Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Bourke/ McCluskey/ Ned Kelly Connection



Above: Ellen McCluskey, wife of James Bourke and sister-in-law of Paddy and Margaret Bourke. Ellen was a first cousin of Ellen Quinn Kelly, Ned Kelly's mother. Ellen's father was William McCluskey from Antrim, the brother of Mary Ann McCluskey, who married James Quinn and gave birth to Ned Kelly's mother, Ellen Quinn.

A distant cousin, Sister Veronica Lonergan, grand daughter of the above-pictured Ellen McCluskey Bourke, once mentioned that she was supposed to be related to Ned Kelly somewhere along the line. For years I knew this without bothering to check the story out, then this year I decided to pin once and for all the exact relationship.
Veronica was absolutely right...her mother, Ellen Bourke, was Ned Kelly's second cousin, so Veronica was his second cousin once removed.

That means that apart from the Burramine Pub Crossing Story, Paddy Bourke has another connection with the Kellys...James Bourke, the brother of Margaret Bourke (Paddy Bourke's wife), married Ellen McCluskey, the first cousin of Ned's mother Ellen Quinn. His father-in-law was William McClusky from Antrim, Ireland, who happened to be the great-uncle of Ned Kelly through being the brother of Ned's grandmother, Mary Ann Quinn(nee McCluskey). Simply put...


PATRICK McCLUSKEY MARRIED ELLEN McKINLEY. Their children were born in Antrim, Ireland, and included William, Mary Ann, Patrick, James, Ellen and Margaret, all of whom emigrated to Victoria in the early 1840s. Mary Ann McCluskey had already married James Quinn in Antrim, and emigrated with him and several children, including Ellen Quinn who was to become Ned Kelly's mother.
Mary Ann McCluskey Quinn's brothers William, Patrick and James all became farmers in Arcadia near Murchison. Her sister Margaret married Arcadia farmer Samuel Kerr, and sister Ellen married John Broderick who also farmed around Shepparton for a time.

William McCluskey married Elizabeth Miller and had children Thomas Miller; John; Patrick; Isabella( married John Maidment); Ellen (married James Bourke);William; James; Henry and Charles. William McCluskey Senior's will is online, and is witnessed by our Paddy Bourke, and his executor was James Bourke, his son in law and Paddy's brother-in-law.

So there is another Bourke-Kelly link, however tenuous......my great-great-grandfather was a witness to the will of Ned Kelly's great-uncle, and my great-great-great Uncle was the executor of Ned Kelly's great-uncle's will!!!!!

This makes even more sense why Ned and the boys would try to cross the river at Burramine...The Kellys and James Bourke's family were 'kin', and our Paddy would have been on their side, no matter what he said later when he suggested that his boat had been stolen to cross the Murray...He would have been just protecting himself and his family from being branded as Kelly sympathizers and possibly thrown into jail.
Above: Wagga Daily Advertiser, March 3, 1931.

I also found a newspaper article from Feb 15, 1879, about a fellow named Patrick McCluskey:

" Murchison, Friday: A man named Patrick McCluskey was brought up today at the local police court, charged with insulting the police and threatening to join the Kellys. Sergeant Purcell, of Seymour, and party were riding through Kialla west on Wednesday evening, and were attracted by the prisoner, who was on horseback, blustering and eulogising on the recent action of the Kellys. The sergeant remonstrated, and ultimately McCluskey was taken in charge. He was remanded to Seymour." -Argus, February 15, 1879.

This Patrick McCluskey would have been Ned's first cousin once removed- brother of Ellen who married James Bourke. Patrick was born in Moonee Ponds in 1847, so was in his early thirties when he was arrested in 1879.

1 comment:

divajo said...

Thanks for this, I'm descended from William McCluskey, John McCluskey, Mary Jane McCluskey who married Frederick A.Wood. This is a great help, cheers,
Joanne Wellington