Our Family History - McKay, Bushee, King and Mills
Elizabeth Mary Emms Abbott
Elizabeth was disinherited after marrying a sea captian, a class beneath her. They travelled to Australia, and during the voyage he died and was buried at sea. All alone and without funds, she was offered the position of governess to a family and eventually the wifes brother arrived, extremely ill with pneumonia. Elizabeth nursed him and bought him back to health. He proposed to her with the words “I have only 15 pounds in this world but will you accept me as a husband”. They married and scratched a living farming and then digging for gold.
Elizabeth had only her tent and her few belongings she’d brough with her from England. Included in this was an old cabin trunk made of wood and approximately 5 foot long. Their tent must have been within the walls of the Eureka Stockade, for the story says that Elizabeth laid down behind that trunk when the fighting got feirce. The trunk had a bullet hole right through, just above body height, but it was the old sea chest that saved her life. That same trunk was in the family until it and the rest of Granny Lee’s (Margaret Medwin’s) house burnt down in the 1930’s in Koo Wee Rup. Elizabeth Emms went on to have many children (possibly 12) and died in 1889.
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