John 1894

John O’Neill (1894-1983)
Mary Monica McCue

Jump down to the list of their children

John O’Neill, known as Jack, was the sixth oldest, and oldest surviving son, of 12 children of Patrick Joseph O’Neill & Ann Mary Hough. (His online birth record 27893 has his surname spelt O’Neil, a not uncommon spelling within the family. He was born at Port Macquarie in 1894.)

Mary Monica McCue, known as Mollie, was born in Coffs Harbour on 24 Feb 1900 (record 16218), her parents being James Joseph McCue and Clara Ann Rowsell. John and Mollie were married on 10 May 1922 in Coffs Harbour, as reported in The Catholic Press on Thu 18 May 1922:

John O’Neill & Mary Monica McCue 10 May 1922

On Wednesday morning of last week, at the Catholic Church, Coffs Harbour, the Rev. Father Van Riel celebrated the marriage of Miss Mollie McCue, youngest daughter of Mrs. McCue, of Coffs Harbour, to John O’Neill, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. P. J. O’Neill, of Kempsey. The bride was conducted to the altar by Mr. Jack McCue. Miss Maud O’Neill was bridesmaid, and Mr. F. McGuren best man. The bride wore a dress of Duchess satin and silver tissue, with the usual wreath and veil, and carried a bouquet of white carnations, chrysanthemums, and asparagus fern. The bridesmaid was attired in a dress of grey jersey silk and radium lace, with shoes and stockings to match, and a black satin hat and feather, and carried a bouquet of pink carnations. Mrs. McCue wore a navy costume and black hat, and carried a posy of red carnations. Mrs. O’Neill wore a costume of black cashmere de soie. The bridegroom’s gift to the bride was a xylonite brush and mirror, and the bride’s gift to the bridegroom was a silver-mounted shaving set. The bride groom’s gift to the bridesmaid was a silver mounted photo frame and a bouquet of pink carnations. A sumptuous wedding breakfast and reception was held at Mr. H. S. Byrnes’ refreshment rooms, when the Rev. Father Van Riel presided, and the usual toasts were honoured. After the breakfast the happy couple left for Sydney and the Mountains, where the honeymoon was spent. The bride’s travelling dress was navy costume, with a navy hat and shoes to match.

In the 1930 electoral rolls the couple are listed in Everline St Campsie, John being described as a barman. In 1931 their address was the Station Hotel, Beamish St Campsie. At the time, the license for the hotel was owned by his R. G. Downing, who most probably was his brother in law; Reg Downing though was an “agricultural experimentalist” and unlikely to have been managing the hotel. In fact the license passed to John on 30 Aug 1933 (Dun’s gazette for New South Wales, 18 Sep 1933).

Mollie passed away on 26 Feb 1934 (record 1175), aged just 34. The Macleay Chronicle published an obituary of Mary on Wed 28 Feb 1934:

Mrs. John O’Neill

The sad news was received from Sydney, Monday evening, that Mrs. J. O’Neill, wife of Mr. Jack O’Neill, of the Campsie Hotel, had passed away in hospital after a long and painful illness. Two young sons survive to mourn with their father. The late Mrs. O’Neill was a native of the Hastings River. Miss Maud O’Neill went from Kempsey on Saturday to visit her sister-in-law, but did not know then that her condition was so serious.

Various researchers have attached a 1930 death to Jack. However, Jack was definitely alive and living in Sydney in 1947, as he is specifically mentioned as attending his father’s funeral that year. We believe that John passed away on 5 Oct 1983 (record 8673) at Nyngan, NSW. We discuss this below.

Jack O’Neill, seated bottom left in photo. According to a relative, at that time Jack was the manager of the Tatler Hotel in George St, Sydney. Alongside Jack is a friend, Margaret Connor.

John and Margaret O’Neill (nee Connor) 1977

In fact his grandson James O’Neill has kindly sent me further information on Jack and his family.

Jack and Margaret Marion Connor were were partners for over 40 years. They married on 20 Sep 1982. After moving from Sydney, they lived at Bryon Bay, NSW, then due to health reasons moved to Nyngan to be closer to son [Darcy] John.

The photo on the left is of John and Margaret taken in 1977.

Jack & Mollie’s family:

01. Patrick Joseph (b. 18 May 1923, d. 18 Dec 2007)

02. John Darcy Joseph (b. 19 Dec 1924, d. 05 Oct 1989)

Generation 2

01. Patrick Joseph O’Neill enlisted on 15 Jun 1943, giving his trade/profession as a theological student; he later trained as a flight mechanic. He was discharged on 22 Feb 1946, giving his address as the Westminster Hotel, 2 Broadway, Sydney; his service record can be viewed here.

