Two East Clare Families: Reddan & Liddy

I have posted two stories about the Reddans from Gortnaglogh, Parish of Kilseily, and the Liddy family of Ballydonaghan at Kilnoe Parish on my main blog, simply because of DNA connections. However, their story is also relevant to the East Clare Emigrants since each had family members who emigrated.

These are the links:

The Reddan Family of Gortnaglogh: Part 1

The Reddan and Liddy Families: Part 2

I’d be very interested in hearing from any descendants of these families, either in Ireland or in the USA or elsewhere.

I’m also curious how many east Clare descendants have had their DNA tested…feel free to contact me if you wish.

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 ( : 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 < (Death)

[iii] Indexes by the Society of Australian Genealogists.

[iv] “OBITUARY.” The Catholic Press (Sydney, NSW : 1895 – 1942) 13 Jan 1910: 29. Web. 12 Aug 2014 <;.

[v] “OBITUARY.” Freeman’s Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1850 – 1932) 13 Jan 1910: 16. Web. 12 Aug 2014 <;.

[vi] 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 <;.

Introducing the O’BRIEN family from Ballykelly, Broadford

mary obrienJust to set the scene with this new blog I’d like to introduce you to my East Clare ancestor, Mary O’BRIEN from the townland of Ballykelly, parish of Kilseily, town of Broadford.

You might think that finding “Mary O’Brien from County Clare” would pose a challenge to any researcher but I struck it lucky with a circular letter I posted out, back in 1987, to any relatives I could identify. You see where I was indeed fortunate was that Mary married a Bavarian man, George Mathias KUNKEL, which made name searching so much easier. I suspect I’d have been stymied if she’d married Michael Ryan, for example.

Anyway my circular letter found its way to one of George and Mary’s surviving grandchildren, Anne Kunkel. Anne was an absolute goldmine! Not only was she a grandchild but she had lived with George and Mary on their farm at the Fifteen Mile, near Murphys Creek, Queensland. She obviously knew her grandmother very well and she had so many stories to tell me about their lives, and also the relatives. Anne was that precious person, a reliable witness. All the bare-bones data I had from births, deaths and marriage indexes, which I might add were much more restricted in those days, were confirmed by Anne, with one exception: one child had been born Elizabeth but thereafter known as Louisa. What I did know from both the oral history and the certificates was that the O’Brien parents were Michael O’BRIEN and Catherine REDDAN.

The old kitchen area of the Kunkel farm at the Fifteen Mile.

The old kitchen area of the Kunkel farm at the Fifteen Mile.

The other precious thing Anne gave me was the gateway into the O’Brien ancestry. She could tell me Mary’s parents’ names, her siblings’ names, whether they emigrated and to where, as well as the women’s married names. You can imagine just how important all this was.

Anne told me that Mary emigrated with her sister Bridget O’BRIEN, that they’d been six months at sea and “had a job before ever they got here”.. You can read a recent post about how I may have found her emigration here.

Anne also knew that Bridget had married a man named John WIDDUP and lived in New South Wales.  I was lucky to have another unusual name to pursue and was able to order Bridget WIDDUP’s death certificate on which her son had provided Bridget’s place of birth as Broadford, Co Clare, even though he’d got her mother’s name incorrect. My Bavarian grandfather had only ever provided “County Clare” when asked that question for certificates.

Nora Garvey, photo from her great-granddaughter.

Nora Garvey, photo from her great-granddaughter.

And so the story unfolded. I was given the link to 4th cousins in Sydney, and thanks to work trips there I was able to meet with them. They held a treasure trove of family photographs, funeral cards and anecdotes. Their ancestor, Honora O’Brien, Mary’s sister, had remained in Ireland and married a man name John GARVEY from Ballydonaghan townland, Bodyke. During the 1886 evictions, Honora and John very nearly lost their home. Over the decades that followed a number of Honora’s children emigrated permanently or temporarily to the United States, but several also came to Sydney where their aunt Catherine was living.

Honora Garvey remained in Ireland throughout her long life. Her husband John pre-deceased her on 4 March 1888. Honora died, aged 76, on 12 January 1917 at Ballydonaghan townland and her son Denis was present at her death. She is buried in the old Bodyke cemetery, County Clare, and is remembered on the far side of the world in the stained glass windows of St Peter’s Church, Surry Hills. The windows were donated by her Australian-based family in her memory.

Catherine O’Brien, emigrated to Australia and married a man who was also from Broadford (Glenomera), Patrick HOGAN. The Hogan and Garvey families lived close to each other and maintained close family relationships over many decades, retaining knowledge of their kin in Ireland and America.

These stained glass windows in St Peter's Catholic Church, Surry Hills, Sydney commemorate the Garvey and Hogan parents' lives.

These beautiful stained glass windows in St Peter’s Catholic Church, Surry Hills, Sydney commemorate the Garvey (left) and Hogan (right) parents’ lives.

Meanwhile back in Ireland, sister Margaret O’Brien married William McNAMARA and settled in Killaderry townland in Broadford. Another sister, Ellen O’Brien, married Thomas KINNANE from Hurdleston townland (various spellings), Broadford. This couple, with children Tom, Michael and Mary, reportedly emigrated to New York. I haven’t spent much time trying to find this family but should add it to my research list.

One brother, John O’BRIEN, who was baptised in 1848, remains a mystery. Not only does he not feature in the oral history, I can find no trace of him beyond 1859/60 when he appears in the parish register as a witness to two baptisms. (The Broadford parish register is available on microfilm

The O'Brien land at Ballykelly.

The O’Brien land at Ballykelly.

Mary’s brother Thomas O’BRIEN remained in Ireland and inherited the family farm after his parents’ deaths. In due course it moved out of the family, a fact which can be traced through the Griffith Valuation Revisions. Thanks to the assistance of the local clergy I was put in touch with the man who owned it in 1992, and he generously showed me the land.

It’s easy to see just how important it is to get your message out there, and find a reliable person to share the oral history. And in case this all sounds too idyllic, let me tell you that my grandfather was George and Mary’s eldest grandchild and would have known them well. Although he lived next door to me all my life, I never heard any of this from him because he was disenfranchised from his family, and also I was probably caught up in my own pre-teen world.

The other significant aspect of the story is the importance of chain migration for the Irish, with one person in the family following another, as well as their determination to select which migration option best suited them.

If you would like to share your story here, please let me know. I promise not to harass everyone with requests.

The grave of George and Mary Kunkel at Murphys Creek, Qld

The grave of George and Mary Kunkel at Murphys Creek, Qld