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National Trust Willunga branch.

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National Trust of South Australia


Gaffney family

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Fast Facts
Type of person Family

Thomas Gaffney was born in 1837 in County Meath, Ireland. He came to South Australia aboard Oscar, arriving in 1861 and settled at Willunga, working as a labourer. On 4th February 1864, he married Catherine Mulvey at St Joseph’s Catholic Church, Willunga. Catherine was born in 1838 in County West Meath, Ireland.

The Gaffneys rented part Section 307 Willunga (approximately 130 Gaffney Road), about 15 acres of Willunga Catholic Glebe Land, and lived there in a cottage. They had 8 children. Thomas could write and Catherine could not.

Thomas died on 13 June 1900 in a nursing home at Kensington Park, aged 63, and is buried in the West Terrace cemetery. Catherine died on 20 May 1910 in a nursing home in Hanson Street, Adelaide, and is buried with Thomas.

As a young man, their son Patrick worked on the Adelaide to Victor Harbor Road. It is believed that he helped build the freestone walling on the road near Victor Harbor. A story is told that on Saturdays he used to walk home to Willunga after the morning’s work to do his washing and walk back Sunday afternoons ready for work on Monday.


  • Foreman B in Willunga National Trust archives De Caux Collection Folder 40 p45
Gaffneys at Willunga, 1908. SLSA B49173
Gaffneys at Willunga, 1908. SLSA B49173
Catherine Gaffney, nee Mulvey
Catherine Gaffney, nee Mulvey
Catherine Theresa Stewart, nee Gaffney
Catherine Theresa Stewart, nee Gaffney

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