The Dillon Family of Bulla Victoria Australia

Dillon is a Norman name. The first person called Dillon came to Ireland in 1185 and was Sir Henry de Leon. He was from Brittany in France and came to Ireland to act as secretary to Prince John (later King John) The name in France can be traced back to the town of Lyon. It’s Gaelic form was O’ Duilleain and this was eventually anglicized to Dillon.

Map of irish Counties use
Map of irish Counties

Martin Dillon snr came out from Co Tipperary in Ireland on the “Eastern Empire” arriving 11 June 1863, with his wife and four children. He stayed with his sister Margaret Ryan.   His sisters Ellen, Margaret and Bridget and brother James had previously immigrated to Victoria. Bridget married Richard Feehan in 1853 in Victoria, James married Mary Duhy in 1855, Margaret was married to Thomas Ryan and Ellen to John Dalton.

Martin’s sister Ellen who married John Dalton is buried in the Dalton family grave in the Melbourne Cemetery.  Roman Catholic compartment E Grave 94. In this grave are buried her daughters Margaret and Catherine, her niece Ellen and her nephew, Patrick Dillon.Also in the grave are James Crowe who died age 72 and was buried on July 5 1866. Ellen’s mother’s maiden name was Crowe so he could be her uncle.

The Dillons came from Clonpett in South Tipperary and this is what Martin Snr called his property at Bulla, “Clonpett Farm”. The mother of Martin and James was Margaret Dillon nee Crowe. Their father was Martin Dillon a farmer. In the Tithe Applotment books for 1832, for Clonpett Civil Parish, Co Tipperary, there is a Martin Dillon listed living in Clonpett Townland. On the Griffith’s Valuation for Clonpet 1851 there is a Margaret Dillon at Clonpet. She has a house, offices and land. In the house next to her was Patrick Quirk, who had 64 acres of land. In the 1901 Census there are no Dillons living at Clonpet but there are Quirkes in 1901,1911 and 1940.

Townlands around Tipperary Town
Townlands around Tipperary Town

Martin Dillon snr would have been about 35 years of age when he immigrated with his wife Hanora Quirk. They had married in Co Tipperary in c1857. By 1879 they had twelve children.

The Dillons bought the property Craig Bank from the Patullo family. They renamed it Willow Bank. It is at 400 Wildwood Road, Wildwood, Bulla and was constructed in the mid 1850s. The buildings are set among river gums on a knoll beside an alluvial flat overlooking Deep Creek.

Willowbank Wildwood Bulla Victoria
1888 Post Office Directory of Victoria

“The Dillon family-Martin Sr., Martin Jr., Michael and William- worked about 850 acres until the turn of the century, which coincides with the death of Martin Dillon Sr. in June 1900. Before then, however, Martin Dillon Sr had taken up residence with his wife Honora, on a farm called Clonpett, which encompassed the 217 acres of Allotment 2 of Section 27 in the Parish of Bulla Bulla and fronted the Bulla -Sunbury Road. The present weatherboard house is thought by the Dillon family to have been built in the late 1890s or early 1900s. Prior to that one of the Dillon daughters, a small girl at the time remembers living in the whitewashed stone dwelling (the current building) which had a timber attachment housing washtubs. It may have been only temporary accommodation, during rebuilding the main weatherboard house. When the family moved into the “new house” they acquired a piano, which became a great fixture. The area around the river at the bridge attracted excursionists at least from the time of the late nineteenth century. The Dillons came to know a few families from Melbourne suburbs who camped and fished there every year. The girls would bake for the visitors, and on the Sunday evenings the campers would be invited into the Dillon home for a sing around the piano. The site near the bridge is known as the Martin Dillon Reserve. William Dillon was Shire President in 1897-98″.

From 1900 on the former Craig Bank property, which the Dillons had renamed Willow Bank, was some 415 acres in size (the rest appears to have been sold) and was worked by Martin Dillon Jr.  He lived at the property until his death at the age of 59 in December 1917.”

(These notes taken from the Hume Council website on Willowbank. If you search for Hume Council Willow Bank there is a pdf on the Hume Council site which goes into more detail about the Patullos and Craigbank/Willowbank.)

