The Gormleys from Co Roscommon Ireland lived and farmed around Gladstone and Belmore River NSW. They had emigrated in 1863.
John Thomas Fanning, the son of Ellen Fanning nee Gormley, also farmed land on Belmore River, on land which his mother had inherited from her brother Peter Gormley. He was there in the years preceding the First World War when he enlisted.
On the property John Thomas Fanning farmed I was told the original farmhouse burned down in the 1940s. Fortunately and coincidentally the owners had all their belongings out the front of the house when it burned down!
All that is left along Belmore River from the days the Gormleys lived in this area are old sheds and fences.
I looked for old farmhouses dating back to the time the Gormleys lived there but the only one I think could be that old is the one that was most likely the Ryan home.
The present owner told me that when he bought the house he was advised to pull it down but he didn’t. The design is very old with the separate kitchen to prevent the whole house burning down if the kitchen caught fire! He said that when he was doing some repairs the old fireplace had 1903 marked on it and the rest of the house pre dates this fire place.
The village closest to Belmore River is Gladstone which was called Darkwater Village. It has quite a few historic and well preserved buildings dating back to 1873.
Thomas Mackey, was from Co Limerick, Ireland. He was baptised on April 24, 1853 in Kilduff in the Parish of Pallasgrean & Templebredon in Co Limerick. His godparents were Patrick Mackey and Mary Treacy. His mother was Bridget Treacy and his father Thomas Mackey, a farmer.
In Griffiths Valuation in the townland of Kilduff (1.5 kms from Pallasgrean) published in Nov 1850 there is a Thomas Mackey a farmer and also a John Mackey. Most likely this is the father of Thomas Mackey my ggrandfather.
Griffiths Valuation for Kilduff Townland Co Limerick c 1850
Mackey Family Griffiths Valuation Showing Kilduff Townland Co Limerick c1850
In the 1901 Census for Kiduff Co Limerick Patrick Mackey and his family are listed. He was born about 1851 and is most likely an older brother of Thomas.
Thomas Mackey came out to Victoria about 1880 and was a draper. One of his descendants told me he was a floor walker in a major department store in Melbourne at some time in his working life.
In 1882 his address was Bourke St Melbourne and he was a draper. From 1903-1924 he lived in McPherson St Essendon.
Three of Thomas’s brothers and one sister and an uncle all came out to Australia, although not at the same time. There may also have been cousins as well who made the journey from Ireland.
His sister Catherine, born in 1835, and who married William Real in Co Limerick, came out in 1857. She died in 1900 in Northcote, Victoria.
Daniel Mackey who was born in 1842, died in Bendigo, at age 30, after being out here for only three years. He is buried in Sandhurst Cemetery, Bendigo, Victoria. There was a Daniel Mackey with a William and Nicholas Mackey (possibly cousins) who came out on the “Ocean Empress” in 1862. Catherine and Daniel Mackey are listed as being born in Pallasgrean Co Limerick. Edmond Mackey born 1856, also emigrated to Victoria. There he married Julia Ann Briscoe and they had a family of eight children. He died in Fitzroy in 1906.
Thomas Mackey aged 29, married Bridget Christina Burns, aged 23, on May 1, 1882 at St Mary’s Church, Echuca, Victoria. Bridget Christina Burns was born in Sunbury, Victoria in 1859. Her parents were Bryan Burns and Mary Canavan, both from Co Galway Ireland.
Below is their wedding record and a wedding notice from The Argus. Bridget’s father’s name is given as Berned Burns:
Thomas and Bridget had nine children: Thomas Bernard 1883-1957, who married Anastasia Hearn; Eileen Alana 1884-1929 married, Joseph Glass and lived at Yackandandah; Victor Francis 1886-1944, married Adelaide Mathews; Mary Margaret 1888-1981, married Archibald Breen, Ida Theresa 1890-1974, married Francis Collins Fanning; Edmond John 1893-1951, married Ethel Belden; Christopher Patrick 1894-1958, married Barbara Pleasant Lohman; Alfred William 1896-1963, married Alice May Shanks; Doris Catherine 1899-1954, married Francis Cyril Antonie.
Thomas Mackey died on the first of June, 1926, aged 73, from bronchitis and cardiac failure. He is buried in the Fawkner Cemetery Melbourne Victoria Australia.
