OKEEFFE-L ArchivesArchiver > OKEEFFE > 2009-02 > 1234310079
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Subject: Re: [OKEEFFE] O'keeffe's at "Newton" near Albury
Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2009 23:54:39 -0000
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Re Mary's birth cert - look under Keeffe for the surname with John and Mary as parents, year 1848 and it will be there. Dropping the O' seems to be fairly common as well as only one e or f. I just love families with 101 different spelling combinations!! Err!!
One of 27!! To the one wife? Wow!! I though 17 was bad!!
Here are the basics on John and Mary.
John O'Keeffe was born in about 1795 in Mitchelstown, Cork, Ireland. His parents were John and Kate O'Keeffe (nee Flemming). Little is known of his life in Ireland other than that he married Mary Thornhill on 30 Jan 1830 at Mitchelstown. At the time of their marriage John was considerably older than Mary being 35 whilst Mary was about 16. In 1841 they relocated to Australia with their then five children on board the ship "Portland" as bounty passengers. John would have been close to 50 years of age at this time. His age is shown as 38 on shipping records, possibly lowered to meet bounty immigrant conditions (limit of 40 for married couples). John was appointed overseer for the voyage. His occupation was listed as agricultural labourer and he could read and write. Mary was shown as a nurse who could also read and write. The voyage took around three and half months to reach Sydney. The older children would have received schooling while on the voyage.
The family lived for a while around Sydney before heading south. They resided around Gundagai, Humula and Oberne (later two near Tarcutta, Wagga Wagga). By 1854 they had settled at "Newton" near Albury where John purchased land. The three elder boys John, Jeremiah and William remained near Tarcutta working as farmers on the property "Humula". John and Mary would eventually have seventeen children. John built a modest brick home on the property where he and his family lived.
John worked the land with the help of his sons. In 1860 he is shown as owning Thurgoona Road lots 128, 129 and 130. In the 1980 stock directory John is shown as having 345 acres 19 horses 20 cows and 100 sheep. At the time of his death his youngest son Quayle was left a freehold farm of 125 acres, of which two and quarter acres were under vines and the remainder used for growing hay.
Mary worked as a mid-wife driving a sulky around the countryside delivering babies. She delivered many of her own grandchildren.
John O'Keeffe was a Catholic who married an Anglican. He agreed to raise the children as Anglicans and to attend St John's on condition that he could return to the Catholic Church after his eldest child turned 21. Ten children later, and after the appointed time, O'Keeffe returned to the Catholic Church. (NB: Discrepancy about this. Some records say youngest child turning 21)
In March 1879 John died. He was aged 84 years old. John had been married for forty nine years and outlived five of his children.
>From Mallow Heritage Centre records:-
John O Keeffe married Mary Thornhill on 30 January, 1830. Witnesses to their marriage were Ellen Keeffe and William Brien.
Baptismal records for John and Mary's children:
Shipping list for "Portland" 11 Mar 1841 (taken from role at disembarkation)
John O'Keeffe from Belligowan/Ballygarvin. Son of John, a farmer, dead, and Catherine Fimner, his wife, dead. Calling Agricultural Labourer. Age at embarkation, 38 years in May 1841. Religion protestant. Read and writes. Described by ships surgeon as overseer.
Note: - At John's death in 1879 he is shown as 84 years old age. He possibly lowered his age to come as a bounty passenger.
Mary O'Keeffe, a native of Clankakol/Clo(o)nbarin near Mallow, Cork, Ireland. Daughter of Quil Thornhill and Frances Montgomery there. Calling nurse. 30 years in May 1840. Religion protestant. Read and writes.
John - 8 years November 1840 - bad eyes
Jeremiah - 3 years in Dec 1840
William - 2 year and 2 months
Ellen - 6 years in Dec 1980
Adelaide - 9 months now
The "Portland" sailed from London on the 2nd November, 1840. It sailed to Plymouth where it departed on the 23rd November, 1840. It weighed 541 tons. It took 108 days to travel to Australia. It did not stop at any other ports along the way. There were 221 passengers - 120 males and 101 females. During the trip, 5 male children and 5 female children died (no adult deaths) while 2 males and 4 females were born. Deaths were mainly from chronic diarrhoea. The master of the ship was James Stalken and the surgeon was Thomas Ryan. There were also two doctors on board - Dr John Norman and Dr Thomas Palmer.
