John Colburn/e/Colhoun/Colquhoun 18201820

John Colburn/e/Colhoun/Colquhoun 1820

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Place of migration
Migrated to/Born in Australia

John Colhoun aged 19, born 1820, was No. 1904 in The Irish Prison Register for Kilmainham, date 8th February 1839. He was a labourer transported for having stolen goods in his possession. Sentenced 7 years. He was of Donegal, tried by AGt Beamish? 31st December 1838. Height 5' 71/4". Grey eyes, fair hair and fresh complexion. He was single, R.C. & could read and write. Disposed of by the barque "Waverly" 15th February 1839. His convict indent stated that his mother Anne Murray was expected by another convict ship.

Signed name upon marriage to Margaret Reardon as John Colburn, on 16th June 1853, in Sydney NSW, married by Daniel V.M. O' Connell. Witnesses Francis Murray & Hannah Morris who signed too. J.P.B. Casey witnessed all signatures.

On his children's birth certificates John stated he was born in Lisclamerty near Raphoe, Donegal.

Dr. F.W. Langton M.D. of Edinburgh saw him on 20th June 1905 before he died on the 22nd in Redfern. By then he was known as John Colquhoun. He was buried ironically in Waverley cemetery in Sydney.

I don't have URLs for my information as it is mostly based on hard copy certificates I purchased in the 80s. Some information is up on Ancestry & many people have copied my tree. Ancestry has uploaded as a source, the Illawara Pioneer Register to which I contributed information on the Colquhouns in the 1980s, but without attribution to me.

Additional Information
Date of Birth 1st Jan 1820
Date of Death 1st Jun 1905
Occupation labourer
Townland born Donegal
Spouse (First Name/s and Maiden/Surname) Margaret Reardon


  • In regard to John Colburn/e / Colquhoun do you know who were his parents?  I have Ann Murray as his mother.  could you please provide any information in regards to who they were.



    Sunday 27th March 2022 11:41AM
  • If I knew that information Geoff, I would have put it up! I was hoping someone from Ireland might know, but maybe it was a very small family. I have been researching this family intensively for over 35 years. A hard slog prior to the internet. Are you one of the Sydney Colquhoun descendents? I've been in contact with some of them over the years. I've found ancestry has copied my entries about this family from the Illawarra Pioneer Register, without any acknowledgement to me (or anyone else who added to it) & everyone on ancestry seems to be working from that.

    Do you have family stories about John & Anne? Or in the end DNA may give some answers to us. 


    Monday 28th March 2022 01:03AM
  • I am one of the Sydney Colquhoun descendants but unable to provide any further information regarding John / Anne. Our line of descent is as below;

    John Colburn / Colquhoun and Margaret Reardon.

    John Colquhoun and Mary Jane LING.

    Harry (Henry)Colquhoun and Violet Dorothea Extrem.

    Harry Colquhoun and Gloria Freebody.

    Geoffrey Colquhoun And Janene Bishop.

    As you have been researching this family intensively for over 35 years you may be the best person to ask.

    Q1) John apparently had 3 alias for want of a better word, Colquhoun / Colburn / Colburne.  He was married as John Colburn yet he is later known / buried as Colquhoun.   Do you think this is due poor level of literacy on the behalf of John and or officials or mistakes due to accents.

    Q2) His mother Ann Murray I assume continues to use her maiden name. So who is the father of John? 

    Q3 Apart from Edward Moran who she married later in life where did the Colquhoun/ Colburn / Colburne name come from?  

    As noted on her death certificate Anne's mother's maiden name was supposed to be either Earl, or Yeovil, I wonder if Yeovll is a place name.

    Wikipedia Yeovil, a town and civil parish in the district of South Somerset, England, has a population of 45,000. It is close to Somerset's southern border with Dorset, 130 miles from London, 40 miles south of Bristol, 6 miles from Sherborne and 30 miles from Taunton. 

    Kind regards



    Monday 28th March 2022 07:51AM
  • Hi Geoff,

    Thank you for your descent information. I descend from John Colhoun & Margaret Reardon, via their daughter Catherine & Harry Bailey & their daughter Bertha Bailey. I believe your Harry was named after my great grandfather.

    I have done my MtDNA which goes right back on the female line via Margaret Reardon to Joanna McInerney, but so far haven't even found another Irish person on that line. They are from other countries.

    I have tested my autosomal DNA on three sites. But I will only have received some of the DNA from this family. Some cousins may have received different segments or more DNA than I did. The more descendants who test their autosomal DNA the better chance we have of triangulating this family.

