Thursday, December 31, 2015

To photograph or not to photograph ... that is the question: The gravesite of Walter John NORTHCOTE (1871-1954)

Today, my Mum and I visited Woronora Cemetery in southern Sydney. We visited the graves of my maternal grandparents, John Joseph WALTERS (1905-1970) and Lily Anne KINGSBURY (1902-1996), as well as my great Uncle Tom's grave, Thomas WALTERS (1909-1975), and my great Aunty Grace's grave, Grace O'LOGHLEN, nee WALTERS (1907-1992). For a separate blogpost about these graves, see The graves of three WALTERS siblings: John (1905-1970), Grace (1907-1992) and Thomas (1909-1975).

After finding the WALTERS' graves, we then went on to find the grave of Walter John NORTHCOTE (1871-1954), one of my father's uncles, my great-uncle. 
Walter John NORTHCOTE (1871-1954)


Before I went to the cemetery, I accessed the details of his  grave via the online search engine on the Wororona Cemetery website, called Finding loved ones. I also checked out his funeral notice in the Sydney Morning Herald and looked up the Australian Cemetery Index

The following details about his burial were available on the Wororona Cemetery website (Finding loved ones) about the grave of Walter John NORTHCOTE.


Online records of Walter John NORTHCOTE's grave.
 Died 17 June 1954
Roman Catholic Monumental Section 8, Grave no. 390, Woronora Cemetery


The online record above told me that Walter John NORTHCOTE was buried in the Roman Catholic Monumental Section 8 in Grave no. 0390 at Woronora Cemetery. His date of death was Thursday 17 June 1954 but his burial date is not included in these online grave records (above). However, his funeral notice on page 52 in the Sydney Morning Herald on Saturday 19 June 1954 notes that his funeral was held on Saturday 19 June 1954.

Walter John NORTHCOTE's funeral notice
Sydney Morning Herald, Saturday 19 June 1954, page 52



When I looked up Walter John NORTHCOTE's grave on the Australian Cemetery Index, the following information was provided. This information appears to indicate that his grave did not have a gravestone because the information is the same as the information on the cemetery's online information. That is, because there is no inscription like information, it appears that there is no inscription on his grave - probably no gravestone.


Information about Walter John NORTHCOTE's grave
Australian Cemetery Index


These online records, helped me to work out the date of his death and the location of his grave.

When we visited his grave (no. 0390 in the Roman Catholic Monumental Section 8 at Woronora Cemetery), there was no headstone or grave markings. I found it a bit disappointing and quite sad to find that his grave did not have a gravestone or any identifying information. However, we paid our respects by placing some flowers on the grave and took a photo of the gravesite. I felt a little bit weird taking photographs of a blank piece of grass but thought it was important to record his final resting places in some way. Although it appears to be a blank piece of grass, one of our ancestors lies below.

Walter John NORTHCOTE's gravesite at Woronora Cemetery
Died 17 June 1954
Roman Catholic Monumental Section 8, Grave no. 390


Despite having no gravestone, we were able to work out where his grave was located, based on the names and numbers of nearby graves. For example, Mary SIMPSON who died in 1954 was the grave next to Walter's grave (grave no. 0389, on the left of his grave). She died two days before Walter John NORTHCOTE.

Online records of Mary Simpson's grave at Woronora Cemetery. Died 15 June 1954
Roman Catholic Monumental Section 8, Grave no. 389



Mary Simpson's grave at Woronora Cemetery. Died 15 June 1954
Roman Catholic Monumental Section 8, Grave no. 389

Secondly, the next marked grave along (towards the right) was the grave of John Rosso who died in August 1955.

Online records of John Rossi's grave at Woronora Cemetery. Died 6 August 1955
Roman Catholic Monumental Section 8, Grave no. 394


John Rossi's grave at Woronora Cemetery
Died 6 August 1955
Roman Catholic Monumental Section 8, Grave no. 394


Thanks to the marked graves of Mary Simpson and John Rossi, we were able to work out the location of Walter John NORTHCOTE's unmarked grave.

