Catherine ('Kitty') Laurence

(Last updated: 2 December 2019)

Born: Kiama NSW on 3 September 1891.

Parents: William Joseph Laurence and Mary Jane Kersley.

Married: John Robert Barclay (1897- ) at Narrandera NSW in 1920.


Died: 1979.

catherine laurence

Catherine ('Kitty') Laurence (1891-1979) was born at Kiama in NSW and married John Robert ('Jack') Barclay (1897-1979) at Narrandera in 1920. Jack was born at Berrigan in NSW, the son of John Robert and Charlotte Eliza Barclay. He enlisted in the Australian Army at Berrigan on 9 March 1942 and served until 10 October 1945 at which time he was a private soldier in the 17th Battalion Volunteer Defence Corps. The Australian electoral rolls show that Jack and Kitty lived all their married lives at Berrigan where Jack worked as a labourer. Jack's mother also lived with them at Berrigan until her death there in 1947. As noted above, we believe Jack and Kitty had eight children all of whom were born at Berrigan. We know nothing about their third daughter, Isobel Margaret Barclay, and only a little about their two youngest children: Robert Alexander Barclay, a mechanic by trade, who married Maureen Alison Watkins and had three children, and Thelma Loraine Barclay who married a local shearer, Patrick Kevin Ryan, and has two children. As detailed below, we have discovered a little more about Kitty and Jack's remaining five children who, between them, have provided their parents with a further 13 grandchildren we are aware of.

1. Lawrence William John Barclay. The Department of Veterans Affairs' WW2 nominal roll shows that VX115994 Lawrence William John Barclay was born at Berrigan on 8 October 1922 and enlisted in the Australian Army in the field on 22 Jul 1942. He was then residing at Berrigan and gave as his NOK his father, John Barclay. He was discharged on 3 January 1947 at which time he was serving as a private soldier in the 37/52 Australian Infantry Battalion. The year before his discharge, Laurie married Elizabeth Ruth Heinrich (1919-2017), the elder daughter of the late Mr. G. A. and Mrs. Heinrich, of 'Mayfield' at Ootha (near Condobolin) in central NSW. As described in the Lachlan and Condobolin and Western Districts Recorder, their 'pretty wedding' took place at the St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church at Parkes:

. . . The church was decorated with roses, carnations and gypsophillia, and the pews with white ribbons and carnations. The charming bride entered the church on the arm of her uncle, Mr. W. D. Ross, of Ootha, who subsequently gave her away. Her beautiful frock was of ivory cynara crepe with torso waist-line, the bodice being exquisitely trimmed with sequins sleeves and yoke having inlets of angel skin lace. The fully bared skirt fell into a soft train. A beautiful lace embroidered veil, loaned by Mrs. Lockley, aunt of the bride, was held in place with a top-knot of white carnations. As 'something old', a gold pen darit set with rubies and pearls which was her father's gift to her mother on their wedding day. The beautiful bouquet was of November lilies, white gladioli and carnations. As the bride left for the church her friend Mrs. Dodson placed on her arm a white satin horseshoe trimmed with orange blossom, as a token of good luck. The bride was attended by her sister, Miss Una Heinrich, who wore a frock of sky blue tulle net over taffeta . . . Mr. Ivor Sanderson, of 'Avilla', Condobolin, carried out the duties of best man. As the bridal party entered the church, Mr. Cowle played Wagner's Bridal March and, during the signing of the register, Mrs. Cowle rendered beautifully 'I'll Walk Beside You'. At the conclusion of the ceremony a reception was held in the CWA Hall, where the guests were received by the [mothers of the bride and groom] . . . The Rev. Sommervllie presided and he read many congratulatory telegrams and good wishes. During the reception solos were rendered by Mrs. Williams and Miss Ruby Sanderson. The beautiful three-tiered wedding cake was made by the bride's mother and decorated by Mrs. Davis of Parkes. Dvr. and Mrs. Barclay . . . were the recipients of numerous gifts, including many cheques. They intend to make their home at Berrigan (5 December 1946).

