top of page



Two Dolan brothers (James and Kyran) and a cousin (William) came from Kings County (now County Offaly), Ireland and settled in Australia between 1856 and 1879.


WILLIAM DOLAN   (1830-1904)


William was born in Ferbane, Kings County, Ireland in 1830, the son of Francis Dolan and Sarah Keigan, who were farmers. 


William was the first family member to arrive in Australia in 1856.  He went to work on a large estate at Gerringong near Kiama, in the Illawarra district, south of Sydney.

William married Margaret Flynn in 1864 in Kiama.  In 1866 William was joined by his cousin JAMES DOLAN, who was only 16 years old. 


Within a few years the family was looking to move to new settlements in the north.

William was the first applicant for land in Tallebudgera Valley in 1869 selecting a block of  320 acres 2nd class pastoral on 10 June 1869 on the north bank of the Tallebudgera on which he erected a small shingle house for his bailiffs, James Dolan (cousin)& Patrick Flynn (brother in law). On 4 October 1869 he selected Portion 17 (120 acres 1st class pastoral).


In 1871, William brought his family (Margaret & their four children) from Gerringong by ocean ketch to Myer’s Ferry on the Nerang River where they are said to have camped for six weeks until Mr Fowler brought his bullock team and dray from Booningbra (now West Burleigh) & picked them up with all their goods and chattels. They arrived in Tallebudgera on 08 May 1871.


Margaret Dolan is credited with raising funds to build the Tallebudgera Catholic church in 1878.  It was the first Catholic Church in the district south of Beenleigh.


In 1902 the family bought land at Currumbin (203 acres for 2 shillings & sixpence an acre) and in 1906 Tom Dolan constructed the first slab hut in Currumbin.  Tom married Ethel Fackerell & they farmed at Currumbin with their son John.

Francis & Mary Dolan did not marry & lived on the family farm in Tallebudgera.  On the death of Mary the farm passed to her nephew, Tom Gooding.

William & Margaret Dolan and other family members are buried in the Tallebudgera  Catholic cemetery.

JAMES DOLAN was born in Glebe, Kings County, Ireland in 1851, the son of John & Mary Dolan, who were farmers. 

He was about 16 years old when he came to Australia in1866 to join his cousin William Dolan, at Gerringong.

James moved with William to Tallebudgera in 1869.  He was first listed as bailiff on Portion 17, ‘Parish of Tallebuggera’ selected by William on 04 October 1869.  He lived with Patrick Flynn (William’s brother in law) in a small shingle house on another block of 320 acres on the north bank of the Tallebudgera.  Patrick was listed as William’s bailiff on this land.

By  02 August 1870, James (aged 20) had selected his own homestead block of 115 acres, 1st class pastoral.

On 24 February, 1879 James (aged 28years) married Mary Ann Dixon (aged 21) at the residence of Patrick and Bridget Leonard.  James & Mary established themselves as dairy farmers and called their property “Belmont”. 

MARY ANN DIXON was born in Preston, Lancashire, England c.1857 the daughter of Patrick and Bridget Dixon, both of whom were from Kellafin, Co. Clare, Ireland.  On 21 December, 1858, Patrick, Bridget & Mary Ann arrived in Sydney as assisted passengers on board the “Forest Monarch”. Patrick could read & write & his occupation was given as labourer.  His parents were dead and it was noted that he had a cousin Daniel Kennedy in New England.  Bridget could neither read nor write.  Her father was deceased but her mother was living in Lancashire.

The family moved to Kiama where Patrick worked on the Riversdale property of  Alexander Ritchie.  Their son John was born in Kiama in 1859.  Sadly Patrick Dixon accidently drowned in the Minnamurra River on 15 May, 1860 leaving his wife aged 23 and Mary Ann (3years) & John (10months).

Bridget Dixon married Patrick Lennard (from Co. Cavan, Ireland) in Kiama on 11 July, 1862.  The Leonards moved to Tallebudgera in the 1870’s where Patrick was a shop-keeper.  In addition to Mary Ann & John, they had eight children:  James, Thomas, Ellen, Margaret (m. Dan Dywer), Elizabeth (m. Kyran Dolan, brother of James), Sarah Jane, Susan Bridget, Clara Alice. Patrick & Bridget Leonard are buried in the Tallebudgera Catholic Cemetery.

Mary Ann’s brother John Dixon accidently drowned at Main Arm near Murwillumbah on 23 February, 1890.  He was a timber getter.  He left his wife Mary (O’Reilly) and four daughters Mary (5), Theresa (4), Alice (2) and Louisa (1).


James and Mary Dolan

James and Mary Dolan worked hard to provide for their family.  They aimed to set up each of their sons independently on their own properties.  At one stage James Dolan worked on the construction of the Tomewin Road while Mary and the children ran the home farm. By 1912-1914 James and Mary moved with Frank to Queen St. Southport where Frank attended Star of the Sea convent. During this period Eddie & Kyrie farmed Belmont with the objective of establishing their own properties in Currumbin and at Laidley.  Two blocks were purchased at Bibo for Tom.  When Tom died one block was given to Mary & her husband Jim Thompson purchased the other.  The Thompsons raised their family at Bibo.

