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My 3xs geat grandmother, Harriet Maria Orr, was born in 1812 in Inishannon to William Orr and Mary Browne Orr.  She married George Henry Rawlins in 1836 and had 8 children with him.  She died in 1878.  I am particularly interested in tracing the Orr family back in Innishannon as they were originally linen weavers  but appear to have come from another area in Ireland.  The Orrs went on to own a flour mill in Inishannon.  Harriet died in 1878.  I know that her brother Samuel migrated to the US as did her son, Samuel, my 2xs great grandfather.  I would  love to connect to others who may be related to this family.

I have communicated with another descendant on Ancestry but to date, we have  not been able to identify where the family was prior to coming to Inishannon or the mother of William Orr...Harriet's grandmother.  It appears that William Orr had been married twice.  His second wife, Mary Appleby Orr appears to be the daughter of another original "linen weaver" in Inishannon, James Appleby (Appelbe, Appelby)  Always more questions...



Sunday 23rd Apr 2017, 12:06PM

Message Board Replies

  • Dear Bev:


    Many thanks for your query to the Ireland Reaching Out message board and welcome.


    It would appear that you are looking for information before 1812 with regard to William Orr and Mary Browne's origins. 

    Do you know if they were Catholic or Protestant? 

    The linen industry was active in Clonakilty in the early 1800s and it would appear that that may have been where your ancestors sought employment. 

    I'm going to alert one of our volunteers from this area to your post to see if they might be able to assist.

    In the meantime, you might consider creating a profile of Harriett or her parents for the XO Chronicles with the information that you have.  You can access that feature through the link below:

    If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

    Kind regards,



    Jane Halloran Ryan

    Tuesday 25th Apr 2017, 04:03PM
  • Orr family at |Moydow Co Longford in early 1800's.  Co Longford had a very strong Linen industry in the 1700s - going into decline in ealry 1800s. Elizabeth Orr married Roger Farrell c 1810, my great great grandparents.

    johncfarrell, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Tuesday 2nd May 2017, 10:38PM
  • Thank you, John.  Thomas Adderley of Inishannon was intent on developing industry in Inishannon in the mid 1700s.  He first attempted to develop a "silk" industry in Ireland.  When this failed he turned to developing the linen trade in Inishannon..  I believe William Orr, who first shows up in records in Inishannon in 1770s, was first involved in that trade but went on to running the flour mills.  William appears to also have had a brother James, who was involved in these activities.  

    We know that William Orr Jr., who married Mary Browne was born circa 1776.  We have no idea who the first wife of William Sr. was but William Sr. married a second wife,  Mary Appleby in Inishannon in 1789. He died  circa 1813/1814.  

      William Orr and Mary Browne were the parents of Harriet Maria Orr, born 1812, who married George Henry Rawlins in 1836.

    I know that Addersley had an office in Dublin and interests in Northern Ireland .  He was committed to the success of Inishannon and obviously recruited a work force.  I would love to trace our Orrs further back and any help is greatly appreciated!!


    Wednesday 3rd May 2017, 06:51PM
  • Hi Bev,

    Re your query as to the prior to Innishannon history in Scotland and later in Ireland of the William Orr who arrived in Innsishanon in the 1770s to manage the weaving establishents of Thomas Adderley. Afraid  I noted no mentions that may be relevant. I recently had a look into the Innishannon family history / genealogy of James Orr (1793-1835) who married Sarah Spencer in 1815 and emigrated to Australia in 1825 with his wife and their then 5 children following the 1824 complete colapse of the weaving and linen manufacturing industry in the Bandon/ Innishannon district that by Feb 1825 had 1100 there unemloyed.

    I am not an subscriber but had access to its library edition to enable a look at some of the family trees posted of which a great number are just copy and paste jobs. Strangely I noted none with James listed as a child of the second marriage of your William Orr Sr to Mary Appleby that you mentioned, and also none listing as another child his presumed sister Hester who married John Roe in 1817. I noted listed as a child Hannah who a jury found in 1845 had been a lunatic for 30 years since 31 Dec 1814 which would have been the year her father died. Even though she had only a 60 pounds a year annuity left to her by her father she was in some way tied up in the bankruptcy of her brother-in-law Benjamin Dreeble who was a bone dust manufacturer bankrupted ion the 1840s owing 8000 pounds who years later had only come up with 4d in the pound.

