11 February 2018

Relations in religion

This is one of a series of posts about a range of relatives who entered Catholic religious life. These men and women only have relatives or their communities to recall and remember their lives as they have no direct descendants.

During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries it was not uncommon and indeed sometimes expected that at least one child in a Catholic family should pursue a religious life either as a priest, brother or nun. A wide variety of religious orders both male and female were dedicated to providing Catholic education and training for both children and adults. Some orders specialised in the care of the sick and elderly. When few records can found for a female relative I have found it useful to look for their presence in a religious community. The choice of religious order or community often came down to geographical circumstance, the influence of a bishop or a particular religious order in a region.

This post is a list that addresses only the known, deceased relatives who lived in Australia. Further detail will be provided in subsequent posts.

The SMYTH line

  • John Smyth 1824 –1870 priest, administrator and Vicar–General of Adelaide diocese: brother to Edward Smyth, my great-grandfather
  • Mary Smyth 1878 – 1960 Sister Mary Catherine: Sisters of Mercy in Perth,  daughter of James Smyth and Catherine Mulvaney elder sister of Francis below, first cousin twice removed
  • Francis Smyth 1884 –1955 – Parish priest:  first cousin of a grandmother,  my first cousin twice removed, son of James Smyth and Catherine Mulvaney
  • Ann Elizabeth Callery 1899 – 1981 Sister Mary Patricia: Sisters of Mercy, Perth, my father’s first cousin, my first cousin once removed, daughter of John Callery and Catherine Teresa Smyth
  • Edward John Smyth 1905-1978 – Parish priest: my father’s first cousin, my first cousin once removed, son of Francis John Smyth and Catherine Mary Fitzgerald
  • Margaret Byrne 1903 - 1980  Sister Mary Rose: Order of the Sisters of St Joseph: my father’s first cousin, my first cousin once removed daughter of James Leo Byrne and Margaret Smyth
  • Elizabeth Byrne 1911 – 2001 Sister Mary Raphael: Order of the Sisters of St Joseph, my father’s first cousin, my first cousin once removed daughter of James Leo Byrne and Margaret Smyth


  • Ellen O’Leary 1845 –1908 Sister Aloysius, Order of the Sisters of St Joseph nun: great grandmother’s sister
  • Johanna Horgan 1883 –1979 Sister Stanislaus: Dominican nun, first cousin twice removed, daughter of Thomas Horgan and Mary Carroll
  • Peter Maurice Horgan 1890 – 1950 parish priest: first cousin twice removed, son of Daniel Horgan and Julia Evans
  • Joan Therese Horgan 1909 – 1994 Sister Joan:  Dominican nun, second cousin once removed, daughter of Thomas James Horgan and Margaret Anne Dempsey
  • Phoebe Horgan 1912 –2012 Sister Alphonsus: Dominican nun, second cousin once removed, daughter of Daniel Horgan and Lillie May McCarthy
  • James E Horgan 1914 – 1946  priest of the Redemptorist order: second cousin once removed, son of Denis Joseph Horgan and Laura Maria Worthington
  • Mary Elizabeth Hogan 1908  –1975 Member of the sisters of the Little Company of Mary: (Calvary Hospital, North Adelaide)second cousin once removed daughter of Timothy Thomas Hogan and Elizabeth Mary Kerin
  • Elizabeth Ann Hogan 1914 –1973 Sister Peter: Loreto nun, second cousin once removed daughter of Timothy Thomas Hogan and Elizabeth Mary Kerin
  • Thomas Erwin Horgan 1915 – 2002 priest: second cousin once removed son of Thomas James Horgan and Margaret Anne Dempsey
  • Lillian Veronica Horgan 1917 –2003 Sister Vianney, Dominican nun for early years of her life, second cousin once removed, daughter of Daniel Horgan and Lillie May McCarthy, my music teacher in the late 1960s at Cabra Dominican Convent
  • Mary Dominica Slattery 1917 -2018 Sr Mary Carmel, Dominican nun, second cousin once removed, daughter of William John Slattery and Katherine Gertrude Horgan
  • Thomas Barry Horgan 1925 – 2009 Member of the Marist order known as  Brother Godric, second cousin once removed, son of John Michael Horgan and Mary Ann Barry

9 January 2018

The vocation of music teachers

One hundred years ago in the small town of Mintaro, South Australia, a talented family of musicians was being nurtured by Daniel Horgan and Lillie May McCarthy.

