22 November 2016

An elusive great great grandfather

Where and when did he die? Patrick O’Dea migrated from County Clare, Ireland to South Australia in 1854 aboard the barque “Time and Truth”. He was accompanied by his wife Mary, sons Thomas and John and daughters Mary and Margaret.

Two hundred and forty one emigrants were aboard when the ship left Plymouth on January 11th 1854. There were 80 adult males, 88 females, 32 boys and 41 girls. During the voyage there were 4 births and 6 deaths. The captain’s report at the conclusion of the 4 month voyage on the 8th May 1854 provides some interesting insights into life aboard. He reports the conduct of the immigrants as very good with the only corporal punishment being “two boys put in irons for an hour for fighting.” General satisfaction was expressed with all aspects of the suitability of accommodation on board but he reported
The fresh potatoes failing at the end of 12 days after sailing. The quantity placed on board of the preserved potatoes proved insufficient to last the voyage. In other respects the provisions and water were ample and good.
In regard to the school provided on board for the children, he recorded that about 27 boys and 14 girls had attended, Margaret O’Dea at 8 years old may have been one of these girls.
The results of the tuition were exceedingly satisfactory. Several of the boys who could not form a letter or spell a word when they commenced, being able to write fairly and read fluently by the end of the voyage.
He also wrote to the Land and Emigration Commissioners to present the emigrants’ complaints about the depot at Plymouth where they were housed before departure. It appears there were several shady operators who sought to take advantage of the emigrants by promising certain services on the payment of extra fees. The complaints ranged from being compelled to purchase unnecessary goods, payment for sleeping at the Depot and payment for unfulfilled promises of “situations to be obtained”. Amongst the list of complainants was Patrick O’Dea who stated:
I, Patrick O’Dea was compelled to buy a blue shirt that I had no use for to the amount of 5s.6d. at the Plymouth Depot.
Patrick was listed as 42 years of age in the ship’s records putting his possible birth date as sometime in 1812. His wife Mary was listed as 40 years old putting her possible birth date in 1814.

What I know of their early years has been gleaned from their son John recalling their early days in South Australia on the occasion of his 50th wedding anniversary in 1913. It appears they lived near Kapunda for 8 years working as carters before obtaining land.

The early land records in South Australia yield details of land rented and purchased by several O’Dea males. The common practice of using similar names in families (Patrick, Thomas and John) makes it difficult to determine which land titles belong to which O’Dea family.

From his own recollections, son John and his family were farming at Pinkerton Plains by 1863. John was married in August of 1863 and took his bride to Pinkerton Plains. Here in September of 1864, Patrick lists his interest in blocks 359 and 360.

The first mention of the name Patrick O’Dea occurs in the land records with the transfer of a block of land in the Hundred of Mudla Wirra in 1863. Block 274 had been leased from John Coleman Dixon in February of 1863 for 10 pounds per annum for 5 years with the right of purchase for 80 pounds. In 1866 this title records the payment of the 80 pounds and the transfer of the title.

All the Patrick O’Deas in South Australia are listed under one entry in the SAILIS historical name indexes to the registers of transactions. Blocks of land accredited to the name Patrick O’Dea are listed in the Hundred of Tungkillo (near Adelaide) and the Hundred of Blanche (near Mt Gambier). Both these distances make it unlikely that all the listings under the name of Patrick O’Dea could be accredited to the same person.

In 1840 a family of O'Deas had arrived on the ship Birman. A large family of O’Deas with sons named Patrick, Michael, John and Thomas arrived in November 1849 on the ship Duke of Wellington. Another John O’Dea, with sons John, James and Michael arrived on the ship Constance in the same month.  The gates to confusion in registers were open.


There is no easily found or obtained death certificate for my gt-gt-grandfather Patrick. No reference is made to him in the official registers of deaths. This certificate of title for block 300 in the the Hundred of Mudla Wirra, lists Patrick, Thomas and John “all of Pinkerton Plains farmers” as joint holders of this 81 acre block. Could it be that the note below on the certificate of title refers to my Patrick O’Dea?

The above named Patrick O’Dea died in either [or about] the months of June or July 1867 as appears by Declaration of Death (No.29845) produced to me and [----] the 4 day March of 1870 at Two o’clock P.M.
I am pursuing several avenues of interest to see if this Declaration of Death can be found and some of the mystery solved. If you an O’Dea descendant with more information I would be pleased to hear from you.

Genealogy Snapshot

Name: Patrick O'Dea
Parents: unknown
Spouse: Mary or Margaret

Relationship to Carmel: Great great grandfather
  1. Patrick O'Dea c.1812 - ? - maternal great great grandfather
  2. John O'Dea 1835 - 1922 - maternal great grandfather
  3. Patrick Joseph O'Dea 1877 - 1919 - maternal grandfather
  4. Hannah Olive (O'Dea) Horgan 1912 - 2013 - mother
  5. Carmel
1. Crown land and Immigrants ship’s papers GRG 35/48/1854  9 Time and Truth State Records of South Australia, 2 September 2016
2. SAILIS – Historical name Index search 1858-1863 Letter O 
https://www.sailis.sa.gov.au/products/imageDelivery/historicalNameIndex/O/1858-1863/PRIVATE/4 viewed 20 October 2016
3. SAILIS – Certificate of Title Register book Vol 49 Folio 164 viewed 20 October 2016

4 October 2016

A building with memories

AlmaSouthNoticeThis sign outside the now abandoned Alma South School in South Australia holds few hints to the role it played in the life of my father and his siblings one hundred years ago.

Edward John Horgan and his sister Honora Mary were enrolled at this little one room school on the 28th April 1914. He was 5 yrs 11 months old and she was 7 yrs 4 months. The school register shows that neither had attended school before and that they lived three miles away. The distance from the school probably explains why Honora Mary had not started at a younger age. Now there were two children of school age, transport would be found for them.