    Her older sister Hester Roe, with whom she had lived at different times in Innishannon and elsewhere, said whilst she could not recall Hannah's age she thought it was 4 (+ a not readable in the report digit that looked like either a 6 or an 8) so aged 46 or 48. Hester said her mother had died in 183. (again not readable but semmed either a 3 or an 8) so Mary Appleby died 1833 or 1838. She gave evidence that as a child Hannah had been very far from normal with an interesting comment that she had heard it said when her mother was pregnant with Hannah she had been frightened by a madwoman (there was no laughter in court recorded so that such was transferable to an unborn must have been taken seriously) and hannah had always been violent at the full moon that she had constantly watched. Hannah said her father had died 2 or 3 years earlier and her mother (an unreadable word) years. There is no question she would have gotten that all mixed up. William Jr who was not her father did die in 1842 but his wife Mary nee Browne not until 1848. The wife of the nephew of her father's she was then living with said Hannah believed she was only fifteen. Hannah said her brother William was in Australia. Maybe it was James who died in 1835 there that she was referring to. Surprisingly it appears that was not contradicted by others present in the court room. I guess as Hanah had no money they let it pass. Her father William already had a son William born 1776 so why from his second 1787 marriage would he have had another named William? Hannah was residing in Cork city with William Holmes Orr who she said was a nephew of her father's (his wife was Margaret gave evidence). The court decided that the William in Australia was Hannah's heir at law and she had twenty four neices and nephews who constituted her next of kin. Noted listed in public trees  as a relevant is her sister Mary Ann who married Benjamin Drebble in 1811 and had at least four sons and died in 1838.

    In respect of the two sons of James Orr who were born in Australia he named them respectively Robert ROE and BENJAMIN obviously from the names of the husband's of his sisters Hestor Roe and Mary Ann Drebble. He named his eldest son William presumably in accord with the Irish naming tradition of naming the first born son after his own father. The genealogy identifying clincher was that when James died in 1835 his will (covered in the Munster will extractions in Vol. 14 of the Casey  volumes with an image of same in some trees) dealt with his interest in the townland of Ballygroman located in Desertmore parish 17 km west of Cork city. It was a 1774 marriage settlement of William Dowe who mortgaged the lands in 1808 to William Orr. Clearly 1793 born James inherited the mortgage from his father William Sr. when his father died in or about 1814. The mortgage stayed in place until 1855 when the then mortgagee must have defaulted on paying the interest and was not in a position to redeem it by paying both principal and interest owing resulting in the then holder of the mortgage obtainining a court order and the lands being sold under an auction hammer or otherwise by the commissioners.

    I hope this is discourse of all of some interest although not exactly specific to your query. As to the James you mentioned as perhaps being a brother to William Sr. a 1887 directory listed both a William and James Orr in Innishannon. That James I assumed was likely a nephew of William Sr's but guess as you suggest he could have been a brother. Presumably he was the  James Orr who married Martha Reynolds in 1788. If he was a brother maybe he was also then on a second marriage. I noted a later directory had a James Orr as a watchmaker in neaby Brandon. Back at the 1823 Tithe Applotment Valuations there  were a few Orrs on farms in nearby townlands. Your William Orr Jnr. would have been the one of that name who with another  (seemingly ex Navy Capt. John Meade) did the Tithes valuation for Inishannon parish and he would have been the William who was an officer in the Innishannon Volunteer Infantry from at least 1812 to 1820 when his rank was 2nd Captain and I figure I figure the also in from 1812 as an officer was 1793 born James with the rank of 2nd Lieut. I found it difficult to get my head around this family as most online trees have no sources except other online trees at Ancestry which is merry -go-round. The question is how can the trees, as they do, have Mary Ann and mad Hannah but not Hannah's proven sister Hester Roe and Hestor's obvious brother James (1793-1835) who even H. M. Welby, whose father's second given name was Orr, when he did the 1500 Munster will extraction commented that it appearedshe was a sister of James basis the Roe appearing as one of his son's given name.

    sighing off , John in Australia

    Thursday 17th Aug 2017, 08:33AM
  • Dear John,

    Thank you for the amazing amount of research you have found.  I should tell you that I am in the US and it took me years, with the help of an Irish researcher to identify my Rawlins family.  When a cousin here in the States called to say that she found a box of her mother's that contained Rawlins pictures, it confirmed the line we had been researching as our family.  I did receive a bit of Orr research at that time but only some basics,  

    Let me say that I am a bit confused by the early Orr information myself.  I have communicated with two of the researchers found on Ancestry, one of whom, was much more informed about the family Orr history.  I have seen an early digest that lists both William Orr and James Orr from the 1770s.  I had assumed that they were brothers but could they have been father and son?

