The Murray Family – Chapter Nine – Mary Murray (1827 – 1860)




Mary MURRAY (1827-1860)

 and John McCARTHY (1823-1859)

Steam Packet Inn, Greenhills NSW


      Mary Murray was born 20 December 1827[1] in County Fermanagh, Ireland. She was eleven years of age when she arrived in Sydney on the Susan  in February 1839 with her emigrant parents and her five brothers and sisters.  As seen in an earlier chapter, at the time of the 1841 NSW Census, aged 14-15, she was not living with the family at Wollongong, so may have been employed elsewhere.

      At the age of 19, she married John McCarthy at St. Mary’s RC Church Sydney on 12 February 1847. John was the son of Patrick and Catherine McCarthy from County Clare, Ireland, and was about 14 years of age when he arrived in Australia, according to his death details.[2]  The witnesses to the marriage were Patrick McCarthy of Yass and Jane (or Anne) Rea of Sydney.  As the marriage record[3] gave Sydney then as Mary’s ‘usual place of residence,’’[4] she may have been working for a family in Sydney before her marriage.

       It appears that Mary and John then made their home in Wollongong, as their first child, a son Charles, was born on 23 March 1848 and baptised  by  Father Peter Young in the Parish of Wollongong[5] on 16 April 1848. A daughter Catherine was born in Yass NSW[6] in 1849 but no birth or baptism certificate has been found.[7]  On 26 November 1850, another daughter, Mary Susan, was born to John and Mary McCarthy.[8]  Known as Susan, she was baptised on 16 January 1851 by Father E. Luckie.  Mary and John (profession farmer) were then living at Shoalhaven,   A second son, James, was born on 2 July 1852.  He was baptised on 10 August 1852, again by Father E. Luckie, with the family still living in the Shoalhaven area.  Sponsors were James and William McGrath.

      Some time after their son Charles was born in Wollongong (March 1848), and before the birth of their daughter Mary (Nov 1850), John and family  moved to the Shoalhaven area near Nowra.  If John was a farmer (for himself or others) from January 1851 to 1853 in the Shoalhaven area, after 1853 he had become the proprietor and licensee of a public house called the ‘Steam Packet Inn’  located at Greenhills, next to the township of Terara (later spelling Terrara).

      The publication – Hotels of Illawarra & Shoalhaven 1828-1999[9] – includes on its list of early public houses – “Steam Packet Hotel – Greenhills – 1853-1860”.  Sometime prior to 1854[10], Henry Thomas ‘leased some land from the owners of the Greenhills estate in close proximity to the Terara estate and thereon built a public house’.  The building was constructed of slabs and covered with stringy bark for a roof. There was no time to waste in getting shingles[11]. Thomas sold out shortly after opening to John McCarthy ‘who did well before selling out to Mr. Ryan’   It is interesting to note that about this time, a daughter of this Henry Thomas – Rosina – married Philip Murray, Mary McCarthy’s brother –  in November 1853.

       Terara developed with its own wharf (1854), flourmill (1856), steam mill (1856), stores and its usual fair share of pubs! The Church of England opened on 26 July 1856. Terara was the main centre in the district until the devastating floods of 1860 and 1870 witnessed its decline and the growth of Nowra as the commercial and main residential area of Shoalhaven.[12]                                                               

        Soon after the Illawarra Mercury was established in 1856 and commenced publication, an advertisement was placed by ‘J McCarthy’, on 4 February 1856, for the Steam Packet Inn.  Another Shoalhaven advertisement on 19th May for a ‘public dinner’ advised tickets at 12s 6d each could be had at ‘Mr. McCarthy’s, Steam Packet Inn.  Some weeks later, on 30 June 1856, the Mercury  printed an article by a W.G. Williams concerning his travels in the area and commented very favourably on  his stay at McCarthy’s Inn.

‘I started for Shoalhaven, distance from Onedendian[14] 25 miles, at which place I arrived at one o’clock p.m.  As I had to remain in Shoalhaven for a few days, I made enquiries for a respectable place to reside.  I was directed by a gentleman to put up at Mr.John McCarthy’s Steam Packet Inn, at which place I remained for nine days. Here I met with the greatest kindness and civility, both from Mr. McCarthy and his wife.  I must say for McCarthy, that he kept as decent and orderly a house as ever I put at during my sojourn in this colony.’           


      That the McCarthys and their Inn were well regarded locally by this time appears to be the case from another public notice which appeared in the Illawarra Mercury a week later, on 7th July 1856:                    

‘To the inhabitants of Shoalhaven, Mr. Ashton begs most sincerely and respectfully to return his heartfelt thanks to the inhabitants of Shoalhaven, for the kind and liberal support received by him at their hands, and more especially to Mr. and Mrs. McCarthy and family for the charitable feeling evinced by them to Mongo Mongo during his illness, and in his funeral attendance’. 