Daniel and Lillie had married in February of 1910 and their first daughter, Mary Carroll, named after her paternal grandmother was born at the end of 1910. In 1912 they named their second daughter Phoebe. Sons William Thomas and Daniel James were born in 1914 and 1916. Lillian Veronica was the youngest child born in 1917. 

Daniel, their father, had come from a large family of eight children and one of his sisters, Johanna, had entered the Dominican Convent of Cabra in Adelaide in 1907 taking the name Sister Mary Stanislaus at her profession of vows in 1908. (1)

This was the start of a tradition of girls entering the convent and would have played a strong part in influencing the choices made by the Horgans’ younger daughters Phoebe and Lillian. A long association of Horgan girls with the Dominican Convent at Cabra was well underway.

Phoebe Horgan

In 1922 the earliest mention of Phoebe in Trove, is of her attendance at St Joseph’s School at Spalding. This was only the second year of the school’s existence but several of the pupils were already showing promise with success in music and other exams. Phoebe and her elder sister Mary are mentioned in the school reports in 1923 and 1924. In March of 1926 Phoebe attained a high distinction in pianoforte. (2) By January of 1927 she had received her QC (Qualifying Certificate) along with a bronze medal for her Honors results in the London College of Music exams and Distinction in the Associated Board of Music Exams Intermediate division. (3)

In January of 1927 tragedy struck when Lillie May Horgan died at only 40 years old.(4) Mary, Phoebe’s elder sister who was now only 16 would had to have taken on the household duties.

Phoebe’s musical success continued and she obtained her Diploma in 1928. There  are several mentions in the newspapers of the day of her entertaining the public at concerts and fundraising occasions in towns around Manoora.

In 1929 she was a pupil at Cabra and along with a first cousin Catherine Horgan, obtained credits for her A.Mus.A.
HorganPhoebe_1928music awardIn the 1930 end of year report from Cabra Dominican convent in Adelaide, it is noted that among the former pupils:

Phoebe Horgan is doing very well as a teacher of piano and theory, and her pupils gained many honors and credits in the recent music examinations. (5)

In this same report her first cousins, Catherine and Maimie Horgan are also mentioned as previous scholars whose studies at the Conservatorium were progressing well.

Phoebe entered the Dominican order of nuns as Sister Alphonsus in 1932 one year after another of her first cousins, Joan Therese Horgan had professed her vows as Sister Joan.

Phoebe, Sr Alphonsus as she was known, then taught music and singing for many years. When I attended Cabra in the mid 1960s she was teaching music to the next generation of Horgans.

Did I realise these nuns were second cousins once removed? No, my father had of course mentioned that some of the nuns were related to him, but my lack of interest in family history as a teenager meant that I did not make the connection. Sister Alphonsus did however, encourage my music studies which I continued on after school for a couple of years at Flinders University under Dr Robert Illing.
She died in 2012 after a long illustrious career and was well remembered with these words.
HORGAN, Sr. M Alphonsus OP,  OAM. 
Sister Mary Alphonsus died peacefully at  Tappeiner Court Nursing Home, on Wednesday, April 25, 2012.
An inspirational musician and choral director, she will be lovingly remembered by her Dominican Sisters, her family and friends and the countless students with whom she shared the wonders of music. We extend our grateful thanks to all who cared for her so lovingly at Tappeiner Court. Christ loves you; into whose graces you have entered whose melodious music charms you.
An extensive obituary celebrating her life and contributions to music education appeared in The Southern Cross newspaper in 2012 and is available under the banner Gifted Musician and Teacher on page 23.

Lillian Veronica Horgan


Phoebe’s younger sister Lillian Veronica, followed in her footsteps for many years. As a talented pianist at the age of 16,  she was awarded a three year scholarship in 1933 to the Elder Conservatorium in Adelaide.