The Dillon family were well known in the district and active in local government.

Martin Dillon Snr died a tragic death by accidental drowning in Jackson’s Creek Bulla in 1900. He was 73 years old. There were many articles in papers about this accident and the recovery of his body. He is buried in Sunbury Cemetery. These clippings are from The Argus June -August 1900.










Martin Dillon jnr was married to Elizabeth “Lizzie” Flanagan in 1892 at St Francis Church, Melbourne. He was a farmer and in 1900 resided at Craig Bank (The Dillons later renamed it Willowbank). They had four children: Mary Josephine, Margaret, John and Ellen.

Signature of Martin Dillon jnr 1914

Martin Dillon, who was born in Co Tipperary c1858, died on the 22nd of Dec 1917. Below is an obituary published in The Sunbury News:


Martin Dillon Obit Jan 1918
Sunbury News Jan 1918 Obituary for Martin Dillon

Martin Dillon jnr’s eldest daughter, Mary Josephine, married William Patrick Fanning in 1920 and lived at “Sunnyside” in Bulla.  They farmed and had three children.

William Patrick Fanning 1915

I remember Mary Josephine as “Aunty Daisy”. In her later years she lived in Essendon with her daughter, Elizabeth “Betty” Fitzgerald. She loved walking and I would often see her taking long walks around Essendon. She used to call in and have a cup of tea with my mother who was very fond of her. I remember Aunty Daisy with affection. She died in 1970 and is buried with her husband, William Patrick Fanning, in Bulla Cemetery.


The following genealogy report traces the ancestry of the Dillon family from Co Tipperary Ireland to Victoria Australia.

Martin Dillon Descendants Report 2015
Descendants of Martin Dillon 1781-1843 Co Tipperary Ireland

Fannings in Beechworth Victoria Australia

There was a Johannah Fanning who came out from Co Tipperary c1861. She died in Beechworth 5 May 1886. Her father was Edward Ryan, a farmer and her mother Mary Gleeson. She was born c 1811 and married Thomas Fanning in Ireland. They were from the townland of Glenaguile in the parish of Toomevara. He died 9 Sept 1912.

Her children were Thomas born c1830 died Beechworth 1891, married Mary Byrns;

Eliza born c1832 married John McDonald and then Richard Cain in the Beechworth area. Eliza died Sept 4 1922.

Margaret was born c1838,

John born c1840 died 1915 in Beechworth,

Michael born c1842,

Edward born 1840 in Toomyvara in Co Tipperary, he died on July 15 in 1914 in Beechworth and

Johanna born c1846 married a Carey.

I haven’t been able to establish a connection to my family and the Beechworth Fannings, as yet.

Fannings from Little Flinders St Melbourne Victoria Australia

These Fannings came from Thurles and could well be related. As yet I haven’t been able to link them with my family.

Marriage notice for Mary Jane Fanning and John Boland The Argus 15 Feb 1866
Funeral notice for John Fanning The Argus, 12 April 1877


FANNING – On  the 11th April, at the Hen and Chicken Hotel, Little Flinders Street, Melbourne, John, third son of the late Mr John Fanning, merchant of Thurles, Co Tipperary, Ireland, aged-years.R.I.P

Funeral notice for Johanna Fanning The Argus 12 May 1877
Death notice Johanna Fanning The Argus May 1877



Johanna Fanning, the wife of the late John Fanning, merchant of Thurles, came out to Australia c1853.

Jeremiah Fanning age 13, Mary Fanning age 19, John Fanning age 9 and Joseph Fanning age 7 are listed aboard the “Bloomer”, which arrived in Victoria July, 1853.

Johanna’s father was Jeremiah Carroll and her mother Mary O’Mara. She was born c1814 in Thurles Co Tipperary. She married John Fanning of Thurles in Drom Parish on Sept 25, 1830. Witnesses were Pat Fanning and Johanna Mara.

Her children were Mary, Patrick, Margaret, Jeremiah, Kate, John and Joseph. Johanna is buried in the Melbourne Cemetery with her sons John and Joseph, and her daughter, Mary Boland. John died in 1877 aged 33. He was a compositor and single. He resided at Flinders Lane Melbourne. He died of consumption. Joseph was also unmarried and died in May 1894 aged 48. He was a printer and lived in Darlington Parade Richmond.

