O’Regan Family History from Limerick to Emerald Hill Melbourne

Map of irish Counties 2
Irish Counties Showing Co Limerick and Co Cork

The O’Regans are part of my mother’s family. Thomas Dobbins O’Regan is my ggggrandfather.

Thomas O’Regan and Grace Dobbins were the parents of Thomas Dobbins O’Regan. On his son Thomas Dobbins O’Regan’s death certificate his father’s occupation was given as teacher.

Thomas Dobbins O’Regan was born about 1819 in Co Limerick Ireland. He came out to Tasmania Australia about 1838.  He married Johannah Walsh in 1842 in Melbourne Victoria Australia in the Parish of St Francis.  At this stage Victoria was a part of NSW. Elenor and Michael McNamara witnessed their marriage.

Thomas Dobbins O'Regan and Johanna Walsh Marriage 1842_croppedagain
Marriage Certificate of Thomas Dobbins O’Regan and Johannah Walsh 1842

 

Johannah Walsh was born in Co Cork Ireland and had spent 38 years in Victoria at the time of her death. She must have emigrated about 1840 at age 20. As yet I haven’t been able to find any immigration records for her.

Thomas and Johannah had nine children:
William Augustus born 1844 and died in 1883 in Prahran Melbourne;
Cecilia Agnes born 1846 and died the following year after an accidental scalding;

Thomas Joseph born 1848 died 1899 in St Kilda Melbourne; John born 1859; Sarah Ann born 1851 South Melbourne and died in Prahran 9 May 1895; Edmond born c1853 died 17 Dec 1876; Annie born c1857; Grace born c1860 and Mary Anne. At the time of Johannah’s death in 1878 Mary Ann, John and Edmund were deceased.

Johannah O’Regan nee Walsh died age 58 in 1878.

Johannah O'Regan 1878 Death Certificate
Death Certificate of Johannah O’Regan Emerald Hill Melbourne 1878

Thomas Dobbins O’Regan died in South Melbourne on 20 May 1888 .

Thomas Dobbins O'Regan Death Cert 1888_cropped
Death Certificate of Thomas Dobbins O’Regan May 1888 Melbourne

His occupation is given as gentleman. He was wealthy and lived off the rent from The Australia Hotel in Bourke St in the center of Melbourne.  He spent five years in Tasmania and forty five years in Victoria. He must have came out to Tasmania at about age 19 around 1838. Family stories say he owned a silver mine in Tasmania. He married Johannah Walsh shortly after moving to Victoria in 1842.

When Thomas Dobbins O’Regan died in 1888 his estate was valued at 14,641 pounds. He was an extremely wealthy man. His marriage certificate has very few details and no occupation. He was listed in The Victoria Post office Directory of 1869 as living in Emerald Hill (South Melbourne) but no occupation. He was in Victoria during the Gold Rush which started in 1851 so he may have made his money then.

In the Australia Directory for Port Phillip 1847 Thomas O’Regan is listed as a farrier in Wrights Lane. Wright’s Lane extended from Lonsdale St to Little Bourke Street and was named before 1847 after an early settler. It was later renamed Hardware Lane.

O'Regan's Shoeing Business Moves Argus 12 Feb 1858 CR
O’Regan’s Shoeing Business Moves Notice in The Argus 12 Feb 1858

In the same directory is Peter McSweeney (listed as Peter M’Sweeney) a cooper working in Bourke St. Peter McSweeney’s son John Vincent married Thomas O’Regan’s daughter Sarah Ann.

The O’Regans and McSweeneys both lived in Emerald Hill in later years, so again there is a connection. In the Electoral Roll for Victoria 1856  Thomas O’Regan, a farrier, is registered to vote. His residence is a freehold and is off Bourke St in Melbourne in St Patrick’s Division.

On his daughter Sarah’s marriage certificate 1871 his occupation was given as veterinary surgeon.

