Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Beginning to look at my Irish family history

Until this week I had put my Irish research pretty much in the too-hard basket. Yesterday I started a four-week course at the Genealogical Society of Victoria on Irish family history. I have had a bit of a tinker in the past but I thought I would try to come to grips with the area with some guidance from experienced researchers.

Relatives I will be looking at:
Her  parents were William Smyth, a farmer, and Mary Cox according to her marriage certificate but Joseph Smyth and Ann according to her death certificate.

Her death certificate states she was born in Bailieborough, a town in the townland of Tanderagee in County Cavan in the province of Ulster and part of the Border Region.

In 1855 Margaret married John Plowright in Victoria. She died in 1897. I have a copy of her marriage and death certificates.

I have done some searching on Roots Ireland for Margaret's parents and family but without success.

When she arrived in Australia, Margaret went to stay with a cousin called John Hente. At least the surname looks like 'Hente' on the Assisted Migrant record; but the writing is hard to read and I have no other information about him.

  •  Ellen Murray, my husband's great great grandmother, born 1837 in Dublin Ireland. She also arrived on the Persian in 1854 with Margaret Smyth. It appears that the two became friends. Also on board was Bridget Murray age 24, also from Dublin, perhaps a sister.
Ellen's parents were George Murray, a glass blower, and Ellen Dony (writing hard to transcribe, perhaps Dory).

In 1856 Ellen married James Cross in Victoria. She died in 1901. I have a copy of her marriage and death certificates.

I have done some searching on Roots Ireland for Ellen's family without success. I have not been able to find out what happened to Bridget.
  • James Gordon Cavenagh is my third great grandfather. He was born 1766 in Innishannon, County Cork. He died in 1844 in Castle House, Wexford. In fact he lived mostly in Hythe, Kent, England. I have inherited quite a lot of family history information but have never looked at it properly.
  • Daniel Michael Paul Cudmore (1811 - 1891) and his wife Mary Cudmore née Nihill (1811 - 1893) were my great great great grandparents.

Daniel and Mary married on 15 January 1835 in County Limerick, not long before embarking for Australia on the John Dennison which left Liverpool on 12 February. Daniel was a Quaker but they married in the Church of Ireland at Drehidtarsna Church, County Limerick, two miles south-west of Adare.


Members of the Nihill family, including Mary's mother, Dymphna Nihill née Gardiner (1790 - 1866), were also aboard the John Dennison. 

Classified Advertising. (1835, June 12). The Hobart Town Courier (Tas. : 1827 - 1839), p. 3. Retrieved December 21, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4180594

Other members of the family emigrated about six months later including Mary's father Daniel James Nihill (1761 - 1846) with three of his daughters. They came on the James Pattison arriving in Sydney 7 February 1836 after a 91 day voyage from Cork, Ireland.. They then sailed on the Integrity which sailed from Sydney on 22 March 1836 and took 15 days to reach Hobart.

I have previously written about the re-interment of Daniel Nihill from the Protestant to the Catholic section of West Terrace cemetery.

The Nihill family came from Rockville House, Adare Parish in County Limerick.

Ritchie, Elsie B. (Elsie Barbara) (2000). For the love of the land : the history of the Cudmore family. E. Ritchie, [Ermington, N.S.W.] Page 54


Other members of the family have researched the Cudmores and the Nihills and most of it is included in the book For the love of the land: the history of the Cudmore family compiled by Elsie Ritchie in 2000. I haven't reviewed and understood the research as it concerns our Irish background.

I need to follow up the following obituaries that have been indexed by the Limerick City Library from the Limerick Chronicle:
  • Nihill Daniel Australia 29/05/1847 late of Barnalickey, near Adare
  • Nihill James Rockville, Adare. 29/07/1835
I also need to follow up the following information about Rockville House retrieved from a 2009 posting to an ancestry.com message board concerning the Vokes family:
Barnalick House ... was built shortly after 1784 when a James Nihill leased all 272 acres of "Baurnalicka" from Mary St. Leger. Nihill was a wealthy man who had leases for over 900 acres in Co. Limerick and Co. Clare. He built the house in the shape of a letter "T". He called the house "Rockville House". His eldest son Patrick lived on some family land in Co. Clare with his wife Prudence Dickson and their two daughters, Anne and Jane. Patrick died before his father in 1822 and when James died in 1831 the two daughters became heirs to all the lands including Barnalick. Anne married in 1814 a William Dodd and Jane married in 1829 a Thomas Davenport. Patrick had a younger brother, Daniel, who married in 1810 a Dymphna Gardener. He lived with his father James and no doubt looked after him in his old age. However when James died, Daniel had to move out of Barnalick and he and his family departed to Australia in 1835.
A survey done in 1840 gives an Anthony St. Leger as the owner of Barnalick estate with a Thomas Davenport and a Mrs. Dodd as the leaseholders under a Col. John Dickson as middleman.
Samuel Dickson is the middleman in 1850 in Griffith's Valuation and it must have been Samuel Dickson who employed Simon Vokes as Land Steward and placed Simon in residence in Barnalick House.


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