19 April 2018

Dressed for the occasion

1917 wedding of John Michael Galvin and Grace Walmsley Payne

Wedding photos.

Everyone looking their best.

So it was on 21 November 1917 when John Michael Galvin and Grace Walmsley Payne married. Thanks to one of my husband’s cousins, we now have some photos of them.
The description of the wedding appeared in the newspaper some two months after the wedding.

A pretty wedding was celebrated before a Choral Mass in St. Patrick's Church, Adelaide, on November 21, the contracting parties being Mr. Jack M. Galvin, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. J. P. Galvin, of Adelaide, and Miss Grace Walmsley Payne, youngest daughter of Mrs. E. Payne, of Adelaide. Rev. Father O'Sullivan officiated.

The bride, who was conducted to the altar by her brother, Mr. E. Payne, looked charming in a dress of ivory silk poplin (tunic effect), and carried a shower bouquet. The first bridesmaid, Miss Annie Walmsley (cousin of the bride), wore a dainty Assam, silk costume and black hat with pink trimmings. The second bridesmaid, Miss Kathleen Dineen (cousin of the bridegroom), was charmingly dressed in a Japanese silk frock costume with black hat relieved with pink.

The duties of best man were performed by Mr. James Dineen, of Mile-End. Mr. Arthur Watts led the choir, Mrs. V. Brown being organist. During the Mass the bride and bridegroom approached Communion together. At the breakfast, held at the residence of the parents of the bridegroom. Rev. Father O'Sullivan proposed the toast of the bride and bridegroom, and spoke in eulogistic praise of the newly married couple and wished them every success. The bridegroom suitably responded. The toast of the bridesmaids was proposed by Mr. E. Payne and Mr. J. Dineen responded, and that of the parents of the bride and bridegroom was proposed by Mr. F. P. Keogh and responded to by Mr. J. P. Galvin. The happy couple were the recipients of costly and numerous presents. A very pleasant time was spent on the evening of the wedding, when many of their numerous friends were present. (1)

Grace and John had met in Adelaide through the very active local church youth group, St Patrick’s Literary and Dramatic Society. This group held weekly meetings with debates, impromptu speeches, readings and talks.

In the photo below they are performing together, most likely in the skit “Rival Forces” as part of an elocutionary evening detailed thus:
The next item consisted of a humorous sketch, entitled "Rival Forces," the following taking part— Miss Grace Payne, Messrs. P. A. Greene, P. O'Reilly, and J. M. Galvin. (2)
L to R Unknown performer,
Grace Payne and John Michael Galvin

At a September meeting in 1915 which focussed on all things Irish, Grace presented a talk on “The five counties” and John’s presentation was entitled “Home Rule”.(3)
On another occasion Grace’s impromptu speech topic was “Should Women be Elected to Parliament” while John was required to address the topic of “Bible teaching in State Schools.” (4)

They were also required to act as critics for other speeches and performances.  In November of 1915 when the  new hall at St Patrick’s was opened, a celebratory evening concluded with the court scene  from “The merchant of Venice”  John was Antonio and Grace performed as Portia.

The reporter's commentary:Mr. J. M. Galvin gave a good interpretation of Shylock, his enunciation being clear and distinct. Miss G. Payne as Portia was seen at her best. Her reading of the character was excellent, and her elocution proved decidedly attractive. The remaining members of the caste also did well.   (5)

So in this fertile ground for young love, John Michael Galvin in his reminiscences of 1968 recalls:
It was my very good fortune to meet a most gracious young lady, Grace Walmsley Payne. We were both members of a self-improvement Society - St Patrick' s Literary and Debating Society - which conducted weekly meetings at which papers on current topics would be read by individual members and then would be subjected to criticism by the other members present. 
Apparently at that stage of my life I must have been somewhat assertive in character as it came back to me that Grace had mentioned to some of her girl friends that when she got the opportunity she was going "to take that cocky young Jack Galvin down a peg or two". She did and as I remember the incident it concerned my over emphasis of the letter 'h' in hospital-as she said in her criticism "I would remind Mr Galvin that it is pronounced 'aitch' not 'haitch'.
Something had to be done to atone for that. Something was.
On 2nd November 1917 we were married at St Patrick' s Church, Grote Street Adelaide.
And so for now we come full circle to the wedding photo. There is much more to be told another day about the lives of this couple, my husband's paternal grandparents.

