James Agnew's Burial Place

Recently, I was in Canberra for a meeting and a conference so I took the opportunity to visit Cooma in an attempt to locate the burial place of my ggg grandparents James and Ellen Agnew.
James died on 14th July 1864 at Countegany and his death certificate states he was buried at Cooma.  Ellen died on 13th May 1891 and was buried in the Roman Catholic Cemetery Cooma. Unlike his brother Henry who died in 1884 and has a headstone at Mittagang Cemetery, there is no headstone for James or Ellen there.
The only real clue I had came from Monumental Inscriptions Monaro. 1. Christ Church is an Anglican Church just out of Cooma on Church Road and was an early burial place for the Cooma district.

Christ Church Maneroo 1845  

Christ Church

Although Anglican, early Catholic burials took place there. Thanks to transcribers in 1977 I had two clues. Graves 106 and 107 were for a Patrick Agnew and James Agnew. The remainder of the headstones were indecipherable at that time. I knew that one of James' grandsons was a  Patrick Agnew who had died on 6th March 1865. Perhaps he was buried next to his grandfather.
The first issue was that graves 106 and 107 were supposedly in the Protestant section. 108 was a lone Jewish burial and Roman Catholic burials were from 109. The Agnews, of course, were Catholic and I couldn’t imagine that they were buried in the Protestant section.
It would have made it easier if the headstones had markers which corresponded to the numbers in the book. I had great difficulty trying to work out any pattern to the numbering system. I found the Protestant section but couldn’t find any headstones where I thought 106 and 107 should be. I began to wonder if perhaps 106 and 107 were actually in the Catholic section so I began searching in the far section. 
Knowing that the headstones were indecipherable in the 1970s, I began looking for ones that had fallen. Bingo! I found a small slab which appears to have been at the bottom of a grave. 1865 was clearly visible. Had I found Patrick’s grave? What looks like S.D. is confusing as I don't know what that would mean.

S.D. 1865 

Possible location of Agnew graves

View back to the Church
The remains of another headstone was nearby so I think I might have found the resting place for both James Agnew and his grandson Patrick. 
The obituary of James' son John, who died in 1910 states that he was laid to rest in the Old Catholic Cemetery up Cooma Creek alongside his father and mother. 2. 
So perhaps there are at least four Agnews buried here.

1. The Heraldry & Genealogy Society of Canberra Inc, 1999Monumental Inscriptions MonaroGenie PublishingFyshwick ACT.
2. Undated newspaper clipping.


  1. Sharon, I found this post on Pinterest. Thanks for sharing your visit. I too do a lot of wondering when I visit cemeteries. I find if my husband comes he seems to find things I cannot find. I think that I am so excited to be there that I miss the obvious.


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