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Andrew O'Leary sails from Dublin

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A family leaves Ireland In the early years of white settlement in the newly established colony of South Australia, there was urgent need for agricultural laborers. Suitable candidates were selected from Ireland and England to fill this gap. During 1835 eleven commissioners were appointed to control land sales and any revenue. They were also in charge of regulating the flow of emigrants. From the initial nine ships that had sailed in 1836, immigration grew steadily and during 1840 nearly 3000 people reached South Australian shores. Desirable applicants were expected to be fit and preferably married with family to populate the state.

Andrew O'Leary from County Cork, Ireland fitted this bill and sought assisted passage for himself to be accompanied by wife and four children. Andrew is listed as an agricultural labourer, 36 years old on his application (number 7592) seeking assisted passage to South Australia. The  ship Mary Dugdale departed Dublin on June 2nd 1840 for a journey to P…

A significant date

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My mother's birthday On April 17th, 1912 my mother Hannah Olive O'Dea was born in Pinnaroo, South Australia to Patrick John O'Dea and Georgina Ellen O'Dea (born Bennett).

Today is the first anniversary of her birthday since her death at the age of 101 on June 27th, 2013. I am sure my six siblings, some of their children and maybe some of the cousins will be remembering her fondly today by whatever name they called her - Mum, Nana, Nana Hannah, Aunty Nan.

She married Edward John Horgan in 1937 and her focus in life was always her family and her faith. She left behind 7 children and their spouses, 27 grandchildren and 31 great grandchildren.

Birthdays were always an opportunity to gather all the family together, catch up on news and events in children's lives and of course celebrate with a cake big enough to share.
Mum was incredibly good at remembering all the birthdays and always made sure she had a suitable card to send. Many shopping expeditions included the pur…

Exploring the Horgan data

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Time for some reflections on my research. I've been looking at the data gathered so far and adding citations where previously missed. In order to look at missing fields and determine where I need further data I've been analysing one family at a time. Here's some facts for those of you with the Horgan surname. There are 97 people in my database who were born Horgan. earliest confirmed birth -  1828 Ballymacdonnell, Irelandmost recent birth  - 2004 South Australiamales - 47females - 50most common male names - Thomas x 9, John x 9most common female names - Mary x 8, Catherine x 5marriages - 46 known marriages 22/47 males, 24/50 femalesreligious orders - 2 males and 5 females joined religious ordersbirth places - Ireland 5, South Australia 89, Victoria 3living people - 32deceased - 65 most recent 2011 So now it's time to head back to the research to fill some holes in the data.

Horgan interactive chart

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Here is a 'who's who' of my father's line that I have investigated so far. I've been experimenting with an interactive chart. Hover over the names to find more information about a person or couple.



For those who are interested in the process I made the chart in PowerPoint, saved it as an image then added the interactive spots in ThingLink. The ThingLink file can be updated with additional information over time.

109 Days Later

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On Monday 26th July 1852, the barque "China" left Plymouth bound for South Australia with 184 adult and 122 child immigrants aboard. Amongst those were many Irish passengers who were leaving the horrors of the great famine behind them.

My widowed great-great-grandmother, Johanna Horgan (born Fitzgerald)1805 -1880, and her 3 children were aboard having already travelled from County Kerry to Plymouth. The assisted passenger lists name them as Thomas, John and David whom we will later come to know as Daniel. Their voyage of 109 days was not without its difficulties and deaths despite the fine weather recorded on their arrival at Port Adelaide.

The barque China, which arrived at the Lightship on Thursday night at 12 o'clock, experienced very fine weather during the passage not having had a heavy gale of wind since leaving Plymouth. There were no deaths among the adults, but among the young children there were ten deaths, nine of these being under two years old.1.

There were …

My parents' wedding 1937

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This beautiful photo was taken on my parents' wedding day, April 6th 1937.  Edward John Horgan was 29 and Hannah Olive O'Dea almost 25.  They were married in St Mary's Catholic Church, Hamley Bridge, South Australia.
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The story relating to this day was retold to a granddaughter in 1992. So here are my mother's words:

I met Edward Horgan at a St. Patrick’s night ball and he asked Mum if he could take me home.  He kissed me goodnight at the gate and later told me that that was when he put his brand on me!

