|Richard Binney Orr
||Margaret Anne Bethune
|Born: February 18, 1847 at Killough, County Down
|Born: March 27,1853 in Glascow, Scotland
|Died: November 29, 1921
||Died: Oct 3, 1922
|Father: Rev. Samuel John Corbett ORR
||Father: Donald David BETHUNE
|Mother: Mary MARTIN*
||Mother: Mary SMITH
* NOTE: The parents of Mary MARTIN were
Allan MARTIN and JANE - information gleaned from a lawyer's search
to probate a will. This is what started me on this quest. According
to the letter, Mary MARTIN & Unnamed ORR had two children: Richard
Binney ORR and Letitia ORR.
THEIR TEN CHILDREN (at least three children died in
infancy - possibly also the last two as well.):
Evelyn Mary Bethune ORR, born November 10, 1872
Constance Margaret ORR, born April 23, 1875, died March 10, 1876 age one
William Cuthbert Binney ORR, born 1 Jul 1876 died 7 Feb 1877- age 7 months.
Gertrude Letitia ORR, born 25 Sep 1877 in QLD AUS. Remained single. Lived
with mother till her death.
Cuthbert Donald ORR, born June 21, 1879 Died in WWI, August 12, 1918,
Kathleen Muriel ORR, born September 29, 1882 and died October 10, 1884
age two years old.
Edgar Cyril ORR, born January 30, 1886
Violet Irene ORR, born August 15, 1889
Sydney J. ORR. born1893
Richard J. ORR, born 1894
Most of the initial information on this family came from the following
letter which is in the collection of Dorothy Robertson. Apparently, Darkey
Flats, where R.B. Orr taught is 22 miles from Warwick, which in turn is
200 miles from Brisbane. The children’s ages as given above were
calculated from details in the letter. I'll let Richard tell his story
in his own words:
1st November, 1896
I got your letter
of 16th Sept. yesterday, just 45 days after you wrote.
I was indeed very much surprised to get your letter. I thought
I was forgotten by all at home. I got one letter from Wm. John
Martin which I answered. I have made no money having just
been able to pay my way. I owe no debts & just manage to clothe,
feed & educate the family on my income. You will receive this
letter about Christmas & you can think of me when taking your
dinner, the snow and frost outside then, if God spares us to see
that time, I will have mine in the hottest part of our year with
the thermometer at 100 degrees in the room. This land of ours
is a beautiful, rich country. We sadly want men with a little
capital to come here & farm it. Our land laws are very reasonable
– Farms can be got from 80, 160, 235 acres at 2s.6 an acre &
10 years to pay; or other richer lands can be bought at from £1,
£1.5 up to £4.10 per acre from government at 20 years to pay it.
The grazing lands in large areas are rented from government on
a lease of years at about 3/4d the square mile. The place I am
living in now is both a farming & mining district. The mining
from what I have seen is not a profitable business except for
a few. The school teachers here are all government officials,
are all liable to be sent to any part of the colony at the Minister
of the Education Department order. Expenses are paid in first
class of train or steamer, and in the country you are provided
with house and water free. I receive about £3 a week the year
through. Where I am now is about 200 miles west from our capital
Brisbane. The nearest town is Warwick, 21 miles off. It is about
the size of what Ardglass was when I left home. It is the centre
of farming, mining and Station properties. The stations are the
large grazing lands rented from government & having thousands
of sheep or hundreds of cattle grazing on them. Horses and cattle
also sheep are very cheap compared with home prices. They are
not housed in winter although they have the feed there. Although
we have sharp frosts in July-August we have no snow. I have not
seen snow since I left home. Horses are so cheap that nearly everyone
in the country keeps one – we could not get about without them.
One wheat harvest in this country will begin in about a week from
now. Some of the farmers here tell me their crops look like a
30 to 40 bushels to the acre which will be sold to the flour mills
at 4s the bushel. After the wheat crop is taken off they will
immediately put in maize corn which will be harvested at the beginning
of winter. Thus they can easily get two good paying crops in the
year all without manure. The greatest drawback against the wheat
is rust and drought. I married in January 1871 and our family
living is 2 boys and 3 girls. There (sic) names and ages are Evelyn
years this month; Gertrude Letitia19
years last Sept; Cuthbert Donald
17 years last June; Edgar Cyril
10 years last Jany, and Violet Irene
7 years last August. They are all at home except the eldest
boy whom I have apprenticed to the foundry in Warwick. This is
his second year there. Lettia Jane lives at MacKay about 800 miles
from here. She married before me. I have never been at their place
but she tells me it’s a nice place but very hot. They have cattle
and grow the sugar cane. She has a large family & paid me
a visit with two of them about 2 years ago. They are very well
off up to this last year when the “tick plague” and “redwater”
killed off thousands of cattle in that part of the colony. These
men who are graziers on a large scale are catted squatters. I
forgot to say all our railways are government property so far.
