Thomas and Catherine Gillespie came to Australia as bounty immigrants
with their six children, on board the ship Elizabeth, which sailed from Liverpool, England in 1845. The family
came from the parish of Turlough in County Mayo, Ireland. Upon their arrival
in Sydney, Thomas and the eldest boy Henry, were employed as farm servants by Dr Bernard Lambert of Botany. The
two eldest girls were also engaged as domestic servants. The family lived at Surry Hills in Sydney for a
number of years, before moving to the small mining town of Tuena.
Their son William, who was a successful gold prospecter, built the Captain Cook Hotel at Moore Park in Sydney.