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Danahier (Danaher) Family History
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Background & Copyright

These extracts have been derived from "Family Newsletter (4) - Danaher, Roach, Page, Clancy; December, 1984 - January, 1985" published by Wendy Louise Walker. 

Copyright by Wendy Louise Walker, 1985.

A. Introduction and Chapter "PATRICK DANAHER'S 3 CHILDREN" follow below

FAMILY NEWSLETTER (4) Danaher, Roach, Page, Clancy December, 1984 - January 1985.

Dear Family,

Almost a year has sped by since my last newsletter; there is no doubt that the years seem to go more quickly as you get older. I have been especially busy at work which is quite unfair as I could be serenely happy working full-time on my two family histories, my mother's and father's. Do not think, however, that I have been idle on our history just because I have been very pushed for time. I have enrolled for the Diploma of Family Historical Studies of the Society of Australian Genealogists to learn how to do it all properly and my thesis will be on the families of the three children of Patrick Danaher; Mary, Dennis and Johanna. It will take me, with all my other commitments, 4 or 5 years to finish the diploma. You have to write a thesis, a long essay on some aspect of historical method and sit an exam.

I had hoped to spend at least a week in the Hastings district this year doing family history but the year is suddenly gone. Geoffrey and I spent a week with friends at Dunhogen in June but (1) it rained (2) my station wagon broke down and (3) I couldn't leave the friends too often. We did all go for a drive on one of the 2 fine days hunting family graves at West Kempsey and Frederickton and on the way back met Tom Houlihan at Sherwood out of Kempsey. What luck! Tom's father, Michael, had. been witness at the marriage of Grandfather Patrick Roach and Margaret Page in 1887. We were driving along the road at Sherwood and I saw an elderly man sitting on the verandah of a farmhouse and wondered out loud if that were one of the Houlihans. The others (3 people and 4 dogs!) waited in the car and I trotted over. It was Tom Houlihan and he showed us where the Pages had had their farm at Sherwood. The country looked lovely.

I am pleased to report that I have now learned to used Geoffrey's camera and that most of the resulting photos have been more or less in focus.


Despite many hours' work, I have little more to report on my convict great great grandfather, Patrick Danaher. I have not found record of his certificate of freedom or record of his death. Kate Kenny, sister of Father Bernard Kenny, has searched at the district Registry office at East Maitland. She has found no record of his death at Port Macquarie. I have bought 2 death certificates that turned out not to be his. The clerks obviously had a lot of problems with "Danaher" spoken in fine Irish brogue and spellings include "Daniher" now used by the family, Donniher, Doniher, Donnoghue, Donaghue, Deneheir.

For quite a time I was haunted by the thought that Patrick Danaher might have died before his family arrived, after all those years alone. However, on the record of baptism at East Maitland of William, son of William Roche and Mary Danaher, (cf. Newsletter 3, page 4) the sponsor is "Patrick Donoghue" whilst the mother's name is spelt "Donaghue". This could be our Patrick. There was another Patrick Daniher in the family already, 7 year old son of Dennis, who had probably moved to Wauchope by then. So Patrick Danaher could have been alive in 1856. He would only have been about 63 years of age.

You will remember that the 3 children of Patrick Danaher arrived on the "William Jardine" on 24th September 1849. These were: (1) his daughter Mary, her husband William Roche and their children Mary and John, (2) his son Dennis and his wife Catherine Connor and their son Patrick and (3) his daughter Johanna who married Patrick Kenny shortly after arriving in Australia (query, was Patrick Kenny a friend of Patrick Danaher; he was quite a bit older than Johanna according to Kate Kenny).

The families went first to Cooley Camp (wherever that was, certainly in the Parish of East Maitland). Johanna was married there and Bridget Roach was born there. Then the Kennys (according to Kate, I have not yet got the birth certificates of the children) moved to Morpeth and settled to farming. William and Mary Roche moved first to Hinton near East Maitland (Johanna born there 30.l2.l852) and then to Mill Brook near Clarence Town (Ellen Born there 1.10.1854, William 3.6.1856 and Michael 19.5.1858). Dennis and Catherine Daniher settled at Bowthorne (Margaret born there 2.l0.1850, Mary 26.7.1852, Catherine 18.5.1854 and Dennis born at Rose-Bank probably the same area 11.12.1855).

Thus all the families settled first in the Williams River area, just as Bill Cavanagh told me last year. There was a series of severe floods in the area in the l850's and the three families all moved to the Hastings district. Dennis and Catherine went first, some time between the birth of their son Dennis and the death of Dennis himself on 8.12.1857 at Wauchope. When I get the birth certificate of Honora, the last child of Dennis and Catherine, I will be able to narrow down the time of their moving.

William and Mary, my great grandparents, moved north between the births of Michael (at Mill Brook 19.5.1858) and Margaret (at Wauchope 2.l0.l859). I learned more about the move North from Kate Kenny and Nora Thomas (formerly O'Connor, grand daughter of Johanna Danaher and Patrick Kenny) when they came to see me last February.

They told me that the 2 families, Roach and Kenny, moved north together by bullock team to the Hastings district, (where Catherine Daniher was now a widow with a group ot tiny children). They went to avoid the floods. The route they would have taken goes, I think, via Gloucester and up over the headwaters of the Manning River. What a trip it must have been with all those children and babies!

William and Mary apparently settled right away at Red Bank and Patrick and Johanna settled near the site of the old Wauchope butter factory, where they were soon flooded out again. They then moved to Tacking Point, near the site of the lighthouse at Port Macquarie. I will probably learn more about their movements when I get the birth certificates of the children of Johanna & Patrick. Before Johanna and Patrick moved to Tacking Point, it would seem, Johanna was present at the birth of her sister, Mary Roach's daughter Margaret on 2.10.l859 at Wauchope.

All the information I dig up, small bit by small bit, suggests that the 3 families maintained very close links with each other. My major sources have been birth, death and marriage certificates (expensive but indispensable) and old directories. From the birth certificates (I have heaps more to get) we find Granny Roach (Mary Danaher) as midwife for her daughters, daughters-in-law and nieces, right up to 1898, two years before her death. When I find families moving away from the Hastings area, there tend to be a couple of families e.g. Daniel Hanly and his wife Margaret (Daniher) moved to Bellingen. So did her brother Dennis Daniher and his wife Margaret (Guthrie). Members of both Roach and Daniher families settled in the Macleay district and members of all 3 branches kept in touch with the Purcells at Concord (Margaret Roach and Peter Purcell) and the Cavanaghs at Rawdon Island (Mary Roach and Peter Cavanagh).



Dennis, only son of Patrick Danahier, died at Wauchope on 8th August 1857. The cause of death was given as "apoplexy" of 6 hours' duration, so he probably had a brain haemorrhage from a burst aneurism (according to my Geoffrey). He was only 33 and left his widow with 5 living children, Patrick (8), Margaret (6), Mary (5), Dennis (2) and Honora (1 month). Little Catherine had died. His father was listed as "Patrick Doniher farmer." Alexander Bain of Yippin Yippin was informant for the death certificate, along with Catherine, who was not able to read or write. He was also one of the witnesses at the burial at Port Macquarie on 8.8.1857. Dennis had not been attended by a doctor. Catherine must have been left in quite desperate circumstances.

Where did Catherine live? In Bailliere's Official Post Office Directory of New South Wales 1867 we have "Danohoe, Catherine, Hursley". Hursley is just over the river from Rawdon Island. In Grenville's Official Post Office Directory and Gazetteer of New South Wales 1875-77, in the "Ennis" entry, we have "Deneheir, Catherine, farmer, Redbank" along with William Roache and John Roache. Sands Country Directory and Gazetteer of New South Wales 1881-82 has Catherine Danaher, Wauchope, Port Macquarie and William Roach at Redbank, although the latter was dead by then. Perhaps Catherine started near Rawdon Island and moved closer to Wauchope.

Both Hazel Suters, Senior Research Officer of the Wauchope Chapter of the Hastings District Historical Society and Mr. Jack Walsh of Port Macquarie have told me independently that a P. Daniher sold a farm at Wauchope in 1882. That could have been the original farm of Dennis and Catherine (Patrick was their eldest child) and I should have chased it up along with many other "leads"; my only plea is exhaustion. It will be done! Jack Walsh, by the way, went to school with my father, Denny Roach, at Beechwood and knows a great deal about local history.


(1) Patrick's birthplace has been described as "Plymouth" on the immigration list of the "William Jardine" and by himself as "Atlantic Ocean" on the birth certificate of his daughter Veronica Norah. Anyhow, he arrived in Australia as an infant. He married Margaret McCarthy on 11.1.1875 at "Hastings River with Father James McGough officiating and John and Ellen McCarthy as witnesses. He was listed as "farmer". He apparently stayed in the Wauchope district until near the turn of the century.

I have the birth certificate of his last child, Veronica Norah (will get the rest when I can afford it) who was born on l0.8.1897, when Patrick was 48 and Margaret 40. Their earlier children were listed as: Dennis 21, Mary 19, Maggie 17, Alice 14, Maud 13, Patrick 11, Nellie 9, Annie 6 and John 4. There were none deceased. By the time of Patrick's mother's death at Wauchope on 15.1l.1900 (cf. Newsletter 3, page 3) Patrick was farming at Gladstone in the Macleay district.

Patrick Daniher was a J.P. and witnessed the documents for probate of thewill of Mary Page, my great grandmother cf. this newsletter page ). I believe two of his daughters were nuns, Sisters Raymond (Veronica Daniher) and Patricia (Ellen Daniher) at Our Lady of Mercy Convent, Grafton.

Patrick's son Denis was killed in a fall from a horse (told by Miss Johanna Clancy of West Kempsey, Oct. 1984). He is buried beside his mother and their headstone at West Kempsey reads:

In loving memory
Denis Daniher
Who was accidentally killed
29th July 1903
Aged 27 years
Also his loving mother
Margaret Daniher
Who died 12th August l904 Aged 50 years
Sweet Jesus have mercy on their souls

I have phoned Mrs. Daniher in Kempsey, who is the widow of Denis Clancy, grandson (I think I got it right!) of Patrick. The same day, on her advice, I phoned Miss Johanna Clancy in Kempsey. Misses Johanna and Bridget Clancy, she said, knew a great deal about the Danihers. Indeed Hanna did know a lot and we chatted cheerfully for a long time. I promised to write. However when she got off the phone from talking with me, Hanna collapsed and was taken to hospital with a stroke.

In short, I have just begun on the Danihers.

(2) Margaret Daniher Margaret was born on 2.l0.1850 at Bowthorne and baptised by Father John Kenny on the same day. Her father was listed as "labourer" and her mother called "Caroline Connors" instead of "Catherine Connor". Margaret married Daniel Hanly on 11.5.1865, the same day Mary Roach (her first cousin) married Peter Cavanagh. Both ceremonies were conducted by Cornelius D. Coghlan. Mary Roach was 22 and Margaret 14 (although her age was given as 16 on the marriage certificate).

