Thursday, April 16, 2009

John Moloney - notes from Tom Element

A fellow descendant of John Moloney, Tom Element, has started to wade into some old boxes containing his family history work from about 40 years ago. Within are notes and transcripts Tom made of John Moloney, and these are posted here, with comments in bold afterwards.

Monday 20th

Dear Grandfather,

Just a line to ask you did Maggie arrive safely. How are all down there We, up here are all "bosker". Maggie said that you were coming up at Christmas I hope you are Did you get the two pairs of socks I sent you down by Maggie.

How do you like them. We have a typewryter at the school and I can write on it splendidly It is a Remington exactly like Jack‚s We go out shooting nearly every saturday and take our 'tucker'.

Jack is a very good and can hit almost anything. But the rabbits are scarce and we get one or two instead of fourteen or fifteen. the trappers are very busy sending away thousands of pairs every week, and skins have risen 300% in a fortnight. Bungendore gets all the rabbits from here, but a freezing works is being started and in future we shall have all the rabbits Foxes are very plentiful and often enter peoples back yards at night, kill a few turkeys and make off. Dozens are shot every week and the owner of the tannery sends away as many bales as the waggons can carry.

This is all the news this time so I must conclude. I remain
Your Affectionate Grandchild

This letter was written by my great-grandfather, Norman HALL (1896-1972). What I can say is that if Norman Hall wrote the letter from Braidwood, it was between 1900 and 1911 when his father Alfred Ernest HALL was a teacher there. As such, Norman would be aged between 4 and 15 when writing this letter. The ‘Maggie’ refers to Alfred HALL's sister-in-law, Margaret MOLONEY. She probably wasn’t running up to Braidwood and back once she married, so the letter was probably written just prior to 1907 (Norman would have been about 12 or 13). The letter gives an interesting insight into life at time, though it is not clear who 'Jack' is.


l08 Pitt St
June 13/99.

Mr. John Maloney.
Bowling Alley Point.
near Tamworth.

Dear Sir

Would you be good enough to let me know by return post the amount of money you paid the Borough Council of Drummoyne as well as the name of the alderman you paid it to re Mr. W. A. Coleman's matter.

It is necessary that I should obtain the information with as little delay as possible.

Your kind attention will oblige.

Yours respectfully.
Mr. N.G. Palmer
late council clerk
Borough of Drummoyne.

The work of Chris MOLONEY has shown that John MOLONEY (1841-1912) was teaching at Bowling Alley Point, NSW (near Nundle about 400 km north of Sydney) for a period. The MOLONEY family must have been there a while – a note I have from Chris MOLONEY indicates that John Moloney moved to the school there in 1894. In 1898 William Joseph Moloney was born to John's son William Moloney (1872-1916) and Catherine LINDSAY (1877-1948) and the child was registered in Nundle, which captures Bowling Alley Point. She left William shortly thereafter. These dates indicate that the Moloney family were there at least 5 years.

Regarding this letter, Norman Hall wrote that William COLEMAN was caught “with his hand in the peter” (see for example William Coleman married John's daughter Ellen Moloney and had a child in Redfern in 1892. The next child found was in Western Australia in 1899 (the last in WA in 1905). This corresponds well with the letter above relating to payment for Drummoyne Council. The confusion may be that Norman Hall assumed the infraction occurred at Botany council based on stories.

I made contact with a Coleman descendent, Lawrence Cook, who sent me a picture of William Allen COLEMAN in the history of Botany Council (which confirms Botany Council certainly had no ill feelings), and he had no knowledge of such scandal.


So perhaps William Coleman was involved with Drummoyne Council following Botany Council, and this is where the infraction occurred. A very useful letter, as it confirms the family living at Bowling Point Alley in 1899 and suggests John MOLONEY took on some of the financial responsibility for the 'Coleman matter'.

Presentations & Plaques:

Writing desk presented by North Botany Incorporation Committee
February 1888
J Coward - Chairman

Then 2 notations:
* Related to Irish Nobility, being 1st Cousin of the Earl of Emly (Peerage now vacant) [See Burkes Peerage or Debretts Baronage Knighthood etc] (That may have come from Norman Hall?)
* Lived last 2 yrs with Margaret Teresa (Tom Element's Grandmother)

'J Coward' is shown in the photo above as the first Mayor of Botany.

Norman Hall wrote in his letters that "My earliest recollections are of my mother's parents, JOHN & ELLEN MOLONEY. They were both of Irish stock, JOHN MOLONEY being related to the Irish nobility, being a first cousin of the Earl of Emly (a peerage which is now vacant). See Burke's Peerage or Debrett's Baronage, Knighthood etc. Both volumes available at the Public Library. JOHFont sizeN MOLONEY & his BRIDE, were, I believe, both born in Limerick, at a place known as 'Tower Hill'." As of yet, the family connection has not been uncovered, but this is still an active area of investigation.

When John's wife Ellen Meyrick died (1842-1909) John moved in with his daughter Margaret Teresa MCCARTHY for the last two years of his life.

Family Story – John Maloney
The house occupied by John Maloney and family when he was headmaster of Gardeners Rd school was reputed to be haunted. Frequently the noise of dragging & rattling chains were heard about the house & garden, the blinds used to go up & down of their own accord & sounds of crying & murmuring were constantly heard. John Maloney each night would bless each room with Holy Water & beseech “In the Name of God, speak!” but no answer was forthcoming. When Maloney & family finally moved out the new tenants moved in, but within an hour were out again & spent the night in the street, never to go into that place again. No new tenants could be coaxed to live in the house, which was finally demolished to make way for the present school. The remains of several convicts were found buried under the house to lend weight to the story.

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