    I also have William jr., b. circa 1776, who married Mary Browne, as the only son  of William Rawlins Sr., who also married Mary Appleby.   There is some confusion aboutt the child named James.  I have one entry that there was a child James born to William and ? Orr born in 1788,  No further information is known and the child may have died early.  I also have James born to William and Mary Appleby Orr in 1793.  I  have a daughter Hannah but not a daughter Hester.  When I looked at some of the information provided by one of the listers with whom  I have corresponded, there was a suggestion that perhaps this James was actually the son of James and Martha Reynolds Orr, whose children included a daughter Hester but no Hannah.  Clearly, there is complete confusion about these children.  Mary Ann Deeble was definitely the daughter of William and Mary Appleby Orr. A daughter Hannah is also in this family.  Certainly, it looks like Hester could have also been one of the the daughters of Willim and Mary Orr as opposed to the daughter of James Orr and Martha Reynods?   William Jr. ...who married Mary Browne also had a son William, b. in 1802, not much younger than his aunts and uncles from the second marriage!!!  I want to reread your findings and would love to share them with the other Orr researcher with whom I have shared iformation.  It would be wonderful to clear some of this up.

     My 2xs great grandfather, Samuel Rawlins, son of George Henry Rawlins and Harriet Orr Rawlins, was sent off to NYC to work in merchant shipping in April of 1867.  He would have been about 23.  As it happened, there was a Fenian uprising earlier that year in Cork and Samuel's brother testified in those hearings for the prosecution.  I have always wondered if younger brother Samuel was shipped out because he knew some of the defendants. In the US Samuel was as supporter of Irish causes.  Samuel was also a bit of a "hell raiser" in Brooklyn.  George Henry Rawlins Sr.s older sister had married into the Inverarity family of Scotland who had family involved in merchant shipping.  We have a picture of "Auntie Harriet Maria Rawlins Anderson Inverarity"., who returned to Cork after the death of her second husband.  

    My 2xs great grandfather had two daughters with a German woman NYC.  He was severly injured in an accident in 1882 and died in 1884 in Philadelphia.  My 2xs great grandmother found German husbands for her daughters, but my great grandmother always wore her father's pocket watch around her neck. She adored her father.  We have a number of pictures from this family but not a lot of detailed information.  It has been an!!


    Thursday 17th Aug 2017, 08:49PM
  • To Jane,
    I believe that the family was by in large, Protestant.  




    Thursday 17th Aug 2017, 09:01PM
  • John...

    It does appear that James was indeed William and Mary Orr's son.!  William, son of William Jr. who married Mary Browne would have heen Hannah's nephew. So that makes some sense.  As for Hester... It is possible that early records for her were lost or forgotten by later generations in Ireland once she had moved to Australia?

    Now for a question....this property of William Dowe that James inherited....which was a "marriage settlement".  I am not familiar with the term but could that hae been the father in law of William's senior's first wife?  We think Wm. Jr. was born circa 1776?  

    Mary Browne, from everything I have gathered came from a fairly well to do lot.  Perhaps William Sr. wanted to benefit leaving this mortgage to his son James by his second marriage?  A lot of speculation......

    Also, I did find a marriage record circa 1742 in Dublin on Irish Roots, for a James Orr and Dearity Ann Earle.  I do know Addersley had property in Dublin as well as in Northern Ireland.  I have also found earlier burial records for a William Orr in Dublin.  I ask this because, my cousin's mother always said that she heard that the family was from Cork and from Dublin originally?  Could be just family lore but interesting.  The Orrs not only were involved in the linen trade but also in running the flour mills in Innishannon as I understand it.


    Thursday 17th Aug 2017, 11:40PM
  • Hi Bev,

    I noted an Innishanon junior school that has some good summaries of the roles there of the early families of Orr etc at:  Hester Roe never lived in Australia that was James (1793-1835) whom Hannah referred to as William in NSW. He left Innishanon 20 years before. If she had ever been told he died in 1835 it had been forgotten. When at school it was said she could not be taught. If he had been still alive James as her eldest brother would have been her heir-at-law. There was at least another son who I will come to but he was dead before 1845. At the time and for many years before Hestor Roe lived in Dublin where the trial took place. She was in Innishannon at one time but later in Dublin. She gave evidence in the capacity of Hannah's sister. Hannah lived with her at various times and had been living with her up until 9 months before the trial when she went to live with a nephew and his mother. A marriage settlement in days of yore was money or property the father of the bride was obliged to settle on the husband to be before the marriage took place.

