The mystery girl


For years I wondered who the girl on the right hand side of this photo was. There sits my great great Grandfather William Henry Archer (1841-1920), his wife standing is Catherine Carmichael Grayson (1873-1968) and their little son whom they affectionately called ‘Bon’, also called William Henry Archer (1903-1966). 

I recently discovered the girl seated on the right’s name was Laurie, or ‘cousin Laurie’. She was WH Archer’s great niece. After arriving in Australia from Liverpool to start a new life, Laurie’s mother Elizabeth Harriet Jane Archer, married Henry Jackson. Their daughter Laurie (Harriet Laura Jackson) was born in 1887. 

Laurie’s father shot her mother at Brisbane’s Central Station whilst she was waiting for a train with Laurie; they were attempting to leave him. He then turned the gun upon himself and they both died while poor Laurie hid.

 The Brisbane Courier Wednesday March 3, 1897 stated – Shortly after 7 o’clock last night a man named Jackson
shot his wife dead at the Central Railway Station, and then committed suicide.It would appear that Mrs Jackson had left Bundaberg to
proceed to Sydney with her daughter, a girl 9 years old, and that her husband
had followed her.Husband and wife were heard wrangling on the
platform, and Jackson then fire two shots at his wife, afterwards shooting
himself through the heart.

So tragically Laurie was orphaned and had to live with her closest relative, my 2nd Great Grandfather. 


“THE BRISBANE TRAGEDY.” The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1883 – 1930) 6 March 1897: 

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