Margaret Berryman (1849-1923)
(parents of Joan Gaffey):
Line of Descent to Joan Gaffey
|Father||Thomas BERRYMAN (born Portsmouth, 1818)|
County Louth, Ireland, 1825)
|Birth||Mar 9 1849, Namoi River district, NSW|
Parish of St. Joseph's,
Macdonald River NSW, May 9, 1851
|Death/Burial||November 28, 1923, Inverell, NSW|
|Marriage||James GAFFEY (Jun 8 1868 in Bundarra near Armidale)|
Mary GAFFEY (1870-1872)
Margaret GAFFEY (1872-1923)
Alice GAFFEY (1874-1950)
Catherine Isabella GAFFEY
Emily Jane GAFFEY (1878-)
Elizabeth H GAFFEY (1881-)
Elva GAFFEY (1885-)
James Daniel Harold GAFFEY
Ellen GAFFEY (1895-)
Margaret was the Australian-born
daughter of one convict and the
granddaughter of another. Her
birthplace is not known, but the family was living in the Namoi River
region of New South Wales when Margaret and her younger brother were
baptised together in 1851, two years after Margaret’s birth.
Her father’s background as a convict (and his peripheral
involvement in the Myall Creek Massacre of 1838) was probably well
hidden by the time of Margaret’s birth more than 10 years later.
One of the eldest of Tom and Catherine Berryman’s 10 children,
Margaret would have carried heavy responsibilities for most of her life.
Growing up in the then isolated New England area of New South Wales, Margaret was virtually uneducated, and in later years could not sign her name. Schools were few and far between for the children of pioneer settlers.
In time, a sort of prosperity came the family’s way, with the former thief and convict Tom Berryman moving from work as a stockman to owning land near the village of Bundarra, west of Armidale, by the late 1850s.
In the New England, Margaret met an Irish immigrant, James Gaffey,
who had come to Australia in 1860, and settled in the Bundarra area, along
with his brothers. When she
was 19 years old, Margaret and James married.
For Margaret, marriage brought more hard work, in the form of 10
children – as well as tragedy, with the death of her first-born, Mary,
in a fire in the family’s farmhouse when she was just two years old.
More children were born to the family – the family’s youngest,
Ellen, when Margaret was 46
James proved a restless husband, moving around the New England area, and Margaret and the children followed him from Bundarra, to nearby farms at Dry Creek, Black Mountain and Ironbark Creek, before finally settling at the turn of the 20th Century, in the boom-and-bust mining village of Howell, south of Inverell. By then, James appears to have given up farming, and was working as a labourer in the village at the time of his death in 1917. Margaret outlived her husband by six years, and is buried with him in the family plot in Bundarra cemetery on the banks of the Gwydir River
December 4, 1923
1990s view of the small town of Bundarra, centre of a pastoral area where
the Berryman family settled in the 1850s, followed in the 1860s by the
Gaffeys from County Down, and where a young Margaret Berryman married the
Irishman James Gaffey