Sunday, 13 June 2021

Thomas Jean Payn

 It has been interesting to see how many Payn family matches I have in my DNA- and also where they are 'missing' in this family line. I have oodles of second cousins in our New Zealand line, descended from my great-grandfather Francis Davis Payn (1854-1929), and also several from his father Thomas's siblings. But surprisingly, none from his own siblings have shown up. 

However, all has become clear as I have delved more deeply into this family line from the Island of Jersey. Francis Davis had six siblings, but of these, three died as very young children. A fourth appears to have remained single, at least until the 1911 census when he was aged 52. The remaining two became mariners. Of these, John died in 1881 at sea, aged about 28. I am not certain yet whether he had married or had any descendants. The remaining brother, Thomas Jean (John) also died at sea, in 1893, as a ship's captain. It's this Thomas Jean whose life I will tell a little more about here.

Thomas Jean Payn was the first child born to Thomas Payn and Elizabeth Mourant. He was born on 2 February 1848, and was baptised on 3 February 1848 in St Martin's Church, Jersey.

He appears in the 1851 census of Jersey in St Martin's parish, aged 3, living with his parents and a baby sister Eliza J. In the 1861 census he is still living at home, as a 13 year old son who is a sailor. He has three younger brothers living at home:- John, 8, and Francis Davis, 6, who are both scholars, and Helier who is 3. By the time of the 1871 census, Thomas Jean is no longer recorded as living at home, though his two brothers John and Francis D are both described as Mariners, and his father Thomas is listed as a Ship Carpenter.

In January 1876 Thomas is recorded as receiving his certificate of competency as a Master in the Merchant Service.

The following year, on 9 August 1877, he married Mary Elizabeth Payn in St Mary's Parish. She was the daughter of Charles Payn, and it appears Thomas and Mary were first cousins. In his marriage entry, Thomas is described as being "Capitaine au Long Cours".

Hilda Selina, a daughter, was born to Thomas and Mary Elizabeth on 29 February 1884, and was baptised on 9 March 1884 at the house of her parents. Her baptism is recorded in the French Wesleyan rather than the Anglican register. 

On 7 March 1884, Thomas made a will. He was residing at No.1 Brighton Rd in the parish of St Helier's, and he bequeathed his whole personal estate to his wife Mary Elizabeth Payn, who was also named as sole executrix of his will. His signature is appended.

In 1881 we find Thomas J Payn on a crew list for the ship Gryalva, based out of Liverpool. He joined his present ship on 11 January 1881 as a Mate, and it is recorded on the crew list that he succeeded as Master in Benin on 4 April 1881. He then left this ship in Liverpool on 10 July 1881.

Sadly, Thomas Jean lost his life at sea, in 1893, and this is recorded on the family headstone, in St Martin's Parish, Jersey,  as:

'comme aussi de
Capt Thomas Jean Payn
perdu en mer
dans l'année 1893
dans sa 46ème année.'

There are documents in the Jersey Archive dealing with the affairs of Thomas Jean's parents, Thomas Payn and Elizabeth Mourant. It appears that as the eldest son, Thomas Jean inherited Les Ruettes, and that after his death, his daughter Hilda Selina Payn, became the sole inheritor. On 11 July 1908, Hilda entered in a contract to sell Les Ruettes to George Le Masurier for £290.

In 1909 his widow, Mary Elizabeth, is listed as being admitted to the hospital/workhouse on the island for a short period.

His daughter, Hilda Selina Payn, emigrated to New Zealand at some stage, and was known by the cousins as "Cousin Hilda". She is found listed on a passenger list for the ship Rangitata that departed from Southampton in 1931, a single woman aged 47. She arrived in Wellington on 26 November 1931, though I am not certain if this was her only voyage.

Tuesday, 8 June 2021

The Malone family of Ballinadrideen

For many years, I had put my Irish genealogy in the 'too hard' basket, and hadn't realised how many records had become freely available on the internet for Irish family history research. The drought broke a few years ago when I was eventually able to work out where in Co Limerick my Riordan family came from. Then last year in lockdown, I finally understood that with civil registration records online, I could trace my 'more recent' Malone family from Ballinadrideen, Co Cork. 

My great-grandmother, Margaret Riordan, married my great-grandfather Jeremiah Malone in Ballylanders Parish, Co Limerick, in February 1868.

