Gorey Family History

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James and Elizabeth Gorey

The story of James and Elizabeth Gorey, Victorian pioneers:

James Gorey and Elizabeth (Betty) Hanlon were born in County Kilkenny Ireland, near Jerpoint Church.

Records from Ireland indicate that James was baptised in Thomastown on 23 January 1814. His parents were Thomas and Mary. James' recorded siblings were Mary (born) 1802, John 1811, Michael 1818 and Hannah 1821.

Jerpoint Abbey is a historic site and there's a smaller church, which has been uncovered nearby, where the remains of St Nicholas are rumoured to have been buried.

James and Betty were married on 11 February 1841 at Thomastown.

They arrived in Melbourne aboard the barque Middlesex on 1 October 1841.

The various records indicating the birthplaces of James and Elizabeth’s children after Michael have usually shown Heidelberg, and thus indicate that the family lived in the area for at least 14 years.

It is now appreciated that those early references to Heidelberg included the adjoining areas of Bulleen and Templestowe for which Heidelberg was the closest village, and in keeping with this there is the family tradition of Mary’s birth at Templestowe, and William’s birth registered as being at Bulleen.

Further information now supports Bulleen as the area in which James and Elizabeth settled.

The Port Phillip Directory 1847 lists "James Gorey, Agriculturist, Carlton Estate, Plenty", and the 1856 Electoral Roll for Templestowe in the Legislative Council lists "J. Gorey, farmer, leasehold, house and land, Carlton Estate, Bulleen."

The Carlton or "Carleton" Estate was a "Specia1 Survey" of 5120 acres granted in August 1841 to Mr F.W. Unwin for £l per acre, and included the present day suburbs of Bulleen, Templestowe and Doncaster with the Yarra River extending along the western and part of the northern boundaries.

The deed to the estate was later surrendered to the crown, and an amended deed dated February 7, 1846 issued to James Atkinson.

A "memorial no. 189 dated March 1851 documents the lease of farm no. 24, subdivision of Carlton Estate to "John" Gorey (rates were paid by James Gorey however). The farm area was 97 acres and 32 perches with frontage to the Yarra River, and extended over the present day site of the Brickworks in Bulleen.

James’ lease was for seven years with rent £40 per annum, and James last paid rates on the property in 1857 at which time he had 7 acres of pasture and the balance under cultivation. The Estate was subdivided for sale in 1858.

Although records of the original land sales in the Heidelberg, Templestowe and Doncaster areas during the 1850s contain no mention of James, recent information reveals that he was a subsequently owner of two blocks of land in the Warringal Village area now known as Heidelberg.

"Memorial M442" dated March 12th, 1851 records the purchase of a half acre allotment (no. 7 of section VII) on Banksia Street by James from Hugh Flannery and his wife Judith for the sum of £100 (at that price, probably a house was included).

The disposal of this property and houses is revealed in "Memorial X639" dated March 6th, 1853 when James sold it to Jane Patterson for £300.

"Memorial N341" dated August 19th, 1851 records the succession of ownership of a half-acre allotment (no. 9 of section I) at the east end of Yarra Street, firstly from John Lowe to William Perry for £7, then from Perry to James Gorey for £26.

In "Memorial 1-868" dated September 23rd, 1853, James sold this property to George Hearne for £l00.

In March 1841, the population of the Port Phillip district was 16,671 (11,254 male/5,417 female), and the population of Melbourne only 4479.

When James, Elizabeth and infant Michael arrived in Melbourne in October 1841, barely six years had passed since the founding settlement had taken place on the north bank of the Yarra River. In March 1851, the population of Victoria was 77,345 and with the discovery of gold, it rose rapidly to 236,345 by April 1854, and 540,322 by April 1861.

The early l850s were years of high inflation in Melbourne; good money was to be made from market gardening which flourished in the Heidelberg area, and it was probably by this endeavour that James was later able to make his £1200 purchase of land.

James purchased block no.228 amounting to some 71 acres at the Kyneton/Malmsbury land sale in April 1855.

The family however must have retained interests in the Heidelberg area till 1857 when young William died and was buried there.

A reference to the sale of the above land reveals that James originally paid £17 an acre.

The same reference records the building of a bridge over the Campaspe River in 1855 by local farmers at their own expense. The refurbished, wooden bridge still stands down Wards Lane (previously Degrave’s Mill Lane), and marks the southeast comer of what was James’ property. The Victoria PO Directory of 1868 lists E. D., J. & M. Gorey, farmers, Malmsbury.

The Malmsbury Borough Dog Registration Book inscribed "Pursuant to the Dog Act 1864" shows James registered a dog yearly between 1864 and 1868, and that in 1864 it was described as a "female brown, kangaroo dog". A "female, black and white mongrel" was registered by James Gorey in 1875 and 1876, although by then it may have been James junior who paid the fee of 2 shillings and six pence.

In 1868, James was appointed to the school committee for the Campaspe district.

In about 1876, the Malmsbury property was sold to Mr Joseph Ward in whose family it has remained since. James and Elizabeth appear to have later lived at Redesdale where Elizabeth died on May 27, 1880. Her death certificate records "gradual failure of vital organs for 14 months" as the cause.

An unsubmitted document proposing to transfer land from James to his son James, being completed apart from James’ mark and a date, contains some interesting information. James’ land of 7 acres near Redesdale in the parish of Edgecombe was held by license dated 1870.

James had resided there "for three years, but now resident at Redesdale" he had cultivated "the whole of it with cereal crops" and it was "all enclosed - post and rail fence".

There was a "weatherboard house and outhouses now occupied by John Ryan" on the land and his reason for transferring was "I am living with my married daughter (Bridget) at Redesdale being too old to work".

It appears that James left Malmsbury in 1875. According to reports from the Advocate newspaper, he was president of the Hibernian Australasian Catholic Benefit Society's Kyneton branch. The newspaper reported his resignation on 11 September 1875.

"Every member of the branch much regretted losing the valuable services of Bro. Gorey as the principal officer of the branch and wished him prosperity in his undertaking."
James died at Redesdale on March 6, 1883. James and Elizabeth are buried alongside their daughter Mary in the Kyneton Cemetery.

Their grave at plot K-14-3 was unmarked until a headstone was commissioned by collaborative family effort in 1998.

Owner of originalMichael Gorey
Linked toJames Gorey; Elizabeth Hanlon

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