omahoney.doc                                                                                                       15 Jan 1999




Sentenced to seven years penal servitude in the colonies on the 11th July 1832 in Dublin Court for picking pockets, Thaddeus MAHONEY, a 13 year old errand boy underwent a great change of lifestyle.


Thaddeus (Dennison) MAHONEY was the son of Jeremiah MAHONEY, a stonecutter, and Mary DENNISON.[1] He was born about 1819 in Killarney, County Kerry. Jeremiah and Mary were living in Duckett’s Lane, in the Town of Killarney for the Griffith’s Valuations of the 1830’s[2]. The fact that Jeremiah paid an annual rent of £1-10-0 to John Duckett indicated that he was comfortably employed. A stonecutter would be in great demand in these times.


Also living in the same street were a John MAHONEY and John MAHONEY junior. All three families were occupying separate houses and yards valued around a pound for rates purposes, so may have been all related, however there were thirty different families of MAHONEY in Killarney, so it was a common surname. This lane still exists but has been renamed as Hillard’s Lane.[3]


Thaddeus, showing independence at an early age, was soon found in Dublin Town, forced into the hard times of poverty and starvation of Ireland in the grip of droughts and rampant population. His parents were able to get Thaddeus educated to be able to read and write by the time he was thirteen years old.


His 4 ft, 3 and 3/4 inches in height, brown hair and light grey eyes, his sallow complexion and a skin much disfigured by smallpox would have made him little different from the many other street urchins of Dublin. It is thought that he roamed these streets like a true to life lad of Fagin’s gang, picking pockets and pilfering anything loose. What made this little Roman Catholic boy a little different was that he was CAUGHT picking pockets. He was most probably a victim of the courts trying to clean up the streets and ease the social pressure by transporting the unemployment problems.


Thaddeus was taken on board the Rosslyn Castle on the 11th of September as part of the 152 convicts and 8 free settlers loaded at Dublin. He had probably spent the intervening two months awaiting transportation in Dublin prison


Five torturous months later, after a voyage half way around the world, on the 5th February 1833, he was being unloaded from the "Rosslyn Castle" under the watchful eyes of its master William RICHARDS, and Surgeon Superintendent George IMLAY. Except for the occurrence of Cholera and Scurvy aboard during the voyage it was quite an uneventful journey. The skill, with which the ship's surgeon approached the containment of these medical problems, is quite remarkable for the day, with only one soul lost on the journey.[4] George IMLAY was to join his brothers and open up a great part of the South Coast of New South Wales. (See Rosslyn Castle notes below)


The convicts were directed from the ship to various receiving depots. Thaddeus went with several others to Carter's Barracks in Sydney. Convict Number 33-287-113, Thaddeus Mahoney, had arrived in Australia.[5]


Thaddeus completed his transportation time in New South Wales, and during this time appears in the "1837 Convict Muster" as Thomas Mahoney, (arr Rosslyn Castle 1832) aged 15, assigned to R. Cooper of Goulburn. His Certificate of Freedom was issued on 26th August 1839.[6] After spending around four more years in Sydney he moved to Melbourne in about the year 1844.


He appears in the Mouritz version of the "Port Phillip Directory" as Thomas Mahoney, carter, of Flinders Street in 1847, but in the 1849 version there is just a ---- Mahoney, carpenter of 129 Flinders Street East.


He is not located in Melbourne under the name Thaddeus until his marriage. On the 5th of December 1851 in the St Francis Church, Melbourne, Thaddeus Mahony, at the age of 31, was married to Jane Stafford.[7]


Jane was the sixteen year old daughter of John STAFFORD, a weaver and Margaret BURKE. She had been born in Church Hill, Letterkenny in County Donegal in about 1834.[8]


Jane had arrived on the “Lady Kennaway”, one of the ‘bride ships’ designed to bring working class girls of good repute to help equalise the imbalance of males and females in the early colonies. Two girls, Jane Stafford aged 14 and Dora Stafford aged 16 from Donegal, arrived together as immigrants, sponsored by their mother, arriving on the “Lady Kennaway” on the 11th September 1848.[9] (See Lady Kennaway details below)


Jane's mother Margaret STAFFORD (nee Bourke) died of Bronchitis in Geelong Hospital on the 7th January 1882, aged 88 years, after being in Victoria for 27 years (arriving c1855).[10] She had been born in Ireland to Matthew Bourke in c1794, married John Stafford, weaver of Church Hill, Donegal, Ireland in c1824 and there were five known children on her death certificate - Ann b.c1828, Eliza b. c1830, Dora b. c1834, John b. c1836, and Lillian b. c1838.

