skip to content

Rediscovering Ginninderra:
Minnie Francis Moore

Born: 1881; Died: 1961; Married: [nee Murty]

Minnie Murty was born on 16 February 1881 in the slab home her father Donald Murty built on his selection, ‘Gledeswood’, near Hall. She was the second of six children born to Donald and his wife Fanny (nee Plummer) Murty. Donald Murty was the son of Michael and Margaret Murty. Fanny was the daughter of Levi and Frances Ann Plummer.

Minnie’s maternal grandparents, Levi and Frances Ann Plummer, had migrated to Australia from England in 1857. Their first home in Australia was in the Camden area, at ‘Gledeswood’, where Levi worked on the Sydney-Picton-Mittagong rail line. They moved to the Canberra area around 1867. Levi selected land at Weetangera where he and Frances raised their three children, William, Fanny (Frances) and Eliza (Elizabeth). Levi Plummer met an early death when he was thrown from his horse at the age of fifty five.

The Plummer children attended school in the Weetangera area and were brought up in the faith of the Methodist church. William Plummer was an Exhorter of the Methodist church and was doing his training at the Wattle Park Methodist church. Donald Murty’s family were also members of the Methodist faith and instrumental in the construction of the Wattle Park church, which may be where Fanny and Donald met. The year following her father’s death, Fanny married Donald Murty and moved to ‘Gledeswood’. Fanny’s mother, Frances Ann, lived her later years with Fanny and Donald’s family, at ‘Gledeswood’.

Minnie’s paternal grandparents were Michael and Margaret Murty. Michael came to Australia as a convict on board the ‘Parkfield’ in 1839. Michael was a farm labourer and worked for various land owners in the district. He received his Ticket of Leave in 1845 and his Conditional Pardon in 1849 at Queanbeyan and was allowed to remain in the district. In 1846, Michael married Margaret Cameron, the daughter of Donald and Ann Cameron of Ginninderra. They were married at St. Andrew’s Scots Church of Sydney. Michael and Margaret had seven children, Thomas, Ann, James, Donald, Agnes, William and Christina. Margaret Murty died in 1861, when her youngest child was barely a year old. The younger children were cared for by their father Levi and grandmother Ann Cameron. The Cameron family lived at The Glebe farm, Ginninderra.

Death was a frequent visitor to families in the early days of the settlement when doctors and medical attention were not readily available. Donald Murty’s own mother had died when he was only a small child. Death was to visit the home of Donald Murty’s family, three times, while Minnie was only a child. In 1887, Minnie’s little brother Walter died at two years of age. In 1888 baby Cecil died at birth. Only seven months later Minnie’s mother Fanny died in 1889. Minnie’s father Donald was left to raise four small children - William was 12, Minnie 10, John 8 and Harold nearly 4 - with the help of Fanny’s mother Frances, who lived with the Murty family. Being the only female child in the family, Minnie probably learned the skills of keeping a house when she was still a young girl. Sadly, Minnie’s grandmother, Frances, died two years later, in December of 1891.

Minnie probably attended Ginninderra school and would have attended Wattle Park Methodist church which was built on land donated to the church community by Donald Murty. Minnie lived at ‘Gledeswood’ until, as a young woman, she went to Sydney to work as a nurse at Gladesville Mental Hospital sometime in the early 1900s. By that time the only people living at ‘Gledeswood’ were Minnie’s father Donald and his brother James as Minnie’s two brothers had also left home in the early 1900s. William had entered the postal service and married Emmeline Wilson in 1911; John had entered the police force and married Daisy Walter in 1910.

Minnie returned to Gledeswood in 1912 following the accidental death of her brother, John Stanley Murty. John’s young wife Daisy, was unable to care for her baby, Walter, and asked Minnie to care for and raise him, which Minnie did. Minnie’s father Donald was infuriated by Daisy’s action and refused to allow Walter to see his mother.

Minnie married James Courtney Moore in 1913 when she was 32. It is possible that Minnie and James met at a cricket match, which was a popular social activity of this time. Minnie’s brother John Stanley was a member of the Ginninderra cricket team for some years and James was known to play cricket socially.

