William Fanning & Sarah Guidera Co Tipperary and Wellington New Zealand

William Fanning c1828-1907 born Co Tipperary Ireland emigrated to new Zealand and lived in Wellington. He may be related to the Lissaroon Fannings.

I came across this obituary for a William Fanning from Co Tipperary born about1828 and he died in 1907. The fact that he is said to be related to John Eviston got me interested. How is he related? and could he be part of my Fanning clan?

William Fanning Wellington NZ Obituary 1907
William Fanning Wellington NZ Obituary 1907

The John Eviston he is related to was born in Clonomocogue just north of Thurles in 1844 and died in Bathurst, NSW Australia in 1925. His mother was Mary Fanning, daughter of William Fanning and Hanera Cormick of Lissaroon, my ancestors.

On William Fanning’s death certificate his parents are listed as Phillip Fanning and Mary Fanning nee Eviston. They were married in Loughmore Parish Co Tipperary on 31 Jan 1822, witnessed by Robert Eviston and John Leahy. So John Eviston and William Fanning were first cousins. William’s mother Mary Eviston marrying Phillip Fanning of Dunkerrin.

I could not find a birth or baptism record for William but did find records for two of his sisters. Margaret was born in Castleroan Dunkerrin Co Offaly, her godparents were John Hennesy and Mary Fanning. Mary, the other sister, was born in the same address and baptised on 7 Oct 1838, her godparents were John and Mary Maher.

Phillip, William’s father, died on 15 April 1875 in the parish of Shinrone, Kings county. He was a farmer.  He  died from bronchitis, aged 82. His mother Mary Fanning nee Eviston died in Castleroan on 1 Mar 1886 in Shinrone Parish Co Offaly(Kings). She was 86 and cause of death was marasmus, severe malnutrition.

Death certificate of William Fanning 1907
Death certificate of William Fanning 1907
Nenagh Guardian 28 Sept 1912


Nenagh News 23 Feb 1923

William was born in Castlerone (I think this is Castleroan) Ireland and had been in NZ for 20 years. He was married in Ireland at age 30, to Sarah Guidera. Nine children are listed on William’s death record but only their ages are given. Five Males aged 46, 44, 34, 30 and 29 years. Then there were four females aged 40, 38, 36 and 32 years.

William’s death record had him dying at 2 McFarland Street, Wellington on 13 August, 1907. He was 79 years old and died from “old Age”.

There are baptism and birth records for the following children of William and Sarah Guidera. The family lived at Oldcastle in the parish of Cournageen (Bourney) Co Tipperary.

Daniel baptised 26 July 1862 sponsors: Phill Fanning and Mary Guidera.

Mary birth 1 Feb 1864, baptised 13 Feb 1864 sponsors: James and Anne Fanning

William born 19 May 1865, baptised 30 May 1865, sponsors: William Kealy and Johanna Guidera

Elizabeth born 23 Dec 1866 and baptised on 5 Jan 1867

Sarah born 15 July 1868 and baptised on 17 August 1868

Margaret born 19 Dec 1869 and baptised on 19 Jan 1870

Patrick born 1 Mar 1871 and baptised on 1 April 1871

Johanna born 6 Jan 1873 and baptised on 22 Jan 1873

Michael born 17 Sept 1874 and baptised on 3 Oct 1874

Unk Fanning female born 23 June 1876 and baptised 23 Aug 1876

James born 23 June 1876 and baptised 23 Aug 1876 twin of above unnamed child.

Two of the children of William and Sarah, William and Phillip, are said to have gone to America instead of emigrating to New Zealand.

William Fanning is buried in Karori Cemetery in the Wellington region with his wife Sarah and sons, John Joseph and Frank.

William Fanning grave Karori Cemetery Wellington 1907

William Fanning & family grave Karori Cemetery Wellington NZ
Family grave of William Fanning Karori Cemetery Wellington New Zealand


Author: Kathleen

I have done an Ancestry DNA test and also have uploaded my test results to GedMatch. My GedMatch kit numbers are A029138 and T470174. Please contact me if we are a match. kathleenmfanningAThotmailDOTcom

6 thoughts on “William Fanning & Sarah Guidera Co Tipperary and Wellington New Zealand”

  1. Hi Kathleen,

    William Fanning and Sarah Guidera were my great-great-grandparents. My grandfather George Fanning was the son of William and Sarah’s son Frank Fanning.

    William and two of his sons (including Frank) had a successful realty firm in Wellington, NZ. The family business was passed on to my grandfather, and then uncle, but sold in the late 1990s.

