In 1854, a man named James Maher arrived in NSW aboard the David McIver and stated that Richard Maher [Maitland] and Daniel Maher [at Morpeth] were his brothers. This man gave his age as 49 and stated his parents were parents 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' aged 45, daughter of John and Judy Quinlan, and seven children.
My Theory: I believe that much of the information in the shipping records is incorrect. I have since found the baptisms of most of the children aboard the David McIver that shows their parents to be James Maher and Patience Grace who are also recorded in shipping records as the parents of Richard and Daniel Maher. Furthermore, James Maher had been married previously been married to Catherine Delany and among their children was a son named Darby 'Jeremiah' Maher [see note on name below]. I believe the man aboard the David McIver named James Maher was actually Jeremiah Maher the older half brother of Richard and Daniel and the younger children aboard. His wife was Ellen Quinlan, daughter of John and Judy Quinlan.
The following is offered in support of this theory:
Darby Maher baptised 11th March 1811 at Thurles son of James Maher and Mary Delany. Father a farmer of Brittas. [Note: According to the Irish Genealogical Society International website Gaelic: Diarmaid, Darby or Dermot = Jeremiah or Jerome] [Note 2: Mother's name is clearly Mary in the baptism register but subsequent baptisms do name her as Catherine]
Marriage: Jeremiah Maher married Ellen Quinlan 5th February 1837 Witnesses James Delany [probably his cousin as per Irish customs at the time] and Johanna Quinlan. Thurles.
Immigration to Australia: Although Jeremiah arrives under the first name 'James' he gives the correct names of his parents 'James and Catherine'. The same goes for wife Ellen [who is using the name Prudence Grace] but gives her parents as John and Judy Quinlan.
Ellen Quinlan was baptised 9th January 1813 at Thurles daughter of John Quinlan farmer and Jude[sic] Bruton
Jeremiah Maher works for step brother Richard Maher per newspaper and arrived in NSW about 18 months previous.
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.
Death: Jeremaih Maher, son of James Maher and Unknown Delany died on 11th December 1896 at Green Street Morpeth. His age was 86 and he was a storekeeper. He was born in Tipperary and had spent 40 years in the colony. His wife is named as Ellen Quinlan and his age at marriage was 26. There are no children from the marriage. Informant was George Maher nephew. Cause of death was heart disease. He was buried in the Roman Catholic Cemetery at Morpeth on 12th December 1896. Ref: MAHER JEREMIAH 14271/1896 JAMES UNKNOWN MORPETH - Transciption held.