William O’Neill

William O’Neill (1841-1906)
Catherine McNamara (1840-1921

Jump down to the list of their children

William O’Neill was the youngest of six children of William O’Neill & Johanna Flaherty, born on 13 April 1841 in the Clarence Town district of NSW. At the time William and Johanna were squatting on crown land and had for many years been fighting to buy or lease their own property. They were finally successful when on 12 Oct 1842 they procurred the leasehold of the 2150 acre lot adjoining the north boundary of Clarence Town.

Catherine McNamara was born on 15 Jan 1840 in Paterson, NSW, the oldest of six children of Michael McNamara and Margaret Connor. William and Catherine married on 23 Apr 1865; the marriage is  recorded as being held in the Maitland district, but this was most likely at Mount Rivers in the Upper Paterson. In 1853 one of Catherine’s older brothers, Francis McNamara, had married Ellen Cecily O’Neill, one of William’s older sisters.

William undertook the sale of his parent’s lease after his father died in 1866. By that stage his parents had separated, Johanna, his mother moving to Mount Rivers around 1863. Catherine was the witness who reported Johanna’s death.

On Sat 21 Feb 1874 this article appeared in The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser:

OBSCENE LANGUAGE. — At the West Maitland police court, on Thursday, William O’Neill, of [Lostock], Paterson district, charged with making use of obscene language in High-street, West Maitland, on the 11th inst., was discharged with a caution, on payment of 2s. 6d. costs.

William (junior) is listed in the 1878-9 electoral rolls as a freeholder at Mount Rivers. Others in this list who seem to feature in William and Catherine’s family include: James and Philip Arthur at Guygallon, Francis McNamara, freeholder at Mount Rivers (and probably one of Michael and Margaret’s children, he died in 1906); William McEwen (Senior), freeholder, Webber’s Creek; William McEwen (Junior), Residence, Webber’s Creek; Benjamin McEwen, freeholder, Cooper’s Flat; Hugh McKeown, Residence, Creebank; James, John, Michael and Patrick McKeown, freeholders, Cooper’s Flat.

A family of Turners from Lostock were also listed, and the following report of a violent assault on one Thomas Turner by his brother Henry Turner (and involving both William O’Neill and Michael McNamara) appeared in The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser, Sat 17 Feb 1883. The story is more interesting for the author of this website. A Turner descendant, Ivan Turner, has pointed out that Henry Turner is actually the author’s great-grandfather.


Henry Turner and Michael McNamara, in custody, were charged that they did on the 10th February, 1883, at Gresford, violently assault and beat one Thomas Turner. Mr. Thompson appeared for the prosecution, and Mr. Young for the defence.

Dr. Pierce deposed: I saw the complainant early on last Sunday morning; he was in a weak state, and suffering from a lacerated wound on the left temple, irregular in shape, down to the bone; through the whole extent of the upper part, of the wound the bone was exposed, attended with considerable bruising of the parts around; the flap was hanging down to the angle of the left jaw; I consider the wound very dangerous from its situation and lacerated state; the wound must have been occasioned by very great violence; it would cause a great deal of pain; it did not bleed so much at first as afterwards, as the violent nature of the blow would cause the wound without a great deal of blood at first; it divided the true skin completely down to the bone; there will be a permanent disfigurement; there will always be a great triangular mark there; there is still a portion of the upper eyelid, which cannot be stitched, but which will have to come away in the course of nature; there will always be a puckering of the eyelids upwards; he suffered a great deal, and will do so for the next month or six weeks; I do not consider him to be out of danger at present with a wound such as that; I found fine sand and clay in the wound; in my opinion the wound could not have been caused by a knife or a stick; a blow from a large stone from a downward direction might have produced it; if a man were lying down, and the heel of a man’s boot were stamped with force upon the head, it might produce such a wound; it seems to me to be the most likely way it occurred; the dirt and sand were thoroughly ground into the wound.

Constable Morrow gave evidence as to the arrest of the prisoners – McNamara at Gresford, and Turner at Lostock – by virtue of a warrant. Prisoners made no reply to the charge.