Growing up seemed like a long process, but suddenly I found myself in adulthood.  Teenage years had gone and that meant that I must accept responsibility for the rest of my life.  At this stage, my thoughts were with settling down.  I had met the man of my dreams and after a few years – on the 9th of July, 1935 – I became engaged to Eddie.  I set about planning my future with a farmer husband.
To leave my home and friends in a country town and move to an isolated farm seem…

Celebrations 1913 style

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This 1913 account of the Golden Wedding celebrations of my maternal great grandparents, John O'Dea 1835 -1930 and Maria O'Dea (born Crowley) 1841 - 1929, reflects their Irish roots. Reports of this celebration appeared in three papers of the times, with this account providing the most detail and background to their lives.
One of the eleven grandchildren mentioned was my mother, Hannah Horgan (born O'Dea.) It sounds like a jolly good time was had by all with songs and recitals. This was one of the things my mother liked to do too, gather family together and enjoy a singalong around a piano.
1913The golden wedding of Mr. and Mrs. John O'Dea was celebrated at their residence, Clare Villa, Hamley Bridge, on August 8, by a family gathering. The event by special request consisted only of members of the family circle and relatives available. After the feast was partaken of the family joined unitedly in wishing the old people further happy years, and expressed pleasure that t…

A great place to marry

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The start of a family tradition This small church in Tarlee, South Australia has been the venue for weddings of Horgan family members across several generations.

The church was officially opened on Sunday August 12th 1877 (1) andStations of the Cross that came from Austria were added in 1881. The opinion of the time was "they are masterpieces of art and really beautiful." (2)

It was to here, that my grandfather Andrew Joseph Horgan at age 36 and his bride to be, Elizabeth Agnes Smyth aged ~34,cameon February 6th, 1906.

A wedding was celebrated at St. John and Pauls' Church, Tarlee, on Tuesday, February 6 between Miss Lizzie Smyth, of Alma, and Mr. A. Horgan of Pine Creek. The church was beautifully decorated by Mr. McCarthy (sexton) and girl friends of the bride. The bride, who was given away by her brother, was frocked in cream silk, trimmed with lace and narrow ribbon; she wore the usual veil and orange-blossom wreath. The attendant maid, Miss Norah Horgan (bridegroom&…

A victim of the 1919 influenza epidemic

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Patrick Joseph O'Dea, 1877 - 1919 I did not have the pleasure of meeting my grandfather, indeed my mother was only 7 years 4 months old when Spanish flu struck in August of 1919 and took her father.

Patrick Joseph O'Dea was born to John and Maria O'Dea in South Australia in 1877. He married Georgina Ellen Bennett on September 11, 1907. Daughters were born in 1908 and 1910 - then in 1911 they moved with the two little ones from Pinkerton Plains, his parents' home in South Australia, to Ngallo, Victoria and took up a newly released block of land in order to establish a farm. 
My mother, Hannah Olive (O'Dea) Horgan retold the story of those early years. 
They set out with all of their belongings in a horse-drawn dray for a property which my father had purchased from the government. The property consisted of one thousand acres of unfenced and uncleared land at Ngallo, a settlement in Victoria, just over the South Australian border. The trip took them eight days.
Life w…

Beginning in South Australia

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My mother, Hannah Horgan (born O'Dea) died at 101 years of age at the end of June 2013. She was the matriarch, gathering family together at any opportunity. She valued and treasured her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Now that she is gone I realise how valuable family photos and stories will be for future generations. So my interest in family history is relatively recent, but very rewarding and time consuming.

Since July I have found extensive records via Trove about the ancestral families on both my maternal and paternal side. Thanks go to my brother for supplying me with an invaluable document that piqued my interest about the early settlers in South Australia and supplied the starting point for my research.
Additional stimulus came from reading my mother's reflections on her life, as she had related her story in 1992, at the prompting of one of her 27 grandchildren. Thank you Deirdre for recording those memories.
These family stories should live on, not ju…