I am writing this story in the hope it may strike a chord with a present day Lonergan or Lonergan descendant in Southern Tipperary. Perhaps someone from the widespread Lonergan diaspora outside Ireland may hear of this as well. Who knows?
Daniel Lonergan and Mary, nee Lowe, sailed from London on “The Forth” arriving in Sydney, Australia on 28 August 1841. They, with many other natives of Southern Tipperary had been recruited by Nicholas James & Co for the New South Wales Bounty Immigration Scheme to help build the labour force post the era of convict transportation to mainland Eastern Australia.
They worked in Sydney for some years before moving to Stroud and later to Walcha in Northern New South Wales. Daniel died at “Ohio” Station, Walcha on 3rd May 1862; Mary survived him by many years.
When Mary died in April 1907 at the ripe old age of 88 years, she was regarded as “a very old and respected resident of Walcha district and was born in Cashel, County Tipperary in 1819”.
Daniel was the son of John (Morgan) Lonergan, and Catherine, nee Doran. He and Mary, the daughter of John Lowe and Mary, nee Moore, were married in St Marys, Clonmel on 4 February 1835. Their first child, John Lonergan was born in 1839.
When Daniel and Mary emigrated to Australia their passages were paid by the Bounty Scheme but they could not afford to pay for their infant son aged two years and eight months. He was left behind in the care of an aunt and uncle in Clonmel, the former being Mary Smith presumably a Lonergan daughter married to a Smith.
Daniel and Mary applied unsuccessfully for a free passage to Australia for John, then aged nine, in January 1847 under a scheme announced the previous year. John eventually rejoined his parents and five siblings born in Australia in April 1862, a mere couple of weeks before his father’s death aged 54 years.
On arrival in Sydney John Lonergan described his place of origin as Clogheen-Burncourt, a place with many Lonergan associations judging by directories and websites. John’s fiancé, Johanna Smith from St Vincents, County Waterford, followed him to Australia in 1865. They were married in St Marys Cathedral, Sydney upon her arrival and then trekked north to Walcha where they lived for many years before finally taking up a large property between Walcha and Tamworth at Danglemah. Three generations of Lonergans were graziers here from 1893 until 1978.
I am one of many descendants of Daniel and Mary Lonergan, most of whom are urban based and in professional employment. John Lonergan (1839-1918) was my maternal great grandfather.
I can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org
Armidale NSW 2350