Torpey Family History, Ireland to Collingwood Victoria Australia

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.

Sopwell Hall Co Tipperary
Sopwell Hall Co Tipperary

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.

Torpey Coat of Arms
Torpey Coat of Arms

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.

 

Map of irish Counties 2
Map of Irish Counties

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.

Maria Torpey born Sopwell near Borrisokane Map
The area where Maria Torpey was born in 1852 in the Parish of Borrisokane Co Tipperary Ireland. A = Sopwell, their address on Maria’s Baptism record in 29 Aug 1852.

I had difficulty finding Maria’s birth/baptism record as her father’s name was written as Turpey!

Maria Torpey Baptism 1852
Baptism record of Maria Torpey 1852 Parish of Borrisokane Co Tipperary Ireland

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.

Daniel Torpey Death Certificate 1889 cr
Death Certificate for Daniel Torpey 1889
Anne Torpey nee Kilkeary Death Notice Argus 7 Nov 1907
Death notice for Anne Torpey The Argus 7 Nov 1907

Anne Kilkeary Death Certificate 1907CR

Death Certificate for Anne Torpey nee Kilkeary 1907

Maria Torpey 1871
Maria Torpey 1871
Hokitika in the 1860s
Ships at Hokitika during the gold rush 1860s

 

Torpey Marriage W Coast Times _0002

Marriage notice for the wedding of Maria Torpey and Llewellyn Trask

Hokitika Township in the 1870s
Hokitika Township New Zealand in the 1870s

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.

Rev Dean Martin
Rev Dean Martin who married Maria and Llewellyn.

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.

Birth Certificate Llewellyn Charles Trask born 1873_NEW
Birth Record of Llewellyn Charles Trask born June 2, 1873 Collingwood Victoria Australia

 

Maria Trask nee Torpey died nine days after giving birth. She is buried in the Torpey family grave in Melbourne Cemetery Victoria Australia.

Mary Trask nee Torpey Death 1873cr
Death Certificate of Maria Trask nee Torpey

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.

Llewellyn Trask Death Notice NZ_0003
Llewellyn Trask Death Notice The Colonist New Zealand

He lived at 1428 Pearl St Cleveland where he worked as a butcher. He is buried in the Riverside Cemetery.

Francis Trask
Francis Trask

His brother Francis was Mayor of Nelsen on the south island of New Zealand.

Graves of Llewelyn Trask and family_0001 (2)
Grave plan for Llewellyn Trask and the Norton family in Cleveland Ohio USA

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.

Daniel Torpey Billiards Prahran Telegraph 28 Aug 1889
Daniel Torpey in a Billiards competition 28 Aug 1889 The Prahran Telegraph

He died in Kew in 1924, aged 63 and is buried in Boroondara Cemetery Kew Melbourne with his wife Gertrude.

Danel Torpey and Gertrude Gardiner Woolley Grave Boroondara
Grave of Danel Torpey and Gertrude Gardiner Woolley Boroondara Cemetery Kew Melbourne Australia

Their third daughter was my great grandmother Margaret.

Margaret Torpey 3
Margaret Torpey

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 Torpey Marriage William Knighton 1893 cropped
Marriage Certificate of Margaret Torpey and William Knighton 1893

Margaret died after the birth of her second child, Mary.

Margaret Knighton neeTorpey Death 1896 cr
Death record of Margaret Knighton neeTorpey 1896
Knighton Grave Boroondara Close Up (2)
Grave of Margaret Knighton nee Torpey in Boroondara Cemetery Kew Melbourne

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.

Torpey Graves Melb Gen Cem
Torpey family graves Melbourne Cemetery Victoria Australia
Torpey Graves Melb Cem
Torpey gravestone Melbourne Cemetery Victoria Australia

Knighton Family History

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.

Scots Church
Scots Church Collins St Melbourne Victoria

He married Eliza Ledwich on March 1, 1864 in Scots’ Presbyterian Church Melbourne Victoria Australia.

James Knighton & Eliza Ledwich Marriage 1864
Marriage Certificate of James Knighton & Eliza Ledwich 1864

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 Death Notice The Argus Mon 12 Nov 1883
James Knighton Death Notice The Argus Mon 12 Nov 1883

James Knighton died in November 1883 age 45.

James Knighton Death Certificate 1883_cropped
Death Certificate of James Knighton died 1883

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.

Knighton Gravestone Boroondara Cemetery Kew
Grave of James Knighton, his infant son James, Eliza Knighton nee Ledwich and Margaret Knighton nee Torpey.
Knighton Graves Boroondara Cemetery
Knighton Family Graves Boroondara Cemetery Kew Victoria Australia

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.

Burnley Rd Richmond 1905
Burnley Rd Richmond Victoria Australia 1905

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.

St Ignatius Church Richmond Victoria Australia
St Ignatius Church Richmond Victoria

William James Knighton married Margaret (Maggie) Torpey in at St Ignatius’ Catholic Church 326 Church St Richmond Melbourne.

