Ann Kilkerry or Kilkeary was my great great great grandmother on my mother’s side of the family. Her surname has many variations in spelling. She married Daniel Torpey. Much more documents and information on Anne Torpey nee Kilkerry can be found under the Torpey Family History.
Eliza Ledwich was born in Ireland about 1842 and was my great great grandmother. Her marriage certificate has her being born in Dublin but her death certificate has her coming from Queens Co (Laois).
I believe that she came out to the colonies in 1859 on board the Dirigo which arrived after an eventful and long passage of 107 days. The Dirigo sailed from the Port of Liverpool England on the 28th of November 1858. Shortly after departure it was hit by a severe storm. They put into Milford Haven on Dec 3 to repair damage and did not sail again until Jan 4 1859. The voyage was reported in The Argus 29 March 1859:
Eliza was twenty when she arrived at Port Phillip and her employer was a Sargent Ellis of Emerald Hill (later to become South Melbourne). She was a general servant.
The majority of the passengers were single women whose fares had been paid by the government. There were 352 females and 28 males and the fare was 13 pounds 7 shillings and 2 pence. There were 5 deaths on the voyage.
Gold had been discovered in Victoria in 1851 and huge numbers of migrants had arrived in Victoria to search for gold, in 1840 the population of the colony of Victoria was 10,000. By 1854 it was 123,000. One in four had been born in Ireland. From 1851 to the late 1860’s Victoria’s population nearly tripled.
Eliza married James Knighton, a coachman, on March 1 in 1864 at Scots’ Presbyterian Church Melbourne. Knighton Family History has more pictures and information.
Her parents were listed on her marriage certificate as Michael Ledwick, a bricklayer and Mary Shiel. She did not sign her name but made her mark on the certificate. Her occupation was listed as servant and the witnesses were Thomas Reynolds and Mary Ledwidge. At the time of her marriage she was 22 and James was 26.
James Knighton & Eliza Ledwich Marriage 1864
On her marriage certificate her occupation is given as servant and her birth place as Dublin Ireland. Her death certificate however lists Queens Co as her birth place. her marriage record is more likely to be accurate.
She had been in the colonies for 52 years. Two children were listed, William 49? and James Edward deceased.
Even though she was illiterate Eliza died a wealthy woman. She owned considerable property: Numbers 6,8 and 16 Crown St Richmond as well as 137 and 138 Burnley St in the same suburb. She also owned land at Frankston on the outskirts of Melbourne. Her estate was worth 1,140 pounds. She left 800 pounds to each of her grandchildren, Mary and James. Her son William only got to live in one of her houses rent free for his life.
In her will she bequeathed a 100 pound legacy to to a Maria Hendy. Maria’s mother Eliza Ross was Irish from Co Fermanagh and worked as a servant for the Knightons. She fell pregnant with Maria. Maria sometimes signed her name Knighton and at other times Ross. She called one of her sons Frank Knighton Hendy. She lived with the Knightons. The story has it that she was the child of James Knighton. She was born in 1869 only five years after James and Eliza were married. Maria is buried with her husband Robert Hendy in Boroondara Cemetery. Maria was buried on May 26, 1952 and Robert buried Mar 6 1928, aged 58.
Eliza is also buried in Boroondara Cemetery Kew Melbourne.
Eliza’s sister Margaret Ledwidge and cousin Mary came out on the Caduceus from Southampton England arriving August 1863 after an 88 day voyage. They are listed as sisters but I think they were cousins. Could be wrong. Margaret was 20 and Mary 17 although on another part of the passenger list Margaret’s age is given as 18. Their occupations were general servants. Both were Catholic. They went straight off the boat to Eliza Ledwidge who was working at 154 Collins St East in Melbourne for a Dr James George Beaney, a surgeon at Melbourne Hospital.
Margaret Theresa Ledwidge, Eliza’s sister, married James Beamish from Coventry England in 1867.
Margaret lived at 35 Burnett St St Kilda. She died in St Kilda on 19 Dec 1895 and is also buried in Boroondara Cemetery Kew. Her husband James had died on 27 June 1895. They are buried in the Baptist section of this cemetery.