Approximate location of Walter John NORTHCOTE's grave,
Woronora Cemetery, Sutherland, Sydney


So, what do you think? Is it worth photographing a gravesite without a headstone?






May they all rest in peace.



The graves of three WALTERS siblings: John (1905-1970), Grace (1907-1992) and Thomas (1909-1975)

Today, my Mum and I visited Woronora Cemetery in southern Sydney. We visited the graves of my maternal grandparents, John Joseph WALTERS (1905-1970) and Lily Anne KINGSBURY (1902-1996), as well as my great Uncle Tom's grave, Thomas WALTERS (1909-1975), and my great Aunty Grace's grave, Grace O'LOGHLEN, nee WALTERS (1907-1992), and her husband's grave.

John Joseph WALTERS, Grace WALTERS and Thomas Gregory WALTERS were the three children of John Joseph WALTERS (1871-1935) and Margaret FLEMING (1866-1939).



John Joseph WALTERS (1905-1970)


John ("Jack") Joseph WALTERS, my maternal grandfather. I remember him as a very friendly, family-focused man who also loved his garden. He was a great lifelong friend to his brother, Tom and was a lovely, fun-loving grandfather to us.

My "Grandfather Walters" died on 5 May 1970. On 8 May 1970, he was buried in the Roman Catholic Lawn Section no. 3 of Woronora Cemetery at Sutherland in Sydney in grave no. 165, next to his wife Lily Anne WALTERS, nee KINGSBURY (1902-1996).


John Joseph WALTERS' grave
Roman Catholic Lawn Cemetery no. 3, Grave no. 0165
Woronora Cemetery, Sutherland, Sydney


John Joseph WALTERS' grave information
Online search for Woronora Cemetery


John Joseph WALTERS' Death notice
Death notice in the Sydney Morning Herald, 6 May 1970


Lily Anne WALTERS, nee KINGSBURY (1902-1996)


Lily Anne WALTERS, nee KINGSBURY, my maternal grandmother, was a beautiful, wise and graceful woman who was kind and generous to all she knew and didn't know. She was and is a great inspiration to me.

My "Grandma Walters" died on 17 June 1996. On 20 June 1996, she was buried in the Roman Catholic Lawn Section no. 3 of Woronora Cemetery at Sutherland in Sydney in grave no. 165, next to her husband John Joseph WALTERS (1905-1970).

Lily Anne WALTERS' grave
Roman Catholic Lawn Cemetery no. 3, Grave no. 0165
Woronora Cemetery, Sutherland, Sydney


Lily Anne WALTERS grave information
Online search for Woronora Cemetery



John Joseph WALTERS and Lily Anne WALTERS' graves
Roman Catholic Lawn Cemetery no. 3, Grave no. 0165
Woronora Cemetery, Sutherland, Sydney


Approximate location of John Joseph WALTERS and Lily Anne KINGSBURY's graves,
Woronora Cemetery, Sutherland, Sydney



Grace WALTERS


Grace WALTERS, my great-aunt. I remember her as a talkative aunty who often went on day trips with my "Grandma Walters".

My "Aunty Grace" died on 1 January 1992. She was buried in the Roman Catholic Lawn Section no. 3 of Woronora Cemetery at Sutherland in Sydney in grave no. 0762, next to her husband Anthony O'LOGHLEN.


Grace O'LOGHLEN, nee WALTERS, grave
Roman Catholic Lawn Cemetery no. 3, Grave no. 0762
Woronora Cemetery, Sutherland, Sydney


Grace O'LOGHLEN, nee WALTERS' grave information
Online search for Woronora Cemetery

Anthony O'LOGHLEN

Anthony O'LOGHLEN, the husband of my great-Aunty Grace. I don't have a lot of strong memories of him as I was quite young when he died.

