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An O'Grady Path into New Zealand History
by P. Danenberg, M. Murtagh & R. Murtagh

The Clare O'Gradys
© Copyright R. Murtagh, P. Danenberg, M. Murtagh, Mar., 2014

The O'Keefe-Blake Pedigree
In hindsight, our exploration of the Co. Clare O'Grady family for our own roots didn't really gain momentum until after the publication of Gerard Madden's excellent book on O'Grady historyP1. His chapter 14 deals with the pedigree of the Venerable Edel Quinn of Africa and is based on research done by Fr. Edmund O'Keefe SJ and Cecilia Blake, with some later help from Cecilia's son, Henry Blake, and all descended from the Burke-Brownes. Cecilia did her research in the 1950's and 60's so was something of a pioneer at a time when on-line databases just didn't exist, and everything had to be done by talking to people and by poring through old registers. Fr. Edmund visited every school in Clare between 1982 and 92 on his mission work, and so was able to follow up much of his research, too. Their joint pedigree P2, below, shows that Edel's ancestors stemmed from two prominent families in Clare in the late 1700's, being the O'Gradys of Kildysart in Killadysert parish and the Burke-Brownes of Ballyslattery in Tulla parish. Their key junction came on 9th Sept 1812 with the marriage between Ann O'Grady of Newgrove Cottage and Thomas Burke, and from them came the well documented family of Burke-Brownes leading to Edel's birth in 1907, and her service to Africans up until her death in Nairobi in 1944.

The pedigree chart that they produced also carried a great deal of information on the Kildysart O'Grady family which greatly augmented and helped to assemble the fragments of that family's history that we'd gleaned ourselves. We started from the known New Zealand history of Thomas and Margaret O'Grady, children of Daniel O'Grady and Bridget O'Loughlin, and both born around 1838-39 in Co. Clare, but soon found the almost total absence of any details within NZ of their earlier history beyond their emigration date of 5th April, 1861. The tyrannies of both time and distance, coupled with our ignorance of how Irish genealogy could be probed, all prevented much real progress from being made from afar.

Our only minor successes were to establish firstly that Thomas had been in the Royal Irish Constabulary from 1856 until 1860, and that his advocate on joining was his parish priest, Fr Michael Dinan of Clondagad parish - (noting that the "Royal" attribute did not become official until around 1867, even although this detail is normally ignored.) And secondly as stemming from a local NZ newspaper report on her death in 1877, that Bridget O'Loughlin had emigrated to NZ in 1862 with her husband Edmund Walsh and a son Edmund Walsh, and was the definite mother of our Thomas O'Grady. We later ascertained that Bridget had married Edmund in Clondagad parish in 1847P3 as per:

18 Oct 10: Edmund Walshe to Bridget O'Loughlin marr. by P.Murphy Pt. Tim Walshe & Bridget Walshe

but could not find their son's birth registration. From his eventual death certificate in NZ, he was born around 1849.

And so it was that a gentle four-week visit to Ireland was made in 2013, mainly in order to find out more information about our O'Gradys, but also to probe three other Irish ancestor families of ours. What we found in Clare was failure. Despite being armed with Gerard Madden's information, and despite being helped by many kind and friendly people in Clare, (acknowledged below) we could not establish firmly when or where Thomas and Margaret were born, nor hence who their official parents were. What we did find, though, was a great deal of circumstantial information about the Kildysart and Tulla O'Gradys, plus we gained knowledge of where we could look and how to look for other relevant information such as land records. In fact upon returning home, we were able to extend the Kildysart O'Grady information shown on the O'Keefe-Blake pedigree, with those new records shown in blue. We also added some speculation (in purple) that seems to relate the early 1700's Kildysart O'Gradys to the Kilballyowen O'Gradys being the principal O'Grady line stemming from 1250 AD and beyond. The Appendix, which was compiled mainly from the Clare Library websiteP4, has been written for the benefit of our Australasian relatives who, like us, were quite unaware of most of the dramatic Irish history before 1800 generally, but particularly for Co.Clare, and particularly for the O'Grady name.

More importantly, we built two speculative stories that could each provide an answer as to where our O'Grady roots lie. Each of them tried to smooth the circumstantial and definite information that we had into a plausible history that would be logical and understandable for Irish society of those times. It was only when we started to ask relevant questions of our friends in Clare about those norms in society that it became clear we could eliminate one of those stories. And this left us with an interesting speculatum that seems to confirm much of the circumstantial evidence that we've carefully accumulated. It is not a conventional story, and it almost certainly is not unique. Its merit is that it contains enough information to believe it is true, so that like innocence, must now be disproven before it can be disregarded.

For completeness, we've included in the next section a brief outline of the rejected speculatum. Its place on the O'Keefe-Blake pedigree can be imagined if the name of Daniel O'Grady of Tulla is joined with a marriage symbol (===) to Bridget O'Loughlin, and the existing purple hashed link (# # #) between Bridget O'Loughlin and Daniel O'Grady of Kildysart is removed. Note the underlining, and that these two Daniels are in any case first cousins.

The First Speculatum
This story centres around the possibility that Squire Daniel O'Grady of Tulla (1784-1838) was the father of our Thomas and Margaret O'Grady, born around 1838-9. The top left side of the chart shows that he was the son of Thomas O'Grady of Cooga and afterwards of Newgrove Cottage, Tulla, with an estimated life span from 1744-1815. His brother was Squire Daniel O'Grady of Shorepark in Kildysart, (c.1745 - 21 Jan 1829) and their joint father was Squire Daniel Grady of Cooga being "a gentleman of unblemished reputation" who "died at an advanced age" at Tulla on 15 Aug., 1800FS1, and was thus born around 1715. We speculate that this older Daniel was a lesser-known son of the Thomas Grady who became Lord Thomond's collector of rents for Co.Clare FS2, and also the same man to whom Thomond in about 1712 gave a grant forever of land in CoogaFS3, as detailed in the Appendix. Thus we speculate that the 184 Statutory. acres in Cooga West held by Daniel of Shorepark in the 1826 Tithe Applotment Book (TAB) had been retained in the Grady family ever since 1712, which would seem to be a significant retention by that family and perhaps for significant reasons.

Click on image for larger version

This Squire Daniel of Tulla is listed in the 1826 TAB with three holdings close to the township of Tulla, and the most compelling thrust of this story is its formation of a classic Irish naming sequence of Thomas-Daniel-Thomas-Daniel-Thomas with the last being our Thomas O'Grady of New Zealand. Unfortunately for this story, the Tulla catholic parish does not have any records for the baptisms of our Margaret or Thomas, nor for the marriage of their parents, but this might be overcome by assuming that along with many landed gentry in general, and with the Kilballyowen O'Gradys in particular, these O'Gradys were also Anglican in religion. Since the Tulla Anglican records weren't started until much later, we can't expect to ascertain any such details from them. We might add that after spending much time exploring all of the extensive graveyards in Tulla without finding many O'Grady stones (and none that we recognized), we learnt after returning home that shortly before our visit, a child had fallen into an old crypt adjacent to the derelict church. After recovering the child, and before repairing the roof, an archaeologist recorded details from the incumbent coffins. Although we are still waiting for those details, it appears that this was the O’Grady crypt from those days in Tulla.

