Given names: 
Given address: 
Arthur Street
Sheet No: 58
Central Dunedin

Biography contributed by Katherine Blakeley

Margaret Murphy was born about 1856 in Churchtown, Co Cork, Ireland – the daughter of Daniel Murphy.

She married Francis O’Donnell, a hotelkeeper, on 8 October 1874 at the Roman Catholic Chapel, Dunedin.

Francis managed the Royal George Hotel in George St, Dunedin which was leased by his brother Thomas.

They had a daughter, Ellen Mary, before Francis died in September 1875.

Francis’ brother Thomas died the following year, Margaret and Ellen were left £300 and £400 legacies in his will.

Margaret married Henry Beard in 1879. Margaret and Henry had four children, including twins.

They lived in Dunedin then Deborah Bay where they had a farm before moving back to Dunedin.

When Margaret signed the suffrage petition the family were living in Arthur St, Dunedin.

In July 1897 their oldest son Joseph died, Margaret died on 25 October the same year, at the age of 43.

Margaret’s daughter Ellen died on 8 November, just over a week after her mother, she is buried with her father, Francis, in the Southern Cemetery.

The Beard family’s troubles were not over, in January 1898 their 16-year-old daughter Elizabeth died then in 1901 their 16-year-old son James.

Henry Beard died in 1926, he is buried with Margaret and their children in the Southern Cemetery.


BDM online NZ

DCC Cemetery Records

Family Search

Otago Nominal Index

Papers Past

Click on sheet number to see the 1893 petition sheet this signature appeared on. Digital copies of the sheets supplied by Archives New Zealand.

How to cite this page

'Margaret Beard', URL:, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 28-May-2019

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