Sheep Men


Charles Farrelly & Anne Dalton
Patrick Farrelly was a Dublin farmer born in Mullagh, County Cavan, Ireland in 1790. He married Jane Cassidy in 1803. When Patrick died in 1840 the family immigrated to Australia. They were sponsored by AB Smith & Co, leaving Dublin for Liverpool where they boarded the ship ‘Margaret’ in 1840. The cost of each sibling was £19. The Roman Catholic Farrelly family were natives of St Paul’s Dublin and all the siblings were able to read and write. Michael, 28, was listed as an unmarried agricultural labourer, John, 27, an unmarried shepherd, Charles, 22, and Patrick, 20, were also listed as unmarried shepherds. Catherine 19, and Ann, 16, were listed as a nursery governess under the protection of their mother. They arrived at Newcastle 28/3/1841.

On 18th December 1864 Charles and his brother Patrick bought two blocks of land at Carcoar in the Yarraman area on Yarraman Creek. They called their property 'The Curragh'*. This land was later identified as Portions 1 and 2, Parish of Yarraman. Charles drove the mail coach between Binda and Bigga. 

The Greville Post Office Directory 1872 lists Patrick Farrelly and Charles Farrelly as sheep farmers at Yarraman Creek, Tuena. Michael Farrelly is listed as a nurse at the Gladesville Hospital for Insane.

In July 1878 Patrick increased his holdings both to the north and south by purchasing the area known as the ‘Bottom Yarraman’. Documents have been found to suggest that Charles and two of his brothers Patrick and Michael remained in very close contact despite the distance between their residences. Patrick died unmarried in 1898 and is buried on Yarraman. 

On 26th April 1875 Charles Henry Farrelly, aged 56, married Anne Mary Dalton at ‘The Curragh’ Abercrombie River, this being the property owned by himself and his brother Patrick. Anne was age 21 and had already given birth to three of Charles’s children who were all registered in the name of Daulton. It is not known how or when Anne lost the lower portion of her left arm but her granddaughter has stated that she was able to carry out her normal household duties including sewing for her family. Anne died in 1884 when the youngest child was only 2 years old and was buried in an unmarked grave at the Trunkey Creek cemetery. Charles sister, Catherine, married John Humphries in Sydney 1847 and had a large family in the area around Wee Waa called the Liverpool Plains. Catherine died at their Narrabri property 'Kienbri Station' on 19th December 1868. Her husband eventually remarried and went on to have another large family. 

Their mother, Jane Farrelly, died in 1867 at 50 Prince Street Sydney, she was aged 80. Her son Michael was the informant and witness. Michael was a clerk in Sydney and never married. His brother Charles was present when he died in Sydney in 1882 and was buried in the Devonshire Street Cemetery; his remains were later moved to the Botany area cemetery when Central Railway Station was built. 

Both Farrelly brothers died intestate; Patrick in September 1897 and Charles in March 1898. ‘The Curragh’ and surrounding lands were leased in 1904 to the Commercial Banking Company for £500. Fredrick Merlin Hill later purchased the Yarraman holdings. During the 1920s and 30’s the property employed many workers who later became prominent names in the district. In 1964 G J Webster purchased Yarraman from the Hill Estate and in 1979 ‘Oakdale,’ owned by Roland Tranter, was incorporated into Yarraman.



*The Curragh (Irish An Currach) is a flat open plain of almost 5,000 acres (20 km²) of common land in County Kildare, Ireland, between Newbridge and Kildare.