  1. 1918 'Family Notices.', Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954), 18 January, p. 16, viewed 3 November, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article166985060 
  2. 1915 'LITERARY SOCIETIES.', Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954), 12 March, p. 12. , viewed 18 Apr 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article166424633
  3. 1915 'LITERARY SOCIETIES. ST. PATRICK'S LITERARY AND DRAMATIC SOCIETY.', Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954), 3 September, p. 12. , viewed 18 Apr 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article166427424
  4. 1915 'ST. PATRICK'S LITERARY AND DRAMATIC SOCIETY.', Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954), 1 October, p. 9. , viewed 18 Apr 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article166427833
  5. 1915 'OPENING OF ST. PATRICK'S HALL', Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954), 5 November, p. 14. , viewed 18 Apr 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article166428370
  6. 1968 Galvin, John Michael The Galvin Family: Over one hundred years in Australia. Family document held digitally.

This post written by CRGalvin appears at https://earlieryears.blogspot.com/2018/04/dressed-for-occasion.html 

11 February 2018

Relations in religion

This is one of a series of posts about a range of relatives who entered Catholic religious life. These men and women only have relatives or their communities to recall and remember their lives as they have no direct descendants.

During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries it was not uncommon and indeed sometimes expected that at least one child in a Catholic family should pursue a religious life either as a priest, brother or nun. A wide variety of religious orders both male and female were dedicated to providing Catholic education and training for both children and adults. Some orders specialised in the care of the sick and elderly. When few records can found for a female relative I have found it useful to look for their presence in a religious community. The choice of religious order or community often came down to geographical circumstance, the influence of a bishop or a particular religious order in a region.

This post is a list that addresses only the known, deceased relatives who lived in Australia. Further detail will be provided in subsequent posts.

The SMYTH line

  • John Smyth 1824 –1870 priest, administrator and Vicar–General of Adelaide diocese: brother to Edward Smyth, my great-grandfather
  • Mary Smyth 1878 – 1960 Sister Mary Catherine: Sisters of Mercy in Perth,  daughter of James Smyth and Catherine Mulvaney elder sister of Francis below, first cousin twice removed
  • Francis Smyth 1884 –1955 – Parish priest:  first cousin of a grandmother,  my first cousin twice removed, son of James Smyth and Catherine Mulvaney
  • Ann Elizabeth Callery 1899 – 1981 Sister Mary Patricia: Sisters of Mercy, Perth, my father’s first cousin, my first cousin once removed, daughter of John Callery and Catherine Teresa Smyth
  • Edward John Smyth 1905-1978 – Parish priest: my father’s first cousin, my first cousin once removed, son of Francis John Smyth and Catherine Mary Fitzgerald
  • Margaret Byrne 1903 - 1980  Sister Mary Rose: Order of the Sisters of St Joseph: my father’s first cousin, my first cousin once removed daughter of James Leo Byrne and Margaret Smyth
  • Elizabeth Byrne 1911 – 2001 Sister Mary Raphael: Order of the Sisters of St Joseph, my father’s first cousin, my first cousin once removed daughter of James Leo Byrne and Margaret Smyth


