Susan Currie (nee Hutcheson)

Susan Currie (nee Hutcheson) 1835 - 1897) was born in Dundee, Angus Scotland on 29th January 1835.  She appears on the Dundee Census in 1851 as a 16 year old 'weaver' living with her parents.  In 1855 Susan married Archibald Currie in Sydney.

By the 1850's, transportation to NSW had ended.  Susan would most likely have been an assisted immigrant.  The voyage from Scotland to Australia was a perilous affair and took months in very primitive and uncomfortable accommodation.  Typhoid and Cholera were rife and ships of course also sank.    

There is a record of a Susan Hutchinson, aged 19, arriving in Victoria in 1854 aboard the Black Eagle.  There are another 500 passengers listed for this ship, including a WM Hutchinson and a Catherine Hutchinson and a swag of Ritchies and McIntosh's, none of whom particularly ring bells with me but they could have been cousins.  Something new to investigate. 

Why Susan left Scotland

We may never know why Susan Hutcheson got on a ship to Australia but she must have had a pretty compelling reason to leave her family behind, knowing she would probably never see them again.  Until I find her arrival record I won't know if she travelled alone*.  As a weaver in Dundee city, I dont think the rural lowland clearances would have been the reason she immigrated.  The 1840's did however see the introduction of power driven machinery into the weaving process as part of a process of general industrialisation which resulted in the decline of handloom weaving.  Although many handloom weavers, particularly the women, found employment in the factories, there would have been a good number who did not succeed in finding employment or did not find it congenial and some of them would have decided to emigrate. 

Peter Hutcheson and Susan Robertson

Susans parents were Peter Hutcheson and Susan Robertson of Dundee.  There is a family legend that we are somehow related to a John Robertson.  I was interested to find out Susan's mother was indeed a Robertson.  My mother says that her mother used to take her on the ferry to Circular Quay and there used to be a statue of a Robertson and Grandma used to say "he's a relative of yours, you know".  Meg Young remembered being told that Susan Hutcheson came over on a ship with John Robertson.  I have looked for evidence of either story but have not found anything so far.  

NEW INFORMATION:  29.8.12 - I found a record of Archibald Currie and Susan Hutchesons wedding today in a newspaper article on NLA Trove, dated Wednesday 25th July 1855, Empire newspaper.  "Married - By special licence, on the 23rd of July, by the Rev G Collins, minister of the Scots Church, Balmain, at the residence of the bride's uncle, Mr. John Robertson, of Sussex Street, Sydney, Mr Archibald Currie, to Miss Susan Hutchison, both of Sydney".|||l-decade=185

John Robertson of Sussex Street was a publican, and the pub is still there:  The Dundee Arms.     

If there is any doubt whether John Robertson of Sussex Street is the same as John Robertson of The Dundee Arms, there is another article dated 29th Jan 1870:

"On the 17th November last at her residence, Dundee, Scotland, (suddenly) of apoplexy, Susan Robertson, in the 70th year of her age, widow of the late Peter Hutchinson, engineer and only sister to John Robertson, Dundee Arms Inn, Sussex Street.  Much and deeply regretted by all who had the pleasure of her acquaintance."  - The only error here seems to be that John Robertson had two other sisters but perhaps they were already deceased. 

I have found some more details regarding Susan Currie nee Hutchesons parents.

Susan Hutchison nee Robertson was born 13th July 1800 to parents Robert Robertson (coal porter) and Isabell McIntosh, the youngest of six children.  She died on 17th November 1869 at 2 Middle Street, Dundee aged 67.  She appears on the 1851 census as a 'safe maker'.  The informant who provided the details on her death certificate is listed as 'Susan Ritchie, niece and occupier'.  I looked into this and found that Susan had a sister Jean, who had a daughter Susan that married an Alexander Ritchie in 1839.  Their daughter Susan Hutchesson Ritchie was born in 1854 and would have been 15 at the time of Susan Hutchison (nee Robertson)'s death.

Peter Hutchison was born around 1799 to parents Robert Hutchison and Mary Hutchison nee Murray.  He is listed as a weaver on the 1851 census but as a labourer on his death certificate.  His death certificate is dated 7th September 1866 and the address is 52 Blackness Road Dundee.  The cause of death given is disease of the heart and dropsy 6 months.  The informant is named as Jessie (Hutchison?), daughter.  

Susan Currie nee Hutcheson's siblings were: 

Robert  born 12/03/1826
Margaret born 20/7/1828  
David McBroom born 14/11/1830
Susan born 7/2/1835

(there is only one record of a Margaret Hutcheson marrying in a 20 year period, this was to a Hercules Bathie on 10/2/1854).

Susan Hutcheson nee Robertson's siblings were:

John Robertson born 8/7/1783*
Alexander Robertson born 4/7/1787
Jean Robertson born 13/5/1791
James Robertson born 23 Dec 1794 (died 1815 aged 20)
Anne Robertson born 6/9/1796

Robert Robertson and Isabel McIntosh

I have been unable to obtain a birth, death or marriage certificate for either Robert Robertson or Isabel McIntosh.  I only really know of their existence from their childrens birth records and the burial record of their son James.  James was a weaver and died aged 20 on 10th April 1815.  There is a stone erected in the Old Howff graveyard, plot 1399 by his parents, Robert Robertson porter of Dundee and his wife Isabel McIntosh.  On Susan Hutcheson nee Robertsons death certificate, Robert Robertson is listed as a coal porter.  There are some lines inscribed on the back of James's gravestone as follows:

Remember man as you pass by
As you are now so once was I
As I am now so must you be
Remember man that you must die 

Here are a few charts of Susan Currie nee Hutcheson's ancestry:

Susan had nine children, eight of who survived infancy.  Her fifth child Elizabeth died of typhoid age 25.  

Susan's obituary reads:

13th May 1897

Death of Mrs A Currie

We regret to have to record the death on Wednesday morning of Mrs Archibald Currie of North Lismore.  The deceased lady was a native of Dundee, Scotland and came to the district shortly after her marriage with Mr Currie in November 1855.  Mr Currie had previously visited the district, trading here as far back as 1853: but after his marriage he gave up the sea and settled in North Lismore, very close to the site of his present residence, and for a period of nearly 42 years Mrs Currie has resided continuously at North Lismore.  That the deceased lady lives to see a wonderful growth of settlement may be gathered from the fact that the house Mr Currie then build was the third in North Lismore, and there were only about 3 more in Lismore.  She was consequently very widely known and her friendship was highly valued by old residents especially in the early days when all were as neighbours.  Mrs Currie had only reached the age of 62 but for some three years past her health had been failing and the death of her daughter (Elizabeth) seemed to press heavily on her.  She leaves behind a husband and a family of five daughters and two sons besides 8 grandchildren and a large circle of acquaintances to mourn her loss.  Mrs W. W. Wotherspoon of North Lismore, Mrs McClean of Byron Bay, and Mrs Cohen are daughters of the deceased.  The funeral cortege on Thursday was a very lengthy one being attended by all the old residents of the district.  The burial services were undertaken by the Rev. Mr. Ewing.  

Susan Currie shared a gravestone with her daughter Elizabeth in North Lismore pioneers cemetery.  Archibald Currie was later added to this stone on his death in 1916.

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