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Showing posts from February, 2017

The family rally around

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What a challenge Honora Horgan faced in 1883. Her husband John Horgan died at 48 years old leaving her at age 43 on their farm at Linwood, South Australia with six children. In her own grief how did she manage to console her children? Thomas was 16, Andrew 14, Catherine 11, John 8, Johanna 7 and Nora 5.  The land was in her husband’s name and while a Married Women’s Property Bill was currently before the Legislative Assembly it did not come into effect until 1884.1

How would she manage? Apart from the heavy work of farming required, who would handle the business matters? There were still meals to be cooked, vegetables to tend and livestock needing attention. Her boys were accustomed to farm work but really too young to take on the management tasks needed.

Honora’s brother, David Joseph O’Leary lived nearby on a farm at Stockport. He had lost his young wife Mary Johanna, in an accident in 18782 when his two children were only toddlers. It is not hard to imagine that he would then have …