1.1.1                   JOHN COUGHLAN

John was born in 1874 and died that same year.  John was named after his paternal grandfather, John, who had died in 1850 - 1852 in Ireland.    He is buried with his parents in the Temuka Cemetery.


1.1.2                     BRIDGET COUGHLAN

Bridget Coughlan married William Dodds Fitzgerald     Annie Fitzgerald m. Maurice Hartnett - b. 1900 d. 1948     Agnes Fitzgerald unmarried - b. 1902 d. February 11, 1954     Mary (May) Fitzgerald m.  John Corlett  b. 1904 d. in Oamaru 1981     Rose (Rosie) Fitzgerald m. Fred Kinnaird  b. 1907 d.  in Timaru 1961     Lucy Fitzgerald  m. Jack Hamlyn b. 1909 d. in Christchurch 1989     Olive Fitzgerald m. David Hartnett  b. 1911 d.1993

BRIDGET COUGHLAN and WILLIAM DODDS FITZGERALD (also known as Baldy Fizgerald) were married in 1898.  All six of their children were girls.

JACK COUGHLAN, (  Bridget's nephew and son of her brother Simon (Sam)  (reference 1.1.5) lived with them from 1925 until 1937.  A little story is told by Jack Coughlan in "The Fitzgerald's of Arowhenua" by Brother Paul Scott and Pat Scott.  "(Jack) recalls Baldy coming home from the sale when the girls had finished milking his share of the cows and he crashed the Dodge car through the end of the old wooden garage into the cow yard mid a cloud of dust, cob webs, borer and all."  

The following is an account of Bridget and William's wedding published in 1898 in the Timaru Herald:

    "A very pretty wedding took place at St. Joseph's Church, Temuka, yesterday, the contracting parties being Mr. William Fitzgerald, eldest son of Mr. John Fitzgerald J.P. and Miss Bridget Coughlan, eldest daughter of Mr. Simon Coughlan.  The wedding party, in twelve vehicles, drove to the Church at 9 o'clock in the morning where the nuptial Mass was celebrated by the Rev. Father Galerno, Miss Quinn rendering the "Wedding March" during the service, the bride being a member of the choir.  There were a good many persons present to witness the ceremony.  The bride, who was given away by her father, wore a dress of cream silk, wreath and veil, and carried a lovely bouquet of flowers.  The bridesmaids, Miss  Annie Fitzgerald and Miss Julia Coughlan, sisters of the bridegroom and bride, were attired in cream serge dresses with heliotrope sashes, white felt hats, with feathers to match, each carrying a bouquet.

Mr. Wm. Cronin acted as best man.  After the ceremony the party drove to the residence of the bride's parents, where a sumptuous breakfast was partaken of by a large number of guests. Mr. M. Quinn occupied the chair and the vice-chair was filled by Mr. J. Angland.  The toast of "The Bride and Bridegroom" was proposed by the chairman and was responded to by the bridegroom.  Mr. J. Angland proposed "The Bridesmaids" coupled with the names of the best man and ably responded to by Mr. W. Cronin.  The health of "The Bride and Bridegroom's Parents" was proposed in eloquent and felicitous terms by Mr. M. Quinn and acknowledged by Mr. John Fitzgerald and Mr. Simon Coughlan.   A number of songs were given and various games indulged in during the afternoon by the younger folk.  In the evening a large number of friends gathered, and the customary jollification was heartily indulged in.  During the day numerous costly and useful presents were on view.  About 5 o'clock the newly married couple were driven to the Temuka Railway Station and took the express train for Christchurch where they will spent their honeymoon."

Wedding Photo

WD and Bridget with family.  Agnes and Annie are in the rear.  May, Rosie, Olive and Lucy are in front.  

W.D. Fitzgerald was a confident of both my grandmother and grandfather, being friend, son-in-law and executor of their wills.  In later life WD was close to Bridget’s sisters as well.  The only personal reminiscence I have attached to W.D. Fitzgerald is that he had a habit, in his later years of adjourning to the Coughlan household in Temuka after Sunday morning Mass.  I believe that the family gathered for “elevenses”.    W.D.’s nick name was “Baldy” and while I do not wish to repeat the wonderful write-up on WD to be found in the Scott’s “The Fitzgerald’s of Arowhenua” I do want to reprint two interesting pieces about the family, that appeared in newspapers of the time.

The first newspaper piece exemplifies the extraordinary spirit of this family and celebration of the Irish heritage they embodied.   A wonderful time was had by all and it needs no more comment on my part.

From the Temuka Leader 17 July, 1923.

The Silver Wedding of Mr. and Mrs. W.D. Fitzgerald, Riverside, was celebrated at their home last week under very pleasant circumstances, despite the inclemency of the weather.  Distance did not prevent those desirous of attending to do honor to such a highly respected and much loved residents of the district.

Consequently over forty people sat down to a sumptuous repast prepared by the sisters and family of Mrs. Fitzgerald on whom much credit is reflected for the tastefully arranged tables and their tempting cade was the work of art and Miss E. Coughlan (Elizabeth Coughlan later Mrs. E. Hailes)  who was responsible for the manufacture and decoration, and received many congratulations.  It was most interesting to note that Rev. Father Galerne, who performed the wedding ceremony twenty five years ago was again present, also the bridesmaids, now Mrs. M. Gaffaney (Julia Coughlan) and Mrs. T. Buckley (Annie Fitzgerald).  

