Anne Sheridan. Great-Great-Grandmother
Anne Bryan was born in County Meath, Ireland in 1835 to tenant farmers, Mary and Thomas Bryan. In 1856 she married Michael Sheridan and sailed from Liverpool, for the Victorian Goldfield’s the following day. The couple had two daughters in Melbourne and six more children in the Little Bendigo – Nerrina area. Tragedy struck when Michael was killed working on the new railway line at Branxholme near Hamilton on 4th May 1877. Anne was left to raise the children having never remarried.
Anne managed her responsibilities and indeed her family thrived. For many years she operated Sheridan’s Little Bendigo Hotel, in Lofven Street Nerrina. She was also a licenced gold buyer. The local miners were able to avoid the trip into Ballarat and exchange their gold for cash at the hotel. Businesses in Little Bendigo also benefited as the miners would spend their money locally.
“The Ballarat Star” reports on 6th March, 1909, “One of the oldest landmarks in Little Bendigo, Sheridan’s Hotel has just been pulled down having been de-licenced by the Board. In the early days, when alluvial mining was at its best in the Little Bendigo district, a very big trade was done at the hotel. After its removal a number of old coins and good money were found at the site.”
Anne continued in the hotel business purchasing the licence and the premises of the Victoria Hotel, Albert Street, Sebastopol in May 1909. At 75 years, Anne operated the hotel for another ten years after which she and her daughter, Mrs. Daly utilised the premises for a confectionary and grocery business.
The Ballarat Star gives some insight into the character Anne Sheridan in her Obituary on the 18th March 1924. “By the decease of Mrs. Sheridan of Albert Street South on Saturday last, Sebastopol has been deprived of another much-respected resident, whose geniality endeared her to a very large circle of friends. To mourn their loss, she leaves two sons and four daughters. In addition, she leaves 25 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.”