researching my Glynn family history, as well as learning about those who
remained in Ireland, I also heard about the many Glynns who had departed
the home shores for England, the US, Canada and Australia.
I had a certain amount of success in tracing those who went to
England, Canada and the US, as their descendants still live in those
countries today. It looked
as if the Australian line had died out however, none of the relatives in
Ireland had heard from them for years and nobody seemed to know much at
all about them.
was known was that Paddy Glynn, against the wishes of his family, had
married a relative of his stepmother’s and he and his new bride Katie
emigrated to Australia immediately after the wedding, which had taken
place sometime around the turn of the century. Further enquiries revealed that they settled in Perth, had a
couple of children, Katie died, Paddy remarried, moved to Kalgoorlie and
gold was found on his property there!
photos, from family in the US, show individual head and shoulder shots
of what was supposedly Paddy and Katie – a very young Paddy and Katie,
dressed in their “best bib and tucker”.
It transpired that Paddy had gone to Kansas, to visit the Glynn
cousins there, and in one of his infrequent letters to them after his
return to Ireland, had enclosed these studio portraits.
other photos in the possession of Great Aunt Kathleen showed a very
pretty little girl of about six and a boy of about three years of age.
Inscribed on the back was “Mary Winifred Glynn daughter of
Paddy” and “Patrick Joseph Glynn, son of Paddy, Perth, Australia”.
a lot of information and clues to follow up on.
established, from the Dunmore, County Galway parish records, that Paddy
had been born on 16 February 1887 to James and Winifred (nee Glynn)
Glynn. He was the first
child of James, aged 32, and his young 21-year-old bride.
A daughter, Mary was born the following year, on 11 October 1888.
Sadly, both Mary and Winifred died shortly after the birth
leaving James with 21-month-old Paddy to rear.
A little over a year later, in the spring of 1890, James married
33-year-old Eleanor (Ellen) Crawley from Feamore, County Mayo.
They had four children, Mary born in 1890, Sarah Josephine born
in 1892, Brigid Mary born in 1895 and James born in 1897.
senior ran a shop and public house, in the Square, Dunmore town, and he
and his family were found there in the 1901 and 1911 Irish Census.
It was a prosperous business, capable of supporting the family
and two live-in servants. The
house was a first class one, with living quarters above and behind the
business. James also had a
farm in Ballymoney, about a mile from the town, off the road to Tuam.
It was a large farm of about 120 acres and, it would appear, that
Paddy worked there as he referred to himself in the 1911 census as a
“farmer’s son” rather than the son of a merchant.
It seemed that all was not harmonious between James and his
eldest son however. Paddy wasn’t an easy young man and his actions proclaim him
to have been willful and spoilt. James
had worked hard to build up his retail business and expected Paddy to
help out behind the shop/bar counter, but it looked as if Paddy was of
no mind to assist. When
Paddy went to Kansas in 1911 – he sailed from Liverpool on the Celtic
arriving in New York on 22 September 1911 – he took £700 with him.
This was an enormous amount of money at that time and apparently
he returned home without a penny, having spent the lot, much to his
father’s disappointment and probable annoyance.
had at least one other reason for being annoyed with Paddy.
Paddy was enamoured of his stepmother’s first cousin, Katie
Crawley. Katie and her two
sisters, Maria and Ellen, were orphans. Their
parents had died in 1883 and 1884 and the girls lived with their uncle
and aunt, Thomas and Sally Crawley and their seven children, of whom
James’ wife Ellen was the eldest. Katie
was 20 years Ellen’s junior but she was still 10 years older than
Paddy. James would not have
viewed Katie, a penniless orphan and an older woman to boot, as a
suitable match for his son and heir.
and Katie won out however and were married in Dunmore on 1 September
1912 when Paddy was aged 25 and Katie 35.
Perhaps James threatened to disinherit Paddy if he insisted on
marrying Katie against his wishes or the atmosphere was beyond bearing.