The following detailed genealogy report from Family Tree Maker traces the descendants of Thomas Mackey of Pallasgreen Co Limerick Ireland born about 1808 and Bridget Treacy his wife to present day Mackey family in Victoria Australia:
October 12 :- ELLENBOROUGH, ship, 1038 tons, Captain Thornhill, from
Southampton July 10th, with 405 Government emigrants. Mr. Burke
surgeon-superintendent. Young & Co. agents.
On board were Connor Gormley, his wife Ann, sons Thomas and Peter, daughters Sarah, Eliza, and Ellen.
Cornelius’s father was Thomas Gormley. In Griffith’s Valuation for Co Roscommon, Ireland, 1851, there are two listings for a Thomas Gormley in the Parish of Kilcorkey. One is in the townland of Bellanagare for 3 acres of land and the other is in the townland of Bellanagare Village for a house and yard. There are no other listings for a Thomas Gormley in Co Roscommon. The obit for Cornelius Gormley in The Sydney Freeman’s Journal below states he was from the Parish of Elphin. This parish is next to the Parish of Kilcorkey.
The Gormleys lived at Belmore River, which is in the Macleay Valley, on the Mid North Coast of NSW.
In Greville’s Post Office Directory 1872 for the town of Gladstone, there are three Gormleys listed at Belmore River: Cornelius Gormley, James Gormley and John Gormley. They are all farmers and may be brothers of Cornelius or cousins from Co Roscommon.
Most of the Gormleys are buried in Fredrickton Cemetery which is just north of Kempsey in NSW.
Obituary for Cornelius Gormley in The Sydney Freeman’s Journal 2 Nov 1895
DEATH OF MR. CORNELIUS GORMLEY.
At Gladstone, Macleay River, after receiving all
the consolations of religion, a sterling old Irish
Catholic has passed away in the person of Mr.
Cornelius Gormley. He had reached the good old
age of four score and four. He was born in the
parish of Elphin, County Roscommon, Ireland, and
was a brother of the Rev. F. Gormley, of the same
parish, and the Rev. John Gormley, of Dublin. In
1853, owing to the depression prevailing m his
native land, he, with his wife and family, came to
New South Wales, and although he exiled himself
he was ever true to the land he loved so well,
aiding pecuniarily and otherwise every movement
for its advancement and welfare. Even in his
advanced age, a few years back, when Sir Thomas
Esmonde paid a visit to the district, he was con
spicuous for his energetic endeavours to help ‘ the
cause.’ Being a devoted Catholic, he always took
a great interest in Church matters. He did much to
advance the interests of religion in the early days
on the Macleay by the hospitality he extended’ to
the pioneer priests and his endeavours to facili
tate their modes of travelling through the district.
It was in Mr. Gormley’s house that the first Mass
was celebrated on the Lower Macleay many years
ago by the late Rev. Father Coghlan. He was
always active in the political field from the year
1835, when in his native county he recorded his first
vote for O’ Conor Don, to the 24th of July last, when
he rose from a bed of sickness to give what he well
knew would be his last vote to the present member
for the Macleay, Mr. Frank Clarke. When New
South Wales received responsible government, he
played a prominent part in the elections, being at
that time in Sydney. He worked hard endeavour
ing to secure for the country the services in Parlia
ment of such men as Messrs. Plunkett, Deniehy,
and W. Forstor, and afterwards, in 1864, was one of
a party in inducing Mr. Forster to stand for
the old electorate of the Macleay, which seat
Mr. Forster subsequently won. Being a man of in
dependent means, he latterly rested from work, and
until about a year ago, when old age began to weigh
him down, he enjoyed the best of health. The de
ceased was attended in the closing scenes of his life
by the Very Rev. Father Doyle, who administered
the last rites of the Church. The coffin, which was
adorned with many lovely wreaths and crosses,
was placed in the family vault in the Catholic por
tion of the Frederickton cemetery, where his wife,
eldest son, and one daughter had been previously
laid to rest. The funeral was one of the largest ever
seen on the Macleay. The deceased leaves one son
and three daughters, and several grandchildren.
Glory In Excelsis Deo
Cornelias & Ann Gormley
In Memory Of
Their Beloved Son
A Native of Cy Rosscommon
Who departed This Life
August the 29th 1875
Aged 33 Years
All young men as you pass by
As you are now so once was I
As I am now so you must be
So be prepared to follow me.
