Michael Flinn (II) was the sixth born son and eighth child of Michael Flinn and Barbara Heavey.

In 1878 Michael and his brothers, John and Peter, moved to FrenchPark, near The Rock, NSW and took up a lease on a property called “Oakview”. Michael married Elizabeth Harrington in 1878 and they made their home on the “Oakview” property which was part of the Mittagong Station. “Oakview” was a property of 4,500 acres and while the original timber hut has long since burned down, the brick and timber homestead that replaced it is still occupied by the great-grandson of Michael II, Michael Flinn and his wife Ann.

“Oakview” in 1897 above. In 1897 Michael and Elizabeth had 9 children, 4 daughters and 5 sons. Elizabeth, the oldest, would have been 17 and Mary Anne, 14. These could be the 2 females on the right of the photo above. Michael would have been 12, possibly 3rd from the left, John, 11, on the far left; Peter, 8, in the middle of the group of 3 on the left, and Ellen, 6, with the other 2 females. The baby may be Mabel. Leo, 4, and James, 2, maybe the one other boy or Michael (Ike) may not be present. It is also possible that the photo was taken earlier than 1897 and that James is the baby.

Michael and Elizabeth had ten children between 1879 and 1899. Their ninth child, a daughter Mabel, died as an infant, and on Federation Day, January 1st 1901, Elizabeth also died. Michael was left devastated with nine young children but his strong Irish Catholic faith enabled him to raise his family along with a granddaughter after the untimely death of his daughter Ellen.

Michael and Elizabeth had 5 daughters and 5 sons, with all the sons remaining at “Oakview” and the surrounding area until they were married, at which time they all received a share of the land. Their second son John moved to Currawarna to farm but left there during the depression and moved to Kensington in Sydney. The sons who remained at “Oakview” were Michael, known as Ike, Thomas, Leo and James and each of them raised families and added parcels of land to their original allocations. The three remaining daughters all married and moved from the area.

Michael would often travel to Wagga and surrounding towns to pick up supplies of food, produce and other requirements to support his young family. He was known to carry wire and material on horseback from Yerong Creek back to “Oakview”.

The early days were not all filled with adversity. Chinese gardeners and labourers had market gardens behind the shearing shed on the property using water drawn from the dams. they carried the water in pales slung over their shoulders from the dams back to their gardens. The Chinese built the dams with picks and shovels and wheelbarrows and they also did a lot of land clearing. their fires would often be seen flickering at night around the countryside, burning timber they had felled.

Whilst droving sheep, Michael and his son Ike were met by black trackers at the Vincents lane near The Rock, NSW. These trackers were on their way back north to Queensland after searching for the Kelly Gang in Victoria. It makes you wonder whether Michael knew that his parents knew Ned and Dan Kelly’s mother Ellen and that she was his own brother John’s godmother.

Schooling was an issue in the French Park area and Michael was instrumental in establishing a school between French Park and Milbrulong on the corner of Benders Lane. He later established a school at French Park and his children would walk or ride horses to school. Michael’s children and great-grandchildren, Michael, Susan, Jenny, Maree, Anthony, Paul, Kevin, James, Andrew, Carmel, Christopher, Judy, Timothy, Peter, and Debby all attended French Park school.

Michael has been credited with being the first wheat grower in the area, in a paddock east of the current “Karingle” homestead.

At the outbreak of World War 1, Peter (Thomas) and James enlisted in the 1st AIF and saw active service in Europe on the Western Front as well as in Palestine in the Middle East.

The children of Michael and Elizabeth:

Elizabeth Barbara was born on November 25, 1880, in Mountain Creek, Mullengandra, NSW, a small village about 20 kilometres south of Holbrook (Germanton). Elizabeth married Alfred Love on November 26, 1904, and had three children Robert (WW2 service), John Roy and Marie Alice. Alfred died in 1925 and Elizabeth married William Shinfield. They had two children, Clara Elizabeth and Beryl May.  Elizabeth died in Katoomba, NSW on April 4, 1971.

Mary Ann was born in 1883 in Wagga Wagga, NSW. She married Otto Charles Husen, a Dane, on January 6, 1909, and had one daughter, Nellie May. She died in 1912 in Sydney, NSW.

Michael (Ike) was born December 3,1885, at French Park (near The Rock). Michael married Julia Walsh on June 2, 1912, at The Rock, and they had a son Patrick and three daughters, Mary, Sheila Louise (WW2 service) and Elizabeth. Michael died on October 18, 1978, at Lockhart, NSW.

John Alphonsus was born August 24, 1886, and married Alice Kinnane on January 31, 1912. They had eight sons, Desmond, John, William, Thomas, Bernard (WW2 service), Michael (WW2 service), Francis and Kevin (WW2 service) and two daughters, Marie and Iris. John died on February 24, 1967, in Sydney, NSW.

Peter Thomas was born April 27, 1889, at Lockhart NSW. Peter served in WW1. He married Jean Black in Scotland at the end of the first World War and died in Lockhart NSW on October 18, 1957. Thomas, as he was known, and Jean lived on a nearby property named “The Sheiling”. Their many nieces, nephews and great-nieces and great-nephews often stopped for afternoon tea on their way home from school. Tom was a good storyteller and entertained his audience with stories of egg packing, fruit preserving and Empire Night fireworks.

Ellen Kathleen was born in 1891 in Wagga Wagga NSW. She married Michael Armstrong on February 20, 1917, at Henty, NSW. They had seven sons, James (Olympic Bronze, Commonwealth Gold and Silver medallist Weightlifting and Australian Rugby League rep 1946), John (WW2 service), Michael (WW2 service), Kevin (WW2 service), Leo, Ronald and Alphonsus and two daughters Sheila and Mary Ellen. Ellen died in Bankstown, Sydney, NSW on April 1, 1969.

Leo Patrick was born June 12, 1893, at Wagga Wagga, NSW. Leo married Clara Millicent Hovey on January 24, 1923, at Holbrook, NSW. They had three sons Valentine Leo, Gregory and Clement Joseph and a daughter Gwendoline Agnes. Leo died April 22, 1979, at French Park, NSW.

James Parnell was born March 24, 1895, at French Park, NSW. James served in World War 1. James married Bridget Dempsey in 1921, and they had one son, John (Jack) and four daughters Sr. Mary Concepta, Colleen Agnes, Patricia and Veronica Mary. James died in 1960 at French Park, NSW. Jack Flinn lived at “Fairview”, the property of his parents. He served in World War 2 and died on April 16, 1960, at Wagga Wagga, NSW.

Alice was born February 17, 1899, at “Oakview’, The Rock, NSW. Alice married Joseph Marks and they had one son, John. Alice died in 1973 in Sydney, NSW.

Michael died on September 11, 1935, Wagga Wagga, NSW.

Wedding at Killarney in 1939