Monday, May 21, 2012

The Dwyer Brothers.

Unlike the Dwyer single women who were divided into two groups on the passenger ship Gilmore- supposedly into two family-based groups-the 7 Dwyer single men were all in one bunch:

John 23; Thomas 25; Edmond 20; Cornelius 28; Matthew 22; Patrick 25; and William 24.

The obituary of John Dwyer informs us that he was one of four brothers and five sisters who arrived in Port Phillip in 1841 on the ship 'Gilmore' and settled at Kilmore soon after. The brothers were named as John, Thomas, Patrick and Edmond, and the sisters not identified. So far we have identified them as Judith, Mary, Ellen and Winifred, with one sister to isolate from Anne, Catherine and Nancy, who also arrived on the Gilmore.

Firstly, though, on to the brothers that we already have no doubt of:

1. JOHN DWYER (sometimes called “O’Dwyer’)

Married Mary Coffey, March 4, 1851, at St. Francis, Melbourne. Witnesses: John Coffey and Bridget Coffey. John Dwyer was from Kilmore, and his bride from Melbourne.


Johanna Dwyer b 1850, Kilmore. Died infancy.

Johanna Dwyer b 1852, Kilmore. Known as ‘Hannah’. Married Thomas McGrane,1883. Died 1891, Numurkah.

Margaret Teresa b c 1856. Died 1935, Fitzroy.

John b 1857, Kilmore

William John Dwyer b 1860, Kilmore. Died 1930, Fitzroy.

Mary Ann b c. 1861. Died 1914, Broadford.

Edmond b 1866, Kilmore. Died 1866, aged 10 months.

Patrick b 1868, Kilmore. Died 1868, Kilmore.

" OBITUARY.  Mr John O'Dwyer, who died during the week, was an old and well-respected resident of the Kilmore district. In the early fifties he farmed his own land, now embraced in the property of Mrs. O'Connor, 'Parkview', Willowmavin, and was a well-known figure in our midst, being distinguished from others of the name by the kindly appellation of "Gentleman Johnnie', originated doubtless by the handsome steed he generally bestrode, as well as from his own well-groomed appearance. About 40 years ago Mr O'Dwyer moved to Moranding, where he led a quiet retired  life, and rarely came to Kilmore where he was once so familiar a figure. Mr O'Dwyer's death removes a link with the first Old Survey settlers. He was 91 years  of age. The remains were interred in the Kilmore Catholic Cemetery on Sunday, Rev. father Martin reading the burial service."
- Kilmore Free Press, July 16, 1908.

"A week or two ago the Free Press published a brief account of the death of John Dwyer, a gentleman better known in this district half a century ago than he was lately because of the quiet retired life he led for the past few years. John Dwyer was the last survivor of four brothers, all of whom had farms on the Old Survey, as it was mainly termed, Patrick, Thomas and Edmond having died some years ago,  and was one of a family of nine ( five sisters) who came to Victoria by the ship Gilmore in 1841, settling here about 1846.
  The Dwyer family were shipmates of the late Mr. John Griffin, (father of Mr D. Griffin, J.P) who was the much-respected owner of the Farmer's Arms, Willowmavin, now occupied as a private residence by the president of the Kilmore Shire, Cr. O'Neill. The value and importance of small holdings will be understood by the eldest of our residents when they bear in view what a progressive place Kilmore was then with a family on nearly every 50 acres on the Old Survey, Bylands to the south being also studded with small farms. That, too, was a period when the sturdy pioneers paid high prices for their holdings and, with lion-hearted pluck, faced the forest clearing then necessary to make the place what it then was- the granery of Victoria. All honour to those who have gone to their higher reward." - Kilmore Free Press, July 30, 1908.

This second article was just brilliant in terms of putting together the Dwyer family that I was looking for- it verified the ship, the family and the names of the brothers...if only I had found this BEFORE I had started whole process of sorting the Dwyers out!!!

  John Dwyer/ O'Dwyer's wife, Mary Coffey, died in 1901. The following death notice was published in the Kilmore Free Press:

" DEATHS- O'DWYER. On January 19, 1901, at her residence, Cameron's Creek, Broadford, Mary, the dearly beloved wife of John O'Dwyer, and niece of the late Dr. Coffey, aged 72 years. R.I.P. Sweet heart of  Mary, Your prayers for her extol; Sacred heart of Jesus, Have mercy on her soul."
The second Dwyer brother I chased was THOMAS DWYER......
2. THOMAS DWYER: Married Margaret Connell, 11 February, 1844, St. Francis, Melbourne. Witnesses: Cornelius Dwyer and Ellen Cahill.