Ruth's parents were George Albert Heinrich (1880-1943) and Annie Elizabeth Ross (1883-1977) who were married at 'Gonowlia' at Gunbar north of Hay in the Riverina district of NSW in 1911. Born near Port Augusta in South Australia, George moved to the Condobolin district in 1908 where he settled at Ootha on the propery known as ‘Mayfield’ which he cleared and improved until 'it was made an ideal farm with comfortable residence and all necessary outbuildings — a home where there was ever a welcome and hospitality shown'. George died suddenly at 'Mayfield' in 1943 and is buried in the Condobolin cemetery. His obituary, published in the Lachlander and Condobolin and Western Districts Recorder on 12 April 1943, tells us his surviving children were 'George (R.A.A.F.), Carl, Ruth, Una, Bert (A.I.F.). There are three grandchildren, Three sisters are living, Miss Lena Heinrich, Mrs. LecMey, Mrs. Lusk, and one, Mrs. Williams, who died only four weeks ago. Two brothers, Carl and August, are living. The late Mr. Heinrich despite his busy life, found time to take an active part in public movements that were chiefly of benefit to the man on the land’. The 'James Horseman' family tree on Ancestry tells us that Ruth's maternal grandparents were Alexander Ross (1856-1925) and Francis ('Fanny') Everitt (1859-1925). Alexander was born at Hamilton and Fanny at Baccus Marsh in Victoria's western district. They were married at Deniliquin in NSW in 1881 and two years later settled at Gunbar near Hay where they had nine children.

The Australian electoral rolls show that after their marriage Laurie and Elizabeth Barclay lived at Berrigan where Laurie worked as a mechanic and they had two daughters. Ruth died at Berrigan in 2017. Her tribute, published in the Albury Border Mail on 31 January 2017, reads: 'BARCLAY Elizabeth Ruth 24.1.1919 - 25.1.2017. Late of Berrigan. Dear mother of Heather & Lynette. Much loved Nan & Nan Nan of Julian, Paige, & Grace Blunt and Georgie, Ross, Chloe, & Eve McLean. Peacefully at Amaroo Berrigan.

laurence at narrandera woy woy xmas 1928

The photo on the left was taken at Narrandera in the 1950s and shows (standing L/R): Tom, William and Alec Laurence.
Seated: Lucy and Kitty Laurence. That on the right was taken at Woy Woy at Xmas 1928 and shows
Mary Jane and Catherine ('Kitty') Laurence with their father William Joseph.

2. Dorothy May ('Lottie') Barclay who married Noel Albert Hannan (1922-91) in 1947 probably at Narrandera although that has still to be confirmed. Born at Numurkah in Victoria, Noel was the eldest son of Matthew Joseph Hannan (1886-1951) and Meta Alvina Larsen (1893-1982) who, the 'Williams-O'Connell Family History' website tells us, were married in the Melbourne suburb of St Kilda the year after Matthew returned from serving on the Western Front during the First World War. According to his military file in the Australian Archives, Matthew was born at Shepparton in Victoria in around 1877, the son of M. J. Hannan (deceased) and Marie Hannan. He was working as a butcher when he enlisted in the First AIF at Melbourne on 14 July 1916. Assigned to the 6th reinforcements for the 57th Battalion, Matthew embarked from Melbourne on the A71 NESTOR on 2 October the same year. After training in England he proceeded to France on 8 February 1917 and joined his battalion there eight days later. In December 1917 he came down with trench fever and was sent back to England for treatment, initially at Colchester and then the 3rd Auxilliary Hospital at Dartford. He was repatriated to Australia on the DURHAM CASTLE in February 1918 and discharged from the Army in Melbourne in June the same year. In July 1918 he and a number of other veterans were formally welcomed home in a ceremony held at Congupna near Shepparton. His name is inscribed on the honour roll in the Tallygaroopna and District Hall.