    Re your questions, I have more theories than answers!

    a). John was Colburne on other documents than his convict indent. I think John had a couple of identities that suited different purposes. He came out to Australia as a Roman Catholic, but was buried by a Presbyterian minister in the Presbyterian section of Waverly cemetery. Why? Did it help him to keep on the side of the English occupiers to be called Colburn? Irish researchers may know of other cases.

    b). We don't know if Ann Murray was her maiden name, or if it were from her second marriage. She was a widow on her convict indent. There aren't any parish registers for the relevant time periods. Presumably the Colburn/Colhoun father acknowledged his son? 

    A Robert Colhoun of Lisclamerty had a Will in Raphoe, 1805. Was this a relative or not?

    I suppose John's father was called John as well, because he named his eldest son John & eldest daughter Anne Jane. Maybe a combination from his mother's name & perhaps Johanna, Margaret's mother was also known as Jane?

    c). Edward Moran was illiterate. He thought Anne's mother was Earl or Yeovil. So perhaps he was confused in grief by the question. You'll have to buy Anne's death certificate to decide which name is right. Recent photographs from the record might be clearer.

    It is possible that Ann Murray came from outside Ireland. From England. Even from Scotland.

    Kind Regards,



    Monday 28th March 2022 08:54AM
  • Good evening

    I just noticed this on ancestry


    Colquhoun Clan

    Owner: Andrew Colquhoun


    Anne Murphy or Murray

    BIRTHabt 1796 Raphoe, Donegal, Ireland

    DEATH21 Jul 1862 Cockle Creek, New South Wales, Australia

    sources (16)records (15)photos (2)stories (3)comments (6)

    Family Info

    • John Murray (1767–1835) NEW


    • Mary Earl (maiden Name) (1750–1804) NEW


    • John Colhoun Esq (1760–1830) NEW


    • John (1821–1905)


    • Murray NEW


    • Murray NEW


    • Francis (1830–1899)


    • Edward Moran (1800–1875) NEW
      Married 1841


    Tuesday 29th March 2022 11:14AM
  • Hi Geoff,

    Thank you for noticing the Colquhoun clan. I have been in constant contact with Andrew, the owner of that tree.

    Andrew has put up some of his guesses /theories about possible relatives or connections of the Colquhouns.

    He has done his DNA on Ancestry & his YDNA with the FTDNA company where men can do their DNA, because we both have brick walls. If you do yours, you will hopefully match with one/both of us, but you may show matches to Colquhoun/Murray descendents, whose DNA you share, but we do not. This would be useful to try to find Irish links. You can do the male YDNA, I can't. 

    We don't know who John Colhoun's father was, it's a guess based on the patterning of John's children's names. "Murphy" is just Andrew's misspelling of Murray.

    Some of Andrew's guesses he has now modified. Unless one of us matches with a descendent of Francis Murray, he's just a name co-incidence as a witness at John Colhoun's wedding. Andrew saw my copy of Ann's death certificate - a very confusing document, maybe because Edward, her husband didn't understand the registrar's questions, or maybe Ann used her maiden name.

    Andrew wrote to the BDM registry recently, regarding Ancestry's take on Ann's parentage supposedly being John Murray & Mary Earl. He had had a look at the certificate I bought. The Christian names are nowhere registered. The information is only as good as her husband Edward knew, or was told.




    Wednesday 30th March 2022 12:21AM
  • @GeoffCol 
    Yes Denise is corect I havew resorted to experimentation at the top of the tree. The Y-dna information bellow will be your Haplogroup too you will be pleased to know! We are deffinatly Colquhouns back to inception of the Name Colquhoun.

    But I wiould love to touch base with you! My details are bellow:

    Andrew Colquhoun

    Geelong Victoria Australia

    ftDNA kit#B626103

    GedMatch (Colquhoun) # NZ9325360


    The Colquhoun / Colhoun STOREY, goes back to Ireland dating 1779. 

    Here (for now) it ends, not knowing where John Colquhoun/Colhoun/Colburn (convict) b. 1820 Raphoe, Lisclamorty, County Donegal and his mother Ann Murray (Mothers maiden name Earl) B. Abt 1780 Raphoe, Donegal, Ireland (also a chicken stealing convict) came from after they were sent to Australia in 1839 on seperate ships. 

    With Aboriginal DNA in the mix tracing back to Nananya Mary and mixed blood son Aime Amos Lewis (formally Huon name) we have hundreds of descendants from this line in Australia.

    We have many Colhoun ancestors in Ireland & Calhouns in the US but no way of knowing how they quite literally missed the boat.

    I am Y-DNA tested E-M35 Haplogroup E-FT350465 (est 500 year ago link) Currently researching a link using DNA back to somewhere around Crosh House Ireland B.1662 or directly further back to Sir John, XIII Colquhoun, 15th Laird of Luss, Lord of Dumbarton B:1523 Scotland. 


    Andrew Colquhoun

    Tuesday 18th July 2023 04:27AM

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