SUGRUEs at Belfield

From Dromavalla to Belfield

John (Jack) and Timothy (Tim) SUGRUE, the sons of Timothy SUGRUE and Margaret TEAHAN, were from Dromavalla in the Parish of Ballymacelligott, County Kerry, Ireland.
Jack SUGRUE (born c1850) arrived at Lyttelton in Canterbury, New Zealand, aboard the ‘Dover Castle’ in May 1872 followed by his brother Tim (born c1852) aboard the ‘Geraldine Paget’ in December 1874. In November 1879 at Temuka in South Canterbury, Jack SUGRUE married Margaret LEARY/O’LEARY also from Ballymacelligott, the daughter of Cornelius LEARY/ O’LEARY and Ellen McCARTHY. Margaret had arrived at Lyttelton in January 1879 aboard the ‘Waikato’.

Tim SUGRUE married his neighbour from Dromavalla, Mary DUGGAN, the daughter of John DUGGAN and Mary SULLIVAN, at Geraldine, South Canterbury, in October 1880. Mary DUGGAN and her brother Daniel had arrived at Lyttelton aboard the ‘Lady Jocelyn’ in December 1879, nominated as immigrants by their aunt Ellen SULLIVAN KENNEDY of Geraldine.

Jack and Margaret, Tim and Mary settled at Belfield near Geraldine where Jack and Margaret had a family of 12 children while Tim and Mary produced 9 children. Like many Irish families of that time Jack and Tim followed a traditional naming pattern with the result that each family had a Timothy, John, Daniel, Margaret, Mary, Denis and Catherine.
From 1875 both Tim and Jack were successful with many of their tenders to various Road Boards in South Canterbury for forming and maintaining roads in the district. Each brother purchased land and farmed at Belfield.

Jack and Tim’s brother Jeremiah SUGRUE remained in the family home at Dromavalla. Today the grandson and great grandson of Jeremiah still occupy that same land. As a link between the SUGRUEs of Dromavalla in Kerry, Ireland and the SUGRUEs who settled at Belfield near Geraldine in New Zealand, great grandson Paudie SUGRUE and his wife Samantha have named their home and business in Dromavalla ‘Belfield.’


Temuka Leader Thursday 15th November 1906.
Report on Geraldine Roads Board meeting held on Tuesday 13th November 1906. Tender for Forming and shingling roads at Te Moana and Beautiful Valley; T. SUGRUE £83 (accepted).

Temuka Leader Saturday 17th November 1906 Pg 2 Col 7.
Much regret was expressed throughout the district on Thursday when it became known that Mr Timothy Sugrue, of Belfield, had died as the result of a serious accident which happened to him on Tuesday evening. It seems that Mr Sugrue was driving home in a spring trap and was only a few chains from his farm when his horse shied at some boys who were standing on the roadside with a bicycle. The boys were not making any demonstration at the time, but the horse simply shied at seeing them, as horses will sometimes do. The result was that the trap in which Mr Sugrue was seated smashed into a fence and the occupant was thrown out with violence on to the roadside. Although the place where Mr Sugrue fell was fairly soft, the fall was sufficient to render him unconscious, and, after lingering in this state till 9 a.m. on Thursday, he died from concussion of the brain. Dr Paterson was called in at the time of the accident, and stayed with the patient all night and on Wednesday a consultation was held with Dr Teevan, but the sufferer was evidently beyond medical aid. Much sympathy is felt for Mrs Sugrue who is left with a large family to mourn the loss of her husband. The late Mr Sugrue for many years carried out large road contracts in the Geraldine district, and one of his latest works was that of preparing the clay foundation of the new bicycle track in the Geraldine Domain.
    NOTE: Tim was driving home on the evening of Tuesday 13th November when he had his accident - the same day as the Geraldine Roads Board meeting where he had been successful with his tender of £83 for Forming and shingling roads at Te Moana and Beautiful Valley. Had Tim been to the meeting to see if he had been successful with his tender?