Margaret Beamish could sign her name unlike Eliza. She also died an extremely wealthy woman in her own right. Her estate was worth 3,539 pounds and she owned 101 and 103 Swan St Richmond and two two storey shops and a five storey brick house in Stanley St Richmond as well as a half share with sister Eliza in land at Frankston. In her will dated 1891 she left one pound a week for life to her husband and the rest of her estate was to be divided up among her six children.
It is amazing that Eliza and Margaret who were servants when they arrived in the colonies should end up so wealthy.
Both Eliza and Margaret have their birth places as Dublin on their marriage certificates and Queens Co on their death certificates. I puzzled over this discrepancy for a while until I discovered there is a Catholic Diocese of Dublin in Co Leix on the border with Kildare Co. Most of this diocese is actually in Kildare Co.
The Mary Ledwidge who witnessed the marriage married John Williams in Ulupna, Echuca in 1872, the signatures are the same. He was born in Tasmania. She was a domestic servant and aged 24. She gave her father’s name as John Ledwidge, a carpenter, and her mother’s name was Mary, surname unknown. She also signed as witness for Margaret Ledwidge at her wedding.
Mary died in Queensland in 1926 age 76 years.
My maternal grandmother told me we had Irish, English and Scottish ancestors. The Torpeys, the O’Regans and the McSweeneys were Irish, the Knightons were English and the Cooks were Scottish.
On my father’s side I always knew that his ggrandfather, William Patrick Fanning, Big Bill, came out to Australia on the Enmore in 1841 and eventually settled at Bulla north of Melbourne. I was lucky enough to know that he came from Thurles in North Tipperary. The Fannings rented land and were relatively well off so have been easier to track than the other branches of my family. They were mostly farmers but some were shopkeepers and publicans. This has meant I have been able to find them in directories and other documents.
Unfortunately, I only know that Daniel Torpey came from Kings county, his wife from Queens county, and their first child, Maria, was born in Co Tipperary. I haven’t been able to find any records for them in Ireland at this stage other than the baptismal record for Maria.
I have recently done some searching for Kilkeary records. In the Tithe Applotment books there was a Roger Kilkeary in Sopwell townland about 1824.
In Griffiths Valuations all the Kilkearys were all in one area of Ireland! in North Tipperary up in the northern most area around Borrisokane. However in the townland of Sopwell there were no Kilkearys or Torpeys in 1851. However there were lots of Torpeys in Tipperary and surrounding counties.
I think it is more than likely that Sopwell was where Ann Kilkeary was born and raised. I did come across a baptismal record for an Anne Kilkeary born Sopwell, Borrisokane, 15 Nov 1823. Mother was Catherine Nolan but the father was Roger Kilkeary. On Ann’s death certificate her father was listed as John but this could easily have been a mistake although none of her sons was named Roger but one son was named John.
I have also read that the Torpeys were actually of older Irish stock than the Anglo-Norman Fanning family.
The name Torpey is an Anglecized form of the Gaelic O Tarpaigh. Tarpey and O’Tarpey, O’Torpey are all variations on the surname. They held a family seat in Cork and are said to be descended from the ancient tribe of Erainn stock. The O’Tarpeys were also associated with Sligo Co.
The first Torpey to come out to Australia was Daniel Torpey. He came from Kings County Ireland, now called Offaly Co and was born around 1820.
His father was also Daniel Torpey, a farmer and his mother was Mary Rider.
I recently came across a Baptism record for his brother, Patrick Torpey. He was baptised in Dunkerrin Parish, Kings County (Co Offaly), on 28 Mar 1830. His godparents were Michael Torpey and Honor Cleary.
He was 59 when he died of hepatitis. He was married to Anne Kilkeary in Ireland about 1850. She came from the next county Queens Co, now Laois. Most likely they both lived on the border of King’s and Queen’s counties but I have no towns or townland names for either of them. Daniel immigrated sometime around 1855. I haven’t been able to find the Torpeys on any passenger lists.