The following is a descendant report on the Gormley family from Co Roscommon Ireland who settled at Belmore River NSW Australia:
John Thomas Fanning was the third son of Ellen Gormley and John Henry Fanning. He was born at Bulla in Victoria in 1878.
He was also the father of the famous Melbourne full forward, Fred Fanning and I have been told that John Thomas was himself a very talented boxer and althlete who held various sporting records.
Before he enlisted in 1916 he was living and farming at Belmore River NSW on land owned by his uncle Peter Gormley. John Thomas was reported in The Macleay Argus, 24 June 1910, as having donated money, five shillings, to the Dr Casement Memorial Fund for the Belmore River area. His mother Ellen Fanning was left this land and she eventually sold it in 1926. Before he enlisted John Thomas Fanning held an auction of his goods.
Published in the Macleay Chronicle Feb 3 1915.
Belmore River is where the relations of John Thomas Fanning were living. John Thomas’ mother was Ellen Gormley. His grandfather was Cornelias “Connor” Gormley. The Gormley family grave is in Frederickton Cemetery, near Kempsey, NSW. Belmore River is near the village of Gladstone and is a very beautiful lush farming area near the coast. Even today there are probably only about 30 farms/houses along the river.
John Thomas Fanning was a 38 year old farmer and single when he enlisted in Sydney on the 30th October, 1916. His address was given as Bulla, Victoria and his next of kin, his mother Ellen Fanning, of the same address.
His unit was called The March 1917 Reinforcements and embarked from Sydney on the “Marathon” on May 10, 1917. John Thomas was a driver. He returned to Australia on the 23rd of March, 1919.
After the war he returned and married Annie Tapscott and had two children. One of these, Frederick, was the famous Melbourne footballer, Fred Fanning. He did not return to NSW and lived the remainder of his life in Coburg Melbourne and worked as a rubber worker.
He died in Heidelberg in 1957 and is buried in a military grave in Bulla Cemetery.
The following detailed genealogy reports trace the ancestry of John Thomas Fanning back to William Fannin of Lissaroon Co Tipperary Ireland and also his descendants in Victoria Australia.
A recent study conducted at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, found that a striking percentage of men in Ireland (and quite a few in Scotland) share the same Y chromosome, suggesting that the 5th-century warlord known as “Niall of the Nine Hostages” may be the ancestor of one in 12 Irishmen. Niall established a dynasty of powerful chieftains that dominated the island for six centuries.
Modern surnames tracing their ancestry to Niall include (O’)Neill, (O’)Gallagher, (O’)Boyle, (O’)Doherty, O’Donnell, Connor, Cannon, Bradley, O’Reilly, Flynn, (Mc)Kee, Campbell, Devlin, Donnelly, Egan, Gormley, Hynes, McCaul, McGovern, McLoughlin, McManus, McMenamin, Molloy, O’Kane, O’Rourke and Quinn.
John Fanning (Australian), a direct descendant of William Patrick Fanning born 1812 in Thurles, came up as a perfect DNA match with Edmund Fanning who emigrated to America in c1641 and lived and died in Stonington Conneticut.
As my ancestor William Patrick Fanning “Big Bill” emigrated from Thurles Co Tipperary to Victoria Australia in 1841 we are descended not from this Edmund Fanning but his family ( brothers or uncles etc) who stayed in Ireland.
On Family Tree DNA our Y-DNA haplogroup is I-M252. The lineage of this haplogroup has its roots in northern France, according to FTDNA. Today it is found most frequently within Viking/Scandinavian populations in north west Europe. This fits in with Fannings having been Normans from Normandy in Northern France who were before that Vikings.
There is a Fanning DNA Project that is ongoing. It is open to any male with the surname of Fanning/Fannin/Fannon, etc. Go to: www.wfnforum.net/surnames/f/fanning www.familytreedna.com or contact the Fanning Project administrator: Cathy Stoppel at email@example.com.”
