McCullough Irish and Australian Roots


McCullough Family Australian and Irish Roots

Site Webmaster/Researcher

Bruce Maxwell McCullough, Auckland, New Zealand, Great Great Grandson of James and Elinor McCullough. Thank you to Christopher Robb, Julie McCullough, Nettie Draffen and Ray Welsford, for their contribution of photos and information used on this site. Also my uncle the late Norman David McCullough for the inspiration to begin my study of our family history.

The above top picture is an artefact held in the collection of the Down County Museum, Downpatrick, Northern Ireland, a drum of the Loyal Florida Infantry circa 1798. [Gordon Yeomanry] Refer section below on Captain Thomas McCullough, Loyal Florida Infantry.

The map is of Kilmood Parish showing the parish townlands, to the left of the red boundry line,  including Tullynagee and Ballykeigle now known as Ballykeel. [Map not to scale]

This site is added to as information becomes available, so check back occasionally. 


The Ancestor List

Are We Related? 

Edoms, Abernethy, Jellie, Bailie, Moorhead, Robb, Russell, Bower, Cassidy, Dickson, Nichol, Monk, McCully, Brown, Stoddard, Colten, Warne, Mayne, McConnell, Room, Looney, Black, Maloney, Amoore, Booth, Barker, McMillan, Symons, Beard, Crean, Paisley, Draffen, Mills, Martin, Fletcher, Wallace, Iaccarino, Strachan, Ham, Cumming, Wallace, Morrissey, Hogan, Waters, Brean, Keys, Roberts, Bumpstead, Desmond, Bell, McDonough, Towler, Coates. Morrison. Plus many more. 

About the James McCullough 1820-1910 Family Roots in Australia

My direct descent from James McCullough 1820-1910 and Elinor, nee Moorhead, 1820-1906 is- [in RED]

James and Elinor McCullough, their children were-

David Moorhead 1844-1849.

Thomas 1846-1926 married Alice Harriet Monk in 1869, children- Alice Jean 1873-1952 married Hugh Milner Black in Warrnambool in 1893, [Click this link for history of the Black family ] their son Tom Campbell Black became world famous when he and C.W.A. Scott won the London to Melbourne Centenary MacRobertson Air Race in 1934.[see side index "Tom Campbell Black - Aviator" for his story] Ellen Moorhead 1870-1956, James Ernest John 1875-1955 married Annie Ashton McCully in 1906, Ruby Gladys 1888-1951, Thomas Wood 1884-1959. married Eunice May Brown in 1908, Edmund Arthur Thomas 1874-1875.

Hugh 1848-1905 married Margaret Lutton Mayne in 1874, children-Elizabeth Ann 1874-1923 married Joseph McConnell in 1897, James Abernethy 1877-1946 married Mary Maude Priscilla Victoria Room in 1928., Agnes Mary 1879-1962 married Edward Looney in 1928. William Mayne 1880-1925 married Elizabeth McLaren Black in 1914, ***George Henry 1882-1936 married Martha Beatrice Barker in 1905,  Margaret Emily 1884-1975 married William Maloney in 1905, Jean Lowry 1886-1931 married Joseph Amoore in 1911, Martha moorhead 1888-1967 did not marry, Thomas Hugh 1892-1894, Jeanette Jellie 1890-1918, Myrtle Estelle 1894-1978 married Stanley Booth in 1920

[***Refer children of  George Henry entered below] 

David Moorhead 1849-1926 married Margaret Jane Stoddard in 1898

John 1851-1935 married Jeanette Margaret Jellie in 1902, children- Ellen Susanna Moorhead 1903-1903

Margaret Jane Jellie 1855-1865

Mary 1857-1865

Agnes 1860-1865

William James 1861-1951 married Mary Ann Colton abt.1866-1902, in 1904 children- James 1889-1973, John 1889-1947 married Daisy Head 1893-1963, in 1921, William 1900-1967 married Margaret Annie Williams in 1933, Mary May [aka Girlie] Sabina 1902-1987 married Ian Thomas Gibson in 1941. Second wife of William James, Sarah Jane Warne 1868-1943, married in 1904 children- Doris Ellen 1907-1999 married Arthur Harry Stone 1902-1991, in 1927, Rupert Charles Edmund 1908-1986 married Nellie Hendry 1908-1975, in 1936.