I have heard about that marriage from Margaret's daughter, Miss Celia Hanly, now aged 90 years, at Our Lady of Consolation Home, Rooty Hill when I visited her with her niece, Muriel Mulheron, last March. Margaret Danaher was clearly a very beautiful girl; Miss Hanly (Aunty Cele) showed me a photo of her mother when quite old and she was still beautiful, with thick white hair that had been black and very dark eyes. Her mother, said Aunty Cele had not much wanted to get married but her mother had insisted. Doubtless the widowed Catherine had her hands full and felt this beautiful girl was better off safely married! Michael McGovern, of Wauchope, claimed me as a relative at the funeral in Beechwood in January of my poor cousin Plus Roach. He told me he was a grandson of Margaret Danaher and that he thought that 2 Danaher sisters had married on the same day - as it happened it was a pair of cousins, Margaret Danaher and Mary Roach, who went to Port Macquarie by boat that day to be married.

Michael put me in touch with his aunt Muriel Mulheron at Hillsdale and we found that Muriel had lived for years in the same street as my mother's sister Edith (it really is a small world) and had seen me as a child when I stayed with Edith. Muriel and I drove up to Rooty Hill to see Aunty Cele, who is diminutive, charming and quite autocratic. Her memory fluctuates and she is painfully aware of this. We took Aunty Cele and her friend Cath Carey (who grew up in the Macleay district, was related to the Patrick Carey who married Bridget Roach and was taught by the Daniher girls, Sister Raymond and Sister Patricia) to afternoon tea with Gwen Lawn (grand daughter of Margaret Roach and Peter Purcell). It was quite a marvellous day. Aunty Cele's mother, Margaret, had been quite close friends with the Purcells and she and her mother used to drive over to Concord in their Renault to visit. Margaret Purcell (Roach) was, of course, Margaret Hanly's (Danaher's) first cousin and was 9 years her senior.

Margaret Danaher and Daniel Hanly had 13 children. 
(1) Michael Hanley (born 1866) married Rose McNally and they had 12 children, Henry Daniel ("Harry"), Clara Violet ("Violet"), Alice Mary (Michael McGovern's mother), Francis Mathew, Catherine Margaret, Michael John, Rose Elizabeth, Cecelia Ellen, Dennis Patrick, Frederick Cecil, Reginald Timothy and Muriel Thora Maud (Muriel Mulheron).
(2) Catherine Hanley, (born 1869) married William Foley and they had Daniel, Patrick, Eileen, Lena and Clara. 
(3) Francis Hanly, (born 1871) married Olive Brennan and they had Michael Reginald, Bede, Daniel, Vaughan, Eileen and Rita. 
(4) Dennis Hanly (born 1873) married Maud Miller and had no children. 
(5) Mary Hanly (born 1875) did not marry. 
(6) Margaret Hanly married Mr. Maunsell and had 8 children. 
(7) Bridget Gertrude (born l880) did not marry. 
(8) Daniel Hanly (born 1882) married Catherine Cahill and had 2 boys Ewin and Terence and 3 girls including Camelia and Dorothy. 
(9) Patrick Hanly (born 1884) went to New Zealand and was never heard of again. 
(l0) Honora Hanly (born 1886) did not marry 
(11) Clara Hanly (born 1888 and only died a couple of years ago) married Alfred Lee and had no children;
(12) John Timothy Hanly (born 1891) married Georgina Murdoch and had 7 children including Barry and Kathleen and 
(13) Celia Hanly (born 1894) did not marry and still lives (Auty Cele).

Daniel Hanly is listed in the 1867 Post Office Directory as "Farmer Hursley". At least one of their children, Catherine, was delivered by that tireless midwife, Granny Roach (Mary Danaher). The family moved to Bellingen, where they remained until after Daniel's death in about 1896. When Celia (born 1894) was about 7 years of age, Margaret brought the children to live at Coogee, first renting then building a home. Celia lived in that house for 50 years; she never married and looked after her mother until her death at the age of 82 on 31st December, 1932. Celia lived in the house at Coogee until her fear of burglary and violence drove her to move to the home at Rooty Hill 2 years ago.

(3) Mary, third child of Dennis Daniher and Catherine Connor, was born at Bowthorne on 26.7.1852 and baptised by Father John Kenny on 15.8.1852. Dennis was now listed as "settler". Mary married Patrick Gutherie or Guthery (Aunty Cele said it had an "er"' the marriage certificate spells it "Gutery") on 4th July l870 at Rawdon Island. Father Cornelius Coghlan officiated and her brother Patrick Daniher and Mary Whelan were witnesses.

On 15.8.1871 they had a daughter Catherine at Rawdon Island, and on 25.8.1973 a daughter Margaret at Port Macquarie. I will doubtless find others.

(4) Catherine was born at Bowthorne on 18.5.1854 and baptised on 4.6.1854 by the ubiquitous Father John Kenny. Sadly the same Father Kenny officiated at the burial of the little girl on
21.1.1855. The pre- 1856 records are. only of burial and do not have the details of the post-1856 death certificates.

(5) Dennis Daniher was born at Rose-Bank in the Parish of East Maitland on 11.12.1855 and baptised on 23.12.1855. Me married Catherine Guthrie in Sydney on 2.2.1882 (information from birth certificate of Matilda Clara.) In Grenville's Directory 1875-7, he is listed as "Deneheir, Denis, farmer Wauchope" and in Sands Directory 1881-2 "Danniher, D, hotel, Morton St, Port Macquarie".

In. an attempt to be frugal, I ordered only one birth certificate, Matilda Clara, in the hope that the other children's names would be there. Not so, only "1 male and 5 females living" in the "Previous Issue" part. I had overlooked Denis born at Bellingen (the Hanlys lived there too) on 22.9.1893. Denis was 37 and Catherine 32. Denis was listed as "farmer". So there is another branch to pursue and I will start by getting the birth certificate of Denis F.L. Daniher.

(6) Honora I forgot Honora when I got the birth certificates of Dennis Daniher and Catherine Connor. I will get it in the next batch. She was born in June or July 1857 and Celia Hanly (her neice) told me that she married a Mr. Simons of Kempsey.



I have not a great deal yet on this family. Johanna married Patrick Kenny at Cooley Camp in 1850. Kate Kenny and I have not been able to trace Patrick Kenny's origins but are working on it. I will order the birth certificates in the next batch. On Johanna's death certificate the living children are listed:

William (27), Bridget (24), Margaret (22), Mary Ann O'Brien (20), Catherine (17), Patrick (15), Johanna (13), Ellen (8) and Alice (6). The microfiche records have as possibles: William l850,
Bridget 1852, Margaret 1853, Mary 1855, Catherine l860, Johanna 1862, Patrick 1863, Johanna 1866, Alice M. l870, Honora 1873.  Honora died on 11.9.1883 aged 8 months.

Kate Kenny and Nora Thomas told me that Patrick and Johanna had 3 Johannas - 1 was run over by a bullock team as a toddler, 1 died in infancy and the third, Nora's mother was a twin. The other twin, Thomas, died in infancy.

It seems Johanna had a difficult time. She died on 12.5.1877 of "disease of the bladder" of 2 months' duration. There was no medical attendant. She was about 50 years of age. Her son William was the informant for the registration of death. She was buried at Port Macquarie on 13th May 1877, with James McGough officiating. Patrick Kenny lived on until near the turn of the century and, as for my grandfather Patrick Roach, life must have been lonely and difficult without his wife.

I will get the necessary certificates and work on the Kenny family, in collaboration with Kate (granddaughter of William, daughter of Les) for the next newsletter. I look forward to talking with Nora Thomas again. She knew many of the family, went to school at the convent in Port Macquarie with Lizzie Clavin (grand daughter of Mary Roach and Peter Cavanag41) and probably with Josie and Vera Roach (my aunts). She knew Johanna Warde (Roach) at Hibbard, near Port Macquarie.



I do not know a great deal about my great grandparents, William and Mary. After they came north between the births of Michael, at Mill Brook near Clarence Town on 19.5.1858 and Margaret at Wauchope on 2.l0.l859, they seem to have settled to farming at Red Bank. William died on 28.2.1876 at Red Bank and there is no will listed in the probate register. It is my guess he was leasing his land and on the birth certificate of my uncle Big Pat, Red Bank is referred to as "Redbank Estate", which suggests that the family was leasing land for farming from someone else's large holding. The Wauchope Chapter of the Hastings District Historical Society might be able to help here.

Going back to William and Mary, three children were born at Wauchope, (1) Margaret on 2.l0.l859, (2) Patrick, my grandfather on 12.2.1862 and Catherine on 18.5.1864. Just a year later on 11.5.1865, their eldest child Mary (aged 21 or 22) born at Feanagh, Co. Limerick, Ireland, married Peter Cavanagh at Port Macquarie on the same day their neice, Margaret Danaher married Daniel Hanly. Mary and Peter Cavanagh lived at Rawdon Island, 5 or 6 miles from Red Bank and the families remained close.

On 2l.l2.l870 William and Mary's daughter Ellen was killed by a falling tree at Rawdon Island. Both Bill Cavanagh and his cousin Lizzie Clavin, granddaughter of Mary Roach and Peter Cavanagh) have told me that Ellen was deaf. Bill thought she also had a lame foot. I talked with Lizzie at my house ("Dingbat Hall") on 18.11.1984. She said Ellen had been staying with her eldest sister Mary at Rawdon Island, probably helping her. Ellen was 15. She was buried at Port Macquarie and Peter Cavanagh and his brother Bernard were witnesses.

William died of "diarrhoea of stomach" at Redbank on 28.2.1876. His eldest son John was informant for the registration of the death and gave his age as 65. If he was 33 when he came to Australia, as written on the immigrant list of the "William Jardine", he would, in fact, have been 60 when he died. Mary (Danaher) lived for an6ther 24 years and all I have about her has been revealed from birth certificates. Mary delivered many of her grandchildren. I do not have birth certificates yet for some of the Cavanagh grandchildren, or for the children of William and John Roach but she does seem to have travelled about delivering babies until not long before her death.

I have birth certificates for Ann, Mary, John, Elizabeth and Bernard Cavanagh. All were born at Rawdon Island and Mary was there for 3 of the births:

Ann Cavanagh born 28.2.1866, (midwife) Mrs. Roach.

Mary Cavanagh born l0.6.l869. (midwife) Mrs. Roach.

Bernard Cavanagh born 29.8.1872, (midwife) Mary Roche.

Mary seems to have been midwife for three of the children of her daughter Bridget and Patrick Carey:

Mary Carey born Red Bank 4.8.1872 (midwife) Mary Roche.