Patrick married Sarah Schuster (b. 27 Jun 1941) and the couple moved to England where they had three children:

01. Sam Edward (b. 08 Oct 1971)

02. Jake Felix (b. 22 Dec 1972)

03. Ben Darcy (b. 10 Apr 1974)

02. John Darcy Joseph O’Neill attended school at Lewisham and Darlinghurst and completed the Intermediate Certificate at St Joseph’s, Hunters Hill, Sydney between 1941 and 1942. In 1942 after college he went to Long Flat, followed by an 18 month stint on a cattle station at Yarras (about 19km north west of Long Flat). He then took a half share in a dairy farm, milking 60 cows by hand for a year and a half.

Darcy and his father then went to Sydney working at the Golden Sheaf Hotel in Double Bay. In 1946 they moved on to the Westminster Hotel in Broadway, Darcy also working in the Austral bronze factory. They then both went to Randwick to work in Kirkby’s furniture factory.

[Ed. Noel Kirkby was married to Stella O’Neill, Jack’s first cousin. The Kirkby family lived in a flat at at 244 Oberon St Coogee. After Noel was discharged from the army he set up a furniture factory (initially making children’s toys) in what had been built as an air raid shelter at the back of the block of flats. He soon outgrew that, and moved to an unoccupied fibro building in Randwick. During the year or so they worked in the factory they would bunk either at the end of the factory shed, or bunk down with Kirby household. Noel’s son Darryl Kirby recalls many parties attended by Jack and Darcy. He also recalls walking Darcy to the tram on his way to his wedding.]

Darcy married Ailsie Cunliffe Lyon in St Canices Church, Elizabeth Bay on 10 Apr 1948 (record 7742). Ailsie was born on 04 Feb 1920 on the family property “Bunya” near Wauchope.  She was the 3rd of five children, the others being Joy, Enid, Ailsie, Jim and Aubrey. Ailsie had home schooling before continuing her studies at Port Macquarie and also studied violin. She was a keen horse rider and was very proud of winning first prize in camp drafting with her horse Els. In 1946 she came to Sydney, living at Vaucluse and working in a clothing factory and as a hairdresser. She enlisted into the RAAF at Woolloomooloo (service number 98317); her record is not yet available on line. She spent twelve months in the air force driving trucks.

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The couple moved to Nyngan in 1948 after Darcy’s father leased a market garden on the Bogan River (taking over from Con Georgiatus). This was a tough period: rabbits ring barked all the citrus trees and a flood affected them in 1950. The lived for a year in a boarding house next to Homestead store (previously Duks store) in Pangee St., Nyngan. Darcy went wool pressing and then learnt shearing after 12 months’ pressing. He would shear 200 crossbred ewes every day by himself for two weeks. His best crutching effort was at Greencamp Station when he crutched 1000 crossbred lambs in one day.

[Ed. Darryl Kirkby recalls locals in Nyngan telling him that Darcy was popular and known as the Nyngan Gun, a reference to his exploits at shearing.]

Darcy bought Herb Johnson’s house, however it burnt down 1964. The family lived with neighbours for 6 months, then in  an old house in Pangee St while the new house, costing £4,000, was built. After experiencing back trouble Darcy opened the corner store in Bogan St, then another in Warren St (O’Callaghan’s, after Vic Rains left). He purchased a third shop in Nymagee St. His father Jack and Margaret moved from Bryon Bay to Nyngan early the 1970s. They lived at 96 Cobar St, bought for £4,000.00. Darcy sold the Bogan St shop to Len Bert in 1975. He started as Secretary Manager of the Bowling Club on 20 Feb 1975. His son Jim and Val Asimus took over the Warren St shop. Darcy resigned from his role in the Bowling Club on 5 May 1984 but returned for some months after Ron McGuiness died. Darcy himself passed away on 05 Oct 1989.

Ailsie successfully battled twice with cancer, firstly mouth cancer then bowel cancer. She passed away in hospital on 14 Feb 2004 after suffering a heart attack and two small strokes, but was still appreciative of the care and attention she received until she passed peacefully in her sleep.

Darcy and Ailsie’s family:

01. Dianne Margaret (b. 03 Sep 1949)

02. Frances Loraine (b. 19 Jan 1952)

03. James Michael (b. 28 Sep 1954)

If anyone had further information about any of these families please contact,

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