The Friends of Mays Hill Cemetery
***2019 Dates for your Diary***
Saturday 16th February - 1pm Public Meeting
Sunday 24th March - Bus Trip to Richmond and Surrounds - Contact us for more details.
Saturday 27th April - 1pm Public Meeting - A joint meeting of the Parramatta Cemetery Groups will be held at 'Linnwood', 25 Byron Road, Guildford. Contact us for more details.
Sunday 28th April - Australian Heritage Festival Cemetery Tour 1.30pm for 2pm start Theme: "Connecting People, Places and the Past"
Come along and hear some stories of "The Fantastic Travels of our Parramatta Ancestors" Click HERE for more details
Saturday 15th June - 1pm Public Meeting - Guest Speaker TBA
Sunday 23rd June - from 10am. Weather permitting we will be having a Gardening Day, so bring along your gloves and gardening tools to do some weeding and tidying up in the cemetery. Refreshments provided.
Saturday 17th August - 1pm Public Meeting and Annual General Meeting
Sunday 22nd September - from 10am. Weather permitting we will be having a Gardening Day, so bring along your gloves and gardening tools to do some weeding and tidying up in the cemetery. Refreshments provided.
Saturday 19th October - 1pm Public Meeting. Guest Speaker : Loraine Punch, Volunteer Tour Guide and Member of the Friends of Rookwood Inc.
Sunday 3rd November - Parramatta Foundation Week - Special Event Combined Tour of both St. Johns and Mays Hill Cemeteries Details to follow
Saturday 21st December - 1pm Public Meeting and Christmas Afternoon Tea
The Friends of Mays Hill Cemetery meet at the small hall at the Jones Park complex, corner of Burnett & Landsowne Streets, Merrylands.
A SHORT HISTORY OF MAYS HILL CEMETERY
(Also known as The Western Road Cemetery)
Copied in part from "The Parramatta Cemeteries - MAYS HILL" by Judith Dunn and published by Parramatta and District Historical Society.
"Mays Hill Cemetery is in reality two distinct cemeteries appropriated for the Presbyterians and Baptists of the Parramatta area in 1839 and 1849 respectively. They were deliberately situated just outside the town boundary near the top of Mays Hill ridge in a sparsely populated area, yet within reasonable reach of the local inhabitants.............
The first entry in the Presbyterian burial register is Elizabeth McKay, abode George and Church Streets, died 9th October 1843 aged 34 years......Her profession was listed as publican (her husband's profession)..........The impressive family memorial still stands and is indicative of their position in Parramatta society........Her husband, John McKay, was valet to Governor Gipps but left his employ and became licensee of Richard Rouse's Australian Arms Inn.........
The first entry in the Baptist burial register is William Hopkins Carey, buried 25th September 1852 aged 22years. This is curious as he was not buried in Mays Hill but in the Independent section of the Devonshire Street cemetery, now the site of Central Station, Sydney. A memorial service was however, held for him in Parramatta. William Carey was, despite his young age, a highly regarded Minister to the Baptist community and his death was a critical event in the early history of the church. Through a quirk of fate William was eventually re-interred in Mays Hill when Devonshire Street cemetery was demolished to make way for the railway, In this manner his headstone is the oldest in the cemetery but was erected elsewhere first.
The earliest memorial to be erected in the Baptist Cemetery records the second burial in the register, Arthur Stapleton, a child of sixteen months who died on 8th December 1853.
During 2017 the local government boundaries between the former Holroyd City Council and Parramatta City Councils were altered and Mays Hill Cemetery now lies within the boundary of the new City of Parramatta Council.
The cemetery is also cared for by the Friends of Mays Hill Cemetery.