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I am looking for information on Ellen Sweeney, where she was born, where she lived, marriage, baptism, family information. I have some information but no records and her birthplace is a mystery. She was transported in 1842 as Ellen Murphy from Limerick (don't know if its Limerick city or county). I believe her parents were Caroline and James Sweeney, siblings  - Bessy, Givan, Mary, Paddy and her children, Mathew and John. Her husband  I believe was William Murphy, married possibly around 1830. It would also be interesting to find out what happened to her 2 children in Ireland.

I have been given this information but nothing to substantiate. I know her Australian life and even one of her Irish ditty's she used to sing but the rest is unknown.

Gay H.

Gay Hendriksen

Sunday 18th May 2014, 06:27AM

Message Board Replies

  • Dear Gay

    I have passed your query to a volunteer. I hope you will be hearing from them soon.

    Best wishes

    Clare Doyle

    Genealogy Support 

    Clare Doyle

    Tuesday 20th May 2014, 03:16PM
  • Hi Gay,

    I am curious as to why you posted to the Kilcolman query board if you appear to not know where Ellen Sweeny lived. What lead you to the Kilcolman board?

    Sweeny and Murphy are awfully common surnames, and Ellen was born before church records begin.

    I will check records and see what I can find for you.


    Patti Hacht

    Parish Liaison for Kilcolman & Shanagolden, Co Limerick 

    Kilcolman Limerick

    Tuesday 20th May 2014, 03:35PM
  • Thanks Patti. Best of luck with your search Gay


    Clare Doyle

    Genealogy Support 

    Clare Doyle

    Wednesday 21st May 2014, 08:45AM
  • Patti,

    thank you for being willing to find out more about Ellen. To respond to your curiosity I know she was from Limerick but not whether city or county. I believe her parents were farming people and she was tried in Kerry so I was thinking it was the county of Limerick not the town. I really have no evidence of where she was born or where she lived.


    best wishes



    Gay Hendriksen

    Thursday 22nd May 2014, 10:17AM
  • Gay, do you know what years the two children (Matthew and John) were born? Also what year Ellen Sweeney was born?

    And why do you think Ellen's parents might have been John and Caroline?

    The answers to these questions will help me be more certain that I am researching your Ellen Sweeney.


    Patti Hacht

    IrelandXO Parish Liaison Kilcolman & Shanagolden, Co Limerick

    Kilcolman Limerick

    Thursday 22nd May 2014, 06:42PM
  • Patti,

    The information I have on Ellen has come either from a family history book written in the 1970s. The author unfortunately has alszeimers so I can't confirm the facts and his family do not have any records. I can only think that he contacted a researcher in Ireland at that time. The book does not have referencing just statements. Her convict information I got from Dublin castle records from the National Archives of Ireland document. I di wonder if there were any newspaper or trial records that would reveal anything but haven't been able to find so far.

    She is transported as Ellen Murphy on the ship Hope. THere were two Ellen Murphys but one died on the way out. The convict records here confirm she was convicted at Kerry and was transported on the Hope. From the indent it can be ascertained that she was born about 1814. The sibling and children information came from the unreferenced family history.

    Thank you for your interest. I have just been drawing blanks for the last four years! You can also contact me ot

    best wishes



    Below are the notes  I have on her:



    c1814 Limerick, Ireland


    Marriage 1

    William Murphy 1832 Limerick, Ireland,  Age: 18


    Place of Conviction


    Convicted for stealing money on the 'never never' from Mr Stragel


    1842 10 Apr Age: 28

    Left Dublin transported on the ship Hope. Convict number 407.

    Arrival Tasmania 1842 Age: 28


    Marriage 2

    John Joseph Dale (1814 -1866) 1845Age: 31 Hobart, Tasmania



    1899  16 Aug Age: 85 Runnymead, Victoria


    Ellen’s Parents

    James Sweeney1780 –Caroline Sweeney1785 – 


    Ellen’s Siblings

    Bessy Sweeney

    Given Sweeney

    Mary Sweeney

    Paddy Sweeney



    With William Murphy

    (family story he died and there is a record of a letter given to Colonial govt that he died but have been coming across a William Murphy whose dates were 1811-1876).


    Mathew Murphy 1834

    John Murphy 1836


    With John Joseph Dale

    Sarah Ann Dale1843

    Alfred Dale 1846

    James Henry Dale 1849-1910



    (Hope, AOT, CON 15/1 pp.66–67)

    Police Number 407

    Name Ellen Murphy

    Height 5’ 5½”

    Age 28

    Trade or Calling dairy maid

    Where Tried Kerry

    When Tried 14 January 1842

    Sentence 7 years

    Native Place Limerick

    Married or Single widow, proven




    Religion Roman Catholic

    Remarks produces a letter on board stating that her husband has died since she came on board; brothers Paddy & Owen, sisters Mary and Bessy at native place;

    Temperance Medal

    Offences &c transported for stealing £28.10, prosecutor D Shay at Kerry 


    Reference info below for Irish National Archives–

    Ireland – Australia Transportation records, National Archives Ireleand


    Surname: MURPHY; First name: ELLEN;


    Sex F; Age: 20; Place of trial: Co Kerry; Date of trial: 14/01/1842;

    Description of crime: Larceny;

    Sentence: Transportation 7 yrs;

     Record reference code: TR 4, pg 244

     Prisoners petitions and cases the R “CRF” in the citation.

    record Reference Code in the following list will include the letters “PPC” or 



    Gay Hendriksen

    Friday 6th Jun 2014, 09:00AM

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