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My great great grandfather was a convict sent to Australia on the Royal Admiral in 1834 (arrived in Aust 1835).

He was born about 1815, was tried in Dublin City and his records say he was 20, a tobacco spinner, single, Roman Catholic, he couldn't read or write and his Natve Place is down as Dublin.

Previous Family Historians have not been able to go back any further.

I'm looking for information on other Cooke families in or around Dublin at the time.

I may have to try having my Ancestry DNA done to see if that helps.

Thanks in advance,

Wayne Cook NSW, Australia.

Thursday 9th Jul 2020, 05:59AM

Message Board Replies

  • Hello Wayne,

    A candidate for your Benjamin Cooke may be the St. Michan’s Catholic Parish register transcription below. The transcription comes from the Church Records collection, and shows that Benjamin was baptized on 13 December 1811. His father is Frederick. His mother is Catherine, but Catherine’s maiden name is not recorded in the register. The sponsors or godparents were George Brasil and Mary Wilson. See the transcription below:

    Area - DUBLIN (RC) , Parish/Church/Congregation - ST. MICHAN
    Baptism of BEN COOKE of N/R on 13 December 1811

    Name BEN COOKE
    Date of Birth N/R N/R N/R
    Address N/R
    Mother CATH

    Further details in the record
    Sponsor 1 BRASIL GEORGE
    Sponsor 2 WILSON MARY

    About the record
    Book Number Page Entry Number Record_Identifier
    2 222 6852 DU-RC-BA-381163

    The church register page containing this record has not yet been imaged.

    Source Information:

    You can view a copy of the original St. Michan’s baptism register entry for Ben Cooke from the National Library Ireland link at:

    There are two facing pages to the register. Ben’s baptism is the 2nd to the last entry at the bottom of the right-hand page. You can enlarge the page by means of round icons in the upper center/ right of the screen. The icons are white with green backgrounds. You can also access the full-screen function by clicking on the last icon on the right with the two arrows pointing northeast and southwest.

    Back at the website I found the marriage transcription for Benjamin’s parents. Fredericus Cook and Catherinam Magennis were married in St. Michan’s, Dublin, on 17 April 1808. The priest who married them was M.B. Corr. The witnesses were Jacobo (James) Wilson and Maria. No last name is recorded for Maria:

    Area - DUBLIN (RC) , Parish/Church/Congregation - ST. MICHAN
    Marriage of FREDERICUS COOK of N/R and CATHERINAM MAGENNIS of N/R on 17 April 1808

    Husband Name FREDERICUS COOK
    Address N/R
    Occupation N/R
    Father N/R
    Mother N/R

    Further details in the record
    Priest M B CORR

    Witness 1 JACOBO WILSON
    Witness 2 MARIA

    About the record
    Book Number Page Entry Number Record_Identifier Image Filename
    N/R N/R N/R DU-RC-MA-141934 st.michans_mf_1850-1869_ma_0402

    Source Information:

    You can view the marriage record in the St. Michan’s registers at:

    The marriage is at the top of the right-hand page, and is very faded and difficult to read.

    Wayne, do you know if your Benjamin Cooke had at one time lived in the St. Michan’s Parish?

    To view St. Michan’s Parish in Dublin on an Ordnance Survey Map from the 1837 to 1842 time period go to the following GeoHive link:

    With a little navigation of the map southward, you’ll see that St. Michan’s Parish is located just north of the River Liffey where the Four Courts Buildings are situated, just off the Kings Inn Quay.

    To the west of St. Michan’s Parish is the parish of St. Paul’s.

    Good Luck with your research Wayne,

    Dave Boylan


    Thursday 9th Jul 2020, 08:51AM
  • Hi and thanks Dave,

    He is older than the Benjamin in the Assizes records (his records say he was 20 in 1834/35) but that said, The name Frederick is a family name carried on in my family (but not the first male name).

    Catherine wasn't though.

    It is a great lead and the first Benjamin that I have heard of in Dublin.

    Thank you.

    Thursday 9th Jul 2020, 10:09AM
  • Dave, no info other than the Convict Papers that have his age, date of trial, place of trial (Dublin City), Native Place: Dublin, single, description etc.

    Thursday 9th Jul 2020, 10:20AM
  • Attached Files

    Thursday 9th Jul 2020, 01:50PM
  • Hi Davepat,

    I just looked at the original Marriage that you posted me the link to.

    There appears to be two entries

    Entry 24 and 25

    I am having trouble reading them but it looks like 24 is slightly different to 25 as one has Jacobo and a different surname to Jacobo Wilson in number 25 but I can see that it says Maria Wilson.


    Friday 10th Jul 2020, 01:11AM
  • Ok, sorry, I have looked at the wrong entries. I just found at the top of the next page, the marriage above but as Maria in those entries was a Wilson like Jacobo Wilson, I say her Surname is Wilson.

    Friday 10th Jul 2020, 01:23AM
  • Hi Davepat,


    I'm wondering if there are two entries for the marriage, the first being


    Fridericis Cook and Cath Mc ?

