Margaret SINNAMON, b. 1821, Ireland, d. 10th December 1904, Brisbane, Queensland...


Australian Stockman's Hall of Fame and Outback Heritage Centre


Margaret SINNAMON, b. 1821, Ireland, d. 10th December 1904, Brisbane, Queensland

About this object

Margaret Sinnamon (nee Mathers) was born in Ireland in 1821. She married James Sinnamon, a farmer and quarry owner, at the Drumcree Parish Church, Portadown, County Armagh, Ireland on the 19th August 1840. In 1862, having a family of ten children, and Margaret again pregnant, they decided to emigrate to Australia.
They departed Ireland at the end of 1862 on the 1,369 tonne sailing vessel "Wanata", from Cork to Moreton Bay, via Queenstown, Tasmania. Life on board for the 638 passengers was not easy, especially for Margaret. Not only had she ten children to look after, but was also in the final days of pregnancy.
Her youngest daughter, Margaret, was born during the voyage. The "Wanata" entered Moreton Bay on 14th February 1863.
The family moved into a house on Wickham Terrace, Brisbane, before moving on to Corinda, where they worked on a farm for a Mr Gray.
In 1864, James acquired land further up the river, and the family began its farming operations. The first shelter that they built near the river was made of slabs, with a roof of bark and an earth floor. A pile of stones under a tree was the fireplace where the food was prepared.
In 1868 the family planned to build a new house, back on the hill overlooking the fields and the river. James and his sons set about felling and hauling timber for it. On 4th June 1869 James bent down behind a horse to attach the traces to a log, when the animal suddenly kicked him in the head. He died without regaining consciousness.
Margaret was left with a family of eleven children, the youngest being only six years old. What a tragedy! Coming to this strange land, filled with hopes and bright expectations, only to find herself a widow, far from relatives or early-life acquaintances, and with all of the responsibilities of a young family.
A person with less determination and character would have endeavoured to return home immediately. But Margaret persisted with the family's aims to succeed in achieving the opportunities of this new land. The family worked together to keep the farm going, and completed the house building. (This building, now heritage listed, still stands on Seventeen-Mile Rocks Road, the wooden shingle roof now hidden beneath corrugated-iron sheets).
Margaret had to act the part of both parents, discipline the seven strong-willed boys, dispense justice, and see that those working received their fair share of family earnings, and that the younger ones were not imposed upon. She also had to be comforter to all, and to the four girls be their confidante and guide. She was the inspiration that kept them hoping for good weather through the droughts and floods. With poor schooling facilities, in an undeveloped area, she managed to give them education to fit them for life's struggles.
Before Margaret died at the age of 83 years, on the 10th December 1904, she had the satisfaction of seeing all of her family of eleven children firmly established in their new country. They, in turn, gave her fifty-two Australian grandchildren.
These grandchildren have served Australia in many capacities, and three of them, Pte. E. Henry, Pte. T. O'Rourke and Pte. L. Sinnamon paid the supreme sacrifice during World War One.

Subject and Association Description

Parents: John Mathers married Maria Flavelle
Married: 29th August 1840, Portadown, Ireland
Spouse: James Sinnamon
Children: John, George, James, William, Benjamin, Joseph, Samuel, Mary, Sarah, Maria, Margaret.
Resided: 1821 - 1862 Portadown area, Ireland|1863 - 1904 Parish of Oxley, Brisbane, Queensland

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