Mary Edith Allen

 KNOWN AS   Edith
 BORN 24 September 1884 in Mary St, Omagh, Co Tyrone, Ireland.
 DIED 18 August 1952 in Naremburn, NSW.

NSW Death Record 18057/1952.

 FATHER Thomas Allen (1850-1916)
 MOTHER Catherine Mary McCorkell (1852-1916)
 EMIGRATION to Australia, December 1886
 OCCUPATION Teacher; Housewife
 MARRIED James Kerr Johnston (1888-1984) on 22 January 1913 in Brisbane, Qld.

Qld Marriage Record 1913/B012797.

JOHNSTON James Kerr &
Mary Edith Allen
 CHILDREN   Thomas James Johnston (1915-1993)
Arthur Kerr Johnston (1917-1997)
Catherine Rebecca Johnston (1919-2005)
Edith Mary Johnston (1923-2017)

Emigrated from Ireland with her parents in 1886. The family settled in Watsonville, Qld, and Edith lived in Queensland until after the births of her four children. The family moved to Sydney in 1923, settling first in Cammeray and then Naremburn where Edith lived until her death in 1952.

Dora, Barbara & Edith Allen.

I remember that my mother told me she taught school when she was still only a student herself. I had never heard that her mother, although inexperienced, had to take classes. I don’t know how she managed it at Watsonville with a two year-old and a baby. She would certainly have been able to teach needlework as she was a mantle maker before she married — in other words a dress-maker. That would be why in the old photographs they are wearing such beautiful, elaborate dresses. The inspector’s report on my mother’s teaching was very good. She was always good at controlling children, but didn’t need to raise her voice or get angry. She said that in some places where they lived in the outback it was so dry and barren that they didn’t have any fresh fruit or vegetables, and she blamed poor diet then for her ill health later in life. She said that when it did rain at Aramac, it flooded round the school, and they had to walk on the fence posts to get there. I couldn’t imagine how they did this until we went there and saw the fence made of big sawn off tree trunks. My mother once taught in Beaudesert. There were quite a few Aboriginal children in the school. She didn’t like them as they used to steal, and they used to pinch the other children! You musn’t say that these days. There was a big Convent also in the town, and on the way home in the train she used to see the Nuns asking the children how many cattle their parents had etc, in view of asking them for higher fees. My Grandparents finally bought a house and settled in Norman Park, Brisbane. My father told us that when my Grandfather was dying, they propped him up and got him to sign a will leaving the house to his son, my Uncle John Allen. My Grandfather died one day and Grandmother the next day. She died in agony with a tumour which burst. It was a typical Qld house with a big area underneath enclosed with lattice. I often visited the John Allens there. Uncle Jim and Auntie Barbara Pringle lived further up the street in a similar house. They had big verandahs around them, which did for extra bedrooms when needed.
      — Daughter Mary  [2001]

Kerr, Cassie, Edith, James, Mary & Tom, c1939.

⬩⬩⬩ web page made 5 February 2006; edited  ⬩⬩⬩