Census Substitutes in Ireland

NFHM Blogging challengeToday’s post is a recyled version of one I wrote four years ago on my Family History Across the Seas blog.I’m also participating in the National Family History Month challenge initiated by my genimate Alex from Family Tree Frog blog.

I’m in Irish mode at the moment, and as most of us know “none” of the census records survived from the 19th century. No, they weren’t all burnt in the Troubles, some were actually destroyed as part of a bureaucratic process.

So Irish family researchers need to be a little more innovative and try other strategies. You may be lucky and find your ancestors in some of the very few surviving census records or those where someone applied for a pension and needed to verify their birth using a 19th century census extract. Unfortunately I don’t have the luck of the proverbial Irish and my 2x great-mother’s sister, Honora Garvey nee O’Brien, is not among these, even though she was quite poor.What a blessing that would have been!

The next step is to turn to the Griffith’s Valuations which are now available online through Ask About Ireland. It’s quite wondrous now that we can get instant answers and have a digital map to go with it. Sure beats having to look at the GV on microfiche and visiting Ireland for the map.

I could make my life easier, and this post very brief, by exhorting you to beg, borrow or buy a copy of James Reilly’s book  Richard Griffith and his Valuations of Ireland. If you have Irish ancestry, do yourself a favour and check its availability at your favourite bookstore or library. Hint: an preview of this book is now available to read through Google Books  – enough for you to see how much value this seemingly slight book contains. In the meantime have a read of this short article by Reilly called Is there more in Griffith’s Valuations than just names?

Reilly’s book will astonish you with just how much lies behind those tables of information that we Irish researchers treat as a substitute for the census. I think the temptation for us is to simply look at the superficial facts of the size of our ancestor’s land, its value and who the immediate lessor was. Reilly makes it clear just how much more there is to even the summary information and in particular the significance of the number and alpha reference at the start of the line.

The new online access makes it easy to link the search with the map reference indicated by that originating number, but again, do we go beyond that? How about the field books, perambulation books and house books that lie behind the valuation? Yes, they don’t exist for all parishes but wouldn’t you want to check? Unfortunately they’re mostly only available in Ireland but if you’re sufficiently keen you may choose to employ a researcher to follow it up, especially if you can determine they exist.

Have you noticed on the GV maps at Ask About Ireland, there’s an option to include the house books? If you activate that option you’ll be able to see where they exist for which townland. Murphy at work again, “my” townlands don’t have surviving house books.

However, as a teaser: If your ancestors were either Michael Meaney or James Carmody of Mountrice townland in Kilseily parish, Clare, you would no doubt be interested to know that the landlord intended “to build houses for them and then throw down the houses on which they presently live”. Notes from the Perambulation book for the Parishes of Kilseily and Killuran by surveyor Michael O’Malley (The National Archives of Ireland). Or you may wish to know who ran huxteries in the area or…

The complication throughout is to know which one is really is your man (or woman)! From my point of view you need some other way, eg parish registers, to be assured of which one you need to be following. And of course with the great advance of digitisation, the Catholic parish registers are available through the National Library of Ireland or Ancestry or Findmypast.

The Irish Valuation Office now has current valuation information available to search online (try typing in your county and townland). In many ways this isn’t of great use but it satisfies a little curiosity. You can click on any of the blocks and you will be given the owner’s name and other details – perhaps a way to find a relative or at least someone to ask. I was surprised just how familiar were the names of people still holding land in Ballykelly – echoes of the 1911 census and also Griffith’s. Also surprised to find one Not really of great specific use but interesting none the less!

REVISION LISTS

These are one of the unsung heroes of Irish research. Have you found your ancestors in the Griffith’s tables? If so, they will enable you to trace who took over the family’s property generation after generation. Not only that, you’ll have a good chance that they’ll tip you off on when various family members died.(John Grenham wrote about this recently)

How does that work? Well, the original valuations were reassessed on a regular basis for change of tenancy or ownership, improvements or deterioration of the property. On the original books held by the Valuation Office, these amendments are messy but able to be followed because they are in different coloured inks and different hands. Your 2 x great grandfather’s death might result in a new entry with his wife’s name, then subsequently various children until it perhaps passes to a distant relative or out of the family.

The good news is that these are available wherever you live because you can order them through the Family Search catalogue and have them delivered to your local family history centre or approved library. The easiest ways to find the correct film is to search the catalogue by keyword (not anything else). For example if I enter “valuation revision Ballykelly Clare” I promptly obtain film number 819471. I strongly encourage you to order in the relevant film for your parish. While it’s in black and white, not colour as it is at the Valuation Office, it generally runs across the page on the same “line”. Not perfect but better than nothing if you’re not heading to Dublin.

GV revision

This is the result of my search on Family Search for Ballykelly, using the keyword option.

The other benefit is that it lets you search beyond the timeframe of the initial valuations to perhaps find your ancestor.

For example, I wanted to see where my James Sherry and his family were living in the townland of Knockina outside Gorey, Wexford in the 1870s before they emigrated (I had Knockina from the Gorey parish registers). The valuation revisions suggested to me that they must have been living in a property owned by the Southern and Eastern Railway as that was the only property not attached to a specific family and I knew he was a railway worker. If my deduction is correct, it suggests he may have held a position of some responsibility, although it’s likely he was still a grassroots worker.