Thomas Dwyer born December 1, 1844, Melbourne. Sponsors were Daniel Connell and Anne Dwyer.

Catherine Dwyer born September 8, 1846, Kilmore. Sponsor Johanna Flaherty. Died 1923, Murchison.

Johanna Dwyer born c.1848. Married Treahy. Died Ashton, Victoria, aged 74.

Mary Dwyer born 2 November, 1848, Kilmore. Sponsors Catherine Murtagh and Patrick Dwyer.

Bridget Dwyer born 13 August, 1851, Kilmore. Sponsors Ned Dwyer and Anne Connell. Died 1934, Shepparton district, aged 83.

John Dwyer born January 1, 1852, Kilmore. Sponsors John Dwyer and Mary Dwyer.

Daniel Michael Dwyer born c. 1857. Died 1922, Heidleberg.

Ann Dwyer born c.1858.

Thomas Dwyer died at Willowmavin in 1869...a bad year for researchers as it is a 'blindspot' for the local newspapers batch of papers covers 1865-1868, and the next from 1870-1954. It just happens that 1869 is a black hole for Kilmore researchers, and it is surprising just how many times that I have gone to look up some event from that particular year.
 I obtained the death certificate for Thomas Dwyer, and it contained the following information as given by his brother, John Dwyer, farmer of Willowmavin:
Died:  3 a.m., July 15, 1869, at Willowmavin.
Thomas Dwyer, farmer, 55 years,.
Cause: Stomach disease
Parents: John Dwyer, farmer, and Johanna Dwyer formerly Comans.
Born: County Tipperary, Ireand, 28 years in Victoria.
Married Melbourne to Margaret Connell, at age of 30 years.
Issue: Johanna 22; Kate 20; Mary 18; Bridget 16; John 15; Daniel 13; Ann 11.
Thomas Dwyer’s wife, Margaret Connell (sometimes ‘O’Connell’) died at Ashton in 1895, aged 71.

                            Patrick Dwyer married Mary Keefe on May 18, 1851, at Kilmore. Witnesses to the event were John Griffin, John O’Dwyer, Edmund Dwyer, Winnifred Dwyer and Ellen Griffin.

  It seems as though they had only one child- a daughter named Johanna Dwyer was born at Kilmore c. 1854. She married Thomas Connors in Kilmore in 1873, and had numerous children, five of whom died in childhood and infancy. Johanna Dwyer Connors died in Kilmore in 1886, aged 32. There is a large memorial headstone in the Kilmore Cemetery erected by Thomas and Johanna for their lost little ones...John aged 5 months; Mary aged 9 months; Thomas aged 4 months; John Thomas aged 2 months and Walter Joseph aged 9 years 8 months.

  Patrick Dwyer's wife, Mary Keefe Dwyer, died in 1878, aged 54, the daughter of Dennis Keefe and Kate Keating. It seems as though Patrick suffered greatly without her...when he died five years later, the following obituary was published in the KIlmore Free Press:

" We regret this week having to record the death of an old resident, and under painful circumstances- Mr. Patrick Dwyer of Willowmavin, being found dead in his house on Tuesday morning. Deceased, who wasnever the same man since he lost his wife some time back, was  before that event a sober, well-conducted respectable man, and one who was highly esteemed by his neighbours. Mr Dwyer came to the colony in 1841, arriving in Kilmore very soon afterwards,  where he resided up to the time of his death. The funeral takes place today (Thursday), the cortege leaving the deceased's late residence at one o'clock."
- April 5, 1883.

The death index states: Patrick Dwyer, died Kilmore 1883, son of John Dwyer and Johanna Comans.
Patrick Dwyer left a will, leaving everything that he owned to his daughter, "Hannah" Connors, wife of Thomas Connors, farmer, of Pyalong near Kilmore.

                                 The last of the four Dwyer brothers to sail to Port Phillip from Tipperary on board the 'Gilmore' in 1841.

 Edmond married Margaret Brian/O’Brien in 1854 at St Francis Catholic Church, Melbourne. I have not risked purchasing their marriage certificate in case it is as pitiful in detail as the 1854 Kilmore marriage certificate of Edmnd's sister Winifred Dwyer to James Noonan. 