Phillip Dennis deposed: I live at Lostock, and am a farmer; I know the complainant and the two prisoners; on last Saturday afternoon I was at Beattie’s public house at Gresford, and saw them there near the public house; I heard some unpleasant words pass between the two Turners – the complainant and his brother; Edward Keelagher was present, but cannot say as to the rest; I do not know where McNamara was at the time; that is all I then heard; we (Thomas Turner, myself, John Lawrence and Frank Wilson) started to go home; we proceeded about one hundred and fifty yards, when the prisoner Turner followed; he was accompanied by Michael McNamara and Willie O’Neill; a further argument occurred between the two Turners; Thomas Turner asked his brother what he had against him; his brother replied, “you know what I have against you;” some further conversation ended in a row; some blows were struck; Henry Turner began to strike Thomas Turner, so far as I could see, with his hands; Thomas Turner appeared to me to try to get away when he saw blows were to be struck; Thomas Turner never appeared to make a blow; he wanted to get away; he galloped off on his horse; O’Neill followed him; I and Henry Turner went after O’Neill; I cannot say that O’Neill was racing after him; when next I saw Thomas Turner he was galloping about on his horse; his brother was chasing him; they were dodging about; O’Neill was trying to catch up; the two Turners and Michael McNamara got off their horses; Thomas Turner tried to get away from his brother; he ran away on foot; Henry Turner ran after him; McNamara stood in the middle of the road as far as I could see; Thomas Turner ran in the direction of McNamara, and fell into his arms; I cannot say what happened then; Henry Turner ran up to his brother with the intention of hitting him, but I cannot say whether he did or not; McNamara had hold of him; Henry Turner made a hit at his brother as he was trying to get away; after McNamara let Thomas Turner go he fell; seeing what his brother intended doing and trying to get away, McNamara let him go and he fell; he got up himself; I could not say how long it lasted – not very long; I was not drunk; I was perfectly self-possessed and in my senses; after Thomas Turner got up I saw that he had a cut on his temple; I can’t say how he got it; although I was looking on and was sober; it was done on the ground; I cannot say how it was done. [Mr. Riley, J.P.: How far were you away? Witness: Five or six yards.] It occurred on the road; McNamara and Turner were between me; when they were dodging about on the road they had come back towards me, that is how I caught them; the road were we got off was a little stony so far as I know, but I did not take particular notice; Thomas Turner fell in the gutter by the side of the road; the wound appeared to be a severe one; we started from Beattie’s between 7 and 8 o’clock p.m.; where Thomas Turner fell was about a mile from Beattie’s; when he got up he ran away for his horse. To Mr. Young: Our party left Beattie’s Hotel before the prisoners; I could not say that McNamara was the last man who left; I am not aware that O’Neill is here today; when I saw McNamara he was before me; I am not aware that McNamara took any part in the quarrel between these two brothers; when Thomas Turner got off his horse he ran towards McNamara; I know he was looking for protection; his brother was pursuing him; whilst complainant was in McNamara’s arms his brother came up; McNamara was then in the middle of the road; I saw Turner fall; it was in the water-table a drain alongside the road; it was sloped; it was about two feet lower than the middle of road where we were standing; it is earth and stone mixed; the stones are not so very large; there were none there that I could not lift; I call a stone of that kind a large one; when Thomas Turner got up I went towards Constable Morrow’s; I met him in the road; he saw Turner’s face; we all went back to Constable Morrow, including the two prisoners; we had been drinking at Beattie’s before the occurrence. -To the Bench; I think that he must have got the wound by falling down into the gutter when he got away from McNamara.

John Lawrence: deposed; I am a farmer residing at Coulston, Upper Paterson; I know the parties in this case; I remember being with them at Beattie’s public house at Gresford on Saturday afternoon last; we all started to go home together – Thomas Wilson, myself, McNamara, and others; they had some unpleasant words near Constable Morrow’s; Thomas Turner, during the conversation, asked Henry Turner what he had against him, if he had done him any harm; Henry Turner said you did; Thomas said he didn’t; this was repeated and Henry Turner said his brother was a b_ liar; Thomas Turner said ” If there is any lie in it you’re the liar;” Henry Turner tried to hit his brother with his fist; they were then on horseback; Thomas Turner bent down on his saddle and then rode away; O’Neill went after him; they got out of my sight before I got to the top of the hill; when I got to the hill I again saw them in front of’ me; they were still galloping; when I came to the corner of the Public school ground I told Thomas Turner to turn back; he did so, and came towards me; O’Neill got of his horse; Thomas Turner than ran away; I advised him to stop, and told O’Neill to leave him alone; I did not see what had become of the prisoners; I did not see the finish of the affair; the others were behind; I heard their horses coming up behind us afterwards; I do not know how he got the injury that I afterwards learned was on his face. – To Mr. Young: I believe McNamara told O’Neill to leave Thomas Turner alone; this was after all was over; while they were disputing I never heard him give any advice. – To the Bench: – There were no large stones near the water-table; I did not see the injury done; I saw it afterwards; a man tumbling into the water-table I have described would not receive such an injury if he was on foot at the time; a fall from a height might do it; it is a hard road, gravel on top.

