Sunday, 30 August 2020

Duped by the Emigration Commission!

Whatever possessed my newly rediscovered great-great-grandaunt to go to Western Australia? Presumably Mary Anne Hynes was looking for a better life than the one she saw before her in Ireland, but if she fancied Australia, why not go to one of the more established colonies?

At the time, Western Australia was not considered ideal for human settlement. Its sandy soil was completely unsuitable for feeding a population. But that did not deter the British from forming the 'free' Swan River Colony (now Perth) there in 1829, and when the inevitable happened, and labour was in short supply, they started transporting convicts there in 1850. When Mary Anne arrived a few years later, Perth was little more than a penal colony.

Travelling for family reasons?
On 28 December 1853, presumably having just celebrated their last Christmas with family at home, 237 passengers, including Mary Anne, boarded the 'Victory' at Plymouth in England. The ship sailed on a government chartered voyage, bound for Western Australia. Surprisingly, 13 of the passengers shared the surname Hynes or Hines. So initially I thought Mary Anne had gone with family, but after a little research, it doesn't look like any of them were her close relatives.

William Hines, his wife Mary and their five children were Church of England, born in England. Hugh Hynes, his wife Alicia and sister Ellen were seemingly Church of Ireland, born in Dublin, but Hugh and Ellen were the children of a Joseph Hynes. Then there was Catherine and Mary Hynes, both Roman Catholics. They were known to Mary Anne in Perth. Mary was even Godmother to her daughter Christina in 1859. But their parents were George and Catherine Hynes, not my third-great-grandparents John and Margaret.

The usual reasons for single women to go to Western Australia
It seems the British government was keen to assist the passage of young, single women to Perth. They wished to reduce the gender imbalance exasperated by convict transportation and increase the supply of potential wives. The premiss was the women would have a civilising effect on the men, and encourage them to settle down.

The Western Australian authorities apparently also sought young single women, but for a different reason. They were mainly looking for domestic servants to serve the free population. Seemingly, unlike in the other Australian colonies, those in Perth actually preferred the Irish, which may have been just as well. Living conditions in Perth were apparently so awful, they might only appeal to destitute girls from the Irish workhouse system.

It's unlikely Mary Anne was in the workhouse. She had the support of a large family in Dublin. It's also unlikely she travelled all the way to Perth in the hopes of landing a great job as a domestic servant. And I sincerely doubt she had her heart set on marrying an ex-convict. I suspect, she was duped into going to Western Australia.

The Emigration Commission
The Emigration Commission offered suitable candidates free or subsidised passage to Australia, with the government paying a fee per emigrant. Unscrupulous agents might say anything to potential travellers to ensure their participation in the scheme, in order to receive this bounty. And the young women might take them at their word, especially if they were illiterate. Though unproven to my eyes, there is an indication Mary Anne was illiterate, unlike her sister Catherine who could certainly read and write.

So, what if the agents told Mary Anne the Victory was sailing to Melbourne, and she believed them? Or what if they told her, once in Perth, she could easily catch a train to Southern Australia? Irish girls probably had no concept of the distance involved. And, once they landed in Perth, and realised their error, what exactly could they do to hold the agent to account?

This is not all pure conjecture on my part either.

Passengers disembarking from the Victory itself claimed the Emigration Commission had assured them they were going to South Australia!

The Perth Gazette and Independent Journal of Politics and News,
31 March 1854, p. 2.

And in a newspaper article written just two weeks later, emigrants, on arrival in Western Australia, were said to have 'expressed great surprise at not being able to take either rail or coach and be at once transported to Melbourne, in a few hours'.

Inquirer[Perth], 12 April 1854, pp 2-3

My guess is, Mary Anne was fooled by the Emigration Commission into going to Perth. Nevertheless, she married, raised a family and lived out the rest of her days in the colony. Some more about that soon.

1. Passenger list of the Victory, 1853, in the 'Western Australia, Australia, Crew and Passenger Lists, 1852- 1930', from the State Records Office of Western Australia, Perth, Australia, accessed at $
2. Burial of William and Mary Hines, East Perth Cemeteries.
3. Hynes-Halligan Marriage, 1853, Civil records on
4. Baptism register, Christina Rodoreda, 1859, Church of the Immaculate Conception in Perth, accessed 'Catholic church records of Perth, 1844-1967', Baptisms, 1844-1899, unindexed images, image 88 and 89 of 547, FamilySearch.
5. The Perth Gazette and Independent Journal of Politics and News, 31 March 1854, p. 2, accessed on Trove.
6. Inquirer [Perth], 12 April 1854, pp 2-3, accessed on Trove.