***Children of George Henry McCullough 1882-1936 married Martha Beatrice Barker in 1905 at the St. Johns Presbyterian Church, Warrnambool.

Hugh George 1907-1969 married Freda May Mills in 1927 at the St. Johns PresbyteriChurch,Warrnambool. [Click this link to visit the Mills Family Site]  children- Beryl Margaret 1928-    born in Warnambool, married Clarry Martin in 1948, children- [1]Margaret Beryl, married Terrance Ham, children- Jarrod Christopher married Melissa Robinson- children, Sienna Lillie, born 28/1/2012, Timothy [deceased]  [2] Ian Donald, married Teresa Iaccarino, children- Courtney Teresa, Elliot Laurence, Jordon Pearl, Beryl's second marriage Alfred Pope in 1986. Donald Hugh 1930-1952 born in Warrnambool, died in Melbourne. George Arthur 1933-1978 born in Warrnambool, died in Melbourne. Alan David 1934-   born in Warrnambool, married Dawn Valerie Fletcher in Melbourne, children- [1] David Alan, married Marita Annette Strachan, children- Kate Sinclair married Glenn Harrison children- Indra Deva born 29/4/2012, James Fletcher. [2] Leanne Robyn, married Peter Hickox [divorced] children- Danielle Sally, David Alan. [3] Robert Bruce. Bruce Maxwell 1944-  born in Melbourne, married Carol Ann Wallace in 1966 in Melbourne, children- [1] Michael David 1968 born Auckland, New Zealand, [2] Joanne Maree 1970 born Auckland, New Zealand married Mark Gerrard Irwin, children- Dylan Mark, Tiana Carol, Taylor Kevin. [3] Kevin Bruce 1975 born Auckland, New Zealand.  Beatrice Jean 1910-1984 married Willam Joseph McMillan at St. Johns Presbyterian Church, Warrnambool, in1936. Children: Gwen Bridget married [1] Tom Mallaghan, children Samantha Jean, Damien Jason. Married [2] Barry Wells, child Rebecca Jane

Grace 1911-2003 married [1] Colledge Symons in 1939. Children: Patricia Grace, Elizabeth Beatrice, John Colledge, Douglas James, Sandra Lorraine, Iain. Married [2] Edward Stuchberry in 1978.

Beryl May 1914-1999 married Albert Beard in 1946.

Norman David 1915-1997 married Norma Crean in 1942. Children: Judith and David.

Doris Margaret 1917-1989 married James Paisley in 1940. Children Joyce Ethal, Margaret Jean, Heather June, Stewart James.

Hector 1920-1921.

Nettie Joyce b.1921 married Thomas Malcolm Draffen son of George Draffen and Doris Ann Williams-Lord, in 1945 at St. Johns Presbyterian Church, Warrnambool. Children: Carolyn Dawn married Richard Warneminde, children Clea and Luke. Stirling George married Margaret McCrae, children Richard, Leigh, Sarah and Michelle.  Jeanette Doris married Stuart Walsgott, Children Gus and Josephine.  Glenice Grace married [1]Douglas Finley child Emma, married [2] Terrance Robertson. Laurel Joy. George Thomas married Barbara Birch, children Anne, Thomas and Paul.