Divine service was held every Sunday for both Protestant and Catholics during the voyage except for two. On these two Sundays the weather was bad. On board there were 58 Protestants and 159 Catholics. A school was run on board the ship. There were 29 students and the teacher was Thomas Batwell. The ships records list the on board entertainment as a library. Books were available for borrowing if passengers wished.
The "Portland" arrived in Sydney on March 11, 1841. The ship was not placed in quarantine upon its arrival. General state of passengers was described as "good".
A list of passengers was only made at disembarkation. James O'Keeffe (eldest son) therefore could have died on the voyage if he had not already died in Ireland.
>From children's birth certificates:- resided at
1842 Brougham Place, Sydney
1843 Millers Point, Sydney
1846 Cumberland Street, Sydney
1848 Mt Minjary near Gundagai
1850 Snowball near Gundagai
1853 Oberne (near Tarcutta)
1854 Newtown, Albury
1860 Border Post
Thurgoona Road lots 128,129 and 130 owned by John O'Keeffe
1870-71 NSW Electrol Roll Hume District
O'Keeffe John Jnr Newton freehold Newton
O'Keeffe Daniel Newton freehold Newton (John or Luke's son?)
O'Keeffe John Newton residence Newton
O'Keeffe Luke Newton residence Newton (John's brother)
Greville's Post Office Directory 1872
O'KEEFFE Richard butcher Townsend St. Albury
O'KEEFFE John farmer Newtown Albury
Others shown in Grevilles located at Newtown
DICK John farmer Newtown Albury
DICK Jacob sen. farmer Newtown Albury
DICK Frederick farmer Newtown Albury
DICK Joseph farmer Newtown Albury
DICK Jacob Jun. farmer Newtown Albury
EISENHAUR George farmer Newtown Albury
EPPEL Peter farmer Newtown Albury
FRAUENFELDER John sen. farmer Newtown Albury
FRAUENFELDER Charles butcher Newtown Albury
FRAUENFELDER Peter farmer Newtown Albury
MEENAN James T --- Newtown Albury
MITSCH Otto farmer Newtown Albury
RILEY Lawrence contractor Newtown Albury
ROSBOROUGH Thomas --- Newtown Albury
STRAUSS Wendelin farmer Newtown Albury
Greville's Post Office Directory 1875-76
O'KEEFFE John farmer Newtown Albury
1878-79 NSW Electrol Roll Hume
O'Keeffe John Jnr Four Mile Creek Freehold Four Mile Creek
O'Keeffe John Sen Four Mile Creek residence Four Mile Creek
O'Keeffe Quayle Four Mile Creek Freehold Four Mile Creek
Note: 4 mile creek was a property near Holbrook. Belive it was the then residence of John Jnr.
History of Thurgoona Published by Albury-Wodonga Development Corp 1985
John O'Keeffe was a Catholic who married an Anglican. He agreed to raise the children as Anglicans and to attend St John's on condition that he could return to the Catholic Church after his eldest child turned 21. Ten children later, and after the appointed time, O'Keeffe retuned to the Catholic Church. He died in 1879.
>From John Lynchs book "Pictures of the Past" based on newspaper articles and hand written letters launched at Holbrook March 2006
John O'Keeffe and Q M O'Keeffe were shearers at the property Carabobala owned by Mr William Heriots. Price of 18 shillings per hundred was paid to shearers. Deducted stores and rations from said account. Shearers had to employ and pay for their own cook and rations which Mr Heriot agreed to supply.
(not sure if this is father or son??)
The Border Mail Sat 11 Aug 2001 - Worship laid the foundations of village life
Among Thurgoona's first settlers was John O'Keefe, an Irishman who in 1824 (s/be 1854) purchased a block of 177 acres, built a modest home and raised 10 children.
Although John was a devout Roman Catholic, he agreed to baptise his children into the Church of England of which his wife was a member.
They further agreed that John would attend church with his family until the last child was aged 21.
John O'Keefe then returned to Catholicism, which he practised until his death in 1879 aged 84.
Another early pioneer was an Englishman - Edward Thomas Wignell (1823-1900) who migrated in 1840 and headed for Thurgoona, then known as Newton.
Edward had been a butcher boy in London and often delivered meat to Buckingham Palace "where regularly Queen Victoria could be seen in the kitchens".
Soon after arriving in Thurgoona Edward Wignell started working for John O'Keefe and eventually married his daughter Ellen.
Described as "a devout and very strict churchman', Edward Wignell conducted bible readings and prayers with his family every morning before breakfast and in the evenings.
By this time other families had settled around the area and Edward Wignell conducted Sunday School classes in his own home and prayer meetings for the adults.
