Bernard O'Doherty and his family
in Maryborough in about 1912


inishowen01.jpg (186953 bytes)

"Inishowen" - The O'Doherty
family home in Maryborough


Railway Labourer, 1886
Farmer, 1900
Labourer, 1902
Cab Driver - horse drawn

Bernard was born in about June or July 1854. His marriage to Ann McDermitt on 10 Oct 1873 shows him aged 20 years old which indicates a year of birth of 1853.

Bernard was a Boatyard labourer when he married Ann McDermitt, a wool winder, on 10 October 1873. They were both living at 28 Victoria St., Govan. They were married after Banns according to the Forms of the Roman Catholic Church. Bernard placed his Mark on the paperwork and Ann signed it. Walter Dixon was the officiating Minister and the Witnesses were John Duffey and Mary McFarlane. The Marriage records show Bernard's father as Edward Dougherty, deceased Colliery Manager and Ann Dougherty, (M.S. Johnston). Ann's parents were shown as Thomas McDermitt, Iron ship fitter/Journeyman and Ann McDermitt (M.S. Loag). The Marriage Index Reference details for Bernard's first Marriage are GOVAN, 246, 1873.

Bernard was living at Gundiah at the time of his marriage to Catherine Caplice in June 1886. Witnesses at their marriage were Daniel O'Neill and Alice Capless. The ceremony was performed by Matthew Horan.

Bernard and his wife and daughter arrived in Queensland on the ship Rodell Bay on 27 August 1878 as Free Passengers. They were shown as:-

PASSENGER          AGE                       REMARKS
DOCHARTY Ann       age 22 yrs                -
DOCHARTY Bernard   age 24 yrs                -
DOCHARTY Margaret  infant under one year     Pension Enquiry 26-8-33

QLD. State Archives Microfilm No. Z1959, M1698, IMM/116 page 57

1080 tons
CAPTAIN:  Mr. Lindsay
MATRON:   Miss Neill

The Rodell Bay sailed from Greenock on 6 June 1878 and arrived in Brisbane on 27 August 1878.


John McFarlane    36 yrs?

Michael Doherty   30 yrs
William McFarlane 21 yrs

Owen McDermott    21 yrs

Nil of interest

                MARRIED   SINGLE   1 - 12 yrs   Infants   Souls  Adults
                                                Under 1
                M    F    M    F    M    F      M    F
Full Payers     1    1    7    -    -    -      -    -       9     9
Assisted       26   27   87   11   32   14      6    2     205   174
Free           18   18   28   37   12    7      3    5     128   110 1/2
Assistance      2    6    2    4    2    3      1    -      20    16 1/2
TOTAL EMBARKED 47   52  124   52   46   24     10    7     362   310

Died in Voyage  -    -    -    -     -   -      2    -       2     -

TOTAL LANDED   47   52  124   52    46  24      8    7     360   310

ENGLISH                 124
Death 1 male infant       1

SCOTCH                  123
Death 1 male infant       1

IRISH                   115

                        360 Souls = to 310 Adults

Other Reference:- State Library Film - Queensland Immigration - Volume 3. See the other file on the Rodell Bay in Brothers Keeper.


QUEENSLAND POSTAL DIRECTORIES have the following entries:-

O'DOUGHERTY Bernard,    ganger,     Howard from 1892 to 1893
O'DOHERTY Bernard,      selector,   Biggenden from 1896 to 1897
DOHERTY B.,             farmer,     Woowoonga from 1897 to 1899
DOHERTY Bernard,        farmer,     Degilbo in 1900

Bernard is not shown on the 1861 census with the rest of his family who were shown as follows:-


43 King St.,
DOCHERTY Ann       Head  Widow  48 yrs  Washerwoman   Ireland
         Mary      Dau.         14 yrs  Cotton Mill   Glasgow, LNK
         Edward    Son          11 yrs  Coal Miner    Rutherglen, LNK
         Margaret  Dau.          5 yrs                Rutherglen, LNK

Plus 5 boarders

This means that Bernard's father Edward Docherty had died between 1856 and 1861.

