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My name is Hazen and I live in Ballarat, Australia, and I am totally absorbed with tracing my Irish ancestors (thank goodness I am recently retired). My primary Irish family branches/lines are Cleary/Flynn; Reilly/Smyth; Walton/O'Brien and I haven't even touched the English side! I am concentrating on the Reilly/Smyth branch at the moment and my g-g-grandfather Thomas REILLY has led me to Navan. In 1838 Thomas was convicted of robbery, along with 3 others, and was sentenced to 15 years transportation to Australia. Once I connected with his convict past it opened many doors but where things have decidely slowed is because of the gap in Navan records from 1813 to 1842 for baptisms and marriage records not starting to 1853.I believe that Thomas was born abt 1817. 

It would be great to connect with some family history buffs in Navan especially if they have some Reilly ancestors. I am planning my visit to the home country for next September. It seems a long way a way but I have a fair bit of researching to do before I go. 

I have attached the information I have about Thomas as well as a letter prepared for his mother Bridget seeking leniency for Thomas, unfortunately it was not successful. In my notes there is reference to a 1821 Census which is most interesting. 

Looking forward to hearing from you,



Thursday 18th Oct 2018, 04:57AM

Message Board Replies

  • Hi Hazen, Welcome to IRO.
    Just a bit of info for you for now.  

    The two men mentioned in the letter……….

    Guy Coote-Echlin

    seem’s he was a Church Warden


    Bryan Meighan

    5th townland down Bryan is 3rd from the bottom.

    The Thomas Reilly life events.

    Drill down to Fig. 4     tells you about the area.

    I searched for Polboy seems it is now Poolboy Blackcastle Demesne.



    Thursday 18th Oct 2018, 01:52PM
  • Hi Margot,

    Many thanks for the above links they all provide yet more pieces to the puzzle and you just don't know which one will possibly open the next door. Could you tell me where you sourced the Applotment Book entry for Bryan Meighan? I can't find a date for it and when I search the National Archives site it brings up a similar list but in a different format  than what you sent me.

    The important difference is that on your link it has a "Widow Margt Reilly", the other just says "Widow Reilly". The significance is that as I don't have any baptism records for Thomas's birth between 1813 and 1842 I had a play with the previous generation. Starting with info from the 1821 census for Meath it brought up only 2 entries for a Thomas born around 1817. Both born in Navan/Navan; both with mother's called Bridget (I know her name from the leniency letter she signed for Thomas) but with different fathers, one James and one Michael - and they lived next door to each other! So with that bit of circumstantial evidence I tried to see if they could be brothers. What I found was a James and Michael born to Thomas Reilly and Margaret Martin, with a date range that seemed plausible. Further searching brought up another 5 siblings all born in Navan. So you can see why "Widow Margt Reilly" seems so interesting. 

    I am currently scrutinising the 1821 census to see if I can find the siblings and other family groupings.I have found a "Widow Reilly" living in Navan/Navan number 378 with her daughter Mary which would fit with the baptism info I have as Mary was the 5th child to Thomas and Margaret and the age fits. The "brothers" lived at 708/709. Any other clues you might have would be most appreciated. 




    Sunday 21st Oct 2018, 10:17PM

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