Euphemia McKenzie

Euphemia “Effie” McKenzie

Effie (b. 28.3.1825 Isle of Skye, Scotland baptised 8.4.1825 Sleat Inverness  – d.1898 Maryborough Queensland) was the eldest daughter of Alexander MacKenzie Snr and his first wife Flora McKinnon, and would have been about twelve years old when her family left the Isle of Skye, Scotland in 1837.

Familysearch baptism Effy McKenzie Sleat

The life that Effie may have known on the Isle of Skye is covered in Don MacKenzie’s “Over the Sea from Skye”, as is the voyage to the NSW Colony. Sadly on the voyage over, Effie’s mother, Flora (McKinnon), died in the Great Australian Bight during childbirth with triplets. And then her first stepmother, Janet Hutchinson, died in 1847, before her father remarried again to Christina McGillivray later in 1847.

Effie married William Warren, on 26.2.1850 in the Presbyterian Church in  Sydney – 1, 2, 3, 4, . Today the Presbyterian Church, ie the Scots Church probably looks a little different to 1850 – see photo below. The 1850 marriage of Euphemia MacKenzie, of Ellengowan, Fairy Meadow,  to William Warren was announced in the Sydney Morning Herald on 27.2.1850, and then several days later in Bell’s Life in Sydney and Sporting Review on 2.3.1850. Of course it would be about another five years before the Illawarra had its own local newspaper, the Illawarra Mercury.

Euphemia’s new husband, William Warren,  was described as a “storekeeper, Ipswich, Moreton Bay,” in Queensland.

The story of Euphemia and William Warren’s family over the ensuing 150 years is not unlike many family sagas, some “highs” and some sad times.


The Scots Church Sydney in July 2017.

It appears that their three older children, Duncan, Margaret and William were born in NSW, before the family moved to Queensland, sometime between 1854 and 1862.

Donald MacKenzie believed that on moving to Queensland, Effie and William Warren were in Ipswich, where they owned a store and operated a post office – (1, ). They were later living in the Maryborough Wide Bay area 1866 – 1875. By 1878, Effie was still living in Yengarie, and she remained there until her 1898 death, by which time she was well respected in the community there –1, 2. Effie’s 1898 obituary states that husband William Warren had died about 20 years earlier, and that he had been the head clerk at the Yengarie Sugar Refinery. Yengarie was noted for its 19th Century era Sugar Refinery – 1, 2, 3, Effie’s obituary also notes that there were two surviving sons and a daughter, which is in line with Don MacKenzie’s information in “Over the Sea from Skye”, viz a daughter Euphemia and a son John.

