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My third great grandfather John KILDUFF was born about 1793 in County Roscommon Ireland, one of the smallest Irish counties and its name derives from the Irish - Ros Coman, meaning St Coman's Wood. Its social history is mainly based around agriculture and it was badly affected by the great famine of 1845-47. He married Mary McCARTHY 1796-1870 at Roscommon about 1816. Mary McCarthy was born about 1796, to William and Ellen McCarthy, also of Roscommon.
There were no records of John, Mary, their parents, their marriage or any children in the 2000 version of the International Genealogical Index. John and Mary may have had one or two children in Ireland, since her death certificate (1870) indicates that at the time there were four children living and one male and one female deceased. They had at least four children in the Colony but there is no surviving record of other children.
John was involved in illegal activities even after he was married. He was arrested and tried in County Roscommon Court in July 1820. He was convicted of Ribbonism and was sentenced to transportation for fourteen years. The crime is recorded on his Certificate of Freedom dated 11 October 1834. In a sense John was a political prisoner, although Ribbon societies in the first half of the nineteenth century were responsible for disruptive activities and violence against landlords and others.
Once in the colony John kept out of trouble.
He was embarked on the "John Barry" at Cork, Ireland which sailed on the 16 June from Cork with Captain Roger Dobson and Chief Surgeon Dan McNamara, and arriving in the Colony on 7 November 1821.
The Convict Indents papers, record that he was a labourer, that he could not read or write and was a Catholic.
A physical description indicates that John was 5 ft 5¾ in (about 1.67 m) tall with a fairly pale complexion, fair hair and grey eyes.
The following reconstruction of where John and later his wife Mary lived is based on various sources including parish and civil, birth, marriage and death records and Census records.
John was first assigned to John Good in the District of Bathurst and Melville, where he worked to clear the land and plant crops. About a year later another convict Thomas Killier was also assigned to Good. For some reason John was not recorded in the 1822 Muster of convicts, although Killier is, as a servant to John Good. John Kilduff is recorded in the Muster of 1824/1825 at Melville.
In 1825, John Kilduff petitioned the governor for mitigation of his sentence:
"To His Excellency Sir Thos. Brisbane KCB, Captain General and Commander in Chief of the territory of New South Wales and its Dependencies We hereby certify that John Kilduff, who came by the Ship John Barry, which arrived in the year 1821 has not been convicted of any crime or misdemeanours in this Colony, but is to our certain belief an honest, sober and industrious character, having served faithfully John Good residing in the District of Bathurst from the 10th November 1821 to August 1825. [Signed] J. Harris, Resident Magistrate, John Joseph Therry RCC Clergyman, John Good, Master"
Even with such eminent signatories as Doctor John Harris and the senior Catholic cleric, his petition was unsuccessful, possibly because he had served only about four of his 14 years.
His wife Mary sailed to Sydney on the Thames, which arrived in Sydney from Cork on 11 April 1826 with 37 free women and 107 children as passengers and a cargo of government stores. It's Captain was Robert Fraser and the Surgeon Superintendant Dr. Linton
John was still assigned to John Good. It is thought that he allowed them (with government permission) to live in a house at Seven Hills. In late 1827 when their daughter Mary was born they were almost certainly at Seven Hills. Some time after this John was reassigned to Daniel Kelly at Wilberforce, possibly to allow better living conditions for his wife and child. John Good comes back into the story later, as the uncle of my second great grandfather Patrick William Hall 1821-1900
The Census of October and November 1828 records John, Mary and the 1 year old child Mary at Wilberforce. John was a labourer assigned to Daniel Kelly, a former convict. Three other convicts were also assigned to Kelly. John Good was still at Seven Hills.
Johns sentence expired by servitude in 1834. By the time of the 1841 Census the family was living at Pitt Town. John was the householder and was a farmer. The surviving records are only abstracts. The household consisted of John Kilduff and his wife and three sons and one daughter, all aged seven and under fourteen at the time of the Census and all born in the Colony. There were no convict servants. The house was described as of wood and unfinished but inhabited. The householder was classed in the category landed property, merchants, bankers and professionals so John must have owned or leased the land.
John remained at Pitt Town for the rest of his life. He died on 6 February 1854 aged 60 at Pitt Town. His burial is recorded in the parish record of St Matthews Catholic Church, Windsor which gave his occupation as farmer. He died before civil registration of deaths began (1856) so no other details are available.
Mary Kilduff died on 24 April 1870, age 74 at Cornwallis probably at the home of William and his family. She was laid to rest beside John at the Windsor Catholic Cemetery, Windsor New South Wales.
