Peter O’Brien who was born in County Meath, Ireland, came to Australia in 1864 (aged eighteen) with his parents James and Mary Ann Smith and siblings. The family settled in the Bega District on the NSW South Coast. Peter was, apparently, a talented wrestler, and known throughout the district for his skills.
Aged twenty-three he met and married fifteen-year old Mary Ann Goward, who was daughter of James and Mary Ann.
Mary Ann Goward
James and Mary Ann were Assisted Immigrants who arrived in Australia in 1854. Mary Ann was born the year after.
Early Married Life
At the time of their marriage, Mary Ann was already pregnant with their first child, James Joseph. At the time of marriage on October 2, 1870 (1870/2194), Peter was a “Labourer” at Tantawangalo, while Mary Ann was a “Dairy Maid” at Lithgow Flat. Tantawangalo is located about 30km from Bega, east of Candelo. Their wedding at Lithgow Flat was conducted by Father Patrick Slattery at the residence of Mr John Smith (presumably his cousin) The marriage record identifies John Smith and Eliza O’Brien (Peter’s sister) as witnesses, but fails to identify Mary Ann’s parents and age.
Financial & Legal Problems
The Bega Standard and Candelo, Merimbula, Pambula, Eden, Wolumla, and General Advertiser of Saturday 26 February 1876 reports
Peter O’Brien. was charged with using insulting language, to and assaulting Mr M.C.Solomon, at Candelo on the 13th ‘ultimo. The evidence showed that in ‘consequence’ of a dispute as to delay in delivering some cheese sent byfdefendants dray for shipment, the defendant had used very insulting expressions, and* .that he had attempted to pull Mr. (Solomon off his verandah, -and expressed a, desire :to throw- him into the creek. Mr. Solomon and another witness proved the defendant’s violence, and the ‘Bench fined’ him in’ a total penalty of £5 Ifis. -6d., remarking that the plaintiff deserved’ . the thanks, of the, public for bringing .the .case into court as an effectual check to such conduct. ,-. The fine was paid.
The Electoral Records show that throughout the 1870s, 1880s and 1890s, Peter was in residence at a number of locations, including Wolumla (1873), Merimbula (1881), Tantawanglo (1885), “Shamrock Vale” Candelo (1892), Rocky Hall (1893) and Wyndham (1894) where he was recorded as a Dairyman.
The NSW Government Gazette of October 28, 1892, reports the following
IN BANKRUPTCY. Re Peter O’Brien, of Bock wood, Hockey Hall, near Wyndham, dairyman, NOTICE is hereby given that the Single Meeting of creditors in the above matter will be held at the Court-house, Bombala, before the District Registrar in Bankruptcy, on the 2lst day of November, 1892, at 11 a.m., or as soon after as the course of business will permit. To entitle a creditor to vote thereat, his proof must be lodged with the Registrar in Bankruptcy, Chancery-square. Sydney, not later than the 14th day of November, 1892. ARTHUR HENRY, Registrar in Bankruptcy. Official Assignee—Augustus Morris
Death of Peter O’Brien
After one years illness with Phibesis – possibly relating to heart disease – Peter O’Brien died at Candelo on October 6, 1897, (Death Certificate 1897/11322) and was buried the following day.
Later life and death of Mary Ann Goward
After Peter’s death, Mary Ann lived with her son, John and his family at Towridgee, near Candelo. The house at Kameruka, which was linked to the creek by 27 pine trees along the road, was, by all accounts, a busy one; John had fathered at least 18 children. Oral history accounts speak of a large oven on the wall and a dining table that could seat 32. The house still exists. The house and family were well known in the area: presumably because of the large number of children and because John was having a relationship simultaenously with two sisters.
It is said that in her later years, Mary Ann’s eye-sight was failing and that because she was such a big person, she couldn’t get around much. Alf O’Brien reports that one day, John’s children decided to play a joke on their grandmother. They dressed one of the children, Arthur up as a Priest, he knocked on the door and started the preach the bible. Granny was furious and tried to hit them with a straw broom.
After a three-year ilnness with Chronic Congestive Heart Disease (Mitral Insufficiency), Mary Ann died, aged 77, on September 22, 1932 at Orchard Farm, Candelo. She was buried the same day in the Church of England section at Wolumla Cemetery.
