Thursday, November 25, 2010

Death certificate of Catherine CONLON nee LOWRY (abt 1807 - 1877)

I don't know much about Catherine CONLON prior to her death - at least nothing direct. I can infer a great deal from her death certificate (but not as much as I'd like), and there aren't many other opportunities to learn more.

She was born in Ireland about 1807 (and that's all I know), presumably Catholic (she married one), and married there about 1824, so given the time-frame the chances for records in Ireland on any of those events are very slim. Her death notice in the Sydney Morning Herald states that she was 'formerly of Kinvara, Galway' where her husband was also from, but the language is slightly ambigouous (see below).

She arrived in Australia in 1834 on the convict ship 'Fairlee' as the wife of a soldier in the 50th Regiment - soldiers and their families weren't entered on arrival indents so I don't know anything about this event, and any children they had with them.
What I do know is that Catherine gave birth to children in 1839 (John J) and 1841 (Michael J) in Wollongong, both of whom were baptised Roman Catholic by Michael Rigney, and these records are retained in the NSW BDM indexes. Likewise, they had another baptised in Sydney in 1844 (Thomas J), so some time between 1841 and 1844 the family moved from Wollongong to Sydney. Michael's baptism entry records the mother's maiden name as LOWRY, though no other information about the family (abode, occupation, etc) is entered. Yet I also know they had other children during this time - another son William died in 1879 and his computed year of birth is 1836 - perhaps the family were elsewhere in the colonies given Patrick's regimental duties.

I know nothing else directly of Catherine from records prior to her death, except that we can assume from death announcements in 1861 and 1870 that she was living with her husband in Sydney at 52 Parramatta-street (later George-street West, then Broadway) in the area where Blackwattle creek runs under what is now called Broadway. Patrick died in 1870. Some time after his death she moved to her son Thomas' home in Little Devonshire-street, Surry Hills where she died on 23 May 1877.

NSW Death Certificate 1877/000822
Date and place of death: 23 May 1877 Little Devonshire St
Name and occupation: Catherine Conlon
Sex and age: female 70 years
Cause of death: Old age
Duration of last illness: -
Medical attendant: -
When he last saw deceased: -
Name and occupation: -
Name and occupation of father: David Lowry, Farmer
Informant: Michael J Conlon, Son, Broughton St Glebe
Particulars of registration: E March? 23 May 1877, Sydney
When and where buried: 24 May 1877, Catholic Petersham
Name of undertaker: J.G. Shying + Co.
Names and religion of Minister: -
Names of witnesses: George Shying, William Stanford?
Where born and how long n the Australasian Colonies or states: Ireland, 43 years N.S.W.
Place of marriage, age and to whom: Ireland, 17, Patrick Conlon
Children of marriage:
4 males, 3 females living
1 male, 3 females deceased

Her death notice:

The Sydney Morning Herald
Thursday 24 May 1877

CONLON - May 23, at the residence of her son, Thomas, Little Devonshire-street, Surry Hills. Catherine Conlon, aged 70 years, relict of the late Patrick Conlon, of Parramatta-street, and formerly of Kinvara, county of Galway, Ireland, and mother of William, John, Michael and Thomas Conlon, of this city. She was a resident of New South Wales for forty-three years. Requescent in peace.
The final mystery relates to the children of Patrick and Catherine Conlon. Her husband's death certificate contains no information on their children. Her death certificate states that as of 1877 her children were:
4 males, 3 females living
1 male, 3 females deceased

This is 11 children in total, presumably born in Ireland (perhaps also elsewhere if the family were allowed to travel with Patrick and the regiment as some were) and New South Wales. Prior to 1856, civil registration of births, deaths and marriages in New South Wales did not occur, so the NSW BDM indexes before that time are a collation of remaining church records. Irish records (for children prior to 1833) are sparse.

I am aware of the following six children based on NSW records and newspapers:

Catherine CONLON. Born abt 1833, died 13 Oct 1861 San Francisco, California, USA. The only record for her is her death notice in the SMH, indicating her age at death and that she married James Phillips - no record in NSW of this marriage.
The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842-1954) (about)   
Monday 6 January 1862
DEATHS. On the 13th October, at San Francisco, Catherine, the beloved wife of James Phillips, aged 28 and fourth daughter of Patrick Conlon of Parramatta-street, Sydney, after a long and painful illness, which she bore with Christian fortitude. Galway papers please copy.

William CONLON. Born abt 1836 NSW, died 13 Apr 1879 Chippendale, NSW. No baptism entry in NSW BDM, however his marriage announcement notes that he is a 'native of the colony'
The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842-1954)
Wednesday 11 May 1859

MARRIAGES. On the 2nd instant, by special license, at St Mary's Cathedral, by the Rev. J.E. Gourbellion, Mr William Conlon, of Parramatta-street, to Miss Margaret Walsh, of George-street South, both natives of the colony.
A wheelwright, he died in 1879 in his home on Wattle-street, Chippendale, NSW aged 44 and his death announcement noted his father as Patrick of Parramatta-street.

Jane CONLON. Born abt 1837. Baptism in NSW BDM indexes, nothing further known at this stage.

John Joseph CONLON. Born 16 Oct 1839 Wollongong NSW, died 7 Sep 1904. Baptised 30 Nov 1839 at Wollongong as John, son of Patrick & Catherine Conlon, by John Rigney, witnesses Henry Boggs and Margaret Bourke. Married Ann ALLEYN in 1870. Died on 7 Sep 1904 at Canley Vale, NSW 'whilst on a visit' and his death announcement lists him as 'third son of Patrick Conlon'.

Michael Joseph CONLON. Born 24 Sep 1841 Wollongong NSW, died 26 Nov 1913 Glebe NSW. Baptised 31 Oct 1841 at Wollongong as Michael, son of Patrick CONNELLAN & Catherine nee LOWRY, by John Rigney, witnesses John Larkin and Eleanor Kenny. Married Ellen Teresa ALLEYN at St. Mary's Cathedral, Sydney 29 Jun 1865, occupation tobacconist, but ran a pottery business in Glebe from that time onwards. Died 26 Nov 1913 at Alexander Rd, Glebe, NSW. Marriage and death certiicates confirm parents.

Thomas Joseph CONLON. born 1843 Sydney NSW, died 12 Apr 1913 Glebe NSW. Born at George-street West in 1843 (then Parramatta-street, according to death notice). Married Harriet WILD at St. Joseph's Church, Newtown, NSW on 22 Aug 1869.
The Sydney Morning Herald
Monday 14 April 1913

CONLON. - April 12, at his residence, 100 Glebe-street, Glebe, Thomas Joseph (Stoney) Conlon, in his 70th year (born at George-street West in 1843), leaving a wife and three sons and three daughters to mourn their loss ; and last beloved brother of Mr. M. J. Conlon, of Glebe, the youngest son of the late Patrick Conlon, who arrived in this colony as a member of the 50th Regiment in the ship Fairlee, in 1834. R.I.P.

Other POSSIBLE children:
Ellen CONLON. Death registered in 1873 in NSW BDM, parents Patrick and Catherine and her death was registered in Sydney.

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