30 January 2014

A great place to marry

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) and Stations 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, came on February 6th, 1906.

1906 'MARRIAGES.', Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954),
17 February, p. 50,
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's sister), was in cream voile, and a picture hat. The Rev. M. Mahar officiated, and Mr. John Horgan was best man. A reception was afterwards held at the residence of the bride's mother. Mr, Mrs. Andrew Horgan have gone to New Zealand for a honeymoon trip. 

I wonder how they travelled to New Zealand and how long the holiday lasted before returning to the hard life of farming.

Three children were born to Andrew and Elizabeth Horgan:
  • Hanora Mary in December 1906 
  • Edward John (my father) in May 1908 and 
  • Joseph Andrew in April 1910

More family weddings at Tarlee

Andrew's only daughter Hanora Mary, did not marry and with his death having occurred at the age of 82 in 1951, he did not live to see three of his grand-daughters and one of his great grand-daughters also marry in this church. All four of the brides mentioned, had grown up on that same family farm where Andrew was raised.

Notes on the church

(1) CATHOLIC CHURCH, TARLEE.—On Sunday last, His Lordship the Roman Catholic Bishop, Dr. Reynolds, solemnly opened the church which has recently been erected at Tarlee. There was a large attendance, including a number of the residents of Kapunda, and the amount collected reached a goodly sum. 
1877  Kapunda Herald and Northern Intelligencer (SA : 1864 - 1878), 14 August, p. 2, viewed 28 January, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article134886096
(2) Catholic Church, Tarlee.—By a notice appearing in another column it will be seen that the Stations of the Cross will be solemnly erected in the Roman Catholic Church, Tarlee, on Sunday next, by the Rev. J. Tappiner, of Norwood. We are informed that the Stations recently arrived from Austria, and that they are masterpieces of art and really beautiful.
1881 'The Kapunda Herald.', Kapunda Herald (SA : 1878 - 1951), 15 March, p. 3, viewed 27 January, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article106566334


  1. Welcome to the GeneaBloggers family. Hope you find the association fruitful; I sure do. I have found it most stimulating, especially some of the Daily Themes.

    May you keep sharing your ancestor stories!

    Dr. Bill ;-)
    Author of "13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories" and family saga novels in The Homeplace Series such as: "Back to the Homeplace"
    The Heritage Tourist at In-Depth Genealogist: http://www.indepthgenealogist.com/

  2. Wondering if there have been any further family marriages celebrated in this church.and if the church is still being used.

    1. Yes, church is still used two Sundays a month and for special occasions such as weddings and funerals etc. The last Horgan family marriage was held there was in 2002, the great granddaughter mentioned above. Thanks for interest, Carmel

  3. I just saw your site featured on Geneabloggers and I wanted to welcome you to our little community! Best of luck with your blog, it's a major undertaking! I look forward to reading all of your family's great tales.

  4. Thank you Sarah. there are so many great blogs to read, mine is really just family bait.... hopefully some of them will read it! :)


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