Temuka Leader Saturday November 17, 1906
FUNERAL The Friends of the late Timothy Sugrue are respectfully invited to attend his Funeral, which will leave his late Residence, Belfield, TO-DAY, Saturday, November 17th 1906, at 1.30 p.m., for the Roman Catholic Church, thence to the Geraldine Cemetery. M. A. WEAVER, Funeral Director.

Temuka Leader
Tuesday November 20, 1906 The funeral of the late Mr Timothy Sugrue, of Belfield, which passed through Geraldine on Saturday afternoon for the Geraldine Cemetery, was very largely attended. The cortege, which arrived at Geraldine about 3 p.m., was an unusually lengthy one, friends of the deceased being present from near and far. The Rev. Dean Bowers officiated at the church and the grave side.

Cemetery Database Reference 21898;  SUGRUE, TIMOTHY;  Husband of Mary; Age at Death 54 Years; DOD Thursday 15th Nov 1906; Date of Interment Saturday 17th Nov 1906; Geraldine Cemetery; Denomination CATHOLIC; Section Catholic Block Plot 603. Two photos of Headstone attached to this site. The Monumental Inscription reads In Loving Memory of Timothy SUGRUE who died Nov 15th 1906 aged 54 Years ALSO His Wife Mary Died Sept 28th 1940 Aged 80 Years.


SUGRUE road constructi​on team 1915
Jack SUGRUE senior first submitted a tender to the Geraldine Roads Board in September 1875 with Tim SUGRUE senior submitting his first tender in September 1877. Jack and Tim SUGRUE and later their sons were responsible for forming, shingling and maintaining many of the very early roads in the Geraldine district.

A wonderful photo taken by Willoughby Bros., Geraldine.  Willoughy Brothers, Geraldine listed as photographers in the 1903 Stone's Directory - Stanley & Alfred James Willoughy. Alfred died on the 15th October 1971 in Wellington.   According to an obituary in the Timaru Herald of 20 October 1971 (in Alexander Turnbull Library Biographies collection), he died in Wellington although he was associated with Geraldine and worked for Morrison Brothers there and from home. Found James Alfred Willoughby, his wife Agnes and possible child in the Porirua cemetery database. James died at age 93.

These seven well-built men, who have known hard work, are each standing beside their teams with a wheeled Galley, where the cooking was done, parked beside a creek. Water was necessary for the horses and for a cup of hot tea with morning and afternoon tea. Note the flax and bare willows in the creek bed so this photo was probably taken in autumn / winter. There is tussock and stones in the foreground with a trough to the far left for feeding the twelve horses. There are five bicycles for riding to and fro from home when the day's toil is over. The four spring less two wheeled tip carts with horse-power for moving heavy loads of soil and gravel and seven shovels are all part of the rural road construction team. Carts are generally two wheeled and wagons four wheeled. 

SUGRUE Road Construction team taken at Barbarafield on Earl Rd near Geraldine. Dated 1915. In 1915 when the SUGRUE road construction team photo was taken the owner of Barbarafield appears to have been a John HAY. Named many years ago as “Third from left Dan (Dad). Bill BURNHAM 4th from left. Jack TOOMEY 1st on right. Dinnie SUGRUE, Jack SUGRUE”.
From left the 7 men could be; 1 not known; 2 not known; 3 Daniel SUGRUE; 4 Bill BURNHAM; 5 Denis (Din) SUGRUE. 6 John (Jack) SUGRUE; 7 Jack TOOMEY.

3 Daniel SUGRUE son of Tim and Mary SUGRUE. Married Catherine SCULLY in 1915.
4 Bill BURNHAM in both the 1914 and 1919 NZ Electoral Rolls there is a William Joseph BURNHAM of Geraldine, a Labourer. On 15 Feb 1905 a Joseph William BURNHAM had married Sarah Ann FENN at Geraldine.
5 Denis (Din) SUGRUE son of Tim and Mary SUGRUE. Married Martha Jane (Mat) SCULLY in 1929.
6 John (Jack) SUGRUE son of Tim and Mary SUGRUE. Married Bella TOOMEY in 1912.
7 Jack TOOMEY brother of Bella TOOMEY SUGRUE.