I am not sure exactly where Jeremiah Malone was living immediately prior to his marriage, or where he was born c1826, but there was a Malone family in Ballyfeerode Parish adjacent to Ballylanders. There was also an 'earlier' Malone family in Ballinadrideen. I don't know how the two Malone families might be connected, though both had a 'Maurice'.

Sometime soon after their marriage, Margaret and Jeremiah were living in the townland of Ballinadrideen  in Ballyhea Parish, not far from Charleville. That is where they lived for the rest of their lives, eventually bringing up a family of eight children.

The first child born in the family was Bridget, in December 1868. By 1893 Bridget had moved to New Zealand when she appears on the Selwyn electoral roll in time for the first election in NZ where women could vote. She had come to live in Charing Cross, near Darfield in Canterbury, presumably to support the young family of her Uncle, Patrick Riordan, when his wife Mary became ill and later died of consumption. Bridget later moved to Taranaki where her younger sister Margaret was living with her young family. In 1917 Bridget married a widower, John Barrett Norris, and then moved to Tututawa onto a farm in very rugged and isolated hill country. Interestingly, I have numerous Norris family DNA matches, so the marriage can't have been 'random', and there must have been a Norris/Malone connection previously, probably in Ireland.

John Malone was the second child born in 1869, just a year after his older sister, and he was the eldest son. In the 1901 census John was still living in the family home in Ballinadrideen, along with his parents and four of his younger siblings. He could read and write, and also knew Irish and English. Margaret died in 1904, and Jeremiah in 1906, and the farm was then inherited by his younger brother Maurice, so in the 1911 census, John is listed as single, and a brother of the head of family. I know nothing more about him until his death aged 71 years is recorded in 1942, on the main street of Rath Luirc (Charleville). A cousin, William Leo, was with him when he died. 

The third child in the family was Maurice, who was born in November 1871. In 1914 he married Bridget Casey at Ardpatrick, and this marriage has been recorded above his baptism register entry in the Ballyhea register.

Maurice was the brother who had inherited after the death of his father Jeremiah.

As far as I can tell, Maurice and Bridget never had any children, and Maurice was still living on the farm in Ballinadrideen when he died aged 86, widowed, and still described as a farmer. There is a family story that Maurice fell off the roof when thatching, and the injuries recorded on his death registration would fit with that.

The fourth Malone child was Mary who was born in 1874. Again, we find her marriage, to Michael O'Reilly in 1913, recorded on her baptism entry. They were married in Ballyhea Parish, but I don't know where they lived after their marriage, or if they had any children. There is more to discover...

Margaret Mary Malone
The fifth Malone child, born in January 1876, was my grandmother, Margaret. She too emigrated to New Zealand and lived at first in Charing Cross. She married Martin Riordan in 1908, and together they had seven children, including my father James Kevin. They farmed at Hurford Rd, Omata for a while, but then moved into New Plymouth.

The sixth Malone child was Patrick Malone, born in 1877. He was the third Malone sibling to come to New Zealand, again first arriving in Charing Cross. We can see all three Malone children mentioned in a death notice in the NZ Tablet, 6 October 1904, when their mother dies in Ireland.

 Patrick Malone suffered from sciatica. He was called up for WW1 service and his 'employer' Martin Riordan, appealed on medical grounds. The appeal was rejected, though in the event, Patrick only served for a short period at the quartermaster's stores in Featherston before he was granted a Certificate of Leave by a medical board.

After the war it seems that Patrick probably lived again in Canterbury rather than Taranaki, and it seems likely he is the Patrick Malone who died in 1958 and is buried at Ruru Cemetery. (Contact me via a comment if you want to know more about my evidence for this!)

Hanoria (Nan, Nanno, Norah) was the seventh child born to Jeremiah and Margaret Malone, in 1879. In the 1911 census she was still living in Ballinadrideen in the family home, as the farmer's sister. It isn't certain whether Nan lived all her life in Ballinadrideen, but when her brother Maurice died, she was the witness who was present at his death in Ballinadrideen. She then went to live with the family of a niece in Rathkeale for several years until she died.

