Fitzpatrick Family (Or is that the Anderson Family)

The first confirmed Fitzpatrick in our line is Michael Fitzpatrick. This is the name he went by from at least 1861...and possibly earlier. He may actually have been born as William Anderson. Or perhaps he had a totally different name... More on that later.

To tell the story of Michael, I will start with what is known, and then detail the uncertain facts about his life.

Michael Fitzpatrick married Margaret Kelly (daughter of Henry Kelly and Margaret McLeod) on 26 July 1861 at Waugoola N.S.W. He and Margaret had 14 children including 3 sets of twins, between 1862 and 1883, but I have only been able to find 12 of the children. These children were:

  • James Thomas (1862 - After 1899);
  • Henry (1865 - 1949);
  • William (1868-1919);
  • Elizabeth (1870-1956);
  • Michael (1872 - After 1899);
  • Andrew (1875 - After 1899);
  • John (1875 - 1883);
  • Margaret Jeanette (1877 - After 1899);
  • Robert Alexander (1880 - 1922);
  • Louisa Ann (1880 - 1882);
  • Louisa Martha (1883 - 1887);
  • John Alfred (1883 - 1965)

Neither Michael nor Margaret gave their ages on their wedding certificate. From the ages given on the birth certificates of their children, it appeared that Michael was born sometime between 1825 - 1830. For many years, Michael was my brick wall. Finally in 2015, a guardian angel pointed me in the direction of this newspaper article from 1904, which told of Michael's birthday celebrations on turning 100. Hang on, 100? So, NOT born between 1825 - 1830 then, and aged about 55 when he married 17 year old Margaret... I don't know how much of the article is true, but details of his marriage to Margaret Kelly of Hovells Creek about 1860 - 1861 confirm that he is our Michael.

This gave me a starting point on finding more about Michael. Michael made some interesting claims about his early life. Amongst other things, he claims that his real name was actually William Anderson, but that he adopted the name of William Michael Fitzpatrick to shield his father's name, as his father was Captain William Anderson who had commanded one of the Highland Regiments, and had fought in the Battle of Waterloo. Within the article, Michael contradicts himself at least once, at one stage talking about an uncle who had died, only for that same uncle to later find him in gaol. I haven't been able to verify many of his other claims, so don't know if they are true or not.

After finding this article, I started to look for Michael, under the name William Anderson. Certificates have confirmed that:

  • Louisa M Anderson who died 1882 in Coonamble was Louisa Ann Fitzpatrick born 1880;
  • John A Anderson who was born 1883 in Coonamble was John Alfred Fitzpatrick;
  • Louisa M Anderson who was born 1883 in Coonamble was Louisa Martha Fitzpatrick;
  • John Anderson who died in Coonamble in 1883 was John Fitzpatrick. From his death certificate, his parents were William Anderson and Margaret Kelly, he was born at Bogan Gate N.S.W and was aged 7 years and 10 months when he died on 25 January 1883. This puts his date of birth about March 1875.
  • Margaret Anderson who died 1884 in Orange was our Margaret Fitzpatrick (nee Kelly);
  • William M Fitzpatrick who died 1908 in Granville was our Michael Fitzpatrick

I then found Michael's admission papers from when he was admitted to Liverpool Asylum. He was admitted on 11 January 1899 and released 23 January 1899. The admission papers provide some additional information about Michael. His children are listed and their ages are given. All of the names match those I have found, and there is one additional name that I hadn't previously found, Andrew, who was born about 1875/1876. Other information provided includes:

  • there were 3 sons and 2 daughters deceased;
  • his parents names were Andrew Fitzpatrick and Elizabeth Sheehan;
  • he was 94 years old;
  • he was born in Dublin Ireland, he had been in the colony for 70 years (all in New South Wales);
  • he came out on the "Asia";
  • he was a widower;
  • he had left Rookwood Asylum about 4 months previously, and when released, he had gone to Cowra fossicking for gold;
  • he had been sent to Liverpool Asylum by the police; and
  • this was his first admission to Liverpool Asylum

Ok then, from his admission papers, his parents were Andrew Fitzpatrick and Elizabeth Sheehan. But from the newspaper article, his parents were William Anderson and Elizabeth McKenzie, and his name was actually William Anderson. And I now had a ship of arrival and time frame to investigate.

