Bridget Bourke was born in County Tipperary c. 1822, the daughter of John Bourke and his first wife Margaret Meaney. She emigrated to Melbourne in June of 1841 on board the ship Duchess of Northumberland with her three brother, Lawrence, John and Patrick, and sister Mary. Another sister Ellen also left Ireland to settle in Victoria, as did her father John and his second wife Ellen.
At St. Francis Catholic Church, Melbourne, in 1844, 21 year old Bridget Bourke married Irishman Thomas Kelly.The following rough notes were added to the Lawrence Bourke compilation that was passed to me...
" Thomas Kelly was an excellent carpenter and also was an engine driver in a saw mill. The father and mother of Thomas Kelly died in Victoria and are buried in Melbourne. Thomas Kelly came from Ireland, probably Tyrone or Armagh. I have heard it said that Grandfather Kelly's people were non-Catholic, and that he was a convert.He married Bridget Bourke (nee Meany) born Co. Limerick (NOTE: Incorrect-Bridget's mother's name was 'Meaney', and records conflict whether Bridget had been born in Limerick or Tipperary)
The Kelly family lived at Moranding, five miles out of Kilmore on the Heathcote Road, and later in the new township of Kilmore.There were twelve in the family-notable the number who died in infancy or at birth. Thomas, Kate and several Johns all died young. Agnes was drowned at Moranding,at the home of Larry Bourke.
Children were Mary, Margaret, Margaret, Thomas, Kate, Agnes, Patrick Joseph, John, Hannah,John, Lawrence and John."
This information was handwritten by an unidentified grandchild of Thomas and Bridget Kelly.
In my research using the Victorian birth and death indexes, I located the following children for Bridget Bourke and Thomas Kelly:
Margaret Kelly: born 1847, River Plenty
Mary Ann Kelly: born 1845, Geelong
John born 1850, River Plenty
Catherine 'Kate' Kelly: born 1852, Melbourne.
Thomas Kelly: died 1853, River Plenty.
Patrick Kelly: born 1855, Campbellfield
Agnes Kelly: born 1857, Kilmore. Died 1864, aged 7.
John Kelly: died 1862, Melbourne.
John Edmund Cornelius Kelly: born 1866, Kilmore.
In my quest to discover the missing Kelly children, I downloaded two birth certificates of children born post-1853, which meant that their certificates should have named their siblings who had been born before them.
The first was that of Patrick Kelly, who was born on April 8, 1855, at Campbellfield. His father was Thomas Kelly, farmer, aged 32 and born Dungannon, Ireland. He had married Bridget Bourke at Melbourne in 1844, and Bridget was now 33 years old and from Limerick, Ireland.(There's that Limerick again!!!Her brothers were born in Tipperary,her shipping record says she was from Tipperary, yet this certificate and the next I downloaded both state she was born in Limerick...a mystery to be investigated!)
Unfortunately, when it came to naming Patrick Kelly's siblings, the registrar was very unhelpful, being one of those who chose to lump them all together, in this case as "Three others living, three dead."
The next certificate, that belonging to John Edmund Cornelius Kelly, was far more helpful. John was born on October 13th, 1865, at Moranding. His father was Thomas Kelly, aged 44, from County Armagh, Ireland, who had married Bridget Bourke in July 1844 at Melbourne.Bridget Kelly, who gave the information on the certificate, stated that she was 42 and born in Limerick, Ireland.
Other children from the marriage were:
Mary aged 20
I located deaths for a Catherine in 1849; Agnes in 1864; John in 1862 and Thomas in 1863. Their stories are as follows:
"FATAL ACCIDENT: A fine girl, aged 5 years, daughter of Mr Thomas Kelly, farmer, residing on the River Plenty, was accidentally burnt to death on Saturday last , during the absence of its parents. An inquest was held on the body yesterday, at the "Horse And Jockey" and a verdict returned accordingly." -Argus, 19 September, 1848.
Although the only Catherine that I have being born to Thomas and Bridget Kelly was born in 1852, the child of Thomas Kelly mentioned above in the newspaper article was also called Catherine, as there were only three Kellys registered as being buried in Victoria in 1847-48, and Catherine Kelly was the only female Kelly who died in 1848.
Agnes Kelly died on December 12, 1863, aged seven years, when she accidentally drowned at Moranding.(Interestingly, on the same page of the register was a death entry for Agnes's niece...her eldest sister, Mary Ann Kelly (born 1847) had given birth to an illegitimate daughter, Mary Kelly,in June of 1863, at Moranding, when she was only 15 or 16 years old. The baby girl died only a month after her birth of convulsions, on July 2, 1863. There is a mistake with the information regarding the informant for the death certificate...signed with a cross, it reads "Bridget Kelly- her mark, mother of the child residing at Moranding". Bridget Kelly was of course the baby's grandmother,and she could sign her name as she had done so on the birth registration of at least one of her own children. Thomas Kelly and Matthew Good were witnesses to the baby's burial in the Kilmore Cemetery.)
Thomas Kelly was only 17 days old when he passed away of debility on October 9, 1853. The place of his death was described as "On the Plenty", which is the River Plenty where his parents farmed.There is no record of where he was buried. The informant was Thomas Mulcahy, present at the death, of Plenty, and there was no medical attendant present.