Francis H. Wilson deposed: I am a farmer residing at Lostock, Upper Paterson; I was present with others at Beattie’s hotel on Saturday last; I left there about ten minutes before sundown; the two Turners, O’Neill, McNamara, the two previous witnesses, and I myself, were together; after we got on the road a bit, some unpleasantness occurred between the two Turners; complainant asked his brother what he had against him in a civil manner; he replied, “you know well what I hare against you”; Thomas Turner said he did not know what he had against him; Henry Turner said his brother was a liar; Thomas said if there was anyone telling lies it was him (his brother); Henry then struck his brother with his fist; Thomas Turner bore away from him; Henry got eff his horse; Thomas turned away, and went up the road as hard as he could go; Michael McNamara got off at this moment, and tried to make peace between them; it was after this that Thomas Turner cleared away; William O’Neill was the first to make after him; McNamara and Henry Turner stayed behind; I followed with Dennis, helping him to keep up a horse he was leading; Lawrence was ahead; after I got ahead some distance the prisoners passed us at a faster pace; they had changed horses with each other; having passed me I saw O’Neill continuing to follow Turner when Lawrence overtook Turner from what I could see; Thomas Turner then turned back from O’Neill towards where I was near the Public School; Thomas Turner and the two prisoners afterwards met; Dennis and I came up and we all met together; the Turners dismounted as also did McNamara and Dennis; Thomas Turner stood in the road and Henry Turner struck him; Thomas put up his arm; Henry pulled off his coat and threw it on the side of the road; drew towards his brother and again struck him; Thomas, so far as I could see, was offering his brother no insult or offence; Thomas Turner fell, and rose again and said he would take the law for it; all this time McNamara was standing in the crowd; McNamara had Thomas by the shoulder at one time; Thomas Turner was not able to defend himself so far as I could see; when Henry struck his brother on the second occasion the latter was on the water table, which has a gradual slope of from fifteen to eighteen inches; the water-table has gravel on top and a kind of dirt underneath; after Thomas got up I saw a bruise on him; his horse ran away; I ran after it; he came up to me and I saw that his face was covered with blood; Thomas appeared to be frightened out of his life before the quarrel; this was caused by them chasing him; McNamara appeared to me to be acting the part of peacemaker; there were horses in the water-table, but they could not have struck him; Thomas was struck on both occasions on the shoulder; he was not struck after he fell, into the water-table; I saw a bruise on his face when he got up; I saw the scalp hanging down his face when he came up to me; as he fell he made a slew to recover himself, and he fell into the water table. – To Mr. Young: To the best of my knowledge the injury was caused by the fall; I did not see McNamara rowing with the Turners.

Thomas Turner deposed: I live at Lostock, and am a farmer; I was at Beattie’s house on last Saturday evening; there was a sale there that day and this brought a good many people about; I subsequently started for home in company with the parties mentioned – the witnesses, the two prisoners, and O’Neill; when I got a little way on I spoke to my brother and asked him what he had against me, because he seemed to be ill-inclined towards me; he said, ” Oh, you know well enough what it is;” I said I did not; he said I did; he afterwards called me a d_ liar; I said if there is any liar about it you’re the liar; I was on one side of the road, and he the other; he made across the road to me; he hit at me, and seeing what he meant I cleared off as fast as I could go; the first man who overtook me was O’Neill; he was swearing and threatening me very much, and tried to pass me; I pulled up and let him go on; I turned back and the first one I met was my brother who hit at me while I was on the horse; I had not got into any speed and he commenced striking at me with his fists; to get out of his way I got off my horse; as I was getting off my brother struck me on the back; I ran away and came into McNamara’s arms; I did not see McNamara till I came into his arms; I slewed and wanted him to let me get away and he would not; I do not know if he said anything I was too much excited – frightened; I got hit again by my brother and fell with very great force into the gutter and was stunned; McNamara did not protect me in any way; if he wanted to do so he would have let me pass instead of holding me in the direction in which my brother was coming; it was the blow I received that caused me to fall; I cannot say in what part I received the blow; I was stunned when I was in the gutter; I warded one blow off, I believe; McNamara could have let me go before my brother came up; he could have stepped between us if he liked; I know the horse my brother was riding was no good; he could not have caught me with his horse; I offered no provocation to my brother beyond what I have said; I cannot say how I received the injury, as I was stunned; it was the blow that knocked me down; the last blow I got was from my brother; I did not think the injury was so bad till Constable Morrow struck a match; the natural soil is white, and there is gravel in the middle of the gutter; I did not slide, and my clothes were neither scratched or torn; the swelling came down my jaw and round my throat so that I could scarcely move it. – To Mr. Young: I did not know McNamara was standing there when I came into his arms. – To the Bench: My brother and I have been on pretty good terms; we do not live together; about six months ago we had a quarrel; since then we have been food friends; my brother does not drink, and I only had a few nobblers on that day.