About the McCullough Family Roots in County Down, Ireland

Known history tells us that our McCullough's were freehold farmers in Co.Down for at least three generations. What is known is that James McCullough, abt.1760-1815, my GGGGGgrandfather, was a farmer in the townland of Tullynagee, Co. Down, he is listed in the "Freehold Register for Co. Down" the entry is dated 23 oct.1783 showing his place of abode as Tullynagee. Another reference to James was found in the "Index to Down Diosesan Wills" "McCullough James, Tullynagee, Kilmood [farmer] Probate 1815" Also in in the"Voters Rolls-Deputy Cheque book of  around 1789 for all of Co. Down." Lists " James McCullough of Tullynagee with a freehold worth 10 Pounds."He married Mary Edoms in abt.1780, Mary's father was Colonel Edoms, [unit/regiment unknown] we have a photo of a hand painted miniature portrait of Col. Edoms that was brought to Australia by his grand-daughter Mary 1782-1882 in 1852. [ref. to the photo section of this site] James and Mary had at least four children, namely- Margaret Stevenson 1789-1870 she married James Jellie at the Killinchy Presbyterian Church in 1818, they emigrated to Australia with five of their six children on the Sailing Ship "Thomas Arbuthnot" arriving in Melbourne in 1841. It would appear that their daughter Elizabeth remained in Ireland and married William Russell, they with Elizabeth's Aunt Mary McCullough 1782-1882 emigrated to Australia in 1852 [Ref. entry below for Mary 1882-1882]  The Jellies settled in the Warrnambool area. [For more information on James Jellie and Margaret Stevenson nee McCullough see below.]  Mary 1782-1882 emigrated to Australia with the Russell family  on the sailing ship "El Dorado" arriving in Melbourne in 1852, Mary and the Russells settled in Warrnambool, she never married. Hugh born unk-unk, he was a Doctor of Medicine [M.D.] he remained in Ireland. Thomas abt.-aft.1855, my GGGGrandfather, was also a farmer in the townland of Tullynagee, Co.Down. He is listed in the " Freeholder Register for Castlereagh Barony for 1813-1821" in which Tullynagee lies, "Thomas McCullough, Place of Abode-Tullynagee, Freehold-Tullynagee, Value of Freehold-40 Shillings, Place and Date of Registry- Comber May 7 1817". The register also gives the "lives" named in the leases that the freehold is held, listed are "James and Hugh McCullough and John Scott" James and Hugh would be Thomas' brothers and John Scott a family friend/neighbour [this was common practice in those times] Thomas is also listed in the "Freehold Register for 1824" the entered details are the same as for 1817. There is also an entry in the "Tithe Allotment Book for Kilmood Parish for 1829" which shows all occupiers of land, listed "Thomas McCullough in Tullynagee, 30 acres 0 roods 32 perches, 4th. rate land at 6 pence per acre nearly".  Research has shown that Thomas lived in Tullynagee until the1830's, then prior to1843 he moved to Killinchy. In the marriage register of the Killinchy Presbyterian Church  for the marriage of his son James 1820-1910 [my GGGrandfather] to Elinor Moorhead in 1843, he is entered as living in Killinchy.  Thomas married Jennie [Janet Jenny] Abernethy prior to 1812 they had at least 7 children namely- Mary bef.1812-unk., married Hugh Bailie at the Killinchy Presbyterian Church in 1826, children, Thomas and Sarah. On the early death of their parents Thomas and Sarah emigrated to Warrnambool, Australia. Elizabeth bef.1812-unk., married Thomas Bailie [Brother of the above Hugh Bailie] at the Killinchy Presbyterian Church in 1838, Jane 1815-1815, Baptised Killinchy Presbyterian Church 4/10/1815. Jane 1816-unk. Baptised Killinchy Presbyterian Church 31/12/1816, married John Moorhead [brother of Elinor Moorhead 1820-1906, at the Killinchy Presbyterian Church 11/1/1839.  James 1820-1910 [my GGGrandfather] Baptised Killinchy Presbyterian Church 2/2/1820, he married Elinor Moorhead at the Killinchy Presbyterian Church in 1843, emigrated to Australia in 1854. Margaret 1823-unk.Baptised Killinchy Presbyterian Church 16/1/1823, Susanna 1829-1907 Baptised Killinchy Presbyterian Church 22/3/1829, she married William Finley Robb in Dundonald in 1852, emigrated to Australia in 1853 on the sailing ship "Albinus" [ Click this link  to visit Christopher Robb's family page for the story of Susanna and William Finley Robb] It would appear on leaving Tullynagee, Thomas and Jennie [Janet Jenny] may have had three more children but the records of the Killinchy Presbyterian Church do not make it clear. The baptism records show: Martha, Baptised 8/3/1832, Father Thomas of Ballyminstra, Thomas, Baptised 22/8/1834, Father Thomas of Ballyminstra and another Jane, Baptised 22/1/1835, Father Thomas of Tullynagee, Mother Jane. As you can see the picture is not clear. Tullynagee, Ballyminstra and Killinchy are virtually in a straight line to each other over a distance of about 4 km. The Freeholders Register does not list a Thomas McCullough living in Ballyminstra.