When the temporary parish priest took us (in 1995) to meet someone who he said would know about my O’Briens from Ballykelly, I was rather mystified as the surname was different (though essentially the same as my 2xgreat grandmother’s brother’s wife’s). It was through Paddy that I saw my ancestor’s plot of land and the remains of their house.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The remains of the O’Brien house on the Ballykelly townland. P Cass 2003

Afterwards, in Dublin, we visited the Valuation Office and saw the folders piled high on the shelves. We wondered why and how the land had been transferred. By following the GV revisions, I had a lightbulb moment as Paddy had inherited the land after the death of all my great/grand aunts who were single.

While I’ve also been able to read the Ballykelly field books at the National Archives of Ireland, I confess they were bewildering to this urbanite. Still it’s all grist to the genealogical mill.

I really can’t emphasise enough the value of following your family from the original valuations through the revision lists to see what happened to them and their property.

[And here’s a new occupation for you: the meresman was the hired local resident who assisted in identifying boundaries (Reilly, op cit page 4)]

Irish research may be challenging but it isn’t impossible. You do, however, need to mine every possible source in the country to which they emigrated, in order to pin down their home parish eg Australian parish registers, certificates, obituaries (a clue not fact), gravestones, oral histories, siblings’ certificates etc. You really DO need their parish of origin, the townland or the estate from which they came. While Agent’s Immigrant Lists (online) are helpful, what you really need to look at are the Bounty Immigrant Lists (on microfilm from State Records NSW) which include parents’ names and place of origin (what you want is the 2nd reel number in the list, where it’s available eg Reel2481 not 2139). Also check the Immigration Deposit Journals on microfilm or through Ancestry.

Good luck and happy “hunting”.

Surname Firstname Age Ship Year Arriving Remarks Copy
ADGY Letitia 24 John Temperley 1863 Sydney Reel 2139, [4/4797]; Reel 2481, [4/4983]
ADGY Samuel 26 John Temperley 1863 Sydney Reel 2139, [4/4797]; Reel 2481, [4/4983]
BEACOM Henry 18 John Temperley 1863 Sydney and brother Reel 2139, [4/4797]; Reel 2481, [4/4983]
BEACOM Joseph 18 John Temperley 1863 Sydney and brother Reel 2139, [4/4797]; Reel 2481, [4/4983]
BEATTIE Margaret 20 John Temperley 1863 Sydney and sister Reel 2139, [4/4797]; Reel 2481, [4/4983]
BEATTIE Sarah 18 John Temperley 1863 Sydney and sister Reel 2139, [4/4797]; Reel 2481, [4/4983]

Beware the OCR

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been trawling Trove looking for “Missing friends” + “County Clare”. There’s certainly been some interesting stories among them, that’s for sure: long silences, unknown deaths and as time passes, the search for family and descendants in estate proceedings. Among them are examples of searches from the USA, Canada and Britain.

One story that caught my eye was in The Advocate lauding their own success at finding lost relatives.

“THE ADVOCATE” AS A FINDER.

About 12 months ago we pointed out, how this journal, through its advertising columns, traced the relatives of two families who had been separated for years—in one case over 60 years. We now call attention to two more cases of relatives being brought into communication with each other through the medium of “The Advocate.” … Last month, Dr. T. P. M’lnerney sent the following inquiry, which appeared in “The Advocate” :— M’INERNEY.—Wanted, information of Matthew and Michael M’lnerney, and their sister, Honora Vaughan, who came to Australia about 1850 (my emphasis). Their brother, Dennis M’Inerney, who was born at O’Callaghan Mills, County Clare, Ireland, went to America about the same year. A relative in America wants the information.

The following letter from Dr. M’lnerney shows how successful we have been in the matter :— To the Editor of “The Advocate.” Dear Sir, – To know that your columns are widely read must be a gratification to you. Here is a conclusive proof. In April last I received a letter from Iowa, America, asking if I could give the writer any information concerning Matthew and Michael M’Inerney who left County Clare for Australia. I tried hard to oblige my correspondent. I wrote letters to all persons whom I thought might be able to give any information -but without success. I was about to abandon my quest when I I thought of “The Advocate” and in your issue of the 29th ult, a short advertisement appeared. Success instantly followed. The missing friends were discovered. Relatives in America and Australia will be united. Your columns succeeded where my efforts failed. I rejoice to find you have so many careful readers—readers, too, who even read advertisements. Gratefully yours,

P. M’INERNEY. Aug. 12. 1911.

1911 ‘MISSING RELATIVES.’, Advocate (Melbourne, Vic. : 1868 – 1954), 19 August, p. 25. , viewed 28 May 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article170931092

I couldn’t recall seeing the people mentioned in this story, so I searched my indexes. Nope, not there. Back to Trove and searching for various combinations came up with no result, until I changed it to America and Missing Friends. This is what came up in the text from the OCR (optical character recognistion). No wonder it hadn’t turned up in my primary search or it my subsequent searches (McInerney, County Clare, Matthew McInerney, O’Callaghan’s Mills).

McInerney

It wasn’t as if the scanning was all that unclear so who knows what went wrong.

McInerney OCM and America

1911 ‘Advertising’, Advocate (Melbourne, Vic. : 1868 – 1954), 29 July, p. 31. , viewed 17 Jun 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article170930444

The text has now been corrected so future searchers should find it quite easily, but it’s a lesson on how we can over-rely on the OCR and assume something wasn’t reported in the paper.

What is truly remarkable about the story, though, is how quickly the problem had been solved. The original advertisement was published on 29 July and just three weeks later the newspaper had news that contact had been made with family members who’d been separated for 6o years. Isn’t that remarkable in the pre-digital era…or in any era, really. And a bonus: I’ve acquired more East Clare emigrants.

