Mary 'Ellen' Hyde (1856-1942)
(parents of Joan Gaffey):
Line of Descent to Joan Gaffey
Mary Ellen Hyde
John HYDE (b 1821, Bisley, Gloucestershire)
|Mother||Ellen QUIN (b 1825, Charleville, County Cork)|
Hills, Sydney (1864 -1880)
Green's Road, Paddington (1889)
Stewart Street, Paddington (1910-17)
Stewart Street, Paddington
Carrington Road, Randwick
55 Darley Road, Randwick
Oct 31 1942 in 55 Darley Road, Randwick of "
(b) Senile Myocardia degeneration and
Nov 2 1942 in Waverley Cemetery (Roman Catholic)
|Marriage||Thomas Herbert WILLIAMS (Jan 31 1880 in Woollahra Sydney)[6|
Mary L WILLIAMS (b 1881)
Herbert J A WILLIAMS (1882-1884)
Gertrude WILLIAMS (b 1885)
Arthur WILLIAMS (b 1887)
Nellie WILLIAMS (b 1891)
Frederick WILLIAMS (b 1894)
Florence WILLIAMS (b 1896)
Clyde WILLIAMS (b 1899
Mary Ellen's death certificate gives her birth place as Hobart - however, she was actually born in Melbourne, where her father, a soldier, was stationed. Ellen, as she was known, then spent most of her early years in Hobart, as the family returned there when she was only two years old. Her sister, (Sarah) Margaret, was also born in Victoria.
Ellen’s family had settled in Sydney by 1864, where
her father John, since retired from the Army, had become a warder at
Darlinghurst Gaol. She may
have been embarrassed by this occupation, for on her marriage certificate,
her father is simply described as a “Government official”.
On the same document,
the 24-year-old Mary Ellen gave her own occupation as
"Gentlewoman"; presumably, she did not work outside her
At the time of her marriage, Mary Ellen was living at her parents’ Surry Hills home. Social historians have described the Surry Hills of that period as a time when the gentry had moved out, and the middle classes, the mechanics, skilled artisans and shopkeepers, had moved in. At the same time, the district still retained much of its village atmosphere, but health problems associated with ineffectual (or non-existent) drainage and sewerage, overcrowding and the growth of factories were beginning to rise.
(right): Housing typical of Surry Hills in the 1870s –1880s.
Thomas and Mary Ellen then moved to 43 Green's Road,
Paddington, where they were living at the time of their daughter Stella's
birth in 1889. Green's Road
runs alongside the side boundary of Victoria Barracks, from Oxford Street
to Moore Park, and is now part of a "historic precinct".
They later moved briefly to the western suburb of Guildford, before
returning to the familiar territory of Paddington in 1908 with a larger
home at 1 Stewart Street on the corner of Oatley road, on the other side
of the Barracks.
Ellen and Thomas went on to have a family of five
daughters and four sons, the youngest, Clyde, being born with Down's
Syndrome, when Ellen was 45 years old.
An artist’s impression of Sydney c1880s,
when Ellen and Thomas were starting out on their married life.
(from Shirley Fitzgerald, Sydney 1842-1992, Hale & Iremonger, Sydney 1992)
gathering of the Williams clan at the family home in 108 Carrington Road,
Randwick, c1938, with Mary Ellen (centre) surrounded by her family
including some of her children and grandchildren
left): Beryl McInerney, Clyde Williams (seated); Patricia McInerney,
Gertrude Williams, Patrick and Nellie McInerney [née Williams] (standing)
centre (from left) Florence
Williams, Mary Ellen Willliams (née Hyde) and Margaret Hyde
(in front); Joan Gaffey and
Photo: courtesy Kevin McInerney
In 1918, Ellen’s husband Tom died suddenly of diphtheria but she herself lived on for another 25 years. In her old age, Ellen lived on through the Great Depression, and the start of World War II, being cared for by her dressmaker daughter Gertrude in Carrington Road, Randwick. In the late 1930s, Gertrude also took in her niece, Joan Gaffey, the daughter of her sister Stella who had died 10 years earlier. Completing the household were Ellen’s unmarried sister Margaret, Ellen’s sons Clyde and Frederick and daughter Florence. At one stage, it was also home to the family of another daughter, Nellie and her husband, Patrick McInerney, who took over caring for Ellen after Gertrude’s premature death.
the war, her eldest son Arthur, (who was a Labor Member of
State Parliament), became concerned for his mother’s welfare in Sydney
and bought a house for her to live in at Leura, in the safety of the Blue
Mountains. Her granddaughter Joan
Gaffey, who was among those who accompanied Ellen to the Blue Mountains,
remembered her only as a very quiet old lady, virtually bedridden.
However, after the worst of the threat was deemed to have passed,
Mary Ellen returned to Sydney in the care of Nellie and Patrick and their
family at 55 Darley Road, Randwick, where she died in 1942.
May Ellen’s Victorian birth certificate
NSW Marriage Certificate. Registrar
of Births Deaths and Marriages. Mary
Ellen's marriage certificate
Daughter Stella’s birth certificate
Husband Thomas’; death certificate
 NSW Death Certificate. Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages. Ellen's death certificate, no. 29595
Mary Ellen’s marriage certificate
One puzzling note about the marriage - although Ellen and Thomas Williams
were married in the Catholic Church at Woollahra, the ceremony was conducted
“according to the rites of the Church of England” (although this may be
a transcription error at the New South Wales Registry of Births Deaths and
Marriages, as it’s hard to conceive of a such a ceremony being allowed in
the Catholic Church at the time).
 Christopher Keating, Surry Hills: The City’s backyard, Hale & Iremonger, Sydney 1991. Pp 31-54