The 1988 IGI show Bernard Dougherty marrying Ann McDermitt on 10 Oct 1873 in Scotland. It also shows his children, Edward Dougherty being born on 9 May 1874 and Catherine Dougherty on 19 Jun 1875 at Govan, Scotland. Bernard had a sister Margaret who was shown as being born Margaret Docherty on 18 Aug 1856 at Rutherglen to parents Edward Docherty and Ann Johnstone.

Bernard's Marriage Certificate shows him as a 20 year old (born 1853), boatyard labourer living with his future wife Ann McDermitt, a 17 year old wool winder, at 28 Victoria Street, Govan, Scotland. Bernard's father is shown as Edward Dougherty, a deceased Colliery Manager and his mother as Ann Johnstone. Ann McDermitt's parents are shown as Thomas McDermitt, iron ship fitter - journeyman and Ann Loag. The witnesses on the Marriage were John Duffey and Mary McFarlane. Ann's mother's Death Certificate shows that there her grandmother was a Mary McFaglian. Could the witness be Ann's maternal grandmother! i.e. McFarlane and McFaglian being corrupted somehow in the records.

My great grandfather Bernard Dougherty (O'Doherty), was living at 28 Victoria St., Govan in 1873 when he got married. I've looked up a modern street map of Glasgow and found there is only a Victoria St. in Rutherglen. It is just behind the Rutherglen railway station by the looks of the map. Was this part of Rutherglen once a part of Govan, or perhaps could it have been Victoria Rd., as there is a Victoria Rd. in Govan which runs up to Queens Park.

I was advised by someone that Rutherglen and Govan are not close to each other, and in fact would have been "further apart" in 1873 than they are today with urbanisation. As for Victoria Rd at Queen's Park, this road runs from Queen's Park (the park) towards the Glasgow city centre and stops at Eglington Toll so has no connection with a Victoria Rd in Govan. Govan has been torn down and rebuilt over the years so if we cannot find a Victoria St today, it possibly no longer exists or at the least if any of the original street is left it is too small to feature on a map.

Maps of Catholic Parishes show that Rutherglen is NOW in the Diocese of Motherwell & has its own Catholic Church. This is from 1947, before that it seems to have been in the Diocese of Glasgow. The maps recommend that you refer to "Catholic Missions & Registers 1700 1880" (1993, six volumes). Don't know where you would find these, as would be very interesting to look at. Dumbarton was also in the Diocese of Glasgow, & there is NOW a catholic Church there, also. It says "The Catholic system of Dioceses & Archdioceses was established in 1850 in England & Wales & in 1878 in Scotland".

Leonie Mason (nee Jensen) told me that Bernard was born in Scotland while his parents were visiting the country. Leonie said that Bernard's parents lived in a castle and were thrown out during the English takeovers. They fled to Scotland. Bernard's mother was pregnant with him when they fled Ireland. They returned to Ireland later.

Mary (Doll) Townsley (nee O'Doherty) told me that her father, Bernard, used to tell his family that he lived in a castle in Londonderry in Ireland. They were eventually thrown out of their castle by the Sinn Fein and fled to Scotland. Mary (Doll) Townsley (nee O'Doherty) said that her sister Eileen once had a book that had a story on the castle that their father Bernard once lived in. Doll said that the castle was owned by Bernard's parents.

Alice Donaghue (nee O'Doherty) told me that her father, Thomas McDermott O'Doherty told her that Bernard O'Doherty was born and lived in Scotland and she thinks that Bernard may never have gone to Ireland. When he used to sing songs, they were always Scottish songs. She said Bernard's father, Edward, was born and lived near Buncrana on the Inishowen Peninsula in Donegal. Bernard's father moved to Scotland to look for work, as did many of the Irish from the Inishowen Peninsula. Alice's father told her that Edward worked on the wharves in Glasgow. There is apparently a large colony of these people still living around the city. They tended to be a closed community and mixed and married with other Irish migrants. They were know as "Glasgow Irishman".

Alice said that Edward's family were very poor in Scotland and Bernard came to Australia in search of a better life.

Alice said that Bernard's first wife, Ann O'Doherty (nee McDermott), used to work on the wharves in Scotland. They married at Govan, Lanark on 10 October 1873.

Bernard's first marriage was at Govan which is a suburb 4 kms from the GPO in the city of Glasgow, Scotland. The Southern General Hospital is in Govan. Bernard was born at Rutherglen which is a suburb or area near the city of Glasgow. There is a Saint Mungo's Cathedral in the area. Another church not far away is known as the Abbey.

