Mammy’s tales need to be documented

Story courtesy of the Port Stephens Examiner by Ellie-Marie Watts;

Tales of Mammy Johnson have been told in and around Stroud for many years but now a local historian is keen for people with stories or connections to the Aboriginal midwife to contact her.

Di Stephenson of Stroud Road, was always aware of stories to do with Mammy, but it was not until she came in contact with her grave, the location of which remains a secret for fear it would be desecrated, that she began to dig into the Aboriginal woman’s life. “it was about 2004 I uncovered her grave with a friend of mine,” Ms Stephenson said.
“At first I didn’t know what it was. I thought it was an old septic tank slab, but it turned out to be her grave.”

Mammy is believed to have lived in and around Stroud in the 19th century. She died crossing a flooded river, now named Mammy Johnsons River, to attend to a squatter’s wife.

“She assisted colonial women in giving birth,” Ms Stephenson said. She was also known to supply bush tucker and assist those in need along the river named after her, as well as the Karuah River and its tributaries of Port Stephens.”

Mammy’s remains were buried in an elaborate sandstone grave, which is heritage listed.

Little else is documented about Mammy, which is why Ms Stephenson is calling on anyone whith any knowledge of the intriguing local woman to contact her. Phone Ms Stephenson on 4994 7063

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