    I understand that Frank was born in Roscrae, County Tipperary, but I haven’t found any information about his birth date or christening.

    I believe at least two or possibly three of the elder siblings emigrated to the States before William and Sarah emigrated to New Zealand with the remaining children.

    Curious if we are related.


    1. Hi Myfanwy,
      Sorry it has taken so long to get back to you .I have been on holidays and just got back.
      I had a look for anything on Francis but could find nothing.

      Not sure if you know that the catholic birth & marriage registers are now online at the National Library of Ireland?
      Also, all the civil records have just been put online at irishgenealogy.ie. Both are free.

      It is quite possible we are related if you go back to the early 1800’s. Unfortunately the early Irish records don’t go back as far as the English and have very few details. So it is impossible to link up family groups with certainty.

      I have managed to trace my earliest Fanning ancestors to Lissaroon north of Thurles. William Fanning died in 1802 and his wife in 1817. A Fanning fourth cousin I talked to in Ireland said that all the Fannings in the area came from this original Fanning family who settled at Lissaroon. True, I don’t know. Your Fanning family could be descended from the Lissaroon Fannings but at this stage there is no way to prove it.

      From what I have found on my Fanning family they were relatively well off and either farmers or publicans or both. They were entrepreneurs and had the business confidence of the well off. My gggrandfather was quick to start buying land and during the gold rush he made money taking supplies to the gold diggers. A similar work/business ethic to your NZ Fannings?

      Good luck with your searching and if you have any more questions ask away. If you find out anything interesting that might link the families let me know. Just a coincidence but my grandfather was called Frank Fanning.



    2. Hi Myfanwy, we are related! Sarah & William were my second great grandparents. I’m descended from their youngest (Frederick). I’ve just received Sarah’s death certificate and it lists her parents as John Gindra & Elizabeth Maher so I’m starting to gather a few more siblings of Sarah from this information. If you’d like to discuss and compare trees my email is . I have 15 children recorded as being born to Sarah & William. Missing above is Philip b 3 June 1859, John Joseph b Aug 1860, Frank – I found an entry in 1872 in the online microfilms. You couldnt see the first name or month etc but I’m pretty sure this was Frank. I have been told Philip (eldest) and William emigrated to the USA but I don’t have details on that. The “unknown” girl I’m pretty sure was Clara and the youngest missing from the list was my gg grandfather, Frederick. I also wonder if Sarah was recorded as being born Elisa. Her parents had an Eliza b 1837 and an Elisa b 1839 (Sarah’s estimated date of birth) No record of Sarah’s birth recorded which is strange, hence me thinking maybe she was born Elisa.

  2. Hi, I was looking up info on cousins Luke and Daniel Dunne who lived in Roscrea and saw in 1901 and 1911 census that a niece named Mary Fanning was living with them. In 1901 she was listed as age 24 then when she died she was listed as age 53 but if she was born 1877 should be 53. Anyway I want to know if you think she is connected to your family and do you have any info on her. I found a birth record listed Birr, Roscrea for Oct 4th 1877 could be her with parents Philip and Eliza. Doyle Fanning.
    I do have matches with Doyles on Ancestry but do not know anything about that name or the Fanning name until now. I noticed you had Powell’s we have Powells on the Kelly side I think if not the Ryan’s ,also, the name Hennessy and Maher come up on my ancestry matches. Can you write back and let me know if you think there is a connection.

    Thank you, Mary Martin.

    1. Hi Mary,
      Of the top of my head I don’t know if your Dunne family is related to my Fanning family.
      You will have to stay with what you know which is your cousins, Luke and Daniel Dunne and work back from there.
      There were a lot of Fanning families living around Thurles at this time, not so many now.
      If Mary Fanning was their niece it means that Luke and Daniel’s sister married a Fanning. She was born in Co Tipperary whereas the two Dunne brothers are living in Srahanbregagh in Kings Co (present day Offaly Co). So the Dunne sister would have been from here as well and married in this Parish to a Co Tipp Fanning. So you will need to try and find which Catholic Parish corresponds to Ettagh Civil Parish in Kings Co Could be Kilcomman Catholic Parish and try looking up the marriage records online at nli. Free BUT not indexed. hard work. Or a much easier option would be to search my blog and see if a Dunne Fanning Baptism for Mary is there, as she was born in Co Tipp. I had a look on my blog and no Dunne Fanning records there. Good luck searching. Maher,Ryan,Doyle and Kelly are very very common Irish surnames BTW.

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