      Mongo Mongo, also known as ‘Little Alick’, was one of a troup of aborigines with the pioneering Ashton’s Circus which first visited Greenhills in 1855[16].  On its second visit in 1856, it arrived in Terara on Friday 27th June and erected the tent and fixtures in readiness for the first performance that night.  The venue was Greenhills at ‘Michael John McCarthy’s hotel, the Steam Packet Inn’[17].  A native of Tamworth, Mongo Mongo was a natural on horseback and performed many skilful and daring feats; though he did not perform on this tour, having been ill for some months. The McCarthys took him into their care for the duration of his stay, but suffering from tuberculosis, the 20-year-old Mongo Mongo, sadly, died at the Steam Packet Inn on the day of the final circus performance.  The above picture of Mongo Mongo leaping over a stretched canvas appeared in The Illustrated Sydney News, 23 June 1855.

     It appears the Steam Packet Inn served as the setting for functions such as St. Patrick’s Day Dinners.  The Illawarra Mercury of 9th March 1857 announced, “In celebration of the above festival, there will be a dinner on the 17th March at the Steam Packet Inn, which it is hoped, all TRUE SONS OF ERIN, and all other friendly to national feeling, will attend……”  The Committee were named as Dr. Alley, Messrs M Ryan, J Murray, C Murray &c.

      A Publican’s Licence was issued to John McCarthy for the Steam Packet Inn, Greenhills, District of Shoalhaven on 6 May 1856[18].  The next was dated 21 April 1857.  A Certificate by Justices to authorise the granting of a License[19] [Publican’s] was drawn up for John McCarthy of Greenhills ‘for the Steam Packet Inn, situate at Greenhills, Shoalhaven.’  The certificate, as follows, includes a reference attesting to McCarthy’s ‘good fame and reputation’  by Charles Murray Senior of Ulladulla and Philip Murray of Ulladulla plus ‘a recognizance in the sum of fifty pounds each.’  So it would seem that John McCarthy’s father-in-law and brother-in-law acted as guarantors and thus paid the licence fees for Mary’s husband, John McCarthy, to operate the Steam Packet Inn and to sell spirituous liquors.  As later events reveal, this may have not been in John and Mary’s best interests.

            The Steam Packet Inn appears to have been popular with the local citizenry.  Another notice in the Illawarra Mercury announced a Regatta Meeting at ‘Mr. McCarthy’s inn to make arrangements for the annual regatta to come off on New Year’s Day’.   That New Year’s night celebrations at the Inn  after the Regatta were pretty lively – the following week, in the Shoalhaven Court of Petty Sessions concerning an  altercation on New Years Eve, Constable Brown[20] charged a gentleman named Goodwin with ‘striking him from behind whilst in the course of closing McCarthy’s public house’.[21]  The following month, on 8 February, John McCarthy appeared in Court again accused by one, McManus, with defamation.[22]  This was reportedly ‘settled outside’ and advised to the Court.  It was to be another four months before his name appeared in the Illawarra Mercury again, a case of McCarthy v Hughes for assault.[23]

          On 6 September 1858, this time in the Shoalhaven Court of Requests, it was McCarthy v Richards concerning non-payment of a bill[24].  Back in the Court of Petty Sessions[25] two months later on 8 December, Constable Brown was accusing McCarthy, publican, of ‘having in his possession certain banknotes reasonably supposed to be stolen.  A guest at the Inn had lost a wallet containing banknotes. He suspected the landlord, denied vehemently by McCarthy. Happily for McCarthy, the case was then dismissed for lack of evidence.[26]

            On a more positive note, the Shoalhaven Telegraph of 17 Nov 1858 lists John McCarthy contributing the sum of ten shillings and sixpence’ to the Donegal Relief Fund.[28]  In November 1858, the Fund was set up in Sydney with the purpose of bringing out to Australia people from the village of Derryveagh, Co. Donegal, Ireland, who had been evicted and their homes destroyed.  News of the Fund spread quickly around NSW and a collection was taken up in the Shoalhaven District

            Back again in the Shoalhaven Court of Petty Sessions two weeks before Christmas 1858, another case – Henstead v McCarthy for assault.[29]  In those early innkeeping days, it appears likely that mine host occasionally needed a handy pair of fists to keep the peace.  It also seems that John now kept a keen eye on his goods and chattels and light-fingered patrons.  On 28th February 1859 he graced the Shoalhaven Court yet again, this time accusing one, James Barker, with being ‘illegally on the premises of John McCarthy’ and stealing two tumblers.[30] The next court appearance involved a J. Schadel who wanted John McCarthy to pay him for a ‘seat in the Catholic Chapel’  a sum of 4 pounds 10 shillings.  McCarthy had commissioned Schadel to make the seat which, when placed in the chapel, was removed by the priest citing ‘poor workmanship’.  According to McCarthy, the seat was badly made and ugly and thus he declined to pay up.[31] 


      An Illawarra Mercury column dated 30 May 1859 on the Shoalhaven commented on a survey of the township of Terara as rapidly progressing.  ‘The place, already town-like in appearance, will in a year or two attain sufficient strength to become the centre of a Municipality’.  However, in the year 1859, a great many residents living outside the Berry estates in the Shoalhaven petitioned for Nowra to be proclaimed a municipality.  Among the listed petitioners were two McCarthys –  John McCarthy, Innkeeper, and Patrick McCarthy, Landholder. 


