In November 1852 Ellen Hansberry along with 30 other girls set off from Mountbellew Workhouse to journey 180 miles to Kingstown, now Dun Laoghaire to catch a steamship to Plymouth, England and from hence the ship Palestine to Fremantle WA . The journey is described in greater detail HERE, along with a list of the other girls.
She was one of the Mountbellew Orphan girls who were given assisted passage to help increase the population of Western Australia after a plea by Governor FitzGerald in the most remotest British colony at the time.
Ellen was born near Ballinaruane now Menlough parish but then in Moylough in c1830 Her father is recorded as Thomas in her marriage cert. Ellen Hansberry married Martin Daly who was from Dublin and a British army soldier. They married in 1862 in Perth WA but soon Martin was transferred to Sydney, NSW. He eventually found employment in the local prison as a warder after being demobilised. The family lived in East Maitland NSW.
However times were tough on Ellen and she eventually found herself raising her family of 6 on her own. She took in washing and any work to help raise her children. When she died in 1917 her obituary mentioned how she ‘was very highly regarded’ It also noted that ‘She leaves a family of five sons and one daughter, 4 grandchildren and 39 great grandchildren. The sons are Messrs John, James, George, Frank and Joseph and the daughter, Mrs. Wilson of Sydney’
In 2017 and 2018 the grandsons of Frank, Cameron and Ken, were the first of the family to walk in Ellen's footsteps as they visited the Mountbellew Workhouse and met up with cousins found through DNA in Ballinaruane and close by.
Mountbellew Heritage are funding to create a new public space in memory of Ellen and the other girls. For more information on this CLICK HERE
This Chronicle was created with thanks to the Mountbellew Orphan Girls Project
|Date of Birth||1830 (circa)|
|Date of Death||1917|
|Associated Building (s)||Mountbellew Workhouse|
|Mountbellew Orphan Girls Project||Ireland||VIEW SOURCE|