    Trustees were always appointed to prevent him dealing with it later other than to mortgage it which is what Dowe did in 1808 with the 1774 settlement with the agreement of Parker name trustees as parties.  James' identity is established by the motgage he owned when he died in 1835 entered into by his father William as mortgagor in 1808, by Hannah's knowledge her elder brother and legal heir was in NSW, albiet under the ground there, and by his death notice in the Kerry Evening News in 1836 that said that he had died at Parramatta in NSW and was of Innishannon. I do not know who the (1793-1834) James in the William/Mary Appleby tree was except he is very obviously a ring-in as there could not be two James' born in 1793. The 1793 is established by his age in the 1828 NSW census and age of 42 at death in 1835. The history of his children is really quite facinating. He had a grandaughter who was the central figure in what has been said to have been one of the three greatest unsolved murder cases in England in the 19th century - the geatest of course being Jack the Ripper. Her mariage settlement was in one place said to have been 20,000 pounds and in another 60,000. When her father died his probate was the 8th highest in value in England that year when it was estimated 50,000 wills had been probated and he also had a NSW probate and most likely a New Zealand one.

    I am able to clarify what I wrote to the mail list the other night. Firstly there was a typo in respect of the date of the Lucas' Directory. It should have read 1787 not 1887. The relevant entries in it were - APPELBE, ALEXANDER, Cotton, Manufacturer, APPELBE, JOHN, Cotton Manufactuer & Timber Merchant, ORR, JAMES, Cotton-manufacturer ORR, WILLIAM, Cotton-manufacturer. Yesterday I got hold of a better copy of the Hannah Orr Commission of Lunacy held 11 Feb 1845 at the Four Courts in Dublin. Interestingly 5 months later a limited account of the hearing hit the newsstands in Sydney in Australia in the "Morning Chronicle" of 19 July 1845 - see it in the free online TROVE database. The inquiry was to determine whether she was a lunatic and whether she was entitled to a 60 pounds a year annuity and not as I had assumed on account of Hannah's recorded involvement in her brother-in-law's bankruptcy. The lunacy hearing was in fact instigated by the nephew with whom she was living with in Montgomery Street in Dublin, William Holmes Orr, whose father John Orr likewise to James (1793-1835) is also missing in all the online trees that name children of William Srs 2nd marriage to Mary Appleby/Appelbe. I have no idea where any of the names came from that there exect of couse Mary Ann Drebble, and Hannah Or as no sourcess are given. There are several trees for the line of 1793-1835 born James who came to NSW in 1825 but none have any parents listed for him that should be William Sr and Mary Appleby. The father of William Holmes who made the application resulting in the hearing was by occupation an attorney-at-law and would have been deceased before the hearing as he was in 1847 when then 25 year-old William Holmes entered Grays Inn in London to study to become an advocate. He and his mother Margaret gave evidence. Her marriage is listed in Casey's volume 4 as in 1821 - Margaret Holmes Mathis to John Orr. Whilst in one account Hannah said he was her father's nephew he stated he was Hannah's nephew.

    Hannah's half-brother (your William 1776-1842) as executor of his father's estate had always paid Hannah's 60 pounds P.A. lifetime annuity until his 1842 death. The executors of his will were his wife who lived on until 1851 and Kearns Deane of Cork City. So it would be Mary who must have refused to keep paying the annuity after her husband's death. Following the determination of the lunacy commission, as in law they they were jointly and severally liable, they would  have been sued by a solicitor (or threatened) acting for Hannah and would have had to cough up probably 1200 pounds or so to meet the arrears and purchase an annuity for her from an insurance company. The terrible thing is that Hannah had known it was a lifetime annuity because her father had told he was leaving her one in his will. After her husband's death your ancestor Mary nee Browne seemingly would have said to poor simple Hannah - No, No, No go away - it was only payable during the life of my husband - I'm not looking after you let your own sisters and nieces and nephews do that. As the trial was well reported in Ireland - Irish Times, Cork Examiner etc.  the news of what Mary had done to poor simple Hannah would have flashed through the village like a wildfire changing the residents  perception of Mary forever. Lets face it - it was a straight fraud. A doctor who had examined Hannah said that he found her state of mind such that she could easily be defrauded.

