Sunday, December 27, 2009

Back to the children of Lawrence Bourke & Hannah Mulcahy

Where were we before I got sidetracked by the fascinating story of Lawrence and Hannah's grandson, John Meagher?.....having mentioned John Meagher, only son of three children born to Hannah Bourke before she died at the age of 31, I failed to mention briefly the two daughters of Hannah- Honora Catherine and Mary Frances Meagher.Hanora (known as 'Nora')married dentist John Grattan Thompson in St. Kilda in 1906. Mary married John James Evans in 1915 and died in South Yarra in 1951, aged 67.
Of John Meagher's life after he was acquitted of his wife's murder, I can find no details.

The sixth child of Lawrence and Hannah Bourke, Bridget Bourke was born at Campbellfield in 1856. In 1877 she married John Sylvester Daley from County Cork.I can find no further details of this couple at present.

Mary Bourke was the sixth daughter and seventh child born to her mother, Hannah Mulcahy, and Hannah's husband Lawrence Bourke.She was born in Campbellfield in 1858.
On November 24, 1885, in Richmond, Mary Bourke married Arthur William Robertson. The announcement in the Argus read:
"ROBERTSON-BOURKE: On the 24th inst. at St Ignatius Church, Richmond, by the Rev. J. Mulhall S.J., Arthur William Robertson, to Mary Josephine,sixth daughter of the late Lawrence Esq; M.P., J.P., Kilmore." - Argus, Thursday, November 26, 1885.
Arthur was a commission agent and lived at 14 Clifton Street, Richmond.There is a reference in the Brisbane Courier of him having been residing in South Brisbane and working as a commission agent in April of 1886.
No more is known about Mary and Arthur Robertson at present.

8. Sophia Watson Bourke.
Sophia Bourke was born at sea on board the vessel 'Sophia' on January 8, 1860 near, according to her marriage certificate, Victoria.She was baptised on February 20, 1860, at Coburg, a suburb of Melbourne.
She married Charles Alexander, an English-born schoolmaster, on July 22, 1885, at the age of 25. Like her sisters Mary and Kate, Sophia was married at St. Ignatius Church, Richmond, by Reverend Mulhall.
Charles's usual residence was given as Tenterfield, Queensland, and Sophia's as Richmond. Charles was the son of James Alexander, farmer, and Eliza Carter.He was born in South Wraxall, Wiltshire, on April 17,1858.
Witnesses at the marriage ceremony were Sophia's eldest sister, Margaret Lewis, and her brother-in-law-to-be Arthur Robertson(who married Sophia's sister Mary four months later).
Charles took his bride to Queensland, where the couple had four children:
1886: Charles Beresford Alexander
1888: Kathleen Eliza/Elizabeth Alexander.Born March 15, Milbong, Queensland.
1890: James Alexander.Newspaper reports that he was born on May 3, 1890, at Milbong, Queensland. Died 1892
1892: Lillian Alexander. Died 1893.

Sophia suffered a double tragedy in 1893, losing not only her youngest daughter Lilian, but also her husband Charles.Charles Alexander died in Queensland on August 21, 1893, aged 36.
Sophia and her remaining son and daughter remained in Queensland rather than return to Sophia's native Victoria. When War broke out in 1914, her 28 year old son Charles Beresford Alexander was quick to join up. He enlisted in Warwick, Queensland, with the 2nd Light Horse. His enlistment forms gave his occupation as 'grazier' and his next of kin as his mother, Sophia Alexander. His description was:
Blue eyes, black hair, fair complexion, five feet six inches tall.
Charles embarked at Brisbane on the ship 'Star of England' on September 24, 1914.Just over six months later he was Cairo, Charles contracted measles, and the complication of pneumonia set in whilst he was in hospital. He died on April 7, 1915,at Heliopolis, Egypt, aged 28 years, and was buried in the British Cemetery at Cairo.
Sophia Bourke Alexander was left with one daughter...Kathleen Eliza Alexander. Kathleen married Richard Thomas Lawler (son of William Lawler and Margaret McCann) in Warwick,Queensland, on April 24, 1918.She had lived in a little town called Greymare,near Warwick,for many years with her mother.Sophia and Kathleen were both buried in the Warwick Cemetery when they died:

Warwick Memorial Cemetery:
Alexander, Sophia. Died July 29, 1940, aged 80 years.
Alexander, Charles. Died 7 April, 1915,Egypt, aged 29. Trooper.

