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I would really appreciate any assistance finding information regarding my great, great grandfather Alexander Gunning (b 1830 Carrickfergus, d 1885 Brim Brim, Victoria, Australia)

Parents per his death certificate Thomas Gunning, Solicitor & Mary Gunning (Taggart) of Carrickfergus

Family oral history tells that Alexander trained as a pharmcist (although may not have completed) and came to Australia about 1849 with a relative Dr. Alexander Thomas Gunning (born 1816 in Carrickfergus) Dr Gunning arrived in Melbourne, Australia on the Whitby as the ships doctor; but no passengers are listed.

Really enjoying learning more about my Irish heritage on your site!




Sunday 22nd May 2022, 04:39AM

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  • Possibly some papers in PRONI relating to the Gunning family:

    D889/2/64 dated 1862/1863

    Bundle of eleven documents including Copy Probate, letters receipts and accounts relating to the Estate of Elizabeth Gunning Intestate, William and Thomas Gunning Administrators.

    I looked for a will for Thomas Gunning and for death notices in the newspapers but without success.  Could not see death certificates for Thomas & Mary 1864 onwards (which is when death registration started in Ireland).

    What denomination was the Gunning family? Have you looked for baptism records for Alexander and siblings? (Records may not be on-line).



    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Sunday 22nd May 2022, 07:13AM
  • Thanks Elwyn,

    Alexander Gunning married Sarah McPhee in Australia on the 5th December 1859 according to the rights of the Presbyterian Church.  This is the only reference I have to a denomination for the family; however Sarah McPhee was born and baptised in Lockyside, Scotland - so the denomination may have been from the McPhee family?

    Will try and navigate the PRONI website and see how I go.

    kind regards - Jacqui



    Monday 23rd May 2022, 08:20AM
  • Hello Jacqui and Elwyn

    I don't know if any of my information is of any use to you, but I thought I would share just in case. 

    My 3rd Great Grandfather John Gunning was a Salt Merchant in York Street, Belfast and was an agent for Dalevoy Rock Salt Mines, (I have been unable to establish where the Dalevoy Mine was, but do know that there were salt mines near Carrickfergus) he died 28th Nov, 1878 at The Kinegar, Holywood.

    I have no idea of where he was born or of any siblings. I do know that the family was Presbyterian.

    John married Margaret Wightman from Lisburn, Antrim in Holywood on 17th Dec, 1839. Margaret's family were Linen Merchants and were very involved in the Presbyterian church with links to the Fulton and Henderson Families of Lisburn and the Rev Andrew Craig.

    They had 4 daughters that I am aware of :

    1. Anna Wightman Gunning (my 2nd Grt Grandmother) born 1841 who married William Moore and moved to Glasgow,

    2. Margaret Wightman Gunning born 1842 who was the 2nd wife of Henry Todd, a Pawnbroker, they stayed in Belfast,

    3. Emily Wightman Gunning born 1843 who married Alexander Smith at Whiteabbey Church, Belfast and moved to Australia,

    4. Elizabeth Wightman Gunning born 1845 who looked after her mother and after she died in 1880, moved to Australia where she became the 2nd wife of James Reid whom she married in Victoria.

    I have been able to establish that there were quite a few Gunnings in Carrickfergus and there were some in Galway.

    I have a letter from my fathers cousin who was raised by her Grandmother Annie Wightman Gunning MOORE/WALLACE (my Grt Grandmother) which states that Annie's Grandmother lived in Galway Bay and that her father was a Sea Captain, who sailed from Sweden to Ireland and Scotland with cargoes of Salt. I have a record of John Gunning of Belfast being the registered owner of the ship Isabella and Jane.

    Through research I established that Dad's cousin did get a few things a little muddled and I did wonder if she had muddled Galway with Galloway in Scotland.

    I hope this information is of some assistance to you.

    Kind regards




    Sunday 28th Aug 2022, 07:15AM
  • Hi again Jacqui and Elwyn

    The D889/2/64 dated 1862/1863 paperwork at PRONI is to do with Maria and Elizabeth Gunning born in Cambridgeshire to an Irish Gentleman John Gunning and Hon Bridget Bourke who married into the English aristocracy.

    Whilst looking on PRONI yesterday for info on my John Gunning I saw some paperwork relating to Alexander Gunning

    D1296/92 Alexander Gunning, Wrolway, Manaroo pertaining to granting Samuel Gunning POA to administer the sale of property in Carrickfergus

    D1296/101 6 Jan 1870 - Alexander Gunning, Cooma, NSW re distribution of effects of the late Samuel Gunning - outlines family relationships






    Monday 3rd Oct 2022, 06:48AM

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