Wouldn’t you love to know the stories that flowed between the branches of the family on two continents?

I wonder if any of my readers are descendants of Michael, Matthew, Honora or Dennis?

 

Save

The inherent sadness of Missing Friends

I’m currently beavering away on Trove looking for all Missing Friends notices which mention County Clare. These advertisements are revealing in a host of unexpected ways.

Some are frustratingly ambiguous (left Ireland) but others can be very specific, listing a ship or a townland.

As the decades roll towards the end of the 19th century they become quite tragic when you see advertising for parents; mothers trying to trace children; or cousins seeking kin. While a few may have emigrated only recently it’s especially moving to read of ones which indicate the person left decades before yet no one knows where they are. Had they died? Did they have no one to write? Were they ashamed because life hadn’t turned out how they expected? Did they simply forget the families they left in Ireland as a way of preserving themselves from the heartache of separation? Had they re-emigrated to another country as we see in some of these examples?.

What a treasure we have in Trove which enables us to pursue a research interest which would otherwise be nigh impossible. It helps us to burrow down into the movement and lives of many people and draw the information together.

Here is just one example of a Missing Friends’ notice in Australia’s Freeman’s Journal copied from ads in the Dublin Freeman.  Missing Persons 18921892 ‘MISSING FRIENDS.’, Freeman’s Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1850 – 1932), 16 July, p. 19. , viewed 17 May 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article111326867

Edmund and Patrick CAHILL of Glenomera, KILBANE

The previous posts tell the story of Edmund Cahill’s sister, Bridget Reeves, and his mother Julia Cahill as well as some of his own migration story.

When Edmund arrived in Victoria he stated his occupation as “shoemaker”. I found an 1874 article in the Gippsland Times which suggests he maintained that occupation for quite some time. Although Edmund settled initially in Stratford where sister Bridget and her husband were living, he later moved to Briagolong, a town 15kms north of Stratford.

The Gippsland Times. (1868, December 5). Gippsland Times (Vic. : 1861 - 1954), p. 2 Edition: Morning.. Retrieved March 12, 2015, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article61342187

The Gippsland Times. (1868, December 5). Gippsland Times (Vic. : 1861 – 1954), p. 2 Edition: Morning.. Retrieved March 12, 2015, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article61342187

This story of Edmund’s brother, Patrick’s, accident offers clues to why Patrick may have died young in July 1872, aged 38 years. Although it is not conclusive that this is the same chap it seems highly likely pending confirmation.

Advertising. (1872, November 7). Gippsland Times (Vic. : 1861 - 1954), p. 1 Edition: Morning.. Retrieved March 12, 2015, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article61492140

Advertising. (1872, November 7). Gippsland Times (Vic. : 1861 – 1954), p. 1 Edition: Morning.. Retrieved March 12, 2015, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article61492140

After Patrick’s death, his brother took on his bootmaker’s business. I found it interesting that both men had followed their trade for quite some time, with success, after arriving in Australia. In the probate notices of the Gippsland Times 8 October 1872, there is “A rule to administer the real estate (£300) of Patrick Cahill, late of Stratford, bootmaker; deceased was granted to his only brother, Edmund Cahill of Stratford; farmer.”

 

Map of the Gippsland area of eastern Victoria, showing Briagolong, Stratford and Sale.

Map of the Gippsland area of eastern Victoria, showing Briagolong, Stratford and Sale.

Edmund Cahill died on 24 June 1921 and was buried in Briagolong Cemetery  his gravestone can be seen on the Billion Graves website here.The newspaper obituaries serve as a testament to Edmund’s life as an early pioneer in Gippsland.

MR. EDMUND CAHILL. (1921, July 14). Advocate (Melbourne, Vic. : 1868 - 1954), p. 17. Retrieved March 11, 2015, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article171239108

MR. EDMUND CAHILL. (1921, July 14). Advocate (Melbourne, Vic. : 1868 – 1954), p. 17. Retrieved March 11, 2015, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article171239108

Edmund Cahill had plainly played a significant role in the establishment of the Catholic church in Stratford, Gippsland, donating land for its establishment…it could probably be claimed he was “a pillar of the church”.

Another obituary also ties his arrival in Australia with the immigration records which have been found (see previous post). It is also Edmund’s death registration in the Victorian indexes which gives his parents’ names as John Cahill and Julia Riordan (various spellings)

DEATH OF MR. EDMUND CAHILL. (1921, June 30). Gippsland Times (Vic. : 1861 - 1954), p. 7. Retrieved March 11, 2015, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article62593373

DEATH OF MR. EDMUND CAHILL. (1921, June 30). Gippsland Times (Vic. : 1861 – 1954), p. 7. Retrieved March 11, 2015, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article62593373

Although somewhat convoluted I found this family’s story to be an interesting migration story, quite typical of much of the East Clare migration I’ve researched:

  • Bridget Cahill, a single woman in her early 20s led the migration to Australia
  • Bridget married John Samuel Reeves two years after arrival.
  • She and her husband moved interstate – again demonstrating how immigrants would move around to find a location and work opportunities which suited them.
  • Money was sent to Bridget’s family in the form of remittances to fund their migration in turn.
  • A two-generational chain-migration ensued with a middle-aged mother, adult sons and daughters followed.
  • This family did stay in close proximity to each other over time.