At the time of his death  in 1888 he owned The Australia Hotel on Bourke St in the center of Melbourne which returned a rent of 350 pounds annually. It was leased to a Mrs Honor Bennett at the time of his death and valued at 14,000 pounds. Whether he was a publican himself we don’t know. There is no occupation given on his marriage certificate. He lived at 16 Bridport St South Melbourne in 1888 with his unmarried daughters Annie and Grace. He also owned this property which was valued at 650 pounds.

Australia Hotel
The Australia Hotel 62 Bourke St West Melbourne First of the right with horse and carriage in front. c1869

His will which can be seen at PROV Probate and Wills Online. The beneficiaries of his will were his children and two grandchildren. His grandaughter Hannah Ann Teresa McSweeney daughter of Sarah O’Regan was my ggrandmother. She was called Annie.

There is much more on the McSweeney family from Co Cork Ireland in this post.

Annie McSweeney cropped
Annie McSweeney daughter of Sarah Ann O’Regan

Below is the will of Thomas O’Regan who died in 1888.

O'Regan Thomas Will 1888 page 1

O'Regan Thomas Will 1888 page 2 O'Regan Thomas Will 1888 page 3 O'Regan Thomas Will 1888 page 4

16 Bridport St South Melbourne
Bridport St South Melbourne 2011 middle house likely no 16 where O’Regans lived

Thomas and Johannah O’Regan were buried in Melbourne General Cemetery.

Thomas O'Regan Melb Cemetery
O’Regan Family Grave Melbourne General Cemetery

In the O’Regan family grave these members of Thomas Dobbins O’Regan are buried with him. His son Edmund who died in 1876 aged 25, his wife Johanna aged 58 buried Mar 1978. Thomas Dobbins O’Regan himself buried May 1888, Sarah McSweeney his daughter buried May 1895 and his great grand child Babe Cook stillborn buried August 1904. These are all in Compartment D grave no 354.

In Compartment D grave 355, which I am assuming is in the same family plot shown in the photo, are buried William A O’Regan aged 38 buried on 5 Sept 1883, Thomas Dobbins O’Regan’s daughters Annie O’Regan aged 56 buried on 24 April 1918 and Grace O’Regan aged 86 buried on 16 Nov 1943.

Sarah O’Regan married John Vincent McSweeney, a school teacher, in about 1869 in South Melbourne and they had one child, Annie Teresa in 1872 in Camperdown Victoria.

In 2012 an O’Regan descendant commissioned research into the O’Regan family in Co Limerick. The researcher tried to find Thomas O’Regan who married Grace Dobbins. She wasn’t able to find anything conclusive but some of her observations were interesting. I have summarised below her observations and findings:

Apparently the birth dates given in census, marriage and death records are often incorrect, as people in the nineteenth century were often unsure of their age and year of birth and so ages were guessed at.

Illiteracy and human error could affect the accuracy of all information given on nineteenth century records and especially the recording of names involved. Even by the mid-nineteenth century less than half the population could read or write in Ireland. It seems that the priest recording names would not ask the family to spell the name but would guess at the spelling hence the variations in surname within the same family.

O’Regan could be recorded as Regan, Reagan, Reaghan, Reygan or Reegan. The prefix O’ was arbitrarily added and dropped on records within families. Also due to the use of the cursive script Regan could be mistakenly transcribed as Rynne, Ryan and Ruane. Dobbins could be recorded as Dobbin, Dobbyn, Dobins or Dubbin. The surname Dobbins and the christian name Grace would be quite unusual in nineteenth century Limerick.

It was not possible to find a baptismal record for a Thomas O’Regan born to Grace Dobbins and Thomas O’Regan in Limerick from 1814-1823. A considerable number of baptisms were not recorded or the O’Regans could have been living in a parish which does not have surviving records for this time.

There were also no records found of other children born to a Thomas O’Regan and Grace Dobbins in Co Limerick.

