Topic: Anna Maria Hardy Gallaher (nee McCloskie) (1844-1887)

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Maria Gallaher was the first teacher at the Katikati No. 2 School in Beach Road after it was built in 1879. Three of her son's were killed during World War I (1914-1918), one being Dave Gallaher who captained 'The Originals', the first New Zealand national rugby union team to be known as the 'All Blacks' in 1905/06. Story by Debbie McCauley.

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Anna Maria Hardy McCloskie (known as Maria) was born at Belfast in County Down, Ireland, in 1844. Her father was William McCloskie, a Belfast merchant. Maria worked as a school teacher.

Maria married shopkeeper James Henry Gallagher on 19 July 1866 at the Ramelton First Presbyterian Church. He was the son of Joseph Gallagher (b1780, Ireland). James was a widower. His first wife was Isabella Reid. She was born in 1813 and died on 4 January 1865. They had one child together:

  1. John Gallaher. Born 3 May 1845. Rev John Gallaher went to Canada in March 1871. He was inducted Pastor Glenvale, Harrowsmith, and Wilton, and was in charge of St John's church, Pittsburg from May 1876 to May 1898. He married Maude E Logan and they had 9 children. John died 12 August 1898 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Maria Hardy McCloskie (1844-1887)

James and Maria sold their drapers shop in High Street to a Mrs McFadden before they, along with their six children, sailed on the Lady Jocelyn from Belfast in May 1878 to settle at Katikati as part of George Vesey Stewart's plan for an Ulster Plantation. They were part of the second party of settlers and upon arrival in New Zealand changed the spelling of their last name to Gallaher for ease of pronunciation and spelling.

Lord George Hill sponsored the Gallahers immigration to Katikati so that they could start a new branch of the Donegal Woollen Mills. Unfortunately Lord Hill died shortly after the Gallahers arrived in Katikati and his heir decided not to continue with the venture.

James Gallaher initially received an allocation of 60 acres of land in the vicinity of what is now known as the Highfields subdivision but James was in his late 60’s and the acreage was too small to support a family of eight.

In 1879 the Katikati No. 2 School in Beach Road was built and so it was Maria who, being many years younger than James, used her talents and became the first teacher of the school. The Gallaher family moved into the schoolhouse in Beach Road. David was aged six years old when he was enrolled in the school. In Katikati, Maria had four more children, including twins Charles and Henry.

The children of Maria and James:

  1. Joseph Campbell Gallaher. Born 1 June 1867 in Ramelton, County Donegal, Ireland. Married Ellen Jane Burchell (?-1966) in 1894. He died, aged 82, in Auckland in 1952 (reg. 1952/17966) and was buried in Waikumete Cemetery.
  2. Isabella Gallaher. Born 23 June 1868 in Ramelton, County Donegal, Ireland. Died 19 December 1871.
  3. James Gallaher. Born 7 June 1869 in Ramelton, County Donegal, Ireland. Died 26 July 1869.
  4. Maria Molly Gallaher. Born 25 May 1870 in Ramelton, County Donegal, Ireland. 1902  Married Hugh Nesbit Latimer (1872-1955) on 17 May 1902. She died in Carterton, aged 87, on 17 November 1958 (reg. 1958/23953) and was buried in Clareville Cemetery.
  5. Jane Gallaher. Born in Ramelton, County Donegal, Ireland in 1871, she died there in 1872.
  6. Thomas Gallaher. Born 19 July 1872 in Ramelton, County Donegal, Ireland. Left New Zealand for the Australian goldfields in c1895. Married Hannah Maria McCarthy in 1903. Died in Coolgardie, Western Australia, on 7 January 1907 and was buried at Boulder.
  7. David Gallaher. Born 30 October 1873 in Ramelton, County Donegal, Ireland. Married Ellen Ivy May Francis (1884-1969) in 1906. WWI killed-in-action at Passchendaele, Belgium, on 4 October 1917 (reg. 1918/27993).
  8. William Gallaher. Born 8 March 1875 in Ramelton, County Donegal, Ireland. Served with 1NZEF. Married Bertha Bint (1885-1961) in 1922. He died in Auckland, aged 86, in 1961 (reg. 1961/36527) and was buried in Purewa Cemetery.
  9. Oswald Gallaher. Born 23 February 1876 in Ramelton, County Donegal, Ireland. Married Margaret McKeown (1879-1961) in 1902. He died in Balmoral, Auckland, aged 55, on 14 October 1931 (reg. 1931/6065) and was buried in Waikumete Cemetery.
  10. James Patrick Gallaher. Born 17 March 1878 in in Ramelton, County Donegal, Ireland. He was left in Ireland when the family emigrated to New Zealand in August 1878, being left in the care of James and Mary Corry of Letterkenny, County Donegal. James died in 1880.
  11. George Hill Gallaher. Born 2 November 1879 in Katikati. Married Ellen Hebley (1881-1947) in 1903. He died in Palmerston North, aged 62, in 1941 (reg. 1941/27605) and was buried in Kelvin Grove Cemetery.
  12. Charles Canning Gallaher (twin). Born 2 January 1881 in Katikati. Left New Zealand for the Australian goldfields in c1895. He married Elizabeth Beatrice Booth (1888-1990) in Western Australia in 1911. Charles served with the First Australian Imperial Force (1AIF) during World War I and survived being badly wounded at Gallipoli. He married Violet May Cain (nee Swain) (1886-?) in 1924 and then Harriet Ada Maude Smart in 1938. Charles died in Perth, Western Australia, on 11 December 1950 and was buried in Karrakatta.
  13. Henry Fletcher Gallaher (twin). Born 2 January 1881 in Katikati. Left New Zealand for the Australian goldfields in c1895. Married Norah Toohey in Western Australia in 1905. Henry became a miner. He served with the First Australian Imperial Force (1AIF, 51st Battalion) during World War I. WWI killed-in-action at the Somme, France, on 24 April 1918.
  14. Douglas Wallace Gallaher. Born in Katikati on 7 August 1883 (reg. 1883/10399). Left New Zealand for the Australian goldfields in c1895. Married Eva Louise Oliver in Western Australia in 1902. Douglas served with the First Australian Imperial Force (1AIF, 11th Battalion) during World War I and was twice wounded at Gallipoli. WWI killed-in-action on 3 June 1916 at Laventie near Fromelles in France.

