Archive for the ‘Quirke’ Category

In a previous post I wrote about James Quirk and his parents Nicholas & Margaret which is located here:

This week I received a copy of the death certificate of James’ mother Margaret. Margaret was aged 52 when she died of carcinoma of the uterus on the 8th January 1883. Her father’s surname was listed as ‘Tobin’ and his occupation, military service. Her mother’s surname was Healey.

I wanted to get her death certificate to see if there was any further information that could give an idea of when Nicholas & Margaret arrived in NSW. According to the certificate she had been in the colony of NSW for about 25 years. The death certificate also showed that Nicholas and Margaret had been married in Queen’s co Ireland.

In my previous post I wrote that the below shipping record was the only one that I could find that was a possibility. I now think that this is the correct shipping record for the couple as the native place for Margaret is the same as what is on her death certificate.

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

I went on to Roots Ireland to see if I could find their marriage.

  • Date of marriage: 13 Nov 1846
  • Parish: Doonane County Co Laois
  • Nicholas Quirk and Margaret Tobin. Margaret’s address is listed as ‘Clonbrock’.
  • Witnesses were: John Alinson and Catherine Healy. Could Catherine be her mother or maybe a sister?

According to both death certificates for Nicholas and Margaret, the oldest child was Thomas. But looking at Roots Ireland, the baptism records show that James was the oldest.

Name: James Quirk

  • Date of Baptism: 21 June 1849
  • Address: Mt Nugent, Parish: St Johns
  • Father: Nicholas Quirk, Mother: Margaret Tobin

Name: Thomas Quirk

  • Date of Baptism: 26 Aug 1850
  • Address: Mt Nugent, Parish: St Johns
  • Father: Nicholas Quirk and Margaret Healy.
  • Witness: John Coogan and Catherine Healy.

Name: Marian Quirk

  • Date of Baptism: 30 Mar 1854
  • Address: Mt Nugent, Parish: St Johns
  • Father: Nicholas Quirk and Margaret Healy.

So Thomas and Marian (Ann) came to NSW with their parents. I still wonder why James was left behind and why the shipping record in 1857, says he was only 5. Was his age recorded incorrectly?

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.


Molong Express 12th December 1908

The death occurred at Mosman on Friday of Mr. Thomas Quirk, for many years a resident of Wellington (says the “Times”) and took an active part in many of the incidents that marked the early history of the district. The   deceased gentleman, who was 73 yearsof age, left Wellington a few years ago and went to Mosman, where he resided with his wife and some of the members of his family.

He had been in delicate health for the past nine months, but the end came rather suddenly. The cause of death was heart failure. As had been mentioned, the late Mr. Quirk was a well-known figure in the early days of Wellington. He was the manager of the old flour mill near the Nanima falls when it was conducted by the Messrs Kater, and when the Messrs Ferguson Bros, built the old mill in Warne-street in 1876 he became their manager. After the death of Mr. D. A. Ferguson Mr. Quirk became one of the partners and a year or two later Mr. A. Ferguson sold his interest in the mill and the firm became Messrs. Quirk, McLeod and Co. until his retirement.

Quirk took a deep interest in municipal affairs and at the elections for the first Municipal Council in July, 1879, he was elected at the top of the poll. He remained a member of the Council for many years and was thrice Mayor. Upon the death of the late Mr. Ferguson, M.L.A., a by-election took place for this electorate and Mr.Quirk, who was a candidate, was defeated by Mr. T. H. York by a few votes. Parliament was dissolved almost immediately and another contest be- tween Mr. Quirk and Mr. York resulted in the return of the latter by a slightly increased majority. The late Mr.Quirk was held in high respect by all classes of the community and the older residents of the district remember with appreciation the great public service he rendered. He leaves a widow and grown up family, the members of which are as follows Mrs. Bourke, of Clif- ton, Mrs. E. O’Brien, of Mosman, Misses Lorrie and Lena Quirk, Mos- man, Mr. J. H. Quirk, of Wellington, Mr. J. J. Quirk, of Narrandera, Mr.  ThomasQuirk, of “Gladstone,” Bodangora, and two daughters who are nuns, one in Bathurst and the other in Dubbo. The remains of the deceased   were interred at the Gore Hill cemetery on Saturday, the Rev. Father O’Brien conducting the burial service. [The deceased was a brother of Mr. N.Quirk, of Molong. — Ed.]

