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Rediscovering Ginninderra:
Mary Maria Shumack

Born: 1863; Died: 1891; Married: John Shumack

Mary Maria Read was the daughter of Hugh Read and Eliza (nee Shumack) of Tallagandra. She married her cousin John Shumack. Mary was the granddaughter of his uncle John Shumack and Margaret (nee O'Toole), who had settled on land near St Johns, Reid.

John and Mary had six children together. At first, they boarded with John's brother, Samuel, but eventually contracted a builder named Parker to construct their own timber house at Weetangerra.

Tragedy soon struck the young family of Shumacks. Her brother-in-law, Samuel Shumack, recalled:

Their daughter Sophia, who was three years of age, fell into a tub of boiling water and died within a few hours. In February 1891 twins were born - Marian and Henry. Henry died on 20 November 1891, and the mother six days later. Thus in three months three members of the family passed away.

Mary had died aged only 28 years. John's death was also premature. He died in 1896 at the age of 49 from pneumonia.


Gillespie, L. L., 1979A Pictorial History of the Read/Reid Family in Australia, 1849-1979, Canberra

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