Catherine Carey born Dark Water Creek, Macleay River, 28.l0.l877 (midwife) Mrs. Roach.

John Steven Carey born Kinchela Creek 28.3.1883 (midwife) Mrs. Roach.

She seems to have been in Sydney in March l890 to deliver one of the children of her daughter Margaret and Pierce Purcell after having delivered my uncle Big Pat a month earlier at Red Bank.

Joseph Bede Purcell born Union St., Newtown 29.3.l890 (midwife) Mrs. Roach.

My grandparents Patrick Roach (her youngest son) and Margaret Page lived first at Red Bank and then moved to the farm at Pappinbarra where I spent my childhood. Mary seems to have been midwife for 5 of their children including William and Mary born at Pappinbarra. The present road was not there then and my Aunt Jo (wife of Dad's brother Frank and my mother's sister) told me that access to the Roach property was by a rough track along the ridges from the Bromben road, on the opposite side of the Pappinbarra Creek from the present road.

Thomas William Roach born Red Bank 17.7.1888 (midwife) Mrs.Roach Snr.

Patrick James Roach Red Bank Estate 26.2.l890 (midwife) Mrs. Roach Snr.

John Les Roach Redbank 17.5.1892 (midwife) Mrs. Mary Roach.

William Bede Roach Pappinbarra Creek 18.11.1896 (midwife) Mary Roach.

Mary Roach Pappinbarra Creek 5.11.1898, Mrs. Mary Roach, nurse.

Mary's daughter Catherine and her husband James Sheridan lived first in Sydney and then Wauchope before moving to Queensland.

Ellen Sheridan born George Drive, Macdonaldtown (note, near the Purcells at Newtown) 30.6.l890 (midwife) Mrs. Roach.

Margaret Sheridan Wauchope 8.3.1892 (midwife) Mrs. Roach.

Ellen Sheridan Wauchope 7.2.1894 (midwife) Mrs. Roach.

William Sheridan Wauchope 5.3.1896 (midwife) Mrs. Roach.

James Sheridan Wauchope 27.12.1898 (midwife) Mrs. Roach nurse.

Could that "Mary Roach" have been anyone else? There was only John's wife Maria (McCarthy) of Pappinbarra and she is referred to on the birth certificate of my Aunt Jo (Monaghan) Johanna Roach born Pappinbarra 20.1.l90l, as a witness, "Mrs. J. Roach1' with "Mrs. Fox" midwife. So I believe Mary Roach (Danaher) delivered her last grandchild in December 1898.

She died in Wauchope on 27th September 1900, having had a stroke 6 months before. Her son John gave her age as 81 but she may have been a little younger. She was buried at Beechwood on 29th September, 1900, Father Patrick Sheehan officiating and P.J. O'Neill and John McCarthy witnesses. After all the babies she delivered, there may have been an obituary in the local paper for Mary and that is something I will have to seek out. John McCarthy was brother of Maria who was John Roach's wife.

That is all I have teased out so far about Mary Danaher (Granny Roach). I have another fragment of family folklore relating to her. My cousin Peter Roach told me that, on the day of her death, the bedridden Granny Roach asked for her claybob (pipe) and said "I have just been talking with your father. He will be coming back soon." She died that night.

Do you have any information or folklore about William and Mary? Do you have any references to them in old letters? If so please write to me and tell me or send me a photocopy of old letters. I am very keen to get a "feeling" for William and Mary as people.


I have been working on this branch, as you can see from the handwritten chart but I still have much to do.

Bill Cavanah, of Rawdon Island, has been very helpful, both in sending me all kinds of written information and in putting me in touch with other members of his branch of the family. He gave me the address in Concord of his cousin, Lizzie Clavin and I was delighted to meet her and her nephew, William Gaul. They called one Sunday and we had a great yarn. Both Bill and Lizzie independently supplied me with the address of Anne Pitt, a member of a branch of the family I was most eager to contact. Anne is the daughter of John Cavanagh (son of Mary Roach and Peter Cavanagh) and Honora Esther Page, sister of my grandmother, Margaret Page. Thus this branch of the family is related to Dad's mother and father. I have a number of other members of the Cavanagh family to contact; it takes longer than you would think just writing letters and asking questions about each branch.

Peter Cavanagh came from Co. Longford, Ireland with his brother Bernard. They started farming at Rawdon Island. Peter ended up with a swathe of farms across Rawdon Island to Hursley on the other side of the Hastings River. Bernard eventually sold his farm (possibly to Peter) and bought an hotel in Port Macquarie. On 8th May 1865 in Port Macquarie he married Mary Conway, with James Naughton and Mary Roach as witnesses. She died on 25.12.1884 and the cause of death was quaintly given as "broken constitution" by Dr Casement from Kempsey. Lizzie & Clavin and William Gaul thought that it might have been the "Tourist" Hotel. Anyhow that can be checked.

Peter Cavanagh was a highly successful farmer, as evidenced by the article about him in "Australian Men of Mark" which I reproduced in the last newsletter, sent to me by Mrs. Bowden, of Kempsey. William Gaul gave me a photocopy of that article, it was published in l890.

Peter and Mary were very highly respected citizens and very hard workers. Peter, I gather, was a rather strict man. His granddaughter Lizzie Clavin wrote to me about her grandparents:

"They were highly respected and hard working. My grandfather was very strict with his family, everything had to be just right." (November, 1984.)

Earlier Lizzie had written about her grandmother, Mary, who lived until 1932:

"She was a lovely bright personality, full of fun and yarns. As a girl she would have been the life of the party. She was very strong and robust." (August 1984.)

I am starting to build up quite a picture of Mary Cavanagh, who may have been a lot like her mother, Granny Roach. She was deeply religious and a tireless worker for the church (of her obituary in the last newsletter, with the marvelous description of Mary and Peter Cavanagh helping the 20 stone Bishop Torreggiani onto his horse after his overnight stays with the Cavanaghs and after he had spent the day and celebrated Mass.) When they first lived at Rawdon Island, Peter and Mary lived in a slab hut. Lizzie Clavin wrote this delightful bit about their first child, her mother Ann.

"When my mother was born at Rawdon Island, they lived in a slab house and the aborigines who worked round about used to come and peep in the cracks of the house and say: 'Mrs. Cavanagh got white piccaninny.' My mother was regarded as the first white baby born in the district." (November 1984.)

Ann, you may remember, was delivered by her grandmother and was born on 28.2.1866. Granny Roach's youngest child, Catherine, was only three when her first grandchild was born.

Like others of the time, Mary Cavanagh enjoyed a discreet smoke on a pipe. So did her sister, Johanna Warde of Hibbard near Port Macquarie, as Nora Thomas recalled.

For the last few years of her life Mary Cavanagh was bedridden and blind and was cared for by her daughter Mary. I do not know if this was the hereditary blindness which came upon my grandfather Patrick in middle age or just cataracts, which are common in the elderly. Grandfather had a rare form of inherited retinal dystrophy. Mary Cavanagh lived to the age of 87 years. Like her mother, Lizzie Clavin told me, Mary Cavanagh was a very competent midwife and attended the births of some of her own grandchildren.

Bill Cavanagh (Rawdon Island, June 1983) recalled that my father, Denny Roach, used to take Grandfather Patrick to Rawdon Island in the sidecar of his Harley Davidson motor bike to visit his sister and her family. Lizzie Clavin can remember times before that when Grandfather used to ride his horse to Rawdon Island to visit his sister, but even then he had very faulty vision. Lizzie can remember that, when he came inside out of the sunlight Grandfather would fumble about trying to find where to hang his hat.

Ann Cavanagh

Ann (spelt Ann on the birth certificate and Anne in the family Bible) was the first of the children of Mary and Peter Cavanagh, born nine months after their marriage. Doubtless Ann, as the eldest of a large family, would have been much involved in the care of younger brothers and sisters and would almost certainly have helped on the farm. (Lizzie Clavin will correct me if I am wrong!) Ann married William Clavin and I think Lizzie said that Peter Cavanagh gave them land at Hursley (I did not take notes quickly enough when we were talking). Lizzie wrote as follows about her parents:

"My father was a sober, hardworking man, a very capable handyman. He built windmills and sheds and the house we lived in. My mother Ann was a good wife, very quiet and deep thinking, a very economical housewife and a good 

(a) is a photocopy of the marriage certificate of Peter Cavanagh and Mary Roach at Port Macquarie on eleventh of May 1865, with witnesses John Rigney and Bridget Roach with the celebrant being C D Loghlan (?)

(b) is a descendant chart of Mary Roach and Peter Cavanagh

My father and mother would have been married about 1898 or thereabouts and their first baby died at birth. The baby was born at home and my Granny (Mrs. Peter Cavanagh) attended at the birth.

My father worked on the North Coast railway line between Taree and Kempsey. He had a bullock team and used to be away for weeks at a time when there wasn't much doing on the farm."
(November, 1984.)

William Clavin was born in West Meath, Ireland in 1865 and died at Hursley on 15.7.1935. Lizzie said both her parents disliked drink. Their children are listed on the handwritten chart. Lizzie herself came to Sydney in 1928 just as the great depression was starting and has been here ever since. For a time she worked as a housekeeper with a family at Vaucluse and then went to work in the knitting wool department of Farmers, where she stayed until 1968, thoroughly enjoying the work and the people she met there.

John Cavanagh

The next child of Mary and Peter was John, born l0.6.l867 at Rawdon Island. I have been in touch with his daughter, Mrs. Anne Pitt, of North Mackay, Queensland. Anne supplied me with all kinds of information and some lovely old photos. She was very pleased to be contacted, as she had rather lost touch with tbe family. It was such a thrill to get the return letter from her, as she is related via both Grandfather and Grandmother Roach.

John Cavanagh married Honora Esther Page (Anne Pitt spells it "Paige") on 19.4.1893 at West Kempsey. Witnesses were Essie's brother and sister, Thomas and Clara Page and Father John Buggy officiated. According to Bernice Delaney, "Essie" was the prettiest of the Page girls and from the family notes of Father John Andersen (descended from Margaret Clancy and Daniel White) I learned that they married after a long courtship.

John and Essie lived at Taylors Arms, Nambucca River, farming. Their children are listed on the hand written chart of the Cavanaghs. Essie's parents, my great grandparents, Thomas Page and Mary Clancy, lived at Sherwood and Essie must have gone to them for the birth of her last child, Honora Esther, who Was born on 23.2.l909. Essie died shortly after, on 9.3.1909. Poor John was left with a string of little children and a tiny baby. Essie's funeral, from the large photo lent to me by Lizzie Clavin, was a rather elaborate affair. The old photo has faded and I will try to get a clear copy from the universrity photographic department. Horses and black plumes and ladies in long dresses with feathered hats.