  • Duncan McKenzie Warren, b. 1851 in NSW d. 1884 at Lenehan’s Dairy, Muttaburra Aramac, Maryborough –1, 2, 3.  In Duncan’s death notices, it was said that he hailed from Ipswich and another suggested Warwick – and that his father had been the Warwick Town Clerk – however this Warwick reference may be erroneous ?  In the death notices it was apparent that his father has passed away some time beforehand.
  • Margaret S Warren b. 1852 NSW d. 1877  Queensland 1, married in 1873 in Maryborough Queensland to James McGowan b. 1850 Larnarkshire Scotland d. 1937 Mackay –1, . The family were living in Yengarie and her father William Warren was still alive at that time. After Margaret’s 1877 death, her husband remarried and a large number of children were born.
    • William James McGowan b. 1875 Queensland d. 1875 Queensland
  • William Walter Gray Warren, b. 1854 in NSW . d. 1943 Brisbane – had lived in Childers – 1, married Sarah Rice in Queensland in 1892
  • Unnamed (M) Warren, b. 1862 in QLD.
  • Unnamed (F) Warren, b. 1864 in QLD.
  • Flora McKinnon Warren, b. 1866 in QLD. d. 1867 Qld
  • Euphemia Warren b. ? – d. ?   She is mentioned, but not named,  in her mother’s 1898 obituary, and she then lived in the Wide Bay Maryborough area until at least 1905 – 1908. However Euphemia is not mentioned again, in the electoral rolls for Maryborough for the years 1914, 1915, 1919, 1925, 1928 and beyond – indicating that she had left the area. Did Euphemia live  in Perth for a time, and/or in Mosman NSW from 1930 and die there in 1948 ? Or did she marry after 1908 ?
  • John Warren b. c.1864 –  d. 12.9. 1928 in Queensland (Qld BDM 003304)  buried at Rockhampton – an Engineer, married in 1887 in Bundaberg Queensland to Emily Agnes Sherrington d. 1955 Queensland. It appears that he and Emily may have separated on a number of occasions, including around the 1922 wedding of their daughter, Euphemia Margaret Warren to  William Robert Marsden Parrack. Agnes lived at Childers about 1917 – mid 1930’s, and then at Toombul, Brisbane by 1936 until about the time of her 1955 death.
    • Agnes Grace Warren, b 1888 Bundaberg (Qld BDM C626) d. 1941- 1, 2,  – a Dressmaker,  married in 1913 in the Townsville area –1, 2, to Ben Foley, a teacher, and later a Cane Farmer and fourth son of Welsh born Queensland ALP Thomas Foley MLA – 1, 2, 3, a founding member of the Queensland Labor League in 1890 and Waterside Workers Union member, who served in the Queensland Parliament from 1909 until his death in 1920 in the seats of Townsville and Mundingburra.  Additional Note – this Welsh born Tom Foley MLA in our McKenzie family tree does not appear to have been related to another Thomas Andrew Foley MLA (b. 1886. d. 1973), son of Irish born Andrew Foley. Thomas Andrew Foley was a sometimes controversial Queensland ALP and Queensland Labour Party MLA, who was first elected to the Queensland Parliament in 1919 and later served in the Gair Parliament, and was in the Parliament until 1960 – 1, 2,  So it would appear that in the years 1919 – 1920 that there were two ALP MLA’s in the Queensland Parliament named Tom Foley, which may have created some confusion ? 
      • Thomas John Noel Foley b. 1914  Queensland – d. 2005 – 1, known as Noel. In April 1942 his engagement to Ailsa Annie Semple of Degilbo was announced –1. However the marriage did not proceed, as by September 1942 Ailsa had instead married Robert W L Finlay –1 – war times make for interesting situations ? Several years later,  in 1944,  Noel became engaged to South Australian born Lieutenant Lorna Mary Watkins1,  – by 1945 they were married. Lorna  was a nurse in WW2 in the AANS –1, -. By 1972 they appear to have been divorced, as Noel had remarried in 1972 to Jean Duncan Laing, who is known for her research into the Manly Quarantine Station – 1, 2, . Known as Sir Noel Foley, after being knighted in  1978,  he was known for his involvement in the Australian Tobacco industry – he became CEO and Chairman of  Directors (in 1955) British Tobacco (Australia), General Manager of WD & HO Wills, Chairman of AMATIL – 1, . Other roles were Director of CSR, QANTAS, and a business executive with Westpac. He  has also been viewed by some as a controversial figure – and in 1986 was lobbying for the abolition of the FIRB – Federal Investment Review Board and had even faced criminal charges in regard to Tobacco Company land dealings, by WD & HO Wills, in Tasmania in 1971 but these were dropped –  1, 2, 3, 4, 4,  5, 6, . Noel’s brother in law George Albert Preston, who had been employed in NSW by British Tobacco, was appointed to the Australian Tobacco Board in 1966 and remained in that role until 1977. There had been various incarnations of  “Tobacco Board’s” in Australia for at least four decades previously. The Australian Tobacco board was established in 1965 – 1, and from 1990 it was known as Australian Tobacco Marketing Advisory Committee – 1, 2, . This committee was wound up in 1995, and abolished in 1997 – with the organisation’s assets transferred to the Tobacco Research and Development Corporation, which was in turn abolished in 2003. There had been criticism of the level of government subsidies for the Australian tobacco leaf industry, which it has been claimed allowed inefficiencies – 4. The tobacco leaf industry then continued to fold over the following five to ten years –1, .  