Martin O’Neill

Martin O’Neill (1830-1893)
Ellen O’Shea (1839-1919)

Jump down to the list of their children

This page has been created with the input of Meghan Hurlburt, one of whose ancestors was  Ellen’s sister Mary O’Shea and another almost certainly Martin’s sister Mary O’Neill.

Martin O’Neill was the second of (we think) seven children born to Cornelius [O’]Neil[l] and Ellen [O’]Neil[l]. The Irish records generally have Neil and Shea but we will adopt O’Neill and O’Shea for consistency. Martin was baptised in the Killorglin Roman Catholic, Co Kerry, Ireland, on 28 Jan 1830, his sponsors being Thomas Hurly and Alice Blennerhassett. Click here to view Martin’s page on Boombridge Genealogy.

Martin travelled to Sydney on board the Ocean Express, arriving on 18 Jan 1864. The ship’s manifest indicates he was sponsored by his brother William Charles O’Neill who had emigrated to Australia in 1862 and lived in Clarence Town where Ellen’s older brother William O’Neill, a convict transported to Sydney in 1822, had settled. Whether Martin intended to emigrate as well is uncertain as he soon returned to Ireland.

Martin married Ellen O’Shea on 02 Mar 1867 in the Catholic Church in Glenbeigh, about 13km south-west of Killorglin. Ellen’s parents were John & Mary O’Shea, but at this stage nothing else is known about them. From the 1901 and 1911 census data Boombridge Genealogy researchers have calculated Ellen’s birth year as [1839]. The only baptism we have found to date was that of an Ellen O’Shea, born to a John and Mary O’Shea on 19 April 1838 at Derrymore, about 11 km from Tralee at the start of the Dingle Peninsular, and about 28 km from Killorglin.

Martin and Ellen had 8 children all in Laharan:

01. Cornelius (b. 10 Feb 1868, d. )

02. John M (b. 19 Feb 1872, d. 18 Feb 1913 in Boston, USA)

03. Martin M (b. 25 Jul 1878, d. 14 Oct 1945)

04. Mary J (b. Abt. 1880, d. 13 Jun 1919 in Boston USA)

05. Gerald (b. 04 Sep 1881, d. 03 Apr 1956) – always known as William

06. Ellen T (b. Abt 1882, d. 08 Apr 1930 in Boston USA)

07. Catherine M (b. 05 Sep 1881, d. 02 Sep 1973 in Boston USA)

08. Patrick Matthew (b. 26 Aug 1888, d. 16 Aug 1968 in Boston USA)

Martin died on 23 Apr 1893 in Larahan (Sunhill, Killorglin) aged 63 of chronic bronchitis, a condition he had suffered for 5 years. On his death certificate his stated age was 62 and he was described as a cottier, ie “an Irish peasant holding land by cottier tenure”, which is “the letting of land in small portions direct to the labourers, at a rent fixed by competition” (definitions from Google).

At the time of the census on 31 Mar 1901 Ellen, described as a 62 year old widow, lived in Laharan with four children Martin (21), William (18), Katie (15) and Patrick (10). While Ellen’s age is correct the age of all four children appear to be understated by about 2 years. Interestingly next door lived the family of Martin (senior)’s brother Patrick (see the last two entries on the House and Building Return). The two families (of 5 and 6 members respectively) occupied just 2 rooms each!


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