John's sister Mary (later Mary McNemara) went to care for the children when Essie died. Mary spent the first half of her life caring for people.

About three years after Essie's death, John moved with his children to Queensland, traveling by buggy and pair. On that trip, according to Lizzie Clavin, little Essie died and is buried at either Tenterfield or Glen Innes. She died on 5.3.1912.

Anne Pitt wrote the following about her parents:

"As far as I can ascertain John and Essie (my father and mother) were happily married living at Taylors Arms, Nambucca River, farming. After Essie's death, Dad sold everything (after three years) and he and our family came to live in the Kingaroy district in Queensland, where he continued farming (maize and peanuts) until retirement. From l930 until the war was on, Dad lived in Mackay and, being elderly, was advised to leave and go to a safer zone. At that time the war was very serious, so he returned to our old home town of Kingaroy, where his daughter Catherine and family were residing. He died two months later." (September, 1984.)

Anne sent me a lovely photo of John Cavanagh with all his children, including little Honora Esther, as well as other photos. I have lots of letters to write to members of the family of John and Essie and with any luck will get them written over the Christmas-New Year week. I wonder if John got his wife's eighth of the Page estate, as her mother, Mary Page, had died the year before and the Sherwood property was to be sold and the proceeds divided among the children. (cf. section on Thomas and Mary Page.)

Mary Cavanagh

The third child of Peter and Mary, little Mary, was born l0.6.l869 and sadly died on 26.8.1869, cause of death on the death certificate was given as cough of 10 days' duration. She was buried at Port Macquarie on 1st September, 1869, no priest was present and P.N. Drew and her uncle Bernard Cavanagh were witnesses.

Elizabeth Cavanagh

Elizabeth was born on l4.8.l870, did not marry and died at Port Macquarie on 16.8.1904.

Bernard Cavanagh

Bernard married Mary Borger and moved to Wooroolin, near Kingaroy, where he farmed like his elder brother John. I have the address of one of his sons, Theo.

Peter Cavanagh

Peter did not marry and was a farmer at Rawdon Island. He was a severe asthmatic and was nursed for years before his death by his sister Mary (the second "Mary", Mary Anne.) At one stage, Lizzie Clavin told me, poor Mary had the task of nursing both her bedridden and dying mother and her brother Peter.

Patrick Charles Cavanagh

Patrick Charles Cavanagh married Margaret O'Brien and was a dairy farmer at Byabarra. I have the address of two of his daughters in Sydney, Sister Ann Cavanagh at St. Joseph's Convent, Lochinvar, and Mrs. E. Derrick. When I have time to write to them, that will fill in the family of Patrick Charles.

Margaret Ellen Cavanagh

Margaret Ellen married Pat Landrigan, grazier of Upper Pappinbarra. They had no children and she died in 1958 at Rawdon Island, a couple of months short of her 80 th birthday.

Catherine Cavanagh

Catherine, Katie, died of an accidental gunshot wound when she was 12. It must have been quite devastating for the family. According to Lizzie Clavin the boys had been shooting possums, thought the gun was unloaded, were fooling about as youngsters do and Katie was shot. An inquest was held in Port Macquarie two days later and the finding was death by accidental gunshot wound. This made three little girls in the Roach family killed accidentally, Ellen, daughter of William and Mary, hit by a falling tree in l870 at Rawdon Island, Catherine shot in 1892 and Agnes, daughter of John Roach and Maria McCarthy, dying of burns in 1896 at the age of 12.

James Joseph Cavanagh

James Joseph was a farmer at Rawdon Island. He married Ellen Mary Naughton on 24th August, 1923 at St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Wauchope and the witnesses were Mary Haydon and John Clavin. They had no children. Gwen Lawn remembers him with great affection.

Mary Anne Cavanagh

Mary Cavanagh, later Mary McNemara, was a very beautiful girl and a very good woman. Everybody comments upon her caring for others and it was Lizzie Clavin who told me how beautiful she was. Despite having lived to the incredible age of 97, Mary had been a delicate girl and had often been ill. It was Mary who went to her brother John's aid when his wife Essie died, Mary who nursed her dying mother and her asthmatic brother.

Mary married Martin Patrick McNemara at St. Mary's Catholic Church, Concord on 6th September, 1921. The witnesses were her cousins, Rachel and John Purcell, children of Margaret Roach and Pierce Purcell, of Concord. Martin died on 12th May, 1946 but Mary lived at Rawdon Island until her death on 3.8.1982. Apparently there is a lovely photo of Mary when she was young at Rawdon Island, and I must copy it next time I am in the district.

Gerald William Cavanagh

Gerald William was the "baby" of the Cavanagh children. My cousin John ("Black Billy's" son) told me that Gerald, as baby of the family, was rather less affected than the others by Peter Cavanagh's sternness (phone conversation 27.12.84.). His son, Bill Cavanagh, wrote of his father:

"I was l0 years old when he died and cannot remember much about him. I have heard from other people that he was interested in sport, especially football. He traveled more than other members of the family and was very popular with his relatives and friends." (September, 1984.)

Gerald was a dairy farmer at Rawdon Island. He married Lillian Kennedy (granddaughter of Bridget Roach and Patrick Carey) on l8.l0.23. and they had six children before Gerald's premature death in 1935.


As yet I have no clear picture in my mind of the sorts of people John and Maria were. This is one thing writing the newsletters does for me - it makes me aware of gaps, also it makes me guilty about things I have not followed up. So I have written notes to accompany this newsletter to people who might know more personal things about John and Maria. Anyone who knows anything about the eldest son of William Roach and Mary Danaher or about Maria, please write to me. Mr. Jack Walsh, of Port Macquarie, was in Beechwood between 1918 and 1924 and told me (when I phoned him 8.1.1985) that "Old Jack Roach" ie son of William and Mary, was a short man with grey beard and hair, not tall like my grandfather Patrick.

Their farm was that now occupied by Lindsay Bird at Pappinbarra. It was sold to the Rosendahls, who built a nice house and very elaborate barns and dairy. When I was a tiny child Walter Bird and his wife Helen ("Tottie") Lindsay were on that farm and at the age of 3 years I had my first ride on a horse in the orchard beside the house on a gentle, elderly horse, Marble by name. There was an old house on that farm which, during my early primary school years, early l940's, was used as a hall for dances. That was probably the old Roach house. The children used to have great fun putting candle wax on the floor to get it ready for dancing. Also, when I was a child my parents used to visit and play tennis with Jock McCarthy and his wife, who lived further up the Pappinbarra Creek. Jock was Maria's nephew.

John Roach and Maria McCarthy were married at Redbank (his mother lived there) on 28th September 1874. He was described as farmer, Rawdon Island and her place of residence was given as Pappinbarra River. Margaret McCarthy (who married Patrick Daniher) and Patrick Daniher were witnesses and Father John O'Sullivan officiated I do not have the birth certificates yet, but the dates of birth are in the family bible and Mary Nelson copied them for me.

(l)* William Patrick born 3rd August 1875, known as "Brophy", did not marry and died six months after I was born) on 18th January 1936. I do not know what "Brophy" did for a living or where he lived. He was quite well known to my father and his brothers and a part of the Pappinbarra Creek running through our farm was called "Broph's Hole". Was it William Patrick who had the whiskey still?

(2)* John Roach (known, according to John Roach, Black Billy's son, as J.J. or Butcher Jack) was born on 14th September 1876, his youngest daughter, Mary Nelson, thinks he was born at Rawdon Island. He married Elizabeth Sarah Crane, of Herons Creek, on 20th October, 1915.

Their children are: (1) Edna Mary (Hinchcliffe) born 16th August 1916, (2) Kathleen (Thompson) born 30th August 1918, (3) Francis George born 28th September l920, (4) John James born 25th January, 1924, (5) Bernard Patrick born 4th January 1927, (6) Thomas Joseph born 9th April 1929 and (7) Mary Elizabeth (Nelson) born 19th February 1931. I met Mary in June 1983 at the farm she and her husband Mervyn have at Herons Creek and we have kept in touch and we reckon we will organise a family reunion in a few years time. I met Edna and Tom at Plus Roach's funeral.

(3)* Margaret Roach was born on 11th May 1878, married William Craig and lived at Pappinbarra; she was known in the family as "Aunty Sis". I think their farm was at Hollisdale at the back of Patrick Murray's property and think one of their sons, Charles Craig, still lives there. I do not have all their children yet. I have all the family of their son, James Leonard Craig, born 24th July 1899 and also of their daughter, Mary Craig, born 18th April l90l, who married James Gregory Hollis. Their eldest son was James Craig. I received great help in tracking descendants of John Roach and Maria McCarthy from Mary Daley, of Wauchope. Mary (daughter of Ethel Roach and Francis George Hollis) took a great bundle of family history sheets and got re1atives to fill them in. She contacted Sister Veronica Hollis at
O.L.S.H. Convent, Bowral and Sister Veronica got me a great deal more information; we have been corresponding since then. Also, as a result of Mary Daley's efforts, I was contacted by Sister Jeanne (Monica) Clarke, of O.L.S.H. Convent, Kensington, daughter of Maud Roach and Thomas Clarke. It has all been great fun.

(4)* James Roach, 4th child of John and Maria, was born on 11th April l880. I do not have a contact in his branch of the family yet. He moved to Sydney and lived at Bankstown. I think his wife was a Miss Gunn.

(5)* Mary Josephine Roach, fifth child of John and Maria, was born on 21st September 1882 and married Joseph Clarke of Kempsey. She had 2 daughters, (2) Kathleen Margaret born 6th July l905, married James Raywood Daley and had 2 sons John Joseph and Brian James. (1) Veronica May, born l903, married William Hound and had six children, Mary, Raymond, Bede, Vonnie, Noel and Marlene. Mary Daley told me that Mary Josephine (Roach) Clarke died having her third child.

(6)* Agnes Mary Roach, sixth child of John and Maria, was born on 17th January, 1885 She died on 2nd October 1896 of burns received when her clothes accidentally caught alight. Mary Nelson thinks that little Agnes was epileptic and fell into the fireplace when she had a seizure. She was buried at Beechwood cemetery; her uncle, John McCarthy was informant for the death certificate.

(7)* Maud Josephine Roach, seventh child of John and Maria, was born on the 17th February 1887. She married Thomas Joseph Clarke of Kempsey. It was Maud's daughter, Monica1 who contacted me recently (Sister Jeanne Clarke of O.L.S.H. Convent, Kensington) and I went to see her and her three sisters at the convent in Kensington just before Christmas. It was a marvelous evening. The Clarke family lived for a time at Sherwood, where my grandmother Margaret Page's family had their farm. Mornie has been most enthusiastic and helpful and is already "into" family history - the Clarke family reunion will be held soon.

