Warwick History Restored; Couple Brings Broken Burial Monument of Ancestors Back to Its Former Dignity

Article excerpt

Byline: Erin Smith, reporter

A PIECE of Warwick's history has been restored to its rightful state because Jeanette Nurser's love of family history led her to the Warwick General Cemetery.

Over the past few months Mrs Nurser and her husband Chris have worked to restore the headstone of her great-great-grandfather, John Thompson, and his wife Margaret Thompson, early settlers in the Warwick area.

aI first found the headstone in 1976 when I was researching my family tree,a Mrs Nurser said.

aIt was in poor shape then and even though we have visited it many times since, we never had the time or the tools with us to be able to tackle the job.a

During her research Mrs Nurser unearthed a great deal about her family history.

John and Margaret were both born in Scotland and had five sons before they boarded the Artemesia at Deptford, England, on July 29, 1848.

Despite being a qualified hand loom weaver John listed his occupation on the ships manifest as a labourer.

They were at sea for four months before arriving in Moreton Bay in New South Wales (rezoned to Queensland in 1859) on December 13, 1948, as the first free settlers.

The boat was not able to travel up the Brisbane River so all passengers were brought ashore on a steamer.

Seeking work, the family then journeyed by bullock dray over Spicer's Gap to Canning Downs.

Settler George Leslie provided John with a job at Canning Downs station.

His five children attended school in a shepherds' hut near the boundary of Canning Downs and Rosenthal stations.

The site for Warwick had been surveyed off Canning Downs station the year the Thompsons had arrived.

All five sons began their working lives as labourers, but honed their skills to become experts in their trades.

John Jnr was the first carpenter in Warwick.

Second son James, after being employed by the Leslies, went to work for Arthur McArthur as overseer on Maroon station and then came back to Warwick to settle in 1861.

Richard, the third-eldest, moved to the north of Warwick and worked at Glengallan station also as an overseer.

However, his occupations included bullock driver, carrier, grazier and farmer in the Goomburra district. …

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