My great great grandfather, Patrick Monaghan, was born in Clifden about 1826, the son of John Monaghan and Mary Kennealy. I know nothing of the early life of Patrick or of his parents or if he had any siblings. During the period of 1845 to 1849, the West Coast of Ireland was badly hit by the famine. The Slater’s Directory of 1846 lists Patrick’s father, John, under Public Housing but he is not listed in the 1855 Griffith Valuation. One can only assume that Patrick’s parents died during the famine.
The famine drove people to extreme measures, such as stealing, in order to survive. Patrick was one of these and he was convicted of stealing a pig on 26 June 1848. A copy of trial details lists the surname as Menahon not Monaghan. His punishment was transportation to Australia for 7 years. So, with prison number 49868, he left Ireland aboard The Havering, the second last ship to transport convicts to New South Wales.
Captained by J N Fenwick, the ship departed Dublin on 4 August 1849 with 336 passengers on board and arrived in New South Wales on 8 November 1849 with 334 passengers. There were objections to convict transportation at the time so the prisoners were not allowed to disembark and were sent on to other ports.
The Havering continued up the east coast of Australia to Moreton Bay, off loading convicts to the Hunter River area, Port Macquarie with the final 30 landed at Moreton Bay. On disembarking on the 30th November, all convicts were granted a ticket of leave. On 11 March 1850, Patrick was granted a Ticket of Leave Passport to work out his sentence in the service of Mr Thomas Bell. Mr Bell was a native of Northern Ireland who owned Jimbour a very large sheep station near Dalby in Queensland. Patrick worked as a farm labourer whilst at the station.
Catherine Nelligan was born in Kilfenora in 1839 and came to Australia on The Persia in 1856 to work as a domestic servant at Jimbour Station. It was here that Patrick met Catherine and they married in 1858. They had 7 children, six of whom were born at Jimbour. The first born was Michael in 1859, followed by John in 1861.Their other children were: William (my great grandfather) born on 18 December 1862, Patrick in 1864, Mary in 1866, Lizzie in 1869 and James in 1874. Sadly, the two eldest, Michael and John, died of Croup in mid 1864, 22 days apart and both are buried in the Jimbour Cemetery.
Tragedy struck Patrick again when Catherine died of Puerperal Fever 2 days after giving birth to James in August 1874. More sadness was to come when James died three months later from Dysentery. Patrick raised his remaining children on his own. School records show that both girls attended school at Jimbour but there are no records for the boys attending school.
In 1878, Patrick selected 720 acres of land in the parish of Kamkillenbar, now know as The Bun on the Bunya Highway. Here he raised his own beef which he then slaughtered in his butcher shop at Kamkillenbar.
He obviously prospered in this venture and was able to purchase a large parcel of land in Dalby in May 1880. When Patrick died on 18 October 1902, he had 200 pounds in the bank which at that time was a large sum of money. 150 pounds was to be shared among his four surviving children, William, Patrick, Mary and Elizabeth and any land owned was to be sold with this money also shared among these children. The remaining 50 pounds was used to purchase a headstone for his grave with any leftover being given to the Catholic Church for prayers to be said for his soul. This headstone remains standing in the Dalby Cemetery today.
Patrick’s oldest surviving son, William, became the head stockman at Jimbour in the late 1880s and continued to live on the station until early 1900. He then selected his own land and married Jane Mackie, a native of Scotland, who was a domestic servant at Jimbour. They raised a family of 10 children and their eldest son, William, was my grandfather.
Patrick’s descendants in Australia number 431 of whom 375 are still living to this day with the oldest being my father, Kevin, who will be 90 in August this year.