A search for the marriage of a Thomas O’Regan and Grace Dobbins also proved negative but there is a marriage record of a William O’Regan and a Grace Dobbins in Limerick City in 1811 which took place on Wed 3 July 1811 in the Roman Catholic parish of St Mary’s in the Diocese of Limerick in Limerick city. It is possible the priest mistakenly recorded the groom’s christian name as the name Grace Dobbins is so rare in Limerick records. The witnesses to this marriage were named as Mathew Bowin and John Power.

The researcher then tried to track Thomas O’Regan senior using the information given on his son’s death certificate that he was a teacher. In Bassett’s Directory of 1884  Limerick city she did come across a Mr O’Regan listed as an arithmetic and calligraphy teacher at the Jesuit’s Sacred heart College at the Crescent.

It was not possible to find any baptismal or death records for Thomas O’Regan or Grace Dobbins.

Thomas O'Regan Descendant Report Sept 2015

The Mackey Family, from Limerick to Victoria Australia

Map of irish Counties use
Map of Irish Counties

Thomas Mackey, was from Co Limerick, Ireland. He was baptised on April 24, 1853 in Kilduff in the Parish of Pallasgrean & Templebredon in Co Limerick. His godparents were Patrick Mackey and Mary Treacy.  His mother was Bridget Treacy and his father Thomas Mackey, a farmer.

In Griffiths Valuation in the townland of Kilduff (1.5 kms from Pallasgrean) published in Nov 1850 there is a Thomas Mackey a farmer and also a John Mackey. Most likely this is the father of Thomas Mackey my ggrandfather.

Mackey GV Kilduff page one

Mackey GV KIlduff

Griffiths Valuation for Kilduff Townland Co Limerick c 1850

Mackey Family Griffiths Valuation Showing Kilduff Townland Co Limerick c1850

Mackey Family Griffiths Valuation Showing Kilduff Townland Co Limerick c1850

In the 1901 Census for Kiduff Co Limerick Patrick Mackey and his family are listed. He was born about 1851 and is most likely an older brother of Thomas.

Mackey 1901 Census Kilduff Co Limerick
1901 Census for Kilduff Co Limerick Mackey
Mackey Kilduff Co Limerick 1911 Census
1911 Census Kilduff Co Limerick Mackey Family

Thomas Mackey came out to Victoria about 1880 and was a draper. One of his descendants told me he was a floor walker in a major department store in Melbourne at some time in his working life.

In 1882 his address was Bourke St Melbourne and he was a draper. From 1903-1924 he lived in McPherson St Essendon.

Pallasgreen Co Limerick Ireland
Pallasgreen Co Limerick

Three of Thomas’s brothers and one sister and an uncle all came out to Australia, although not at the same time. There may also have been cousins as well who made the journey from Ireland.

His sister Catherine, born in 1835, and who married William Real in Co Limerick, came out in 1857. She died in 1900 in Northcote, Victoria.

Daniel Mackey who was born in 1842, died in Bendigo, at age 30, after being out here for only three years. He is buried in Sandhurst Cemetery, Bendigo, Victoria. There was a Daniel Mackey with a William and Nicholas Mackey (possibly cousins) who came out on the “Ocean Empress” in 1862. Catherine and Daniel Mackey are listed as being born in Pallasgrean Co Limerick. Edmond Mackey born 1856, also emigrated to Victoria. There he married Julia Ann Briscoe and they had a family of eight children. He died in Fitzroy in 1906.

Thomas Mackey aged 29, married Bridget Christina Burns, aged 23, on May 1, 1882 at St Mary’s Church, Echuca, Victoria. Bridget Christina Burns was born in Sunbury, Victoria in 1859. Her parents were Bryan Burns and Mary Canavan, both from Co Galway Ireland.

