The Mackey Family from Limerick to Victoria Australia

Thomas Mackey was born in Co Limerick Ireland in 1853. He emigrated to Victoria Australia as did other members of his family. He married Bridget Burns in Echuca Victoria and they had nine children He worked as a draper and died in 1926. He is buried in Fawkner Cemetery Melbourne 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.His grandparents were Patrick Mackey and Catherine Dwyer.

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.

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

I have started looking for connections between the various Mackey families in the areas surrounding Kilduff. Trying to find my 4x great grandparents, the parents of Patrick Mackey who married Catherine Dwyer.

Mackey – 1853. Co. Limerick. Griffith’s Valuation extracts 

John, Kilballyowen, Knockainy
Patrick, Loughgur (Village of Loughgur), Knockainy
John, Kilballyowen, Knockainy
Patrick, Loughgur (Village of Loughgur), Knockainy
John, Kilballyowen, Knockainy
Timothy, Castlefarm, Hospital
Timothy, Castlefarm, Hospital
Patrick, Loughgur (Village of Loughgur), Knockainy
James, Ballinacurra Hore’s St Lc, Limerick St. Michaels
Michael, Gooig, Stradbally
Patrick, Gooig, Stradbally
Timothy, Cloon and Commons, Stradbally
Anthony, Lacka, Castleconnell Vill, Stradbally
Anthony, Lacka, Stradbally
Anth, Lacka, Castleconnell Vill Stradbally
Anthony, Gooig, Stradbally
Timothy, Castlefarm, Hospital
William, Corelish West, Grean
Patrick, Dromkeen South, Dromkeen
James, Carnane, Fedamore
James, Carnane, Fedamore
Patrick, Ballybeg, Dromkeen
Patrick, Dromkeen South, Dromkeen
Patrick, Dromkeen South, Dromkeen
Patrick, Ballybeg, Dromkeen
James, Carnane, Fedamore
John, Kilduff, Grean
William, Corelish West, Grean
John, Kilduff, Grean
Thomas, Kilduff, Grean
Thomas, Kilduff, Grean
John, Kilduff, Grean
Thomas, Kilduff, Grean
William, Corelish West, Grean
Patrick, Ballybeg, Dromkeen

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.

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

The Gormley Family Co Roscommon Ireland and NSW Australia

Cornelius and Ann Gormley and their children arrived from Co Roscommon in 1853. They settled and farmed in NSW at Belmore River. Ellen Gormley married Joihn Henry Fanning and lived at Bulla in Victoria. Their three other daughters married into the Hanly, McClymont and McGuire families.

Gormley Family Arrive on the Ellenborough 1853
The Passenger list of the “Ellenborough” 1853

In the Sydney Shipping Gazette
Volume 10, Number 497 (17 October, 1853) page 310:

October 12 :- ELLENBOROUGH, ship, 1038 tons, Captain Thornhill, from
Southampton July 10th, with 405 Government emigrants. Mr. Burke
surgeon-superintendent. Young & Co. agents.

On board were Connor Gormley, his wife Ann, sons Thomas and Peter, daughters Sarah, Eliza, and Ellen.

Cornelius’s father was Thomas Gormley. In Griffith’s Valuation for Co Roscommon, Ireland, 1851, there are two listings for a Thomas Gormley in the Parish of Kilcorkey. One is in the townland of Bellanagare for 3 acres of  land and the other is in the townland of Bellanagare Village for a house and yard. There are no other listings for a Thomas Gormley in Co Roscommon. The obit for Cornelius Gormley in The Sydney Freeman’s Journal below states he was from the Parish of Elphin. This parish is next to the Parish of Kilcorkey.

The Gormleys lived at Belmore River, which is in the Macleay Valley, on the Mid North Coast of NSW.

In Greville’s Post Office Directory 1872  for the town of Gladstone, there are three Gormleys listed at Belmore River: Cornelius Gormley, James Gormley and John Gormley. They are all farmers and may be brothers of Cornelius or cousins from Co Roscommon.

Most of the Gormleys are buried in Fredrickton Cemetery which is just north of Kempsey in NSW.

