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Looking for any information on my great great grandparents John Daly (b. 1814) son of John Daly and Elizabeth Flanagan, of Strabane, County Tyrone, and his wife Eleanor McLeary (b. 1811) daughter of James McLeary and Elizabeth Anderson) of County Derry.

John was born about 1814 - immigration record says he was from Strabane, Tyrone. He married Eleanor McLeary, daughter of James McLeary (occupation book binder) and Elizabeth Anderson, in Londonderry about 1 Oct 1839, at St Columb's Church, County Derry. Both are listed as Church of Ireland. 

They came to Australia on the John Bull as assisted passengers, arriving on 21 January 1840 at Pot Phillip Colony of New South Wales, and settled in West Brunswick, Victoria, Australia (a suburb of Melbourne) and had a farm called Hill Farm. Ship records say John was Catholic, Eleanor was Protestant. 

Parents names sourced from marriage and death certificates. John died in 1874, his wife Eleanor died in 1889.

They had 4 children all born in Australia. according to John's death certificate - Daniel (abt 1841 - no records but died bef 1874), Isabella (1845-1845), Elizabeth (1847-1907 no children) and John James (1848-1874). John James is my great grandfather.

(Reposted with edits from the Tyrone message board)


Sunday 13th Mar 2022, 12:35AM

Message Board Replies

  • Tradition was to marry in the bride’s church. Have you searched St Columbs records for Eleanor’s baptism (and that of any siblings)? Their records go back to 1642.

    I looked at Slater’s Directory 1846. It lists 5 bookbinders in Derry but none named McLeary:

    Likewise in 1824:

    The 1831 census has several James McLeary/McCleary/McCleery entries but none in Derry itself.

    Something to bear in mind was that if this was a mixed marriage (as your Tyrone post states), Eleanor may not have been brought up Church of Ireland. She may have been Presbyterian (a lot of the population in that area were, being descendants of Scots who arrived in the 1600s). In 1839 neither the RC nor Presbyterian churches routinely married mixed denomination couples, whereas the Church of Ireland would marry anyone. So until the law was changed in 1845, a lot of mixed denomination couples used the Church of Ireland even though neither of them was of that denomination themselves. So probably worth checking the Presbyterian baptism records for Derry, if you don’t find Eleanor in the COI records.

    Note that Eleanor may appear in records as Ellen, which was very popular in Ireland.

    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Sunday 13th Mar 2022, 09:44AM
  • Hi Elwyn
    Thanks for your reply! And she is definitely called Ellen in the Irish record and shipping list, but death cert has Eleanor or Elleanor, as do the children's birth records.
    It is from her death certificate that she was from Londonderry, married in Londonderry, and her father's occupation listed as book binder.
    I think I was assuming she was married in her church based on the marriage index I found years ago on, which had the marriage at St Columb's Co. Derry. The marriage date is estimated, I suppose from indexes which cover a few months. As they sailed from London on 22 Sept 1839, they would have married "shortly"? before that? So the 1 October 1839 date is too late. I have attached this along with the shipping records. Now that you say it could be a mixed marriage, I realise you could be right - the shipping list has her down as Protestant and him as Roman Catholic, which he certainly was, though that says they were both from Strabane. They are buried in the RC section of the cemetery in Melbourne. Where do I find the Presbyterian records for Derry? I do have Ancestry, but I struggle to find the right churches when looking! It seems St Columb's Derry City is under Catholic registers and start at 1823, so I assume I have the wrong church? THanks so much for your help.


    Monday 14th Mar 2022, 12:45PM
  • There are 2 St Columbs in the City of Derry. One Church of Ireland and the other RC. (It tends to be known as Long Tower though).  This has to be Church of Ireland because the RC church wouldn’t allow a mixed denomination marriage in 1839. I have not seen “inferred date” on a marriage record like that before. All I can assume is that on the original document the date is missing or unclear, and they have guessed from the nearest legible dates. It was common for folk to migrate promptly after marriage so chances are the marriage was in September, just before they sailed but the exact date is unknown or illegible. It’s normally possible to get the precise date of the marriage from the original marriage records (either in the church or in PRONI) but presumably the date is not legible. At that period all that was normally recorded were the couples names, the date and the names of their 2 witnesses. No parents names or addresses etc.

    There are several Presbyterian churches in the city. The one with the oldest records is 1st Derry but they only start in 1815. (The church was there long before that but either they weren’t keeping records or they have been lost). There’s a copy in PRONI in Belfast. They may not be on-line anywhere. If you are unable to go yourself, you could employ a researcher. Researchers in the PRONI area:

    I had a look in the street directories for a McCleary book binder in Strabane but none is listed for the town in the 1820s or 1840s.

    There’s 3 Presbyterian churches around Strabane (Strabane 1st, Strabane 2nd & Leckpatrick). The earliest records (Strabane 1st) date from 1828. Not early enough to contain Ellen’s baptism.



    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Tuesday 15th Mar 2022, 05:18AM

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