Mary Ellen McGrath was baptised at Portlaw on 8 Oct 1828, the daughter of Daniel McGrath and Ann Thompson. Daniel died when she was very young and Ann later married William Daw. William was the gamekeeper on the Curraghmore estate. The family lived in a Beresford property at Lissamutuan. On 15 Feb 1849 Ellen was married to local boy, Walter Baker at Portlaw.
Walter had been baptised at Portlaw on 13 March 1826 the son of Walter Baker and Mary Joy. Walter and his family lived on the Curraghmore estate. The couple had 5 sons and Walter was the Farm Manager by the time they left Curraghmore in late 1859. Walter was very well respected in this role and the family treasure the handwritten testimonial that Dowager Marchioness Louisa Waterford wrote for Walter. It is also believed that the late Marquis and Louisa provided bequests / funds for the Bakers and many other families from Curraghmore to emmigrate to New Zealand.
It was an incredibly sad farewell when Walter and Ellen and 4 of their sons left as they had to leave behind their 6 year old son John. It would be five and half long years before Walter and Ellen saw John again. He was brought out to New Zealand by his grandparents (William and Ann Daw) in 1865.
Walter and Mary Ellen had four more children in New Zealand but all their NZ born children died young. Their 5 Irish born sons all married and raised large families in and around Christchurch. Walter died on 14 Oct 1907, while Ellen live to the ripe old age of 94 and died on 14 Feb 1923.
The picture taken in Christchurch, New Zealand in 1920 shows 92 year old Ellen with her 5th son James, James daughter Marion Baker and Marion's baby daughter Kathleen Davidson.
Three of Kathleen's daughters visited Waterford and Curraghmore at the end of August 2017. The first of Ellen's great great grandchildren to do so.
|Date of Birth||Oct 1828 (circa)|
|Date of Death||14th Feb 1923|
|Associated Building (s)||Curraghmore Estate|