Topic: Bernard MacDonnell (1828-1907)

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Barney MacDonnell was a jovial big bearded Irishman who stood over six fee tall (1.8m), weighed over 20 stone (130kg) and owned the Uretara Hotel. He became a legend for his advice and fairness sought by all and sundry.

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Bernard MacDonnell was born in Athlone, County Westmeath, Ireland in 1828. His parents were Robert and Ellen MacDonnell (nee Millin). He was known as Barney.

He married Ellen Carroll in Ireland in c1864 and had two children. In 1877 he married Isabella Buist (1842-1915) in Dusseldorf, Prussia and had two more children. The family arrived in New Zealand in 1878.

The children of Bernard MacDonnell:

  1. John MacDonnell (c1865-1901). He married Ellen Lawless in 1897.
  2. Elizabeth MacDonnell (1866-1950). She married Franz Schulze Hoeing in 1897.
  3. Bernard James MacDonnell (1880-1952). He married Eileen Hilda Quarterman in 1913.
  4. Robert MacDonnell (1884-1887). Known as Bobby he drowned in the Uretara River in 1887.

Barney purchased the Uretara Hotel in October 1878.  However, on 17 February 1887 his youngest child Robert (Bobby) drowned in the Uretara River. The decision was made to move the hotel to higher ground. 

The hotel was completed by November 1888 and officially opened in April 1889. Barney continued to operate the hotel until June 1896 when he retired with his family to Tauranga. His son Jon died in 1901 from a chest complaint.

Barney died in Tauranga in 1907 and was buried in the Katikati Cemetery.

This page was archvied at Perma cc May 2017

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Bernard MacDonnell (1828-1907)

First Names:Bernard
Last Name:MacDonnell
Date of Birth:1828
Place of Birth:Athlone, County Westmeath
Country of birth:Ireland
Date of death:1907
Place of death:Tauranga, New Zealand
Place of burial:Katikati Cemetery
Occupation:Hotel owner
Date of Arrival:1878
Spouses name:Ellen Carroll and Isabella Buist
Fathers name:Robert MacDonnell
Mothers name:Ellen Millin