He died on 11 March 1972. He is buried in the Roman Catholic Lawn Section no. 3 of Woronora Cemetery at Sutherland in Sydney in grave no. 0762, next to his wife Grace O'LOGHLEN, nee WALTERS (1907-1996).


Anthony O'LOGHLEN's grave
Roman Catholic Lawn Cemetery no. 3, Grave no. 0762
Woronora Cemetery, Sutherland, Sydney


Anthony O'LOGHLEN's grave information 1972
Online search for Woronora Cemetery


Anthony O'LOGHLEN and Grace WALTERS' graves
Roman Catholic Lawn Cemetery no. 3, Grave no. 0762
Woronora Cemetery, Sutherland, Sydney


Approximate location of Anthony O'LOGHLEN and Grace WALTERS' graves,
Woronora Cemetery, Sutherland, Sydney

Thomas Gregory WALTERS



Thomas Gregory WALTERS, my great-uncle. I remember him as a loving uncle who was known for saying, "Take your time". He was generous, gentle and loved his family.

My "Uncle Tom" died on 2 May 1975. On 5 May 1970, he was buried in the Roman Catholic Lawn Section no. 3 of Woronora Cemetery at Sutherland in Sydney in grave no. 1532, not far from his brother (John Joseph WALTERS) and his sister (Grace O'LOGHLEN, nee WALTERS).


Thomas Gregory WALTERS' grave
Roman Catholic Lawn Cemetery no. 3, Grave no. 1532
Woronora Cemetery, Sutherland, Sydney



Thomas Gregory WALTERS' grave information
Online search for Woronora Cemetery


Approximate location of Thomas Gregory WALTERS' grave, 
Woronora Cemetery, Sutherland, Sydney





May they all rest in peace.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Land grants of Private William Northcote (1878 and 1880) in the New South Wales, Australia, Land Grants, 1788-1963 records

This blogpost provides a possible (small) revelation about Walter William NORTHCOTE (or whatever name he chooses to use).

Every little bit counts ... especially when it comes to elusive ancestors, like my great-grandfather, William Walter NORTHCOTE, also known by many other first names. Just like many details about the life of this man, the information provided below doesn't necessarily prove that the land records I found recently relate to my ancestor, WW Northcote, but it provides some interesting clues. Let me know what you think.

Summary

In a nutshell, this is the process my research took on this small point:

  • Frustration with WW Northcote. My 25+ years of frustration with this ancestor has been quite productive. Because he appeared to be hiding something during his life, he is a difficult ancestor to track. For this reason, I have become hungry for any small clue about him.
  • Ancestry.com new records. Every now and again, I open the regular email I receive from Ancestry about the new records they have added to their site. In this case, I found a reference to a "Private William Northcote" in 1878 and 1880 in Warialda, NSW in the New South Wales, Australia, Land Grants, 1788-1963 set of records. 
  • Tried to decipher the land grant records. The two records I found seemed to be:
    1) a record of a grant of land in Warialda being made to Private William Northcote in 1878; and
    2) a record of the land grant being transferred or sold in 1878.
  • Asked a researcher for help. See below for what I found out from Neil Smith, a military researcher when I asked him for help in deciphering the land records I found on Ancestry.

And now for the longer version ...

For the record, here is a little more info about this annoying and fascinating ancestor.

New South Wales, Australia, Land Grants, 1788-1963

Back in April 2015, I did a search in the New South Wales, Australia, Land Grants, 1788-1963 set of records and found the following two entries:


Since the two most common first names used by my elusive ancestor are either William or Walter, I tend to refer to him as WW Northcote in my research notes. So, when I saw "Private William Northcote" show up in my seach results, they got my attention. Also, the reference to Warialda in NSW rang some bells because one of WW Northcote's stepsons, Thomas NEWTON died in Warialda in 1926. This showed some possibly connection between our family and the town of Warialda.

Also, the town of Bingara is about 40km from Warialda and Bingara is the place WW Northcote listed as his place of marriage on one of his son's, Alfred’s, birth certificates in 1876.

