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Sideline Project: Wagragobilly Cemetery

Continuing on from my visit to Wagragobilly Cemetery in 2020 I thought that I would look on Trove to see what other burials I could find occurring there, as many of the burials have no headstone or markings in this cemetery now.  The six people mentioned below were buried at the cemetery between 1902 and 1925, including my 3rd Great Aunt Ann Holt née Quirk.  

Wagragobilly Cemetery

More posts mentioning this cemetery can be found herehere, here, here, here and here.  There will be more posts on burials at this cemetery to follow in the near future.

Michael Burke

Died 24th October 1902 (see headstone photograph here)

Source: Trove.
OBITUARY. (1902, November 8). Freeman's Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1850 - 1932), p. 17. Retrieved from


On Friday morning, the 24th October, there passed away an old and highly respected resident of Wagragobilly, in the person of Michael Burke, aged 72 years.  He was a native of Milton-Malbay, County Clare, Ireland, and left there for Australia in 1860 in the ship Hotspur, with the Sullivan family of Coolac, also his wife and her brother.  After spending a few years in Tumut, he selected a comfortable home in the valley of the Tumut River, at Wagragobilly.  He was married on June 20, 1863, and by that union there were born five daughters and two sons, all of whom survive him, excepting one, the late Mrs F. Malone, of Tumut Plains.  He leaves to mourn their loss a widow, four daughters and two sons, viz., Mrs. Garrihy, Sydney ; Mrs. Thompson, Coolac;  Mrs. H. Last, Fern Hill; Miss Burke and Messrs. Michael and Patrick Burke, Wagragobilly.  He was buried in the Wagragobilly Cemetery, the pall-bearers being his four son-in-law.  The funeral was one of the largest held in the district for many years past which was a high proof of the sterling qualities of the deceased.  Many people from Gundagai and Tumut were present, including the member for the district.  He died in the presence of his sorrowing wife and family and was fortified with the rites of the Holy Church, his spiritual adviser being the Very Rev. Father Donovan, who also officiated at the interment, and spoke in very eulogistic terms of the good and sterling qualities of the deceased to whom they had all come from far and near to pay their last tribute of respect.

Source: Trove. 
Mr. Michael Burke, Wagragobilly. (1902, November 1). The Catholic Press (Sydney, NSW : 1895 - 1942), p. 26. Retrieved from


Mr. Michael Burke, Wagragobilly.
On Friday morning of last week there passed away to his last reward an old and highly respected resident of the Gundagai district in the person of Mr. Michael Burke, aged 72 years. He was a native of Miltown-Malbay, County Clare, Ireland, and sailed from there for Australia in 1860.  After a few years in Tumut he selected a comfortable home at Wagragobilly.  He was married in 1863, and leaves a widow, four daughters and two sons to mourn their loss, viz., Mrs. Garrihy (Sydney), Mrs. Thompson (Coolac), Mrs. H. Last (Fern Hill), Miss Burke and Messrs. Michael and Patrick Burke (Wagragobilly). He also leaves a brother, Mr. Patrick Burke, of Bongongolong.  The late Mrs. J. Malone, of Tumut, was a daughter of the deceased.  The remains were interred in the Wagragobilly Cemetery.  The pall-bearers were his four sons-in-law.  The funeral was one of the largest seen in the district for many years, a high proof of the sterling qualities of the deceased.  He died surrounded by his family and fortified with the rites of his faith, administered by the Rev. Father Donovan, who also officiated at the interment.  R.I.P.

Ann Holt née Quirk 

Died 4th May 1909 (see headstone photograph here)

Ann is my 3rd Great Aunt and was the daughter of Michael Quirk and his wife Honorah née Costello (see more here and here). I will have more on Ann in future posts.

Source: Trove.
Personal. (1909, May 11). The Tumut Advocate and Farmers and Settlers' Adviser (NSW : 1903 - 1925), p. 3. Retrieved from

Mrs. A. Holt of Wagragobilly, died at the residence of her son-in-law (Mr. A. Cornish, at one time school teacher at Brungle), Mogilla, near Bemboka, on Tuesday, at the age of 63 years.  Her husband predeceased her by 23 years.  Deceased leaves a family of four sons and two daughters - Messrs. T. and G.A. Holt (Wagra), J. and W. Holt (Sydney), and Mesdames A. Cornish (Mogilla) and F. Hargreaves (Goulburn).  Six grandchildren are also left.  Deceased’s surviving brothers are Messrs. J., M. and T. Quirk, of Wagra : sisters Mrs. G. Last, of Fern Hill, and Mrs. J. Pierce, of Darbalara.  The late Mrs Holt was a resident of Wagra for over 30 years.  The remains of the deceased were interred in the Wagra cemetery on Sunday last.

