Ellen Mary White

Patrick Charles Feneley (1863-1907)
Ellen Mary White

Jump down to the list of their children

Ellen Mary White, known as Nellie, was the oldest of the six children that William White & Mary Agnes O’Neill had together. She was born in Paterson (between between Maitland and Dungog, NSW) in 1867. William White owned the Cross Keys Hotel at Allynbrook in the Upper Hunter. William and Mary moved to Maitland in 1889 and purchased the Metropolitan Hotel, which he bequeathed to his sons Dominic, Richard, Patrick and Francis when he died.

Patrick Charles Feneley, known as Pat, was the fifth of ten children, born in Sydney in 1863 to Patrick Feneley & Catherine Brophy. Patrick and Catherine were both born in Co. Kilkenny, Ireland; they married in St Marys Cathedral, Sydney on on 05 Jan 1857.

Pat and Nellie married on 02 Apr 1888 in St Helen’s Church, East Gresford, NSW (record 4736).

Pat was granted “a new publican’s license for premises situate at West Gresford, known as the Gresford Hotel” (The Maitland Daily Mercury, Thu 8 Apr 1897). In 1899, the license of the Metropolitan Hotel, West Maitland, was transferred from Thomas Callaghan to Patrick (The Maitland Daily Mercury, Mon 05 Jun 1899). The Metropolitan Hotel had been purchased by Nellie’s father William White, and when he died on 09 May 1904 ownership passed to Nellie’s brothers Dominic, Richard, Patrick and Francis. On Fri 4 Aug 1899 The Maitland Daily Mercury reported as follows:

The Metropolitan Hotel.- One or the oldest and most popular hostelries in West Maitland is the Metropolitan Hotel, which is situated in what is known as Mitchell’s Arcade and within convenient distance of the principal business places and railway stations. The property recently changed hands, and Mr. Patrick Feneley is now installed as host. The new proprietor is well and favourably known in the Gresford, Dungog and Allyn districts, where, in addition to taking a keen and prominent part in all matters pertaining to the welfare of the neighbourhood, he was an enthusiastic supporter of cricket and other outdoor pastimes. Under Mr. Feneley’s regime the Metropolitan has undergone quite a transformation. The painter, the carpenter and the outfitter have been busily engaged for some weeks past, whilst the interior has been entirely refitted with stylish furniture and general requirements. The old hotel may now be seen and enjoyed better than in its most pristine days. Mr. Feneley has also spacious accommodation for racehorses, and the place is now thoroughly up-to-date.

Pat died, aged just 42, of peritonitis on 05 Mar 1907 in Petersham, Sydney. The Catholic Press carried an obituary of Patrick on Thu 14 Mar 1907:

Mr. Pat. Feneley, West Maitland.

