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Hi, everyone. I am doing some research on the Cunninghams, relations of my husband. Jonathan Ross Cunningham and William Cunningham both came to Australia in the late 1800s. They were both miners. Jonathan's birthplace was given as Sligo, Sligo, Ireland and William's birthplace was given as Drumcliffe, Sligo, Ireland. William married Catherine O'Brien, daughter of John O'Brien and Ann Hartigan, in 1880. Would love to know of any other family members. Many thanks, Diane.


Monday 24th Apr 2017, 09:08AM

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  • Cunningham is a fairly common name in Co. Sligo. There are 239 in the 1901 census of the county. To narrow the search a bit, can you tell us when Jonathan and William were born (approximately) and also what denomination were they? If it helps, the 1901 census has a spread of Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist and Church of Ireland (Episcopalian).

    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Monday 24th Apr 2017, 09:38AM
  • Many thanks for getting back to me. William Cunningham was born around 1854. I think he came to Australia on the Indus leaving London Sept 1874. William died in a mining accident in 1892 and his death certificate gave his childrens' names as Elizabeth Jane, Maria Cecelia, Lucy, Margaret Frances, Robert John and Elsie. It gave his father Robert's occupation as farmer.  Jonathan Ross Cunningham was born 4 Jan, 1866, Birthplace 0383, Sligo, Sligo, Ireland. He came to Australia on the Chimborazo in 1887. His children's names were Elizabeth May, Violet Beatrice, Esther and Edith Jessie. Hope this helps.

    Many thanks,



    Thursday 27th Apr 2017, 02:07PM
  • Diane,

    The 1866 birth certificate shows that Jonathan was born in the townland of Drum, in the parish of Drumcliffe. Father Robert was a farmer.

    Griffiths Valuation for 1858 list Robert Cunningham on plot 2a in Drum West. That was a 40 acre farm (so not too badly off for Ireland at the time). Beside him were George Cunningham farming plot 3a and Edward on plot 5a. (So probably related). Plot 2a today is on the Drum Rd, just off the N15, near Leslie’s Farm supplies.

    Here’s 3 occupants of the 3 farms in 1901:


    Plus a 4th household:

    Note that some of the families were Church of Ireland and others Presbyterian, so 2 lots of records to search. (Their origins are almost certainly Scottish, in the 1600s).

    Samuel Cunningham married Elizabeth Carter on 5.7.1888. His father was George. I think George probably died in 1873, aged 64.

    James Cunningham married Maria Carter in Sligo in 1881. (So possibly 2 brothers married 2 sisters. Not uncommon). The marriage certificate is not on-line, so you would need to order a copy of it to get James’ father’s name.

    The other Samuel married Lina or Lena Perrenond (a native of Switzerland). They married in Cork (where Samuel was a schoolmaster) on 12.9.1883. His father as Robert Cunningham, farmer. So he looked to be a brother to Jonathan & William.

    The above family were Church of Ireland. My guide to Church of Ireland records says:

    Earlier records destroyed in 1922. NAI holds copy registers of baptism 1805-1890; marriage 1805-1866 and burial 1805-1858. More recent registers including burials still in local custody.
Some coverage at

    NAI = National Archives of Ireland, in Dublin. (Personal visit required to view them).

    I see a Cunningham at Drum Cross in the current phone book so there may still be family there.



    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Thursday 27th Apr 2017, 05:46PM
  • Dear Elwyn,

    You have found such a lot of information and I am eternally grateful. Many many thanks.





    Saturday 29th Apr 2017, 03:55PM
  • Hello Diane

    Back in 2008-9 I mapped out the family tree of Robert and Eliza.

    Pls email me at

    You have lots of living relatives.




    Thursday 26th Oct 2017, 11:24AM

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