The 'Williams-O'Connell Family History' website tells us that after his marriage, Mathew continued to work as a butcher at Tallygaroopna in the now heritage-listed building where at different times his brothers-in-law Roy Williams and Bert Larsen also worked. He and Meta had their two boys there - Noel Albert and his younger brother, John Leo Hannan (1919-93) who later married Edith Olsen (1920-2009) and had three children - before moving to the Melbourne suburb of Oakleigh. The family later went to Boree Creek, then Oaklands and finally Berrigan in New South Wales. In 1942 Matthew became a Commonwealth Officer at the Department of Munitions at Oaklands. His obituary in the Corowa Free Press tells us he died at Oaklands after collapsing in his office at the Department of Supply, and is buried in the Oaklands cemetery. The 'Larsen/Turnham Family Tree' on Ancestry tells us that Meta's parents were Laust Larsen, born at Aastrup Gording in Ribe in Denmark in 1843 and died at Congupna in 1917, and Anna Margaretha Naugardt who was born at Flensberg, Schleswig-Holstein in Germany in 1848 and died at Copunnga in 1904. They were married at Freyer's Creek near Castlemaine in Victoria in 1870 and had eleven children between 1871 and 1893 (the year of Meta's birth).

mathew and meta hannan noel and dorothy hannan

The photo on the left is taken from the 'Williams-O'Connell Family History' website and shows Mathew and Meta Hannan nee Larsen
(second and third from the left) with members of Meta's family at Tallygaroopna in Victoria in 1919. That on the right
is from the 'Larsen/Turnham Family Tree' on Ancestry and shows Noel and Lottie Hannan in around 1947.

The Australian electoral rolls show that after their marriage, Noel and Lottie lived at Finley in NSW where Noel worked as a salesman and clerk. The Ryerson Index tells us Noel died at Albury in 1991 and the Deniliquin Historical Society website (covering burials before 2002) shows he is buried in the Lawn Cemetery at Finley. Lottie died at Finley in 2009. The 'Williams-O'Connell Family Tree' says they had four children: 1) John Mathew Hannan who married Jacqueline Kennedy and had two children: Mathew Joseph and Richard Noel Hannan; 2) Kathryn Noela Hannan who married Graeme Woodward and had two children: Kristy Leanne and Paul Christopher Woodward; 3) Margaret Veronica Hannan; and 4) David Peter Hannan who married Gail Betson.

3. Betty Jean Barclay (1926-2006). Born at Berrigan, Betty married a local shearer, Robert Patrick ('Pat') Brady (1922-2007) there in 1950. The Department of Veterans Affairs' WW2 nominal roll shows that Pat was born at Berrigan on 17 March 1922 and enlisted in the Australian Army at Melbourne's Royal Park on 22 January 1942. His place of residence was said to be Berrigan and his NOK was his father Robert Brady. Pat was discharged on 16 May 1946 at which time he was a private soldier in 3 Australian Base Supply Depot. Ancestry's Australian Marriage Index indicates that, some twelve months before his discharge, Pat married an Ilief Rule in the Jerilderie registration district of NSW. The 1949 electoral roll shows Robert Patrick, a shearer, and Ilief Brady living on Harris Street in Berrigan. Ilief died there the same year and is buried in the local cemetery. We don't think she and Pat had any children. The following year Pat and Betty married and, along with other members of the Brady family, continued to live and work in Berrigan.

Pat's parents were Robert Brady and Ethel Ruby Homer who were married at Hamilton in Victoria in 1916. According to the 'H. Brady family tree' on Ancestry, Robert senior was born at Dunkeld (located to the east of Hamilton) in Victoria in 1889 and died at Berrigan in 1956. His wife, Ethel, was born at Hay in central NSW in 1895. It adds they had five children: Sydney James (born in 1916), Robert Patrick (1922), Kevin Lawrence (1929-2001), Eileen Jean and one other (probably Thomas Brady who, as the electoral rolls show, lived with his parents at Berrigan where he and his father worked as labourers). Robert snr's parents were Edward Brady (1832-1918) and Catherine McConville (1856-1954). Edward's obituary published in the Riverine Grazier on 10 December 1918, tells us he emigrated to Australia from Ireland in 1852, bringing with him a number of letters of introduction. One these was to a 'Mr. Rutledge, of Warrnambool, and the latter put him in charge of a wine and spirit store, in which he had an interest. After that Mr Brady went in for sheep farming in a fairly large way at Dunkeld in the Western district. From there he went to the Mallee district, and laid out a lot of money at Hopetoun. The drought of 1895-6 dealt very severely with Mr Brady and he left the Mallee for the better rainfall of Gippsland, where he was engaged in farming pursuits for some time. Still later he came to the Hay Irrigation Area and, for the past eight years, has lived there, having both a wet and a dry lease'. Edward's wife, Catherine, continued to live at Hay until her own death there in 1954. She and Edward, who were married at Ararat in Victoria in 1874, had 14 children, nine of whom were still alive at the time of Catherine's death at Hay.