Bridget Mackey nee Burns wife of Thomas mackey

Below is their wedding record and a wedding notice from The Argus. Bridget’s father’s name is given as Berned Burns:

Burns Mackey Marriage 1882 Argus (1)
Wedding of Thomas Mackey and Bridget Burns The Argus 1882
Bridget Burns & Thomas Mackey 1882 Marriage_cropped
Bridget Burns & Thomas Mackey 1882 Marriage Certificate

Thomas and Bridget had nine children: Thomas Bernard 1883-1957, who married Anastasia Hearn; Eileen Alana 1884-1929 married, Joseph Glass and lived at Yackandandah; Victor Francis 1886-1944, married Adelaide Mathews; Mary Margaret 1888-1981, married Archibald Breen, Ida Theresa 1890-1974, married Francis Collins Fanning; Edmond John 1893-1951, married Ethel Belden; Christopher Patrick 1894-1958, married Barbara Pleasant Lohman; Alfred William 1896-1963, married Alice May Shanks; Doris Catherine 1899-1954, married Francis Cyril Antonie.

Mary Mackey Wedding notice Albury Banner and Wodonga Express 1923
Mary Mackey and Archie Breen Wedding notice Albury Banner and Wodonga Express 1923
Ida Mackey (back)& Agnes Iverson
Young Ida Mackey on the left with friend Ag Iverson date unknown
Ida Mackey and Frank Fanning Wedding
The Mackey daughters at Ida Mackey’s wedding Sept 15, 1915 Doris, Ida & Mary Mackey L-R
Eileen Mackey
Eileen Mackey, daughter of Thomas and Bridget Mackey, in her nurse’s uniform date unknown
Eileen Sis Mackey and Joe Glass Wedding
Eileen Sis Mackey and Joe Glass Wedding 20 Nov 1919
Bridget Mackey,Ida Fanning and Eileen Mackey Bridget's grandaughter
Bridget Mackey nee Burns, Ida Fanning nee Mackey & Eileen Mackey, Bridget’s granddaughter 29 May 1843
Ida Fanning and Aunty Mary Breen nee Mackey (2)
Ida Fanning nee Mackey and her sister Mary Breen nee Mackey
Ida Fanning and her sister Doris Antonie
Ida Fanning and her sister Doris Antonie
Alfred Mackey
Alfred Mackey on the left, son of Thomas and Bridget Mackey nee Burns 1909 Victoria Australia

Thomas Mackey died on the first of June, 1926, aged 73, from bronchitis and cardiac failure. He is buried in the Fawkner Cemetery Melbourne Victoria Australia.

Mackey Grave Fawkner Cem.
Grave of Thomas Mackey 1853-1926 & Bridget Mackey nee Burns 1859-1944 Fawkner Cemetery Melbourne Australia

The following detailed genealogy report from Family Tree Maker traces the descendants of Thomas Mackey of Pallasgreen Co Limerick Ireland born about 1808 and Bridget Treacy his wife to present day Mackey family in Victoria Australia:

Thomas Mackey Descendant Report 2015
Mackey Descendants from Thomas Mackey Pallasgrean Co Limerick Ireland 2015

Patrick Collins Co Limerick Ireland to Northcote Victoria Australia

Patrick Collins Signature
Signature of Patrick Collins


Map of irish Counties use
Map of Irish Counties

Patrick Collins was born in Co Limerick Ireland about 1819 and died 20 Feb 1905 in Melbourne Victoria Australia. His father was Patrick Collins and his mother Bridget McNamara. She also came to live in Melbourne with her son and his family in Northcote. He married Mary Gribben in Co Down about 1845 when he was 33. Patrick Collins came out to Australia from Ireland about 1853. He worked as a Police Constable in Melbourne.

I have not been able to find any birth records for Patrick in Co Limerick or Tipperary and Co Clare records are not online yet. In the RIC records there is a Patrick Collins listed born Co Clare and all the dates fit. This Patrick enlisted in 1845 and was 24. The enlistment and birth dates are right for our Patrick.

