John O’Neil 1844

John O’Neil (1846-1924)
Catherine Sole (1855-1914)

Jump down to the list of their children

John O’Neil, born in 1846 (record V1846284) was the second oldest of four children of John O’Neil & Julia Mahoney. He married Catherine Sole (née McMorrine) at Kempsey in 1883 (record 5483). Catherine was born in 1855 at Penpont, Kirkcudbright in Dumfrieshire, Scotland.  She came to Australia, aged 18, on board the Samuel Plimsoll in 1874.

Catherine had married Edward Sole on 17 Oct 1877 at Hickey’s Creek, Macleay River (record 3313). Edward was born c. 1845 at Heron Bay, Kent, England. He became a grazier, and died at West Kempsey in 1883 (record 8936), aged 39. Catherine and Edward had two children together: Eardley Elsinore, (b. 1878, d. 1937) and Charlotte Catherine Amy (b. 20 Jan 1881, d. 21 Nov 1947 in Gympie).

John was a farmer at Wabra Station near Bellbrook, about 50 km north west of Kempsey. This article is from the Australian Town and Country Journal on Sat 24 Nov 1888:

November 16.

STRUCK BT LIGHTNING. – During a recent storm, as Mr. John O’Neil, of Wabra, was riding at Balgrave, his horse was struck dead under him. It seems that the bit must have been the attraction, as the electric fluid passed in at the mouth, splitting the tongue, passing out at the chest. He fell on Mr. O’Neil’s leg. Mr. O’Neil was insensible for some time; and, from his position, he could only extricate himself by digging the earth away from under his leg with his pocket knife. A report had spread that Mr. O’Neil was killed; so that many were surprised when they saw him ride into town next day, apparently none the worse.

From Kempsey’s Macleay Argus on Wed 15 Oct 1890:

John O’Neil v. Henry Davis.

This was a case of disputed ownership of two calves. Mr. Jones appeared for defendant and Mr. Gilfillan for plaintiff.

John O’Neil sworn, stated that he was a grazier residing at Wabra; from certain information received he went up to defendants on the 15th September, and there saw a steer and a heifer in his paddock and demanded them from him; he gave him seven days notice; they were calved nearly opposite Mr. Davis’ by cows named “Polly” and “Cherry”; were brought to where witness lived in January last, when a month or six weeks old; would swear they were not calved in October; they were continually about his own house until he took thein back on the 11th of July last; saw them almost every day at his place; were fed and continually about the barn door; saw them five or six times between the 11th July and September; they were in the habit of getting into other paddocks; was quite positive that the calves in question were his, knew them as well as his working bullocks or horses.

By Mr. Jones: The steer has a red and white face: didn’t know anything peculiar about it; there was a red circle round one of its eyes; would not swear that it had a white tip on its tail; could not minutely describe his working bullocks; Henry Wicks branded them in January 1889 witness, was there; Wicks was a witness in a cedar case at that court; would not swear he ever said that not a word of Wicks’ evidence on that occasion was true. The cattle could get into the paddock by walking across the river; the gate was quite close to the kitchen.

To the Bench: They were brought down in January 1880, and taken up in July 1890; they were branded O N and earmarked.

Catherine O’Neil said she saw the calves when they were six weeks old; she left Elsinore in 88, and it was when she went back they had the calves; they were brought down to Wabra; was in the habit of milking the mothers “Polly” and “Cherry”; her husband took them back on the 11th July; fed them the whole winter and saw them every day.

By Mr. Jones: Knew it was the 11th of July because they took up a selection on the 17th; the calves were never away until taken to Elsinore; could only get back by going down the bed of the river; were in fair condition; mothers were both milking at one time; had milked the mother of the steer for ten years; might have been white at the top of the tail; did not notice the hoofs.

To the Bench: Was about 100 yards off when she recognised the calves in Davis’ paddock; there were a number of cows in the paddock; a little boy, who was riding behind them stood up in the stirrups and said there’s “Cocoanut” and “Smiler”; the cattle had been constantly in her sight.

Kenneth Sole deposed to living with O’Neil, and had known the calves from the time they were a month or two old to the present.

Henry Wicks proved bringing down calves to Wabra and milking the mothers every day.

Albert Robinson said he came to O’Neil’s place in August last, and had seen the cattle almost every day up to the present.

For the defence : George McMaugh said he brought the two calves from Bellbrook about two years ago; he hadn’t seem them for nearly two years.

William Toose swore to them being Davis’ cattle; had not seen them until in Davis’ paddock.

