The mysterious death of Elizabeth Pendergast(nee Dwyer)

John Pendergast, son of John Prendergast Snr. married Elizabeth Dwyer on 1st June, 1824.

They produced 10 children.

Elizabeth was the daughter of Cornilius and Harriett Dwyer.

It has always puzzled me how Elizabeth died. Records show that Elizabeth died on December 6th, 1847 and was buried on 8th December, 1847. Her oldest son Thomas died one week later and was buried 14th December, 1847.

The rumour was that they both died in a fire. What sort of fire? Was it a house fire or a bush fire?  It could have been either at that time of the year in Campbelltown.

When I visited the Vault of Mrs Pendergast, wife of John at St. John’s cemetery, Campbelltown, I was puzzled by the inscription on the side of the Vault.

It read “It is a Holy and Wholesome Thought to pray for the Dead that they may be loosed from Sins” Maccabees X11. 46. I have never seen this on the side of a Vault before and am wondering what the significance of this might be.

It is so sad that they both died before Christmas 1847, a time that would normally be filled with joy and excitement for the other 9 children.

It is even sadder when you discover that John Pendergast was one of those named on a Grant to build the St. John’s Catholic Church and Cemetery at Campbelltown the year before on 31st March, 1846. Little did he know that his darling wife and precious son would be one of the first to be buried there the following year!

To research Elizabeth further I visited the Campbelltown Library on my 2019 visit to Sydney but could find no information related to Elizabeth or Thomas’s death.

Vault of Elizabeth Pendergast (nee Dwyer) and Thomas Pendergast her son.

Wording on Elizabeth Pendergast(nee Dwyer) Vault.

One thought on “The mysterious death of Elizabeth Pendergast(nee Dwyer)

  1. This is very interesting. John and Elizabeth Pendergast are my x4 great grandparents and I’ve always wondered what happened to her and why she died so young.


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