Catherine Mulcahy1844

Catherine Mulcahy 1844

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The fourth of eight children to Thaddeus Mulcahy and Mary Costello, Catherine was born in 1844.

She was old enough during the worst of the famine years to see and understand what the famine did. Known as Kate by her family, she migrated to Australia in 1865 to join her older brother John and soon married Alessandro Mattei from Ticino, Switzerland. Three brothers and a sister went to USA while Dennis stayed on in the family farm. 

In Australia, Catherine became Kit. Her greatest achievement was a family of 12 who all survived to adulthood in spite of living in primitive conditions for most of her life. She began her Australian life on the goldfields of Daylesford; by the time of her first born, they couple were living in Monkey Gully a gold mining camp where Alessandro began his life as a wood cutter. The family was constantly moving to where work could be found, mainly in the area of the State Forest. Nearby the state forest was the old gold township of Blackwood where the family struck good fortune with an inheritance from a compatriot of Alessandro's. Here the children were old enough to be contributing to the work of the family: there was wood cutting and milling, gold mining, a eucalyptus still and a fruit and vegetable garden. There was a stable of horses to make the work lighter and for ease of transport - the home they called Rovanna is still isolated today.  Within five years they were bankrupt. The money invested in the gold mine they had on the property did not provide a return, the gold seam was exhausted.

The depression of the 1890s finally caught up with them. The family now moved to the other side of the state of Victoria, to Toolangi and started again from scratch, timber was what they knew best. before they had a home to live in, they had a mill working. In the winter of 1905, a month after the second set of insolvency papers were filed, Alessandro died. Within eighteen months, Kit was dead from exhaustion brought on by pneumonia and chronic kidney disease. The couple in spite of the hardships of their life lived to see their children reach adulthood and have a secure basis on which to begin their own families.

Additional Information
Date of Birth 1st Feb 1844 VIEW SOURCE
Date of Death 3rd Feb 1907 VIEW SOURCE
Mother (First Name/s and Maiden) Mary Costelloe (aka Kate) VIEW SOURCE
Townland born Ballynagleragh VIEW SOURCE
Place & Date of Baptism Ballynagleragh, 9 Feb 1844
Number of Siblings 7
Names of Siblings Martin b 1840 John b 1841 Ellen (aka Nellie) b 1849 Roger (aka Rhoddie) b 1853 Dennis b 1846 Timothy b 1857 Patrick b 1861
Spouse (First Name/s and Maiden/Surname) Alessandro Mattei
Number of Children 12
Names of Children Alessandro (Alex) 1867 Maria Adolorata (Mary) 1868 Joseph (Joe) 1869 Jacomina (Nellie) 1871 Johanna Maria (Hannah) 1873 Catarina (aka Kit) 1875 Ann (Anesia, Easie) 1877 Sophia 1879 Taresa 1881 Tranquillo 1883 Peter 1884 Francis 1887
Place of Death Toolangi, Victoria
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