Two of Jack’s daughters married in a double wedding at Geraldine. The wedding photo took place at the reception at Belfield near Geraldine - Wednesday November 28th 1917. The photo was taken at the Belfield home of Jack and Margaret SUGRUE.

Double Wedding Wednesday 28th November 1917 at the Catholic Church, Geraldine, South Canterbury, New Zealand.
Ellen Gertrude (Nellie) SUGRUE & James O’CONNELL. Mary Teresa SUGRUE & John Peter DWYER.

1 Catherine (Katie) SUGRUE COLEMAN Tim’s daughter. Married Andy COLEMAN in 1926.
2 Margaret (Mag) SUGRUE ROWE Tim’s daughter. Married Henry Brenton ROWE (No 3) in 1916.
3 Henry Brenton ROWE husband of Margaret SUGRUE ROWE (No 2).
4 John SUGRUE (Jackie) born Dec 1912. Tim’s grandson. Son of John SUGRUE & Isabella TOOMEY.
5 Paddy O’LEARY brother of Margaret LEARY/O’LEARY SUGRUE (No 6). Paddy did not marry.
6 Margaret LEARY/O’LEARY SUGRUE wife of John SUGRUE (No 9).
7 Mrs DWYER mother of Groom John Peter DWYER (No 22). Nee Mary McCOSKER?
8 Agnes HORGAN OLDFIELD sister of No 13 and No 31. Married Walter OLDFIELD in 1928?
9 John (Jack) SUGRUE. Jack immigrated in 1872, from Ireland. Jack died 2 months after this photo was taken.
10 Bat O’CONNELL.
11 Frank O’CONNELL brother of Groom James (No 16), John (No 15) and Nora (No 14).
12 Nell O’CONNELL DALY dau of Patrick O’CONNELL Mary HORGAN? Married Cornelius DALY 1923?
13 James Patrick HORGAN (Jim) brother of John (No 31) and Agnes (No 8). Married Julia SUGRUE (No 28).
14 Nora O’CONNELL FITZGERALD sister of Groom James (No 16), John (No 15) and Frank (No 11).
15 John O’CONNELL Best Man and brother of Groom James (No 16), Frank (No 11) and Nora (No 14).
16 James John (Jim) O’CONNELL Groom born Ireland c1886 son of James O’CONNELL Mary MORIARTY.
17 Ellen Gertrude (Nellie) SUGRUE O’CONNELL Bride and Jack’s daughter. Died 1936 aged 48.
18 Margaret (Maggie) SUGRUE Bridesmaid and Jack’s daughter. Maggie did not marry.
19 Timothy (Ted) SUGRUE Jack’s son. Married Mary Agnes O’CONNOR (No 21) in 1916.
20 Daniel (Dan) SUGRUE Best Man. Jack’s son. Married Margaret HAMILTON in 1941.
21 Mary Agnes O’CONNOR SUGRUE married Ted SUGRUE (No 19).
22 John Peter (Jack) DWYER Groom. Son of William DWYER Mary MCCOSKER?
23 Mary Anne MCGUINNESS niece of Groom (No 22). Dau of Jane Winifred DWYER John MCGUINNESS?
24 Jack COOK.
25 Bill O’CONNOR brother of Mary Agnes O’CONNOR SUGRUE (No 21) and Chris O’CONNOR (No 27).
26 Mary SUGRUE DWYER Bride and Jack’s daughter. Died 1927 aged 32, 5 months after 5th child born.
27 Chris O’CONNOR brother of Mary Agnes O’CONNOR SUGRUE (No 21) and Bill O’CONNOR (No 25).
28 Julia SUGRUE HORGAN Bridesmaid. Jack’s daughter. Married James Patrick HORGAN (No 13) in 1928.
29 Stephen SUGRUE Jack’s son. Married Mary (May) Catherine LYSAGHT in 1941.
30 Bill DWYER brother of Groom John Peter DWYER (No 22) and Katie DWYER GILL (No 35).
31 John HORGAN brother of James HORGAN (No 13) and Agnes HORGAN OLDFIELD (No 8).
32 Mrs KELMAN HEWSON friend. Nee Margaret Shaw KELMAN.
33 Charlie HEWSON friend.
34 Mrs Bert WAREING friend. Nee Jessie STEWART? Widow of Joseph Bernard WAREING?
35 Katie DWYER GILL sis of Groom John (No 22) and Bill (No 30). Married Thomas Patrick GILL in 1924?
36 Cornelius (Con) SUGRUE Jack’s son. Con did not marry.
37 Nora SUGRUE Tim’s daughter. Nora did not marry.
38 Effie DUNNETT.
39 Catherine Veronica (Kitty) SUGRUE QUIRKE Jack’s daughter. Married William Joseph QUIRKE in 1930.
40 Grace SUGRUE CONNELLY Jack’s daughter. Married John James CONNOLLY in 1931.
41 Kitty COOK FRASER.
42 Mary Anne O’CONNOR known as Irish Mary, cousin of Mary Agnes O’CONNOR SUGRUE (No 21).

