James CLANCY of O’Brien’s Bridge and Charters Towers

The Northern Miner  9 September 1890, page 3

The Northern Miner 9 September 1890, page 3. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article77006943

Today’s emigrant from East Clare to Australia is James Clancy from O’Brien’s Bridge.

The initial “hit” on Trove was a simple death notice on 9 September 1890 published in The Northern Miner, from Charters Towers, far North Queensland:

CLANCY.—On the 30th August, at Charters Towers, James Clancy, of O’Brien’s Bridge, Co. Clare, Ireland, aged 37. [Melbourne and Sydney papers please copy.]

I wonder if the request for interstate papers to copy the notice indicates that James had relatives in either Victoria or New South Wales? Perhaps this is why it mentions his place of birth as well, enabling people to correctly identify him from others of the same name.

The Northern Miner  1 September 1890, page 3

The Northern Miner 1 September 1890, page 3 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article77006787

Somewhat strangely the death notice appears after the obituary in the same paper, which adds weight to my supposition that perhaps there were relations elsewhere.

The obituary makes no mention of James’s place of birth but talks of his place in the community. It’s interesting that they refer to him being a long-standing member of the Charters Towers community when he was only 37. James was the licenced publican for the Park Hotel in Mosman St, Charters Towers although only a couple of years earlier he was advertising that he was licensee of the newly-built Towers Hotel. Plainly he’d been doing quite well in the business, especially for a young man.

The Northern Miner Saturday 25 June 1887, page 1

The Northern Miner Saturday 25 June 1887, page 1. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article78587233

The emigration which appears to fit for James is one in 8 October 1883, on the La Hogue ex Plymouth on 7 July 1883 to Mackay in North Queensland[i]. The only real detail is that he was 30 years old which matches his age at death, so it’s difficult to be certain this is the correct one. What makes me wonder about this, though, is the paper’s reference to him being an “old resident”.

The Park Hotel, Charters Towers of which James Clancy was licencee. http://trove.nla.gov.au/version/194904367

The Park Hotel, Charters Towers of which James Clancy was licencee. http://trove.nla.gov.au/version/194904367

By cross-referring to the burials for the Charters Towers Pioneer cemetery, using the Australian Cemeteries Index and then looking at the online BDM for Queensland, it becomes clear that James married Susan Fagan in 1883.[ii] Also according to the indexes they had three children: Ann (1884), Mary Jane (1885) and James (1887). However little Ann predeceased her father and is also buried in the Charters Towers Pioneer cemetery.

The Northern Miner  25 September 1890, page 4

The Northern Miner 25 September 1890, page 4. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article77007210

It is sad to think that this young man’s hopes in Australia were dashed so soon after arrival but also tragic for his wife to be left with two little ones. It seems she remarried in 1892, to Alfred Bowry, as evidenced by the indexes for marriage and also children’s births. Her second husband also pre-deceased her.

James Clancy’s will is available through the Queensland State Archives ( Northern District 1890/34 Item ID 935767 Microfilm Z275).

Queensland may cover a large geographical area, but its population was quite small in those days so it’s quite common to find your family may have overlapped with someone else’s as with my Melvins, the Clancys and Bowrys.

Is this the same Towers Hotel? Image c1906 from John Oxley Library. http://trove.nla.gov.au/version/47944995

Is this the same Towers Hotel? Image c1906 from John Oxley Library. http://trove.nla.gov.au/version/47944995

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[i] http://archives.qld.gov.au/Researchers/ImmigrationIndexes/Documents/Assisted-Immigrants-1848-1912-C.pdf

[ii] Reference C737/1883 https://www.bdm.qld.gov.au/IndexSearch/querySubmit.m?ReportName=MarriageSearch

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