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Greetings from Western Australia.

My great great grandfather JOHN Patrick DONNELLY migrated to Australia in 1865.

We know quite a lot about him but have been unable to trace his roots back in Ireland.

He was in the 51st Regt by Foot in the Brittish Army - so we have his Army Records. They tell us that he joined the army at 15 years in 1830. They say he was born in 1815 in Dublin in the parish of Clankalkin

On discharge he travelled to Australia as a Pensioner Guard on "The Racehorse" embarked 15.8.65 arriving on 1.5.1865.  We have information that he travelled with his wife Catherine Connolly - but the ship records do not record her as travelling.There is no record of them marrying in Australia.  

They had children in Perth Australia and died here so we have those records. His death records show that he was 52 years old when he died in 1878 (which would indicate that he was born in 1826). A little confusing but the birth/death records in the early days of the Colony was very inaccurate. We are assuming that his Army Record would be correct.

Some years back, my father tried to trace him back to the Clondalkin parish but was told that he wasn't born there.

We are hoping you can help us or at least put us on the right track.


Patrick Donnelly


Thursday 28th Apr 2016, 02:42AM

Message Board Replies

  • Clondalkin does seem the best interpretation of 'Clankalkin', and it's both a civil parish and also had a Catholic Chapel which was part of the parish of 'Palmerstown, Lucan, and Clondaklin'. The only other similar civil parishes, i.e. starting with 'clon' or 'clan' I can think of are Clonmethan and Clonsilla, and the only other town which includes a 'k' is Clonskeagh, but that is not a Catholic or Civil/Church of Ireland parish - but part of Donnybrook civil parish. One problem is that there are quite a number of parishes in Co. Dublin that do not have records back as far as 1815.

    Catholic records for Clondalkin parish were filmed by the National Library and for Clondalkin parish cover back to 1778, although there may be gaps. For register images see  Clondalkin, Lucan & Palmerstown  See also the related registers of Palmerstown.  Records have also been transcibed and indexed for both these parishes on the free IrishGenealogy website Clondalkin & Palmerstown. There are a number of Donnolly records in these, nothing particularly promising that I could find - best to search with wildcards to cope with spelling variation e.g. don*l*y*. Firstnames can appear in Catholic registers in Latin so John may appear as Johannes etc

    Do you know what denomination your Donnelly family were ?

    Church of Ireland records for Clondalkin Parish are also on the IrishGenealogy website - see here.

    Shane Wilson, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Thursday 28th Apr 2016, 07:11AM
  • Hi John,

    The records i have for John Patrick Donnelly are: Born 1826 Clondalkin, Dublin, Ireland. Died 3 Jan. 1878. Perth, Western Australia.

    He married Catherine Connolly (Born 1836, Ireland. Died 1888. Peth, WA. They had a son, John Patrick (Born 12 July 1870. Died 27 March 1910)

    He married Emily Mary Lester (Born 1859 Perth, WA. Died 18 October 1895). They had Emily May Donnelly (born 15 April 1895. Died 24 March 1982. Bayswater, Perth, WA)

    She married Melbourne Carlton Usher (Born 1893 Paddington, NSW. Died 3 Dec 1971. Maylands, Perth, WA) and had 11 children, one of which was Christina Isobel Usher (my grandmother).

    Thanks so much for the information on the shipping records. I've been researching for years and not come across this site of that ships list. And also the military service information too.

    Hope this is of some assistance.





    Thursday 15th Dec 2016, 08:45AM
  • oops. Sorry, that should have been, Hi Patrick.


    Monday 26th Dec 2016, 03:44PM

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