Mary who married John Boland in 1866 lived to the age of 80 and died in 1922. I have not been able to trace any Boland children. John Boland her husband died age 61 in 1886.

Looking through the National Library of Ireland’s online parish registers for Thurles Parish I came across these baptism records for five of the children of Johanna and John Fanning:

Mary of John Fanning and Joanna Carroll, 14 Nov 1833. Sponsors were Pat and Elen Fanning.

Patrick, 28 July 1835 sponsors were James Fanning and Margaret Carroll.

Cath, Nov 1840 sponsors were John Maher and Mary Ann Armstrong.

John, 29 Oct 1842 sponsors were Walter Bourke and Cath O’Mara.

Joseph, Sept 1844 sponsor was Valentino O’Meara.

There is a John Fanning a Thurles merchant buried in St Marys Church of Ireland Cemetery in Thurles who may well be the husband of Johanna, He died in 2 Dec 1844 aged 42. His brother is a Patrick Fanning, who is also buried there.

John Fanning died 1844 St Mary's Cemetery Thurles
John Fanning died 1844 St Mary’s Cemetery Thurles
Thurles St Mary's Graveyard Mary Fanning erected by Patrick Fanning of Thurles
Thurles St Mary’s Graveyard Mary Fanning erected by Patrick Fanning of Thurles

Fanning Family from Hamilton and Penshurst, Victoria, Australia

This Fanning family originated from Borrisoleigh in North Tipperary. Borrisoleigh is not far from Lissaroon and Clondoty and Bouladuff where related Fannings lived. There is a good chance that they were related, although I have not found a connection yet.

Johannah Fanning nee Bourke came out from Borrisoleigh in Co Tipperary between 1857 and 1863. Johannah was born c 1792 and died 13 June 1877 aged 85. She is buried in Boram Boram cemetery Hamilton Victoria.

She came out with her children: William, Joseph, Margaret, Johanna and Mary.

William married Johanna Meagher in 1870. She was also born in Co Tipperary and was the licensee of the Victoria Hotel, in Penshurst, which is near Hamilton. Johanna, his wife, was also a publican.They were involved with this hotel from 1891-1905.

Margaret married Terence O’Brien.


Joseph Fanning Penshurst Gravestone
Joseph Fanning Boram Boram Cemetery Victoria Australia
Johannah Fanning 1877 Penshurst Gravestone
Johanna Fanning died 1877 Penshurst Victoria Boram Boram Cemetery


I’d like to hear from anyone researching this Fanning family or who knows more about them back in Ireland, particularly William Fanning’s parents and siblings.

From the Borrisoleigh site:

“Like most parishes, Borrisoleigh was badly affected during the famine years which saw her population drop significantly through starvation, disease and emigration. It was one the darkest periods of the parish and remains of old potato drills left, untouched since the 1840’s, can be seen in different parts of the parish, a symbol of abandonment of the land and in many cases the inability of people to work due to starvation and illness. A survivor of the famine recalled how “one morning I picked up a man lying dead on this spot, and another day I found five dead bodies on the road from Glankeen to Ballyroan, and t’was hard to get men who could help me bury them. More than once when I opened the door in the morning I found a dead body on the steps”.


As was happening all over the country little was done by the sitting absentee landlords. In October 1846 Lord Portarlington, whose extensive estate took in Borrisoleigh, threw a banquet in the Borrisoleigh Temperance Hall. It was at this that Lord Portalington was pressed strongly for much more badly needed assistance in the lives of his starving tenants. He dashed all hopes of assistance when he departed leaving just £100 for the Poor Relief Committee and returned to being an absentee landlord while the men, women and children of Borrisoleigh died in their humble shacks which many could hardly afford to rent. This was probably one of Borrisoleigh’s darkest hours.”


The Sunbury Fanning Family Victoria Australia

Fanning Family From Powlett St Sunbury Victoria
Fanning Family From Powlett St Sunbury Victoria

There was a Fanning family living in Sunbury, Victoria which is relatively near Bulla. One of their descendants believes we are related. I had a look and this family originates from Co Wicklow in Ireland so I don’t think we would be related.

