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Rediscovering Ginninderra:
Edmund 'Ned' Ryan

Born: 1849; Died: 1913; Married: 1. Maria McNamara; 2. Catherine McClafferty; 3. Bridget Carrigy

Christened Edmund, the fourth child of William and Margaret Ryan, born in 1849 at Mulligans Flat, was always known as Edward, or 'Ned'. Samuel Shumack relates that as a young lad Ned was very keen to travel to Sydney with a bullock team and see the ships that they loaded into. After duly unloading teamster 'Skinny Jack' and his two off-siders left Ned to light a fire and boil the billy while they went for supplies. Ned, the innocent 'in-lander', filled the billy from the harbour......

Ned married twenty year old Maria McNamara on 23 July 1878. In 1881 he acquired eighty acres of land (Portions 325 and 326, Parish of Goorooyarroo) and settled down to raise a family. Sadly Maria died after the birth of their fourth child in August 1885. Her obituary observed that Maria Ryan was: 'a woman of quiet unassuming disposition and a devoted mother'. As was common at that time, Ned very soon remarried - to Catherine Agnes McClafferrty of Yarralumla. Catherine took on the care of Ned's children, and gave birth to two sons of her own. Tragically, this marriage too was cut short by early death. A few days after giving birth to her second child Catherine died (10 June 1890), leaving Ned with a baby and four other children.

After the loss of his second wife, his cousin Madge de Smet helped with the care of his children until Ned married for the third time - to Bridget Agnes Carrigy. Bridget was born in 1869 a native of Mullingar, County of Westmeath, Ireland. After arriving in Australia at the age of seventeen, she worked for some years for Frederick Campbell of Yarralumla. When they married in May 1893 Ned was forty four and Bridget twenty years younger. They remained at Mulligans Flat in the little slab hut built by Ned's father William for the rest of their days. Their marriage produced another nine children, the youngest only two when Ned died aged sixty four on 22 April 1913. By 1900 it seems that Ned had control of the Mulligans Flat property, which had grown over the years to 1,235 acres. Bridget was only fifty one when she passed away January 1919.

[thanks to Valerie Bofinger for permission to use edited extracts of her family history of the Ryans]

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