Lifestyle

Madden family gathers to celebrate heritage

HISTORIC EVENT: The Maddens turned out in droves to the Rosewood Cultural Centre to celebrate 150 years since the family arrived in Queensland from Ireland.
HISTORIC EVENT: The Maddens turned out in droves to the Rosewood Cultural Centre to celebrate 150 years since the family arrived in Queensland from Ireland. Rob Williams

IT'S been 150 years since Patrick and Margaret Madden departed the seaport in Ireland bound for a new life in Australia.

They settled in the colony of Queensland where they raised seven children.

These days, that family has swelled to include hundreds of members, with many living within the Ipswich region.

Different branches of the family tree gathered at Rosewood Cultural Centre yesterday to celebrate their heritage and reconnect with one another.

Some of those in attendance had travelled as far as Western Australia.

One of the oldest family members to attend was Betty Madden who was also one of the organisers of the reunion.

The 82-year-old said it had taken about a year to plan for the event and track down all the relatives.

"It required lots of phone calls to gather all the contact information and family history," she said.

"It was great to finally meet everyone, renew acquaintances and put a face to some of the people I spoke on the phone with."

It's the second time the Maddens and their extended family have congregated, with their last reunion held in 2003.

The last gathering produced a book - more than 400 pages long - which was filled with in-depth Madden family history sourced from different relatives.

The book was put together by a group of fanatical genealogists within the family who spent years researching and documenting the family's history.

Among them was Somerset councillor Jim Madden who said the experience had allowed him to find out a lot of interesting information about his descendants.

"I've even visited our family's village in Ireland to take photos and meet distant relatives over there," he said.

A second edition of the book was published this year with even more content about the family's ancestry since their arrival in Australia in 1863.

Topics:  family reunion, jim madden



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