  • Ellen O’Leary 1845 –1908 Sister Aloysius, Order of the Sisters of St Joseph nun: great grandmother’s sister
  • Johanna Horgan 1883 –1979 Sister Stanislaus: Dominican nun, first cousin twice removed, daughter of Thomas Horgan and Mary Carroll
  • Peter Maurice Horgan 1890 – 1950 parish priest: first cousin twice removed, son of Daniel Horgan and Julia Evans
  • Joan Therese Horgan 1909 – 1994 Sister Joan:  Dominican nun, second cousin once removed, daughter of Thomas James Horgan and Margaret Anne Dempsey
  • Phoebe Horgan 1912 –2012 Sister Alphonsus: Dominican nun, second cousin once removed, daughter of Daniel Horgan and Lillie May McCarthy
  • James E Horgan 1914 – 1946  priest of the Redemptorist order: second cousin once removed, son of Denis Joseph Horgan and Laura Maria Worthington
  • Mary Elizabeth Hogan 1908  –1975 Member of the sisters of the Little Company of Mary: (Calvary Hospital, North Adelaide)second cousin once removed daughter of Timothy Thomas Hogan and Elizabeth Mary Kerin
  • Elizabeth Ann Hogan 1914 –1973 Sister Peter: Loreto nun, second cousin once removed daughter of Timothy Thomas Hogan and Elizabeth Mary Kerin
  • Thomas Erwin Horgan 1915 – 2002 priest: second cousin once removed son of Thomas James Horgan and Margaret Anne Dempsey
  • Lillian Veronica Horgan 1917 –2003 Sister Vianney, Dominican nun for early years of her life, second cousin once removed, daughter of Daniel Horgan and Lillie May McCarthy, my music teacher in the late 1960s at Cabra Dominican Convent
  • Mary Dominica Slattery 1917 -2018 Sr Mary Carmel, Dominican nun, second cousin once removed, daughter of William John Slattery and Katherine Gertrude Horgan
  • Thomas Barry Horgan 1925 – 2009 Member of the Marist order known as  Brother Godric, second cousin once removed, son of John Michael Horgan and Mary Ann Barry

9 January 2018

The vocation of music teachers

One hundred years ago in the small town of Mintaro, South Australia, a talented family of musicians was being nurtured by Daniel Horgan and Lillie May McCarthy.

Daniel and Lillie had married in February of 1910 and their first daughter, Mary Carroll, named after her paternal grandmother was born at the end of 1910. In 1912 they named their second daughter Phoebe. Sons William Thomas and Daniel James were born in 1914 and 1916. Lillian Veronica was the youngest child born in 1917. 

Daniel, their father, had come from a large family of eight children and one of his sisters, Johanna, had entered the Dominican Convent of Cabra in Adelaide in 1907 taking the name Sister Mary Stanislaus at her profession of vows in 1908. (1)

This was the start of a tradition of girls entering the convent and would have played a strong part in influencing the choices made by the Horgans’ younger daughters Phoebe and Lillian. A long association of Horgan girls with the Dominican Convent at Cabra was well underway.

Phoebe Horgan

In 1922 the earliest mention of Phoebe in Trove, is of her attendance at St Joseph’s School at Spalding. This was only the second year of the school’s existence but several of the pupils were already showing promise with success in music and other exams. Phoebe and her elder sister Mary are mentioned in the school reports in 1923 and 1924. In March of 1926 Phoebe attained a high distinction in pianoforte. (2) By January of 1927 she had received her QC (Qualifying Certificate) along with a bronze medal for her Honors results in the London College of Music exams and Distinction in the Associated Board of Music Exams Intermediate division. (3)

In January of 1927 tragedy struck when Lillie May Horgan died at only 40 years old.(4) Mary, Phoebe’s elder sister who was now only 16 would had to have taken on the household duties.

Phoebe’s musical success continued and she obtained her Diploma in 1928. There  are several mentions in the newspapers of the day of her entertaining the public at concerts and fundraising occasions in towns around Manoora.

In 1929 she was a pupil at Cabra and along with a first cousin Catherine Horgan, obtained credits for her A.Mus.A.
HorganPhoebe_1928music awardIn the 1930 end of year report from Cabra Dominican convent in Adelaide, it is noted that among the former pupils:

Phoebe Horgan is doing very well as a teacher of piano and theory, and her pupils gained many honors and credits in the recent music examinations. (5)

In this same report her first cousins, Catherine and Maimie Horgan are also mentioned as previous scholars whose studies at the Conservatorium were progressing well.