This extract from the Alma South school register held at State Records SA details their birth dates, father’s occupation and shows they both started in J, the first grade in the school. Eddie completed Junior in 1915 while his elder sister moved up a grade.

register entry

This photo shows Eddie with his sister outside the school on their horse Beaver, accompanied by local children Lindsay McKenzie and Beryl Watts on the other two horses. There is no saddle on Beaver so a slow and steady progress would have been the order of the day. There were only 23 children on the register in 1914 with the average daily attendance shown as 16. As many would have ridden horses to school, one can only imagine the reluctance of some to set out on cold, wet mornings.
AlmaSouthLeaving for home

To find out more about school days at Alma South I turned to Trove where Nora Mary, as she liked to be known then, wrote in 1916:
We had Australia Day in Alma on July 26. The Alma South school children were dressed up to represent different nations. I was an Irish girl. …(she continues) I am in the second class at school. The teacher's name is Miss Dubois. (1)
Ellen M J DuBois had been appointed to Alma South school in 1911 and had commenced there in April of that year. She was still there in 1928.

At the beginning of 1917 the youngest Horgan child, Joseph, was enrolled at the school at the age of 6 years 9 months. I wonder if the three of them shared the ride on Beaver or if they took turns and walked some of the way.

In February of 1917 Nora Mary wrote of school days again to the Southern Cross newspaper:
We are busy at school knitting for soldiers. Both of us passed. Eddie is in the third grade. I am in the fifth grade. My little brother Joseph is going to school now. He is a pet of the scholars. (2)

collarboneIn April of 1918 a report on a school picnic for children’s day held jointly with the Alma North and Salter Springs schools, describes a variety of activities. Miss Du Bois had obviously done a good job managing to get a group of youngsters entwined in a Maypole dance.

At the end of this report it is noted:
An accident to Mr. and Mrs. Horgan's young son, who fell heavily in one of the races, marred the afternoon's proceedings. It was found that he had sustained a slight fracture of the collarbone. (3)

Whether this was Joe or Eddie is not known but it certainly would have been a painful ride home in the buggy over rough roads. Many of the dirt roads in the locale of their old home can still provide a somewhat bumpy ride in 2016. Several school picnics and gatherings were recorded in the papers of the times.

Another glance of life at school is provided by Nora Mary in November of 1918.

Our examination will be next month. I hope to pass into the VII. Grade. Isn't it lovely to think that the war is over at last? A lady came to our school on Wednesday to teach us how to spin wool. We will have five weeks' holiday at Christmas time. We have had three days' holiday this week in honour of peace. (4)
She spent another two years at the school passing what was known as the Qualifying Certificate at the end of Grade Seven in 1920. Eddie and Joe were still recorded as attending Alma South in 1921. There were only twenty-six to thirty children attending the school in those years between 1914 and 1921.

The school register I examined was used from 1883 until December 1921. The instructions for filling it in included a note at the bottom of the first page that read:

Should a new register be required before the old one is finished, it may be obtained with the permission of the Inspector on payment of 2s.6d.

This was written before 1883 when this register of pupils was commenced. One hopes the teacher did not have to pay for a new register 39 years later! State Archives notes that the location of admission registers for the school at Alma South after this date is unknown. (5)

Alma South School – September 2016

It is sad to see the state of the building now as time and weather wreak their damage. I would like to think that my father and his siblings had fond memories of this small school and the friends made therein.
View from outside – September 2016

Entry via the porch - inside the building the remains of a chalkboard adorn one wall. The roof timbers appear to be in good condition.
View of the side of school building showing significant deterioration

An interesting article in Weekend Notes has more information on Alma and Salter Springs as well as some other small towns in this region of South Australia.

1. 1916 'The Children.', Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954), 1 September, p. 18. , viewed 03 Oct 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article166422061 2. 1917 'The Children.', Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954), 9 February, p. 6. , viewed 03 Oct 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article166980769
3. 1918 'THE COUNTRY.', The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929), 23 April, p. 6. , viewed 03 Oct 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article60351597
4. 1918 'The Children.', Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954), 22 November, p. 15. , viewed 03 Oct 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article166988853
5. GRS/13020 Admission Register, Alma South School, 1883 -1921 State Records of South Australia, viewed 2 Sept 2016

13 September 2016

Georgina and family leave Ngallo

My mother related the story of arriving in Hamley Bridge, South Australia as a young girl, helping her mother and older sisters struggle to carry their limited luggage from the train station. I set out to find a date and the circumstances of their arrival. A recent trip to attend a family wedding and visit my siblings in South Australia provided an opportunity to acquire a wealth of family related stories and photos.

Ngallo houseAfter the death of her husband Patrick Joseph O’Dea from influenza in 1919, my maternal grandmother Georgina Ellen O’Dea continued to live and work on the plot of land at Ngallo, in Victoria just over the border from Pinnaroo South Australia. The young couple had settled there in 1911. 

The house they had built, seen in the picture here, was home to the young family.  Georgina, aged 29 and now widowed, was mother to six children aged from 11 years to just 9 months old.

Michael James O’Dea, Patrick’s brother had married Ethel Bennett in 1918.(1) They were living on a block nearby with Ethel’s son Albert John Bennett (known as Jack or Jackie) who had been born in July 1917 to Ethel Richards and James George Bennett, (Georgina’s brother).(2)
James Bennett had died while on a visit to his sister and her family in September of 1917 when the baby was only two months old.(3) Michael married the widowed Ethel in October of 1918.

So in 1919, after Patrick’s death in August, the two young families living close by struggled to come to terms with the changed conditions. As Patrick had died intestate, near neighbours Edward John Kain and John Bernard Barry provided affidavits and surety for Georgina. Papers of administration (4) were issued by the Supreme Court of Victoria in November of 1919 and probate settled in October 1920 after the duty of £22/5/2d had been paid.