    In closing some other clarifications from the fully readable record are that Hannah's age was given as approx. 46 and her mother with whom Hannah had lived died in 1833. Of likely relevance to the names of the husband's of other daughters of Mary Appleby, Hannah said that for 3 months she had lived with a Mr. Buchanan in Innishannon before going to America and, then had spent two and a half years with Mrs. O'Shaughnessey in Cork. I noted in a K J Parker authored tree at it was in effect said it had not been established William Sr had a second marriage to Mary Appbleby leaving open a possibility the William who married her was another William Orr. This 1845 trial report should dispel any doubt he had there. It was stated in one of the reports that Hannah was quote a - "daughter, by a second marriage of the late William Orr, of Innishannon, in the County of Cork, who died about the year 1814, leaving her a small property, about 60 pounds a year". Her father's will dated 11 June 1814 and three codicils were placed in evidence by an officer of the Prerogative Court.

    Hannah may have been the simplist of the simple but she certainly made a good contibution to your genealogy.

    cheers, John in Australia





    Saturday 19th Aug 2017, 02:31AM
  • Attached Files
    mortgage.jpg (205.69 KB)

    Hi Again Bev,

    I overlooked answering the second part of your question viz: - Now for a question....this property of William Dowe that James inherited....which was a "marriage settlement".  I am not familiar with the term but could that have been the father in law of William's senior's first wife?  We think Wm. Jr. was born circa 1776?

    People lent their relatives money all the time especilly to stave off a bankruptcy occurring and most business people required the security of a mortgage. William Dowe could not have been William Srs father-in-law as he only married in 1774 so a daughter in 1776 when Jr was born would have been aged one. However Dowe could have had a sister who married William Sr in say the same year of 1774 who could have been the mother of William Jr. There are 50 or more Dowe trees at Ancestry with birth years in the range but I go south 400 kl on Wednesday so will have no a chance to look them up in the Library edition at the State Library here in Brisbane in Queensland and where I will be going until Xmas the library has no Library Edition. The task is to find a tree with a marraige to William Orr and a source for it.

    Attached is a jpg of the newspaper notices re the Ballygrogan mortgage. When land was mortgaged the mortgagor in effect became the legal owner of the land subject only to the sum borrowed and and any interest in arrears being paid back (redemption).


    Saturday 19th Aug 2017, 04:51AM
  • John,

    This story makes me want to cry.  Poor Hannah!!! She certainly has not only added to the family genealogy but also given me some insight into the lives of these ancestors.  I am pleased to read that William Jr. took care of Hannah after her parents died.  I have corresponded with "K J Parker"and I hope what you have noted...that the marriage between William Sr. and Mary Appleby Orr was a second accepted.  From William Sr.s will and the ages of the people involved, it is an obvious conclusion.  I wonder if Hester Roe was also from the first marriage and Mary decided it was time for those folks to take care of Hannah.  I seem to recall William Jr. was involved in some sort of litigation prior to his death.  Perhaps that also influenced Mary's inability to care for Hannah?  Families can do damage to one another over money.  

    From the pictures my cousin had, we have one of Harriet Maria Orr Rawlins, which I think was also on the Parker site.  The Parker tree has many pictures of his Orr line.  I have a picture of one of my Samuel's sisters, Rebecca Rawlins.  I have never been able to figure out what happened to her.  From her handwriting on the picture, it is clear that she lacked education.  I have to wonder, after reading about Hannah if Rebecca could have also had some sort of disabilitiy.   It wasn't a kind world even if you were born into a comfortable class.   

    Some of the pics we have were taken in Dublin and some of the same family members were taken in Cork.  I suspect there ,may have been cousins in Dublin or at least business ties.  Do you think this John Orr could have been a cousin of William and James Orr?  There is no John in any of my guesses about the children of James Orr who married Martha. I have nothing in my records as to what happened to William Orr Jrs' son William.  I will also do some Dowe digging.  From everything I have gathered William Orr Jr. was friendly with the Deanes and the Hutchinsons of Cork.  

    I cannot thank you enough for looking into all this.  I do want to ask about the murder mystery, but I am a little afraid to know the!  I have to say, the more I learn about my ancestors, the more I am in awe at what they endured.  I think it is a blessing that we can share this information even though continents separate us.  

    Success on your journey!!!



    Saturday 19th Aug 2017, 05:51PM
  • Hi again!!

    Let me tell you what I just dug up on Ancestry.  Taking a look at records for a William Dowe circa 1774. He married Aphra Dowe that year.  He may have borrowed from William Orr to marry her.  This William appears to have died in 1789, possibly around the time William Orr married Mary Appleby.  

    Another curious marriage is that of William Browne who married Aphua Stammers in 1770.  I believe they were Mary Browne's parents.  There was a William Stammers who marred a Parker by 1793.  These families seem to be a bit intertwined...Orr/ Stammers/ Parker....