Other Notices found on Thomas’ death are:

  1. Molong Argus – 11th December 1908
  2. The Catholic Press 17th December 1908
  3. Wellington Times 7th December 1908

Catherine Ryan was born in Kilkenny Ireland around 1800. She married Peter Quirk on the 26th August 1823 at Kilkenny. Witnesses to the marriage were Denis Ryan and Bridget Holohan.

Peter and Catherine had 4 children, of whom were:

  1. James born 1824 – married Mary McMahon. He came to NSW in 1849 on board ‘Victoria’.
  2. Nicholas born 1825 – died young
  3. Margaret (1828-1915) – married George Fell in 1855. She came to NSW in 1849 on board ‘Victoria’.
  4. Michael (1832-1896) – married Margaret Carrigg in 1858. He came to NSW on board the ship ‘Neptune’ with his father, stepmother and young siblings.

Catherine died sometime around 1832.

Peter Quirke, remarried again to Mary Conoran in St Johns Kilkenny in 1833. Their eldest son , Thomas Quirk was born around 1835.

Thomas married Catherine Doyle on the 17th June 1856 at St Marys Catherdal, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Thomas and Catherine knew each other as children in Kilkenny. Catherine had arrived in NSW on the 20th January 1855 on board the ship ‘Ebba Brahe’. She was listed as aged 19 and was from Kilderry, Kilkenny, Ireland. Her parents were listed as Michael & Mary.

Catherine Doyle’s parents were Michael Doyle and Mary Ryan.

Mary Ryan was the sister to Catherine Ryan who had married Peter Quirk in 1833.

I have not found when Mary Ryan married Michael Doyle but Mary arrived in NSW on board the ship ‘Boanerges’ on the 26th October 1857. She lived with her daughter Catherine and husband Thomas Quirk until she died in Molong in December 1876. She is buried at the The General Cemetery at Molong.

Catherine Quirk nee Doyle died on the 21 Aug 1933 and is also buried at the general cemetery at Molong. You can read her obituary here.

The late Mrs C Quirk

Other posts relating to the Quirk family in NSW and Kilkenny:


CatherineQuirk, the mother of Mr J. J. Quirk, solicitor, died at Mosman, Sydney, on Monday, 21st inst. Mrs. Quirk was born at John’s Well, County Tipperary, Ireland, on 24th November, 1835, She came to Australia as a girl of fifteen, and when nineteen was married at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney, to ThomasQuirk, whom she had known in Ireland.

Thomas Quirk died at 73 years of age, 25 years ago. Mr. J. J. Quirk, who was the sixth of a family of 10 children, was born at Boomey, near Molong, where his parents owned a property called ‘Maryland.’ Afterwards Mr. Quirk, sen., acquired properties known as ‘Gladstone,’ Wellington, and ‘Baltimore,’ near Dubbo; and for many years carried on the business of flour milling at Caloula, near Orange, and at Wellington, in association with Mr. Cater, father of the late H. E. Cater, M.L.C, with Ferguson Brothers, and finally on his own account.

One son of the late Mrs. Quirk (Mr. Peter Quirk) is dead, as also is the eldest daughter (Mrs. I. W. Bourke). Three sons survive J. H. Quirk, solicitor, Wellington; J. J. Quirk, of Narandera; and Mr. Tom Quirk, of Gladstone, Wellington; five daughters, Sisters Lawrence, of the Convent of Mercy, Bathurst; and Assissium, of the Convent of Mercy, Narromine; Mrs. E. O’Brien, Mrs. J. Merrick, and Miss Connie Quirk, all of Mosman.

