29 November 2021

Closing in on the Bennetts

The O'Dea Album



These photos are from my grandmother's album and have provided a puzzle yet to be solved. My DNA results indicate that I am related to a descendant of this Clement Bennett but I have yet to work out how he was related to my maternal grandmother Georgina Ellen Bennett (O'Dea). Was he her nephew?

Monnie and Clem as they were labeled in the album, were the children of John Raymond Bennett and his wife Margaret Bridget Healy. This couple had married in Hamley Bridge in January of 1918 when they were both 23 years old. John Raymond's father is listed as a George Bennett. 

Could this be gt-grandfather George Bennett, father to Mary Olive, Georgina, James and Ronald.

If John Raymond Bennett was 23 when he married in 1918 that suggests the birth year of 1895. 
I have been unable to find a birth record for John Raymond Bennett in NSW, Vic or SA just as I have been unable to find a birth record for grandmother Georgina but indeed her father was George Bennett. Her elder sister Mary Olive was born in Broken Hill, NSW in 1888 where grandmother also claimed to have been born in 1890. 

By 1892 George Bennett and his wife Bridget Kelly were living in South Australia as their son James George David is recorded as born at Goodwood. Could John Raymond have also been born there and his birth unregistered? The Bennetts are next recorded in Edithburgh where another son Albert Ronald Victor (known as Ron) was born in 1902. Another move was made away from Edithburgh possibly before the birth of Mary Olive's son William Rose in 1904.
Mary Olive and Georgina both married Hamley Bridge men in the following years. That John Raymond was also married in Hamley Bridge, suggests a relationship.

Five children were born to John Raymond Bennett (c 1895 - 1962) and Margaret Healy 

Francis James - b. 9 November 1918 - d. 24 Nov 2012 - I have found no evidence of a marriage record for Francis
Joseph - b. 13 Jan 1921 - died just 2 days later
Vincent John - b. 30 Dec 1921 - died in Woomera on 24 Apr 1968 as a single man
Monica - b. 11 Jan 1924
Clement Ronald - b. 2 Oct 1925

Monica and Clem

Monnie and Clem Bennett as titled below the photos

Monica Bennett married Stanley Whittenbury in 1948. 
BENNETT—WHITTENBURY. —The marriage of Monica, only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. R. Bennett, Hamley Bridge, and Stanley H. B, youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. J. L. Whittenbury, Short street, Wayville, will be solemnised at St. Mary's Church, Hamley Bridge, at 10.30 a.m. on January 3, 1948. Reception at Dublin Hotel.
Clement Ronald Bennett married Elizabeth Cant in 1949
CANT—BENNETT. — The marriage of Elizabeth D. (Bette), daughter of the late Mr. G. and Mrs. S. G. Cant, to Clement R., youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. J. R. Bennett, both of Hamley Bridge, will be solemnised at St. Marys Church, Hamley Bridge, on Saturday, August 27, at 7 p.m.

Clement died in 1997 and is buried with his wife in the Bremer Road cemetery in Murray Bridge, South Australia. Their headstone can be viewed here at Find a Grave.

 My DNA match at 176 centimorgans on Ancestry is a grandchild of Clement and Elizabeth. If Clement and my mother were first cousins that would certainly explain the presence of those photos in my grandmother's album. I have sent a message to the DNA match. All comments and suggestions are welcome. Perhaps one of my siblings can provide an answer.

If you are a descendant of either Clement or Monica I am happy to send you copies of these photos at a higher resolution.


1948 'Family Notices', The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 - 1954), 1 January, p. 8. , viewed 29 Nov 2021, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article43750613

1949 'Family Notices', The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 - 1954), 20 August, p. 20. , viewed 29 Nov 2021, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article36682306


This post first appeared on earlieryears.blogspot.com by CRGalvin

2 November 2021

Inquest into fatal accident

Was the horse guilty?

Horse and spring cart about 1890
Horse and Spring cart, approx 1890. https://collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/resource/B+42348

David O'Leary, a brother of great grandmother Honora (O'Leary) Horgan, had celebrated his marriage to Mary Johanna Bannon in St Patrick's Church in Adelaide in 1874 and by 1878 they were living near Stockport, South Australia, with their two small children, Andrew Joseph and Anne Catherine later known as "Cissie."

The cart in the picture above may have been similar to the one that Mary Johanna took to do her shopping on that fateful day in May of 1878. On returning home she lost control. She must have suffered in great pain from her injuries for the five hours leading up to her death.

An inquest into the accident was held the next day, as reported here in the South Australian Register.


