William Byrne, trooper

My mother’s maternal grandparents were Irish. George and Susie Byrne came from Killarney, though not at the same time. Susie came first, when she was 16, with her parents and siblings, in 1877. George, who had known Susie in Ireland before her family left for Australia, followed her out, at the end of 1882. They... Continue Reading →

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Arrival

Early in the antipodean Spring of 1973 I stood on the deck of an old passenger ship, Ellinis, as it sailed through the heads of Sydney Harbour and made its way slowly towards the iconic Bridge and Opera House. It was the end of a four and a half week voyage from England. I was... Continue Reading →

The passing of an archbishop

Recently (11 September 2018) I attended Donald Robinson’s funeral. Don was my father’s cousin, 10 years older than Dad. Their mothers were sisters, Gertie and Winnie Ross. I remember Don fondly because, among other things, he was the keeper of the family history, and a large part of his family history is also mine. He... Continue Reading →

The Byrnes and our Irish origins

My grandmother’s oldest sister was named Kathleen Byrne, but the family usually called her Lena. She was born in 1886 in Sydney, the first child of George and Susie Byrne, who were both Irish migrants from County Kerry. Her parents were reasonably well off; some would say it was because they were a strict Brethren... Continue Reading →

Reconstructing the Byrne family

I am descended from four Kerry families of the nineteenth century: their names are Byrne, Hickson, Needham and Ruddle. My maternal grandmother was Gertrude Byrne and her parents, both Irish born, were George Byrne and Susie Hickson. George’s parents were George Byrne (senior) and Sarah Ruddle, while Susie’s parents were William Hickson and Mary Needham. My paternal grandmother... Continue Reading →

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