The convict ship "Asia" travelled to Australia several times. On it's journey to Australia in 1825, it arrived 21 February 1825, there was a Michael Fitzpatrick on board. He had been tried in County Carlow in 1824 and sentenced to 7 years for sheep-stealing, and his occupation was listed as butcher. The Westmeath Journal of 25 August 1824 reported that Michael Fitzpatrick, a Tulloh butcher, was found guilty of stealing a sheep, the property of William Hopkins of Tulloh. He was sentenced to transportation for seven years. Just to confuse the issue, there was also a John Fitzpatrick on the Asia in 1825, he came from Dublin.

I have not found a Ticket of Leave for Michael, but he was issued his Certificate of Freedom in 1831 in Sydney. I am still tracing this Michael, to confirm if he was our Michael, I am inclined to believe that he was. Michael Fitzpatrick who came out on the "Asia" was certainly in the Bathurst district by 1855 and by 1857 he was in Bathurst Gaol.

So now to trace Michael between 1825 and 1861. In 1825, Michael Fitzpatrick per the "Asia" was listed as employed by "Mr McArthur's Party" (was this a chain gang?) at Cawdor. There is no date on this document, the Cawdor Population and Stock Muster 1825. Cawdor was the first village to develop in the Cowpastures district. Governor Macquarie established a cattle station in 1812 at Cawdor, which subsequently grew to be a large government settlement. Cawdor was originally part of Camden Park, owned by John Macarthur. By 1825, McArthur owned about 10,000 hectares there.

At this stage, I haven't found anything more about Michael until 1831, when as mentioned, he received his Certificate of Freedom on 9 August 1831 in Sydney. The next mention I have found for him is on 15 February 1838, when he was committed for trial, after being charged with stealing a piece of bacon.

Michael Fitzpatrick court report

Michael Fitzpatrick's court report
(Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser 15 February 1838)

Michael Fitzpatrick court report

Michael Fitzpatrick's court report
(Commercial Journal and Advertiser 17 February 1838)

This is the same Michael Fitzpatrick, as his entry in the Gaol Entrance Book states that he arrived on the "Asia" in 1824, and he was a butcher from Carlow born in 1805. His physical description also matches. From this, it appears he may have been transferred to Parramatta on 23 May 1838. I haven't been able to find the outcome of this charge.

Michael was committed for trial again on May 27 1839, on a charge of stealing/larceny. I have not been able to determine if was a continuation of the committal in 1838, or if this was a new charge. I am inclined to believe that it was a different charge, as the list of witnesses (William Love, David Davies and John Miller) were not mentioned in the newspaper reports of the 1838 trial. This trial took place on 13 July 1839. Michael was found not guilty.

Michael was admitted to gaol again on 3 December 1840, on another charge of stealing, this time stealing a pound of tea. His trial took place on 6 January 1841 in Sydney. This time he was found guilty, and sentenced to to be worked in irons for 2 years.

Michael Fitzpatrick court report

Michael Fitzpatrick's court report
(Australasian Chronicle 7 January 1841)

By 1855, Michael had made his way to Bathurst. What he had been doing between 1841 and 1855 is still to be determined. On February 19 1855, he was was fined 20 shillings or 4 days in gaol for drunkeness. He served the time, and was released on 21 February 1855. On August 10 1857, it was reported in the Police Gazette that Michael had absconded from the hired service of John Flanagan of Bathurst on 4th August. His description was: "Michael Fitzpatrick, a native of Ireland, about 5ft. 8in, very brown complexion, no whiskers, wore an old drab California hat, an old dark coat, and light fustian trousers". In the Police Gazette of 20 August 1857, it was reported that he had been apprehended. The Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal reported that Michael had been charged with petty larceny. He was found guilty, and sentenced to 3 months imprisonment. He was admitted to Bathurst Gaol on 17 August, and released from there on 17 November 1857.