Maud died on l0th April 1959; Thomas died twelve years earlier on 7th April 1947. Maud and Thomas had eight children, two sons and six daughters, of whom five entered O.L.S.H. Convent. These were:

(1) William Clarke born 24.7.l9l0, married Ellie Davis and they had l0 children.

(2) Mary Edna Clarke, born 18.12.1911, entered O.L.S.H. Convent

(3) Dorothea Clarke born 14.7.1913 married William Egan and they had three children.

One of the Danihers married an Egan. It would be just too exciting if this were a link between my mother's and father's families. One of my maternal great grandfathers was a William Patrick Egan, born at O'Connell near Bathurst in about 1841. I am having great difficulty with this branch as I cannot find record of his death and cannot be sure of his parents.

(4) Cecelia Clarke was born on 2.5.1915 and entered O.L.S.H. Convent on 21.11.1934.

(5) Doreen Clarke was born on 2.2.1919 and entered O.L.S.H. Convent on 6.ll.l940.

(6) Monica Clarke was born on 27.3.1921 and entered O.L.S.H. Convent on l6.ll.l940.

(7) Bernard Clarke was born on 24.7.192A and married Rita O'Brien.

(8) Patricia Clarke was born on 17.5.1926 and entered O.L.S.H. Convent in 1948.

(8)* Patrick Joseph Roach (Little Paddy), eighth child of John Roach and Maria McCarthy, was born on 21.1.1892 at Pappinbarra. He married May Mary Mooney in 1915. They had seven children:

(1) Leo Bernard Roach, close friend (and cousin) of my father and his brothers and one of the great loves of my childhood, was born on 24.12.1916 at Wauchope. His mother died early and Peter Roach (my Uncle Tom's son) said Leo left school and started working in the bush at the age of 12 or 13. He was a superb bushman. He did not marry and died suddenly at Cairns on l0.6.l965.

(2) Dominic Ernest Roach was born 12.4.1918 at Wauchope and married Joan Avery. They had three children. Dommy died, Jack Walsh told me, a few months ago. I was very sad to hear this.

(3) Cecilia Elizabeth Roach was born 6.l.l920 at Wauchope, married Cohn Campbell Maxwell and died 9.7.1979. They had 7 children.

(4) Eileen Roach was born on 1.8.1922 in Wauchope and married Michael Crotty on 2nd June 1943. They had seven children.

(5) May Roach (who gave me the information on Little Paddy's family) was born on 24.12.1924 at Wauchope and married William George Marchment on 23.3.1948. They had one daughter.

(6) Patrick Joseph Roach ("Patsy", "Digger") was born on 1.5.1927 at Wauchope. He did not marry. I knew him as "Digger" and he often came to our place at Pappinbarra with Les.

(7) Little Florence Roach was born on 18.9.1929 but sadly died on 21.3.1931.

Little Paddy did not re-marry when he lost his wife and must have had a most difficult time. He was one of the more legendary drinkers of the Roach family, which, like other Irish families, has produced quite a few.

(9)* Ethel Catherine Roach, ninth child of John and Maria, was born on l0.8.l892 at Pappinbarra and married Francis George Hollis at Beechwood on 13.6.1913. Francis George was a butcher at Beechwood and later a farmer at Hollisdale, on the Pappinbarra Creek. One of their daughters, Mary Daley, collected a great deal of information for me on the descendants of Ethel and Francis George Hollis. Their children were:

(1) Stephen Alphonsus Hollis ("Foncie") was born at Port Macquarie on 23.3.1915, was a dairy farmer at Wauchope and married Monica McCudden on 27.7.l940 at St. Mary's Catholic Church, Wauchope. They had six children.

(2) Mary Monica Hollis was born on 24.8.1916, and married William John Daley, farmer and estate agent, on 31st May 1939. They had five children.

(3) Desmond Daniel Hollis was born at Port Macquarie on 8.11.1918, was a dairy farmer and married Dorothy May Kelly on l6.l0.i943. They had 4 children.

(4) Leonard Francis Hollis was born on 2l.l0.l92l at Wauchope, was a car salesman and married Ena Joyce Gleeson on 30.ll.l946. They had seven children.

(5) Dorothea Veronica Hollis was born at Wauchope on 3.10.1922. She married Robert Leslie Trotter on 5.4.1944 at Wauchope; he was a dairy farmer. They had five children, the last being twin girls.

(6) Irene Rita Hollis was born on 11th October, 1924 and entered St. Joseph's Convent, Lochinvar.

(7) Lawrence Christopher Hollis was born on 3.3.1931 at Wauchope.

SALE OF PORTION 58 PARISH OF PAPPINBARRA TO MARIA ROACH. (Found by Alan Brunden in the office of the Hastings Shire Gazette and given to her granddaughter, Mary Nelson.

First day of July year one thousand eight hundred and ninety seven.

I George Reynolds hereby agree to conditionally sell to Maria Roach that portion of land situated in the Parish of Pappinbarra, County of Macquarie, No 58, being an original conditional purchase by Francis Lawman. Area 45 acres for the sum of forty five pounds ~45.0O period of payment to expire six years after the above date. The sum of three pounds ten shillings to be paid annually in consideration thereof.

George Reynolds

Mary Nelson kindly copied this record of sale for me and I will ask her to send me a photocopy of the original for my file. You can see the actual block on the map of part of the Parish of Pappinbarra, following page 27. I have painstakingly and rather untidily coloured family properties with an iridescent yellow pen!


(l0)* Nellie Florence Roach, last child of John and Maria, was born on l0.ll.l894. I have nothing on Nellie Florence (I will ask Mary Daley when I write). However there is a "Florence Roach" buried at Beechwood, died 30.3.l9l3 aged 18 years and that is probably she.


On 10th January, 1870, in the Hastings River district, Patrick Carey, bachelor born in Ireland, farmer, married Bridget Roach in the presence of Martin McCormack and Catherine Wheelan. Father Cornelius Coghlan officiated. Bridget did not sign her name. There is a rare clerical error on the marriage certificate, Bridget's mother is given as "Catherine Roach formerly Smith". Of course, it was Mary Roach formerly Danaher.

I do not know much about the Carey family yet but was contacted recently by Wal Young of Kariong, who married the widow of James Joseph Everson, son of Ellen May Kennedy, grand-daughter of Bridget and Patrick. Wal is doing the family history for his wife Pat's Everson children. Wal got my name from the Hastings District Historical society at Port Macquarie and I visited him and Pat at Kariong before Christmas. I will get more on the Carey family from Wal.

Patrick Carey was born in Co. Offaly, Ireland and died on 26.5.1908. His obituary is in the last newsletter, as is Bridget's. She died on 12.8.1922, after having lost sons Timothy and John in the First World War, son Patrick a couple of years before her death and one daughter (I do not know who and when). Apart from the obituaries, I do not know anything about Bridget and Patrick. Please send me information.

The birth certificates I have for the children of Bridget Roach and Patrick Carey are:

(1) Patrick Carey, born 13th November 1870, Redbank, to Patrick Carey, 24 and Bridget formerly Roach aged 20, (with Granny Roach, her mother, midwife).

(2) Mary Carey, born 4th August 1872, Redbank. (Mary Roche, midwife).

(3) Ellen Carey, born 14th March 1875, Summer Island, Macleay River.

(4) Catherine Carey, born 28th October 1877, Dark Water Creek, Macleay River (with Granny Roach in attendance) married William Augustus Kennedy on 14.2.1899 and died on 24.4.1939 at West Kempsey. I do not know what children she had other than Ellen May (Everson) and Lillian (Cavanagh)

(5) Margaret Carey, born 19th June 1880, Kinchela Creek and I think did not marry (cf. will of Patrick)

(6) John Steven Carey, born 28th March 1883, Kinchela Creek, Granny Roach in attendance. He did not marry and was killed in action with Timothy (see beow) on 19.7.1916.

(7) Timothy Patrick Carey, born on 25th February 1889, Kinchela Creek.

I missed the birth certificate of (8) William Bede, which I will add to the next batch.

I have found the grave of Patrick and Bridget at Frederickton, north of Kempsey, a rather splendid memorial reading:

In Loving memory of PATRICK CAREY died May 26 l908 also TIMOTHY and JOHN CAREY killed together in action France, July 16 1916 also BRIDGET CAREY Wife of the above Died 12th August 1922 Aged 76 years R.I.P.

Wal Young gave me a copy of Patrick Carey's will, which reads:

Patrick Carey, Farmer, Macleay River, Kinchela Creek. To my son William Bede, my property of 40 acres on Black Creek and all horses, cattle and pigs thereon.

On condition that out of the said property he pays:

£200 to my son John Stephen
£200 to my son Timothy Joseph
£100 to my son Patrick

And that my son William Bede will keep and look after my daughter Margaret whilst she lives.

My daughter Ellen will receive £100 to be taken from my account of the Commercial Bank Gladstone after which my daughter Catherine will receive the remainder of the account which should amount to about £40.

My wife Bridget will have full management of my property hereforeto mentioned during her lifetime.

John Stephen and Timothy Joseph executors both of Kinchela Macleay River.

Died 25.5.l908

Estate sworn in £1494.15 s.9.d. nett.

I found out about the deaths of John and Timothy from the Australian Red Cross Wounded and Missing Inquiry Bureau Files, at the War Memorial, Canberra with the assistance of Richard Reid, an Irish historian whose help I had sought for general know-how about Irish records. From the files I learnt that both brothers were dark haired, olive skinned, thickset and of medium height, about 5'8". They enlisted on the same day, 6.9.1915, and left Australia as 8th Reinforcements to the 17th Battalion on the "Aeneas" on 20.l2.l915. They both joined the 53rd Battalion and died, both shot in the head, on the 9.7.1916 in the Battle of Fromelles. This battle was the first big action of the A.I.F. in France and was a bungle and massacre. John was buried in the Rue-Du-Bois military Cemetery, Fleurbaix, France. Timothy's body was not identified after the battle, although he was reported as dying in the arms of his friend Private Gilligan. He is listed in the memorial register V.C. Corner, Australian Cemetery, France. The witnesses' statements collected by the Red Cross of the deaths of John and Timothy make very sad reading. John was 23 and Timothy 27. Richard Reid kindly photocopied all the information for me and told me how to write to England for photos of John's grave and Timothy's memorial. Anyone who wants it is welcome to photocopies of the Red Cross information -indeed of any material I have on any part of the family.