Alfred Davis, driver of a team, swore to the calves about two years ago; knew they were put into his father’s paddock.

Daniel Davis proved having seen the calves every day, but could not say exactly how long they had gone when their absence was discovered.

Howard Toose knew two calves at his father’s place, but couldn’t swear to them.

Henry Davis, the defendant made along statement regarding the calves in question.

The case was here adjourned for a fortnight for the production of the cattle.

The Court later found the calves belonged to John; from Wed 29 Oct 1890:

An apparent retaliatory action was brought by Henry Davis against John some five years later; Wed 06 Nov 1895:

John O’Neil v. H. Davis.

In this case an adjournment was ordered a fortnight ago for the production of two calves in dispute. When the case was called on Mr. Jones for defendant said he understood that the police would bring the cattle. They were in a paddock at Merriwa and he was not going to bring them.

Mr. Gilfillan said the fact of defendant keeping the cattle away was an evidence that they didn’t want to produce them.

Mr. Jones: Nothing of the sort, the cattle have been put into a small paddock for the police to fetch them.

It was arranged to decide the case upon the evidence before the court, and for this purpose the Bench retired to review the depositions taken on the last occasion. On returning into court the Bench said that the evidence had been carefully read through, and the identity of the cattle had been followed right through by plaintiff; on the other side there was a discrepency of nine months. Their Worships’ felt that upon the evidence before them the cattle belonged to Mr. O’Neil, and they found accordingly.

An apparent retaliatory action was brought by Henry Davis against John some five years later; Wed 06 Nov 1895:

Charge of Alleged Horse Stealing

William Brazil, of Taylor’s Arm, proceeded against John O’Neil of Upper Macleay, for stealing one chesnut filly the property of William Brazil.

William Brazil, sworn, stated he was a farmer residing at Taylor’s Arm. He had seen a chesnut mare outside the court. The mare was his property. He did not brand her, but he noticed that she now had a brand on. The last time he saw her was in 1888. She was then at Brazil’s Flat, Upper Macleay, and was then about 18 months old. He removed to Taylor’s Arm in 1888. Witness owned the mother of the mare in question; he had given the mare to Dan Davis to break in for him; had never given anyone else order to use her.

By Mr. Gilfillan: When I left the Flat my mare was running with some of Davis’ horses. I cannot say how many foals O’Neil had in 1888. When I went away I left 2 horses behind me; On one occasion, Davis told me the mare had been taken away. This was about 5 years ago. I was ill for a very long time and was unable to take steps to find the mare. She was not branded when I left her with Davis. There were no particular noticeable marks about her. I can swear to the mare being mine. The mother is a light chesnut, the foal was a dark chesnut.

By the P.M.: I did not take proceedings till I heard from the police. They told me the mare was in Kempsey. I can positively identify her.

George Davis, residing at Merriwa, stated he had seen the mare outside the court. He had known her since she was a foal. He believed she must now be nearly 10 years old. Witness had seen her off and on ever since. She was now branded JHP. First saw her with that brand on about 5 or 6 weeks ago at Merriwa, when a son of Mr. Pratt was driving her. Always knew her as being Brazil’s mare; also knew the mother of the foal, which belonged to Brazil.

By Mr. Gillfillan: I know the mare well, cannot say where she has been all the time, but I have seen her off and on with different people. Brazil left the Flat about 8 years ago. I have seen O’Neil’s children riding the mare in question. Saw Brazil after he left the Fiat. He asked me if I had seen the mare. I told him O’Neil had her. This was think about 3 years ago.

Daniel Davis said he resided at Merriwa. When Brazil went away from the Flat he told him (Davis) that when the mare was old enough he could get it and break it in. Witness some time after did get the filly in, but while in the yard she managed to break her hoof, and so he let he go again. Did not see her again for three months after that. He had seen the mare outside branded JHP but could not say for certain if that was the mare, but it was very like it. The filly when last he saw it was about 3 years old.

By Mr. Gilfillan: Brazil left her running on the Flat. I did not notice any particular marks about her. I remember asking Brazil some time, after if he had sold the mare, as I thought I had seen O’Neil with her. Brazil said he had not sold her, and I was to take her if I saw her anywhere. I did not speak to O’Neil about the mare.

Ernest Larkins living at Merriwa stated he had seen the mare outside the court, knew her as a foal. She then belonged to Mr. Brazil. He had seen 0’Neil’s son riding her. She had no brand on her at that time. About a month ago he saw her at Merriwa when she was branded.

