The story of European settlement at Missabotti is dominated by the Moran family. Missabotti, which is about 12 kilometres from Bowraville was settled by Hugh and Annie Moran in 1878.
Hugh was born in Ireland in 1837. Annie, whose maiden name was Supple, was born on the Macleay in 1839. Her mother, Mary, had been a convict from Ireland.
They were married at Port Macquarie in 1863.
The selection of land at Missabotti was not the Moran's first farm as they had previously selected land at Tewinga and this was followed by several conditional purchases in the valley which were of a shorter term.
Rugged and isolated
The selection at Missabotti was a move to a rugged isolated spot where the family could expand. By 1888 they had 569 acres.
She worked on the corn crop with a baby on her back and set fish traps for food. The family survived mainly on fish and pumpkins
Like many pioneers, the Moran family endured their share of hardships.
When they first came to the Nambucca the ship was not able to land and they were set down on an island and left to get ashore the best way they could.
A woman's resilience
When Hugh went to Armidale to earn money working on the new roads being built Annie was left to fend for herself on the farm.
She worked on the corn crop with a baby on her back and set fish traps for food. The family survived mainly on fish and pumpkins.
It is hard to fathom today the isolation and harshness of life women like Annie endured in these situations.
Hugh and Annie had twelve children many of whom prospered and settled on their own farms in the Nambucca Valley and Bellingen.
There is a Moran Trail at Missabotti. Hugh lived to be 92 and Annie died at the age of 83. They are both buried in the Bowraville Cemetery, in the Catholic section, along with over 20 other Moran descendants.
This article was sourced from the records of the Mary Boulton Pioneer Cottage and Museum at Macksville and from The Valley of the Crooked River by Norma Townsend.
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