Alice told me that Bernard's first wife Ann McDermott died of pneumonia approximately 6 weeks after the birth of their son Edward O'Doherty. The Death Notice in the Maryborough Chronicle for Ann's death referred to Bernard as Bernard Doherty. The prefix O' was commonly dropped during the 17th century when English rule and influence dominated and submerged Catholic Ireland. Many Irish resumed the prefix in the late 1800's.

Bernard hired a housekeeper to look after his children as he was frightened that they would wander on to the railway line. They were living at Gootchie in the Tiaro district at the time. The housekeeper who had 8? children of her own, apparently used to get drunk and did not look after the children well enough. Bernard remarried approximately 8.5 months after the death of his first wife.

Alice Donaghue (nee O'Doherty) said that Bernard told her father that there had always been a Bernard and an Edward in the O'Doherty family. Thus Alice had brothers called Bernard and Edward. The Scots had a regular naming pattern for children. The first son was named after the father's father, the second son after the mother's father, and the third son after the father.

Vince Shepherd told me that the O'Dohertys used to frequently go across to Scotland and work for 6 months. Some of the O'Dohertys even settled there permanently. The west coast of Scotland is only 20 miles away from the north east coast of Ireland.

Doll Townsley told me that her father Bernard had a sister who was a nun and a brother who was an Archbishop. They both went to America. Alice Donaghue (nee O'Doherty) told me that Bernard had a brother who was a sailor. Alice's father used to refer to "Uncle Ned" who was full of tales of the sea. He used to visit when his ship was in port. He was a very big man apparently.

There was a Captain D. Doherty, who was Captain of ths ship "Switzerland" which travelled to Australia in 1856 from Southampton to Adelaide. The first initial is wrong and he would have to have been Bernard's very much older brother. Bit of a long shot for him to be the right person.

Bernard's daughter, Letitia's entry in the Qld. Birth Indexes, show her father's name as Bernard Joseph O'Doherty.

Bernard was living at Warwick when his son Thomas McDermott O'Doherty was born on 12 March 1880. Alice Donaghue (nee O'Doherty) thinks that Bernard may then have moved to Gayndah to live, and then Maryborough.

Marriage Certificate Reg. No. 559 (2nd marriage). Bernard was aged 31 years and lived at Gundiah probably in a fettler's hut at the time of his second marriage. I was told that Bernard was helping to build the railway line between Gympie and Maryborough at the time of his marriage. However, a book called "Where two rivers run a history of Kilkivan Shire" by Dulcie Logan states that the Maryborough to Gympie railway line was completed by 6 August 1881. Perhaps Bernard was in the Maintenance group.

Daniel O'Neill and Alice Capless (Caplice) were witnesses at Bernard's second Marriage.

Bernard was a witness at John McCabe's Marriage to his mother in law Catherine Capless (nee O'Donnell) on 11 Oct 1891. The other witness was Margret O'Brien. It is interesting to note that a James O'Doherty died in 1892, born to a John O'Doherty and an Ann McDermott. Could this be another son of Bernards?

Bernard was a selector in the Degilbo district. The details of his lease can be found in the Qld. State Archives in LAN/P335, Selection No. 312. The details are as follows:-


Land Agents Area:             Maryborough
Date of Proclamation:         26 April 1893
                              1616, Fol 1185
Date of Application:          12 August 1893
Register No. of application:  312
Name of applicant:            Bernard O'Doherty
Parish and District:          Cook, Woowoonga
No. of Portion:               38
Area:                         160 acres
Confirmed by Land Board:      13 June 1894
Date of commencement of terms  
of license:                    1 July 1894
License issued:               29 June 1894
Yearly rental:                4 Pounds
Purchase price per acre:      1 Pound
Cost of survey:               9 Pounds
Certificate for deed:         4 November 1898

Payments made  

        RENT        Date or Folio
                    in Journal

1894    4 Pounds    1889
1895    2 Pounds    2473
1896    4 Pounds    2791
1897    4 Pounds     351
1898    4 Pounds     467
1899    2 Pounds     777

Purchased   Deed prepared:  29 March 1899.

