Important Note: There was another couple named Martin Maher and Mary [nee Leahy/Lahy] also residing in the Maitland area around the same time. This Martin was a farmer at Woodville and had children that included John and Julia who are both buried in the Hiland Crescent cemetery. Unfortunately some early researchers have confused the two families and incorrect genealogies have been included in some society publications. As always, I would encourage ALL researchers to recheck any information they may find online. It was only by rechecking the work others that I was able to find these errors.
My Great Great Great Grandparents
Martin Maher about 1798 in Thurles Tipperary according to his headstone, parent William Maher and Ellen Ryan. At the time of the birth of his first child, Martin was a farmer at Ballybristy. After his arrival in NSW, Martin became a farmer at Phoenix Park near Maitland.
Mary Maher was born about 1799 in Brittas Tipperary to Daniel Maher and Johanna Harney [both of Thurles and recorded as dead in 1855] It is possible that Mary was a Midwife. A Mary Maher was midwife when daughter Ann gave birth to her twin daughters in 1865 and again in 1877. Note: Mary's maiden name was also Maher.
Marriage: Martin and Mary married in Ireland about 1818 according to information on Mary's death certificate. Possible marriage on 16th February 1817 in the parish of Loughmore and Castleiny. Martin Meagher of Templemore and Mary Meagher, no address given, by Rev James Mullally witnesses Daniel Meagher, John Gleeson and Bridget Meagher. [NLI] Loughmore is the neighbouring parish to Thurles.
Martin's and Mary's children were:
John Maher baptised 1st March 1818 at Loughmore and Castleiny, parents Martin Maher and Mary Maher, father a farmer at Ballybristy? Sponsors Tom Brien and Mary Egan
Honora Maher baptised 16th January 1821 at Loughmore and Castleiny, parents Martin Maher a labourer and Mary Maher, sponsors John Gleeson and Mary Cully?
Ellen Maher baptised 25th December 1822 at Thurles, father Martin Maher, mother Mary Maher. Sponsors William Ryan and Margaret Maher. Arrived aboard Livingston in 1841 [aged 18] Married James Soorly, in 1842 [recorded under MAHON] at RC church Maitland.
Daniel Maher, baptised 29th October 1826 at Thurles, father Martin Maher, mother Mary Maher, of Brittas,sponsors James Maher and Margaret Callanan. Arrived 1855, on the Golden Era. He was an agricultural labourer and could read and write. States sister Mrs Soorley is residing in Maitland. James Soorley paid his deposit. Daniel may have died before 1858 as he is not mentioned among the living issue on his father Martin's death certificate, however it should be noted that sister Johanna is not mentioned either. No further record of him has been confirmed however there is a Daniel Maher alias Thomas Ryan aged 25 per 'Goldsmith' arrived 1855 mentioned in the Darlinghusrt Gaol records for 1857. He is described as a baker.
Johanna Maher born about 1829 according to her mothers death cert. Probable baptism as Margaret Maher 29th January 1829 at Loughmore and Castleiny, daughter of Martin Maher and Mary Maher?, sponsor Margaret Maher. Her arrival in Australia has not been found but it was before 1855. Married Martin Hayes in 1856.
William Maher, baptised 6th April 1831 at Thurles, parents Matin Maher and Mary Maher, sponsors Timothy Maher and Mary Maher. Arrived NSW in 1855 aboard the Sultana. Deposit paid for by James Soorley ] William could read and write.
Catherine Maher, baptised 19th December 1833, parents Martin and Mary Maher, sponsors James? Maher and Anto Harney. Living in Sydney by 1855 No record of her arrival has been found. Married John Burke a farmer residing at Brookes Flat, at St Joseph's Catholic Church East Maitland on 14th April 1857. [transcript held]
Jer[emia]h Maher: baptised 29th August 1836 [name abbreviated but probably Jeremiah] of Martin Maher and Mary Maher, sponsors Jer Maher and Ellen Loughnane.
Bridget Agnes Maher, Baptised November 1838 Thurles, daughter of Martin Maher and Mary Maher. Sponsors Jer[emiah?] Maher and Eliza Maher. Born about 1843 according to her shipping records however a notation on same suggests she may have been born about 1839. Arrived 1855, Eliza. Married James Campbell Maitland, 1862 .
Ann Maher, baptised June 1841 at Thurles, daughter of Martin Maher and Mary Maher, sponsors Patrick Maher and Ellen Loughmane. Arrived 1855, Eliza. Married Thomas HIGGINS - my great x 2 grandmother
Mary Maher, baptised Thurles Tipperary 21st April 1845, sponsors Pierce Maher and Mary Callanan. Arrived 1855, Eliza. Married 1) Michael Kelly, Maitland 1866 2) Alexander McGregor 1872.
3 Males Deceased: As per Martins death cert 1858. This would probably be John born 1818 and the child born 1836 [possibly named Jeremiah] It may include Daniel who is not mentioned as living.
Tithe Applotment Book 1833: Martin Maher is at Monakeeba [aka Lathams Land] an area south of Thurles township and just across the river from Brittas.
Griffiths Land Valuation: A possible sighting of Martin is in Brittas as the occupier of a house and garden in Brittas. Jeremiah Maher was the lessor.
Thurles Rate Payers of 1846: [per rootsweb transcript] Martin Maher is at Brittas
Immigration: In 1855 Martin and Mary migrated to Australia aboard the Eliza with three of their children; Mary aged 8, Ann aged 10 and Bridget aged 12. It is likely that they lied about their ages and the ages of their children as their shipping records state they are both 35. A notation states 'apparently about 50' for Martin and 'about 45' for Mary. Son-in-law James Soorley paid their deposit on 28th November 1854 They had three daughters, Ellen, Catherine and Julia [this would be Johanna] already residing here. Sons William and Daniel arrived later. They settled in the Maitland District.
Unclaimed Letter 1859: The Victoria Government gazette of 1859 records an unclaimed letter for Mrs Maher of Belfast [now known as Port Fairy] from James Soorley. Could this be Mary visiting family in Victoria or is it to one of the missing Maher sons' wives?
Deaths: Martin died on 22nd January, 1858 aged 60 [56 on death cert]. Cause of death was dysentery which he had suffered for 16 days. Martin was buried at Hiland Cresent Cemetery, Phoenix Park, Maitland] on 25th Januray 1858. His headstone reads: This stone is erected by Mary Maher in memory of her beloved husband Martin Maher native of Thurles Tipperary Ireland who departed this life 22nd January 1858 aged 60 years. May his soul rest in peace forever.
Mary died 15th June 1896 aged 97. Cause of death was senile decay [old age] and bronchitis. She was buried in the Roman Catholic Cemetery Sandgate, near Newcastle. It appears that she spent her last years living with her daughter Mary. Her funeral notice reads: Friends of the late Mrs M Maher are respectfully invited to move from the residence of her son-in-law Mr A McGregor Snr, 28 Corlette St, Cooks Hill this Tuesday afternoon at 2.45 for the Roman Catholic Cemetery, Sandgate. (NMH 1896-6-16)