May & Frenchm






Born: 12 January 1912 at Ballabay Co. Moynaham Ireland Born: 26 Jun 1821 at  Wexford Co Wexford Ireland
Died: 30 Oct 1901 at 83 (122) Cunnungham St .Carlton

Died: 22 Apr 1909 at 83 (122) Cunnungham St .Carlton

Father: William May 

Father: John Frencham

Mother: Mary Curry

Mother: Elizabeth Watchorn


John May along with his brother Samuel and Samuel's wife Margaret, arrived in Port Phillip, Melbourne 1841 as per the ship “Diamond” the ship’s indent says he was a Native of Co. Meath. but we know he was born Ballabay Co. Moynaham Ireland. He departed Ireland from Nanyan, a market town on the River Boyne Bounty paid 19 pounds Jonothan Ware of Melbourne. Amongst his posessions was this document.A character reference written

by Henry Parkinson of Nanyan Meath Ireland and is as follows:

Arth.......... ,Glebe ,


Meath Ireland

17 June 1841.

John May having asked me to supply information of his character, as he is about to try his fortune in Australia. I am glad to say that Cannot decipher folowing four words..... ...... ...... ........ that from his boyhood and that he has always conducted himself respectively as an honest, sober and active young man, I believe him to be of moral

habits and I am glad to give him this testimony.

Signed Henry Parkinson.

After settling in Melbourne John May followed several professions Shoe manufacturer, a stone mason , Builder and Architect.

John May married Frances Frencham at the residence of the Minister of Independent Church Melbourne, Alexandra Morrison on 27 Sep 1845 in the presence of William Frencham & Henry Frencham.


Frances , aged 22 years arrived in Melbourne on the ship “Alberton” 22 September 1844 . Bounty immigrants, eighteen pounds and fourteen shillings. She was in the company of her brother William Frencham aged 29 Labourer of Cork Ireland who could read and write and sister in law, Martha Frencham of Wexford Co Wexford Ireland, who could also read and write. They joined their siblings Henry, Josiah and Thomas.


In his Will he the " Great Western " Hotel King Street Melbourne and Cottage adjoining to sons John William May and Albert May. His daughter Frances Copperthwaite inherited the house in Northcote after the death of her mother. His eldest son William Henry May was cut from the will and all contact with his father because he married a Catholic girl Margaret Lynch.

His residence which he designed and built "Mayville” 122 (today 85) Cunningham Street Northcote was built c. 1850 a handsome blue stone , slate roofed double fronted building .The dwelling is located on the hill overlooking the Merri Creek. Today the original layout of five main rooms remains intact, with a wealth of period fittings including two marble fire places, three rose wood mantles , original Baltic pine floors, our meter high ceilings as well as a cellar ( Seen from the front left hand side of Cunningham Street.) There has been a recent addition of two rear living areas.


Frances Anne May daughter and her husband William Charles Copperthwait took over the house in about 1886, The house was then passed on to their daughter Anne Copperthwait and her husband Karl Wittenback . It was sold in 1960 for five thousand pounds.


William Akers (production director and lighting designer to the Australian Ballet) acquired the property and added antique Italian hand carved light fittings from the old Sydney Theater Royal. The property was sold in May 1994 for Three hundred and fifty thousand dollars.


William Henry MAY

Birth: 12 Jan 1847 Place: Northcote

Death: 11 Sep 1920 Place: Sandringham

Spouse: Margaret LYNCH

Marriage: 5 Jul 1871 Place: St Patrick's Melbourne Victoria

John William MAY

Birth: 22 Jan 1858 Place: Northcote Melbourne Victoria 

Death: 12 Apr 1918 Place: South Melbourne Aged 60 Years

Spouse: Charlotte Louisa BIRD

Marriage: 1891 Place: Melbourne

Elizabeth MAY

Birth: 1849 Place: Northcote Melbourne

Death: 1889 Place: Hotham East Victoria 

Spouse: Thomas CONQUEST

Marriage: 1877 Place: Victoria

James MAY

Birth: 1860 Place: Northcote Melbourne Vic Aus 1860

Martha MAY

Birth: 3 Jan 1850 Place: Northcote Melbourne Victoria Australia

Death: 20 Feb 1939 Place: Fitzroy 

Spouse: Edward Barron Mc CORMACK

Marriage: 1 Mar 1884 Place: Victoria

Frances Anne MAY

Birth: 23 Apr 1861 Place: Northcote Melbourne Victoria 

Death: 18 Dec 1947

Spouse: William Charles COPPERTHWAIT

Marriage: 15 Oct 1886 Place: Northcote Vic

Mary MAY

Birth: 1853 Place: Northcote Melbourne Victoria Australia :

Death: 2 Apr 1916

Spouse: Richard Sigger (Horrace) CARR

Marriage: 1874 Place: Melbourne 1874 

Albert MAY

Birth: 4 Apr 1864 Place: Northcote 1864 

Death: 18 Nov 1948 Place: Camberwell Vic 

Spouse: Mary Jane DEAN

Marriage: 1888 Place: Melbourne

Sarah MAY

Birth: 1856 Place: Northcote Melbourne Victoria Australia

Death: 15 Oct 1888 Place: 1884 Melbourne

Spouse: Nils OLSON

Marriage: 1883 Place: Melbourne 1883