Jeremiah Malone was the eighth and youngest child born in the family in 1882. In September 1910 Jeremiah married Catherine Crowley in Clonakilty, and his profession was described as a 'horticultural instructor'. By the time of the 1911 census, Jeremiah and Catherine were living in Rathkeale and their first child was born later that year. There were to be four children born to that family. Sadly, Jeremiah jnr died aged just 52, after suffering from influenza and pneumonia for just four days. 

I was sent a copy of a most wonderful tribute for Jeremiah, published a few weeks after his death in the Limerick Leader. It said he was familiarly known to all as ‘the Bee Man’. The writer described how she had gardened under his guidance for the last 17 years, and had managed to turn a hillside with shallow soil into an orchard bearing good fruit. He had helped plant plum and apple trees, and shown how to prune and spray them each season, taking into account the limitations of soil and conditions. 

It is with Jeremiah and Catherine's line of the family that I have had some DNA matches, and I have had contact with two second cousins who are his grandchildren, now both living in the US.

Bridget and Margaret Malone

 Last year, 2020, I had hoped to visit Ballinadrideen and Ballyhea Parish, but in the event it wasn't possible. I hope that one day somebody in the family does get to visit. 

Monday, 7 June 2021

Our Payn Family in the Jersey Censuses

Recently I have been tracing my Payn family in the census documents for Jersey in the Channel Islands. My 2X-great-grandparents were Thomas Payn and Elizabeth Mourant, who had seven children. As it turns out, most if not all their living descendants are from our numerous New Zealand branch, descended from their fifth child Francis Davis Payn, who was born in 1854.

Thomas Payn and Elizabeth Mourant

In the 1841 census (found on Ancestry, as are all the census documents quoted below) we find both Elizabeth and Thomas living in St Martin Parish, Jersey, before their marriage. This census has a simpler format than later ones, and no house names or addresses are listed, and no relationships to the head of the household are described.

Elizabeth, 19, is living in a household with another Elizabeth Mourant, who is probably her mother, and she is described as a School Mistress. Her father is not listed at home on census night, and it seems likely he was the Timothée Mourant buried  on May 8th 1838 in St Martin's, (although we can't yet be sure that burial wasn't his father's, as both men had the same name). There are several others present who might be her siblings- Mary, 17, who is a Mantua Maker; John, 15, who is a Carpenter; and Jane who is 13. 

Thomas, 24, is described as a carpenter, and is living at home with his parents Francis and Susan Payn. Several potential siblings are also in the same house- Charles, 28, who is a farmer; Sophia, 26; Susan, 18; and Francis, 16, who is a tailor.

One thing already obvious from these census documents is their very "English" nature. Wives are generally given the same surname as their husband. This differs from the family's church records which are often in French, and where women are generally given their maiden names. For example, this is the 1817 baptism record for Thomas Payn, where his father's name is given as François, and his mother is listed as Susanne De Gruchy.

Thomas Payn and Elizabeth Mourant married in April 1847 in the parish of St Helier. They are found in the 1851 census living in the parish of St Martin. Again, no house name or address is listed, but this time, the relationship with the Head of the house is described. Thomas is 33, and a carpenter, and Elizabeth is 29, is listed as Elizabeth Payn, and at this stage she has no occupation named. There are two children, a son Thomas who is 3, and a daughter Eliza J who is 1. The birthplace for all the Payn family members is given as St Martin, Jersey. There are five other people listed in the household. There is Francis Mourant, an aunt; Eliza J Quethville, a lodger of independent means; Felix Laurens, a widowed farm labourer from France, and two children, Placedie and Marie Laurens, who were both born in St Martin.

By the time of the 1861 census, Thomas and Elizabeth are listed with four sons in their household. The house they are living in is called Les Ruettes, and it is in the village of Faldouet in the parish of St Martin. Indeed the family today have a postcard of this house, organised and sent by "Cousin Hilda". The house is still standing in Jersey, and I was lucky enough to visit it after being given information about it by my cousin Maurice Payn.

Les Ruettes, Village of Faldouet, Parish of St Martin, Jersey

In the 1861 census, Thomas is listed as a sailor, and Elizabeth has her maiden name of Mourant used. The four sons listed are Thomas (John or jnr?) aged 13 and a sailor; John aged 8, and Fr Davis aged 6, both scholars; and Helier aged 3, described as a child. In this census, Thomas's birthplace is listed correctly as St Saviour, and the others are listed as being born in St Martin. There are no lodgers or workers in the house in this census. 

