Mallacotta is approximately 520 kilometres east of Melbourne with the area first settled by Ben Boyd and the Imlay Brothers in the 1830s who used Mallacoota Inlet as a main whaling station south of Twofold Bay (near Eden) in New South Wales. In the 1840s Captain John Stephenson who had captained whaling ships along the coast was granted the first pastoral run in the district and in the 1880s settlers moved into the area and commercial fishing commenced. But in 1894 the fishing industry had a competitor when gold was found in the district. The Spotted Dog Mine to extract the gold came into being, and was in operation for about three years.
One of the earliest cemeteries in the area was that of Mallacoota, also known as Allan's Head, Cemetery. The old cemetery can still be found across the bay from Mallacoota in the Croajingalong National Park. Access to it is only by boat. The GSV /AIGS have a small number of records on the cemetery, including:
* Mallacoota Cemetery (Allan's Head) Headstones: 26 Feb 1897 to 1913. These were transcribed by Mrs Lorraine Daymond of Bairnsdale in the early 1980s.
* East Gippsland Cemeteries: a guide for the Genealogist by Linda Barraclough.
The cemetery also has a heritage listing (H8822-0004) by Heritage Victoria.
There are seven headstone transcriptions found in the cemetery records and these include:
* James Smellie, grazier, aged 47 years, who accidentally killed himself (struck in eye by stock whip) on the 26 February, 1897. He was buried on the 27 February, 1897. James Smellie was born in Adelaide, South Australia and was married with 5 children.
* Sydney Mortimer, who was drowned in 1898
* John Frazer, farmer, aged 42 years, who drowned 27 February, 1902 after falling from his horse. He was born in Germany and not married.
* Peter Person, boatman, aged 54 years, who was accidentally shot himself on the 16 January, 1908. He was also known as Peter Pearson and was born Norway, being in Victoria for 32 years, and not married.
* J.H. Hodson who died circa 1912.
* John Augustus Doran, hotelkeeper, aged 82 years, who drowned 4 January, 1913 when his sailboat sank near Swimming Point. Doran was born at Port Royal, Nova Scotia, Canada and was married and had eight children.
* C.Brown of Fairhaven.
Death certificates have been located for Smellie, Frazer, Persen and Doran, but to date none for Mortimer, Hodson and Brown. It was thought that there were other burials in the cemetery, perhaps for the time of mining operations, but there are no burial records to confirm this.
Further research into this cemetery has so far identified that the following two were probably early burials in the cemetery:
- VELT, Vera: died 18 January, 1893, aged 4 weeks and 6 days. Vera was the daughter of Wilhelmina Velt and was born in Bombala, NSW. Vera was buried on the 19 February, 1913.
- HENLEY, Harry, Mining Manager, died 29 June 1896, aged 57 years. He was born in Bath, England, married in Ballarat and had 10 children. There is no burial date noted for Harry, just he was buried at Mallacoota.
Ongoing research is still be undertaken to identify any other burials in the cemetery.
There are two other cemeteries in the area; Mallacoota West Cemetery that came into operation in 1913 and the family history groups do hold the headstone transcriptions [1913-1984] for this cemetery, and it would appear that the cemetery was not in use from 1916 to 1952.. The other being Gypsy Point Cemetery with the records from 1919-1980 also available.
I would appreciate hearing from anyone who might have further information on the Mallacooota (Allan's Head) Cemetery and the Mallacoota West Cemetery, up until 1916. It would be great to identify as many burials as possible in the cemeteries, especially the Allan's Head Cemetery.