John Kernan and Bridget Slavin

(A Work Still In Progress)

John Kernan was born 1835 in Enniskillen, Fermanagh, Ireland son of John Kernan a farmer and Anne Gibbons.   Enniskillen is the county town (and largest town) in County Fermanagh.  Fermanagh is one of the traditional counties of Ireland, is located within the province of Ulster and is part of Northern Ireland.  Fermanagh is often referred to as Ireland's Lake District, together with neighbouring County Cavan.

Bridget Slavin born 1848 came from County Tyrone, Ireland daughter of Daniel Slavin a labourer and Catherine Holland. John Kernan and Bridget Slavin were married at St. Pauls, Roman Catholic Church at Coburg on Sunday the 9th of May, 1875.  Which according to meteorological records for 1875, was considered to have been a very fine month, with much bright, mild, weather, and but as having scanty rainfall.

John Kernan was married prior to his marriage to Bridget Slavin in 1875 and family notes say that 'his first wife died on the way out to Australia'.  On his marriage certificate to Bridget Slavin it gives 'children by each former marriage' as 1 living and 5 dead in column for John Kernan.  John was previously married to Bridget Healy and Anne Kernan (born 1859) was the daughter of John and Bridget Healy.

John and Bridget Kernan lived and farmed at 'Avonmore', Somerton, Victoria and owned a great deal of other real estate as well in the surrounding area.  John and Bridget Kernan had 8 children, Annie, John Francis, James Joseph, Mary Anne, Margaret Mary, Edward Stephen and Thomas Vincent.

Of the nine children Annie married Dennis Slavin, John Francis married Annie Marie Daley, James Joseph married Annie Marie Daley (after John Francis died in 1913), Mary Anne (Minnie) never married died in 1953, Margaret Mary married Alfred William Farrelly, Edward Stephen married Catherine Agnes Lavelle, Thomas Vincent died unmarried and early aged 33.

John Kernan Senior died in 1900 aged 90 years old, Bridget took over 'Avonmore' at Somerton till she died in 1921.  His will below lists the assets divided amongst his sons at his death.

24/03/09

1. All that piece of land containing 156 acres part of section 5 Portion
1 Parish of Yuroke. The improvements consist of a brick cottage
containing 6 rooms, weatherboard kitchen and dairy, 4 stall stable, 4
stall combail - fencing post and wire and stonewall. (This is Oakfield
scribble next to it). 'Oakfield property bought from a Mrs. Watts to his
son Edward Kernan.

2. All that piece of land containing 56 acres and 1 rood 34 perches
being part of Crown section 15 Parish of Yuroke. The improvements
consist of a 4 roomed weatherboard cottage mans hut and blacksmiths
shop, one stall, fenced with post and wire. (This is Linacres scribble
next to it). This was given to John Francis Kernan in the will.

3. All that piece of land containing 229 acres and 1 rood 34 perches
being part of Crown section 16 Parish of Yuroke. The improvements
consist of a 5 room dwelling stone and weatherboard 4 stall stable and
chaff house fenced with post and wire - let to John Kernan at 5/6 per
acre value. (This is Craigieburn scribbled next to it). This was given
to James Kernan in the will and called Crinion's Farm. (Crinnion's)

4
. All that piece of land containing 8 acres or thereabouts being crown
section 15 parish of Yuroke. Improvements being a stone building of 12
rooms, 7 stable cart shed store room - known as the Somerton Hotel let
to John Kernan for 25/- per week. ( This was given to John Kernan Junior
in the will)

5. All those pieces of land containing 9 acres 1 rood 26 perches lot 19
block C lots 1 to 38 both inclusive block D and lot 33 block E on plan
of subdivision No. 2826 being part of Crown allotments 14 and 15 Section
6 parish of Yuroke - no improvements.

6. All those pieces of land containing 85 acres 1 rood 8 perches being
Crown allotments 2, 3, 16 and 17 section 6 parish of Yuroke.
Improvement being a 6 room weatherboard dwelling 2 stall hay shed cart
shed - fenced with post and wire.