At this stage McNamara was, on the application of Mr. Young, discharged from custody, the Bench being of opinion that there was no evidence against him.

Mr. Thompson intimated that the complainant had no desire to see his brother severely punished. If their worships could see their way clear to do so, complainant would be contented if a nominal fine were inflicted, the brother consenting to be bound over to keep the peace. The fact of having to prosecute his brother was weighing on complainant’s mind, and may do him an injury in his present condition.

Mr. Young agreed to the proposal, and at the same time expressed, on behalf of the defendant, his gratitude for his leniency. He hoped that in the future they would live amicably, and that nothing of the kind would happen again.

Complainant here shook hands with his brother and McNamara.

The bench in these circumstances ordered the prisoner to pay a fine of 40s, with £2 2s professional costs, and 15s 10d court costs; in default to be imprisoned for two months.

William & Catherines’s family:

01. Philip Raymond (b. 11 Feb 1866, d. 1905 in Newcastle)

02. William (b. 25 Oct 1867, d. 1948 in Queensland)

03. Margaret (b. 30 Dec 1870, d. 1902 in Paterson)

04. Anne (b. 03 Jun 1871, d. 1913 in Paterson)

05. Johanna (b. 28 Aug 1873, d. 16 Aug 1908 in Paterson record 10948)

06. Katherine (b. 30 Nov 1879, d. 08 Dec 1909 at West Maitland record 2087, listed as Catherine)

As far as we know Philip, Anne, Johanna and Katherine did not marry. However, we have had contact from someone who has evidence that Johanna may have had a son prior to her death; Catherine appears to have written a letter indicating some support for that child.

05. Joanna O’Neill died of consumption after a two year illness and was buried on the same day. The informant was her aunt, Ellen [McNamara].

06. Katherine O’Neill (known as Kate) died as a result of an illegal abortion. She was dating a second cousin, Francis McNamara Kelly, who declared he was happy to marry her “but not yet”. Here are two accounts of her inquest:

From The Maitland Daily Mercury, Mon 20 Dec 1909:

A Young Woman’s Death.

The adjourned inquest touching the death of Katherine O’Neill, who expired on the 8th instant whilst under an anaesthetic, was resumed at the West Maitland Courthouse on Monday, before the Coroner (Mr. J. McKensey, P.M.). Sergeant Wensor conducted the case for the police. Dr. R. G. Alcorn, Government Medical Officer, deposed that in his opinion, deceased had been in a certain condition about six weeks. A certain event took place about six days prior to her death.

Francis McNamara Kelly, a labourer, residing at Mount Rivers, near Gresford, deposed that he knew deceased, who was a second cousin. He resided about two miles from where she lived. He saw her regularly for the last twelve months. He was courting her. He thought deceased left Gresford to come to Maitland about November 30. He last saw her at her own home on November 26. She had told him a day or two before of her condition. She asked him if he would marry her, and witness promised to do so as soon as he could. He told her that he could not possibly marry her then, as he was not in the position. Deceased did not tell him of her intentions, what she intended to do. Previous to telling him of her condition, she told him that she intended coming to Maitland some time before Christmas, but did not tell him with what object. She did not at any time tell him that she was coming to Maitland for a certain purpose. He did not give deceased any money prior to her coming to Maitland; neither did any other person do so on his behalf. He did not know before to-day that deceased obtained a cheque for £5 to come to Maitland with. He could not say by what means or how the event was procured. No person had told him how it was brought about. He had no knowledge of any instrument.