The late Mrs. Quirk was a lady of the most extraordinary energy and retained all her mental faculties right to the end of her life; and her bodily health only began to fail three or four years ago. Very few, people are alive to-day who had as much knowledge of conditions in Australia in the old pioneering days, and not many individuals contributed more liberally in individual effort to the development of Australia. Mrs. Quirk was very widely known in Sydney and throughout the western part of the State, and her funeral to the Gore Hill Cemetery was very largely attended. Dr. Doyle, for many years President of St. Kieran’s Ecclesiastical College, Kilkenny, was a nephew of deceased. The mourners at the funeral were Messrs. J. H., T. F. and J. J. Quirk (sons), the last named being of Narandera, Mesdames E. O’Brien and J. Merrick and Miss L. M. Quirk, (daughters), Mr. A, Merrick (son-in law), Mesdames J. H. and T. F. Quirk (daughters-in-law). Messrs. T. F. and J. P. Bourke, T. E., P. F., and J. P. O’Brien., Misses Mary G. Bourke, Mollie O’Brien, Moya and Helen Merrick, and Masters Maurice and Tom Merrick (grandchildren).

Source: Narandera Argus and Riverina Advertiser (NSW : 1893 – 1953)

James Quirk was baptised on the 15 February 1824 at St John’s Kilkenny to Peter Quirk and Catherine Ryan. Sponsors were Thomas Quirk and Ann Ryan.

In 1849, James and his younger sister Margaret left Ireland and arrived in New South Wales on the ship ‘Victoria’ and arrived on the 3rd September 1849.

James spent some time on the gold fields in Bendigo Victoria before coming back to Sydney where he married Mary McMahon on the 7 Mar 1859 at St Mary’s Sydney.

I do not have any information on the children as yet, nor have I found when James died.

Though I have found references to the deaths of three children to a James & Mary Quirk from Cooks River, all in the space of 2 weeks:

Peter Quirk – at his residence at Cooks River, father James Quirk, aged 8, 25/5/1868

Catherine Quirk at the 159 Dowling Street Woolloomooloo, 8th June and on the 10th, Helena, aged 6 years and QUIRK—June 8th, at No. 159, Dowling-street, Woolloomooloo, Catherine, aged 2 years and 7 months ; and on the 10th, Helena, aged 6 years and 5 months, the beloved children of James and Mary Quirk, of Cook’s River.

Nicholas James Quirk was baptised on the 05-May-1839 at St John’s Well Kilkenny to Peter and Mary Quirk.

In 1852, Nicholas arrived in New South Wales, on board the ship, Neptune, along with his parents and siblings.

Nicholas died on the 13 Oct 1921 and is buried at the Molong Cemetery.

From the Molong Express and Western District Advertiser dated 15th October 1921 we find the below:

Obituary – Nicholas Quirk

Nicholas Quirk, of Edward Street, Molong, at the ripe age of 81 years, from senility and heart failure. The deceased gentleman was born at Kilkenny, Ireland, and arrived in Australia in February, 1852, by the ship ” Neptune.”

Some 50 years ago Mr. Quirk came to the Molong district, where he successfully followed agricultural and pastoral pursuits until 1902, when he retired, and took up his residence in town. Up till a very few years ago he was particularly hale and hearty, and very few people would believe he was the age the register discloses.

The remains were interred in the R.C. portion of the Molong cemetery, Rev. Father Lawler officiating at the graveside, where many old friends had assembled to pay the last tokens of respect. The deceased gentleman married twice, and his second wife survives him. To the widow and his two sons, Messrs James Quirk (Burrendong) and Nicholas Quirk (Boomey) general sympathy will be extended by a wide circle of friends

When I was searching the immigration lists for my 2nd Great Grandmother’s arrival to New South Wales in 1853, I discovered from the shipping record that she had an Uncle Peter already living in the colony. From this I was able to establish other connections and arrivals.

