Ann Ethelinda,* wife of John Ralph died 8 January 1891 at the age of 55 years. She had returned to her home in Pettavel Road, near the railway station, after a trip to Geelong feeling unwell. The doctor was sent for but by the time he arrived he found her dead. He would not give a death certificate as he was unfamiliar with her, but when her usual doctor was contacted he gave a certificate stating that death was caused by cerebral effusion. Her funeral was attended by about 400 people with 60 private vehicles and 25 horsemen forming a procession to the Mount Moriac Cemetery. She was buried in the family plot in the Church of England section of the cemetery with two of her children who had predeceased her — Robert George who died in 1857 at the age of 7 years and Mary Ann who died on 1 September 1880 aged 16 years. Ethelinda's respect in the district was evident by the large number of wreaths and floral crosses sent to her late home.
Soon after her death on Sunday 17 January a memorial service was held at the Pettavel Presbyterian Church for three long term residents from the district who had died within a short space of time. 87 year old Eleanor Lugg (née Skewes) had died late the previous year after a severe attack of influenza. Her husband William, who was 91 years, pined away, and died soon after the loss of his partner. The church was packed. These two couples had probably spent most of their married lives in the district and the three deaths were felt with much sorrow by the neighbours.
Ethelinda Ralph, daughter of William and Mary (née Glew) Baynes, had come to live in the district in the late 1850s as a young bride. She had married John Ralph in 1857 and the couple soon had many children:
Sarah Jane — born 1858, married Charles Albert Hammond
Robert George — born about 1860
Mary Ann Ralph — born 1864, died 1 September 1880
Cecilia Dunn — born 1866, married William Thorley
Hannah — born 1867
John Joseph — born 1870, died 1948
Henry Willson Baynes — born 1872
Phoebe Ellen Ralph — born 1873, married Augustine Oglethorpe
Eveline Caroline — born 1875, married Christophen Kingdon Hooper, died 1904
Fanny Sophia Louisa — born 1878, married Thomas Henry Winstanley
From 1870-1900 the Barrabool Shire rate records show the family living on a 2 acre allotment of land in section 25 (the block bounded by Mount Duneed, Reservoir, Pettavel and Willowite Roads) with a wooden house and garden. The garden probably contained fruit trees and vegetables. There were probably no shops in the area but meat would have been available from Francis Beech who lived a short distance away.
When John appeared as a witness in the infamous Pettavel murder case it was mentioned that he was a carpenter and often worked for the Beeches. His name was given in newspaper advertisements as caretaker at Cromer Park, a large grazing property south west of Pettavel station owned by Frederick Brown White.
He had a severe illness lasting about 9 months, about 17 years before his death and decided to move to Gertrude Street, Geelong West where he died on 9 August 1917. He was buried in the family plot at the Mount Moriac Cemetery with his late wife and children.
* I have used the name Ethelinda as the majority of references to her (newspaper, birth recordings and John's death recording) used this spelling. The spelling on her headstone is Ethelenda. The spelling on the marriage record is Earthalenda.