Her death certificate provides most of the known details of her family and children.
The children of John Kilduff 1793-1854 and Mary Kilduff nee McCarthy 1796-1870 were:-
3. Mary KILDUFF b: 25 November 1827 at Pitt Town d:17 July 1911 Sydney, On 25 November 1847 married Patrick William Hall 1821-1900 The children of this marriage were:-
Mary Ann Josephine HALL 1848 1923
William HALL 1849 1910
Bridget HALL 1852
John Joseph HALL 1855 1906
Edward HALL 1859 1864
Sarah Mary HALL 1862 1938 m. Edward William MCKEE 1884-1962
Emily Johanna HALL 1867 1953
Ellen HALL 1869 1869
Patrick Henry HALL 1869 1871
Agnes HALL 1872 1874
4. John Kilduff b: 21 July 1831, Pitt Town, NSW d: 25 April 1911 at Windsor, NSW. On the 1 December 1858 at Windsor, NSW married Sarah BUCKRIDGE 1840-1930.
The children of this marriage were:-
Eleanor Kilduff 1859 1949
John Robert Kilduff 1860 1906
Ada Sarah Kilduff 1863 1928
Amy Adeline Kilduff 1865
Minnie Elizabeth Kilduff 1868 1937
George Norbert Kilduff 1870 1954
Alfred Rowland Kilduff 1873 1889
Ida Mary Kilduff 1875 1907
Cecily Mary Kilduff 1878 1951
William Martin Kilduff 1881 1902
Mary Isabella Kilduff 1883 1904
5.William Kilduff b:1832 Riverstone, NSW d: 23 April 1911 Windsor, NSW. On the 3 May 1855 at St. Matthews Catholic Church, Windsor, married Mary Sophia SEYMOUR 1837-1916.
The Children of this marriage were:-
Mary Ann Kilduff 1855 1855
Lucy Kilduff 1856 1928
Mary Anne Kilduff 1858 1938
Elizabeth Margaret Kilduff 1862 1945
William Joseph Kilduff 1864 1865
Therese Lydia Kilduff 1865 1945
William Charles Kilduff 1868 1911
George Martin Kilduff 1870 1914
John Joseph Kilduff 1872 1926
Edwin Leonard Kilduff 1875 1943
Frederick Leo Kilduff 1878 1908
Francis Kilduff 1883 1954 m. Mary Ivy Williams 1890-1929
6.Unknown Kilduff 1834 after 1870, according to Mother's death certificate still living when she died
1828 New South Wales, Australia Census (TNA Copy)
New South Wales, Australia Convict Ship Muster Rolls
and Related Records, 1790-1849
1841 New South Wales, Australia, Census
NEW South Wales Registry of Births Deaths Marriages
New South Wales, Australia Historical Electoral Rolls, 1842-1864
New South Wales State Records
Australian National Archives
A huge thanks to
Colin Kilduff,another tireless researcher
Below is a photograph of John Kilduff's Certificate of Freedom,
granted on 11 October 1834
When the first HEATHER's had settled at Chislehurst, the civil war had been raging in England, with Charles I and the Royalists battling against Cromwell and the Roundheads. By the time the fourth Robert Heather died in 1780, a hundred and forty years had passed. The Commonwealth had come and gone. The restoration which followed had seen the return of the Stuarts who in turn gave way to the House of Hanover. Wars had been fought in Europe and America and the American war of independence was currently in progress. Times had changed and people tended to travel more.
Thomas HEATHER reached adulthood and found employment as a labourer at Chilsehurst, the birthplace of three of his forefathers.
We do not know when or where Robert & Thomas's mother Elizabeth died, but if she was alive in 1787 she must have been appalled by the events which overtook the family. Younger son Thomas, then twenty three years of age and working at Chislehurst, was arrested in October 1787 & held in goal to answer a charge of having robbed a man of money and possessions. Five months later, on 17 March 1788, when the home circuit held it's next sitting at Maidstone, Thomas HEATHER appeared before the judge & jury. He defended himself as well as he was able without the assistance of any legal adviser, but was found guilty of the charges of having robbed one George COTTON of a silver watch and fifty shillings in a field near the Kings highway. He was sentenced to be hanged. On 18 April 1788 the Justices of the Assizes at Whitehall in London reviewed the sentences of the Home Circuit, and Thomas HEATHER was one of those who had their death sentences commuted to fourteen years transportation to a penal settlement beyond the seas.
Thomas spent the first two years of his sentence in goals in England. The first 14 months were probably spent in goal at Maidstone, where most Kent convicts were confined.
