Darbys Falls – Margaret Harris’ Diary 1934-1956

Margaret’s 1957 Obituary, as well as those of her husbands , is here.


 19341935193619371938,  1939,  1940194119421943,  1944,  1945194619531954,  1955,  1956.

Margaret Harris (1877-1957) kept a diary while Postmistress at Darbys Falls, near Cowra (NSW). Some of these diaries were left in the possession of her nephew, Tom Markham, and niece,  Ena (Markham) Wass, and some were left with her daughter, Nell Cooke. In 1979 they were given to me, her granddaughter, and in 1991 copies were typed by Anne Cappello (granddaughter). Some diaries for parts of 1935 and 1937 were located by Bernadette (Wass) Sheehy among her mother’s papers in 2003. This reprint incorporates the additional material. Diaries for the years 1947-1952 have not been located.               

Margaret (Markham) (Murray) Harris 1877 - 1957

Margaret Harris was the youngest child of James and Ellen Markham. She was born in Cowra in 1877. She married Francis Conyngham Murray in 1900 and they had four children before he died in 1909.  She was Postmistress at Darbys Falls from 1910 to 1953. In 1915 Margaret married George Harris of Bennett Springs. Margaret and George conducted the General Store. For many years, she played the piano at local and district balls and concerts, Her five children were: Aubrey, Ellen (Nell), Neville (Dib) and James Murray, and George Harris Jnr.

Margaret’s brothers were Jim, Ted, Tom, Pat, Nick, Bill and Frank (Doll) Markham and her only sister was Bridget (Bid) Ward.

Margaret Harris died at her daughter’s home in Sydney on 5 June 1957 and was buried at the Darbys Falls cemetery in the Markham Section. Some explanatory family charts and history are set out below. Her own Obituary is here.


The obelisk in the cemetery was erected as a memorial to the Markham family. Margaret’s grandfather, Edmund Markham, arrived in New South Wales in 1822 and settled along Milburn Creek near the present Darbys Falls in the early1830s.


This set of diaries has been produced so that younger generations as well as those from other local pioneer families might know how their grandparents and great grandparents lived during the depression and WW11. Although work was short and money tight, they made their own entertainment by playing sport, dancing, partying and picnicking.


Margaret Wilkinson





 (A full Tree incl BDM detail of Markham/Slattery descendants is here.)

First (Australian) Generation.



  • b. Co Limerick 1802; arr. NSW ‘Mangles’ 1822; m. 1838; d. NSW 1866.


  • b. Co. Limerick  1820; arr. NSW ‘Surrey’1833; m. (1) Edmund Markham 1838, 4 ch.; m. (2) Nicholas Jordan 1872, no ch.; d. NSW 1878.



Second Generation.

1. JAMES b. Milburn Creek, NSW 1836; m. 1858; ten ch. (See below).; d. NSW 1913, m. ELLEN WALSH  b. Co Limerick 1835; arr. NSW ‘Lord Stanley’1850; m. 1858; d.1916.

2. Catherine Mary b. NSW 1838; m. John Nowlan 1861; five ch.; d. NSW 1872.

3. Ellen Agnes  b. NSW 1840; m. Frederick Joseph O’Leary 1862; ten ch.;d. NSW 1919

4. Mary b. NSW 1853; m. Patrick Joseph O’Leary 1873; seven ch.; d. NSW 1932



Third Generation – Children of James and Ellen Markham only.

  1.     Bridget  Mary b. 1859; m.John Thomas Ward 1879; 10 ch; d.1946                           

    Margaret's parents James Markham (1836-1913) and Ellen Walsh (1835-1916).

  2.     Edmund b. 1859; m. Emily Bolton 1882; 9 ch; d. 1935
  3.     Thomas b. 1862; m. Mary Julia Jordan 1900; 5 ch; d. 1933
  4.     Patrick b. 1864; d. 1913
  5.     James M (Oakey) b. 1866; m. Bridget Maria Ryan 1903; 3 ch; d. 1951
  6.     Francis (Doll) b. 1868; d.1944
  7.     Nicholas J b. 1870; m. Bridget Ryan 1903; 5 ch; d. 1939
  8.     William b. 1872; m. Rosanna Jordan 1910; 3 ch; d. 1945
  9.     Daniel Bernard b. 1875; d. 1876
  10.     MARGARET b.1877; d. 1957          
    • m (1) Francis Conyngham MURRAY 1900; Five ch.
    • m (2)  George (Sonny) HARRIS 1913; One ch.





Margaret MARKHAM b. NSW 1877  d. NSW 1857

 m. (1) Francis Conyngham MURRAY, b. 30.6.1861;son of Charles Murray, Ulladulla and Elizabeth Clare (Conyngham) of Sydney; m. Mt McDonald, NSW 5.1.1900; d. 14.2.1909

  1.     Francis Aubrey (Aub)  1901 – 1973; m. Thelma Barnes 1922; No ch;

    Cowra Free Press 11 11 1900

  2.     Ellen Conyngham (Nellie)  1902 – ; m. Thomas Charles (Charlie) Cooke 1926; Five ch. Francis Murray, Margaret Elizabeth, Anne Conyngham, John Charles and Thomas Michael.
  3.     Doris  1905 – 1906
  4.     Neville (Dibbie)  1906 – 1981; m Winifred McGuiness  1933; Four ch. Joan Mary, Francis Conyngham, Ernest William and Patrick Neville. 
  5.     James Nicholas  1908 -1974; m. Pauline Marjory (Marj) Crowe 1949; one ch. Timothy Aubrey.


 m. (2) George (Sonny) HARRIS 1863 – 1941; son of  Francis Harris of Bennetts Springs NSW, and Ellen Dower; m. Darbys Falls, NSW …1913;

  1.      George William 1915 – 1990; m. Emilie Henderson 1941; three ch. George William (Junior), Janet, and John Francis. 

Margaret with her grandchildren at Darbys Falls in 1949.


Margaret with her sons and daughter at Darbys Falls in 1949. Neville, Aubrey, Nell, George, Jimmy.


Obituaries of Margaret and her two husbands are here.

GO TO DIARY:  1934, 1935, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1944, 1945, 1946, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956.