Margaret Considine (c1818-1895)

Another post from my earlier university days. Much more research has been done since this was first penned in 1999. This post has NOT been updated with the new research.

Margaret Considine was born circa 1818 at Sixmilebridge, a townland in the civil parish of Kilfinaghta, eight miles from Limerick in County Clare, Ireland.[1] Her parents were Michael Considine and Bridget (nee McMahon).[2] Margaret arrived with her younger sister Bridget in Sydney, New South Wales on 3rd October 1836 aboard the Duchess of Northumberland.[3] On the 30th January 1838 the sisters welcomed the arrival of further family members when their brother Patrick, his wife Honora (known as Flora), (nee McInnes/McGuiness), their young son Michael and a younger sister Ellen arrived aboard the Strathfieldsaye.[4]

 Bridget and Margaret, aged sixteen and eighteen respectively came out to Australia under a female emigration scheme. Some as yet unproven family research indicates that relatives of the girls’ mother may already have resided in Goulburn, New South Wales. Shipping records for all four siblings do suggest that their mother was deceased by 1836.[5] Bridget and Margaret made their way to Goulburn, and were later joined by Ellen, while Patrick and his family made their home in Richlands, New South Wales. Bridget went on to marry Robert Humphries, a former convict, while Ellen married Christopher Cook, a former convict and later a prominent brick maker and bricklayer in the Wangaratta district. Margaret’s life, however, became a little more complicated and intriguing.[6]

On the 25th of March 1838 a baptism was performed in St. Saviours Church, Goulburn, by Reverend William Sowerby of a child named Henry. The child’s mother was given as Margaret Concidine, (sic) singlewoman of Goulburn.[7] An examination of the original record of baptism shows the child’s name pencilled in as Henry Faithfull, born to Margaret Concidine. It is also interesting that the baptism was Anglican, not Roman Catholic, the faith that Margaret followed for the rest of her life. The infant Henry was acknowledged by his father William Pitt Faithfull and was brought up as a Faithfull, enjoying the use of the name and the financial benefits that went with it.[8] At Henry’s marriage to his cousin Alice Faithfull (a daughter of William Pitt Faithfull’s brother George and Jane McKenzie), he gave the names of his parents as William Faithfull, and Margaret Considine.[9] When he died, Henry’s parents were again given as William Faithfull and Margaret Considine.[10]

ST saviours Goulburn cropped

St Saviours, Goulburn, by unknown artist c1875-1900, from the Max Wagner collection, courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. The two story houses on the left of the image give a sense of scale to the building.

Evidently Margaret was working for the Faithfulls in Goulburn when she became pregnant and she continued to work for them after Henry’s birth. On the 3rd of September 1839, Margaret married the Faithfull’s dairyman, John Moore, in St Peters and Pauls Old Cathedral at Goulburn, with her sister and brother-in-law, Ellen and Christopher Cook as witnesses.[11] She was three months pregnant and it would be logical to presume John Moore to be the father but in a further twist, evidence suggests that one of the Faithfull brothers was also the father of this child.

William Pitt Faithfull, NLA - cropped small.jpg

William Pitt Faithfull, pastel by Myra Felton, 1867, courtesy of National Library of Australia

Matilda Margaret Moore was born on the 9th of March 1840, and baptised in the Anglican faith as the child of John and Margaret Moore of Springfield. Springfield was the pioneering merino sheep station south of Goulburn established on land granted in 1828 to William Pitt Faithfull.[12] Curiously, a Matilda Faithfull began to appear as a witness at Faithfull weddings and baptisms in later years, including the marriage of Henry Faithfull, Margaret Considine’s first child. No record of any other Matilda Faithfull can be found so it seems likely that when representing the Moore side of the family Matilda used Moore as her surname and Faithfull when at Faithfull family events. An examination of these signatures supports this contention as the signatures of Matilda Faithfull and Matilda Moore are almost identical. Perhaps out of respect for the man who raised her, or for her mother, Matilda Moore seemed careful never to openly declare her father as a Faithfull, preferring instead to name John Moore as her father, including at her marriage to Frank Heach.[13]

