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McCurdy - AUSTRALIA & ?

Caroline Esther McCurdy born 1825 (V1825625 125/1825) in Parramatta, NSW.

Parents were James McCurdy & Rachel Richards.

Caroline Married William Hall, 11 March 1844, All Saints, Camden, NSW (393 Vol 29).

Children: Susannah, Rachel, Grace Teresa & Alfred Henry Hall.

9 comment(s), latest 5 years, 10 months ago


Thomas Cagney was born Abt. 1780. He married Margaret Brown. Curiously, his family were from the same town (Newmarket, Cork) as his daughter Mary's future husband, in the Colony, James Houlahan.

Their children: James, Michael, Mary, Thomas & Dennis

Thomas was transported to Australia on the Eliza II as a convict. His crime? Burgalry. His ship departed from Cork 19 Jul, Arrived 8 Nov 1827.

His wife Margaret and daughter Mary applied to join him in Australia and were granted free passage on the Roslin/Roslyn Castle. His sons Michael and Thomas also did this, arriving on the convict ship Surrey in 1836.

This information can be found on the National Archives of Ireland website.

He had a Ticket of Leave issued (36/1033). Thomas recieved a Pardon on 1 Feb 1845 [4/4446] 781 - 085. You can find details of these on the NSW Records website.

Thomas died December 1850 at Patrick's Plain, NSW.

The family is mentioned in the book Mines, Wines & People, which I believe is available for purchase from the Cessnock Library. You might find it in your local borrowing library as well. Also mentioned are associated families: Houlahan, Smith, Bowcock, Harris.

Please note "Thomas Cagney" in the book who is supposed to be a convict is in fact the son of the convict, Thomas, who came free on the Surrey.

1 comment(s), latest 6 years, 5 months ago

HOULAHAN, James & family

We think James Houlahan was born in the year of 1796, but on his date of birth varies with documentation from 1796-1797-1799.

He was born in the village of Newmarket, near Cork City, County Cork, Ireland.

He married Margaret Stannard in the Catholic Church at Newmarket. They had a son, John, who was born in 1822. John was baptised on the 9th of June 1822.

James was transported aboard the Mangles 2 to New South Wales in November 1822. His crime was ?insurrection and firing on the King?s troops?. James was sentenced by a special commission at Spring Assizes in County Cork. It has been thought by the family that he was a member of an armed gang which attacked Lord Bantry.

In 1828 census, James was reported as being assigned to Captain Francis Allman, Rath Luba, Wallis Plains (now Maitland). His occupation is shown as Dairyman.

An application exists for permission for Margaret to join her husband James in the colony. The application was unsuccessful and Margaret died.

Ticket of leave: 15th of December, 1832 to James, on the condition that he remained in the district of Maitland.

James remarried on 24th of December 1839, at the Presbyterian Saint Andrew?s Church at Singleton, NSW, stating he was now a widower (AO NSW Ref: COD 13). His new wife was Mary Cagney, the daughter of convict Thomas. She had arrived on the ship Roslin Castle as a Free Settler (she had come to join her father).

James and Mary are both shown as living at Patrick?s Plains (now Singleton).

Conditional pardon: 1 July 1939

Mary, b 18 June 1836 - married Timothy Bowcock, son of convict James
Ellen, b 15 October 1858 - married John Smith

James died on 13th of June 1880 on the property Blaxlands Arms at Wollombi. This property was owned by the son of the explorer. He is buried at the Catholic cemetery at Wollombi.

Many thanks to cousins who have provided me with much of the information contained within.

BOWCOCK - England, Ireland & Australia

James Bowcock was born in 1805 in Haworth (York), England. He was in the military as "Seaman & Soldier" before he deserted.

His trial took place in Cork, Ireland in 1829. Later that year he was transported as a convict to Australia, arriving on Larkins (2) on 12 Dec.

Upon arrival in Sydney, he was assigned to John Grono of Pitt Town. He was granted his Ticket of Leave in 1834; and later earnt his Certificate of Freedom, granted on 11 Apr 1836.

He married Catherine Crowley on 2 June 1835 in Pitt Town, NSW. Their children included Timothy (b 4 April 1836), Mary, Susannah (b 25 December 1838) & William.

