This is the story of Mary Gorey, a daughter of my great-great grandparents James and Elizabeth Gorey and sister of my great grandfather Edward Gorey. The story is taken from a book published by Dr John Gorey in 1991.
Mary Gorey was born on March 5th, 1846, and according to family tradition, her life began in a tent at Templestowe. She was baptised in St Francisâ€™ Church on October 19th with the family abode then recorded as “Idle Burgh (sic), parish of Buller (Bulleen)”.
Mary married John Olive who was born “Oliff” to John and Hannah nee Gilbert in Hobart on March 18th, 1819.
John senior and Hannah arrived in Tasmania aboard the Minerva on June 7, 1818 with a detachment of the 48th Regiment from which John senior was discharged in 1820.
Both John senior and Hannah are buried in Kyneton as are their daughters Mary (Rodgers) and Frances; their sons John and Daniel are buried at Malmsbury, and Charles at Woodend.
Persistent family traditions concerning a land transfer to the ex-soldier on his discharge and his preference for a bottle of rum in exchange cannot be verified.
However, an intriguing legal document which could have bearing on this matter affects John Olive junior who, as “John Olive the younger” was listed with three others as part owner of what is now a valuable property in Macquarie Street, Hobart.
This was said to have been transferred to fifth person in 1833 for a total of Â£1, and then allegedly transferred to a sixth person in payment of a debt. It is significant that in 1845 when a claim was made, and granted, for ratification of this alleged transaction the only party still in Tasmania was the sixth mentioned above.
The Olive property which became Maryâ€™s home was diagonally opposite the Gorey property on the Mt Alexander Rd (now Calder Highway). It was purchased on January 17, 1855 by John Olive, and appears to have been run originally by him in partnership with his brother Robert.
The stone kitchen, dairy and cellar of their original home are still standing (1991) beside the later house which was occupied by their son Ernest until his death in 1942.
A stained glass window was installed in St Maryâ€™s Church, Kyneton, in memory of Ernest, by his widow, Frances Margaret (nee Brady).
A few months prior to the birth of Hugh Leonard, the youngest of their 10 children, John died on February 7, 1881. Mary took her family to Warrion, via Colac, to engage in onion growing, being listed in that district by the Victorian Directory between 1888 and 1898, meanwhile retaining the Malmsbury property to which the family later returned.
Mary died aged 69 years on June 14, 1914, and in accord with religious differences, was buried with her parents in the Kyneton Cemetery instead of Malmsbury with her late husband.
An interesting historical coincidence links the baptisms of Mary and John. Mary, although born during the ministry of Fr Geoghegan, Melbourneâ€™s first Catholic Priest, was baptised in St Francisâ€™ Church by Fr John Joseph Therry who had the distinction of being – with Fr Connolly – one of the two priests who arrived together in Sydney in 1820 as the first authorised by both Church and State to preach and practise the Catholic religion in Australia.
John was baptised April 4, 1819 by the Rev. Robert Knopwood who was not only the first Anglican Minister and Chaplain in Tasmania. but also, as Chaplain to the abortive settlement by Lieut. David Collins at Sorrento, conducted in 1803 the first religious service in what, 32 years later, was to become the Port Phillip settlement, and, 48 years later, the State of Victoria.