The four sons listed on this 1861 census fails to tell a tale of child mortality. Between the time of the 1851 and 1861 census, three children of Thomas and Elizabeth have died, and they are listed on the family tombstone. Eliza Jane, who was on the 1851 census, died in 1852, aged 1 year and 11 months. Another Francis Davis was born after the census in 1851, and died November 18th 1854, aged 3 years and 3 months. (Just a day after his death, our great-grandfather was born, and was given the same names of Francis Davis.) A second girl also died in May 1857, named Elizabeth Jane, aged only 1 year and 3 months.

By the time of the 1871 census, three sons are at home. Thomas, aged 54, is now listed as a ship's carpenter, and Elizabeth, aged 49, is again given the occupation of School Teacher (and the surname Payn). Both John, 18, and Francis D, 16, are listed as Mariners, and Helier, aged 13, is said to be a Shoe Maker. The family is still living in Les Ruettes, in the village of Faldouet.

In the 1881 census, there are only three people in the household, which is listed as being in Faldouet. Elizabeth is listed as a widow and a Schoolmistress. (We know from the memorial stone in St Martin's parish, that Thomas died in 1874 aged 57 years.) Her son Helier is aged 23, unmarried, and a Shoemaker. There is one lodger, Mary Carrel, who is aged 59 and a Dressmaker. We know that Francis Davis left home and voyaged to New Zealand, arriving on the ship Mermaid in 1874.

Elizabeth died in February 1890 aged 69 years, and is buried in St Martin's Parish. Helier did not inherit Les Ruettes, as we have evidence from court records that Cousin Hilda, the only child of Thomas Jean, sailor, who was the oldest child of Thomas and Elizabeth, sold it as owner with her mother, in 1908.

From then on, it appears that we can trace Helier as living in different households. In 1891 he is living in Trinity Parish with the family of Eugène F Laurent, who was an agricultural labourer from France, and Helier is still listed as being single, and a shoe maker. Perhaps this Laurent is related to the widowed Felix Laurens, also from France, who was a lodger with the Payn family in the 1851 census?

In the 1901 census there is a Helier Payn aged 40 living in the household of Joshua Mourant as a servant and as a farm labourer, whose birthplace was St Martin's, Jersey. And in the 1911 census we find a Helier Payn, aged 52, and single, birthplace of St Martin's, Jersey, living with the family of Alfred Gaudin aged 28, as a servant and 'Cowman on Farm', in the parish of St Saviour. (It seems that Elizabeth Mourant might have been a Gaudin descendant though this has yet to be confirmed, so perhaps these were cousins that Helier was living with.) Obviously more work needs to be done to be certain that this Helier, is 'our' Helier, but the details of age and parish of birth make it seem likely.

In my DNA matches I have been surprised to find no matches that look like they come from the siblings of my great-grandfather Francis Davis Payn.  But it appears from the censuses that perhaps our numerous descendants via his marriage to Johanna Scettrini, are the only ones that exist at this level of the family. (By contrast, there are known distant cousin matches from a sibling of Thomas Payn.)

Three siblings died as young children, but Francis Davis had three other brothers who lived to adulthood. It will be interesting to check the 1921 census when it is released to see whether Helier is still alive, and where he might be living. Perhaps he neither married nor had descendants. We know that the eldest sibling, Thomas Jean, had one daughter, our 'cousin Hilda', but he died at sea in 1893. Cousin Hilda also emigrated to New Zealand, but died in Tamahere near Hamilton as a single woman without any children. John who was born in 1852, died at sea in 1881 when he was aged about 29 years old, and at present, I don't know if he married or had children. There is more to learn and follow up...

With so much Irish ancestry, with census data in general limited to the 1901 and 1911 censuses, it has been quite a novelty to be able to follow family members through from the 1941 to the 1911 censuses in Jersey. It has been interesting to see how the format has changed over the years, and what kind of information has been obtained. It is also interesting to wonder about the differences in the 1911 census questions between Jersey and Ireland.