Jane's name doesn't appear so it is most likely that Jane is "John" wrongly heard by the officer who was registering the death. This is quite a plausible mistake because Jane and John sound quite similar in an unfamiliar accent.


The Mahoney - Stafford marriage was a mixed marriage since Thaddeus was Roman Catholic and Jane was of the Church of England. The ceremony was performed by the Catholic minister Maurice Stack of St Francis Church in Melbourne.


Thaddeus and Jane had the very large family that we have come to expect of these early pioneers, especially the Irish Catholic fraternity. Their children were:

     1.   Mary Jane Mahoney born c1853 (#7158) Melbourne.

     2.   Jeremiah Patrick Mahoney born c1855 in Geelong.

     3.   Lilly Ann (Lillian Marie) Mahoney b.1856 (#3650) Melbourne.

     4.   Dora Mahoney born 9th January 1858 Melbourne.

     5.   Margaret Mahoney born 12th February 1860 (#474) North Melbourne.[11]

     6.   Catherine Mahoney born 1862 (#3533) Carlton.

     7.   Theobald Dennison Mahoney born 7th August 1863 (#21670) at 30 Queensbury

Street, Carlton.[12]

     8.   Ruth Mahoney born 1866 (#3559) North Melbourne.

     9.   John Mahoney born 1868 (#4118) North Melbourne.

     10. Eliza Mahoney born, c1873 died 12th June 1880 Victoria.


They were mainly born around the North Melbourne / Carlton district and most appeared to have survived. A multitude of variations in Thaddeus's names are given on the certificates for the children's marriages.


1.   Mary Jane Mahoney, a 24 year old domestic of Carlton, daughter to Thaddeus Denison Mahoney, dealer, and Jane Stafford, married on the 21st February 1880 at the Office of the Registrar of Marriages in Gore Street, Fitzroy to John HOWELL, a builder of Carlton and 40 year old widower with one living child and one deceased.[13] They had five children who grew up around the Carlton area.


2.   Jeremiah Patrick O'Mahoney, a 25 year old painter of Canning Street, Carlton and son of Theobald Thaddious O'Mahoney, dealer, and Mary Jane (nee Stafford) married on 23rd August 1879 at Moor Street, Fitzroy to Martha Anne CACHION, a 24 year old assistant of St Kilda.[14]


3.   Lillie Marie O'Mahoney, a 22 year old dressmaker of Canning Street, Carlton and daughter of Theodore and Jane O'Mahoney (nee Stafford), married on 10th August 1879 at Moor Street, Fitzroy to Archibald Charles FRANKLIN, a 26 year old draper of Emerald Hill.[15] Lillie Maree had 4 children to Archibald Charles Franklin, and one child from her second marriage of about 1888 to Henry MANN. She died on 3rd December 1930 at 191 St Georges Road aged 74 years.[16]


4.   Dorah O'Mahoney, a 21 year old servant of St Kilda, and daughter to Thadeus O'Mahoney, ironmonger, and Jane Stafford, married on 11th May 1881 at St Mary's Roman Catholic Church in St Kilda to Patrick FITZGERALD, a widower with 5 children, who was a 36 year old hotel keeper of St Kilda.[17]


5.   Margaret O’Mahoney, a 21 year old servant of Fitzroy, and the daughter to Thaddeus O'Mahony, dealer, and Jane Stafford, married on the 20th August 1881 at the Registration of Marriage Office, Gore Street, Fitzroy to James Bond MERRICK, a 21 year old potter of Richmond.[18] James MERRICK was the son of Charles Barnes MERRICK, a convict into Tasmania. Their addresses were later Footscray (1894) and Brunswick (1904), and they had nine children.


There is a Mrs Jane Mahony located as a dressmaker in Sydney Road in 1890 and in Abbotsford in 1891 which may be the wife of the younger son, Theobald (Thaddeus). Thaddeus later died 17th May 1924 in an aged home in Royal Park, aged 61 years. He was a cook and the informant knew little of his origins or family.[19]


8.   Ruth O'Mahoney, a 20 year old young lady of South Melbourne, and daughter of Thaddeus Dennison O'Mahoney, dealer, and Jane Stafford, married on 10th May 1886 in St Peter's and St Paul's Church of South Melbourne, to James Percy BURNS, a 26 year old labourer of South Melbourne.[20]


9.   John Dennis O’Mahoney, a 21 year old labourer of Brunswick, and son of Thaddeus Denis O’Mahoney (deceased) and Jane Stafford, married on 8th March 1889 to Emma WILSON, a 21 year old domestic of Brunswick.[21]


The religious affiliation within the family is apparently not polarised strongly in any direction. Mary Jane and Margaret used the Registry Office, Jeremiah and Lillie married with Free Church of England Rites, John was married by a Methodist minister, and Dorah and Ruth married in Catholic Churches.