Possibly 5 and 6 were given to Thomas Kernan being 'the place at
Somerton he resided on' and the "To Thomas he also gives some land he
recently purchased from the executor of the late Hon Charles Campbell
Certificate Title volume 2443 Folio 488404.

KERNAN. - On the 15th June at "Avonmore," Somerton Bridget, widow of the late John Kernan, fond mother of James, Minnie, Edward, Mrs. A. Farrelly and the late John Francis and Thomas, aged 75 years. No flowers, by request. Passed peacefully away.

Bridget Kernan died in 1921.  By the time Bridget had passed away, sadly her son John Francis had died in 1913 and Thomas Vincent in 1919. 

In Bridget's will all her stock and implements on the farm were to be worked for their benefit but if this was not the case and they were sold the proceeds were to be divided equally between her children i.e. Minnie Kernan, Margaret Farrelly, Stephen Edward Kernan and James Joseph Kernan. Her money in the bank was to go to her daughter Margaret Farrelly. A cow named Minnie was to go to her daughter Minnie and all her rings were to go to Margaret Farrelly, her clothes and domestic affects to go to her two daughters. 

Her furniture could be sold if desired and divided equally between the children and regarding the properties they inherited from their father's will, she would like them to work together if agreeable to all concerned and she appointed James Joseph Kernan, Edward Stephen and Alfred Farrelly as trustees.

The family farm 'Avonmore' was leased out after Bridget died and as her wishes in her will all the stock and implements were sold and no doubt the proceeds distributed between her surviving children.

Tuesday July 12, 1921.
 Auction sale, also lease of property at "Avonmore," Somerton,
 at the junction of Sydney Road and the 12-mile lane.
 McPhail, Anderson, and Co. are instructed by the trustee of the late Mrs. B. Kernan, to
 sell, on the above date, at 12 o'clock all the dairy cattle, horses, farming
 plant, hay, growing crop, and consisting of 35 milkers, 15 forward and backward
 springers, bull, 8 draught horses, l8 month old draught filly, cob pony, saddle and harness, spring cart horse, rubber tyred jinker, nearly new; spring cart, 3 hay drays, Massey- Harris reaper and binder, Massey- Harris 13-hoe drill, 3-horse harrows, roller, D. F. disc plough, Mitchell: S. F. plough, 4 and 3 horse swingle - bars, cart harness, set dray harness, buggy harness, saddle and bridle, side saddle, draught collar and harness, winkers, plough chains, back bands, horse rugs; large quantity of surplus harness, 2 low-down pumps, 3 coppers, 4-horse power Blackstone oil engine: Buncle 2 knife chaff cutter and belting; quantity of bags: wheelbarrow, grindstone; quantity of new hardwood weatherboards, also 4 x 2 hardwood and red gum; 25 sheets of galvanized iron, piping; secondhand timber, posts and rails, dray wheels, heavy shafts, galvanized water trough, hay forks, picks and shovels, blacksmith's bellows and vice, iron safe, mixing bins, 35 pairs fowls, quantity of old iron, De Laval separator, 100 gallon; 2 churns, l8 milk cans, milk cooler and vat, cooling tank and fittings; sundry 50 tons of oaten hay. The above sale has been called recent death of Mrs. Kernan, and everything is for positive sale. 

Property To Be Leased.
 The property, of 165 acres, of good agricultural grazing land, is to be leased by public auction, at the beginning of the sale. No better place of the kind for milk production can be found, as the distance from the city is only 12 miles, and 1 mile from Somerton station.  Milk wagons pass the door, while the buildings consist of a good weatherboard  house of 6 rooms; stabling, milking shed, dairy, yards, &c, with a permanent water supply.
 Luncheon provided.

Annie Kernan

Annie Kernan was the eldest daughter but by John's first wife Bridget Healy.  Annie married Dennis Slavin on September 09, 1879 at St. Pauls in Coburg, Victoria.  They had 7 children, Bridget, John Patrick, James Joseph, Thomas, Anne, Charles Michael, Edward Vincent.  All registered at Campbellfield apart from the last two sons who were registered in Yea, Victoria.  Yea is a small rural community just one and a half hourís drive from Melbourne, so the family must have moved to the Yea area around the birth of Charles in 1889.