Thursday, 8 April 2021

Fr John Riordan- PP at Ross

John Riordan, my great-uncle, was born 14 January 1883 at Kirwee, in Canterbury, New Zealand. He was the first child born to Patrick Riordan, from Co Limerick, Ireland; and Mary Burke, who was born in Perth, Scotland.  He was to become the elder brother of five siblings:  Martin (1884) - my grandfather, Patrick Joseph (1886), James (1887), Bridget (1889) and Annie (1891).
He faced early sorrow in his life with the death of his mother Mary, aged just 29 years, on 26 March 1892, of consumption. John was aged only 9 at the time. (From Press, Volume XLIX, Issue 8173, 16 May 1891, Page 3)

By 1906, John Riordan (aged 23) was a student at Holy Cross College in Mosgiel, where he is recorded as receiving a prize for Junior Latin. John appears in a photo taken at the seminary in Mosgiel in 1906, at the left hand end of the third row. This photo was reproduced on the NZ Tablet front cover, April 30th, 1975.
In 1911, John Riordan had to face the deaths of two more close family members. 
 His youngest sister, Annie Riordan, was educated as a boarder at Sacred Heart in Christchurch, where her musical talent was evident. At the young age of 15, she had entered the convent there, where her name in religion was Sr Majella. Just a few years later she succumbed to the Consumption she had 'inherited' from her mother as a baby. I was told by Sr Martina Burke RNDM, a cousin, that Annie’s brother John came up from the Seminary when she was in her last illness, and was called in the early hours when her end was near. She said that he ran over to the convent without even doing up his shoelaces. It is significant that Dean O’Donnell from Ashburton was one of the clergy present in the sanctuary at Annie's funeral. He was a first cousin to John’s father, Patrick Riordan, and there are various indications that he had a lot to do with the Riordan family over the years at Charing Cross. As well as knowing him as a cousin, John would have been very well aware of how he conducted his priestly ministry.
Less than two weeks after the death of his sister, John was further faced with the death of his father, Patrick. In his will, Patrick made specific, careful provision for John’s studies towards the priesthood. John was given the sum of £500 for his own use absolutely. Trustees were directed to make provision of “a sufficient sum for the completion of the education for the priesthood of my son John, which sum shall be in addition to the sum of £500 he had already been bequeathed.”

On 13 December 1914 John Riordan was ordained to the priesthood at the Cathedral in Christchurch during a Pontifical High Mass. Fr O’Donnell of Ashburton was one of the priests assisting in the sanctuary. In the evening, Father Riordan assisted in Vespers and solemn Benediction. Fr Riordan celebrated his first Mass in the Convent Chapel of the Sisters of the Missions, the convent where his youngest sister Annie had taken her vows and died in 1911. (NZ Tablet, 17 December 1914).

 On Sunday 20 December 1914, John celebrated Mass at his ‘native parish’ of Darfield, and gave his blessing to the congregation. He also preached ‘an instructive sermon’ to the large congregation for evening devotions. (Darfield, NZ Tablet, 14 January 1915)
There are numerous references to Rev Fr John Riordan as priest on the Papers Past website. 
In January 1916 he was transferred from his first parish of Ahaura to Ross, which is where he served until he died in 1925. There were times recorded when he was part of various clerical affairs, such as the visit by Bishop Brodie in May 1916. Several priests, including Fr Riordan, had gone to Otira to greet the Bishop, and on arrival at the railway station a large gathering was present to welcome him. In January 1920, Fr Riordan went with a group of priests to Christchurch for a retreat.
He is listed as the celebrant for numerous weddings, at varied places on the West Coast, including Ross, Hokitika, Greymouth, Reefton, Kumara, Kanieri, and Okarito. This particular wedding was that of Mr Patrick Nolan, ‘a well known settler of Okuru’, to Miss Johanna Eggeling also of Okuru. In this instance the bride carried a ‘beautiful prayer book, the gift of Rev Father Riordan.’ (Grey River Argus, 5 September 1918, Page 3.)
Okuru is in fact particularly far south even by West Coast standards, being south of Haast. The account below from 1922, of a ‘periodical visit to the wild southern districts beyond Ross’, makes it clear it was a ‘rough journey’, though Father Riordan enjoyed ‘kindly hospitality of the people’ along the way. (NZ Tablet, 14 September 1922, Page 31)