The Steam Packet Inn closes down

          By the 30th May, 1859, matters at the Inn appear to have been going downhill or, more likely, were due to ill health, because on 30th May a notice was placed in the Illawarra Mercury announcing the sale of the lease for the Steam Packet Inn.[32]  A month later, another notice advised that the Steam Packet Inn had closed.[33]   It would appear the Magistrate was not prepared to transfer the licence. The next applicant, Patrick Ryan, was initially refused.  The Illawarra Gazette reported the result of the application hearing at the Court of Petty Sessions held at Numba on 6th September.

Patrick Ryan applied for a publican’s licence for the house lately occupied by McCarthy.  The majority of the bench decided the house was not required and refused the application.[34]

          It appears likely that John and Mary McCarthy and their family left the Steam Packet Inn at Greenhills sometime in October 1859 and moved to a house in the newly proclaimed township of Nowra.  The McCarthys then opened a store in Nowra.  The Illawarra Mercury of 13 October 1859  announced –




John McCARTHY, late of the Steam Packet Hotel, begs to return his sincere thanks to the public for the patronage bestowed on him in his late establishment, and to inform them that he has now opened a store in Nowra for the sale of spirits, &c., in quantities of two gallons and upwards, and he trusts that by strict attention to business, quality of liquor, and moderate charges, to merit a continuance of their favors.


       It was then only three months before the first tragedy struck the McCarthy family. The Illawarra Mercury carried a notice announcing the death of John on 6 December 1859:

Sudden deathI have to record the death of Mr. John McCarthy, late landlord of the Steam Packet Inn, Greenhills, which took place about 2 o’clock this afternoon, at his residence, Nowra, after a few hours illness and from what cause is not as yet known.  I expect there will be an inquest held on the body tomorrow.[35] 

      The result of the inquest[36] was reported a few days later with the information that, ‘from the evidence adduced, the jury returned a verdict… [McCarthy] …  died of excessive use of ardent spirits..’ and further that, ‘the majority of the jury are of the opinion that a wholesale spirit licence ought not to be granted to the rural district without the concurrence of the local bench of magistrates’.[37]  On 15 Dec  another notice

DIED. .  At Nowra, Shoalhaven, aged 36 years, John McCarthy, Spirit Merchant, leaving a wife and four children to deplore his loss.  His body was followed to the grave by a great number of the deceased’s relatives and friends[38].

      On his death certificate[39] it states that John McCarthy died at Nowra on 6th December 1859 at the age of 36. His occupation was given as ‘Spirit Dealer’’. His religion ‘RC’, born in Co. Clare, Ireland ‘ and had been in Australia 22 years. The informant was Mary, his wife. The cause of death : ’Delirium tremens (verdict of coroner’s jury)’. He was buried at Old Nowra RC Cemetery.  It would be a sad Christmas in 1859 for Mary and her four young children.

Probate – John McCarthy


Death of Mary McCarthy

            Mary was widowed for only a few months, before her family’s next tragedy – her equally untimely death.  Constable Bernard Brown in his diary entry dated April 1st, 1860, noted:

Heard of Mrs. McCarthy last night by Captain Sayers who just returned from Sydney.  She died at Elyelts [sic] Hotel in Sydney, where she went on Monday last.  Died on Thursday (29th March) and buried on Friday.[40]

          In the Illawarra Mercury of 12th September 1859, an advertisement for Elliots Family Hotel, Sydney, appears to give the same address as Mary’s brother Charles Murray’s hotel which was known as Murray’s Hotel in 1858.   Formerly called ‘the Saracen’s Head, cnr King & Sussex Sts’[41],  it changed hands quite a lot over the years. (See Chapter on Charles Murray Jnr)

            Strangely, Mary was only 32 when she died a mere three months after her husband, John.  Her place of death is given on her death certificate as ‘Sussex Street’.  The length of illness and cause of death is stated to be two months of ‘dis. of liver’, and place of burial as Sydney 30/3/1860.  Her children – ‘2 boys and 2 girls’ – are not named, Parents Charles Murray, farmer, and Susan Shannon.   Witnesses: James Kearney and John Earle; Informant: ‘Thomas McCaffery, friend, Sussex Street

McCAFFREY Connection

             It seems likely Thomas McCaffery  was related to Irishman Charles McCaffrey who, with his family, became the first white family to settle in Kangaroo Valley in 1846.

… in 1846 came Charles McCaffrey who laid the foundations of the butter industry [in the Shoalhaven].  When he had arrived from Ireland, reaching Wollongong in 1841, he was picked up at the harbour by Henry Osborne and engaged to work at Marshall Mount …. [Later] In the [Kangaroo Valley] he settled down to raise young cattle and his wife followed him to live with her five children in the valley where John McCaffrey, the sixth child was born….Stores of food had to be carried over the ranges into the valley on packhorses and Charles McCaffrey soon found that the horses on the return journey could carry a keg of butter balanced on each side.  Thus he began the new industry of butter making in the valley, sending out the first kegs in 1850 to Marshall Mount.

