Saturday, 17 November 2012

Tarraville and more Kelly questions

After my post Yarram continued about finding that the much loved Nurse Bessie Lawler of Yarram was witness to the marriage of my great grandmother Mary Agnes Morgan and also to the marriage of Mary's first cousin Alice Frances Kelly (daughter of John Kelly), I have been trying to find more information about that part of John Kelly's life.  
I've found a few news articles in some of the digitised Gippsland newspapers in Trove, which mention a John Kelly but there were a couple of John Kelly's living in the area at that time.

It was wonderful to receive an email from Gwen O'Callaghan who was a compiler of the book  "Clonmel to Federation: a Guide to People in the Port Albert area 1841-1901"  She gave me some further information and I was able to borrow the book through my local library.

Information from the book about one John Kelly below match some of my findings to date although my John Kelly was born in Ireland not Tarraville and the "possible daughter" Bridget LYNCH was actually the daughter of another John and Mary Kelly nee MURNANE.


Born Tarraville. [AVR]
Married 1869 Mary Ann FRANCIS (c1848-1888) (qv); John 1869-1888 Alberton-Melbourne. [DPI]
Possibly daughter Bridget LYNCH, born c1877, daughter of John and Mary KELLY, died 1965 Yarram, aged 86. [DDI] Catholic, of Yarram; buried Yarram. [YNC]
Tanner; owned 4-room wooden house on six acres, Tarra Road. [RB1875]
Signed petition to William HAIR to stand for Alberton Shire Council. [GS, 26 Jul 1883]
Tanner, Alberton East and Myrtle Point. [M1884]
J KELLY, member of jury at inquest into death of Jacob SNOWDEN (qv). [GS, 16 Oct 1884]
John KELLY, formerly of Tarraville, whose wife died at North Melbourne after a long illness. [GS, 18 Aug 1888]

From the same book held by Gippsland Regional Maritime Museumother John Kellys who were living in the area were:

Salaried schoolmaster, Tarraville, employed by Denominational Board 
[Electoral Roll in GG, 9 May 1856]*

Born Ireland [DPI]*
Died 1860, aged 29 , buried Greenmount Cemetery [GSC]*

At Alberton Police Court, Jno KELLY and Daniel BOURKE charged with robbery from Michael HOGAN in a hut at Welshpool [GS, 7 Aug 1889]* report of trial at Alberton Police Court [GS, 10 Aug 1889]* report of trial of General Sessions, Palmerston [GS, 12 Oct 1889]* [YC, 11 Oct 1889]*

Forfeited 213 acres, Stradbroke [GS, 13 Oct 1886]*
Paid £30 by Alberton Shire Council for roadwork 1892 [SGC,13 Jan 1893]*
Government mail contracts [SGC,15 Oct 1895]*
North Riding [Rate book, 1901, list in G1901]*
Probably John James KELLY, born c1856, son of John James and Margaret (GILL) KELLY; died 1934 Yarram, aged 78 [DDI]*
Methodist, of Won Wron; buried Yarram [YNC]*

My John Kelly was a tanner.  He died at the Yackandandah tannery in 1905.

A very kind "anonymous" who commented on my Yarram posts tells me that the Tarraville Tannery was known as Tarra Bank. I had found and posted a news article which was a letter to the editor written by a John Kelly from Tarra Bank about his wife giving birth to a son in 1869.  

In another newspaper article a John Kelly was declared insolvent in 1878 but he was from Wurruk Wurruk, 
I think that may be a bit  too far away even though he was named as a tanner and beamsman.  
Reasons given were lack of employment, death of a son, illness of wife and all that could fit my John Kelly.
I must try to find if further information on insolvencies is available.

A definition of that occupation from the "Old Occupations" site is - 
Tanner's BeamsmanDraped part-cured skins over a Tanners Beam, a flat slab of wood or stone, to scrape off the remaining flesh, fat and hair

By 1888 the Kelly's were living at 73 Melrose Street, North Melbourne.  John's wife, Mary Ann, died there on the 16th of August 1888 of a lumbar abscess and debility which she had for 4 months. 
Death certificate of Mary Ann Kelly nee Francis 1888

Did they move to Melbourne because of her health or because of the insolvency or perhaps both?  John's sister, my great great grandmother Alice Morgan, had the Cross Keys Hotel in Pascoe Vale Road, Essendon.  Maybe they moved to be nearer her and medical care both.

Very sadly their 17 year old daughter Mary also died in a tragic accident in 1888.
That will be another story.

* [sources in book]
AVR = Australian Vital Records Index 1788-1905; Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 1997
DPI = Digger Pioneer Index
G1901 = "Glimpses of Yarram Yarram and District in the year of Federation 1901" Yarram and District Historical Society Inc
GG = "Gippsland Guardian" Port Albert. Microfilm 1855-1866
GS = "Gippsland Standard", 1882-1898; microfilm Port Albert Maritime Museum [PAMM]

GSC = "Greenmount Station and Cemetery"; Greenmount Catholic Cemetery Trust, 1994
M1884 = Middleton and Manings Gippsland Directory, 1884-5

SGC = "South Gippsland Chronicle and Yarram and Alberton Advertiser" 1893-1898, microfilms, Yarram Genealogical Group Inc.
YC = "The Yarram Chronicle and South Gippsland Adviser" 1888-1892; microfilms, Yarram Genealogical Group Inc.
YNC = Yarram New Cemetery Registers and Inscriptions; transcribed and indexed by Yarram Genealogical Group Inc. MacBeth Genealogical Books, 1996


  1. Truly amazing research Kerryn... I'm loving reading about your John Kelly, and family, and know how difficult it is when so many, in the same area, share the same name and often the same occupation. Thanks so much for sharing.

  2. Thanks for your encouraging comments Catherine. For some reason I feel really close to the Kelly and Morgan families.