THE BRODERICK SAGA
from Jack Broderick of Yenda but also information from some of those who attended the early Broderick Reunions
|The Broderick Saga in Australia begins in 1851 when John Broderick (Jack’s grandfather) migrated from Ireland and married an Irish girl+,(Ellen McCluskey) in Australia. John was an only son but his father had six brothers all of whom emigrated to the United Sates of America. The name Broderick is prominent in California where David C. Broderick was a Californian senator in the 1850s. (The writer noted, on a visit to USA in 1985 that one of the main streedts of Sacromento, California was named Broderick St.)|
John Broderck stepped ashore in Melbourne, and presumably joined the rush to Ballarat or Bendigo in search of gold.
John and Ellen Broderick had five children, the eldest Patrick, born in 1857. The five children were :--
Ellen McCloskey was born in 1823. There is a story that in a melee in the home country she went to the assistance of beleaguered brothers whirling a stocking in which stones were enclosed -- a most effective weapon in such a situation. She migrated to Australia during the Irish uprising and died in 1921 at the age of 98 years. (Jack reckons she lived to 103 and Daisy Martin Broderick remembers her coming to Avondale at age 101 and dancing the highland fling. The discrepancy between her calendar age and reputed age is explained by the fact that, in those days, ladies who reached the age of 85 years were wont to add two years on to their age for every calendar year.) Ellen Broderick came up from Warragul in Gippsland in 1913 to visit Patrick and Mary Broderick at Avondale. At that time Ellen had a dairy farm with son Jim and daughter Julia (Mrs. Healey).
Patrick Broderick had a dairy farm at Miepoll, about 15 miles (24 kms) north-west of Euroa (where he apparently met up with Mary Keating), and about 20 miles south of Shepparton. Patrick and Mary Keating were married at Shepparton in in 1880 and lived at Miepoll where Jack (the eldest -- later from Yenda) was born. (See separate details for the Keating story.)
The farms in this area were dairy farms with about 20 acres (8 ha) of cultivation (wheat, oats, etc.). Most of the work in those days would have been in clearing the land of timber to make room for pastures and crops. Miepoll had a butter factory and Jack, as a boy, used to take the cans of cream to the factory in a spring cart.
The homes at that time had board floors, but the walls were constructed of logs laid side by side and plastered on the inside and out. The kitchen-dining room had a fireplace the whole width of the room and used to take logs from two to three metres long in the winter. Ovens for baking bread were made of mud bricks. The roof was of straw some three feet (one metre) thick on top of the rafters arranged downslope with a crown along the ridge line.
While Patrick and Mary had their farm at Miepoll, Ellen McCloskey Broderick and her son Jim also had a dairy farm at Miepoll. Jack Broderick remembers very clearly he and a cousin being caught by Grandma (Ellen McCloskey) riding the young calves. As Graandma was armed with a large stick, they headed for the bush and holed out all night in a large hollow tree stump while the family searched the area for them.
Jack Broderick went to the state school at Karamomus (about two miles away), their home being about 3 miles (5 km ) from Miepoll. Miepoll was in the area known as Seven Creeks, the creeks , either as tributaries or braided streams) flowing through Euroa, Miepoll and Karamomus.
In 1893, Patrick and Mary moved to Barooga on the NSW side of the Murray River about 20 miles (30 km) south of Berrigan. Jack’s part in the move was to ride one of the horses and drove a cow. The rest of the family, with his aunt Mary (Phelan) in charge travelled in a covered wagon. The trip was memorable because one of the younger children (Tom Broderick) had whooping cough. With toddler Tom whooping all night, every time they went past a homestead, the dogs would start barking.
The Connels, Dwyers and Keatrings (all related by marriage) also moved to Barooga at the same time and, with the Brodericks, all took up sharefarming on Barooga station, all in the same 6,000 acre paddock marked out in 320-acre (half a square mile) blocks. This was sandy country carrying white cypress pine and had been cleared by the Chinese ringbarking gangs after the gold rush at Ballarat and Bendigo had faded out.
Prior to the 1870s, the country had carried only scattered timber, but a run of wet seasons in the 1870s, coinciding with the lack of fires by which the Aborigines had managed the landscapes, brought about a thick scrub of young white cypress pine and associated species. This had seriously hindered government plans for farming settlement until the ringbarking gangs employed by the big pastoral stations had killed all the scrubby timber. The forest of dead trees then had to be cleared to enable the land to be farmed.
The lay-out of the farms at Barooga was as below (per Jack Broderick)
About 1905 - 06 Bill Dwyer won a block at Gunning Gap near Bogan gate, about 30 miles (50 km) westerly from Parkes and Forbes in central western NSW. he was so impressed with the country that he wrote to the other families to come up and take up land. The Brodericks and Connells followed but the Keatings moved to a farm at Berrigan.
The Brodericks and Connells moved to Bogan gate about 1907 as part of a general wave of Victorian farmers moving into and through the Riverina district. The Brodericks travelled by bullock wagon, having purchased the “Avondale” farm at Gunning Gap from George Ablett in 1906-7. The older boys moved from “Avondale” as they came of age, as the farm was not able to support the whole family.
Jack did some professional running and was a good cyclist. In his employment as a shearer, this enabled him to get to the next shed well ahead of the rest and pick the best stand. He tells of finishing the shed at Keewong, about 100 miles (160 km 0 south-west of Cobar off the Ivanhoe Road and heading back to “Avondale”, passing through the dying mining town of Gilgunnia on the way, on a journey that would have taken him 4 to 5 days.
See also herewith -- Jack and Daisy Martin Broderick at Yenda