 

 

 

Julia CAHILL nee RIORDAN of KILBANE

The discovery of Bridget Reeves’ gravestone and the notice of her mother’s (Julia Cahill) death notice, pulled the unravelling thread to a genealogical discovery. You can read this story here.

I decided to explore when Bridget’s family arrived in Victoria. Her brother Edmund’s obituary revealed he’d lived in the Gippsland area for some years and had an estimated year of arrival in the late 1850s.

Turning to the PROV immigration indexes online I searched both assisted and unassisted immigrants. My thought was that given his mother’s age, she may have been unassisted. However I could find no Julia Cahill anywhere near her age in either set of indexes, and NSW provided similar results. I knew it wasn’t unusual for emigrants to fudge their ages so they could gain access to the government’s passage assistance. In this the east Clare emigrants of this time frame were often given a helping hand by the parish priest of Broadford, Fr John Bourke.

Temporarily giving up on Julia, my search focused on Edmund Cahill and there were two possibilities: one, Edmand (sic), aged 20 on the Mindoro in October 1857 and another, Edmond aged 17 on the Lady Milton in July 1857. I eliminated the second because of the cluster of people he was travelling with, and his place of birth (Tipperary).

Next step was to search for all Cahills on the Mindoro as that fitted this Edmund’s age best. Bingo! There was Edmund (20), Catherine (17) and Pat (22). But were they the right family? Catherine proved not to be part of this group because she came from Kilkenny not Clare.

SHIPPINGS INTELLIGENCE. (1857, October 24). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 4. Retrieved March 11, 2015, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article7140965

SHIPPINGS INTELLIGENCE. (1857, October 24). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), p. 4. Retrieved March 11, 2015, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article7140965

I used Ancestry to search for the digitised documents[i] given it was late at night and a trip to the library wasn’t possible. Edmand Cahill, 20, a shoemaker from Clare was listed among the single men as was Pat Cahil (sic), 22 also a shoemaker from Clare and both could read and write. They had signed out of the ship on their own account on 19 November…later than others so I wonder why the delay.

CAHILL Judith 30796_125513__098-0-00839

Original data: Victoria. Inward Overseas Passenger Lists (British Ports). Microfiche VPRS 7666, copy of VRPS 947. Public Record Office Victoria, North Melbourne, Victoria. CLICK on the image to see it enlarged.

Bearing in mind the different spelling of Pat’s surname I again searched the indexes for Cahil. Another Eureka moment as it turned up additional passengers: Judith (44), Margaret (18) and Anne (14). Against their names on the Certificate of Final Departure[ii] was an “R” indicating their fare had been paid by family or friends as remittances. Had Julia originally been Judith? That was my question. The Immigration documents clarified it once and for all: they were going to Mr J S Reeves, son-in-law, Stratford, Gippsland. Mystery solved. I wasn’t concerned about Julia’s 23 year drop in age given what I knew from other experiences…but she must have worn well to get away with it!

Advertising. (1857, October 26). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 7. Retrieved March 11, 2015, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article7141033

Advertising. (1857, October 26). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), p. 7. Retrieved March 11, 2015, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article7141033

Now we had clear links between Bridget Reeves, her brothers Edmund and Pat, sisters Margaret and Anne and mother Julia…and while there are many mentions they came from Clare, it was only Bridget’s legal separation that referred to her specific place of origin in Kilbane.

I think Julia/Judith was so brave to make the move from Ireland to Australia when she was 67. As she’s listed as a single woman on the ship’s documents it implies her husband, John Cahill, had died before the family emigrated. Unfortunately I can find no reference to them in the Griffiths’ Valuations in Killokennedy from 1852 though there is a Johanna Cahill in Kilbane village…surely it’s too much to think she had three first-name incarnations. As I mentioned previously, I found only indirect potential mentions in the parish registers which indicate a potential link to the Vaughan family.

STRATFORD. (1885, May 29). Gippsland Times (Vic. : 1861 - 1954), p. 3 Edition: Morning.. Retrieved March 11, 2015, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article61922989

STRATFORD. (1885, May 29). Gippsland Times (Vic. : 1861 – 1954), p. 3 Edition: Morning.. Retrieved March 11, 2015, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article61922989

Julia was able to spend 28 years with her family in Gippsland before her death, which was well recognised in the newspapers. In death as in life, she is surrounded by her family and remembered on the gravestone in the Sale cemetery.

Family Notices. (1885, May 18). Gippsland Times (Vic. : 1861 - 1954), p. 3 Edition: Morning.. Retrieved March 9, 2015, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article61922839

Family Notices. (1885, May 18). Gippsland Times (Vic. : 1861 – 1954), p. 3 Edition: Morning.. Retrieved March 9, 2015, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article61922839

Rest in Peace, Julia Cahill, another foundation member of our Colonial women who helped build our country.

As an aside, the man who was lost overboard on the Mindoro was William Bland and his death is recorded on the ship’s registers as 1 October not 1 August. His wife, Elizabeth Bland, only 23, from Middlesex, was left with two small children when she went to friends at Prahran.

————

[i] Ancestry.com. Victoria, Australia, Assisted and Unassisted Passenger Lists, 1839–1923 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc., 2009.
Original data: Victoria. Inward Overseas Passenger Lists (British Ports). Microfiche VPRS 7666, copy of VRPS 947. Public Record Office Victoria, North Melbourne, Victoria.Victoria. Inward Overseas Passenger Lists (Foreign Ports). Microfiche VPRS 7667, copy of VRPS 947.