Phoebe entered the Dominican order of nuns as Sister Alphonsus in 1932 one year after another of her first cousins, Joan Therese Horgan had professed her vows as Sister Joan.

Phoebe, Sr Alphonsus as she was known, then taught music and singing for many years. When I attended Cabra in the mid 1960s she was teaching music to the next generation of Horgans.

Did I realise these nuns were second cousins once removed? No, my father had of course mentioned that some of the nuns were related to him, but my lack of interest in family history as a teenager meant that I did not make the connection. Sister Alphonsus did however, encourage my music studies which I continued on after school for a couple of years at Flinders University under Dr Robert Illing.
She died in 2012 after a long illustrious career and was well remembered with these words.
HORGAN, Sr. M Alphonsus OP,  OAM. 
Sister Mary Alphonsus died peacefully at  Tappeiner Court Nursing Home, on Wednesday, April 25, 2012.
An inspirational musician and choral director, she will be lovingly remembered by her Dominican Sisters, her family and friends and the countless students with whom she shared the wonders of music. We extend our grateful thanks to all who cared for her so lovingly at Tappeiner Court. Christ loves you; into whose graces you have entered whose melodious music charms you.
An extensive obituary celebrating her life and contributions to music education appeared in The Southern Cross newspaper in 2012 and is available under the banner Gifted Musician and Teacher on page 23.

Lillian Veronica Horgan


Phoebe’s younger sister Lillian Veronica, followed in her footsteps for many years. As a talented pianist at the age of 16,  she was awarded a three year scholarship in 1933 to the Elder Conservatorium in Adelaide.

Miss Lillian Veronica Horgan (pianoforte), who has been a pupil of the Dominican Convent for the past four years, has been awarded one of the three Elder scholarships, recommended by the examiners (Dr. E. Harold Davies and.Mr. H. Brewster-Jones), by the Council of the University of Adelaide. Each scholarship is tenable for three years at the Elder Conservatorium. Mr. Brewster-Jones said that Miss Horgan has every requirement that a pianist needed, such as muscular elasticity, natural technical facility, and a musical quality in her playing. She was an earnest and enthusiastic young pianist. " I predict a very successful future for her," he added. (8)

By the end of 1939 Lillian had gained her licentiate in Music had added a teaching diploma to her qualifications. At this stage she was teaching piano at Cabra.  As Sister Mary Vianney O.P. she became choir mistress and in 1951 took a winning junior choir from the Franklin Street Dominican convent to Melbourne to participate in a jubilee festival.(9) Her sister Mary also went with them. Lillian, as Sister Vianney in the 1960s, also taught me music for a couple of years. She later left the convent and died in July 2003.

Mary Caroll Horgan the elder sister died at age 65 in 1975. The brothers, William Thomas Horgan died in 2000 and Daniel James Horgan died in 1993.

Thanks are due to these two sisters, Phoebe and Lillian Horgan, for introducing me to classical music, honing some poor singing skills, taking me to symphony concerts and my first opera, and for fostering what has become a lifelong interest.

A list of other Dominican nuns with details of the Order’s arrival in South Australia is available at this list in Trove.

Other HORGAN nuns mentioned above

Joan Therese - Sister Mary Joan HORGAN: 1909 – 1994  (2nd cousin once removed)
Daughter of Thomas HORGAN and Margaret Anne nee DEMPSEY
Professed Vows 19 January 1931

Johanna - Sister Mary Stanislaus HORGAN: 1883 –1978  (1st cousin twice removed)Daughter of Thomas HORGAN and Mary CAROLL
Professed Vows 16 October 1908

