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Biographical entry MacCabe, Francis Peter (1817 - 1897)

Dublin, Ireland
27 June 1897
Bowral, New South Wales, Australia


Francis McCabe was a surveyor with the New South Wales Surveyor General's Department for 15 years from 1841. His early surveys were in the southeast of New South Wales. Between 1848 and 1850 he mapped sections of the Murray, Darling and Murrumbidgee Rivers. In accordance with the general instructions of the New South Wales Surveyor General Thomas Mitchell, McCabe was assiduous in recording Aboriginal place names in several language groups during his surveys, possibly the first European to do so. After leaving the Department in 1856 McCabe managed his father-in-law's colliery and fulfilled his political ambitions as member and sometime Mayor of the North Illawarra Council.



Career event - Joined the Ordnance Survey of Ireland
1841 - 1853
Career position - Assistant Surveyor, New South Wales Surveyor General's Department
1853 - 1856
Career position - Surveyor, New South Wales Surveyor General's Department
1856 - 1883
Career position - Manager of the Mt Keira colliery, New South Wales

Published resources


  • MacCabe, Michael, The Man Behind the Corner: Surveyor Francis Peter MacCabe (1817-1897), New South Wales Government, Land & Property Information, Sydney, 2011, 215 pp. Details

Journal Articles

  • Hope, Jeannette and Hercus, Luise, 'The Surveys of F. P. MacCabe and his Records of Aboriginal Placenames at the Junction of the Murray and Darling Rivers', Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria, vol. 121, 2009, pp. 193-204. Details

Helen Cohn