Georgina continued to work hard to keep the dream of their own farm alive, but by 1923 she had taken the decision to return to Hamley Bridge to be near her deceased husband’s O’Dea relatives and her sister Mary Olive Bennett who had married Daniel Casaretto. They also lived in Hamley Bridge. A farewell function held on March 13th was reported in the Pinnaroo and Border Times.


Farewell Social.

On Tuesday evening. March 13th, the Ngallo Hall was again taxed to its utmost capacity with well-wishers of Mrs P. J. O’Dea and family, and Mr J. Burford, who are leaving the district.

Mr S. S Coburn occupied the chair, and referred to the loss that the district would sustain by the departure of their guests. He wished them every success and prosperity in their new sphere.

Mrs O’Dea was made the recipient of a parcel of stainless cutlery consisting of 1 doz table and 1 doz desert knives.

Mr M. O’Dea suitably responded on behalf of his sister-in-law and thanked them all for the many kind things said about them and also for their beautiful gift, which, he contended, would remind them of the many kind friends they had left in Ngallo and surrounding districts.

The sale of the farm, horses and cattle as well as all the implements followed on March 15th. The care of 640 acres with 10 horses and 21 cattle as well as the 100 fowls would have been quite a burden even with help from her brother-in-law and kindly neighbours.Ngallo sale 1923

The subsequent departure from Ngallo started a new period in the lives of this family. One wonders if the weight of the dozen table and dessert knives added significantly to the luggage burden being borne from the train station that day in 1923.

The children’s unmarried aunts in Hamley Bridge, Hannah Teresa and Margaret O’Dea were kind to their nieces and nephews. They were still living at “Clare Villa” caring for their elderly parents.

View of house known as ‘Clare Villa’, Hamley Bridge at 1st September 2016

clare villa

More of Georgina’s life is recalled in the post 50 years on.

1. Groom Given Name(s): Michael James, Last Name: ODEA, Bride Given Name(s): Ethel Last Name: BENNETT Marriage Date: 1918, October 09 SA marriages Book/Page: 277/538

2. Given Name(s): Albert John Last Name: BENNETT Birth Date: 1917, July 29 Gender: M Father: James George David BENNETT Mother: Ethel RICHARDS Birth Place: Adelaide SA births Book/Page: 3A/443

3. 1917 'Family Notices', Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954), 6 October, p. 27. , viewed 11 Sep 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article87412751

4. 1919 'Classified Advertising', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), 1 October, p. 19. , viewed 13 Sep 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4680369

2 August 2016

Influenza numbers

Advances in medical research bring us the benefits of modern medicines and I for one will be making sure that a ‘flu vaccine is on my to do list before next winter. My maternal grandfather Patrick Joseph O’Dea died as a result of the great flu epidemic that swept the world in 1918 and 1919. A dose of flu in our household prompted me to look at my family history records to identify any other victims of that epidemic.

There are 7 deaths I have recorded in 1919 and 3 of these were definitely from the effects of “pneumonic influenza’ as the epidemic was named at that time. Another three of the deaths all occurred in one Horgan family. I have not sought death certificates to confirm the cause of those deaths but two brothers in their thirties died within three months of each other and Julia their 71 year old mother died a mere six months later. If this was not from influenza then surely from a broken heart at losing Daniel and William, two of her remaining nine children, in the prime of their lives.

A sad case was revealed in Alma, South Australia, where John Edward Smyth aged 40 had been living with his parents and working the family farm. John was my paternal grandmother Elizabeth’s first cousin.
Mr.John Smyth, who has resided with his parents on the farm at Alma, was missed, and a search was made. He was found drowned in a tank, and it is supposed he was getting a drink of water, and as the day was hot he must have become giddy and fallen into the tank, which contained about five feet of water. He had an attack of influenza about three months ago, which left him very weak. He was highly respected by all who knew him. Much sympathy is felt for his aged parents, who have resided for many years on their farm at Alma. He is a brother of Mr. Pat. Smyth, blacksmith, of Alma. (1)
John Edward Smyth, 1879 – 1919 is buried at St Benedict’s Cemetery, Pinkerton Plains South Australia. His elderly father James aged 88 joined him in the cemetery just nine months later in July 1920. His mother, Catherine Smyth (born Mulvaney) was buried in the family plot at aged 65 in 1923.

Earlier in the year another branch of the same family also suffered loss from influenza. James Leo Byrne had married grandmother Elizabeth's younger sister Margaret Smyth in 1898. They had been farming at Lameroo in South Australia for some years before extending their interests into Queensland in about 1910. The two reports that follow appeared in the local Darling Downs newspapers of the time.
Macalister and district have sustained a severe loss in the death in Melbourne of Mr. James Byrne, who fell a victim to the pneumonic influenza. Mr. Byrne, who came from South Australia about nine years ago, was on his way to visit that State on business, when he  contracted the disease which led to his death. He was engaged in farming pursuits at Apunyal, and his death is a severe loss. (2)

The many friends o£ Mr. Jas. Byrne (Apunyal) will be sorry to hear of the death of that highly respected gentleman. It seems that while journeying to attend to business in South Australia he contracted pneumonic influenza which was the cause of death. Mrs. Byrne and family have the sympathy of a large circle of friends as the Byrne family are widely known and highly respected. (3)
James Leo Byrne 1863-1919, was 55 when he died. His wife Margaret born in 1873 lived until 1936 and died at home in Lameroo, South Australia, aged 63.

The seventh death I have recorded is that of an infant just 2 months old. Jack Corfield was born to my brother-in-law’s grandparents in October of 1919 and died just 2 months later on Christmas Eve. The end of a sad year for many folk.

