A huge get-together of Fitzgerald descendants will converge on Burcher and Forbes on September 14 2019 to celebrate the proud pioneering heritage of their family.
Edward aka Thomas Fitzgerald came from Dublin to Sydney on the Tyne as a 15-yearold convict in 1819 and was buried in the Forbes cemetery in 1878.
Thomas Fitzgerald’s surviving children with wife Mary Gorman were Ann, Margaret, Richard and Mark.
“Mark Fitzgerald was my great-grandfather,” said Beth Thomas of Parkes who is looking forward to the reunion. “He was a pioneer of note in the Forbes District, building the first timber bridge over the Lachlan River on the Newell Highway and later opening the hotel at Moonbi in the roaring days when two Cobb and Co coaches travelled daily from Condobolin to Forbes via Moonbi,” said Beth.
“He was a thorough bushman,” added Beth’s sister, Susan Harvey of Gosford, “After following the gold diggings of Bathurst, Grenfell and Forbes he selected his property, Uplands, of Wamboyne and was instrumental in the development of not only the district, but the state.”
Mark married Annabella Thorpe, who was the first schoolteacher of a school in Parkes, and they had 16 children, three of whom drowned one tragic sunny day in the care of their nursemaid, whilst their mother was confined in late pregnancy with a son who died a year after. The children are buried on a property along the Lachlan west of Jemalong. Mark and Annabella’s daughter Isabel refrained from going in the boat that fateful day and grew up to become the first schoolteacher of the Wamboyne district.
The immediate descendants of Mark and Annabella were Harrisons of Condobolin, Rileys of Gooloogong, Andersons of Clear Ridge, Joneses of Girral, and Fitzgeralds of Wamboyne and Sydney.
A very large number of the descendants of these families are expected to get together at the upcoming reunion.