By Mr. Gilfillan: I know the mare well; a man named Lewis broke her in, that was about 2 years after Brazil went away. I have seen her at O’Neil’s place. I never spoke to O’Neil about the mare being in his possession.

Henry Wicks, farmer, of Elsinore, had seen the dark chestnut mare outside the Court. Saw her some six years ago. She was then in possession of O’Neil. She was broken in by Henry Lewis. Witness once rode the mare to Merriwa when Davis told him it was Brazil’s mare. When he had got home he told either Mrs. or Mr. O’Neil what Davis had said, to which they replied that it was theirs, and that they would keep it for their own private use and would defy anyone to take it.

By Mr. Baker: The time when I helped to brand was about 7 years ago. I think it was a year after when I heard O’Neil say he had recovered three of the foals. When I spoke to O’Neil’s about the disputed ownership they said the mare I rode was one of the foals that had turned up.

Mrs. Harriet Smith, of Hickey’s Creek, said she purchased a chesnut mare from Mrs. O’Neil. She was to pay £6 for it; Mrs. O’Neil said it was not branded, but if witness liked they would brand it for her. Witness said it did not matter at present until she had paid for it. She paid off the amount in instalments. Some time after this witness gave up the horse to a Mr. Walsh, who was managing the affairs of Robert Campbell. The horse was not branded then. Witness had seen the horse outside the court; it was the same that she bought from Mr. O’Neil.

John Campbell proved having disposed of the horse by auction on account of the trustees in the estate of Robert Campbell.

Jas, Woods was also called to prove having purchased the animal from the auctioneer. He had since sold it to Mr. Pratt.

This concluded the case for the prosecution.

At this stage the court was adjourned until after dinner.

On resuming, Mr, Gilfillan said his client would like to make a statement with reference to the matter, which he did as follows: “I, John O’Neil owned the horse in question, also the mother of it. I had the filly in my possession until Feb. ’93, when I sold her to Mrs. Smith. The only time she was away was when she was ready to wean, when she with three others was away for three months. During this time the rest of the season’s foals were branded. Later on three out of the four foals that went away returned, but they were never branded. At the age of two years the chesnut filly in question was broken in for me by Henry Lewis. This was in 1889; and in February of 1890 five of my horses were drowned in the flood, and I have always been of the opinion that Brazil’s filly was drowned with them; I have never seen it since; I was well acquainted with Brazil’s filly as she ran with my horses more than with anyone else’s. The difference between the two was that mine was a distinct chesnut, while Brazil’s could hardly be called a chesnut.”

Harvey Robinson said he was now a laborer, but was at one time a stockman on the Upper Macleay. He was there in 1889; he often saw O’Neil’s mob of horses, and among them he saw the chestnut mare in dispute. He knew O’Neil had lost several foals for a while, and he had helped to look for them. He also knew Brazil’s filly; it was, at the time he remembered it, running with its mother.

Geo. Woodlands said he worked for O’Neil some 6 years ago. He had seen the horse outside and was sure O’Neil had it when he was working for him. He had ridden her to work for a good while. He also knew a light chestnut mare known as Brazil’s, she was then running at Brazil’s Flat and afterwards at Majors Creek, had not seen her since.

To Mr. Baker: I was with O’Neil about 18 months; the chestnut mare in dispute would then be about 3 years old. I assisted to brand at times; sometimes some as old as 3 or 4 years were branded. Do not know of any horses of Mr. O’Neil’s unbranded except the one in question.

By Mr. Gilfillan: There is a grey pony Mr. O’Neil’s son rides which is unbranded.

Mrs. Catherine O’Neil was allowed to make a statement as follows: “I have known the mare outside since it was a foal. We owned it and it was foaled at our place. We also own the mother of it. I knew a mare and foal of Brazil’s, they were about our place 8 years ago, and I often set the dogs at them to clear them away from the place. Since that time I have not seen Brazil’s foal. On one occasion Mr. Wicks told me Davis said that the chesnut mare belonged to Brazil, when I replied well it is strange he does not come and claim it if it is so. It was only spite on Davis’ part to say so, and it was done after we had an action at law against him. The mare in dispute was one of four we lost on one occasion. We have a number of horses unbranded.”

The P.M. said owing to the seriousness of the charge he was bound to commit, although he felt he would like to dismiss the case. Committed to the Quarter Sessions on Nov. 25. Bail self £40, and one surety of £40;

John was later acquitted (The Sydney Morning Herald, Wed 27 Nov 1895). Interestingly John’s daughter Maria later married Henry’s son Otho (see below).

