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HOME Left Arrow Image GENERAL INFORMATION Left Arrow Image (IN)FAMOUS PEOPLE Left Arrow Image TOM COLLINS (1843 - 1912) - aka: JOSEPH FURPHY

A very well known name in Australia is Tom Collins, which in fact was the nom-de-plume of Joseph Furphy.

Born September 26, 1843 at Yering, near Yarra Glen, Victoria, Australia and died September 13, 1912 at Claremont, West Australia
Under the name of Tom Collins, Joseph was a well published Australian author, he was well known under his own name also, so much so that "furphy" became a word in everyday Australian speech, signifying a rumour without foundation. (Joe Furphy was not himself a disseminator of rumours, but the water-carts his firm manufactured, which were in use all over the country and were called furphies, were frequently the meeting-place of gossips.)

His father was a tenant farmer at Tanderagee, Co. Armagh, who emigrated in 1840. The surname Furphy is very rare. It occurs occasionally in the modern birth registers for Co. Armagh and also in the Co. Armagh Hearth Money-Rolls of 1664-5. Professor M. A. O'Brien has suggested me that the name is probably O Foirbhte, derived from the adjective foirbhthe, meaning complete or perfect.

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Page last updated : 05 March 2004