Michael Fitzpatrick court report

Michael Fitzpatrick's court report
(The Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal 19th August 1857)

Again, there is a bit of a gap in what Michael got up to between 1857 and 1861, when he married Margaret Kelly.

From the New South Wales Police Gazette, dated 6 January 1864, it was recorded that "a warrant had been issued by the Cowra bench for the arrest of Michael Fitzpatrick, a shepherd, recently in the employ of Patrick McInherney (sic), of Hovells Creek, wherein he is charged with disobeying a summons. He is an Irishman, 50 years of age, feet 10 inches high, dark grey hair, blind of one eye. Supposed to have gone to Carcoar or Bathurst." Patrick McInerney was Michael's stepfather, as Patrick had married Margaret Kelly (nee McLeod) in 1860. Nothing more has been found about this, at this time.

Sometime around 1880, the Fitzpatrick family started using Anderson as an alias. I have not yet found what triggered this. As well as the birth and death registrations mentioned earlier, Elizabeth was recorded as Elizabeth Anderson when she was listed as present for the birth of John Alfred and Louisa Martha "Anderson". James was also using Anderson around this time. From the certificates, Michael was using William Anderson as his name.

Margaret Kelly Fitzpatrick died 3 June 1884 and was buried 4 June 1884. On the 18 July 1884, this ad appeared in the Burrowa News.

Land sale at Hovells Creek

Michael Fitzpatrick's court report
(The Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal 19th August 1857)

This was the property Margaret's mother, Margaret Kelly, inherited from her husband Henry Kelly. Under the terms of Henry's will, all of his property was left to his wife "to hold and own during her life and at her death the property to be divided amoung our 6 children as they come to age at the discretion of my executors". I have not been able to find if the land was sold or not. To date, I haven't found when Margaret Kelly died, this may indicate that she had died by 1884. That is another story. This ad raises more questions than answers. If Margaret Kelly had died sometime previously, why did Michael wait until after his wife's death to try and sell the land? Why didn't any of the other Kelly children inherit some of the land? All 6 children were still alive at this time. During March/April 1909, the following ad appeared in the Sydney Morning Heral and Star newspapers and the Government Gazette of New South Wales.

Margaret Kelly land at Hovells Creek

Margaret Kelly land at Hovells Creek

This could indicate that the land didn't sell when Michael put it on the market in 1884.

By 1887 the three youngest Fitzpatrick children were living in Oberon with Margaret's sister (Ann Artery). John and Louisa were baptised in 1887, with Ann and William Artery listed as guardians. When Margaret Fitzpatrick died in 1884, Michael would have been about 80. He may have felt that he was incapable of looking after the children, and that could be why they ended up with the Artery family. How many of the children went to the Artery family is not known. Nor is what happened to the children who didn't go to the Artery family.

As mentioned previously, Michael was admitted to Liverpool Asylum on 11 January 1899 and released 23 January 1899. This document connects up Michael Fitzpatrick who arrived on the Asia in 1825 and our Michael Fitzpatrick. It mentions that he had left Rookwood Asylum about 4 months previously and returned to Cowra. Nothing is recorded about where he went on release from Liverpool Asylum. At some point, he moved on to Coonamble, where he was living at the time of his 100th birthday in 1904. At somepoint after his birthday, he reentered Rookwood Asylum.

(William) Michael Fitzpatrick died 28 April 1908 at Rookwood Asylum. The age recorded on his death certificate was 104. Most of the information on the death certificate corresponds with details Michael provided in the newspaper article in 1904. The informant on the certificate was a clerk from Rookwood Asylum, who presumably would have provided details on Michael's admission papers. I haven't yet accessed his Rookwood paperwork.

My pursuit of Michael continues...