Gormley Family Graves Fredrickton NSW
Gormley Family Graves Fredrickton Cemetery NSW
Cornelius and Ann Gormley
Cornelius and Ann Gormley nee MacDermid Fredrickton Cemetery NSW

Obituary for Cornelius Gormley in The Sydney Freeman’s Journal 2 Nov 1895

At Gladstone, Macleay River, after receiving all
the consolations of religion, a sterling old Irish
Catholic has passed away in the person of Mr.
Cornelius Gormley. He had reached the good old
age of four score and four. He was born in the
parish of Elphin, County Roscommon, Ireland, and
was a brother of the Rev. F. Gormley, of the same
parish, and the Rev. John Gormley, of Dublin. In
1853, owing to the depression prevailing m his
native land, he, with his wife and family, came to
New South Wales, and although he exiled himself
he was ever true to the land he loved so well,
aiding pecuniarily and otherwise every movement
for its advancement and welfare. Even in his
advanced age, a few years back, when Sir Thomas
Esmonde paid a visit to the district, he was con
spicuous for his energetic endeavours to help ‘ the
cause.’ Being a devoted Catholic, he always took
a great interest in Church matters. He did much to
advance the interests of religion in the early days
on the Macleay by the hospitality he extended’ to
the pioneer priests and his endeavours to facili
tate their modes of travelling through the district.
It was in Mr. Gormley’s house that the first Mass
was celebrated on the Lower Macleay many years
ago by the late Rev. Father Coghlan. He was
always active in the political field from the year
1835, when in his native county he recorded his first
vote for O’ Conor Don, to the 24th of July last, when
he rose from a bed of sickness to give what he well
knew would be his last vote to the present member
for the Macleay, Mr. Frank Clarke. When New
South Wales received responsible government, he
played a prominent part in the elections, being at
that time in Sydney. He worked hard endeavour
ing to secure for the country the services in Parlia
ment of such men as Messrs. Plunkett, Deniehy,
and W. Forstor, and afterwards, in 1864, was one of
a party in inducing Mr. Forster to stand for
the old electorate of the Macleay, which seat
Mr. Forster subsequently won. Being a man of in
dependent means, he latterly rested from work, and
until about a year ago, when old age began to weigh
him down, he enjoyed the best of health. The de
ceased was attended in the closing scenes of his life
by the Very Rev. Father Doyle, who administered
the last rites of the Church. The coffin, which was
adorned with many lovely wreaths and crosses,
was placed in the family vault in the Catholic por
tion of the Frederickton cemetery, where his wife,
eldest son, and one daughter had been previously
laid to rest. The funeral was one of the largest ever
seen on the Macleay. The deceased leaves one son
and three daughters, and several grandchildren.

Grave of Thomas Gormley 1875
Grave of Thomas Gormley 1875 Fredrickton Cemetery NSW

Glory In Excelsis Deo

Erected By

Cornelias & Ann Gormley

In Memory Of

Their Beloved Son


A Native of Cy Rosscommon


Who departed This Life

August the 29th 1875

Aged 33 Years

All young men as you pass by

As you are now so once was I

As I am now so you must be

So be prepared to follow me.

Ann Gormley nee McDermott Obit Freemans Journal 14 Mar 1891cr
Obituary for Ann Gormley nee McDermott Freeman’s Journal 14 Mar 1891
Gravestone of Eliza Hanley nee Gormley
Gravestone of Eliza Hanley nee Gormley
Mary Ann McGuire and Peter Gormley
Mary Ann McGuire nee Gormley 1916 and Peter Gormley 1916
Mary Ann McGuire nee Gormley 1916 obit
Mary McGuire nee Gormley The Northern Star 1916
Mary McGuire nee Gormley Obit Catholic Press 1916 cr
Obituary for Mary McGuire in The Catholic Press 16 March 1916


Ellen Fanning nee Gormley Bulla
Ellen Fanning nee Gormley Bulla Cemetery Victoria Australia

The following is a descendant report on the Gormley family from Co Roscommon Ireland who settled at Belmore River NSW Australia:

Descendant Report for Thomas Gormley Co Roscommon Ireland Nov 2016
Descendant Report for Thomas Gormley Co Roscommon Ireland Nov 2016

Descendants of Patrick Kelliher born c1800 Callinafercy Co Kerry Ireland

The Kelleher family lived in Kilmore Victoria Australia. Their ancestors, Patrick and Bridget Kelliher nee Mannix came out to Victoria from Callinafercy Co Kerry Ireland in the 186o’s. Hannah Mary Kelleher (Nance) married John Hugh Fanning on 21 Oct 1925 in Melbourne Victoria Australia.

Map of irish Counties use
Map of Irish Counties

My father’s uncle John Hugh Fanning married Hannah Kelleher, called Nance. She was a descendant of the Kellihers from Callinafercy Co Kerry Ireland. They lived in Kilmore Victoria Australia.

