Focus on family histories
AS DESCENDANTS of pioneering families know, researching your family history can be quite addictive.
As part of Warwick celebrations to commemorate 150 years since being declared a municipality, family history buffs have been preparing displays for the Warwick Library Family History Exhibit, from May 25-27.
Moya Ryan and daughter-in-law Tanya Payne have been checking out the Ryan family history.
Mrs Ryan (nee McVeigh) is the proud custodian of the Ryan family Bible.
The inscription is dated July 24, 1881, and documents the births, marriages and deaths of Jeremiah and Mary Ryan and their descendants.
Jeremiah left Ireland aboard the Duke of Newcastle, arriving at Morton Bay December 30, 1862. He married fellow passenger Mary Dwyer at the Catholic church in Warwick on April 28, 1863.
Jeremiah first worked at Glengallan and Rosenthal stations while the couple lived at Sandy Creek.
Eventually he selected 113.3 hectares (280 acres) at Upper Freestone and started paying rent of 20 pounds and 15 shillings a year. His first payment was March 1869.
“They called their farm Gaile Farm,” Mrs Ryan said.
“He must have been successful as he was one of the first in the district to apply for a cattle brand.”
On June 28, 1872, he received 8AB.
“The brand is still in the family today,” Mrs Ryan said. “We believe its one of the oldest continuing brands in the area.”
The couple had 11 children but when the youngest, John Thomas, was six, Jeremiah died.
His obituary in the Warwick Argus described him as “a rough diamond, possessing all the qualities of an upright man”.
Mary lived for another 28 years, raising their children on the farm. She was a nurse and midwife.
Youngest John, who married Bridget Davis, had two children, Arty and Jeremiah (Mrs Ryan's husband).
Family history exhibition co-ordinator Jennifer Walker is excited to have so many submissions.
“It's amazing to hear and read the lives of the region's early pioneers,” Mrs Walker said.
“We can learn so much from their daily lives and struggles.”