DNA testing has revealed some interesting results on the Fitzpatrick line. My mother, brother and I have matches with known descendants of Michael Fitzpatrick, through all 4 of Michael's children who are known to have had children (James, Henry, John and Robert). There are a significant number of matches, that I haven't been able to connect in yet, Amongst these, there are two distinct clusters.

The first cluster, that I refer to as the "McFarlane Cluster" is a group of about 10 matches, who all descend from the same Mcfarlane ancestor. I started investigating this cluster, as some of the matches with Mum were quite large, suggesting that there was a close connection. All of these matches have shared matches with various confirmed Fitzpatrick descendants, many also have shared matches with confirmed Kelly descendants. Their shared McFarlane ancestor, John Thomas McFarlane, was supposedly the son of Michael John McFarlane and Margaret Kelly. I could not find any record of John Thomas McFarlane prior to the birth of his first child in Blackall Queensland in 1893. Blackall was a place of interest, as James Thomas Fitzpatrick married his first wife there. During the divorce trial for his second wife in 1895, he did not appear, documents suggested that he may have been in Blackall. The last confirmed knowledge of James was in 1889, after that he "disappeared". At this point, there are 3 Fitzpatrick brothers who are MIA, James, Michael and Andrew. John Thomas McFarlane had a brother, Arthur Michael McFarlane, who also just "appears" in the early 1890s.

Based on the size of the DNA matches, and the fact that they match confirmed Fitzpatrick and Kelly descendants, these matches ARE descendants Michael Fitzpatrick and Margaret Kelly. I have been able to compare the match sizes of one of the McFarlane cluster members and 2 confirmed descendants of James Thomas Fitzpatrick. Results do not rule in or rule out that James was their Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA). Further investigation will be required to resolve which Fitzpatrick was their ancestor.

The second cluster, which I refer to as the "Scott/Knapsey cluster" appears to be a little more distant based on the match sizes. There are 26 matches in this cluster, who descend from Mary Adeline Scott and James Knapsey. These matches have shared matches with various confirmed descendants of the Fitzpatrick family, but no matches with confirmed descendants of the Kelly line, which points to the match baing somewhere on the Fitzpatrick line. There are also some other matches on this line, who have Scott ancestors, but I haven't yet worked out connections. The other interesting finding, is that there appear to be no matchees with people who have Fitzpatricks, Sheehans, Andersons or McKenzies in their ancestral trees. This requires a lot more investigation, but it could point to Michael's surname not being Fitzpatrick, and that his line might have some sort of connection with the Scott surname.

James Thomas Fitzpatrick (1862 - ?)

James was born 1 April 1862 at Hovells Creek N.S.W, his birth was registered as Phillip Fitzpatrick, but he was listed as James on his brother, Henry's birth certificate in 1865, and all other documentation thereafter. James was known to have used Anderson as an alias. He married Honora McNamara on 8 May 1883 at Blackall Queensland. The child from this marriage was:

  • Francis James (1884 - 1954) married Annie Gray;

He then married Camilla Morgan on 14 June 1886 at Tuena. Children of this marriage were:

  • Margaret Rachel Eliza (1887 - 1976) married David Richard Alexander Hughes;
  • Arthur (1889 - 1968) married (1) Violet Love, (2) Eveline Cox (nee Walker)

Henry Fitzpatrick (1865 - 1949)

Henry was born 19 August 1865 at Hovells Creek N.S.W. He married Catherine Broughton in Queensland, and died 7 March 1949 in Mitchell Queensland. Children of the marriage were:

  • Ethel May (1893 - 1937) married James Shelton Leaver;
  • Harriett Mary (1895 - 1987) married Francis Spreadborough;
  • Margaret Lilly (1897 - 1971) married Reginald Foott;
  • Violet Grace (1899 - 1982) married Walter Patrick Foott;
  • Elizabeth Ann (1901 - 1973) married Reuben Anderson;
  • Ivy Gladys Minnie (1906 - 1975) married Joseph Raymond Russell;
  • Henry William (1910 - 1984)

William Fitzpatrick (1868 - 1919)

William was born 1 February 1868 Lachlan River N.S.W, and died 12 November 1919 in Dunwich Queensland. He never married. Nothing more is known about William at this time.