             As this McCaffrey family was employed by the Osbornes at Marshall Mount at the same time as the Murray family at another Osborne property, Garden Hill, it appears fairly likely that Mary’s friend in Sydney may have been part of this family.  In the 1861 SANDS Sydney Directory there was a Thomas McCaffrey living at 94 Sussex Street.

            Elliott’s Family Hotel  in Sydney was on the corner of Sussex and King Streets – the East Side –  106 Sussex Street. The name of the hotel at 106 Sussex Street in the 1858/59 Sands Directory was Murray’s Family Hotel  (Prop. Charles Murray].   So whether Mary died at Elliott’s Family Hotel  or Murray’s Family Hotel,  it was the same address and, obviously, the same establishment at 106 Sussex Street, with Thomas McCaffrey living nearby


Summary of Mary McCarthy’s Will[42]  

            Mary McCarthy’s Will (1/3/1860) appoints James Murray and Andrew McLean as executors and as guardians of her ‘… several children during their respective minoritiesand devises :

  • ·         premises at Nowra to son Charles
  • ·         10 pounds to mother in law via Parish Priest
  • ·         if mother in law predeceases her, then 5 pounds to Masses for both their souls and 5 pounds to relatives of mother in law at the Parish Priest’s discretion.
  • ·         gold watch and chain to son Charles
  • ·         household furniture to sister Margaret ‘…as she may think proper to retain’.

rest, residue, remainder of estate to executors towards maintenance and education of ‘…my four children namely Charles, James, Catherine and Susan during their minorities – then to be divided equally at age 21 or marriage’.

            Further, we find that Andrew McLean was appointed to succeed the deceased administrator (Mary McCarthy) to complete administration of the estate of John McCarthy during the minority of his children.  It is possible (probable?) that John McCarthy had already appointed Andrew McLean as guardian of his children before Mary died, and that Mary included her brother James when making her own Will.  Perhaps John realised the poor state of Mary’s health and appointed a guardian while not bothering, himself, with a Will.


John McCarthy’s Letter of Administration


The McCarthy children

      It would seem that the orphaned McCarthy children were living at Armstrong Forest/Yatte Yattah after Mary McCarthy’s death, either with their Murray or McLean cousins (maybe both) because we find that, 3-4 years after the 1862 ruling above:

Re Kate and Susan

  • ·         Catherine (known as Kate) McCarthy, at the age of 16 married her cousin Thomas McGee of Yatte Yattah  (aged  31) in 1865.[44] 
  • ·         Mary Susan (known as Susan) McCarthy, at the age of 16 years married the Armstrong Forest Denominational School teacher Timothy Brennan on 27th September 1866.

       If the McCarthy girls were living with their Murray and McLean relatives at , their brothers were also living  with them or with other relatives close by; in September 1866, Charles, then 18 years old, was a witness at his sister Susan’s marriage registered in ‘Ulladulla’, (as the Milton/Yatte Yattah/Conjola area was then  known).  Four years later, 1870, 22 year old Charles was employed by a  Mr. Richards in his tannery at Charcoal Creek[45], now called Unanderra near Wollongong, where he worked for three years before joining the Police Force for a period of two years


Charles and James McCarthy go north to Richmond River area         

                      How, then, did Charles and James McCarthy come to be in the Northern Rivers area of New South Wales in the early 1870s?  An explanation seems to lie in the history of cedar logging in New South Wales at that time; and particularly around the  area, where the Rev Thomas Kendall started cedar cutting at Narrawallee Creek as early as 1828.  It is reasonable to suggest that many of the local young lads would have been employed in the timber industry that evolved in the Milton/Ulladulla/Conjola area in the years that followed. By 1850 little workable cedar was left.  The cedar getters moved to the forests of northern  NSW.[46]

            Was it the red cedar that took the McCarthy brothers, Charles and James as adults all the way from their south coast home – north, to the Richmond River area of New South Wales?  The rush for red cedar (red gold!) spread from the Sydney Region to the Hawkesbury, then to the Illawarra, the Hunter, the Shoalhaven and Kangaroo Valley, then to the Northern rivers and into Queensland, no doubt taking many adventurous young men with it.  Although the Richmond River area around Casino had been opened up by 1840 and settlements were already established along the rivers, the Big Scrub, as the area was called, remained, for the most part, uninhabited prior to 1861. 