John Francis Kernan

John Francis Kernan was John and Bridget Kernan's eldest son.  He took over the Somerton Hotel when his father retired, he was a farmer and a businessman.  He married Annie Marie Daley in 1908 at Coburg, Victoria they had two girls Anne Patricia Kernan and Mary Monica Kernan. The couple are pictured at left outside the Somerton Hotel date unknown but would have had to be before 1913.

When his father John died in 1909 he inherited 56 acres and 1 rood 34 perches being part of Crown section 15 in the Parish of Yuroke.  It contained a 4 roomed weatherboard cottage mans hut and blacksmiths shop, one stall, fenced with post and wire. This piece of land was opposite the Somerton Hotel and could have possibly contained 'Avonmore'.   Furthermore he inherited 8 acres or thereabouts being crown section 15 parish of Yuroke. With a stone building of 12 rooms, 7 stable cart shed store room - known as the Somerton Hotel,  which was at the time of his father's death being let to him for 25/- per week. This was given to him in his father's will.

John ran the hotel till 1913 when he died he left the Somerton Hotel and his other real estate to his wife Annie Marie plus his two daughters, Mary Monica Kernan and Annie Patricia Kernan.

KERNAN. - In fond and loving memory of John Francis Kernan, who departed this life on the 23rd of October, 1913 (late of Somerton Hotel, Somerton.) Rest in peace.

James Joseph Kernan

James Kernan married Annie Marie Daley, his brother John Francis' widow in 1914 after his brother John Francis died in 1913.    James and Annie Marie had two sons of their own James Joseph and John Edmund besides the two girls to Annie Marie had from her first marriage Mary Monica Kernan and Annie Patricia Kernan.  This article suggests that the family were living in Craigieburn at the time of James Joseph's birth in 1915.

KERNAN On the 9th September 1915, at Nurse Regan's, Essendon, the wife of J. J. Kernan, Craigieburn - a son (James Joseph).

James Joseph died in June 22nd, 1961 at Coburg, Victoria aged 83 and is buried in the Fawkner Cemetery along with his son John Edmund.

Mary Anne Kernan (Minnie)

Mary Anne Kernan was born in 1879 and the birth was registered at Campbellfield, Victoria.  She never married and probably lived at home with her parents John and Bridget most of her life.  We are not sure at this time how she inherited the family property 'Avonmore'.  She died in 1953 aged 73 and is buried at the Fawkner Cemetery like the rest of the family but with her brother Thomas Vincent.

A Kernan family member remembers Minnie "living in a
beautiful house in Moreland Rd opposite the now John Fawkner Hospital.
She lived with Aunty Margaret (Mrs. Farrelly) who owned the place. They were
very gracious women, smartly dressed, often with a cameo or beautiful
brooch at their throat".

The Age 1955, Monday Dec 12th 1853
By Auction. At Scott's Hotel. 444 Collins St.. Melbourne Avonmore at 2:32pm - 164 acres
Victorian Producers Co-operative Ltd Have been instructed by the Administratrix of the estate of the late Mary Anne Kernan to sell by auction as above.
Avonmore consists of 164 acres 27 perches of good but semi-improved grazing land situated in Somerton, 12 miles north of Melbourne with approximately I mile frontage to the Hume Highway.
IMPROVEMENTS: A weatherboard home of 6 rooms, 3 double bail cowshed and dairy.  Galvanized barn and garage. The property is subdivided into two paddocks and watered by 4 dams, fencing is in fair order.
REMARKS: Avonmore is ideally situated within the close proximity to Melbourne and New Market and with some developments could be made into an attractive property.
TERMS: 10 percent on signing the property and balance of purchase money on or before 90 days when possession will be taken.