On Tuesday, March 5, Mr. Patrick Feneley, proprietor of the Metropolitan Hotel, West Maitland, died at the Lewisham Hospital, Sydney, where he was operated on for appendicitis on Thursday, February 27. Deceased was a native of Church Hill, Sydney, and only 42 years of age, and was one of the most amiable and genial of men. He was well known, highly respected, and admired by a very large circle of friends throughout the State. He was a highly valued member of St. John’s Choir, St. John’s Branch of the A.H.C. Guild, Secretary of the West Maitland Volunteer Water Brigade, and a member of the West Maitland Bowling Club, and other clubs. Prior to settling down in West Maitland Mr. Feneley conducted a hotel business at Allynbrook, and also at Gresford. His purse was as open as his sympathies were wide, and the extent of his beneficence and usefulness is certainly hard to estimate. He was conscious to the last moment, and in the presence of his wife and other relatives passed away, fortified by the Rites of Holy Church. The body was brought from Sydney to West Maitland by train on Tuesday night, and removed to St. John’s Cathedral, pending the funeral. The hearse was followed by a number of vehicles, and over 50 members of St. John’s Guild walked in front. Prior to the funeral on Wednesday, Mrs. J. McClean played Schuman’s “Traumerei,” and Chopin’s “Funeral March,” and as the body was being removed from the cathedral, the “Dead March” in Saul. The remains were interred in the cemetery at Campbell’s Hill. The Rev. Father M. F. McAuliffe, B.A., who conducted the prayers at the cathedral, also recited the last sad office for the dead at the graveside. The chief mourners were: Messrs. William, Cecil, and Paul Feneley, sons; Mr. J. Feneley (North Sydney) brother; Mrs. M. Fitzgerald (North Sydney) and Mrs. Towle (Sydney) sisters; Messrs. M. Fitzgerald (North Sydney), and Dominick, and R. White (Allynbrook) brothers-in-law. The pall bearers were: Messrs. A. Hoban, sen., D. Naven, J. C. Murray, and T. McGuire (St. John’s Guild), J. Rogers (West Maitland Volunteer Water Brigade), and A. Eckford (West Maitland Bowling Club). The funeral procession was headed by the Rev. Father M. F. McAuliffe, B.A., followed by a large number of guildmen. Then came members of the West Maitland Volunteer Water Brigade, drawing a flood boat. Members of the Bowling Club attended in a drag. Representatives of the Political Labour League, and Mr. M. Moroney (representing Tooth and Co., of Sydney), were also in attendance. The funeral was a very long one, many coming from Clarence Town, Raymond Terrace, Paterson, Gresford, and several other districts. Numerous telegrams and letters of sympathy wore received by the bereaved widow and family, The late Mr. Feneley leaves a wife, four sons, and two daughters to mourn their loss, and we extend to them our sincere sympathy. – R.I.P.

Pat & Nellie’s family

01. William Patrick (b. 25 Dec 1889, d. 01 Jun 1969)

02. Cecil Bernard (b. 1891, d. 16 Sep 1918)

03. Dorothy Mary (b. 1892, d. 29 Aug 1955)

04. Aileen May (b. 1893, d. 11 Jan 1978)

05. Paul Joseph (b. 13 Mar 1895, d. 26 Aug 1957)

06. Kathleen J (b. & d. 1896)

07. Gerard Leslie (b. 30 Jun 1900, d. 26 Jul 1943)

In 1911 Nellie married Alfred John Lindsay (b. 1880 in West Maitland). Alfred took over the running of the Metropolitan Hotel, though when WWI broke out he passed the license to Nellie’s son William and enlisted. From The Tamworth Daily Observer on Sat 03 Jun 1916:


Mr. Alfred J. Lindsay, the well-known and popular licensee of the Metropolitan Hotel, West Maitland, made application in the Licensing Court for the transfer of his license to William Patrick Feneley. Mr H. M. Coben appeared in support of the application, which was granted. Mr. Cohen stated that Mr. Lindsay intended enlisting. Mr Lindsay took a keen interest in cricket, and was an all-round sport.

Alfred’s service record can be viewed online here. A few months after Alfred’s enlistment his step-son William Patrick Feneley applied for an exemption; from The Maitland Weekly Mercury on Sat 11 Nov 1916:

(Before Mr. C. H. Gale, P.M., at the West Maitland Courthouse

William Patrick Feneley, hotel proprietor, West Maitland, asked to be exempted, as he was the proprietor of a business upon which depended the support of his mother, sister, and brother. He stated that there were four sons in the family, and two were going to enlist. Exemption was granted.

Next generation

01. William Patrick Feneley married Catherine Irene Miller in Maitland on 16 Jan 1924. Catherine’s parents were Henry Miller & Catherine Hughes.

Hotel licensing laws were strictly enforced in NSW and William was summonsed on several occasions for breaches.

From the Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate, Tue 17 Feb 1931:

Liquor Prosecutions

William Patrick Feneley, licensee of the Metropolitan Hotel, West Maitland, was charged with having on January 21, willfully delayed admittance to Sergeant R. M. Garland. Defendant, who was represented by Mr. T. R. Carlton, pleaded “Guilty.” Sergeant Garland stated that he had to knock at the door for half an hour before he was allowed into the hotel. Feneley was fined £7, with 8/ costs. Three other charges of having allowed persons unlawfully on his premise were withdrawn.