Warialda to Bingara, NSW
Source: Googlemaps


Excerpt from Alfred Northcote's birth certificate, showing parents' date and place of marriage
Source: Alfred Joseph NORTHCOTE's birth certificate, NSW BDM, no. 76 22146 


Although we have not been able to find any record of WW Northcote's marriage to Margaret Riley at anytime, let alone in 1861, it does appear that he may have been at least familiar with Bingara, since he listed it as the place of his marriage on one of his son's birth certificates. So, with these links between Warialda and some people in the family, I thought it was worth investigating these records of "Private William NORTHCOTE", just in case this person was "our" Walter William or William Walter Northcote.

The two records I found in the New South Wales, Australia, Land Grants, 1788-1963 set of records that related to "Private William NORTHCOTE" appeared to be a land grant and a sale or transfer of that land grant.

The first record I found, dated 1878, listed Private William Northcote in the Headquarters Band.

Extract from 1878 NSW Land Grants 1788-1963, page 82


The information provided in the first record (on page 82 of the records) is as follows:

  • Reg. No.: 2880
  • Corps: Head Quarters Band.
  • Rank and Names: Private, Northcote, William
  • Date of issue: 22 Mar 1878

In 1878, WW NORTHCOTE would have been about 35 years of age, if he was born in 1843. William and his wife, Margaret, would have had the following children:

  • Walter John, born at Bodangara near Wellington in 1871 (about 7 years old)
  • William Montgomery, born at Bodangara near Wellington in 1875 (about 3 years old)
  • Alfred, born at Bodangara near Wellington in 1876 (about 2 years old)

So, the Private William NORTHCOTE mentioned in these records may or may not have been my great grandfather. As he was listed in the Head Quarters Band, this may link up with the only photograph that we have of WW Northcote, provided to me by one of his descendants, Vivienne Northcote. He appears to be in a bandmaster's type of uniform.

Photocopy of only known photograph of William Walter Northcote
Source: Vivienne Northcote

Information about the photograph above, provided by Neil Smith: 

"The subject does not appear to be wearing a military uniform in the photograph provided. This is not surprising, as he would no doubt have also performed in civil bands as well as military."

Apart from a photograph that shows William Walter Northcote's eldest son, Walter John Northcote, as a bandmaster in the Cobar Boys Band (see below), I don't have any other information about WW Northcote being in a band.

Copy from our family history records

Copy from IBEW website



The second land record I found in association with Private William Northcote, dated 1880, from the New South Wales, Australia, Land Grants, 1788-1963 set of records, appears to be related to the first record I found from 1878 (described above), based on the common 2880 catalogue number. The second record appears to be the transfer of the original land grant to two other parties.


Extract from 1878 NSW Land Grants 1788-1963, page 96
Transcription:
Volunteer Land Order Selections, page 96
Year: 1878
No. 126
Cat. No. 2880, C760 1880
Name: Northcote William (Private)
Head quarters Band Warialda
Transferred to W. G. Barren Portion 61 Parish Windoondilla
Transferred to Hughes (?) Smith Co. Courallie
Certificate with 80 675 Abn. 15 Deeds Branch 6.5.81
Deed preposed (?) 11.7.81 Portion 61 Joh Windoondilla, Co. Courallie (?)
Area: 50
Date of selection: 13.1.80
Correspondence: [??????]


Asking for help from a professional military researchers

Early in 2014, while on a genealogical cruise, I met Neil Smith of Mostly Unsung, his military research business. His business is described as "a unique research facility into Australian Military History from the First Fleet to the present day". Neil is someone with many years of Australian Regular Army experience and, because of his background and research skills, he provides "a unique Australian Military History Research Service".

So, because the land grant and WW Northcote's uniform seemed to be related to the military, I asked Neil Smith for some help. Here is what Neil reported to me.