Anne and Daniel had seven children. Their first child, Maria, was born in August 1852 in Co Tipperary Ireland in the parish of Borrisokane.
I had difficulty finding Maria’s birth/baptism record as her father’s name was written as Turpey!
Their second child, Patrick, was born in 1855 in Hawthorn Victoria Australia. So they immigrated between 1852 and 1855 and may have come from an area on the border of all three counties.
Anne and Daniel Torpey had seven children: Maria 1852-1873, Patrick 1855-1858, Katherine 1858-1930, Daniel 1861-1924, Margaret , my great grandmother, 1863-1896, John 1865-1931 and Annie 1868-1950. On his daughter Katherine’s marriage certificate his occupation is given as cab proprietor.
Death Certificate for Anne Torpey nee Kilkeary 1907
Marriage notice for the wedding of Maria Torpey and Llewellyn Trask
Maria married Llewellyn Trask on the 9th of July in 1872 in Hokitika New Zealand. She was 21 and Llewellyn 22. Llewellyn was from Merriott Somerset Shire in England. He and his family had emigrated to new Zealand.
I have always found it strange that Maria should be married in New Zealand or what she was doing there.
Hokitika experienced a gold rush in the 1860s. The population of 1,000 had swelled to over 50,000 by 1866. Many of the prospectors came from Melbourne and it was described as a “suburb of Melbourne”.
She was also not married in St Mary’s Catholic church in Hokatika but in the home of Thomas Tully, a butcher and his wife Bridget, in Fitzherbert St Hokitika. They were married by Father A Martin, the Catholic Parish Priest.
Maria Trask nee Torpey died nine days after giving birth. She is buried in the Torpey family grave in Melbourne Cemetery Victoria Australia.
Her child was reared by the Torpey family. Llewellyn Trask went to Cleveland Ohio where he settled and remarried on Feb 4, 1876. There do not appear to have been any children from this marriage. Annie was the daughter of Francis Norton and Christiana Lawrence and was born in Merriott in Somerset shire England in 1856.
Annie and Llewellyn came over to Australia in 1887 and Llewellyn junior went back with them and lived and worked as a butcher until his father’s death. He then came back to Victoria and settled.
Llewellyn died on 3 September 1890, aged 39, from congestion of the lungs, which seems to have been after an operation. His death was reported in the New Zealand paper The Colonist on Nov 7 1890.
He lived at 1428 Pearl St Cleveland where he worked as a butcher. He is buried in the Riverside Cemetery.
His brother Francis was Mayor of Nelsen on the south island of New Zealand.
Llewellyn Trask junior married Catherine Miller (1875-1954). Their children were Llewellyn Trask born 1901, Francis Reuben born 1904 and Veronica born 1906. Llewellyn Charles born 1873 died in 1942 aged about 69. He is buried in Fawkner Cemetery in Melbourne.
His son Llewellyn married Selma Salisbury in 1930. He died in Hampton, Melbourne in 1976, aged about 74.
Daniel and Anne’s second daughter Katherine married John Horan in St Ignatius’s Church in Richmond Melbourne on 28 April 1886. She was 26. Her husband John Horan was born in Collingwood in 1860 and died there in 1931 aged 71.
Daniel Charles Torpey married Gertrude Gardiner Woolley. They lived in Abbotsford, Collingwood.
He died in Kew in 1924, aged 63 and is buried in Boroondara Cemetery Kew Melbourne with his wife Gertrude.
Their third daughter was my great grandmother Margaret.
Margaret married William Charles Knighton in 1893. On her marriage record her place of birth is given as NSW which is mysterious or perhaps a transcription error. On the actual document it is Camperfield Sydney Rd. Hence the mistake.
William Knighton was a tram employee at the time of their marriage and Margaret a servant. They were both 28.
They had two children Mary and James, my grandfather. See the Knighton Family post for more on this side of my family.
Margaret died after the birth of her second child, Mary.