Thaddeus arrived in Australia as an untrained lad, and spent his convict time picking up several skills. He is a carter in 1847, a carpenter in 1849 and a dealer by 1860. How he obtained the funding to establish the ironmongers business in Queensberry Street, Carlton is a mystery. It is most likely that he joined the thousands of gold seekers in Ballarat, Victoria in 1854, made a small stake and then continued to build his business by supplying hardware to the other gold seekers.


Family folk lore has it that he was at the Eureka Stockade, and it is realistic that he was there. His second child is born around 1855 in Geelong, near Ballarat, while the remainder are born in the North Melbourne area. This would be just about the time that Jane’s mother, Margaret BURKE arrived, and since Dora, Jane’s elder sister, probably lived in Geelong, here was where the family assembled. He was on friendly terms with the rebel leader Peter LALOR, as the aging statesman did come and visit with the eldest daughter’s family after the parents had died.[22]


From Post Office Directories of Melbourne Thaddeus Mahoney was a storekeeper and hardware dealer of 30 Queensberry Street, Carlton from 1862 until 1866. After this date the family appears at several addresses through Carlton, and Prahran until around 1884. There were ten surviving children all growing up, and only two were married before the father died.


Thaddeus was aged just 59 years when he died at Neil Street, Melbourne, on the 6th of February 1879 of general exhaustion and disease of the liver.[23]  Jane O'Mahony died just five years later of Dropsy and Chronic Inflammation of the Liver on the corner of Newry Street and St Georges Road in Fitzroy on the 23rd March 1884, aged 50 years.[24]


Both were buried together in the Roman Catholic Section of R/C I 391 in Melbourne General Cemetery. Their youngest was also buried there as Eliza had died in 1880.[25]


Jane had left a family of nine living children and most married just before or just after her death. The pair of Thaddeus and Jane left a large family of descendants who have married into many of the other families of Carlton and North Melbourne. Their families are detailed in the family tree file – MAHONEY2


Some of the descendents of Thaddeus and Jane were footballers, and played for Carlton. One great grandchild of the couple was Harry CASPAR, who was involved in a punch up with the great full forward John COLEMAN. That John Coleman / Harry Caspar fight in the goal square cost Essendon the Grand Final when both were suspended for four weeks. Without Coleman, Essendon lost the 1951 Grand Final to Geelong by 11 points. The Essendon supporters have not forgotten it, and never forgiven it.


Thaddeus and Jane were my great great grandparents, with my descent through Margaret, who married James MERRICK, a potter of Brunswick.


Ken Stewart                January 1999

Descendant of Convicts Membership # 312               (through Thaddeus)

Port Phillip Pioneers Membership # 712                     (through Thaddeus and Jane)



a barque measuring 38 metres long, 9 metres wide and 5 metres deep, arrived with the following on the 9th December 1848.

People:- 191 female orphans - 25 free settlers and 40 crew. Total 256 souls

Cargo:- 306 casks of beer - 12 hogsheads of beer - 55 cases of wine - 10 hogsheads of brandy- 12 quarter casks of brandy - 10 hogsheads of rum - 9 trunks of merchandise - 5 cases of merchandise - 11 cases of printing material - 7 hogsheads of tinware - 1 case of tinware - 18 crates of earthenware - and 4 cases of books.

Vitals:- water and food for 95 days

Clothes for 256 people.

The orphans were well catered for. The wonder of it was they all arrived in a healthy condition.

            from an article in Port Phillip Pioneers Newsletter No 136 - by Laurie Thompson




These are the chronicles of the chief surgeon, George Imlay, of His Majesties Ship (Convict) "Rosslyn Castle" for the 1932-1933 voyage to Australia.


"A party of the 27th Regiment was embarked on the "Rosslyn Castle" Convict Ship on the 10th of August and the ship left Deptford two days afterwards to take in male convicts at Dublin and Cork for Sydney in New South Wales.

-... August, stormy weather and contrary winds, to put into Plymouth Sound, so that we did not arrive at Kingston till 7th September.


Nothing worthy of remark occurred during this part of the voyage except that several of the soldiers were attacked by bowel complaints soon after leaving Deptford. The cholera was still raging in Dublin and we were informed that four men had been sured with it on board the "Ep...", two of whom had died.


On the 11th of September we embarked 152 convicts and 8 free settlers and put to sea immediately to prevent communication between the prisoners and their friends, thinking by so doing to lessen the chance of infection.


