Saturday, 20 September 2014

Today's family history story: Patrick Wynne and Teresa Carroll

My great-grandparents, Patrick James Wynne and Teresa Josephine Carroll, married on 29 August 1905 in St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral, Marlborough St., Dublin. The bride’s parents were seemingly not at all pleased when they first heard news of the match.

Patrick James Wynne (1868-1937) and Teresa Josephine Carroll (1888-1958)
Wedding Photo, Patrick Wynne and Teresa Carroll, 1906, 
(Photo by M. Glover Ltd., 124 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin)

According to our family lore, Patrick Wynne was originally betrothed to another woman, but his lovely red-haired fiancé called off their engagement, shortly before their wedding. Earlier in 1905, Patrick’s younger sister Agnes had married and set up home with Jack Fegan, taking her elderly father with her and leaving Patrick alone to fend for himself. So, without losing any time, the thirty-seven year old bachelor started calling at the house of Maurice and Anne Carroll, in North Gloucester Place. Maurice and Anne believed Patrick was courting their eldest daughter, Mary, who was closest to him in age. The likely couple had met at work in Varian Brushes, Talbot Street, where Patrick was a brush-maker and Mary was the bookkeeper. 

Six weeks later, to the surprise of all, Patrick asked Teresa, Mary’s seventeen year-old sister, to marry him and she said yes. Maurice and Anne Carroll were said to have been shocked at the prospect of their young daughter marrying a man twenty years her senior and even went so far as to ask the priest not to marry them. The priest advised that Patrick would make a good husband and the marriage went ahead, regardless.

By the time Teresa was twenty-one years old, she was the mother of three lovely boys: Maurice O’Carroll Wynne, born 13 October 1906; Brendan Patrick Wynne, born 6 April 1908 and Kevin Wynne, born 16 December 1909.

Maurice, Kevin and Brendan Wynne, Dublin and Newcastle upon Tyne
Maurice, Kevin and Brendan Wynne, 
circa late 1910

Between 1909 and 1911, Patrick Wynne was registered to vote in Dublin city, confirming the family's home address as 16 St James’s Avenue, off the Clonliffe Road.  On the night of the Irish census in 1911, Teresa and her three boys were visiting her mother and sisters in North Gloucester Place, her father Maurice having passed away in 1906. Patrick was lodging with other brush-makers in Cork City, the headquarters of Varian Brushes, where presumably he had been sent for work.

Some of Teresa’s siblings had, by then, settled in Newcastle-on-Tyne, England and the Wynne family soon joined them there. Patrick and Teresa had five more children born in Newcastle: Eileen Mary Wynne on 22 May 1916; Brian Patrick Wynne on 18 June 1918; Nora Teresa Wynne on 1 October 1920; Terence McSwiney Wynne on 14 April 1922 and Laurence Wynne on 22 April 1924. Notice the six year gap between the births of Kevin and Eileen! 

Recently, my aunts told me another story about my great-grandparents that nicely accounts for this gap. Patrick Wynne was said to have gone to Australia to establish a better life for his family there, leaving Teresa and the three boys behind in Newcastle. Well, there’s no better contraception than being 10,000 miles apart!

So, I searched for some proof of this and found the following records which probably relate to my great-grandfather’s travels:

On 7 July 1911, Irishman, Patrick Wynne, a brush-maker by occupation, set sail from London, England, bound for Melbourne, Australia. He travelled 3rd class, via the Suez Canal, on board the ‘RMS Osterley’. On 8 August 1911, the ship, including the brush-maker, Pat Wynne, docked at Fremantle on the west coast of Australia, before stopping at Brisbane on the east coast, six days later. On arrival at Brisbane, Patrick was recorded as being a married man, travelling without his wife. He was listed as being forty years old. Our Patrick would have been forty-three at that time, but everything else fits and I am always a little wary of rounded ages.

Patrick James Wynne, a brush-maker, was registered in Australia’s electoral rolls as living in Fitzroy, from 1912 to 1916. Fitzroy was a working-class neighbourhood in Melbourne's northern suburbs. He had two addresses there- 78 Johnston Street until 1913 and 69 Bell Street thereafter. Patrick was not registered there in 1910, the roll for 1911 was not found online and this Patrick had moved on by 1917. This is not inconsistent with the time our Patrick is said to have spent in Australia, though we know he was back in Newcastle by the autumn of 1915, as Eileen was born in May 1916.

© 2014 Black Raven Genealogy


  1. Hi Dara- I want to let you know that I have nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award. I always enjoy reading your posts.

    1. What a nice surprise, Diane, and a lovely compliment. Thank you.

  2. That's a wonderful romantic tale. We are lucky when stories are passed down in the family and luckier still when we can verify them.

    1. Hi Colleen, family lore can certainly add character to the lives of our ancestors. Thanks for following my blog.


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