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I am descended from two unrelated Tipperary families. I had an ancestor from each family who emigrated to Australia. I have their Australian documents but have never been able to trace their families in Tipperary.


One family has a very common surname, Murphy. Anastatia Murphy was born between 1828 and 1835 in Tipperary to parents Richard Murphy, a farmer, and Catherine (most likely O’Brien). She was married in Carrick-on-Suir on 16th July 1853 to Frederick Bradshaw of Limerick. Perhaps her family came from near Carrick-on-Suir. After the marriage she moved to Limerick then she arrived in Victoria 1858, and died in Melbourne, Victoria on 6th January 1867. In Australia our Murphy branch had strong ties with two other Murphy families, those descended from William Murphy, born c1835 Tipperary, and those descended from Richard Murphy, born C1835, which were likely linked also. A Richard Murphy was a witness at the marriage of William Murphy (above). We hypothesised that William and Richard were brothers of Anastatia, and it turned out that both William and Richard Murphy also had a father Richard Murphy and all three had a mother Catherine. So far, so good, but the strange thing is the surname of Anastatia’s mother was recorded as O’Brian (probably an Australian typo for O’Brien), the surname of William’s mother was recorded as Casey and the surname of Richard's mother was recorded as Burke. This is rather confusing. Did Richard marry 3 different Catherines? Did someone not fill in death certificates correctly? Perhaps these 3 Murphys were cousins or 2nd cousins??


The surnames in my other family are less common. John Gersham Spearman was an accountant, born in Clonmel c1839 to Parents John Spearman, who was a veterinary surgeon, and Jane Gersham. His age was given as 31 when he was married in Melbourne, Victoria on 20th July 1871. His age was then given as 37 on 22nd June 1876 when his son Percy was born in Melbourne, and then at death in Melbourne on 25th July 1909 his age was given as 70. He arrived in Victoria c1863. His middle name and mother’s maiden name were spelt Gershon on his death certificate, but possibly his marriage certificate spelling of Gersham would be more accurate as he would have provided this himself.


Thanks for any possible advice someone may be able to provide,



Tuesday 1st Mar 2022, 09:35AM

Message Board Replies

  • Incorrect information on death certificates is so common that sometimes I think the only info you can be sure of is that someone has died!  If you can obtain a record where the men  themselves provided the parents' names (perhaps a marriage record or even shipping record), that would be more trustworthy.

    As far as the O'Brien/O'Brian discrepancy, I would ignore it.  You will probably find this name as Brien, Brian, etc., as well.  I have an ancestor named Stewart and in the various records I have seen Stuart, Stuard, Steward, Stewart, and more.

    I hope this is helpfull.


    Wednesday 2nd Mar 2022, 08:28PM
  • Anastasia's Baptism date is 7th November 1824.  Record attached.
    Richard Murphy and Catherine nee Casey 


    Thursday 3rd Mar 2022, 10:46AM
  • Thank you very much for replying Patricia.

    Yes I agree. I've always ranked information from marriage certificates higher than death certificates, though I do recognise on occasion death certificate information could be more accurate, such as when important documents have been found that weren't accessible at the time of marriage. In both cases typos can occur, and sometimes it is a phonetic translation that is recorded. I can well imagine an Australian writing O'Brien as O'Brian.

    Cheers, John


    Friday 4th Mar 2022, 05:21AM
  • Margot, this is amazing!

    You may really have found my Anastatia Murphy. 1924 is outside the range I indicated (1828-1835), but I certainly would not discount it. Every Australian document I examined indicated a different birth year. That is why I gave the range. I think all were filled in by her husband, not her. Their marriage took place in Carrick-on-Suir, but some documents mentioned Co. Waterford, not Tipperary, though all documents said she was born in Co, Tipperary.

    I only ever saw her mother's maiden name as O'Brian on her death certificate. However, the maiden name of Casey appears several times on William Murphy's Australian certificates. When I said Anastatia's family and William's family were close, I meant really close. After Anastatia's death, her two daughters Mary Catherine and Annie were placed in a Convent orphanage. It seems that both girls were later discharged to Mrs. W. Murphy. For years, later generations of Mary Catherine's family would visit William's family from interstate.

    Your discovery is really fascinating! Do you know where her Baptism was recorded? I have never found a townland for her.

    Many, many thanks,



    Friday 4th Mar 2022, 05:46AM
  • Hi John,
    Carrick on Suir, it's like Clonmel, depends on what side of the river you live on.
    As Carrick on Suir is near Piltown, that is in County Kilkenny. So you have search all the areas.