Her death was reported in the “Bega District News” on September 29, 1932.
The late Mrs Peter O’Brien, who died at Candelo last week, was 77 years of age. She was a daughter of the late Mrs James Goward, of wolumla, and have lived in the district practically all her life. Her husband, who died many years ago, was brother of the late Mr Luke O’Brien, and was a noted wrestler in the early days of the district.
And in The Southern Record and Advertiser Friday 23 September 1932
Mrs. Peter O’Brien, mother of Mr. Charlie O’Brien of Candelo, passed
away on Wednesday night. She had been residing with ‘her son here for
some time, and was a very old and respected identity of these parts.
* James Joseph O’Brien was born at Bega, NSW on February 4, 1871 (7059/1871). Aged twenty-four, James married twenty-one year old Lena Noonan in 1895 (717/1895). They lived on the South Coast for a number of years before heading to the North Coast in about 1908. More information about them is available via the link above.
* John O’Brien was born April 13, 1873 at Ryans Swamp, Candelo NSW. John married (1) Sarah Agnes Went daughter of James Went and Sarah Whitby in 1897 in Candelo,Nsw,Australia. Sarah was born on 5 Jun 1876. She died on 2 Apr 1908. John also married Mary Jane Went daughter of James Went and Sarah Whitby. Mary was born on 1 Jul 1882 in Chalk Hills,Wolumla,Nsw,Australia. She died on 26 Jun 1953. She was buried in Church of England, Brownsville. John died November 9, 1948, Windsor Road, Box Hill NSW, and was buried on November 10 1948 in Roman Catholic Cemetery,West Dapto.
* Luke O’Brien was born 1876 at Bega and died 1879 at Bega.
* Patrick O’Brien was born in 1878 at Bega and died in 1900 at Candelo.
* William Albert O’Brien was born February 25, 1880 at Merimbula, NSW. He married Sarah Viola Lenora Piesley (born July 28, 1883 at Bega) on December 27, 1905 at Bega. William albert died on July 6, 1947 at Wolumla. Sarah died on September 15, 1961 at Dapto, NSW.
* Elizabeth Catherine O’Brien was born 1881 at Bega. She married Thomas Holzhauser at Candelo in 1899 (826/1899). Though I’m not clear about when and how, the family ended up at Byron Bay.
The Northern Star of December 10, 1917 reported
The ShirA Gieric rbporteci a permit was granted Thomas ‘ Holzhausen to camp on thepicnic ground, -.but Mr. Holzhausen has taken on. himself; to destroy, the. native flora in a most wanton manner, and has cut’ down about three-quarters of au acre of beautiful cabbage “tree palrh’s’ ‘Vand ; fenced ;the land in, Would recommend that he; be”. given immed iate notice to , quit.-7-Subsequently . . on the. motion of Cr.. Collins,, the. Clerk was instruct-,cd /to cancel .tlie perniit and give Holzhausen notice to quit’ !afc- once/
The Northern Star of October 26, 1935 reported
A charge of having failed to send a child :to school was preferred against each of five defendants before Mr. H. Hawkins, P.M., in the Byron Bay police court on Thursday. In the cases of Elizabeth Holz-hauser, : Robert Walsh and Katherine Hall, all of Byron Bay, pleas of guilty were entered and fines of 5/-, with 8/- court costs in each instance, were imposed. The charges against Murray Watego, Byron Bay, and John Hart, Ew’ingsdale, were postponed to November; 21.
The Northern Star of December 17, 1930 reportedFUNERAL NOTICE. The FUNERAL of the late THOMAS HOLZHAUSER, late of Byron Bay, will move from St. Carth-age’s Cathedral, Lismore, THIS DAY (WEDNESDAY), at 2 p.m., for the Roman Catholic portion of the new General Cemetery. SWEENEY and BRYANT, Undertakers.