The Big Scrub

            It was not until 1865 under the Conditional Purchase provisions of the Robertson Land Act of 1862, that settlement of the Big Scrub commenced in earnest.  An article North to the Big Scrub: Migration from the Illawarra, Shoalhaven and Southern Highlands to the Richmond River 1861-1914[47], notes that many of the early settlers in the Big Scrub, particularly the pioneers of dairying, came from the South Coast of NSW.  Charles and James McCarthy may have followed the cedar loggers up the coast to the Richmond River or they may have been part of the mass movement to the area looking for newly released land, following the opening up of land around Cassino [sic].  [48]


        Charles (and maybe James either then or later) arrived on the Richmond River in the 1870s to become a cedar getter and also a dealer in cedar, supplying large quantities of timber to the Sydney Market[49].   In 1871 the population of the entire Richmond River District was only 4,528.  The largest centre, Casino, had a population of only 284 people[50].   In the following ten years the population of Casino had risen to 602 residents and was proclaimed a municipality on 14 June 1880.  In the interim, hundreds of settlers from the south coast, from the tablelands, and from all parts of the colony had arrived on the Richmond.

         The 1870s marked the heyday of the timber trade on the lower river. By 1875 there were four timber mills in operation and it seemed that every other man was a timber dealer, a sawyer, a rafter, or a mill-worker, or that he had some connection with the timber industry.[51] Charles and James McCarthy were at the right place at the right time to become pioneers of the Casino area; they set down their roots there and the brothers proceeded to court two local girls – sisters.

       Elizabeth and Mary Duffy were the daughters of James and Mary (Madden) Duffy of Cassino [sic][52].  Elizabeth and Mary’s father, James Duffy, described as a ploughman/mailman/farmer, was a true pioneer arriving in the Casino area during the early 1850s.  The younger McCarthy brother, James, was the first to marry – Elizabeth Duffy in 1876[53] .  Two years later, in 1878, Charles McCarthy married Elizabeth’s sister, Mary Duffy. 

       In 1882, Charles McCarthy, like his Terara NSW inn-keeper father before him, became a hotelier at South Casino.  During the following three years he established a sawmill at North Casino, which he worked after leaving the hotel business about 1885; he then returned to the hotel business when he erected the Royal Hotel  (containing 20 bedrooms, billiard room, cellar and stabling).  In 1887, he was the licensee of the Tatham Hotel, serving as an Alderman of the Casino Municipal Council during the 1890s.[54]      


Children of Charles and Mary (Duffy) McCarthy 

Charles McCARTHY b: 23 Mar 1848 in Wollongong, NSW, Australia, , d: 02 Oct 1921 in Lismore, NSW,

    + Mary Ann Duffy b: 1853 in Casino Richmond River NSW Australia, m: 1879 in Casino NSW d: 1941 in Lismore NSW Australia

………2 John Francis McCarthy b: 1881 in Richmond River, NSW, Australia, d: 1931 in Lismore, New South Wales, Australia.  

Children of James and Elizabeth (Duffy) McCarthy


Mary Susan (Susan) McCarthy and Timothy Brennan

       Susan’s husband, Timothy Brennan, from Co. Sligo, Ireland had commenced teaching at the Roman Catholic Denominational School at  on 1 August 1866.  Archdeacon McEnroe proposed the appointment.    Susan and Timothy were married about six weeks later, in September.   Susan‘s brother, Charles McCarthy and their cousin, Mary McLean acted as Witnesses.  A February 1867 report by visiting School Inspector Huffer noted that Timothy Brennan was the son of a National Teacher in Ireland and had himself been trained there as a teacher for nearly seven years.  In March 1867 Brennan applied for a joint salary, claiming his wife was teaching sewing at the school in the evenings

      However, it appeared that Brennan’s teaching skills were found wanting and, after nine months, his removal was requested by the ever vigilant Francis McMahon in a letter written in April 1867.  McMahon complained that Brennan was not giving satisfaction and requested that the CEO ‘be good enough to send a teacher immediately’. .  Brennan submitted his resignation on 1 May, giving as his reason that his salary was not enough to maintain him and his family. This must have been rather embarrassing all round, as Brennan was now the husband of Charles Murray’s niece, Susan McCarthy

      Susan  was only 15 or 16 when she married Timothy Brennan, as it  states on the birth record of her daughter (Margaret Ellen) born on 6 March 1868[55] and registered at Concord NSW, that Susan was 17 years of age at that time.  It was also noted, interestingly, that she had given birth –’ previous issue 1 female living’  before then. Looking at the time frame, methinks the first baby must have come in a bit of a hurry!  However, the fact that no birth or baptism information has been found – maybe the ‘informant’ made an error and listed the new baby as ‘previous issue’ by mistake?]  The occupation of Timothy, was given as ‘Gentleman’’ and, at that time, in March 1868, they were living at 364 Elizabeth Street, Sydney.

      Three years later, a son was born to Susan and Timothy Brennan in early 1870, but sadly he died at the age of only six years and 15 days on 29 February 1876 at ‘the residence of Philip Murray, Armstrongs Forest Ulladulla NSW’[56].  His cause of death is given as ‘sore throat’ with the length of his illness 12 days.  He was buried on 1st March 1876 in the ‘RC Cemetery, Armstrongs Forest’, witnesses Philip Murray (his Uncle) and Thomas McGee (Susan’s brother-in-law). Timothy Brennan’s occupation was given now as ‘Schoolmaster’’, so he may have been teaching once again, in Sydney.