    Saturday 19th Aug 2017, 07:05PM
  • Hi Bev,

    I appreciate you think otherwise but I believe my interprepation of the note on K. J. Parker's Ancestry tree was correct when I wrote that - "I noted in a K J Parker authored tree at it was in effect said it had not been established William Sr had a second marriage to Mary Appbleby leaving open a possibility the William who married her was another William Orr. This 1845 trial report should dispel any doubt he had there".

    The kjp note on the William Orr- Mary Appleby tree read - "(MLB) IT IS POSSIBLE (my emphasis) that William was a widower when he married otherwise he would be a different William and not my ancestor kjp 7/2/13". I read that was him saying (why else put the note) whilst it appeared to him that William had a second marriage he had no absolute proof leaving open the possibility it was another William who married Mary Appleby. For the life of me I cannot understand why he would put that note there if as you say he accepted there was a second marriage. The 1845 trial establishes beyond question there was a second marriage so he can remove the note from tree! When something is certain one does stick notes on saying it is not certain.

    In respect of Hestor Roe I wrote re Hannah - "Her older sister Hester Roe, with whom she had lived at different times in Innishannon and elsewhere, said ... Hester said her mother had died in 183. (again not readable but seemed either a 3 or an 8) so Mary Appleby died 1833 or 1838." When I got hold of the second clearly legible report written by a different reporter I advised you the date Mary Appleby died was in fact 1833 so I do not know why you wrote - "I wonder if Hester Roe was also from the first marriage and Mary decided it was time for those folks to take care of Hannah." THere is no reason to wonder she was of the second marriage. Mary died 1851 so could not have been Hestor's mother who she said died in 1833 whereupon Hannah came to live with her. The point is Mary nee Bowne had a legal obligation to preserve the funds to permit the payment of the lifetime annuity which she would have been well aware her husband had paid. A formal demand would have been made upon her by William H Orr or his soliciters before the court action was instigated which she either ignored or refused to acknowledge as valid. Aftr the court determination she would have promptly coughed up the money to purchase a Bank of England annuity otherwise a formal complaint of fraud would have been lodged with the Cork constabulary and she would have been sentanced to 7 years transportation beyond the seas or otherwise a lengthy spell in a Dublin goal.

    Now in respect of William in Australia. I was working on the report that had only Hannah as saying he was in NSW that also her saying her father had died 2 to 3 years ago so clearly mixing up Williams. The second report was written by a much more competent reporter who sorted it out and wrote what he sorted out. He had as the final stage of the hearing that the court examined and determined William in NSW was her heir-at-law which is totally different thing to simple Hannah saying it as during the examination Hestor Roe had the opportunity to put that right if wrong. Even though William was of the half blood he would as the eldest living brother (half or Full) been her heir at law. Official BDM registration only began in NSW in 1856. Strangely some Williams' with a newspaper death notices are not indexed. I was able to reach a conclusion that the only candidate who appealed was a William Orr, by occupation an engineer, who died in Sydney in 1849 too early for a death registration and not listed in the BDM indexes as a church parish register extraction. He was put into Devonshire St Cemetery where all the headstones were later removed to make way for the Sydney Central Railway Station. Relatives had the opportunity to have the headstone moved to Rookwood. I find it strange that in the Cemetery transcripts it is given as Devonshire. Headstones are great as they usually have the native place.

    His wife was Janet but the marriage is not indexed.  Engineer probably just meant he was such in respect of steam engines. My great- grandfather when he arrived from England in 1849 had that given as his occupation and also when he married in England but he had done a 7-year apprenticeship as a lighterman on the Thames so had gotten experience later on steam tugs or done a course on stream engines. William and Janet children were: William  1834, Thomas B 1835, Agnes 1837, Janet 1839, Isabella 1841, Margaret A 1844, William 1846, Mary J 1848. They do not seem to have much Cork family relevance.

    Afraid I have to put it to bed as have a lot to do in the next two days before heading off south.


    Sunday 20th Aug 2017, 06:02AM
  • Bev,

    RE   the Murder myster - Florence Campbell was a grand daughter of James Orr (1793-1835) abd Sarah Spencer (1799-1842). She was a daughter of their daugter Ann Orr (1817-1886) who in 1835 married Robert Campbell "Tertius" (being a Roman name meaning third used by him to differentiate himself  from Robert Sr. and his father Robert Jr.) and moved to England permantly in the mid-1850s. Books have been published and there is web page forum for the murder mystery aound who killed her second husand. After the 2nd inquest and reporting in "The Times" the invitation to arties stoped and she drank hrself to death 2 years later. A fThe URLs for 2 accounts of the Bravo mystery are:
    Forum is:


    Sunday 20th Aug 2017, 06:35AM
  • Best wishes for your journey south!   I can see why the mystery about Florence Campbell and the demise of her second husband captivated the community.  She also became such a sad figure.  It was certainly a Victorian tragedy all around.