Notwithstanding this lack of Tulla parish records, a little circumstantial evidence supports the possibility of Daniel O’Grady of Tulla marrying Bridget O’Loughlin in around 1837. On her eventual NZ death certificateFS4, her parents were recorded as Martin and Bridget O’Loughlin and since the only Martin O’Loughlin recorded in the TAB for Co. Clare in 1826FS5 was living in Rosslevan townland of Kilraghtis parish which is only about 10 km down the main road between Tulla and Ennis, there is a clear possibility that Daniel and Bridget might have met each other in or around Tulla at some time before 1837. In this first speculate, Daniel of Tulla fathered firstly Margaret (born around Dec 1837) and then Thomas (born around Dec 1838), even although Daniel himself died on 26 May 1838. The biggest complaint against this possibility is that in his application to join the NZ Police Force, Thomas stated his birthdate as 26 March 1839 (which may have been his baptismal date, or a contrived date) but is exactly ten months after his father had died. The earlier dates derived for Margaret and Thomas were calculated from many subsequent NZ records such as marriage dates, children’s birth dates etc assuming that they were always accurate in recording their current age at those times NZ1.

However, recent information from Fr. Fergus O’Donoghue FS6, a former archivist in Dublin, indicates that the assumed delay of even a month between birth and baptism is not reasonable:

There was no delay between birth and baptism, the latter following as soon as possible. Given that registration of births was not compulsory until later in the 19th century, baptismal records (themselves unevenly kept) could be used as evidence of actual date of birth.”

Another hurdle for this story lies in the above explanation of Anglicanism for the absence of any Tulla RC baptismal registrations because it is clear from newspaper records and parish records that the original Kildysart O'Gradys (of whom Daniel was a member) were staunchly catholic FS7.

Following the early death of Daniel in 1838, the first story then portrays Bridget and her two children moving firstly to Kildysart in order to seek help to survive from among their O'Grady relatives at Shorepark for up to eight years, and then secondly to Clondagad following Bridget's eventual marriage to Edmund Walsh in 1847. And therein lies a further hurdle for this story with the normal convention for recording the re-marriage of a widow being the use of her previous married surname, and not her maiden surname. From Fr. Fergus O'Donoghue againFS6

When a widow remarried, her first married name was always that under which she was recorded (sometimes with a record of her unmarried name as "nee . . ")”

Thus since Bridget's marriage to Edmund Walsh was in her maiden name of O'Loughlin, it also indicates that this first story with a marriage between Bridget and Daniel of Tulla is improbable. The further conclusion is that with our Thomas and Margaret both born around 1837-8, they were both probably born out of wedlock.

The second Speculatum gives an alternative story to explain the recorded facts in light of this more recent information.

The Shorepark Connections
In both stories, it is important firstly to record the clear connections that existed in both cases between our Thomas O'Grady and the family of Squire Daniel O'Grady of Shorepark in Kildysart. Firstly, our Thomas named his eldest daughter as Georgina, and being a rare Irish name, clearly follows as coming from that Squire Daniel's wife, Jane Georgina Mahon of Galway. Also, he named a later son after Dr Carroll O'Grady who lived at Shorepark after Squire Daniel had died in 1854. We believe that both Georgina and Carroll could have played a part in sustaining Bridget O'Loughlin and her family through the 1840-50s, especially in the first Speculatum where the early death of her husband made Bridget's family and herself quite vulnerable. However, in this second story below, it also seems likely that Bridget and her family had to draw on the charity of the Kildysart O'Grady family for a few years. The statistical probability of these two rare names occurring at random within one family is very low, and much lower indeed for the two of them to occur together in two separate families, separated by 12,000 miles, unless there was a clear family relationship.

Secondly, we know that our Thomas had money when he arrived in Christchurch in 1861. He was embezzled of £400 by his brother-in-law in 1867, and local newspaper items show that he was participating in a number of early Christchurch land transactions. So he'd inherited or brought money from Clare. Certainly he could not have accumulated his cash from wages in the RIC before leaving Clare, nor from within the NZ police force. It must have come from his immediate family in Co.Clare as an emigration gift from the estates of either Daniel of Tulla (d.1838) in the first story, or Daniel of Shorepark (d.1854) in the second story, or possibly from the moderately wealthy Dr Carroll O'Grady who in the 1856 Griffiths Primary Valuation (GPV) had extensive properties around Kildysart, and no male heirs. The latter died in 1867, and Thomas's son was born and named after Carroll in 1870. Our colleague, Jane Ryan in Tulla, has recently suggested to usSC1 that for the second story, Thomas was a "remittance man".

I wonder, too if both children were encouraged to go abroad for inheritance reasons. I was told that often the other siblings were sent away & the males were known as "remittance men" in that in order to receive a yearly stipend or lump sum, they had to stay away.”

Thirdly, Thomas is reported in a NZ newspaper of 1871SC2 as "rescuing" an Irish girl named Mary O'Grady who'd suffered some kind of breakdown in the North Island town of Wanganui. The report indicated that she was a cousin of both Thomas and Margaret and hence could only have been Carroll's dau Mary, b.1838. By taking her into their home, they brought her back to good health.

The Brighter Side of Wanganui. The girl Mary O'Grady left for Wellington this morning in Cobb's coach, en route to Canterbury, nearly cured of insanity. She has been sent to the charge of her cousins, the Sergeant of Police at Leithfield, and his sister, and will be properly cared for . . We learn that the insanity was the result of sunstroke in Queensland, probably accelerated by disappointment and grief.

Upon searching shipping records, we did then find a confirmatory and clear record of her earlier arrival in Sydney in 1855SC3 as per the table, below, noting that the Latinized version of names (Maria) was often used by the higher classes in their baptismal documents. The listed facts are irrefutable proof of Mary's origins and her close linkage to Thomas.

Name Age Calling From   Religion Read/Write Complaints
O’Grady, Maria 18 yrs Child’s maid Kildysart, Co Clare Carroll & Bridget
Mother dead, Father in Kildysart
RC Read None

She remained part of Margaret Cunneen's family for some time and was a sponsor in some of Margaret's children's baptisms.

Fourthly, NZ newspapers treated the arrival of Frederick Standish O'Grady within their country in the early 1870s as newsworthy, particularly since there'd been a prominent search for his older brother Paget, a few years earlier and prior to his progression into the Guillamore title. Frederick was noted as having been educated in England, and as a good sportsman was interested in athletics and cricket. The fact that he not only travelled to ChCh but then travelled a further 35 miles into the 'bush' and up to the village of Leithfield in North Canterbury indicates that he was tracking down our Thomas O'Grady as a distant cousin. "Fred" subsequently became the sixth Viscount Guillamore, but in the 1870s, stayed some time in Leithfield where our Thomas was stationed. He became the Hon Secretary & Treasurer of the Leithfield Cricket ClubSC4 when Thomas was playing in the districtSC5, and was mentioned a number of times in newspaper reports through 1873SC6. This probably explains Thomas's subsequent promotion of the game in later commissions that he held in other townsSC7. He'd departed Leithfield in Feb 1874 as perSC8. The remoteness and smallness of Leithfield at that time, as even now, means that that encounter between the two O'Gradys was not by chance. "Fred" knew in advance roughly where "Tom" was living, and chose to enjoy the unencumbered hunting and fishing and other activities that the area offered then, as now.

Fifthly and most importantly as detailed below, the 37 statutory acres of land in Lisheen that the 1825 TABFS5 shows as belonging to the earlier Sqr. Daniel O'Grady (who d.1829), can be easily identified (from the sizes and owners of adjacent holdings) in the 1855 GPVSC9 as belonging to Edmund Walsh Jnr. Given that that land had been transferred to the next Squire Daniel of Shorepark in 1829, it is very relevant because it was Edmund Walsh Jnr who married Bridget O'Loughlin in 1847 in Clondagad parish. Thus one might reasonably assume that this land transfer was part of a Marriage Settlement between the O'Grady family and Edmund Walsh in order to give Bridget and her family some security and stability. In contrast to most marriages of those days among landed families, Edmund was about 15 years younger than Bridget, then aged 40 years.