Further articles about Mary Anne (Hynes) Rodoreda:-

Sunday, 23 August 2020

The missing piece of the jigsaw - Mary Anne Hynes

💙 Surprise, Surprise! 💙 My great-great-grandmother Bridget (Hynes) Wynne had another sister. Her name was Mary Anne. And with Mary Anne's recent rediscovery came confirmation of my great-great-great-grandparent's identity.

A few years ago, I set out my preferred theory for who my third great-grandparents were in The Hayes Theory. John HYNES and Margaret HAYES married in Limerick city in 1826, and christened a daughter Bridget there in 1830 and a son Edmond in 1835. They were the perfect candidates. Everything about them fit—the right names, in the right place, at the right time, and nothing ruled them out.

But we didn't 'know' the maiden name of Bridget's mother Margaret. Plus, there were no links between this young family in Limerick and the adult Bridget's family in Dublin city. It could easily have all been one big coincidence. So, much to the exasperation of my third cousin Phyllis, I never added 'Hayes' as Margaret's maiden name in my online family tree.

Just last month Phyllis asked again, 'You and Aileen [my first cousin] have continued to question Margaret Hayes as Bridget's mother and I've always wondered why'. But, it was hard to explain. In short, our hesitation can probably be attributed to Mr. Murphy, our genealogy lecturer at University College Dublin. His voice always echos in my head - 'it's a good theory, but where's the evidence?'

Then recently, as I was gallivanting down that rabbit hole in pursuit of what turned out to be my 'too deep' Hynes ancestry, I came across an exciting DNA match. My mother's first cousin Larry was the estimated 3rd-4th cousin of an unknown lady with the unlikely surname Rodoreda.

This lady also matches my Aunt Anne, her second cousin Paul, and a known descendant of Bridget's sister Catherine (Hynes) Tucker. Phyllis and Aileen, being one generation removed, have an estimated 5th-8th cousin match with her too. We also all match other members of the extended Rodoreda family. It looked like this match was definitely on our Hynes line.

Of course, the Rodoreda lady had no online tree. Still, her surname was so uncommon, in the English-speaking world anyway, it wasn't difficult to trace. It turns out, she was descended from Jerome Rodoreda of Barcelona, Spain and Mary Anne Hynes of Limerick, Ireland. Jerome and Mary Anne met in Perth, Western Australia, and married there in 1856.

Nothing is ever that easy though. Mary Anne's baptism was not found in the registers for St Mary's in Limerick, or elsewhere for that matter. And most of the online family trees claimed Mary Anne's parents were John Hynes and Mary—not Margaret—Hayes from Limerick. Close but no cigar!

Her mother's stated given name was obviously an error, right?

Except, not only that, 'Mary' was said to have died in Perth in 1880, with a source attached. Her father supposedly also died in Perth, in 1894, though no source was cited. Ok, so we don't know yet what happened to John Hynes, but we do know where Margaret ended up. She was buried in Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin with her daughter Catherine's family.

Sure enough, FamilySearch has a record confirming Mary [Anne]'s mother was Mary—not Margaret—Hayes. Except it's only a transcription, perhaps of the church register, without the image of the original document. The source details are not provided. How many times have you initially thought old writing of 'Margt' (with that little superscript 't' at the end) read Mary?

Phyllis did Trojan work proving the Mary Hines who died in Perth in 1880 was actually the wife of a William Hines, a convict from England, and not the mother of Mary Anne Rodoreda. So, there was hope. But, although images of the original baptism records for all Mary Anne's children were found online, her church marriage register was not available. We ordered the civil record, and are still waiting for it to arrive.

In the meantime, the Catholic Archdiocese of Perth Archives provided a requested scan of Jerome and Mary Anne's marriage, from the registers of the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Perth. And, as clear as day, or at least as clear as it can possibly be for an old record written in Latin, Mary Anne's details were given as Marianam Hines filia in Joannis et Margarita Hayes ex Limerick in Hibernia. I read this to mean 'Maryanne Marian Hines a daughter of John and Margaret Hayes from Limerick, Ireland'.

