MORE than 300 descendants of Dargo pioneers Michael and Margaret Hurley attended a reunion at Dargo Hall on January 20-21.
The reunion followed a chance meeting at the Dargo cemetery four years ago, of six of Michael and Margaret’s descendants.
All six were fifth generation descendants of the couple who arrived in Australia in October 1856. They came from Ireland on a ship called the Startled Fawn, which sailed from the Port of London on July 31, 1856.
Michael and Margaret married in Wangaratta in June 1858 and started a family, while working on the goldfields around Eldorado Flat, Indigo and Growlers Creek.
In mid-1860 they followed the gold to Grant, where Michael acquired a team of pack horses and a bullock team and changed from miner to supplying the miners.
With a growing family of eight, he selected land on the Dargo Flat and built a five-room log home.
Michael died tragically at the age of 47 after falling from a horse in May 1877. At the time of his death the children – two boys and five girls – were aged five to 19.
Both sons, Jeremiah and Daniel, were very community minded, serving as councillors for the Shire of Avon and being heavily involved in everything happening in the area.
There are more than 1500 descendants.
The entertainment at the reunion went will into the night and featured several family members. Jenny Rebecchi (fourth generation) started entertaining family at the Dargo Hall when she was 13-years-old, and presented quite a few favourites.
Danielle Hurley (sixth generation) debuted on stage with her beautiful voice. Anthony Hurley and his daughter Grace presented wonderful duets and Justin Rebecchi and Jackie Elliott kept the dancers on their feet.
The Sunday breakfast was followed by a visit to the museum, then the old school for a reminisce and then to the cemetery to pay respects to those who had gone before. The formalities concluded with a service at the Catholic Church.
While many descendants live within a short drive, some travelled from Perth, NSW Mid-Coast, Bombala, Buchan, Yarram and Melbourne. Apologies were received from New Zealand, USA, Tasmania and Ireland.
Anyone who missed the reunion and would like to be involved in an updated family history book, can email Jenny on email@example.com, or phone 0427 455 789. Alternatively, email Narelle on firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone 0439 882 313.