Patrick Fanning Lisdonowley Co Tipperary 1859-1910

Patrick Fanning, son of Patrick Fanning and Margaret Cantwell, was born 1859 in Templtouhy, Moyne, Co Tipperary. He came out to Queensland in 1878 on the Highflyer with his brother Anthony. Anthony settled in Kempsey. Patrick died in Sydney in a railway accident in 1910. he is buried in Rookwood cemetery.

Patrick came out to Australia in 1878 on the Highflyer. He was aged 18. He came out with his older brother Anthony. They arrived at Morton Bay in Queensland on Dec 2, 1878.

Highflyer Arrival 21 Dec 1878 The Queenslander cr
The arrival of the Highflyer at Maryborough Queensland 21Dec1878 The Queenslander









Highflyer cr shipping news

The Highflyer Arrival of Immigrants
The Highflyer Arrival of Immigrants
Highflyer 1111 tons
Painting of the Highflyer

Anthony settled in Kempsey where he was a shopkeeper. He married Amelia Lovell. Both died of consumption or as we know it tuberculosis and are buried in West Kempsey cemetery. They had no children. Patrick was a bachelor when he died age 51.

I have been trying to find Patrick for a number of years. Another Fanning researcher contacted me and alerted me to a Patrick Fanning who was killed in Sydney in 1910. I wasn’t very confident that it could be him but to my delight I think it is Patrick Fanning son of Margaret Cantwell and Patrick Fanning of Lisdonowley.

I don’t have 100% proof, as his mother’s name is not listed on his death certificate but many facts do point to it being Patrick, brother of Anthony.

Patrick Fanning son of Patrick Fanning and Margaret Cantwell was born in Templtouhy Parish in Co Tipperary on 26 Oct 1859.

Below are the newspaper reports of the accidental death of a Patrick Fanning in Sydney in 1910.

Patrick Fanning Accident Sydney Morning Herald 28 Dec 1910
Patrick Fanning Accident Sydney Morning Herald 28 Dec 1910
Patrick Fanning death Sydney 1910
Accidental death of Patrick Fanning SMH 26 Dec 1910
Sydney Morning Herald 10 Jan 1911
Sydney Morning Herald 10 Jan 1911
Coroner's report on the death of Patrick Fanning
Coroner’s report on the death of Patrick Fanning

Funeral Notice 2 Jan 1911 Sydney Morning Herald

In another coroner’s report on Patrick’s death “intemperance” is written in the remarks column.

Funeral notice for Patrick Fanning SMH 2 Jan 1911
Funeral notice for Patrick Fanning SMH 2 Jan 191

What caught my eye here is that Patrick’s cousin is a James Cantwell. Patrick’s mother was Margaret Cantwell.

This James Cantwell died in 1926. His father listed as Anthony Cantwell and mother as Mary. He was a store man and lived in Macquarie Street Leichardt Sydney. I have not found out anything more on this James Cantwell and his family. But would like to know more of them if anyone has some information about this branch of the Cantwell family.

Microsoft Word - 8079174d.rtf

Patrick is listed as having been in NSW for 32 years which would have him arriving about 1879. His age is given as about 49 giving him a  probable  birth date of  1861. James his cousin was buried age 67 in June 1926 so born about 1859.

Both James Cantwell and Patrick Fanning are buried in Rookwood Catholic Cemetery. Patrick was buried there on 2 Jan 1911 and James Cantwell on 11 June 1926. James’ parents were Anthony and Mary Cantwell. Her maiden name was Stokes as listed on his marriage record.

The name Anthony occurs frequently in the Cantwell family tree but not in the Fanning ancestry. The father of James Cantwell was listed as Anthony Cantwell. So this may explain the naming of Patrick’s brother. Anthony Fanning,  may well have been named after his uncle or even his grandfather on his mother’s side.

I have researched the Cantwells of Moyne and believe that Margaret Cantwell, Patrick Fanning’s mother came from Ballyerk in Moyne and her parents were Anthony Cantwell and Bridget Carroll. This Anthony Cantwell died in 1858, age 72 and is buried in Two-Mile-Borris Old Cemetery.

Margaret Cantwell’s sister Ellen married Richard Cormack of Lissaroon and their son Anthony was listed as a cousin to the Fannings.

I also came across obituaries for Margaret Cantwell’s brother Patrick who I think came out to Melbourne Australia in 1879 on the Durham. He is listed as age 36, Irish and a labourer.

He died on Dec 19, 1908 in Sydney NSW Australia.  The index to his death record has his father listed as Anthony and mother as Bridget. He was buried in Waverley Cemetery Sydney. This Patrick Cantwell was the uncle of Anthony and Patrick Fanning of Lisdonowley.

Obituary for Patrick Cantwell Freeman's Journal 24 Dec 1908
Obituary for Patrick Cantwell Freeman’s Journal 24 Dec 1908















John Eviston was the nephew of this Patrick Cantwell.

As there are two nieces who are nuns mentioned there were most likely more Cantwells who emigrated to Australia.