1. 1919 'COUNTRY NEWS.', Kapunda Herald (SA : 1878 - 1951), 7 November, p. 3. , viewed 02 Aug 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108285798
2.1919 'PERSONAL.', Warwick Daily News (Qld. : 1919 -1954), 23 April, p. 4, viewed 25 June, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article175740209
3. 1919 'MACALISTER.', Darling Downs Gazette (Qld. : 1881 - 1922), 21 April, p. 6. , viewed 02 Aug 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article182942245

26 July 2016

Trove Tuesday Honner

The approaching wedding of a nephew with the surname Honner had me scurrying to Trove to see if there were any reports of the details of weddings of his ancestors. His great grandparents John Aloysius Honner and Mary Langford were married in 1893 in Maitland, South Australia, and the newspapers reveal a wealth of information about the lives of this couple.


The Honner family had arrived on Yorke Peninsula in 1875 when John was about 13 as this extract from an account about the prosperity of Maitland in 1952 records.
There were some epic pioneering stories. Richard Honner, of Yankalilla, who had seven sons, first took up land at Brentwood. Edward, aged 12, and John, 13, each drove a four - bullock team from the old home, through Adelaide, to the new property. [a distance of approx 280 km] For the feat, each was presented with an English lever and key watch. Mr. R. C. Honner, of Arthurton, now has one and Mr. R. F. Honner the other, and both still go. Mr. Edward Honner, now 88, is living in retirement in Maitland. 

1952 'ITS PROSPERITY IS EVERYWHERE', News (Adelaide, SA : 1923 - 1954), 24 September, p. 12. , viewed 26 Jul 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article130867619
The 1943 account of the celebrations held for their golden wedding anniversary add more detail to the story.
More details about this family's life were found in the obituary later that year when John died in October.
Mary (Langford) Honner outlived her husband by 13 years and died in 1956. They are both buried in St Agatha’s Catholic cemetery, in Arthurton.

The next generation back

Some details from the papers about my nephews’ great-great grandparents Richard and Sarah Honner  who married in 1856, can be found in these articles. The first is the account of their diamond wedding celebrating 60 years. The fuzzy picture below was taken on that occasion in 1916. The next two articles are obituaries which contain extensive details about their lives and the lives of their children.
60th wedding anniversary of Richard and Sarah Honner

My nephew's parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this year so he has many years to catch up on to emulate those who came before him. Best wishes Richard and Rebecca.

26 June 2016

Skills and Crafts of a Farmer’s wife

Memories of Mum’s work, skills and hobbies

Hannah Horgan (1912-2013) on the back veranda of her last house at 6 Kelly St, Riverton, South Australia
It is now three years since my mother Hannah died but she left us with many fond memories and a variety of skills. The work of a farmer’s wife encompasses a broad range of tasks often not associated with a stay-at-home wife and mother.
Here’s a quick review of some of the tasks my mother undertook and taught to her children.

Farmyard related

Eggs: Seated on the veranda surrounding the farm house we washed and packed dozens of eggs manually. A damp cloth was used to wipe the surface of any soiled egg. These were then packed carefully into layers in the egg crates used to send them to market. Layer upon layer were added as they were cleaned, then came the sighs of relief when the wooden crate was sealed for collection.

Fowls: Who else would teach you how to pluck and dress a dead chicken but your mother? I’m sure she was pleased to share this onerous task with her children so that we could all enjoy the chicken dinners to follow. The heavy kettle was boiled then poured over the dead bird. Plucking the feathers had to be done quickly while the bird was warm. Ooh, that wet bird smell, then inserting one’s hand to remove the innards. I’m glad this is a skill I no longer need!

Milk, Cream and Butter :  The fresh milk from the cows which some of my siblings had to milk, came to the kitchen still warm. The cream separator ensured we had a constant supply of fresh delicious cream. Yes, the separator had to be disassembled and every part scrubbed and cleaned – she taught all of us how to do that. We learnt how to make cream into butter and how to cook delicious rice puddings and many other dishes using the fresh and not so fresh dairy products, no food ever to be wasted.

Meat processing: The mutton killed for family consumption was delivered to the kitchen in it’s newly killed state. Mum would use every small skerrick of meat, cutting away the fat and turning the scrag ends into mince. We all took turns turning the handle of the mincer. We learnt all the parts of the beast and what meat was suited best for which meals.

meat grinder
The meat mincer

Indoor hobbies and skills

Sewing: A necessary skill for a woman with seven children. There were sheets to be patched and collars on shirts to be unpicked and turned. Men’s work trousers from the paddock often needed patching in the knees to “make them last.” The first sewing machine I remember was a treadle Singer. Mum sewed many of our clothes late at night when we were in bed. She taught us to sew both by hand and on the machine. We learnt by making doll’s clothes from leftover scraps and did the hand stitching required to finish items. One of my sisters remembers a new dress made for Tarlee school picnic day. She loved to climb trees and the carefully sewn new dress returned home dirty and scruffy.

1982 knitted by Nana
Knitting: Before the days of cheap clothing hand knitted items were treasured. Old jumpers were unpicked and re-knitted into new items. Mum knitted woollen socks for my father and in later years many woollen toys for her grandchildren. Several of her grandchildren will remember these striped woollen jumpers knitted with love. She taught her daughters to knit and crochet.

Crafts: As we grew up and Mum had a little more time she joined the C.W.A. ( Country Womens' Association) Each month’s meeting concentrated on new learning or a new skill. We saw woven baskets made, knitted and covered coat hangers, recycled cards made into boxes of every shape and size. The crocheted toilet roll cover sat for many years on the cistern. Who could forget the snowman that appeared every hot summer Christmas made with quilting wadding covering a large Milo tin? When Mum moved from her house into hospital care, there were many remnants of craft and sewing materials in her cupboards and drawers recalling many happy hours spent crafting a wide range of goodies.

Thanks Mum for the skills and passion for learning new things that you passed on to me.

