Index to the Catholic Section of
the Symond Street Cemetery
Transcribed and kindly donated by Geoff and Shirley Kendall
© Geoff and Shirley Kendall
1. unidentified - double plot with
iron railings - very overgrown
2. STODART, William Henry and James
3. GUSSCOTT, Thomas and Rachel Mary (recently located stone)
4. unidentified, concrete kerbing around grave, overgrown with ivy
5. FLOOD, Joseph Gregory, Mary Ann, Walter and Joseph
6. BRIMBLECOMBE, Julia Anne
7. GONG, Helena, QUINN, James and Jane, and BEST, Sarah
8. DEMPSEY, Johanna and Edward with the broken stone of ROBERTS, Cissy lying loose on this plot
9. unidentified, double plot with concrete kerbing, broken plinth
10. DONOVAN, John & Mary (no stone extant today) with BARROW, William, Hannah, John & Ellen whose broken stone is lying loose on this grave
11. MERRICK, John, Caroline and John
12. unidentified, very small grave with broken plinth
13. QUINN, Mary
14. OWENS, Mary
15. LAKE, Marcella, Albert James, an infant of 3 months, and Mary
16. unidentified, double plot with iron railings near a big tree
17. McCAFFERTY, James, Margaret, Sarah and Margaret
18. DOWNING, Honora, Thomas, Robert and Honora
19. unidentified, iron railings
20. FERNANDEZ, Andrew, Johanna, Katie, Nora, and Ethel Maude & SARSFIELD, Honora and Richard, O'DONNELL, Catherine, and CARBERA, Mary.
21. BERRY, Frances and John Thomas
22. vacant space where this grave is marked on cemetery map
23. GLEESON, Catherine, Thomas and three children
24. BOWDEN, William, Johanna and Catherine Ellen
25. McCARTHY, John L., Mary, Bernard Vincent and Leonard Joseph Ivey.Joseph
26. BROWN, Mary and Mary Ann Smith
27. HOGAN, Joseph, Thomas, Michael and Mary A.
28. HEFFERNAN, Mary, James, Alfred and William
29. Plaques with alphabetical lists of names of persons whose remains were disturbed when the motorway was built.
30. GIBBS, Job and William Richard (Presbyterian?)
31. CUTHBERTSON, Henry and Jean (Presbyterian)
32. unidentified, single plot with iron railings, very overgrown (Presbyterian)
33. unidentified, single plot with iron railings (Presbyterian)
34. HOOD, John (Presbyterian)
35. WILSON, Euphemia, George, Euphemia Duncan, George, David (Presbyterian)
36. CAVANAGH, Edward and Catherine
37. EVERS, William
38. CONWAY, Captain James Joseph; DIGNAN, Patrick, Mary, Mary Violet, Edwin Wilkes, Arthur Philip Lynch, Walter, Andrew, Francis John and HOBBS, Annie; GRACE, Bridget and William; GRACE, Catherine, Michael and Mary. GRACE, Johanna; MAHONY, Catherine; MAHONY, Edmund; NAUGHTON, Michael; O'NEILL, John and Bridget; THOMSON, Henry; WARREN, John.
39. unidentified, concrete edging and very overgrown with ivy
40. unidentified, double plot in concrete surround, very overgrown
41. SLADE, Daniel, Mary, Herbert Augustine, Daniel Gregory and Ernest.
42. unidentified, overgrown and broken, down hill towards car park
43. CROMWELL, Alexander Allen, Jane Clark, Alexander, Janet, Isabella Paul and Isabella (Presbyterian)
44. on map appears to be where rubbish bin now stands (Possibly Presbyterian)
45. COYLE, Mercy Ellen Payne and Arthur
46. unidentified, double plot with concrete slab, no headstone visible under ivy
In the case of broken stones, or those partly missing or too difficult to read, brackets have been place around the commencement of the inscription, for example, (In loving memory) etc has been inserted. The bracketed insertion makes more sense of such inscriptions and lessens the difficulty of reading that stone. There are no clues as the the original site of the Christmas headstone, now lying in the gardener's shed.