Michael Fanning who married Mary Hogan, in 1872 in Victoria, came from Co Wicklow. In 1876 Elizabeth Mary was born to Michael and Mary Fanning. In 1907 she married Thomas Richard Wickham. Other children to Michael and Mary Fanning were John Jackson 1877, Michael Joseph born 1879, Kate (Catherine Teresa)1881, Lilian Francis 1873, Mary Josine and Ann (Margaret Ann)1883.

In the Sunbury News 1892, a Michael Fanning is listed as a publican for the Railway Hotel in Sunbury. He died age 85, in Sunbury, in 1927.

Mary Fanning nee Hogan died in Sunbury age 74 in 1917. Her father was John Hogan and her mother Eliza Brophy. She lived at Powlett St in Sunbury for 63 years, where her parents had lived before her.

The Fanning Family Charlton Victoria Australia

In researching my branch of the Fannings from Thurles I came across four other Fanning families that I thought might be related.

It was often thought that the Fannings who lived, and still live, in Charlton, in country Victoria, were related to us. People often asked if we were related to them and pointed out a strong physical likeness to my father. They even said he walked in the same way as the Fanning Charltons. My father went over to Charlton to visit them there but apparently they knew of no connection.

I looked into their family history and found three sites where the Charlton Fanning family history has been explored:

Kevin Shepherd starts with George Fanning who was born c 1864 in Dublin and married Margaret Masterson in Charlton in 1899. (I can’t find Kevin’s tree online anymore.)

The Hall, Kernaghan, Donaldson, Clark, Armstrong & Noble Family Tree on Rootsweb has information on Joseph Fanning who married Lizzie Gledhill c1884.

I found out that this Fanning family came from Dublin. Three brothers, Michael, George and Joseph and a sister, Margaret came out to Australia sometime after 1864. Their father was James Fanning, a farmer and their mother Kate(Kathleen) Stammers.

Michael born c1850 died in Bendigo in 1931 aged 81.

Joseph died a very wealthy man in 1922 in Charlton. He was born in Dublin c1856.

Margaret was born c1860 and died in 1925 in Charlton.

George born c1864 in Dublin died 1943 in Charlton.

If anyone knows when the four emigrant Charlton Fannings came out to Australia I would be interested to know or if anyone has any more research on this family back in Ireland please contact me. I also have more on this family than what I’ve written here.

Catherine Ryan nee Fanning 1846-1899 Victoria Australia

Catherine was the second daughter of William and Catherine Fanning and was born at Bulla, Victoria in 1846. Below is the record of her baptism in 1847 at Mount Macedon.

Catherine Fanning Baptism 1847_0001
Baptism of Catherine Fanning 1847 at Mount Macedon Victoria

She married John Ryan, a farmer, on 21 May 1867 at Bulla. They lived in Kilmore at Moranding in Victoria.

Her husband, John Ryan, was born about 1838 in Thurles, Co. Tipperary. His father was Patrick Ryan and his mother was Margaret Hogan. He came out about 1856 aged about 18. John Ryan signature

Signature of John Ryan

He died a tragic death on Dec 11 1876, drowning himself in the river at Moranding. He was 38 years old and left six children under the age of nine at the time of his death. They had been married eight years.

14 Dec 1876 Death of John Ryan Kilmore Free Press
23 Dec The Herald report of the death of John Ryan
John Ryan death Moranding Argus 1876 cr
Report of John Ryan’s Death in The Argus 1876
Jon Ryan death notice Argus 18 Dec 1876 2
Death Nptice for John Ryan The Argus 18 Dec 1876




Their children were all born at Kilmore and were Patrick Ambrose, William John, John William, Edward Francis, Catherine, Michael and Thomas.

Catherine died at Kilmore on 15 March 1899.

John Ryan’s Will and Probate and that of Catherine Ryan are online at PROV (Public Records Office Victoria).

Catherine Ryan nee Fanning Gravestone
Grave of Catherine Ryan nee Fanning, her husband John Ryan and son Patrick Ambrose Ryan in Kilmore Cemetery Victoria.

