Imagine my surprise and delight when I received an email out of the blue, last week from a gentleman in Victoria, Australia asking me to check if there was any possibility that his Great Grandmother – Honora Daly (Willoughby) might be one of the Killarney girls who went to Adelaide on the Earl Grey Scheme in September 1849
Peter (Willoughby) said that he had ‘no knowledge’ of Honora’s life prior to her marriage to his great grandfather Henry Willoughby in Adelaide in 1853. However after much detective work Peter had managed to get a copy of Honora and Henry’s marriage certificate as well as copies of the birth certificates of their children. While Honora’s birthplace is noted as ‘Killarney’ on most of the copy certificates, on that of her daughter Honora Elizabeth she has entered proudly her own place of birth as ‘The Lakes of Killarney’.
The list of names of the girls who left from Killarney Workhouse has never been located and their immigration records, on arrival in Adelaide, have not survived either. However all of the 190 Irish Workhouse girls on that ship The Elgin were listed in South Australian Register newspaper of 12 September, 1849. I have been able to identify some of them, from their Kerry baptismal records but I didn’t have any research identifying Honora with Kerry until now.
My readers will be pleased to know that Honora married Henry in Adelaide in 1853. We know from Trevor McClaughlin’s invaluable opus Barefoot & Pregnant? Vol.2, (p.401) that the couple then travelled to the Victorian goldfields and their children were born in the gold towns of Bendigo & Clunes. They later took up a selection (farm) in the Malee district of Victoria and Honora died in 1895, survived by her husband and seven children.