A John O’Neill was also the licensee of the Willawarrin Hotel, about half way between Bellbrook and Kempsey (Macleay Argus, Fri 24 Jun 1927). The hotel there today was built in 1926.

Catherine died on 27 May 1914 in New South Wales at the age of 59 (record 7540). John died on 13 Mar 1926; from The Macleay Chronicle on Wed 17 Mar 1926: [The reference to Catherine’s death two years earlier must be an error, as the 2014 record shows the correct parents for her.]

Mr. Jno. O’Neill, who passed away on Saturday last in his 81st year, was a prominent member of a noted pioneering family. Born at Dungog, he came to the Macleay at an early age, and took an active part in the early development of the Macleay. His sister Miss Alice O’Neill, survives him and one brother, Thomas, predeceased him. His wife passed away about two years ago. Three sons, Chris, Vincent and Maurice (Charley), and one daughter, Mrs. O. Davis, are left to mourn. The late Mr. O’Neill took an active part in public affairs here in years gone by, and for about 25 years was handicapper for the Macleay River Jockey Club, being a keen supporter of the turf. Most of his life was spent in farming and grazing pursuits on the Macleay, and his personal reminiscences of the pioneering days were very interesting. The funeral, largely attended took place to West Kempsey Cemetery on Sunday, under conduct of Mr. Jos. T. Walker, the Rev. Father Morris officiating at a service in the Church and also at the graveside.

John and Catherine’s family:

01. Christopher John (b. 16 May 1884, d. 24 Nov 1935)

02. Thomas Vincent (b. 21 Jun 1885, d. 03 Apr 1958)

03. Maria Josephine b. 3 Jun 1886, d. 11 Sep 1965)

04. Alfred (b. 1889, d. 1889 record 10955)

05. Maurice J (b. 17 Feb 1892 record 18128, d. 17 Mar 1934 record 15156)

06. Eugene (b. 17 Feb 1892 record 18129, d. 1892)

Generation 2

01. Christopher John O’Neill married Elizabeth Ann Rossiter at Armidale in 1911. Elizabeth was born in Wellington, NSW on 17 May 1877 (record 22543) to Edward Rossiter & Elizabeth Ann Muckley. They acquired a property at Nulla Nulla, some 15 km north of Bellbrook on the Macleay River.

Like his father, Christopher had a near-miss with a lightning strike, as reported in theMacleay Argus on Fri 10 Nov 1933:

On Tuesday last Mr. C. J. O’Neill, of Nulla Creek, and his two sons had an unenviable experience during a severe electric storm. The boys were sinking a post hole near the dairy some 75 yards from a large dead tree. Suddenly, with a resounding crash, the tree was shattered by a stroke of lightning and the two boys were knocked over like ninepins, but fortunately were not hurt, and were soon on their feet again. Mr. O’Neill, who was walking across his property some 50 yards further away, was also thrown off his feet. The bowl of a cream separator which was on a shelf at the dairy near where the lads were, was hurled some distance and had its spout snapped off short. The tree, which was of particularly large dimensions, was reduced to matchwood, only a portion of the stump remaining.

Christopher died aged 51; from the Macleay Argus on Tue 26 Nov 1935:


The death occurred in hospital at Kempsey on Sunday last of a well-known and respected resident of Nulla, Upper Macleay, in the person of Mr. Christopher John O’Neill, aged 51 years, son of the late Mr. and Mrs. John O’Neill, pioneers of the Upper Macleay. Deceased married Miss Rossiter, daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Edward Rossiter, by whom and two sons and one daughter he is survived. The daughter is Mrs. O. A. Fuller (Nulla) and the sons Messrs. Arthur O’Neill and Thomas John O’Neill, also of Nulla. The remains were removed to All Saints’ Catholic Church, Kempsey, where, on Monday morning Rev. Father Brennan conducted a service, at the conclusion of which the cortege moved to the Bellbrook Church and later to Bellbrook cemetery where, in the presence of a large assemblage, Rev. Father Brennan officiated at the graveside. Mr. Jos. T. Walker had charge of funeral arrangements.

According to an obituary in The Wingham Chronicle and Manning River Observer on Fri 29 Nov 1935, at the time of Christopher’s death his wife Elizabeth was “seriously ill, and is still in hospital”. However, she survived him another 20 years, passing away on 30 Dec 1955 at Armidale. Her tombstone has her aged 76, but her correct age was 78 at the time of her death.

