A tribute to Michael Christian Daly & Eileen Gertrude Green,to their descendents and to their ancestors and to the many cousins

Michael Daly - born in Ireland February 1838 and died in Brisbane on 4 October 1911. Eldest son of Michael Daly (farmer) and Mary O'Brien.

He arrived in Brisbane about 1858. After leading a colourful life, Michael was buried on 5 October 1911 in Portion 7 Toowong Cemetery Brisbane.

He had the Spring Hill Hotel and later the Sovereign Hotel in Elizabeth Street, Brisbane.

He and Bridget Rafferty were married on 31 March 1864 at St Stephens Cathedral Brisbane. Bridget was born in 1839 and died on 8 September 1876. He later remarried in November 1878. His bride was Sarah Crewe who was born in 1849 and died on 6 May 1918.

Their marriage was reported in The Brisbane Courier, Tuesday 1 March 1870. It reads, “MCDONALD-CREWE.-On the 28th February, at Mortlake, the residence of the bride’s father, by the Very Rev. Dean Brun, John McDonald of Ipswich, youngest son of F McDonald to Sarah Mort, youngest daughter of Samuel Mort Crewe of Mortlake, Queensland.

My father, Michael Christian Daly, thought that his first hotel was in Fortescue Street Spring Hill. I visited the site and there is an old building there which could well have been the hotel although there is no proof in this. Michael was licensee of the Spring Hill Hotel and later the Sovereign Hotel in Elizabeth Street, Brisbane.

Michael was quite a businessman and developed a reputation over the years. I think he would have been astute to achieve business success starting out as a labourer as indicated on his marriage certificate. His business and legal activities were regularly commented upon in the local newspaper. For example, The Brisbane Courier reported on Thursday 31 July 1879 in an article about the local Exhibition, “The catering this year is in very competent hands, Mr. Daly, of the Sovereign, showing himself thoroughly equal to the demands of the multitude." Later on Michael advertises in The Brisbane Courier on Friday 16 July 1880.


"MICHAEL DALY begs to inform all Visitors to the Exhibition that he once again bosses the CATERING DEPARTMENT in the Permanent Refreshment Building, where he has provided for the creature comforts of his patrons in the now well-known Sovereign style. In anticipation of an extra good Exhibition, Michael has determined to provide an extra good LUNCH, and has cleared the market of Walker's whisky in his efforts on behalf of thirsty clients.”


Michael Daly apparently had a falling out with his 2nd wife’s family. He successfully sued his father-in-law, Samuel Crewe, in the Supreme Court which resulted in the bailiff selling off Samuel’s farms. There was another case also reported In the papers of the day of Michael again suing Samuel for the unauthorised removal of timber from land which he had sold to Michael. The Brisbane Courier on Saturday 29 May 1886 advertised the court notice.

Michael became well acquainted with the legal system including pursuing theft from his hotel by employees (reported 24 August 1883); attacks by other employees (reported 2 November 1881, but found not guilty); and the illegal sale of liquor after hours (reported 2 December 1885). All these are reported in the local newspaper. The National Library of Australia has catalogued and indexed old Australian newspapers. See

Michael was buried in the same plot as his first wife in Toowong Cemetery while second wife, Sara Crewe, was buried at Lutwyche Cemetery with their daughter Ellen. Perhaps this is illustrative of the falling out he had with his in-laws.

The Brisbane City Council provide a free online search service of burials in its cemeteries. Goto