Meet our Members: Mary Gorman

+11 votes
511 views

Hi everyone!

Meet_our_Members_Photos-8.jpgIt's time to meet another one of our Wonderful WikiTreers. This week's member is Mary Gorman.

Mary became a Wiki Genealogist in October of 2015. She coordinates the Gorman Name Study, participates in the Australia Project and is one of our Rangers.

What are some of the surnames you are researching?

This is just a few: Gorman, Grady, McDonald, Slavin. I’ve had my best success in connecting back to Ireland on my Slavin line, through a DNA connection.

What are some of the locations you are researching?

In New South Wales Black Springs between Bathurst and Oberon where my father’s family is from, the Monaro where my mother’s family is from. Southern ireland and West Cork, where I believe my mystery man originated.

When and how did you get interested in genealogy and family history?

You will see me on WikiTree as Elsie, social media as Mary, and that's where my interest in family history started, named for both grandmas, one living with us and the other recently deceased. As grandma Elsie lived with us I was called by my second name to avoid confusion! 

I concentrate more on my father’s line, building on work he did in the 1980s and 90s. I started by helping him out with typing up what he had found, and finding maps of the Gorman family farms. Our convict ancestor established a small farm and the Gormans lived there for four generations. 

Who's your favorite ancestor and why?

I have to say my great grandmother Sarah Grooms. Firstly because she was born in a tent on the Araluen goldfields, 100 years to the month before me. Secondly widowed at 25 she held her family of five children together before remarrying my great grandfather and having another six children, widowed again she raised a combined family of 13. Thirdly she is the mother of Elsie, the only grandparent I really knew. I don’t remember many stories but do feel her connection.

Tell us about a brick wall you were able to break down or one you hope to bust through.

Oh Michael, if that really is your name. Married to Sarah above he is quite the mystery man. I’ve traced several name changes in Australia and don’t know his birth name. He adopted the day he was shipwrecked in Sydney as his birthday. My hobby/obsession is developing wild theories about him.

He is the reason I got into DNA, and that has led me to West Cork, probably the Beara Peninsula. We have connections to McCarthy, Sullivan, Mahony and variants. A half second cousin at one remove via Michael’s eldest son has recently tested, providing an enormous boost. My current theory is that he was O’Sullivan Ceartan (a branch name) and that somehow morphed into Carter. I’m also studying his connections in his first known home in Australia, to see if they can give me any clue to his origins.

Michael Carter 1844-1904

If you could pick one person in history to be related to, who would it be and why?

Ned Kelly. I am related to our first Saint, so it would be a nice irony to add our most famous criminal. Ned was delivered by a Mary Gorman. I do have Kelly in my tree and lots of DNA links to that part of Victoria... 

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

Reading, bushwalking, gardening. Spring is coming early to southern NSW so we have lots in flower already in early August. Today is a grey rainy day, brightened by the yellow wattle and spring bulbs.

[Interview continues in comments below.]

WikiTree profile: Elsie Gorman
in The Tree House by Eowyn Walker G2G Astronaut (1.6m points)

How long have you been on WikiTree and what do you spend the most time doing?

I started and manage the Gorman Name Study. My aim is to do a profile for every Gorman in New South Wales by 1850. I’ve mostly covered up to 1830. WikiTreer Kylie in Western Australia has been great profiling Gormans there. Any others interested we would welcome your help. This is my main contribution to the Australia project. I’m also active in the Indigenous Australians project, mostly through extended family links or places I’m interested in.

A spin off from the Gorman Name Study is that I get a steady stream of people contacting me. Recently I was able to help connect someone to her Gorman forebear and introduce her to a descendant active on WikiTree.

I enjoy helping protect our tree through my weekly Ranger shift.

I did the Connect-a-Thon for the first time this year. I enjoyed it and it taught me the value of going wide on great great grands siblings. I was able to connect my tree to a substantial tree dating back to "Australian Royalty" a First and Second fleeter.

I would encourage you to participate in projects, it is rewarding working with other members and can give you a group to bounce ideas off and learn from.

What brought you to WikiTree?

I found WikiTree through searching a particular branch of my family, and I found some cousins had been there before me. To my delight several whole branches were already entered, connecting me to the world tree.

What is your favorite thing about WikiTree?

My favourite aspect of WikiTree is the one tree concept based on sharing and collaboration. I enjoy chatting with other members on social media.

The DNA feature is terrific, I love finally having a cousin sitting on my profile. For me it is a much simpler way to identify active cousins, seeing them on profiles as their DNA is attached throughout the tree.

What is an example of how WikiTree has helped you with your genealogy or how you’ve helped genealogy with WikiTree?

WikiTree gave me the idea of tracing a network of relationships which resulted in the Gorman Name Study described earlier. The initial impetus was to help work out if several other Gorman families in the same region as mine are related or not. I have established that the Shooters Hill Gormans are related, but through my Grady line! That’s where my profile picture was taken.

Mary congrats on this profile piece for your work, you're the closest person profiled I have had here, only 17 connections and two Marriages away, through the infamous Mary Ann Rawlings. BTW have you seen the Diane Parker book recently announced via monaropiooneers.com, in which Mary Ann Rawlings is also centred?  cheers!

7 Answers

+7 votes

Congratulations Mary on being this week's Wonderful WikiTreer.

I see that we are 29 degrees separated.

GormanfCarterm, Byrnesis, QuincehffRubenm, Rubinsb,son,d, QuailhPeppelmf, Peppelbd, Simonh, Simonb, YarianwfYerianf, Yerianb, Leibyw, Leibyb,son,dQuigleyson,dBuchson(2)

by Tommy Buch G2G6 Mach 5 (51.8k points)
+6 votes

Great interview, great photo!  I need to find a Baty Lane sign and get a pic! cheeky

by SJ Baty G2G Astronaut (1m points)
+4 votes
Wonderful interview Mary. Thanks!

I also had ancestors on the Araluen goldfields - arriving there just before 1863. It was a hard life, with several of the children born there dying in infancy. I hope you can make a breakthrough with your Mystery man sometime soon.

We're 18 degrees from each other via my maternal grandmother - not the Araluen line :)
by Gillian Thomas G2G6 Pilot (138k points)
+3 votes
Congratulations Mary!  Thanks for all the work you do on the Australia Project!  I come out at 16 degrees - closer to you than to William Bligh at 21 and Fletcher at 24!
by Veronica Williams G2G6 Pilot (134k points)
Hi Veronica, thank you. I looked at your page for.the first time. I really like the way you've done your DNA statements, I will use them as a model to improve mine.
+2 votes

Mary,  Your interview was interesting.....especially about your family's life in New South Wales.....and I noted you are a Ranger.....just finished reading up on the duties of that position. Found that we are related through the McDonald Family as well as connected by 20 degreeslaugh

by John Thompson G2G6 Mach 4 (45k points)
+3 votes

Working with this lady on the Gorman One Name Study is one of my wikitree highlights. Congratulations Elsie! smiley

ago by Kylie Haese G2G6 Mach 5 (53.6k points)
+2 votes

Congratulations Mary!

Great interview it's very interesting. smiley

(edited to correct my typo)

ago by Laura DeSpain G2G6 Pilot (100k points)

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