NOTE: I was reading through this part of my blog tonight, having not visited any of my research blogs for months, and decided to take the risk and purchase Edmond's marriage certificate. It provided the following information:

On December 28, 1854. at St. Francis Church, Melbourne, Edmond Dwyer, born Tipperary, Ireland, farmer, aged 30, of Kilmore, son of John Dwyer, farmer, and Johanna Coman,  MARRIED Margaret Brian, born Tipperary, Ireland, servant, 21 years of age, resident Melbourne, daughter of John Brian, farmer, and Ann Coman. Edmond signed his name, whilst Margaret made her mark with a cross. Witnesses were Edmond Coman and Johanna ____

Edmond and Margaret  had the following children:

Ann Dwyer b 1859, Kilmore

Thomas Dwyer b 1861, Kilmore

Maria Dwyer b 1863, Kilmore

Winifred Dwyer b 1863, Kilmore, twin of above. Died 1945, Flemington, aged 82. Married a Kelly.

Margaret Dwyer b 1865, Kilmore

Patrick Dwyer b 1868, Kilmore

Johanna Dwyer b 1871, Kilmore. Died 1858, aged 10 months.

Edmond Dwyer b 1873, Kilmore. Died aged 2 months, 1873.

Edmond Dwyer b 1874, Kilmore.

When Edmond Dwyer made his will in June 1891, his surviving children at that stage were Patrick, Ann, Winnifred, Margaret, Johanna and Edmond.

"DEATH OF MR EDMOND DWYER. On Saturday evening, after a rather lengthy illness, Mr. E. Dwyer , of Willowmavin, was called to his long home. Deceased gentleman, who reared a respectable family in our midst,  must have been resident here nearly 50 years, and was one of a large family who settled on the Kilmore Survey. He was a well-respected resident, and much sympathy is felt with the widow and family in their bereavement. The remains were interred in the Catholic Cemetery."
                                   Above: Kilmore Free Press, 17 September, 1891.

Margaret Dwyer, Edmond's wife, passed away on June 24, 1896. The following report was published in the Kilmore Free Press of July 2, 1896:

" OBITUARY. We regret having to record the death of another old and respected resident  of Willowmavin, Mrs. Dwyer, relict of the late Mr. Edmond Dwyer, having died on the 24th ultimo after some weeks' illness.Deceased lady was 62 years of age, and was a resident of place named for over 40 years, being justly much-esteemed by her neighbours. She reared a respectable family in our midst, all now grown up. The remains were interred in the Kilmore Cemetery on Friday afternoon. Father Ryan officiated at the grave."
 The information on Edmond's death certificate sadly did not yield the yearned-for birthplace, but it did give the following details:

Died: 12 September, 1891, at Willowmavin, Kilmore, Shire.
Edmond Dwyer, farmer. 66 years.
Cause of death: a) First, disease of bones of the legs. Secondly, debility.Years duration.
Parents: John Dwyer, farmer. Mother Johanna Dwyer, formerly Commons.
Informant: Margaret Dwyer, wife, Willowmavin.
Buried: September 14, 1891, at Roman Catholic Cemetery,Kilmore.
Born: County Tipperary, Ireland. 50 years in Victoria.
Married Margaret O'Brien in Melbourne at the age of 30 years.
Issue:  John 35; William dead; Hannah dead; Ann 31; Thomas 29; Maria 27; Winifred 27(twins); Margaret 24; Patrick 21; Hannah 19; Edmond dead; Edmond 17."

 In 1898 daughter Margaret Dwyer placed the following memorial notice in the  Kilmore Free Press:
"DWYER- In sad and loving remembrance of my dear father, Edmond Dwyer, who departed this life at Kilmore, on the 12th of September, 1891.
It is just seven years ago,
And I remember well,
I stood beside his dying bed,
To bid a long farewell.
With tearful eyes I watched him,
So peacefully pass away.
But, oh, it was so hard to think,
With us he could not stay.
Oh, father, dearest father,
How I long to meet you again.
In Heaven, where no tears are shed,
And never to part again.
- Inserted by his loving daughter, Maggie."

1 comment:

Kerry Tarleton said...

I have read with fascination your blog. I was wondering if you have had your DNA done?
My Gedmatch number is A491707.
My third great grandmother was Mary Dwyer born approximately 1750 Upperchurch and married Edmond Purcell.
Contact details
Thanks for your blog,