JOHN CLEARY AND JOANNA CLOHESY
A marriage born in the journey of John Egan of Borrisoleigh?
John Cleary married Joanna Clohesy - daughter of Tipperary farmers
Edward (Edmund) Clohesy and Brigid Ryan - in Daylesford on 18 June 1870 and farmed at Blampied.
John had emigrated from Anglesboro, County
Limerick, probably in October 1863 with his brother Dinny on the Great
Australia. Among those on the Great Australia
was 17 year old Ellen Daly. Was she one of the Dalys of Anglesboro? And
was Michael Ahern an Ahern from the Boro Road, Anglesboro?
Joanna - Johanna on the shipping record and elsewhere - might have arrived on the City of Melbourne
in April 1864. As coincidence would have it, on the ship was 38-year-old Mary Ryan, who was the same age as Johanna's sister Mary Ryan nee Clohesy. However, as descendant Mike Ryan advises, Mary arrived in Victoria in 1853 on the David McIvor with her husband John - the couple married in 1851 in England and lived at Bald Hills near Blampied - and an infant who died on the journey. Mary Ryan witnessed Johanna's
The baptism records for the Clohesys of Killamoyne show a girl, Judith, born in 1833.
This is without doubt Joanna Clohesy, as the name Judith was an
anglicised version of and substitute for Johanna.
What the census says
The 1900/1911 census records for Killamoyne, outside Borrisoleigh, in North Tipperary, from
where John Egan - who would become a prominent local squatter - had
emigrated in 1841 confirm that this was the home of the Clohesys of Blampied.
The 1911 Irish census identifies Michael (78 years
and born in 1832/33) and Bridget Clohesy (65 years) in the parish of
Glenkeen, townland of Killamoyne, Borrisoleigh. There were four
children, Edward, Thomas, Michael and Margaret still at home in 1911.
This is consistent with the baptism records, which show a Michael
Clohesy as being born to Edmund Clohesy and Bridget Ryan in in 1832, the parents of the Blampied immigrants..
There was one Ryan, 93-year-old Thomas in the same
townland and a cluster of other Ryans in other parts of this (Glenkeen)
parish. It would seem that the Clohesys came to the Blampied area as a
result of stories coming back to Borrisoleigh about the success - gold
and land - of the Borrisoleigh born, John Egan
Ryans of Tipperary
Mary Ryan aboard the the City of Melbourne were the following Ryans;
Ann aged 7, Daniel aged 8, Patrick aged 10, John aged 11, Joanna aged
17, James aged 20, Ryan aged 22, Julie aged 25 and William Ryan aged
Joanna Cleary's brother Paddy might have arrived
on the Lord Raglan in 1862. He married Ann Smith in Wellington around
1872 at age 43 years. She was from Dublin and some twenty years
Dinny Cleary had fought in Italy in the Pope's Irish Brigade against Garibaldi.
Whether John did likewise is unclear. I'm still researching that
question. John died in September 1881 at 39 years of age and is
buried in the Eganstown Cemetery. Johanna, who died in 1904, is with
him, as is their daughter Mary. Joanna's brother Patrick was a publican
|The original Cleary house - now on the Kangaroo Hills road
- having been moved, probably around 1943, when the farm was
sold to Matthew Rieniets.
On 11 March 1875 an inquest was held at the Mount Prospect
the death that day of their daughter Mary Ann Cleary, aged one year
and eleven months. Senior Constable Connell described the girl's
father as John Cleary, publican at the Shamrock Hotel. Doctor George Roche
(from Cork) certified the death and Sergeant Conlon of Blanket Flat
witnessed the statement.
jurors include Thomas ?, Thomas Jones, Charles Poole, Edward Morrissey,
Charles Whitlish, John Morgan, Charles Way? Robert Stewart, David
Learman, Dennis Crotty, William Chatfield, Gaetano Tomasetti and
Auguste Blampied. Morrissey, Crotty, Whitlish and Chatfield signed
their name with an x. As coincidence would have it, in 1883 the inquest
into the death of August Blampied (juror in the Cleary inquest) was
held at 'Mr P Clohesy's Shamrock Hotel'. John and his brother-in-law
probably ran the pub together.
Joanna's evidence is poignant:
I was in the kitchen at about 12 O'Clock, noon, when I heard a scream
behind me, on turning around I observed the hands and halfway up to the
elbows of the deceased in a boiler of boiling water. The boiler was
standing on the brick hob on one side of the fireplace...I took the
deceased into the sitting room and put salad oil to the wounds and
afterwards flour ...after 10 O'Clock as the child began to grow worse I
sent for Dr Roche...he'came a few minutes after seven this
morning...said nothing could be done ..owing to the shock...the boiler
was an ordinary three or four gallon...for washing...and was not more
than half full...the child seemed very lively yesterday afternoon and
we did not apprehend fatal results until about ten O'Clock...
One wonders why Dr Roche was so tardy. Dr George Roche died on the
24/1/81 aged 51 and is buried at Creswick.
|Johanna Cleary, Tipperary immigrant and wife of John Cleary. No doubt born in the parish of Glenkeen, Killamoyne, Tipperary, Borrisoleigh.