He could not locate WW Northcote positively in any British Army or Navy resources between 1850-1870. However, he did find records of a solder named William Northcote who came to Australia with the 12th Regiment of Foot (East Suffolk) Regiment circa 1854. This soldier remained in Australia but there is no surviving dossier for him. Neil also noted that, interestingly, the Regiment maintained a Band in NSW and was closely related to the Volunteer Forces movement. The regiment returned to the United Kingdom in 1867.

From me: Although the soldier mentioned above would have been too old to be "our" WW Northcote (since our WW Northcote was born about 1843, he would have been about 11 years old in 1854), the William Northcote in this Regiment may have been a relative of our WW Northcote. At a long shot, it may have been his father who is listed as William Northcote on WW Northcote's death certificate. Note also that we have estimated our WW Northcote coming to Australia around 1866, close to the time that this Regiment returned to the UK.

Neil also noted that he could not locate our WW Northcote in any Australian Army or Navy resources, apart from the Volunteer Land Order Selection records held by Ancestry.com.

Neil provided the following information about the Local Volunteer Force:

"Circa 1854 New South Wales commenced raising a Local Volunteer Force in Sydney and elsewhere. This was done in view of unknown French and Russian intentions and the likelihood of British Garrison troops being withdrawn. Duty was part time and unpaid. Troops were mustered into Infantry and Artillery groups with some support elements including a Headquarter Band. Full time soldiers then available were from the British Army garrisoned in Australia who remained until circa 1870.
As an enticement to the Volunteers, those with five years service were granted land selections from about 1868. The scheme ultimately failed. Records remain for many of the grants in Volunteer Land Order registers held by the Department of Lands, New South Wales. The ancestry.com references are related to this series but NORTHCOTE is not to be found in the related records, which give further such as date of enlistment. It is possible that the ancestry.com entries do not encompass the many 'grants' which were declared void. This was especially the case in situations where soldiers attempted to sell the land allocated to them. "
The following is Neil's interpretation of the 1878 and 1880 land records that mention Private William Northcote, in light of the information about the NSW Local Volunteer Force above:

"Not withstanding the above, it can be concluded that NORTHCOTE served as a Private Number 2200 with the Headquarters Band of the New South Wales Volunteer Land Forces circa 1867-1878 or even later. Note the date of issue of his grant was 22nd March 1878. His service was part time and based in Sydney with frequent performances at Randwick and Victoria Barracks, often with British garrison Bandsmen from the 12th Regiment (on full time duty).
Noted Land Grants in areas such as Cooma, Murrurundi, Rylstone, Tamworth, Goulburn, Wagga Wagga and Casino. It is likely therefore that NORTHCOTE's grant was in Warialda as evidenced by notes on the ancestry.com records.
There is no evidence of any other surviving records for NORTHCOTE. Conflicts of note at the time were in New Zealand (Maori Wars) for which many Australians were deployed."
Neil's charges are very reasonable and I was more than appreciative of his services.

So, where to from here?


My findings on Ancestry, in conjunction with Neil's research, has shown me that this Private William Northcote could have been our WW Northcote. However, I'd like more proof to confirm this idea.

I have found a book by Laurel Burge, titled The New South Wales military volunteer land grants, published in 1976. This book might shine some more light on the Local Volunteer Force. 

To work out if my ancestor and the man described above in the land grant records are one and the same person, or not, I need more information about my ancestor, WW Northcote, and then I need to compare this information to the information above about Private William Northcote.

If you have any other ideas, I'd love to hear from you.

Thanks for reading this far.

Success after a 20+ year search for a great-grandmother's baptism records

Back in July of 2015, I finally found the baptism of my great-grandmother (Margaret Butler), thanks to the Catholic Parish Registers of Ireland being made available online. I had been searching for this record for almost 25 years, since the early 1990s.  I was very happy to find this record. I've only just now spent some time completing the blogpost below that I started when I found the baptism record in July 2015. Of course, finding this record spurred me on, with the help of some long-lost cousins, to find the baptism records of Margaret's siblings.