 

Margaret Torpey Marriage William Knighton 1893 cropped
Marriage Certificate of Margaret Torpey and William James Knighton 1893

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 William Knighton Death Certificate 1925
Death Certificate William James Knighton 1925

James, his son, was present when he died and was living at 160 Cowper St Footscray.

Jim Knighton Brighton FC cropped
Jim Knighton Brighton Football Team date unknown Second row first on left

Jim Knighton Football Team

1912 Jim Knighton 6th from the right in the second back row. Brighton Football Team

Brighton Football Club Player Lists 1912 & 1913

Brighton Football Club Player Lists 1912 & 1913

Brighton Football Club Players 1914 & 1915
Brighton Football Club Players 1914 & 1915

Jim Knighton Close Up

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.

James Knighton on horseback pre WW1
ames William Charles Knighton c1916

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.

HMAT A30 Borda
Troopship “Borda”

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.

James Knighton date unkown in suit center
James Knighton is in the centre. Date Unknown.

In 1921 Jim Knighton married Grace Annie Frances Cook in Richmond Melbourne.

Grace Annie Frances Cook
Grace Annie Frances Cook
James Knighton & Grace Cook Marriage 1921 cropped
Marriage Certificate James Knighton and Grace Cook 1921

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 Chas Knighton Death Cert 1945
Death Certificate of James William Charles Knighton 1945
James Knighton 188 Drummond St Carlton
Last address of James Knighton. 188 Drummond St Carlton Melbourne.

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 William Knighton, James Knighton and Grace Cook Grave Burwood Cemetery
Grave of James William and James Charles Knighton and Grace Cook Burwood Cemetery Melbourne

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.

Winifred Knighton's First Communion
Winifred Knighton First Communion Melbourne

 

Winifred Knighton at a birthday party
Winifred Knighton at a birthday party arrow pointing to her
Nana and Mum
Grace Cook with daughter Wyn Knighton holding the cat
Winifred Fanning nee Knighton
Winifred Fanning nee Knighton

 

James & Louisa Knighton Descendants Report 2015
James & Louisa Knighton Descendants Report 2015

 

Some Miller and Knighton Family History, Richmond Victoria Australia

Mary Knighton 2
Mary Knighton, my mother’s aunt.

 

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.

Margaret Torpey 3
Maggie Torpey 1863-1896

 

Jim Knighton Close Up
Mary’s brother James Knighton. He was born in 1894 and died in 1945

 

Mary Knighton
Mary Miller nee Knighton,1896-1964
Henry Edward Miller 1894-1986
Henry Edward Miller, “Harry”, 1894-1986

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.

Henry Miller 1864-1953

Young Harry Miller 1864-1953

Harry Darkie Miller
Harry Darkie Miller 1864-1953
Harry Darkie Miller Zeehan & Dundas Herald 24 June 1921
Harry Darkie Miller Zeehan & Dundas Herald 24 June 1921

 

Harry Miller Fight 1904 Hobart Mercury June 6 1904
Harry Miller Fight 1904 Hobart Mercury

 

 

Harry Miller Benefit 20 Aug The Hobart Mercury 1921
1921 Hobart Mercury Benefit for Harry Miller

 

 

Harry Miller The Mercury Hobart 29 Aug 1921
Harry Miller The Mercury Hobart 21 August 1921

 

 

 

He is also said to have been a circus circus performer but I have no evidence of this.

Lydia England 1876-1895
Lydia England 1876-1895 mother of Harry Miller who married Mary Knighton

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.

Edward Vivian Miller Service Record WW2
Service Record of Ted Miller WW2

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.

 

Ted Miller and nurses
Graduation photo St Vincent’s Hospital melbourne 1951
Edward Vivian Ted Miller Passes Nursing Exam The Argus 23 Nov 1951
Edward Vivian Ted Miller Passes Nursing Exam The Argus 23 Nov 1951
Ted Miller
Ted Miller, on the right, with fellow workers at St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne

Below are photos of Ted’s three brothers:

Henry William Miller 1921-2011
Henry William Miller 1921-2011
James Henry Miller 1916-1976
James Henry Miller 1916-1976

 

Bruce Leonard Miller 1923-1968
Bruce Leonard Miller 1923-1968

 

Harry & Jimmy Miller boxing featured image

Harry and Jimmy Miller Boxing

Harry Miller Boxing gloves
Harry Miller
Harry Miller Snr second fr right, Harry jnr schoolboy in Melbourne High School uniform
Harry Miller Snr, second fr right, Harry jnr, schoolboy in Melbourne High School uniform

All of the Miller brothers, Ted, Harry, Jimmy and Bruce, enlisted and served in WW2.

James Henry Miller Service Record WW2
WW2 Service Record of James Henry Miller
Henry William Miller Service Record WW2
WW2 Service Record for Henry William Miller
Bruce Leonard Miller Service Record WW2
Bruce Leonard Miller Service Record WW2
Miller Brothers in Uniform 1
Ted, Jimmy, Bruce and Harry Miller in Uniform WW2
Ted and Jimmy Miller
Ted and Jimmy Miller WW2
Bruce and Harry Miller
Bruce and Harry Miller WW2

Charles Miller Descendant Report 2015Descendants of Charles Miller Report 2015