Patrick Collins RIC record
Possible Irish Police RIC record for Patrick Collins

I also found records for one of Patrick’s brothers and he was born in Co Tipperary and records for this Thomas Collins’ children and they were born in either St  John’s or St Michael’s Parishes in Co Limerick. Birth records for some of Patrick’s siblings have them being born in St Michael’s or St John’s also. So it seems the Collins family came from near the borders of counties Limerick, Tipperary and Clare in the north east of Co Limerick.

Collins Map of Limerick, Clare and Tipperary
Map showing Limerick City, Castleconnell and Killoscully places where Collins family were born.

His mother Bridget was born c1788 in Co Limerick Ireland. When she came out to Australia it is quite possible that she was accompanied by her granddaughter Annie Josephine Collins. Annie Josephine was Patrick Collin’s niece and married James Henry Meehan.

Mary Collins and Patrick Collins, their son Thomas and Mary’s parents (John and Mary Gribbin) and brother (John Gribbin) all came out to Australia on the “Miles Barton” which left Liverpool, with 400 passengers, bound for Melbourne on June 26, 1857 and arrived 30 Sept 1857. They came as unassisted passengers.  Patrick came out earlier. On Patrick Collin’s death certificate it says he came out c1855, although this is not necessarily accurate.

On Patrick Collin’s police record it says he joined the Victorian Police Force on the 19th of September 1856 and that before that he had been on the “diggings”.

In Ireland he had been employed in the “Constabulary” for seven years. This would have been the Irish Constabulary which was formed in 1822 . It was renamed the Royal Irish Constabulary or R.I.C. in 1867. It was however only after the First World War, when large numbers of ex English, Scottish and Welsh soldiers were employed that the R.I.C. become know as the “Black and Tans”, hated for their brutality towards the Irish people.

When Patrick joined the Irish Constabulary they only accepted single men but after 7 years, with permission from their superiors, they were allowed to marry.

A police constable would not have been allowed to work in his home county and this may explain how Patrick, born in Co Limerick, came to marry Mary Gribben from far off Co Down. Once married he would not be allowed to work in Co Down or Co Limerick. He emigrated to Australia soon after marrying.

Patrick was five feet ten inches tall, with a pale complexion and dark brown hair and blue eyes and a “not smart” general appearance! He was 32 when he joined the Victorian Police Force and married. I suspect he was actually 37 as the dates on other documents agree with this. He may have taken a few years off his age to get accepted into the Police Force.

Patrick Collins spent more than 17 years as a policeman in Victoria. His Police Record gives some idea of his life out on the beat.

His police record has him being “drunk on the morning of the 2nd inst” in 1860 and again “being under the influence of Drinke” in April of the same year and being fined 5 shillings. His superior did however remark that “this constable has always conducted himself in a steady sober manner”.

On Sept 7 he was “sitting in a shop reading a newspaper when on duty” he pleaded guilty and was duly fined 8 shillings and transferred to the City. In 1863 he is stationed in Fitzroy and on the 7th of Jan “drunk returning off duty at 9PM” fined 10 shillings. Patrick was fined the same amount again for being absent from his beat and under the influence in June 1863.

The following year he was caught talking and walking with a female when on duty and “improperly working his beat” Again he is fined but this time it is the smaller amount of 5 shillings and sixpence.

The more serious charge of “Misconduct as a Const” was made against him in 1865 and he was fined 30 shillings. No elaboration on what this misconduct involved was recorded. This is the only charge on his record sheet that he pleaded not guilty to.

The Police must have been very strict or on his case, as Patrick Collins was in 1865 cautioned for being 7 minutes late for duty at 8.45 p.m.

In 1866 and 1871 there are entries which may relate to him being ill it is hrd to decipher the abbreviations and writing. It does look like he was off work on half pay for several years. In 1873 it is noted that he has been on half pay due to ill health and this continues up to 25 June 1876 when he is given a back dated discharge.

He was superannuated from the Police Force on the 31st of December 1873 with the rank of Constable.