Below are obituaries for some of Catherine and John Ryan’s children:

Edward Francis Ryan Obit KIlmore Free Press 6 Feb 1936
Obituary for Edward Francis Ryan Kilmore Free Press 6 Feb 1936
William John Ryan Obit Kilmore Free press 3 Mar 1928
William John Ryan Obit Kilmore Free Press 3 Mar, 1928
John William Ryan Obit Kilmore Free press May 1 1941
Obituary for John William Ryan Kilmore Free Press 1 May, 1941
Thomas James Ryan Obit Kilmore Free Press 1 April 1943
Thomas James Ryan Obituary Kilmore Free Press 1 April, 1943
Catherine Ryan Obit Kilmore Free Press 2 Sept 1948
Obituary for Catherine Ryan Kilmore Free Press 2 Sept, 1948
Michael Joseph Ryan Obit Kilmore Free Press 20 April 1950 cr
Obit for Michael Joseph Ryan Kilmore Free Press 20 April, 1950

Only one of the children of Catherine Fanning and John Ryan married.

Edward Francis Ryan married Catherine Anastasia Nicholls and they had two children, Mary Anastasia and Frances Eileen. Mary married  Ralph Edward Beveridge in Victoria in 1934. I have not found any children for this couple or any marriage or death records for Francis Eileen Ryan.

Johanna Dell nee Fanning 1848-1923 Victoria Australia

Johanna Fanning Sunnyside cropped
Johanna Fanning outside her family home “Sunnyside” at Bulla Victoria Australia

This picture was taken outside “Sunnyside”  c 1868. She would have been about twenty years old.

Johanna Louisa Fanning was born in 1848 at Bulla in Victoria.

She married William Frederick Dell on the 17th Nov, 1884. She was 36, although the marriage certificate says 27, and he was also 27.

They were married in St Francis’ Catholic Church, Melbourne.

On her marriage record Johanna signed her name using the more English “Joanna”.

Joanna Fanning and William Dell Marriage 1884_0001 cropped
Joanna Fanning and William Dell Marriage 1884

William Dell was born in Berkshire, England about 1857. His being English did not please Johanna’s Irish father and it is said that Johanna was cut out of the will because she chose to marry an Englishman. She was the only child not to receive property from her parents.

On her marriage certificate her occupation is given as “Hotel Keeper” and address as Bulla. I wonder what hotel she was working at or managing.

Family stories have them owning a pub in Richmond. In 1888 on her daughter’s death certificate she is again listed as a hotel keeper.

From the years 1909 to her death in 1923, she lived at 145 Surrey Rd, South Yarra, Melbourne and her occupation was described as “Home Duties”.

Her sister, Mary Skehan of Monegetta, left Johanna 50 pounds in her will in 1900.

Joanna was 74 when she died.

She had a very sad life, in that her only two children died as infants.

William Frederick Dell died after only two weeks on 28 Dec, 1887. His parents’ address at this time was the Norfolk Hotel in Flinders Lane, Melbourne.

Joanna Louise Dell was born at South Yarra, but died after five months, at Bulla, on 3 Dec 1888.

William Dell died in Richmond in 1939 aged 81.

On the census forms he is listed as a Gentleman in 1884, a Hotel Keeper in 1888 and from 1909 to 1924 as a Cook.

In 1936 he was living at 7 Claremont St, Sth Yarra, Melbourne.

Joanna and William Frederick Dell are buried with their two children, in the Melbourne General Cemetery, in the Catholic section, but not in the Fanning plot.

Joanna Dell Death Notice Oct 1923 Argus (2)
Joanna Dell Death Notice Oct 1923 The Argus
Joanna Dell memorial Notice Argus 1925
Memorial Notice for Joanna Dell The Argus 1925




Mary Skehan nee Fanning 1845-1900 Victoria Australia

Mary Elizabeth Fanning was born at Werribee in Victoria in 1845. Her parents, William and Catherine Fanning, had come out from Thurles, Co. Tipperary Ireland in 1841. They lived and worked at Werribee for the first few years before moving to Bulla.

In 1862 Mary Fanning aged 18 was a witness at an inquest into the death of an infant girl in Emu Creek. Johanna Doyle who lived and worked on the Fanning property was suspected of the child’s death.