1. 1908 'Profession at Cabra.', Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954), 23 October, p. 11. , viewed 09 Jan 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article166973318
2. 1926 'SPALDING CENTRE.', The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929), 9 March, p. 6. , viewed 10 Jun 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article55025877
3. 1927 'Examination Results Of Sister of St. Joseph's Schools for 1926', Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954), 28 January, p. 16. , viewed 10 Jun 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article167800939
4. 1927 'Family Notices', News (Adelaide, SA : 1923 - 1954), 25 January, p. 14. (HOME EDITION), viewed 10 Jun 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article129203170
5. 1930 'St. Mary's Dominican College, Cabra.', Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954), 19 December, p. 5. , viewed 10 Jun 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article167051831
6. 2012 'Deaths', The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA 1954-), 27 April, p 97, viewed 3 May 2017.
7. 1933 'Today's Pictures of Elder Scholarship Winners', News (Adelaide, SA : 1923 - 1954), 29 November, p. 1. , viewed 06 Jun 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article128478099
1933 'PERSONAL', Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954), 1 December, p. 14. , viewed 10 Jan 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article167699331
8. 1939 'St. Mary's Dominican College, Cabra, Clarence Park', Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954), 15 December, p. 4. , viewed 08 Jun 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article167763312
9. 1951 'They Flew and Sang', Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954), 28 September, p. 10. , viewed 10 Jan 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article167736143

22 December 2017

Of Christmas past and present

It is the time of year when one reflects on Christmases past and enjoys the pleasures of the present season.

Childhood Christmas in the 1950s and early 60s

  • Christmas Eve – decorating the tree – always fresh, cut from the scrub paddock
  • Midnight Mass with lusty carol singing
  • spotting Father Christmas’s (never Santa) sleigh in the sky returning home in the darkness
  • a fresh ham sandwich before bed
  • morning excitement, Father Christmas presents found in the lounge room
  • fresh cherries for nibbles
  • gathering of large family around the Christmas tree once the turkey and vegetables were in the oven,  distribution of small but multiple presents
  • middle of the day – hot Christmas meal, home grown, stuffed and roasted turkey, roast potatoes and pumpkin with a green vegetable usually peas or beans, treat was a fizzy drink – lemonade or creaming soda, in later years a sparkling wine
  • hot plum pudding with lashings of fresh thick cream from the farm cows

Christmas as a couple in the 1970s

  • alternate years between parents
  • celebrations with friends
  • 1975 Toowoomba, Qld - Christmas in our first-purchased home
  • 1977 husband in Antarctica, self, long drive to South Australia to visit parents
  • 1979 Christmas UN in Srinagar, Kashmir -  ice and snow

Family times 1980 – 2000

  • writing the Christmas holiday newsletter to send to all family and friends
  • children’s Christmases, school celebrations
  • some years with parents-in-law
  • Canberra Christmases, carols by the lake
  • camping at Burrill Lake, NSW, boats, swimming and fishing
1997 Christmas Day, high above Tignes, France

  • 1997-2000 Christmas parties in Matilda’s, Australian Embassy, France
  • 1997 skiing at Tignes, France -  a fondue Christmas
  • 1998 Parisian style - apartment full of Australian visitors
  • 1999 International Women’s Group cookie exchange chez nous, Christmas week skiing at Val Thorens, France
  • 2000 Freezing in New York, abandoning the Christmas Day walk in Central Park
International Women's Group Christmas cookie exchange hosted at
15 rue de la Federation, Paris 1999

Empty nesters

  • 2001 –2011 Sydneysiders
  • Celebrations with adult children
  • Family visits
  • Boxing Day on the harbour
Boxing Day on Sydney Harbour

Retiring times

  • Street party celebration
  • Community groups gatherings
  • Alternate years – offspring and grandchildren’s visits
  • BBQs, mangoes and ice-cream treats
  • Ride bikes to the beach in the morning return home to a seafood salad beside the pool
The next generation - unwrapping Christmas 2016
Have you created a timeline of Christmases of the past?

13 December 2017

Place names - A personal reflection

Nomen what? Nomenclature

That’s the devising and choosing of names and answers the question - Where did that place name originate?

While investigating our family histories I’ve found that so many of my forebears came from a geographically small area and so the recurrence of place names is frequent in birth, marriage and death notices. But what was the source, the origin of those place names?

