Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The CONLON family of Glebe

I've been working quite a lot on my CONLON family line - Michael Joseph CONLON was the patriarch of my family line, but he also had three brothers who married, and so in the Glebe area there were a lot of Conlon's from the mid 1800's through to the early 1900's, not to mention sister who married with names such as ALLEYN, MACKEY, and others. A quick check of the Sydney directory shows there are no longer any in the area - perhaps not surprising given how much the area has gentrified.

As an example of just how many family members lived in the area, one can look at one of the funeral announcements in the Sydney Morning Herald. In the early 1900's, extended family would often place a funeral announcement also, giving an idea of just how strong family connections were. In my tree the CONLON family, Roman Catholics, seemed to have a large number of family members, and as Michael and Ellen CONLON had 10 children die in infancy or relatively young, there were a lot of funeral announcements.

As one example, Michael and Ellen's son Michael Joseph CONLON (1875 - 1902) died 17 Sep 1902 aged 27. His death notice was placed on page 1 of the Sydney Morning Herald, funeral announcements were on the back page.

Sydney Morning Herald, Thursday, 18 September 1902
Conlon - September 17, 1902, Michael Joseph, last and only beloved son of M.J. and the late Mrs E.T. Conlon, of 20 Broughton-street, Glebe, from bronco-pneumonia, aged 27 years, after 6 days illness. 

He was buried at Rookwood Cemetery the day after his death, and the Sydney Morning Herald of Thursday, 18 September 1902 carried the funeral announcements. His mother had died earlier in the same year. The 'funeral' started by leaving the residence of his father Michael Joseph CONLON, whose home and pottery works were on Broughton Street in Glebe. I am not aware of practices at the time, but am assuming that the mourners and coffin made their way to the nearby Mortuary Station and took the train to Rookwood Necropolis (the Catholic cemetery at Rookwood) where the funeral was held.

I've transcribed the first in full, then in the others stated the name of each advert and their stated relation to the deceased. After each one I've noted the family connection in italics, showing how useful death/funeral announcements can be when building a family tree.

Sydney Morning Herald, Thursday, 18 September 1902

CONLON - The friends of Mr. M.J. CONLON are respectfully invited to attend the Funeral of his late dearly loved SON, Michael Joseph ; to leave his residence, 20 Broughton-street Glebe, THIS AFTERNOON, at 1:30, for the Necroplis. COFFILL and COMPANY, Funeral Directors. Tel. 424.

Other notices that followed underneath were structured as above but summarized here:

Mr. and Mrs. F.W. PRIESTLY... their late beloved BROTHER: Ellen Teresa Conlon (1868-1937), sister of Michael Conlon, married Frederick William PRIESTLY (1867-1939) in 1887 at Glebe.

Mr. and Mrs. Charles MACKEY.... their late dearly loved BROTHER: Anne Jane Conlon (1877-1939), sister of Michael Conlon, married Charles MACKEY (1879-1961) in 1902 at Sydney.

Mr. and Mrs. John CONLON and FAMILY of 69 Glebe-street, Glebe.... their dearly beloved NEPHEW and COUSIN: John Joseph Conlon (1839-1904), uncle of the deceased and brother of Michael Joseph Conlon sr. Married Ann ALLEYN (abt 1836-1910) who was the sister of M.J. Conlon senior's wife - so two brothers married two sisters. John and Ann had at least four children.

Mr. and Mrs. Thomas J CONLON and FAMILY of 100 Glebe-street, Glebe... their dearly beloved NEPHEW: Thomas Joseph Conlon (1844-1913), uncle of the deceased and brother of Michael Joseph Conlon sr. Married Harriett WILD (1844-1936) at St. Joseph's Church, Newtown. They had at least nine children.

Mrs. Margaret  CONLON and family and Mrs. M.J. PETERS and family, of Balfour-street.... their beloved NEPHEW: Balfour-street is in Chippendale, just over Parramatta Road/Broadway from Glebe. Margaret Conlon nee WALSH (1843-1918) was the widow of William CONLON (abt 1836-1879). They married at St Mary's Cathedral, Sydney in 1859 and had at least seven children. One of these was Mary Jane Conlon (1866-1936) who married John James PETERS in 1885.

Mrs. Frank and the late Mr. Frank CONLON and FAMILY of Dangar-place... their deceased beloved cousin: Dangar-place is in Chippendale, just over Parramatta Road/Broadway from Glebe. Frank was Francis Napoleon CONLON (1863-1902), who had died earlier in the same year, and was the son of William and Margaret CONLON (above). Francis married Catherine FLYNN (1865-1927), and they had at least seven children.

Mr. and Mrs. S.H. WALKER and FAMILY of Mitchell-street, Glebe... their deceased cousin: This is a slightly tricky one. Samuel Henry WALKER (1860-1940) was the son of Ann ALLEYNE (married to John Conlon above, her second husband) by her first husband Charles WALKER. She married Charles in 1856 at St Mary's Cathedral Sydney, had a number of children and it is assumed Charles died, as she married John Joseph Conlon in 1870. Samuel Henry WALKER married Maria MOCKLER in 1883 in Glebe.

Mr. and Mrs. Rowland EAGAR, of 91 Glebe-street, Glebe.... their dearly beloved deceased COUSIN: Rowland EAGAR (1872-1942) married Elizabeth A Conlon (1877-1947), the daughter of Wiliam Conlon and Margaret nee Walsh described above. They married in 1898 in Sydney. Rowland and Elizabeth had at least two children.

Mr. and Mrs. John REIDY, of 69 Glebe-street, Glebe.... their dearly beloved COUSIN: John REIDY (abt 1867-1930) married Anne M Conlon (1871-1930), the daughter of John Joseph Conlon and Ann Alleyn (described above). They married in 1894 in Glebe. They had at least two children.