The family arrived in the following order:

  1.  James Quirk arrived in New South Wales on board the Ship Victoria, on the 2nd September 1849. He was aged 25, read, farm labourer and Roman Catholic. Parents: Peter and Catherine, living St Johns Well.
  2. Margaret Quirk arrived in New South Wales on board the Ship Victoria, along with her brother, on the 2nd September 1849. She was 21, Roman Catholic, could neither read nor write. Parents Peter and Catherine
  3. Peter Quirke, his wife Mary and children arrived on the ship Neptune on the 18th February 1852
    • Peter Quirke, age 48, farm labourer, St Johns Kilkenny, Parents, James & Ellis Quirk, both dead. Roman Catholic, can read and write. A son James was living in Surry Hills and a daughter Margaret working (unable to read). Paid 13pds for self and family
    • Mary Quirke, age 38, dairy woman, St Johns Kilkenny, Parents Thomas & Mary Connelly both dead, Roman Catholic, neither read nor write. A 1st cousin Pat Heffernan (?) residing somewhere in Sydney
    • Michael, age 20, Ploughman, St Johns Well *shipping record says ‘father and mother on board’. It’s noted though that Michael’s mother was Catherine, Peter’s first wife. Catherine died around 1831-1832.
    • Thomas, age 18, Farm Labourer, St Johns Well
    • John, age 15, Farm Labourer, St Johns Well
    • Nicholas, age 13, Farm Labourer, St Johns Well
    • Peter, age 10, St Johns Well
    • Mary, age 3 ½ , St Johns Well
  4. Patrick Quirke arrived in New South Wales on board the David McIver on the 23rd December 1854, aged 19, Kilkenny County, Kilkenny, Parents John and Catherine, father dead, mother living Kilkenny, Roman Catholic, neither read or write. An Uncle Peter Quirk, farm labourer, living Pitt Street
  5. Mary Quirke arrived in New South Wales on board the Athenian, 15th December 1853.She was aged 21, could Read, roman catholic, here parents were listed as John and Catherine, father dead, mother living and she had an Uncle Peter living in Sydney. (source: Reel 2137, [4/4791]; Reel 2464, [4/4928])
  6. Catherine Quirk (nee Slattery), with her two daughters and nephew arrived on board the ship Matoaka 22nd January 1857.
    • Catherine Quirk, age 46, housekeeper, Clomnel, County Tipperary. Parents, Patrick & Mary both dead, Roman Catholic, neither read nor write. A son and daughter, Patrick and Mary, living Sydne
    • Margaret, 17, St Johns Kilkenny, John and Catherine, father dead, mother on board        Roman Catholic, neither read nor write.
    • Catherine, 15, St Johns Kilkenny, John and Catherine, father dead, mother on board, Roman Catholic
    • James Quirk, age 5, Nephew to Catherine. St John’s Well Kilkenny, parents; Nicholas and Margaret residing in Sydney. Roman Catholic. * I have not been able to find when Nicholas & Margaret arrived in NSW but as the shipping record for James, indicates his parents were already living in Sydney prior to 1857, I suspect their arrival to be around 1852-1853, probably leaving baby James shortly after his birth.
  7.  Thomas Quirk, his wife and daughter, arrived on the Nile, in 4 May 1861 and had arrived from England, where they had been living.
    • Thomas, age 39, St Johns Kilkenny, Read and Write
    • Johanna, age 37, St Johns Kilkenny, Read and Write
    • Maryann, age 14, Liverpool, Lancaster, Read and Write

Mary Quirke was my 2nd Great Grandmother. She was baptised on the 12 Aug 1832 at Johns Well, St Johns, Kilkenny Ireland to John Quirk and Catherine Slattery.