I’ve returned to one of my favourite sources of information to get some early views on the origins of the place names below: Trove’s digitised newspapers.

In 1908 during the months of May, June and July, The Register newspaper published a series of twenty eight posts under the heading Nomenclature of South Australia. These articles were researched and written by Rodney Cockburn. This series engendered a wide range of discussion in the form of letters to the editor. Whilst reference to many of these places can be found in earlier versions of newspapers, these snippets of information provide a rich, albeit sometimes inaccurate background, to the origin of many South Australian place names.

By August of 1908 The Register had announced that the series of articles would be republished in book form which was then advertised in November of the same year for the sum of 3/6d or 3/10d via post. The book contained revisions and corrections from the original posts. Discussions continued in the newspapers. Writers discussed the practice of adopting names from European countries,  debated the appropriateness of naming places after early settlers, officials, their wives and children and some emphasised the desirability of using more of the pre-existing Aboriginal place names.

More recent research in the 1980s and 1990s on South Australian place names, was conducted and published by Geoffrey Manning.  The 2012 edition of his work, A Compendium of the Place Names of South Australia, is freely available. This more scholarly work pays tribute to those previous recorders of the place names of South Australia and expands on place names and corrects the misattributions.

So from a combination of these sources and the South Australian State Gazetteer here are some of the meanings of the names of places of significance in my family’s history. I have limited the list to South Australian places for the sake of my readers’ patience!

On the banks of the River Alma in the Crimea the allies gained their first victory in 1854. The name comes from a Tartar word meaning 'apple tree.’ Manning: 2012
The Hundred of Alma was surveyed in 1855 and proclaimed in 1856.

By the time my father Edward John Horgan and his siblings Honora Mary and Joseph Andrew were born in the early 1900s a vibrant community of farmers had grown up around the early established Christian churches. Their days at Alma South School are recalled in A building with memories. After my parents’ marriage in 1937 they lived on the family farm at Alma.

Hamley Bridge
—Break of Gauge. —
Hamley Bridge reminds us of Lieut. Col. F. G. Hamley, Acting Governor, of South Australia from February 20, 1868, to February 15, 1869. That was the interregnum between Sir Dominic Daly's death and the arrival of his successor. Sir James Fergusson.  Lieut Col. Hamley was the senior officer in command of Her Majesty's forces in South Australia at the time of Governor Daly's death. He opened the bridge, which, together with the township, bears his name. Cockburn: Part 12
This was a typical entry in the Cockburn work, a heading to break up the long list of names and a concise paragraph to convey maximum information in a few words. Here is an account of the laying of the foundation stone by Mrs Hamley. The bridge was essential for the continuance of the railway network.

My O’Dea great grandparents, John O’Dea and Maria Crowley had retired from farming at Pinkerton Plains to Hamley Bridge from where grandfather Patrick met and married grandmother Georgina Bennett.  After Patrick’s  death in Pinnaroo, Georgina returned to Hamley Bridge with her six youngsters and my mother Hannah lived there until her marriage in the Hamley Bridge Catholic church in 1937.

Humphrey’s Springs
Humphrey's Springs, a mile and a half east of the little postal town of Alma, take their name from James Humphrey. They are on country which, was held by him for pastoral purposes in 1842. Cockburn: Part 13
My paternal grandmother, Elizabeth Smyth, was born at Humphrey’s Springs.


“That’s when someone put their cap under a cow or goat when they wanted to get a quick drink”  Capunder – how long did I believe this as a child? Did it come from my father or brother?  I cannot be sure. Needless to say it does not appear in any study of place names, another childhood belief debunked!
Kapunda - A corruption of the Aboriginal cappieoonda - ‘jumping water’, probably related to a spring, supplying the town of Kapunda when it was laid out in 1844; another source asserts that it means ‘place of smoke’ and, in an interesting article on nomenclature in 1921, Mr N.A. Webb suggests the name is derived from the Aboriginal kappaunga - ‘the locality of the quail’; further, it has been recorded that Charles Hervey Bagot took up land in the area which he called kunangga derived from ku – ‘shelter’ and nangga – ‘good’ Manning: 2012
My O’Dea forbears came to Kapunda in 1854 and spent some years as carters before taking up land in 1863 at Pinkerton Plains. Gt-gt grandmother Johanna (Fitzgerald) Horgan, gt-grandfather John Horgan and his wife gt-grandmother Honora O’Leary and four of their children are all buried at St John’s near Kapunda.


