Selected Families and Individuals


Joseph (Joe) O'CONNOR [Parents] was born in 1901 in Cahir, Co. Tipperary. He died on 23 Sep 1955 in Clonmel, Co.Tipperary. Joseph married Alice MURPHY on 10 Oct 1934 in possibly Dublin.

Joe ran a public house and grocery business in Cahir. He was also a cattle buyer and a director of Clonmel Foods Ltd. He and Alice lived in the old O'Connor family home on Church Street, Cahir, which was sold in the early 1970s.

Mary O'Connor, a grandniece of Joe's, has published a book on her O'Connor family history entitled 'Our Roots Under The Rock' (the family has Cashel origins). Further information on this work can be found on www.ourrootsundertherock.com.

Alice MURPHY [Parents] was born on 27 Feb 1905 in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary. She died in 1975. Alice married Joseph (Joe) O'CONNOR on 10 Oct 1934 in possibly Dublin.

They had the following children.

  M i
Bernard (Barney) O'CONNOR was born in 1935 in probably Cahir, Co. Tipperary. He died on 11 May 2011 in Dublin.

It is known that Barney was a bank official in Ennistymon, Co. Clare in the 1950s. He later lived in Dublin. He never married.
  F ii Living.
  F iii Living.
  M iv Living.

John Raymond (Toby) ASHWELL-COOKE [Parents] was born on 5 Jan 1907 in Cheshire. He died in 1971 in Horsham, West Sussex. John married Georgina (Ena) MURPHY on 4 Mar 1937 in St. Mary Magdalen's Church, Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex.

Toby was born with just the Cooke surname, Ashwell (his mother's maiden name) being a middle name. The Ashwell and Cooke names were later hyphenated, giving a new surname. His mother also used the Ashwell-Cooke name as she died as Frances Ashwell-Cooke. Toby was the youngest son in the Ashwell-Cooke family.

The Electoral Register of 1933 tells us that Toby was living at the time at 4 Half Moon St. in Westminster, London. He and his wife, Ena, married in 1937 in Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex, where his father was living at the time.

Toby was aviation expert. He was a qualified pilot with his own small plane, a founder of the London Gliding Club and author of a number of technical books on aviation, including 'Motorless Flight' (1932).

Toby and Ena had no children.

Georgina (Ena) MURPHY [Parents] was born on 18 Mar 1907 in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary. She died in 1975 in Ireland. Georgina married John Raymond (Toby) ASHWELL-COOKE on 4 Mar 1937 in St. Mary Magdalen's Church, Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex.

Ena moved to England as a young woman. She lived in Chelsea area of London, Chertsey and Esher in Surrey and West Wittering in West Sussex before returning to Ireland after the death of her husband, Toby. Back in Ireland, Ena lived with her brother John in Greystones, Co. Wicklow.


Robert (Bob) Edward HUSSEY [Parents] was born on 3 Jan 1893 in Albert Hall Mansions, Kensington, London. He died on 8 Oct 1947 in London. Robert married Veronica (Vera) A. CONNOLLY in 1921 in Kingston upon Thames, England.

According to the 1911 census, Bob was a leather currier. This would have been at the Connolly Leather company, owned by the family of his future wife, Vera Connolly. It is said that Robert got the job with the Connollys, at the age of 13, thanks to the influence of one of his grandmothers who was a good friend of one of Vera's grandmothers. This grandmother of Bob's may have been Jane Butler (née Lynch) whose brother John was married to Vera's aunt Maria Connolly.

Bob enlisted in the H.A.C. (Honorable Artillery Company) in November 1916 and, following a number of months training in England, his unit was sent to France in April 1917 and then on to Ypres, Belgium. He was invalided out of the army on 13 February 1918, suffering from shell shock. He had attained the rank of Corporal.

Ursula Staszynski has put together a tribute to her Hussey and Bishop relatives (including Bob) who served in World War I. It contains biographical information, stories and photographs and can be viewed at http://youtu.be/N_YXbvPOT4E

Bob, Vera and their family lived at 4 Heath Mansions, Putney in the 1920s and at 17 Westleigh Avenue, Putney for most of the 1930s. By 1939 they were living at Oak Lodge, Beaumont Road, Putney.

