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Rediscovering Ginninderra:
Mary McAuliffe

Born: 1812; Died: 1898; Married: [McAuliffe]

Thomas and Mary McAuliffe and their six children, all born in Newmarket, Co Cork, arrived in Sydney as bounty immigrants aboard the Herald on 9 February 1845. The ship's records give the following details:

Thomas McAuliffe (Senior): Farm labourer age 43.
Native Place: Clonfert [a parish in North Co Cork]
Parents: Jeremiah and Ellen - father alive, living in Cork
State of bodily health, strength and probable usefulness: Good
Religion: RC
Read and write: both
Relatives in colony: Timothy McAuliffe, about 4yrs in colony, and Ellen Cronan, about same time.
Employer: R. Aldworth, Newmarket House.

The passenger list gives ages as follows: Thomas 43; Mary 33; Ellen 14; Margaret 11; Deborah 9; Mary 6; Flourence 4; Jeremiah 'infant'.

Mary's maiden name was also McAuliffe, and she appears to have been Thomas's cousin. She is listed on the ship's record as a dairymaid, also employed at Newmarket House. Her parents were both dead by the time she left Ireland, but her brother, also Thomas, corresponded with them from his home in Farrihy, northern Cork (Co).

On arrival, Thomas and Mary went to work for Rob Fitzgerald of Windsor, who had paid their bounty of 17 Guineas on a wage of £16 for 12 months, with rations for two. Eldest daughter Ellen was separately employed elsewhere. The family appears to have stayed in the Western Sydney area for some time; the next two children, Thomas and Bridget, were born in the Parramatta district, in 1847 and1849. The last child, Honora, was born in Yass (district) in 1853, so it can be assumed that the McAuliffes arrived here in the very early 1850s.

It is not clear precisely where Thomas and Mary lived in the district. By 1858 Thomas had purchased land near the Dungarvon Water Holes, and Mary's obituary reports she lived there for some time. Son Jeremiah was recorded after his father's death as from 'Springfield' and he then purchased part of the nearby Nanima Station, but it is not known if he inherited 'Springfield' from his father. Both Thomas' and Mary's death certificates give their place of death as Jeir, and Thomas' obituary refers to his death 'at his residence' with no further information. 'Jeir' is unlikely to refer to the property of the same name, as it was in the hands of the Johnston family throughout this period.

Thomas predeceased Mary by twenty years. On his death the Queanbeyan Age of 30 Nov 1878 noted:

'Death of Mr T. McAuliffe of Jeir.
Mr Thomas McAuliffe of Jeir, for many years a resident of the Queanbeyan district, father of Mrs. Margaret Lee and Mr. F. McAuliffe, blacksmith, died suddenly at his residence on Thursday morning last. The deceased, who was generally and deservedly respected, appeared to be in the enjoyment of good health up to the time of his death.

On Mary's death, the Goulburn Evening Penny Post of 3 Sep 1898 reported:

'The death of Mrs. McAuliffe, of Jeir, at the advanced age of 87 years, briefly noticed in your issue of Thursday last, adds another to the long list of old residents of this and the adjoining localities who have passed away within the last few years.
Before going to reside at Jeir, the deceased with her late husband, who died some few years ago, resided for several years at Dungarvon in the vicinity of Gininderra, where they were held in the highest esteem by all classes of the community. The late Mrs. McAuliffe leaves a large family of respectable married sons and daughters besides a host of grandchildren. The remains of the venerable old lady were interred in the R.C. Cemetery at Queanbeyan on Tuesday last.'

Thomas and Mary are buried at the Queanbeyan Riverside Pioneer Cemetery
Their headstone reads:

'Thomas McAuliffe
who died Nov 27 1878
aged 80 years
Requisat in pace
Mary McAuliffe
who died Aug 20 1898
aged 87 years
May her soul rest in peace

Related Photos


[contributed by Meryl Stanton]

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