Johanna, fifth child of William Roche and Mary Danaher, was born at Hinton near Maitland on 30.12.l853. On 18.9.1882, at West Kempsey, Johanna married William Cyril Warde. Her brother William and her sister Catherine were witnesses to the ceremony, carried out by Father James McGough. On this certificate one sees the variability of surname spellings in those days:

Johanna's name was spelt "Roche" as was William's, while Catherine's was spelt "Roache". Johanna and William lived near w Hibbard, not far from Port Macquarie and William was a sawyer in the timber mill there. In 1983 the Wauchope Chapter of the Hastings District Historical Society put a note in the Hastings Shire Gazette about my doing the Roach family history and received a most interesting letter from Mr. Jack Walsh, with whom I have since corresponded. In a letter to Hazel Suters, senior research officer, Mr. Walsh wrote about the Warde(e) family:

"....In the News a Mrs. Ward (nee Roach) was mentioned, I remember Mr. and Mrs. Ward. They lived at Newtown, near the Newtown sawmill (near Hibbard). Mr. Jack Rogers was the owner-manager at the time.

Mr. and Mrs. Ward had three sons and two daughters and only two sons and one daughter married. One son was Bill and he had one son named Arthur still living in Port Macquarie. The other son was named Garrett. He married a Miss Fowler (at the moment I can't think of her Christian name). She died in childbirth. The child survived. His name is Tom and he is an electrician with the D.C.C. Miss Fowler was a daughter of the late Tom Fowler of Glen Ewan. He was a brother of your aunt, Mrs. Heck Bain and Mrs. Fowler was a sister of the late Dan White.

Mr. Ward Sen. worked in the saw mill for many years. The sons also were working for the mill companies. Garrett was a sawyer and a good one. The other 2 worked on the log punts and Bill worked for years on the droghers taking cargoes back and forth to all wharfs up to Mortons Creek (Bains Bridge), also to Telegraph Point and Ballangarra. At one time it was very busy on the waterways." (Mr. Jack Walsh, letter to Hazel Suters, of Wauchope Chapter, Hastings District Historical Society. June 1983).

When I copied this for the newsletter, I was reminded that Mr. Walsh actually knew Johanna Roach and William Cyril Warde, so I phoned him. He told me that he used to deliver bread (he was a baker) to the old couple at Newtown. I had been told that Johanna, like Patrick, was blind in her old age. Mr. Walsh had not noticed this when the old lady used to come to the window to get the bread. They were good people, he said. Johanna was a big, tall woman like her brother Patrick, but was not fat.

Johanna Roach and William Cyril Warde had the following children:

1. William Patrick Ward was born on 28.2.1886 at Redbank and when this birth was registered, one male and one female infant had died already. William Patrick married Florence Rosenbaum and his occupation was drogher master. He had two sons, Arthur William Ward (who supplied this information) and Reginald Ward. William Patrick died on 14.6.1967.

2. John Ward was born on 26.11.l887 at Redbank, did not marry and died at Wauchope in 24.12.1958.

3. Garrett Roach Ward (named for his great grandfather, my great great grandfather, William Roche's father back in Feanagh, Co. Limerick) was born on 30.11.1980 at Wauchope. Granny Roach (Mary Danaher) attended the birth. Garrett first married Gladys Fowler at Port Macquarie and had one son, William Thomas, called Tom (referred to in Mr. Jack Walsh's letter). I have been corresponding with Tom's wife Val, and dropped in to see her when I was on holidays at Dunbogen last June, leaving my husband and our friends fishing for the morning and taking my pair of whippets in the station waggon with me. Val has been doing family history for her children and grandchildren and has supplied me with information on the Ward branch. After the death of Gladys, Garrett married Doris Ethel Carroll and they had one daughter, Melba.

4. Kate Ward was born on 8.10.l891 at Wauchope and died on l7.l0.l967 at Port Macquarie. She did not marry.

5. Mary Isabella Ward was born on 11.11.1894 at Port Macquarie. That is all I know about Mary at the moment.

Johanna (Roach) Warde died on 22.10.l930 at Newtown via Hibbard and is buried in the Catholic cemetery at Port Macquarie. As with all the others. I have more to do on this branch of the family.


William, seventh child of William Roche and Mary Danaher, was born at Clarence Town on 25th April, 1846 and Patrick Danaher, his grandfather, was probably his godfather. William was a farmer and married Catherine Landrigan at the Catholic Church, Cundletown (near Taree) on 16.8.l980 with Father James McGough officiating and John Landrigan and Maria Landrigan witnesses. William and Catherine lived at Gowrie, near Wauchope.

I do not have a picture of William's personality. John Roach (Black Billy's son) remembers his funeral at Beechwood, horses and sulkies and pouring rain, although John was only two years old. He remembers that William was a short man, much smaller than his younger brother Patrick. However idealised, the old obituaries are very colourful. William's obituary, presumably in the local paper (I obtained only the cut out obituary from Gwen Lawn, granddaughter of Margaret Roach) was reproduced in the last newsletter and suggests that he was a quiet, gentle man of upright character. The children of William Roche and Mary Danaher seemed to have been either quite tall or of rather stocky build. As I mentioned in an earlier newsletter, Peter Roach told me his father Tom said the tallness (and Tom was really tall!) came from the Danaher side.

Catherine (Landrigan) Roach, William's wife, lived for another 20 years. Her grandson John (Black Billy's son) wrote:

"She didn't die until 1936. She stayed with us occasionally. She lived with Katie during her later life. She was a good story teller and we kids used to look forward to her staying with us."
(April, 1983).

I have copied some lovely old photos of Catherine (Landrigan) Roach with her daughters and one with her small granddaughter Monica, taken in about 1931. Catherine was always very stylishly dressed in her photos and seemed to have a real presence. I think she was a woman of considerable personal strength and of definite views. For example, when her son Gowrie Paddy married a protestant, he never told her of the marriage and her grandchildren from that branch never met their grandmother; she did not know they existed. Nevertheless, the grandchildren I have spoken to who knew Catherine thought she was a marvellous old lady.

William and Catherine had the following children:

1. I think the first was a "John" born 1882 who died.
Ellen (Nellie) Roach was probably born in 1884. She married William Lulham on 9.l.l904. My helper with this branch of the family has been their son Alfred (Spot) Lulham of Beechwood. Not only has Spot sent me information but has given me some marvellous old photos. Ellen Roach and William Lulham had Mary (McGuiness); born 28.12.l908, married Phyllis Markedon, one daughter died Jan. 1952; Thomas; John; Alfred (spot) born 5.6.1910, at Wauchope, married Asiel Shubert 12.8.1933, daughter Eunice Dorothy (Davis); William (Ossie) Lulham born 4.6.1913 at Beechwood, married Rita Mary Hollis on 15.5.1943, children Lorraine Judith, Helen Joyce, John Anthony, Denise Marie, Suzanne Mary and twins Pauline Rita and Patrick William: Patrick dead, I have to write to his wife Betty.

2. William Edward Roach (Black Billy) was born on 26.l0.1885 (I do not have the birth certificates of this branch of the grandchildren of William Roche and Mary Danaher yet). As I mentioned in an earlier newsletter, the Roach family in the Hastings district was well supplied with Williams, Patricks and Johns and they had nicknames that distinguished them. The "black" did not refer to a dark character or a vile temper but, when I knew him at least, to the blackest bushy eyebrows and doubtless when he was young, black hair. He died when I was 8 years old and I remember him as a large, cheerful gentle man (he may not have been so large, as I was quite small at the time, but certainly he did not have the slight build of my father). William Edward Roach married Mary Cameron on 1.11.1911. Mary, whom I knew with great affection as a child as "Aunty Mary", was the only child of John Cameron and Marjory Matheson, pioneers who had quite a bit of land on the Hastings River near the present Bain's bridge; he called it "Crosslands". When they married, William and Catherine lived on part of her father's property and had a house on the Beechwood side of the Hastings River. William traded in horses and cattle. Their daughter Joan (Roach) Vaughan told me (phone, 8th Jan, 85) that, when Mary had only three eldest boys, she went across the river to spend the night with her parents when William was away and was told by a neighbour the next morning that her house had burnt down. All their possessions were lost including her lovely wedding presents and her grand piano. Presumably they stayed with her parents for a time and then built the house she lived in until she died. Aunty Mary outlived William by 31 years, he dying on 15.3.1955 at Wauchope and she on 2.8.1975.

William and Mary had the following children (all of whom I knew as a child except litle Basil who died young). John Patrick Roach born 14.9.1912, married Ellen, no children: Athol Roach, unmarried, died 23.1.1984; (Plus) born 1914; Cyril Roach born 3.9.1916, married Pauline, no children; Eileen Mary (Roach) Ritchie born 1.9.1918 Wauchope, married Albert Edgar Ritchie 3.5.1952, children Pauline Mary, Sharon Eileen and Anne Catherine; Joan (Marjory) Vaughan, born 25.l0.l92l Wauchope, married William Vaughan on 27.9.1947, a son Francis Michael; Basil Roach born 1925 died 27.5.1929 aged 4 years; Monica Theresa (Roach) Harrington born 11.4.1929, married Rex John Harrington 16.7.1955, children: Denese Anne, Paul John, Jane Maree and Brian Joseph; Kevin Raymond Roach, born 14.9.1932, married Margaret Patricia Anderson 12.4.1958, children: Karen Ann, Kevin John and Paul Francis. I met everyone again on the sad occasion of Plus Roach's funeral last January.

Don't think I had seen John since my mother's funeral ten years ago and had not seen the others for longer.

3. Mary Roach second child of William Roach and Catherine Landrigan was born in 1887. John Roach thinks she married but was parted from her husband and it was kept quiet from the children. I have a lovely photo of Catherine and her daughters including Mary.

4. Catherine Roach was born in 1889 and married William Armstrong. I think they had no children.

5. Patrick John Roach (Gowrie Paddy) was born on 4.2.1892 at Gowrie, near Wauchope with Granny Roach (Mary Danaher) there to deliver her grandson. I have this certificate because I have belatedly met one of the "lost tribe" of Roach - John Stanley, whom I believe I have infected with the genealogy bug. When Gowrie Paddy, at the age of 35 married Mary Lillian Kennedy, he did so according to the rites of the Methodist Church and never ever told his mother, Catherine (Landrigan). They had John Stanley, born 4.7.1929; Betty Margaret, born 19.l.l930 and Colin Barry born 3.11.1935. John is a bachelor and Betty and Cohn have children and grandchildren, whose names I must fill in. This John Roach, son of Gowrie Paddy, and I have had a few memorable family history sessions and it is time we got together again.

6. John Roach (Little Jack) was born in 1895 and did not marry.

7. Peter Daniel Roach was born in 1897, was a farmer and married Lena Hall. They had no children. They moved to a property, Upper Thora, out of Dorrigo, where Lena Roach still lives. Peter Dan died in his 80's somewhere in the l970's at Dorrigo. Peter Dan was handsome as a young man and I have a couple of photos of him given to me by Spot Lulham.


