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Australian Reunion
Descendents of Michael Kavanagh and his wife Mary McCabe



Michael and Mary left their home near Portarlington, County Laoise, Ireland and arrived  in Sydney, Australia in 1840. After a few years in the rural New South Wales area of the Upper Hunter, they settled a little further down the Hunter River near the town of Singleton. Here they raised their family of ten children.

This inaugural Family Gathering was held in Singleton during the weekend of 1st of May, 2004.

The autumn weather remained fine and sunny as family members began to arrive during Saturday.; some came early enough to wander around the town, to find buildings and houses which still held memories. Others arrived to join the group in a tiny bar, where we rubbed shoulders with cousins we knew well, and cousins we had never met. We were thrilled to have representatives of eight families of the original ten. And when we gathered in the restaurant for dinner, there were forty plus family members present.

The main objective of the weekend was to get to know each other, and so we talked, and passed on memories, information and old photos. Of course, the obligatory photographic memories had to be made of this evening. If talking is a measure of success, then we achieved 110%. The restaurant staff had great difficulty herding us from the dining room to the foyer, then to the door, and then off the premises.

After Church services on Sunday, we gathered for breakfast ad MORE TALKING, before most of the Clann headed for home.

The few remaining “Diehards” then set off in convoy for a brief trip around the Singleton area. We looked over the land where Michael farmed, & viewed the few remaining buildings from that era, trying to gain some impression of the life led by our Michael and his family more than 100 years. And then we parted ways.

The general consensus was that the weekend had been wonderful – and most successful. So much so that in October 2005 the 2nd Gathering will be held in Inverell, New South Wales – where Michael died, his ten children married and carried on the family into the next four generations.

We are also more than optimistic that we will gather a much bigger group.



Len Cavanagh, oldest family representative at the Gathering - son of Edward , g-son of Thomas, gg-son of Michael.
Neville & David Kavanagh at their 1880s home in Singleton, Their family have lived continually in Singleton since 1845.
“Diehards” at St Patrick’s Catholic Church Singleton.; built , in its earliest form 1820: same year as 1st Catholic Church in Lea Psh near Portarlington.