Mary Agnes Burgess
(1864 - 1945)
was born on 12 July at Lower Aghada, Cork, Ireland. She died
on 13 March 1945. She was the third eldest out of 14 children
born to Abigail Bride & John
She was the eldest daughter. You can imagine
the support she would have given to her mother before she emigrated
to Australia on the ship "Chyebassa". Mary Agnes and
her brother Richard Daniel travelled together to Brisbane and
arrived there on 12 April 1884, nine years after her older brother
Edmund left Ireland. She was only 20
years old although the arrival record kept by Queensland Archives
shows her aged a year younger.
Family lore records that Mary's parents were
hoteliers and they owned The
Imperial Hotel which was on the waterfront in Cobh, County
Cork. However recent research suggests that it was a more modest
establishment and the researcher cousisn cannot locate a record
relating the Burgesses to the Imperial Hotel. According to this
research the Slaters (an directory of commercial establishments
in Ireland) the pages for Queenstown and Aghada indicate John
Burgess owned the establishment at Aghada - a much smaller and
humble pub in comparison to the establishments in Queenstown.
Searches through the Griffiths valuations indicate Richard Bride
was a renter in Aghada but there is no evidence for him in Queenstown.
There is evidence that at 26 West Beach Queenstown there was a
Fitzgerald running a Spirit dealership but none for Hannah Bride
ever having the surname Fitzgerald.
Queenstown It was a busy port from which many
Irish people departed for new lands, particularly America. Cobh
was renamed Queenstown in 1849 to commemorate a visit by Queen
Victoria and so remained until the name Cobh (closer to the Irish
spelling) was restored in 1922 with the foundation of the Irish
Free State. (Source: Wikipedia).
The hotel was given to Mary's parents, Abby
and John, when they married as a wedding gift (or maybe it
was a dowry) by Abby's parents. The hotel was in the family until
1894. In her later years when living in Australia, Mary Agnes
often told of living there as a child. (Thanks to Debbie for details).
Her future husband Daniel
Daly arrived in Australia on the "Great Queenslander"
on 2 September 1873.
Daniel was 10 years older than Mary. He courted
her while posted to Curra Siding which is about 10 kilometres
north of Gympie and 70 kilometres from Maryborough where Mary
was living. They married on 18 October 1885 at St Mary's Church
in Maryborough. Mary had been in the colony for about 18 mounts.
Government records confirm that Daniel's postal
address was, between 1892-95 in Alice Street, Maryborough (town
side, Ferry Lane corner) but temporarily in 1884 he was at the
Railway Camp Curra Siding, Kanyan via Gympie.
The distance did not dampen their fondness for
each other - imagine, working in those days with only one day
off each week and spending most of that day travelling to visit
your girlfriend. Whilst at Curra Siding, Daniel wrote a poem
proposing marriage. Mary accepted and the marriage took place
at St Mary's
Church in Maryborough on 18 October 1885.
Over the next 14 years Daniel and Mary were to
have 14 children. It was at times a lonely life for Mary. She
missed her family, and Daniel was often away, for example between,
1898-1901 Daniel was working at the Railway camp in Cordalba.
The family letters Mary wrote
and received at the time illustrate the hardships experienced
by our pioneers.
From 1919 she lived with Daniel and her family
at 11 Morris Street in Paddington, an inner Brisbane suburb in
Queensland. She called her home "Abbeyville"
after her mother and the name can be seen in the old photos of
the home. After Mary's death in 1945, the home remained in the
family until the mid 1970's. It still exists and has been renovated.
Click on the adjacent image for a large version of Abby's death