Saturday, 23 September 2017

Wynne origins: Seeking answers in Australia #4

This week, I’m staying on the trail of our new DNA match, hoping the records of their Wynne lineage will point to the origins of my brick-wall ancestor - John Wynne, born about 1821 in Dublin city. John’s potential second-cousin, Henry Wynne, along with Henry’s brothers, Richard and John, were all born in Dublin too, but they made their homes in Australia. Henry’s brother Edward Wynne remained in Dublin, where I traced him from the time of his marriage, but no direct association with our family was uncovered.

Australian records are often far more informative than their Irish equivalent, typically providing the names and address of the subject’s parents. The three Wynne brothers all married and died in Australia, creating plenty of opportunity for these details to have been recorded.

We already know the boys father was John Wynne, a slater, with a one-time address in Dublin city. But, from the indexed record of Henry Wynne’s death, we learn his mother was Annie Doyle - another clue to help hone in on earlier records of family back, back in Dublin.  

Henry Wynne, 1876, deaths index, Victoria

John William Wynne married Agnes Anne Browne, on 1 April 1867, in Sydney. Their marriage certificate confirms John William was the son of John Wynne, a slater, from Dublin, and Mary Brodie – a different mother to Henry. Still, it’s quite likely we’ve identified the right man. This John William was named as an executor to Henry’s will, and Mary Ann Nelch, the wife of Richard Wynne, was a witness at his wedding.  

So, most likely, John William was Henry and Richard’s half-brother. There were already some indications Henry and Richard’s mother died young. In 1842, Richard’s ‘Assisted Immigrant’ record, named his parents as John and Ann, with a additional note saying his father was still alive, indirectly suggesting his mother wasn’t. And, unlike many of the other convicts transported to Australia in 1844, Henry’s mother’s name was omitted from the register, perhaps also signifying she was deceased.

In 1861, John Wynne senior followed his sons to Australia. He lived in Sydney for four years, before moving to Melbourne, where he died on 25 May 1872. Thanks to our DNA cousin, I have a copy of his death certificate. Unfortunately, at the time of his death, his parent’s names were unknown, but there was plenty of other information relevant to the search.  
From the death record of John Wynne, 1872

John Wynne was supposedly seventy-four years old when he died in 1872, indicating he was born about 1798. He married Ann Doyle in Dublin, when he was twenty-five years old, so about 1823. His death record contains no mention of Mary Brodie, or their son John William, but six children from his first marriage were listed - James (dead), Richard (46), Henry (44), Thomas (dead), Edward (37) and Jane (dead). Henry and Richard were said to have been three years younger than other records have indicated, implying all dates mentioned here may be similarly understated.

That’s plenty of information to identify this family in Dublin city. 

And, maybe the biggest clue provided by John Wynne’s death certificate is the claim he was born in Tipperary. If this Wynne line originated there, and we were related to them, our Wynne line may have come from Tipperary too. This gives us a completely new line of inquiry and just might open a window in our brick-wall!

See start of discussion about this DNA match, here.

Continued, here.

© Black Raven Genealogy


  1. Sounds like you're making great progress! Putting all the clues together is such fun. Good luck.

  2. Thanks Ellie, it might just provide some insight into our Wynne origins, and if not, it certainly is fun trying.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on this!