He lived with his family in Northcote Melbourne. Patrick and Mary Collins had 12 children 9 of whom lived to adulthood. Thomas was born in 1854 in Co Down Ireland, Francis Patrick born c 1856, John Thomas 1858, Patrick Francis 1859, Bridget Anna (who married Edward Fanning) born 1869, Mary Josephine (nicknamed Tottie) born 1861, John Hugh born c1864, Annie born 1864, Theresa born 1865, Ellen Mary born 1867, Sarah Anne (who became Edward Fanning’s second wife) born 1870 and Theresa Anna born 1972.

Bridget Fanning nee Collins use
Bridget Fanning nee Collins first wife of Edward Fanning

 

Bridget Collins signature 1884use
Bridget Collins signature 1884

 

Thomas James, their eldest son, died tragically in 1881. His death was reported in The Argus, April 1881.

Thomas Collins Drowned 1881 cropped
Death of Thomas James Collins The Argus April 1881

When Patrick Collins died in Feb 1905, age 86, he was quite wealthy. Below is a copy of his death certificate:

Patrick Collins 1905 Death_cropped
Death certificate Patrick Collins Feb 5 1905

On the 1903 Electoral Roll for Victoria he is listed as a man of Independant Means. His Will and Probate papers are online at  the Public Records Office Victoria  PROV.

In his will he leaves everything to his wife Mary for herself and the support of his three unmarried children: Mary, John and Theresa, until they marry. If they marry they are to be given the use of one of his houses in Greeve St Fitzroy for 21 years. After this time the house is to be sold and the proceeds equally divided amongst the remaining children. A sum amounting to one half of a share went to each of his two grandchildren, William Patrick “Bill” Fanning  and Edward “Ned” Fanning. Nothing was left to his other two grandchildren by his daughter Sarah.

His total estate was worth 2,000 pounds at the time of his death in 1905. He owned a six roomed weatherboard house in Waterloo Rd Northcote as well as four, old, three- roomed brick cottages in Young St Fitzroy ( Nos 270,272,274 and 276 Young St). He also owned four, brick cottages in Greeves St Fitzroy, nos 27, 29 and 131 Greeves St.

One story I have heard repeated in the family is that Patrick Collins was a High Court Judge back in Ireland. I haven’t found anything to back this up and in Victoria he was a Police Constable.

Patrick Collins paid for the education of his two grandchildren,William and Edward Fanning, at Xavier College, a prestigious school in Melbourne.

The Collins family graves are in the Melbourne General Cemetery in Carlton.

Mary Collins 1921, Mary Collins, John Collins and Bridget Collins Melb Gen Cem
Gravestone of Mary, John and Bridget Collins Melbourne Cemetery Victoria Australia
Collins Melb Gen Cemetery
Grave of Thomas James Collins, Mary Gribben, Patrick and Ellen Collins, Melbourne Cemetery, Victoria, Australia

The first grave is that of Mary Collins nee Gribben, wife of Patrick Collins of Northcote. She died 28th July 1921. Their son John Collins, born 1858 died 1859, and daughter Mary Collins, born 1861 died 1917, are buried here also. Also Patrick Collin’s mother, Bridget Collins nee McNamara, born c1788 in Co Limerick and died at Northcote, 27 August 1881.

The second grave is that of Thomas James Collins, who died Mar 25 1881, aged 27 years. He was born in Co Down, Ireland about 1854. Also buried here is Mary Gribben nee Carlon. She who was born about 1804 in Co Down, Ireland and married to John Gribben. She died 28 Oct 1879, aged 74 and was Patrick Collin’s mother-in-law.

Patrick Collins, the patriach of the Collins family, died age 86, on 20 Feb 1905. He was born c 1819 in Co Limerick, Ireland. Also buried here is Ellen Collins born c 1867 and died, age 21, on June 14 1888. She was one of Patrick and Mary Collin’s daughters. They had 12 children.

The genealogy report which follows details the descendants of the earliest Collins ancestor from Co Limerick Ireland.

Patrick Collins Descendant Report 2015
Descendants of Patrick Collins from Co Limerick Ireland 2015