Thursday, November 26, 2009

Michael Coonan's sister, Hanora Coonan Clancy.

Four months after Margaret Coonan's death, an advertisement appeared for several successive days in the 'Argus' which read as follows:
" The address of Michael Coonan, carter, who arrived in Melbourne in 1841, or Mary Coonan, his Sister, who arrived in 1852, is anxiously wished for by their sister, Mrs. Philip Clancy(all from Duncairn, King's County, Ireland). Address Widow Clancy, Post Office, Brisbane, Moreton Bay."
I can't find a Mary Coonan arriving in Melbourne in the 1850s who could be Michael Coonan's sister, although a Mary Coonan from Kings County arrived on the same ship as Michael Coonan, the Mary Nixon, in 1841.

This sister of Michael Coonan who was looking for him was Hanora Coonan Clancy, the wife of Philip Clancy, who had arrived with her family in Brisbane on September 14, 1852, on board the emigrant ship "Rajahgopaul".
The Clancy family consisted of 39 year old Phillip, his 31 year old wife Hanora and their children Thomas, 12; Catherine 10; John 8; Margaret 6 and Jerry (Jeremiah) nil (born on board).The family was from King's County, Ireland,where Phillip's parents were John and Mary Clancy, and Hanora's were Jerry and Cath Coonan.

Upon the arrival of the 'Rajahgopaul' in Moreton Bay, there was outcry over two matters:- firstly, that the immigrants had been allowed to disembark despite there being typhus on board the ship, and secondly, that the treatment of the passengers on the voyage had been far from satisfactory. From the 'Moreton Bay Courier ':
"THE IMMIGRANTS - The ketches Sarah and Aurora having been employed to bring up the immigrants by the Rajahgopaul, the whole of them were landed in Brisbane by Thursday evening. It appears that the correct numbers embarked were as follow: -63 married couples, 37 single men and 74 single women above fourteen years, 34 boys and 45 girls from one to fourteen, and 17 infants. As there were 15 deaths (of whom 12 were children) and 13 births, the number landed was 153, viz. -237 male and female -adults, 96 boys and girls from one to fourteen, and 18 infants. On the landing of the immigrants it was found that a few of them exhibited symptoms of disease, in one or two instances of a rather serious character ; and one man died in Brisbane Hospital on Wednesday night, having been in a state of great exhaustion when brought there the same evening. The Surgeon-Superintendent explains that about a week, or ten days before coming into port a disorder showed itself amongst a few of the immigrants, which at first appeared analogous to the "influenza" occasionally so prevalent, the patients having a discharge from the eyes and nose. He had no reason to suspect that the disease was at all contagious, although some febrile symptoms appeared, as is usual with most disorders. The few who are so affected now are under treatment in the infirmary of the depot. Considering that there is every probability of a continuous flow of immigration, immediate steps ought to be taken to increase the accommodations at this establishment. At present they are inadequate to the necessities of the immigrants. All the single men by this ship are already engaged, or have left the depot on their own account, and if the whole of the passengers had been of that class they would probably have been all hired yesterday. Some of the families have also been engaged. The wages for single men ranged from about £26 to £30 a year, with rations."
Moreton Bay Courier- Saturday 18 September 1852

"After the passengers by the above named ship had been duly mustered and landed, it transpired that some of them had complained of the conduct of the Captain and Surgeon-Superintendent of the ship, against whom they preferred charges of immorality, and unkindly treatment of the sick, during the passage. Other persons in authority on board were said to be implicated in these, charges. The reports having been communicated to the members of the local Immigration Board, a preliminary inquiry was instituted on Thursday last, which resulted in the commencement of a more formal investigation yesterday, at which the Captain and Surgeon were present, and which is expected to be concluded to-day."
-Saturday 25 September 1852.

One man wrote to the newspaper "What has been lately dreaded here has at last come to pass.Several of the immigrants by the ship 'Rajahgopaul' have been seized with Typhus Fever. One man died of it yesterday,and his wife, I understand, is not expected to live. Besides those already dead, I have at this moment been told of another case which has just occurred."
Although Hanora gave birth to a son named Jeremiah on the trip to Australia, a child named Jeremiah Clancy was registered in Queensland in 1854 to Philip Clancy and Honora Cooney.I don't know whether the first Jeremiah died, or this was a late registration for the son that was born at sea.

Phillip Clancy died some time within the first few years of his arrival, although when and by what means I have not yet discovered.At the time Hanora Clancy placed a notice in the Melbourne Argus in May of 1855, she was widowed, so her husband must have died in the period 1852-1855.
I have also found several notices placed in the 'Argus' in June 1853, by 'Honor Clancey' of Brisbane, Moreton Bay. They read:
"Michael Conay, of County Kilkenny, is requested to communicate with his sister, Honor Clancey, wife of Phillip Clancey, addressed to care of Reverencd J. Hanly, Brisbane, Moreton Bay."

This 'Michael Conay' would definately be 'Michael Coonan', despite the place of origin as 'Kilkenny' and not 'Kings County'.Honor Clancy could read but not write, and her husband could do neither, so it would have been up to the priest Hanly to listen to what Hanora wanted him to write for the newspaper notice, and then transcribe her Irish brogue, offering plenty of opportunity for phonetic mistakes.

Maybe Michael Coonan did not see the notice, because two years later Honora was trying to contact him again.Perhaps she had heard of the death of her sister-in-law Margaret in the Asylum earlier in the year and wanted to help her brother and his young family, or perhaps she was recently widowed and required assistance herself.

