Finding Elsie Maloney

Elsie Maloney and Bert Smythe grew up together in Jerilderie NSW.

At the time of his enlistment in 1914, they had an "understanding" although were not officially engaged. In his letters home, Bert always referred to Elsie as The One and Only - or TOO for short.

When Bert did not return from the war, Elsie never married or had children and stayed on in Jerilderie until 1947. She moved to Sydney and died in 1984.

My mother, Dorothy Bremner, told me that she had visited Elsie in a nursing home and gave me the impression that the Smythe family had maintained contact with the Maloney family. The story was that she had remained in Jerilderie to help her widowed brother raise his children.

In 2011 I went on a quest to find Elsie and find a photo of her to complete the story.
I pieced together Elsie's family tree the best I could, but there were many holes.

Then, to my great delight in 2021, I found a living relative with photos of the whole family and an intriguing tale to tell.


James Maloney (1861–1936) married Sarah Warren (1867–1926) lived in Urana NSW and had five children: James Herbert, Joseph Richard, Frederick Gilbert, Elsie and Laurence (Lawrence).
They moved to Jerilderie about 1901.

* * *




James Herbert b. 1887 d. 15 Jun 1952

1909 married Edith Mary Deas in Hillston NSW.
Edith's father William Deas, owned the store at Eauabalong and James became the postmaster.

They had 4 children:
1910 Elsie Dorothy (Hillston)
1912 Muriel Hilary Millicent (Hillston)
1914 Stanley James (Hillston)
1915 Ronald Deas (Redfern)

1917 the girls were enrolled in Jerilderie School.
1922 Elsie Dorothy is Dux of Jerilderie School
1924 February 14 Edith dies in Newtown.
1928 James married Hilda Glass in Waverley.
1935 James, Hilda, Elsie and Muriel are listed on the Electoral Roll as living in Brighton-le-Sands.


Elsie, Stan, Muriel 1920s

Elsie Binskin 1941

1940 Elsie Dorothy marries Alfred John Binskin. They have three children. She died in 2003.

1941 Muriel marries Thomas Joseph Ryan. They had three sons. She died in 2007.

Stanley never married and died in Cunnamulla Qld 3rd May 1997.

1942 Ronald Deas married Rose May Motherstone, had one daughter and divorced in 1957.
He served in the army in WWII- listed Lithgow as birthplace.
2004 Ron dies in Port Macquarie (North Haven)


Joseph Richard b. July 1888 – d. 4 March 1928

Dick Maloney (far right)

J.R. Maloney served in WWI in the 13th Aust. Light Horse regiment.
He returned to Australia in February 1919.
He was killed in a motorcycle accident in 1928 and the newspaper recorded him as being a "widower with two young children".
His death certificate does not mention his wife but does list two children Rita 5 and Max 4.

Around 1921, Edith Mary (James Herbert's wife) runs off with Joseph Richard and they have Rita Margaret in late 1922 or early 1923. This forces Elsie Dorothy, aged just 13, to leave school and raise her siblings.

14 February 1924, Edith dies in childbirth having twins Maxwell Allan and Lance R who dies on 20 Feb aged 6 days.

Rita at Jerilderie 1930

Rita Margaret Maloney was enrolled in Jerilderie Public School on 22 March 1928 just two weeks after her father's death, with her aunt Elsie Maloney as guardian. The school records only list her attending for one year.
She married John (Jack) Charles McGee Berry in 1946 in Randwick NSW.
Rita died in North Haven NSW 2 March 1990. Jack died in North Haven 11 January 2008.

Maxwell Allan Maloney was enrolled in Jerilderie Public School in 1929 with Elsie Maloney as guardian.
1937 Maxwell is a Boy Scout in Jerilderie.
1938 aged 14, he goes to Scheyville Training Farm near Windsor NSW.
From 1949 he has several addresses in Cabramatta and occupation listed as Trackhand/ cleaner.
1986 Maxwell dies in Concord Nursing home.

Curiously, Rita, Max and Lance had James Herbert and Edith Mary listed as their parents on their death certificates.

Frederick Gilbert Maloney

Frederick Gilbert b. 1890 – d. 17 Aug 1963

1913 marries Kathleen Teresa Morris. They have 9 children

1913 Stanley Gilbert (died at birth)
1914 Frederick Laurence
1915 Edna Kathleen
1917 Freda Frances
1919 Marie Agnes
1921 Colin Francis
1923 John Gilbert (Bill)
1925 Betty Patricia
~1927 Dorothy Rosalie died 1931 aged 4 or 5.

   Frederick Laurence Maloney and his wife Stella

1946 Fred marries Stella Edwards and they have four children: Ron, Geoffrey and two girls.
1937 Edna marries Joseph Tall and they have three children.
1938 Freda marries Roy Rapley and they have five children: Barry, Colin and three others.
1942 Marie marries Dennis Dwyer and they have one son.
1946 Colin marries Joyce and they have three girls.
Bill and Betty never married or had children.

Elsie b. 28 January 1893 – d. June 1984

Twins Lorrie and Elsie

Elsie lived in Jerilderie until March 1947. She worked as a saleswoman in Alex Miller's Store (previously W and A Steele Drapery) and was always addressed formally as Miss Maloney. She played the organ in church, was a keen photographer and won many prizes at the Show.

Elsie Dorothy, Lorrie and Elsie

The 1930 and 1935 Electoral Rolls list Elsie and Lawrence living with their widowed father James in Jerilderie.
James dies in 1936 and Elsie and Lawrence have different addresses in Jerilderie in the 1943 Electoral Roll.
March 1947 Elsie moves to Sydney. She has many different addresses and is listed as a Saleswoman. At one time she has an address close to Max in Cabramatta.
In 1963, aged 70, her occupation is home duties and her address is in Burwood. She remains at the same address until she moves into a nursing home in 1980 aged 87. She died in 1984, was cremated and her ashes collected by Ron Maloney [this is her nephew, James Herbert's son Ronald Deas].


Laurence b. 28 Jan 1893
Elsie and Laurence are twins - their birth registration numbers are 35774 and 35775.

Lawrence (changed spelling) tried several times to enlist in WWI but he was mostly deaf and was rejected twice before being accepted in July 1918. He never saw active service.

There is no further record of Lawrence after the 1943 Electoral Roll when he was in Jerilderie.

He died in Sydney in 1971.






1936 Max is one of these lads in the Jerilderie Scout group


steele store jerilderieSteele Store Jerilderie


millers store jerilderieMiller's Store Jerilderie 1932


millers store jerilderieStaff from Miller's Store Jerilderie


millers store jerilderie    millers store jerilderie   millers store jerilderieStaff from Miller's Store Jerilderie


reunionJerilderie Reunion held in the Botanic Gardens Sydney about 1936
Please contact me if you can identify anyone in this photo
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