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Our Lawler Family

We are grateful to Bernard Lawler, descendant of James Lawler and Anne O'Sullivan, for generously sharing his years of research with us, and making it possible to display the results on this page. Bernard also provided the wonderful photograph of the four generations of Lawler women, kindly scanned by Christine Stait.
Colleen Whitehead and Marie Fenton, daughters of Christopher Edward Lawler and Lorna Mary Egan, have also given wonderful support and encouragement.

The history of this branch as known at the present time started from Ireland where JAMES LAWLER was born in 1821 in COUNTY KILDARE to his parents JERIMAH & JULIA LAWLER. JAMES met and was married to ANNE O'SULLIVAN of BALLIMORE, IRELAND. ANNE was the daughter of JAMES AND ELLEN O'SULLIVAN. They were married in 1845 at BALLIMORE and sailed for Australia as assisted emigrants arriving at the port of Sydney in the sailing ship "VICTORIA" in 1849. A daughter, CATHERINE, the first of their children, was born on this ship.

JAMES, with his wife and child, sailed from Sydney to the Hunter River above Newcastle. The river was navigable as far as Morpeth by sailing ship. From Morpeth they went by the primitive means of the time to Merriwa which was the nearest village to the grant of the Blaxland brothers. This was "CULLINGRAL" where JAMES was to work as a shepherd. Years after, he recalled that all he had in the world was the sum of one shilling and sixpence at the start of his working life in Australia.

On the implementation of the Selection Act brought in by Robertson in the 1860's, James Lawler, who had applied himself to the future, applied for and selected a portion of land north of MERRIWA which he named "TARA HALL". He added to and built on this for the remainder of his life.

The family of JAMES and ANNE LAWLER were:

It is noted on the death certificate of James Lawler that James and Anne also had two boys and one girl who died in infancy.

Deviate here to view a photograph of ANNE LAWLER & HER DESCENDANTS

In this photograph, Anne Lawler nee O'Sullivan is at left, then her daughter Catherine Bennett at far right. Next to Anne Lawler is Catherine's daughter, Anne Bennett who married an Egan, and then beside Anne is her daughter, Catherine Egan, who married Stanley O'Neill. Here we have four generations of Lawler women!

James Lawler took his wife back home to Ireland for a visit in the 1880's. He had progressed to the stage that two of his sons were on other properties. Patrick was on a place called "Glen Ray" near Kars Springs; it was a small place compared to "Tara Hall".

Simon lived at a place called "Bell's Hollow", not far out of Bunnan. He had three sons, Toby, Frank and Wilf Lawler, and one daughter.


  • ALBERT, married to ANNE OXMAN.
  • JAMES who married INA MOORE
  • SIMON who married DORIS BYFIELD
  • MARY who married PATRICK TREACY

A second daughter, RITA, died in infancy from diphtheria. The family lived in the early days at "Tara Hall", a property north of Merriwa, NSW.

James Lawler died in 1895 shortly after celebrating his golden wedding. His wife, who was confined to a wheelchair for the latter part of her life, moved to Scone and lived there with her daughters on the corner of Liverpool and Main Streets. Both James and Anne were buried in Merriwa. The graveyard has since been converted into the local baths.

The old "Tara Hall" home is long gone and the property has been sold time and again. There are no Lawlers on any of the places mentioned at this time.

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