Sergeant Wensor applied for a further extension of time to make additional inquiries, and the inquest was adjourned until Tuesday January 4, at 11 o’clock.

From The Maitland Weekly Mercury, Sat 8 Jan 1910:

A Young Woman’s Death.

The adjourned inquest regarding the death of Catherine O’Neill, who died on the 8th December last whilst under an anaesthetic, was resumed at the West Maitland Courthouse on Tuesday, before the Coroner (Mr. J. McKensey, P.M.). Senior-Sergeant Wensor conducted the case for the police, and Mr. W. J. Enright appeared for Nurse Lynch. Ellen Lynch, a midwifery nurse, residing in Bulwer-street, West Maitland, deposed that she did not know the deceased. Witness had been at her present residence about five weeks, and within about a week or ten days of changing her residence she did not see a young woman who went there several times. No female had asked witness to perform an illegal operation, nor had any male person asked her to do so. Deceased had not, to witness’s knowledge, been at her place at any time. She had not received any money on deceased’s behalf, and no person ever went to her on deceased’s behalf. She did not at any time forward an instrument to deceased. — To Mr. Enright: Her business often took her away from home. The Coroner returned a verdict that in con- sequence of the use of a certain instrument abortion was procured, and that in consequence of the said abortion a surgical operation became necessary, and that for the purpose of the said operation it was necessary to administer an anaesthetic. He found that the said anaesthetic was properly administered and that on 8th December, while under the said anaesthetic, at West Maitland, the said Catherine O’Neill died from asphyxia. He further found that the evidence adduced did not enable him to say by whom the instrument was used.

William Sn. and William Jn. were both farmers/graziers in Mount Rivers. There are many reports of sales involving W. or William O’Neill, and we can’t be sure which of the two gentlemen the reports refer to. We have left further reference to their farming activities to William Jn’s page.

Consumption, or pulmonary tuberculosis, must have been rife in that farming community at the time. Other diseases were common, as was reported in the Dungog Chronicle : Durham and Gloucester Advertiser on Fri 1 Apr 1898:

After a reign of some months, the epidemic of ‘sandy blight’ is, I am pleased to say, passing away, though some of the young people are suffering still from a relapse. The epidemic has been most severe on the Upper Paterson this year, old and young suffering alike, and in some cases suffering for several mouths.

William Sn. was well liked, and was very clearly talented musically, as the following reports indicate:

From the Dungog Chronicle : Durham and Gloucester Advertiser, on Tue 16 Aug 1898:

At 7.30 p.m. a concert was held in the Hall in aid of the School Library and ‘Arbor Day’ objects. Several new and useful books have been added to the School Library at Lostook during the past year, so that the young folk of the district have now opportunities for general reading which were unknown until Mr Kevin became Inspector of Schools in this part of the colony. The concert passed off most successfully, all the pieces both vocal and instrumental being heartily applauded by the audience. The Misses Lear, O’Neill, and Turner, and Messrs Connor Munday, Beatty, Turner, and J. Lawrie gave songs during the evening and sang well. Miss Kelly recited in her usual effective style, and Mr Hayes, recently appointed to Tea Tree School, repeatedly brought down the house with his comic recitations. Two little miles, Master O’Neill and Miss Clarice Arthur, were vociferously encored for a duet, which was remarkably well rendered considering the children’s ages. Both these children are pupils of Mount River School. Miss O’Neill, Mr Connor, and Mr W O’Neill gave instrumental selections during the evening…

From The Maitland Weekly Mercury, Sat 5 May 1900:

