N.S.W Australia

Samuel married Mary (Marion) Jane McDonald on 26 October 1907 at the Whitefield Congregational Church in Sydney. On this marriage certificate he is shown as a labourer.

sfc kirchner (jnr) and mj nee mcdonald

There is a very appealing photo of the two of them on their wedding day - Mary Jane looking petite and pretty with her tiny hand resting on Samuel's arm.

Samuel and Mary Jane had a large family - four girls and five boys - my father John being the 3rd youngest. A baby boy born after my father died at birth.

kirchner family garden of ashfield home
BACK: Thelma with baby son Charlie
FROM LEFT: Evelyn, Mary Jane holding John, Samuel with George, Arthur & Eva
Ted not in photo - Vera not yet born

23 John Street, Ashfield
Approximately 1920

The family sold "Wurttemberg Cottage" after my father's birth there in 1919, and their last child was born in 1923 at Northcote Street, Haberfield. This property was left to their eldest son and when I went to Sydney to work in 1960 I spent a month or so there with my uncle and his wife.

Until I began to seriously delve into the family history, I had no knowledge from my parents of the first marriage of either my grandfather or his father. Nor was I aware of the existence of families descended from George and John (from Great Grandfather's first marriage) or Samuel Frederick (from Grandfather Samuel's first marriage).

It added not a little to the confusion with Samuel Friedrich Christian, Samuel Frederick Christian, Samuel Frederick, and Samuel John Kirchner!

There are photographs of my grandfather at the Woy Woy - Ettalong holiday cottage that belonged to his son from his first marriage.

sfc kirchner at Woy Woysfc kirchner at Woy Woy

They were taken between the years when his second family of nine children was growing up, until just prior to his death. Surely my uncles and aunts must have known of the other side of the family. Another of those unexplained mysteries....

mj kirchner and youngest daughter - haberfield home
Mary Jane Kirchner with youngest daughter
Front porch - 9 Northcote St., Haberfield
Approx. 1925/1926

Samuel died 24 October 1926 in Western Suburbs Hospital, Croydon aged 60 and is buried with his first wife Esther in Rookwood Cemetery. At the time of his death he was working as a railway fettler.

Photo dated 8/4/1927
On back "To Sam from Evelyn, wishing him the best of luck and prosperity".
(NOTE: photo probably sent to half-brother Samuel Frederick Kirchner following death of his (and her) father).

The photo shows a double grave.
The two people buried in the left hand grave are -
S F C Kirchner (snr.)
and his second wife Mary nee Mead

On the right are buried S F C Kirchner (jnr.)
and his first wife Esther Harriet nee Vitler
(see below)

In Loving Memory of
- Her End Was Peace -

Following the death of Samuel, Mary Jane continued living in the house at Haberfield, together with her eldest son, third daughter and youngest daughter. At this time it's thought that two of the boys were living with their eldest sister at Marrickville.

kirchner home at haberfield
Kirchner Family Home at Haberfield
(Photo taken 1993)

Mary Jane Kirchner died of sugar diabetes on 14 May 1937 aged 53. At the time of her death, three of her nine children were still living with her in the family home.

My grandmother Mary Jane is also buried at Rookwood, with her baby son Bruce Donald. The old part of the cemetery is overgrown. We've visited a couple of times and photographed the double grave of Samuel and Mary - and Samuel and Esther, but have not yet found that of Mary Jane and her son.

Between them Samuel and Mary Jane, two grandparents I never knew, produced a large family of nine children - and many, many descendants.

Having done so much digging into the past I feel at least I now have a little knowledge of their lives, and this will be passed on to the coming generations.


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