The Gormley family emigrated to the colony of New South Wales in 1853 and settled at Darkwater Creek on the mid-north coast of NSW. They came from Co Roscommon. These old photos of Co Roscommon were taken by Robert French between 1870 and 1910 and are in the National Library of Ireland in Dublin.
Cornelius Gormley was married to Ann McDermott and they both came from Co Roscommon. They emigrated with their children in 1853 and settled near Gladstone in NSW. One of their daughters, Ellen, married John Henry Fanning. She was the daughter- in- law of my gggrandfather, William Patrick Fanning, who came out to the colony of Victoria in 1841.
I have two names of places of origin for Cornelius Gormley and his wife Anne and their children. They come from the passenger list for the Ellenborough 1853. I thought Ann was born in Mantea but I cannot find any place like this. The closest is Mantuar. On this list Connor and his children are listed as coming from what looks like Ogullary. Again the closest to this I can find at this stage is Ogulla which is 19 kms from Mantuar. I also have Cornelius’s wife’s surname as MacDermid. In Griffith’s Valuations there are no MacDermids but 850 entries in Co Roscommon for McDermott! So I am going with that.
On this map of the Civil Parishes of Co Roscommon Ogulla is 47 and Kilcolagh, where Mantuar is situated, is 26. They are about 19 kms from each other
The Gormley family lived at Belmore River then called Darkwater River. They were farmers and owned a number of parcels of land from the 1860s. In the years preceding the First World War, John Thomas Fanning, the grandson of Cornelius Gormley farmed at Belmore River on land left to his mother Ellen by her brother Peter Gormley.
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.
Cornelius and Ann Gormley and their children arrived from Co Roscommon in 1853. They settled and farmed in NSW at Belmore River. Ellen Gormley married Joihn Henry Fanning and lived at Bulla in Victoria. Their three other daughters married into the Hanly, McClymont and McGuire families.
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 (1878-1957) was the son of Ellen Gormley and John Henry Fanning. He was born in Bulla Victoria, lived for some time in NSW and was a soldier in WWI. He married Annie Tapscott and had two sons. He died in Coburg Victoria 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.
Gladstone and Belmore River NSW Australia in the early days. Cornelius and Ann Gormley and their children Peter, Thomas, Maryann, Sarah and Ellen lived in this area. They were from Co Roscommon Ireland and arrived in the colonies in Oct 1853. Photos of the Gladstone Hotel in the 1880s and 2011.
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.
Photos of the Belmore River area NSW Australia where Cornelius Gormley and his family lived and farmed from at least 1860.
The Gormley family, Cornelius and Ann and their four children, arrived in Australia in Oct 1853, from Co Roscommon, Ireland. Cornelius selected lot 10 after it was proclaimed on 14th May 1860. He is listed as a farmer at Belmore River in 1867 and 1872. Connor as he was called died in 1896. Thomas, his eldest son, had died in 1875. His lands were left to his remaining son Peter.
When Peter Gormley died in 1916 he left his property to his sister Ellen Fanning, his nephews, Terence Bernard McGuire and Thomas Hanley, and his niece, Mary Hanley.
Ellen’s son, John Thomas Fanning, farmed the acres which was eventually left to his mother by her brother Peter. John Fanning farmed there for at least five years leading up to his enlistment in 1915. She sold this land in 1924 for 2,216 pounds to John and William Eakin.
These photos are of the area where the Gormleys and John Fanning lived.
I thought the Gormleys, Peter and Thomas, just had land in Beranghi Parish, so I just took photos around there. Later I discovered they had lands in Kempsey and Kinchela Parishes as well as Beranghi Parish, Macquarie County. These photos of the Belmore River area were taken south of Loftus Rd near Loftus Bridge.
Parish Maps showing land owned by Cornelius, Peter and Thomas Gormley at Belmore River, NSW.
Cornelius Gormley and his sons Peter and Thomas owned several lots of land around Darkwater Creek (Belmore River) which is on the mid-north coast of NSW Australia very close to the coast. It is a lush farming area and very beautiful. Today it is prime real estate.
Their lands are in three parishes: Kempsey, Beranghi and Kinchela and the maps are online at NSW Lands Dept , Parish Maps Preservation Project.
The Kinchela Parish Map shows the land owned by their father, Cornelius Gormley. The Land Titles Office in Sydney records Cornelius Gormley as selecting land in 1863. Image below is 1920 Map 10556201.
Below is from the Beranghi Parish Map which shows the lands of Peter and Thomas Gormley.
Lots 55 & 56 where John Thomas Fanning farmed before WW1 .Lots 55 and 56 are the lots that Ellen Fanning inherited from her brother Peter after his death in 1916. This is where John Thomas Fanning, her son, farmed before he enlisted for WW1. They are shown in the next map of Kempsey Parish.
John and James Gormley listed above must have left the area as I have found no trace of them and it seems likely that they were related to Cornelius. I also wonder if Hugh McGuire is related to the Terence McGuire who married Mary Ann Gormley.
A summary of the life and work of Terence Bernard McGuire, son of Mary Ann Gormley and grandson of Cornelius Gormley. He became the first Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn Australia.
Terence McGuire was the only son of Terence McGuire and Mary Ann Gormley. He had a sister, Mary Ann who became a sister of the Good Samaritans. She became Rev Mother Mary Coleman. She died in Sydney in 1963.
He was born at Moree, New South Wales, on September, 1881. His father Dr Terence McGuire was a doctor. He died young at the age of 34.
As a young man he studied for the priesthood at St. Patrick’s College, Manly (Sydney), and at Propaganda Fide College in Rome. He was ordained in Rome on 19th March, 1904.
After many years of service within the diocese of Lismore he was consecrated as Bishop of Townsville in the Sacred Heart Cathedral on 25th May, 1930.
Among his many achievements as Bishop of Townsville was the establishment of St. Teresa’s Agricultural College, Abergowrie, in 1933, and St. Anne’s Mission on Palm Island in 1934.
He was transferred to Goulburn as Bishop in 1938, and became the first Archbishop of Canberra – Goulburn on 11th February, 1948. He was succeeded by Hugh Ryan as Bishop of Townsville.
The Canberra Times, 14 June 1948, describes the ceremony conferring the title and role of Canberra’s first Archbishop on Bishop Terence Bernard McGuire.
Cardinal Gilroy described Archbishop McGuire as being “noted for his culture, administrative ability, oratory and wit, but these qualities of the mind were surpassed by the qualities of his heart which had won the affection of all his friends.”
Bishop McGuire died at Lewisham Private Hospital, Sydney on 4th July 1957.”