Maria continued teaching and was the breadwinner for the family as well as supporting many of the activities in the town.

Maria became increasingly unwell with ovarian cancer. She died in Auckland Hospital, aged 42, on 9 September 1887 (reg. 1887/3221). Her obituary appeared in the Bay of Plenty Times on 16 September 1887:

THE LATE MRS GALLAHER. It is with deep regret we have to chronicle the death of a most esteemed member of our community. For some time past Mrs Gallaher, (the efficient and greatly respected head mistress of Katikati No 2 school) has been in delicate health, though no one anticipated the news of her dangerous illness, and it was a sad surprise to many to hear Dr Moir considered her case so serious as to advise her immediate removal to Auckland Hospital, so that she might receive the finest medical treatment in the colony. All was of no avail, and in a few days Mrs Gallaher rapidly became worse, gradually sinking till death released her from her pains and Thursday last, at the early age of 42. She was a native of Ramelton, Co. Donegal, where she was esteemed and respected by all classes and where she for many years enjoyed the friendship and patronage of the celebrated Irish philanthropists, Lord and Lady George Hill. It was with a view to carrying out a plan of Lord George's for the benefit of the Donegal peasantry, that Mr and Mrs Gallaher first came to Katikati, it being intended that a depot for the Donegal Knitting Company should have been established at Katikati, but, unfortunately, the noble founder died within six months of the arrival of Mrs Gallaher in the colony, and his kindly scheme was not carried on by his heir. Mrs Gallaher leaves a large family of children, for whom she was the breadwinner, and a bereaved and aged husband (65) to mourn her loss, - a loss which not only her own family, but to the whole district and to many warm personal friends, is irreparable. We offer our deep sympathy to the family, and would remind them that the noble example of the self-sacrificing life "lost awhile" is for them a goodly heritage, and a bright example to follow. (Bay of Plenty Times on 16 September 1887, p. 2) 

The Gallaher family moved to Auckland in 1889. James Henry Gallaher died, aged 82, on 30 November 1894 (reg. 1894/5595).

by Debbie McCauley (2013).



Bay of Plenty Times.

Births, Deaths & Marriages.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission: Douglas Wallace Gallaher

Commonwealth War Graves Commission: Henry Fletcher Gallaher

Ellen McCormack (personal correspondance, 2013).

Family Descendant Group Sheet

This page was archived at Perma cc June 2017

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Anna Maria Hardy Gallaher (nee McCloskie) (1844-1887)

First Names:Maria Hardy
Last Name:McCloskie
Date of Birth:1844
Place of Birth:Belfast, County Down
Country of birth:Ireland
Date of death:9 September 1887
Place of death:Auckland, New Zealand
Place of burial:Waikumete Cemetery
Family Surname:Gallaher
Occupation:School teacher
First settled:Katikati
Date of Arrival:17 August 1878
Name of the ship:Lady Jocelyn
Date of sailing:May 1878
Port of arrival:Auckland
Sailed from:Belfast
Spouses name:James Henry Gallaher
Spouses date of birth:1812
Spouses place of birth:Ramelton, County Donegal, Ireland
Spouses date of death:30 November 1894
Spouses place of death:Ponsonby, Auckland, New Zealand
Spouses place of burial:Waikumete Cemetery
Date of marriage:19 July 1866
Place of marriage:Ramelton First Presbyterian Church
Fathers name:William McCloskie
Name of the children:Maria Molly Gallaher, Henry Fletcher Gallaher, Thomas Gallaher, Douglas Wallace Gallaher, David Gallaher, James Patrick Gallaher, George Hill Gallaher, William Gallaher, Oswald Gallaher, Joseph Campbell Gallaher, Isabella Gallaher, Charles Canning Gallaher, and James Gallaher
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 New Zealand License
Anna Maria Hardy Gallaher (nee McCloskie) (1844-1887) by Debbie McCauley (Tauranga City Libraries) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 New Zealand License