Miss Lillian Veronica Horgan (pianoforte), who has been a pupil of the Dominican Convent for the past four years, has been awarded one of the three Elder scholarships, recommended by the examiners (Dr. E. Harold Davies and.Mr. H. Brewster-Jones), by the Council of the University of Adelaide. Each scholarship is tenable for three years at the Elder Conservatorium. Mr. Brewster-Jones said that Miss Horgan has every requirement that a pianist needed, such as muscular elasticity, natural technical facility, and a musical quality in her playing. She was an earnest and enthusiastic young pianist. " I predict a very successful future for her," he added. (8)

By the end of 1939 Lillian had gained her licentiate in Music had added a teaching diploma to her qualifications. At this stage she was teaching piano at Cabra.  As Sister Mary Vianney O.P. she became choir mistress and in 1951 took a winning junior choir from the Franklin Street Dominican convent to Melbourne to participate in a jubilee festival.(9) Her sister Mary also went with them. Lillian, as Sister Vianney in the 1960s, also taught me music for a couple of years. She later left the convent and died in July 2003.

Mary Caroll Horgan the elder sister died at age 65 in 1975. The brothers, William Thomas Horgan died in 2000 and Daniel James Horgan died in 1993.

Thanks are due to these two sisters, Phoebe and Lillian Horgan, for introducing me to classical music, honing some poor singing skills, taking me to symphony concerts and my first opera, and for fostering what has become a lifelong interest.

A list of other Dominican nuns with details of the Order’s arrival in South Australia is available at this list in Trove.

Other HORGAN nuns mentioned above

Joan Therese - Sister Mary Joan HORGAN: 1909 – 1994  (2nd cousin once removed)
Daughter of Thomas HORGAN and Margaret Anne nee DEMPSEY
Professed Vows 19 January 1931

Johanna - Sister Mary Stanislaus HORGAN: 1883 –1978  (1st cousin twice removed)Daughter of Thomas HORGAN and Mary CAROLL
Professed Vows 16 October 1908

1. 1908 'Profession at Cabra.', Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954), 23 October, p. 11. , viewed 09 Jan 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article166973318
2. 1926 'SPALDING CENTRE.', The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929), 9 March, p. 6. , viewed 10 Jun 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article55025877
3. 1927 'Examination Results Of Sister of St. Joseph's Schools for 1926', Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954), 28 January, p. 16. , viewed 10 Jun 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article167800939
4. 1927 'Family Notices', News (Adelaide, SA : 1923 - 1954), 25 January, p. 14. (HOME EDITION), viewed 10 Jun 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article129203170
5. 1930 'St. Mary's Dominican College, Cabra.', Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954), 19 December, p. 5. , viewed 10 Jun 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article167051831
6. 2012 'Deaths', The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA 1954-), 27 April, p 97, viewed 3 May 2017.
7. 1933 'Today's Pictures of Elder Scholarship Winners', News (Adelaide, SA : 1923 - 1954), 29 November, p. 1. , viewed 06 Jun 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article128478099
1933 'PERSONAL', Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954), 1 December, p. 14. , viewed 10 Jan 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article167699331
8. 1939 'St. Mary's Dominican College, Cabra, Clarence Park', Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954), 15 December, p. 4. , viewed 08 Jun 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article167763312
9. 1951 'They Flew and Sang', Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954), 28 September, p. 10. , viewed 10 Jan 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article167736143

22 December 2017

Of Christmas past and present

It is the time of year when one reflects on Christmases past and enjoys the pleasures of the present season.

Childhood Christmas in the 1950s and early 60s

  • Christmas Eve – decorating the tree – always fresh, cut from the scrub paddock
  • Midnight Mass with lusty carol singing
  • spotting Father Christmas’s (never Santa) sleigh in the sky returning home in the darkness
  • a fresh ham sandwich before bed
  • morning excitement, Father Christmas presents found in the lounge room
  • fresh cherries for nibbles
  • gathering of large family around the Christmas tree once the turkey and vegetables were in the oven,  distribution of small but multiple presents
  • middle of the day – hot Christmas meal, home grown, stuffed and roasted turkey, roast potatoes and pumpkin with a green vegetable usually peas or beans, treat was a fizzy drink – lemonade or creaming soda, in later years a sparkling wine
  • hot plum pudding with lashings of fresh thick cream from the farm cows

