If your ancestor sailed from Blennerville, the Port of Tralee in May 1857, you will be glad to know that he/she was of ‘superior class’. That is according to the Kerry Evening Post. The paper goes on to tell us that a ‘dozen fine young peasants‘ left for Melbourne – apologies to Australian descendants for this class distinction by the Post.
To my disappointment, I can’t tell you the name of these ships or the passengers that sailed from Blennervillle (Port of Tralee) on May Day 1857. Despite long time research by both myself and Helen O’Carroll, Curator/Manager of Kerry County Museum, these two ships remain unidentified. We can tell you though that the next two ships mentioned leaving ‘early next week’, one to Quebec and one to New York are the St. Clair and the Sandusky. Whether the emigrants on these ships are ‘superior’ or not, we are not told.
The Kerry Evening Post orientation was Protestant and Conservative. The Kerry Evening Post was the first rival newspaper to the Chute’s Western Journal from 1813 on. The paper was set up by two brothers, John and Charles Eagar and it was the conservative answer to Chute’s more liberal journal.
Hi Kay. I read with interest your report on the emigrants on May Day to Melbourne, Australia. As you were unable to determine the names of the ships which sailed from Liverpool, I thought I would provide the following information which you may find interesting.
My G Grandfather, Michael O’Shea was from Co Kerry and he sailed to Melbour from Liverpool aboard the Eartern City on 9 May 1857. He was obviously an educated man, as he kept a diary of his journey to melbourne. This diary was recently purchased by the Museum of Victoria due to its historical value. It makes very interesting reading of his journey.
Clare, I am delighted that you stood up for the Australians! I was trying o show what a biased paper the Kerry Evening Post was. (My own daughter has emigrated to Melbourne!). The diary sounds most interesting. Do you have any quotes or notes from it and I will publish as a blog?
I would be most interested to read this diary, could you provide info of how I can read this? Has it been transcribed or digitised? I’m in Melbourne and happy to visit the museum. Thanks Catherine.
I am trying to locate parents Barholomew Downing & Bridget Burns of sons Robertb1810 John b1812 who sailed on ‘Andromeda’1830 to Australia. Also a brother Bartholomew b1819 all in Kerry.can u help?
Gail, thank you. I hope you see my reply to Clare Wong who also commented on this post. While 1810 – 1812 is very early for Kerry Catholic Church records we can have a look. I will send you separately a Query Form to fill in – it has targeted questions that would hopefully be a help in identification.
Lovely Piece Kay
I really enjoy your posts and look forward to more postings, always with interesting insights into an earlier time in Kerry.
The Kennelly mentioned might be related to Thomas Keneally of Australia. Well known author of many books and specially “Schindler’s List”. A large part of the Keneally family also immigrated to NYC. The Australian Keneallys were very politically connected with protesting for Irish rights in Ireland and Australia.
My Kennelly’s emigrated to Chicago starting in 1859 but everything I have read says that the family was from Listowel. So far I have not been able to connect them to a particular Kennelly family in Kerry, Ireland. It sounds like the Mr. Kennelly mentioned was organizing the ships rather than as a passenger. Thank you to Kay for posting this.
Marget, I am a native of Listowel and yes there are a lot of Kennellys from both the town and surrounding coutryside. This Mr. Kennelly of Blennervile would probably be a different family.
Hi Kay and others,
I too am trying to trace an ancestor who emigrated from Ireland to Australia.
Mary Ann Shea, she arrived on the Athletae in Portland Australia (down the coast from from Melbourne, Australia) on 19 May 1855 she was aged 20 so was born around 1835. I believe her family may have emigrated to England first as her native country was listed as England, Stafford however her marriage and other paper work says she is from Kerry in Ireland. She came as a domestic servant for a Mr Andle.
She married a year after arrival.
Her fathers name is listed as Jeremiah Shea and her mother Ellen Murphy
Greg, I would advise that you do a search on http://www.Irishgenealogy.ie – a free Government website where Kerry baptisms are registered. Just two words of caution – most Kerry people did not know their exact year or dates of birth in the 19th century so you have to look at a range of years. The second caution is that not all baptisms for 1835 are on this website – it is very early for any outside of the main towns. Having said that, on a very quick search i saw a Mary Shea (she would not have had two names in baptisms) baptised in Adrigole in 27 February 1842.
You will have to do a lot more research to get a positive identification.
I have a Mary Shea who arrived 13th May 1855 on the Nashwauk (shipwrecked just off Kangaroo Island).
The Nashwauks ships list states she was b1835 and from Kilkenny Ireland. A Judith Shea was also onboard b1838 Kilkenny Ireland.
Both girls had requested voyage to Sydney (indicating they had relatives in Sydney)!
Mary and Judith were temporarily housed in the German hospital in Adelaide. Judith then went to the Clare Depot and was assigned to a farmer in SA. By 1859 Judith ( now calling herself Johanna) had married in SA and moved to Sydney then Bathurst and settled in the Blue Mountains of NSW.
I have not been able to locate a posting for Mary Shea b1835?
Thanks for sharing this.