LOSTOCK- — A pleasant surprise was tendered to Mr. and Mrs. W. Bogan, Penhurst, by their Lostock friends recently. On the arrival of the party the rooms were quickly cleared and dancing commenced, which, interspersed with songs and recitations, made the evening pass merrily and all too quickly. Mr. J. Jones made an admirable M.C. The principal musician of the evening was Mr. W. O’Neill, of Mount Rivers, and he was ably assisted by Messrs. J. Turnbull and S. Turner. Songs were rendered by Messrs. P. Sullivan, J. Jones, R. White, W. Creighton, W. Turner, and Misses K. O’Neill and K. Chapman. Mr. F. Turnbull recited ‘Out Back.’ The Serpentine Dance was executed by Misses K. O’Neill, Millie Kelly, K. Chapman and N. Norton. Master P. Bogan, suitably dressed as an Irishman, caused great amusement by his comic song ‘I came over from Ireland a short time ago.’ Shortly after 12 o’clock an adjournment was made to the spacious verandah where a recherche supper was partaken of. The toast of the evening ‘Our Guests,’ was proposed by Mr. W. O’Neill, and responded to by Mr W. Bogan. The party broke up about 4.30 a.m. after the dancing of the Washington Post and singing of Auld Lang Syne. Great credit is due to the promoters, Messrs. E. Jones and F. Turnbull, for the able manner in which the arrangements’ were carried out. Among those present were Misses M. Turner, K. Sullivan, K. O’Neill, M.Kelly, A. Began, A.White, KJ Chapman, and N. Norton, Messrs. F. Turnbull, E. Jones, W. Bogan, W. O’Neill, J. Kelly, R. White, P. Sullivan, H. Jones, W. Turner; J. Turnbull, J. JoneB, J. Sullivan, S. Turner, J. White, F. Kelly, A. Turner, W. Creighton, D. Kelly, and P. Bogan.  

William Sn. passed away in 1906 aged only 64. From The Maitland Weekly Mercury, Sat 21 Jul 1906:

The death occurred on Wednesday at Mount Rivers, near Gresford, of Mr. William O’Neill, a well known, highly-respected, and popular grazier, who had been a resident of the district since his birth, which occurred there 64 years ago. Mr. O’Neill was of a quiet, unassuming, but jovial disposition, with friends everywhere and of all classes, and these he delighted at odd times, by display of his musical gifts, which were many. Deceased leaves a widow, a son, and three daughters to mourn a loss which will be widely deplored, and among other relatives Mrs. Feneley, of the Metropolitan Hotel, West Maitland, and Mrs. John Moylan, of Gundy, were nieces of Mr. O’Neill.

Catherine O’Neill lived on until 1921, dying aged 80. This article was found by Merise Feneley must have appeared just before her death. Merise believes that the Miss McNamara referred to was Catherines’s sister Ellen, though we believe that Ellen was one or two years younger:

The McMahon family, Mount Rivers, are also at present none too good from a health point of view. Theirs was always, since the district was first settled by whites, a great priest’s house – and also for all who needed a meal and a bed for the night. [But] the old hands, Miss McNamara, [almost] 80 years old, and Mrs O’Neill, [a few] years younger, survive still.

03. Margaret O’Neill married Alfred Charles Arthur at Paterson in 1890. A description of the event appeared in The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser, Sat 08 Nov 1890; from various newspaper articles it appears he was known as Charles:


October is seldom cool or wet, and the last day of that month was as warm and sunshiny as any summer lover or pleasure seeker need wish. On it the good folk of Lostock held their annual school picnic, with games for old and young. Many and varied edibles, and an unlimited supply of “the cup which cheers, but not inebriates.” The repast was appropriately served in the G. T. Lodge, and the spot chosen for the more active amusements, was, as usual, the grassy slope in front of the church gate. For the children, their name was legion and their conduct excellent. Guests came from many miles round, up the river and down, and across country, as Tea-tree, which supplied a good contingent. A dance took place in the evening, in the G. T. Lodge in aid of a small debt which it owes, and several couples had a rehearsal on the greensward, during the afternoon, figuring to the lively notes of a fiddle, with much apparent satisfaction.

The continued lack of rain is causing great concern, especially among the farmers, who have been greatly victimized this year by the weather; first   for months it was too wet to plough, and now it is too dry to sow, only the weeds grow a pace, particularly dock. Bush fires are commencing, but not much damage has been done as yet, the grass is rapidly becoming hay, and then they will have a fair field indeed.

Matrimonial.- Mr. Charles Arthur second son of Mrs. Arthur of the Myall, was this morning at the residence of the bride’s uncle Mr. F. McNamara, Mount Rivers, joined in the Holy bonds with Miss Maggie O’Neil, eldest daughter of Mrs. W. O’Neil also of Mount Rivers. In the afternoon Mr. and Mrs. Arthur left on their wedding trip.

The road men are still working away, and the roads on the whole are at present in very fair order. The crossings too, on account of the river being at present so low and also through some of them having been improved, are easily fordable.

Lostock, Nov. 6, 1890.