From The Newcastle Sun, Mon 28 Aug 1933:

On Hotel Premises
… William Patrick Feneley, the licensee, was fined 30s, with 8s costs, in default four days’ imprisonment. The conviction was not recorded.

From The Maitland Daily Mercury on Mon 19 Aug 1935:

William Patrick Feneley, licensee of the Metropolitan Hotel, was charged at the West Maitland Court today with being the licensee of premises on which a person was found during prohibited hours. A fine of £2, with 8/ costs, in default five days’ imprisonment, was imposed. No mark was recorded. Mr, J. R, Carlton appeared for the defendant.

From The Maitland Daily Mercury, Mon 20 Jan 1936:

Hotel Conviction

William Patrick Feneley, licensee of the Metropolitan Hotel, West Maitland, pleaded not guilty at the West Maitland Court to-day to being the licensee of premises on which a man was found during prohibited hours on December 20th.

A man found on the premises on that night pleaded guilty to being there during prohibited hours and was fined £1 with 8/- costs by Mr. E. A. Mahony, M.P.

Sgt. J. E. Clements said that at 10.40 p.m. on the night of December 26th he saw a man under the influence of liquor leave the side door of the Metropolitan Hotel.

Investigating further, the Sergeant said he saw a light in the bar and heard voices. The door leading into the bar was locked.

He added that Feneley came out and was asked did he know the man. Feneley replied that he had seen him before. Feneley denied that he had given the man a drink and said he would not at any time serve a man under the influence of liquor after hours.

In answer to Mr. Nelson (for Feneley), Sergeant Clements said he had been told that Feneley had been ill. He gave the police every assistance.

Feneley’s plea was then changed to guilty.

Feneley, in evidence, said he had been ill for about six months. The first he heard of the matter was when the Sergeant came to the side door. The hotel was frequented by travellers, for whose convenience the side door was left open.

Answering Inspector Noble, Feneley said he was in charge of the hotel on the night of December 26. He was out for a walk when the Sergeant came.

“In view of the previous conviction it is time the licensee made a better effort to police the premises,” said, Mr. E. A. Mahony, P.M., imposing a fine of £8, with 8/ costs. He ordered that the conviction be not recorded.

From The Maitland Daily Mercury Tue 02 May 1939


It is not compulsory for travellers entering hotels out of ordinary hours to sign the travellers’ book. The signing of the book, however, affords the publican a measure of protection.

This was stated in the West Maitland Police Court to-day. Mr. C. G. Garr-Boyd, P.M., pointed out that, there was no provision in the Liquor Act for a traveller’s book.

Mr. C. A. Hill said names written in the books were often not worth the paper they were written on. Fictitious names were being signed every day in the week.

William Patrick Feneley, until recently licensee of the Metropolitan Hotel in West Maitland, was charged with being the licensee of premises on which a person was found at an unlawful hour.

The offence was alleged to have been committed about 10.45 on the night of Friday, March 3 last.

Feneley pleaded not guilty, but was convicted, and fined £1, with 8/ costs. The mark was not recorded against the house.

Constable W. G. Wallace, of Newcastle, was police prosecutor, while Feneley was represented by Mr. C. A. Hill (T. A. Hill and Son).

Sergeant C. Yeomans, who was with Constable M. Shearer, told of intercepting two men as they were leaving the hotel. Feneley was standing on the footpath in front of the hotel and he (witness) took the men to him. Feneley said he did not know the men were on the premises.

In the hotel Mrs. Feneley admitted the men had been there but, she said, they told her they were bona-fide travellers. She did not know if they had signed the book, but an inspection revealed that they had not.

Constable Shearer also gave evidence.


Feneley, who said he was now a retired hotel keeper, admitted that the book had not been signed by the two men, but they had claimed to him that they were travellers.

Feneley told Constable Wallace that it was not necessary for travellers to sign the book. He only asked them to do so when there were any doubts as to whether they actually were travellers.

Ivy Kirkwood, barmaid at the hotel, said she heard the two men tell Mrs. Feneley they were travellers. She did not hear Mrs. Feneley ask them where they had slept the previous night, but one of them said they would sign the book.