 

[ii] Ancestry.com. Victoria, Australia, Assisted and Unassisted Passenger Lists, 1839–1923 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc., 2009.
Original data: Victoria. Inward Overseas Passenger Lists (British Ports). Microfiche VPRS 7666, copy of VRPS 947. Public Record Office Victoria, North Melbourne, Victoria.Victoria. Inward Overseas Passenger Lists (Foreign Ports). Microfiche VPRS 7667, copy of VRPS 947.

 

Bridget REEVE(S) nee CAHILL of Glenomera

In the beginning…

Like pulling a thread in a jumper, today’s story unravelled from one of marital disharmony to a wider East Clare migration story.

From the Australian Town and Country Journal,  page 38: Mrs Bridget Reeves comes from Kilfane near Broadford County Clare, is 56 years of age and married her husband, Edmund Samuel Reeves (a widower) in St Mary’s Church Sydney in April 1855. She is seeking a judicial separation from her husband (a formality which would have been relatively unusual in those days). I believe that Kilfane is an error and should have been Kilbane, a townland in Killokennedy parish which is tied with Kilseily RC parish.

Miscellaneous Items. (1883, September 8). Australian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1870 - 1907), p. 38. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article71003442

Miscellaneous Items. (1883, September 8). Australian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1870 – 1907), p. 38. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article71003442

From the Indexes to the Victorian Divorce Cause Books, Volume 1, 1861-1884 (VPRS 5335) it seems Bridget went on to divorce Samuel formally. However I would want to pursue this at the Public Records Office of Victoria (PROV) to be absolutely certain. This is an extract from the indexes:

VPRS 5335, PROV, Index to Divorce Cause Books 1861-1884

VPRS 5335, PROV, Index to Divorce Cause Books 1861-1884

Trove comes to the fore, giving some clues about their failed marriage. The article is a long one and worth reading. Bridget is charged with threatening to burn down her husband’s house and witnesses indicate he had previously been violent.

From here it was a logical progression to see if I could pin down their marriage in Sydney, and the births of their children, for which I used a mix of Ancestry records and NSW BDM indexes.

At first I had some difficulty locating their marriage but I believe this is it:

REEVE John S to CAHILL Bridget (NSW 120/1855 120/1855 V1855120 101).

Using wildcards, and narrowing the date search to April 1855, is an interim confirmation of the correct marriage. There are two ways to confirm this: purchase the certificate or check the marriage microfilms for NSW in that period.

I found the following children’s births by searching parents’ names:

  1. Annie b abt 1856  Married Matthew Carr 1878/2011; died 1934 buried Sale 4 Feb 1934 aged 78 years.
  2. Susan b abt 1859 died 1868 Vic buried Sale, Vic 1 Feb 1868 aged 9 years.
  3. Elizabeth b abt 1865 d 1942, Preston, Vic (married Cowan?)
  4. Edw Samuel b abt 1865 died 1936, Auburn, Vic
  5. Patrick Edmund b 1865 Stratford, Vic/25246, died Sunbury Vic/23740
  6. Julia b abt 1865 died 1937, Hawthorn, Vic
  7. Ellen b 1867 Victoria/5058  Stratford died 1871, buried Sale 1 Oct 1871, aged 5.
  8. Alice M b 1868 NSW
  9. Sarah b 1869 Vic/12016 Stratford
  10. Thomas b 1870 Vic/26591 (possibly Thomas Henry died 1944 Ringwood)
  11. Susan b 1873 Vic/6025 Stratford,Vic} may be the same as #12.
  12. Mary Susan b abt 1877 died 1933 Carnegie Vic}

This exceeds the number of children stated in the original article and there are three with similar estimated birth years, based on age at death. If we assume that the two deceased children were not included, and that Susan and Mary Susan are one and the same, then we have nine children and Susan would be the 11 year-old mentioned. Direct family members would want to clarify these ambiguities.

I next turned my attention to Bridget’s arrival and since she married in Sydney I started in New South Wales. This is an extract of the relevant entry for the ship Ellenborough, arriving Sydney 12 October 1853.

NSW Immigration microfilm (online) 2137 (4/4791) page 8.

NSW Immigration microfilm (online) 2137 (4/4791) page 8.

 Advertising. (1853, October 18). Empire (Sydney, NSW : 1850 - 1875), p. 1. Retrieved March 10, 2015, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article61328849


Advertising. (1853, October 18). Empire (Sydney, NSW : 1850 – 1875), p. 1. Retrieved March 10, 2015, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article61328849

Although there were 400 immigrants on board, Bridget was unusual among the Irish women of this era, in that she could both read and write. Perhaps that gave her confidence, too, when she sued to formally separate from her husband.

Bridget states that she came from Glenomer (Glenomera) Co Clare which fits with what we know of her from the initial article. Her emigration was also typical of the Irish I’ve researched: she was accompanied by another woman, Bridget Garvey, from Glenomera and she may have known some of the five other East Clare women on board before she sailed. So far, it also seems she probably led the family’s migration, something that’s atypical for other ethnic groups.

It seems that Bridget and her husband moved from New South Wales to the Gippsland area of Victoria in or near the town of Stratford not long after their marriage.

There is an interesting article on Trove which refers to Samuel Reeves, a private of the Royal Artillery, and his wife, Bridget Reeves as witnesses to a court case. To know whether this relates to our couple, or another, more details would be needed about Samuel’s career at the time.

