Jessie Inglis  and Beryl Douglas exchanged letters in 1976 about the McCabe family history, and one of those letters is displayed here. Early in the building of the family history this letter was significant in setting the clues to track the early movements of the McCabe family and children.
Beryl Douglas

Beryl Douglas

Jessie Inglis & Beryl Douglas

Jessie Veronica Inglis (nee Lamb) was the daughter of Mary McCabe and George Lamb. She married Howard Inglis in Maylands Western Australia in 1923. Not long after Howard died in 1968, Jessie visited Melbourne where she met and became friendly with Beryl Douglas.

Beryl Mabel FitzGibbon was the daughter in law of Sarah Agnes McCabe through her marriage to John Douglas in Footscray Victoria in 1942. She met Jessie’s sister Nellie Reason (Lamb) and mother Mary Lamb (McCabe) during their visit to Melbourne in 1936.

Jessie died in 1984 and Beryl passed away in 1993.

Other Names Mentioned

Nellie Reason

  • Jessie’s youngest sister Nellie married Ray Reason in 1934. In the spring of 1936 Nellie and her mother Mary took an extended holiday to the east coast of Australia spending time in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide.

George Lamb

  • Jessie’s brother, son of Mary McCabe and George Lamb.


  • Mary Winifred Lamb, Jessie’s younger sister who married Horace Catchpole in 1924.


  • Beryl’s husband, John Archibald Douglas,  the son of Sarah McCabe and John Douglas.


  • James Joseph Snowdon was the son of Sarah McCabe and Ambrose Snowdon.

John Douglas

  • Referred to incorrectly as Andrew in the letter John Douglas and Sarah McCabe ‘eloped’ to Broken Hill where Archie was born in 1911. Sarah took her son Jim with her.

The Letter

Jessie’s letter was in reply to a request from Beryl for the Birth Certificate of Sarah McCabe. Here are some relevant extracts :

My Dear Beryl,

When I returned from overseas late September I found your long-neglected letter in a mound of them presented to me by my brother George. I have only now got most of my affairs straightened out after 6 months absence so now for you my dear. Please forgive me.

Re the form –

Now Win has more family data than I have but mostly about our Scottish antecedents. I have not long since spent almost a month in Ireland but even if I had known of this matter I doubt if little could be done.

When Win was in Ireland (1935) she visited my mother’s birthplace in County Monaghan but I doubt with all the burnings and the trouble that any old records could be found. We were terribly ignorant of our Irish folk – just scraps of their Irish childhood would we hear.

I know that my maternal grandma left Ireland with her family some years before the turn of the century.

My Mother had previously been sent to our Aunt in New York whom she left and went to California and later in her late teens joined the McCabes in Sydney. Their father John McCabe fretted for his homeland – but the children were all settled in their jobs and liked Australia so he returned to Ireland alone and that was the last of him.

Archie’s mother married a Snowdon in Sydney and went to Kalgoorlie (WA) When her son Jim was 14, she eloped to Williamstown with Andrew (incorrect it was John) Douglas where Archie was born. None of us are aware of what the circumstances were because the family did not hear from her for some 10 years – but she was such a good gentle person and I am sure had a very sad life till she escaped from it all.

God rest her soul !Jessie Veronica Inglis (nee Lamb)




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