1823 Grogan


Grogan Family – Yass/Cowra and Lachlan.


My connection with the Grogan name is limited, but dates back to the very early days. My great great grandmother Bridget (Slattery) Markham (1820-1898) as a widow, married Nicholas Jordan, the brother of Sarah (Jordan) Grogan. So Bridget’s sister-in-law. Furthermore, my great grandmother Ellen (Walsh) Markham (1835-1916), was the first cousin of Sarah McNamara (1836-1923), who married Michael Grogan (1835-1918).


In my research of forbears closer to my colonial immigrants, I have assembled  information on the early Grogan families.[1]. Importantly, for my website, the family is among the early settlers of the district from Yass towards Boorowa. Their colonial story is worth telling.


I have provided below the Outline Descendant Tree for the first four colonial generations, hoping it to be useful to genealogists working on the Grogan, and/or related names. Please contact me if there are errors or omissions.


William Grogan was transported to New South Wales, arriving on the “Isabella” on 16 December 1823,, having been convicted in Naas, County Kildare, Ireland  of ”Burglary and Robbery of Arms”. He was sentenced to Life, grouped in the court with three others – John Murray, Peter Reilly, and Patrick Tigne. Presumably they acted together, a common occurrence among groups working against British Rule. It is interesting that a John Murray was a witness at the baptism of William’s son Bernard in Ireland in 1821. There does not appear to be any connection between him and William after arriving in the Colony.


Grogan had been born in Co. Kildare in about 1797. He was the son of Bryan Grogan and Mary Madden. By trade he was a reaper. He married, in the Kilcock Catholic Church, on 4 February 1821, Anne Cunningham who was born in 1800 in Knockanally, nr Kilcock, Co Kildare. Anne’s parents were Michael Cunningham and Margaret Comerford. Their only Irish born child, Bernard, was born there in November 1821


On arrival in the Colony, Grogan was in indentured to James Hassall b1802-1862, farmer, who was born at Parramatta. The Hassalls were a well known Colonial Protestant family, James Hassall with extensive land grants & squatter blocks in western NSW & many convicts. He received his Ticket of Leave in 1823 and Conditional Pardon on 1st January 1840. William, on receiving his freedom had learned from James Hassall how to claim land & became a pioneering Squatter taking up a portion outside the limits of the colony south of the country he knew so well south of some of Hassell’s land.


At age 33, Anne and son Bernard emigrated to join her husband. They arrived on the “Caroline” on 6 August 1833. George Birnie kept a Medical Journal from (on Vessel Caroline) 1 March to 28 August 1833……..In his General Remarks he noted the arrival of the women and children…..

“On the 29th March 1833 we received on board the Caroline at the Cove of Cork, fifteen free women and forty one of their children, being the wives and children of convicts ordered a passage to New South Wales by His Excellency the Lord Lieutenant, and on the 30th we received one hundred and twenty female convicts and thirteen of their children, making a total of 189.”


On the arrival of the “Caroline”, Anne and her son Bernard stayed at the Lumber Yard in Sydney Cove waiting on William to turn up, no idea where he was. He arrived sometime later & transported Anne & Bernard back to James Hassall’s property where he was still indentured at the “Boorowa Estate”. With a horse & cart the family travelled the week back to Boorowa in south western NSW. The village of about 20 persons on the Boorowa River made up of James Hassall’s convict staff as the village was actually on the Estate; there he put Anne & Bernard in a small bark hut in the village of Boorowa. They continued to have a family of 7 children.


Between 1843-56 William was registered on the run of 9700 acres known as Sawyers Flats.This encompassed the area of which the town of Bowning is today. When this area “came into the Colony” these large squatterages came with a leasing fee per acre, land without access to water was useless and William  would not have been able to afford to pay a lease on such an expanse of land. So shrewdly took up blocks that gave him access to water courses only, putting them in not only his name but his children reducing the size of the property to the land known at Limestone Creek on the Burrowa road 10 miles from Yass.


Yass Courier 19 June 1858

He built & opened the “Plough Inn” at Limestone Creek on the 1st July 1858.Today this property is known as “Woodlea Park” on the Lachlan Valley between the town of Bowning & the Bendine Stock route & continues up to & includes the property of Grogansworth. The Inn although no longer standing was on the road just inside the paddock fence, approx 200m south of the (still standing) old grand brick entrance of Woodlea Park.some footings of the stone Inn can still be identified.

William Grogan was “stuck up” as were the guests at the Inn & his horses were stolen in 1861. Then again by Charles Jones & his gang in October 1863.William Grogan’s  “Limestone Creek” in todays directions was bounded by the end of Stadtmillers Lane Bowning (next paddock up from the dog leg) through to LachlanValley Way.


Bernard Grogan married Sarah Cahery in 1841, she died in 1844 possibly in child birth…Her grave stone can still be found upright in Yass Cemetery against the fence . They had 1 child.. William.b 1842-d 1926–Young NSW on “Groganville”

He then married Mary Jordan in 1847, his childhood sweet heart from the “Caroline” in 1833. Mary Jordan also arrived as a 10 year old child on board the Vessel “Caroline” in 1833. The Jordan story is here.