One of the two John Kellys who died was 13 years old when he died from injuries received when he fell from his horse. He died at Moranding on August 16, 1862, and was buried the following day in the Kilmore Cemetery with his uncle, John Butler, as a witness.
ARGUS, Tuesday August 26, 1852: "FATAL ACCIDENT: A boy named Kelly was killed on Saturday last, in consequence of being thrown from his horse, and dragged on the ground while one of his feet was entangled in the stirrup. His parents reside at Moranding, and he was on his way home at the time of the accident.-Kilmore Examiner, August 21."
Very little is known about those children of Thomas and Bridget's family who survived into adulthood.
Margaret Kelly married Philip Farrell. She died in Kilmore in 1920, aged 71 years.The mystery notes for this couple read: "No living issue. Adopted Mary Anne Kennedy.She lived Moonee Ponds.Phil Farrell lived at Glenaroo, near Broadford."
Patrick Joseph Kelly married Isabel McDermott. Again, the anonymous notes state "No issue. Adopted two children. One was their niece May McDermott who married Ben Murphy."
Mary Ann Kelly, who had the illegitimate daughter,Mary Kelly, in 1863, married the following year. On February 1,1864, at St. Patrick's Church, Kilmore, she married Marcus O'Brien, a 19 year old farmer from County Limerick, and had with him a son and two daughters...John born Kilmore 1864; Ellen b Kilmore 1867, died aged 2 at Goldie in 1869; and Elizabeth born 1868 at Goldie. I can find absolutely no information on this family thus far. Marcus/Mark O'Brien died at Kilmore in 1915, aged 73 years, parents unknown.The 1909 and 1914 electoral rolls have Mark O'Brien listed as "Brewery Hill, Kilmore, labourer." I can't locate Mary Ann's death, although she had passed away by the time her mother Bridget Bourke Kelly died in 1908.
Hannah Kelly (whom I can't even locate a birth record for) married Thomas Glover in Kilmore on 1884.Their children included Thomas, Peter, Mary and Joseph.
Lawrence Kelly: again, I can find no birth record for this child.The genealogy notes for him read: "Lawrence, son of Thomas Kelly, went to Western Australia prospecting. Married. No further information."
John Edmund Cornelius Kelly married Mary Baragry, one of the daughters of Patrick Baragry and Honora Ryan, in 1888.Their children were Bridget, Honora(Nora),Thomas, Patrick, Celsus, Mary and Lawrence Kelly. Celsus was a Priest, and was one of the people who compiled the notes on Lawrence Bourke's family and extended family that I have been using.
John Kelly's wife Mary died on August 13, 1937. The notices in the Argus newspaper read:
"KELLY- On the 13th August, at her residence, Mt.Alverna, 77 Buckley Street, Essendon, Mary, beloved wife of John, and loving mother of Bridget(Mrs Brignell); Nora (Mrs Walmsley); Thomas; Patrick (late A.I.F); The Rev. J. Celsus O.F.M; Mary(Mrs. Elliott) and Lawrence. R.I.P."
"KELLY-On the 13th August at her residence... Mary, the beloved second daughter of Patrick and Honora Baragry and devoted sister of Catherine( Mrs. Quinn); Honora (Mrs. Ryan, dec); Bridget (dec; and Annie. R.I.P."
Notes about this John Kelly state: "John Kelly rented a farm at Major Plains, about two miles from Pat Baragry's, belonging to the estate of the late Owen Kyne, and from there met Mary Baragry. After he married he joined the V.R (Victorian railway??) at Kilmore and then Shepparton, and then Pine Lodge."
Bridget Bourke Kelly died at Northcote whilst being cared for at the Convent of the Little Sisters of the Poor. She died on August 28, 1908, at the age of 86 years, of "Chronic bronchitis and syncope". Bridget Kelly was buried in the Kilmore Cemetery in the plot next to her brother, Lawrence Bourke, and his wife Hannah Mulcahy Bourke...Lawrence Bourke was buried section 44, plot 20; his wife Hannah section 44, plot 19 and Mrs Thomas Kelly nee Bourke section 44 plot 21.
The Kilmore Free Press reported:
" Mrs. B. Kelly, relict of the late Mr. Thomas Kelly, whose death at Melbourne we announced a few months ago, died last week. Deceased, who was a kindly, estimable lady, was a very old colonist,and most of her time was spent in the Kilmore district, being resident in the New Township prior to her moving to Melbourne some little time back. She was of a very genial, kindly nature, and made many friends. She was sister to the late Mr Lawrence Bourke, who represented Kilmore for six years to 1874. The remains were brought to Kilmore for interment, which took place in the Catholic Cemetery, Father O'Dwyer reading the burial service. Mr. James Beegan had charge of the funeral arrangements."
- Kilmore Free Press, Thursday 3 September 1908.
The death report for Bridget's husband Thomas Kelly that was referred to in her obituary(above) reads as follows:
" OBITUARY: Mr. Thomas Kelly, who died in Melbourne during the week, was an old colonist and a kindly man. He was one of the earliest settlers in the Whittlesea district, about 60 years ago, and was then in a good position, but subsequently met with reverses. He had been long resident in this district and prior to leaving for Melbourne was located in the New Township. Many old friends will bear him in kindly recollection."
- Kilmore Free Press, Thursday 9 July 1908.