Where did I find her baptism?


The Catholic Parish Registers were recently made available on the National Library of Ireland's website: http://www.nli.ie/en/parish-register.aspx.

http://www.nli.ie/en/parish-register.aspx


Because these baptism records are not indexed, they need to be searched by reading through pages of handwriting, some of which is quite scribbled and very difficult to read. Some of the pages are also very damaged at the edges. However, in the last few months, a wonderful woman named Marie Crowley has been diligently transcribing these records. Thanks to Marie!

For a great account of how to systematically search these registers, see the following post on Lorine McGinnis Schulze's The Olive Tree Genealogy blog:

10 Steps to Searching the Irish Catholic Parish Records When You Only Know a County of Origin

So, when was Margaret BUTLER born and baptised? 1853

Margaret Butler


My great-grandmother's name was Margaret BUTLER. Her parents were John BUTLER and Mary FITZPATRICK, also from County Clare.

The story in our family was that she was born on 25 or 26 August. However, we were never sure of the year of her birth. Based on later records of hers from when she was living in Australia (birth of her children, death records, etc.), I had guessed that she was born around 1855 or 1856. However, by looking through the Catholic Parish Registers (National Library of Ireland), I found her baptism record in the August 1853 - October 1853 records in Kilmurry Ibricken; County of Clare; Diocese of Killaloe (Microfilm 02486 / 01, Page 174). These records show that she was baptised on 11 September 1853 in the small town of Doolaugh. Her parents were John Butler and Mary Fitzpatrick and the sponsor or godparent at the baptism was Mary McMahon.

Transcription: 11 September 1853: Margaret of John Butler and Mary Fitzpatrick
Sponsor: Mary McMahon
Location: Doolough

Location of Doolough, a town in County Clare, Ireland



Margaret BUTLER later travelled to Australia and arrived here on 2 March 1880. She married William KENEALLY/ KENELLY in 1890, had 2 children and lived in the Drummoyne area of Sydney. She died in 1946 at her daughter's place in Five Dock.

Before I found this baptism record, we thought she was 90 when she died. Her death certificate (4 August 1946, NSW BDM no. 17208/1946) and her grave both state that she was 90 years of age when she died. So, we thought that she would have been born in about 1855 or 1856. This turned out to be quite incorrect, as indicated by her baptism record.

Excerpt from Margaret Kennealy's (nee Butler) death certificate

Margaret Kennealy's (nee Butler) gravestone


When were Margaret BUTLER's siblings baptised?

With the help of my distant cousins who are descendants of Margaret's siblings, the baptism records of Margaret's seven siblings are collated below. There may have been other siblings but these are the baptisms that have been found so far. All but one of Margaret's siblings (Bridget) also migrated to Australia and lived in Sydney and NSW, as did Margaret.

Firstly, for the record, here are a list of the Butler siblings and an indication of whether or not (as far as we currently know) they migrated to Australia:

  • Michael BUTLER (arrived in Australia on 22 July 1878, on the Earl Dalhousie)
  • Margaret BUTLER (arrived in Australia on 2 March 1880, on the Norval, sponsored by brother Michael)
  • Bridget BUTLER (don't think she migrated to Australia)
  • James BUTLER (arrived in Australia 16 January 1882, on the Forfarshire, with his sister Maria, sponsored by sister Margaret)
  • Thomas BUTLER (arrived in Australia on 13 January 1884, on the Selkirkshire, with his brother, Patrick)
  • Maria BUTLER (arrived in Australia 16 January 1882, on the Forfarshire, with her brother James, sponsored by sister Margaret)
  • Patrick James BUTLER (arrived in Australia on 13 January 1884, on the Selkirkshire, with his brother, Thomas)
  • Ellen Josephine BUTLER (arrived in Australia on 2 April 1885, on the Merkara)
Note: There may be other children, in addition to the eight listed above, born to John Butler and Mary Fitzpatrick that I have not yet found in the records.

