family photo strip - John
John Coates' Family History Pages

The information and photos on this page are from many sources. We have done a lot of research ourselves, especially searching through old newpapers and BDM records and visiting places of interest in Ireland and Australia. The assistance of other family-history-minded members of the extended family has been invaluable. Please contact me if you have additions, corrections or questions. I would particularly like to hear from you if you are related to our branch of the Croker family


There is an extensive Anglo-Irish landed gentry family of Crokers, an Anglo-Irish family who migrated from Devon in around 1600 and settled initially in the Cork Waterford border area. However, no connection has yet been found between them and Walter Croker, my bootmaker ancestor from Cork, except the tantalising suggestion of a link given by the name and geographic location.

The Rt Hon John Wilson Croker, sometime MP and secretary to the Admiralty, was from one branch of this Anglo-Irish family. Another branch, centred  at  Ballynagarde in Co Limerick, is believed to be descended  from  the Croker family of Lyneham in the parish of Yealmpton, near Plymouth in Devon. This latter branch of Irish Crokers has been extensively researched by Nick Reddan.

Very close to where my ancestor Walter Croker lived in Cork, there is a record of a Walter Croker, Esq. of Castletown-Roche who, in c.1757, bequeathed £100 to Castletown-Roche, the interest to be annually divided by the minister and churchwardens among the Protestant poor of the parish.


The Crokers of Glanworth, Co Cork

My great-great-grandparents are listed as Walter Croker and Mary Graham on their sons' death certificates. Walter is recorded as a boot and shoe maker. They were living in the Glanworth district (8 km northwest of Fermoy in Co. Cork) when their son William was born in 1815. They were Protestants. The only known sons of Walter Croker and Mary Graham are William Croker (1815-1905) and John Croker (1817-1902), both of whom who came to Australia.

In the 1825 Griffith Valuation, a Richard Croker is listed as having 4 acres, 1 rood, 4 perches of arable land at Sandville, ploughland of Ballinaraha, in the parish of Glanworth, which is valued at £8/9/4. Another or the same Richard Croker has 3 acres and 2 roods of arable land at Upper Sandville, valued at £6/6/1. Is he a brother, cousin or another son of Walter Croker?


      William Croker and John Croker                                 Leadlight window in St Alban's, Five Dock, dedicated to John and William Croker

William Croker

William was born in 1815 in Glanworth, Co Cork, Ireland.  In c.1839 in Limerick he married Mary Nash née Graham (1814-1890), the widow of John Grimes Nash. William and Mary arrived in Sydney on 30 August 1840 on the Mary Anne. They travelled free as bounty passengers:  "British subjects sent to the Colony of NSW on Government Bounty by Mr John Marshale of London in pursuance of the Colonial Secretary's authorities ... to his agents in Sydney Messrs Walker & Co."  William gave his occupation as 'house servant' and Mary as 'housemaid', but this does not necessarily reflect their occupations before or after leaving Ireland. Mary died on 12 December 1890 and is buried at St John's, Ashfield. William died on 30 December 1905 and is also buried at St John's, Ashfield.

William and Mary had several premature babies who died. She had one son from her first marriage:

  • John James Nash (1834-1909). He married Sarah Alexander McDonald (1832-1919) on 20 August 1856 in Ashfield, NSW. They had 11 children:
    • Alexander James Nash (1857-1922) did nor marry
    • Mary Ann McDonald Nash (1859-1904) married (1) Michael Casey (1860-1887) and (2) Martin Hunt (1868-1935)
    • William Henry Linden Nash (1860-1925) married Gertrude Emma Best (1862-1933) in 1882; they had 6 children
    • John Alfred Ernest Nash (1862-1948) did not marry
    • Albert Edward Eyles Nash (1865-1915) did not marry
    • Edwin Thomas Croker Nash (1867-1867) infant death
    • Augustus Joseph Edgar Nash (1869-1869) infant death
    • Sarah Alexandra Nash (1870-1956) married Lambert Albert Favelle (1870-1948); they had 2 children
    • Victor Emanuel H Nash (1872-1952) did not marry
    • Henrietta Josephine Nash (1875-1928) married Bertram Cyril Buchanan (1880-1934) in 1914; they had one child
    • unnamed daughter Nash (infant death)

John Croker, my great-grandfather

John was born on 30 November 1817 in County Cork. He arrived in Sydney on 24 December 1840 on the Perfect. His sister-in-law's six-year-old son John James Nash travelled with him from Ireland. John Croker married (1) Ellen McKaughan in 1850 at South Creek, NSW. They had one daughter before Ellen died on 4 February 1858 at Concord, NSW. She is buried at St John's Ashfield. John and Ellen Croker had one daughter:

  • Mary Rosanna Croker (1853-1936). She married her maternal first cousin John Laverty (1850-1927) in 1884 in Canterbury, NSW. 
    They had five children who almost all died young from a hereditary heart condition, thought to be attributed to the parents being first cousins:
    • Isabel Laverty (1885-1895)
    • Bessie E Laverty (1888-1906)
    • Allen John Laverty (1890-1917)
    • Herbert W Laverty (1893-1910)
    • Leslie Laverty (1895-1903)