In 1860 the first little church was built, the result of voluntary labour and local subscriptions.
This school-church had wooden slab walls, a roof of bark sheets and a trampled earth floor.
Thurgoona's first preacher teacher was Rev Robert Potter from Albury's Church of England.
After two years Rev Potter resigned and the building remained closed for six months when it reopened as a regular school with Manfred Kiber of Konigberg, Germany in charge.
In 1866 The NSW Gazette described he estate of Thurgoona held by Elisabeth Mitchell as being "an area of 3727 acres about four miles east of Albury" and that "the neighbourhood is taken up by small allotments".
Edward Wignell was assisted in Sunday School by his daughter Anne who later taught continually at St Johns for 60 years, seldom missing a day.
The 1873 the present St John's church was built, by which time Edward Wignell was a teamster carrying goods all over NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Queensland.
And so dedicated to his church was this man that he returned from "up north" especially with his 12 horse team in order to carry all of the bricks and building materials free of charge from Albury to the St John's site.
When St John's was built parishioners paid a quarterly stipend ranging from 25 cents to $2.50 which entitled the family to their own pew inscribed with their name.
And, according to early reports, "woe betide any un-invited stranger who sat in the family pew".
"Outsiders" were catered for with a spare pew and two forms at the back of the church.
The tin offertory plate sported "a satin cover to lessen the noise of the coins".
Among St Johns early parishioners was Jacob Knoble, a gifted carpenter and a very generous one, who made all of the church pews in between building his own home.
Another was John Lloyd, a brick layer, carpenter, slab cutter, fencer and devout churchman responsible for many additions to St Johns.
A bachelor he lived in a modest two roomed brick cottage and in his will left a perpetual bequest to St Johns.
Other familles associated with the early church were Spence, Weissel, Hoffman, Merkel, Schneider, Fraunfelder, King, Seymour, Wanklyn, Eberle, McEachern, Hill, Lobbe, Gabor, Flemming, Rose and Hall.
When Thurgoona's St John's Church opened in 1873 "the congregation numbered over 300, many coming by chartered omnibus from Albury".
Thr first clergy travelled by horse and sulky, arriving at the Wignell's for a cup of tea before the service and then back for lunch and a rest before moving on for the next service at another village.
In those days, in addition to Thurgoona, services were conducted periodically at Lavington, Gerogery, Table Top, Jindera, Bowna and Bungowannah.
Local Children were taught to respect the clergy, tending to his horse, unharnessing, feeding, then harnessing up again for the next stop "with a bag of chaff to boot".
It was later agreed by St Matthew's Parish Council to purchase a belt driven Douglas motorbike for his Reverence.
Lighting St John's in the early days was kerosene lamps hanging from the rafters and two small lamps, one for the altar, the other for the organist.
Among St Johns many dedicated organists was Catherine Hoffman who took over when the organ was well and truly past its used-by date.
In fact, the only way to keep it going, particularly in winter, at Elizabeth Wignell's suggestion, was "to place a bucket of hot coals behind the organ for two hours before the service to heat up the bellows".
It was perhaps not surprising that a Wignell would have the answer because the family had such a close association with St John's for many years.
In fact the Wignells served an unbroken 118 years continuously as rectors, wardens, Edward first, Edward second, Edward third and finally George.
NSW Death Certificate 1879-003798
Date: 12 March 1879
Place of death: Newtown, near Albury NSW
Name: John O'Keeffe
Sex and age male 84 years
Cause of death: age, diarrhoea
Duration: 8 days
Medical Attendant: Arthur Andrews
Last seen: 9 March 1879
Father: John O'Keeffe occupation unknown
Mother: Kate formerly Flemming
Informant: John O'Keeffe, son, Newtown
Buried: 14th March 1879 Albury
Undertaker: Jacob Grobel
Minister: Tho J Carroll, Roman Catholic
Witnesses: Quayle O'Keeffe, J Galvin
39 years in NSW
Marriage Ireland, aged 35 years to Mary formerly Thornhill
4 males living
8 females living
2 males dead
3 females dead
Albury Banner Sat 22 March 1879 Page 12
Death O'Keefe at Newton on the 12th inst John O'Keefe Aged 84 years
Death of an old resident. We regret to record the death of Mr John O'Keefe who has been resided in the vicinity of Albury for the past five and twenty years. The deceased was a native of Mitcheltown, Ireland, and arrived in the colony in the year 1844.