Bob died suddenly and unexpectedly, possibly of a heart attack. He was only 54 years of age.

Veronica (Vera) A. CONNOLLY [Parents] was born on 14 Jan 1894 in Islington, London. She died on 29 Jul 1976 in Kingston upon Thames, Surrey. Veronica married Robert (Bob) Edward HUSSEY in 1921 in Kingston upon Thames, England.

Vera's grandfather on her mother's side was Swiss, while her Connolly great-grandfather was from Castlehyde, Co. Cork, emigrating to England in the late 18th century. Vera's father was in the leather processing business, founding Connolly Leather, the Wimbledon-based company that eventually specialised in the manufacture of seating for luxury cars. Among the contracts awarded to the company was the provision of leather for the furnishings aboard the Queen Mary ocean liner, launched in 1936, for which Vera and her husband, Bob, received a free return voyage to New York.

Vera's aunt Maria Connolly was married to Bob's granduncle John Lynch.

They had the following children.

  F i Living.
  F ii Living.
  F iii Living.
  M iv Living.

Trevor (Trev) Stephen HOYLE [Parents] was born on 26 Oct 1912 in Thames, New Zealand. He died in Oct 1984 in Auckland, New Zealand. Trevor married Catherine (Cath) GORDON in 1943 in Paeroa, New Zealand.

Trevor worked as a mining engineer in Thames and later ran his own iron foundry in Auckland. He and his wife, Cath, and their family lived in Remuera, Auckland.

Catherine (Cath) GORDON [Parents] was born on 3 Aug 1918 in Te Awamutu, New Zealand. She died on 30 Dec 2007 in Auckland, New Zealand. Catherine married Trevor (Trev) Stephen HOYLE in 1943 in Paeroa, New Zealand.

Cath's father died in the 1918 flu epidemic when she was only three months old. Shortly afterwards, she and her mother moved from Te Awamutu to her mother's old family home in Thames. Cath's mother remarried when Cath was six years old and had three more children.

They had the following children.

  M i
Trevor Harold John HOYLE was born on 18 Sep 1947 in Auckland, New Zealand. He died on 19 Sep 1947. He was buried in Shortland Cemetery, Thames, New Zealand.
  M ii Living.
  F iii Living.
  F iv Living.
  M v Living.
  M vi Living.

Harold Henry HOYLE [Parents] was born in 1881 in Plymouth, Devon. He died in Apr 1933 in Auckland, New Zealand. He was buried on 15 Apr 1933 in Shortland Cemetery, Thames, New Zealand. Harold married Edith Ellen CLARKE in 1904 in New Zealand.

Other marriages:
COWAN, Kathleen

Harold's parents were from Torpoint in Cornwall but had moved to the neighbouring county of Devon where Harold and his siblings were all born and where Harold's father worked as a grocer. When the children were very young, the family emigrated to New Zealand and settled in Coromandel where Harold's father worked as a timber contractor.

Harold followed his father into the timber business, eventually setting up his own sawmill in Thames. He died in 1933, aged 51, following an accident at the mill.

Edith Ellen CLARKE was born on 17 Aug 1879 in Coromandel, New Zealand. She died on 29 Nov 1918 in Auckland, New Zealand. She was buried on 1 Dec 1918 in Shortland Cemetery, Thames, New Zealand. Edith married Harold Henry HOYLE in 1904 in New Zealand.

It is believed that Edith's ancestry was English. She grew up in Bay View, Coromandel.  

Edith died in the flu epidemic of 1918. She was only 39 years of age. Her husband, Harold, later remarried and had another child.

They had the following children.

  F i
Celia Maud HOYLE was born in 1905 in Coromandel, New Zealand. She died in probably Auckland, New Zealand.

It is believed that Celia never married. She lived in Remuera, Auckland.
  M ii Harold Edwin HOYLE was born in 1907. He died on 12 Dec 1976.
  F iii Olga Edith HOYLE was born in 1909. She died in 1991.
  M iv Trevor (Trev) Stephen HOYLE was born on 26 Oct 1912. He died in Oct 1984.

Alfred James GORDON [Parents] was born in 1890 in New Zealand. He died in 1918. Alfred married Elizabeth FALLON about 1917.