Christmas as a couple in the 1970s

  • alternate years between parents
  • celebrations with friends
  • 1975 Toowoomba, Qld - Christmas in our first-purchased home
  • 1977 husband in Antarctica, self, long drive to South Australia to visit parents
  • 1979 Christmas UN in Srinagar, Kashmir -  ice and snow

Family times 1980 – 2000

  • writing the Christmas holiday newsletter to send to all family and friends
  • children’s Christmases, school celebrations
  • some years with parents-in-law
  • Canberra Christmases, carols by the lake
  • camping at Burrill Lake, NSW, boats, swimming and fishing
1997 Christmas Day, high above Tignes, France

  • 1997-2000 Christmas parties in Matilda’s, Australian Embassy, France
  • 1997 skiing at Tignes, France -  a fondue Christmas
  • 1998 Parisian style - apartment full of Australian visitors
  • 1999 International Women’s Group cookie exchange chez nous, Christmas week skiing at Val Thorens, France
  • 2000 Freezing in New York, abandoning the Christmas Day walk in Central Park
International Women's Group Christmas cookie exchange hosted at
15 rue de la Federation, Paris 1999

Empty nesters

  • 2001 –2011 Sydneysiders
  • Celebrations with adult children
  • Family visits
  • Boxing Day on the harbour
Boxing Day on Sydney Harbour

Retiring times

  • Street party celebration
  • Community groups gatherings
  • Alternate years – offspring and grandchildren’s visits
  • BBQs, mangoes and ice-cream treats
  • Ride bikes to the beach in the morning return home to a seafood salad beside the pool
The next generation - unwrapping Christmas 2016
Have you created a timeline of Christmases of the past?

13 December 2017

Place names - A personal reflection

Nomen what? Nomenclature

That’s the devising and choosing of names and answers the question - Where did that place name originate?

While investigating our family histories I’ve found that so many of my forebears came from a geographically small area and so the recurrence of place names is frequent in birth, marriage and death notices. But what was the source, the origin of those place names?

I’ve returned to one of my favourite sources of information to get some early views on the origins of the place names below: Trove’s digitised newspapers.

In 1908 during the months of May, June and July, The Register newspaper published a series of twenty eight posts under the heading Nomenclature of South Australia. These articles were researched and written by Rodney Cockburn. This series engendered a wide range of discussion in the form of letters to the editor. Whilst reference to many of these places can be found in earlier versions of newspapers, these snippets of information provide a rich, albeit sometimes inaccurate background, to the origin of many South Australian place names.

By August of 1908 The Register had announced that the series of articles would be republished in book form which was then advertised in November of the same year for the sum of 3/6d or 3/10d via post. The book contained revisions and corrections from the original posts. Discussions continued in the newspapers. Writers discussed the practice of adopting names from European countries,  debated the appropriateness of naming places after early settlers, officials, their wives and children and some emphasised the desirability of using more of the pre-existing Aboriginal place names.

More recent research in the 1980s and 1990s on South Australian place names, was conducted and published by Geoffrey Manning.  The 2012 edition of his work, A Compendium of the Place Names of South Australia, is freely available. This more scholarly work pays tribute to those previous recorders of the place names of South Australia and expands on place names and corrects the misattributions.

So from a combination of these sources and the South Australian State Gazetteer here are some of the meanings of the names of places of significance in my family’s history. I have limited the list to South Australian places for the sake of my readers’ patience!

On the banks of the River Alma in the Crimea the allies gained their first victory in 1854. The name comes from a Tartar word meaning 'apple tree.’ Manning: 2012
The Hundred of Alma was surveyed in 1855 and proclaimed in 1856.

By the time my father Edward John Horgan and his siblings Honora Mary and Joseph Andrew were born in the early 1900s a vibrant community of farmers had grown up around the early established Christian churches. Their days at Alma South School are recalled in A building with memories. After my parents’ marriage in 1937 they lived on the family farm at Alma.

