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Showing posts from January, 2014

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…