The Burning of Lisheen Castle and John J Fanning of Lisdonowley, Co Tipperary Ireland 1921

John Fanning, grandson of Patrick Fanning and Margaret Cantwell of Lisdonowley, Co Tipperary,Ireland, was an IRA member and falsely rumored to be involved with the burning Lisheen Castle in 1921. The story goes that he fled to America but was followed and murdered there. He was not one of the three IRA men who torched the castle. He died somewhere in America in 1931.

Patrick Fanning (c1809-22 Sept 1895) the son of William Fanning and Hanera Cormack came to live at Lisdonowley and his descendants still live there. He married Margaret Cantwell and had 14 children.

Lisheen Castle
The restored Lisheen Castle

One of their sons James was the father of John Fanning born 1900 who was a member of the IRA and some have him being involved with the burning down of Lisheen Castle in 1921. After this he is said to have fled to America where he was followed and murdered. He died in 1931 so I am not so sure about him being murdered.

I have found John’s record of travel to America on the Ellis Island site. He emigrated, age 29, to New York on “The Carmania” from Queenstown (Cobh) on 28 April 1929. His mother’s name is given as next of kin and he was to stay with his aunt Mrs Margaret O’Donnell at 194 Court St Brooklyn New York. Margaret O’Donnell is most likely his mother Anne’s sister, Margaret Hogan.

In the recently released military transcripts John Fanning is listed as a captain of “D” Company in Moyne. These statements make fascinating reading as they give an incredibly vivid picture of what life was like around Thurles in 1920-21 during the War of Independence.

John Fanning of Lisdonowley
John Fanning of Lisdonowley 1900-1931
John Fanning IRA company Moyne
John Fanning IRA company Moyne

His descendants who I talked with recently cast some doubt on his involvement with the burning of this castle.

Lisheen Castle Burned

“At 11.20 on June 29 Lisheen Castle (Tipperary), the property of Mr. John F. O’Meara, corn merchant, Thurles, was maliciously destroyed by fire by a party of unknown civilians.”- Dublin Castle report.

Freemans Journal July 4 1921.

“Lisheen Castle was occupied at the time only by the caretaker, Patrick Sweeney. A number of men ordered him out, a drawing room window was smashed and petrol was thrown in. The deed was done by local IRA activists, whose names were known. Other buildings burned down around that time in Tipperary according to the Star report were Loran House, near Templemore, Derrycastle Bungalow overlooking Lough Derg, and vacant RIC barracks of Holycross, Shevry and Roskean.

John F. O’Meara was awarded £15,000 compensation the following October. The judge hearing the claim stated that he was satisfied that the O’Mearas intended to use it as their residence, and that it was an effective dwelling house at the time it was burned.”

(Taken from the Lisheen Castle website which has a excellent history of the castle and some wonderful photos in their gallery. The castle is also available to rent!)

I was reading a transcript of a talk given by Turtle Bunbury on Big House Families and Lisheen Castle was mentioned. This is the excerpt:

“Approximately 200 big houses were destroyed during the Irish Civil War, as well as 80 or so that went up in flames during the War of Independence. Some were destroyed because of hatred of the family. Some were taken out as possible enemy strongholds – Woodstock, in Co. Kilkenny, was one. Another was Lisheen in Co. Tipperary – I recently heard the tale of one of the Lloyds of Lisheen who had been a young girl when the house was burned and she came back to Ireland as an old woman and was introduced to an elderly man. He was one of the three lads that had set the castle ablaze. He apologized for burning the house and maintained it was not personal against the Lloyd family who were held in high regard by locals. “It was war. We were fighting for our country.” They did not want the British to have access to the castle which gave a commanding view of the area.”

I have been sent this extract which actually names those involved in the torching of the castle and John Fanning is not named. So that myth has been laid to rest. John Fanning of Lisdonowley was not one of the three.

Lisheen Castle was burned towards midnight on 29th June 1921, just days before the Treaty was signed in 11th July 1921! Lisheen Castle was burned to prevent it being used for military purposes by the English. On that night, Mr. Patrick Sweeney, the caretaker living at Lisheen Castle, was ordered out of the Castle by three armed men, Mr. William Conroy of Ballyerk, Mr. John Ely of Moyneard, and Mr. Denis Maher of Moyne, who torched the Castle. No furniture or possessions were in the Castle at the time of the burning. Newly weds Camilla (nee O’Brien) and John O’Meara did not restore it after the burning, although they were well compensated (£15,900) and so it remained a picturesque ruin”

Source: “Moyne-Templetouhy. A Life of Its Own. The Story of a Tipperary Parish”. Hayes, W.J., 2001, Vol II p 452 published by Moyne-Templetouhy History Group, Thurles and Tipperary Star 2nd July 1921 and 8th October 1921.

In the Bureau of Military History witness statements, Sean Scott, a commandant in the IRA, states that he received news that the British forces were about to occupy Lisheen Castle and so he ordered it burned. Scott was in the second Battalion Tipperary, the Second Tipperary Brigade. John Fanning was in the same battalion and was the captain for Moyne where the castle is situated.

The photo below is not of the second Brigade but the third but I included it for interests sake. I would like to get a photo of the second brigade if it exists and someone has a copy.