Bridget died 25 September 1885 and was buried in Sale Cemetery, Victoria on 27 September 1885, aged 66 years – she had aged 8 years since 1885. Thanks to Find a Grave, her gravestone is pictured here. Although the image is difficult to read, by searching the cemetery’s burial register in conjunction with this is become apparent that ultimately Bridget had not been alone in Australia. From the Find a Grave information, Bridget is buried with her siblings Ann (bur 18/7/1882, 37 yrs) and Patrick (bur 1/8/1872, 38 yrs) and also her mother, Julia (bur 19/5/1885, 95 yrs). Unfortunately the Kilseily parish records, available on microfilm via the LDS church, do not commence until after the birth of all Julia’s children however there are a number of instances where witnesses may be her children: if correct it seems likely the Cahills may well have been related to the Vaughan family of Lisroe.

Ironically Bridget’s mother, Julia Cahill, was blessed with a longevity which escaped some of her children, having an estimated YOB of 1790. Her funeral notice ties her to another son, Edmund, living in Briagolong in the Gippsland District of Victoria.

Family Notices. (1885, May 18). Gippsland Times (Vic. : 1861 - 1954), p. 3 Edition: Morning.. Retrieved March 9, 2015, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article61922839

Family Notices. (1885, May 18). Gippsland Times (Vic. : 1861 – 1954), p. 3 Edition: Morning.. Retrieved March 9, 2015, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article61922839

Edmund Cahill, died on 24 June 1921 and was buried in the Briagolong Cemetery: his gravestone can be see on Billion Graves here. His obituary will be in a subsequent post.

The unravelling threads of the research jumper will be the topic of further posts.

 

Margaret MOLONEY nee HOGAN and her sister Catherine BOURKE

In my previous post I was documenting the deaths of Patrick Bourke of O’Brien’s Bridge, and his wife Catherine Bourke nee Hogan from Broadford. It’s been so long since I’ve posted on this site it took me a while to twig that I’d already posted about Margaret Moloney from Killokennedy, and mentioned I’d be looking for her sister Catherine Bourke. As there’s additional information available from different Trove articles I thought it best to add a supplementary post.

The Catholic Press (Sydney, NSW : 1895 - 1942), Thursday 16 July 1925, page 20

The Catholic Press (Sydney, NSW : 1895 – 1942), Thursday 16 July 1925, page 20

The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), Saturday 11 July 1925, page 11

The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), Saturday 11 July 1925, page 11

Referring to my East Clare database and baptisms from the parishes of Kilseily and Killokennedy, I believe that Catherine and Margaret were both children of John Hogan and his wife Mary Smith from Killokennedy. Post-Famine, the priests started adding the townland information to the registers which certainly makes a difference when you’re trying to differentiate one Hogan from another.

Margaret Moloney nee Hogan would have been born circa 1843, right before the registers commence so it’s unsurprising her name is not there. However I did find several other children: Michael baptised 1852, Anne in 1854, James in 1857 and Catherine in 1855. I wonder if the latter is the one I’m looking for. Catherine Bourke’s age at death in 1931 was stated as 65, making her estimated year of birth 1866 or 1865. Did they just make a mistake with Catherine’s age, or did the child born in 1855 die and her name given to the younger child? I haven’t recorded the baptisms beyond 1858 so either is possible.

However, we do know from the immigration records that when Margaret arrived on the Montmorency in 1864, her sisters Honora and Bridget were already in Sydney. It is from Margaret’s obituary that we are able to narrow down her sister Catherine’s arrival. Catherine Hogan emigrated on the Peterborough ex Plymouth, arriving in Sydney on 15 January 1878 (NSW Reels 2140-1, [4/4802] p.1). She is a farm servant from Clare, aged 19. It is through the Immigration Deposit Journals that we can accurately pin her down. Her deposit of £2 was paid by Ann Hogan (sister/cousin?) as was the same amount for Mary Moloney. Both are shown as coming from Killokennedy and their referee was the ubiquitous Rev John Bourke PP (no relation to Catherine’s husband, as far as I know).

Catherine’s relationship to Margaret is clear from the obituary and also the funeral notice, but the Moloney, McAlary and Martin nieces and nephews would take rather more unravelling. It is still unclear whether Margaret and Catherine’s other sisters were still alive as suggested in the original post’s obituary. If not, why are none specifically mentioned in the funeral notices? Perhaps I’ll find them as I continue my searches for East Clare Emigrants.

Montmorency (ship), John Oxley Library, out of copyright. http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/153919419

Montmorency (ship), John Oxley Library, out of copyright. http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/153919419

Sergeant Patrick BOURKE & his wife Catherine HOGAN

The Catholic Press of May 28, 1931, included an obituary for Sergeant Patrick Bourke (page 33). Patrick was an East Clare man, born in 1850 at O’Brien’s Bridge to parents John and Margaret, according to the NSW death indexes. Patrick had been stationed at Redfern Police Station during his working career before moving to Guildford in Sydney’s north-west.

Sergeant Patrick Bourke. (1931, May 28). The Catholic Press (Sydney, NSW : 1895 - 1942), p. 33. Retrieved December 2, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article103847007

Sergeant Patrick Bourke. (1931, May 28). The Catholic Press (Sydney, NSW : 1895 – 1942), p. 33. Retrieved December 2, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article103847007

Unfortunately Catherine Bourke nee Hogan was not given an obituary but there is a funeral notice which states her date of death as 22 January 1931, aged 65 years. She was the “beloved wife of Patrick Bourke, St Flannans, Robertson Street, Guildford”. (Sydney Morning Herald 23 January 1931). On the NSW death indexes, Catherine’s name is spelled Katherine and her parents are shown as John and Mary (3694/1931). She was buried at Rookwood Catholic Cemetery and her husband was later buried with her.