There is still no 'documentary' evidence linking Bridget (Hynes) Wynne with John Hynes and Margaret Hayes, other than what was written in code and given to her in her DNA, which she in turn passed on to her descendants. I'm not 100% sure Mr. Murphy would agree with this 'scientific' approach, but for me DNA has provided that crucial piece of the jigsaw showing Margaret Hayes belongs in our family picture.

It's about time, I hear Phyllis say.😄

1.'Australia Marriages, 1810-1980', database, FamilySearch, Mary Hines in entry for Jerome Rodoreda, 1856, accessed 20 August 2020.
2. Marriage register, Church of the Immaculate Conception in Perth, Rodoreda-Hines marriage, 1856, Catholic Archdiocese of Perth Archives.

Further articles about Mary Anne (Hynes) Rodoreda:-

Sunday, 16 August 2020

Signature Silhouette #8 ~ James Byrne

For many of my ancestors, we have no photographs, no treasured heirlooms, not even a funeral card to remember them by. But of those who could read and write, a few left their signatures behind. They often signed historical census returns, for example, copies of which still survive. Their signature may be all that remains of them today. So, it's my intention to publish a Signature Silhouette for each ancestor, until they are all are preserved.

Here's one for my maternal great-grandfather, James Byrne:-

James Byrne (1874-1948)

Idea courtesy of Cathy Meder-Dempsey at Opening Doors in Brick Walls and The Genealogy Girl.

Source of signature: 1901 Census of Ireland, James Byrne household, Jane Place Lower, North Dock, Dublin, The National Archives of Ireland.

Sunday, 9 August 2020

A little about Joseph Teeling aka Fr Camillus

Born on 31 August 1908, at 7 Upper Jane Place, Dublin city, Joseph Teeling was the youngest of Sarah (McGrane, Daly) Teeling’s 15 children. He only ever knew his brothers Myles and Richard Daly from his mother’s first marriage, and Mary, Francis (Frank) and Elizabeth (Lily) from her second with Joseph's father, Christopher Teeling. All Joseph's other siblings died before he was born. He then lost his sister Lily to TB on 9 June 1918.

Joseph attended St Laurence O’Toole’s National School in Seville Place, and went on to study at O’Connell Christian Brothers Secondary School in Richmond Street. As boys, Joseph and his brother Frank joined O’Toole’s GAA club, though Joseph was never quite as talented a player as Frank.

Joseph Teeling, O’Toole’s GAA club

Joseph entered the Roman Catholic Order of Cistercians (Trappist) monks. The Cistercians were an enclosed order of strict observance. He joined the monastery at Mount Melleray Abbey, located in the Knockmealdown mountains in Co. Waterford. He was ordained a priest at St John’s Cathedral, Waterford on 8 June 1944 and celebrated his First Holy Mass at Mount Melleray Abbey, the following day. He became known Fr Camillus.

Fr Camillus, ordained 8 June 1944

Fr Camillus spent most of his life inside the monastery, though he was sent to England in later life. Supposedly, for a time, he was the chaplain at Brixton Prison. He died suddenly at ‘the Presbytery’, Warrick Road, Beaconsfield, in Buckinghamshire, England, on 24 March 1979. They brought his body home for burial and he shares a grave with his brother Frank and Frank’s wife Lily, at Glasnevin Cemetery.

Joseph was a first cousin of my maternal great-grandfather James Byrne, and a great pal of my grandaunt Kathleen Byrne.

1. Copy birth, marriage and death registers, accessed Civil Registers,
2. Michael Meehan, In the front gate and out the back, The story of Frank Teeling (2007, Dublin), accessed in the National Library of Ireland.
3. Souvenir of Ordination to the Sacred Priesthood, 1944, in family papers of Mary, Joseph's third cousin once removed.

Sunday, 2 August 2020

Follow me down a rabbit hole: Hynes family of Broadford, Co. Clare

This is the fifth post in a series (starting here) concluding the investigation into a number of DNA cousins, all likely related to us on our 'Hynes' line. The origin of our matches' ancestors—Michael Rochford Hynes and his sister Anne Rochford Hynes, who emigrated to Queensland, Australia in the late 1860s—were traced back to the parish of Broadford, Co. Clare. Michael and Anne's father, Edmond Hynes, farmed there, in the townlands of Woodfield and Killaderry.