Annie Torpey, the youngest child of Daniel and Anne, was married to Thomas Leahy in 1915 (1864 -1924). They lived at 104 Ford St Ivanhoe Melbourne. In the 1903 census she is listed as a saleswoman. She was living with her mother and brother John at 29 Baker St Richmond Melbourne. John was a driver. In 1914 he was living at this address with Llewellyn Charles Trask, a butcher and his nephew. Annie was 84 when she died in Ivanhoe, a suburb of Melbourne, in 1950.
The main family surnames on my mother’s paternal side are Knighton, Ledwich or Ledwidge and Torpey.
The first Knighton in our family to come out to Australia from England was James Knighton, my great great grandfather. There is a James Knighton, age 25, who arrived at Port Phillip bay from London on 9 July 1853 on the Sir Henry Hardinge. His birth date given as about 1828. His death certificate says he had been in the colonies for about 30 years. If this is accurate he would have immigrated about 1853.
He married Eliza Ledwich on March 1, 1864 in Scots’ Presbyterian Church Melbourne Victoria Australia.
James worked as a coachman in 1864 and his father James’ occupation is listed as groom. The Mary Ledwidge who witnessed the wedding was a cousin of Eliza’s.
James Knighton died in November 1883 age 45.
At the time of his death he was living at Crown St Richmond and he died of renal cancer after a three month illness. His occupation was listed as manager. His father’s name was also James and his mother was Louisa. Her maiden name was not entered. The informant was James Beamish, his brother-in-law, who was living at Stanley St Richmond and married to his wife’s sister, Margaret Ledwidge. Two children are listed: William age 18 and James deceased.
On his death certificate it says he was born in Chelsea England whereas his marriage certificate has him being born in Jersey which is in the Channel Islands also part of England. I looked at all the census records for Jersey and no Knightons are listed at all. In the English mainland census records there are many Knightons. I think that his thick accent may have made Chelsea sound like Jersey. I have been unable to find any birth records for him with James and Louisa Knighton as parents.
James is buried with other family members in Boroondara Cemetery Kew Victoria.
Eliza Knighton nee Ledwich died in Dec 1911. Eliza Ledwich’s family history is described more fully in this post Ledwidge or Ledwich Family History.
The Knightons lived in the inner Melbourne suburb of Richmond their whole lives.
James and Eliza Knighton nee Ledwidge had three children. William James, my great grandfather, was born in 1864, James Edward was born in 1866 but died aged 20 months. Richard was born in 1867 but there are no other records other than his birth registration so it is likely he died as a baby.
William James Knighton married Margaret (Maggie) Torpey in at St Ignatius’ Catholic Church 326 Church St Richmond Melbourne.
She died in after giving birth to their second child Mary. This post Torpey Family History has a lot more on the Torpey family.
In the census of 1909 for Victoria William was living with his mother Eliza at 8 Crown St Richmond. He worked as a labourer from 1909 to 1924. On his son James’ death certificate his occupation was given as coach builder. In 1914 he was still at 8 Crown St but from then on he was living at 4 Crown St Richmond. He died in 1925 aged 60 from cardiac failure. He is buried in Burwood Cemetery.
James, his son, was present when he died and was living at 160 Cowper St Footscray.
1912 Jim Knighton 6th from the right in the second back row. Brighton Football Team
Brighton Football Club Player Lists 1912 & 1913
James Knighton in football jumper. Unknown club.
James (Jim) my grandfather served in WW1 and had injuries to his knee and leg. He was injured fighting on the Somme in 1918. This injury continued to give him pain throughout his life. He worked as a tanner.
He enlisted on the 8th of May 1916 in Melbourne.
He was 5′ 9 3/4″ tall and weighed 162 lbs and was 22 years and two months old. His religion was listed as Catholic. He served in the 12th Army Field Artillery Brigade of the A.I.F. He was a gunner. He served on the Western Front in France and Belgium.
He embarked on the “Borda” from Melbourne on Oct 20 1916.
Embarkation Roll: Service number: 27845 Rank: Gunner Roll title: 24 HB [Howitzer Brigade] – 2 to 10 Reinforcements (May 1916 – February 1917) Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918 Date of embarkation: 20 October 1916 Place of embarkation: Melbourne Ship embarked on: HMAT Borda Ship number: A30
On the 28th Nov 1916 he broke ship and was AWL from 8 pm on that date until arrested by the guard. He was given 24 hrs detention.