Hamley Bridge
—Break of Gauge. —
Hamley Bridge reminds us of Lieut. Col. F. G. Hamley, Acting Governor, of South Australia from February 20, 1868, to February 15, 1869. That was the interregnum between Sir Dominic Daly's death and the arrival of his successor. Sir James Fergusson.  Lieut Col. Hamley was the senior officer in command of Her Majesty's forces in South Australia at the time of Governor Daly's death. He opened the bridge, which, together with the township, bears his name. Cockburn: Part 12
This was a typical entry in the Cockburn work, a heading to break up the long list of names and a concise paragraph to convey maximum information in a few words. Here is an account of the laying of the foundation stone by Mrs Hamley. The bridge was essential for the continuance of the railway network.

My O’Dea great grandparents, John O’Dea and Maria Crowley had retired from farming at Pinkerton Plains to Hamley Bridge from where grandfather Patrick met and married grandmother Georgina Bennett.  After Patrick’s  death in Pinnaroo, Georgina returned to Hamley Bridge with her six youngsters and my mother Hannah lived there until her marriage in the Hamley Bridge Catholic church in 1937.

Humphrey’s Springs
Humphrey's Springs, a mile and a half east of the little postal town of Alma, take their name from James Humphrey. They are on country which, was held by him for pastoral purposes in 1842. Cockburn: Part 13
My paternal grandmother, Elizabeth Smyth, was born at Humphrey’s Springs.


“That’s when someone put their cap under a cow or goat when they wanted to get a quick drink”  Capunder – how long did I believe this as a child? Did it come from my father or brother?  I cannot be sure. Needless to say it does not appear in any study of place names, another childhood belief debunked!
Kapunda - A corruption of the Aboriginal cappieoonda - ‘jumping water’, probably related to a spring, supplying the town of Kapunda when it was laid out in 1844; another source asserts that it means ‘place of smoke’ and, in an interesting article on nomenclature in 1921, Mr N.A. Webb suggests the name is derived from the Aboriginal kappaunga - ‘the locality of the quail’; further, it has been recorded that Charles Hervey Bagot took up land in the area which he called kunangga derived from ku – ‘shelter’ and nangga – ‘good’ Manning: 2012
My O’Dea forbears came to Kapunda in 1854 and spent some years as carters before taking up land in 1863 at Pinkerton Plains. Gt-gt grandmother Johanna (Fitzgerald) Horgan, gt-grandfather John Horgan and his wife gt-grandmother Honora O’Leary and four of their children are all buried at St John’s near Kapunda.


Under the subheading Crumbs of nomenclature, Cockburn often included single sentences where limited information was available. With this entry he summed up:
Navan, a township of the past between Riverton and Tarlee, is after the Navan in County Meath, Ireland . Cockburn: Part 19
Indeed he could not have foreseen that the Navan of 2017 is but a small chapel and graveyard. At this place my parents, Horgan grandparents and many other relatives from the past, occupy the now hallowed ground.

My great grandfather’s brother, John Smyth, attended the seminary at Navan in County Meath and after he arrived in Australia he became the Vicar-General of the Catholic church in South Australia until his early death in 1870. Some members of that Smyth family, my father’s first cousins Fr. Edward Smyth and his sister Mary are also buried at this Navan.

Pinkerton Plains
William Pinkerton who arrived in the Rajahstan in 1838 and took out an occupation licence on the River Light on 15 August 1844. Manning :2012
Sometimes listed as Pinkerton’s Plains, Pinkerton Flat and previously confused with an area near Quorn in the Hundred of Pichi Richi.

At this Pinkerton Plains between Wasleys and Hamley Bridge,  the O’Deas farmed. Paternal gt-grandparents Smyth, and maternal gt-grandparents O’Dea are buried in the old Catholic cemetery of St Benedict’s at Pinkerton Plains.

—A Big Man.—
Pinnaroo is a native word used to express "big man." Curiously enough, it runs through the vocabularies of nearly all the tribes north or south. John McKinlay, the explorer, was dubbed 'Pinnaroo wildra' by the blacks — meaning "big man with a cart'' Cockburn: Part 20
In 1911 grandparents Patrick O’Dea and Georgina Bennett moved to Ngallo, Victoria just over the border from Pinnaroo. My mother was born in Pinnaroo in  1912. Patrick was a victim of the 1919 influenza epidemic and died in a private hospital there.