Mr. and Mrs. Albert CONLON, of Mitchell-street, Glebe... their late departed COUSIN: Albert Richard Conlon (1880-1956) was the son of John Joseph Conlon and Ann nee Alleyn (described above). He married Catherine KEANE (?-?) in Sydney in 1901, and they had at least four children all registered in Glebe. Albert played Rugby League for Glebe and possibly also Australia, and his death is registered in Queensland.

Mr. and Mrs. John MCGRATH... their late dearly loved COUSIN: Uncertain. A Mary Conlon married a John McGrath in 1878 in Sydney, however the relationship is unclear. There was also a McGrath marriage on the Alleyn side of the family and this may be the connection.

Mr. and Mrs. T. BRADY and family.... their dearly beloved cousin: Thomas BRADY (abt 1859-1921) married Julia M ALLEYN (1857-1913) in 1882 in Glebe. Julia was the daughter of William Placid Alleyn (1833-1907 , brother of Ellen Teresa Conlon nee Alleyn) and Bridget nee McNamara (1838-1906). Bridget and William probably met on the 'Thetis' while travelling to Australia.

Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Conlon, of 67 Glebe-street, Glebe... their late beloved COUSIN: Joseph J CONLON (1877-1963) was the son of Michael Joseph Conlon sr's brother Thomas J Conlon and Harriet nee Wild (described above). Joseph married Rose Florence NOLAN (abt 1880-1911) and they had at least six children.

Mr. and Mrs. W. Walker or Albert-street, Erskineville... their late beloved COUSIN: William WALKER (1862-?), brother to Samuel Henry WALKER described above.


Anonymous said...

I am also a Conlon, also descendant of William and Margaret Conlon. Have discovered thought that there were 2 Margaret nee Walsh and the other nee Simons....both married in 1859,,,,,very confusing....can you enlighten me?

Matt Hall said...

Hi there. There were indeed two Williams who married Margarets. I am descended (as you see) from a sibling of William form the Conlon family of Kinvara.

I am on contact with descendants from the 'other' William and Margaret line also as we are regularly helping people untangle to two couples!

I'll email you now to help sort out which you are from.


Geoff Ibbett said...

Hi Matt
My name is Geoff Ibbett. I volunteer at the Western Suburbs Magpies archives at Ashfield in Sydney. I'm completely rewriting the history of the club and clarifying a lot of anomalies in the records. Your ancestor Albert Conlon was an important player in the early history of Rugby League. He played for Glebe from 1908-11 and actually played against Wests in the second round in 1908. He was also a representative player for NSW and played three times for Australia. The problem I am trying to solve is this; I'm sure that he played nine games for Western Suburbs in 1912 at the end of his career and A Conlon is listed at centre as playing in Round 2 against Eastern Suburbs. However, he is also list as A Conlin in other matches and this has led to considerable confusion in numerous reference books on Rugby League. This is because Arthur Conlin was also a significant player for South Sydney in 1908-11. Some reference books have the record of both players as having played for Wests in 1912 but this is obviously incorrect. I believe it is Albert Conlon who played but there is no corroborating evidence so far. I wonder if you have any definitive evidence in your records or could put me in touch with any relatives who could clarify the situation. I would, of course, be eternally grateful. My email address is
Geoff Ibbett

Mark Fleming said...

Hello Matt,
Do you wish any information on Catherine "Kitty" Keane? Albert Conlon's wife. Albert and Kitty's son Albert died after being kicked by a horse in March 1910 and Kitty died shortly afterwards in Oct 1910. Albert Jr is in the large plot in Catholic mortuary 1 at Rookwood near the chapel. Whie Kitty is in an unmarked grave in the Catholic Mortuary 2. Children - Annie, Catherine, Albert & Michael

Catherine Manathunga said...

Hi Matt and Everyone,

I thought I'd make contact as I am Albert and Catherine 'Kitty' Keane's great granddaughter. My mother's maiden name was Doherty and my Grandmother Catherine Conlon was Albert's daughter. This is the second daughter you mention. The first daughter was known as Nance or Aunty Nance as I knew her.

The close deaths of Albert's son (the family knew him as Richard or Dick) and Kitty are familiar family stories. Sadly Albert Richard was attending his mother's funeral at the time little Albert was killed so he had three close family deaths to deal with all at once.

I have also contacted Geoff Ibbett about Albert Richard's union and league career. For the information of others on this blog when I asked my Aunty Carmel Doherty about her Grandpa's football career this is how she replied - 'Grandpa Conlon (Albert Richard Conlon) toured New Zealand with Rugby Union players prior to his touring England, 1908, with League players'.

I've been researching my family history while I'm based in Galway for several months. Does anyone on this site have information about which county Patrick Conlon (John Joseph Conlon's father and Albert's grandfather)came from?

My family thinks that John Joseph was born in Australia and that his father Patrick Conlon and mother Catherine Lowry married in Kinvara in 1824 and that his father and mother were Malachi Conlon and Mary O'Brien. However, I am having trouble tracking them while I'm here in Galway.

My email address is



Unknown said...


I am descended from the same family, it has taken me 20 years to find other members of the same family.

Patrick Conlon (1797 - 1858)
3rd great-grandfather
George Henry Conlon (1843 - 1900)
Son of Patrick Conlon
William Conlon (1889 - )
Son of George Henry Conlon
Kathleen Mary Conlon (1915 - 1980) is my grandmother.

I have very little information about the family other than William Conlon(1889-) left the children after his wife passed away in 1926.

I look forward to reading about the different lines of the family.

J Chapman