In 1854 a couple arrived aboard the ship David McIver claiming to be James Maher and Prudence Quinlan. Their Deposit was paid by Daniel Maher. With them were their reported seven children. James stated he had two brothers Richard Maher at Maitland and Daniel Maher at Morpeth.
My Theory: After much research it now appears that the man claiming to be James Maher was actually Jeremiah Maher, older half brother of Richard and Daniel and son of James Maher and his first wife Catherine Delany. The children accompanying him were his half brothers and sisters. The woman claiming to be Prudence Quinlan was Ellen nee Quinlan daughter of John and Judy Quinlan who married Jeremiah Maher in 1837. Details to support this theory can be found on the webpage for Jeremiah Maher
Records from the David McIver 1854:
James Maher was born about 1805 at Thurles Tipperary He stated that Richard Maher [Maitland] and Daniel Maher [at Morpeth] were his brothers. James was aged 49 and his parents were James Maher and Catherine – both dead. A deposit of 44 pounds for the family was paid by Daniel Maher. With James were his wife named Prudence, daughter of John and Judy Quinlan and children Pearce aged 28, James aged 26, Bridget aged 25, Margaret aged 21, Judith aged 18, Catherine aged 17 and Timothy aged 16.
I believe that most of the information in the shipping records is incorrect. I have since found the baptisms of most of the children that shows their parents to be James Maher and Patience Grace who are also the parents of Richard Maher and Daniel Maher.
The following are records related to this family.
First Marriage: James Maher married Catherine Delany some time prior to 1811 probably in Tipperary Ireland.
The Children of James Maher and Catherine/Mary Delany:
Darby/Jeremiah Maher baptised 25th March 1811 at Thurles son of James Maher, farmer of Brittas and ‘Mary’ Delany. Sponsors Tim and Mary Maher. Marriage Jeremiah Maher married Ellen Quinlan 5th February 1837 Witnesses James Delany and Johanna Quinlan. Thurles. Came to Australia 1856 per Bermondsey as ‘James Maher and Prudence Quinlan’
Mary Maher baptised 6th May 1812 at Thurles daughter of James and Cath Delany , father a farmer of Brittas. Sponsors Thomas and Anto Delany
James Meagher baptised Thurles 4th March 1814 as James Meagher [sic], son of James and Catherine Delany, father a farmer of Brittas. Sponsors Edmund DElany and Mary ?Nays?
Death: Catherine Delany died some time between 1814 and 1816.
Second Marriage: James Meagher of Thurles married Patience Grace of Ballincassa on 24th July 1816 at Boherlahan. Witnesses Peirce Grace, John J? and Walter Grace. [Indexed as 'Catherine Grace' at FMP]
The Children of James Maher and Patience Grace:
Note: Children aboard the David McIver in 1854 all show their ages to be 3-4 years younger than what they should be according to their baptisms.
Richard Maher baptised 18th May 1821 Thurles Tipperary sponsors Mary Maher, sponsors Andy Wall and Mary Maher [Indexed with mothers name 'Grace' at Ancestry] Arrived aboard the Livingston in 1841
Daniel Maher - no baptism found to date but was born 11th May 1823 at Thurles Tipperary, according to his headstone in the Moprpeth General Cemetery NSW. He was reported as being 2 years younger than brother Richard according to their shipping records which would agree with his possible date of birth. Arrived in NSW aboard the Livinston in 1841.
Pearce/Pierce Maher aged 28 - no baptism found but listed as theson of James Maher and Patince Grace in his shipping record in 1854. NOTE: He is not the Pierce Maher son of Timothy Maher and Mary Grace of Brittas baptised on 17th December 1820 at Thurles. This person arrived in Australia in 1841 aboard the Livingston.
James Maher aged 26 no baptism found but listed as the son of James Maher and Patience Grace in his shipping record in 1854 Ellen Maher baptised 29th July 1825, Thurles, sponsors Andrew Wall and Nancy Whelan. Does not appear in shipping records.
Bridget Maher baptised Thurles Tipperary 14th October 1827 sponsors Thomas Grace and Judy Wall. Aged 25 [DOB 1829] according to shipping records.
Margaret Maher baptised 11th May 1830 sponsors Jerry Maher and Judy Long/Lang. Aged 21 [DOB 1833] according to shipping records. Married John HAWLEY 1858 East Maitland ref 2110. Died 1872.
Judith Maher baptised 10th November 1832 Thurles Judith of James Maher and 'Margaret' Patience Grace, sponsors Pat and Mary Maher Brittas. Aged 18 [DOB 1836] according to shipping records.
Catherine Maher baptised 17th August 1834 Thurles. Aged 17 [DOB 1837] according to shipping records. May have married ? Fogarty [death index - parents names]
Timothy Maher baptised 12th October 1836 Thurles, sponsors James Dwyer and Ellen Naughton. Aged 16 [DOB 1838] according to shipping records. Married twice. Went gold mining in Kyneton then to Queensland. Died 22nd November 1915. Has a biography on the Stockman's Hall of Fame website [Note: I have not comfirmed this information]
News report showing that Jeremaih Maher and Richard Maher are half brothers.
Maitland Mercury 28th August 1856: Richard Maher was charged with a breach of the same act, by Jeremiah Maher. Mr. O'Meagher appeared for the defence. The information set forth stated that on tho 1st of March, 1855, Jeremiah Maher had hired under a verbal agreement, to serve Richard Maher as a general servant, at the rate of 15s a week. He had at first hired for sixteen weeks, and afterwards for a year. The second agreement was at the rate of £30 a year and his rations. At the end of sixteen weeks, he was discharged, and his demand for wages due was refused. He now claimed the sum of £17 17s. 4d. It afterwards appeared that when the complainant first came to defendant's place, he was told that he should have the wages of a man. Another man was employed at 10s. per week. He had the use of a house, and shared the milk of a cow with another servant who lived with him. From his statement, which was very confused, and given in a tone scarcely audible, it seemed that he had served Richard Maher during three several periods, the first of sixteen weeks, and the second of twelve weeks, at 15s. per week ; the third, commencing in March last, at £30 per annum, with rations. He had received £18 6d. during the time. He admitted having been ill for a fortnight. His wife had received a sovereign. He had had three hundredweight of flour, 90lbs of beef, a further quantity of flour, the milk of a cow, with other articles during the time. — Richard Maher being sworn, stated in defence that Jeremiah was his step-brother; that about eighteen months ago, when he came to the colony, he had been allowed to stay at his place at Hinton, and to run bills, had been furnished with the milk of a cow, worth two shillings a day, besides flour, corn, &c. ; that he had not made the agreements referred to in 1855 ; that he had refused to work ; and that now he was indebted to him, rather to an other- wise. James Sewell said that all the agreement made between the parties was made by him. Through his representations Richard Maher had consented to allow Jeremiah to stay and look after his place, and had promised to give him fifteen shillings a week ; but no mention of rations was made. The value received by the complainant, in cash and otherwise, was said to amount to about £40. The case was dismissed.
Note: The term Step Brother was often used to denote a half brother. The date of his arrival corresponds with that of 'James' Maher on the David McIver.
Deaths: James Maher and Patience nee Grace had both died by 1854 according to shipping records.