The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), Saturday 2 May 1931, page 11

The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), Saturday 2 May 1931, page 11

The only relevant marriage I can find of Patrick Bourke and Catherine Hogan is in 1901 at Redfern (NSW 4771/1901), which fits with his police service. I can find no firm evidence that they had children and there is no mention of any in the funeral notices or obituaries. However both Patrick’s and Catherine’s funeral notices refer to other relatives. Patrick’s funeral notice refers to his cousin, Mr F Hayes, presumably another East Clare man.

The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), Friday 23 January 1931, page 9

The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), Friday 23 January 1931, page 9

Catherine Bourke nee Hogan has a funeral notice inserted by her nephews John, Michael and James Moloney and nieces Mrs Mary McAlery of Macleay River and Mrs Agnes Martin of Orange.

My search of the NSW Immigration records suggest that Patrick arrived on the ship Jerusalem on 22 June 1874, aged 25. He gives his occupation and his place of origin as Briensbridge, Co Clare, which indicates this is most likely the correct person. They had been 88 days at sea, having left Plymouth on 26 March 1874. (NSW Reel 2140, [4/4799] p.83).

There are further clues to Catherine’s ancestry and relations – but that’s a story for another day.

See also:

Sydney Morning Herald 2 May 1931, page 12 (funeral notice)

The Biz 8 May 1931, page 7

The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate, Parramatta, 7 May 1931, page 12.

xx

The BRADY Family from Caherhurley, Bodyke

It’s been a long time between “drinks” here at East Clare Emigrants and I’m finally getting back to posting about some of my discoveries on Trove. As I’ve mentioned before, I search for place names from east county Clare and see what bobs up.

On this occasion it was a marriage notice in 1889 of James Brady, eldest son of Anthony Brady of Bondi, Sydney but formerly of Caherhurley, Bodyke Clare (Parish of Kilnoe). James was marrying Mary Anne, eldest daughter of Thomas Morriss of Scurrbeg, Elphin, Co Roscommon.BRADY Anthony Caherhurley Bodyke crop article28276059-4-001_edited-1

Searching for immigration records revealed that the family had arrived much later than I anticipated. The whole family arrived in Sydney on the ship La Hogue, on 16 September 1879. The members of the family were father Anthony 45, mother Bridget 43, and children James 19, Ellen 16, Mary 14, Anthony 10, Margaret 7, Michael 5 and Bridget 3. All came from Co Clare and all could read and write except for Anthony and children Michael and Bridget. Anthony’s illiteracy is fairly typical for someone born circa 1834. Anthony, James, and William were all listed as labourers while Ellen and Mary were f(arm) servants.

State Records of NSW. Bounty Immigrants Reel 2141, [4/4804] p.44

State Records of NSW. Bounty Immigrants Reel 2141, [4/4804] p.44

Family Search[i] has indexes for the Irish births registrations of the younger children as follows:

Anthony 10 June 1969

Margaret 29 August 1871

Michael 8 September 1873

Bridget 4 November 1875.

The parents are listed as Bridget Walsh/Welsh and Anthony Brady.

Turning to the Clare Library Genealogy page and the 1855 Griffith Valuations at Caherhurley, there are three Brady men listed. They are James, John and William. It seems highly likely these are close relatives to this emigrating Brady family.

BRADY Anthony death article13932087-4-002I went back to Trove to see what else I could find about the Brady family and located father Anthony Brady’s death notice in 1893[ii] on which all the children are mentioned (directly or indirectly) except Mary. Anthony lived at Bay St, Bondi and was buried at Waverley Cemetery. On the NSW online indexes no parents’ names are stated for him but the Waverley cemetery indexes on FindMyPast show he was aged 61. He has a gravestone which says “of Co Clare, Ireland. Erected by his wife and children”[iii].

BRADY Bridget death article15088721-4-001Bridget Brady died on 4 January 1910 at the Sacred Heart Hospice, Darlinghurst and was buried at Waverley Cemetery also. There were obituaries for her in both the Catholic Press[iv] and the Freeman’s Journal[v]. She had previously been living at Euston Rd, Alexandria, presumably with son William. Sands Directory for Sydney[vi] shows Anthony had been a farmer at Bay St, Waverley. He had formerly been listed at Waverley St (1883) and Bondi Rd (1884).

The Catholic Press 13 Jan 1910: 29. .

The Catholic Press (Sydney, NSW : 1895 – 1942) 13 Jan 1910: 29. Web. 12 Aug 2014 .

Anthony and Bridget’s daughter, Margaret Brady later Toohey[vii], also had an extensive obituary in The Catholic Press in 1936 which confirms much of what has been found in other sources. One puzzle though is the appearance of Delia Morris as a surviving member of this family. I haven’t put a lot of time into this but so far I have been unable to link her in to the family.

TOOHEY Margeret nee BRADY article106380430-3-001

he Catholic Press (Sydney, NSW : 1895 – 1942) 14 May 1936: 18. Web. 12 Aug 2014 .

——————–

[i] Ireland Births and Baptisms, 1620-1881,” Index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/FPXN-2BY : accessed 12 Aug 2014), Anthony Brady, 10 Jun 1869; citing Clare, Ireland, reference v 19-1 p 465; FHL microfilm 101198.

