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Honora O'NEILL

Also known as: née McGrath

Born: c. 1827

Died: 22/1/1906

Special Achievements:

Pioneer of Eureka, Ballarat, Victoria, during The Battle of the Eureka Stockade.  Took up land (original selectors) at Glenlyon, Victoria.

Additional Information:

They went to America for a few years, then came to Australia on the advice of an old Tipperary friend, John Egan, first to discover gold in the Daylesford District.  Sailed from New York, 28 Jan., 1853, on the Bothnia, arriving in Melbourne after being becalmed at sea 3 months, on 3 June, 1853, with two children – Richard, later to become M.L.A. for Mandurang, Patrick, born U.S.A., (a baby was buried in U.S.A.) and a third, Michael, born on the passage from America to Australia.

Born in Australia were Edward, Honora, Mary (Polly), John, Ellen and James.  Honora and John were at Eureka during the Stockade.  Took up land (original selectors) at Glenlyon, described in sale notice in Feb. 1906, as “containing 115 acres heavy chocolate land, situate at Glenlyon, 4 miles from Daylesford, securely fenced, subdivided, and permanently watered by the Kangaroo creek, and never-failing spring.  The property was named “Glen Park”.

Honora died on Monday, 22 January 1906.

In a newspaper cutting “on Tuesday whilst the body was lying in the house waiting internment a fierce fire swept down on the homestead and destroyed it.  Mrs. O’Neill’s body was removed to a green potato patch when it was perceived that the house would be burned down.  Even the lid of the coffin was burned.”  Honora’s rosary beads were saved and are in the possession of Maureen Williams (nee Griffin) – consisting only of three decades, broken when snagged in the haste to flee the burning building.

After the death of John O’Neill, in 1898, James, the youngest son, ran the farm at Glenlyon, for his mother, Honora.

Death certificate no 304.  Informant John O’Neill, grandson, Glenlyon.

from NPWHF Honora McGrath O’NEILL file