Alfred was a wheelright. He was only in his late twenties when he died in the flu epidemic of 1918, leaving behind a wife and baby daughter.

Elizabeth FALLON [Parents] was born in 1890 in New Zealand. She died in 1970 in New Zealand. Elizabeth married Alfred James GORDON about 1917.

Other marriages:
COSGROVE , George Egbert

While it appears to be certain that Elizabeth's surname was Fallon I was told by one family source that it was Smith.

They had the following children.

  F i Catherine (Cath) GORDON was born on 3 Aug 1918. She died on 30 Dec 2007.

Michael John GORDON [Parents] was born in May 1861 in Kilgarriff, Fairymount, Co. Roscommon. He was christened on 19 May 1861 in Loughglynn, Co. Roscommon. He died on 26 Jun 1938 in probably Paeroa, New Zealand. He was buried on 27 Jun 1938 in Pukerimu Cemetery, Paeroa, New Zealand. Michael married Sarah Bridget MURPHY on 3 Feb 1889 in St. Benedict's Church, Newton, Auckland.

Michael's relationship with his father, Thomas, was said to have been tempestuous, and it led eventually to Michael's emigration to New Zealand. The story goes that, against his father's wishes, Michael bought a horse that was a highly regarded jumper. This was presumably with his father's money. His father flew into a rage and ordered Michael to return the house to its former owner. Michael's response was to charge towards a terrified Thomas on the horse and jump over his head. Following this incident Michael decided it was time to leave Kilgarriff. On his next excursion to market, with a horse and cart loaded with produce, he not only sold the produce but also the horse and cart. With the proceeds he made his way to Dublin where he bought a boat ticket to New Zealand. He never returned to Ireland.

Michael was a keen and very skilled horseman and he continued to work with horses when he went to New Zealand. He worked initially as an ostler and stable hand in Auckland and much later owned a magnificent set of drays which he used in his haulage business in Paeroa. He also maintained his interest in horse-racing for the rest of his life.

Michael and his wife, Sarah, remained in Auckland for a couple of years after their marriage but then work became scarce owing to an economic recession and Michael and Sarah moved to Melbourne, Australia with their son Alfred. Their second child, Albert (Joe) was born in Melbourne. After five years in Melbourne the family returned to New Zealand. The economy was improving and Michael was able to set up his haulage business. He and Sarah and their family settled in Paeroa.

Michael is buried alongside Sarah, in Section ROC (Roman Catholic?), Plot 563 in Pukerimu Cemetery, Paeroa.

It is said that, throughout his life, Michael maintained was of the opinion that, as the eldest son, he had a legitimate right to the family farm back in Ireland. This is probably why his son Joe, while on leave in Ireland during service in World War I, apparently suggested to his (hospitable) cousins that the farm was by rights his father's. Joe's relatives politely changed the subject, poured him more whiskey, and Joe got nowhwere.

Note: There is a record in the LDS Vital Records Index for the christening in Loughglynn of a Michael Gordon, son of Thomas Gordon and Anne Foley. The date of the christening (19 May 1861) ties in roughly with the date of birth provided by the family (Sep 1860).

Sarah Bridget MURPHY [Parents] was born in 1866 in Arch Hill, Auckland. She died on 10 Nov 1914 in probably Paeroa, New Zealand. She was buried on 12 Nov 1914 in Pukerimu Cemetery, Paeroa, New Zealand. Sarah married Michael John GORDON on 3 Feb 1889 in St. Benedict's Church, Newton, Auckland.

Sarah was only 48 years of age when she died. She is buried in Section ROC, Plot 563 of Pukerimu Cemetery in Paeroa.

Sharron Peters, a descendant of  Sarah's sister Lena, is researching her Murphy and Cronin family history. If you have additional information on either of these families that you would like to share, Sharron would be delighted to hear from you. She can be contacted at sharron.vic.peters@orcon.net.nz.

They had the following children.

  M i Alfred James GORDON was born in 1890. He died in 1918.
  M ii Albert Joseph (Joe) GORDON was born on 22 Aug 1893. He died in 1972.
  F iii Monica (Mona) Mary GORDON was born about 1895. She died on 25 Feb 1984.
  M iv
Francis (Frank) GORDON was born in 1900 in New Zealand. He died in 1976.