Christopher and Elizabeth had three children:

01. Olive Ann (b. 07 Jul 1912, d. 06 May 2001 in Bellbrook)

02. Arthur Vincent (b. 01 Oct 1916, d. 04 Aug 1995)

03. Thomas John (b. 25 May 1918, d. 04 Oct 1952)

We do not name people without their permission or unless they appear in a public document. If descendants wish to add new information, please email me (

01. Olive Ann O’Neil married Edward George Fuller at Kempsey in 1933 (record 12537). They had five children.

02. Arthur Vincent O’Neil, known as Bill, married Neta Ella Rose Smith at Kempsey in 1940 (record 14045). During WWII he enlisted in the Army Citizen Military Forces (service number N291123). In the 1943 and 1968 electoral rolls the couple farmed at Nulla Nulla. In the 1970s Arthur is described as a millhand and the couple lived in Sea St Kempsey. They had one daughter.

03. Thomas John O’Neil married Ethel May Waters at Kemspey in 1941 (record on29781). In the 1943 and 1949 electoral rolls Thomas was described as a labourer at Nulla Nulla. He died young, his death being reported in the Macleay Argus on Mon 11 Aug 1952:


There passed away in the Macleay District Hospital on last Monday, at the young age of 34, Mr. Thomas John O’Neil of Nulla Nulla.

A son of Mrs. Elizabeth Ann O’Neil and the late Christopher John O’Neil, deceased, who was born at Kempsey, was employed as a truck driver at the Nulla sawmill.

The late Mr. O’Neil was a noted cricketer, and had many fine performances with the Upper Macleay team. He was particularly well liked, and the respect in which he was held was shown by the large number who attended the funeral to pay their last tribute.

It was on November 1, 1941, that he married Miss Ethel May Waters, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. A. Waters, of Nulla Nulla. His wife, four daughters (Marline, Lorna, Julie and Jill) and a son (Thomas) survive him, whilst one daughter predeceased him. Mrs. E. G. Fuller (Nulla Nulla) is a sister, and Mr. A. V. O’Neil (Clybucca) is a brother.

Rev. H. D. Jeffery officiated at the service in Bellbrook Church of England on Tuesday, prior to the funeral moving to the Bellbrook cemetery. During the service, Mrs. C. Dew, at the organ, played “Jesus, Lover of My Soul.”

Messrs. H. Hancock, P. Wicks, D. Burns and H. Mitchell carried the casket to its last resting place and Rev. Jeffery officiated at the graveside.

A guard of honour was formed at the church and the cemetery by members of the Upper Macleay cricket clubs and former workmates. Funeral arrangements were in the hands of Messrs. Harry B. and Jos. T. Walker.

Generation 2 continued
02. Thomas Vincent O’Neill
must have been known as Vincent Thomas, as that is his name in the electoral rolls and on his death record in Queensland. He married Kathleen Alexandria May Mulroney on 26 Apr 1921 at Boonah, near Beaudesert, Queensland. Kathleen’s parents were Martin James Mulroney & Emily Agnes Kerwin.

Vincent became the licensee of the Veresdale Hotel (The Beaudesert Times Fri 20 May 1921); was fined £3 with 3s 6d costs for having kept his licensed promises open for the sale of liquor on Sunday, 12th March (The Beaudesert Times, Fri 16 Jun 1922).

Vincent Thomas O'NeilIn the 1925 and 1929 electoral rolls the couple lived in Toombul (a suburb of Brisbane), during which time Vincent is described as a labourer. Shortly after he must have purchased the license for the Club Hotel, Jackson, district of Miles (333 km west of Brisbane), beacuse he sold the license in 1931 (Western Star and Roma Advertiser, Sat 29 Aug 1931). This is confirmed in the 1931 electoral rolls when he is listed as a publican and Kathleen home duties. The next electoral roll we have found is in 1943; he is once again listed as a labourer, the couple living at 12 Kingsford St Auchenflower, Brisbane, and the couple remain there until 1958.

[Photo courtesy of Barry Ainslie, member]

Vincent passed away there on 03 Apr 1958 (record record B024994). Kathleen died in 1980 (record 484).

The couple had two children:

01. Catherine Phyllis (b. 1922)

02. Therence Martin (b. 03 Dec 1928, d. 20 April 2015)

In the 1954 electoral rolls the two children were living with their parents; Catherine is described as a clerk and Therence a boot repairer.

