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Rediscovering Ginninderra:
Margaret Nugent Hatch

Born: 1834; Died: 1904; Married: William Hatch (senior)

Margaret Nugent Ryan was born on board the ship Lady Nugent anchored in the River Thames, England, before the ship set sail for the colonies on 4 December 1834. This accounts for her middle name. Her parents were John Ryan (son of Patrick Ryan and Jane nee Fitzpatrick) and Mary Maria Ryan (nee Torpy). John Ryan was born in Thurles, County Tipperary, Ireland about 1811 and worked as a labourer before enlisting in the 50th Queen's Own Regiment of Foot on 20 December 1830, his regimental number being 771.

On 17 November 1834 the 50th Regiment boarded the convict ship Lady Nugent to guard the 284 male prisoners during their voyage which ended on 9 April 1835. There is a story that some of the prisoners volunteered part of their water ration to assist in bathing baby Margaret Nugent Ryan.

Between June 1835 and June 1839, John Ryan was listed on the Muster Sheets as having been on guard first at Liverpool, then Berrima and lastly at Grose Farm. He was discharged in Sydney on 31 December 1840. The family then lived for some time at The Oaks and Gundaroo before settling in Queanbeyan. Margaret's mother, Mary Maria Ryan, was born about 1812 in Tipperary, the daughter of William Torpy, a gardener, and Margaret, formerly Gilfoy. Mary was 22 years of age when she married John Ryan in Dublin. She died suddenly at the age of 51, on 21 August 1863 in Queanbeyan. The verdict of the Coroner's Jury was: "Accidentally choked by a piece of meat she was attempting to swallow." Mary was buried in the Queanbeyan cemetery on 24 August 1863, witness being E. Walsh and Michael Torpy. John Ryan died on 24 August 1883 at the home of his daughter, Mary Ann Wall, at Queanbeyan. He was 72 years old had had been suffering from dropsy for 5 months.

John and Mary had 10 children, but only five survived infancy:

William and Margaret Hatch lived in Queanbeyan for a number of years after their marriage in 1854. One of their wedding gifts was an American-made clock which struck the hours and is now in the care of a great grand daughter, is still in working order. On the occasion of their 50th wedding anniversary in 1904 they were given an inscribed wooden biscuit barrel, also in the care of their great grand daughter.

Margaret died about 6am Sunday 20 November 1904 at Rosewood one month short of 70 years of age. She was buried in the Queanbeyan Cemetery, having had a cortege consisting of 28 sulkies, several buggies and a number of horsemen, according to one newspaper report, although another estimated upwards of 50 vehicles.
Her death was recorded by the Wizard in his 'Notes from Ginninderra with unfeigned regret at the rather unexpected demise of another old and highly esteemed resident of Ginninderra. For 43 years she had resided in the vicinity of Ginninderra where she was held in the highest esteem by all who knew her. Another newspaper article noted: Though within one month of her being 70 years of age, she was a hearty and lithe as many twenty years her junior, and a ten years' lease could have been taken of her life. Margaret and William had twelve children, six sons and six daughters, but of these, two sons died early, one in infancy and one in childhood. Their first five children were born in Queanbeyan and all but one of the younger seven were born at Rosewood in Ginninderra.

Related Photos


Warman, M. 1981. The Hatch Family in Australia: a Record of the Descendants of Robert and Mary Hatch, Who Came from Ireland and Settled in Southern NSW - 1828 to the Present Day. Privately published: Canberra.

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