Mary & William's spouses unknown; but Timothy married Mary Houlahan (daughter of another convict) in Maitland West in 1855. Their children: Johanna, Daniel Joseph, Timothy, James, William, Mary, Edward, John, Ellen, Patrick, Celia & Margaret.

Susannah married Richard Harris in Oakville, Whittingham, Wollombi, NSW on 17 May 1854. Their children: John Thomas, Maria, Catherine, Charlotte, William James, Richard, Benjamin George, Mary Jane, Susannah & Emily Harriet.

James Bowcock died in 30 November 1882, in West Maitland, NSW. My information says he was buried in the Catholic Cemetery, West Maitland, NSW; this conflicts with info on convict records that says he was Protestant. Could be misinformation, an assumption or maybe he later converted...who knows.

The family is mentioned in the book Mines, Wines & People, which I believe is available for purchase from the Cessnock Library. You might find it in your local borrowing library as well. Also mentioned are associated families: Houlahan, Smith, Cagney, Harris.

O'BRIEN - Tipperary, Ireland to NSW, Australia

Terence O'Brien was born in 1823, in Terryglass, Tipperary, Ireland [the son of Cornelius O'Brien & Kate (Catherine) Costello].

Terence (sometimes Terrans)went to America and married Mary Moylan there in 9 January 1853, Collinsville, Hartford, Connecticut.

They eventually joined Mary's family, who had emigrated to Australia earlier. Terence and Mary arrived in Sydney, Australia, on the 12 May 1855.

The family was centred mainly in the Maitland area of NSW (Hunter Valley). Terence and Mary lived at Bishop's Bridge.

Margaret, Catherine Mary [my line], Cornelius, Michael Thomas & James Francis O'Brien are their known children.

Terence was, amongst other things, a postmaster, shopkeeper and publican. He was also partially responsible for many public improvements in the local area.

Two years after his wife Mary (nee Moylan) died, he married Margaret Hogan. The children from his second marriage were John, Terrence, Annie, William, Frederick & Norma.

Terence's relative Michael O'Brien's family at Poggy/Poggi Station were amongst those killed by the Governor brothers, murders made infamous by the book Jimmy Blacksmith by Thomas Keneally.

Here are some obituaries for him (died 29 April 1900).

"Local and General Items

The late Mr Terence O'Brien - On the 5th of May, 1899, when the late Mr Terence O'Brien had a severe attack of illness he wrote the following brief sketch of his life in New South Wales, which was found by his family amongst his papers: - "I was born at Terrey Glase, county Tipperary, Ireland, 1823. I landed in Sydney 12 of May, 1855. I settled down at Bishop's Bridge 1858; got the post office in 1861; got spirit licence 1866; kept it to the commencement of the present Act, and colonial wine licence since. I was chairman of the local board of National Schools during the time the Council of Education existed. I was secretary and member of the Road Trust for road grants for the Maitland end of Wollombi Road for sixteen years; I got the telephone extended to Bishop's Bridge on the 7th April 1899; and I am quite willing to let those who knew me best say how I managed the above during my life time at Bishop's Bridge".

The funeral took place this afternoon and was largely attended. The body was brought to St. John's Cathedral in the morning. Prayers for the dead were recited, and at three o'clock the funeral started from the Cathedral to the Roman Catholic cemetery at Campbell's Hill where the Rev. Father McCormack officated." From Maitland Mercury, 1 May 1900

"Death of MR. TERENCE O'BRIEN. - We record with regret the death of Mr. Terence O'Brien, a well-known and highly respected resident of Bishop's Bridge, which sad event occured at his residence last evening at eleven o'clock. The deceased gentleman had been ailing for some time which an affection of the heart and other things, and for the last three or four months had been under the care of Dr. F. Liddell. His death was due to a general breaking up of the system, he having reached the good old age of seventy-seven. The late Mr O'Brien was a native of the county Tipperary, Ireland, and came to this colony about forty years ago. For the past thirty-five years or more he resided at Bishop's Bridge, where he kept a hotel and store for many years, and was also the local postmaster, as well as a member of the Road Trust.

