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Heidelberg’s Busy Bee Signature Quilt, 1895-96

Square G14

Quilt square G14


John Caldwell / The Manse / Williamstown


The person represented is John Caldwell (1865-1933). As a Student of Divinity, he had served as minister of Heidelberg's Scots Church while Reverend Duncan Fraser was overseas from 4 February to 11 August 1893.

Further information

John Caldwell was born and educated in Scotland.

In 1889 he married Jeannie Morton (1866-1892). They migrated to Melbourne and their son, Alexander Morton Caldwell, was born in 1892. Jeannie died following childbirth.

We presume that Alexander was placed in foster care (whether with a relative or with friends, perhaps via the Presbyterian Church networks) because his square on the quilt shows him living at Briagolong in Gippsland - see [H16]. Alexander appears to have spent his adult life in Gippsland, farming at Yinnar.

John Caldwell was called to the North Williamstown Presbyterian Church [E9] and served there from July 1895 to February 1918. He was a popular Minister with the North Williamstown congregation. While living in Williamstown, he remarried (to Jean Kilgour, in July 1896) and had a second son, Alan Bissett Caldwell (b. 1898).

When John Caldwell died in 1933, a death notice for their ‘beloved father’ was placed in the Melbourne Herald by both sons, Alexander and Alan.

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