John Croker then married (2) Jane McNeill (c1830-1874) on 24 July 1860 in Sydney. Jane had been born in Co Cavan, Ireland, to John Archibald McNeill and Sarah née Edmiston. She had arrived in Sydney on the William and Mary on 4 January 1852 with her sister Isabella; her mother's sister Jane Wauhope was already in colony; her parents came 3 years later. Jane died on 6 February 1874 in Five Dock, NSW, two months after the birth of her seventh child; she was buried at St John's, Ashfield. John Croker died on 30 October 1902 in Five Dock; he is buried at St John's, Ashfield.  John and Jane Croker had seven children:

  • Sarah Jane Croker (1861-1942) married the Reverend James Bean (c1853-1914) in Ashfield on 8 July 1891. They had four children:
    • Doris Ollivant Bean (1892-1964) did not marry
    • John Selwyn Bean (1894-1917) was killed in action in France
    • Edith Lillian Bean (1899-1965) did not marry
    • Richard Gordon Bean (1899-1986) married Amy Florence Campion on 22 June 1938 in Gunnedah, NSW; they had 2 children
  • Annie Croker (1863-1965) did not marry, she was buried at St John's, Ashfield.

  • John William Walter Croker (1865-1926), my grandfather, see below.

  • William Richard Croker (1966-1950) married Sara Constance Dalziell (1864-1933) on 22 April at Summer Hill, NSW. They had four children:
    • Nancy Lennox Croker (1904-1964) did not marry.
    • Richard James Croker (1906-1982) married Ethel Marjorie Gillett Adams (1909-1995). They had two children.
    • Constance Nancy Blakefield Croker (1908-1947) did not marry
    • Mary D'Arcy Dalziell Croker (1864-1933) married Ralph Kingsland Newson (1914-1974). They had two children.

  • Isabella Croker (1868-1868) died aged 7 months and was buried at St John's, Ashfield.

  • Margaret Isabella Croker (1869-1869) died in infancy.

  • Elizabeth Ellen Croker (1873-1926) did not marry; she was buried St John's, Ashfield.


John William Walter Croker  - with wife Isabella and his nine children in c1909 (one having died; later, one more child)

John William Walter Croker

John was born on 23 March 1865 in Five Dock, NSW. He married Isabella Scarlett on 16 September 1891 at All Saints, Petersham, NSW. Isabella had been born on 19 December 1870 in Edge Hill, Liverpool, England, to George Scarlett and Ann née Devine. Isabella had arrived with her family in Sydney on 22 April 1882 on the Hereford, as an assisted immigrant. John William Walter Croker died on 27 March 1926 at Waverley, NSW. Isabella died on 6 May 1952 at home in Roseville, NSW.

John and Isabella Croker had eleven children:

  • Annie Isobel Croker (1892-1967); known as Nance; she did not marry.

  • John William Croker (1893-1964); known as Jack; he married Gwendoline Bucknell (1899-1982) on 8 March 1934 in Sydney; they had four children: Peter (John Geoffrey) Croker (1924-2003), Judith Ann Croker (1925-1928), Pamela Alison Croker (1926-2010) and Gwendoline Jill Croker (1928-2020). 

  • Margaret Hilda Croker (1895-1971); known as Hilda; she married Kirby Vincent Dixon (1889-1964) on 8 January 1925 at Lindfield, NSW; they had no children.

  • Beatrice Evelyn Croker (1897-1912); known as Evelyn; she died at age 14.

  • Ettie Winifred Croker (1898-1981); she married Howard Gilbert Dunn (c1894-?) on 12 June 1924 at Chatswood, NSW; divorced April 1933; they had two children who both died in infancy: Isobel Winifred Dunn (1925-1926) and Mary Dunn (1927-1927).
  • Alice Mabel Yorke Croker (1901-1987); known as Mabel; she married Malcolm Russell Macdonald (1904-1983) on 1 June 1935 in Brisbane, QLD; they had twin sons Roderick and Donald.

  • Lilian Mary Croker (1903-1966); she did not marry.

  • Walter Graham Croker (1903-1907); he died at age 3 years 11 months.

  • Norman George Henderson Croker (1906-1960); he married his maternal second cousin Annabel May Cameron (1910-1997) on 15 December 1948 in Brisbane, QLD; they had two children, Cameron and Alan.

  • Thomas Bruce Croker (1908-1975); he married (1) Ruth Harris Fayle (1909-1955) on 29 March 1934 at Annandale, NSW; they adopted their son Michael Thomas Richard Croker (1945-2019);
         he married (2) Elizabeth Agnes Peacock (1896-1972) in 1958 in Sydney; she had one son from her first marriage, John Harley Bloodworth.

  • Catherine Grace McLean Croker (1914-1976); she married Graeme John Coates (1915-1983) on 12 May 1942 at Roseville, NSW; they had three children: John, Ross and Deborah.


Croker family in 1949: Lilian, Nance, Ettie, mother Isabella Croker, Annabelle with son Cam and husband Norman, Catherine with son John, Hilda with husband Kirby Dixon

Croker Family Bible

John Croker, born 1817 Co Cork, Ireland

John Croker, born 1817 Co Cork, Ireland

John William Walter Croker
and Isabella née Scarlett in c1891

John William Walter Croker
in uniform WW1

Croker family in car at army camp:
eldest son Jack Croker in uniform (1915)

Isabella Croker with 5 of her daughters and 2 sons, 1925
(children of John WW Croker)

Most of JWW Croker's children, a spouse
and two grandchildren, 1947;
mother Isabella Croker in front

Catherine Coates née Croker, Nance Croker, and John Coates with grandmother Isabella Croker, 1950

Most of JWW & Isabella Croker's children with some spouses, and some grandchildren, 1957