However unlike his grandfather Tom Foley, the Welsh born Waterside Unionist and founding member of the Queensland Labor League in 1890, Sir Noel was more aligned with the conservative side of politics eg a supporter of John Howard, but was never a member of the Liberal Party during the 1980’s –1, . In 1989, He had been a member of the University of Sydney Council, and was also Chairman of its Graduate School of Management and Public Policy Foundation –1, 2, . Though interestingly he headed up the World Wildlife Fund in Australia in the 1970’s – 1, 2, and then opposed the introduction of the Australia Card in 1987, as he saw it as “a serious threat to the privacy, liberty and safety of every citizen”.  Sir Noel Foley was obviously a  very busy man. Don MacKenzie however regretted that Sir Noel Foley had appeared not too interested in the McKenzie family history in “Over the Sea from Skye” –1, perhaps Sir Noel Foley also valued his family’s privacy. However it is interesting to note that his widow Lady Foley, has been a noted immigration history researcher in her own right –1, .
      • Benita Coral Foley – b. 1914 d. 1994 – 1, bridesmaid at her Aunt Lynda Warren‘s 1933 wedding – 1, . Coral, her sister Olwyn and their brother Noel, were known for their singing and music – from the 1920’s. In the late 1930’s and early 1940’s,  Coral and her sister Olwyn were regularly advertising their Brisbane city beauty business – 1, 2,  Coral married in Brisbane in 1942 – 1 to  George Albert Preston b. 1916 – d. 1987 – 1, of IspwichEngineerwho appears to have been a university mate of Coral’s brother Noel Foley and Olwyn’s future husband Vincent Schmidt –1, . Coral and George lived in Queensland until at least the late 1950’s and by the early 1960’s they had relocated to the northern suburbs of Sydney. George had become involved with British Tobacco and the Australian Tobacco Board, commercial interests in common with his brother in law, Noel Foley.
        • Ian Benjamin Preston b. 1949 Brisbane –1,
      • Olwyn Amy Foley – engaged to Vincent Ernest Schmidt, Engineer, who worked with the Irrigation Department and was from Rivermeade Fernvale in 1942 – 1, 2, 3, – married in late November 1942 – 1,  by which time Vincent had been promoted from Sergeant to Lieutenant in the AIF – 1, .. Olwyn was also sister Coral’s matron of honour later in 1942 – 1, . Olwyn and Vincent appeared to remain in Queensland, unlike her siblings, Noel and Coral.
        • son Kemsley Gray Schmidt b. 1945 Brisbane – 1,
    • William Warren b. 1890 Queensland (Qld BDM C824) d. 1977 (Qls BDM B82523) – it is not known if he ever married
    • Euphemia Margaret Warren b. 1893 (Qld BDM C572) Bundaberg d. November 1922 Queensland – married in Childers in April 1922 –1, to William Robert Marsden Parrack b. 1888 Queensland d. 1960 Childers. NB-  a brother in law, Ben Foley gave Euphemia Margaret Warren away at her 1922 wedding.
    • Duncan Thomas Warren 1895 Brisbane (Qld BDM C997) – d. 1988 Belmore –1, . Duncan worked as a Maritime Refrigeration Engineer for about a decade on a number of ships including the Clan McGillivray1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,  during the period when she was used as  a Transport Ship and Hospital Ship in 1915 (Gallipoli ANZAC landing) – 1917 during WW1. Perhaps he never knew that his great grandfather Alexander McKenzie Snr had married a Clan McGillivray lass – Christina decades before in 1847 ? His time at sea could explain why there are no electoral enrolment details for him in Queensland in 1913 ? By 1922 Duncan had left the sea, and had an engineering business in Sydney, prior to marrying in 1922 in Sydney to Gladys Blanche Heidrich b. 1890 Woodside Australia – d. 1961. Duncan lived at Coogee from 1930 until at least 1980 – appeared to be at Belmore prior to his 1988 death
  • Lynda B Warren b. 1905(Qld BDM C11036)  – married in 1933 in Brisbane –1, 2, to William EF Sykes b. 1906 Queensland d. 1938 Queensland  and lived at Toombal, where they had a store,

1 Response to Euphemia McKenzie

  1. Pingback: Our Families in WW1 – mostly served on the Western Front | A Steely Genes Journey

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