Nance and Jack Fanning
Nance Fanning nee Kelleher with her husband John Hugh Fanning
Frank Fanning and Pat Kelleher
My grandfather Frank Fanning on the left with Pat Kelleher on the middle horse. Pat was Nance’s brother.

Kelliher Descendant Report 2015

Kelliher Descendant Report 2015

Descendants of William Fannin (1731-1802) and Sarah Ryan (1742-1817) Lissaroon Co Tipperary Ireland

The descendants to six generations of William Fannin (1731-1802) & Sarah Ryan (1742-1817) of Lissaroon Co Tipperary Ireland. Both are buried in Ballycahill Cemetery Co Tipperary Ireland.

The following report details the descendants to five generations of William Fannin (1731-1802) & Sarah Ryan (1742-1817) of Lissaroon Co Tipperary Ireland. Both are buried in Ballycahill Cemetery Co Tipperary. William and Sarah Fannin are the earliest Fanning ancestors I have been able to trace so far.

Gribben Family History Co Down Ireland, Victoria Australia and New Zealand

Descendants of Hugh Gribbin of Co Down Ireland are given. Hugh and John Gribbin are listed in the Victorian Post Office Directory Australia. John was the father-in-law of Patrick Collins of Northcote and Patrick was the father-in-law of Edward Fanning of Bulla.

Map of irish Counties use
Map of the Irish Counties

Patrick Collins, my ggggrandfather, was a member of the Royal Irish Constabulary. He was born in Co Limerick but as was the custom was stationed far from home and family in Co Down. After his seven years was up he married Mary Gribben.

Mary Gribben was born in Co Down  her parents were Mary Carlin and John Gribben. They all emigrated to Australia from Liverpool in 1857.

John Gribben was born in Dromara Co Down about 1793. One of his sons Hugh emigrated to New Zealand and died there in Greymouth. There is a branch of the Gribben family in New Zealand today.

There is more detailed information on the Collins family in Patrick Collins Co Limerick Ireland to Northcote Victoria Australia.

Descendants of Hugh Gribben Report 2015
Descendants of Hugh Gribben Report 2015


The Dillon Family of Bulla Victoria Australia

The Dillon Family came out from Co Tipperary Ireland in the 1850’s and 1860’s. Martin Dillon settled at Bulla. Three sisters and one brother had already immigrated to Victoria.

Dillon is a Norman name. The first person called Dillon came to Ireland in 1185 and was Sir Henry de Leon. He was from Brittany in France and came to Ireland to act as secretary to Prince John (later King John) The name in France can be traced back to the town of Lyon. It’s Gaelic form was O’ Duilleain and this was eventually anglicized to Dillon.

Map of irish Counties use
Map of irish Counties

Martin Dillon snr came out from Co Tipperary in Ireland on the “Eastern Empire” arriving 11 June 1863, with his wife and four children. He stayed with his sister Margaret Ryan.   His sisters Ellen, Margaret and Bridget and brother James had previously immigrated to Victoria. Bridget married Richard Feehan in 1853 in Victoria, James married Mary Duhy in 1855, Margaret was married to Thomas Ryan and Ellen to John Dalton.

Martin’s sister Ellen who married John Dalton is buried in the Dalton family grave in the Melbourne Cemetery.  Roman Catholic compartment E Grave 94. In this grave are buried her daughters Margaret and Catherine, her niece Ellen and her nephew, Patrick Dillon.Also in the grave are James Crowe who died age 72 and was buried on July 5 1866. Ellen’s mother’s maiden name was Crowe so he could be her uncle.

The Dillons came from Clonpett in South Tipperary and this is what Martin Snr called his property at Bulla, “Clonpett Farm”. The mother of Martin and James was Margaret Dillon nee Crowe. Their father was Martin Dillon a farmer. In the Tithe Applotment books for 1832, for Clonpett Civil Parish, Co Tipperary, there is a Martin Dillon listed living in Clonpett Townland. On the Griffith’s Valuation for Clonpet 1851 there is a Margaret Dillon at Clonpet. She has a house, offices and land. In the house next to her was Patrick Quirk, who had 64 acres of land. In the 1901 Census there are no Dillons living at Clonpet but there are Quirkes in 1901,1911 and 1940.

