New Zealand Journal of Public History (NZJPH)

Volume 3, No. 1, December 2015

Kingsley Field

The story of John Callaghan is yet another in a continuing series of personal family and social observations on New Zealand life written by Hamilton historian Teresa O’Reilly.

John Callaghan, Teresa’s great-grandfather, was born in County Limerick, Ireland, and migrated to New Zealand aged in his early 20s.

Teresa, now in her early 80s and a long-time resident at the Alandale Retirement Village in Flagstaff, has spent much of her life accumulating written and photographic detail on her Irish ancestors, especially those who came to New Zealand in the nineteenth century.

In 2012 she published The O’Reillys in New Zealand, a 200-page work on the arrival and spread of the family from County Cavan in Ireland. Previously she has privately published a general history of the O’Reilly family; extracts from Portrait of a Parish, about Mullagh, Co. Cavan; Love Letters in the Sand, a family story of war-time courtship; and the story of “This is Your Life” about Irish-born New Zealand priest, Rev. Father Patrick Keane.

She continues to produce further family portraits, and is currently working on her own recollections of personal, family and community life in Hamilton over the past 80 years.

Murray Nacey

'A Horseman from Eire - The story of John Callaghan (1839-1917)

Murray Nacey was born in Auckland, 6 September 1959. One of six children in a family of Irish/Scottish/French descent. Always fascinated by ‘old things’, history was a passion at a very young age. A late bloomer in writing, Murray has several historic essays and articles to his credit. These are mostly social and environmental pieces encompassing the wider Waikato region between 1820 and 1900. Murray writes from a Subaltern perspective and is a student of Marxism. Topics Murray has covered include New Zealand Flax (harakeke), Working Men in the Waikato 1860-1890, and Life in a Prisoner of War Camp during the American Civil War. He had a piece on his Great, great Grandfather, William Henry Kelly (A Military Settler’s Life) published in the NZJH, Vol. 2. No. 1. The latter being helpful in writing the article on John Callaghan. Murray has finished his Master’s Degree in History and hopes to continue his studies and writing.