F is for Fermanagh

All that I had been told by my paternal grandmother Ella about the Irish connection is that her husband’s parents came from Fermanagh in Northern Ireland and he had something to do with the railways.

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I found that William Price and Margaret Anne Elliot  were married in 1859 at Magheracross, Fermanagh, Ireland.  Three years later their first son, John H Price was born but he is not my John Henry Price (grandfather), for he died shortly after their arrival in Sydney on the ship “Trebolgan”.    John was 3 and Margaret pregnant with Emma (born on the voyage) when they left Garvary, Enniskillen, Fermanagh for Australia.

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Enniskillen, Fermanagh

William was 29 (or 26 according to the NSW Immigration Deposit Journals) and his wife 22 when they arrived in Sydney on the 28th June, 1865.  William’s brother Aaron was 23.  They were sponsored or funded by Mary Jane Elliot who was probably Margaret’s sister or sister-in-law.  Both men are listed as labourers but it seems that their destiny was in the railways of NSW.

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After their arrival in Sydney they had a son William (1867) and in the same year they lost their first born John. Aaron was born in 1870, Margaret Anne in 1873 (Bathurst), John Henry (my grandfather) in 1874, Elizabeth in 1877, Laura in 1878? and James 1884.

Death overshadowed the family as Aaron,the brother who emigrated with them, died in 1898. William, their eldest son, died in 1903 of rheumatic fever while he was stationmaster at WeeWaa. James died in 1904, Elizabeth died in 1907.    Finally William himself died at the age of 72 in 1908.

What a lot of sadness for Margaret Anne!  Laura died  in 1911. Her son (my grandfather), died while stationmaster at Bogan Gate in 1913.  Mary died in 1924.  Aaron died in 1927. Margaret  lived to be 88 and died in Marrickville, NSW in 1931.

I was very excited to find an obituary for Alderman Price.  At first I thought it must be some other William as the men in my family were largely a ragtag lot.  My husband’s family is full of respectable people but mine – well I will leave you to judge for yourself by the time you get to Z.

William was an Alderman of Anderson Ward, Parramatta in his later years.  Upon arrival in Australia he worked for the Sydney City Council, later joining the railways, working as Foreman at Parramatta Railway Station.  He then became Station Master at Rooty Hill.

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Old Rooty Hill Railway Station  NSW State Archives

Now this part doesn’t sound like my family at all!  “He was for some years a prominent member of the Sons of Temperance and for many years held office in several branches of the Loyal Orange Lodge.”

Well that clears up whether he was Orange or Green doesn’t it!

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14 thoughts on “F is for Fermanagh

  1. Having an alderman in the family is quite prestigious. My family, and Rob’s, were miners (as mining jobs were available in Wollongong) and a disgraced vicar.

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