    I have enjoyed conversing with you on the Orr family.  I continue to search Ancestry and FMP to see if I can find anything else that might relate.  Finding out about these life events not only helps to understand the relationships between family members, it also sometimes gives a sense of character and struggle. Again, thank you so much for sharing !!



    Monday 21st Aug 2017, 10:48AM
  • Dear Bev & John:


    I have been following your thread with much interest and am very impressed with the amount of research that both of you have undertaken over the years.  Well done to you both!!  It sounds like you are well on your way to a very impressive family history book for future generations.

    If either of you are interested, you might consider creating a profile for any of the Orr family ancestors under our XO Chronicles tab at the top of the page.  Profiles can be created with as much or as little information as you have.  It would be a great way for others who may be researching the same people or families to see what is there and for possible future collaboration and sharing.  If you have any difficulties with same, please let me know at:

    Thank you for your interest in Ireland Reaching Out!


    Kind regards,


    Jane Halloran Ryan

    Monday 21st Aug 2017, 07:03PM
  • Hi Bev,

    Just a final summary with a slight adjustment to what i had ascertained befor of the Hannah Orr hearing revelations and what I found in NSW records as  a possible for the lost William Orr of your line who the hearing revealed was in NSW in 1845.

    Freeman's Journal of 27 Jan 1845 carried a report of the application to the Court of Chancery by the lawyer acting for peitioner William Holmes orr for a commission of inquiry to be held to determine the mental capacity of Hannah Orr and and the position in regard to a claimed by the petitioner non-receipt by her of a lifetime  annity of 60 pounds per annum pursuant to a codicil of her 11 June 1811 made father's will. The Lord Chancellor granted the application and the commission was subsequentely held on 11 Feb 1845 in the Bankruptcy Chamber in the Four Courts in Dublin  before Commissioners Dwyer and Beaty and a comprising 12 males. A Mr. Corbett represented Hannah's nephew as the inquiry petitioner William Holmes Orr (whose then age was about 23 years based on the 25 years given when he entered Gray's to study law in 1847 when it was stated his father John Orr an attorney-at-law was deceased.) Witnesses were a doctor, Mrs Hester Roe (sister of Hannah Orr), Margaret Orr sister-in-law (widow of John Orr) and an officer of the Prerogative Court attended with the 11 June 1811 dated will and three codicles of Hannah's father William Orr Sr.  who it was said had died in 1814. The "Freeman's Journal" report of the hearing (issue of 12 Feb 1845) had that Mrs Hestor Roe stated she was an elder sister of Hannah, whose age she did not  recall exactly but believed it was about 46, and that Hannah had been with her for a year and a half after the death of Hestor's mother in 1833 and that  Hannah had lived with different persons at Innishannon and elsewhere and Hannah cme back to live with her about four years ago andshe  stopped with her for about a year and a half in Dublin and had again stayed with her for a period before May last when she left to live with William Holmes Orr and his mother.

    To a question from a juror, Hestor Roe said that Hannah did not get her property (i.e. the 60 pounds a year) after my mother's death - there was no one to pay her. Up until her mother's death in 1833 Hannah had lived with her mother. Your ancestor William Orr Jr would have never have paid the annuity to Hannah directly as  she had no ability to handle money so it would have been paid to her mother. When it ceased to be paid is a moot point. In the report of the hearing in the Irish Examiner of 14 Feb 1845 lawyer Corbett was reported as stating in his opening address to the commission that the annuity had not been paid since about 1825. Clearly he had been updated by Hester Roe and Margaret Orr as when presenting the case for the holding of an inquiry the previous month he had then said it had been 3 or 4 years unpaid implying onlysince the 1842 death of  William Jr. 1825 is a logical year for it ceasing to be paid by him as the crash in the weaving industry in Innishannon occurred in 1824 with in Feb. 1825 1100 repported as out of work in Innishannon. He may have invested all the funds in the business so was finacially challenged and stopped paying in 1825 never to restart paying it to Hannah's mother Mary Appleby who died eight years later in 1833. Presumably Mary was not prepared to take on her step-son so just copped it and  from then to her death tolally supported Hannah herself. Thus the devil in this case appears to have been your ancestor William Orr Jr. rather than his wife Mary nee Browne which I found bound to advise having laid te blame at Mary's feet etc. !  