01. Catherine Phyllis O’Neil married Michael Brian Bourke in St. Stephen’s Cathedral Brisbane on Sat 19 Dec 1953 (The Courier-Mail, Sat 19 Dec 1953). Michael was listed as a truck driver in the 1958 electoral rolls; the couple lived at 2 Oxley Rd Chelmer, Brisbane. In the 1980 rolls they lived at the same address; Michael was then described as a taxi proprietor. Michael passed away on 20 Nov 2011. The couple had three children, the oldest of whom was Kathleen Mary (b. 08 Oct 1955, d. 30 Jul 2006).

02. Therence Martin O’Neil married Monica Mary Mason on 07 Aug 1954. In 1958 electoral rolls the couple lived at 22 Risley St Belmont (near Brisbane), Therence being a boot repairer. In the 1963 rolls he had become a milk carrier and they lived at 87 Stephen St, Toowoomba West. By 1968 they had moved to 151 Campbell St, Toowoomba North, and were still there in 1977. The couple had 5 children.

Generation 2 cont.
03. Maria Josephine O’Neil
married Otho Albert Davis in Kempsey in 1909 (record 581). Otho was born on 04 Jul 1884 at Uralgurra, NSW to Henry Davis & Johanna Sullivan (known as Hannah). Otho was listed as a farmer at Moonebah, Skillion Flat in the 1930 electoral rolls. Otho died on 25 Jun 1947 (record 10692). Maria remained at Moonebah until at least 1963, and passed away on 11 Sep 1965.

From the Macleay Chronicle, Wed 2 Jul 1947:

Mr. O. A. Davis.

Mr. Otho Albert Davis, of Moonebah, passed away in hospital at Kempsey on June 25, after a few months of indifferent health. He was a son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Henry Davis, and was born at Uralgurra 61 years ago. In the years gone by deceased was a noted cricketer, and frequently represented the Macleay. In 1909 he married Miss Maria O’Neill, daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. J. O’Neill, of Elsinore. He is survived by his wife, two daughters and three sons, and to Mrs. Davis and family much deep sympathy is extended. The daughters are Mrs. W. J. Clarke (Smithtown), and Mrs. Eather (Lithgow); while sons are Messrs Jack Davis (West Kempsey), Harry Davis (Smithtown) and Colin Davis, Moonebah. Brothers of deceased are Mr. Dan Davis (South West Rocks) and Mr. Harold Davis (Sydney), while sisters are Mrs. E. W. Gower (Bellbrook), Mrs. George Powick (East Kempsey) and Mrs. J. Robinson and Mrs. Davies (Sydney). Rev. Father Thos. McEvoy celebrated Requiem Mass at All Saints Church on Thursday morning. The funeral, under conduct of Mr. Jos. T. Walker, took place to West Kempsey Catholic cemetery on Thursday, the Rev. Fr. McEvoy officiating at a service in All Saints Church and at the graveside. The funeral was very largely attended.

Some researchers list a son, Eugene, born 1905; however we can find no record of this birth. Given that the couple married in 1909 we list just the following:

01. Effie May (b. 30 May 1910 record 27557, d. 10 Sep 1997)

02. Roydon John (b. 20 Mar 1912 record 17522, d. 08 Jul 1986)

03. Leila Catherine (b. 13 Mar 1916 record 16052, d. 28 Nov 1990)

04. Henry (b. 15 Jun 1921, d. 26 Apr 2001)

05. Colin Vincent (b. 18 Apr 1923, d. 05 Jan 2009)

Generation 3
01. Effie May Davis
married William John Clarke (b. 24 Jul 1910, d. 31 Aug 1998) at Kempsey in 1933 (record 9369) to William J Clarke & Maud J Roach. During WWII, William enlisted in the Army Citizen Military Forces, service number N291149. In the 1977 the couple lived at 44 Belmore St, Smithtown, near Kempsey; William was described as a facory hand. The couple had ten children, four of whom died at or near birth.

The photos of headstones that follow were made available by a cousin, Donna Wieland:


02. Roydon John Davis, known as Jack, married Betty June Rowe at Kempsey in Dec 1946 or Jan 1947 (record 5764/1947; a pre-wedding function was held on 19 Dec 1946 in the Belmore River Hall – the Macleay Argus, Fri 06 Dec 1946). In the 1949 electoral rolls Roydon was described as a labourer, living at Skillion Flat. From 1958 to 1972 the couple lived are listed as living at 100 Kemp St, Kempsey; Roydon was then described as a contractor. By 1980 they had moved to 62 Kemp St.