Grave inscription Albury Cemetery
Pray for the soul of John O'Keeffe
Died March 12 1879 aged 84 years
R I P
Erected by his daughters
NSW Death Certificate 1906/007705
Date: 12 July 1906
Place of death: Albury NSW
Name: Mary O'Keeffe
Occupation: not stated
Sex and age: female male 82 years
Cause of death: senile decay
Duration: 6 months
Medical Attendant: J O'Shaughnessy registered
Last seen: 3 March 1906
Father: Quayle Thornhill occupation unknown
Mother: Frances McGommey
Informant: Quayle Megan O'Keeffe, son, Albury
Buried: 13th July 1906 Albury
Undertaker: Joseph Frappold
Minister: Bevan, Church of England
Witnesses: T Timble, W Matthew
Born: Mitchels town, Ireland
65 years in NSW
Marriage: Mitchels town, aged 16 years to John O'Keeffe
Ellen 72 years
Kate 64 years
Bella 62 years
Fanny 60 years
Mary 58 years
Eliza 56 years
Elizabeth A 54 years
Jeremiah 70 years
Quayle M 52 years
4 males, 4 females deceased
Albury Banner Feb 5 1904
An old resident. We regret to learn that Mrs O'Keeffe, mother of Mr Quayle O'Keeffe, a very old resident of Albury and close to 90 years in age, is in a delicate state of health, her condition causing come anxiety to her friends.
Albury Daily News July 12 1906
Mrs O'Keeffe, a lady who has reached a great age, died at the residence of her son in Kiewa Street this morning.
The deceased was 92 years of age and had been a resident of the district for along period. Mr O'Keeffe was a native of Ireland and her son (Mr Quayle O'Keeffe) has been a well known resident here for many years.
The deceased lady, who came to Albury with her husband in 1854 had 17 children, 142 grandchildren, 164 great grandchildren and 18 great grand children.
Grave inscription Albury Cemetery
In memory of
Who died 12th July 1809
Aged 92 years
I have fought the good fight I have finished
My course I have kept the faith Tim IV 7 V
Peace Perfect Peace
Erected by her grandchildren
Location of Newton:-
In 1854 John O'Keeffe purchased land in the Albury District between Bowna Road (known as Old Sydney Road) and One Tree Hill. Their land was on the south side of St Helens's Winery now known at St Heliers Housing Estate.
>From Dawn Craig
John O'Keeffe was the first resident of Thurgoona, purchasing land in Thurgoona. He built a brick residence on his property. This original building was still standing and in use at the time that the property was sold to Pat and Sara White. They built a large weatherboard home at the front of the property between the old homestead and the lane. The original building was low with small rooms, a brick paved veranda, large grape vines growing over the veranda. It originally had a shingled roof that was later corrugated.
The homestead on "Newton" no longer exists. It was heritage listed but somehow managed to be knocked down as the area was subdivided in 1960's. It is now pretty much subdivided and currently a large nursing home complex is being built right near where the homestead stood.
The two dams currently on the property were not there in the O'Keeffes time. There was a dam located where just down from the house towards One Tree Hill where today Thurgoona Drive passes through the property that has since been filled in. Water from the dam was used to water the vines. The household relied on rain water from a tank. On occasion where there was no water, neighbours in the area would travel to the Murray in their drays or wagons to obtain water that they then carried back to the house. Dawn remembers many a time travelling with her father to the Murray at Mungabarina with two or three of her brothers or sisters accompanying her father. He would stop on the bridge and lower buckets into the river to fill 44 gallon drums using heavy ropes and haul up water. The drums would be covered by a hessian sack to minimise spillage on the way home. Arriving home dad would climb to the top of the tank and her mother would hand up buckets of water. Note - Current day Min!
gabarina Reserve is not the same place. The place was at the old water works, not far from Albury airport. It can be seen from Old Sydney Road.
John O'Keeffe owned three parcels of land. Another one was along the road to Trinity College but Dawn can no longer locate exactly where. At this time the location of the third parcel is unknown.
I can provide an old photo of John and Mary is you wish and my tree is listed on rootsweb called redfootedpanda is you wish to look further into the other children. I also managed to visit Newton a week before it was bulldozed for the nursing home (talk about good timing!). I can provide those too. There is also info on my tree going back. I'm working with a group of descendants to try to go back. Mary came from a well to do family so we are having more luck on her line. Mine info going may not be 100% accurate so proceed with caution there.
PS: Where do you live? I'm at Quakers Hill in Sydney.
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