John Dunn and Catherine Elliott

John Dunn was born at Quidong near Bombala, and his parents were (probably) John and Catherine or John and Elizabeth (as the death record for his brother, James 4915/1928 suggests ).

The death notice for his brother, James Dunn, which appeared in the Delegate Argus of Thursday 2 February 1928 adds some information confirms John the Senior would “(Cart) wool clips from thestations with a bullock team. Onetrip Mr. Dunn spoke of was around trip from Sydney to Melb-ourne. They also carted goods to Kiandra in its flourishing days.”

In 1872, John worked as a miner at Quidong, south-west of Bombala (it was a copper mine) near the NSW/Victorian border.

He met and married Catherine Elliot on May 26, 1873 in the Roman Catholic Church at Cooma. According to their marriage certificate, John was a labourer from Bombala, whilst Catherine was a Labourer’s daughter from Jillamatong (near Braidwood).

Catherine was very likely the daughter of William Elliott and Mary Fitzgerald and would have spent the early part of her life on the Monaro in the Bombala and Cooma districts, although her death notice in the newspaper says she was born specifically in the Bombala District.

After marriage, they settled in the Bombala District, living at Quidong (south-west of Bombala) until at least 1875, and Buckley’s Springs by 1885. John worked initially as a miner, and later as a carrier.

They appear to have spent most of their later life at Rosemeath on the outskirts of Bombala.

Though I can’t be sure at this stage, but the evidence suggests he may have been charged with larceny in 1922. The Bombala Times of Friday 8 December 1922 reports:

John Dunn, an elderly man, 76 years of age, and an old-age pensioner, was charged ‘with the larceny, of a pair of plumber’s snips, valued at 2s, the property, of S. W. Kimber. The evidence of Constable Witney was to the effect that at S. Kimber’s sale on Saturday, after noon last the theft of the snips was reported, and on questioning the accused, the latter produced the snips from his saddle-bag, and said he had picked them up in the yard and thought they were of no value. Accused elected to be dealt with by this. Court, and pleaded guilty. He was fined £2, costs of court, 8s. Twelve weeks allowed to pay.

According to his death notice, John was also a talented athlete.

His death was reported in “The Bombala Times” on September 23, 1927.

Mr John Dunn, who had been in failing health for some time, passed away on Monday morning. He had reached the great age of 80, and of that term of life some 50 years had been spent in the Bombala district. He leaves a widow and a grown-up family of sons and daughters, and as they are well known throughout the district there was a large attendance at the funeral on Tuesday to pay the last respects. The service was conducted by the Rev. Father Roche. In years gone by Mr Dunn was one of Bombala’s champion athletes, and as a foot runner he scored a number of valuable trophies as well as money prizes, in the days when foot running was booming, and a runner had to be among the top notchers to do any good.

A further report of his death in the Delegate Argus (NSW : 1906 – 1943), Thursday 22 September 1927, page 2 provides some further information about John and his family.

The death took place at Bombala on Monday morning last of Mr. John Dunn, an old and well known resident of that district. He had reached the advanced age of 80 years and had’been ailing for some years past. He was a native of the district, having been born at Quidong. A widow and crown-up family, survive him. Deceased was a brother of Mrs. D. Stokes and Mr. James Dunn, of Delegate. He was a noted runner in hs early days and ‘will be remembered’ by many old hands as one of the champions of his time; The funeral, which was largely attended, took place on Tuesday at the Bombala Cemetery. Rev. Father Roche conducted the burial service. Mr. Dunn was an old member of the Grand United Order of ‘Oddfellows’ members of that Order marched in the funeral procession.

Catherine died at Bombala on the evening of Tuesday, July 14, 1936 (15579/1936) and was buried the following day. Her death was reported in the “Bombala Times” of Friday, July 17, 1936.