Children of Timothy & Susan (McCarthy) Brennan


1 Mary Susan Susannah McCARTHY b: 26 Nov 1850 in Shoalhaven NSW, d: Bef. 1897 in Margaret’s 1897 marriage cert ‘deceased’

… + Timothy BRENNAN b: Abt. 1843 in Co Sligo, Ireland, Arr Australia: ??Maybe per Sirocco (2) 1864 with Edward Brennan (21) ??, m: 27 Sep 1866 in RC Church, Milton Ulladulla NSW, d: Bef. 1897 in Margaret’s 1897 marriage cert ‘deceased’

……2 Daughter BRENNAN b: 1867, d: Unknown  [was this an Error??]

……2 Margaret Ellen Lillias BRENNAN b: 06 Mar 1868 in Burwood NSW, d: 28 Apr 1935 in Manly NSW

…… + Richard Crozier WILSON b: 03 Mar 1867 in Enniskellan, Fermanagh, Ireland, m: 02 Jun 1897 in St. Michael’s CofE, Flinders St, Surry Hills NSW, d: 02 Jun 1945 in Manly NSW

……2 Valentine William Charles BRENNAN b: Mar 1870, d: 29 Feb 1876 in Ulladulla NSW


Catherine (Kate) McCarthy and (1) Thomas McGee

      Kate was born in 1849 in Yass NSW.  She married Thomas McGee on 16 November 1865 at Redfern, Sydney.  It appears likely that she was living in Sydney with her Aunt Margaret (Murray) Gallagher whose husband Daniel Gallagher was a witness at Kate’s marriageAs she was only 16-17 years old, approval for the marriage was provided by Kate’s guardian, Andrew McLean.  The Groom, Thomas McGee, (27) was born in Templecairn, Co Fermanagh, Ireland and was 17years old on arrival in Australia in 1855 with his four brothers and sister.  As the orphaned children of Charles Murray Sr.’s sister Dorinda (Murray) McGee who had died back in Ireland, they had been sponsored by Charles Sr. for emigration to Australia, and to his care at .  Thomas McGee was, thus, related to Kate.

       Thomas and Kate lived in the Shoalhaven district and went on to produce a large family of eleven children.  In 1868 both Thomas and his brother Francis McGee were farming with their families at Conjola.  They suffered heavily in the bush fires of Christmas Eve 1868.  Thomas included auctioneering among his skills and was elected to the Ulladulla Council in 1877.   Sadly, he was killed by a rolling log at Little Forest near Milton on 19 May 1884 some four months after the birth of his eleventh child, Percy Ambrose McGee.  His age is shown as 50 on his death certificate, but he was 46 according to his birth date[57].  He left a grieving  Kate with a daunting task to manage and bring up such a large family on her own.


  Children of Kate  (McCarthy) McGEE/MOORE

1 Catherine (Kate) McCARTHY b: 1849 in Yass NSW, d: 10 Jun 1910 in 334 Riley St, Sydney

… + Thomas McGEE b: 1838 in Templecairn, Co Fermanagh, IRE, Arr Australia: 02 Oct 1855 in per ‘Hilton” from IRE, m: 16 Nov 1865 in Redfern NSW, d: 19 May 1884 in Yatte Yattah NSW

……2 Mary McGEE b: 09 Jan 1866 in Ulladulla NSW, d: 24 Feb 1876 in Ulladulla NSW

……2 John McGEE b: 1867 in Milton NSW, d: 08 Apr 1916 in Casino NSW

……2 Thomas James McGEE b: 18 Mar 1869 in Ulladulla NSW, d: 07 Jun 1906 in Cobar NSW

……  + Elizabeth J WALKER m: Abt.

……2 Phillip McGEE b: 15 Feb 1871 in Ulladulla NSW, d: 22 Mar 1917 in Goodooga NSW

……  + Nora MEAGHER m: Abt. 1895 in Temora NSW

……2 Catherine Maud McGEE b: 23 Apr 1873 in Ulladulla NSW, d: Bet. 1940–1949

……  + Harold Archibald ARNOLD m: Abt. 1903 in Sydney NSW

……2 Charles Ernest McGEE b: 1874, d: 1947 in Randwick NSW

……  + Josephine M Virginnette STAFFORD m: Abt. 1912 in Lithgow NSW

……2 Herbert Francis McGEE b: 16 Aug 1877 in Ulladulla NSW, d: 05 Sep 1941 in Randwick NSW

……  + Anna Charlotte ROSTECK m: 1919 in Waverley NSW, d: 1922 in Hurstville NSW

……  + Else SUTTOR b: 28 Jun 1888, m: 1936 in Sydney NSW, d: 1988

……2 Arthur Oswell McGEE b: 27 May 1879 in Milton NSW, d: 09 Jun 1925 in Randwick NSW