Church registers for the parish prior to 1844 have been lost, making the research more challenging. Yet, a number of probable siblings of Michael and Anne have been identified and traced forward, with a view to finding them named as associates in records pertaining to our own ancestors, or perhaps finding their descendants in our lists of DNA matches.

Patrick Hynes, the son of Edmond Hynes, was a farmer in Woodfield, when he married Mary Fennessy in Feakle parish, on 13 February 1866. They made their home in Woodfield, and had ten children, nine of whom survived infancy. His daughter Catherine said he was fifty-eight years old when he died on 28 March 1898, so born about 1839-40, or maybe earlier. None of his descendants appear among our DNA matches.

Edmond Hynes was a farmer in Broadford, the son of Edmond Hynes, according to the register of his marriage to Mary Kiely, in Killaloe parish, on 7 February 1869. The couple lived in Fahymore, near Bridgetown, not far from Broadford and also had a string of children. Records show Edmond was born between about 1839 and 1846, though he may have been born even earlier. None of his descendants were identified among our DNA matches.

Winifred (Winny) Hynes of Killaderry married Edmond Corcoran in Broadford on 12 February 1860, witnessed by Pat Hynes of Killaderry and Bridget Prendergast of O'Callaghans Mills. They lived in Springmount, in Fahymore, Co. Clare, where Edmond Corcoran was a farmer. They had six children. Two daughters, Bridget and Margaret, emigrated to Queensland, while the sons remained in Ireland. None of their descendants were found among our DNA matches.

Catherine Hynes and Edward Hickey from Killaderry/Woodfield baptised two children in Broadford—Mary on 27 April 1862 and Michael on 18 February 1865. Mary's Godparents were Michael and Anne Hynes of Killaderry, perhaps the same pair that emigrated to Queensland. Michael's Godparents were Pat Hynes of Woodfield and Bridget O'Grady of Feakle. All further record of this family currently escapes me.

Margaret Hynes of Woodfield married Denis Hayes in Broadford on 1 November 1859. They had one daughter Bridget born in Broadford village, and baptised in Broadford church on 26 August 1860. Bridget's Godparents were Patrick Hynes and Winny Hynes from Killaderry. Nothing further has been found relating to Margaret's family.

Bridget Hynes was probably an elder sibling too. She was living in Killaderry when she married John O'Brien, in Broadford parish, on 5 February 1854. She had one son, also John, baptised in Moynoe parish on 9 March 1856. Young John emigrated to Queensland, Australia, where his daughter Margaret Ann O'Brien was born in 1890. Margaret Ann had three sons, George Francis Williams, Margaret Edith Williams and Robert Arthur Williams.

Members of my extended 'Hynes' family are DNA cousins of Margaret Edith's grandson and Robert Arthur's son. The DNA segments they share are tiny, but they are probably further evidence of our distant connection with this family. They may perhaps be just noise.

Mary Hynes of Feakle was Godmother to Patrick Hynes' eldest son Michael, baptised in November 1866. The church records for Feakle don't start until 1860, which doesn't help, but members of my extended 'Hynes' family have DNA matches with her descendants—many of them in the 4th to 6th cousin bracket. Siblings J.B. and K.L. are the great-grandchildren of Edward Hynes Grady, the son of Mary Hynes that emigrated to New York. It's also apparent J.B. is related to W.M., a descendant of Michael Rochford Hynes.

(Click on image to enlarge)

There is no doubt we all family, but how far back?. If my third great-grandfather John Hynes was a brother of Edmond Hynes senior, that would make Edmond's descendants of the same generation my 5th cousins. Only about 30% of fifth cousin share any detectable DNA, and even less 6th cousins do. Our actual relationship is possibly more distant still.

None of 'the siblings' are apparent among my Hynes family's FAN club (Friends, Associates and Neighbours). And, given 'official' records have been lost, or never maintained in the first place, there's little chance evidence of our exact relationship exists today. Still, our origins and the origins of this family are the same, which may point to where my third-great-grandfather came from, before he ended up a carpenter in Limerick city.

1. Catholic parish registers, accessed on $ FindMyPast, $ RootsIreland, $ Ancestry, NLI, with the help of a transcript for Broadford Parish prepared by my cousin Aileen, and an online family tree prepared by my cousin Phyllis.
2. Civil records of births, marriages and deaths from 1864, on
3. Queensland Government, Family History Research Service.
4. 'New York, New York City Municipal Deaths, 1795-1949", database, FamilySearch, Edward H. Grady, 1931.