Cleary died in 1904, twenty six years after the birth of her last
child, John Joseph. Records vary as to her age. In her death
certificate, nephew Edward Clohesy cites her age as 68 years (born in
1836) and her father as Michael, which is surely wrong, given she identified her father as Edward on her marriage certificate. If she is the
Judith baptised in 1833 Joanna was some nine years older than husband John and
would have been 45 when her last child - my grandfather John - was born
in 1878. She died of senile debility, chronic bronchitis and exhaustion.
Joanna's Will offers some telling insights into class relations at the time:
1. All that piece of land being lots 48 and 49, Block B, Plan
No. 2617 and being Crown Allotments 48 and 49, Section B, Parish
of Bullarook, County of Talbot, containing 129 acres, 3 rods and
3 perches, or thereabouts, upon which is erected a weatherboard
farmhouse containing 6 rooms, outhouses and fencing.
(Annual assessment of Shire of Creswick, 115 pound.)
2. Also that piece of land being lot 95 A, 95 A1, and 95 B being
Crown Allotments 95, Section B, Parish of Bullarook, County of Talbot,
containing 174 acres, 0 rods and 3 perches, upon which is erected
a small weatherboard cottage containing 4 rooms (let to a tenant
at 2 shillings per week) and also fencing.
(Annual assessment of Shire of Creswick
40 acres valued at 12 pound per acre = 480 pound
134 acres valued at 6 pound per acre = 804 pound = 1284 pound
The 129-acre block alongside the Mt Prospect Cemetery was part of
a 7,302-acre parcel of land, owned by George Stuart Hepburn of the
Smeaton Estate, Edmund Kirby, of Alfredton near Ballarat County
of Grenville, Stock Agent and William Austin Zeal of Bank Place
in the City of Melbourne, Civil Engineer.
Zeal would make an interesting research project. Born in England
and trained as a surveyor and engineer, he arrived in Melbourne
in 1852 and worked briefly on the Castlemaine goldfields. After
a stint as a railway engineer he soon took to politics, and between
1864 and 1901 spent thirteen years in the state parliament. In 1901
he was elected to the senate.
In William Mitchell, who was to become President of the Legislative
Council in 1870, he found a commercial ally in the acquisition of
pastoral runs. Of course his devotion to making money on the backs
of small selectors was enough for him to be knighted in 1895. And
yes, he died in Toorak, at the ripe old age of 82 years.
The epoch following the goldrushes was a time when gentlemen could
plunder the countryside and the parliament was no more than a vehicle
to cement their interest in land. The corruption of the parliament
was reflected in the following question by Mr Hood to the Postmaster-General
in the Legislative Council in January 1858. (See my book Cleary
"Was there a petition presented to the Board of Land
and Works complaining of the conduct of the District Surveyor
in changing what were originally two allotments of land into one,
immediately previous to the sale in Captain Hepburn's run?
Were these allotments withdrawn in consequence of such petition?
Were the same lots Gazetted for sale one month afterwards, with
compensation to the extent of 900 pounds put on them, and was
the land finally sold in one or two lots, and who was the purchaser?
On what grounds were other two lots withdrawn from sale,
and why were they put up at a sale in another district? Why was
the petition of the inhabitants of Creswick against the removal
of the sale from that place to Castlemaine disregarded? Is it
true that Captain Hepburn was allowed compensation for fences
removed from a public road, and put up between land previously
purchased by him?
Is it true that the lots were of a larger size close to Captain
Hepburn's pre-emptive right (or wrong) than on the remainder of
It was probably no surprise that William Zeal was appointed to
the position of Postmaster-General in 1892. The purchase of land
by small selectors was a goldmine for local investors such as Zeal
and financiers of the Henry Cuthbert ilk.
A Ballarat solicitor and prominent member of the Masonic order,
Cuthbert was born in Ireland and was later knighted. His social
and economic interests - Ballarat Times, Turf Club, The Golden Fleece
Hotel and the Anglican Church - put him in a privileged class. He
was elected to the Legislative Council in 1874. Was it any wonder
Joanna Cleary's son, John Joseph, grew up with a strong socialist
The last page of Joanna's Will is instructive:
Amount due to Robert Richardson of Ballarat, Gentleman, upon
first mortgage over lot No 1 of said real estate= 1400/0/0 pound
Amount of interest due thereon from 1st of September 1903 to
13 January 1904 at 4 + 1/2% = 23/4/10
Amount due to Sir Henry Cuthbert of Ballarat upon his first
mortgage over the Lot No 2 of said real estate and 2nd mortgage
over said Lot No 1 = 1000/0/0
Amount of interest due from 15th September 1903 to 13 January
1904 at 4+1/2% = 13/3/10
Johannsens and Son of Allendale for timber = 6/1/7
W, S, W Pitcher of Kingston = 2/7/0
J Cushing, Draper, Creswick = 7/10/9
G and G Haintz, Rockylead Butchers = 7/15/5
(The Haintz family is buried in Mount Prospect)
Minogue Brothers, Storekeepers of Smeaton = 11/7/0
W Minihan, wages (blacksmith?) = 10 pound
M and P Clohesy, (Clohessy) blacksmith, Blampied = 3/1/0
W P Northcotte, Creswick = 6 shillings
John Stewart and Co, Newland produce = 0/4/6
M Connors, Eganstown Bread = 15 shillings
Summary of estate = 2485/16/1
Assets = 4027/15/0
Liabilities = 2485/16/1
Balance of duty = 1541/18/1
This is the property marked...