Lawler, Kathleen E. Died July 31, 1974, aged 86.
Lawler, Richard Thomas, died August 19, 1945, aged 72.

Consulting old Queensland Electoral Rolls and directories, it is interesting to note that, like her husband, Sophia Bourke Alexander was also a teacher, as was her daughter Kathleen until her marriage.

Queensland Teachers Index 1907-1920.
Sophia Alexander (Mrs)
School: Toolburra State School
Left service
Date: May 1919

Kathleen Alexander
Date: November 1911
School: Beebo State School

Kathleen Alexander
Date: August 1912
Transfer from Beebo State School to Thane.

Kathleen Alexander
Date: March 1918: Left service from Thane State School

Post Office Directories:
Greymare (aka 'Gray Mare): Darling Downs district. 169 miles from Brisbane.
1900: Sophia Alexander, teacher

1915: Sophia Alexander, teacher
C. Alexander selector
R.T Lawler selector

Electoral Rolls:

1913: Sophia Alexander, living Graymare School,Occ: school teacher
Charles Beresford Alexander, Graymare, farmer
Kathleen Elizabeth Alexander, Graymare, home duties.
Richard Thomas Lawler, Greymare, farmer

1922: Sophia Alexander, living Graymare school, school teacher
Kathleen Elizabeth Lawler, Greymare, home duties
Richard Thomas Lawler, Greymare, farmer

1934: Sophia Alexander, Gray Mare, home duties
Kathleen Elizabeth Lawler, Greymare, home duties
Richard Thomas Lawler, Greymare, farmer

The Queensland Intestacies, Insolvencies and Wills 1859-1900 has the following two entries:
Charles Alexander
Residence: Plainview, Westbrook, Qld
Occ: State School Teacher.
Intestacy, Brisbane Court.
September 9, 1893.

Surname: Alexander
Given Name: Sophia
Residence: Plainview, Westbrook
Country: Queensland, Australia
Notes: Widow
Type: Intestacy
Secondary: Not the primary name in notice
Court: Brisbane
Date: 9 September 1893


Kate Bourke was born in 1862, the last of nine children born to Lawrence Bourke and Hannah Mulcahy, and their eighth daughter.In 1886, aged 24, Kate married Michael Joseph Tobin. The Argus report read as follows:
"MARRIAGE: TOBIN-BOURKE. On the 6th inst. at St. Ignatius Church, Richmond, by the Rev. J. Mulhall, Michael Jospeh Tobin, eldest son of E.O.M Tobin, Esq, of Wangaratta, to Kate Veronica, youngest daughter of the late Lawrence Bourke Esq, MLA, J.P., of Kilmore".- Argus, Thursday, July 8, 1886.
Michael Joseph Tobin was the son of Edmond Omahoney Tobin and his wife Johanna Mary Ryan(married Victoria 1859).Edmond was the son of Michael Tobin and Mary O'Mahoney, and died in 1892 aged 60.
As far as I can locate, Kate and Michael had seven children:
1887: Francis Edmond Tobin born Carlton.
c. 1888: Kate Veronica Tobin. Died 1906, aged 18.
1891: Ruby Tobin born South Melbourne
1892: Ileen Tobin born Richmond. Died Richmond 1892.
1893: John Tobin born Albert Park. Died 1892.
1894: William Tobin born Albert Park. Died 1895 Albert Park.
1896: Percy John Tobin born Albert Park. Died 1972, aged 76

In about 1906, Michael Tobin deserted his family, leaving Kate to bring up Frank,19; Ruby 15 and Percy 10. Daughter Kate had died around the same time as her husband's desertion, aged 18 years.

