Caroline Ahern was born Caroline Retchless in Ipswich, Queensland in 1860. Her parents, Sarah Ann and George had arrived in by boat from Lincolnshire, England in 1857 aboard the “Parsee”. The journey must have been a traumatic one; Sarah Ann not only gave birth aboard the boat, she lost one when Charlotte died, aged one. The distraught parents had already lost their eldest daughter, Elizabeth, aged two, before they left England. George and Sarah Ann in fact lost their first four children, all girls. Caroline was the first of their children to survive childhood.
See a copy of George and Sarah Ann’s family tree.
The Retchless family travelled overland from Ipswich to Emerald and Caroline’s father, George, built the first railway station at Emerald. Caroline was working in Dingo when she married Michael Ahern. Caroline moved around with Michael while he continued working on railway lines out west.
Emu Park midwife
Obituary Transcript: DEATH OF MRS CAROLINE AHERN Respected Emu Park Resident/Thc death occurred on Sunday morn-ing of one of Emu Park’s oldest and most respected residents, Mrs Caroline Ahern, at her residence, Pliilip Street, after a long illness, at the age of 78 years. The late Mrs Ahern was born inIpswich, Queensland, and came to Emu Park 45 years ago. She was loved by all who knew lier. Her husband pre- deceased her seven years ago. The funeral left for the Emu Park Cemetery on Monday afternoon, the Rev. Father Gibbs officiating at the graveside. Mrs Ahern is survived by four sons and seven daughters-Mr William Ahern, Elalie. North Coast Line, Mr John Ahern, Rockhampton, Mr M. Ahern, Maryborough, Mr Frederick Ahern, Emu Park ; Mrs Wakefield. Emu Purk, Mrs Gottke, Rockhampton,Mrs Jackson, Mount Morgan, Mrs Holden, Rockhampton, Mrs O’Brien, Mount Morgan, Mrs Edwards, Rockhampton, Mrs Schmidt. Rockhampton. There are 62 grandchildren.