S Fee      1 Pound 16 Shillings    1889
S Fee      1 Pound 16 Shillings    2473
S Fee      1 Pound 16 Shillings    2791
S Fee      1 Pound 16 Shillings     351
S Fee      1 Pound 16 Shillings     467

Deed Fee:  1 Pound 10 Shillings  ]
                                 ]  777
Assee?:   10 Pence               ]

A copy of the original survey plan can be obtained from Sunmap, at Woolloongabba, Brisbane. It is on Plan No. C371045. This plan describes the country on Bernard's block as having "Ironbark and very dense scrub undergrowth, and vines". Bernard's property was sold to a George H. Day who also bought the neighbouring property, Portion 37V which was originally owned by William John Gilmour. His other neighbour, Portion 39V was Frank Hanley. This block was later owned by T. Jones and then William Lawrie. Other owners in the area were James Mattheson, Portion 40V (later owned by Henry H. Lohse), and Alexander Duncan, Portion 41V (later owned by John A. Douglas).

The following details were obtained from LAN/DF 312 MARYBOROUGH at the Queensland State Archives. They are excerpts from a Report by a Bailiff of the Crown, a Mr. John Murphy, a lawyer from Maryborough. The following describes Bernard O'Doherty selection of 160 acres of land at Woowoonga near Biggenden.


1.  No. of Selection or Farm    Agricultural Farm No. 312.

2.  District                    of Maryborough

3.  Date of Inspection          on the 24th of October 1898

4.  etc.

16. How the land is used. Nature of  }   About 28 acres are used
    Produce grown; or if land is     }   for growing general Produce
    stocked, whether by Sheep or     }   and the other part of the 
    Cattle. Also name of Owner of        farm is Scrub and not yet
    the Stock.                           used. Previously inspected and
                                         always found Selector in the
                                         occupation and improving the

17. Nature and Value of   } The land is partly enclosed with 
    Improvements in detail} 160 rods of fence which consists 
                            of split hardwood posts, 2 Barbed
                            and one plain wire 2/- per rod     16.0.0
                            and 28 rods of wire netting         1.8.0
                            1/- per rod
                            About 28 acres of scrub felled     70.0.0
                            and burnt off and under a crop
                            of maize 2 Pound,10 Shillings
                            per acre.

                            One Hardwood Slab Dwelling         16.0.0
                            House 21 X 21 feet covered 
                            with GV Iron

                            One Hardwood Slab Barn              8.0.0
                            15 X 12 feet 

                            One Stockyard and other            10.0.0
                            out buildings
                                       TOTAL IMPROVEMENTS     111.8.0

In 1989 the property that Bernard O'Doherty selected in 1893 was owned by the McMeekin family of Dallarnil. The track off the Isis Highway beside the property is called Pettycoat Lane. The land at Woowoonga was thrown open for selection in 1893 and the local community held Centenary celebrations in 1993.

In February 1990, Mrs. McMeekin told me that 23 years ago most of the verandah of the existing house and some of the roof were blown away in a cyclone. All of the inside of the house is original. I am not sure however whether it is part of Bernard's original homestead. I would think not. Perhaps the original homestead became one of the out buildings.

The existing home used by the McMeekins has 7 bedrooms, kitchen, bathrooms etc. It is a high set house. Daphne McMeekin said they used to milk up to 200 cows each night and morning. They have now gone out of dairying. She told me that as far as she knew, there were no graves on the property.

Harold McMeekin, Daphne's brother in law, told me that his brother Robert McMeekin and family lived in the original house on the property. Only parts of the homestead in 1990 were original. It has been extended, modernised and badly damaged by a storm.

Robert McMeekin bought the property on 4 June 1950 from Cecil Johannesen who had previously purchased it from Merv Gleadhill. At one stage the property changed hands 3 times in 12 months.

Daphne McMeekin thinks George Day sold the property to Gordon Gleadhill (her brother in law said Merv Gleadhill). In January 1993, Hayward Giles of Biggenden told me that his father Henry Giles had mentioned the name O'Doherty to him. Henry Giles and his wife were great friends of George Day. Hayward Giles said that when George Day, died his wife and daughters were left to run the property. There was apparently a period when half share farmers were running the dairy farm.