……  + Louise M STAFFORD m: 1909 in Redfern NSW

……2 Reuben D’Arcy McGEE b: 30 Jun 1881 in Ulladulla NSW, d: Aft. 1910

……  + Lucy Lurline SMITH b: 1881, m: 23 Oct 1902 in Wollongong NSW

……2 Harold McGEE b: 01 Nov 1882 in Nr Yatteyattah NSW, d: 06 May 1954 in North Sydney NSW

……2 Percy Ambrose McGEE b: 18 Jan 1884 in Milton NSW, d: 08 Apr 1950 in Marrickville NSW

…… + Elizabeth May (Jude) HASTIE b: 24 Apr 1892 in Forbes NSW, m: 1920 in Annandale NSW, d: 12 Mar 1953 in Petersham NSW

… + William James MOORE b: 1868 in Ulladulla NSW, m: 07 Jun 1892 in Milton NSW

……2 William M C MOORE b: 1893


Catherine (Kate) McCarthy and (2) William James MOORE

      Surprisingly, eight years later, on 7 June 1892, notwithstanding all those children and her age (42), Kate married, for a second time, a 24 year old man, William James Moore, and had another son, her twelfth child, William Moore Jr.  She died on 10 June 1910 at the age of 61 years, at 334 Riley Street, Sydney.  This was the address of her son Percy Ambrose McGee who was the witness on her death certificate.  It was certainly wise of Kate to acquire the support of a new husband as there would have been much sadness over the following years, when some of Kate and former husband Thomas’s McGee’s children died  early from Huntington’s disease[58], a serious genetic degenerative disorder.  [Did they inherit it from John McCarthy – who may have been misdiagnosed – symptoms of Huntington’s could certainly look like very much ‘delirium tremens’!.]


To go to next Chapter Ten (Ellinor/Ellen Murray) click here.

To return to Murray Family Index page, click here.



[1] Shipping Indent 4/4849 Reel 1307 shows age 12 on 20 Dec 1838

[2] Nowra LHG 1859 death record for John shows ’22 years in Australia’

[3] NSW Marriage Vol 131-642/1847

[4] Maybe she was the one missing from the Garden Hill census in 1841

[5] NSW Birth V18481992 65/1848

[6] NSW Death 1910/4267 – Age 61, born Yass NSW

[7]McGee, Brian.  Unpublished manuscript on McGee family. ‘Thomas [McGee] at age 27 married 16 year old Catherine (Kate) McCarthy after approval as given by her guardian, Andrew McLean, on 16th November, 1865’ [NSW Marriage Ref 1205/1865]

[8] NSW Birth V18521772 121A/1852


[10] “Old Time Notes” from the Nowra Leader, 12 June 1914.

[11] Ditto.   [also interesting in the Old Time Notes  it was sold to “Mr. M.J. McCarthy”  Michael John?]

[12] Tilton, John.  (Nowra LFHG) research in letter 21/7/99

[13] Greenhills.  Pamphlet held by Society of Australian Genealogists.

[14] Wandandian, near Milton NSW

[15] Florance, Robin. Heritage Drive: Greenhills to Greenwell Point, Bomaderry NSW, 2007,map  p.10.

[16] Paterson, Keith. The circus and other travelling tent shows in Shoalhaven 1855-1955.  Nowra NSW:Shoalhaven Historical Society Inc., c2008, p7.

[17] Only evidence that he had a middle name, ‘Michael’

[18] Publicans’ Licenses NRS14403  No. 7/1504 Reel 1237

[19] Publicans’ Licences NRS 14403 No. 7/1508 Reel 1239 

[20]Bernard Brown, local police constable between 1849-1862 kept a diary; held at Nowra Family History Group and Mitchell Library, Sydney..

[21] Illawarra Mercury,  11.1.1858, p.2

[22] Illawarra Mercury,  8.2.1858 p.2

[23] Illawarra Mercury,  14.6.1858 p.2

[24] Illawarra Mercury, 6.9.1858 p.2

[25] Erected 1851. Court of Petty Sessions transferred here in 1852. Demolished 1930.

[26] Illawarra Mercury, 8.11.1858, p.2

[27] Numba Court House drawn by Eric Armstrong, in Florance, Robyn. Greenhills to Greenwell Point. Bomaderry NSW, 2007

[28] Time Traveller, Journal of Shoalhaven Genealogical Society, No. 9, June 1988, p.14.

[29] Illawarra Mercury, 13.12.1858. p.2

[30] Illawarra Mercury,  28.2.1859 p.2

[31] Illawarra Mercury, 9.5.1859. p.2

[32] Illawarra Mercury, 30.5.1859, p.3

[33] Illawarra Mercury, 4.7.1859, p.2

[34] Illawarra Mercury, 12.9.1859, p.2

[35] Illawarra Mercury, 12.12.1859, p.4

[36] Maybe the jury were biased because of his occupation!