Townlands around Tipperary Town
Townlands around Tipperary Town

Martin Dillon snr would have been about 35 years of age when he immigrated with his wife Hanora Quirk. They had married in Co Tipperary in c1857. By 1879 they had twelve children.

The Dillons bought the property Craig Bank from the Patullo family. They renamed it Willow Bank. It is at 400 Wildwood Road, Wildwood, Bulla and was constructed in the mid 1850s. The buildings are set among river gums on a knoll beside an alluvial flat overlooking Deep Creek.

Willowbank Wildwood Bulla Victoria
1888 Post Office Directory of Victoria

“The Dillon family-Martin Sr., Martin Jr., Michael and William- worked about 850 acres until the turn of the century, which coincides with the death of Martin Dillon Sr. in June 1900. Before then, however, Martin Dillon Sr had taken up residence with his wife Honora, on a farm called Clonpett, which encompassed the 217 acres of Allotment 2 of Section 27 in the Parish of Bulla Bulla and fronted the Bulla -Sunbury Road. The present weatherboard house is thought by the Dillon family to have been built in the late 1890s or early 1900s. Prior to that one of the Dillon daughters, a small girl at the time remembers living in the whitewashed stone dwelling (the current building) which had a timber attachment housing washtubs. It may have been only temporary accommodation, during rebuilding the main weatherboard house. When the family moved into the “new house” they acquired a piano, which became a great fixture. The area around the river at the bridge attracted excursionists at least from the time of the late nineteenth century. The Dillons came to know a few families from Melbourne suburbs who camped and fished there every year. The girls would bake for the visitors, and on the Sunday evenings the campers would be invited into the Dillon home for a sing around the piano. The site near the bridge is known as the Martin Dillon Reserve. William Dillon was Shire President in 1897-98″.

From 1900 on the former Craig Bank property, which the Dillons had renamed Willow Bank, was some 415 acres in size (the rest appears to have been sold) and was worked by Martin Dillon Jr.  He lived at the property until his death at the age of 59 in December 1917.”

(These notes taken from the Hume Council website on Willowbank. If you search for Hume Council Willow Bank there is a pdf on the Hume Council site which goes into more detail about the Patullos and Craigbank/Willowbank.)

The Dillon family were well known in the district and active in local government.

Martin Dillon Snr died a tragic death by accidental drowning in Jackson’s Creek Bulla in 1900. He was 73 years old. There were many articles in papers about this accident and the recovery of his body. He is buried in Sunbury Cemetery. These clippings are from The Argus June -August 1900.










Martin Dillon jnr was married to Elizabeth “Lizzie” Flanagan in 1892 at St Francis Church, Melbourne. He was a farmer and in 1900 resided at Craig Bank (The Dillons later renamed it Willowbank). They had four children: Mary Josephine, Margaret, John and Ellen.

Signature of Martin Dillon jnr 1914

Martin Dillon, who was born in Co Tipperary c1858, died on the 22nd of Dec 1917. Below is an obituary published in The Sunbury News:


Martin Dillon Obit Jan 1918
Sunbury News Jan 1918 Obituary for Martin Dillon

Martin Dillon jnr’s eldest daughter, Mary Josephine, married William Patrick Fanning in 1920 and lived at “Sunnyside” in Bulla.  They farmed and had three children.

William Patrick Fanning 1915

I remember Mary Josephine as “Aunty Daisy”. In her later years she lived in Essendon with her daughter, Elizabeth “Betty” Fitzgerald. She loved walking and I would often see her taking long walks around Essendon. She used to call in and have a cup of tea with my mother who was very fond of her. I remember Aunty Daisy with affection. She died in 1970 and is buried with her husband, William Patrick Fanning, in Bulla Cemetery.


The following genealogy report traces the ancestry of the Dillon family from Co Tipperary Ireland to Victoria Australia.

Martin Dillon Descendants Report 2015
Descendants of Martin Dillon 1781-1843 Co Tipperary Ireland

Patrick Collins Co Limerick Ireland to Northcote Victoria Australia

Patrick Collins c1819-1905 was from Co Limerick in Ireland and the son of Patrick Collins and Bridget McNamara. He married Mary Gribben in Co Down Ireland c1845 and emigrated to Australia c 1855. He worked as a Police Constable in Victoria for 17 years. He had 12 children and lived in Northcote Melbourne. Patrick Collins died in 1905 and is buried in the Melbourne Cemetery Victoria with other members of his family. Two of his daughters were married to Edward Fanning of “Sunnyside” Bulla.

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