Doll Townsley (nee O'Doherty) told me that her father Bernard had to give up his property at Biggenden because of a 7 year drought. He had to trade a calf for a 50 pound bag of sugar to survive in the drought. Mary Dann told me that Bernard walked off the property in 1902 during a severe drought.

Bernard O'Doherty is mentioned in an old book titled "The History of Maryborough and Wide Bay and Burnett Districts from the year 1850 to 1895" by George E. Loyau, printed in 1897. The book discusses:-

"We now come to the lately and much talked of settlements on Degilbo, Mungarr, and Woowoonga creeks, being on the resumed half of the once famous Degilbo run, so long originally held by the late Hon. William Henry Walsh, M.L.C. The run is at present held by Messrs. Kent and Wienholt, and is used as a breeding station to raise stores, to be fattened eventually on the farming pastures of Jondaryan and Tarampa. The station is under the management of Mr. Fassifern Kent. To show the liberal spirit in which these lessees are prepared to meet the advancing demand for agricultural settlement they have consented that a portion of their leased half of the run may be resumed in return for some ridgy and stony country in the resumed half. There are now over 22,000 acres selected on this run, the selectors numbering fully 140, and the holdings average about 160 acres each. Three Provisional schools have already been established; and a good deal of energy has been shown in a very short time, more particularly by Messrs. Baxter, Rollinson, Cleary, Reilly, and O'Doherty, who have demonstrated that the district is fully capable of growing anything, provided the seasons are favourable. Certainly the last four seasons have been more than unusually favourable for rainfall. The lessees of the run on the leased half have much improved their holding by fencing and ring barking, and from the improvement already resulting in the pastures there is little doubt that the day is not far distant when sheep will again replace cattle in the Burnett district."

Bernard was living at Gympie Rd., Tinana, Maryborough, when his son John Joseph O'Doherty was born on 31 July 1902.

The Queensland Post Office Directory shows:-

1892/93             Bernard O'Dougherty  ganger    Howard
1896/97             Bernard O'Doherty    selector  Biggenden
1897-99             Bernard Doherty      farmer    Woowoonga
1900                Bernard Doherty      farmer    Degilbo
1900 - 1912/13      Bernard O'Doherty    selector  Biggenden
1911/12 - 1915/16   B. O'Doherty                   Ferry St., 
1916/17             Bernard O'Doherty              Kent St. (Inishowen)
1917/18             Mrs. B. O'Doherty              Kent St., Maryborough

Bernard O'Doherty died in 1916. A Mrs. B. O'Doherty of Kent St. (Inishowen), Maryborough is shown in the 1917/18 edition.

The 1909 Commonwealth Electoral Rolls, Division of Wide Bay, Subdivision of Maryborough show Bernard O'Doherty, cabman, living at Ferry Lane with his wife. Also shown living at Ferry Lane are John Thomas, Thomas Henry & Alice Mary O'Doherty. Bernard's children were John Joseph ( 7 yrs old), Thomas McDermott (29 yrs old) and Alice Mary (21 yrs old). In the 1916 Rolls Thomas Henry, Margaret Mary and Alice Mary O'Doherty are shown living at Fort Street, Maryborough.

In October 1913, at the time of his daughter Alice's funeral, the family were living at Ferry Lane just off Ann Street.

"Inishowen" was the large O'Doherty family house in Kent Street, Maryborough. Bernard had "Inishowen" built for a cost of 280 Pounds. When Bernard died in 1916, his daughter Mary (Doll), told her mother that she would not get married until she had helped her mother to pay off the house. Doll obtained a Government job and the house was paid off by the time Doll was married in 1928.

"Inishowen" was named after the Inishowen Peninsula in the north of County Donegal, Ireland. Inishowen was the traditional home of the O'Dohertys. The bulky O'Doherty castle, near Castle Bridge, has acted as centrepiece for Buncrana since 1430, though only the keep is well preserved now.

In 1989 "Inishowen" in Kent Street no longer had its open large verandahs. Most of the verandahs have now been enclosed and the original timber walls are covered with hardiplank. "Inishowen" is located one house away, on the western side, from the corner of Kent and Yaralla Streets, Maryborough. It is now known as 655 Kent Street.