The best man had returned to Ireland but his place was suitably filled by his brother, Mr. T. Cronin.  Rev. Father Galerne congratulated the happy couple and, holding them up as an example, advised the younger people to follow in their footsteps.  Mr. Cronin, in apologizing for his brother’s absence, referred to the good qualities of the happy pair and their very credible family.  Mr. Angland related many reminiscences of the old days remarking on the good fellowship that still existed.  Mr. John Fitzgerald also advised the uniting of more couples in holy bonds.  Rev. Father Fay caused much merriment in his witty remarks when commenting.

Mr. W.D. Fitzgerald then thanked all for the toasts and congratulations and expressed the pleasure it gave them both to see so many friends of twenty five years ago.  It was a standard proof of true friendship which they both appreciated.

The dance arranged for the young people was held in the granary, which was beautifully decorated and for which a splendid orchestra consisting of Misses C. Coughlan (Clare Coughlan), T. Scott, A. Angland and Messrs Greg, Fitzgerald and Angland supplied excellent music.  Irish jigs and reels were danced by Messrs D. Angland and T. Buckley (2) and Duggan.

Mr. and Mrs W.D. Fitzgerald received congratulations, messages and useful gifts accompanied by the best wishes of all present and the singing of Auld Lang Syne terminated a very memorable event.”

Not two weeks later we read Bridget’s obituary in The New Zealand Tablet, dated August 2, 1923.

Mrs. W.D. Fitzgerald, Kerrytown.  At her home, “Riverside”, Kerrytown, on Thursday evening, July 19, the wife of E.D. Fitzgerald passed peacefully away to her eternal reward.  Mrs. Fitzgerald was the eldest daughter of Simon and Mary Coughlan, and a sister of Sister Germain and Sister Olive, both of the Order of St. Joseph.  Deceased had been in indifferent health for some years and a few months ago her life was despaired of but providentially (apparently miraculously) she was spared to celebrate, on the previous week, the silver jubilee of their marriage.   A few days subsequently, however, she again became seriously ill, and her great suffering was borne with true Christian fortitude.  Her death was in the midst of her sorrowing husband and family and devoted sisters, who all united in the prayers of the dying, was most edifying.  

Her many works of charity are well known, and the poor of the district have indeed lost a good friend.

The funeral, which took place at Temuka on Saturday morning, the 21st July, was very largely attended when Rev. Fr. Galerne and Rev. Fr. Fay celebrated Requiem Mass for her happy repose.  At the graveside Father Galerne spoke feelingly of the many good qualities of deceased.  Mr. Fitzgerald and family have the sympathy of a large circle of friends, who, because they loved her in life, will not forget her in death.  Remembrance where remembrance counts most. “


Bridget was born in Kerrytown in 1876.    She died in Kerrytown in 1923 at age 47.  William Dodds Fitzgerald was born in 1870 in Arowhenua, the son of John and Anna Fitzgerald.  They lived in Kerrytown.  Their farm was located directly opposite the farm belonging to Simon and Mary Coughlan.  W.D. died in Timaru in 1958, aged 88.  He was living with his daughter, Lucy Hamlyn at the time.

My Aunty Clare (1.1.12) looked remarkably like her older sister, Bridget.

1.1.3                             MICHAEL COUGHLAN

Michael Coughlan (Mick) married Isabella (Bella) Keenan    John Coughlan - died as an infant - age 2 weeks    Monica Coughlan - Sister Monica entered the Missionary Sisters of the

Society of Mary in              1942.   b. 1909  d. 1993    Vincent Coughlan  m. Eileen McCarthy  b. 1911 d. 1980 age 69  Michael Frances   Rosie   Monica Ann   Betty Marie   John Peter   Edward Paul    Patrick Coughlan    d. 1973 age 58    Bernard Coughlan  b. 1918 d. 1929 age 11

One of the children of  Michael’s brother Sam went to live with Mick and Bella.  His name was Simon. He lived with the family until in 1939 he entered the Christian Brothers ad Brother Simon Coughlan. He arrived to live with this family after the death of his mother, Margaret (Peg) Coughlan, nee Scanell.  Simon was also a Godchild of MICHAEL COUGHLAN.  d. May 17, 1993

MICHAEL COUGHLAN farmed first at Cave and later at Kingsdown.  His wife was born at Kaikoura in 1884.  The couple married in 1907.  The following is a write-up on their wedding in Kaikoura.  The Coughlan name was spelled incorrectly in the newspaper and has been corrected here.

"On April 17, there was a large number present at the Church of the Sacred Heart, Kaikoura to witness the marriage of Miss Isabella Keenan, youngest daughter of Mr. Patrick Keenan, to Mr. Michael Coughlan, of Temuka.  The bride, who was given away by her father, wore a costume of cream mervcilleuse silk, with veil and spray of orange blossoms, and a gold chain, the gift of the bridegroom.  Miss Mary Adair was bridesmaid and Mr. Simon Coughlan (brother of the bridegroom) acted as best man.  The ceremony was performed by the Rev. Father Golden and on the bridal party leaving the church the Wedding March was played by Miss Coughlan (sister of the bridegroom).  The wedding breakfast was laid at the residence of the bride's parents, whence a large number of guests assembled.  A number of toasts were proposed and honored.  The happy couple were the recipients of a large number of wedding presents, both useful and ornamental.  Mr. and Mrs. Coughlan left in the afternoon for the North Island on their honeymoon trip, taking with them the best wishes of a large circle of friends for their future happiness."

ISABELLA was born in 1884 and died in Timaru in 1947.   MICHAEL was born in 1878 and died in Timaru in 1956 at age 78.  After she died Michael gave the Sisters of St. Joseph, at the Shirley convent, in Christchurch, a magnificant gold chalice for their chapel, in memory of Bella.