It is also often recorded when Fr Riordan conducted funerals. In an account of the funeral of Mr Michael Moye, we read that, “Father Riordan, who was untiring in his attention to the deceased all through his illness, officiated at the funeral.”
John’s brother James Riordan died in France on 11th October 1916, of wounds received in action. The Plaque and Scroll sent to families who lost a soldier in the War was sent to Rev J Riordan, Ross, West Coast. Then on 29 August, 1921, his brother Martin (my grandfather) died in New Plymouth Hospital, aged 36 years, leaving his widow Margaret, with six young children. Soon after this, we read that Fr John Riordan had ‘holiday leave’ in the North Island, and that Father Gallagher was doing duty at Ross in his absence. Fr John had returned to Ross by early November.
Unexpectedly, in mid-April 1925, and to the great sadness of the people of the parish of Ross, Fr John Riordan suffered a ‘paralytic seizure’, never regaining consciousness, and he died a few days later on 18 April 1925. The Bishop, and John’s sister Bridget from Christchurch, were both present when he died. (Press, Volume XI, Issue 18361, 20 April 1925, Page 10)
Much was written about Fr John Riordan when he died, but perhaps one of the most moving pieces about him came from his first parish of Ahaura. This article describes him as a ‘devoted and earnest priest’. It says he was ‘full of missionary zeal’ when he left ‘to take charge of the far-flung parish of Ross, where his priestly ministrations endeared him not only to his own devoted people but to many outside the fold.’ It continues- ‘His simplicity of character, his genial disposition, and kindness of manner won for him the admiration of all with whom he came in contact during his sacred ministry.’ It finishes by saying that- ‘“Father John” of Ross is dead, but his memory will linger long in many a heart.’ (Ahaura Notes, NZ Tablet, Volume LII, Issue 16, 6 May 1925.)

An account of his funeral in the Hokitika Guardian (The Guardian, Hokitika, 22 April 1925, page 3) gives a great level of detail about the day. The account starts by saying: “The wave of sorrow and regret that passed over the West Coast when the news went forth of the death of Rev. Father Riordan on Saturday afternoon, was exemplified yesterday when the largest gathering of people that had ever assembled in Ross township, gathered for the purpose of paying a last tribute of respect to the memory of the deceased priest, whose funeral took place to Ross cemetery.” People came from all over the Coast for his funeral, from Okuru in the south to Reefton in the north. Two bishops and twenty-two priest were present, and ‘the celebrant of the Mass was the Very Rev Dean O’Donnell (Ashburton) a relative of the deceased priest.’ The ‘beautiful Gregorian music of the Mass, including the soul-stirring “Dies Irae” was chanted by a choir of priests.’ Bishop Liston blessed the Catafalque. In the procession to the cemetery the altar boys and priests preceded the bishops, followed by the Catholic School children and Sisters of Mercy. Next were the children from Ross State School. The coffin was carried in relays by men parishioners, and it was followed by a large gathering and many cars.
A year later, anniversary celebrations held in memory of the late Father Riordan. First there was a requiem Mass before many assembled at the “New Ross” cemetery to unveil a memorial to him.
The memorial was a 'tribute of love from his parishioners and friends'. The memorial is in an impressive position on this hilltop cemetery, with a view looking out to the ocean beyond.
In the beautifully kept historic church in Ross, there was a sign explaining that the Stations of the Cross were in memory of Rev Fr John Riordan.

(Rev Fr) John RIORDAN

 b 14 January 1883 in Kirwee, Canterbury, NZ
d 18 April 1925, in Ross, West Coast, NZ
while Parish Priest 
Requiescat In Pace 
(Please contact me via a comment if you are interested in learning more about Fr John Riordan: I do have more references.) 
Ooops something went wrong with the formatting in the published post. I don't want to try and fix it in case I delete it!!


Tuesday, 9 June 2020

James Lalor- from Co Kilkenny

I know a lot about my maternal great-grandfather James Lalor on the West Coast in New Zealand. He was active on various local boards and committees, and there are many references to him on Papers Past. I am connected with various lines of his Lalor descendants in New Zealand via DNA.

But I know very little about his life in Ireland before he emigrated. I know he came from Co Kilkenny, and from his death registration I know that his father was John Lalor and his mother's name was Mary. I don't have a more precise location for him in Ireland, and nor do I know his mother's maiden name. Nor does Ancestry provide any suggestions for further ancestors via ThruLines.

