It'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.]