When convicting, Mr. Carr-Boyd said Feneley had not satisfied the court that he had taken all reasonable precautions. He could have established his own bona-fides by giving the two men in charge, or taking action against them himself for falsely representing themselves as travellers.

The two men mentioned in evidence were each fined £1, with 8/ costs, in default three days’ hard labour. They were Allan Richard Miller, formerly of Heddon Greta, but now living in George-street, West Maitland, and William Grieg, of Heddon Greta.

Miller pleaded not guilty and was defended by Mr. Hill. Grieg did not appear, and he was dealt with exparte.

The court case above took place just three weeks before William sold his license for the Metropolitan Hotel (The Newcastle Sun, Tue 21 Mar 1939). Then in October her purchased the license for the Burwood Inn Hotel, Merewether (The Newcastle Sun, Tue 10 Oct 1939).

A year later, from The Newcastle Sun on Fri 25 Oct 1940:

Hotels Raided

Raids by police on two suburban hotels on polling day— September 21— resulted in the appearance of a number of men charged with having been found on licensed premises during prohibited hours…

Pleading guilty to having been found on the premises of the Burwood Inn Hotel, Merewether, at 10.45 p.m., on September 21, the following were each fined, with 8s costs in default two days’ imprisonment: …

A fine of £2, with 8s costs, in default five days’ imprisonment was imposed on William Patrick Feneley, who pleaded guilty to having been the licensee of the premises. The conviction was not recorded.

From the Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate on Sat 15 Sep 1951:


PUBLICANS FINED.- Seven hotel proprietors were fined for offences involving bar drip trays as a result of visits to their hotels by Newcastle Council Health inspectors on Friday July 13.

For having failed to put methyl violet colouring matter in the dip trays, John Henry Rose, of the Cross Keys Hotel, Tighe’s Hill, Albert William Dains, of the Royal Hotel. Stockton, William Selwyn Jenkins of the Northern Star Hotel, Hamilton, George Henry Oughton, of the Exchange Hotel, Hamilton, and William Patrick Feneley, of the Burwood Inn, Merewether, were each fined £1, with 10/ costs and £1/1/ witness’ expenses…

Ellen died at Merewether on 25 May 1946, and Alfred at Maitland in 1965. Ellen’s death was reported in Catholic Weekly on Thu 11 Jul 1946:

Mrs. E. M. Feneley-Lindsay

Mrs. Ellen Mary Feneley-Lindsay, mother of Bill, Paul, Dorothea (Mrs. Theo Allen) and Aileen (Mrs. L. Kelly), died at Merewether, Newcastle, on May 25. The funeral took place to Campbell’s Hill, West Maitland. Mrs. Feneley-Lindsay was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. White, “Kilkee,” Allynbrook. Mr. White was a well-known grazier and a nephew of Father John Therry. Mrs. White was Mary O’Neil, of Mount Rivers, Upper Paterson. Present at the graveside were members of old families from the Paterson and Allyn Rivers districts. In earlier days, the O’Neil’s Mount Rivers’ home was the Mass station. Mrs. Feneley-Llndsay lost one son, Cecil, in World War I and another, Gerard in World War II.

William and Catherine retired and moved to 14 Park Rd Bulli. William died on 01 Jun 1969, aged 79, and Catherine on 13 Nov 1992, aged 91. The couple had five children.

02. Cecil Bernard Feneley enlisted on 27 Nov 1916, describing himself as an articled clerk, aged 26. He served in France as a Gunner with the 1st Field Artillery Brigade; his full service records can be viewed online here. He was killed in action on 16 Sep 1918 , only eight weeks before Armistice Day. From Freeman’s Journal, Thu 10 Oct 1918:

Last week the sad news reached Maitland of the death in action in France of Gunner Cecil B. Feneley, son of Mrs. A. L. Lindsay, of the Metropolitan Hotel, West Maitland, on September 16. Early in the war he was anxious to enlist, but was induced to complete his articles with Messrs. Carlton and Logan, solicitors, of West Maitland. He succeeded in passing his final law examination over a year before the termination of his articles and was admitted as a solicitor while in camp early last year. His success at these examinations was an indication of his ability as a student in his profession, but, apart from that, he was a brainy, well read young man for whom there was a bright future in politics, law or literature. He was an ex-student of St. Joseph’s College, Hunter’s Hill, and his death adds one more name to the honor roll of that college, and is evidence of the response given by Catholic students to the call of national duty. He was held in esteem by a large circle of friends, who knew his personal worth. His brother, Paul, and his step father, Private A. L. Lindsay, are on active service, and his sister, Miss Dorothy Feneley, is nursing at Salonica.

