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First of all I would like to say how grateful I am for all the generosity and diligence of the volunteer researchers on this site!

My ancestors from Galway were Patrick Connelly and his wife Julia Connelly (nee Donoghue). He was born in 1794, in Tuam. Patrick married Julia in 1816, in Galway. Julia (daughter of Patrick Donoghue and Ellen Bourke) was born in 1798, Monivea.

Patrick’s father was Peter Connelly born in Tuam, Galway in 1773 to (probably) Patrick Connelly and Mary Dishell (who was born in 1755). Peter married Mary Commins born in 1770 in Ireland. He died on 29 April 1840 as recorded in parish documents for Oughterard, Galway. (Ireland, Catholic Parish Registers, 1655-1915). Mary Commins survived Peter by four years, passing away on 18 February 1844 in Castlegar, Galway. The actual village where Peter and Mary ended their days was Two Mile Ditch, registered in the Townland of Pollkeen in Castlegar. Patrick’s and Julia’s Irish born children were:

Mary Anne born 1818, Tuam, County Galway, Ireland; died Camperdown, New South Wales.

Peter Joseph born 10 Oct 1819, Tuam, County Galway, Ireland; died 12 Feb 1892, Colinton near Cooma, New South Wales; was buried in Michelago Cemetery, New South Wales.

Bridget  born 18 Feb 1823, Tuam, County Galway, Ireland; died 7 Aug 1885, Newtown, New South Wales.

Hannah  born 1825, Tuam, County Galway, Ireland; died 15 Jun 1905, Camperdown, New South Wales; was buried in Rookwood Cemetery, New South Wales.

Ellen born 1832, Tuam, County Galway, Ireland; died 17 Apr 1919, Queanbeyan, New South Wales; was buried in Queanbeyan Riverside Cemetery, New South Wales.

Michael  born 1836, Tuam, County Galway, Ireland; died 10 Aug 1920, was buried in Toowoomba Cemetery, Queensland.

John Vincent  born 26 May 1838, Tuam, County Galway, Ireland; buried 29 Oct 1923, Macquarie Park Cemetery, North Ryde, New South Wales.

According to the NSW immigration record, the baptism dates for two of the Connelly children, Mary and Bridget, were verified by Parish Priest Father John McLoughlin from Killererin Parish 1839-1849 before they left for NSW in 1840.

The decision to come to New South Wales may have been influenced by the fact that Julia’s father and her two brothers Michael (b. 1805) and Martin (b. 1810) were convicted in Galway of “houghing sheep" in 1832. The three of them were given life sentences and transported to Sydney, Australia aboard the Portland.  When Patrick applied for passage on the “Elphinstone” as a married immigrant with a family wishing to come to New South Wales he had to assure the authorities that he was a suitable candidate for the colony. Father John McLoughlin, Parish Priest of Killererin Parish 1839-1849 certified that Patrick was baptised on 5th March 1801.  

Daughter Mary Connelly’s baptism record was certified by Parish Priest Reverend Father Pierce Green, Parish of Aghana same as Post Town in United Dioceses of Cloyne and Ross County Cork. I don't know if this means they left from Cobh to sail to London to join the Elphinstone.

My examination of the ship’s records for immigrants aboard the Elphinstone shows that passengers were known to each other in Galway and aboard ship and gave each other’s names as a reference for their good character. Dennis McGrath in NSW was a 'depositor' for numerous immigrants arriving in Sydney from Tuam in the 1840s, 1850s and 1860s. A younger Dennis McGrath emigrated from the Parish of Killereran 1850 with his wife Margaret or Julia? and two children. He gave as a referee his uncle Pat Connelly of Queanbeyan, NSW –my great, great, great grandfather on my mother’s side.  A possible relative of his – another Dennis McGrath from Killererin - was also the depositor for my McHugh ancestors also from Tuam who emigrated aboard the “Albatross” in 1841.

An unnamed enquirer who contacted Rootschat wrote: “Looking at some of the deposit journals the immigrants were all from Barna, Dangan/Danganbeg in Galway.  The two people in Ireland recorded as being able to provide references for the immigrants are Henry Kerwin Esq. and Patrick Cummins of Dangan”. Patrick Connelly’s Immigration Record states that he was “recommended by David Commins of Barna (Killererin Parish) and many others of equal respectability.”

Son Peter Connelly as an adult had his emigration own entry and was recommended by Thomas McGrath of Cahernagy Townland rented from David Rutledge and David Commins of Barna.

I am writing a non commercial family history book and am very keen to learn and share any research about the connected families with anyone who wants to know!

Best wishes,





Diane Palos

Wednesday 28th November 2018, 03:28AM

Message Board Replies

  • Dear Diane:

    Many thanks for your post to the Ireland Reaching Out message board and for sharing the very informative research that you are doing for the Killererin area.


    You may be aware of the Killererin Heritage Group.  They have published various journals about local people, places and events.  Their website is below:

    In addition, on their website, there appears to be some information relating to emigration which you may find interesting if you have not already seen it.

    We do have local volunteers in the area who may be able to further assist you or want to contact you about your research.  I will share this post with them and you may well hear from them through this thread. 

    Please let me know if you would like us to promote your published book at any stage.  It would make a very nice news item for the Killererin Civil Parish page, and it would also highlight to those members of that page, the work that you have undertaken.

    The very best of luck to you.


    Kind regards,


    Jane Halloran Ryan

    Tuesday 4th December 2018, 01:12PM
  • Dear Jane,

    My apologies for the dealy in getting back to you. Thank you so much for all your great suggestions here!

    I will definitely follow up with Killererin Heritage Group!

    It would be wonderful to have you promote the published book. It will be self published and non commercial. I hope it tells the story of what happened to our Irish forebears when they made new lives for themselves in Australia and captures some of the Irish spirit they brought with them. 

    Will keep you posted on research. Again thank you for your kind support,

    Best wishes,



    Diane Palos

    Sunday 9th December 2018, 12:46AM
  • It all sounds good ! Look forward to the book ! Viv B from the Blue Mountains NSW



    Thursday 7th January 2021, 04:26AM