In an unpublished history, Mrs R.B. Scholefield said that ‘James Masters came to the Gilbert Valley… accompanied by Charles Swinden, Dr Matthew Moorhouse and John Jubb Horner’: (See Washington Gardens) In connection with the naming of Riverton I quote from a letter from the late Gilbert Horner, a grandson of J.J. Horner: ‘My grandfather often told us he named the town… Mr Masters remarked that the Surveyor General had written and announced his intention of laying out a new town… and asked for a name to be recommended. “What about calling it Hornertown?”, suggested Mr Masters. My grandfather, however, would not consent and said, “Call it after this little river”. ‘So the name of “Gilberton” was sent in [and refused] because the name had already been chosen [for an Adelaide suburb]. Mr Masters then called on Mr Horner and again suggested Hornertown [to which he replied] “If they will not accept Gilberton, call it Riverton”.’John Jubb Horner was both the first flour miller and postmaster in the Gilbert Valley. Manning: 2012
Many of my McInerney relatives have lived in and around Riverton for many years. For my last three years of primary school I attended the convent school run by the Mercy nuns of South Australia. Both of my parents died in the Soldiers Memorial Riverton Hospital.

—A Governor's Cousin.—
Snowtown derives its name from Thomas Snow, M.A., Private Secretary to Governor Jervois. The Snows, two of whom were out here, were cousins of His Excellency. Cockburn: Part 22
After the sale of the Alma farm at the end of 1939 my parents moved to Snowtown with their first child. Their stay lasted only 2 years and a return to the Horgan farm south of Tarlee was effected after grandfather Andrew’s two brothers died in 1941 and 1942.

Stockport was laid out in 1856. The section on which the town stands was originally held by Samuel Stocks, jun., of Stockport, England who died in 1847. Cockburn: Part 23
There goes another childhood belief. There were pens and races for loading cattle and sheep (the stock) onto the trains at the Stockport railway yards so an assumption that the name came from that practice could possibly be viewed as a natural progression.
The old Stockport station
Stockport loomed large in my five years at boarding school. It was the station where we boarded the train bound to Adelaide and where Dad would meet us on that one “free” weekend a term as well as at the end of each term.

- The town is situated 38 kilometres north of Gawler. Land in the area was held first under occupation licence by George A. Anstey in 1845, while sections adjacent to the present day town were taken up by Messrs E. Prescott, James Lewis, P. Conway and Thomas Colbert in 1866. By 1868, section 987 was owned by Edward Prescott (1829-1910) which he subdivided into 85 allotments ‘adjoining the terminus of the Roseworthy and Forresters Railway… being the very nucleus of the lines of northern traffic…’ The auction was advertised to take place at the ‘Forresters’ Hotel at Gilberton (sic) on 15 June 1868. (See Gilbert Town) 
Of significance is the fact that Prescott named one of the streets ‘Oldham’ and, in August 1869, when an extension was made to the town, all lots (nos. 86-118) were purchased by Nathaniel Oldham. 

These facts suggest a close friendship between Prescott and Oldham who had a family connection with Ireland and, therefore, it may have transpired that Oldham suggested the name ‘Tralee’ to Prescott who, as an expatriate Englishman, corrupted it to ‘Tarlee’. 

To give further credence to the ‘Irish influence’ Prescott named another Tarlee street ‘Hallet’ (sic) and John Hallett was a co-subdivider of nearby’ Navan’, also a town in Ireland, that is in close proximity to ‘Tralee’. The ancient name of Tralee in Ireland was Traleigh - ‘the strand [shore] of leigh’ and derived from its situation from the point at which the River Leigh discharges itself into the broad sandy bay of Tralee. 

Rodney Cockburn says that, in 1908, Mr J.O. Taylor asserted that it was a contraction of the Aboriginal word tarralee and referred anyone in doubt to Mr Prescott who laid out part of his farm as the town of Tarlee. However, he preferred the following explanation: Tarlee is a name which has given considerable trouble in tracing. It is believed to be a misspelling of Tralee, the chief town in County Kerry, Ireland. ‘Tra’ is Irish for ‘strand’ or ‘beach’ and the Irish Tralee is built on the River Lee [sic] and the tide goes up as far as the town. There is a popular ballad entitled ‘The Rose of Tralee’… Navan and Tralee are close to one another in Ireland and so are Navan and Tarlee in South Australia, which gives colour to the suggested derivation of the latter.
In May 1869, the village was described as comprising ‘an inn, blacksmith’s shop and Methodist Chapel.’ Manning: 2012
About 7.5 km south of Tarlee my Horgan ancestors from County Kerry, Ireland took up farming in 1858. My parents returned to this farm from Snowtown in 1942 and it was here that I spent my childhood.

