History of Tambourine & Surrounding Region – ‘Pioneer Family – ‘Corcoran’


Before we head off into our story about another Pioneer family – still in 1862 – we would like to add something more to our last edition’s article on the Cusack family:

At the Tamborine Catholic Cemetery there is a plaque in memory of Patrick Cusack, born c1812, native of Derry Carney in Kings County, Ireland, with his wife, Mary Cusack, born c1827, native of Cloghan, of Kings County, Ireland, and their daughter Rose Harrison, born c1852 in Kilowney, King’s County, Ireland, who all arrived in Brisbane in 1862 aboard the sailing ship ‘City Of Brisbane’.

In the article, we commented “We are unsure of who Rose married (and when) to become a Harrison.”

There is also a memorial headstone showing Annie Cusack, who passed away on 12 December 1898, aged 49, and also her son Joseph aged just 10 months. The headstone does not indicate to which Cusack she was married. In the article, we queried “The headstone does not indicate to which Cusack she (Annie) was married.”

Well, we were sent a letter supplying the following details of: “Rose Eva Cusack married Edward Harrison on 12 October 1874” – which answered our first question; and “Annie O’Shaughnessy married Michael Cusack on 29 December 1872” – which answered our second. The letter also supplied info that “Annie and Michael’s child Joseph Cusack was born on 2 October 1878 and passed away on 21 April 1879” (from what cause we still do not know), and that Joseph was actually nearly 7 months old – and not 10 months as
the headstone shows. It also appears that Michael, (son of Patrick and Mary Cusack), may have remarried, after Annie died, to a lady called Kathleen who passed away on 10 January 1932 aged 81 years. They lived on a property at Tambourine called Summer Hill. Contact details were not supplied with the letter, but we would like to say a big thank to the letter writer, and would also love to find out more if possible!

So now onto the next Pioneer family on the list who arrived on the
‘Erin-Go-Bragh’ in Brisbane in 1862 and had a significant effect on Tambourine – the Corcoran family (listed as Corkeran on the passenger list). Michael Corcoran, born c.1800, married Catherine Dunne, who was born in 1817, and had seven children at Shanbeg, Co Laois, Ireland where he held 5 acres. The children are recorded as: Elizabeth (1834), Catherine (1835), James (1838), Anne (1840), Simon (1843), Mary (1846) and Elizabeth (1848). When Michael died, Catherine, as a widow emigrated to Queensland in
1862 with five of her children – James 22 yrs, Ann 20 yrs, Simon 18 yrs, Mary 16 yrs, and Elizabeth 14 yrs. She settled at Tamborine where she died aged 68 in 1885.

(It is interesting to note that the emigrants who made the journey to Queensland were selected by Father Patrick Dunne, an advocate for promoting the Queensland immigration scheme set up by James Quinn, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Brisbane. The Father also accompanied the emigrants on the journey, and later laboured in missionary work. It is unsure whether he was related to Catherine Dunne.)

At the age of 10, Mary Colgan was a passenger on the Erin-GoBragh with her family. In 1877 in Bromelton, second eldest son of Catherine and Michael, Simon Corcoran, married Mary Colgan and they had seven children: Mary Ann (1878), Catherine (1879), Ellen (1881), Elizabeth (1883), Agnes (1185), Michael (1887), and Anne (1888). Simon became a successful dairyfarmer at Tamborine and had ‘three blocks’ from 1870-1884 known as the Walsh Estate. Unfortunately Mary passed away in 1888 at the age of 36. He then married Esther (Essie) Kennedy (nee Dunne) (1841-1923) in 1891 (unsure again if related to Father Patrick Dunne or Catherine Dunne on his mother’s side). Simon was a member of the Tambourine Jockey Club, and also became a ‘Timber Getter’. Simon died in 1925.

Of Simon’s and Mary’s seven children:

  1. Mary Ann married John Conaghan in 1907,
  2. Catherine married James F Siganto in 1906,
  3. Ellen married Walter Hill Veivers in 1907,
  4. Elizabeth married Richard McGuire in 1913,
  5. Agnes married William Massie in 1922,
  6. Michael married in Mary Ann Gertrude Yore in 1911,
  7. Anne married James Service Thonemann in 1916 – all quite notable
    names in the local area.

Descendants attended the Tambourine School from 1871 to 1892. Michael Corcoran was a member of the Tamborine Cricket Team in 1910.

In a previous edition we commented “bad news”, we think Pat Rafter an
Australian No.1 tennis player came from a different line” when talking
about Tamborine pioneers Rafter family. But as it turns out, Simon Corcoran’s sister Elizabeth Corcoran (1848-1941) who was married to William Rafter in Beaudesert was the great great grandmother of international tennis player Pat Rafter. Simon Corcoran was also the great
grandfather of Michael (Mick) Veivers, an international rugby league player, later a media commentator, and a member of the Queensland Parliament (1987-2001).

Another passenger on the Erin-Go-Bragh in 1862 was Charles Corcoran born in 1835 in Queen’s County, Ireland (also listed as Corkeran on the passenger list). Not apparently directly related to Simon Corcoran’s family, became founder of ‘Erin’s Home’ Estate, Bromelton, via Beaudesert. He married Mary Deerain, daughter of one of the early Irish pioneers who settled in Waterford, Queensland, in the early 1860’s. They had two sons, James and Charles who were also born at Bromelton and grew the property to the extent of 2,000 acres.


In The Next Edition, See More Stories of Local Pioneer Families …