After payments of all my debts, funeral and testamentary expenses,
I give, devise and bequeath unto all my real and personal estate
of every description to my two sons, Michael J Cleary and Edward
Cleary. I hereby devise the said Michael J and Edward Cleary out
of the said estate to this brother John Cleary 200 pounds and to
each of their sisters Bridget and Annie Marie Cleary 150 pound each
to be paid not later than 10 years after my decease.
And I hereby appoint thereby appoint the due said Michael and Edward
Cleary executors of this my last will and testament whereof I have
hereunto set my hand this 26th day of December in the year of our
Signed Joanna Cleary
in the presence of us present
at the same time:
Patrick Kelly - Miner, Eganstown
Edward Clohesy (Clohessy) - Farmer, Blampied
NOTE: I suspect that this is Patrick Kelly - born in Knockanure,
Borrisoleigh, Tipperary on 6 March 1836 - father of the Patrick
Kelly in the photo below.
|This photo, bearing the words Kelly, Cleary, Ryan on the
board (top left), is undated. To the best of my knowledge
it features Jack Walton (far right), Patrick Kelly, 'Tinga'
Walsh and Mick Cleary (b1871), unknown woman, and an unknown
man standing, who appears in other family photos. The men
playing cards are also unknown, as is the location.
|Mick 'Punga' Cleary, born on 13 August 1871 to John and Joanna Cleary
of Mt Prospect. The first born, he was named after his grandfather,
Michael Cleary, of Anglesboro, County Limerick. The word Punga I'm told is aboriginal for sun. Maybe his fair hair was
the reason for the nickname.
Mick Cleary lived at Blampied (Mt Prospect) until 1920
when he sold his farm to Bob Blain. The 129-acre farm runs
alongside the bluestone bridge just beyond the Swiss Mountain
Hotel . This photo is taken from the Mt Prospect cemetery,
which borders the farm.
The farm was later bought by the Rieniets family. All that
remains is an old chimney. Mick married Maggie Dwyer in
1905. His daughter Molly Campbell provided me with many
|The chimney of the old house as seen from the road. Was
this where young Mary Ann died in 1875?
An interesting letter:
I have a GG Uncle Thomas Patrick kelly who married Elizabeth (Queenie)
Dwyer at Mt. Prospect in 1916.
Her sister Margaret Dwyer married a Michael Cleary (born Blampied)
I was wondering if there was any connection to your Clearys.
I see you also mention the name Heagney - my mother's maiden name
was Heagney and they came from around the Kooroocheang, Smeaton,
Creswick, Franklinford areas. They originally came from Gortanumera
(near Portumna), Galway, Ireland.
My great grandfather Matthew Heagney (born Franklinford 1864) and
his wife Catherine Mary (nee Kelly - born at Brandy Hot - Eganstown
in 1872) after living for a time in KOOROOCHEANG, where their daughter
Ellen was born, spent some years as owners of the Victoria Hotel
at ROCKY LEAD, now called ROCKLYN, where their sons Matthew and
Patrick were born. The family then moved to DEAN, where Denis, John
& William were born, before settling in CRESWICK where Tom,
Kathleen, Rita and her twin sister Joanna were born. They were married
in 1891 at St. Josephs Church, Mt. Prospect
Their son Denis later played football for Creswick and played in
a combined Ballarat League Team which defeated a visiting VFL Team
in 1922 (I have the photo of the team). He moved from CRESWICK to
GEELONG to play with the Geelong Football Club in the V.F.L. (he
was brought down by the Geelong Football Club). He was coach of
the 1923 Geelong Reserves Premiership side, and was a player in
the Geelong Football Club's first Premiership in the V.F.L. in 1925.
Denis Heagney wore number 29 and played 6 senior games between 1925-1926.
If the families aren't connected I am sure they would certainly
have known each other.
Yes, they are connected. The Mick Cleary in the photo above is
the same person listed in Terry's email. He married the Dwyer girl. Patrick Kelly was Thomas
Hi Phil, I have just come across your very interesting site. I
great niece of the mentioned Matthew Rieniets. After reading your
history (knowing the landmarks!) I felt I needed to make contact.
My other side of the family HEALY and RYAN were also on board "The
Great Australia" and settled in Rocky Lead. William Denis HEALY
married Ellen RYAN from Tipperary in Ballarat after meeting on board
the "Great Australia".
There were other Healy's on board too and settled in the area. William
and Ellen had 13 children (the youngest Edmund married Louisa of the
area). I wondered if your RYAN was related to mine?? We probably
conection with Clare CLEARY nee RIENIETS?