James Jellie 1787-1862 and Margaret Stevenson McCullough 1789-1870

The Jellie family and its offshoots [including connections by marriage with the Cassady’s, McCullough’s and other prominent local families around Warrnambool] is one of the most numerous of the early families in the Warrnambool Shire, especially in the Grassmere- Purnim-Woodford areas in which some of them still farm.

They came from County Down, Ireland, where the family had been farmers either as tenants or workers for generations. Like so many of their countrymen, the industrial revolution and the consequent corn laws forced migration. James Jellie his wife Margaret [nee McCullough] and their five children, the eldest twenty-one and the youngest ten, arrived in Port Phillip, Victoria, Australia, in October 1841. Soon after they journeyed to Belfast,

[Port Fairy] Victoria, where James expected that land would be easy to get. They travelled by bullock wagon, the younger children, it was recorded, were slung along the sides of the wagon in hammocks. But land was not easy to get. The Atkinson special survey had just been taken out by James Atkinson, the Sydney solicitor. This covered most of the land within easy reach of Belfast. [port fairy] James Jellie was not prepared to pay rent to the Atkinson interest, for land he believed should be available to farmers. For some years he and his son William grazed cattle on the land near Rosebrook east of Belfast. [Port Fairy]

Then in 1849 at public auction of country lands in Portland, Victoria, James bought two blocks of Merri River land, totalling 37 acres. He paid 44 Pounds for one block and 41 Pounds for the second, a slightly smaller block. He built a stone house on this land and named it "Tahook". In 1850 he bought 156 acres at Grassmere Junction, paying 266 Pounds for it. James’ son, William worked this land, together with other Grassmere land, that by 1854 totalled some 366 acres.

William married Joanna Cassady, the sister of William Cassady of "Boughton" in 1853, at St. Johns Church in Port Fairy. After the wedding he and his bride rode horseback to the cottage on the Grassmere Junction farm, a ride of at least 20 miles. William lead his bride as she could not ride. They spent most of their married life at this farm, retiring to Warrnambool during 1877. William died soon afterwards as a result of an accident. William stopped a tip-dray that he was driving in Raglan Parade, Warrnambool, to give some boys a lift. He was undoing the back of the dray when the latch slipped, the dray tipped up and fell on him, killing him.

Joanna Jellie then moved to a house in Botanic Road, where she died on 28th. August 1904, aged 78 years.

The Jellies were active in civic matters, farming organizations, including the Villiers and Heytesbury Agricultural Society, also their church and school. His youngest son, James junior, was a celebrated auctioneer and horse racing man. He was one of the auctioneers of the Atkinson Estate in Port Fairy in March-April 1885.

The Jellies of Grassmere had a butcher shop at Bushfield, for three years from 1901. Unpaid accounts for meat supplied closed the shop. William Jellie [1972], of Botanic Road, has a letter which was received from a man in Cobden during 1940. The letter writer states that he had buried two wives " at great expense", and had just remembered that he owed " Jellie the butcher a fiver". He enclosed a 5 Pound note "to meet the debt and ease my conscience".

The above history was researched and written by Julie Mechele McCullough of Hawkesdale, Victoria, born in Warrnambool, Victoria, Australia. Great, great, great grand daughter of James McCullough 1820 - 1910 and Elinor [nee Moorhead]. Descended from - John 1936 - Eric James 1910 - James Ernest John 1875 - Thomas 1846 - James 1820.