All of these items suggest that our Thomas and Margaret were very much a part of the Kildysart O'Grady family, who in turn (because of the Cooga connection) were known to be close to the noble families of O'Grady in Kilballyowen and elsewhere. It is certainly true that Thomas and Margaret had been well educated, as evidenced by hand-written records in the NZ Police Archives, plus letters written by Margaret, and Margaret's stated occupation on her marriage certificate as a 'book-keeper'.

In some breaking news, the co-authors recently contributed 50% of the cost for a 96-year old descendant of our Thomas O'Grady to have his Y-DNA profile measured, in the hope that it might eventually reveal some linkages to other O'Grady descendants. We've been very interested to find out almost immediately that he belongs to the R-M269 haplogroup about which a recent study conducted by Trinity College Dublin, found that a striking % of men in Ireland (and quite a few in Scotland) share the same Y chromosome, suggesting that the 5th-century warlord known as "Niall of the Nine Hostages" may be the ancestor of one in 12 Irishmen. Niall established a dynasty of powerful chieftains that dominated the island for six centuries. Strangely enough, Muirchertach is listed as a grt-grandson of Niall, and from this name came its anglicized version of Murtagh. Maybe two of the writers are very long distance cousins of each other ? As more information is gleaned, we'll update this paragraph.

The Second Speculatum
When the previous section is examined alongside the O'Keefe-Blake Pedigree, it is clear that the only other contender apart from Daniel O'Grady of Tulla for being the father of our Margaret and Thomas is the second Squire Daniel, resident at Shorepark, himself. These are the only two Daniel O'Gradys that we know about, being of the right age and location and having connections to the Shorepark family, to qualify. Examination of the Kildysart parish registers for the period of 1833 until 1848 does not provide the registrations of Thomas or Margaret. However, they do give many O'Grady births including the ones added to the original O'Keefe-Blake chart, now shown in blue-type; three for Squire Daniel and four for Dr Carroll O'Grady with the dates as shown, and comments as below.

But to go back a little in time. When the first Squire Daniel of Shorepark died in 1829, his position was taken by his eldest son, also named Daniel, then aged at about 42 years. (Note that we have called the first Daniel O'Grady on the chart as belonging to Cooga, although he eventually died at Tulla).

The Tithe Applotment Book of 1825FS5 showed that the lands being held by our family were extensive: 91 statute acres in Inish Turbrid (an island in the Fergus estuary), 184 acres in Cooga West, (both in Kildysart parish) plus 112 statute acres in Lisheen and a further 37 acres also in Lisheen, (both in Clondagad parish), altogether amounting to 422 acres.

Shorepark front   Shorepark rear
Front of Shorepark with rear wing just showing on right hand side   Rear wing of Shorepark, with farm outbuildings at rear

Then their 30-acre primary residence was named "Shorepark” and lay on the edge of the Fergus estuary, just a short walk of about 300 meters on the main road south-west from Kildysart township, and staring out at the wide waters of the Fergus estuary as they join up with the even wider Shannon estuary. Into the upstream distance, green-covered islands stand slightly offshore like sentinels keeping the coastline in its place. The house and grounds are large with huge trees and an air of old opulence about it.

Outbuildings at rear of Shorepark   View of one of the Fergus islands beyond the tree
Outbuildings at rear of Shorepark   View of one of the Fergus islands beyond the tree, and Fergus / Shannon
estuaries in far distance. Steps on left lead to former formal garden.

Squire Daniel's mother, Bridget Finucane, was still living in the house together with his elderly Aunt Frances aged 79, whom his father had undertaken to support. His younger brother Edmond and his unmarried eldest sister, Ellen, aged in her forties, were also resident there, while his other sisters, Margaret and Frances, had married well and had left home. His youngest brother, Carroll was studying medicine in England, but returned to practice in the district in 1834 before marrying Bridget McMahon and producing children named Joan in 1835 and Mary in 1838. Carroll's CV was:

Dr Carroll O'Grady, Shorepark, M.R.C.S., England 1833, Medical Officer 1834-1852, Kildysart and Ballynacally Dispensary Districts, the Workhouse and Fever Hospital.

Griffith’s Primary Valuation Map of
Lisheen Townland in Clondagad Parish, c.1855

We can speculate that even before his father had died, our new Squire Daniel was kept busy looking after his large estate, and would have needed to spend some time tending his Lisheen holdings in Clondagad, being a gentle day's horse ride of about 9 km away from Kildysart. It seems probable that he would have kept a cottage available for his own accommodation, and probably paid for a housekeeper to keep it clean and provisioned from time to time.

Comparison of the TAB and GPV records for Lisheen show unmistakably that the immediate neighbours on either side of his smaller holding of 37 acres remained the same throughout that period between the two surveys, from 1825 until 1855, so in the adjacent map, (which we think is worth copying for when reading these pages), we can state that the plot #32 and #33 (green) were originally Daniel's 37-acre allotment, with a pleasant 8.5-acre woodland walk between them. It may be noted that the holder of #30 of 26-acres (yellow) was Edmund Walsh (sen) and #31 of 26 acres was held jointly by William and Timothy Walsh. In the TAB, #30 and #31 had been clearly held by Edmund and William Walsh resp., so the logic is simple. As noted above, the recorded holder of lots #32 and #33 in the GPV was actually Edmund Walsh Jnr, but these had clearly been Squire Daniel's holdings in 1825.

As to Bridget O'Loughlin's origins in Clondagad, we start by noting that the family stem from the fascinating Burren region in north-western Clare and are not common in the southern parishes of interest to us. For Kildysart, there are no O'Loughlin land records for either the TAB or GPV, but for Clondagad, the TAB has six on record, of which only one tenant survived through to the GPV. Three of those six in the TAB are clustered together in Lisheen townland on equally-sized allotments, and it would seem that three sons might have each taken over a one-third share of their father's lot. But by the time of the GPV, only one of those tenants remained.

In Bridget's case, we deduced that her parents' probable residence was in Kilraghtis parish (as noted earlier) being 10 km from Tulla and 20 km from Clondagad. They clearly moved at some time between the two surveys from their small 1.7 statute acre allotment in Kilraghtis (with a rental of 13 pence per year) up to an even smaller house allotment of 12 perches in Gragan West townland of Rathborney parish in the Burren, presumably in retirement. The TAB also records the three adjacent allotments each of 6.6 statute acres in Lisheen townland of Clondagad parish noted above, and being held by John, Terence and Denis O'Loughlin. These might have been older brothers or even uncles of Bridget, but it's a reasonable speculation that when her parents moved back to Rathborney in the O'Loughlin heartland, Bridget decided to move to Clondagad in order to be with those relations and possibly be of some help to them on their farms. Of the three plots, John's is still listed in the GPV as #35a, (grey) so we can see from the stated sizes of plots in the GPV that Denis's and Terence's plots must have been #34 and #27 with the first and last adjoining the modern R473 (marked) road from Ennis to Kildysart. Note that at the modern Lisheen Cross hamlet (marked), the cross-road itself runs up the hill and past the actual fields, so can be seen on a Google Map. Before the time of the GPV, plot #27 became joined to #28 and was taken over by Thaddeus Coffey, while the holder of plot #34 also changed. The blue swirl is part of the Fergus estuary.

Because the distance between John O'Loughlin's lot, and Daniel O'Grady's lot was only 500 m, it might be reasonable to suppose that after he'd made local enquiries for such a person, he chose Bridget to become his partial housekeeper at his Clondagad cottage. This might have happened even in the early 1830s and would have provided income to the O'Loughlin family for a few years, but we think that by about 1835, when Bridget would have been 28, and Daniel about 48 years old, Bridget might have progressed to become Daniel's housekeeper at Shorepark.