Bernard Grogan had a small block next at the far end of William’s blocks at the intersection of Bendenine Stock Route road…the land & original rear road of “Limestone Creek” is now a fence line and is part of the property- now known as “Woodlea Park”. Bernard also owned another 33 acres off Walls End road (left off LVW) ..1st driveway on left to “Hill Grove” homestead, directly behind the farm sheds; a fenced hill down to the creek. Grogan also owned land at Limestone Creek (now on property known as “Hill Grove”) in 1855, he was also a Publican of the Golden Fleece Inn Yass around 1859 and a “Teamster” died in Nth Queensland in 1893…His sons Patrick d.1918 & Bernard d.1921 were up there.[2]

John McElroy, who has generously provided much recorded on this page, has given this historical note:


There are many places throughout the southern region of NSW that bear the name

“Grogan” such as localities, creeks & hills…I suspect Grogan Creek Station between

Temora & Young was an area where William as Convict had a shepherd’s hut..before  then he took up holdings at Sawyers Flats  Limestone Creek near Bowning. William and  Bernard in 1852 bought two house blocks side by side in Boorowa, I assume due to the larger river there, it was the period of a terrible drought !!

It appears many Grogans resided in the wider Yass & Young districts, being Catholics

they all seemed to have larger families (particularly boys),taking up holdings at Tangmangaroo both on Lachland Valley Way between Bowning & Boorowa, Mossman-Nth Queensland , Brisbane & even WA.

They were a successful & well respected family in Yass, & within one generation

Williamʼs Grandchildren by the 1880s were attending Sydney private school St Josephs College, Hunters Hill and involving themselves in local politics.

The Grogan family still lives in the area and in a meeting at “IIlalong Station” Binalong with Mike Grogan in 2015, he confirmed his family story of great aunty Anne taking milk to (as child) to Ben Hallʼs gang of Bushrangers when they camped near the property.Dorothy Minihan told me of the same story that she had heard as a child from Anne her Grandmother !

She also told me the story of the Bushrangers coming to the house for a meal and the

children were sent to the rear bedroom out of the way….this closely corresponds to the news paper reports of the Plough Inn being robbed in 1863.

Dorothy Minihan also spoke of the “Pigram family” of Binalong, Mike Grogan confirmed Ada Grogan (nee Pigram) was his Great aunt.




The first few generations listed below, provide detail of the subsequent births, marriages and deaths.




1 William GROGAN b: Abt. 1797 in Co Kildare, Arr Australia: 16 Dec 1823 in “ISABELLA”, d: Apr 1875 in Yass NSW + Anne CUNNINGHAM b: 1800 in Co Kildare, IRE, m: 04 Feb 1821 in Kilcock, Co Kildare, Arr Australia: 06 Aug 1833 in “Caroline”, d: 31 Mar 1876 in Yass NSW

…2 Bryan (Bernard) GROGAN b: Nov 1821 in Ireland, Arr Australia: 06 Aug 1833 in “Caroline”, d: 1893 in Queensland + Sarah CAHERY m: 1841, d: 1844

……3 William Joseph GROGAN b: 1842, d: 29 Apr 1926 in Tangmangaroo, NSW + Jane O’BRIEN b: 1845 in Kilrush, Kildare, Ireland, m: 1863 in Yass NSW, d: 15 Jun 1919 in Yass NSW


Yass Town’s Oldest Resident Mr. William J. Crogan, the oldest resident of Yass, died last week at his residence, .”Groganville,” in his 84th year. He leaves four daughters and five sons. The daughters are:- Mrs. Heffernan (Junee), Mrs. Best (Tangmangaroo), Sister Gertrude (Convent, Parkes) Sister Aloysius (Convent, Wilcannia). The sons are: – James, Bryan, Patrick, Frank and Jack. The late Mr. Grogan was a native  of Yass, and one of the first men who took up land under the free selection system. He was always actively interested in politics  and at least one of his sons was prominently before the electors on several occasions. [Goulburn Penny Post 5 May 1926.]

………4 Sarah A GROGAN b: 1864 in Yass NSW

………4 James GROGAN b: 1866 in Yass NSW

………4 Bernard GROGAN b: 1869 in Yass NSW + Lily BEST

………4 Honora Jane GROGAN b: 1874 in Yass NSW

………4 Gertrude Bridget GROGAN b: 1885, d: 21 Mar 1936 + Daniel HEFFERNAN m: 1905 in Sydney NSW

………4 Patrick GROGAN

………4 Frank GROGAN

………4 Jack GROGAN

………4 Mary M GROGAN


+ Mary JORDAN b: Abt. 1823 in Ireland, m: 1847 in Bathurst NSW, Arr Australia: 06 Aug 1833 in “Caroline”, d: 1901 in Sydney NSW

……3 Bernard GROGAN b: 1850, d: 24 Nov 1921

……3 Patrick GROGAN b: 1852, d: 1918 in Queensland

Timothy Moriarty’s mother Ellen (Fitzgerald) Moriarty. The family emigrated from Kent, England in 1853.