The Electoral Rolls give the following information about some of Kate Bourke Tobin's family over the years:NOTE: Although Michael Tobin left his family, he was never far away, remaining in Albert Park for many years until he ended up in the Benevolent Asylum in Cheltenham for the last years of his life.

1909: 80 Victoria Ave, Albert Park
Kate Tobin, home duties
Francis Tobin, labourer

Michael Tobin, 47 Dundas Place,Albert Park,
gas stoker

1914:Albert Park.
Frank Tobin, 37 Moubray Street, labourer
Kate Tobin, " , home duties
Ruby Tobin, " , machinist

Michael Joseph Tobin, 47 Dundas Place, Albert Park, Foreman.

1919:14 Page Street, Albert Park
Kate Tobin, home duties
Percy John Tobin, soldier

Michael Joseph Tobin, 120 Bridgeport St, South Melbourne, foreman

1924: 12 Duke Street, Balaclava, St. Kilda
Percy John Tobin, storeman
Annie Tobin, home duties
Kate Tobin, home duties

Michael Joseph Tobin, 1290 Bridgeport Street, Sth Melb, foreman

Ruby Jospehine Gray, 12 Duke Street, Balaclava, St. Kilda, home duties
Sydney James Gray, " storeman

1931: 63 Clyde Street, Balaclave, St. Kilda
Percy John Tobin, storeman
Annie Tobin, home duties
Kate Veronica, home duties
Ruby Jospehine Gray, home duties
Sydney James Gray, storeman

Michael Joseph Tobin, M.B.A (Melbourne Benevolent Asylum), Cheltenham, nil

1936: 16 Havelock Street,Balaclava, St. Kilda
Kate Veronica Tobin, home duties
Ruby Josephine Gray, home duties
Sydney James Gray storeman

Percy John Tobin, 44 Dalgety Street, Balaclava, St. Kilda, storeman
Annie Tobin, " , home duties

Michael Joseph Tobin, Melbourne Benevolent Asylum, Cheltenham,nil occupation.

1937: 16 Havelock Street,Balaclave, St. Kilda
Kate Veronica Tobin, home duties
Ruby Josephine Gray, home duties
Sydney James Gray, storeman

1942: Alfred Street, Ferntree Gully Upper
Kate Veronica Tobin, home duties
Ruby Josephine Gray home duties
Sydney James Gray, storeman
Percy John Tobin, storeman
Annie Tobin, home duties

From these entries it can be seen that Kate Bourke Tobin was supported by her children after her husband's desertion, always living with either (or both)of the families of her daughter Ruby Gray and surviving son Percy.

With the advent of WW1, both of Kate Tobin's sons joined up. Eldest son, Francis Edmond, known as Frank, joined first, having been a clerk prior to the war.His war record as found on the National Archives site is 116 pages of fascinating reading.They include everything from reports of his discharge after being sent home from overseas as being unfit for duty, to the character references written by his commanding officers when he reinlisted, and a letter from his mother explaining why her husband should not receive Frank's war medals after he wrote and requested them.I will include a few of the pages from Frank's file in the next blog entry.
Sadly, Frank was killed in action in France on April 11, 1917, when he was shot in the chest by German soldiers.Kate's only remaining son, Percy, was also serving overseas at the time of his brother's death, and Kate wrote to the Army to try to get him sent to England where he could serve out the duration of the war without being close to the action. The War Department did one better for the grieving mother...they brought Percy back home to Australia and discharged him from further service.
Kate Veronica Tobin lived at her daughter Ruby's house in Ferntree Gully for the years leading up to her death in 1943,aged 81.Her estranged husband Michael Joseph Tobin died in 1939, aged 78 years.

1 comment:

Louise said...

Lovely to see my great uncle Jack (John James Evans), who married Mary Frances Meagher, mentioned there. Very interesting blog. Cheers, Louise (