One thing I have learned about him from an article in Entre Nous- a parliamentary journal (16 Nov 1901)- is that he was a "blood relation to two men of celebrity".  He was a “full cousin” of the celebrated Irish orator Richard Lalor Shiel; and Peter Lalor, later speaker of Victorian Legislative Assembly, was a ‘distant relation’. (Our James was said to be in Bendigo when the Eureka riots took place at Ballarat.)

James Lalor was clearly a man who had been educated when growing up in Co Kilkenny. He started his career in the Post Office, he managed a large butchery shop in Melbourne, and he was a Parliamentary Messenger in New Zealand. He was born sometime between 1837 and 1844, and seems to have headed off to Australia for the goldrushes when he was still quite young.

 Using Google, I found a free ebook of “The Speeches of the Right Honourable Richard Lalor Shiel.” This had information about Richard Lalor Shiel’s connection with the Lalor family. He married ‘the daughter of Mr John Lalor of Crenagh, in the county of Tipperary, the widow of Mr Edward Power, of Gurteen’, and thus became connected by property with the county of Tipperary.

There is further information about Richard Lalor Shiel in a wikisource database that states that Richard Lalor Shiel was born 17 Aug 1791, several decades before our James Lalor. His first wife died in 1822, and in "1830 he married Mrs Anastasia Power, the daughter and coheiress of John Lalor, esq., of Crenagh. Co Tipperary."

There is information on the NUI Galway website about landed estates that includes information about the Lalor and Power-Lalor families. In 1837 Richard Lalor Shiel is recorded as proprietor of Long Orchard in Co Tipperary.

At this stage we can only wonder at how our James Lalor's father John Lalor is connected to “John Lalor, esq, of Crenagh, Co Tipperary” and Anastasia, the “daughter and coheiress of John Lalor esq.” Whether John Lalor, the father of our James, is a son or nephew of that John Lalor esq remains to be discovered, but presumably the connection is reasonably close to gain a ‘full cousin’ description.

I have discovered that there is a genealogy manuscript in the NLI: “Reference #27790: A pedigree of the family of Lalor of Cregg and Longorchard, Co. Tipperary, compiled by Thomas Lalor Cooke, of Birr 1859. Ms.1674” However, I don't know whether it contains anything that would shed light on our James' ancestry and location. I approached a couple of researchers in 2019 about getting a 'look-up' of this document, but it seemed they were all very busy with bigger requests. Then I thought I myself might manage to look up this document in July this year while I was in Ireland- but of course such travel was not to be this year.

Griffith's Valuations might provide another avenue to narrow down where James Lalor was from, but the name John Lalor was not uncommon, and I currently don't have information to narrow down the locality. I am wondering whether the fact that James always just gave Co Kilkenny as his place of origin perhaps indicates he comes from somewhere close to the City of Kilkenny, in which case Dunmore might be a possible townland. Or maybe he is from a townland closer to Longorchard in Co Tipperary.

 I am not sure that I will ever solve this 'brick wall'- but other brick walls in Ireland have eventually tumbled down, so you never know!

Monday, 8 June 2020

Our Christopher Rowland- a convict?

When I first starting researching my family history I heard a family story that Aunty Edith told that there was a convict in the family. It didn't take long to find out that Catherine Rowland's father was Christopher Rowland, and there was a convict called Christopher Rowland. What I wasn't so sure about for many years, was whether this convict was actually 'our' Christopher Rowland.

Somebody told me you needed to find something like a ticket-of-leave number on a wedding registration to prove a convict link. I never found that, but in 2020 lockdown I believe I have discovered a compelling trail of evidence that shows our Christopher was indeed a convict.

Christopher Rowland was tried and convicted for ‘stolen copper’ on 30 July, 1834, in Cork City, Ireland. He was aged 25, could read and write, and was married with two male children. He was a gardener’s labourer, and farm-labourer. He was sentenced to seven years, and was transported from Ireland on the ship “Hero” that arrived in New South Wales on 31 August, 1835.

He was granted a ticket of leave, No 39/2105, on 11 November 1839, and he was allowed to remain in the district of Braidwood. Braidwood is a town located on the Kings Highway linking Canberra with Batemans Bay. It is approximately 200 kilometres south west of Sydney, 60 kilometres inland from the coast, and fifty-five from Canberra.