Whatever, family lore has it that James and Paddy argued and this
resulted in the newly married pair packing their bags and heading for
Australia. Katie had
cousins living in Perth, Western Australia, so it was only natural that
she and Paddy should head there. They
sailed from London to Fremantle on the ship Orama, arriving in
Australia on 18 March 1913. There,
on the quayside, to meet them was Katie’s cousin Maria and her
16-year-old daughter Mollie. Maria
and her husband, Michael Tighe (originally from Aghamore, near
Ballyhaunis), were doing well in Perth.
They had emigrated to Australia, seeking a climate kinder than
that of Ireland, as Maria’s health wasn’t great.
They went to Melbourne originally, but the extremes of
temperature there were no better than home, so they opted for the milder
climate of Western Australia. Michael
and Maria owned a couple of grocery shops in Rokeby Road, Subiaco, on
the outskirts of Perth. The shops
were located less than a mile apart, one each side of the railway that
ran from Freemantle to Perth, thereby catering for trade from both
directions. Michael, Maria
and their family lived in the rooms above one of the shops
and Paddy stayed with the Tighe family in Subiaco for some time.
Katie fell pregnant and gave birth to a daughter, Mary Winifred,
in 1914. Less than two years
later a son, John Thomas, was born but unfortunately didn’t live long,
dying at under a year old on 5 February 1916.
It’s not known exactly when they moved out of the Tighe family
home but Katie and Paddy were living at 384 Barker Road, Subiaco,
according to the 1916 and 1918 versions of the Perth Post Office
Directory. Two more children were
born – Patrick Joseph in 1919 and on 8 February 1921 a stillborn boy
that they called James.
and Katie managed to save enough money to invest in a substantial
property at 12 Salvado Road in Subiaco and were well established there
by 1925. There was a very nice
looking cottage on the property, a milking shed, a dairy and enough land
to run a small herd of cows on. This property was just up the road from
the local Catholic Church and Hospital run by the Saint John of God
nuns. Paddy became the local
milkman and, as such, delivered milk to the hospital, presbytery,
convent, businesses and houses in the vicinity. The Glynns remained on
friendly terms with the Tighe family, in part because they were the only
kin they each had in Australia but also because Kate and Maria were
genuinely fond of each other. Photographs
bear testimony to Paddy and Kate’s attendance at Tighe family
gatherings, such as the marriage of Mollie Tighe to Michael O’Dea in
1919. They were familiar enough
for Paddy to borrow Maria’s car whenever his vehicle broke down.
Paddy did however manage to upset some of Katie’s relatives by
being a bit of a “smart alec” and, it would appear, that they
didn’t altogether approve of his treatment of Katie at times either.
junior and Mary grew up in Subiaco and attended the local convent school
of St Joseph, run by the Sisters of Mercy.
Mary sang in the church choir for many years and Patrick was an
altar boy at the local Catholic Church of St Joseph.
A class photo taken circa 1926 shows Mary Glynn in a school
uniform, of pinafore and blouse, as part of a 6th Standard
class of 12 girls and 9 boys.
Glynn died at St John’s Hospital, Perth on 11 February 1940.
She had suffered from chronic Endocarditis for two years.
According to her death certificate, she was aged 55 but, if the
records of Annagh Roman Catholic Parish, County Mayo are correct, then
she had been born on 4 December 1877 so was, in fact, 62 years old.
The Western Australian newspaper carried the
following death notice:
on February 11 1940, Kate, dearly loved wife of Patrick Joseph Glynn of
12 Salvado Road, Subiaco, loved mother of John and James, deceased, and
Mary and Paddy. RIP
was buried on 13 February in the Roman Catholic Section of Karrakatta
Cemetery with her two young sons, John Thomas and James.
worked for a number of years as office manager for a furniture store
called Zimpels, in Perth City. She
then worked as a receptionist in various hotels.
The last one she worked at, and in which she died, was The
Ocean Beach Hotel on Marine Parade in Cottesloe, a suburb of Perth.
Apparently, she had been dead for a number of days before her
body was discovered. She
was aged 66. It would appear that she had been engaged at one time but
never married. The
Western Australian newspaper carried three death notices in the days
following her death:
14 November 1980
(Winifred Mary) Fond memories of a good friend Thelma, Lil and Mal
(Winifred Mary) In memory of Miss Glynn, May she rest in peace.
From Sue, Barbara, Glad and Lorraine.
