The McCabes of Maghernaharny
John McCabe and Bridget Farley emigrated to Australia in the early 1880′s. The family lived in Sydney until the Western Australian gold rush of the 1890′s. When Bridget moved with some of her children to Boulder City near Kalgoorlie, her husband John decided to return to Ireland. This part of the family history covers the lifetimes of John and Bridget.
Maghernaharny is one of the 62 townlands in the civil parish of Ioma Fhastraí (Ematris), barony of Dartraí (Dartree), county of Muineachán (Monaghan). Rockcorry is the local hub for Maghernaharny and other nearby is hometowns. It is on the road which links Cootehill to Monaghan town. The village was built as a linen town; the ruin of the old linen mill can still be found outside the village.
John McCabe’s father, Frank, and grandfather, Patrick, before him had leased a farm in Maghernaharney from the Dawson family for years and although we would call them ‘dirt poor’ they managed to survive the famines and eke out a living, probably growing and processing flax as a cash crop and then some subsistence farming.
The Dawson family looked after their tenants – even the Catholics – considerably better than other English landlords in Ireland. Rockcorry was a busy market town with good facilities.
Bridget Farley was from neighbouring County Cavan. She married John McCabe on November 28, 1862. Bridget was 22 years old and John was 26. They had seven children in 21 years. James, Mary,Catherine, Rose, Patrick, Sarah and John were all born in Ireland; Maggie was born in Australia.
While life was tough, the children were literate and numerate, and spoke English as a first language (John and Bridget probably also spoke Gaelic) so they had reasonable basic education during their early years.
But in 1876 their life was turned around. Following the death of Thomas Dawson, their landlord, the McCabe farm and many other properties in the area were auctioned off. The McCabes had no money to buy their property and were left without income or means of making a living.
Ireland in the 1870’s and 80’s was not a pleasant place for destitute Catholics. Emigration was a huge industry . Bridget was a strong and determined woman and she set out to make sure that her children had a future.
St Mary’s RC Church, Maghernaharny Corravacan
The Whole Story
A family life in rural Ireland
How the loss of the family farm threatened to destroy a family
James McCabe 20 Albert Street Redfern March 9 1883 Paid Deposit for family. Didn’t pay for Mary so she was either planning to go to America or had already gone by March 1883. Said John was 34 a labourer, Bridget 33, Patrick 10, Sarah 7, John 5 Rose 12. Certificate...
Go West and Find Your Fortune John McCabe returns to Ireland and Bridget starts a new life in Boulder.
The final separation as John McCabe returns to Ireland and Bridget with most of the children start a new life in the Western Australian goldfields.
d. 19 Sep 1908 at Boulder City WA Australia Bridget's Children: James McCabe (1863), Mary McCabe (1866), Katherine McCabe (1869), Rose Anne McCabe (1871), Patrick Joseph McCabe (1874), Sarah Agnes McCabe (1876), John (Jack) McCabe (1878), Maggie McCabe (1884)...