    25 March 1808

    Dublin (RC) St Michan

    witnesses Jacobo Wilson and Maria Wilson


    and then the one on 17 April 1808 you provided above


    and the the Surname should probably be Mac Guinnis because of the following Baptism almost 2 years after Ben Cooke above with Father: Frederick Cooke and Mother: Cath


    Samuilum Cooke

    Baptism: 26 October 1813

    Father: Frederici Cooke

    Mother: Catha Mac Guinnis

    Dublin (RC) St Michan

    Witnesses: Jacobo Wilson and Joanna Meade

    Saturday 11th Jul 2020, 09:42AM
  • Hi Wayne,

    Many thanks for your reply and additional information. It was very interesting reading about Benjamin's convict record, and the tattoos he had on his lower right and lower left arms.

    Best of luck with your continued research.



    Monday 13th Jul 2020, 05:16PM
  • Hi Davepat,

    Thanks for your help

    It is so difficult finding records for Ireland. I have another ancestor from Galway also a convict but it says her husband had been dead 6 years (she had been on the town for 3 years) so I don't know if her Surname is her Married Surname or her Birth Surname, I have her mother's Christian name and her two brother's Christian names but with Christening Records in Galway, I have found a lot just have the date and a list of the people Christened that day (with no other info).

    Kind Regards,


    Wednesday 15th Jul 2020, 05:04AM
  • Irish genealogical research is perhaps one of the most challenging to accomplish. For the past 30 years I have been searching for the baptism record for one of my great grandfathers, but cannot find it because I do not know the maiden name of his mother.

    Hang in there Wayne.



    Wednesday 15th Jul 2020, 06:32PM
  • Thanks Dave,

    Challenging is one word for it.

    I can understand your frustrations. A family historian in the 80's who was a nun, wrote a book for my Cook family history and she couldn't go back any further than him and it was said back then that the records had been destroyed in a fire or something. We have been trying to find him and go back further (if possible) for 35+ years too.


    Wednesday 15th Jul 2020, 10:24PM
  • Thank you for your reply Wayne.

    Many Irish records were destroyed in the National Archives/Four Courts Fire in Dublin during the Irish Civil War of 1922-1923. The good news however, is that Catholic Church parish registers were not housed in the Four Courts, and were spared being destroyed. However, about half the Church of Ireland parish registers were destroyed.

    Four more information about what records survived the fire and which were destroyed during the fire, go to the website link at:

    The site has a wealth of knowledge about Irish genealogy, and I consult it very often. I highly recommend it.

    Thank you again Wayne.



    Thursday 16th Jul 2020, 12:26PM
  • Thanks for the help and just providing an update for the above.

    I am still looking into 

    Area - DUBLIN (RC) , Parish/Church/Congregation - ST. MICHAN

    Baptism of BEN COOKE of N/R on 13 December 1811 Name BEN COOKE

    Date of Birth N/R N/R N/R

    Address N/R


    Mother CATH Sponsor 1 BRASIL GEORGE

    Sponsor 2 WILSON MARY

    It appaers that this Ben has a brother

    Area - DUBLIN (RC) , Parish/Church/Congregation - ST. MICHAN

    Baptism of SAMUILUM COOKE of N/R on 26 October 1813Name SAMUILUM COOKE

    Date of Birth N/R N/R N/R

    Address N/R



    Sponsor 1 JACOBO WILSON

    Sponsor 2 JOANNA MEADE


    (parents match the marriage mentioned above)


    It appears Frederick was born (with no father recorded)

    Area - DUBLIN (RC) , Parish/Church/Congregation - ST. CATHERINE

    Baptism of FREDK COOKE of N/R on 17 July 1786 Name FREDK COOKE

    Date of Birth N/R N/R N/R

    Address N/R

    Father N/R


    Sponsor 1 JNO PHELAN

    Sponsor 2 ANN MARTIN


    other births at the time also at St Catherines with mother Mary Steward (and other varients) come up with


    Benj Cook born 4 years before FredK at the same church. (also with mother Mary but Surname is slightly different), Baptism of BENJ COOK of N/R on 2 June 1782 - St Catherines Father: Benj Cook Mother: Mary Stuart (FredK's mother says Mary Steward). and a Mary Cooke on 1 August 1788 same church with father Benjn Cooke and Mother Mary Stewart and Baptism of MARY COOK of N/R on 3 January 1778 with Father Benjamin Cook and Mother Stuart Mary (I am thinking these are both the same Mary and she is recorded twice). Elizabeth Cook same Church Baptism of ELIZABTH COOK of N/R on 29 August 1779 Father Benjamen Cook Mother: Mary Stuard, Baptism of SAML COOK of N/R on 29 November 1791 same Church Father Benjn Cook Mother Mary Stewart.


    So it looks like Frederick's father is Benjamin Cook/Cooke and mother is Mary Stuart/Steward (and other varients)


    This family has both the names Benjamin and Frederick that my Benjamin named two of his sons plus Benjamin in each case is the older of the two.


    More research hopefully can be done but it is looking pretty good atm. That the Ben Cooke baptised in 1811 is either my Ben Cooke or a relative. I have been told that the name Frederick is not a common name in Ireland back then.


    Kind Regards,



    Tuesday 20th Apr 2021, 01:16AM
  • Area - DUBLIN (RC) , Parish/Church/Congregation - ST. CATHERINE

    Marriage of BENJAMIN COOK to MARY STEWARD 7 Oct 1776

    Husband: BENJAMIN COOK



    Thomas Plunkett

    Jane ????



    Tuesday 20th Apr 2021, 01:26PM

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