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Rediscovering Ginninderra:
Esther Ann Cavanagh

Born: 1881; Died: 1973; Married: Smith

Esther Ann Smith was born in April 1881 at Weetangera to Mathew Smith and Eliza Plummer.
Mathew Smith (1857-1902) was born in Wistow, Huntingdonshire, England to Matthias Smith and Eunice Field, and arrived in Australia in 1862 with his father and brother and settled at Weetangera.

In 1879 Mathew married Elizabeth ('Eliza') Plummer who was born in 1860 near Picton to Levi and Frances Ann (Gutteridge) Plummer, who had arrived in Weetangera around 1865.

Esther attended [museum.hall.act.au/school/2895/weetangera-school.html]Weetangera Public School and at the time of her wedding was a cook.

She was married in June 1904 at St Gregory's catholic church, to Clarence Bede Cavanagh. She had worked in the household for Mrs E Crace, whilst Clarence worked as the stud groom.

'Mrs C Cavanagh' was present at Ginninderra Farmers' and Settlers Ball held in Mr Crace's new woolshed on Friday night. She wore black cashmere. [Queanbeyan Age 10.10.1905]

Esther and Clarence then purchased and farmed on the property Strayleaf Gundaroo Road, Mulligans Flat.

Clarence and Esther had six children -

Clarence died in February 1933 at only 55, and Esther took over the lease to the property and continued to work it with her brothers-in-law and son Jack. Esther also took over the lease for the old Ginninderra Police Station.

Esther reluctantly retired from 'Strayleaf' in the late 1960s and moved to Duffy Street, Ainslie and died in April 1973 in Canberra and is buried at the Catholic Cemetery, Woden.

Their nephew Ernest Cavanagh and his wife Beatrice and their son John and Joyce took over the leases for 'Strayleaf' and 'Eastview'.

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