Elizabeth Fitzpatrick (1870 - 1956)

Elizabeth was born 12 February 1870 at Molong N.S.W. She married (1) Thomas Elliott and (2) Alfred Engstrom. She died 17 August 1956 in Sydney. For more information on the Elliott family, please refer to Elliotts of Nottingham.

Michael Fitzpatrick (1872 - ?)

Michael was born 10 September 1872 at Grenfell N.S.W. Nothing more is known about Michael, though it would appear that he was still alive in 1899, as he is listed on his father's admission papers to Liverpool Asylum.

John Fitzpatrick (1875 - 1883)

John was born 1875. The only reference I have found about John is his death certificate as John Anderson who died 25 January 1883 at Armatree Station District of Coonamble. Information provided on the death certificate states that he was 7 years and 10 months (putting his birth about March 1875), that he was born at Bogan River, his parents were William Anderson and Margaret Kelly, that he died of sunstroke and duration of illness was 24 hours.

Andrew Fitzpatrick (1875? - ?)

The only reference I have found about Andrew is he is listed on his father's admission papers to Liverpool Asylum in 1899, aged 23. This would put his birth around 1875-1876. This could make John and Andrew the third (well really first) set of twins. Nothing further is known at this time.

Margaret Jeanette Fitzpatrick (1877 - ?)

Margaret was born 17 December 1877 in Carcoar N.S.W. She is listed on her father's admission papers to Liverpool Asylum, though the age he has listed her as is incorrect...the age listed is 14 (she would have been 21 or 22), and she is listed as being at school. Margaret is the only child who's age is wrong. It is possible Michael got confused when he listed her, and was referring to his youngest daughter, Louisa Martha...whilst the age would be roughly correct, she had died in 1887, though he may not have been aware of this as she was living with her Aunt and Uncle. Nothing more is known of Margaret.

Robert Alexander Fitzpatrick (1880 - 1922)

Robert Alexander (Alec) was born 4 October 1880 in Dubbo, the elder born of twins. He married Maude Warby in Bathurst, and died 31 October 1922 in Oberon N.S.W. Children of the marriage were:

  • Doris Sylvia (1909 - 1977) married Harold William Carson;
  • William A (1912 - 1912);
  • Iris Myrtle (1914 - 1914);
  • Lila Myrtle (1915 - 2010) married William Joseph Johnson;
  • Eileen Ann (Abt 1923 - ?) married Clifford Neville Moore

Louisa Ann Fitzpatrick (1880 - 1882)

Louisa was born 4 October 1880 in Dubbo, the younger born of twins. She died 15 September 1882 at Armatree Station, Coonamble. Her cause of death was teething. Her death was registered as Louisa Martha Anderson.

Louisa Martha Fitzpatrick (1883 - 1887)

Louisa was born 21 January 1883 at Armatree Station Coonamble, the older born of twins. She and her twin brother John, were baptised on the 29 May 1887 at Oberon. Ann and William Artery were listed as guardians. Louisa died 7 September 1887 at Oberon.

John Alfred Fitzpatrick (1883 - 1965)

John was born 21 January 1883 at Armatree Station Coonamble, the younger born of twins. He, and his twin sister Louisa, were baptised on the 29 May 1887 at Oberon. Ann and William Artery were listed as guardians. He married Frances Hewitt in Wellington N.S.W and died 10 January 1965 at Oberon. Children of the marriage were:

  • Joseph Allan (1908 - 1971) married Elizabeth Mary Eileen Murphy;
  • Elizabeth May (1910 - 1998) married Noel Henry Mack;
  • John ALfred (1912 - 2010) married Mavis Lorna Booth;
  • Elma Eileen (1914 - 1992) married Desmond Leslie Thompson