……3 Anne GROGAN b: Nov 1851, d: 29 Aug 1939 in Maroubra, NSW + Timothy MORIARTY b: 1849 in Ireland, m: 1880, Arr Australia: 10 Mar 1853 in “Trafalgar”, d: Nov 1917 in Claremont, WA

………4 Herbert T MORIARTY b: 1880 in Balmain NSW + Mary A DWYER m: 1931 in Sydney NSW

………4 Catherine H MORIARTY b: 1882 in Sydney NSW, d: 1978 + Joseph Patrick McMILLAN b: 1878 in Sydney NSW, m: 1904 in Sydney NSW, d: 27 Apr 1945 in Sydney NSW

………4 Annie May MORIARTY b: 1884 in Paddington NSW + John Wilson m: Aug 1919

………4 Lily MORIARTY b: 1885 in Paddington NSW + Thomas W PHILLIPS m: 1915 in Waverley NSW

Lance Corporal Joseph Fitzgerald Jordan Moriarty (“Sony”), 17th Battalion AIF, signed up in November 1915 and was killed in action in the battle of Monte St Quentin in Clery sur Somme France on 30 August 1918. He is buried at Hem FARM military Cemetery, HEM-MONACU in Somme, France in Row 2.J.11





………4 Harold L MORIARTY b: 1887, d: 1888

………4 Joseph Fitzgerald Jordan MORIARTY b: 1888, d: 30 Aug 1918 in KIA WW1 Mont St Quentin France

………4 Clare M “Bubs” MORIARTY b: 1891 in Paddington NSW

……3 Mary GROGAN b: 1856, d: 1944 + Patrick MULVEY m: 1880 in Sydney NSW

……3 James GROGAN b: 1858, d: 1907

……3 Michael GROGAN b: 1860

……3 Sarah J GROGAN b: 1862

……3 William J GROGAN d: 1926 in Yass NSW

……3 Two children GROGAN


…2 Michael J GROGAN b: 12 Jul 1835 in Boorowa River, Yass, NSW, d: 07 Nov 1918 in Peak Hill, NSW + Sarah McNAMARA b: 1836 in Co Limerick IRE, m: 1855 in Yass NSW, Arr Australia: 20 Oct 1841 in “Livingstone”, d: 19 Sep 1923 in Lithgow NSW

……3 John GROGAN b: 1856 in Yass NSW, d: 1940

……3 William GROGAN b: 1858 in Yass NSW, d: 1934 in West Wyalong NSW

……3 Matthew GROGAN b: 1860 in Yass NSW

……3 Mary A GROGAN b: 1862 in Yass NSW

……3 Annie GROGAN b: 1868 in Yass NSW, d: 1905 in Trafalgar Victoria

……3 Daniel GROGAN b: 1870 in Yass NSW

……3 Felix GROGAN b: 1874 in Yass NSW

……3 Evelyn M GROGAN b: 1878 in Cowra NSW, d: 1960 in Sydney NSW

……3 Edward Joseph GROGAN b: 1879 in Peak Hill, NSW

…2 Daniel GROGAN b: 1837 in NSW, d: 26 Jun 1912 in Cowra NSW + Ellen RYAN b: 1843, d: 08 Mar 1920 in Cowra NSW

……3 Daniel Joseph GROGAN b: 1873, d: 02 Jul 1948

……3 William John GROGAN b: 25 Feb 1877 in Yass NSW, d: 01 Oct 1963 in Cowra NSW + Annie WHITTY b: 1881, m: 1903 in Cowra NSW, d: 11 Nov 1946 in Petersham NSW

………4 Lena Margaret GROGAN b: 13 Feb 1904 in Cowra NSW + Martin G McCLOSKEY m: 1932 in Cowra NSW

………4 Oliver Daniel GROGAN b: 1906 in Cowra NSW, d: 1968 in Balmain NSW + Bridget May DOWDELL b: 1909 in Lithgow NSW, m: 1932 in Cowra NSW

………4 Daniel GROGAN b: 1912 in Cowra NSW, d: 1912 in Cowra NSW

………4 Male infant GROGAN b: 1913 in Cowra NSW, d: 1913 in Cowra NSW

……3 Catherine Alice GROGAN b: 1879 in Cowra NSW, d: 23 Apr 1961

……3 Mary GROGAN b: 1881

……3 Grace Bridget GROGAN b: 1885 in Cowra NSW, d: 18 Jun 1924 in Cowra NSW

…2 John GROGAN b: 1839 in NSW, d: 25 Feb 1867 in Yass NSW

…2 Three children GROGAN






Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)

  1. This is supplemented by the extensive detail kindly provided by John McElroy, g.g.g.grandson of Mary (Jordan) Grogan.
  2. The Golden Fleece Inn is now Heritage listed as the oldest building in Yass, next to the bridge, over the river.