4 June 2016

John Horgan of Linwood

A confusion of dates and ages

On the 12th November 1832, John Horgan of Ballymacdonnell was baptised in the parish of Killeentierna, County Kerry, Ireland. He was the third child born to parents Johanna Fitzgerald and Thomas Horgan. (1)
1832 John Horgan baptism

Little is known about his childhood and early teen years but by the time John was 19 his father had died and his widowed mother Johanna set out along with two other sons, Thomas, and Daniel to make a new life on the other side of the world in South Australia. It appears that Johanna’s brother John Fitzgerald, already settled in South Australia had sent money to Ireland for their passage. (2) It is unclear what had happened to the first son Denis and husband Thomas but highly likely that they had perished during the great famine years. Elder daughter Johanna, born 1828, was to join the small family several years later.

According to shipping records, John Horgan was 20 years of age when they arrived at Port Adelaide aboard the barque “China” on 12 November 1852. (3) Indeed by my reckoning that day was his twentieth birthday. After a long journey of 109 days, it must have been a fitting day to step ashore.  The Fitzgerald family history records that the Horgan sons, (his brothers were 17 and 10 when they arrived) worked initially “as contractors and carriers along the Port road from Port Adelaide to the city and later to and from Burra” (2)

Land acquisitions

What we do know from extant records is that by 1856 Johanna Horgan, his mother is listed in the Land Grants in Registry Office with reference to section 333 in the Hundred of Gilbert. In 1861 John Horgan leased block 361 in the Hundred of Light from Alexander Hay for £16 per annum. By March of 1864 it had been purchased for £195. In 1863 John had signed another lease for block 300 costing £18 per annum for 7 years with the right to purchase. By 1865 the deed below shows that more land had been purchased and the family were hard at work establishing their farm and paying off mortgages.
1865 Land title block 206
Extract from Certificate of  Title to block 286

Marriage and family

On the 13th of October 1863, John married Honora O’Leary in St Patrick’s church in Adelaide. John is listed as being only 27 years old however as it was now more than 10 years since he had arrived as a 20-year-old, it is more likely that he was 30. Honora was not quite 24 as she had been born in December of 1839 shortly before her parents, Andrew and Catherine O’Leary embarked for their trip to South Australia aboard the “Mary Dugdale.”

Over the next few years, John and Honora became parents to at least seven children. The first was Johanna, listed as baptised at Kapunda in November of 1864. At this stage, no death record has been found for this child but family stories suggest that she may have died away from home at about 6-8 years old. As with Irish naming traditions, the first daughter was named for the husband’s mother.

Thomas, as first born son in 1866 was named after John's father.  Andrew Joseph born in 1869 was named after Honora’s father and Catherine born in 1872 after her mother. Another son John, named for his father, was born in 1875, and daughters named Johanna in 1877 and Nora Mary in 1878 followed.  Life would have been busy for John and Honora and their young family. By the time Nora was born John was about 46. With brothers Thomas established on a farm at Manoora and Daniel farming land near Tarlee, John’s mother remained at Linwood with her eldest son. At age 75 Johanna died at the farm on February 1st, 1880.

Farm help was provided by John Rolfe. He was 35 years old and had been working on the Horgan farm for 17 years when he died suddenly in April of 1883. (4) John had lost his right-hand man and would have to have carried on. Thomas now 16, Andrew 14 and John at only 8 years old would all have helped. Catherine at 11 years old would have been busy helping her mother with household duties and assisting looking after the little girls who were five and six years old.

Imagine then their devastation when only a few weeks later John himself was struck down with pneumonia. He died on the 23rd June after only a few days illness. Honora and her six children were left to cope alone.
Horgan John 1883 funeral report

John’s death certificate records him as aged 48 but it is more likely that he was 50. The obituary record here states that he had been in the colony for 28 years but in fact he had arrived in November of 1852 so was in his 30th year in South Australia. The gravestone shown below records his age as 47. Whatever age he was, it was an early death with devastating consequences for his wife aged 42 and her young family.
Horgan John and Honora tombstones
Base of memorial to John and Honora Horgan
St John's, Kapunda, South Australia

Genealogy Snapshot

Name: John Horgan
Parents: Thomas Horgan and Johanna Fitzgerald
Spouse: Honora O'Leary

Relationship to Carmel: Great grandfather
  1. John Horgan 1832 - 1883
  2. Andrew Joseph Horgan 1869 - 1951
  3. Edward John Horgan 1908 - 1992
  4. Carmel
1. Seen on  different documents as Joan, Juliana (Latin) and Johanna Fitzgerald.
Catholic Parish Registers at the NLI, Killeentierna | Microfilm 04272 / 02, http://registers.nli.ie//registers/vtls000634281#page/37/mode/1up 

2. Irish pioneers of South Australia : the Fitzgeralds / compiled by Fitzgerald Book Committee under the direction of Matt Fitzgerald, 1986

3. SA passenger lists :1847 -1886 available at http://search.findmypast.com.au/record?id=anz%2fsouthaupassengerlists%2f135135

4. 1883 'Family Notices', Kapunda Herald (SA : 1878 - 1951), 17 April, p. 2. , viewed 03 Jun 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article106575206

This post first appeared on https://earlieryears.blogspot.com/2016/06/john-horgan-of-linwood.html

17 May 2016

Murphy's mixed message

Trove Tuesday

Found in Family Notices. What’s this?
Murphy's BDM notice

In 1901 a certain Ed. T. Murphy proprietor of the Clare Castle Hotel in Kapunda, South Australia, had decided to advertise his goods and services in a novel manner as attested by the text in the illustration. (1)

Did you notice his mistake? Yes, of course, marriage should come before death and somehow he has mixed up the headings….. or perhaps the proprietor of the newspaper was having a joke on him and deliberately switched the order.

Ah, the delights of text correction in Trove. I’ve been working through all the Family Notices in the Kapunda Herald over a period of about 18 months when this one popped up today to provide an entertaining variation.

On looking further into the exploits of Ed. T Murphy, he was not only a publican who had owned a variety of hotels in Adelaide but was a consistent correspondent to the newspapers of the day. He wrote letters about licensing laws, police appointments and football matches to mention but a few topics.