To add further intrigue, neither Matilda nor Henry is named as a child of John or Margaret Moore on their death certificates even though both were still alive and Margaret and John’s oldest son, John jnr, registered the deaths.[14] This strongly suggests that he knew both Henry and Matilda were not children of the marriage between Margaret Considine and John Moore. Years later, in 1938 one of William Pitt Faithfull’s legitimate daughters, Constance Mary, died intestate in England. Henry and Alice Faithfull’s daughter Ada May Elliott lodged a claim against the estate and in an effort to prove Henry’s paternity an enquiry was made to the Registrar of the Bishop’s Registry, Diocese of Wangaratta. His reply amongst other matters stated in relation to Matilda Heach (nee Moore), “While I cannot state any facts about Mrs. Heach’s parentage, I can say quite definitely that I was informed by my late partner and always understood that she was an illegitimate daughter of George Faithfull..”[15]. This response suggests that the fact that John Moore was not Matilda’s biological father was known and widely accepted. This time, whichever Faithfull brother was Matilda’s father, he was not as generous towards Matilda as he was in the support of the clearly illegitimate Henry, possibly because John Moore had taken over the fathering role. If Matilda’s father was William Pitt Faithfull, less than four years after Matilda’s he had married and may have wished to play down that part of his life. George Faithfull never married and died in Wangaratta in 1855.[16]

One does wonder how John Moore got himself into this situation. Did he know of the pregnancy when he married Margaret? Did William Pitt Faithfull give him any incentives to marry Margaret? The tales that Margaret could tell of Goulburn and the exploits of the Faithfull brothers in particular can only be imagined. Margaret and John’s marriage nevertheless went on to be a long and happy one. They remained working for the Faithfulls at Goulburn where their first son, also John, was born in January 1843.[17] Sometime between July and November 1845 the couple moved to The Hollow Station at Hedi (later Edi), in Victoria, to manage the station for William Faithfull.[18] Around 1850 they moved on to Whorouly to manage a station for Dr. George Edward Mackay, J.P.[19] Later John bought a property on One Mile Creek at Wangaratta which they named Tenterfield, perhaps in some reference to the New South Wales town, although a connection there is yet to be found.

Margaret and John had five sons and two daughters together, however only one daughter survived infancy. Settling into family life, Margaret became known for “her kindness of heart and skill in the treatment of sickness”.[20] She saw all of her adult children marry except Thomas, the youngest. The girls in particular can be said to have ‘married well’. Matilda married Frank Heach, a wealthy butcher, hotelier and business entrepeneur while Harriet married Dr. Thomas Marum, although neither women had any children.[21] Two sons – John and William – married daughters of William Clark, the ‘Father of Wangaratta’, a large landowner and publican.[22]

Margaret Moore memorial card

Margaret Moore memorial card- author’s private collection

Despite her husband’s Protestant faith, Margaret kept the Roman Catholic faith. When John died in 1891 he was buried in the Church of England section of Wangaratta cemetery and Margaret erected a fitting monument. However when Margaret succumbed to the effects of influenza in 1895 she was buried in the Roman Catholic section where she remained without a headstone until the 1950s.[23] This great loss to the history of both Goulburn and Wangaratta was echoed in her obituary. “.. the district loses one of the very earliest pioneers, and one whose kind and gentle nature has brought relief and comfort to many a sad and distressed family”.[24]

Genealogy Snapshot

Name: Margaret CONSIDINE

Parents: Michael CONSIDINE and Bridget McMAHON

Spouse: John MOORE

Relationship to CWG: Great Great Great Grandmother

  1. Margaret CONSIDINE
  2. William MOORE
  3. James Edgar Gordon MOORE
  4. Alma Caroline MOORE
  5. Living
  6. CWG

[1] Birth certificate of Sarah Moore, born 20 May 1854, Number 2969, Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Victoria; Lewis, Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, publication details unknown.