FATAL ACCIDENT— On Thursday, May 2, Mr. Jas. Elliott, J.P., held an inquest at Stockport on the body of Mary Johannah O'Leary, who died from the effects of a vehicle accident on the previous day. Mr. J. H. Williams acted as Foreman. 

Henry L. Tuck, Baptist Minister, stated that about 10 o'clock on Tuesday morning he saw the deceased pass his house in a spring-cart. About half-past 11 hearing a vehicle approach, and thinking it was a friend coming to his house, he sent one of his children to see. She came running into the room and exclaimed
 "It's Mrs. O'Leary, and she has upset her cart and is lying on the ground."

He immediately ran out and found the horse plunging in the shafts. He sought to assist Mrs. O'Leary, who was lying insensible within three or four feet of the point of the shafts. He tried to get her out of the reach of the cart in case the horse should again plunge. He drew her back, and she then appeared to become conscious and said 'I am dying.' 

Mrs. Tuck and the children assisted, and deceased was taken into the house. Immediately telegraphed for Dr. Renner, who arrived about 3 o'clock. There was a cornerpost near where the accident happened. The earth was raised round it, and it appeared as if the cartwheel had mounted to the top of the post, which was about 3 feet high. He knew the horse to be a quiet one, and Mrs. O'Leary to be of temperate habits. Felt sure the cart did not fall on her, but the horse was plunging in dangerous proximity to her. 

Dr. Renner deposed to attending deceased from Kapunda. He found that a number of her ribs were broken to pieces. Her face was very black, and he at once concluded that her left lung was lacerated by the broken ribs, and that a quantity of blood was in the cavity of the chest. She died about 5 o'clock without stating anything as to the cause of the accident. Judged from appearances that the horse had trodden on deceased's side. Death resulted from the injuries. 

David O'Leary, farmer, Stockport, husband of deceased, said on seeing her after the accident, she said she was afraid that in turning the corner she pulled the wrong rein. She was about 30 years of age, and he was quite satisfied that the mishap was purely accidental. The Jury returned a verdict that deceased died from injuries received through the capsizing of a cart. (1)

1. 1878 'CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGES IN GERMANY.', South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900), 6 May, p. 5. , viewed 02 Nov 2021, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article42996239


This post first appeared on earlieryears.blogspot.com by CRGalvin

3 October 2021

Breaking the fast from the wagon

One Sunday Morning

Picture the scene in 1914/1915 about the time this photo was taken. 

After an early start and a bumpy ride across dusty dirt roads accompanied by the steady clip clop of the horses hooves, arrival at a small stone church provided a welcome reprieve. This trip was made each Sunday morning come rain, hail or shine. The cool candle-lit interior of the church was an oasis of calm.  The weather may have been kind on this day as long shadows show. Rainy wet winter weather was not so forgiving for this weekly trip.

The Horgan family shown here were devout Catholics and in order to partake of Communion at weekly Mass on a Sunday morning, the adults would have fasted from midnight on Saturday. After the service, which could last for up to an hour, a welcome cup of tea was served from the back of the wagon most likely with some food to break their fast. It was an opportunity for the two families, one from the farm south of Tarlee and the other from the farm at Alma, to catch up with their kinsfolk.

The youngest boy with his back to us is my uncle Joe, Joseph Andrew Horgan born in April of 1910. He was a man of very small stature so while he may not look like 4 or 5-year-old he does appear to be wearing breeches.

The young boy whose face we see is my father Edward John Horgan born in May of 1908. He is sandwiched between his grandmother, Hanora Horgan and his father Andrew. Andrew, along with his wife Elizabeth and children Hanora Mary (known as Mary), Edward known as Eddie, and Joseph known as Joe, lived at Alma on the farm bequeathed to Elizabeth in her father's will.
Hanora (Hanorah) Horgan lived with her four unmarried adult children on the farm at Linwood.
Behind Hanora we can see the sleeve of another person's dress, possibly Elizabeth standing slightly behind her son.

Inscription on the back of the photo, in the handwriting of Joe Horgan

Sunday Mass was an important event in the lives of the farming families, not just from the religious point of view but it also provided the opportunity to catch up with families, friends and relatives. Each Sunday these families made their way to either the Catholic church at Hamley Bridge or Sts John and Paul Catholic church at Tarlee. 

This very faded photo has been enhanced and colorised using the MyHeritage photo tools.

This post first appeared on earlieryears.blogspot.com by CRGalvin

Closing in on the Bennetts

The O'Dea Album These photos are from my grandmother's album and have provided a puzzle yet to be solved. My DNA results indicate th...