The death of Tom in WW1 had a terrible impact on the family.  James thereafter suffered from depression and unresolved grief.


James and Mary Dolan and many family members are buried in the Tallebudgera Catholic cemetery.


Children of James and Mary Dolan


Mary (1880 -    )  m.  James Joseph Thompson (    ) in 1909.  They lived at “Bibo”, Myallmundi, West Burleigh.  Jim Thompson was a member of the Nerang Shire Council in the 1930’s.  He was originally a ‘bullocky’ and is remembered as a calm, gentle man.

  • Eddie  m. Vera Thyne: Lindy

  • May m. Don Maclean  in1945

  • Kath m. Perce Thompson: Jim, Jenny, Peter, Mark

  • Eric m. Kath McCardle

  • Tom (1917-1926) drowned below the Catholic Cemetery

  • Alice (1921-1923) died in infancy

John Patrick (1883 -  )  m. Annie (    )    m. Hilda (     )

John originally farmed “Fernvale” at Guineas Creek (at the end of current 19th Ave). The property was sold c.1920 and the family moved to Camp Hill. Annie died & John raised the children. Later marrying Hilda & living at Annerley.


  • Cecelia m. Jim Coonahan, Bairnsdale:  John, Greg, Bill, Patti

  • Joe

  • Patty (Sr Patricia)

  • Bernard m. Ann


Kyran (Kyrie) (1885 -  )  m.  Eva Langton (    ) from Esk  

Kyrie & Eva established a dairy farm at Mulgowie, Laidley.  In the 1930’s they moved to Sampsonvale & then to Calliope (1938-1948) near Gladstone. They subsequently lived at Tallebudgera and then Burleigh Heads.

  • Tom (1920-1983) m. Thelma: David, Margaret, Rhonnda, Theresa

  • Gerard m. Colleen

  • Jack m. May

  • Joe m. Berris

  • Dorothy m. Vince Stonley, Gladstone

  • Mary m. Frank Stonley, Gladstone

  • Charlie m. Hilda

  • Jim (  - 1986) m. Violet Playford: Helen

  • Bill m. Marge

Jack and Joe were twins, born on the road enroute to hospital.  Dorothy and Mary married two brothers.


James Edward (Eddie) (1887-1954) m. Mabel Margaret Tyrrell (1988-1963)  on 14/01/14 at “Laurel Dale”, the home of her parents in Currumbin Valley. They established their property “Camberra” in Currumbin Valley, where they had a dairy and grew bananas & small crops.  Eddie represented the district on the Nerang Shire Council in the 1930’s.

  • Stanley (1914-1979) m. Betty McCauley (1920-  ): Elizabeth, Daniel

  • Margaret (1916-1979) - Sr. M. Gerard, sister of Perpetual Adoration

  • Tom (1919- ) m.  Mary Maher : Rosemary, Patricia, John, Phillip, Richard

  • Maureen (1920 - ) m. Ken Cahill: Graham, Ken, Karen, Helen

  • Stella (1922–1951) m. Len Robinson: Lorraine

  • Theresa (1925- )  m. Brian Dalton: Bernard, Shane, Judith, Kaye, Colleen

  • Leo (1926-1985) m.  Deslie Skelton: Michael, Patrick, Catherine, Paul, Kieran, Matthew


Tom (1895 – 1917)  was engaged to Evie Tyrrell.  Died 20 September, 1917 aged 22 at Ypres (Belgium). His name is engraved on the Menin Gate memorial, in honour of those lost without trace during the defence of the Ypres Salient in the First World War.  Tom’s WW1 diary is held by Terence Dolan and his letters from that time to Eddie & May Dolan are held by Elizabeth Dolan.  There is discussion that these items might be donated to the Local Studies Library of the Gold Coast..


Francis (Frank) (1901 -1965)  m. Maggie Wright (1899-1934) /  m. Ellen Nolan (1904-1985)


  • Kevin m. Jess Lawlor: Stephen, Pauline, Deniece, Glenn, Graeme

  • Jean m. Norm Marriott:  Chris, Kathryn

  • Vince m. Jeannie Noffke:  Christine, Greg, Karen

  • Peter m. Josie Slattery: Frank, Mark

  • Gerard m. Annas Heilig: Margaret, Elaine, Tony


  • Patrick (1938-2000)m. Lynne Smith (1945-2004):  Shaun,  Jane

  • Maree m. Brian Swaddling (1940-2016):  Brett, Melissa, Simon, Daniel

  • Terence m. Janet O’Keefe

  • Carmel m. Frank Rose  m.  Maurice Henley :  Veronica, Kayleen


KYRAN  DOLAN was born in Glebe, Kings County, Ireland in 1861, the son of John & Mary Dolan, who were farmers. 

He was about 18 years old when he came to Australia in1879 to join his brother James Dolan.

In 1909, at age 48, Kyran married Elizabeth Leonard (younger step sister of James’ wife Mary Ann).  They farmed at Mooball, NSW.  They had two sons Gerard & Kyran, who married two sisters, Edna & Coral.  Kyran snr died 20/06/1932 & is buried in the Murwillumbah cemetery. 



bottom of page