Brick Wall Research – Arthur Hanratty

My GGG Grandmother, Mary Ryan or Hanratty, was born in the mid 1830’s at Dungog, New South Wales. No record of her birth has been found. According to her death certificate in 1909, her father’s name was Arthur Hanratty (Pig Merchant).

The following information is everything that I have been able to find on ‘Arthur Hanratty’. I am yet to establish if he was Mary’s father but investigations show he was living in the Dungog area in 1841.

  • Robert or Arthur Hanratty was born about 1806/1808 in Armagh Ireland. He came to New South Wales, on board the convict ship ‘Mangles 5’ in 1827. His name in is listed as Robert Hauraltly.
  • In 1834, Robert is listed in the Convicts Applications to marry Ellenaor Hanratty (alias Moran). The application was granted. From the marriage index it shows ‘Robert or Arthur Hanratty per Mangles 5 to Ellen Hanratty per Edward alias Moran, were joined in together in wedlock by me this 19th Day of September 1834 at Sydney.
  • From checking both the indents for Robert & Ellen, they were both tried at Monaghan, Ireland on the 7th August 1827. Robert was convicted of pick pocketing and Ellen for stealing money.
  • Robert Hanratty alias Johnston received a Certificate of Freedom on the 25th August 1834, (per Mangles (5).
  • We next locate an Arthur Hanratty in the State Records – CSreLand index. Item 2/7874 Reel 1136. This shows that he purchased two lots of land at Clarencetown. This is confirmed from the details in the Sydney Gazette dated 24/4/1841 and the deeds are dated: Deeds dated 25th February, 1841. Item 28 Arthur Hanraty. 2 roads, Clarence town lot and iItem 29 Ditto, 2 roads, ditto, lot 1
  • In the Hunter Valley Directory of 1841, Arthur is listed at: St Leonards, Dungong , purchased lands at Clarence Town.
  • It’s also noted that in the same Hunter Valley directory a Robert Johnston is listed at Boatfall, Dungong District. Maybe this is just a co-incidence.
  • From they Sydney Gazette & NSW Advertiser (NSW: 1803-1842 – date: 17th March 1842 – Arthur Henrietty and two other men (James Cox & Richard Cox) were indicated under a charge of feloniously killing and carrying away one cow, the property of Mr. Thomas Holmes, at a place called Russell Farm. Verdict not guilty.
  • The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803-1842) – Thursday 17 March 1842 – Arthur Henreity -indicted for feloniously stealing and killing, with the intent to carry away, three cows, the property of Mr Richard Lang. Arthur pleaded not guilty. The jury, after a short absence, returned a verdict of guilty. Sentence, fourteen years transporation.
  • After checking the Colonial Secretary’s Correspondence microfiche (1826-1872) I find the following information in reference to Robert Hanratty. A look at the original documents at the State Records office at Kingswood shows:
  • Item: 4/2638.5: 27th January 1844 – Robert Hanratty alias Johnston (Mangles 5), listed on a list of 50 prisoners being transferred from Cockatoo Island to Norfolk Island on the ship ‘The Duke of Richmond’. Sentence 14 years: Tried: 9th March 1842. I have yet to find any information on when Robert arrived at Cockatoo Island but from looking at the sentence and the trial date, that this is the same person as the Arthur Henreity that was convicted of killing the 3 cows. The ship ‘The Duke of Richmond’ was a convict ship that arrived in Hobart on the 2nd January 1844 with 111 convicts from England. The ship then left Hobart and arrived in Sydney on its way to Norfolk Island.
  • Item: 4/2658: 13th May 1844 – List of Prisoners employed as Domestic Servants to officers at Norfolk Island. Name of Officer: Rev William Welch, Name of Servant: Robert Hanratty.
  • Now this is where things are a little tricky. The following is in relation to an Arthur Hanratty (alias Arthur Clarke). Arthur Hanratty is listed with an Eliza Hanratty in 1856 on the Deposition Papers and convicted of Horse Stealing at Maitland. I am yet to find out what sentence Eliza received or what connection she had to Arthur but Arthur received a 5 year sentence ‘on the roads’.
  • After checking the Colonial Secretary’s Correspondence microfiche (1826-1872), I find the following information for Arthur Hanratty (alias Clarke). Item: 4/3382: Arthur Hanratty, alias Clarke is listed on a list of prisoners at Cockatoo Island who were considered for ‘convict indulgence’ during the month of July 1858. Arthur Hanratty: Ship: Indian Ocean, Tried: Maitland, When Tried: 14th May 1856,Offence: Horse Stealing and stealing a cart, Sentence: 5 years to be served concurrently,District to which Ticket of Leave to be issued: Goulburn Item: 4/507: 6th August 1863 – Petition of Arthur Clark or Hanratty a Prisoner at Cockatoo Island for release of his sentence after 3 years and 9 months. States his conduct has been good. He arrived at Cockatoo Island on the 9th October 1859.
  • NSW Police Gazette 1863 – Arthur Clarke or Hanratty, per “Indian Ocean,” 1853; convicted at the Criminal Court, Sydney, on 3rd October, 1859, of horse-stealing, and stealing a cart, and sentenced to 5 years on the roads ; again convicted at the Maitland Quarter Sessions, on the 14th May, 1856, on two charges of horse-stealing, and sentenced to 5 years to the roads, to be served concurrently.
  • In 1863, Arthur Clarke’s (alias Hanratty), Tickets-of-Leave was cancelled.
  • From the 1864 NSW Police Gazette: Arthur ANDREWS alias HANRATTY convicted on 2 counts of horse stealing. From Dr. Harris and Mr OAKES both of Parramatta. Tried April 1864 at Maitland Circuit Court, sentenced to 3years hard labour at Maitland Gaol. This is also located on the NLA Website ( Article 1 and Article 2).

General Comments

  • Are Robert Hanratty alias Arthur Hanratty (Mangles 5, who arrived in 1827) and Arthur Hanratty (Indian Ocean – 1853), the same person? They were of the same age, they lived in the same area in New South Wales, and were both born around the same time in County Armagh, Ireland.
  • From the Police Gazette in 1863 Arthur Hanratty, alias Clarke stated that he had arrived as an immigrant to Portland Bay in the year 1853. Checking the shipping indexes, the Indian Ocean arrived in 1854 to Portland Bay and there is no record of an Arthur Clarke, Arthur Hanratty, or Robert Hanratty (or various spellings) listed as a passenger on the Indian Ocean.

Next Steps

  • What happened to Robert Hanratty after his arrival at Norfolk Island in 1844?
  • Did he finish his sentence?
  • Did he receive a pardon, ticket of leave?
  • Did he return to New South Wales and if so, how? Or did he end up in Victoria and change his name to ‘Clarke’?
  • Eliza Hanratty convicted Horse Stealing in 1856, was she sent to H M Parramatta Gaol? A child named Robert Hanratty (parents Arthur & Eliza) died aged 2 at H M Parramatta in 1857. He was apparently born in Melbourne but a search of the Melbourne BDM indexes found no reference to a birth of a Robert Hanratty (or variant spellings) around 1855. So was Robert the son of Arthur & Eliza Hanratty who were convicted of Horse Stealing in 1856?

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