Anakie/Anakies Cemetery




Situated approximately 103 kilometres west of Melbourne is the small township of Anakie. It is located at the in the pastoral district at the foot of the Brisbane Ranges. The town is believed to have got its name from the three hills, "The Anakies", that overlook the town. The township was also known as Anakies. By 1903 the name, Anakies, official became Anakie. In July 1877, Anakies School, No 21, was opened. It originated from a Catholic school set up by the Church on 19 September, 1859. It had 24 pupils when in 1863 it became part of the colony's Board of Education. The school became State School No 1910, Anakie.

On 22 March, 1861 William Woodlock wrote on behalf of the inhabitants of Anakie for the appropriation of land for a cemetery in the area. A map identifying a site of eight acres for the site for the proposed cemetery was forwarded with the application and it was recommended on 15 April, 1861 the area be temporarily reserved for a cemetery in Anakie. The Governor in Council approved this area being temporarily reserved on 29 April, 1861 and Gazetted on 17 May, 1861 [VGG 1861, Page 963]. The site was located at a point seven chains west of the north-east corner of Allotment No 2, Parish of Anakie. This was to west of the store and post office in 1864.

In September, 1865 the inhabitants of the Anakies wrote to the government of the day requesting that a more suitable piece of land be approved as the existing reserve was "most unsuitable" for the purpose of a cemetery as the land was on the side of a steep hill and that the soil would not allow for a grave to be dug. In September, 1865 the government wrote to the "memoralists" who forward the request for this change to identify the position of the "contemplated cemetery". There is no further information to date noting what happened in regards to this request and the cemetery at Anakies/Anakie. No information is available as to the location of this second requested area or if it was ever used.

Records have identified that there were a small number of burials at Anakies/Anakie; two were noted as being at the Wesleyan Reserve, Anakie. Today these burials are found on private land.

* John DALZIEL died on 5 June, 1865 at Anakies. He was a labourer aged 49 years. There was an inquiry into his death as he had had a fall resulting in severe concussion to his head. His parents were James and Margaret Dalziel and he was born in Scotland and had been 11 years in Victoria. He had married Elizabeth Walls at Geelong and they had two children. He was buried on 7 June, 1865 noted as being, private burial ground.

NOTE: In 1988, enquiries were made as to the place of his burial and it was noted that he was buried in a grave in the furthest easterly corner of a five acre block of land at 2015 Ballan Road, Anakie. The land was part of Crown Portion 44, Parish of Anakie. There is now a plaque fixed to a small boulder on the site noting this burial. The two people being identified as being buried at the Wesleyan Reserve, Anakie were:

* Mary Ann HARRIS, aged 7 weeks, daughter of Frederick Harris and Martha Hamiltion. She died on 21 April, 1863 and was buried on 24 April, 1863. James Hamilton, grandfather of Mary Ann was the informant of her death.

* James Hamilton, aged 50 years died at Anakies on 15 May, 1863 of Typhus Fever and was buried on 17 May, 1863. He was born at the Isle of Wight and was married to Ann Dumford at the Isle of Wight before coming to Victoria. They had seven children and he had been ten years in Victoria at the time of his death. It is believed that he and Mary Ann are both in the one grave.

NOTE: By 1966 there was nothing left of the grave except for a tee-tree shrub to indicate the position of the grave on an area kept under lawn, on a poultry farm. There had been an iron railing around the grave but it had been removed by the owner of the property when he cleaned up the area.

Information regarding these graves note that they were not that far apart. The Hamilton grave being about four to six feet to the south-west of the Dalziel grave.

Further research is needed to see if there were any burials in the two cemetery areas or in the area around Anakie/Anakies. To date, only the three noted above have been identified as being buried in the area. A number of other deaths were noted as being at Anakie over the years but further research noted these people being buried in other cemeteries, ie Geelong, Little River (Rothwell) and Steiglitz.

If anyone has any further information on this old burial ground, I would greatly appreciate hearing from them. Information on the burial grounds stops in late 1865. I cannot locate to date, any record of the initial cemetery being listed as being no longer reserved as a temporary burial place or any record of a second area being officially approved or gazetted.

David Weatherill
Bundoora, Victoria, Australia



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