04. Aileen May Feneley married Leslie J Kelly at St. John’s Cathedral, West Maitland, on 27 Dec 1921 (The Sydney Morning Herald, Sat 15 Jan 1921). We know little about this family, apart from the fact that, like her sister Dorothy, she was a pianist (The Catholic Press, Thu 10 Sep 1908) who also had a fine voice, as witnessed by several newspaper clippings prior to her marriage:

From the Dungog Chronicle : Durham and Gloucester Advertiser Tue 15 Sep 1914:

… After the ceremony, the Wedding March was played by Miss Aileen Feneley, of West Maitland, who afterwards sang “Love Tis Morn.”

We also know she became a nurse at St Vincents Hospital in Sydney: from Freeman’s Journal, Thu 31 Jan 1918 in an article entitled THE EIGHTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ARRIVAL OF THE SISTERS OF CHARITY IN AUSTRALIA.

…A delightful concert programme was arranged and carried through by the nurses themselves. Some charming ballets were given ‘by a number of nurses, with Nurse Hutchins as solo danseuse. Aileen Feneley, the possessor of an exquisite soprano voice, sang with great charm, ‘A Field of Daisies’ and ‘I Love You.’ The chief interest of the evening was in the unveiling of an honour roll of the nurses from St. Vincent’s Hospital who have gone to the war…

Aileen passed away in 1978 (NSW death record 2097/1978; her mother’s name is shown as Helen, not Ellen).

05. Paul Joseph Feneley was appointed as a clerk in the Moruya office of the Forrestry Commission on 10 May 1916 (NSW Public Service Lists, 1920). He spent several months with the militia, and on 12 Mar 1917 enlisted at West Maitland, serving in France as a Gunner, 1st Battery, 18 pounders; his full service record can be viewed here. He served in France, was discharged on 12 Sep 1919 and returned to his position at Moruya until 1930 at least.

Paul married Kathleen Constance Appleton, the daughter of William Frederick Appleton & Abelia Hegarty, at West Maitland in 1925. The couple moved several times during the following years. In the 1935 electoral rolls he is described as a civil servant living in Poitiers St, Deniliquin. In the 1937 rolls he is a farmer, Wambo St, Warkworth, Jerry’s Plains. A letter in his service records suggested that in 1941 they were at Brookfield, near Clarence Town. In the 1949 electoral rolls they were at 54 Bazentin St, Belfield. He is then decribed as R.A.N.; their son Patrick John, a radio electrician, R.A.N., lived at the same address.

Paul and Kathleen had seven children.

Paul died in 1957 (record 28561, registered at Campsie) and Kathleen in 1965 (record 19786, registered at Bankstown).

07. Gerard Leslie attended Marist Brothers’ School at Maitland West and became a solicitor’s clerk for the firm Logan and Carlton in West Maitland. He married Irene Clare Buxton in St Mary’s Church, Newcastle, on 12 Nov 1924. The couple had 8 children. Their son Peter Dominic Feneley sadly passed away on 14 Jul 1934 aged only 11 months (The Maitland Daily Mercury,  Wed 18 Jul 1934). In 1940 he purchased the license for the Commercial Hotel in Paterson (Dungog Chronicle: Durham and Gloucester AdvertiserFri 26 Jul 1940). He enlisted on 30 Nov 1942, but passed away in Sydney on 26 Jul 1943 before he saw active service. His wife Irene passed away on 04 Apr 1981 in the Mater Miseracordiae Hospital, Crows Nest, aged 75.


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