1.3                     CATHERINE COUGHLAN

Who was Catherine?  Catherine was born in 1843 and my genealogy says she died in 1920.  I cannot find a record of her life either in Australia or New Zealand.  

Most of the given family information has her married to  William Earl but it appears that Bridget Martha married William Earl.  Do you have any information?


Michael Coughlan

1.4.1   John Joseph Coughlan  m. Catherine (Kit) Barrett - Kakahu - Geraldine    Mary Coughlan    Catherine Patricia Coughlan m. Thomas Davin    Agnes Eba Coughlan died 1918 age 11    Michael Coughlan    Madeleine Coughlan m. Ted Fitzgerald    Rita Coughlan  

1.4.2   Catherine Coughlan (Katie) Sister Borgia (Brown St. Joseph's)

1.4.3   Mary Coughlan m. Ebenezer Stewart - Kakahu, Kerrytown, Pleasant Point, Darfield  John Stewart m. Margaret Clinton   Ann Marie Stewart m. Lawrence Doody   Ebenezer Robert Stewart m. Margaret Davin   Mary Irene Stewart m. Lee Clinton   James William Stewart m. Monica Ross

1.4.4   Michael Simon Coughlan  Brother Borgia, (Marist Brothers)

Michael was born in 1844 in Kings County, Ireland (now Offaly).  He married Honora Brosnahan on May 22 1873 in Timaru, and died October 14, 1878 at Kakahu.  On his death certificate it states that he had been in New Zealand 17 years at his death, making him 17 on his arrival in New Zealand.  He was married only five short years before he died.  

Nora Brosnahan remarried.  She married JEREMIAH BREEN and there was another nine children born of this marriage.  They lived on a farm in Kerrytown and she remained there for the rest of her long life.   She died in 1936 at the age of 83.

An intriguing item was published in the Timaru Herald in 1869.  The article was headed "Insanity."

"Michael Coughlan, a very steady and industrious man, a farmer at the Kakahu Flat, Temuka, was brought up as being a very dangerous and violent lunatic.  The poor fellow had to be held on either side by a constable when in court.   His brother, Simon Coughlan, stated that he first noticed him to be strange on Sunday last, since then he has been wandering in the bush.  He was found and taken by Sergeant Ramsay and several others that morning, and brought in in a trap.   After receiving evidence of two medical gentlemen, he was committed to the Christchurch Asylum. "

This does not necessarily mean that Michael was mentally unstable since symptoms of strokes or other medical conditions could be misinterpreted as warranting confinement in those early days.  One would hope that Michael's confinement was short lived.   Michael’s death certificate states that he died from consumption which, the certificate states, he had suffered from for 18 months.

There are other glimpses of  the early days that turn up in newspapers and in the case of Michael Coughlan there is an advertisement in the Timaru Herald of December 1878 which says "TENDERS for UNEXPIRED LEASE of Educational Reserve, Part of No. 1195, 97 acres, situated on the Hae Hae te Moaua River, near Geraldine, lately in the occupation of Michael Coughlan, deceased.  80 Acres are in English Grass, and the rest is fallow.  The whole is fenced.  Lease has over 8 years to run from 1st January.  Rent first year, 2s per acre; and the following 7 years 3s.    Applications by letter, marked "Tenders to Lease," will be received up to SATURDAY, 28th December, addressed to SIMON COUGHLAN, Post Office, Temuka."

Nora Brosnahan, her first husband Michael Coughlan and her second husband Jeremiah Breen are all three buried in the same plot in the Temuka Cemetery.  This speaks volumes for the closeness of the families involved

Here is what is known of Michael’s children:

John Joseph Coughlan (1.4.1) married Catherine Barrett on January 20, 1898 at Dunedin.  John died May 7, 1926 at Kakahu and his wife, Catherine, born August 8, 1874, died of “cardiac failure - 5 minutes” on March 26, 1918 “at home.”  

John’s obituary appeared in the Temuka Leader of May 8, 1926

“John Joseph Coughlan.  We have the sad duty of recording the death of John Joseph Coughlan, who passed away at the Timaru Hospital yesterday morning at about 7 o’clock, at the age of 52 years.  On Thursday, deceased was digging potatoes at his mother’s place at Kerrytown, when he suddenly collapsed and lapsed into unconsciousness, being removed by ambulance to the Timaru hospital.  The late Mr. Coughlan, who was well liked for his frank and unassuming disposition, was born at Kakahu in the year 1874.  His father, Michael Coughlan (brother of Simon Coughlan) died in 1884 and left his farm at Kakahu to his son when a lad of only 10 years old and until about four years ago deceased carried on the farm successfully, when he sold out owing to ill-health, for which he has been receiving treatment at Timaru.  

His mother, Mrs. Breen, resides at Kerrytown and he is survived by his brother, Brother Borgia of the Marist order, Sister Borgia of the Sisters of St. Joseph, Mrs. Stewart (Mary Coughlan) of Methven and a step-sister and step-brothers of Kerrytown.  The late Mr. Coughlan was predeceased by his daughter, and on the 28th of March, 1917, by his wife who was a Miss. Catherine Barrett of Temuka.  Deceased leaves a son, Mr. Michael Coughlan, a North Canterbury farmer, and four daughters, Miss Mary Coughlan of Oriental Bay, Wellington, Miss C. Coughlan of the Midland Hotel, Wellington, Miss Madeline Coughlan of Temuka and Miss Rita Coughlan of Hastings.

To the relatives heartfelt sympathy is extended in their sad loss.  The funeral takes place this afternoon, from Kerrytown to the Temuka cemetery, Fr. Beri directing the funeral arrangements and the Rev. Fr. Seymour officiating at the burial service.”

Catherine Coughlan (Sister Borgia) (1.4.2)  was born May 17, 1875 at Hilton, Geraldine and died November 11, 1972 at Auckland.

Mary Coughlan (1.4.3) was married to Ebeneezer Stewart and was born on Feb. 13, 1877, Hilton, Geraldine.  She died November 17, 1944 somewhere in Canterbury, NZ.

Michael Simon Coughlan (Bro. Borgia) (1.4.4) was born October 17, 1878, Hilton, Geraldine, and died December  2, 1954 in Auckland.

From "The Life and Times of Brother Borgia" by Brother Paul Scott:

"Michael Coughlan and Norah Brosnahan were married in 1873.  Both had left Ireland before they were twenty, he when he was nine and she sixteen.  They had four children (see my list above).  Michael died on 14 October 1878 still a young man, as was his father before him.  His youngest son, also named Michael and later to be Brother Borgia, was not yet one month old.  Five years later Norah shifted back to Kerrytown with her young family."  In fact Brother Borgia was born three days after his father died.


Simon Coughlan’s wife, (1.1)  Mary Barrett,  was the aunt of John Joseph Coughlan’s (1.4.1) wife.