Mary Fanning Signature 1862

Mary Fanning’s Signature at the 1862 inquest.

Mary Fanning  married Jeremiah Skehan in 1865, at her family’s home at Deep Creek, Bulla, Victoria.

Mary Elizabeth Fanning Marriage to Jeremiah Skehan 1865_CR
Mary Elizabeth Fanning Marriage to Jeremiah Skehan 1865

Recently I contacted a DNA match who has Skehan ancestors from Dualla in Co Tipperary. How we are a match is a still a mystery.

I started looking for the birth of Jeremiah and discovered he was baptised on 18 Nov 1833 in Boherlahan Parish in South Tipperary. His parents’ address given as Kill Hill or Killhill. I also came across the Baptism record of his brother William Skehan, 10 Mar 1835, in the same location. So far I have not been able to find any more children of John and Mary Skehan nee O’Keeffe.

Boherlahan Catholic Parish Co Tipperary

Skehan is sometimes spelled as Skeahan, Skehane and Skehin and no doubt there are other variations.

I decided to look for the marriage of John Skehan and Mary O’Keeffe. They were married in the Catholic Church on 18 Nov 1833 after a three month scandal!

Marriage of John Skehan and Mary O’Keeffe, Boherlahan Parish South Tipperary. 22 June 1833.

John Skeahan of Dualla and Mary Keeffe of Featherd having eloped, from great? scandal for three months and their first married in Church by the Rev W Bagnall Church of Magorban, then again married by the Rev William Kirwain in presence of John Keeffe, Thomas? Ryan and Alicia? Commons?”

They had been originally married in the Protestant Church of Magorban. I am assuming that Mary O’Keefe was a Protestant.

Magorban Protestant Church Co Tipperary


Jeremiah’s family came from Co Tipperary, as did the Fanning family. He came out to Australia when he was about 21 years old, around 1859. His father John, was also a farmer from Dualla Co Tipperary. His mother was Mary O’Keefe from Fethard in the same county. The Skehan family lived at Kill Hill Kilballyherberry in Co Tipperary. There is now a wind farm at Kill Hill.

In Australia Jeremiah and Mary lived at Monegeeta, in Romsey, Victoria, where they were the licensees of The Junction Hotel. The hotel was at Lancefield Junction, on the corner of Gisbourne and Lancefield Rds, at the Railway Station. It was next to Mintaro Homestead, the smaller replica of Melbourne’s Government House built in 1882.  Mary and Jeremiah also farmed as well as ran the pub.The hotel was on their land. Below is a map of the area from 1880-1890:

Map of Skehan's land at Monegeeta
Map of Skehan’s land at Monegeeta

Victoria. Dept. of Crown Lands and Survey. Parish of Kerrie 1880 – 1890.

This land was originally owned by Mary’s father William Patrick Fanning (listed as W.Fannan) and gazetted in 1858:

W Fannan Parish of Kerrie 1858 Monegeetta
Land at Monegeetta owned by Mary’s father William Fanning of Bulla

Jeremiah and Mary had thirteen children between 1866 and 1883: John, William, Mary, Thomas, Jeremiah, Catherine, Jeremiah, Jeremiah Patrick, Margaret, Edward, James, Sally and Michael.

Jeremiah died at Monegeeta in Sept of 1896, age 58, of a heart condition, and is buried in the Lancefield Cemetery.  Mary died at Romsey in 1923 at the age of seventy eight.

The Junction Hotel was in the Skehan family for over 50 years. It burned down in April 1975. It had passed out of the Skehan family when it was put up for sale in 1909.

Sale Notice of Junction Hotel Argus 1909
Sale of the Junction Hotel Skehan’s Hotel 1909

Jeremiah Skehan died intestate. His probate papers are online at the Public Records Office of Victoria, as are Mary Skehan’s.

Mary and Jeremiah Skehan and children Gravestone Lancefield Cemetery
Skehan Family Grave Lancefield Cemetery Victoria Australia

Jeremiah’s son, also named Jeremiah, was a blacksmith. I think the photo below of Jerry Skehan is him although it could also be of his son Gerald Skehan who was also a blacksmith. The young boy is Bruce Laing. If anyone knows which Skehan this is please let me know. I don’t know when it was taken.

