Share This:

Hi from Tasmania!  

I am heading to the Beara Peninsula in May 2014 and am looking for any information on the ancestors and family of my great-great-grandfather, Timothy Eugene O'Sullvan, who was born either at Dursey Island or Bearhaven in 1828 and died in Sydney New South Wales, in 1902.

According to his grand-daughter, Lola O'Sullivan - my grandmother - Timothy ran away to sea when still a boy. He eventually became one of the youngest captains for the Orient Shipping Company, primarily sailing between Australia and east Asia.

While in Sydney in the mid 1850s he met Theresa Cronin, whom he married there in 1857.  They based themselves in Sydney and Timothy purchased his own clipper, the 'Moss Glen'.  Theresa often sailed with him - their first child, Margaret, was born somewhere off Hong Kong in 1860.  Another twelve children followed.

(An aside: Margaret married Alexander Sullivan, son of the renowned 19th Century Irish nationalist and politician, T. D. Sullivan. Their descendants live in both Australia and New Zealand).

Timothy continued to sail until 1875 when he bought a major slipway at Newcastle, north of Sydney. He and Theresa based themselves there for several years before moving back to Sydney.  In his latter years he became a prominent figure in Catholic, maritime and business circles, serving as a director for the local gas, ferry and marine boards, as well as several church organisations.  He eventually died in Sydney in 1902, aged 74.

I have copies of both his New South Wales marriage and death certificates and I've visited his grave. The place of birth on his 1857 marriage certificate simply states 'Ireland' though his death certificate clearly states 'Dursey Island Ireland'.  His gravestone gives a different birth place: 'Born at Bearehaven County Cork Ireland.'

His father and mother are listed on both certificates as Eugene and Margaret O'Sullivan. Eugene's occupation is shown as 'Tide Surveyor' on the marriage certificate and 'Master Mariner' on the death certificate.

Clearly Timothy was born on the Beara Peninsula but the exact birth place is uncertain.  And Eugene was obviously involved with matters nautical but it's uncertain whether that was as a surveyor or mariner.

There's much information available on Timothy and his descendants in Australia (plenty of both saints and sinners!)  but only the above details on Timothy's County Cork connections.  Any further insights or pointers would be greatly appreciated!  

Warm regards, Adam M


Saturday 15th Mar 2014, 02:29PM

Message Board Replies

Post Reply