Here is a post from another section of this blog that relates to DNA testing: Recent DNA testing of an Australian direct descendant of William Patrick Fanning (born Thurles 1812 died Bulla Victoria 1876) is an exact match with descendants of this Edmund Fanning so most likely William Patrick Fanning “Big Bill” was related to many of the Fannings from Kilkenny, Tipperary and Limerick mentioned in Brooks account and also to Fannings in Fenagh, Leitrim descended from Fannings transplanted there and also to Fannings transplanted to other counties after 1652. He is F-23 on the Fanning Family DNA Project at http://www.worldfamilies.net/surnames/f/fanning/
I have just received an email from Pat Fannin which corrects and adds to what I have written above: “Looking at the y-DNA results, I understand your conclusions on the connection of the Australian descendant of William Patrick Fanning to Edmund Fanning, immigrant to Stonington, Conn. in 1653. However, as I understand the test results from several Fanning lines that descend fro Co. Leitrim, I can find no way to connect “Big Bill” or Edmund of Conn. to the Co. Leitrim Fannings. These appear to be two entirely separate lines of Fannings. The tests that I am referring to are: F-12, F-39 & F-42 for Co. Leitrim Fannings. Your line is F-23 and F-14, F-20 are descendants of Edmund Fanning of Conn. The Co. Leitrim descendants are of another Haplogroup from the descendants of “Big Bill” & Edmund of Conn. and could therefore not be related. The markers on these two groups also do not match. Most likely some of the Fannings transplanted to the Connaught were related to Edmund & “Big Bill”, but it wasn’t the families that have tested from Co. Leitrim, thus far. In fact, F-17 Martin Fanning, is a closer match to your “Big Bill” than are the two Edmund Fanning tests (F-14 & F-20) — see marker 27 GATAH4, which is shared by tests F-17 & F-23 and not by the Edmund Fanning results of tests F-14 & F-20.”
While looking at records from the Pioneer Index for Victoria which covers the period 1838-1888 I noticed that a huge number of records related to gold rush towns and settlements. Their names reflect their gold prospecting origins as well as the different nationalities of immigrants. So many places were gullies, leads, creeks, flats, diggings and they were all far from Melbourne.
Some interesting place names are Yankee Creek, Deep Lead, Italian Gully, Jobs Gully, Scotchman’s Lead, Welshman’s Reef, Frenchman’s Creek, Eldorado, Digger’s Rest and Chinaman’s Flat.
While investigating the impact of gold I came across this interesting article on a great site which answered some of my questions. I have included parts of it below.
When we talk about the Victorian gold rushes, that occurred from 1851 onwards, we are really talking about people, specifically the movement of people. During the gold rushes, people moved on a small scale: trying their luck at different locations on the diggings, or shifting from one town to another. Many people moved from the city of Melbourne into the centre of the colony, leaving certain industries and businesses desperate for workers. There was movement between colonies too, for example hundreds of workers abandoned the copper mines in South Australia and switched to gold seeking in Victoria. Many folk in Melbourne were appalled to see Vandemonians streaming into Victoria from Tasmania to look for gold, fearing increased crime and social unrest.
But perhaps the most significant population movement was the migration of thousands of people from overseas countries to the Victorian goldfields. The influx led to dramatic changes in Victoria’s population, and more importantly, to its society and culture. This group of people is described as the ‘gold generation’, a generation that left a profound and lasting impact on the colony and on the Australian nation. Continue reading The Victorian Gold Rushes 1851 and Immigration Australia
Gladstone and Smithtown are twin towns separated by the Macleay River. Gladstone township is one largely intact river town with close links to the development of the Macleay River.
The land where Gladstone is situated was marked for a village reserve in 1859. The first lots in Gladstone (formerly Darkwater) were sold in 1860, however, it was not until 1864 that the village was surveyed by Surveyor Ernst Herborn.
In 1870 the township of Darkwater became known as Gladstone and Darkwater Creek became known as Belmore River. The name changes commemorated the visit to the Macleay of the Earl of Belmore, Governor of New South Wales. Gladstone was the maiden name of the Governor’s wife.
Gladstone was a commercial centre. From its wharves, that once existed, passengers and freight destined for Austral Eden, the Belmore River, Kinchela, Kinchela Creek and other lower river areas were landed or despatched.
I was told the area was originally or at some time cleared to grow sugar cane but this did not work out. It became a farming area.
Cornelius Gormley and his wife Ann and their five children lived near Gladstone. They emigrated to NSW in Oct 1853 on the “Ellenborough”. Connor, as he was called, owned a number of parcels of land along Darkwater Creek, now named Belmore River.