Margaret was the first of the children of William Roche and Mary Danaher to be born at Wauchope, after the trek north by bullock team. She was born on 2.10.1859 with Mary's sister, Johanna (Danaher) Kenny as midwife. Margaret married Pierce Purcell on 15th April, 1882 in Brisbane. I found this from the birth certificates; no wonder I could not find their marriage in the pre-l900 NSW records. Pierce Purcell was commercial traveller and I have no idea what Margaret was doing in Queensland. .At first they lived at no. 10 Union Street, suburb variously listed as Newtown, Macdonald Town and Erskineville. They had the following children, all born at 10 Union Street:

1. John Joseph (Jack) Purcell born 16.2.1833, Pierce Purcell's occupation given as carpenter. Jack died young. His obituary (in the last newsletter) painted a picture of a cheerful, outgoing person involved in community and union affairs and probably politics from the collection of M.L.A.'s at the funeral. He had been engaged, Gwen Lawn told me (10.1.l985 by phone) to Maud Archibald and they had jointly owned the "Quarryman" Hotel at Pyrmont. He had been in the war and died young.

2. Catherine Purcell was born on 24.4.1986 and died in infancy.

3. Pierce William (Bill) Purcell was born on 8.5.1888. He married Florence Hammond and had 2 children, Nancy and Bruce.

4. Joseph Bede (Joe) Purcell was born on 29.3.1890 and Mrs. Roach was the midwife. He married but died without children.

5. Ellen Theresa Purcell, Gwen Lawn's mother, was born on 4.3.1892. I have been told she was a soft, gentle girl and this is how she looked in the photos I have of her. I have photocopied the pages of her autograph album lent to me by Gwen and there are all sorts of family entries, eg Tim Carey at Kinchela in 1913, Mary Cavanagh (later McNemara), my uncle Tom Roach. It shows how the families stayed in touch. Ellen married Herbert John Lawn on 16.8.1919 at St. Patrick's Church, Parramatta and they had four children, Helen Rae l920, Ronald (Mick) 1921, Margaret 1924 and Gwen 1929. Tragically Ellen died, aged 44, on 14.8.1936, a month after her mother, Margaret (Roach) Purcell died on 4.7.1936. This caused a total break up of her world, Gwen told me. The house at Concord was sold and life was very sad and lonely. Gwen and Mick did not marry and now have a home together at Rooty Hill (where I visited with Muriel Mulheron, Aunty Cele Hanly and Cass Carey, February 1984). Gwen has kept in touch with the Cavanaghs of Rawdon Island and with Lizzie Clavin and, in my branch, with Tom's daughter, Carmel (Roach) Kelly.

6. Rachel Josephine (Rae) Purcell elder of twins, was born at l0 Union Street on 28.4.1894. She grew up to be strikingly beautiful and talented. She was devastated at the breaking of her engagement to Arnold Resch and never regained her joy of living. She married Kenneth Lawrence but had no children and seemed not especially happy. She died in the l940's.

7. Daniel James (Dan) Purcell younger twin of Rae, was born on 28.4.1894, went to the war and was gassed. He married Mary and had one little girl Joan, now dead. He died at the age of 33 in about 1927 (cf. his obituary in the last newsletter).

Margaret (Roach) and Pierce (Peter) Purcell lived at 49 Gipps St, Concord and I have copied Gwen's photo of the old home. Peter died on 8.7.1908 at the age of 56. Margaret lived for another 28 years, until the age of 76. I have photos of her, a plump woman with a sweet face. Gwen (and others) said she was a kind, loving, woman. Relatives from the country used to stay with her and Margaret (Danaher) Hanly and Celia used to visit, as Aunty Cele told us.


Patrick, youngest son of William Roche and Mary Danaher, was born at Wauchope on 20.2.l862, with Mrs. Craig midwife. He grew up to be a large man, tall and very strongly built, an excellent boxer. From the scraps of family folklore about Grandfather and his youth, he seems to have had some flair and swagger. I think when he was young he was called "Patsy". He married Margaret Page, daughter of Thomas Page and Mary Clancy, at Sherwood on 22.8.1887.

For a time Patrick and Margaret lived at Redbank. The place of birth of the children changes to "Pappinbarra Creek" in 1896 and Patrick's occupation, given as "farmer" while they were at Redbank, changes to "Road Maintenance Man". Doubtless he worked on the road whilst clearing his land, a nice, flat block on the opposite side of the Pappinbarra Creek to the present road. The first land he selected is on the map of the Parish of Pappinbarra No. 7. The portions of land that eventually comprised the Roach farm where I lived as a child were numbers: 22 (D.A. Roach), 89 (P.J. Roach), 48 (F.M. Roach), 109 (D.A. Roach), 21 (T.W. and P.J. Roach) and 184 (P.J. and F.M. Roach), along with Grandfather's No. 7.

Further up the Pappinbarra Creek, John Roach had No. 14 and 62, and his wife Maria Roach No. 58 (purchased in 1897 from George Reynolds, original purchaser Francis Lawman, area 45 acres; Mary Nelson has the original agreement for the sale); John and Patrick Roach had No. 146, J. and P.J. Roach had No. 151 and Patrick Danaher had No. 49.

Grandmother, who was apparently not a robust woman like the Roach sisters, was not well after the last 2 children born in her 40's, Denny and Frank. By the time Denny was born she had lost little Billy, who died a slow and painful death from cancer. In April 1915 she went to visit her sister Clara (Page) Monaghan at Greenhill, proudly sitting in the sulky with a black horse driven by her eldest son Tom. Trix Barry saw her arrive. "Aunty Maggie" was, however, unwell and died of asthma a day or so later.

She was buried the day after her death. Patrick was informant for the registration, and Father A.M. Fillodean officiated. I have found her grave at the Catholic cemetery, West Kempsey. It has a white marble headstone and the inscription:

In loving memory of my dear wife MARGARET ROACH who died April 7th, 1915, Aged 49 years

After her death, a number of people have told me, he was very strict and protective with the girls. He was left with Frank 6, Denny 9, Vera 11, Josie 14 and Mary 16, the other boys being grown up. He was almost certainly partly blind by then.

My mother and her sister Jo (wife of Frank Roach) loved Patrick Roach. He was effectively blind by 1924 when Mum went to Pappinbarra as a schoolteacher from Sydney and she said he was charming and intelligent company. He loved to talk. His granddaughters Madge and Carmel (Tom's daughters) remember him with affection.

Patrick was an honest and upright man, jealous of his reputation. He was, however, probably very hard to get along with when he lost his wife, whom, according to reports received, he loved and depended upon. Mary had to miss boarding at the Convent in Port Macquarie and keep house and rear the smaller children. Vera and Josie had a time in Port Macquarie. While Vera was there in 1919, her elder brother John died and Lizzie Clavin went with her to see him. Vera was quite distraught, Lizzie remembers. John's obituary was in the last newsletter.

Patrick Roach died on 25th July, 1933 at the home of his daughter, Johanna Monaghan in Beechwood. His cause of death was given on the death certificate as "myocarditis and chronic bronchitis, syncope." The informant was T.W. Roach, his eldest son. He was buried at Beechwood on the 27th July, 1935. witnesses J.M. McCarthy and E.R. Herriott and Father Fillodeau conducting the burial service.

Grandfather's will is reproduced below. I copied it by hand at the Supreme Court, Probate Division as they charge $10.00 per photocopy! The will was typed on thin paper and it will be noted it was made out on the day of Grandfather's death. Grandfather's signature, though legible, was sideways across the page; he was blind. The will caused some upset in the family and was not automatically granted probate, being dated the day of death. The envelope containing the will also contained a number of other documents, including statements from the beneficiaries other than Patrick James and Francis Michael to the general effect that this was acceptable. While it would seem at face value to contain gross favouritism, it must be remembered that Patrick Roach had only Portion 7 in the Parish of Pappinbarra in his name and that block, along with the cattle and other things, would not have divided very effectively among seven.



Dairyfarmer of Beechwood in the State of New South Wales

I bequeath the whole of my Property, Personal and Real Estate and Stock and Plant conjointly and equally to my two sons Patrick James and Francis Michael.

Seven hundred pounds to be paid to the remaining members of my children at the rate of ten per cent per annum free of interest. Such amounts to be applicable as follows, namely
To Thomas William two hundred pounds
To Dennis Ashley two hundred pounds
To Mary one hundred pounds
To Johanna one hundred pounds

To Margaret Veronica one hundred pounds

I revoke all former wills in witness whereof I have set my hand this twenty fifth day of July one thousand nine hundred and thirty three.

Signed by the said testator Patrick Roach as and for his last Will and Testament 

Signed Patrick Roach

in the presence of us present at the same time who at his request in his presence and in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses.

Harold Jay JP

Evelyn Morrisey 

Reference: Probate Index: Roach, Patrick, Pappinbarra Rd., Beechwood, 25.7.33, 191492/4 ACTA

Patrick and Margaret Roach had the following children:

1. Thomas William Roach born 17th July, 1888 at Red Bank. with Granny Roach in attendance. This was my dear Uncle Tom, at least 6'4" tall, memorable orator and great spinner of yarns, very sweet with small children. Tom had many occupations, was briefly a policeman, a role he found not to be congenial, a schoolteacher (he studied for his exams in a lumber camp, had little schooling apart from being taught by his mother). He did not teach very long, being, as his son Peter said, drawn back to the bush. Other jobs included organiser for the North Coast for the timber workers union during the great strike in the 30's and Lang Labor candidate for parliament against Sir Earl Page (the latter won).

Tom married Veronica Elsie Furner in 1916 and for many years they lived at Cundletown, near Taree. Or at least, Elsie and the children did, with Tom coming and going with the vicissitudes of work and economics. Their children are Marie Bernadette (Roach) Addis born 20.7.l9l7 (died in 1971); Margaret Joan (Roach) Hoye born 19.12.1919, married James Hoye in 1947, lives at Rockdale; Terence Aubrey Roach born 12.12.1921, my dear cousin Terry, did not marry and died in l980; worked in the bush in his early years before moving to Sydney, strikingly tall like my Uncle Tom; Carmel Jean (Roach) Kelly born 31.1.1924, married l950 (I attended her wedding, of which I have a large and rather splendid photo of Uncle Tom with the bride and her sisters, all quite tall), Carmel lives not far from me at Croydon Park; Raymond Peter Roach, known at Peter, born 11.2.1935, married Leone Mary McGill in 1966, Peter and I met for the first time in two decades at Terry's funeral and have been firm friends ever since, being almost the same age and having lots in common including the interest in family history.

2. Patrick James Roach, known as "Big Pat" to us (Jack Walsh calls him "Bowler Paddy" and I forgot to ask him why), was born on 26th February, l890 at Redbank Estate, delivered by Granny Roach. Big Pat was handsome and dapper when young, dressing with style and driving a matched pair. Something went wrong, perhaps a romantic disappointment, and for all the time I knew him he was almost a recluse. He was 6' high, built like a bear and very strong. As a little girl I often saw him carry a railway sleeper on his shoulder - he was 50 by then. Pat had very blue eyes, a commanding presence despite his tattered clothes and was well spoken and a memorable storyteller.