Old Clondagad Church:
Old Clondagad Church, where Thomas & Margaret presumably baptised,
and Bridget O'Loughlin later married Edmund Walsh

And in a natural but not uncommon sequence then produced a dau, Margaret, and then about 15 months later a son, Thomas, whom we could reasonably suppose were both baptised in the old Clondagad parish church, since they are not in the Kildysart registers. Note that Clondagad did not take any such written records until 1846. Our very helpful colleague in Tulla, Jane Ryan, did indicate by phone that she'd noticed occasions in the records when parents from adjacent parishes had slipped quietly into her Tulla parish in order to baptise their children. So we think that this is what happened in Clondagad. That old church was abandoned in 1860 when the new one was built in nearby Ballynacally, and its derelict grey stone walls now reflect only the sound of the quietly bubbling local river that runs between tall trees on the glebe boundary. On rainy days, such as when the writers visited it in 2013, it is a quiet and peacefully dripping Greenery.

Undoubtedly, Thomas and Margaret were always certain of whom their father was. It seems that they were named after Daniel's sister and his uncle, respectively, noting that the traditional parents' names were held in reserve in case Daniel did get married and have a legitimate heir later.

We know that sometime between 1825 and 1855, plots #34 and #27 in Lisheen were transferred to other tenants, leaving John O'Loughlin and his family the only O'Loughlin people still in Lisheen. If Bridget had not moved into Shorepark before 1839, then with having two young children to look after, and no husband or source of regular income, she would have created severe financial strain on herself and on John's family if she'd been residing with them in Clondagad.

However, we can be certain that this situation had been resolved before 1841. As mentioned in the first paragraph under this heading, above, the perusal of the Kildysart baptismal registers did reveal a number of births to different O'Grady families in Kildysart, including Dr Carroll and Squire Daniel in the 1840s, detailed below. In addition, there are two other interesting registrations, as follows:

1835 Aug 4 Mic O'Grady of Dan and Biddy Loughlin Spnsrs: Mary Loughnane, Kildysart
1841 Feb Harriet of Dan Grady and Bridget O'Loughlin Spnsrs: John and Mary Hartigan

The first of these can be readily dismissed as being of interest because Michael is not a family name. There is not a single Michael Grady or O'Grady in the TAB or GPV land records for Kildysart or Clondagad, after whom a child could be named, and only one mention in each of the TAB and GPV for Kilchreest parish. Moreover, there are "other" Daniel O'Gradys showing as fathers in Kildysart parish in those years:

- one Dan/Danl/Daniel Grady/O'Grady produced three children with a Mary Slattery, and
- another Dan Grady produced one child with a Mary O'Dea.

However, with the comparative rarity of the O'Loughlin name in the district as mentioned above, it might be possible to suppose that while there might have been two Bridget or Biddy Loughlin / O'Loughlins in the district at that time, it doesn't seem likely that there could have been three of them of child-bearing age. Hence it seems probable that the second of the two registrations above, with our Bridget O'Loughlin's formal name spelt correctly, could be for our Bridget's third child. What compels this possibility is that Harriet is indeed a very rare name in Clare in those times. As a sample, examination of the 1901 Census for all of the Grady, O'Grady, and O'Loughlin first-names in Clare gives no women having Harriet as a name. Yet Margaret O'Grady's very first dau in NZ was named Harriet. So one can speculate confidently that Margaret named her after her little sister, who'd presumably died during the famine or thereafter. One may also note that Margaret's mother was also resident in her house in ChCh at the time, to add impetus to that choice of a name. The names of Thomas and Margaret certainly figured in the immediate O'Grady family before their respective births, as shown in the O'Keefe-Blake pedigree.

The fact that Harriet was baptised in Kildysart thus confirms that Squire Daniel had moved Bridget and her family into Shorepark to live before then. We think that might have been as early as 1836 or 37 and at some time before Margaret had been born. Note that Daniel was still unmarried, and remained so until late 1841. The fact that he'd allowed his name to go onto Harriet's baptismal registration in Kildysart is also interesting for its clear acknowledgement of his fatherhood. According to Fr O'Donoghue again.FS6

All babies were baptised, born in wedlock or otherwise. Illegitimate babies normally had "Pater Ignotus" (father unknown) inserted into the place for the father's name on the baptismal record.

So in the case of Bridget's three children, perhaps a better term for them would have been Daniel's de facto children, since there seems to have been clear recognition of their father's name. In a passing note, the recent book by the prominent American TV commentator, Bill O'Reilly, in dealing with the Kennedy assassinationFS8 suggests that JFK's many extramarital dalliances arose from his Irish ancestry where:

Some believe it is a carryover from the old days of the Kennedy heritage in Ireland, where the leader of a clan commonly had free rein to sleep with women outside of marriage. Until his recent stroke, the president's father, Joseph Kennedy, behaved in just such a manner

and while Squire Daniel was as yet unmarried, he might have felt a similar albeit milder entitlement. Peter Beirne has told us about other recorded practices in Co. Galway: "I note the following, relating to the parish of Beagh across the Clare border in County Galway. ‘Gone but not forgotten were the days when landlords exercised the feudal right to demand a young bride's company on her wedding day (droit de seigneur). When a young girl married, William Butler [the local landlord] would summon her to the Big House at Bunnahow’."

At that time in 1839, say, the old Squire Daniel had been dead for 10 years, and his widow, Bridget Finucane, was struggling with her health. Daniel's elderly Aunt Frances aged 79, whom his father had undertaken to support, was also probably living in the house together with his eldest (unmarried) sister, Ellen, aged in her forties. So the prospects of having Bridget with two or three young babies in the house and giving it some sounds of life was probably attractive to all of those O'Grady women, at least for a time. No doubt Bridget had some help with the children. And no doubt when Dr Carroll and Bridget McMahon and their young family of girls arrived for a visit, they all made plenty of noise, but with the large grounds and the spacious outbuildings, didn't cause too much trouble.

Daniel O'Grady's Immediate Family
Our Speculata on the Kildysart O'Gradys can now move into a better documented and less speculative story. So it was that on the 22nd of September 1841, Squire Daniel married Jane Georgina Mahon, dau. of James Mahon of Northampton, co. GalwayIF1 with a Settlement:

Ref. 999/404 No. 2/4, 22 Sept 1841
Settlement on the marriage of June G. Mahon, Northampton, Co. Galway and Daniel O'Grady, Shorepark, Co. Clare affecting the house at Kildysart/Shorepark, bar. Clondelaw, Co. Clare; land of Lisheen/Middle Division, par. Clondegad, bar. island, Co. Clare; Coogy, par. Kildysart, bar. Clanderlaw, co. Clare; Ennisturbet Islands, par. Kildysart, Co. Clare; Lackanshanna, par. Kildysart, Co. Clare.

Some further information on this Settlement Deed is obtained from the Encumbered Estates recordsIF2 when the owner of the property made a number of attempts to sell the property in 1854, 1861 etc.

Lease dated 4 may 1841 made by John Bindon Scott to Daniel O'Grady of dwelling-house, offices, garden and ground, part of the lands of Kildysart called Shorepark, containing 16A, 2R, 0P, Irish; together with the slob shore and pasture containing 5A, 2R, 35P, to hold from 25 march, 1841, for lives of Daniel O'Grady, (lessee), Carol Nash, and Jane Georgiana Mahon, (therein mentioned), and for life of longest liver of them, at yearly rent of £38 and 6d. in pound receiver's fees. - sic.

When they returned to Shorepark, Georgina (as she was known) found a ready-made family of two or three small children, (depending on when Harriet died) and also took over the day-to-day running of the household. We feel that Georgina must have been a very gracious and kindly lady to firstly marry a likely cantankerous elderly squire who would have been set in his ways, and then to help to look after the three of his children born to his part-time housekeeper. Perhaps that was the way of the world in those days where women had few rights, but perhaps it was also understood from their marriage settlement, where it was Daniel who'd provided all of the listed assets. Even the birth of their first dau, Bridget, in 1843, (presumably named after his mother Bridget Finucane), would have reminded her of Daniel's former relationship with his housekeeper. However, it does seem that our Thomas formed a lasting relationship with Georgina during those years, such that he was to name his first dau after her in NZ in 1866.