9 Jan 1917 Arrived in Plymouth England
10 months in England?
23 Nov 1917 He left from Southampton for France.
24 Nov 1917 Marched in ex-England. Place: Rouelles France.
26 Nov 1917 Marched out to 12th (A) F A Bade Rouelles.
30 Nov 1917 12th Army Bde posted to B.A.C. Belgium (Flanders?)
7 Dec 1917 Belgium
19 April 1918 Drunk on the field on active service. Given 10 days ?
22 August 1918 Wounded in action France 12 Army Bde. at the second Battle of the Somme which commenced on August 21. The battle took place along the northern part of the river near Baupaume.
23 August in General Hospital Rouen France
25 August 1918 Transferred to England on “Panama”
28 August 1918 he was admitted to hospital in Cheltenham England for right knee and left thigh injuries.
20 Dec 1918 Back to Australia on the “Karoola”
29 Jan 1919 Disembarked Australia. He was medically discharged. His discharge papers state he is totally incapacitated.
In 1921 Jim Knighton married Grace Annie Frances Cook in Richmond Melbourne.
They had two children, Winifred and James. James died in hospital after birth.
The marriage foundered and James left and went and lived with a french woman, Juliette.
Jim Knighton’s sister Mary married Henry Edward Miller and they had four sons, Henry, Bruce, James and Edward.
James “Jim” Knighton died in 1945 aged 52.
James William Charles Knighton was the last son of this Knighton family descended from James and Louisa Knighton. He is buried in Burwood Cemetery Melbourne with his father and wife Grace Cook.
James Knighton and Grace Cook had two children. A boy died at birth. I was told “he didn’t come home from the hospital”. Winifred Helena Knighton their only daughter was born 14 Sept 1920.
My mother’s aunt, Mary Knighton, married Henry William Miller in Richmond, Melbourne,Victoria on February 15, 1916, during the time of the First World War. He was 21, she was 20 years old.
Mary was the daughter of William Knighton and Margaret “Maggie” Torpey. Her mother had died giving birth to Mary. Her elder brother, James, was my grandfather.
Mary and Harry had four sons: James Henry, Edward Vivian, Henry William and Bruce Leonard. My mother was close to Ted her cousin and I remember him and his wife Ann.
Harry’s father, also called Harry, but nicknamed “Darkie” lived on the west coast of Tasmania. He was a well known athlete and boxer.
Young Harry Miller 1864-1953
He is also said to have been a circus circus performer but I have no evidence of this.
His first wife Lydia died young.
He remarried Isabella Kalmbach and had three more children with her in Zeehan on the west coast of Tasmania.
Ted Miller was the grandson of Harry Miller “Darkie”and the second son of Mary Knighton and Henry Edward Miller. Ted was born in 1919 and died in 1992 in Victoria.
Electoral records show that in 1942 Ted was working as a polisher and living at 126 Elizabeth St Richmond with his parents and brother James. His father worked as a masseur with a football club. Not sure which one?? anyone know…probably Richmond. James was in the boot trade. Ted lived here until his marriage to Ann Edwina Tribe. They lived in Bentleigh until after 1977 when they moved to Arthur’s Creek Diamond Valley Victoria.
During the Second World War Ted was in the medical section of the Royal Australian Air Force.
Ted was injured during the war. While he was convalescing he decided that he wanted to train as a nurse.
He was an early graduate of the St Vincent’s School of Nursing. He went on to hold senior nursing positions including nurse in charge of the Microsurgery Unit and of the Bolte Rehabilitation Center His career also included several years spent in British Columbia Canada in the early 1960s to obtain obstetric nurse training.
His wife Ann was also a nurse. They met while they were training at St Vincent’s Hospital.
Below are photos of Ted’s three brothers:
Harry and Jimmy Miller Boxing
All of the Miller brothers, Ted, Harry, Jimmy and Bruce, enlisted and served in WW2.