Under the subheading Crumbs of nomenclature, Cockburn often included single sentences where limited information was available. With this entry he summed up:
Navan, a township of the past between Riverton and Tarlee, is after the Navan in County Meath, Ireland . Cockburn: Part 19
Indeed he could not have foreseen that the Navan of 2017 is but a small chapel and graveyard. At this place my parents, Horgan grandparents and many other relatives from the past, occupy the now hallowed ground.

My great grandfather’s brother, John Smyth, attended the seminary at Navan in County Meath and after he arrived in Australia he became the Vicar-General of the Catholic church in South Australia until his early death in 1870. Some members of that Smyth family, my father’s first cousins Fr. Edward Smyth and his sister Mary are also buried at this Navan.

Pinkerton Plains
William Pinkerton who arrived in the Rajahstan in 1838 and took out an occupation licence on the River Light on 15 August 1844. Manning :2012
Sometimes listed as Pinkerton’s Plains, Pinkerton Flat and previously confused with an area near Quorn in the Hundred of Pichi Richi.

At this Pinkerton Plains between Wasleys and Hamley Bridge,  the O’Deas farmed. Paternal gt-grandparents Smyth, and maternal gt-grandparents O’Dea are buried in the old Catholic cemetery of St Benedict’s at Pinkerton Plains.

—A Big Man.—
Pinnaroo is a native word used to express "big man." Curiously enough, it runs through the vocabularies of nearly all the tribes north or south. John McKinlay, the explorer, was dubbed 'Pinnaroo wildra' by the blacks — meaning "big man with a cart'' Cockburn: Part 20
In 1911 grandparents Patrick O’Dea and Georgina Bennett moved to Ngallo, Victoria just over the border from Pinnaroo. My mother was born in Pinnaroo in  1912. Patrick was a victim of the 1919 influenza epidemic and died in a private hospital there.

In an unpublished history, Mrs R.B. Scholefield said that ‘James Masters came to the Gilbert Valley… accompanied by Charles Swinden, Dr Matthew Moorhouse and John Jubb Horner’: (See Washington Gardens) In connection with the naming of Riverton I quote from a letter from the late Gilbert Horner, a grandson of J.J. Horner: ‘My grandfather often told us he named the town… Mr Masters remarked that the Surveyor General had written and announced his intention of laying out a new town… and asked for a name to be recommended. “What about calling it Hornertown?”, suggested Mr Masters. My grandfather, however, would not consent and said, “Call it after this little river”. ‘So the name of “Gilberton” was sent in [and refused] because the name had already been chosen [for an Adelaide suburb]. Mr Masters then called on Mr Horner and again suggested Hornertown [to which he replied] “If they will not accept Gilberton, call it Riverton”.’John Jubb Horner was both the first flour miller and postmaster in the Gilbert Valley. Manning: 2012
Many of my McInerney relatives have lived in and around Riverton for many years. For my last three years of primary school I attended the convent school run by the Mercy nuns of South Australia. Both of my parents died in the Soldiers Memorial Riverton Hospital.

—A Governor's Cousin.—
Snowtown derives its name from Thomas Snow, M.A., Private Secretary to Governor Jervois. The Snows, two of whom were out here, were cousins of His Excellency. Cockburn: Part 22
After the sale of the Alma farm at the end of 1939 my parents moved to Snowtown with their first child. Their stay lasted only 2 years and a return to the Horgan farm south of Tarlee was effected after grandfather Andrew’s two brothers died in 1941 and 1942.

