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William Fleming born approx. 1856

My great grandfather William Fleming first appears on records in England in October 1878 in Liverpool when he married my great grandmother Anne Mina. On the marriage records, he lists his father as William Fleming. From that point, in his employment records (in the merchant navy) and on census returns, he listed his birth year as variously 1855, 1857 and 1858 and his birth place as Dublin,Ireland.


Searching in Irish records,I have not been able to find a William Fleming with a father also called William born in 1855-8 in Dublin. William was a Roman Catholic later in life, so presumably would have been baptised in a Catholic Church.


One thing I did find was a boy called William Fleming born in 1855 in Belfast who was an orphan living in Loftus Lane, Dublin in 1868 when he was sent to Glencree Reformatory for 5 years for stealing lead with some other boys. I wondered if this might be him,and he reported his birthplace as Dublin later because that is where he had come from rather than his place of birth. I did a bit of research into Glencree and one of the common outcomes for boys who were sent there was a career in the merchant navy – which would fit with my great grandfather.


The results of my Ancestry DNA test have revealed no close Fleming relatives in Ireland, but there are more distantly related clusters of Flemings in and around Ballina, County Mayo that I have tried to work out my connection to without much success. One such relative was John Fleming (1788-1837), who came from Ballina and was sponsored by the British Government to compulsorily migrate to Australia in 1825 for being part of the “White boy” agrarian uprisings. After John had served 7 years in Sydney, he was able to bring out in 1833 his wife and family of 4 children. 


Thursday 19th November 2020, 11:21AM

Message Board Replies

  • Hi Tony,

    I took a look at Griffiths Valuation, which is a survey of Head of Households taken between 1848 and 1864. You can also search it here: and here:  Here is a sample of likely connections for, first is the name, the townland, parish and county (Mayo).  Ballina was the large city nearest to these places, so often people would say they were from Ballina, but were from a small rural vilage. Note that Kilmoremoy is the Parish that Ballina is in.  b

    Fleming Thomas Seeaghandoo Kilfian Mayo

    Fleming Richard Seeaghandoo Kilfian Mayo

    Fleming Richard Cloontakillew Kilfian Mayo

    Fleming Michael George's Island Killala Mayo

    Fleming Michael Islands Killala Mayo

    Fleming Michael Arran Street Kilmoremoy Mayo

    Fleming Michael Ross (Gardiner) Killala Mayo

    Fleming Edward Cloonshinnagh Ballysakeery Mayo

    Fleming John Rathoma Ballysakeery Mayo


    Birth records around 1855 are a bit sparse.  There are some for Kilfian Parish and Kilmore Parish before, and after.  Killala and Ballyskeery have records after. There's a good website that covers that part of Mayo here: - there are quite a number of headstones for Flemings listed there. 


    I will look to see if I can find any other possible close matches, but at least this may be a start for you to narrow your research.



    Kilcummin Mayo

    Thursday 3rd December 2020, 02:11PM
  • Thanks for  your help John.

    My more recent DNA link is to Richard Eugene Fleming (1916-1998) who is buried in Ballina. 




    Friday 4th December 2020, 05:20PM