I have no way of knowing if the two siblings ever reunited...Hanora Coonan Clancy remarried in Queensland in1860, and her brother Michael Coonan in Victoria in 1856.

Hanora's second husband was a very interesting character by the name of Louis Stamm.Following is a little about his life:

"Louis Stamm was born in 1808 when his parents were visiting England. Stamm served in the Prussian Army and emigrated first to America where his business ventures were not successful. He was 47 when he arrived in Australia in the ship 'Marbs' in 1855.
(NOTE: His shipping record states that he was 29) Stamm had a varied early career in Queensland as a merchant, newspaper proprietor and brewery owner."

"Stamm Street, Indooroopilly, commemorates the name of Louis Stamm who was born in England in 1808 when his parents were on a visit to that place. He was of Polish descent and his father was a Colonel of Engineers in the Prussian Army.

Stamm was educated at Breslau (Wroclaw) Poland and later at a military school at Glangan and subsequently followed a military career during which he saw a good deal of service.

He travelled to America where he engaged in business but did not have much success. At the age of forty five years, he came to Australia and was in the employ of the Hon. James Taylor in Toowoomba for some time. During his stay in that town he engaged in several business activities such as timber merchant, architect, surveyor, builder, newspaper proprietor, and brewery owner.

In the 1860's he came to Brisbane and purchased land on the western side of the now existing Indooroopilly Railway station, about five miles from Brisbane and continuing towards the Stamford Hotel also in that district. The area of his land totalled 170 acres and was bought for an average price of £4.10s.0d per acre. When the railway was built towards the Albert Bridge, Indooroopilly, it ran through the paddocks originally owned by Louis Stamm. The area now known as Indooroopilly was once part of a cattle run - McDougall Station - which extended from Toowong through to Moggill. The property was later subdivided into farms, one of which belonged to Louis Stamm. He was one of the earliest chair- men of the Indooroopilly Divisional Board, after its separation from Taringa and Toowong. Stamm's estate covered the present site of the Indooroopilly Railway Station, and practically all the area that comprises the present day suburb.

In 1888, he realised on his land, and cultivated the small area which he retained.

Louis Stamm was twice an alderman for the North Ward of the Brisbane Municipal Council (as then called).
He married widow Hanora Clancy in 1860, and the couple had one daughter, Mary Louisa Stamm (known as 'Louisa')born in 1862.Louisa married Andrew Keating, esq, of Brisbane, on May 28, 1884.

The Stamm family lived at Herbert Street in the Wickham Terrace area Brisbane. Louis's life had been a colourful one in business, in his travels, and his experience as a child on his parents' farm at Posen when the great Napoleon on his retreat from Moscow spoke to him. This incident was vividly impressed on his mind‑the stern look and the eagle eye of this great warrior. Stamm Street is probably the only street in the Southern Hemisphere which can thus claim historical link with Napoleon.
Louis Stamm came from a long living family-his father was 114 and his mother 78 years at the time of their respective deaths, while Louis himself passed away at 95 years in February 1903. He left the bulk of his estate to his daughter Louisa Mary Keating, his wife Hanora having died in 1897."
- From

Two funeral notices were placed in the Courier on Monday, November 15, 1897:
"The friends of Mr. Thomas Clancy of Taringa are respectfully invited to attend the funeral of his deceased mother Mrs Honora Stamm, to move from her residence, Herbert Street, Spring Hill, this (monday) morning, at 10:30 o'clock to the Nudgee R.C Cemetery."
An identical notice was also placed by "Mr Jeremiah Philip Clancy" who respectfully invited his friends to attend the funeral of his deceased grandmother Honora Stamm.

1 comment:

LindaBracken said...

Your scholarship - and story-telling ability is astonishing. I am compiling a short history of John Coonan in Brisbane. In the process I found out about Honora his sister.
Some additional points:-
Honora married Phillip Clanchy (sic)on 1 March 1840 at Barna in Kings County(close to Tipperary border).
Honora's son Thomas in 1933 reports his father Phillip Clancy died "a few days after landing" in September 1852. Honora had 5 mouths to feed alone. By March 1855 she was able to purchase land in the township for 51 pounds - how did she do it when a woman's wage in those days was about 31 pounds a year?
She married Louis Stamm ON 23 April 1860.
She died 13 Nov 1874

Her brother John Coonan snr was born in Castleroan on 19 Feb 1823. Died 8 Sept 1902.
John was supposed to have arrived in Port Adelaide on "Wanderer" in 1851 then moved to Melbourne. In Michael's estate after his suicide it was stated he owed brother John 94 pounds.
John had married Catherine Tierney in 1 Dec 1860(she arrived on "Herald Of The Morning" in 26 Nov 1859). he was registered as a farmer; she a servant, both from Darebin Creek.
John moved from Melbourne to settle at Samford outside of Brisbane in he was very successful.

Honora's daughter, Mary Louisa (born 19 Jul 1862) married Andrew Keating (28 May 1884), who after a long period of drunkenness, as well as running the "Ipswich Advocate" newspaper, and being placed in Woogaroo asylum for a brief period, died in Melbourne 23 Aug 1906 - killed by a train while on his bike - after being banished by his wife.
Mary Louisa then married her first cousin, John Jnr from Samford on 2 Mar 1908 after Andrew's death. She is buried (died 17 Aug 1954) with the Stamm family. John Jnr is buried (1 Jan 1949) with his married sister Mary Ellen Macdonnell (nee Coonan)