[37] Illawarra Mercury,  15.12.1859, p.2

[38] IIllawarra Mercury 15.12.1859 p.2

[39] NSW Death Ref No 1859/5014

[40] Constable Bernard Brown diaries

[41] Sydney Truth ‘Old Sydney by Old Chum’

[42] No 4665 (Series 1 – 1/3/1860) –  Mary McCarthy’s Will No. 4665 (Series 1 – 1/3/1860) This is the last Will and Testament of me Mary McCARTHY of Nowra in the district of Shoalhaven in the County of Saint Vincent, Widow.  I nominate and appoint my brother James Murray and my brother-in-law Andrew McLean Executors of this my Will and guardians of my several children during their respective minorities.  I direct that all my just debts funeral and testamentary expenses be fully paid with all convenient speed after my decease.  I desire that my son Charles be left in the quiet and peaceable possession of the house and premises at Nowra aforesaid to which he is entitled as heir at law of my late husband John McCarthy of Nowra aforesaid Spirit Merchant.  I give and bequeath to the mother of my late husband John McCarthy the sum of Ten pounds if she shall be living at the time of my decease and I direct that the said sum of Ten pounds shall be paid by my Executors beforenamed to my said Mother in Law through the Parish Priest, whose receipt shall be a sufficient discharge for the same.  But in case my mother in law shall have departed this life before my decease I direct that Five pounds being a moiety of the before mentioned sum of Ten Pounds be paid for masses for the benefit and repose of both our souls and the remaining moiety or half part of the said sum of Ten pounds be paid by the said Priest to such relatives of my said mother in law as he might consider in need.  I give and bequeath to my son Charles McCarthy my gold watch and chain.  I give and bequeath to my sister Margaret Murray such articles of my household furniture as she may think proper to retain.  All the rest residue and remainder of my real and personal estate whatsoever and wheresoever not otherwise disposed of by this my Will.  I give and bequeath unto James Murray and Andrew McLean / the Executors before appointed / their executors and administrators upon the trusts and for the intents and purposes hereinafter declared and expressed of and concerning the same upon trust as soon as conveniently may be after my decease to make sale dispose of and convert into money in such manner as they may deem most eligible such parts of my real and personal estate as shall not consist of money or securities for money and to receive recover and get in the remainder thereof but with power to allow the continuance at discretion of mortgage securities and to stand possessed of the same upon trust to invest the same on mortgage securities at interest or otherwise with power at discretion to vary the securities for others of the like nature and to apply and pay the whole or a competent part of such monies towards the maintenance and education of my four children namely Charles, James, Catherine and Susan during their respective minorities and upon Trust as to the said monies and securities for money.  That my said executors shall divide the same in equal shares and proportions between my said four children such share to be paid to them on their respectively, attaining the age of twenty-one years or marriage.   The share or shares of her or him so dying to be divided between the surviving child, or children, and lastly revoking all former Wills, I declare this to be my last Will and Testament.  In witness whereof, I have to this my last Will and Testament set my hand and seal this first day of March In the Year One Thousand Eight Hundred and Sixty  –  Mary McCarthy /LS/   (same writing as will?) Signed sealed and delivered by the said Mary McCarthy the Testatrix as her last Will and Testament in the presence of us being present at the same time who at her request in her presence and in the presence of each other subscribe our names as Witnessesen Mackenzie  –  T. Marton Richards3rd May 1860.  This day upon Petition Probate of the last Will and Testament of Mary McCarthy.  Widow deceased was granted to James Murray and Andrew McLean the Executors in the said Will named.  Testator died 29th March 1860 Goods sworn at 250 pounds.  Probate dated the same day as granted.          

[43] Wikepedia. De bonis non administratis, Latin for “of goods not administered,” is a legal term for assets remaining in an estate after the death or removal of the estate administrator. The second administrator is called the administrator de bonis non and distributes the remaining assets. In the Uniform Probate Code, these titles have been replaced by successor personal representative.[1]

[44] NSW Marriage 1205/1865

[45] Casino & District Pioneers-pre 1900, published by the Casino & District Family History Group, p119.

[46] http://home.exte;

[47] Alexander, K. and Graham, J., North to the Big Scrub: Migration from the Illawarra, Shoalhaven and South Highlands to the Richmond River 1861-1914.

[48]Casino developed from a safe crossing over the Richmond River, discovered by the early settlers who travelled overland from the Clarence and established a huge cattle station named “Cassino.” A mis-spelling by an early surveyor left the town with its current name.

[49] Casino & District Pioneers- pre 1900  published by the Casino & District Family History Group,  p119

[50] Town & Country Journal, 25 April 1871 quoted in Daley, Louise Tiffany.  Men and a River: Richmond River District 1828-1895, London : Angus & Robertson,  1981, p.117.

[51] ibid, p.118

[52] NSW Marriage Reg No V1852792 38C/1952

[53] NSW Marriage Reg No 4077/1876

[54]Casino & District Pioneers, p119

[55] NSW Birth  Ref.  1868/4340

[56] NSW Death Ref.  1876/10352

[57] McGee family information supplied by Brian J. McGee of Castle Hill NSW with letter dated 11 December 2002.

[58] The Late Brian J McGee who contributed much McGee family information collected the Cause of Death information and must have been interested in the prevalence of Huntingdon’s Disease.