In fact in all matters - social and political - Mr O'Brien paid a prominent part, and was highly esteemed by all who knew him, because of the high moral principles that always actuated him in his conduct through life. He was twice married, and leaves a widow and family of nine children, all grown up. Mr J.F. O'Brien, grocer of West Maitland, is one of his sons. The body will be brought in to St. John's Cathedral to-morrow morning, and the funeral will leave the Cathedral at three o'clock in the afternoon for the Campbell's Hill cemetery."

From Maitland Mercury, 30 Apr 1900


Edward Grimes married Mary McMullen, daughter of William & Louisa McMullen, somewhere in British Isles.

They emigrated to Australia around 1823, when their daughter Charlotte Grimes was born at sea.

Charlotte married John Evans [son of Robert & Sinah Evans, from Llangynog, Montgomeryshire, Wales] in 1845, in Dubbo, NSW. Their children included John, Sinah, Richard, Edward, Ellen, Daniel, Henry & George.

I am descended from Ellen Evans (b 16 November 1859) & her husband Alfred Henry Hall.

1 comment(s), latest 10 years, 11 months ago

BILTOFT - Denmark to Australia

We have much more information on the BILTOFT family, please contact me if we have a link and I can provide you with a family tree dating back to 1700s, more info (including sibling groups and descendants, not just direct line) and some pictures.

The tree starts with CHRISTEN MADSEN was born 1745 in Biltoft, Ribe Amt, Denmark, and died 1810 in Biltoft, Ribe Amt, Denmark. He married ELSE MARIE CHRISTENSDATTER February 23, 1776 in Naesbjerg, Ribe Amt, Denmark. She was born Abt. 1737 in Denmark.

MADS CHRISTENSEN, WITH THE BYNAME TYNDING, THOMES CHRISTENSEN, b. January 06, 1779, Naesbjerg, Ribe Amt, Denmark; NIELS CHRISTENSEN, b. September 10, 1780, Naesbjerg, Ribe Amt, Denmark.

Here is my line:

Christen Madsen & Else Christensdatter
Mads Christensen & Ane Jensdatter
Christen Madsen Biltoft & Bodil Kirstine Vedsted
Peder Vedsted Biltoft & Kirstin Marie Jensdatter
Christen Madsen Biltoft & Dorothea Christina Hansen
Matilda Maria Biltoft & Frederick Francis Morrisson

...and so on...

Peder & his family emigrated to Australia (SHIP Eugenie: Rockhampton), as did his sons Christen Madsen Biltoft and Jens (they came through NZ). They lived in a town known as Freestone Creek, near Warwick, QLD, Australia. A few of my ancestor Christen's relatives became photographers, in regional QLD (Rockhampton, Warwick, etc). The family was mainly concentrated in the Warwick/Toowoomba areas in those days.

Christen Madsen Biltoft was born on 22 April 1850 in Grindsted, Varde, Ribe Amt, Denmark.

Christen and his brother Jens moved to South Jutland to earn more money. When Christen was 22 years old, they decided to migrate (assumedly for the same reason) and departed on the Friedeburg, which left on the 18th May 1872. The brothers arrived in New Zealand on 31 August 1872. The boys? mother, Kirstine had died in Denmark only two years previously.

According to family legend, they were very impressed with the country at first. They even wrote home and tried to convince their father Peder Vedsted Biltoft to join them. However, life in New Zealand soon became tiresome and the boys wrote again to their father. Peder never received their letter, as he and the family were already en route to Australia.

Eventually, Christen and Jens joined their family in Queensland, Australia. Christian Biltoft and Jens Pedersen Biltoft married the same day (9 March 1883) to sisters. Christen married Dorothea Christina Hansen, and Jens married Anne/Annie Hansen. They were two of four known daughters of Jens and Marie Bolethi (Peterson) Hansen.

Even though their father Peder always wanted to return to Denmark in his old age, this never eventuated, as he worried that the cold weather would be too much for him. After his father?s death in 1897, Christian inherited his father?s rather substantial property at Freestone Creek.