Sean Hogan's Second Flying Column Third Brigade Tipperary
Sean Hogan’s Second Flying Column The Third Brigade IRA Tipperary about 1920

John Fanning died in Brooklyn Kings New York on 28 Feb 1931 and was buried in St Johns Cemetery Queens New York, Section 25/Row N/Grave 74.Cemetery on 2 March. He was living at 255 Clinton St. Brooklyn New York. He was working as a clerk and was not married.

Grave of John Fanning from Lisdonowly in St John Cemetery Brooklyn USA. The above photo and the next were kindly taken by JP Rayder for Find A Grave.

St Johns Cemetery Middle Village New York
St Johns Cemetery Middle Village New York


In memorium Irish Press 28 Feb 1933


Irish Press 28 Feb 1935

Anthony Fanning Lisdonowley Co Tipperary & Kempsey NSW Australia

Anthony Fanning was the son of Patrick Fanning and Margaret Cantwell of Lisdonowely, Co Tipperary, Ireland. He was born there in 1849. He and his brother Patrick emigrated to Australia in 1879 on the Highflyer. Anthony was a storekeeper in Kempsey and married Amelia Lovell. He died in 1891 and they are both buried in West Kempsey Cemetery, NSW, Australia.

Anthony Fanning’s  father was Patrick Fanning and his mother Margaret Cantwell from Lisdonowely, Co Tipperary Ireland. He was born in the Parish of Templetouhy, Co Tipperary, on 1 April 1849. He is related to the Bulla Fannings. His father, Patrick Fanning, was a first cousin of William Patrick Fanning, my great great grandfather, who emigrated to Victoria in 1841.

The ‘Highflyer” arrived at Moreton Bay in Queensland in 1878. Anthony was 29 and Patrick, his younger brother, was 18.

Passenger List of the Highflyer 1878

The complete passenger list for The Highflyer is on the Marlborough Family Heritage Facebook page.

Anthony became a shopkeeper in Kempsey and lived in Smith St Kempsey NSW. Patrick worked on the railways and died in Sydney in Dec 1910.

Anthony Fanning’s Shop in Kempsey which was on the corner of Forth St and Smith St opposite the Macleay Hotel.



Anthony’s death certificate states he had been in NSW for 12 years so he did not stay in Queensland for long before coming to NSW. He married Amelia Lovell in Kempsey in 1883. She died in 1890 and he died the following year. They both died of Tuberculosis, or as it was called then, consumption.

Death of Amelia Lovell 1890 Kempsey_NEW
Newspaper Report of the Death of Amelia Fanning 1890 Kempsey NSW Australia
Notice of Death of Amelia Fanning 1890_0001_NEW
Death of Amelia Fanning, Macleay Argus 24 Dec 1890


Macleay Argus 8 Sept 1891


Anthony Fanning Death Certificate 1891 NSW_NEW
Anthony Fanning Death Certificate 1891 NSW
Anthony Fanning & Amelia Lovell
Gravestone of Anthony Fanning & Amelia Lovell

The inscription reads:

Sacred to the Memory of

Anthony Fanning

Native of Co Tipperary Ireland

Who died 7th Sept 1891

Aged 42 Years

Also of His Wife

Amelia Fanning

nee Lovell

Who Died 21st Dec 1890

Aged 28 Years

United in Life by the bond of love

United they sleep in Death

Sweet Jesus May their souls in Heaven Above

Now breathe an eternal Breath


Anthony Fanning and Amelia Lovell are buried in West Kempsey Cemetery NSW. Amelia’s parents were Frederick Lovell and Elizabeth James and she was born in 1862 in Port Macquarie NSW. Below is an obituary fro Amelia’s father which gives some background information on the Lovell family of Kempsey.

Anthony Fanning Ancestor Report 2015

The Fanning Family from Lisdonowley, Co Tipperary, Ireland

The genealogy of the Fanning family from Lisdonowley Co Tipperary Ireland from 1731.

A branch of my Fanning family, the descendants of William Fannin and Sarah Ryan of Lissaroon, live in Lisdonowley in Moyne, Co Tipperary, Ireland.

Patrick Fanning (1809-1895) was a first cousin of my gggrandfather William Patrick Fanning, “Big Bill”, who emigrated to Victoria Australia in 1841 and settled at Bulla.

Patrick Fanning was the son of William Fanning and Hanera Cormick and was born about 1809 and died in 1895. He married Margaret Cantwell. I believe (can’t be 100% sure as parents’ names were not included in marriage records) that she was the daughter of Anthony Cantwell and Bridget Carroll of Ballyerk Moyne Co Tipperary.

Patrick Fanning of Lisdonowly




1901 Census for Lisdonowley James Fanning_0002
Census Return for James Fanning Lisdonowley 1901


1911 Census Lisdonowley_0002
1911 Census Fanning Family Lisdonowley Co Tipperary Ireland
Loughmore Cemetery Co Tipperary Ireland James Fanning Lisdonowley (2)
Grave of James Fanning of Lisdonowley, his wife Anne Hogan and their children Richard, Hanorah and Mary. Loughmore Cemetery Co Tipperary Ireland