52 Ancestors in 52 weeks #30 James Quirk 1849-1925 Kilkenny to New South Wales

In 1857, my GGG grandmother Catherine Quirk, nee Slattery arrived in NSW with her two daughters and a nephew, James, who was listed on the shipping record as aged 5. His parents were listed as Nicholas and Margaret, residing in Sydney.

I’ve always wondered why Nicholas and Margaret left their young son behind in Ireland. I know that Nicholas Quirke was baptised on the 19 Apr 1817 at St Johns Well Kilkenny. I have not found any record on Roots Ireland for the marriage between Nicholas and Margaret, but on Nicholas’s death certificate it had the following details:

Date of Death: 5/4/1896, Occupation: Retired Commission Agent

Place of marriage: Kilkenny, Age at marriage: 27 (this would make the year of marriage to be about 1844).

Spouse: Margaret Cogan (deceased)

Children: Thomas, Mary, James, Frank & Alice, with 1 child deceased. The deceased child I believe was Michael Quirk who died in 1856.

Registration Number Family Name Given Name(s) Father’s Given Name(s) Mother’s Given Name(s) District

I have not been able to find when Nicholas and Margaret arrived in NSW. The only shipping record that comes close is the below.

Ship: Caroline Middleton, Date of arrival: 29th September 1854, Place of arrival: Hobart, Tasmania


Name Age Native Place
Nicholas Quirk 23 Kilkenny Ireland
Margaret Quirk 25 Queens County, Ireland
Thomas Quirk 3 Kilkenny Ireland
Anne Quirk Infant under 1 Kilkenny Ireland


So are the above my Nicholas and Margaret. Most of the information fits, except for the ages, and the name of the female child.

James Quirk the young child who arrived in NSW in 1857 with his Aunt. I received his death certificate yesterday and it appears he never married.

Date of death: 19 Jun 1925, Place: Quirindi Creek, Age: 75, Cause of death: Asphyxia from Drowning.

Father: Nicholas Quirk, Mother: Margaret Tobin, Born: Kilkenny Ireland


From looking at the inquest on Ancestry I find that it found that James ‘drowned through falling into the water whilst under the influence of alcohol’.

I also today found James’s baptism on Roots Ireland

Name: James Quirk

Date of Baptism: 21 June 1849

Address: Mt Nugent, Parish: St Johns

Father: Nicholas Quirk, Mother: Margaret Tobin

From the BDM records, I can see the death of Margaret is in 1883, but her father’s surname is listed as ‘Tobin’. Cogan and Tobin do sound familiar so maybe the information on Nicholas death was not sure of the name.

Next step is to obtain a copy of Margaret’s death certificate to see what information is there.


1 Comment


    1. 52 Ancestors in 52 weeks #33 Nicholas and Margaret Quirk Kilkenny to NSW | My Family History Research

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