Jessie Cumming

WebPage Header showing immigrants between decks

Randall Family Ancestor 3rd Great grandmother

Jessie Cumming, a native of Selkirk in Scotland, died at her daughter’s residence in South Grafton, New South Wales, on 28th August 1894, when she was 82 years old. She had been a resident of South Grafton for 19 years.

Place holder for birth details.

When Jessie Cumming was born in 1812, in Selkirk, Selkirkshire, Scotland, her father, Thomas Cumming, was 46 and her mother, Janet Stewart, was 35.

Half fan chart showing the ancestors of Jessie Cumming
Place holder for marriage details.

Jessie Cumming married James Smail on 18th January 1833, in Selkirk, Scotland. They had four children within 10 years:

Half fan chart showing the descendants of Jessie Cumming

James Smail, baker and his wife Jessie, together with their 6-year-old daughter, Janet and their 4-year-old son, Robert, had left Liverpool, England on 18th January 1839 and sailed aboard the bounty ship “Formosa” to Botany Bay. They arrived in Australia on 20th May 1839. The bounty paid by the colony was £18 each for adults and £5 each for children, a total of £46.

Soon after their arrival to Sydney in 1839, James worked as a baker at Millers Point, New South Wales. Within three years, in 1842, James and his family had moved to Kent Street, Sydney, New South Wales.

Our direct descendant Isabella Smail was born on 25th December 1843, in Sydney, New South Wales.

James Smail owned and lived on his properties at the corner of Bathurst and Sussex Streets, Sydney, New South Wales, from 1848-1859. The main part of the property was the Robert Burns Hotel and its adjacent bakery. James was Publican of the hotel and prospered from the nearby whaling industry.

The products of the early whaling industry were vital for the new colonies in Australia that relied heavily on whale products for survival and for export. Visiting deep-sea whalers also paid or traded to be resupplied. At one time thirty-nine local whaling ships were registered in Sydney, and they employed 835 men. The Robert Burns Hotel was located close to the present Darling Harbour.

Site of the Robert Burns Hotel in 1909 and now
The photograph of the Robert Burns Hotel, Bathurst & Sussex Streets, c1909-13 is © City of Sydney. It is available from City of Sydney Archives. [File 000/000707. Record series NSCA CRS 51, Demolition books, 1900-1949. Citation NSCA CRS 51/482.]
Place holder for death details.

Following the death of James Smail, aged 47 years, on 15th March 1860, his wife Jessie Smail, as Publican, managed the Robert Burns Tavern until 1875. She then moved to South Grafton and lived with her daughter Janet and son-in-law William Scott Cowan.

Jessie Smail née Cumming died at South Grafton, New South Wales, on 28th August 1894.

Newspaper reports regarding the death of Mrs. Jessie Cumming Smail, aged 88 years