15 November 1980
(Mary) A tribute to a good friend of Athol and Gerry Higgins and Staff
– Hyde Park Hotel. Thank
you Mary for your help.
never married either. He seems to
have had a rather sad life, living on the streets and possibly suffering
from alcoholism. His death
on 12 July 1973, aged 54, was subject to a coronial inquiry, which
concluded that “acute congestive cardiac failure” was the cause.
He died en route from 108 Bulwer Street, Perth to The Royal Perth
Hospital. He was buried on
19 July 1973 in a paupers’ grave at Karrakatta Cemetery and his death
certificate says his parentage is unknown.
The grave has no headstone, as it is a common grave, and there
are two others buried there also. His
sister, Mary, may never have known of his death.
Brigidine Sisters (or Sisters of Saint Brigid), at the invitation of
Archbishop Prenderville, came from their motherhouse in Sydney, in early
1942, to open a school in Western Australia.
They were looking for a property to buy for a convent and Paddy
was keen to move from Salvado Road so he sold number 12 to the order.
In the early years the house was used as a convent and the
original farm buildings and Paddy’s dairy were used as schoolrooms.
Over time, the nuns extended the property, to cater for their
growing community, but the original cottage on the property was finally
demolished in 1972 and the present, more comfortable convent built.
he had sold the property, Paddy moved inland from Perth to the West
Australian goldfield town of Kalgoorlie.
He had a job, as a miner, with a local company called GMK
(Goldmines of Kalgoorlie). It
was wartime, Paddy was too old to enlist - even if he had wanted to -
labour was in short supply and the mining companies paid good wages.
Shift work meant working unsociable hours but miners were well
paid for the inconvenience. Paddy met and married in Kalgoorlie, on 6
May 1944, Alice (Tod) Mary Howieson, a schoolteacher at the local
Kalgoorlie Primary School. She
was the daughter of Alice (nee Gannon) and John Howieson.
Her father was Scottish and her mother Irish.
Tod had been born in New South Wales in 1903 so was 41 at this,
the time of her first and only, marriage to Paddy.
and Alice had no children of their own but Alice had lots of nieces and
nephews who came to stay on a regular basis.
One of these, Jenny Heumbes, recalls how she and her brother
Lucius were taught to “swing the Kelly” by Paddy and how she still
considers herself a good woodchopper.
Jenny enjoyed Paddy and Alice’s company, said they both had a
great sense of humour and she has very fond memories of her holidays
with them. They had a big
back yard and always kept hens. There
was however no sign of the gold that family lore said was found on the
property! She recalls that Paddy wasn’t very tall, had dark hair,
smoked a pipe and always wore a hat.
Paddy and Alice both loved the beach and to fish and each year
after Christmas would have a holiday at the Brighton Hotel in Mandurah
or Rottnest Island. They
both enjoyed the races too and Paddy loved his beer.
made a trip home to Ireland sometime around 1960.
died on 10 February 1963 at the Saint John of God Hospital in Kalgoorlie.
He had suffered from cancer of the larynx for two years and was
aged 75 at the time of his death. He
is buried in the Roman Catholic section of the local Kalgoorlie
Cemetery. No headstone marks his final resting place – just a grave marker
bearing the number 12841.
not clear what kind of relationship Paddy had with his children or,
after his death, how strong Alice’s relationship with them was.
Clearly, Patrick junior was estranged from his family.
It was Alice however, accompanied by her sister Barbara, who had
to clean out Mary’s room at The Ocean Beach Hotel, after her
death. Jenny recalls that
Alice was very upset at the time, especially as Mary’s body had not
been found until some days after her death.
went teaching in Katanning (south of Perth) after Paddy’s death in
1963. On her retirement
from teaching, she moved back to Perth and lived in a retirement village
at the back of the North Perth Monastery. She wanted to be close to her sister Barbara and family.
Her later years were spent in a nursing home called The Two
Pines in the suburb of Maylands.
When she died, on 24 April 1990, Alice was buried with her sister
and brother in law at Karrakata Cemetery as they had always had a close,
loving relationship. She
was aged 87 at the time of her death.
|More on Alice (Tod) Howieson
in the letters page - Letter 6