[2] Death certificate of Bridget Humphries (nee Considine), died 13 October 1898, Number 13950, Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, New South Wales.

[3] Dispatches to Governor Bourke, A1273 pp.435-439, Mitchell Library, Manuscript Collection.

[4] Bounty Emigrants Index, Strathfieldsaye 1838, Mitchell Library.

[5] Bounty Emigrants Index, ibid.

[6] Death certificate of Bridget Humphries, op. cit.; Marriage certificate of Ellen Considine and Christopher Cook, Vol. 23, No. 408, Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, New South Wales.

[7] Baptismal registration of Henry Concidine/Faithfull, Vol. 22 No. 1199, Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, New South Wales.

[8] Fred and Diana Bienvenu, Faithfulls of Omeo, Buffalo Creek Press, Myrtleford, 1997, p16.

[9] Baptismal entry certificate of Alicia Faithfull, 15th May 1841, Number 36902, registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Victoria; Marriage certificate of Henry Faithfull and Alice Faithfull, 19th January 1857, Number 468, Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, New South Wales.

[10] Death certificate of Henry Faithfull, 3rd November 1896, Number 15556, Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Victoria.

[11] Marriage entry for John Moore and Margaret Considine, entry number 7, St Peters and Pauls Old Cathedral, Goulburn.

[12] Baptism record of Matilda Margaret Moore, 28th March 1840, Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, New South Wales.

[13] Marriage certificate of Matilda Moore to Francis Heach, 1857, No. 2754, Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Victoria.

[14] Death certificate of John Moore, died 3rd August 1891, Number 12661, Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Victoria.

[15] Letter from F. Purbrick, Registrar, Diocese of Wangaratta, to F. F. Elliott, dated 7th March 1939, original in possession of Max Elliott.

[16] Bienvenu, loc. cit.

[17] Baptism record of John Moore jnr, born 16 January 1843, Vol. 27, No. 1330, Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, New South Wales.

[18] Stock Returns, 1 July 1845, Oxley Plains, State Library of Victoria; Obituary of Margaret Moore, The Wangaratta Dispatch and North Eastern Advertiser, 13th July 1895, State Library of Victoria.

[19] Obituary of Margaret Moore, The Wangaratta Chronicle, 13 July 1895, State Library of Victoria.

[20] Ibid.

[21] Marriage certificate of Matilda Moore to Francis Heach, loc. cit.; Marriage certificate of Harriet Moore to Thomas Marum, 1871, Number 1806, Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Victoria.

[22] Marriage certificate of John Moore and Elizabeth Mary Clark, 1 February 1864, Number 333, Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Victoria; Marriage certificate of William Moore and Alice Rebecca Clark, 1 May 1872, Number 1259, Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Victoria.

[23] Obituary of Margaret Moore, The Wangaratta Chronicle, op. cit.; Wangaratta cemetery register, copy held by Australian Institute of Genealogical Studies.

[24] Obituary of Margaret Moore, The Wangaratta Dispatch and North Eastern Advertiser, op. cit.

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14 Responses to Margaret Considine (c1818-1895)

  1. Garry Moore says:

    Many thanks Jenny – and a very happy New Year to you. This is a most interesting post, even if more recent research has taken you further. I suppose for me (and I’m sure many others), investigating one’s family history carries with it two delights. As well as showing you where you come from, it provides you with a unique perspective on social history. The more you learn, the more what might at best have initially been but names become personalities – often with rich lives. I’m very grateful to you (and to the late Rex Moore). You’ve taught me so much.

    Very best wishes (and good luck with your thesis),



    • Jenny Coates says:

      Thanks again for your kind words Garry. Every time I revisit the Matilda Moore story I am reminded how sad it is that she had no children. Sad for her, but also because we have no avenues for DNA testing and perhaps taking the story further. A fellow researcher and I once stood at her graveside and discussed how DNA testing could help. He quipped “I have a shovel in the car …”!
      Hope to get back to Margaret’s story later as I’m sure there is far more to uncover. The Faithfull family archives now held by the National Library of Australia will be on my list.


