Updated with photographs June 2021

Cemeteries record in some small way something about how people lived. There are countless burial grounds throughout the world that are forgotten and inaccessible.

In an area less than 100km from the Central Queensland city of Rockhampton, about two dozen cemeteries have not been used for up to 100 years.

But for the efforts of some individuals, information about where dozens of souls were laid to rest would have been lost to their descendants.

I’m indebted to those who compiled a publication titled Gogango District Cemeteries Burials and Monumental Descriptions.

Gogango District Cemeteries

Front cover of the Gogango District Cemeteries Burials & Monumental Inscriptions publication that documents where people were laid to rest in the district.

I’ve now published the details of these cemeteries in the belief that the information may be useful to family researchers.

As an example, I’ve been able to inform a researcher where Sarah Kellet was buried in 1864 at Knebworth station near Gainsford further upstream on the Dawson River from Boolburra.

The information that follows comes with the warning that there may be errors and omissions as well as incomplete details. In some cases I have added newspaper references that support burial details.

At the end of this article, there are links to each of the graveyards. I have posted at findagrave.com Boolburra burials and photographs of surviving headstones.

Thanks to my sister Denise, I can also share some gravestone inscriptions. (Go to the end of this article for headstone images)

This one is at Boolburra where our grandparents Alex and Bella Dobbs lived.

Sacred to The Memory of Patrick Joseph DUFFY
Who died 5th May, 1923 Aged 55 years
Erected by his loving Wife and Daughter
Sacred to the memory of Our Dear Father
James DUFFY Who died 3 Feb., 1911
Also his wife ESTHER Died 3 Feb., 1917
And their son FRED Died 28 Ju1y, 1916
Back of headstone:
Sacred to Their daughter EMMA
Who died 16th Jan., 1924

Another from Boolburra reads:

Sacred to The Memory of
James McCarron
who died 24th August, 1935
Aged 26 years

There is an article about James McCarron’s death that shows he died when he fell from a horse. Also that the accident happened near the same spot where his uncle Patrick Joseph Duffy died in the same manner 12 years earlier.

It is no surprise to learn of other tragedies in the district. In February 1908, a couple in their 80s set out in their horse and cart to cross Herbert Creek. They did not make it and were drowned.

John and Susan Pattel only lived about a mile from the Boolburra railway station. There is a slight discrepancy on ages.  John was either 82 or 81 and Susan, 81 or 80. Their headstone reads:

In Loving Memory
of  John and Susan PATTEL
who were accidentally drowned
February 11th, 1908
Aged 82 and 81 years

Boolburra Cemetery

View of Boolburra Cemetery.

According to Pop Dobbs, there were at least four unmarked graves and it is believed there were more headstones lost when Herbert Creek flooded. One is believed to be that of John Cagney who died in 1907.

There is also believed to be one for a William Forrest who shot himself. Details of his death in 1928 were recorded in the Morning Bulletin.

There was also a bridge carpenter who was killed on the construction site of the Dawson River rail bridge in 1901. (Name unknown and no details yet found). His headstone was a bridge girder etched with the particulars which were subsequently destroyed in a bushfire.

In April 1889, a man named Jamie Ah Yam arrived on the train one evening and died in the goods shed overnight. He was buried at Boolburra.


Links to cemetery records

  Gogango   Gogango Creek   Gogango Scrub   Springvale   Windah   Lilyvale
  Rocky Creek   Rookwood   Spring Creek   Well Camp   Middleton’s Bog   Stoney Creek
  Knebworth   Bone Creek   Herbert Creek   Mocamonga/The Tunnel   Boolburra   7 Mile
  Gainsford   Rio   Canvas Town   Dawson River
Patrick Joseph Duffy

Patrick Joseph Duffy.

James Duffy

James Duffy.

Fritz and Annie Kehlet

Fritz and Annie Kehlet.

Arthur William Marshall

Arthur William Marshall.

John and Susan Pattel

John and Susan Pattel.