The Clare Castle Hotel, Kapunda

The Clare Castle Hotel situated at the southern end of Kapunda opened in 1859. It had suffered a series of reversals through the years leading up to its acquisition by Ed.T. Murphy. In 1862, the original licensee, James Glynn, was drowned in an accident while crossing the River Light to the Catholic church. He was washed away in a flood and his horse found dead the following morning. (2) His wife with several children to support, initially took over the licence. However, by the late 1860s, a number of applicants had been refused the licence.

It was finally granted to W. Slattery in March 1871 when he received the support of the local council who saw the need for a hotel at the southern end of the town.  A transfer of this licence was effected to G. Young in September 1882 followed by another transfer to M. McInherney in December of the same year. In May of 1886 the hotel was advertised:
HOTEL - FOR SALE, LEASE of SIX YEARS of CLARE CASTLE HOTEL, KAPUNDA- Doing a good business. Satisfactory reasons for leaving can be given. Application to Mrs. McInherney, Clare Castle Hotel, Kapunda. (3)
In July 1888, Mrs. McInherney's only son Patrick James died aged 16 and she disposed of the business. Her husband had died in 1875.

In 1889, James Battams was in charge of the hotel and by March 1891 Michael Fitzgerald had taken over the licence. His short-lived tenancy ended in September in the great depression of 1891. He was declared insolvent and the premises and all it contained were sold. (4)

By March of 1894 business had improved and the Licensing Bench had approved licences for the following 8 hotels in Kapunda:

The Globe Hotel, Sir John Franklin Hotel, Railway Hotel, Morning Star Hotel, Prince of Wales Hotel, Lord Palmerston Hotel, North Kapunda Hotel and the Clare Castle Hotel. Mary McInherney had re-obtained the licence for the Clare Castle. (5) She was compelled to relinquish the business about 1897/8 due to ill health and died in 1901 at age 53. (6)

View of Main Street Kapunda c 1900
Main Street of Kapunda.c 1900 The Lord Palmerston Hotel can be seen on the right of the photograph.
Further down the same side of the street, the North Kapunda Hotel
E. T. Murphy finally gained the licence to the Clare Castle Hotel in June of 1899 (7) and by March of the following year, he had been served a notice to carry out work on the hotel. All did not proceed smoothly with the licencing inspector detailing that a new seat must be installed in an outbuilding before the licence was renewed. (8) The work was undertaken and the business of the hotel proceeded. Perhaps his humour in the 1901 advertisement first mentioned, was not appreciated or his business took him elsewhere, as by June 1902 the licence had passed to yet another licensee. Edward Thomas Murphy died in August 1952 at age 84. An obituary details some of his hotel holdings. (9)

All this just from the correction of Family Notices. This led me down a long rabbit hole but provided an interesting glance into the state of the hotels of the time in Kapunda and the licencing laws that governed them.

Clare Castle Hotel, Main St, Kapunda - c. 2013
My Trove Tuesday posts are snippets found about families or the history of the local area. A first cousin twice removed, Denis Horgan, owned the North Kapunda hotel from 1912 - a story for another day.


1. 1901 'Family Notices', Kapunda Herald (SA : 1878 - 1951), 1 March, p. 2. , viewed 15 May 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108319477

2.  1862 'KAPUNDA.', South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900), 26 July, p. 3. , viewed 15 May 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article50164064

3. 1886 'Advertising', Kapunda Herald (SA : 1878 - 1951), 4 May, p. 2. , viewed 15 May 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article107359157

4. 1891 'Advertising', Kapunda Herald (SA : 1878 - 1951), 8 September, p. 2. , viewed 15 May 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108358346

5. 1894 'The Kapunda Herald', Kapunda Herald (SA : 1878 - 1951), 15 May, p. 2. , viewed 15 May 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108364443

6. 1901 'General News.', Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954), 15 February, p. 11. , viewed 15 May 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article166993129

7. 1899 'ADELAIDE LlCENSING BENCH.',Adelaide Observer (SA : 1843 - 1904), 17 June, p. 14. , viewed 15 May 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article162339593

8. 1900 'NOTES AND QUERIES.', South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900), 15 March, p. 7. , viewed 15 May 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article56548253

9. 1952 'OBITUARY EDWARD THOMAS MURPHY', Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954), 3 October, p. 14. , viewed 15 May 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article167085363

28 March 2016

A sign from the past

2016-03-12 16.12.02

A pause for reflection

This sign in The Science Museum in London reminded me of earlier years. We did not have this sign in our house but next to the black Bakelite telephone, similar to the one below, stood a money box. To make a phone call was a privilege not to be taken lightly and the 3-minute calls would be paid for with 6d. Calls to relatives were made on Christmas Day, booked in advance and time strictly monitored.

I took these photos with my mobile phone as I explored the floor in the Science museum that covered the development of communications from early telegraph transmissions to the latest in web developments. This led me to reflect on the many common articles from my childhood that have now been replaced by apps and functions on my mobile phone.

10 things my phone has replaced

2016-03-12 16.09.511. The Bakelite phone with its accompanying moneybox – now I can make calls from wherever there is mobile reception. From London I could speak to my husband in Australia using free wi-fi, no coins needed.

2.  Lists on paper - My mother continually wrote lists on the back of used envelopes, shopping lists, tasks to be done, reminder lists. We now receive very few letters through the post. Correspondence by email has replaced most bills and handwritten letters, so used envelopes are few. My lists are electronic with my phone sending me reminders. My email can be managed on my phone.

3 The calendar on the wall has been replaced by that on my phone, accessible on all the connected devices in our household.

4. The dictionary that was ever present for homework and constantly consulted to resolve Scrabble disputes has been superseded by easy access to web definitions. Now I can tap on the speaker symbol next to the word to hear its pronunciation.

