When James McDonald lost his wife Frances (nee Moore), he must have been devastated, as she was only 48 years of age. Her ailments were such that she was bed-ridden for the last 17 years of her life.
In February of 1916 she contracted a cold and pnuemonia which, in her weakened state, proved to be fatal. She was buried in Warrnambool cemetery.
The headstone for James and Frances McDonald at Warrnambool cemetery. Photo Courtesy Stephen Cutler, Findagrave
The couple had been married for 22 years, having held their wedding in 1894 at Allansford in Victoria. James was a dairy inspector for the Nestle and Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Company, better known as Nestles.
Fast forward four years and James is enjoying a Christmas lunch with friends. The meal had just concluded when he fell back in his chair. It was to be his last meal as James had died. It was concluded his death was due to a failure of his heart.
Records showed he had no children and his next of kin included his three sisters back in Scotland. He had died intestate (without a will).
While this is a sad note to end on for the year, it shows how finite life can be. So please enjoy your 2022 Christmas with your loved ones, regardless of the type of year you've had.
From Tales From The Grave to you and your families, may you enjoy the Hope, Joy, Peace and Love that Christmas, our Saviour's birth, has to offer.
Tales will be taking a break over the Christmas period and will be back on January 10.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to our wonderful readers.
'Death at Christmas Dinner', The Journal, Adelaide, SA, Tuesday 11 January, 1921, Page 1
'Allansford - Passed away', The Warrnambool Standard, Saturday 19 February, 1916, Page 1
Victoria Government Gazette 1921, accessed 19th December, 2022, http://gazette.slv.vic.gov.au/images/1921/V/general/33.pdf
'Victoria, Australia, Wills and Probate Records, 1841-2009', Ancestry.com.au, accessed 19th December, 2022