So Shorepark began to get crowded again, but this was to get worse. At some time after Carroll's wife produced their third dau, Anne, in 1840, and before a son Daniel had been born in 1845 to Georgina and Daniel, Carroll's wife Bridget McMahon died. This was a tragedy, but not an unusual one for the families of medical doctors. Cholera was prevalent in the years around 1840, and being the highly contagious waterborne disease that it was, we noticed that newspaper records from those years show that it was common for doctors to "bring death home" to their family. With his wife's death though, Carroll was left to bring up his three young daughters by himself, and so it seems certain that he and his three daughters would have had to move into "Shorepark" too, where Georgina and our Bridget could help in the everyday upbringing of his family. This also enabled Carroll to give more time to our Thomas as a father-figure to him, especially because Thomas was the only male heir around at that time. Because of this new crowding of "Shorepark" and possibly because of the fear of disease to the older women, records show that Squire Daniel's aunt Frances and his sister Ellen must have moved out to quieter accommodation and to be closer to the latter's sister Margaret in Limerick, with relevant records given next and as shown on the O'Keefe-Blake pedigree. Aunt Frances was Daniel's father's sister, died 7 Jan 1847, thus born around 1760 as from:

In Limerick, aged 86, Miss Frances O'Grady, aunt to Daniel O'Grady, Esq, of Shorepark, Kildysart, county ClareIF3

Ellen was his eldest sister and was given the name of Bridget Finucane's sister. She died unmarried in Limerick as per

O'Grady Ellen 18/07/1846 died at Geraldine, Limerick at the house of her brother-in-law, Pierce Shannon, dau of the late Daniel O'Grady of Shorepark, Co. ClareIF4

Ellen's younger sister, Margaret, had married twice in the Limerick area, firstly to Edmond Shannon:

"Married on Thurs at her fathers Shore Park co Clare, Edmond Shannon of Kildimo to Margaret 2nd dau of Daniel o Grady Esq " - Limerick Evening Post Mon 1 Dec 1817

then to Pierce Shannon

"on the 23rd Feb, in Limerick, Pierce Shannon, Esq. of New Orleans, North America, to Margaret, relict of Edmond Shannon, of Berry Lodge, Co. Clare" Freeman's Journal dated 1.3.1841
"Pierce Shannon was an interesting character - he had business interests that stretched from Russia to New Orleans & South America in early 1800s.. . . Margaret died at Emalagh Cottage in 19 Jul 1851, Pierce on 12 Jun 1844.
"IF4 & IF5

Ellen's youngest sister, Frances, had married in 1830 as per:

"April 30, at Kildysart Church, Thomas Ross-Lewin, Esq., 32d Regiment, to Frances, third daughter of the late Daniel O'Grady, Esq., Shore Park, county Clare." Freeman's Journal Tues 4th May, 1830.”

and may have lived to a very old age, as per

Ross-Lewin ?, Mrs. (in) Henry Street 21/02/1884 widow of late Thomas Ross-Lewin, death notice.IF4

Margaret Gallery helped us to obtain much of the above data. Kildysart parish records show that Daniel and Georgina produced three children themselves:

1843 Sep 3 Bridget Matilda, to Danl O'Grady Esq & Jane Mahon. Sprs: ...Miller Shorepark
1845 Apr 17 Daniel, . . to Daniel O'Grady & Eliza Mahon, . Sprs M.Whiston & Maria Miller
1847 Sep Edmund . . . to Dl O'Grady & Jane Mahon, . Sprs D.Nash & Eliza O'Grady.

At first sight, the recorded mother of baby Daniel is Eliza Mahon and perhaps a sister to Jane, but the existence of an Eliza O'Grady is confirmed in Edmund's registration 18 months later, and in another legal document quoted below that clearly indicates that an Eliza O'Grady was living in Shorepark and perhaps was another sister to Squire Daniel. It is reasonable to conclude that the recorder of the event made a simple mistake in the jumble of names thrown at him/her after the baptism. Being the elder son, his name was always going to be Daniel.

In parallel with this, Dr Carroll O'Grady had remarried to a Jane Healy in 1846, the dau. of Dr John Healy of Manus thus enabling the possibility for that family including the three daughters to move into accommodation of their own again. However, with the tough economic times of the Great Famine, they probably remained living at "Shorepark" for the sensible expedient of being able to share the limited resources available to the families. They did subsequently have a daughter of their own in Sept. 1847, being the same month as Georgina's son Edmund was born.

1847 Sep Honora, . to Carroll O'Grady & Jane Healy. . Sprs: --- Kildysart.”

But at some time in the five years between Daniel's marriage to Georgina in 1841 and the birth of this new baby in 1847, and even although most of his sisters had moved out to Limerick, Squire Daniel must have felt that there were too many women in his household all holding positions of some familiarity with him, and with many young children running around plus the prospect of even more, he needed to do something. In all probability, as Jane Ryan has suggested to us IF6 Georgina herself would have eventually objected to the female interference likely to be going on within the household, and urged Daniel to "fix it.!! " His initial response could have been to move our Bridget plus Margaret and Harriet back out to the cottage in Clondagad, but with some financial support to help her family survive. We think that up until 1845 when his son Daniel was born, and for a few years after that, Squire Daniel would have kept our Thomas resident at Shorepark as a potential heir to his lands, and thus as someone who needed full schooling in case something happened to his own son Daniel. The eventual birth of Daniel's second son, Edmund, in 1847 meant that Thomas could be returned to his mother's abode in Clondagad.

In the meantime, a further resolution of Bridget's problem seems to have occurred, presumably as a consequence of conversations that Daniel had with his neighbours out at his Clondagad property. In the event, our Bridget O'Loughlin married Edmund Walsh Jnr being the son of Daniel's next-door-neighbour-but-one in Clondagad, as outlined previously. And it would seem that part of the marriage arrangement was that Edmund Jnr would take over the lease of Daniel's valuable 37 acres of good land at Lisheen.

So it was that Bridget and Edmund Jnr were married in the old Clondagad Church on Oct 10th 1847 with Tim Walsh and Bridget Walsh as witnesses. From the land records, we can guess that Tim was the son of William Walsh and a cousin to Edmund Jnr. At this time, our Margaret and Thomas O'Grady were aged about 10 and 9 years resp. and their mother, Bridget was aged about 40 years (as calculated from her NZ death certificate and her age at death of 70 in 1877.) We know from his subsequent hospital records in 1862 in Christchurch, NZ, that Edmund Walsh Jnr was about 41 years old, so in 1847 when he married Bridget, he was 26 years old. With the marriage occurring just one month after the births of the O'Grady cousins, Honora and Edmund, it meant that Squire Daniel's and Dr Carroll's families could find accommodation at Shorepark together, since subsequent records did show Carroll living at Shorepark. The other main benefit arising from the Walsh marriage was of course that it provided a stable home for Bridget and her family, with the opportunity for some wealth to arise from the generous allotment given to Edmund Jnr. In due course, Bridget Walsh produced a son for Edmund in 1849, also named Edmund Walsh, while back in Kildysart, the O'Grady family was looking fairly healthy and prosperous with many young children growing up at Shorepark and in spite of the surrounding horror of the black famine killing people elsewhere.

The Decline of the Kildysart O'Gradys
Although we suggested above that our O'Grady ancestors did survive the famine, there were some grim moments just around the corner for them. Carroll O'Grady was by this time the Superintendent of the Fever Hospital at Kildysart, and in early 1849 he caught cholera which was so serious that his death was reported in newspapers. However, it proved to be a false report because a later message on 18 Apr 1849 announced that he had convalesced fullyDO1. He was very lucky.