Patrick Burke/Bourke

Died 25th June 1915  (see headstone photograph here)

Source: Trove.
Mr. Patrick Bourke. (1915, July 22). The Catholic Press (Sydney, NSW : 1895 - 1942), p. 28. Retrieved from

Mr. Patrick Bourke.
The death occurred in Lewisham Private Hospital recently of Mr. Patrick Bourke, of Gundagai, after an illness of three weeks.  The late Mr. Bourke was born at Miltown Mallery, County Clare, Ireland on January 6, 1839, and came to Sydney in the beginning of the year 1861.  In 1891 he settled on the land at Bongongolong, where he carried on farming and grazing with great success.  In 1896 he was married by the late Very Rev. Father Finnegan, to Miss Torpie, who survives him.  In 1907 he sold his property, and came to live in the Gundagai municipality.  He was a staunch Home Ruler, and contributed generously to the cause.  He was an exemplary Catholic, and died fortified by the last rites of the Church.  The late Mr. Bourke had two brothers in this State - Michael, of Wagragobilly, who died 13 years ago, and Peter, of Batlow, who died 21 years ago.  The remains of the deceased gentleman were brought by special train to Gundagai, to St. Patrick’s Church, where Mass was celebrated.  Afterwards, in the Wagragobilly Cemetery, the interment took place.  The prayers at the gravesite were recited by the Very Rev. Father Donovan - R.I.P.

Julia O’Keefe/Keefe

Died 24th August 1923 (see headstone photograph here)

Source: Trove.
Mrs. Michael Keefe. (1923, August 28). The Gundagai Times and Tumut, Adelong and Murrumbidgee District Advertiser (NSW : 1868 - 1931), p. 2. Retrieved from


Mrs. Michael Keefe
On Friday last the death occurred at South Gundagai of another district pioneer, in the person of Mrs. Keefe, wife of Mr. Michael Keefe, J.P., at the ripe age of four score years.  Up to about two years ago deceased lived with her husband at Wagragobilly, where she reared a large family of stalwart boys and girls, all of whom are now grown up to be men and women.  For some years deceased had not enjoyed good health and it was for this reason that Mr. Keefe retired from active farming life, thinking that change from worry and hard toil might be the means of benefiting his wife’s health, but the old lady never improved and despite the unremitting attention of a loving daughter, she passed peacefully away, as stated. The funeral took place on Sunday, when deceased’s mortal remains were laid to rest in the R.C. portion of the Wagragobilly cemetery.  She leaves to mourn her loss an aged husband and large family of sons and daughters some of whom reside in the district.  The Rev. Father Treacy read the burial service.

Source: Trove
Mrs. Michael Keefe. (1923, September 13). The Catholic Press (Sydney, NSW : 1895 - 1942), p. 16. Retrieved from


Mrs. Michael Keefe.
On Friday, 24th ult., there passed peacefully away, at her home at South Gundagai, Mrs. Julia Keefe, wife of Mr. Michael Keefe, at the age of 80 years, almost the whole of which was spent in Gundagai district.  Born at Bundarlo, and married at Tumut in 1868, she resided with her husband for over 52 years on the same property at Wagragobilly, and reared a large family of good Australians.  Owing to advancing years, the old couple, disposed of their property two years ago and have since resided at South Gundagai.  The deceased lady was a fine type of Australian, who made everyone at home, and was also a great help in the establishment of the church at Wagra.  She is survived by her husband, and the sons and daughters still living are : Messrs. Mick Keefe (Gundagai), James Keefe (South Gundagai), Miss Jessie Keefe and Mrs. E. Potter (South Gundagai), Mrs. A. Weir (Lindfield), Mrs. Tom West (Marrickville), Mrs. J. Bloomer (Marrickville), and Mrs. P. J. Coughlin and Mrs. P. Kelly (Stanmore).  The funeral, which took place on Sunday, 26th. ult., at the Wagra Cemetery, was largely attended, and expressions of sympathy were numerous.  The last prayers were read by Rev. Father Tracey, of Gundagai, who also ministered the Last Sacraments to deceased during her last illness - R.I.P.

Bridget Burke née McInerney

Died 24th September 1923 (see headstone photograph here)

Source: Trove
MRS. B. BURKE. (1923, October 1). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 11. Retrieved from


The death occurred recently at her residence, Wagragobilly, Gundagai, of Mrs. Bridget Burke, widow of the late Mr. Michael Burke, at the age of 83 years.  A native of Ennis, county Clare, Ireland, she arrived in this country in 1861, and went to Tumut, where she married her late husband on June 20, 1863.  She had resided at Wagragobilly ever since.
She is survived by three daughters and two sons, - viz., Miss E. Burke, and Messrs. M. And P. Burke, Wagragobilly, Mrs. Thompson, Lewisham, and Mrs. H. J. Last, Cootamundra.  Two daughters predeceased her.   There are a number of grandchildren, as well as two great grandchildren.  The funeral took place at the local cemetery.

Source: Trove.
No title (1923, September 28). The Tumut and Adelong Times (NSW : 1864 - 1867; 1899 - 1950), p. 1. Retrieved from


The death occurred at Wagragobilly on Monday morning of Mrs. Bridget Burke, widow of the late Michael Burke, at the age of 85 years, 60 of which were spent at Wagragobilly.  The funeral took place at the Wagragobilly cemetery on Wednesday afternoon.

