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Sunday’s Obituary: Mrs Thomas Quirk

After my trip to Wagragobilly Cemetery (see post here) I wanted to know more about the people who’s finally resting place I had visited.  The first one I wanted to know more about was Mrs. Thomas Quirk.  What was was/is her first name?  I had a really strong desire to know this and thankfully the ability to find it out.  Her name was/is Catherine, although it seems she went by Kate as that is the name on her marriage registration, the birth registrations of her children and on her teaching records. Yes, Kate had been a teacher and her last teaching position had been at Wagragobilly Public School.
I have been able to find out the following about Kate’s teaching career. In 1876 she was appointed a teacher at Huon Prov. School.  Then in 1877 she moved to Lacmalac Public School and stayed there until she was moved to Wagragobilly Public School in 1882.  She put in her resignation from teaching in June 1884 and it was accepted.

Source: EDUCATION APPOINTMENTS. (1880, June 29). The Gundagai Times and Tumut, Adelong and Murrumbidgee District Advertiser (NSW : 1868 - 1931), p. 3. Retrieved from
Lacmalac Public School.- Miss Kate Cullen, teacher.

Government Gazette Appointments and Employment (1882, May 23). New South Wales Government Gazette (Sydney, NSW : 1832 - 1900), p. 2846. Retrieved from
Department of Public Instruction,
Sydney, 18th May, 1882.
HIS Excellency the Governor, with the advice of the Executive Council, has been pleased to appoint the under mentioned Teachers to the positions and schools specified in connection with their respective names, - such appointments to take effect from the dates on which these Teachers severally entered upon their duties :-
Miss KATE CULLEN, Teacher, Public School, Wagragobilly.

Teaching records for Kate can also be found here and at

The school in those days was next to the cemetery and right next to land held at that stage by Thomas Quirk, so Kate’s memorial is not very far from her former workplace and home.

Source:  1889 Map for Parish of Wagara. County of Buccleuch.  Retrieved from

In 1884 Kate Cullen married Thomas Quirk and together they had the following known children:
- Harold Augustine Quirk b. 1885  d. 1956  m. Elizabeth A Murray  1906
- Elizabeth Evelyn Quirk b. 1888 d. 1959  m. Archibald John Pigram 1912
- Ethel Mary Catherine Quirk b. 1890  d. 1966  m. Garfield Hancock 1915

NSW BDM Birth Registrations

NSW BDM Marriage Registrations

NSW BDM Death Registrations
Source:  NSW BDM Indexes.  Retrieved from

Gundagai. (1891, February 21). Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 6. Retrieved from
February 17.
A Sad Death occurred last week at Wagga, in the person of Mrs. Thos. Quirk, being surrounded with melancholy circumstances.  About seven months ago Mr. Quirk’s dwelling place was burned to the ground through the bed curtains catching fire.  At that time the late Mrs. Quirk had just been confined, and was in bed with her child, and was forced to take refuge in a cold, draughty outhouse.  Since then Mrs. Quirk has been an invalid till her death took place.  The deceased was buried at the Wagga cemetery, and the funeral was largely attended.

MISCELLANEOUS. (1891, February 18). Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 6. Retrieved from
The wife of Mr. Thomas Quirk, of Wagra, who was widely known and much respected in the district, died on Saturday.

Memorial for Kate Quirk and her sister Elizabeth Cullen at Wagragobilly cemetery


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