skip to content

Rediscovering Ginninderra:
Ellen Read

Born: 1871; Died: 1962; Married: Maloney

Ellen  Read

Ellen 'Dolly' Maloney (1871- 1962) was born on 1 December 1871, to Robert (aka Robin) Maloney and Mary Walsh of 'Stone Hut' farm, Yass Road, Ainslie. She was the sister of Richard Maloney of 'Hillside', Yass Road, Ainslie.

Ellen was described as a good horsewoman in her younger years.

At the age of 24 Ellen Maloney married John Read (1868-1917) in Goulburn C of E.

John was the son of Hugh Read (1838–1894) from Tintinhull, England UK and Eliza (Elizabeth) Shumack (1840–1907) from Castletown Berehaven, Cork, Munster, Ireland.

Hugh arrived on 'Golconda' in 1857, and had married in 1862 to Eliza Shumack, the sister of his employer, who had arrived in Australia on the ship 'Lascar' on 11/11/1841.

John, or 'Jack', as he was better known, purchased the Old Canberra Inn on Yass Road and the land associated with it from his uncle John Shumack. This land was adjacent to Ellen's parents and brother, Richard Maloney who was married to John's sister Maggie Read.

John did not seek to have the Inn re-licensed but used it as his home. It later became known as 'The Pines' because of the large pine trees which had been planted around it The Read family evidently continued to operate the property as a farm as in 1898 John won a prize at the Agricultural show for his oat crop.

John was very active in the affairs of the district and was a keen sportsman. He undertook carrying work with his horse team and was well known for his farming activities.

John and Ellen had six children:

John died a comparatively young man on 18 December 1917 and is buried with his parents and sister in St. Johns cemetery.

Ellen survived him by many years and continued living at 'The Pines' with her sons. She died on 7 April 1962, aged 91 years and is buried in the catholic section of the Canberra cemetery.

Her sons Robert and Thomas lived with her intermittently during that time and helped her with the farm. Three of her other four children settled in the Canberra district. Jack Read built 'Strathnairn' homestead in 1924 and later owned the Royal Hotel in Braidwood.

After Ellen died in 1962 her two sons Robert and Thomas continued to live at The Pines, before Robert died in 1966 and Thomas in 1973.

In 1974 it was bought by the ACT Government who decided to restore it and convert it back to an Inn.

Related Photos

< Rediscovering Ginninderra