According to our records, Christen and Dorothea?s children were as follows:

1. Peter Vedsted Biltoft
2. Maria Mathilde Biltoft
3. Peter Vedsted Biltoft
4. James Martin Biltoft
5. Christopher Adolphus Biltoft
6. Elsie Christine Biltoft
7. Hilda Dorothy Biltoft
8. Henry Herbert Biltoft

Christen and Dorothea both died and were buried in Toowoomba, QLD.

Christen died on the 11 June 1923 and Dorothea died more than 20 years later on the16th March 1945.

Thanks to our cousin 'network', I was even able to meet our Danish cousins Bent, Lone, Trine and Mathilde for the first time on 6th March, 2005 - Brisbane, Australia. Bent is my 4th cousin twice removed.

We are connected through my 4th great grandfather Peder Biltoft and his 2nd great grandmother, Ane Rosine, who were brother & sister.

This biography was prepared by myself, but would never had been possible without having most of the information passed on to me by my ?cousins? (AUS) and (USA), also Biltoft descendants.

9 comment(s), latest 8 years ago

COCHRANE -> Co Cavan, IRE -> Australia

Robert Cochrane, b Abt. 1829, was the son of James & Mary Cochrane. On 22 April 1848, he married Frances Pattie/Patty, daughter of Edward & Mary Patty, at the Church of Ireland in Bailiesborough, Co. Cavan, Ireland.

They emigrated to Australia on the ship Digby, in 1849 (reel 2135, 2459 State Records NSW). Their son Edward James/James Edward was born 16 October 1849 in Mulgoa, Cumberland, NSW (NSW Birth Cert Reg No V18491127 34A/1849).

James Edward/Edward James Cochrane was baptised 25th November 1849 at Parish of Mulgoa, County of Cumberland. His Father Robert's 'Profession or Calling' was listed as a Labourer on baptismal records and their usual place of abode was Mulgoa. He married Hannah Pittman, and I am descended from their daughter, Annie Jane in 1875 at Tamworth, NSW.

Robert & Fanny also had a son, John, born 8th April 1854 and baptised 25th July 1854 - Presbyterian, District of Bathurst. Their usual abode was listed as O'Connell Plains & Robert's occupation as Farmer on baptismal records.

WHITE (2) - Maitland area, NSW, Australia

Different White family from the other one I am researching.

Esther May White was the daughter of Bertrand Charles White (b 7 January 1873, West Maitland - parents Charles White & Annie Upward) & Violet Vera Vida Owens (b 19 August 1887, Barcaldine, QLD - parents John Owens & Eliza Helm).

Bertrand & Violet married in 1914.

Their children (Esther's brothers & sisters) include Queen, Joe, Ivy (Ruth), Joy, Alf, Bernard Coyne, & Charles Bertram.

Some of their children are still living, so their dates have not been given.

Would love to make contact with relatives or researchers.

4 comment(s), latest 7 years, 2 months ago

BLAKEY - Sunderland, Durham, England

Sarah Ellen BLAKEY was born 05 Feb 1878 in 4 Woodbine Street East, Sunderland, Durham, England.

Her parents were William Blakey (b 15 Jul 1844 - 24 Market Place, Durham) & Isabella Jewitt / Jewett (b 10 Sep 1844 - 6 Silver Street, Durham). William was a Joiner. Most of the family is born (and died) in Durham.

Known siblings included Robert, Charles, Emily Maud, Ann and Hellena.

Sarah Ellen's Blakey line goes from

William Blakey m Jane Grieve
John Blakey m Elizabeth Westwick
Anthony Blakey m Dorothy Hall
William Blakey m Isabella Jewitt
Sarah Ellen Blakey

William Blakey & family were found in 1891 census at Bishop Wearmouth.

She married George Oliver 23 October 1897, Registry Office, Sunderland, England. Their children included Matthew (10 January 1898?), Isabel (Cis/Sis), George W (Bill), Elizabeth (1 July 1903), Nora, Harold, Winnifred (Wynne), Charles (Fred?)& Ann (Nancy).

In 1921, the Oliver family, except for Matthew, whom was already married and settled with Maggie, migrated en masse to Australia aboard the Themistocles. They settled in Sydney, NSW.

Looking for other Blakey and/or Oliver descendants in UK and Australia to share research and photos.