Jerry Skehan Romsey Victoria
Jeremiah Skehan Blacksmith Romsey Victoria Australia
SKEHAN Doreen, Jeremiah P, Marie Monica
Grave of Doreen, Jeremiah P and Marie Monica Skehan, Lancefield Cemetery Victoria Australia

The following pages about the Skehan family are taken from:

“Celebration of the Catholic parish of Lancefield and Romsey centenary 1906-2006 [John Lynch]”

Skehans page 1 2nd time

Skehans page 2 cropped
Skehans 3
Skehans 4


Francis Collins Fanning 1893-1935 Victoria Australia


Frank Fanning and Pat Kelleher

Frank Fanning on the left and Pat Kelleher in the middle at  Kilmore

Frank Fanning and Father Camperdown Presbytery 1930 maybe
Frank Fanning and a priest at Camperdown Presbytery 1930
Francis Collins Fanning center Victoria Australia

My grandfather Frank Fanning is in the center. I don’t know when this was taken but he is obviously in his work clothes.

He was a talented builder. He is said to have built the original St Theresa’s Primary School and quite a few of the local picture theaters around Essendon.

His son Jack, also a builder, built the Presbytery at St Theresa’s. One thing I remember my father telling me about him was that he played the violin I also have been told he liked to bet on the horses.

One story I heard was that one time he won a thousand pounds on the horses and wanted to buy his daughter Eileen a piano with it, but Ida my grandmother was opposed to spending the money in this way and wanted to buy property. Frank prevailed and Eileen got a piano.Given how strong willed my grandmother was, this was no mean feat!

Frank Fanning Advertisment Use
Advertisement for Frank Fanning Essendon Builder

Francis Collins Fanning, “Frank” Fanning, my grandfather was a builder in the Essendon area. This advertisement was in the local Church paper and may have been around 1923.

Frank Fanning The Argus 9 Feb 1924 House Sale 1
House built by Frank Fanning 1924
Ida Mackey Fanning and Francis Collins Fanning 1915 Marriage_cropped
Ida Theresa Mackey married Francis Collins Fanning on the 25th September 1915, in St Monica’s Church, Essendon, Melbourne
Ida Mackey and Frank Fanning Marriage
Wedding of Ida Mackey & Francis Collins Fanning 1915
Ida Mackey and Frank Fanning Weddinguse
Eileen Glass nee Mackey, Edward Francis Fanning, Francis Collins Fanning, Ida Mackey, Mary Breen nee Mackey, 1915

The wedding was at St Monica’s Catholic Church in Essendon, Melbourne, on Sept 25, 1915.

Hanging Rock John Edward Fanning, the boy in the middle,Nance Kelleher on the right, Jack Fanning on the left, Frank Fanning on the right next to Nance about 1928
Hanging Rock John Edward Fanning, the boy in the middle, Nance Fanning nee Kelleher on the right, Jack Fanningher husband on the left, Frank Fanning on Nance’s right about 1928

Ida Fanning was an avid card player and president of the card committee at St Columba’s College in Essendon, where she organized the card afternoons until the early 1960’s. She also held card afternoons at her flat “Collida” in Stanley St Essendon. The name being a combination of her first name Ida and Collins, my grandfather’s second name. On her flat at Stanley St Essendon there was a brass plate with Collida on it. She taught me to play euchre in her front room. She loved the British monarchy and had numerous royal memorabilia.

Frank died at the age of forty after a three year illness.

Francis Collins Fanning Death Cert 1932_use
Francis Collins Fanning Death Certificate 1932
Francis Collins Fanning Obit Kilmore Free Press 3 Mar 1932 cr
Obituary for Francis Collins Fanning in the Kilmore Free Press 3 March 1932

Ida Fanning died age 84 and they are both buried in Fawkner Cemetery Melbourne.

Francis Collins Fanning 1932, Ida Fanning 1974 & G.W. Fanning 1952 Fawkner Cem.
Grave of Ida and Frank Fanning Fawkner Cemetery Victoria


Francis Collins Fanning Ancestor Report 2015
Francis Collins Fanning Ancestor Report 2015