James Conaghan 1851

James Conaghan 1851

Place of migration:
Migrated to/Born in New Zealand

James Conaghan is believed to have been born in Losset, Donegal in 1851. He died in Greymouth, New Zealand on 28 May 1920. His parents may have been John Conaghan and Mary O'Donnell.  It seems likely that James Conaghan emigrated from Ireland to Australia (Sydney or Melbourne) then on to NZ at a later date. If his emigration from Ireland was in the 1850s he probably went to the Victoria goldfields - as a young child. It is more likely that he emigrated in the 1860s in which case it may be more likely that he sailed to Sydney as New South Wales advertised in Donegal offering land grants at that time. His arrival dates in Australia and New Zealand are unconfirmed.  On 21 August 1888 James Conaghan married Catherine Rochford in Greymouth, New Zealand. Catherine was born in New Zealand on 20 July 1869 but her parents (Nicholas Rochford and Mary Ann Cooke) were both born and married in Dublin, Ireland (24 May 1857, St Michan's) before emigrating to NZ).

Additional Information
Date of Birth 1851  
Date of Death 28th May 1920  


  • My ggm's sister, Bridget Callahan, from Tirargus, married Bernard Connaghan from Losset in 1892.  Bernard was also born about 1851.  His father was Bernard and he had a sister Margery.


    Thursday 18th March 2021, 03:46PM
  • Hi Meg. Thanks for that. I really have very little to go on regarding my great-grandfather's family in Donegal and some records seem to be missing. I know that there are Conaghan family members in Australia who are from Donegal and their facebook page mentions three couples in Donegal: Hugh Conagahn and Marjorie Green, James Conagahn and Mary O'Donnell and Peter Conaghan and Martha ? I have also found reference to a Peter and Catherine Conaghan who, in 1916, applied to have the 1841 and 1851 Irish censuses searched to prove that they were eligible for the pension which had just been introduced for people of 70 years of age or over. Some of the best information is the 1901 census for Losset here: http://donegalgenealogy.com/gartan/cenlosset.htm 

    Phil Guerin

    Sunday 21st March 2021, 11:01PM
  • I'm sorry, I have no other info, really.  Bernard's and Bridget's children were Mary (1895), Bernard (1896-1915), Hannah (1899) and Charles (1901).  I've been unable to trace Mary and Charles, but Hannah stayed in the area, never married.  Bernard's sister Margery also never married.  

    I know Australia has very good, available, searchable records of passenger lists and newspapers.  I can hunt up links if you need them.  I was helped in this by lovely people on rootschat.   Best of luck!



    Monday 22nd March 2021, 12:46AM

Communities Associated with this Ancestor