Frank, who never married, suffered from ill health throughout his life.
  F v Sheila GORDON was born in 1908. She died in 2002.

'unknown' FALLON was born in Ireland. He died. 'unknown' married Catherine (Kate) KEOHANE.

Catherine (Kate) KEOHANE was born in Keakill, Bantry, Co. Cork. She died in New Zealand. Catherine married 'unknown' FALLON.

Kate was one of five sisters who emigrated to New Zealand. She had another sister and a brother who remained in Ireland. Kate was married twice and had 10 children. She ran a number of pubs, including the well-known 'Imperial' in Thames.

They had the following children.

  F i Elizabeth FALLON was born in 1890. She died in 1970.

Albert Joseph (Joe) GORDON [Parents] was born on 22 Aug 1893 in West Melbourne, Australia. He died in 1972 in probably Auckland, New Zealand. Albert married Catherine (Kathleen) Josephine O'TOOLE.

Joe served in France during World War I. From his attestation and other military papers we know that he was 5ft 9ins tall with hazel eyes and a dark complexion. He signed up for military service on 13 May 1917 and, following a period of training in Wanganui, New Zealand, left with his unit for Europe on 13 August, disembarking in Glasgow, Scotland on 2 October. The Auckland Regiment, of which he was a member, arrived in Etaples, France on 8 November 1917. Joe served a total of one year and 289 days overseas and returned to New Zealand in 1919. He was awarded the Overseas Service Medal and the Victory Medal.

There is a story that at point point during his service in Europe, unable to cope with what he experienced, Joe fled to Ireland where he was given refuge by his aunt Sr. Jerome Gordon in St. Vincent's Hospital, Dublin, where she worked. She kept him in the isolation ward which the authorities, when they came looking for him, were prohibited from entering and so Joe avoided arrest.

Another story, which is likely to be linked to to the above, is that when he was on leave during the war he and other soldiers with Irish connections went to Dublin where they were met by relatives and friends who plied them with whiskey and generally showed them great hospitality. Joe's army records show that he was docked some pay for being AWOL for a few days around this time, which may have been why the authories were looking for him. It is certainly true that Joe's war experiences scarred him motionally. He had been a victim of gas attacks and other horrors and rarely spoke to his family of his war service. However, he had good memories of his brief time in Dublin and always wanted to go back. He returned for his second visit about 50 years later, in the late 1960s.

Joe and his wife, Kathleen, lived in Auckland for the first few years of their marriage before moving to Wellington in the early 1930s. This was during the Great Depression and Joe, who was a carpenter, found himself out of work. Kathleen's widowed father lived in Masterton, about 100km from Wellington, and when work became available at the Masterton Timber Mill in 1935 the family moved in with Katheen's father. They lived there until the end of 1939 when they moved back to Auckland.

Catherine (Kathleen) Josephine O'TOOLE died in probably Auckland, New Zealand. Catherine married Albert Joseph (Joe) GORDON.

Kathleen grew up in Masterton, New Zealand.

They had the following children.

  F i Patricia (Patsy) GORDON was born on 13 Dec 1923. She died in 2007.
  M ii Donald (Don) Francis GORDON was born on 3 Mar 1926. He died on 21 Nov 2012.
  M iii John Desmond Joseph GORDON was born on 6 Mar 1929. He died on 4 Nov 2011.
  M iv Peter GORDON was born on 30 Apr 1932. He died on 14 Aug 1993.

William (Bill) BAIN was born about 1883. He died on 13 Apr 1954. He was buried in Otahuhu Lawn Cemetery, Auckland. William married Monica (Mona) Mary GORDON in 1915.

Monica (Mona) Mary GORDON [Parents] was born about 1895 in New Zealand. She died on 25 Feb 1984. She was buried in Otahuhu Lawn Cemetery, Auckland. Monica married William (Bill) BAIN in 1915.

I am told that around 1960 Mona was living on Surrey Crescent, Grey Lynn, Auckland.

They had the following children.

  M i
Philip BAIN was born about 1916. He died on 7 Aug 1923. He was buried in Pukerimu Cemetery, Paeroa.

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