[ii] Family Notices.” The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954) 5 Jul 1893: 10. Web. 12 Aug 2014 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13932087 (Death)

[iii] www.findmypast.com.au Indexes by the Society of Australian Genealogists.

[iv] “OBITUARY.” The Catholic Press (Sydney, NSW : 1895 – 1942) 13 Jan 1910: 29. Web. 12 Aug 2014 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article105022908&gt;.

[v] “OBITUARY.” Freeman’s Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1850 – 1932) 13 Jan 1910: 16. Web. 12 Aug 2014 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108025477&gt;.

[vi] Ancestry.com Sands Directories: Sydney and New South Wales, Australia, 1858-1933 [database on-line].  1886

[vii] She had married Michael Joseph Toohey in 1897. Obituary A FINE CATHOLIC LADY.” The Catholic Press (Sydney, NSW : 1895 – 1942) 14 May 1936: 18. Web. 12 Aug 2014 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article106380430&gt;.

Bridget WIDDUP nee O’BRIEN from Ballykelly.

The Lockhart Review and Oaklands Advertiser Wednesday 22 May 1912, page 2

The Lockhart Review and Oaklands Advertiser Wednesday 22 May 1912, page 2

Today I’m going to focus on a family member, Bridget Widdup, from Urana in southern New South Wales. I made brief mention of Bridget in my introductory post, as she was my Mary O’Brien Kunkel’s sister.

I only came to know of Bridget through oral histories from Mary’s granddaughter, Anne Kunkel, and then distant cousins in Sydney. In this I was enormously lucky, as I was with Bridget’s and Mary’s longevity and their unusual married names. I was able to buy Bridget’s death certificate many years ago and it gave their place of origin as Broadford in County Clare. It also told me that Bridget had spent a year in Queensland confirming another point in the family’s oral history. Other research pinned their townland down to Ballykelly in the hills near Broadford, which belongs to Kilseily parish.

Over the years I’d visited the State Library of New South Wales and looked in newspapers for obituaries or death notices for Bridget, always looking for more clues. None provided anything additional to the other documentary information.

The Catholic Press, 20 June 1912, page 22

The Catholic Press, 20 June 1912, page 22

How fortunate then, that Trove is here to help us and with the on-going digitisation program, more and more newspaper articles are being revealed. It was one such which told me that Bridget had spent her Queensland year in Ipswich. In retrospect that should have been obvious but….You can read the serendipitous migration discovery which arose from that here. I am confident that the advertisement ties the two women together, and that Bridget must somehow have been on the Florentia.

Much of the family’s oral migration story fits together with that discovery. Unfortunately I have been singularly unsuccessful in tying them into the official documents despite trawling the archives. I can only assume that Mary’s advertisement was successful given that she knew her sister’s married name, and they apparently remained in touch.

The Sydney Morning Herald, Saturday 12 February 1859, page 1

The Sydney Morning Herald, Saturday 12 February 1859, page 1

We have no idea why Bridget left Queensland heading for New South Wales. Perhaps she had indeed met her future husband on board ship as I believe he was a sailor and have found a merchant seaman whose details fit. Perhaps her Queensland employer also had property in NSW. Perhaps she just didn’t like the hotter weather in Ipswich.

Whatever the reason, Bridget married her husband John Widdup, apparently in Albury, though repeated searching has been unsuccessful. They had nine children: Amelia, Louisa, John, Michael J, Walter Ireland, Alfred England, Martha, Bridget Ellen and Catherine Agnes.

Wagga Wagga Advertiser (NSW : 1875 - 1910), Thursday 22 August 1901, page 2

Wagga Wagga Advertiser (NSW : 1875 – 1910), Thursday 22 August 1901, page 2

One question, long in my mind, is why both Mary and Bridget each named a daughter Louisa as it’s not a traditional name in their families. One thought was it might have been the name of the ship they were on, but further research eliminated that possibility too.

The Widdup family lived and worked in Urana. Bridget helped establish the Catholic church there and oral history from Irish relatives recalled that she had Mass said in her house. Husband John was heavily involved with establishing the Urana school. He was also poundkeeper and after his early death (not registered) in 1876, Bridget became poundkeeper – another Trove discovery. In 1901 Bridget was accepted for the Old Age Pension, a little surprising given her land-holdings.

Riverine Herald (Echuca, Vic. : Moama, NSW : 1869 - 1954), Tuesday 21 March 1876, page 3

Riverine Herald (Echuca, Vic. : Moama, NSW : 1869 – 1954), Tuesday 21 March 1876, page 3

Photograph of Bridget's grave in the Urana Cemetery. Pauleen Cass c2002.

Photograph of Bridget’s grave in the Urana Cemetery. Pauleen Cass c2002.

Over the years Bridget purchased several plots of land in the Urana area, and seems to have taught herself some basic literacy as her signature is found on her husband’s probate documents.

Bridget and John are buried in separate areas of the Urana cemetery, reflecting their religious differences.

And yes, I’m waiting (im)patiently for an upcoming Trove release from the Wagga Wagga Express which tantalisingly says “Mrs. Bridget Widdup, a colonist of 55 years, who landed in…”. Will Trove pull the cat out of the bag again, and give me another pivotal clue?

I’d also dearly love to make contact with any of Bridget O’Brien Widdup’s descendants. I’s also love to see a photo of Bridget  – I have photos to share of her two closest sisters, Mary and Nora, and lots of the family story in Ireland as well.