James, Elizabeth, James, Ellen, John McCULLAGH

James McCullagh                  1842-1893

Elizabeth McCullagh            1847-1916

John McCullagh                     1870-1896

James McCullagh                  1878-1879

Ellen McCullagh                    1880-1887

James McCullagh was born at Annaghmore, Ardboe Parish, Co Tyrone.  His parents were John McCullagh and Anne Mallon.  James married Eliza Quinn on 7th January, 1865 in Mooretown, Coagh, Co Tyrone.  Eliza was possibly the daughter of James Quinn and Mary Mulvanagh.  James, Eliza and their infant daughter, Elizabeth, left Liverpool on 25th May 1867 on the ‘White Star’.  They arrived in Melbourne on  22nd August, 1867 on an unassisted passage.

James and Eliza settled on 17 acres of land at Bacchus Marsh.  Their land was on the north side of the Melbourne/Ballarat Road, east of Anthony’s Cutting and west of the Djerriwarrh Creek.  They built a tiny house close to the road near a stand of eucalypt trees.  The house was of timber construction with an iron roof.  It had four rooms, front and back doors which opened on to a passage through the house.  This passage was essential for cooling the house during the hot Australian summers.  A small verandah was built on the front and a dome-covered underground tank serviced the home.  According to the Shire valuation of 1887, James paid five pounds in rates for his 17 acres.  Bill Griffith provided the following snippets of information about Eliza:

  • Eliza lost her husband when he was 50 (reputedly from excessive drinking)
  • Billy Connell, a neighbour, lived with the McCullagh family after his mother died (Billy Connell was William Connell, son of John Connell and Mary Allen.  Mary Connell died as a result of childbirth in 1896, as did William’s twin, Francis)
  • Eliza was a hard worker.  She milked six cows a day and carried milk in four gallon buckets (two at a time) to the top of Anthony’s Cutting every day so that Matt Finnin could take the milk into the factory at Bacchus Marsh for her
  • Eliza carried hay from Shea’s property on her back by using a long stick placed across her shoulders to balance the load
  • In later life, Eliza had difficulty walking and Billy Connell would put her on his back and carry her to the milking shed so she could milk her cows
  • Eliza died on  23rd August, 1916 whilst sitting in a chair on her front verandah

James and Eliza had nine children:

  • Elizabeth McCullagh born 1866 in Annaghmore, Co Tyrone who married Giovanni Lorenzi and had eight children
  • Mary McCullagh born 1868 in Bacchus Marsh who married Stephen Shea, son of Timothy Shea and Catherine Phelan. They had three children, Timothy, Mary and James.  Tim married Jenny Vallence.  They adopted two children William and Kathleen who were orphaned when their Deveny parents died.  William married Lynette Love and Kathleen married Guinness Connell.  Children and grandchildren of William and Kathleen still reside in Bacchus Marsh
  • John McCullagh born 1870.  John was living at Kalgoorlie during the gold rush era and died of malaria at Menzies, WA at the age of 26.  John is included on the family headstone at Hopetoun Cemetery but he may not be buried there
  • Ann McCullagh born 1872 married John Mills in 1892 in Sydney and died one year later age 20
  • Sarah McCullagh born 1874 married Eugene Joseph Cantwell in 1900 in Bacchus Marsh. Eugene was born in 1874 in Ballan, the grandson of Phillip Cantwell and Mary Egan. Eugene enlisted in AIF in 1917, twelve months after his brother Patrick enlisted. Patrick was killed in action in Belgium in October, 1917. His name is listed on the Menin Gate Memorial. Sarah and Eugene moved to Dumbleyung, WA soon after their marriage. They had seven children.
  • Catherine McCullagh born 1876 married Matthew Finnin and had three children – Ellen, Catherine and Matthew.  Matthew Finnin married Mary Hogan, daughter of William Dodemaide Hogan and Catherine McGrath. Their first child, a boy, lived only ten hours.  Bernice born 1944 [still living in Bacchus Marsh] married Peter Clarke and had two sons – Hamish, who married Ashley Hammond in Savannah, USA, and now lives in North Carolina with his family and Hamilton who lives in Bordeaux, France.  Matt and Mary’s youngest son, John was killed in a car accident when he was just two
  • James who was born in 1878 and died at eleven months of age
  • Ellen born 1881 and died when she was six
  • Jane born 1883 married Simon Peter Dickson on 15th April, 1903 at Bacchus Marsh. Sim was the son of Peter Dickson and Elizabeth Buckingham who was born in 1877 in Cobden, Victoria. Only five month after moving to Camperdown to a dairy farm on the estate of Mr E J Bell, in 1924, Simon died at the age of 47. Jane and her family then moved to Alvie in the Colac district and later to the township of Colac. Jane and Simon had eleven children, two of these died within twelve months of their births. Jane died on 18th June, 1937 age 54.
  • Margaret McCullagh  born 1886 married Francis Griffin and had two children. The marriage broke up and the children were reared by family members, Margaret, a nurse, died when she was just 28 from an illness contracted at the hospital where she worked.