  2. Cheryl romet says:

    Can you tell us more about Francis Heach?He is listed as an executor of John Moore’s will.Did he gain materially from John Moore’s estate?.I note that his wife Matilda was not a beneficiary,and was not provided for by the Faithfull’s. Was Margaret influential in these matters?


    • Jenny Coates says:

      Hi Cheryl,
      There is so much to say about Francis Heach! He had his finger in so many pies – timber yards, hotels, butchers, drapery shops, etc etc. He is a big story on his own and one day I’ll do him justice. My disappointment is that I haven’t located a photo of him yet. I suspect that a dissection of John Moore’s probate will reveal a lot more but I wouldn’t expect Matilda to have missed out, because her husband was an executor so he must have been highly thought of by John even though he was a bit of a philanderer! On the other hand it could be that she didn’t need any inheritance given Heach was a lot more wealthy than John Moore. I don’t know if Matilda ever received anything from the Faithfulls. A look at their family papers may reveal something. I have Heach’s and Matilda’s probate so following through their land may show a transition of properties from John Moore. There is a little bit more on Heach’s involvement with the Cathedral on another post that you can find using the search box.


  3. Craig Smith says:

    I though the following might be of interest to you as my mother’s family have a strong connection with Wangaratta, and we also have Considine ancestors from Clare.

    My 3x great-grandmother Catherine Considine arrived free in Sydney in 1840. The shipping record shows she was born about 1820, from Liscannor, County Clare and that her parents were Michael Considine (deceased) and Margaret Mahony. In 1841 she married Luke Everitt, a convict also known as William Andrews transported on the Marquis of Huntley in 1830. They gradually moved down through NSW, living for a while in Goulburn and eventually settling in Albury and later Corowa where they are buried. On her death record Catherine’s father is listed as John with mother unknown which clearly conflicts with the shipping record (I mention this as many people list those details on their family trees).

    Catherine had a close relative – probably her sister – named Bridget Considine born about 1810 who was convicted in Limerick in 1833 and transported to Sydney on the Andromeda II in 1834. Bridget would marry James Byrne(s) who was transported on the Hooghly in 1825. Bridget and James’ daughter Euphemia describes Catherine and Luke’s son William as “my cousin” in personal correspondence from 1901.

    James Byrne(s) was one of the sponsors for the baptism of Catherine and Luke’s first child Mary Ann Everitt. The other sponsor was Mary Considine.- I haven’t yet identified who Mary was and if she was related to Catherine.

    Descendants of Catherine Considine live in and around Wangaratta today, and Everitt Road in Peechelba is named in honour of her grandson Wilfred Charles (Bob) Everitt.


    • Jenny Coates says:

      Hi Craig,
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I am very interested in your Considine ancestors. I have been ‘collecting’ Considines with connections to Goulburn and Wangaratta in the hope of one day finding connections. Some info suggests that Margaret’s mother may have had relatives in NSW so they would have been McMahons, but I have found Considines much easier to track initially. I do have your Catherine and Luke Everitt on my database, but didn’t have much more than a few snippets from the 1840s so your information is very helpful. You have also reminded me of the importance of witnesses. My research was done in ancient times so while I noted who the witnesses were I didn’t record them on my database.
      Thank you again and I hope to pick this up again at the end of the year when my thesis is done. I am feeling a big study of Considines coming on!
      Kind regards,


    • Craig Smith says:

      Thanks, Jenny.

      I neglected to say that Catherine arrived on the Elphinstone.


  4. Lenore Frost says:

    Ah!~ And so the Clarks appear. Very interesting.


  5. Lenore Frost says:

    Goes without saying – I had only to mention the North Suburban Club and you immediately had a relative there. Did you used to live on the Clark land at Ascot Vale?


  6. Katrina Pilkington Vincent says:

    Jen, do you mind if I add the link to this post to the County Clare Genealogy Facebook group? There are several Considine researchers there who may be interested.



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