Trove Detective: John F. O’Reilly: Just a Little Trove Magic

Perseverance Rewarded.

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Still struggling to find where John O’Reilly was buried. His marriage certificate showed his name as John Francis Benedict O’Reilly, an electrical engineer living in Petersham when he married Catherine Maude Wormersley, a dressmaker at St Thomas’ Church, Lewisham, New South Wales in May, 1913 at the age of 31 years. St Thomas Becket’s Catholic Church was obviously the family church as other family members were married here and Ellen O’Reilly’s funeral left from there in 1933. What a pity there are no wedding pictures, we can only imagine the family in 1913. If anyone has any photos of the O’Reilly’s or St Thomas’ please send them to Explorers Tree so I can add them later.

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A surprising google search for Catherine Maude Wormersley resulted in plenty of information on Maude but very little on John O’Reilly. Design & Art Australia Online have a biography for Maude who was an artist and ceramicist and lived in England, Brisbane, Melbourne & Perth. An older version of the entry mentioned that the couple went to England as part of a world trip in 1937 and after the death of her husband three years later, she returned to Brisbane. That’s about 1940! Another site had a Wormersley family tree for ‘Maud’ who died in 1971 and John who died in Western Australia, but the date wasn’t known. Hopefully, they may have some photos of John and Maude O’Reilly.

A lengthy search ensued as I poured through the online Death Indexes looking for John or Jack O’Reilly who died about 1940. Nothing in the death indexes for England, New South Wales, South Australia, Queensland or even Western Australia, which had a John F Riley at Karrakatta Cemetery but with the wrong wife. At last, I searched in Victoria where there is a charge off 99c for each page of search results you view and another charge to download the image, but it was worth it.

John Francis O’Reilly died on 10th September, 1940 at the Mercy Hospital in Melbourne. He lived in Shakespeare Grove, Hawthorn where the house still appears to be on Google maps. John was the Superintendent Engineer at the Post Master General’s Department and had lived in Victoria for nine years, Queensland for nine years, one year in Western Australia, one year in South Australia and 39 years in New South Wales! John Francis O’Reilly was buried at Burwood Cemetery in Melbourne.  Now for some Trove magic! Voilà!

JFO'Reilly Obit                                          The Argus (Melbourne) 11 Sept 1940

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