Margaret and Alfred had 5 children:

01. Mary Clarice (b. 1891 in Paterson record 28541, d. 1977 record 107169)

02. Charles Gladstone (b. 1892 in Paterson record 28977, d. 1974 record 81965)

03. Elizabeth Bernice (b. 1895 in Singleton 36809, d. 1966 in Maitland record 14488)

04. William Q (b. 1898 in Paterson 6201, d. 1931 in Randwick record 7405)

05. James Athol (b. 1900 in Singleton record 26442, d. 1984 record 101039, first names reversed)

06. Nita C or Neita C (b. 1902 in Singleton record 7194, d. 1902 in Singleton record 7008)

The birth records of James and Nita show Mary C as their mother; Charles Gladstone Arthur’s death record confirms his mother to be Mary Cecilia Arthur.

Margaret died on 05 Dec 1902, possibly from complications related to Nita’s birth. Her death was announced in The Maitland Daily Mercury on Mon 15 Dec 1902:

ARTHUR. – Died on the 5th of December, 1902, at her parents’ residence, Mount Rivers, Lostock, Mrs. A. C. Arthur, in her 32nd year.

Deeply regretted.

At one stage it appears that Charles was a builder; from The Maitland Daily Mercury on Mon 10 Sep 1917:

Strathisla Public School [Lostock. Ed]

Mr. Walter Bennett, M.L.A., has received word from the Department of Education that the Minister of Public Education has accepted the tender of Mr. A. C. Arthur, of Mt. Rivers, for the erection of a new school at Strathisla.

Later he moved to Raymond Terrace and opened a service station. He passed away on 07 Jul 1940; from the Raymond Terrace Examiner and Lower Hunter and Port Stephens Advertiser on Thu 11 Jul 1940:


The death occurred of Mr. A C (Charles) Arthur at his sister’s residence East Maitland, on Sunday last. Further reference will be made.

Then on Thu 18 Jul 1940:

MR A C (Charles) ARTHUR

As mentioned in our last issue, the death of Mr. Charles Arthur occurred at the residence of his sister, Mrs. Campbell West Maitland on Sunday last, July 7th. He had been in indifferent health for some time, and his ultimate recovery was regarded as hopeless. He was a resident of Raymond Terrace for several years; and up to a year or so ago conducted the filling station, which he opened, on the corner of Pacific Highway and William Street. Selling that business to Mr. R. Ingham, he soon after went to reside at Maitland with his sister. He was aged 71 years, and was born at Myall Creek, Glendon Brook, in the Singleton district, which property belonged to his father. He was well known in the Gresford district, where he spent some of the earlier years of his life. He leaves two sons, Messrs. Carl, of Newcastle, and Athol, of Raymond Terrace. One son predeceased him. His daughters are Mrs. Mortensen, Mt. Rivers, and Miss Bernice Arthur, West Maitland. Mrs. Campbell, of West Maitland is a sisler and Mr. J. Arthur, of Queensland, is a brother. The funeral on Monday proceeded to the West Maitland cemeteiy and was attended by many sympathising friends as well as relatives, the Rev. Father Withnell officiating. Deceased was a cheerful companion and much respected by his friends.

Charles transferred the service station business to his sons C. J. and A. J. Arthur (the Raymond Terrace Examiner and Lower Hunter and Port Stephens Advertiser, Thu 2 Jul 1936). During the 30s he had tried unsuccessfully to be elected on to the local council (Thu 06 Dec 1934). In an earlier defeat he had this to say (Thu 10 Dec 1931):

Mr. A. C. Arthur said these were moments when you wanted –

A voice : ‘Minties’,

Mr. Arthur – No, something stronger. (Laughter). He thought he would get more votes from the number of people who urged him to come and promised to vote for him. He expected more; He hoped those elected would do their best in the interests of the town. There was a lot that was necessary to do for the town and a lot they could do. They should encourage the people to come here and spend their money. If they came here they would do so. They should make improvements on the river bank parks for the people by having sheds for them to dance in and more shelter for them also. Nothing was done for the town. If you wanted to get water away you had to turn it away yourself. He had to run some away that morning. He would borrow money to make the town go. He again thanked those who voted for him. (Cheers).

01. Mary Clarice Arthur married Frederick Mortensen at West Maitland in 1921.

02. Charles Gladstone Arthur married Lena M Hancock at Paterson in 1926.

We do not know much about Margaret and Alfred’s family, so if anyone has any information we would be delighted to hear from you (email mick@oneillfamily.id.au, or phone 02 4787 5725).

%d bloggers like this: