FAMILY OF NEW FARM BRISBANE
This is a short history of
Mary and William, my Grandparents. William died almost 20 years before
I was born and I have only minimal memories of Mary, but it is a good
story of two people in a new country and their family who grew up in
their own country.
On 15 April 1866 in Ballymacelligot, County of Kerry, Ireland,
Mary Healy was born to Margaret (nee Falvey) and John Healy. Ballymacelligot
is four miles from Tralee on the high roads leading to Killarney.
She had sisters Alice, born 15.5.1871, Norah born 1868 and a brother
Daniel, born 13.5.1877. Other children were Patrick, Edward and John.
Her father, John Healy, was the son of James Healy and Mary (Brosnan).
When Mary was about 18 years old she came to
Australia. It seems her Falvey grandparents came to Australia about
ten years before this, and four of her mother Margaret's siblings had variously
arrived earlier from 1865. Mary initially went to her Falvey grandparents
near Toowoomba when she arrived in Australia. Click here to see timeline of Falvey and
John and Margaret Healy and all their children arrived on
the SS Indus as bounty passengers to Brisbane on 22 Aug 1884. The Indus
had left London 20 June 1884 and dropped passengers at Townsville (11
Aug), Rockhampton (15 Aug) and Maryborough (19 Aug). The family name was
recorded as "Haily" - accent difficulty. (Immigration arrival information
courtesy of David Healy).
The original passenger list does not show the family as one
group, probably reflecting the on board accomodation arrangements.
The parents and three youngest children are shown together - John aged
38, Margaret 40, Edward 10, Daniel 8 and John 5. Then the three oldest
girls are shown together - Mary 18, Nora 16 and Alice 14. Shown separately
is Patrick 21.
The Falveys settled on the Darling Downs, Queensland, near
Cambooya. Mary's grandfather was Daniel Falvey (c1814 - 3.2.1897 born at
Killarney, Kerry, son of John Falvey, farmer) and her grandmother was
Alice O'Brien (c1815 - 4.3.1900 daughter of Patrick O'Brien and Julia
Ready). They were married in Ballymacelligot, Kerry. Their eldest child
Margaret was Mary Healy's mother. Daniel Falvey is recorded as coming
to Australia in 1874 and farming a property at the Sugar Loaf, near
Cambooya, outside Toowoomba. His second eldest child, Julia, Mary Healy's
aunt, arrived in Australia in advance of this and worked in Melbourne,
where she was married to George Gordon in 1867.
Falvey, Mary's Grandfather
(photo courtesy Helen Jones)
Patrick Healy, brother of Mary Healy
(photo courtesy Helen Jones)
Click here to see charts and
some photos of Falvey families in Queensland - you can then
close the new window and return to this point.
John and Margaret Healy, Mary's parents, settled in the
Northern Rivers of NSW at some time after Mary arrived in Australia,
probably in the early 1890's. There were Healy relatives including
Dan Healy (Mary's brother) in northern New South Wales, around Mullumbimby,
and her eldest brother, Patrick, moved to Mullumbimby in 1903. Obituaries
of Mary's brother Patrick, his sister-in-law Bertha (Reilly) Healy,
and Bertha's father, W J Reilly, can be viewed by
David Healy, grandson of Dan, has researched some of the Healy family
history which can be viewed by clicking here.
On 11 April 1868 in Rath (Rawth), Clare, two
counties north of Kerry, William Cotter was born to Catherine/Kate
(nee McMahon) (1845-1875), and Thomas Cotter, a farmer (1832-1910).
They had been married 19 February 1867. Kate's father was Michael McMahon,
a farmer from Kilcolumb, Kilmaley. Thomas' father was William Cotter
(1797-) and his mother was Margaret (nee Ahern) (1809-1879).
Cotter house. This house
is about three hundred years old.
here to see some photos inside, of the farm, and people -
you can then close the new window and return to
Thomas and Kate had four other children, Michael (1869-),
James (1871-1871), Mary (1874-), and Patrick (1875-). Rath is east
of Ennistymon and in 1841 had a population of 2647 and 398 houses.
Kate died at Drinagh, Rath, aged 29 on 27 March 1875 and Thomas remarried
to Bridget. Thomas died at Drinagh 29 July 1910, aged 78.
William's father Thomas with his second wife Bridget.
William arrived in Australia in 1893, at which
time Mary had already been here some years. She was used to seeing kangaroos
and Aborigines when she walked with her sister Alice to Kangaroo Point
on their way to mass from where she by then lived (and was the housekeeper
of a large house) at Cavendish Rd, Coorparoo, Brisbane.
The house was owned by Englishman Richard Newton, a stock
and station agent, and was named "Woodhill". It was on the eastern
side of Cavendish Rd. The Brisbane Hunt Club, which held weekly hunts,
used Woodhill sometimes as the venue. There was no fox - a rider trailed
an aniseed scent in advance of the start. In July 2002 a local resident
whose family has lived in the area since 1914 was able to identify the
site of the house near the current Woodhill Street. It is now occupied
by an ordinary set of 1960's/70's units at 230 Cavendish Rd. An annex at
the back containing some flats is part of the original house. The paired
eaves supports of this small section are the only feature recognisable from
the 1889/91 photo of the hunt at Woodhill (below).
"Woodhill" Cavendish Rd Coorparoo circa 1890
A description of the Brisbane Hunt Club, given by Colonel Frank G Newton
CBE DSO, to the Royal Historical Society of Queenslad
27.6.1957, can be reached at Text Queensland by clicking
Note the details about the above photo p1303. Colonel Newton was the son
of Richard Newton.
Richard Newton had established a 593 acre sugar plantation
on the site of the current Redland Bay hotel. His house there, "Plantation",
which had 16 bedrooms, two dining rooms and stables for eight horses
became the first Redland Bay hotel, but burnt down in the 1930's. He
sold "Plantation" in 1879. He owned Woodhill from 1889 to 1915. The
property had earlier been owned by Nathaniel Lade. Alice also worked at
Woodhill. There was another sister Norah in Australia.
At some time after his arrival in Australia
William obtained work as a coachman at the same house at Coorparoo.
Whether they had known each other previously is unclear, as is how
long they worked together. However by the time they married on 27 November
1895 in St Stephen’s Cathedral Brisbane, William was a brewery employee
living at Merivale St South Brisbane. There is a suggestion that he
lost his coachman job as a result of insubordination after waiting all
day to drive home from shopping in the city – when he had other duties
waiting. Or maybe he was just ready to start a new job. However Mary was
still living at Cavendish Road Coorparoo at the time of their marriage.
One of the Newton daughters, Mabel, married to Peter
B MacGregor (who became a prominent lawer and member of Parliament for
Merthyr 1920-1923), lived at 150 Bowen Terrace, New Farm, Brisbane,
and often visited Mary at New Farm. This may be a pointer to Mary having
worked at the Coorparoo house for some time. Mrs Newton (Mary Underwood)
had died before the move to Coorparoo, leaving a widower with six children
under 11, and under 16 at the time of the move to Coorparoo. So it may
be that a close bond had formed between Mary, about 10 years older, and
the motherless Mabel.
Mary and William, married 27.11.1895, St Stephen's
Cathedral, Brisbane. This is an interesting
photo taken on to and remaining on a sheet of glass. It was hand coloured
after being taken. Some of the instructions were "Improve lady's wedding
ring", "Alter laces in gent's boots - also watch chain".
William and Mary's first child William Thomas (Bill)
was born 1 January 1897, when they were living at River (now Dath)
Street, Brisbane. River Street ran at a right angle from the river
where Dath's wharf was in the second half of the 1890's. When their second
child John James (Jack) was born 25 July 1898 they were living in Wilson
Street, Teneriffe, very near River Street. It is unclear how long
they had been in Wilson Street at that time. The Queensland Brewery Ltd
was on the river at the end of Wilson Street, where Florence Street now
meets Vernon Terrace. This would have been very convenient accommodation
for a brewery worker.
Wilson Street was renamed sometime before 1906 to become
Chermside Street. Queensland Post Office Directories show their house
was very probably the current number 65. Number 65 appears old enough
to have been built around 1895 and could easily be the same house where
some of the children were born.
A description of the area in 1886 tells that an extensive
brewery stood at the foot of a bold knoll which bears the name of
Teneriffe. "This establishment, viewed from the river is perhaps the
most picturesque brewery in the southern hemisphere. Its buildings
are fairly embowered in foliage. On this strand also are the wharves
of the Queensland and British India Navigation Companies, and the
new furnaces of the Brisbane Gas Company are in the course of erection."
The estimated Brisbane population at that time was seventy-five thousand.
Mary Alice (Alice/Allie) was born in 1900 setting
the sequence of boy, boy, girl which was to follow for the remaining
three children. Patrick Edward (Eddie/Pat) was born 7 March
1902 and the family was shown as living at Wilson Street New Farm .
By the time Daniel Francis (Neil) was born 17th
April 1904 they were at James Street Kingsholme (the then name for
the area around the current Kingsholme Street). Presumably this
was the home they bought at 182 James St New Farm. It is likely the
Wilson Street house was rented not owned. Kate Helen (Kitty) was
born in 1906.
Allie and Kitty
(photo courtesy Helen Jones)
The 182 James Street house was named “Drinagh”. As
mentioned above, this is an Irish place name. The Griffiths' valuation
of Clare published 1855 lists William Cotter (William's grandfather)
occupying property in (Townland) Drinagh (Parish of) Rath (Union
of) Ennistimon. This was a house, shed and 30 acres 17 perches of land,
with a total valuation of ten pounds. It appears Thomas (1832-1910) later
inherited this. Thomas's father William was married twice, first to Honora
Hegarty in 1822, and following her death in 1828, to Margaret Ahern,
Thomas's mother. Margaret died at Drinagh, Ireland 30 May 1879 aged 70.
The house at 182 James St (Drinagh) as built
182 James St with adjustable
vertical wooden louvres added above the broomstick balustrades.
The house remained like this
until the 1950's when the front verandah was fully enclosed.
The children attended primary school at St Patrick’s
school, Ivory (now Berwick) Street, Fortitude Valley and the boys went
on to St James’ in Boundary Street and the girls to All Hallows’ in
Anne Street. Allie made her first Holy Communion 16th October
Jack, Alice, William, Mary, Neil, Bill, Kitty, Pat about 1913.
The boys were involved in a range of sporting
activities including football, gymnastics, boxing and sailing, helped
by growing up close to the river at New Farm. Mary recalled occasions
when one or two of her boys would be swimming in the river at lunch time
and she would send another boy to get them, then another, until all would
be swimming and none would be at lunch.
More than one of the boys would sometimes be
in the same football team or sailing crew.
Rockton Rugby League Football Club New
Farm 1922 (Pat Cotter is 3rd from right third
row, Bill Cotter is at the right hand end of the second row.)
CREW OF "SCHEMER"
Australian 18 footers sailing Championships
Brisbane, January, 1930
From back left
H Devlin, E L Costin, P Healy, J Costin
J W Beyrer, P Cotter (skipper), C Swanson
Absent - J Cotter, F McConachie, V Callaghan
Pat was also on the crew of "Aberdare" , the Australian
18 footer champion four times later in the 1930's. Click here for Aberdare photos.
The girls learnt to play the piano. On family
occasions old Irish songs would be sung around the piano in the living
room as the girls played either solo or in a duet.
Either at the time of purchase of 182 James
Street or between then and about 1920 Mary acquired the land at 180
James Street and subsequently built a rental house on it, similar in
style to No.182. One long term tenant was Constable Potts of the
The boys went on to employment, and as was not
unusual for the times, stayed for long periods with the same employers.
Bill joined the Post Master General’s Department (PMG now Australia
Post), Jack joined the Queensland Works Department, Pat worked in the
State Government Insurance Office (SGIO – now Suncorp-Metway) and Neil
became a teacher, working at various schools around the state including
Kangaroo Point, Bulimba and Norman Park. He stayed longest at Norman
Park, approximately 25 years teaching the Grade 8 (Scholarship Examination)
classes, before moving to the Correspondence School for a while before
retiring. Neil was also a keen bowler and supporter of the New Farm
Bowls Club in Brunswick Street, where he was President.
The newsletter for the Parish of St Patrick’s the
Valley and the Church of the Holy Spirit, New Farm, dated 6 September
1931, records a large attendance at the First Annual Ball in the Broadway
Dansant (probably in Wickham Street Fortitude Valley), 31 August 1931.
Included were Mr and Mrs W.T. Cotter (Bill and his wife Gladys, whose father,
Sam Powell, had a barber shop at the corner of Annie St and Brunswick Street),
Billy Cotter and Brian Cotter (their small sons), Mr J Cotter, Miss A Cotter
and Miss K Cotter. So this was before Kitty married Percy Edward
Barber, who used to take Kitty out through the back gate of 182 James
Street before there was a house built behind. Percy worked at the
large department store McWhirters in Fortitude Valley, where he had met
Kitty, who was a secretary there. Percy became the manager of the furnishings
department and later in life he opened his own business in Riding Road
to see photos of William and the children - you can then close
the new window and return to this point.
Bill and Kitty established their respective family
homes in Dilkera Street Balmoral, and it seems Mary had some part in
arranging the purchase of these blocks at number 40 and number 28, as
well as two blocks in between. Kitty and Perc's house at 28 Dilkera Street
was built over six months by Perc's brother Arthur and their father Percy
Douglas Barber. Because of the slope of the land the house was 30 feet
above the ground at the back. This steep slope meant that the panoramic
river and city views are still retained today, making positions on this
ridge some of the most sought after in the city. On 24 June 1935 at St
Stephen's Cathedral, Pat married Dorothy Wyatt, a teacher who had been
born in Mt Morgan. They bought a house at Camp Hill.
Patrick and Dorothy - 24.6.35 - St Stephen's Cathedral Brisbane
William, having suffered some injuries in his work
at the Colonial Sugar Refinery on the river at New Farm, not far from
his house, was not in the best of health in his later years. He died
4 March 1929.
Mary, although living until 1953, and dying
three weeks short of her 87th birthday, spent the last years of her
life with severely limited mobility. This resulted from being struck
by a runaway truck while standing on the footpath outside an open fronted
fruit shop during a shopping trip to nearby Fortitude Valley. Remaining
a strong personality to the end, Mary died on 23 March 1953.
Allie devoted many years to looking after her
mother, and there is a chance this was at the expense of her own
romance, possibly a man called Jim. Allie is remembered as a
very active woman with a bubbly personality and a happy outlook on
William and Mary had 12 grandchildren.
Click here to see photos of some
of the grand-children - you can then close the new window and return
to this point.
Pat died 9 January 1962, Allie on 10 January
1967, Jack in June 1967, Kitty 9 October 1978 and Neil 14 May 1982. Percy
died 15 January 1984 aged 74. Bill died in January 1974 and Gladys
in March 1993. Both are buried at Hemmant Cemetery. Dorothy died 6 October
1996 and rests at Caloundra near the ocean that her holiday house overlooked.
William, Mary, and four of their children, Pat,
Allie, Jack and Neil are buried in Nudgee Cemetery. Kitty and Percy
rest at the Albany Creek Crematorium.
Photos of Nudgee Cemetery headstones are on www.nudgeecemetery.com.au
- search for surname, click on individual, after map appears click
on "open image".
Click here to see map
of grave sites at Nudgee Cemetery - you can then return
to this page.
With thanks to Mai Brennan (London) for information on Cotter
Irish family history.
This page written 5 Feb. 2002
Amended 3 August 2002
Amended 14 March 2003 (Falvey charts)
Amended December 2005 (Drinagh
Jan 2008 (David Healy info on Healy family)
Amended Aug 2010 (3 photos added to Falvey charts)
Amended Aug 2012 (Healy immigration arrival info)
Latest amendment January 2017 (Healy photos and obituaries)