Earl Grey’s Irish Famine Orphans 7 (b): Interlude–photos and family forms



Here’s a few things that may be of interest. I intend posting something on the Voyage of the orphans shortly, maybe in a few weeks. In the meantime, here’s a couple of photos I took and used when Jennifer Bainbridge and I put together the first version of the www.irishfaminememorial.org website


Steele Rudd’s cottage in Nobby, Queensland

I took this one in the 1990s and later used it on the website. Steele Rudd, aka Arthur Hoey Davis, is the author of the iconic Dad ‘n Dave stories. His real life mum was Mary Green, an Irish Famine orphan from Tuam in Galway.  She was to raise thirteen (13) children in that slab hut.

The next one I took in 2007. It is of a glass panel engraved with some of the orphans’ names, part of the Monument to the Great Irish Famine in Hyde Park Barracks, Sydney. The Monument is a beautiful piece of public art by Hossein and Angela Valamanesh that warrants close study for it to be fully understood and appreciated. It became a reality between 1996 and 1999 because of the Australian Great Irish Famine Commemoration Committee under the chairmanship of Tom Power.


Now for a couple more family reconstitutions. The first is of Mary Barrow, one of two sisters from Mallow, County Cork. She is well known to her descendants. The second is of Ellen Parks  from Belfast whose story is a classic one of ‘rags to riches’.



Just a couple of photos of the orphans taken later in their life. My thanks to their descendants who sent me the pics to use.

The small one is of Honor Rafferty from Roscommon per Digby; the large one is of Johanna Kelly from Kilkenny, per Panama.

Honor Rafferty per Digby
Johanna Kelly per Panama

7 thoughts on “Earl Grey’s Irish Famine Orphans 7 (b): Interlude–photos and family forms

  1. Thank you Trevor for sharing your ongoing research into the Irish Famine Orphans. My great Grandmother Eliza Geoghegan arrived on the Digby in 1849 and I found the following newspaper articles when searching the British Newspaper Archives. The first report refers to them sailing from Ireland to Plymouth. The writer was obviously very impressed with the girls and how nice to find such a positive report on their looks and behavior.
    Roscommon Messenger – Wednesday 13 December 1848
    Government Emigrants. l saw at the North-wall, a number of female pauper orphans from the Cavan Union on their way to Plymouth, for embarkation by the government to Australia, and I was surprised at the neat, healthy, handsome, nay, elegant, appearance of these poor girls. The ages of the girls average from 15 to 18 years, that they can all read and write but two, some of them very ‘superiorly, both as to style and penmanship, and that in general they can do most kinds of needlework. They reflect great credit on whoever superintended their education, indeed they would put to the blush many young ladies who have the advantage of modern boarding-school education. The girls, with others from Boyle, Loughrea, &c., in all above 100 sailed in the Duke of Cornwall at one o’clock Saturday. — Saunders.
    Roscommon Messenger – Wednesday 27 December 1848
    Emigration. —Plymouth,—There are now single Irish females, orphans, and few married couples, here, about to proceed to Australia in the Digby. They arrived in the depot on Monday last, by one of the Irish steamers.


  2. Dr.Trevor McClaughlin, I cannot thank you enough for initally writing “Barefoot & Pregnant”. Through your efforts I was able to find not one, but four of my female ancestors. My paternal great grandmother Ellen Egan/Eagan 1832-1892 & Sarah Eagan/Egan 1828-1904 ( her sister, names of her parents not fully proven). They arrived to Port Phillip on “Lady Kennaway” -1848. Ellen married-1850, widower Thomas Wade. Sarah married -1849,Patrick Carty/McCarty/McCarthy. My maternal great grandmother Ellen Moloney/Maloney/Mullowney 1834-1873 & my great grand-aunt by marriage- Margaret O’Mara/Meara 1832-1871, arrived on “Eliza Caroline” to Port Phillip -1850 Ellen married-1856, Michael Cunneen 1829-1906 & Margaret married-1855, his brother John Cunneen 1828-1897. I have sent their profiles with supporting documents to Dr. Perry McIntyre Chairperson, Great Irish Famine Commemoration Committee. Following their authentication I will list them with on the Australian Portal Irish Orphan Girls Project on Geni.com
    I am willing to share privately with you any of my Wade & Cunneen research
    Kind regards,
    Margaret O’Callaghan


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