James and Margaret emigrated to Australia on the sailing ship "Thomas Arbuthnot"and arrived in Port Phillip, Melbourne, in 1841. The state records "N.S.W., assisted passenger records 1839 - 1851, Port Phillip", lists " James Jellie, Margaret and family, vessel, Thomas Arbuthnot, 1841, Port Phillip, ref. reel no. 2144".



3 October, 1882

McCullough - on the 28th. September, at "Myrtle Cottage", the residence of Mrs. Wm McEwan Russell, Timor street, Warrnambool, Australia, at the advanced age of 100 years, Mary, daughter of the late James McCullough, sister of the late Thomas McCullough and Hugh McCullough, M.D., of Comber, County Down, Ireland, also sister of the late Mrs. James Jellie senior, of Warrnambool. Belfast and Downpatrick papers will kindly reprint the above announcement.

[Note - Mrs. Wm. McEwan Russell [Elizabeth] was the daughter of James Jellie and Margaret Stevenson nee McCullough sister of Mary, shown above as Mrs. James Jellie senior. Thomas McCullough was the father of James McCullough 1820-1910 husband of Elinor Moorhead.

It is interesting to note that Mary’s brother Hugh McCullough was a doctor of medicine. Mary arrived in Melbourne on the sailing ship "El Dorado" in 1852 with her niece Mrs Wm McEwan Russell, her husband and their new born son Hugh James McCullough Russell. Mary was the daughter of James McCullough [ my GGGGGrandfather] and Mary Edoms.


The following is an excerpt from the obituary of  Thomas' son James 1820-1910 transcribed from a copy of "The Warrnambool Standard" newspaper dated the 13th. August 1910: "His father Captain Thomas McCullough was an officer in the Gordon Yeomanry, and took part in much active service for the Empire."

In 1755 Robert Gordon married the widow Alice Whyte and through this connection the Gordon's acquired "Florida Manor" which is about 2 Kms. N.W. of the village of Killinchy. The Florida Estate included the townlands of Ballybunden, Drumreagh, part of Kilmood, Ballygraffen, Ballyminstragh, Lisbarnet, Raffery, Ravera and Tullynagee. [Where Thomas McCullough, and his father James McCullough, were Freehold Farmers]

In 1797 David Gordon, son of Robert Gordon, succeeded to the estate on the death of his brother John Gordon. The estate included the mansion house called "Florida Manor" and demesne. David Gordon was a Magistrate, PRONI records show that a "Court" operated at the Manor and they highlight the myriad of offences that could be brought before the Manor Court. The court still appeared to be in operation by the early nineteenth century as case papers dated 1805 recite David Gordon's title to the lordship of the manor and his accompanying rights. It also states that the court met at least once a year when petty constables were appointed. David Gordon was also one of the magistrates who collected evidence about the 1803 rebellion, he also owned land near Downpatrick and Killyleagh, making him a fairly influential man of the time.

During the latter part of the 1700's [September/October 1796] Yeomanry forces were raised by landed gentry to support the English Crown and the regular army to combat the impending French invasion/Irish rebellion against the Crown [1796-1798]. The local landowner, Magistrate and the Lord of the Florida Manor at Killinchy, David Gordon esq., raised such a force and named it the "Loyal Florida Infantry" Yeomanry Corps [Gordon Yeomanry] Thomas McCullough of Tullynagee was a member of this unit and held the senior rank of Captain.


Tullynagee, Kilmood, Parish: Just North of Kilmood village, 865 acres, in 1831 there were 58 houses, 43 families employed in agriculture and 8 in trade, 157 males, 190 females, 16 servants, the propietor then was Lord Londonderry whose agent was Mr. J. Andrews of Comber, farms were from 4-40 acres, rent was 20-30 shillings an acre, good land. A National School was established in 1827.

Ballykeigle, Kilmood, Parish: Located 5km. South of Comber ajoining the northern boundry of  the townland of Tullynagee, 703 acres, in 1831 there were 68 houses, 36 families employed in agriculture, 180 males and 191 females, 1 professional man and 18 servants, the proprietor then was Mr. Gordon of Florida whose agent was Mr. S. Duff of Ballybunden, middling quality land, farms from 10-40 acres, rent 20-33 shillings per acre, crops were potatoes, wheat and oats. [Ballykeigle was later known as Ballykeel.] A school was established in 1807.