5. Cameras and film – These were expensive items and used sparingly. I have very few photos of my childhood years but with my phone in hand, I have no need to remember to buy film for a special occasion or to post off the film to be developed. No longer do I need to print and pay for multiple copies of a photo. The photos taken can be simply shared through a link sent to friends and family via email or if I preferred, posted to a public space such as Facebook, Instagram or on one of a myriad of other sites such as the photos on this blog, viewable by anyone.

6. The street directory – This was housed in the car and studied carefully before a trip to the city. Now Google maps guides my way and shows me the direction I am travelling, estimated travelling time whether by car, public transport, cycling or walking. Gone are the days of trying to find that street which was always in the join between two pages.

7. The alarm clock – This needed winding to keep correct time and the loud insistent ring was sure to wake all the inhabitants of the house. The clock on the phone has an alarm, stopwatch, world time zones,  and timer. Gentle tones can coax one awake with recurring intervals set to awake the persistent sleeper.

8. The address book with a page or two for each letter of the alphabet – Every time someone moved house, the address was crossed out and the new one added above or below. Each year at Christmas time addresses were checked against incoming cards. Woe betide anyone with multiple families of relatives with the same surname, the pages filled rapidly.

9. The birthday book – This item kept track of important dates to be remembered each year. The friends, family, neighbours whose birthdays should be acknowledged were recorded with new babies names added as information was received.

10. The personal teledex – this stored commonly used numbers, next to the house phone. Now the address book, the birthday book and the teledex are all combined into one address book commonly referred to as the contacts list.  The telephone directory, those cumbersome big yellow tomes that were updated each year but often out of date by the time they were distributed, have been replaced with a simple web search.

These are just a few of the things from my earlier years that my phone has replaced. Now I just have to remember to have the battery fully charged!

25 March 2016

Origins and age at death

4 generation origins and longevity

The chart below shows where my ancestors were born and age at death. The 5th generation great- great grandparents will most likely have at least 30 of the 32 coloured green for Ireland but as their birth places have not yet been determined I have limited this chart to 4 generations. All of the great grandparents migrated to South Australia between 1840 and 1868 as children or young adults. All were married in South Australia and 7 of the 8 also died in South Australia. George Bennett is still an unsolved mystery.

Thanks to Jill and Alona for pointing out this activity.

22 February 2016

Worth recording

Family history has us looking backwards into previous generations but the birth of two grandchildren within the last 5 months has me looking forward to future generations. My parents Edward John Horgan and Hannah O'Dea would have been delighted to know they now have 69 living descendants. The newest of these descendants arrived in London on Saturday 20th February.

It is less than 80 years since my parents married in 1937, I look forward and wonder how many descendants they will have in another 80 years time. Will those descendants be able to find the stories of our families? How are you preserving your family's stories?

16 February 2016

What happened to George?

Lookinginto asplitLast week I wrote about great-grandparents George Bennett and Bridget Helen Kelly Following that post, I posed a query on the South Australia Genealogy Facebook group seeking advice on how to uncover death details for George. I was unable to determine, (via my subscription) which one or indeed whether any of the Georges listed in the SA Genealogy database was him. Several people jumped in to help and thanks to John Glistak’s eagle eye, I've now retrieved several articles from Trove that reveal more of this couple's life story.

After several moves, the birth of four, possibly five children and the marriage of the two daughters, George and Bridget's marriage of 28 years must have been under some strain. George was now about 53 and Bridget 52 years old. It appears that in 1915 George had left Bridget and was summonsed to court to pay maintenance.

George Bennett pleaded guilty to the charge of having deserted his wife on July 1 and with wilful neglect to provide maintenance for her and her child. Mr. R. H. Lathlean appeared for the complainant. He said that the defendant was an electrician at the Post Office. A separation order was granted, and he was ordered to pay £1 5/ a week for maintenance of the complainant and her child. She was granted the custody of the child.

From this, I gleaned his occupation as an electrician working for the Post Office and confirmed that the youngest son was still living with his mother, One month later the court is the scene of another ruling.

The second court appearance

BENNETT_George_1915_courtGeorge Bennett, electrician, was charged by his wife, Bridget Helen Bennett, with having failed to comply with a maintenance order made against him for the payment of £1 5/ per week for the support of his wife and child. Mr. G. S. Reed, representing Messrs. Holland & Lathlean, appeared for the informant, and Mr. C. M. Muirhead represented the defendant, who applied for a reduction of the order.
The defendant stated that his wife had five boarders in the house, and received £5 15/ per week. She lived in a house rent free. To Mr. Reed-The house in which his wife lived was being purchased on the time payment system, and the deposit of £20 was paid out of his money. The S.M. said the bench had the power to send the defendant to gaol, but seeing that he had been ill that course would not be adopted. No order was made in respect of the information, and the defendant's application for a reduction of the order was dismissed.

Once more in court

Did this settle the matter? It seems not to have been resolved with George still not paying maintenance. The third court appearance in October 1915 had more severe consequences for non-compliance.

George Bennett was charged with having failed to comply with an order for the maintenance of his wife, made under the Married Woman's Protection Act. Mr. E. H. Lathlean appeared for Mrs. Bennett and Mr. C. M. Muirhead for defendant. Mr. Kearney gave evidence that defendant owed £8 15/. The defendant also gave evidence. One month's imprisonment was ordered, the warrant to be held over for 14 days.

Did he serve the time or pay the costs? After reading these accounts, I now have a better understanding of why it has been difficult to trace him. My quest to find his date of death continues, but more importantly, some of the details of their story have been found.

9 February 2016

Restaurant on fire


A goldfields romance

Just a few days before the marriage of George Bennett and Bridget Helen Kelly in 1887, a fire broke out near Bennett’s restaurant in Teetulpa, South Australia.