These are just a few of the place names in our family history. If you are interested to know more about South Australian place names the references below provide a wealth of detail.


A Brief History of South Australian Nomenclature and an Analysis of Perpetuated Myths - 1893-1990 – (An address given by Geoffrey H. Manning at the Family History Award Dinner of the SA Genealogy and Heraldry Society on 23 June 1990) accessed 11 Dec. 2017

Manning, Geoffrey A Compendium of the Place Names of South Australia rev. ed.  2012 – originally published as The place names of our land: a South Australian anthology, Modbury, South Australia : Gould Genealogy & History, 2010 accessed 11 Dec. 2017

Nomenclature of South Australia This Trove list compiles the posts written by Rodney Cockburn in 1908 related to the place names of South Australia

South Australian Gazetteer roads and place name search
1908 'Advertising', The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929), 18 November, p. 4. , viewed 11 Dec 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article56998197

15 October 2017

Is your Kain here?

Guests at the golden wedding celebration

On the veranda at “Clare Villa” in Hamley Bridge, South Australia, this family group gathered for a photo on the occasion of John and Maria O’Dea’s golden wedding anniversary.

The winter chill of early August 1913 did not dampen the spirits as the reports in the newspapers of the day record. The newspapers report the date of August 8th however having determined that August 8 was a Friday in 1913 it could be that this photo was taken after Sunday Mass on August 10, 1913. All are dressed in Sunday best clothes and that would have been a non working day for the farmers and others in the group – a suitable day for a celebration.

Original photo on black card
But who were all the characters in this photo and where did they fit in the lives of the elderly couple? I’ve been spurred into action by a recent comment on my blog from a Kain descendant and indeed many of the folks pictured above are Kains, my mother’s uncle and aunt and her first cousins.

The photo is badly damaged and while I revisited the photo and attempted to improve it by retouching and repairing with limited photo-shopping skills, the wise folks on a genealogy Facebook group pointed me toward the Rootschat photo restoration group. Within 24  hours of uploading the photo I now have several improved versions thanks to those generous volunteers.

Odea_JohnandMaria_1913GoldenWedding By Rami_loord74
photo enhancements by Rami_loord74
Back row - left to right, with relationship to John and Maria O’Dea my maternal great grandparents 

Peter Paul Kain:  born 30 Jun 1899 – died 27 Mar 1939, grandson, parents Bridget and Colman.  It appears that Peter never married and died at Parkside in Adelaide. His friends were notified in the newspaper that his private funeral had been held the day after his death. (1)

Michael James Kain: 15 May 1898 – 14 May 1920, grandson, parents Bridget and Colman (2) A life cut short by appendicitis

Patrick Joseph O’Dea: 18 Oct 1877 – 8 August 1919, son, my maternal grandfather An early death, victim of the influenza epidemic of 1919.

Martin Kain: 5 August 1894  – 7 Oct 1940, grandson, parents Bridget and Colman
In 1916 just before his 22nd birthday Martin volunteered for the AIF. By January of 1917 he was in France with the 32nd battalion. He was wounded in battle in October 1917 resulting in the amputation of his lower left leg. After three months in hospital in England he was shipped home and disembarked back in Adelaide in March 1918.(3) Martin’s service records are available on the National Archives of Australia site.  A few weeks after his return he married Bertha Hilda May Meacham in Adelaide on 27 April 1918.

Michael James O’Dea: 3 April 1881 – 25 Jan 1962, son.

Thomas Kain: 22 Dec 1891 – 13 October 1964, eldest grandson, parents Bridget and Colman

Colman Joseph  Kain; c.1860 – 22 Jan 1932, son-in-law, husband of Bridget O’Dea and father of six sons and and one daughter. He was the youngest son of  Martin and Catherine Kain, born in South Australia 3 years after their arrival on the ship ”Lady Ann.” He married Bridget in February of 1891.

