Author Topic: Denis McGRATH - Depositor for Immigrants from Co Galway  (Read 2858 times)

Offline goddles1

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Denis McGRATH - Depositor for Immigrants from Co Galway
« on: Thursday 02 February 12 00:20 GMT (UK) »
My query relates to Assisted Immigration and the Remittance Regulations set by the Govt. Immigration Office in the mid 19th century in NSW, and a particular 'depositor'.

Under the scheme, remittance or nominated passages were arranged by a friend or relative living in Australia, who paid a warrant for their passage to the Government. I'm keen to learn about a particular person who it seems paid a warrant (ie a deposit) for the passage of quite a few who arrived from Co Galway, Ireland.

Various newspaper reports, viewable on Trove (digitised newspaper site), show that a Denis McGRATH was a 'depositor' for numerous immigrants arriving at Sydney from Co Galway in the 1850s and 1860s. (Closer examination may show that the majority of these immigrants were from an area around Tuam, in Galway.)

As best I know, I have no family connection to Denis McGrath but I would appreciate knowing more about him and also the deposit scheme. McGrath must have had some wealth - what was the source? How did he determine which immigrants he would assist? How did those in Galway gain his support? Is any RootsChatter a descendant?

Thank you for any information you can give.

Offline Dundee

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Re: Denis McGrath - Depositor for Immigrants from Co Galway
« Reply #1 on: Thursday 02 February 12 01:45 GMT (UK) »
Looking at some of the deposit journals the immigrants were all from Barna, Dangan in Co. Galway.  The two people in Ireland recorded as being able to provide references for the immigrants are Henry KERWIN Esq. and Patrick CUMMINS of Dangan.

Debra  :)

Offline goddles1

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Re: Denis McGRATH - Depositor for Immigrants from Co Galway
« Reply #2 on: Thursday 02 February 12 23:51 GMT (UK) »
Thanks Dundee. 

My gt gt grandfather came from next door to Dangan so perhaps Henry KERWIN Esq. and Patrick CUMMINS were also able to give references for him.  Were those gentleman listed for all cases where Denis McGrath was the depositor or were they just shown for the ones you looked at?

How difficult would it be to check the deposit journals for my ancestor?

I sure wish I knew who Kerwin and Cummins (& McGrath) were and how they were involved in this process / what motivated them, etc. 

It makes one wonder.......  How would my gt gt grandfather have been selected to be assisted in his migration?  Was the financial assistance the reason why he decided to go to Australia?  Others of his wider family migrated to USA but he, in 1863 and with no relatives in the colony, opted for the far longer journey to Australia.  His brother later went to USA - arrived in New York in 1865 just as the civil war was ending.  Again there's a question, was it because of the civil war that my gt gt granfather didn't take the short trip to New York?  Genealogy; so many unanswered questions...... :'(


Offline Dundee

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Re: Denis McGRATH - Depositor for Immigrants from Co Galway
« Reply #3 on: Friday 03 February 12 02:24 GMT (UK) »
Having a closer look,  for most the referee is Patrick CUMMINS/CUMMINGS, one is Henry KERWIN, and others are the Parish Priest and the Postmaster.

I only looked at those from Tuam and Barna/Dangan.  Most were young single males and females, though I did see one family.  It continues right up to 1880 with Denis McGRATH as the depositor.

One entry in 1860 has no name for the potential immigrant but says "One statute adult between the ages of 12 and 40 years to be nominated by John GANNON, Postmaster of Dangan, County Galway, Ireland."  So it seems that a responsible person in the community chose those who they both considered would benefit most, and be of most use to Australia.  Losing so many of their young people must have had a huge effect on a small community.

If you can give me your person's name I will have a look for them, but there isn't much info apart from age and origin.

Debra  :)

Offline Dundee

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Re: Denis McGRATH - Depositor for Immigrants from Co Galway
« Reply #4 on: Friday 03 February 12 04:00 GMT (UK) »
My Irish geography is not very good.  Tuam and Dangan seem to be quite populated.

There was a Denis McGRATH who arrived on the Kate in 1850, aged 30, a coachman, wife Julia, son Michael and a female born onboard.  They were from Killeryan or Killergan in Galway (I have no idea where this is).

They lived at Stanley Street, Hyde Park - Julia died in 1889 and Denis in 1898.  I can see a Denis McGRATH at 3 Stanley Street in the Sands Directories, but none give an occupation.

Debra  :)

Offline goddles1

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Re: Denis McGRATH - Depositor for Immigrants from Co Galway
« Reply #5 on: Friday 03 February 12 11:44 GMT (UK) »
Thank you very much Debra for your information.  I hadn't thought to check the shipping records for McGrath.

I have a fair knowledge of Irish geography and I've studied in detail the area to the SE of Tuam.  I can't find any reference to a Killeryan anywhere but the parish of Killererin (phonetically about the same, wouldn't you say?) covers Dangan and Barnaderg.  More significant, Killererin parish is directly between my gt gt grandfather's parish of Abbeyknockmoy, and Tuam!!  So I'm sure you have identified the right person.  You've also given great leads to look further into the McGraths.

Thank you also for the offer to look up my ancestor - he was John WARD, aged 20, who arrived in September 1863 on Shackamaxon.  I'm not familair with the deposit journals - in what form are they / original records?  Available on-line or where?

Regarding my gt gt grandfather, the Shackamaxon records state that he did not have any family in the colony and, as best we know, no other family members ever migrated to join him.  However, as I said previously, a brother (actually two) went to the USA; a much younger step-brother remained on the family 'farm' (9 acres) and he gained ownership (taken from the landlord who lived in 'the big house') in the 1920s following the establishment of the Irish Republic.  Descendants of that younger brother still have the original holding today.

Thanks again

Offline Dundee

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Re: Denis McGRATH - Depositor for Immigrants from Co Galway
« Reply #6 on: Friday 03 February 12 13:00 GMT (UK) »
John WARD is noted as living at Dangan. There are a few in the list with John but only two came on the Shackamaxon. The other person with John was Ellen CONNOUGHTON aged 22 of Dangan and she was Denis McGRATH's cousin!

The deposit journal says that she was living in Lancashire and the shipping manifest says she is native to Dangan. Denis McGRATH is stated to be a postman on her manifest entry, so it would be him in the 1863/64 Sands Directory listed as a letter carrier with address as General Post Office.

The others are:

Mary KILKELLY, 21, living Barma, Tuam, ship Spitfire
Cecilia KEEP, 20, living Dangan, ship John Temperley
Malachi SHANASSEY, 24, living Dangan, ship Peerless
his wife, no name, 24, living Dangan, ship Peerless

The referees for this group are John McGRATH, Barma, Tuam, and John GANNON, Postmaster, Dangan.

3 was paid for the passage of each female and 5 for each male.

Ancestry has recently added the images of the deposit journals.  The indexes have been available for some time on microfiche and are now also sold on CD.

Debra  :)

Offline goddles1

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Re: Denis McGRATH - Depositor for Immigrants from Co Galway
« Reply #7 on: Sunday 05 February 12 00:26 GMT (UK) »
Thank you very much Debra. Your assistance is greatly appreciated. :)

Offline Donnacha

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Re: Denis McGRATH - Depositor for Immigrants from Co Galway
« Reply #8 on: Saturday 27 February 21 22:42 GMT (UK) »
I am a direct descendant of Denis McGrath's family (4 or 5 generations later) and reside in the parish of Killererin where he came from. It's possible I can help with any questions you may have about the area. I am also interested in hearing of his descendants in Sydney\Australia.