Number 28 consists of large memorial tablets at the rear of the Cemetery. This is juxtaposed with Alex Evans Street, previously known as East Street. This memorial records the names of all persons whose remains were disturbed by the building of the motorway. Number 37 is a strip of concrete in which are set, a number of stones collected from around the Cemetery over a period of time.
Graves in Section V numbering 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 42 are a small pocket of Presbyterian graves. The actual lines of demarcation are very difficult to ascertain. These appear to be in the Roman Catholic Cemetery but subsequent research indictates e confirms the families buried herein were Presbyterian and not Roman Catholic. Considerable effort has gone into checking this area. However, they must be recorded in both sections to maintain accuracy although photographs of these gravestones will be found in the Presbyterian book. The simplest way to define these few graves is to place the inscriptions in the Presbyterian list as well as the known Roman Catholic one. William Evers came from a Roman Catholic family and was buried in this cemetery but his wife was buried just beside her father in the Presbyterian Cemetery.
The records consulted have included the Little Funeral Records, the New Zealand Herald, Auckland Star, Weekly News etc, and the Auckland Public Library Transcripts, The Early Settlers Roll of 1940 as well as assorted family information. The compiler having had so much "hands-on" experience within all the cemeteries excepting the Jewish one, (whose records are available from the Auckland Public Library) feels sure the above numbers are more correct according to the map located by her a few years ago. In the Anglican Cemetery, it appears that some graves were removed and located in a different place to that stated on the early maps of the Anglican Cemetery, i. e. Edward Costley and Henry Holmden.
Where graves are entered here with question marks instead of numbers, this indicates that although these graves have been photographed in recent years, and are therefore known to exist, the actual location in 1997 is unsure. As their whereabouts cannot been ascertained with certainty, they have been recorded as near to their site as can be remembered. A recent trip to this cemetery has enabled two people armed with a cemetery map to define the actual numbers in a way that appears to be more accurate than on the ealier version. The only other grave that may have a dubious number is that of McCarthy where the stone has fallen and can no longer be read. This was the only stone not located while trying to track and record each number during our most recent visit to the cemetery although it has been photographed on an earlier occasion. The few remaining graves not identified probably never will be due to their condition and site. Considering the current spate of vandalism within the five cemeteries, we are lucky to have these records at all.
A few stones in the immediate vicinity of the Flood and Owens graves have been damaged since December 1996. Considering this portion of the Symonds Street Cemetery once covered about six acres in area, it is appalling to think how much local history has been lost. These few remaining graves are all that are left to remind us of the many early Roman Catholic settlers. Many were originally laid to rest here but few gravestones survive. Families no doubt assumed the headstones erected in their memory would serve as a lasting memorial to their loved ones, but this did not happen. Several other graves cannot be identified because they are overgrown with ivy, lying face down or broken into a number of pieces. Other than this, the above list records every surviving grave in the Roman Catholic Cemetery from 1987 to 1997.
Early pictures of the various cemeteries show many graves enclosed by fences. Many were wooden picket fences while others were wrought iron, long-since rusted away. The cemeteries today have a more open appearance because of this factor.
Since our work was completed in 1996, later visits to the cemetery have revealed further damage near the Flood and Owens graves. The whole area is very quiet and remote from the passing public. This means glue-sniffers and vagrants tend to congregate here free of surveillance. They casually remove loose portions of stones to use as pillows or tables while they camp in the area. Once this has happened, those loose pieces tend to disappear and are never returned to their original sites.
At least three of the few remaining graves are those of Fencible children and military settlers. These link us with the very early days of a heavy military presence in Auckland's early days of colonisation. The gravestone of Sapper John Warren who died in 1851 is still easily read. He was of the Roman Catholic faith but his wife was not. The Auckland volume of the Cyclopedia of New Zealand lists his only son, John, as being a staunch elder of the Presbyterian Church.
The Gusscott grave is a recent addition to this list, having been found as late as August 1999, lying loose upon the Stodart grave. While the headstone reads "Gusscott", the Catholic Archives records state the name to be "Guscott".
Anyone searching for one of these gravestones will find a map at the Auckland Public Library which gives almost the exact location. The Library records also detail more information in a number of cases but occasionally, they have no record of some of the head stones which I have located. Cavanagh, Christmas and O'Neill are examples of these.
© Geoff and Shirley Kendall