Around the time of their marriage some changes were made to the slab house, built by Minnie’s father, at Gledeswood. A new kitchen was built with a veranda on one side and two rooms (probably bedrooms) off a hallway on the other. James and Minnie were to live the next 38 years of their lives at Gledeswood.

Minnie’s sons, Colin and Don, were born at Gledeswood with the assistance of a mid-wife. It is believed Nora Southwell was the mid-wife. Marjorie, Helen and Curtis were born at Queanbeyan Hospital. All the children attended Hall Public School for the first seven years of their education then the boys went on to Telopea Park School and the girls attended Canberra Church of England Girls’ Grammar School. The children spent Sundays at Wattle Park church in the company of their parents and Grandfather, Donald Murty.

In 1927 the homestead was again enlarged to make room for the growing family. The concrete brick section was added which increased the number of bedrooms and the size of the verandah. As the oak tree grew so did the house. Gardens surrounded the house.

Minnie’s life was devoted to meeting her family’s needs and the running of her household. She was a kind and generous person who never turned a traveller form her door without first feeding and provisioning them. She enjoyed family picnics which had always been a popular social opportunity to gather together with friends and family. Over the years, Minnie and Jim managed a number of family summer holidays on the south coast of NSW which was the area in which Walter’s mother Daisy lived. Minnie enjoyed the many successes of her athletic children and was a very proud mother when her sons Donald and Curtis volunteered for the Australian Army during the Second World War.

Minnie was a kind and generous mother and frequently came to the defence of her boys. Minnie was often heard to complain to her husband Jim that ‘he was sending boys out to do men’s work’. Minnie also felt that Jim did not give the boys enough credit for their farming ability. In fact, it was Minnie who finally, in 1951, convinced Jim to retire from the properties and move to Manly, thus enabling her sons to manage their own land. Minnie and Jim lived at 3 Eurobin Avenue, Manly, until their deaths. Minnie passed away in June of 1961 and Jim a year later in 1962. Minnie was sadly missed by her children and grandchildren. She was much loved by those who had known her.

Minnie Francis Murty nee Moore

1853 : Donald Murty born at Gledeswood, 4.8.1853
1856 : Fanny Plummer born Cambridge, England, 17.4.1856
1857 : Plummer Family - Levi, Frances Ann & children arrived in Australia on 'Admiral Lyons', 15.9.1857.

1867 : Plummer family moved to Weetangera.

1876 : Levi Plummer died from fall from horse, 26.4.1876. Buried Weetangera.
1877 : Donald and Fanny married at Methodist Church, Weetangera, 15.8.1877.
1878 : William Garrett Murty born at Gledeswood, 13.8.1878

1881 : Minnie Frances Murty born at Gledeswood, 16.2.1881
1882 : John Stanley Murty born at Gledeswood, 28.1.1882
1885 : Walter Archer Murty born at Gledeswood, 29.6.1885
1887 : Harold Eustace Murty born at Gledeswood, 23.4.1887
: Walter Archer Murty died 29.12.1887 aged 2 ½ years.
1888 : Cecil Herbert Murty born at Gledeswood, 13.12.1888, died 13.12.1888
1889 : Fanny Plummer Murty died 9.7.1889 ( Minnie was 9 years old).

1891 Frances Ann Plummer died, 12.4.1891, at Gledeswood. Buried Weetangera.

1904 : Harold Eustace Murty died 19.4.1904 aged nearly 17 years.
c.1900s William Garrett Murty joined Postal Service.
Minnie worked as Mental Health nurse at Gladesville Mental Hospital, NSW
John Stanley Murty joined Police Force of NSW

1910 : John Stanley Murty married Daisy Walter, 19.7.1910 in Moruya.
1911 : William Garrett Murty married Emmeline Wilson, 2.2.1911.
Walter Donald Murty born to John and Daisy, 16.4.1911 at Glen Innes
1912 : John Stanley Murty died 18.5.1912 while visiting Gledeswood (30 years old).
Daisy left Walter Donald Murty in Minnie Fances Murty’s long term care.
1913 : Minnie Frances married James Courtney Moore 15.10.1913 at St. John’s. (Additions made to Gledeswood house).

[Acknowledgement - Kay Jones nee Moore]

< Rediscovering Ginninderra