Then on 4 Aug 1853, a Daniel O'Grady Esq of Shorepark died, as recorded on a card in the NAI pre-1858 Wills & Administrations card-fileDO2. It contained in part:

Daniel O'Grady, Clare, died 4 August 1853, late of Shore park, Esq

but also contained Roman Numerals in its brief text. It did not seem to refer to a Will, but in the 1855 GPV just two years later, Jane O'Grady (Daniel's wife, Jane Georgina) was listed as holder of the 36-acre "Shorepark" property. Furthermore, there were no GPV records whatsoever for Daniel O'Grady in any part of Clare. Inspection of the Irish Calendar of WillsDO3 confirmed his death on that above date and indicated that his estate had been caught up in a legal case that took over nine years to be resolved with the actual land owner, who was William Coppinger Esquire. For this reason, it was thus included in the post-1858 Calendar of Wills. Seemingly there was no residue from the estate to share with his family. Mr Coppinger took everything.

  Daniel O'Grady's large tomb Daniel O'Grady's tomb with Shorepark in the distance
  Daniel O'Grady's large tomb
(purchased 1819) on corner of Church
Daniel O'Grady's tomb with Shorepark in the distance

Dr Carroll O'Grady's Large Tomb
Dr Carroll O'Grady's Large Tomb

So this record confirmed that Squire Daniel did die in 1853 at about 66 years of age (as calculated from our earlier speculation of having been born in about 1787). Maybe he, too, had caught cholera from Carroll, especially if Carroll and his family were still living at "Shorepark". However, we think that his death was attributable to a broken heart at the impending loss of his estates. An 1849 record in the Kilrush Union Minute BookDO4 indicates that Mr Daniel O'Grady was then intending to sell his Mill House and Store for cash. So under the tough economic conditions that had existed in the Famine, with many rents falling to zero, Daniel was clearly trying to downsize his farming activities in order to pay off debts. An advertisement in the "Freeman's Journal" of 12th Feb 1863,DO5 and dated 4th Feb, 1863, indicates that his family were still trying to settle this legal and financial matter at that time, nine years after Daniel's death. However, it usefully lists his Respondents who were: his wife Jane Georgina, his elder son Daniel (b.1845), and his younger son Edmund (b.1847), plus the mystery lady named Eliza O'Grady, who we speculated in the paragraph dealing with the baptism of his son Edmund, was perhaps another sister of Daniel's, as in:

“Legal Postings: In Chancery Advertisement: To Creditors, Legatees & Incumbrancers

In the Matter of . . . .Jane O'Grady, Eliza O'Grady, Daniel O'Grady, and Edmund O'Grady, Respondents I hereby require all Persons claiming to be Creditors or Pecuniary Legatees of Daniel O'Grady, late of Shore Park, in the County of Clare, deceased.”

24 April, Daniel, eldest son of the late Daniel O'Grady Esq., JP, Shorepark, Kildysart, county ClareDO6
On the 24th inst, Daniel, eldest son of the late Daniel O'Grady, Esq, JP, Shorepark, Kildysart, Co. ClareDO7

which we must conclude was that of Squire Daniel's son also named Daniel, aged just over 18 years old. So after this time, the only heir for the Kildysart estates was Edmund O'Grady, then aged 15. We don't know for how long he was able to continue at "Shorepark" and provide food and rent for his remaining family, let alone any dowry for his sister's marriage. Clearly Carroll O'Grady stepped up to pay the rent, and probably allowed Daniel's family and his own to stay on at "Shorepark" for a few more years, until three years later, he died on 24th Jan 1867 at age 60, and still living at "Shorepark" as per:DO8

January 24, at Shorepark, Kildysart, county Clare, to the inexpressible grief of his family and numerous friends, Carroll O'Grady, Esq., M.D. - R.I.P.

The inscription on the top of his family tomb (from church records) reads as belowDO9, but has been obliterated by a bucket of mortar spread over it. From an adjacent plaque, his dau Joanna (baptised as Honora) and her husband, Daniel O'Connell (d.1 Nov.1873) are also buried within that tomb.

Sacred to the memory of Doctor Carroll Naish O'Grady of Shore Park for 36 years Physician of this district. By the poor their benefactor in famine, their doctor in pestilence, lamented by friends and acquaintances and inconsolably mourned by a bereaved family. He died Jan 24th 1867 aged 60 years. R.I.P.

His property leases in the 1855 GPV included a couple of houses in Kildysart village itself, plus a 3-acre block within the town, and a 30-acre farm at Lackannashinnagh. Although these might have provided a good dowry for one or two of his daughters, the sole beneficiary of his will in the first instance was his wife, Joanna (Healy). As recorded earlier, our routine research of NZ records found Carroll's dau Mary had emigrated to Sydney in late 1855, and then after some years had moved to Wanganui in NZ as a maid for a prominent citizen's children. Unfortunately, it seems from NZ newspaper reports that after some time in their employ, they sought to remove her unjustifiably. Without modern-day legislation to protect her, and in having to battle in court against a prominent family, Mary had no hope of justice. Moreover, without money to pay the court costs against her, and without a friend anywhere to help her, she suffered a breakdown. After recovering in Christchurch and living with Margaret Cunneen's family for some years, she seems to have married and then "disappeared into the crowd".

Otherwise, in the forward databases, the 1901 Census lists for Clare show no Edmund O'Grady entries at all, nor any unmarried female O'Gradys who might have been any of the cousins in the two families. So either the girls did marry or perhaps like Edmund, too, either died early or emigrated as Carroll's daughter Mary had done. Perhaps Georgina took her remaining family back home to Galway. In any case, it's clear that the prominence that that family did have in the first half of the 19th century in Kildysart had disappeared.

The Emigration

We now look back in time to 1849 where we left Bridget and her new husband and family (including baby Edmund) in Clondagad, and living on their 37-acre block in Lisheen. They all continued to live there together until 1856, with our Thomas O'Grady no doubt helping his stepfather to farm the land once the Famine had been overcome, and Margaret helping her mother with the new baby and in keeping house for Edmund. But by 1856 when he was 17 years old, Thomas realized that he was unlikely to inherit Edmund's land in the normal course, and with Squire Daniel now in his grave and his two young sons unlikely to succeed in holding the "Shorepark" estate together, he had to find a career for himself away from Clondagad. His "uncle" Carroll had been keeping an eye on him, especially since his wife hadn't produced any sons for him, and almost certainly suggested a career in the Royal Irish Constabulary that was based in Clare. So on the 12th of September in 1856, and supposedly having turned 18, Thomas obtained the support of the recently installed parish priest named Michael Dinan in completing the application form, and shortly afterwards became a member of that force. (Note that if his subsequently stated birth date of 26 March 1839 were correct, then he'd told a fib to Fr Dinan in completing this application). This force of men had been established under the 1822 Constabulary Act as proposed by Robert Peel to help bring law and order into Ireland. One might recognize this as a typical British colonial strategy of those times, of employing local armed officers to "keep the natives quiet" during times of unrest. As recorded by a later writerE1,

“Membership of the Irish Police Force was described even decades later as 'hardly distinguishable from a soldier's life', the main purpose of the Constabulary being to suppress various degrees of resistance by the majority of Irish people to the presence of the British state and the Anglo-Irish class which owned the bulk of the land.

The RIC went on to become the premier constabulary force of the British Empire and provided the first senior officers for many of the colonial police forces. In due course, Peel proposed a similar force for England and this became the Victorian Police Force. Its men were known as "Peelers" The following is a list of requirements for a "Career in Constabulary" of 1844.

