James and Mary McAllister m 1865

James McAllister was born in Sydney 1842 and moved with his parents to Queensland about 1850. He was to become a saddler but I don’t know when or where he learned these skills. He married Mary Gallagher in 1865 in Brisbane.

1855 Mary’s Journey to Australia – The Gallaghers

According to the shipping information from the Truro June 1855, Mary was 12, her father John 39, her mother Margaret 37, her sister Annie 8 and a male baby born at sea. John was a labourer and he and his wife could read and write. They were from Clare in Ireland and were Roman Catholics. Their other children were listed separately: Andrew 18, a labourer, John 16, also a labourer and Ellen 15, a servant.

According to Marion McCreadie, who put information about the Truro on line

26 May 1855    Truro, ship, 694 tons, from Liverpool, 14th February with 318 Govt. immigrants.The Truro encountered very severe weather in the Bay of Biscay, where she lost her fore-top sail yard. Off Tristan D’Achunna was becalmed 14 days, being six days in sight of the islands. In a gale off Van Diemen’s Land she lost her quarter boat. She has made a good run, being 93 days to Sydney and 102 days to Moreton Bay. The immigrants are all in good health, and are reported as an orderly and well educated body of people. They speak highly of Capt. Duncan, the master of the vessel. On the passage there were 10 births and one death – an infant. There are 318 in all, 48 being single women and 48 single men. The steamer Hawk was engaged to bring them to Brisbane, and completed the job yesterday.

The barque, Truro sailed from Plymouth 15 Feb 1855 and on the 26th May 1855 the ship Truro arrived in Morton Bay with 318 Government immigrants. It must have been an amazing journey. The passengers took out an advertisement in The Moreton Bay Courier to thank the captain, Captain Duggan.



WE, the undersigned emigrants of the barque Truro, recently landed in Moreton Bay, beg to tender our grateful thanks to Captain Duggan for his amiable conduct towards us during our passage, his coolness and skill as Commander effectually dispelled all fear for our safety, while his frankness of disposition and gentlemanly behaviour to every passenger on board, was the theme of mutual admiration, and rendered him the idol of all, from infancy to old age, and however fate may dispose of us, or circumstances scatter us, we feel assured that the name of Captain Duggan will ever he remembered by all with enthusiastic pleasure, and the humble prayer of every one will daily be offered to the Divine Giver of all good that he may he blessed with health, long life and prosperity-that he may be successful in his every undertaking, and arrive in safety to England’s sea-girt home.

To those of our native land who may hereafter feel disposed to emigrate, we would say, should they place themselves under the command of Captain Duggan, they will find in him-not only a skilful commander, but an estimable friend; in the language of England’s greatest Bard, we may be permitted to say –

“he was a man –

Take him for all in all,

We shall not look upon his like again” (Signed on behalf of the whole.)



Brisbane 1855

The Gallagher family would have experienced the beginnings of the new city and new state. Queen Victoria granted approval and signed Letters Patent on 6 June 1859 to establish the new colony of Queensland. On the same day, an Order-in-Council gave Queensland its own constitution. It became a self-governing colony with its own Governor, a nominated Legislative Council and an elected Legislative Assembly.

1865 Marriage James McAllister and Mary Gallagher

James McAlister, a saddler from Brusnwick Street, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane married Mary Gallagher, from Spring Hill. They married at St Stephen’s Church, Brisbane. She was born in Co. Clare, Ireland 1843. Her father John, was described as a ‘Government Officer’ and her mother was Margaret Egan. The witnesses were Thomas Connor and Anne Gallagher. The officiating priest was Robert Dunne. (This marriage certificate is in the possession of Mrs George Miller, formerly Meryl McAllister of 8 Milne Lane, West Mackay, 4740.)

James and Mary were to have seven children. The first three Albert Edward (1866-1929), Michael Andrew (1960-1870), and Mary Cecilia Dolly (1871-1907) were born in Brisbane. I believe the family moved when the ‘Rush’ hit Charters Towers in 1870 and James believed he could make a better life for his family. They headed north and he established a saddlery business. James and his three sons Albert, Ernie and James were all saddlers. The next four children were born there – Ellen Maude (1873-1876), James Siegonia Liguori (1876-1939), Joseph (1879-?) and Ernest Leo (1884-1943).

  • Albert Edward b Brisbane QLD 1866 d Cairns QLD 1929
  • Michael Andrew b Brisbane QLD 1869 d Brisbane QLD 1870
  • Mary Cecillia b Brisbane QLD 1871 d Charters Towers QLD 1907 (childbirth)
  • Ellen Maude b Charters Towers QLD 1873 d Charters Towers QLD 1876
  • James Liguori b Charters Towers QLD 1876 d Charters Towers QLD1939
  • Joseph Christopher b Charters Towers 1879 d Charters Towers QLD 1949
  • Ernest Leo b Charters Towers 1884 d Charters Towers QLD 1943

It seems that James and Mary were quite the entrepreneurs. At one stage Mary owned Tattersalls Hotel, Mossman Street, Charters Towers.

Mossman Street Charters Towers, 1880s

Family Crisis

Unfortunately, in March 1888 tragedy struck when James contracted encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain caused by a virus. He died. He was just 45 years old.

Mary and her children continued to make their lives in Charters Towers. She died aged 80 at the Charters Towers Hospital.

Albert Edward McAllister and Helen Louisa Baker 1894