Margaret Mary Kernan

Margaret Mary Kernan was the third eldest of the Kernan girls.  She married Alfred William Farrelly in Somerton, Victoria in 1908.  As far as we know they had one son Bruce Farrelly.  William Alfred Farrelly and his wife Margaret Mary are both buried in the Fawkner Cemetery along with there son John Terrence who either died at birth or soon after.

Bruce Farrelly and his wife Agnes used to live at the Kernan family property 'Avonmore'. We are not sure how he got to live there at this time but it is possible his mother Margaret may have been the 'executrix' of  Mary Anne Kernan when she died and may have been kept in the family or sold and then leased at some stage to Bruce.   He and his wife had no children and moved from Somerton to South Morang, then Heyfieldl/ Maffra,
where they ran hotels.

Edward Stephen Kernan


Edward Stephen married Catherine Agnes Lavelle in 1915.  They had two children we know of Catherine Theresa, John Mannix.

Edward Kernan inherited 156 acres part of section 5 Portion 1 Parish of Yuroke, when hi father died.  Which had a brick cottage containing 6 rooms, weatherboard kitchen and dairy, 4 stall stable, 4 stall combail - fencing post and wire and stonewall. This property was purchased from Mrs. Watts by his father and it was given to his son Edward Kernan.

Family members of Edward Kernan remember his dairy farm was down Somerton Rd - the house was on east side of railway line near Somerton Station. It was called Avonlea.  The east boundary was from Somerton Rd to Clifford Rd and the south boundary was approximately ĺ of a mile along Clifford Rd.

Edward Stephen Kernan died on the 24th of February 1961 aged 77 and is buried at Fawkner Cemetery.  His wife Catherine died on the 18th of April 1975 aged 91 and is buried next to her husband and family at the Fawkner Cemetery.

John Mannix Kernan

John Kernan was the son of Edward Stephen Kernan he married Yvonne Millicent.   He lived and farmed at Craigieburn for many years.  He was a farmer all his life, farmed 20 years for his father at Somerton (dairy farming) and the balance of the time for himself.  He leased 1,200 acres off the Housing Commission at Broadmeadows in which he raised fat lambs did wool growing, pasture improvement and grain.

1959 he bought a property at Craigieburn called Summerhill, a graceful, bluestone, hilltop home and leased a further 172 hectares adjoining Summerhill, from which he carried on grain, wool growing and cattle.  He also leased many properties in the district at the same time.  In the mid seventies he sold Summerhill and then leased back a portion of it up till the time he bought the property (his mother old property) along Pattulo's Lane off Sydney Road.

John Kernan also owned 7 Walter Street, Craigieburn.  He purchased the house as a home in the early 70's with a view to moving there once their farm was sold and moved into the house but the noise from Sydney Rd was too much and they relocated to Craigieburn proper.

John Mannix Kernan passed away on Friday, May 22, 1987, aged 68 and is buried at Fawkner Cemetery along with his wife Yvonne Millicent who passed away in 2003.

Thomas Vincent Kernan

Thomas Kernan was John and Bridget's youngest son.  When his father died in 1909 he was given 'the place at Somerton he resided on of eighty seven acres or thereabouts' and he also gave 'sixty nine acres of land he recently purchased from the executor of the late Hon Charles Campbell Certificate Title volume 2443 Folio 488404'.

Thomas never married and did not get to enjoy his inheritance for very long as he died ten years later in 1919 aged 33.

KERNAN - On the 20th June, at the residence of his mother, Avonmore," Somerton, Thomas Vincent, the dearly loved youngest son of Bridget and the late John Kernan, and loving brother of James, Edward, Minnie, Mrs. A Farrelly, Mrs. D Slevin, and the late John Francis aged 32 years R I P (Interred privately at Fawkner Cemetery on the 20th).

In his will dated 24th of June 1919, he appointed his brothers James Joseph Kernan, Edward Stephen Kernan also his brother-in-law Alfred Farelly as his trustees.  He gave his nephews Alfred Farelly and John Farelly his paddocks called 'Prices paddocks' of about two acres.  The rest of his estate was to be sold and divided into six equal parts and one part to be given to his sister Margaret Farelly and the other five to his sister Mary Anne Kernan.

 

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