In May 1789, Thomas was moved from Maidstone goal to one of the hulks on the Thames river near Gravesend. These hulks were derelict ships tied up in the river to house prisoners who toiled in the nearby dockyards. About mid November, he was transferred to the ship NEPTUNE , the transport ship aboard which he was to make the voyage to New South Wales.
The ship "Neptune" was a vessel of 809 tons which had been built on the Thames in 1779. It was a three-masted, square rigged wooden ship, and was twice as large as any previous convict transport. On 14 November 1789, it left it's anchorage at Longreach and moved down the Thames to Gravesend. Three days later, with it's consignment of convicts on board it sailed for The Downs, the roadstead about five miles North-East of Dover. The part of the ship set up as the Convict's prison was the Orlop deck, the lowest on the vessel, well below waterline, so they had no portholes, no view of the outside world, and very poor ventilation.
There were four rows of one-storey high cabins, each about four feet square, two rows being on each side of the ship from the mainmast forwards, and two shorter rows amidships. Into these cabins no fewer than 424 male and 78 female convicts were crowded.
The appalling conditions under which these convicts were forced to live can be better appreciated when it is remembered that, immediately they had come on board, all convicts had been placed in leg-irons and these were not removed throughout the entire voyage. Into each of these tiny cabins were crowded four to six persons, chained in pairs.
Chained below, Thomas HEATHER would not have been able to take in the scenery as the ship "Neptune" had moved out of the Thames and come to anchor at The Downs, there to spend four days while stores and equipment were taken of board. Then anchors were weighed and the vessel left for Plymouth, a slow voyage which took six days after the ship overshot that port and the error wasn't detected until she was off The Lizard, from where a retreat was made back up The Channel. At Plymouth a series of disputes arose, involving the military, the contractors and the captain of the ship "Neptune". Amongst the military was Captain John MACARTHUR who was on his way out to the Colony for duty there. Accompanying him was his wife, Elizabeth, who kept a diary of events during the voyage. A feature of the dispute was a formal duel between MACARTHUR and Captain GILBERT of the ship "Neptune". As a result of the duel Captain GILBERT was replaced by Captain TRAILL, of whom Mrs MACARTHUR wrote prophetically that "His character was of a much blacker dye than was even in Mr GILBERT's nature to exhibit".
The ship "Neptune" stayed at Plymouth until 10 December and then sailed back along the coast to Portsmouth where it anchored in Stoke's Bay on the 13th. There she met up with two other vessels of the Second Fleet, the "Surprize" and the "Scarborough". The convicts endured the cold weather for twenty-four days before the West winds abated and allowed her to sail on 5 January 1790. She anchored at Spithead until the 8th, but then the winds proved "Faithless" and the vessel arrived back at Mother Bank on the 15th.
At last, on Sunday 17 January 1790, more than two months after leaving The Thames, the ship "Neptune" left Portsmouth and moved down the English Channel. In chains below, Thomas HEATHER would not have had the opportunity to gaze for one last time upon the land of his birth. The voyage was really under way and the convicts became well aware of this fact two days later when they crossed the Bay of Biscay. The sea was so rough that Mrs MACARTHUR recorded in her diary, "It could not be persuaded that the ship could possibly long resist the violence of the sea which was mountain high".
After a month or so the MACARTHUR's succeeded in being transferred to the ship "Scarborough" after they had had a series of disputes withe John's superior, Captain NEPEAN. Captain TRAILL might have been relieved to see them go. The voyage was nothing new to Donald TRAILL. He had been First Mate on the ship "Lady Penrhyn", one of the transports of the First Fleet. Apparently he had learned a few tricks from his earlier experiences.
Historical records indicate clearly that he deliberately starved the convicts on the ship "Neptune" so that he could draw extra rations for himself, and in addition, enrich himself by disposing of surplus rations on the foreign market at ports of call. One convict wrote later to his parents, "we were chained two and two together and confined in the hold during the whole course of our long voyage, without as much as one refreshing breeze to fan our langous cheeks. In this melancholy situation we were scarcely allowed a sufficient quantity of victuals to keep us alive, and scarcely any water".
Sickness was prevalent right from the beginning of the voyage. Heavily ironed and without adequate access to fresh air and sunlight; inadequately fed and without sufficient bedding for warmth at night, the convicts soon began to succumb to the ordeal of their conditions. By the time the ordeal of the cold weather was over they found that they were faced with another which was just as trying - the heat and humidity of the tropics as the ship "Neptune" crossed the Equator and continued south down the coast of Africa. By the time The Cape of Good Hope was reached after 87 days, no fewer than 46 of the convicts had died. Anchoring in False Bay at Capetown on 14 April, the ship "Neptune" stayed for fifteen days, taking on board food, water, a large number of cattle, sheep and pigs, and also twelve convicts from the ill-fated ship "Guardian".