Alluvial gold had been found at Teetulpa in 1886 and thousands of people flocked to the area to seek their fortune. Situated 85 km northeast of Peterborough in South Australia, life on the goldfield was difficult with limited water supplies. Typhoid had been common towards the end of 1886 with several deaths recorded. By February of 1887 it was estimated that the population was about 2500. (1)

Miners must eat and it appears the Bennetts had a restaurant. On the marriage certificate of George and Bridget Helen he is listed as a restaurant keeper aged 25. Was this his restaurant where the fire broke out on June 19th 1887? Luckily it appears that only “wearing apparel and bedding were consumed” but with the young couple’s wedding scheduled for the following Sunday, June 26th the loss may have been more significant than these few lines in the “South Australian Register” convey.

A fire took place near Bennett’s restaurant this evening. Only wearing apparel and bedding were consumed.

George aged 25, the son of George John Bennett and Bridget Helen aged 23, the daughter of Daniel Kelly, both residents of Teetulpa were married on 26th June 1887 by G Edward Young in “a building set apart in which to hold Church of England services.” The witnesses were Catherine Stevenson a nurse and Walter Moore a storeperson both of whom listed Teetulpa as their place of residence.(2)

In 1888 their first child Olive Mary Bennett was born and registered in the Broken Hill district of NSW. Perhaps George and Bridget had moved on to the mining fields at Silverton. At this stage I’ve been unable to locate the birth record of their second child, Georgina Ellen Bennett my maternal grandmother,(born about 1890-1) By 1892 another move has been made to Goodwood, Adelaide, South Australia where the birth of their son James George David Bennett on August 16 of that year is recorded. The next birth registered to the couple is that of Cecil Victor Bennett  born at Edithburgh, Yorke Peninsula, South Australia on 7 April 1902.

Marriages of the children

When Olive, now aged 19 married Daniel Casaretto in October of 1906, her parents George and Bridget Helen Bennett are listed as living at Edithburgh on Yorke Peninsula, South Australia.

Daniel’s casarettoparents were from Hamley Bridge.
Perhaps Mary Olive's younger sister Georgina accompanied her to Hamley Bridge. Less than a year later on September 11th 1907 Georgina married Patrick Joseph O’Dea of Hamley Bridge.

George and Bridget Helen Bennett were now living in Gawler, South Australia.

JamesBennettJames, at the age of 24 married Ethel Richards on January 20, 1917 at the Holy Cross Church at Goodwood in Adelaide. Tragedy was soon to follow. A scant nine months later James was visiting his sister Georgina, brother-in-law Patrick and their 5 children in Ngallo, Victoria when he was struck down with illness and died leaving his widow Ethel with a 2 month old son, Albert John Bennett (known in later life as Jacky).

His widow Ethel subsequently married Michael James O’Dea, Georgina’s brother-in-law on October 9,1918.

Cecil (known as Ron) married May Pike at the Holy Cross Church in Goodwood on April 10, 1926. (3)

Bridget Helen Bennett died aged 71 on May 15, 1934 at Lourdes Valley, Glen Osmond (4) and was buried in the Catholic cemetery at West Terrace in Adelaide on the following day.(5) At this stage I have been unable to determine where and when her husband, my great-grandfather George Bennett died. If you have any further information on this family, my contact details are on the About page of this blog.

Shoes, boots and the shop

Casaretto - When we were children our shoes were purchased at Casaretto's shoe shop in Hamley Bridge often after Sunday Mass. The shop owner, Stephen Casaretto was Daniel and Mary Olive's son, my mother's first cousin. It seemed to me as a child that the store was opened especially for us. I remember towers of boxes and the smell of leather, it was quite an Aladdin's cave for a child unused to shopping. What a delight it was to own a new pair of shoes when so many previous pairs had been handed on from older siblings.


The town of Yunta was established in 1887 as a result of the gold found at Teetulpa.
View of Teetulpa.
Inscription underneath the photograph states 'There was great excitement when, closely following the discovery of silver at Broken Hill, gold was found at Teetulpa in 1886. The extent of the activities of the gold-seekers is shown in this panaramic of the field, which has been kindly paced at our disposal by Mr R Heithersay of Peterborough'. The photograph shows hundreds of white canvas ridge tents spread out in the scrub at Teetulpa.
courtesy of State Library of South Australia

Perhaps George delivered pies to the miners.
1886 - The pie man photographed carrying the food in a tray balanced on top of his head as he goes on his round of the miners working on the gold field at Teetulpa, South Australia.

courtesy of State Library of SA
More historic images of Teetulpa.

Genealogy Snapshot

Name: George Bennett
Spouse: Bridget Helen Kelly

Relationship to Carmel: Great-grandparents
  1. George Bennett and Bridget Helen Kelly
  2. Georgina Ellen Bennett (O'DEA)
  3. Hannah Olive O'Dea (HORGAN)
  4. Carmel

1. 1887 'The North Australian.', North Australian (Darwin, NT : 1883 - 1889), 12 February, p. 2, viewed 10 February, 2016,http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article47996409

2. South Australian District marriage transcript.

3. 1926 'Family Notices.', Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954), 14 May, p. 12, viewed 10 February, 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article167756034

4. 1934 'Family Notices.', The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 - 1954), 16 May, p. 18, viewed 9 February, 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article47558739

5. 1934 'Advertising.', The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 - 1954), 16 May, p. 5, viewed 9 February, 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article47558483

2 February 2016

Celebrating 50th wedding anniversaries

In 1987 my parents Hannah O'Dea and Edward John Horgan celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a Mass and family gathering of their children and grandchildren. Many of the grandchildren in this photo now have children of their own.
50th wedding anniversary 1987
Fast forward to 2016 and during this next period of a month, two of Hannah and Eddie's children and their husbands celebrate their 50th wedding anniversaries. Congratulations, Bernadette and John, Monica and Ernest.

February 2nd 1966

One month later
March 1st 1966
Other wedding anniversaries amongst the siblings this year, two 48th anniversaries, two 45th anniversaries and one 38th. Happy days to all. Glad I don't still have that dress with the lace down the front of the bodice, and gloves, what was I thinking! Did we all wear them in 1966?