Member Book Releases

Bernadette Thakur

Paperback 2020

Irish Settlers in South Australia is the story of two families. The O’Tooles arrived in South Australia from County Wicklow in 1840 and the Hayes family from County Galway in 1849. From their origins as impoverished tenant farmers in Ireland, they became respectable landowners in South Australia.
Using a diverse range of sources, Bernadette documents her ancestors’ untold story. The sheer sweep of their lives as they endured hardship and misfortune to create a better life for themselves and their descendants is a story worth telling. This book is more than a family history, for the story of the Hayes and O’Toole families is part of the larger history of South Australia in the nineteenth century. 

Dr Dymphna Lonergan, an academic at Flinders University, published a review of the book last year:

In July 2021, Bernadette’s book Irish Settlers in South Australia: The Hayes and O’Toole Families was awarded the TT Reed Family History Book Award at a luncheon held in Adelaide by GenealogySA. She was unable to be present because of Covid, but attended via a Zoom link. This Award is made annually by the South Australian Genealogy & Heraldry Society to the person producing, in the opinion of the Society, the best family history in a given calendar year. TT Reed was the Archbishop of Adelaide for many years and a founder of GenealogySA in 1972. Here is a link to an article about the Award:

The judges for the TT Reed made the following comments: Bernadette Thakur has crafted a well-rounded family history volume reflecting a great combination of research and storytelling. From the outset there is a good selection of consistent print styles, a good balance of images and maps to complement the text, all well supported by endnotes and an excellent bibliography. While there is good storytelling throughout the book, in relating the story of the Hayes family, the author showed real strength and artistry with the storytelling from her research. The history marries the family history with South Australian history, with excellent and comprehensive end-note, reflecting the depth of research. The lengthy Appendix is quite complementary to the book and adds real value.