Tuesday, January 12, 2010

William Moloney (1872 - 1916)

William was a son of my ancestors John MOLONEY and Ellen nee MERRICK. He was born in Sydney in 1872.

I'm not sure why he died relatively young, but he certainly had a tumultuous life. He married Kate LAFIURA (birth name Catherine Ellen Ackers LINDSAY) in 1894, had two sons before being divorced in 1900 - quite the shameful act for a Catholic family of good standing at the time. Kate took the youngest son, William Joseph MOLONEY (1898-1959), with her to Newcastle after she married Richard RUNDLE (1869-1936 and already known for their tailoring business) in 1904, and for some reason abandoned the elder son John MOLONEY (1895-?) who was brought up by other Moloney family members including my HALL family.

My great grand-father described 'Will' in a letter as follows:

"Anyhow WILL was a real dashing type - a real lady killer - a hale fellow well met - with devil a care in the world. He soon got into bad company and hit the 'grog'. His father came to his aid many times - even starting him in business as a photographer - however the camera & gear soon went into 'Uncle' at the THREE BALLS round the corner - in other words he pawned it."

"About this time he got hold of himself, met a girl called KATE LAFURA who had a very bigoted Protestant mother. Notwithstanding he and Kate were married. They had two children John (whom we all called "MOLO" ......."

Norman managed to pick up a lot of family gossip as a youngster which he distilled into his letter. Clearly the divorce was discussed in the family:

"I'm afraid WILL'S drinking, devil may care habits eventually brought his downfall. His wife (KATE) left him, then started divorce proceedings (It was one of the very earliest divorce cases in Australia) and obtained her divorce. When she left WILL she took the younger of the boys, abandoning "MOLO" (young young John Moloney)......  he would argue on ANYTHING - he had no manners - in fact he was a difficult character. He and I fought like tigers - on one occasion taking bullock whips to each other. I never recall who won!!!!!!!!!"

"Once, on my own mother's advice he wrote to his mother (who by now had remarrried - she married a tailor at Maitland named Randall & Molos brother also took the name 'Randle') - 'Mrs' Randle replied that she completely disowned him. Poor MOLO, it must have had a teriffic effect on him."

I left in some comments on 'Molo' to demonstrate the difficult time he had as a result of his parents difficulties. It was estimated that William MOLONEY went to Western Australia to follow the gold and his sister's COLEMAN family there, however this has recenty disproved and it is not clear what William died from his divorce in 1900 till death in 1916 aged 40.

His death and funeral notice in the Sydney Morning Herald indicate he died at the 'Coast Hospital' which was then located at Little Bay on the coast of Sydney and handled many of the infectious disease outbreaks, though there was not an outbreak in 1916 (the 1918 flu pandemic reached Sydney in 1919). I think that most interesting among the funeral announcements is that his two sons - apparently parted by the mother - apparently placed a single funeral notice together. It would be interesting to know whether they both attended. I believe William is buried with his parents.
The Sydney Morning Herald
Tuesday 2 May 1916

MOLONEY - May 1, 1916, at the Coast Hospital, William Moloney, aged 40 years, second son of the late John Moloney, teacher, Redfern.


MOLONEY - The Funeral of the late Mr WILLIAM MOLONEY will leave Mount Carmel Church, Waterloo, THIS AFTERNOON, at 2 o'clock, for Catholic Cemetery, Waverley.

MOLONEY - The Friends of JOHN and WILLIAM MOLONEY, Jun., are invited to atten the Funeral of their beloved FATHER, William Moloney, to leave the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Waterloo, THIS DAY, at 3 pm, for Waverley Cemetery.

MOLONEY - The Relatives and Friends of Mr and Mrs PATRICK JOSEPH MOLONEY, Mr and Mrs JOHN MOLONEY, Mrs M PETRICH, and Mr and Mrs W A COLEMAN, and Mr and Mrs A E HALL are kindly invited to attend the Funeral of their late dearly beloved BROTHER, William Moloney ; to leave Mount Carmel Church, Waterloo, THIS AFTERNOON, at 2:15 o'clock, for Catholic Cemetery, Waverley.

MOLONEY - The Relatives and Friends of Mr and Mrs OWEN MACCARTHY are kindly invited to attend the Funeral of their late dearly beloved BRITHER, William Moloney, to leave Mount Carmel Church, Waterloo, THIS AFTERNOON, at 2:15 o'clock for Catholic Cemetery, Waverley.

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