Family historians document who is buried in Our Backyard

Family historians have been busy penning the lives and deaths of some of the 50,000 people buried in the Drayton and Toowoomba Cemetery.

The Toowoomba and Darling Downs Family History Society has published its third volume of Our Backyard which records family histories collected during the 10-year project. 

President Marie Green said members of the society, which operates on cemetery grounds, and members of the public had researched their family’s histories for submissions.

“While there are famous people buried in ‘our backyard’, to family historians all our ancestors and their families are important,” Mrs Green said.

Member for Toowoomba South David Janetzki had the honour of officially launching the book.

“It is fascinating to read about the lives and deaths of people, both ordinary and extraordinary, who helped shape our city into what it is today,” Mr Janetzki said.

“I commend Marie and members of the family history society for their hard work in producing these books which will be important to future generations,” he said.

Our Backyard Volume Three is available to buy at the historical society’s office at 452 South Street at a cost of $25. 

Mrs Green said they had already started working on their next publication which details the histories of early coachbuilders, blacksmiths, wheelwrights, bootmakers and saddlers. 

“There are so many people buried in ‘our backyard’ that I’m sure there will be a fourth volume in future,” she said.

Caption: Family history society president Marie Green and Member for Toowoomba South David Janetzki launch the book Our Backyard which records families histories of those buried in the cemetery.

A shortened example of one of the people featured in Our Backyard Volume Three:

Peter Field



Peter Field was born in Warwickshire on 21 November 1851.

His mother Elizabeth died of appendicitis when he was only 15 months old whereupon he was looked after by his grandparents.

Peter’s grandfather suffered a cut finger which became infected and died only three months after Elizabeth.

Peter’s grandmother also died a few years later which led Peter to be an inmate in the Rugby Union Workhouse by nine years old.