When I first found this ticket of leave, I doubted this convict could be the same Christopher Rowland who married Margaret Barnall in 1843, as Braidwood is a long way from Melbourne.

However, I then found two more documents that showed how Christopher Rowland the convict was able to move to Melbourne in 1840.

Christopher Rowland was granted a Ticket of Leave Passport, No 40/186 in May 1840, and he was “allowed to proceed to Port Phillip in the employ of J Hawdon Esq for twelve months”, on the recommendation of J Hawdon Esq.

Joseph Hawdon, the employer of Christopher Rowland, had an article published about him in the Australian Dictionary of Biography in 1966. He first settled near Bateman’s Bay in 1834. In 1836 he began overlanding cattle to Port Philip (Melbourne). In about 1839 “He now made his headquarters in Melbourne, where he lived on his property, Banyule, at Heidelberg.”

So with the ticket-of-leave passport recommended by Joseph Hawdon, Christopher Rowland the convict was able to move from Braidwood, NSW, to Heidelberg, Melbourne, in 1840.

I have not found another Christopher Rowland in the area, and I think it is highly likely that this Christopher Rowland, the convict, is indeed the father of Catherine Rowland, whose abode at her birth in 1845 was Heidelberg.

-Convict details originally obtained from Auckland Public Library, AO Fiche #714, Printed indents 1835 (X637) P118-119 
-Hawdon, Joseph (1813-1871) by Alan Gross, published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 1 (MUP), 1966

-Biographical Database of Australia- images of ticket of leave (1839)and ticket of leave passport (1840)


Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Ann PHILP- from Scotland

Ann Philp is my one great-great-grandparent from Scotland. She was born around 1840, in Ceres, Fife, (estimated from the 1851 census), though we have not been able to find her baptism entry.

She married Martin Burke, (originally from Co Mayo in Ireland), in February 1861, in Perth, with her residence at the time given as Abernethy. Her parents are named on her marriage entry as Thomas Philp, ploughman, and Isabella Philp, whose maiden name was Nicholson. From the 1851 census we find that Thomas Philp was born in Strathmiglo, and Isabella Nicholson was born in Ceres.

(copied from microfilm in FHC)
 Ann was the sixth child in a family that had 10 children that we know of, some of whom we know were born in Ceres, Fife, others in Dunbog, Fife, and the youngest, Fanny (Euphemia) was born in Abernethy. Ann was said to be 11 in the 1851 census, and a scholar. When her mother Isabella died in Abernethy in 1855, Ann was listed amongst her children, and was said to be 15.

By the time of the 1861 census, Ann had married Martin Burke. However, rather than appearing in the Burke household in the census, she is listed as being in Abernethy with her father Thomas, as housekeeper at the Balvaird Cot House. Her youngest sister Euphemia is also there, aged 12, as well as another female child, Isabella Forrester aged 10. (I don’t know how/if Isabella fits into the family at this stage.)

The following year, on 21 August 1862, Ann Philp became a mother, with her firstborn child being Mary Burke, my great-grandmother. The young family were living in the Parish of Inchture at this time.

Mary Burke was just a young child when the family of three embarked for Canterbury in New Zealand, and they arrived in the port of Lyttelton on the ship Mermaid, in February 1864. From the newspaper account of the voyage we read that:- During the voyage the passengers had the benefit of fine weather nearly all the way out, and, in their own language, “there was scarce one evening but they could dance on deck.” 

Ann gave birth to two more children in New Zealand. Ann Burke was born in December 1864, and a son Thomas was born in 1866.

The family were living in Burnham when Ann Philp died in March 1895, aged 53 years old. Her death entry says she died of cancer of the liver. However, her brother-in-law John Burke died just two months earlier of a cause also said to be cancer of the liver, so we must wonder whether in fact there was some infectious cause.

Ann was buried in the Darfield Catholic Cemetery in a group of four family graves, near her daughter Mary, her brother-in-law John Burke, and Mary’s husband Patrick Riordan. The four graves are amongst the oldest in the cemetery.

I’d like to acknowledge the help Maggie Gaffney (third cousin) has given me in my research about the Philp family, especially by sharing the 1851 census and the 1855 death entry for Isabella Philp nee Nicholson.