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Foley History & Family Tree
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Foley Family of Scotts Head and Nambucca Heads

" The following information is what my mother-in-law, Ella Turnbull nee Carney, recalls about the FOLEY family at Scotts Head:

"I think it would have been in 1935 or 36 when the Foley family came to live on the Scotts Head camping reserve.  They had a clump of tents (3 or 4) pitched in a spot backing on to the sandhills bordering the beach, which stretched for nine miles around until it reached Warrell Creek, where it joined the Pacific Ocean.

The family consisted of Mr. & Mrs. Foley (who was a little sparrow of a woman), and their sons - Bob, who seemed to run the "show," so to speak; Jim, Mick, Little Pat and Con.  There were, I think, two daughters - the names Mary and Ursula come to mind.  There were also Grandpa and uncle Pat, who always seemed to have a cigarette dangling from the corner of his mouth.  I recollect that Grandpa passed away while they lived at Scotts head.

They had a big rowing boat and a larger one that had an inboard engine.  They were a popular family, very generous with giving fish away, especially to those who helped haul in the nets when the sea mullet were running in the bay.

Jim joined the army.  Bob surprised everyone by getting married - he was such a shy fellow.  I haven't any idea of what happened to the rest of the family after they left Scotts Head to live in Nambucca Heads.  At times I would see Mrs. Foley riding her push-bike between Macksville and Nambucca Heads.  She couldn't be mistaken because of her hat - it looked like an inverted chamber-pot trimmed with some ribbon and flowers!

I know nothing of when Pat and Mary Foley befriended Jack Turnbull.  Although Jack was my brother-in-law, I hardly knew him.  Upon his death, he left his banana plantation, which was situated on Middle Head Road, to Pat and Mary.  My husband, Alan, remembers visiting his retired Carney grandparents at Scotts head during the Christmas holidays covering the early 1950's.  His grandpa Carney, who died in 1954, was apparently the honorary caretaker of the Scotts Head Reserve, and this entailed doing the rounds of the reserve and emptying the garbage bins etc.  Alan would accompany his grandfather on these occasions, and would listen to the conversations that that his grandfather would have with the locals that he met on his rounds. Inevitably, the talk would get around to the Foley's latest drunken escapade.  They were notorious for holding long drinking sessions at home, followed by loud arguments and brawls amongst themselves.

When grandpa's rounds were completed, he would take Alan up to the local shop, which also doubled as the post office, collect his mail and buy Alan an ice-cream.  The shop/post office was perched up on a hill or cliff, and the Foley family lived in an old weatherboard house with a boatshed beside it, just under the cliff.  Apparently the store's proprietor could see and hear everything that went on in the Foley household below.

While Alan licked his ice-cream, he would listen, all eyes and ears, as his grandpa was given a blow by blow account of yet another Foley brawl.  A  colourful description would be given of the black eyes, and the cuts and gashes which had marked one or another of the Foley menfolk when they came up to collect their newspapers and mail from the shop.  To an impressionable young boy, the Foley legend was a source of wonder, and the stories became as much a part of Alan's summer holidays as his ice-cream after the chores were done.

My husband recalls that his uncle, Jack Turnbull, was friendly with the Foley clan, and when Jack died unmarried in 1967, his banana plantation was left to one of the Foley men, possibly Pat, as he was of a similar age to Jack Turnbull.  Alan remembers Pat as being a little, old man who always rolled his own cigarettes, and was never seen without one hanging from the corner of his mouth."

A Family with its share of grief:

Based on records provided by Sandra Love, the Foleys of the Nambucca area have had their share of grief. Out of 2 parents and 14 children:

Robert Mitchell Foley, the father, burnt to death in his home;
Stephen drowned in a lake while having a heart attack;
Cornelius died as the result of being hit by a train while on a level crossing;
Daniel  accidentally burnt to death in a camp fire;
Timothy drowned in the river at Macksville.

Family Tree

Descendants of Mitchell Robert Foley

1 Mitchell Robert Foley b: 04 January 1884 in Minmi, NSW, Australia d: 09 August 1974 in Bellingen, NSW, Australia Number of children: 14
. +Violet May Smith b: 1890 in Stroud, NSW, Australia d: 05 June 1969 in Nambucca Heads, NSW, Australia Number of children: 14
........ 2 Amelia Foley 
............ +Millie 
........ 2 Jack Foley 
............ +Patricia Cook 
........ 2 Jean Foley b: in Nambucca Heads, NSW, Australia 
............ +Kenneth Provost 
........ 2 Kathleen Foley 
........ 2 Mary Foley 
............ +Allen Hardy 
........ 2 Samuel Foley 
............ +Joan Irons 
........ 2 Robert Edward Foley b: 1913 d: in Gladstone, Qld, Australia 
............ +Verlie Stubbs m: 1939 in Ashfield 
........ 2 James Foley b: 1915 in Gosford, NSW, Australia d: 06 November 1987 in Repton, NSW, Australia 
............ +Vida Fuller m: 1944 in Taree 
........ 2 Michael James Foley b: 1917 in Gosford, NSW, Australia 
............ +Muriel McGrath 
........ 2 Patrick Foley b: 13 January 1919 in Wyong, NSW, Australia 
............ +Phyliss Forrester m: 1938 in Macksville, NSW, Australia 
........ 2 Stephen Foley b: 13 January 1919 d: 15 December 1978 in Nambucca Heads, NSW, Australia 
........ 2 Cornelius Foley b: 1920 in NSW d: 10 May 1979 in Nambucca Heads, NSW, Australia 
............ +Beryl 
........ 2 Daniel George Foley b: 1922 in Urunga, NSW, Australia d: 06 June 1990 in Nambucca Heads, NSW, Australia 
........ 2 Timothy Foley b: 1922 in Urunga, NSW, Australia d: 05 September 1985 in Macksville, NSW, Australia 

Contributed by: Frank E. Scully (FOLEY relatives in the Nambucca & Bellingen Districts)
4 Janice Place, Narraweena, NSW AUS 2099  Ph: (02) 9971 5073

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