Michael BUTLER (baptised 1852)



Michael BUTLER was probably born late in 1851 or early in 1852 since he was baptised on 27 February 1852. His baptism records were found in the Kilmurry Ibricken; County of Clare; Diocese of Killaloe Baptisms of Jan. 1852 to May 1852 (Microfilm 02486 / 01, Page 167). Although we think this is the record of Michael's baptism, his name recorded here looks like James or Francis. Although it looks more like James, I don't think it is as the first letter looks more like an F than a J (going by other Fs and Js on the page) and he also had a brother, James BUTLER, who was born in 1858.


Transcription: 27 February 1852: Francis (?) or James (?) of John Butler and Mary Fitzpatrick
[I think his name was originally Francis and he became known as Michael]
Sponsor: Mary McMahon
Location: Doolough

Michael BUTLER later travelled to Australia and arrived here on 22 July 1878. Michael married Catherine CRAWFORD in 1879, had 7-8 children and lived in the Balmain area of Sydney. He died in 1913.

Bridget BUTLER (baptised 1856)


Bridget BUTLER was probably born early in 1856 since her baptism is recorded on 8 (?) May 1856 at Doolough. Her baptism records were found in the Kilmurry Ibricken; County of Clare; Diocese of Killaloe Baptisms of April 1956 - May 1856 (Microfilm 02486 / 01, Page 193, no. 218). 

Transcription: 8 (?) May 1856: Bridget of John Butler and Mary Fitzpatrick
Sponsor: Mary Gallery
Location: Doolough

At this stage of my research, I don't know whether Bridget stayed in Ireland or migrated to Australia or elsewhere. I guess that she stayed in Ireland.

James BUTLER (baptised 1858)


James BUTLER was probably born in the first half of 1858 since his baptism is recorded on 19 June 1858 at Doolough. His baptism records were found in the Kilmurry Ibricken; County of Clare; Diocese of Killaloe Baptisms of May 1858 to June 1858 (Microfilm 02486 / 01, Page 209, no. 596).



Transcription: 19 June 1858: James of John Butler and Mary Fitzpatrick
Sponsor: Mary Malony
Location: Doolough

James BUTLER later travelled to Australia and arrived here in 1882, on the same ship as his sister, Maria (Mary) BUTLER. James Does not appear to have married, going by his funeral notices, but he lived with his brother, Michael, in the Balmain area of Sydney. He died in 1884.



Funeral notices of James Butler in The Sydney Morning Herald, Monday 25 August 1884, page 12

Note: There appears to be an error in the notice placed by Michael Butler as he is referred to as Michael’s son instead of his brother.

[Thanks to Keith and Marjorie, for additional information regarding James Butler.]

Patrick BUTLER (baptised 1860)



Patrick BUTLER was probably born in the first few months of 1860 or the last few months of 1859 since his baptism is recorded on 11 March 1860 at Doolough. His baptism records were found in the Kilmurry Ibricken; County of Clare; Diocese of Killaloe Baptisms of March 1860 to April 1860 (Microfilm 02486 / 01, Page 221, no. 914). 




Transcription: 11 March 1860: Patrick of John Butler and Mary Fitzpatrick
Sponsor: John and Bridget Costeloe (?)
Location: Doolough

Patrick BUTLER later travelled to Australia and arrived here in 1884, on the same ship as his brother, Thomas BUTLER. Patrick married Eugenie Dobbs in 1898 or had about four children. He lived in the western area of NSW and died in Stockinbingal, NSW in 1943.


Thomas BUTLER (baptised 1862)

Grave of Thomas Butler, Rookwood Cemetery, NSW


Thomas BUTLER was probably born in the first few months of 1862 or the last few months of 1861 since his baptism is recorded on 3 May 1862 at Doolough. His baptism records were found in the Kilmurry Ibricken; County of Clare; Diocese of Killaloe Baptisms of March 1862 to May 1862 (Microfilm 02486 / 01, Page 232, no. 1291). 




