Given names: 
Given address: 
South Dunedin
Sheet No: 36
South Dunedin

Susan signed Sheet 101 as well. Her daughters Ellen, Annie and Maggie also signed the petition.

Biography by Anne Cumming (great great granddaughter of Susan), first published in the Dunedin Family History Group newsletter no.23, 2009.

Susannah (Susan) Gildea was baptised on 29 January 1843 in County Roscommon, Ireland, and arrived in New Zealand on the John Duncan. The names shown on the shipping list are Ann and Catherine Gildea, however we believe that 'Catherine' was actually Susan as she was definitely in Dunedin the following year; on 2 January 1864 she married Timothy Maskell (spelling recorded by the French Catholic Priest) at the Roman Catholic Chapel in Dunedin. His age was given as 37 years (indicating his birth about 1837, Kilrush, County Clare, Ireland).

The shipping list for the Chile reveals two more Gildea sisters, Catherine and Letitia, arriving in New Zealand on 2 December 1867. We know nothing of Susan's movements in New Zealand for the year leading up to her marriage to Timothy. He is recorded on his marriage certificate as Maskell but as Mescall in Ireland, and mostly known in New Zealand as Miscall. The marriage certificate states the lenght of residence in Dunedin prior to the marriage was "three days".

Susan and Timothy lived in the Waitahuna Gully area for many years, where Timothy was involved in goldmining. They had 12 children, many born in and around the goldmining township, who attended school at Waitahuna Gully School. They later moved to Dunedin and lived in a few different houses in South Dunedin. Huge suffering followed this family with half of their children dying before reaching their mid-twenties. There were many positives as well. Three of the girls became nuns, one of the boys went to Western Australia where he worked as a tin miner, another worked for many years with the post office and my great grandfather was a builder. Of all these children only two married and my great grandfather the only one to have children of his own. 

Timothy disappeared one day in the late 1890s. The story goes that one morning Timohty kissed his family goodbye and left the family home after breakfast and never returned. Susan kept a lighted candle in the window for him until her death. Various stories run through the different branches of the families. One story suggests that Timothy was a gold courier and that he may have been attacked, robbed of his load and dumped down a gold mine. Another story is that Timothy simply fell down a gold mine and was unable to get out, hence his non-return.

Susan continued to live in South Dunedin until her death at the Home for the Aged Poor, Anderson's Bay. Her death notice in the New Zealand Tablet states: 

Susan Miscall, wife of Timothy (d 23 Oct 1919, age 76 years) at Anderson's Bay, native of Boyle, Co. Roscommon; widow; deceased came to New Zealand as a young woman 55 years ago; after her marriage she resided for 30 years at Waitahuna Gully and for the remainder of her life in Dunedin; of a family of 12 children but 4 survive - John (contracter), Mr A J Miscall (Postal Dept, Wellington), Sr Mary St Paul of the Cross and Sr Mary St Eustace (religious of the Institute of Notre Dame des Missions); another daughter Mother Mary De Pazzi of the Dominican Order, died some years ago in West Australia; service by Fr Delany; buried Southern Cemetery.

There is a Miscall grave in Southern Cemetery wherein lies: Susan age 76, buried 25 October 1919; Ralph age 24, buried 25 March 1897; Patrick William Joseph age 3 weeks, buried 11 April 1887; Eugene age 8, buried 29 August 1891; Margaret age 22, buried 27 February 1894; Hugh age 22, buried 29 August 1901. Also in this grave are Bridget Scherick age 42, buried 29 December 1886 and Patrick Naughton age 63, buried 25 February 1887. There are also various graves for the children who died at Waitahuna Gully.

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

Community contributions

3 comments have been posted about Susan Miscall

What do you know?

Ann Monteith

Posted: 19 Jan 2022

I also found an article regarding Timothy Miscall and Quilter regarding a request for signing off of a water race.
My great grandfather Michael was Timothys brother


Posted: 09 Oct 2021

I found a notice in papers past regarding Timothy Miscall seeking his whereabouts in regard to the sle of mining equipment.A Mr Quiltor was mentioned


Posted: 19 Oct 2020

I am a dependent of Michael Miscall, brother of Timothy.
Michael also lived in Waitahuna. Previously he married Margaret Daly in Daylesford. After Margaret died Michael and his family joined Timothy in Waitahuna.
I met some of Timothy's children many years ago at Hamilton and Auckland.