The couple had two sons; from the Macleay Argus, Fri 6 Jun 1941:

LAST January 23 was a popular date for the ushering into the world of pretty, new babies. It was also the birthday of the new son of Mr. and Mrs. Jack Davis, whose arrival at the Macleay District Hospital occasioned much rejoicing for his parents, and his brother Anthony. Mrs. Davis (nee Betty Rowe) is a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Harold Rowe, of Belmore River.

03. Leila Catherine Davis married Robert Charles Eather, known as Bob, at Lithgow in 1945 (record 3315). Bob was born on 04 Nov 1921 at Lithgow, NSW. He enlisted at Lithgow during WWII, giving Ethel Eather as his next of kin (service number N195309; his record is not yet available online). In the electoral rolls from 1949 to 1980 the couple are shown as living at 64 Ferro St, Lithgow; Bob is described as a slaughterman or a butcher. The couple had two children.


04. Henry Davis enlisted on 23 Jul 1942 (service number NX107077), serving with the 6th Machine Gun Battalion, AIF. His service record can be viewed here. He married Yvonne Fay Brown at Kempsey in 1945 (record 9427).

In the 1949 the couple lived in Belmore St, Smithtown; Henry is described as a factory hand. In 1963 to 1968 their address was Glenrock, via Kempsey, and they were listed as farmers. From 1972 to 1980 the couple are listed as farming on Summer Island, half way between Kempsey and South West Rocks. The couple had six children.

05. Colin Vincent Davis married Maria Josephine Hand, however to date we have not found their marriage record. The 1949 to 1980 electoral rolls list Colin as a dairy farmer, the couple living at Moonebah. The last two electoral rolls show Marie’s second name as Duchesne. They had three children.


Generation 2 continued
05. Maurice J O’Neil
, known as Charlie, was a farmer at Uralgurra. He has an entry in the Sands Directory of 1919 and 1920. He married Ethel Maud Delaforce at Kempsey in 1912 (record 6154). Ethel was born on 30 Sep 1886 in Kempsey, her parents being Joseph Delaforce & Sarah Marriott. In the 1930 electoral rolls the couple were listed as farming at Lower Elsinore, Uralgurra. Maurice appeared only sporadically in local newspapers:

From the Macleay Argus, Fri 21 Mar 1930:

BELLBROOK POUND.— Impounded at Bellbrook from Lower Elsinore, by Maurice O’Neill; One Black Blood Filly, about 2 years old, brand not visible, two white hind feet, itch butt of tail. If not released, will be sold at this Pound on the 27th March. — E. W. GOWER, Poundkeeper, Bellbrook.

From the Macleay Argus, Fri 7 Jul 1933:

Maurice O’Neill, charged with being drunk and disorderly, was fined 10/ with 8/ costs of court, in default two days’ imprisonment.

On 17 Mar 1934, Maurice collapsed and died of heart failure when he was just 41 years old:

From the Macleay Argus, Tue 20 Mar 1934:


Late on Saturday afternoon Mr. Maurice (“Charlie”) O’Neill, a well-known and respected resident of Uralgurra, was walking at the side of his residence when he was seen to stagger and fall, and when friends rushed to his aid it was discovered that he was dead. A subsequent medical examination disclosed that heart failure was the cause of death. Deceased, who was a son of the late Mr. and Mrs. John O’Neill, of Uralgurra, was 42 years of age, and a noted all-round sportsman and champion horseman. He was born at Warbro, and married at Uralgurra when 22 years of age to Miss. Delaforce. He is survived by his widow, two daughters and two sons The daughters are – May and Lurline, and the sons John and [Peter], all at home. Mrs. O. Davis (Mooneba) is a sister, while Messrs Chas. O’Neill (Queensland) and Vincent O’Neill (Queensland) are brothers. Mrs. Dan Guiney (Queensland) is a step-sister, and Mr. Ken Sole (Sydney) a step-brother. The funeral, under the direction of Mr. Jos T Walker, took place on Monday, proceeding to the Bellbrook Catholic cemetery, where the Rev. Father Smith officiated in the presence of a large gathering, many of whom had travelled long distances to pay their last respects.

From the Macleay Chronicle, on Wed 21 Mar 1934:

Mr. Maurice O’Neill.