Stockport was laid out in 1856. The section on which the town stands was originally held by Samuel Stocks, jun., of Stockport, England who died in 1847. Cockburn: Part 23
There goes another childhood belief. There were pens and races for loading cattle and sheep (the stock) onto the trains at the Stockport railway yards so an assumption that the name came from that practice could possibly be viewed as a natural progression.
The old Stockport station
Stockport loomed large in my five years at boarding school. It was the station where we boarded the train bound to Adelaide and where Dad would meet us on that one “free” weekend a term as well as at the end of each term.

- The town is situated 38 kilometres north of Gawler. Land in the area was held first under occupation licence by George A. Anstey in 1845, while sections adjacent to the present day town were taken up by Messrs E. Prescott, James Lewis, P. Conway and Thomas Colbert in 1866. By 1868, section 987 was owned by Edward Prescott (1829-1910) which he subdivided into 85 allotments ‘adjoining the terminus of the Roseworthy and Forresters Railway… being the very nucleus of the lines of northern traffic…’ The auction was advertised to take place at the ‘Forresters’ Hotel at Gilberton (sic) on 15 June 1868. (See Gilbert Town) 
Of significance is the fact that Prescott named one of the streets ‘Oldham’ and, in August 1869, when an extension was made to the town, all lots (nos. 86-118) were purchased by Nathaniel Oldham. 

These facts suggest a close friendship between Prescott and Oldham who had a family connection with Ireland and, therefore, it may have transpired that Oldham suggested the name ‘Tralee’ to Prescott who, as an expatriate Englishman, corrupted it to ‘Tarlee’. 

To give further credence to the ‘Irish influence’ Prescott named another Tarlee street ‘Hallet’ (sic) and John Hallett was a co-subdivider of nearby’ Navan’, also a town in Ireland, that is in close proximity to ‘Tralee’. The ancient name of Tralee in Ireland was Traleigh - ‘the strand [shore] of leigh’ and derived from its situation from the point at which the River Leigh discharges itself into the broad sandy bay of Tralee. 

Rodney Cockburn says that, in 1908, Mr J.O. Taylor asserted that it was a contraction of the Aboriginal word tarralee and referred anyone in doubt to Mr Prescott who laid out part of his farm as the town of Tarlee. However, he preferred the following explanation: Tarlee is a name which has given considerable trouble in tracing. It is believed to be a misspelling of Tralee, the chief town in County Kerry, Ireland. ‘Tra’ is Irish for ‘strand’ or ‘beach’ and the Irish Tralee is built on the River Lee [sic] and the tide goes up as far as the town. There is a popular ballad entitled ‘The Rose of Tralee’… Navan and Tralee are close to one another in Ireland and so are Navan and Tarlee in South Australia, which gives colour to the suggested derivation of the latter.
In May 1869, the village was described as comprising ‘an inn, blacksmith’s shop and Methodist Chapel.’ Manning: 2012
About 7.5 km south of Tarlee my Horgan ancestors from County Kerry, Ireland took up farming in 1858. My parents returned to this farm from Snowtown in 1942 and it was here that I spent my childhood.

These are just a few of the place names in our family history. If you are interested to know more about South Australian place names the references below provide a wealth of detail.


A Brief History of South Australian Nomenclature and an Analysis of Perpetuated Myths - 1893-1990 – (An address given by Geoffrey H. Manning at the Family History Award Dinner of the SA Genealogy and Heraldry Society on 23 June 1990) accessed 11 Dec. 2017

Manning, Geoffrey A Compendium of the Place Names of South Australia rev. ed.  2012 – originally published as The place names of our land: a South Australian anthology, Modbury, South Australia : Gould Genealogy & History, 2010 accessed 11 Dec. 2017

Nomenclature of South Australia This Trove list compiles the posts written by Rodney Cockburn in 1908 related to the place names of South Australia

South Australian Gazetteer roads and place name search
1908 'Advertising', The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929), 18 November, p. 4. , viewed 11 Dec 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article56998197