    In the initial application for the inquiry lawyer Corbett had said the annuity had not been paid for three or four years i.e. by implication only since the 1842 death of William Orr Jr (1776-1842) hence my assumption it was Mary who had subsequently declined to pay. However in the Freeman's Journal acount of the hearing it is clear it was not paid after 1833 so for 12 years at the least was unpaid and even perhaps 20 years if the claim by the lawyer at the 11 Feb hearing was correct. This clears Mary nee Browne as having of her own volition ceased to pay it after her husband's death in 1842. All Mary nee Browne was doing was continuing her husband's non-payment and there would likely have even been nobody asking for it to be paid.

    After her mother's death in 1833 Hannah lived with different  people so there was no one person to pay it to. On the witness stand Hannah said she had lived for 3 months with Mr Buchanan in Innishannon before "they" had gone to America.  I guess Mr. Buchanan could have been the husband of a sister and Mrs O'Shaughuessy another sister who Hannah said she had lived with for two and a half years. After her mother's death in 1883 Hester said she had lived with her for two and half years so the period with Mr O'S must have followed that. As she had no money she could not have been boarding.

    At the end of the hearing there was an examination to determine Hannah's heir-at-law and her next of kin and it was found that William ORR, residing in New South Wales, was her heir-at-law and that all the lunatic's nephews and nieces - twenty-four in number, consituated her next of kin. The reason for the determination is that in respect of an intestacy real property in those days went to the heir-at-law (in in this case the eldest son of the eldest son named William (the 3rd) regardless of he whether of  full or half blood, and the movebable property money, jewellery, carriages, livestock, stocks and bonds etc. went to the next-of-kin.

    Bbecause Wiliam the 3rd was in NSW in 1845 did not mean he died there. Most Orrs in NSW in the 19th century appear to have been Scottish born. After examining the NSW death indexes and newspaper death notices I could only come up with one possible and even he is very doubtfull as was buried in a Presbyterian section of a no longer extant cemetery. He died from a from a stroke caused by a shock when entering water for a swim. He was an engineer  (death notice - died  6 Feb 1849 age 43  late of Bathurst St West, "Sydney Morning Herald" 8 Feb 1849). His wife Janet died in 1879 and there were eight  children baptised - viz. 1834 William, 1835 Thomas B, 1837 Agnes, 1839 Janet, 1841 Isabella, 1844 Margaret A, 1846 William, 1848 Mary J. There is no marriage  indexed. His death was before official registration began in 1856 so there is only his wife's death registration that has the potential to identify him as likely being William Orr of Innishannon if it had Cork, County Cork as the marriage place. Her death registion number is 8740/1879. However I am skeptical as he was buried in the Presbyterion Section of Devonshire Cemetery where from the early 1900's Sydney's Central Railaway station has been situated. The death record should have her birthplace, the number of years in the colony of NSW, and the marriage place and year.

    Well that it from me - all the best with the ongoing research into the lines.

    Best regards, John



    Wednesday 30th Aug 2017, 12:28AM
  • Hi Bev,

    Just to advise I wrote up the last July Orr of Innishannon research as a web page to which in a few weeks i will add the Australian family research when I find the time. The link to it is the last one in the table on my genealogy web site at : If there are any queries I can be contacted by the email facility on the page. You will note I incorporated your speculation about the Dowe marriage. Google will eventually index it.

    cheers John


    Tuesday 12th Sep 2017, 02:39AM
  • Hi John,

    I just read your wonderful work on the Orr family.  I did attempt to email through the site but couldn't bring up the email address.  My computer does run slowly so I will try on another device.  From your work, I understand that you identify John Orr as the first son of William Orr Sr. and Mary Appleby Orr?  He was the father of William Holmes Orr, the eventual guardian for Hannah?

    One basic question I have is how faithfully were Irish naming patterns followed at the time William Orr Jr. married Mary Browne?Our best speculation for the naming of their children doesn't quite match up.   I understand that the eldest son would naturally be considered "heir at law" for William Orr Sr., and thus the responsibility for Hannah's annuity fell upon William Jr.  Do you believe that financial crisis may have been the reason that the family did not pursue legal action earlier?  

    I have several more thoughts, but I want to be coherant in my questions.  Again, you inspire me with your extensive research.  So many of us stop too soon, thinking that there is nothing more to know when family information exists that brings lives our ancestors lived into clearer focus.


    Best Regards,


    Tuesday 12th Sep 2017, 12:43PM

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