Three hours after she had arrived in Kempsey Saturday last when called to her father’s death-bed, Mrs. Maurice O’Neill was shocked at the news that her husband Mr. Maurice (Charlie) O’Neill, of Uralgurra, had collapsed and died at his home, where she left him active and in good spirits and apparent good health. Born at Wabro Station forty-two years ago, Mr. O’Neill was a son of the late Mr. and Mrs. John O’Neill of Uralgurra. Married twenty-two years ago to Miss Delaforce, he leaves a family of four, the Misses May and Lurline and Masters John and Peter O’Neill. A most capable man among horses he was a noted sportsman and cricketer. A very large concourse attended his funeral to Bellbrook Catholic Cemetery on Sunday where the Rev. Father Smith officiated and Mr. J. T. Walker directed arrangements. Brothers of deceased are Messrs. Chris O’Neill, Nulla Nulla and Vincent O’Neill, of Queensland, and Mrs. Otho Davis, of Moonebah, is a sister. Step brother and sister are Mr. Ken. Sole, Sydney, and Mrs. Dan. Guiney, Queensland.

Ethel survived another 30 years, passing away on 01 Aug 1964 at Bellbrook, aged 78.

Maurice and Ethel had four children together:

01. Dorothy May (b. 24 Jun 1912, d. 15 Feb 1991)

02. Lurline Ida (b. 23 Aug 1913, d. 30 Jul 2001)

03. Vincent John (b. 24 Aug 1915, d. 03 Sep 1992)

04. Harold Maurice (b. 23 Jun 1917, d. 13 Dec 1961)

Generation 3
01. Dorothy May O’Neill
married Vincent James Ellem (b. 1910, record 15823) in Kempsey in 1935 (record 15839, however his surname was digitally transcribed as Ellel). In the 1935 to 1937 electoral rolls Vincent was described as a labourer at Skillion Flat. In the 1949 to 1958 rolls they are listed a short distance away, at Toorooka, just south of Bellbrook. In 1968 they are listed in Kemp St Kempsey, at which time Vincent was described as a butcher. In 1977 they had moved to Willawarren. Vincent and Dorothy had 6 children. Vincent passed away on 20 Apr 1980 (record 102524) and Dorothy on 15 Feb 1991.

02. Lurline Ida O’Neil married Gordon J Mainey in Kempsey in 1935 (record 9266). From the Macleay Chronicle, Wed 17 Jul 1935:


On June 5, at All Saints’ Catholic Church, Kempsey, the marriage of Lurline Ida, youngest daughter of the late Maurice O’Neill and Mrs. O’Neill, of Uralgurra, and Gordon John, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Mainey, of Willawarrin, was solemnised by Rev. Father T. J. Morris. The bride was smartly frocked in white flat crepe, made on tailored lines with a train, over which fell an embroidered tulle veil; and she carried a bouquet of sweet peas and roses tied with ribbon streamers. Her brother, Mr. John O’Neill, gave her away. Miss Ethel Dyson, of Coff’s Harbour, frocked in pink pebble crepe, with hat to tone and carrying a bouquet of pink sweet peas and roses, was bridesmaid; and Mr. David Mainey was best man. Also in attendance was the bride groom’s small niece, Betty Carroll, daintily attired in sky-blue pebble crepe frilled from waist to ankle. Her tulle cap was studded with pink forget me-nots and she carried a basket of pink sweet peas and blue delphiniums. The wedding breakfast was held at the residence of Mrs. G. Ramsay, Eibow street, West Kempsey, where Mrs. M. O’Neill received her guests. A very dainty repast was served and the customary toasts honoured. Mr. and Mrs. Mainey spent their honeymoon in Sydney, the bride’s travelling frock being royal blue morocain with hat and] shoes to tone. Prior to her marriage the bride was tendered a gift evening at Bellbrook by her numerous friends.

Gordon was born in Kempsey on 18 Aug 1913 (record 38506), his parents being John Bernard Mainey & Winifred Mary Stone. The 1937 electoral rolls have Gordon a farmer at Turner’s Flat, Lurline’s address being Willawarren. They were still farming in 1980, then listed at Toorooka. Gordon passed away on 22 Jun 1983 (record 104386), Lurline outliving him by 17 years. They had 5 children.

03. Vincent John O’Neil married Molly Clare Cooper (b. 14 Aug 1921) at Kempsey in 1942 (record 30547). Vincent served in the Army Citizen Military Forces during WWII (service number N291124). When his brother Maurice died in 1934 he was listed as living in Queensland. However the electoral rolls from 1943 to 1977 show Vincent farming at Lower Elsinore, Bellbrook; Molly’s address is always shown as Uralgurra (Toorooka); in the latter years the surname is spelt O’Neill. The couple had 5 children.

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