The Ryerson Index tells us that Betty died at Berrigan on 25 July 2006 and Pat died there on 19 October 2007. They had at least three children we are aware of: Carol, John and Rodney Brady.

4. As reported in the Jerilderie Herald and Urana Advertiser on 30 March 1950, Christina Winifred Barclay married Herbert Francis ('Bonnie') Sweeney (1924-2000) at St. Columba's Church at Berrigan on 4 February of the same year. The Reverend Father Desmond of Berrigan officiated, assisted by Paul Ryan as Altar boy.

The bride entered the church on the arm of her father, and looked lovely in a gown of white satin. Her gown was cut on classical lines, featuring a sweetheart neckline, with gathered shoulders and shaped waist. The very full skirt fell away into a train. Her full length tulle veil was held in place with a coronet of orange blossom. The beautiful trailer bouquet carried by the bride was of white gladioli, white carnations and frangipanni. Miss Lucy Barclay, sister of the bride, was bridesmaid, and looked charming in a frock of pale mauve net over a deep mauve slip. She carried a bouquet of mauve gladioli. Her shoulder length veil was held by small flowers. Pretty little Heather Barclay, niece of the bride, was flower girl, and looked sweet in a frock of pale pink net over deep pink taffeta. Her frock was frilled from waist to hem and she carried a tiny basket of mauve and pink flowers. Mr Terry Sweeney, brother of the groom, acted as best man. During the signing of the register 'Ave Maria' was beautifully sung by Mrs B. Miller, Mrs George Bush accompanying her at the organ. The reception was held at the supper room of the Soldiers' Memorial Hall where some eighty guests were received by Mrs Barclay and Mrs Sweeney . . . . One of the main highlights of the breakfast was the beautiful 3-tier cake made and decorated by Mr George Hanna of Jerilderie . . . farewelled by a big crowd of well-wishers [the young couple subsequently] left by train for Narrandera. The honeymoon was spent at Leura and Katoomba. Many congratulatory telegrams, cheques and gifts were received . . . Their future home will be in Jerilderie.

The following year, Christina's younger sister, and bridesmaid, Catherine Lucy Barclay, married Bonnie's younger brother and best man, Terence Grant Sweeney (1927-2007) at Jerilderie. The boys' parents were Herbert Augustus Sweeney and Dorothy Bell (1889-1961) who were married at Jerilderie in 1922. Herbert was born at Armidale in northern NSW in 1886 and died at Jerilderie in 1949. His obituary, published in the Jerilderie Herald and Urana Advertiser on 2 June of that year, tells us that he 'came to Jerilderie about 35 years ago in the service of the Postal Department and has resided here ever since. In all those years he occupied the position of line foreman until a year or two ago when ill-health caused his retirement from active work. He was a conscientious servant of the Department and carried out his duties in an exemplary manner. He was a respected citizen and made many friends hereabouts and was deservedly popular. He did not take an active part in the town's organisations, but was keenly interested in and a good supporter of the local sporting bodies. His principal hobbies were fishing and shooting, and he spent a great deal of his leisure hours following these pursuits . . . He is survived by his wife and three sons: Herbert ('Bonnie'), Terence and Ralph Sweeney'. According to the The 'Sweeney' family tree on Ancestry, Herbert's parents were John Edward Sweeney (1847-1919), from Fermanagh in northern Ireland, and Bridget Anne McGovern (1852-1912) who were married at Patrick's Plains/Singleton in NSW in 1869.

The Australian electoral rolls show that Bonnie, who served as a Leading Aircraftman in the RAAF during the Second World War, and Christina lived at Berrigan where Bonnie worked as a postal officer. The Ryerson Index tells us that a Herbert Francis ('Bon') Sweeney died at St George's Hospital in the Melbourne suburb of Kew on 10 June 2000. We believe he and Christina had three children: Martin Francis, Peter John and Gary Sweeney. Lucy and Terence, who worked as a contractor and mechanic, lived at Jerilderie where Terence died in 2007. We believe they had at least one child, a son, Adrian John Sweeney who is married and has two children and one grandchild we know of.

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