HOLZHAUSER—HARPER. — At St. Carthage’s Cathedral on July 7, Rev. Father Daley officiated at the marriage of Cpl. William Thomas Holzhauser son of the late Mr. T. Holzhauser and Mrs. Holzhauser, of Byron Bay, with Miss Agnes Harper, daughter of Robert Harper and the late Mrs. Harper, of Alstonville. the bride was escorted to the altar by her brother-in-law, Mr. A. E. Wright, and was attended by her cousin, Miss Jean Muldoon, as bridesmaid. Tpr. E. Collins acted as best man. After the ceremony the bride’s aunt entertained a few inti- mate friends at the Mecca Cafe.
* Thomas O’Brien was born 1883 at Bega and died 1887 at Bega.
* George Henry O’Brien was born 1888 at Bega NSW. George married Mary A (aka Pet) Rolfe in 1908. He died 13 September 1951 and was buried in the Church of England, Bega.
The Twofold Magnet of February 9, 1909 reports
George O’Brien has returned from n! lengthy stay in Maoriland. He says that there is plenty of work there and wages; are’ high, but there’s too much rain. Illness compelled his return to Bega
The Sydney Morning Herald of March 14, 1952 records
GEORGE HENRY O BRIEN late of North Bega NSW Retired Labourer died 13th September 1951 intcstoto An Election to Administer wns filed on 20th February 19r2 ,
* Charles Herbert O’Brien was born 1891 at Candelo, NSW. He married Florence Louisa Newlyn (who was born September 27, 1901 in Lochiel, Pambula). He died on July 9, 1941 at “Elmhgrove” near Bega and was buried the following day at the Catholic Cemetery, Bega. Florence died on December 4 1983 in Bombala.
* Ethel M O’Brien was born in 1885. She married William Hunt in 1909.
* Mary Ann O’Brien was born 1874 in Bega. She married Joseph George Hyde (born 1873). Joseph died July 3 1942 in Terania Street, North Lismore NSW. I do not have death details for Mary Ann yet. His obituary, published in the Northern Star on July 4, 1942, records they moved to the Richmond River 32 years earlier and that Joseph had been engaged in dairying at Alphadale, Rosebank and Tullera. They then moved to a property of their own at Jiggi in about 1913. They purchased a farm at Goolmangar in 1930, where he resided until his death. Joseph George Hyde was buried in East Lismore Cemetery on July 3, 1942 in the Roman Catholic Section 21B, 35.
MR JOSEPH GEORGE HYDE: Mr Joseph George Hyde, well known Richmond district resident, died at the residence of his son, Mr C Hyde, of Nimbin Road, yesterday afternoon. The late Mr Hyde, who was 63 years of age, was born at Rocky Hall on the South Coast. He came to the Richmond River 34 years ago and had since been engaged in dairying, at Alphadale, Rosebank and Tullera. He then moved to a property of his own at Jiggi, where he lived for 17 years. Twelve years ago he purchased a farm at Goolmangar, where he resided until his death. Deceased was a life member of the MUIOOP and had held various offices in the Order. He was a member of Loyal Jiggi Lodge at the time of his death. A widow and two sons survive. The sons are David George Hyde, of Teven, and Cecil, Nimbin road. There are 10 grandchildren. The funeral will leave St Carthage’s Cathedral at 2. o’clock this afternoon for the RC portion of Lismore cemetery.
The Northern Star of July 6, 1942 reported…
MR J G HYDE : Mr Joseph George Hyde, a well known resident of Goolmangar, who died at the home of his son on Friday, was buried in Lismore on Saturday afternoon. The funeral left St Carthage’s Cathedral. It was largely attended. At the service an the Cathedral Rev Father Duggan was assisted by Rev Father Relihan. Mr Hyde “was a prominent member of the MUIOOF, joining the order at an early age on the South Coast. Members of the order were represented at the funeral, and a lodge service was conducted at the cemetery by Mr F J Folbigg, NG. Father Duggan officiated at the graveside. Pall bearers were members of the Jiggi MUIOOF. Thy were Messrs. H J Shearman. S Scott, W Crick, T Davis, R Turner and A J Clark. The funeral arrangements were conducted by Mr J Sweeney.
Mary Ann died May 25, 1962 at Lismore, and was buried in the East Lismore Cemetery, Roman Catholic Section, 21B, 36.
Acknowledgements: David Smith and Alf O’Brien
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