Owing to strong contrary winds it was five days before we reached Cork. Most of the convicts, although apparently in a high state of health, suffered severely from sea sickness, after which about 50 of them were attacked with diarrhoea generally, accompanied with spasms in the abdomen; and seven who had neglected to apply for advice, when suffering from looseness, were sured with cholera, the symptoms and treatment of which will be seen by referring to the journal.


The germs of the disease must in all probability have been in  their constitutions previous to their leaving the hulks and the  disease coincident to sea sickness rendered their systems  susceptible to its baneful influence.


From the circumstance of no case having occurred later than seven days after our departure from Kingston, I am inclined to think that the disease did not propagate itself on board. In fact, every precaution was taken to prevent infection. Those afflicted with the disease were removed to the hospital, bag and baggage. All their clothes were thrown into boiling water and afterwards immersed in a solution of Chlorine of Lime. The hospital and prison were kept clean, dry and well ventilated. The bedding and every article of clothing worn by the patients during the disease were destroyed after which the hospital and utensils were well washed with soap and hot water and then sprinkled with a solution of Chloride of Lime. The seven convalescents we had in the hospital after being well washed and newly clothed were removed to the "Surprise" hulk.


We sailed from Cork on the 8th of October with 195 convicts and 5 free settlers on board and arrived at Sydney on the 5th February. No disease of any consequence appeared amongst them till our arrival in the North Latitudes where light variable winds prevailed accompanied with rainy or hazy weather. Some of the men then convalescent from fever and dysentery were attacked with scorbutic symptoms and in the course of a few days nearly one third of the convicts were more or less afflicted with scurvy.


The disease as usual put on various shapes, but the men who had been formerly subject to organic complaints suffered most severely. One man, after removal of the scorbutic symptoms was afflicted with ascites which soon yielded to the usual remedies, but he never acquired strength afterward and died the day before we gained the land.


I have the honour to be Sir, your most obedient humble servant,       

               George Imlay, Surgeon."





The techniques used in isolating a contagious disease used by the Surgeon George Imlay in this 1832 voyage would not be faulted in today's society. Only modern chemicals have improved the chances of decontamination.


George Imlay settled in N.S.W. with his brothers and they were responsible for the opening up of a large part of the South Coast of NSW.



[1]               from Thaddeus O’Mahony’s Death Certificate (#11.373/1879 Vic.)

[2]               Griffiths Valuations

[3]               A book on Killarney names only two old lanes on the East side of Main Street, New Market and Duckett

when going northwards. Griffiths Valuation confirms they existed then. Today they are New Market and

 Hilliards Lane in that order, and all the lanes are heritage listed.

[4]               Surgeon’s Report. “Rosslyn Castle” 1832

[5]               Convict Records.

[6]               Certificate of Freedon #39/1409 dated 26 Aug 1839

[7]               Original Marriage Certificate still held by Alice SMOUT gg/dau of Thaddeus and Jane.

[8]               Jane O’Mahoney’s Death Certificate (#1249/1884 Vic.)

[9]               Passenger List of the “Lady Kennaway” 11 Sep 1848

[10]             Margaret Stafford’s Death Certificate (#443/1882 Vic.)

[11]             Margaret O’Mahoney’s Birth Certificate (#474/1860 Vic.)

[12]             Theobald Dennison Mahony’s Birth Certificate (#619/1863 Vic.) from Alice SMOUT

[13]             Original Marriage Certificate still held by Alice SMOUT g/dau of John and Mary Jane Howell.


[14]             Jeremiah Patrick O’Mahony’s Marriage Certificate (#827/1879 Vic.) from Alice SMOUT

[15]             Lillie Maree O’Mahony’s Marriage Certificate (#820/1879 Vic.) from Alice SMOUT

[16]             Lillie Marree Mann’s Death Certificate (#1383/1930 Vic.) from Alice SMOUT

[17]             Dorah O’Mahony’s Marriage Certificate (#486/1881 Vic.) from Alice SMOUT

[18]             Margaret O’Mahoney’s Marriage Certificate (#323/1881 Vic.)

[19]             Thaddeus Mahony’s Death Certificate (#967/1924 Vic.) from Alice SMOUT

[20]             Ruth Omahony’s Marriage Certificate (#857/1886 Vic.) from Alice SMOUT

[21]             John O’Mahoney’s Marriage Certificate (#165/1889 Vic.) sent by Alice SMOUT

[22]             Letter from Alice SMOUT, gg/dau of Thaddeus and Jane, 14 Mar 1991.

[23]             Thaddeus O’Mahony’s Death Certificate (#11.373/1879 Vic.)

[24]             Jane O’Mahoney’s Death Certificate (#1249/1884 Vic.)

[25]             Cemetery Records obtained from Springvale Crematorium by Heather Honey for me.