Sunday, November 15, 2009

John MOLONEY (1841 - 1912)

Tom Element was searching his files and came across a photo he hadn't noticed, titled 'John Moloney'. At last! It has always confused me that a man so involved in local politics, as well as being a school headmaster, had not left any photos for us to uncover. John had a son also named John, however comparison with photos of younger John confirms this must indeed be John Moloney, born Dromalty Limerick in 1941 and died in Redfern NSW 1912.

It is interesting to compare the photo, probaby taken around 1881 when John was forty, with descriptions from his grandson Norman Hall's letters:

"I will start with GRANDFATHER MOLONEY - your great grandfather Jack. His name: JOHN MOLONEY, born (I believe) in County Limerick ERIN..... JOHN MOLONEY was a fine figure of a man - I describe him as 'every inch an earl'. He was not, in fact, of the Peerage, but one of the family was the Earl of Emly - a now 'deceased' peerage. Copies of BURKE's or DEBRETT's Peerage (in any decent library) could clear that up. JOHN MOLONEY emigrated to Australia about the date shown in the rough family 'tree'. He stood about 6ft. 6in. in height, was built in proportion and was said to be the biggest man in Sydney (in his day). All his Australian life (except the last few weeks) was spent at his home in 110 Pitt St Redfern, where his family was born (see 'TREE')...... He dressed in TOP HAT, long frock coat a heavy gold watch and chain, and in fact all the paraphenalia of the Gentlemen of the day. A most striking character indeed."

It reads as though Norman Hall had a copy of this very photo!

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