Moses and Anne Connor of Maitland and Uralla
Though the gold was good and the future seemed promising, for Moses and Anne life was not to be settled and peaceful. Anne became alarmingly ill during 1856 so once again Moses harnessed the horses and packed the dray. This time he made a bed for Anne in the dray. They left their children with John and Mary and set off in search of a doctor and hospital. It took them three weeks to reach Maitland where Anne was operated on for appendicitis. She was recovering satisfactorily and so Moses left her to get back to their children and to earning a living, saying he would return for Anne as soon as she was ready to travel again. John was keeping the two claims working at Rocky River and Moses was pleased to be back with him for a time, though always anxiously awaiting the message from Anne. When no message came in ten weeks Moses returned to Maitland to sadly learn that Anne had died shortly after he left her.
Moses returned once more to Rocky River, lonely and dispirited, the winter of 1857 became cold and wet, too boggy to dig. His daughter, Mary Anne had married William Vitnell, a gold seeker, and gone with him to the new goldfields near Mudgee, where they made their home. Moses and his two sons, John, 14, and Michael, 12 years old, went to Piedmont, near Barraba, then to Bowling Ally Point where they found some gold but after a time there they gave up the search for gold and went to work on "Laura" sheep station near Bundarra. Michael worked with his father on Laura and John went to a neighbouring station, called "Goose's Neck" because of the curve of the Gwyder River that curved round to form the boundary on three sides of the station. In 1864, just before he turned twenty-one, John married Jane Curtis at Wellingrove, the Rev. Archibald Cameron performed the ceremony, 9 March, 1864. They lived on "Goose's Neck" and had nine children but John succumbed to an attack of pleuresy on 8 July, 1884 and left Jane alone to rear the family. The oldest, Mary Anne, was only 18 when her father died, and the youngest, Florence Kate was only a year old. Moses helped Jane with the family where and when he could but she was a strong and forthright woman and managed very well.
Michael O'Connor married Ellen Mary Robinson in 1878. Ellen had been born at Rocky River on 27 March 1855, and had a sister Martha who married Victor Whitehorn. Mr. Robinson was digging for gold at the Rocky at the same time as Moses and John O'Connor. Michael and Ellen had six children born at Bundarra, Jane, John's wife was a renowned midwife, perhaps she stayed with Ellen when she was needed.
Michael left Laura Station to conduct a butcher's shop in Bundarra for a time, but then he left it in 1892 and moved to Inverell, perhaps seeking better educational opportunities for his children. Moses moved to Inverell with Michael and his family, but was there only a short time when he died, 25 April 1894, nearly forty years after his beloved Anne had left him with their children, forty years of loneliness and toil in which he had seen their three children married and John had died so unexpectedly. There were 28 grandchildren, all fine young Australians, God Bless them.