John Fitzsimons and his wife Mary (nee O'Doherty), arrived in Port Phillip (Melbourne) on 15-Jan-1841. There is no knowledge of their first few years in the Colony and they eventually settled at the village of Warringal (Heidelberg). In 1860, they moved to neighbouring Templestowe, purchasing 218 acres on what is now bordered by the Yarra River in the north, Fitzsimons Lane to the west and Porter street to the south.
They were originally from Co. Meath in Ireland, though the exact town remains a mystery. The only clue (maybe) is that they named their property "Summerhill". Early settlers quite often named their places after the area or town they had come from. There is one Town in Co. Meath named Summerhill, surrounded by 3 townlands that bear the name. In the far north of the county, there are another 2 townlands that are called Summerhill.
So far, searches concentrating on the town of Summerhill and the surrounding area has not been conclusive, as there are several Fitzsimons families and John is a common name amongst them.
Hopefully a family member may have in their possession, some form of document or letter that states what part of Co. Meath they were from. There may even be a story that has been passed down orally by a branch of the family that may help.
I would like to hear from all family members who are interested, have anything to add, or correct any mistakes. If this story ever gets to print, all contributors will be acknowledged.
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