"Aged between 19 and 27, capable of reading without hesitation any printed or written document, able to write a legible hand, good character ...... honesty, sobriety, fidelity and activity ......not less than 5'8" in height, single-man or widower without family, .... probationary period of one month in Dublin..."

The hand-written records of the RICE2 show that Thomas O'Grady was one of 16 men who joined on that date, with Thomas himself being recorded as a farm labourer of age 18 years, unmarried, of 5' 9" in height, and a Roman Catholic. He'd been recommended by Rev. M.Dinan as P.P. After appropriate training, Thomas was appointed to a field position in Co. Kerry on 16th Feb., 1857, and stayed there until his resignation in 1860. Although he had received no promotions or marks of distinction in that time, neither had he received any punishments of reductions in authority. The most important aspect of his joining-up was that he not only got a job with wages, but also received training, discipline and leadership experience which were all to serve him well, later in NZ.

"New" Clondagad Church
"New" Clondagad Church, built 1860 with Plaque showing M. Dinan's name above main door, at far left.

It may be noted that in the very early stages of our research, we were led to Clondagad and then to Kildysart only because we commissioned a very good Dublin consultant named Helen Kelly to trace the parish for this M. Dinan in 1856. Her short phone call to the RC Diocesan Authorities in Dublin for Killaloe (County Clare) established that he was the P.P. for Clondegad Parish between 1854 and 1869.

Incidentally, Michael Dinan had been the curate in the Kildysart parish before he went to Clondagad in 1854E3, and so knew the O'Gradys well. He remained there until 1869, and the plaque on the front of the new Clondagad church in Ballynacally indicates that he was the P.P. when it was built in 1860. He went on to higher office in the church in the 1870s. Thomas's application recorded in the RIC is the second document that ties him and his mother absolutely into the Clondagad parish, additional to the record of her marriage.

As for Margaret, at 19 years of age in 1856, she was an educated and attractive young lady who'd become acquainted with an older boy named Patrick Cunneen (born c.1833 from his death certificate in NZ) in the same townland of Lisheen in Clondagad parish. His father Michael Cunneen had held 26 Irish acres in Lisheen as listed in the 1826 TAB, and from its proximity to Edmund Walsh Snr's entry in the TAB, it was physically close to that block. However, Michael had died a year or two before that, and Patrick had had to become a farm labourer for whomever would give him work in the district. As recorded in the 1855 GPV, Patrick lived in a rented house #29a just to the west of Edmund Walsh's block #30, and thus was living very closely to Edmund Jnr's block #32 where Margaret lived. It was natural for them to fall in love and to become betrothed to each other. However, Patrick also hated the prospect of working hard on low pay to help other farmers recover from the famine, while knowing that he would get very little long-term benefit from that for himself. So it was agreed in 1859 that Patrick would emigrate to New Zealand as many people that he knew from both Clare and Kerry had done. Then after he'd become established out there, he'd send for Margaret and they could get married in NZ. He and his sister Anne departed in late 1859, on the "Clontarf", and arrived in Lyttleton on 16th March 1860E4.

The RIC records show that after serving for about four years, Thomas resigned from their constabulary on the 18th of June in 1860, and in giving his recorded reasons for doing so, we see for the first time the touch of Irish flare that became more evident in his later life. Whereas most of the reasons entered for men leaving were just left blank, and while a few gave reasons such as "emigrating to Australia" or "pay too low", Thomas clearly had higher goals in mind. The reason that he gave was so that "he could join the Pope's Army" in Rome. This was a militia formed by the Papal State to defend itself from the forces of Garibaldi who were trying to impose the unification of Italy at that time. One can hardly imagine any RIC officer refusing to accept this reason when most of the men in the force were Catholics as evident in the records. In the event, though, a search of the main repository for the names of the Pope's ArmyE5 did not show our Thomas's name. This was fortunate for Thomas because the actual campaign in Italy was disastrous, with most of the captured Irish prisoners not getting back home for a year or more. His eventual Police record in NZ shows him as joining the "Victorian Police Force" after leaving the RIC, and since the maps from that period show a prominent police building and yards near the centre of Kildysart, we can be sure that that's where he spent a little time working before his next adventure. And while located there, he renewed his relationships with Carroll and his family in "Shorepark" and of course Georgina and her children, Daniel, Edmund and Bridget.

What actually happened in NZ, of course, was that Patrick Cunneen found ready work near Christchurch just ten years after that town had been settled by English migrants. Wages were good and a thriving catholic community was being established on the southern outskirts of the town on fertile river lands. Land could be purchased having outright title. So he sent for Margaret whose schooling had enabled her in the meantime to obtain some work as a "book-keeper", as stated in her eventual marriage certificate. No doubt Patrick also mentioned the availability of good jobs in the newly formed NZ Police Force, which raised the prospect of Thomas's accompanying Margaret out to NZ, despite the resultant hardship to their mother of leaving her with an eleven year old son on a big 37-acre farm, and without any additional income such as Margaret had provided. With the prospect of Edmund Jnr being able to purchase his own good land in NZ, though, the family decided that they should all set out on this challenging course, but with the time needed to sell their chattels in Clondagad and prepare for the trip, Thomas and Margaret would go ahead, and be followed out to NZ by Edmund and Bridget and their son.

New Zealand
So that is what happened. After a sad farewell to remaining family and friends, Thomas and Margaret travelled by ship to London, and then on the 5th of April in 1861 boarded the "Chrysolite" en voyage to Lyttleton in the South Island of NZ as assisted immigrants. Within ten days of arriving in Christchurch on the 27th of July, Margaret had married Patrick Cunneen in the Shands Track RC parish on 7th August. On their Intention to Marry document, they were aged 27 and 23 resp., and since the first parish church itself was not built until 1871, the ceremony took place in an unidentified "residence in Christchurch". From sources of local history, this was probably at "New Headford" being the residence of a Mr Patrick Henley in Shands Road, since he was an early benefactor of the RC church in that area. Land records in Christchurch show that Patrick was given a Crown Grant on 21 Mar 1864 as recorded in Vol. 49D, p186, No. 31,009 which is signed by P.Cunneen. The official wording contains the script:, " do Hearby Grant unto Patrick Cunneen ...his heirs and assigns all that parcel of land ... about Twenty Acres ..... Rural Block 4257 .. ". We can imagine the pure joy of this Irish family at actually owning land outright for the first time in their family's history, compared to their earlier history of perhaps leasing but more likely just having to provide serf labour to some higher-class land-owner.

Thomas did join the NZ Police Force and became known as the "Father of the NZ Police Force", but that is another interesting story. He married an English immigrant Frances Jackson Thompkins on December 17 1863 at St Michael's Anglican Church in Christchurch, just seventeen months after arriving in Lyttleton. Frances later converted to catholicism, and their family were brought up in that religion, although Thomas's police career was marked by distinct indifference to a suspect's religion. From the known fact Thomas was able to take a good amount of capital with him to NZ, and to use it in a number of profitable land transactions around the early city of Christchurch, we believe that it must have somehow come from his father Daniel's estate as a lumpsum remittance in return for NOT laying any subsequent claim against Daniel's estate - not that it worried Daniel who'd died eight years before our Thomas went overseas and ten years before Mr Coppinger got his hands on the residue in 1863 anyway.