    This is the page I Tipperary town.  This is the only record you would see.   The townland name is listed as it would be in Tipperary town Parish.
    02495/06, Tipperary - Catholic Parish Registers at the NLI
    This is the main link to the site.  I search in the place you mention, then + and - ten years of the years you state and then search each Parish in other areas. (It was raining yesterday so I stayed in)
    Catholic Parish Registers at the NLI

    On their marriage in 1853, he was a manager on the Railway living in Carrick on Suir, his Father Robert....a Gentleman...meaning living on own means. Doesn't state his address, also is alive or deceased.
    Searching for a death for Robert Bradshaw too many to say which one and none listed as a Gentleman.
    Anne...Anastasia no occupation....possibly living at home, this is when it gets hard.
    Richard Murphy again too many.

    Searching with Murphy and Casey in the same Parish of Tipperary town I have attached four birth records stating Richard and Catherine....some names are in Latin.
    This was searching in Ancestry, there is a match to Michael going to the USA.   Patrick a burial in Australia.
    When I find a birth I go back to the NLI registers to get the record from there, that's if they have it.




    Friday 4th Mar 2022, 10:40AM
  • Hi John,
    I checked the tithe recrds for Robert Bradshaw........Pallas Grean, Limerick  Bottom entry on the left hand page under Mnt Sion    =   Mount Sion.
    004587447/004587447_00153.pdf (
    pallas grean map - Search (

    There is also a Jane Bradshaw aged 80 in the 1901 Census From Mount Sion, living in Henry Street, Limerick, never married.  See the deathr record, a Rebecca Wilson present at the death.

    This Rebecca Wilson and her sister Jane......must be related to Robert Bradshaw......  This is another house in Henry Street.
    Oh, On these attached records (the uploaded ones, they have the original code, then I add the information so it's easier for you to view.
    Note Jane was 80 in the Census and 82 on her death record.



    Friday 4th Mar 2022, 11:04AM
  • Wow Margot, that is so kind of you to search those records. It is very greatly appreciated!

    So, if these Murphy children are all siblings we have a range from 1818 to 1836, which in fact spans the births of Anastatia, Richard and William who all moved to Australia. There had also been talk of a Patrick Murphy in the family but we couldn't place where he fitted in. Michael and Martin are new names for us, but Mary is a popular name in the family. I guess there was no mention of Anastatia's age on her marriage record. That is definitely the correct marriage. Robert Bradshaw did come from Mout Sion in Limerick. I didn't know about Jane or the Wilsons though! Anastatia's family must have moved to Limerick before coming to Australia, possibly through Robert's job with the railways. All very interesting!

    Thanks for confirming the birthplaces were Tipperary town Parish. Would it have been possible for Richard Murphy to have been a farmer/landholder there? Maybe on the outskirts of town?

    Thanks again, so much.



    Saturday 5th Mar 2022, 12:13AM
  • Hard to say where exactly Richard Murphy lived. He is not in the Griffiths Valuation and Civil Deaths were only introduced in 1864. 

    In Griffiths Valuation there is Robert Bradshaw in Kilduff, Grean, 1851 This is Pallas Grean
    Kilduff Townland, Co. Limerick (

    This is the nearest I can get to where they lived.

    Glad I found Mount Sion.   Was there a name to any dwellings in Australia as these give clues?



    Saturday 5th Mar 2022, 03:21PM
  • Thanks Margot! Frederick's father was indeed Robert. The Robert you found in Griffiths Valuation may well have been him or a close relative. Frederick remarried in Australia after Anastatia's death and lived until 1922. He left quite a paper trail which luckily provided the clues to his family in Limerick.

    Unfortunately, the Murphys have proved more of a mystery. Thanks to your help I'll focus on Tipperary town. Perhaps Carrick-on-Suir was the marriage location because Frederick was working there at the time. Maybe Anastatia had moved there too and that's where they met. Thanks too for finding siblings Patrick, Michael and Martin, These are all leads I'll follow up on. Richard and Catharine may yet be found!

    Also thank you Margot for your advice about searching records in the NLI. I didn't realise that they provided so much information online. I've already started looking. The films are searchable by Parish, but not by surnames, so I'll no doubt be spending many hours there! It  makes me realise the time you must have put into this. It really is very much appreciated.

    Best wishes, John


    Monday 7th Mar 2022, 12:16AM
  • Lets hope you find more on the families.


    Tuesday 8th Mar 2022, 09:02AM

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