Transcription: 3 May 1862: Tom of John Butler and Mary Fitzpatrick
Sponsor: Martin and Mary Murphy
Location: Doolough

Thomas BUTLER later travelled to Australia and arrived here in 1882, on the same ship as his brother, Patrick BUTLER. Thomas married Catherine HERATY in 1892 and had a family of six children, including three daughters and three sons. He was living in Marrickville in Sydney when he died in 1929.



[Thanks to Keith and Marjorie, for additional information regarding Thomas Butler.]

Mary/Maria BUTLER (baptised 1865)

I think Mary BUTLER became known as Maria BUTLER.



Maria BUTLER was probably born in the first few months of 1865 or the last few months of 1864 since her baptism is recorded on 5 February 1865, at Doolough. Her baptism records were found in the Kilmurry Ibricken; County of Clare; Diocese of Killaloe Baptisms of December. 1864 to February 1865 (Microfilm 02486 / 01, Page 248, no. 1751).


Transcription: 5 February 1865: Mary of John Butler and Mary Fitzpatrick
Sponsor: Mary Murphy
Location: Doolough

Maria BUTLER later travelled to Australia and arrived here in 1882, on the same ship as her brother, James BUTLER. Maria married James EMERY in 1890 and had six children including three daughters and three sons. She was living in Leichhardt in Sydney when she died in 1948.

Grave of Maria Emery (nee Butler), Field of Mars Cemetery, North Ryde, NSW


[Thanks to Keith and Marjorie, for additional information regarding Maria Butler.]


Ellen BUTLER (baptised 1868)


Ellen BUTLER was probably born in 1868 since her baptism is recorded on 26 September 1868, at Doolough. Her baptism records were found in the Kilmurry Ibricken; County of Clare; Diocese of Killaloe Baptisms of September 1868 to December 1868 (Microfilm 02486 / 01, Page 266, no. 2285).



Transcription: 26 September 1868, Ellen of John Butler and Mary Fitzpatrick
Sponsor: Margaret Hehir
Location: Doolough

Ellen  BUTLER later travelled to Australia and arrived here in 1885. Ellen married John BRITTON in 1894 and had six children including one son and five daughters. Ellen lived around the Marrickville/Leichhardt area. During the last 20 years of her life she spent time with three of her daughters at Beverly Hills, Burwood and Petersham and she died at the Prince of Wales Hospital, Randwick on 9th December, 1963.


[Thanks to Keith and Marjorie, for additional information regarding Ellen Butler.]

Why couldn't I find records of Margaret Butler's baptism before this?


The main reason I was not able to find her baptism record was that the Catholic Parish Registers only became available online during the last few weeks.

Margaret had also reduced her age in some of the key documents about her life in Australia (migration, marriage and children's birth certificates), making me think that she was born in 1855 or 1856 instead of 1853.

The other reason that I think I was misled in my previous searches for her birth or baptism records is that my great-grandmother, Margaret BUTLER, always said she was from Kilmihil, County Clare, Ireland. However, she was actually born in Doolough, Doolough (meaning black lake, in Irish). Doolough and Kilmihil are about 10km apart.

Source of map: Google Maps

It appears, from the Catholic Parish Registers, that Margaret and her siblings were all born in Doolough in the 1850s and 1860s but lived in Kilmihil just before they left to sail to Australia in the late 1870s and 1880s. Doolough is about 9-10 km from Kilmihil.

Source of map: Google Maps

We also think that their father, John BUTLER, may have died some time before they left County Clare to move to Australia and that his death may have prompted them to move from Doolough to Kilmihil. Perhaps Kilmihil was the original home of Mary Fitzpatrick, Margaret and her siblings' mother and John BUTLER's wife. There are still Fitzpatricks living in the town of Kilmihil.


The "we" referred to in the above blogpost acknowledges I have had help from some of my long-lost but recently-found cousins and cousin-in-laws, Des, Donna, Keith and Marjorie.