To complete the emigration, Bridget Walsh (aged 55) accompanied her husband (41) and son (13) to Christchurch in 1862, as non-assisted immigrants arriving on the "Mersey" on 26 Sep, 1862NZ2 just fourteen months after Thomas and Margaret had arrived. The ship's doctor had recorded in his diary that he'd had to reprimand the two Walsh males on their personal hygiene, but on a long voyage with normal sickness and diarrhoea on board, sanitary conditions were difficult anyway. The family went to live with the Cunneens near Christchurch, where the two Edmunds were able to find work with Patrick, or nearby, but unfortunately husband Edmund died on 9th January 1866 from TB that he almost certainly had picked up before he left Ireland, leaving Bridget a widow. Their son, Edmund, then followed on 30 Aug 1871NZ3 from the same cause. Sadly, Bridget passed away on 28 Nov 1877 in Christchurch Hospital from old age and bronchitis - with the latter cause perhaps being a consequence of her husband's illnessNZ4. We don't have any records for Harriet's death, but she did not emigrate to NZ with Bridget and we think that she must have died in Clondagad during the later stages of the famine, being weaker and perhaps living in damp conditions that induced the TB in that family.

In the course of the following years, Thomas and Margaret's separate families included 20 children between them, and were followed by very many grandchildren. As a poignant point of interest, none of those 20 children were given the names of either Daniel or Bridget. And Margaret didn't use any clearly Shorepark O'Grady names for her children, which makes us think that our Thomas lived at Shorepark for longer than Margaret had done, perhaps going to school there and thus forming closer attachments to Georgina and Carroll than Margaret did. One of Margaret's descendants, John Cunneen, of Christchurch, became the catholic bishop of Canterbury, (NZ). He passed away just before the enormous earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 had destroyed most of the non-wooden churches in Christchurch, including the Great Catholic Basilica.

Back in Clare, descendants from the marriage in 1781 between Squire Thomas O'Grady and Marcella Molony also prospered. Edel Quin of Africa, who has been venerated as a prospective Saint, descended from that Thomas's daughter Ann. So it seems strange that this branch of the O'Grady family should have been so different in history to that of his younger brother, Squire Daniel of Kildysart whose official line had dwindled by 1864 to just one male, Edmund O'Grady, but whose unofficial line via Thomas and Margaret certainly prospered in a new country. Fortune is clearly fickle.

The writers are indeed grateful to many people for their help and contributions to this work. Peter Beirne at the Clare Library Local Studies Centre is wonderful, and the information compiled on the Clare Library website by the library headquarters staff is truly amazing. We gratefully acknowledge and have documented our use of such material, but must add our special thanks for the personal help and advice received during visits to Ennis. Then, Jane Ryan of Tulla and her associate helpers such as Ann McNamara and Mary Honan deserve equal praise for their enthusiasm and support lent to us. Their friendliness, and that of everyone we met in Ireland, was wonderful and reminded us so much of being in our homeland of New Zealand. The staff at NLI and NAI (especially Gregory O'Connor) in Dublin were also very helpful to "bungee" genealogists like ourselves, and helped to de-mystify the access process to their vast array of data. Meeting Gerard Madden at one of his amazing presentations (on the early pig-iron industry in Clare) and being given his help, was a crucial step. Damien Burke at Jesuit Archives enabled us to find Fergus O'Keefe with his warm encouragement and the magnificent boost to us given by his brother's earlier research. Likewise Henry Blake, Fergus O'Donoghue and Margaret Gallery and many more such great people, with a noted thankyou to Ann O'Grady of Christchurch who shared her photographs from the Kildysart register. Thank you all so much.

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Pedigree References
P1 "History of the O'Gradys of Clare and Limerick", by G.Madden, Chapter 14, ISBN: 0 9529511 50
P2 O'Keefe-Blake "Pedigree chart from O'Grady to Quinn" as transcribed by Murtagh, 2013
P3 Clondagad RC Parish Registers, Marriages, 1847
P4 Clare County Library Website, under Genealogy and History sections.

First Speculatum References
FS1 Ennis Chronicle, 5 Aug 1800
FS2 "History of the O'Gradys of Clare and Limerick", by G.Madden, Chapter 13
FS3 Frost's Notes, para 70 of:
FS4 Death Certificate of Bridget Walsh in Christchurch NZ, 28 Nov 1877 aged 70
FS5 Free information on Tithe Applotment Book, 1825 for Co Clare, Killadysert parish, via titheapplotmentbooks.nationalarchives. ie/search/tab/home.jsp
FS6 Email, F.O'Keefe SJ to RWM Oct 9, 2013, with response from Fr.F O'Donoghue, archivist
FS7 "Consecration of the New Chapel of Kildysart", Freemans Journal Saturday 4 May 1833
FS8 "Killing Kennedy", p 83, ISBN 978-1-4472-3416-6, 2012, by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard

Shorepark Connection References
SC1 Email J.Ryan to RWM, Oct 21, 2013
SC2 "Mary O'Grady of Wanganui", Wanganui Herald, NZ, 12 Sep 1871, and 2 Oct 1871. and
SC3 NSW Shipping Records for "Eliza", arr. Sydney 19 Sept 1855.
SC4 Press, Volume XXI, Issue 2536, 20 September 1873, Page 2, Hon Treas and Sec F.O'Grady,

SC5 NZ Papers Past for "Press", Volume XXI, Issue 2342, 4 February 1873, Page 3, where T.O'Grady scored 4
SC6 NZ Papers Past for Press, Volume XXI, Issue 2596, 29 November 1873, Page 2 on Leithfield Annual Sports Day and others

SC7 "Muff Cricket Match", Christchurch Star, 22 March, 1878
SC8 NZ Papers Past for Press, Volume XXII, Issue 2738, 18 May 1874, Page 2, Departure of Sgt O'Grady
SC9 Free Information on Griffiths Primary Valuation,\

Immediate Family References
IF1 Cork Examiner, 29 Sept 1841

IF3 Freeman's Journal, 7 Jan 1847
IF4 "Death Notices from Limerick Chron.", with 1st letter of the requ.surname shown at 5th-last char. in URL
IF5 Emails: M.Gallery to R.Murtagh, 2 Sep 2013
IF6 Email: J.Ryan to R.Murtagh Oct 21, 2013

Decline of the O'Gradys References

DO1 Cork Examiner, 18 Apr 1849
DO2 Daniel O'Grady, Clare. NAI, Dublin, card index for pre-1858 Wills and Administrations
DO3 "Calender of Wills and Administrations 1858-1922, NAI,
DO4 Sale of "Shorepark" Mill, 3 Oct 1849
DO5 "Freeman's J", 12 Feb. 1863
DO6 "Freeman's J", Sat. 25 Apr 1863
DO7 "Cork Examiner", 27 Apr, 1863
DO8 "Freeman's J, 28 January 1867
DO9 Kildysart Cemetery Inscriptions,

Emigration References
E1: Policing the Colonial Frontier" p549, by R.S. Hill, 1986.
E2 Registration of Thomas O'Grady, LDS Film # 0856062, p 161.
E3 Email from Helen Kelly, Dublin, re phonecall to RC Diocesan Authorities in Dublin for Killaloe (County Clare)
E4 Shipping records for Clontarf, arr 16 Mar 1860
E5 "Irish Volunteers for the Papal Army - 1860", The 59th Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records, Appendix IV, p.85, NAI, Dublin.

New Zealand References
NZ1 NZ records for Thomas and Margaret show parent's names of Daniel O'Grady and Bridget O'Loughlin being "farmers", but do not give any other Irish data such as birthdates or locations. The NZ "bdm-data" captured on their marriages and childrens' births etc can be analysed to give a probable birthdate for Margaret as late 1837, and for Thomas as late 1838 assuming that they always told the truth except when a definite economic factor was involved to cause them to round their data up or down slightly. Their shipping data, captured simultaneously, confirms an approximate one-year difference in their ages.
NZ2 Passenger Arrivals, and email P.Danenberg to R.Murtagh, 4 Aug 2013
NZ3 Death Certificate, Edmund Walsh, Christchurch, NZ, 30 Aug, 1871.
NZ4 Death Certificate, Bridget Walsh, NZ, 28 Nov 1877. 13 8 / 11 8

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