Of Jack and Margaret SUGRUEs 12 children, 10 are present in this photo. Absent was Denis who had married Amy TITHERIDGE the day before at the  R. C. Church, Geraldine and was on his honeymoon and third son John had left home – whereabouts unknown.
Where females have two surnames recorded, the first is their maiden name, the second is their married name.

Three different sources have provided a list of names of those who appear in the photo. While all 42 names in each list were the same, the names were not recorded in the same order. I have made every effort to match up the correct name to each person numbered in the photo. However this comes with no guarantee of accuracy and I stand to be corrected. I would welcome information regarding –
No 10 Bat (Bartholomew) O’CONNELL. One list records Bat as the cousin of Frank, James, John and Nora O’CONNELL. Bat may have recently arrived from Ireland. However there is also the possibility Bat may have been the son of Patrick O’CONNELL and Mary Catherine HORGAN. Nell (Ellen) O’CONNELL (No 12) was likely to have been the daughter of Patrick O’CONNELL and Mary Catherine HORGAN – therefore brother and sister may have been standing next to each other? Which Bat O’CONNELL?
No 23 Mary Anne MCGUINNESS. Did Mary Anne marry?
No 24 Jack COOK. Was Jack born Edwin Jack Alwyn COOK in 1901, the son of Emily HOSKING and William Morris COOK?
No 31 John HORGAN. Was John actually Cornelius HORGAN but known as Johnny?
No 38 Effie DUNNETT. Would Effie have been short for Evelyn? Who were Effie’s parents?
No 41 Kitty COOK FRASER. Was Kitty born Kate Elizabeth COOK in 1894, the daughter of Emily HOSKING and William Morris COOK? Did Kitty marry George Albert FRASER in 1922?
No 42 Mary Ann O’CONNOR. Parents? Did Mary Ann marry?

What, if any, was the connection between siblings Frank, James and John O’CONNELL and their sister Nora O’CONNELL FITZGERALD, and siblings Frank, Patrick and Denis O’CONNELL and their sister Margaret O’CONNELL TEAHAN? Both sets of siblings seem to have had their origins in the Ballymallis area of Kerry and all settled in the Seadown, Kerrytown area of South Canterbury.

Contact Jenny Baldwin if you would like any additional information or have information to share. Thanks.
Researching: SUGRUE SCULLY TEAHAN CULLOTY DUGGAN KENNEDY LEARY O’CONNELL 
Posted 27 January 2011

South Canterbury - in the heart of The South Island, beautiful.
This beautiful photo taken by Jenny in March 2011, from the Arundel - Belfield Road intersection with Seaward Road looking towards north west. A shingle road with two cabbage trees in the foreground. A trimmed shelter belt probably a macrocarpa hedge with the poplars in the Orari riverbed beyond. The Orari River is to the left at the end of Seaward Rd - a track then goes through the river and comes out again at the end of Bennetts Rd. The foothills - looking towards a saddle up the Rangitata Gorge. Map.

South Canterbury NZGenWeb Project