Source: Trove
OBITUARY. (1923, October 18). Freeman's Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1850 - 1932), p. 14. Retrieved from

Another of the grand old pioneers passed to her reward in the person of Mrs. Bridget Burke, relict of the late Mr. Michael Burke, at her residence, Wagragobilly, Gundagai, on Monday, September 24th, at the ripe old age of 84 years.  Born at Ennis, County Clare, Ireland, on February 1st, 1839, deceased was the daughter of Thomas M’Inerney, of Ennis.  In November, 1860, she sailed for Australia, accompanied by her brother, the late Michael M’Inerney, in the ship Hotspur.  Her late husband was also a passenger by the same boat.  Deceased landed in Sydney in February, 1861, and with her brother journeyed direct to Tumut.  Two years later, on the 20th June, 1863, she married her late husband at the Catholic Church, Tumut, and the young couple went to reside at Wagragobilly, and lived in the one home in that village for a period of 60 years.  Her husband predeceased her by 21 years.  The family consisted of five daughters and two sons.  Two of the daughters pre-deceased her, viz., Mrs. E. Malone (Tumut Plains) and Mrs. J. T. Garrihy (North Sydney).  The five surviving children are Miss Ellen Burke (Wagragobilly), Mrs. M. Thompson (Lewisham), and Mrs. H. J. Last (Cootamundra), Messrs. Michael and Patrick Burke (Wagragobilly).  There are 22 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.  The late Michael M’Inerney, of Tumut Plains, and the late Thomas M’Inerney, of Gilmore, were brothers of deceased.  Mrs. Burke was in failing health for the past five years, and was tenderly nursed by her daughter, Miss Ellen.  Rev. Father Tracey administered the Last Sacraments.  The Sisters of Mercy, Gundagai, visited deceased before her death.  Her endearing qualities, noble, kind-hearted and generous disposition won her a wide circle of friends.  She was a loving mother and devout Catholic.  She never missed Mass in Wagragobilly church, and was in possession of all her faculties up to the last.  The late Mrs. Burke was a great reader, and took a keen interest in her native land.  Her remains were laid to rest in Wagragobilly Cemetery on Wednesday, beside her late husband.  The funeral was largely attended, many coming long distances to be present, and was a striking testimony of the esteem in which deceased was held.  The pall-bearers were her nephews and grandsons.  The Rev. Father Tracey officiated at the grave.  R.I.P.

Emily Austin née Thomas

Died 21 July 1924 (see headstone photograph here)

Source: Trove
Brungle. (1924, August 1). Adelong and Tumut Express and Tumbarumba Post (NSW : 1900 - 1925), p. 3. Retrieved from



The sudden death occurred last Monday week of Mrs. Austin, wife of the newly-appointed manager of the Brungle Aborigines’ Mission Station.  The late Mrs. Austin had been ailing for some time, suffering from chronic laryngitis, which developed rapidly, and, though Mrs. Austin was poorly on the Sunday night when Dr. Owen came out from Gundagai, nothing of a serious nature was apprehended, but at 10.40 a.m. on the Monday the lady passed away quietly in her sleep, heart failure bringing about the end.  Mr. Austin, who previous to taking over the station, was at Singleton in charge of the mission there, and it was there that Mrs. Austin contracted the dread disease in carrying out her duties amongst the blacks of that district.  The funeral took place last Tuesday week, the remains being placed at rest in the Methodist portion of the Wagragobilly cemetery.  A great number of residents of the district followed the cortège, and at the grave Rev. Morice J. Blok conducted an impressive ceremony.  Mr. Austin sr., was, with his son, at the graveside, as also was Mr. Pettit, secretary of the Aborigines Board, who made the trip from Sydney as representative of the board. The directors of the board have asked Mr. Austin to remain in his present position, and to this end are arranging with Mr. and Mrs. Austin sr. to come and reside at Brungle, and they will then be able to look after the young children, of whom there are five, the eldest being seven years. Although there are few flowers about at present a number of residents were able to send along small wreaths, amongst which were three of artificial flowers, made by some of the mission residents.  Mr. and Mrs. Austin, we understand, have been resident in Australia about 10 years, having come from the Old Country, where the deceased lady before marriage followed the calling of a nurse.  Mrs. Austin’s mother and sisters, the only living relatives, reside at Plumstead, London.  Mr. and Mrs. Austin sr., on receipt of the sad news, left by train on the Monday night from Sydney, and were a great comfort to the sorrowing family.  Mr. Austin had to return to the city the following Wednesday, but upon the adjustment of matters in Sydney will, we understand, take up residence with his son at the Mission Station.

Possible NSW BDM Death Registrations

  •  Michael Burke   13993/1902  Patrick  Mary   Gundagai
  •  Ann Holt   4618/1909   63 yrs Benboka   Benboka
  •  Patrick Bourke   10518/1915   Patrick   Mary   Petersham
  •  Julia Keefe   15706/1923   James   Catherine   Gundagai
  •  Bridget Burke   15712/1923  Thomas   Ellen   Gundagai
  •  Emily A Austin   15294/1924   Charles A   Hannah   Gundagai


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