Pat was a bushman - he worked at felling timber or hauling timber over hilly terrain with his bullock team. I can remember Pat with his bullock team - I used to follow along behind like a puppy. Pat generally ignored animals and did not involve himself in dairying, but he loved his bullocks. In his youth Big Pat was a champion wood chopper and when dressed to go out always wore his gold medallion on the chain with his gold watch.

Pat had a dry wit and was very gentle and sweet with small children. He taught me to waltz and, for all his bear-like bulk, danced beautifully, straight and light. Pat had a strong attachment to the land, as if it attracted all the love that might have gone to his children. After some years of ill health, Pat died in Beechwood at the home of his sister, Jo Monaghan, in June 1959. His wake and funeral were quite memorable. I could not go as I was expecting my second child any day, but my father, Denny, went. In the tradition of the Irish (though hardly of 20th Century Australia) Pat lay in his coffin in the front bedroom until taken to the Beechwood Catholic Church for the requiem mass. This was Pat's obituary in the Macleay Argus, July 4th, 1959. I found it in the library of the Society of Australian Genealogists, in the Nancy Gray Collection, Vol 2, page 156.

Mr. P.J. Roach

The death occurred recently of Patrick James Roach, aged 69, a man well known in Kempsey and throughout the North Coast.

Second son of Patrick and Margaret Roach, he lived at Pappinbarra, where he spent most of his life in the timber industry. In his younger days he was noted for his wood chopping - in 1917 he won the North Coast Championship. Pat was noted for his more than average ability at sports.

He is survived by two brothers, Frank and Dennis of Sydney, and two sisters, Mrs. N. Monaghan (Beechwood) and Mrs. N. Farrell (Maitland). Pat was predeceased by three brothers; Tom, John and William and one sister Mrs. Bruce.

The funeral, which was attended by relatives and friends, left St. Patrick's Church for Beechwood Cemetery, where Rev. Father J. Dineen officiated.

There was almost certainly an obituary in the Hastings Gazette.

3. John Leo Roach was born at Redbank on 17th May, 1892, with Granny Roach in attendance. John died of influenza in the epidemic following the First World War. His obituary was in the last newsletter and I know little more about Long Jack. He was very tall like Tom. He took special care of my father after their mother died, bought him his first saddle and generally fathered him. Denny, aged 13, was quite grief stricken when John died. So was Vera as Lizzie Clavin remembered.

4. William Bede Roach, Billy, was born on 18th November, 1896 at Pappinbarra Creek (Location Position 7 on map, next to 106 which is not coloured). Billy died on 7th May, l905 at Pappinbarra from "pressure on heart and lungs from a sarcomatous growth in abdomen". Denny said his mother told him Billy died painfully and slowly without any adequate pain relief. For some reason, he told me, the doctor (who saw Billy 2 days before his death) refused to prescribe narcotics although it must have been obvious the little boy was dying.

5. Mary Roach was born at Pappinbarra on 5.11.1898, the last of Patrick's children to be delivered by Granny Roach. I really must find out when the present Pappinbarra road was built - even if it were there the old lady would have travelled 10 miles.

I did not see Aunty Mary (Roach) Farrell often, perhaps 6 times in my life, but whenever we whenever we met I felt I had always known her. She was a warm, friendly woman, a great teller of yarns with all dramatic detail, a good sense of humour and a merry laugh. My father Denny loved his sisters and Madge (Margaret Mary (Farrell) Jackson-Hope) tells me Denny and Mary used to talk for hours when he visited their home at Maitland.

Mary married John Edward Farrell and had John Joseph whom I knew as a child when he visited the farm, married and had 5 children Janelle, Jennifer, John Patrick, Roderick and Rebecca; Margaret Mary (Madge) married Lawrence Bernard Jackson-Hope and had 4 children, Michelle Denise, Anthony Kim, John Lawrence and David Thomas; Madge and I are hoping to get together and talk soon, she lives in Goulburn; Patrick died in early childhood; Robert Francis Lionel (Marty) married twice and died just before Christmas, I do not have a list of his children yet; Ronald Francis and Dennis Michael James.

6. Johanna Roach was born on 20.1.1901 at Pappinbarra, a sweet lady whom I knew well as a child. She married Noel Monaghan and I think they always lived at Beechwood, certainly as long as I remember. Aunty Jo lacked the more rowdy sense of fun of Mary and Vera, had a quiet, gentle way. I was very fond of her and liked to stay at the Monaghan home to play with my cousin Mae. Aunty Jo and Uncle Noel have 6 children: John, who married Shirley Maxwell and has a daughter; Margaret Rita married John Shaw and they have Theresa Gay, Michael John, Lynette Maree, Peter Kim, Julie Margaret, Kerry Anne and Terence Anthony. Veronica Mae who married Dean Neville Muntz, since divorced and taken her maiden surname again, has Cheryl Anne, Gregory Dean, Peter Geoffrey, Tracy Maree and Joanne Ellen. Patrick Noel who married Patricia Shelton; they have Peter Terrence, Steven Scott, Michael Anthony and Sonia Leanne. Josephine Shirley married Barry Corcoran and they have Jayne Therese, Anthony John, Rodney James and Jennifer Louise. Judith Eileen married John William Green and they have Johanna Maree and James Kirkpatrick.

7. Margaret Veronica Roach was born at Pappinbarra on 27th Feb. l904. She married Charles Bruce and had one daughter Audrey, who was about 8 years my senior and is dead. I have to track down Aunty Vera's grandchildren. Vera, like Denny, had dark hair and dark eyes. I met her only once when she visited the farm in 1948 and spent a week with us when I was home on school holidays. She was great fun, had a riotous sense of humour and great wit. I would never have guessed that this vivacious charmer had had a crushingly sad personal life.

8. Denis Ashley Roach, my beloved father, was born on 28.2.l906 at Pappinbarra. He did not look like his brothers. He had dark hair, olive skin, aquiline features and dark eyes. Compared with his brothers Tom, Big Pat, Frank and Jack he was diminutive, slim and about 5'10" or 11" in height. He was quite athletic when young but depended on speed not weight on the football field. He was an excellent rider and I can still remember his horse Trotter, a small and very stylish bay thoroughbred of particularly mean temperament. She was sweetness and light for Denny but quite vicious to everyone else. Denny had a bright, restless mind and a keen wit. He felt acutely his lack of formal education (much neglected following his mother's death). Denny married Nell Moxon, who was sent to Pappinbarra in 1925 for her first teacher's posting, teaching at Ellengrove school and boarding with Mrs. Craig at Hollisdale (probably Margaret, "Aunty Sis", Roach who married William Craig). Denny was marvellous with children in a quiet and unobtrusive way. When I was tiny he used to let me ride to the corn paddock on the back of Blossom or Diamond, our grey draught mares, and I used to follow behind him as he trudged up and down the furrows guiding a single blade plough by hand, technology little changed since the middle ages. We never could afford a tractor. Denny got great joy from his 4 grandchildren, who were quite bereft when he had a stroke on his 60th birthday at our home and died six months later. No one could have asked for a more sensitive, caring, tolerant and devoted father than Denny Roach. I still miss him.

I was the only child, born at Port Macquarie 14.7.1935, educated Pappinbarra, Springwood, Wauchope, Sydney Girls' High and University of Sydney; married Geoffrey Shepherd Walker 4.5.1956, and we have Stephen John Ashley (27), Catherine (25), Geoffrey Dennis (24) and Elizabeth Anne (23).

9. Francis Michael Roach was born at Pappinbarra on 27th March l909 and was only 6 when his mother died. He was tall, broad shouldered and good looking, an excellent football player and axeman. Big Pat lived in "the Shack", a slab edifice in pioneer style, near our house. Denny and Frank married 2 sisters and the 2 families lived in the same house, completed a week before I was born. Terry, (Tom's son) Tom himself and Les (Little Paddy's son) often shared "the Shack" with Big Pat. For some years, before Denny got T.B. in about 1943, we had a tennis court beside the house and quite a social life. Jock McCarthy had a tennis court also and there were dances where uncles and grown up cousins danced with small girls. Frank and Jo had 2 daughters while I was still at the farm, Julie-Anne and Mary-Lou. Frank tended to work in the bush with Big Pat and Denny tended to do the farming. Frank was quite capable in the dairy but the only time I can remember Big Pat being involved was once when Denny and Frank got home very late from the Beechwood pub and Big Pat started the motor of the milking machines and gave me moral support and a little practical help with a couple of mean cows while I struggled through the herd of 40. I believe my mother never found out.

Frank came to live in Sydney when their third child was born. Denny had already come to Sydney so I would have a home and parents as I grew up - they sent me to high school in Sydney and followed when I was in 4th year. The close contact with Frank and Jo and their children thus continued. Den and Frank worked together or close by each other at ICI and Laporte chemical factories and Frank died only 3 years after Denny, a dreadful double loss. They both died at the at the age of 60.

I grew up with Frank and Jo's 3 girls, who are double cousins; we share all 4 grandparents. Being an only child, Julie-Anne, Mary-Lou and Denise are my sister substitues. And, of course, their mother Jo is my mother's youngest sister and involved in my both maternal and paternal family history activities.


I know virtually nothing of this branch of the family of William Roche and Mary Danaher. I know they moved to Bundaberg, Queensland, probably about the turn of the century. John Roach (Black Billy's son) thinks that the Sheridans were sponsored as immigrants from Ireland by Peter Cavanagh. Anyhow James Sheridan was born in Co Longford, as was Peter Cavanagh. All my current information comes from marriage and birth certificates.

James and Catherine were married in St. Mary's Cathedral, Sydney, on 13.9.1889 with Pierce Purcell and his wife Margaret (Catherine's sister) as witnesses. James's parents were William Sheridan and Ellen Kavanagh. Bride and groom gave Sydney as their place of residence. He was 24, labourer and she 25, housekeeper. As spellings were so variable, James may have been related to Bernard and Peter Cavanagh.

Their first child, Ellen, was born on 30.6.l890 at George Drive Newtown, with Granny Roach turning up as midwife. Ellen died of chronic enteritis on 15.6.1891 and is buried at Rookwood. They must have gone home to her people because on 8.3.1892 Granny Roach delivered little Margaret at Wauchope, where James was a mill hand. She was followed by Ellen on 7.2.1849, William on 5.3.1896 and James on 27.12.1898 all delivered by Granny Roach. My microfiche records of birth end at l900 and along with that all information on Catherine, baby of the family of William Roche and Mary Danaher.

Copyright by Wendy Louise Walker, 1985

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