Name: Mary Quirk      Date of Baptism/Birth:          12-Aug-1832

Address:          Johns Well       Parish/District:           ST. JOHN’S

County            Co. Kilkenny                Denomination:           Roman Catholic

Father:            John Quirk       Mother:          Catherine Slattery

Informant 1:   William Quirk  Informant 2:   Mary Quirk

Mary arrived in New South Wales on board the Athenian 15th December 1853 (source: Reel 2137, [4/4791]; Reel 2464, [4/4928]). She was aged 21, could Read, roman catholic, here parents were listed as John and Catherine, father dead, mother living and she had an Uncle Peter living in Sydney

On the 10th March 1857, Mary married Joseph Dilworth, a widower who had 6 young children. His first wife Elizabeth had died in December 1856.

Mary and Joseph had 6 children of their own:

  • William (1857-1877)
  • Lizzie (1859-1937): married Walter Rodd
  • Charles Patrick (1861-1946): married Margaret McCormack * my great grandparents
  • John James (1865-1929): married Maria Donnelly
  • Ruth Catherine (1866-1939): married John Rice Smith. On their marriage certificate, her name is listed as Catherine Margaret. Her Birth is registered as Ruth Catherine.
  • Maryann Margaret (1868-1939): married Francis McGuire. On her death certificate her name is listed as Margaret Catherine. Her birth certificate though shows her name as Maryann Margaret. Her marriage certificate says her name was Margaret and she was given consent to marry by her mother.

It appears that by about 1870, Mary had begun a new relationship with Michael Melvyton (1844-1925). Mary and Michael had 3 children:

  • Charlotte (1872-1950): married John McGinnity
  • Maryann (1873-1925): married James Bennett
  • Michael (1875-?): married Ada Sophia Curtin

Mary and Michael did not marry until 29th December 1887 at Gunnedah. On the marriage, Mary used her maiden name of Quirk.

Mary died on the 10th November 1911 at Boggabri. She is buried with Mary Catherine Dilworth who died 23rd October 1919. Her parents were Michael & Winifred. I have not been able to establish what the relationship is between the two.

I have been having a look at the Assessment Books & Sand’s Directories for Newtown for my ancestors Joseph Dilworth, Mary Quirk (later Dilworth) and Mary’s mother’ Catherine Quirk (nee Slattery).  The assessment books are located here: and the Sand’s Directories are located here:

I was checking to see where Joseph was living in the early 1860’s as in 1857 he sold a property in Australia Street Newtown, as detailed in a previous post.

Joseph does not appear in any of the Sand’s directories for Newtown, but from the assessment books for 1863 Joseph is listed in Horden Street Newtown (O’Connell Ward) and alongside him, Mrs C Quirk (which I believe to be Catherine Quirk – mother of Mary Dilworth, nee Quirk).

Below is a list of the Sand’s Directories and where they were living.  Joseph & Mary had moved out of the area by 1866 (a daughter was born at Cox’s Creek) and Joseph died in 1877. Mary appears to have come back by 1883. She had started a relationship with Michael Milverton by the beginning of 1871, as they had 3 children in the early 1870’s.  Mary & Michael did not marry until 1887.

From looking at the list below, it’s a bit hard to work out why Catherine Quirk was not listed in all of the directories as she appears in 1873 and then does not appear again until 1880, though still living at the same address. Catherine arrived in NSW in 1857 from Kilkenny Ireland, along with daughters Catherine & Margaret. Catherine died in 1891  and is buried at Rookwood Cemetery.


Year Name & Address Comments
1863 Mrs Dilworth – Susan Street  I’d say this is Mary Dilworth – nee Quirk
1873 Quirk, Catherine Slattery, laundress – Susan Street, Camperdown & Newtown – West Side Interesting that Catherine’s maiden name was included.
1880  Quirk, Catherine – Susan Street West Side  
1883  Quirk, Mrs. Mary – Enmore road-North side Not sure who this is:  Though Mary Dilworth (nee Quirk) did use her maiden name when she married Michael Melverton in 1887.
1884  24 Quirk Mrs. Susan Street – South Side  
1885  24 Quirk Mrs. Susan Street – South Side  
1886  24 Quirk Mrs. Susan Street – South Side  
1887  24 Quirk Mrs. Susan Street – South Side  
1889  24 Quirk Mrs. Susan Street – South Side