The HMS "Guardian" had been dispatched with supplies for the infant colony of New South Wales in response to an urgent plea sent home by Governor PHILIP with the last returning vessel of the First Fleet. Unfortunately, after the ship "Guardian" had left Capetown on its voyage eastwards, the skipper, Lieutenant RIOU, had taken it too far to the south in his quest for the Roaring Forties, and the ship had run into an iceberg. Two months later RIOU had brought his crippled vessel back into the port at Capetown. The mishap had played a large part in the food shortages which Sydney Town suffered in 1790.
After its stay at Capetown, the ship "Neptune" departed on 29 April to commence its run across to Van Diemen's Land. The existence of the strait we now know as Bass Strait was unknown at that time, so all vessels heading out to Sydney Town via Cape of Good Hope sailed around the south of Van Diemen's Land. More deaths occurred amongst the convicts on board during this leg of the voyage, and while the ship "Neptune" beat its way up the east coast of New South Wales. By the time the ship made its way up Sydney Harbour and dropped anchor in Sydney Cove on 28 June 1790, it had built up the worst record of all convict ships of all time. In all it had lost 147 male and 11 female convicts, and upon its arrival landed 269 others who were sick.
Into Sydney Cove on the same day as the ship "Neptune" arrived, came also the ship "Scarborough". The ship "Surprize" had arrived two days previously. Fortunately the convicts on those ships had fared much better than had the unfortunate souls on the ship "Neptune". The arrival of the Second Fleet was a source of interest for those already in the colony, and many were attracted to the shore to take in the scene. What they observed as the prisoners disembarked was a shocking spectacle. Great numbers of those who came off the ship "Neptune" were not able to walk, or even move a hand of foot. These were slung over the ship's side in the same manner as a box would be slung over. Some fainted as soon as they came out into the open air. Some dropped dead on the deck, while others died in the boat before they reached the shore. Once on the shore some could not stand or walk, or even stir themselves. Some were lead by others and some crept upon hands and knees. All were shockingly filthy, with their heads, bodies, clothes and blankets full of filth and lice.
Somewhere amongst those who came ashore was Thomas HEATHER. It was a scene which he undoubtedly remembered for the remainder of his life. Whether he was one of the sick we do not know, but if he was he soon recovered. He had arrived in a settlement which was so short of food that the hours of public work had recently been shortened, and even the soldiers had pleaded loss of strength. Amongst those who witnessed the shocking spectacle down at the shore that day was Governor PHILIP himself. Not surprisingly, he ordered that an inquiry be held into the conditions on the ship "Neptune".
Thomas HEATHER arrived in the colony when the settlement at Sydney was 2 years old. A second settlement was also being developed on a tract of land at the head of the harbour, and ground prepared for sowing corn. The farm so established became known as Rose Hill. By June 1790 Rose Hill had a population of 200, and in the following month a town was laid out there under the Governors instructions. During that first year that Thomas spent in the colony, many convicts were transferred from Sydney to Rose Hill. It is most likely that Thomas was one of those at the new town before 1790 was out.
The following, is a letter published in the London Morning Chronicle on the 4 August 1791 from a female convict at Sydney Cove, dated 24 July 1790.
"Oh! If you had but seen the shocking sight of the poor creatures that came out in the three ships it would make your heart bleed.
They were almost dead, very few could stand, and they were obliged to fling them as you would goods, and hoist them out of the ships, they were so feeble; and they died ten or twelve a day when they first landed.
The Governor was very angry, and scolded the captains a great deal, and, I heard, intended to write to London about it, for I heard him say it was murdering them. It, to be sure, was a melancholy sight.."
Convict Women on the Neptune
Ships of the Second Fleet
A History of THE EATHER FAMILY:
Thomas EATHER and Elizabeth LEE
by John St PIERRE
for the EATHER Family history committee.
The Women of Botany Bay, by Portia Robinson
Australia's Second Fleet - 1790 by Jenny French
The children of Thomas and Elizabeth LEE :-
1. Ann EATHER 1793 1865
2. Robert EATHER 1795 1881
3. Charlotte EATHER 1797 1862
4. Charles EATHER 1800 1891
5' Thomas EATHER 1800 1886
6. John EATHER 1804 1888
7. Rachel EATHER 1807 1875
8. James EATHER 1811 1899
- Displaying 1-2 of 2 Journals