Martin Joseph Higgins
Martin Joseph Higgins was born on 8th October 1874
at Devonshire Street, West Maitland, son of Thomas
Higgins and Ann Maher. Present at his birth were
John Pierce, surgeon of West Maitland, Mary Maher
[probably Ann's mother] and Ann Derrington. The fact
that a surgeon was present at his birth could indicate
there were some problems as this was not an ordinary
Martin was known as George by his niece Thelma's
family. They remember him as a mysterious character,
who was an artist and an authority on Cobb and Co
Oral recollection suggests that Martin never married and
this is reinforced on his death certificate, the details of
which were given by his niece Thelma Betts nee
Little is known about Martin, or 'George' as he was
known to his family.
Last Update 1st April 2016
The 1887 NSW Police Gazette carries an interesting report concerning the issue of a
warrant for a man named Smith charged with stealing a pair of trousers and a vest, the
property of Martin J Higgins at the National Park in Sydney. One can only imagine that
Martin was not wearing them at the time of the theft. Martin would have been 13 at the time
of the theft. Smith's age is given as about 25. If this is our Martin, then it would seem he was
residing in the Sydney area, which might support the claim that sister Sarah had taken some
of her siblings with her to Sydney.
Forgery: The Sydney Morning Herald dated 31st March 1906 reports that a man named
Martin Joseph Higgins was charged with forgery and uttering and his case was to be heard in
the Darlinghurst Court of Quarter Sessions. NOTE: This is not our Martin, but an older
1949 Electoral Roll records 'Joseph' Higghins residing at 77 Queens street Ashfield. No
occupation. His funeral details confirm this as his last residence.
Death: Martin died on 18th January 1952 at the Little Sisters of the Poor Home in Market
Street Randwick. This address was also given as his usual residence and it is probable that
Martin spent his final years in this establishment that cared for the impoverished elderly of
At the time of his death, Martin was recorded as being 78 years old which is his correct age.
His occupation is given as labourer. The cause of death was chronic bronchitis, chronic
myocarditis and senility [which may simply mean 'old age' as the term was then used]
The informant was Sister Marie Alexis and Thelma Betts [niece] Martin was buried in the
Roman Catholic Section of the Rookwood Cemetery on 21st January Mortuary 2 Area 18
There are references to a Martin Joseph Higgins in the Queensland Electoral Rolls for 1903
and 1905. He is a labourer, residing at the Australian Hotel, corner Terrace and Grey Street,
St George Qld.
Another Martin Joseph Higgins
Of interest is the fact that there is a record of a Martin Joseph Higgins marrying Harriett
Westbury, born Berrima 1871 daughter of George R and Lydia, at Berrima in 1891. No
parents are shown on the marriage certificate however Harriett is under the age of 21 and
her father gives his permission. This is not 'our' Martin. A check of the birth certificate of his
first child reveals that this Martin was born in County Mayo, Ireland about 1857.
Unmarked grave of Martin Joseph
Higgins. Brother-in-law Boston Clark
Bartlett would later be buried in the