Old Parramattans

Old Parramattans is a collection of peer-reviewed essays featuring people buried at St. John’s Cemetery, Parramatta, Australia’s oldest surviving European cemetery (1790), and/or registered in the St. John’s Parish burial register.

The collection is edited by historian Dr. Michaela Ann Cameron and is supported by the New South Wales Government through a Create NSW “Arts and Cultural grant.” From 2019 to January 2021, these funds will allow a team of historians to apply their expertise to tell these diverse stories from Old Parramatta. The resulting open access public history project will illuminate the significance of the cemetery itself as well as highlight the many incredible heritage sites within walking distance of the historic cemetery, making St. John’s the true “Gateway to Old Parramatta.”

The essays from this collection that are currently available can be accessed below.

The Magees: The First Burial

Elizabeth Bourke: A Much-Lamented Lady

Christopher Palmer: Perils of a Purser

Lives Left Behind: The Forsaken Families of First Fleeters William Gloster and James Ogden

Ann Smith: A Plunderer in the War Against Want

Sarah Bell: Female Factory Matron

John Irving: The Best Surgeon Amongst Them

Benjamin Ratty: Convict Constable

Thomas Freeman: Minding the Store

Sarah Moses: Tell the World I Died for Love

Catherine Leigh: Faithful Coadjutor

Thomas Daveney: The Tyrant of Toongabbie

Samuel Marsden: A Contested Life


This project is supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW.

Editing, Multimedia and Publishing: Michaela Ann Cameron.

Authors: Caitlin Adams, Matthew Allen, Michaela Ann Cameron, Alexander Cameron-Smith, Elizabeth de RélandCatie Gilchrist, Jennifer McLaren, David Morgan, Ben Vine