Patrick Kain: perhaps a cousin but unknown at this stage. As far as I am able to ascertain, Bridget and Colman Kain did not have a son named Patrick. The missing son of Bridget and Colman is John Francis Kain: 11 May 1896 – 20 Aug 1956 unless the names written under the photo are incorrect. They were added many years later. I would be pleased to hear from anyone who may be able to resolve this anomaly, perhaps another descendant has this photo with the names.

Odea_JohnandMaria_1913GoldenWedding_McGroger sepia)
photo enhancements by McGroger - sepia version
Middle row left to right, with relationship to John and Maria O’Dea

Margaret O’Dea: 13 Dec 1865 – 1 Mar 1930, daughter. She remained unmarried and cared for her parents until their deaths.

Maria O’Dea (born Crowley) c.1841 – 21 Sept 1929 the matriarch with bouquet of flowers. Maria arrived in Melbourne of the “Henry Fernie” in 1862.

Hannah Teresa O’Dea: 1869 – 8 September 1943, daughter. She remained unmarried and cared for her parents until their deaths

John O’Dea: c. 1834 - 26 Jan 1922 the patriarch  John arrived in South Australia with his parents aboard the “Time and Truth” in 1854.

Bridget Kain (born O’Dea) 1864 – 20 Sept 1936, daughter. Wife of Colman Kain, mother of six sons and one daughter
photo enhancements by ymfoster

Front row left to right, with relationship to John and Maria O’Dea

Mary Ellen O’Dea: 1 June 1908 – 16 December 1988 granddaughter (father -  Patrick O’Dea back row) My mother’s eldest sister who must have travelled up with her father Patrick and uncle Michael from the block at Ngallo, Victoria where her parents had moved to in 1911. The handwriting on the photo notes her married name of Conley so these names were added to the photo sometime after 1933 more than 20 years after this event took place.

James Benedict Kain: 17 May 1904 – 13 Jan 1977 grandson, parents Bridget and Colman

Maria Immaculate Kain: 2 July 1901 – 12 November 1928 granddaughter, parents Bridget and Colman. Another early death at only 27 years old. (4)

List of 50 found articles in Trove about the Families of Bridget O'Dea and Col[e]man Kain


1. KAIN.—THE FRIENDS of the late Mr. PETER PAUL KAIN, formerly of Hamley Bridge, are respectfully informed that his Remains were peacefully laid to rest privately on TUESDAY, 28th inst., in the West Terrace Catholic Cemetery. Rev. Father T. Moore officiated.
1939 'Advertising', The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 - 1954), 29 March, p. 16. , viewed 15 Oct 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article49800344

2. Death of Michael James Kain -  May 1920
Quite a gloom was cast over the town [ Hamley Bridge] on Friday afternoon, when news was received from Wallaroo that M. Kain, fourth son of Mr. and Mrs. Colman Kain, had died there, after an operation for appendicitis. He was for some time engaged in the loco. department here, and was transferred to Wallaroo. He was born in this district, and was just entering on his 22nd year, his birthday being on the day following his death. He was a fine young fellow, and a great favourite with all who met him.
1920 'COUNTRY NEWS.', Kapunda Herald (SA : 1878 - 1951), 28 May, p. 3. , viewed 27 Aug 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108287163

3. On Thursday morning at Hamley Bridge when the train arrived from Adelaide a number of the townspeople assembled on the platform gave a hearty welcome home to Private M. Kain. About two years ago Private M. Kain and his brother enlisted. After a short time in England they were sent to France, where Private M. Kain was wounded in October last. An amputation of one leg was found necessary.
1918 'HONORING SOLDIERS.', The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931), 18 March, p. 8. , viewed 15 Oct 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5536488

4. KAIN. —On the 12th November, at the North Terrace Hospital, Adelaide, Maria (Queenie), beloved and only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Coleman Kain, of Hamley Bridge; aged 27 years. R.I.P.
1928 'Family Notices', The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929), 13 November, p. 8. , viewed 29 CAug 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article53603925

This post first appeared on https://earlieryears.blogspot.com/2017/10/is-your-kain-here.html 
© CGalvin 2017