Another of our very old residents passed away on Tuesday night in the person of Mrs. Catherine Dunn, widow of the late Mr. John Dunn. Mrs. Dunn, who was 78 years of age, had been ailing for a long time, and although all possible was done for her by members of her family, the doctor, and the Hospital staff, it could only be in the nature of alleviating her suffering at such an age. The funeral on Wednesday afternoon proceeded to the R.C. portion of the Bombala cemetery, where the last rites were performed in the presence of a large gathering of mourners and sympathisers. The late Mrs. Dunn was born in the Bombala district, her parents being the late Mr. and Mrs. William Elliott. And of that family there now only remains Mr. P. Elliott; a sister, who was formerly Mrs. Hawkins died at Cooma on Wednesday, the day after Mrs. Dunn. Mrs Dunn’s family now living consists of five daughters and three sons. The sons are: William, John (Sydney) and Charles (Lismore). The daughters are: Mrs. Thomas Reedy (Canberra), Mrs Jim Elton (Aston), Mrs. R. Jones (Sydney), Mrs W. White and Mrs. C. Ingram (Bombala).


* John Dunn was born 1875 (8239/1875) at Bombala. He lived in Sydney at the time of his mother’s death, according to the death notice.

* William Bernard was born 1878 (9507/1878) at Bombala. He married Annie E Parkes at Bombala in 1906 (9579/1906).
According to Monaroo Pioneers Annie Ellen Parkes was born on July 26, 1881 in Little Plain, Bombala, NSW and died in 1923 in Bombala, NSW at age 42. William also married Daisy Mildred Reed who was born in 1887 in Bombala, NSW and died in 1977 in NSW at age 90. William Bernard died in 1942 (16063/1942) at Bombala.

* Caroline Dunn was born 1882 (21576/1882) at Bombala. When she died aged 3 years and 7months in 1885, John and Catherine were living at Buckley’s Springs, Bombala.

* Catherine Dunn was born 1884 (25114/1884) at Bombala. She married Robert Jones at Bombala in 1908 (1048/1908)

* Mary J Dunn was born (unknown). She married Thomas Reedy at Bombala in 1895 (6755/1895), I am unsure about the exact birth of Mary J. The death notice for Catherine indicates she married Thomas Reedy, but the only Mary I can find born to a John and Catherine Dunn was a Mary A. E. born to John S Dunn and Catherine at Carcoar. I don’t think this is right. Anyone know?

* Charles Henry was born 1890 (7311/1890) at Bombala. Charles married Bertha Ellen Rixon on January 19, 1921 (1921/002992) at St Matthias’ Church of England, Bombala with the permission of her mother, Ellen Rixon. Charles Dunn died at Lismore Base Hospital on Saturday, July 24, 1943 (19696/1943) due to heart and lung disease and is buried at the East Lismore Cemetery.

* Edith Elizabeth Dunn was born 1880 (10770/1880) at Bombala. She married James Elton at Bombala in 1907 (963/1907). James Elton was born 1881 at Rosemeath and died August 15, 1967 at Bombala. Edith Elizabeth died June 30, 1955 at Bombala, where she is buried in Grave 777. (Information sourced from Monaro Pioneers)

* Sarah A Dunn was born 1892 (7246/1892) at Bombala. She married William E White at Bombala in 1915 (6227/1915). She died at Bombala in 1958 (13875/1958)

* Doris Flodell Dunnwas born 1901 (30044/1901) at Bombala. She married Coulson Victor Ingram at Bombala in 1927 (9967/1927). She died at Bombala in 1975 (11128/1975). Note, the death records lists her mother as “Katherine” not “Catherine”.


* Although I cannot find a birth listing for a Catherine Elliott for about the year 1857, Catherine’s death notice refers to her brother Patrick Elliott, as being the only remaining living sibling. He died a couple of years later at Bombala in 1939 (8286/1939), aged 84. Although the family lists Patrick’s father’s name as William, like Catherine, there is no listing for the mother’s name. Upon searching for the birth of Patrick Elliott in about 1855 with the father’s name William, I can only find one reference (V18552056 72/1855), Thus, it’s very likely Catherine (and Patrick) were the children of William Elliott and Mary J Fitzgerald. Further evidence for this comes when you cross-reference the deaths of Patrick Elliott’s siblings. The deaths for Sarah A Tozer (1915), John T Elliott (1923) list the parents as William and Mary J. Thus, I am reasonably confident that Catherine’s parents were William Elliott and Mary J Fitzgerald.

* According to Greville’s Post Office Directory 1872 John Dunn was a miner at Quedong.

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