Francis Henry William Thomas Winifred Brownrigg Peter Welsh Thomson Margaret Jean Caldow /Hodsdon Frederick Edward Senior James Roger Francis Wyman Clark Richard Robertson Patricia Mae Mulligan Joachim Dido

Biographical Dictionary - Coorow, Carnamah, Three Springs



Born 16 November 1860 in Upper Swan, Western Australia [P1]
Daughter of Edmund Keane BYRNE and Amelia JONES [P1]
Grand-daughter of Richard JONES and Mary BROWN, who arrived in the Swan River Colony on the Nancy on 9 January 1830 [P1]
     Her grandmother Mrs Mary JONES was said to have been one of the first three white women to arrive in the colony [39: 6-Apr-1937]
     Bullsbrook was reputedly named after her grandfather "Bull" Richard JONES, who was the first to build a camp there [39: 6-Apr-1937]
     Her father had been imprisoned in England for stealing a purse and arrived in Western Australia as a child convict in 1848 [P1]
Baptised at the Holy Trinity Church in Chittering, Western Australia [P1]
Resided with her parents on Spring Valley Farm in Swan and then on Brockhill Farm in Chittering [114: pages 2, 3]
Then resided with her parents on her father's Mount Pleasant Farm in Bindoon 1868-1882 [114: pages 3, 20]
     She made bread when she needed to stand on a box to reach the table and had used a harrow on the farm at the age of twelve [P1]
     In 1881 she gave birth to a son out of wedlock, Robert Edward BYRNE, who died aged seven days [15]
Married (1) neighbouring farmer Edward WELLS on 29 August 1882 at Saint Luke's Church in Gingin [114: page 20]
     Resided with her husband Edward and later their children on Prospect Farm in Bindoon 1882-1905 [P1]
     For over ten years helped her husband run the Prospect Arms Hotel which was located on their Prospect Farm [P1]
     Her husband Edward died at the age of 58 on 6 November 1904, when their youngest child was less than three months old [P1]
     The farm was heavily mortgaged and with eleven children under her care she was forced to walk off the property [P1]
     Along with her children she lived for a year with her brother Thomas H. BYRNE on Mount Pleasant Farm in Bindoon [P458]
     With financial assistance from Walter PADBURY and her brother E. K. BYRNE she purchased a smaller farm in Wannamal [P1]
Farmer of Bush Grove Farm in Wannamal 1906-1917 [50] [114: pagre171] [181: page 153]
     Oversaw the management of Bush Grove Farm with her elder sons doing the bulk of the work [P1]
     In both Bindoon and Wannamal she was frequently called upon at varying hours to act as a midwife [P1]
     Won 1st prize for Sponge Cake at the Victoria Plains Agricultural Show near New Norcia on 9 September 1908 [39: 17-Sep-1908]
     Foundation Committee Member of the Wannamal Farmers' Progress Association in 1910 [39: 18-Jan-1910]
     Member of the Women's League in Wannamal - was Vice President in 1911 [39: 30-May-1911]
     She opened proceedings at the Empire Day celebrations at the Wannamal State School in Wannamal in 1911 [39: 30-May-1911]
     Foundation Member of the Wannamal Hall Committee 1912-1917 [114: page 195]
     Guarantor on the Wannamal Hall Committee's £80 overdraft for the building of the Wannamal Hall in 1912 [114: page 105]
     Judge of the Cookery section at the Floral & Industrial Exhibitions at the Chittering Hall in 1912 and 1913 [181: pages 190, 191]
     Regularly helped organise dances and other functions that were held in Wannamal and was usually the supplier of supper [114]
     Provider of supper and music at some of the functions held in Wannamal, including playing the accordion [114: pages 97, 166, 170]
     Wells Street in Wannamal was named after her while Byrne Street in Wannamal was named after her brother E. K. [114: page 83]
     Tendered farewell by the people of Wannamal and surrounding districts at a dance in Wannamal on 23 December 1916 [9: 29-Dec-1916]
     It was remarked at the dance that she was "a remarkable woman who had always taken a prominent part on all committees" [9]
     "a successful organiser, a model hostess, the mother of a family which helped to make all things go, the most friendly of women" [9]
     At a Social & Dance at the Wannamal Hall on 26 January 1917 she was presented with a suitcase and travelling rug [114: page 195]
Married (2) lighthouse keeper Robert Wilkinson HOWE on 12 March 1917 at Saint Paul's Church in South Fremantle [39: 10-May-1917]
     Resided with her second husband on Breaksea Island, on Rottnest Island and following his retirement in Perth [P22]
     They resided at 35 Tamar Street 1925-1934 and at 62 Petra Street in 1935 and 1936 in the Perth suburb of Palmyra [6] [50]
     They then resided at 14 Howick Street in the Perth suburb of Victoria Park 1936-1940 [6]
Attended the wedding of her niece May I. BYRNE and Robert A. CALDOW in Three Springs on 5 October 1921 [9: 21-Oct-1921]
She and her husband holidayed with her son Ted in Wannamal and her brother E.K. in Three Springs in April 1922 [9: 14-Apr-1922]
     Before returning to Breaksea Island they spent time with her daughter Lily in Mount Lawley and other relatives in Fremantle [9]
Wore a dress of fawn crepe de chine with hat to match to her son Edmund's wedding in Carnamah on 7 February 1927 [4: 19-Feb-1927]
Appears to have been in Carnamah on a visit in May 1929, possibly for the first birthday of her grand-daughter Vida E. WELLS [P1]
     Attended the Carnamah Football Club's Ball at the Carnamah Hall on 18 May 1929 in a dress of black crepe de chine [4: 25-May-1929]
After a holiday with her son Edmund in Carnamah herself and her husband returned to Perth on 11 November 1935 [5: 8-Nov-1935]
When Darwin was bombed during the Second World War she and her husband left Perth fearing that it would be next [P22]
     They shifted to the Carnamah townsite and resided during 1942 in the house at 3 Niven Crescent next to the Anglican Church [P22]
     During their time in Carnamah her grand-daughters Vida E. WELLS and Margaret E. WELLS lived with them [P22]
     Along with her husband left Carnamah by train in mid January 1943 and shifted back to Perth [5: 15-Jan-1943]
     While on the train heading back to Perth she had a heart attack and had to be taken off at Moora [5: 15-Jan-1943]
After shifting back to Perth in 1943 she resided at 5 Yeovil Crescent in the Perth suburb of Bicton [225: 20-Nov-1943]
Mother of Robert, Ella, Ada, Edward, Rose, Lily, Edmund, Herbert, Ruby, Elsie, Sydney, Frederick and Vida [P1]
Died 9 December 1946; buried at Fremantle Cemetery in the Perth suburb of Palmyra (Anglican, A6, 50) [2]

Reference:  Carnamah Historical Society & Museum and North Midlands Project, 'Emily Byrne / Wells / Howe' in Biographical Dictionary of Coorow, Carnamah and Three Springs, retrieved 9 May 2021 from [sources]

Use the below form or email

Comment, memory or story about this person
Suggested correction or additional information
Question or general feedback
Please enter this code into the box to confirm your request.

During this time we encourage you to stay active + keep connected. Check out Act-Belong-Commit Creative @ Home for ideas!