, Canada and where he also married Susannah (known as Susan) Wilson 1 January 1839. He died 4 January 1891 Islington Newcastle NSW Australia.

Susannah Wilson was born 1819 Northumberland County, New Brunswick, Canada and died 25 January 1879 Armidale NSW Australia. Her parents, John Wilson and Euphemia Clouston were born Stromness, Orkney Islands, Scotland and the family migrated to Canada 1817.

Wilson's Point in New Brunswick, Canada is named after John Wilson who was the Ferryman on the Miramichi River. Euphemia died at Wilson's Point 18 July 1864 and John also died there 21 November 1876, his death published in the Union Advocate newspaper the following day:

At his residence, Wilson Point, Derby (North. Co.) Tuesday morn. 21st Nov., John WILSON, age 87, native of Orkney, Scotland, left large family of children and grandchildren. Funeral from his residence to St. James Churchyard, Newcastle, 2 p.m. Thursday.

His obituary was published 29 November 1876:

John WILSON whose death was announced in the last 'Advocate' was a native of Stromness, Orkney Islands, Scotland and came to this country between 60 and 70 years ago. He was a man of fair education, a good navigator and was so considered in his early days and before coming out here made several whaling voyages. For a great many years he ran the ferry between Beaubair's or Wilson's Point (so called after the deceased) and the Island and the north and south sides of the river. He was very generous in this capacity, for no passenger was ever refused a trip for lack of fare. Many years ago he was a keeper of the County goal and was at the time of his decease, Crier in the Courts which position he held over 40 years.

Mary Jane Gallegos

William Wilson Mason's wife, Mary Jane Gallegos was born 5 September 1856 Armidale NSW Australia and died 17 October 1928 Inverell NSW Australia. Her mother was Mary Jane Nixon born 1832 Bladen, Oxfordshire England and died 22 January 1906 Armidale NSW Australia. Her father was Juan Gallegos (known as John in Australia). He was born 1818 in San Sebastian, Spain. His parents are unknown and he died 11 April 1868 Armidale NSW Australia. John arrived at Botany Bay in 1841 and then sailed to Port Macquarie with three other Spaniards. There he was employed by Archibald Clunes Innes (1800-1857), soldier and pastoralist, at his vast property, Lake Farm. John is recorded as being employed in the livery with two other Spaniards. By 1842, he was in charge of thirty horses. He was also horse-master at Major Innes' Ten Mile Creek Station and taught practical training in the breeding and handling of stock.

Innes started the Indian re-mount trade. He also imported the native Criollo horse bloodstock from South America. The word criollo originally referred to people and animals of pure-bred Spanish ancestry that were born in the Americas. These horses were known to have some of the best endurance of any horse breed in the world next to the Arabian and capable of being a better long-distance horse than the Arabian in prolonged races. The breed is known for its hardiness and stamina. John was also known to be the first importer of Arab horses in New South Wales. Innes also raced horses in the Port Macquarie area. John and some of his family continued in the horse trade.

Archibald Clunes Innes (1799-1857)

Born in Thrumster, Caithness, Scotland, Archibald Clunes Innes served in The Buffs (The Royal East Kent Regiment, Third Foot). He was Captain of the Guard in charge of 170 convicts aboard Eliza on his arrival in Australia in 1822. He was promoted to Major in 1827 at Sydney. He died 29 August 1857 at Newcastle NSW.

In 1813 the Buffs joined Portugal and Spain in what was known as The Seige of San Sebastian in the Basque region of Spain and successfully captured the city from its French garrison. A monument in San Sebastian was erected to the memory of the British soldiers:

In memory of the gallant British soldiers who gave their lives for the greatness of their own country and for independence and liberty of Spain. England has confided to us their honoured remains. Our gratitude will watch over their eternal repose.

John Gallegos and Mary Jane Nixon married 29 July 1848 Port Macquarie NSW Australia and had eleven children: Eliza, John, James who died in infancy, James, Mary Jane, Amelia Maud, Joseph (known as Albert), Philip, Amabelle, Thomas Arthur and Blanche.

Gallegos Sisters
Blanche and Amabelle (standing)
Eliza, Amelia Maude and Mary Jane (sitting)

William Wilson and Mary Jane (Gallegos) Mason's children were Mary and William who both died in infancy, Marion Belle, Stella Armada, Greta Madge, Vera Kathleen, Marie Doris and my grandfather Norman Wilfred. Norman was born 1893 Walgett NSW and died 1969 Young NSW. He married Dylis Beryl Humphreys 1921 Sydney and was a dentist at Young and Mullumbimby NSW Australia.

Looking for photos and informaton about Norman Wilfred Mason.

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I Descend - tracing ancestors through descendants - family research assistance