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The Gaffey Family of Gaffey's Flat N.S.W

Updated June 29, 2008

About Our Family Research


I'm Mark Norman Ernest Gaffey.
I was born at St.Margarets in Darlinghurst, Sydney Australia, in 1969.

When I started into this in the early 1990's I knew very little about our family history. Most of it had been lost through the years and the loss of those that could tell me about it first hand.

My Father didn't know much even about his own Parents as he lost his Mother Ellen and sisters Joyce and Elva to influenza when he was very young. His Father Ernest was unable to support him during the great depression.
Ernest had served with both the 53rd Battallion of the A.I.F in Belgium and France, and the 45th Royal Fusiliers, North Russian Relief Forces. Both had refused a pension stating that it was the responsibility of the other.
My Father knew none of this history. In 1932 Ernest left him at an orphanage called Dalmar in Eastwood N.S.W, the same day they had been to the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. He was 7 at the time, and that was the last time he was hugged by anyone for 7 years.

I spent a lot of hours at the State Archives reading room in the Rocks in Sydney where I researched family names and the method of passage from Nothern Ireland via Wolverhampton in England to Australia.
Patrick and Ann Gaffey travelled via the ship Glen Isla and were registered as free settlers. Their occupations were Shepard and house servant.
Patrick later paid for the passage of his brothers James, Daniel, Bernard and William they travelled on a different ship the Fitzjames I think it was.
(I know very little about the brothers or their families)
He had also arranged for his parents Daniel and Mary to come to Australia, but his mother Mary died before they were able to set sail. Daniel his Father, and his sister decided to stay in England. I don't have any record of that Daniels parents or his death.

I went to Bundarra and found the family graves. I stood next to the grave of Patrick James Gaffey, who had reportedly cut his own throat and said, show me where the property was.
I had been told by the oldest man in Bundarra that they had lived somewhere out off the Baraba road.
I followed that road and stopped when I had a feeling that was where I should turn off the road. There had been a road or track there but it was overgrown and gated.
I continued on to Baraba not having a clue where I was going. When I got to Baraba I went into the visitors information centre and asked how I would go about finding out where a property was. The lady behind the counter produced a box of old parish maps and said that they had been found under someones house that week and that if I could find my family name on one of them I could keep it. I did find Patrick Gaffey's name on that map and found out later that where I had stopped was exactly where they used to gain access to the property.

The origional 100 acres selected by Patrick Gaffey in 1871 is still known as Gaffey's flat to this day. The family had owned close to 1000 acres up until 1921, but no-one could tell me where it was. Even though three generations of Gaffey's had lived there for 50 years, there was no-one left alive that had ever lived there by the time I was doing my research.
Patrick's brothers all lived there and next door and I havn't yet found out anything much about them or their families.
Both James and William had owned land in the area and Bernard owned extensive properties in tne Northern areas of Sydney.
James had a large family including Thomas and James Daniel Harold. It seems Thomas had a son Thomas Reginald. If that is the same person I think it is , he drove the last tram into Earlwood in Sydney and lived in Woolcott Street Earlwood and attended the Earlwood lawn bowls club just near his house until his death. I only knew him through coinsidences and did not know if we were related and am still not sure.

I do have a picture that has Patrick James Gaffey in it and I suspect other Gaffey's also, along with a mob of others I have no

 
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