Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Rosanna (Rose or Rosa) Killion - 1855 to 1919

Rosanna (Rose or Rosa) Killion is the second child and oldest daughter of John and Jane Killion.  She was born in about 1855 in Port Macquarie, NSW.  At this time, we can't locate either a photo or a NSW birth registration for Rose.....

On 06 September 1882, Rose married Henry Porter in Kempsey, NSW.  Henry, the son of Clement and Mary Jane Porter, was born on 21 January 1853 in Port Macquarie.

Rose and Henry had five children - Margaret Mary (Cissie), Clement William (Clem), Mary Jane (Dattie), Henry Joseph (Harry) and Walter Leo (Wal).

The family of Rose and Henry Porter
The 1913 Australian Electoral Roll shows that Rose and Henry were living at 21 Talfourd Street, Glebe, NSW.  The three oldest children were married by this time.  All were living in the inner west of Sydney.


1919 was a tragic year for the Killion family

On 3 February 1919, Premier Nolman, referring to the Spanish Flu Pandemic, wrote-
"A greater danger than war faces the state of New South Wales and threatens the lives of all."

Rose Porter, the oldest daughters of John and Jane Killion, died on 29 April 1919, followed by Mary Jane Newton, the middle daughter, on 15 June 1919 and Margaret Gersbach, the youngest daughter, on 05 July 1919.  Margaret's son, Francis Gersbach, had returned from the First World War an invalid.  He died on 18 April 1919 - predeceasing his mother and aunts.  All were victims of the Pandemic.   

Tragedy struck the family again in early November.  Rose and Henry's son, Harry, who had returned from the First World War in early 1918, was drinking with his army mates at a hotel in George Street.  In an unprovoked attack, Harry was punched and lay unconscious surrounded by his mates.  Harry was taken to Sydney Hospital where he died on 05 November 1919.  (We'll do fuller story on Harry in coming months.)

Rose's death registration records that she died, aged 64, at her home in Telford Street Glebe.  Her cause of death is shown as "pneumonic influenza" which she had for 7 days.  Rose was buried the following day in the Catholic Cemetery at Rookwood.  Rose and Henry Porter were married for 38 years.

Family Notices (1919, April 30). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 9. Retrieved May 16, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15836549


The Porter and Gersbach families remained close after the deaths of Rose and Margaret. 

Frank Woodlands, Margaret's grandson, was born in 1920.  In 1995, he wrote-

"As a child I knew Henry Porter who married Rosanna Killion.  When I knew him, he was a quite old man, but apparently in his young days he was very prominent in flood rescue in Kempsey before such things as helicopters or flood boats."

Henry Porter lived to 83 years of age.  He died on 06 July 1936 as is buried with Rose and his two sons, Harry and Wal, at the Catholic Cemetery, Rookwood.

Family Notices (1936, July 9). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 7. Retrieved May 16, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17250182




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