The house on the corner of Kent and Yaralla Streets was owned by a widow with a number of children. They were very poor. Vince Shepherd told me that his mother had told him that the smallest child used to peer over the side fence and say "We had one of your chookies for our dinner."

Bernard's wife Catherine used to keep chooks and sell chooks and eggs to supplement the family income.

Jim Caplice and Bernard O'Doherty had a sort of partnership with their cab business. Bernard had a horse drawn cab. It was a two seat cab. Bernard used to wait for the late train at night to get customers. The 2 horses were stabled at the rear of their yard in Kent Street. Doll Townsley (nee O'Doherty) told me the name of her father's horses. One was called "Darky" and the other one was "Prince". "Darky" was very friendly and Doll used to ride him, but she said that "Prince" was a bit "vicious". Bernard's son Jim used to help out by driving the horse drawn cab at night time. Later on Jim Caplice and someone else had the first motor driven cab in Maryborough.

At the age of 61 years, Bernard returned to being a ganger in early 1916 to help build a tramway for the Army Camps on Fraser Island. After 4 months working on Fraser Island he suffered a stroke and died a short time later.

There is a large O'Doherty grave in Maryborough. There are no headstones on the graves. The sextant's records apparently show that 6 people, including Alice De La Hunty, are buried in the plot. The area is outlined by heavy hardwood timber which has been charred by fire when the sextant used to burn off.

Bernard is buried beside his first and second wives and other O'Dohertys.

The McCabe graves are not far away. Catherine McCabe does not have a headstone. The headstone for John McCabe and a daughter has fallen over.

(Maryborough Chronicle, Friday 5 May 1916)

O'DOHERTY On the 4th May, 1916, at the General Hospital, Maryborough, Bernard, beloved husband of Catherine O'Doherty, aged 61 years and 10 months.

"Requiscat in Pace"

(Maryborough Chronicle, Friday 5 May 1916)

The Friends and Relatives of MRS B. O'DOHERTY are kindly invited to attend the Funeral of her beloved Husband (BERNARD), to move from his late residence, Kent Street (off Yaralla street), THIS (FRIDAY) MORNING, at 11 o'clock.

Funeral Director, Adelaide street.
Phones Office 231, Residence 137.

(Maryborough Chronicle, Friday 5 May 1916)

"We regret to announce, after a brief illness, the death of a highly respected resident of Maryborough, in the person of Bernard O'Doherty, which took place at the General Hospital yesterday. The deceased, who was in his 62nd year, was born in Rutherglen, Scotland, and emigrated to Australia in the ship Royal Dane (not correct - see below) in 1879. He later came to Maryborough, where he was employed in the Railway Department until 1893, after which he turned to farming work in the Degilbo district. This, however, he relinquished in 1900, and returned to the Railway Department again, where he remained until 1909, when he became one of our popular cab proprietors, but for the past four months he had been at Fraser Island, where he had been tramway ganger. He was well known by a wide circle of friends, to whom the news of his death will be a sudden shock, more especially as the deceased until a few days ago enjoyed good health. Mr. O'Doherty was twice married, and leaves two sons by the first wife viz., Thomas (Maryborough), and Hugh Patrick (Roma), in addition to whom his second wife and a family of five daughters and two sons namely, Messrs. James (Brisbane), John Joseph, the Misses Nance, Catherine, Essie, Mary, and Eileen O'Doherty (Maryborough) are left to mourn his loss and for whom the deepest sympathy is felt. The funeral will leave his late residence, Kent street (off Yaralla street), this morning, at 11 o'clock, for the General Cemetery. Mr. J. Ammenhauser has charge of the funeral arrangements."

NOTE: The Obituary said Bernard arrived on the Royal Dane in 1879. This is incorrect as the Royal Dane was wrecked on 15 June 1878. It's last recorded visit to Queensland was in 1874.  It was subsequently discovered with the assistance of Brian Hickey that Bernard O'Doherty arrived on the ship Rodell Bay (see above).


At "The Rocks" Gympie 17 March 1918
Photo with the Compliments of Alfred Pehrson?
Catherine O'Doherty 2nd from left


At "The Rocks" Gympie 17 March 1918
Photo with the Compliments of Alfred Pehrson?
Catherine O'Doherty at rear


The two Rascals!
Jim and Tom O'Doherty

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