All we are short of is a larger population, such as factories
would give us. We can produce our food and clothing products in
abundance but we want the consumers. I am my dear uncle your affectionate
nephew, R.B. Orr H.T.
Thanks to Wendy JACK, I have information from the Queensland Indexes
to Births Marriages and Deaths which further verifies many of the dates.
Wendy also forwarded an archived email from Robyn M. Condliffe in the
NIR DOWN Listserve of 30 March 1999 as well as information from the Commonwealth
Graves Commission. This has added substantially to our references. We
know that at the time of Cuthbert Donald ORR's death (and at least until
March 1922), his parents Richard Binney ORR and Margaret Anne ORR lived
at 95 Herbert Street, Wickham Terrace, Brisbane, Queensland.
More recently, I have the following from Robyn M. Condliffe:
Richard Binney ORR, born 18 Feb 1847 in Killough Ardglass DOW IRL,
died 29 Nov 1921. Richard sailed to Australia with his sister Letitia
on the Winterthur . They left from the Port of London on 26 Aug 1868
& arrived December 1868. Richard & Letitia shared a second class
cabin.Richard was a Matriculated Student in Arts in Queen's College
Belfast Ireland & was employed as a private tutor in Ireland for
some time. On arrival in Australia he was an Assistant in Brisbane &
Rockhampton & then Head Master at Tingalpa Qld.
He married Margaret Ann BETHUNE, 2 Jan 1871 in Rockhampton QLD AUS,
born 27 Mar 1853 in Glasgow LKS SCT, (daughter of Donald David BETHUNE
and Mary SMITH) baptized 29 Jul 1853 in Glasgow LKS SCT, died 3 Oct
1922 in Ambulance Brisbane Gen Hospital. Margaret: Baptised as Mary
Ann Bethune, shipping on Gengis Khan as Mary Ann Bethune, but known
as Margaret Ann Bethune thereafter. See Qld School Teacher records &
Inquest Papers under separate folder. Living with daughter, Gertrude
Letitia Orr, 451 UpperEdward St Spring Hill, when she had the fall which
resulted in her death.Prior to 7 Aug 1922, resided at 91 Herbert St
Spring Hill for 2 years.Religion:- Presbyterian.
MISC: Cuthbert Donald ORR was born at North Pine River,
Queensland and had served in the 42nd Bn. Of Australian Infantry as a
private. He was 35 years old when he died. His record in the Roll of Honour
for the Australian War Museum backs up the information from the letter
that he worked in a foundry. It also mentions that he was a railway fireman
but was suspended after a collision between two trains at Roma, Queensland.He
was educated in four different State Schools in Queensland which may mean
that the family moved a lot.
Other bits possibly worth pursuing include the 1901 Census where a Samuel
ORR turns up in Ballee and a Widow Mary ORR
is mentioned in Forde Estate 1854 PRONI/D/B/1/2 and a William
ORR is recorded in Griffiths Valuation of County Down, 1863
at Drumaroad Townland, Loughinisland Parish with a lessor William
At the James Cook University Library Archives there
are the Cook - Atherton Family Records (NOTE I do
not have ready access to these. If any one else does, I would be grateful.
Sharon Oddie Brown, August 2003.)
CA1 Folder containing xerox copies of::
newspapers cuttings of Atherton family marriages, births and deaths,1873-1906
excerpts from Daily Mercury Friday 6 April 1962
excerpts from The Queensland Pioneer Book
1879 land lease
15 reference cards
CA2 Autograph book circa 1911 belonging to Vida Althea Cook
CA3 Birthday book circa 1886 belonging to Althea Atherton. MY NOTE:
Given what we got from JeannieMoorhead's Birthday Book, this might
CA4 Althea A Cook's bible dated 29 April 1924.
CA5 Vida Althea Cook's 1917 diary.
CA6 Folder containing:
6 xerox sheets of Aboriginal words
4 handwritten sheets of Aboriginal words
CA7 Queensland Trustees Ltd balance sheet and financial statements
for1950, 1951 and 1953.
CA8 7 pkts photographs.
CA9 2 postcard sized photographs.
CA10 3 postcards.
CA11 28 Christmas cards.
CA12 Envelope containing paper cuttings, childrens drawings, and paper
CA13 9 Telegrams
CA14 49 letters to Mr. & Mrs. Cook.
CA15 16 letters to Mr. H.J. Parsons.
CA16 1 envelope containing spiritualist writings.
NOTE: Archives Location 2L
Additionally, there are the papers of James A. Gilmour
These papers belonged to the Gilmour/Lear/Fryer families from Mt Kelman,
Springsure in Central Queensland. James Gilmour was involved in the cattle
industry. The correspondence, certificates and ephemera within this collection
date from the 1870s. While not extensive, they provide some insight into
Queensland's early pioneering period. Archives Location 137L
NOTE: Apparently, there are two men named Rev Richard BINNEY - both sr. &
jr. who are buried in the Bangor Abbey Graveyard.