KILMUD, or KILMOOD, a parish, in the barony of LOWER CASTLEREAGH, county of DOWN, and province of ULSTER, contiguous to the post-town of Killinchy, on the road from Belfast to Downpatrick; containing 2219 inhabitants. This parish, called also Killmoodmanagh, together with an extensive manor having various important privileges, formed part of the possessions of the ancient monastery of Comber. It comprises, according to the Ordnance survey, 4634 statute acres, of which about 34 are water, 38 consist of plantations in the demesne of Florida, from 40 to 50 are bog, and 3613 are applotted under the tithe act. The soil is generally fertile, and the land in a high state of cultivation: there is very little waste land; and the bog, as it becomes exhausted, is brought into cultivation. In almost every part of the bog are found numbers of oak, birch, and fir trees of full growth, which last especially are in high preservation; they are sawn with difficulty, and the timber, said to be more durable than oak, is much used in building. The oaks are large, some measuring 30 feet in girth, and are found beneath the fir at a depth of 26 feet, but in general much decayed. Florida manor-house, the elegant mansion of David Gordon, Esq., D.L., is the principal seat in the parish. A court leet and baron is held every third week by the seneschal of the manor, at which debts under 40s. are recoverable, and of which the jurisdiction extends over the whole of this parish and the townland of Drumreagh in the parish of Killinchy. Petty sessions are also held on alternate Saturdays in the manor court-house, a handsome building erected in 1822. During the disturbances of 1798, the manor of Florida raised a battalion of yeomanry; the men still retain their arms and accoutrements, but of late have been seldom called out by government to exercise. The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Down, and in the alternate patronage of the Marquess of Downshire and David Gordon, Esq., in the latter of whom the rectory is impropriate. The tithes amount to 151. l2. 8.pounds, of which 65. 12. 8. pounds is payable to the impropriator, and the remainder to the vicar. A handsome glebe-house has been erected by the patrons, aided by a gift of 415 pounds and a loan of 129 pounds from the late Board of First Fruits; and Mr. Gordon has given 10 acres of land as a glebe, and endowed the vicarage with a rent-charge of 40 pounds payable out of his estate of Florida. The church, after the dissolution of the monastery of Comber, fell into decay, and the tithes were annexed to those of the parish of Hillsborough, 14 miles distant; but in 1819, the present church, an elegant structure in the later English style, with a handsome tower and spire rising to the height of 120 feet, was erected near the site of the ancient ruins, at the joint expense of the lord of the manor and the Marquess of Londonderry, aided by a gift of 900 pounds from the late Board of First Fruits. The interior is handsomely fitted up with Riga oak; the east window, of large dimensions and elegant design, appears to have been copied from that of Salisbury cathedral, and in the churchyard is a splendid mausoleum belonging to the Gordon family. In the R. C. divisions the parish forms part of the union or district of Saintfleld. About 200 children are taught in four public schools; of these one, for which a handsome school-house was erected by Mr. Gordon and the Marquess of Londonderry, is supported by the trustees of Erasmus Smith's charity, who pay the master 30 pounds per ann.; and one at Drumnahirk was built and is supported by Lord Dufferin. There are also two private schools, in which are about 150 children. A mendicity society has been established, for raising funds to be applied to the relief or maintenance of the poor, which are distributed at their own dwellings monthly; and an extensive religious lending library is kept in the court-house for the use of the poor.


A freeholder was a man who owned his land outright (in fee) or who held it by lease which could be for one or more lives (for example, his own life or for the lives of other people named in the lease). From 1727 to 1793 only Protestants with a freehold worth at least 40 shillings a year were legally permitted to vote. Between 1793 and 1829 both Protestants and Catholics with 40 shilling freeholds could vote, but in 1829 the franchise level was increased to 10 pounds, so 40 shilling freeholders were no longer allowed to vote. This last measure increased the influence of landlords by effectively confining membership of Parliament to the propertied or monied classes.