Australia Day, 26th January is a day we celebrate what makes us Australian.
Regardless of whether your ancestor came 40 000 years ago or yesterday and regardless of where they were from, together their descendants are Australian.
Your challenge (should you choose to accept it) is to tell the story of your first Australian ancestor.
To make it fair to both the male and female sides of your heritage why not make it two stories. One each on the earliest ancestor on each side?
Patrick Flynn (1791-1862)
Patrick Flynn was my first ancestor to arrive in Australia. He was born c1791 in County Limerick, Ireland. In 1811 he married Hanora Connor and they had three children Ann, Mary and Thomas.
Patrick was convicted in County Wexford, Ireland for being a whiteboy in March 1821 and was transported to Australia for life. He sailed from Ireland on 18th November 1821 aboard the ship Southworth under command of the master David Sampson and surgeon Joseph Cook. The Southworth arrived in Sydney on 9th March 1822.
Patrick was moved to Emu Plains where he worked at the Government Establishment. On 22nd December 1822 he was assigned to Mr Palmer to work with his clearing party. The following year he was on the monthly statement of changes in the convicts at Rooty Hill Station, from Prisoners’ Barracks, Sydney and was employed fencing.
Patrick Flinn applied for his wife and three children to be sent out to the colony at the expense of the crown. The Rev J J Therry recommended the application. Hanora lived in the parish of Liscarroll and was known to the Rev Malachy Sheehan Parish Priest and William Purcell Esq. J P of said parish.
Patrick’s wife Hanora and their children Ann, Mary and Thomas arrived free in the colony aboard the Thames on 11th April 1826. They had left Cork on 14th November 1825. The Thames was the first ship to sail direct from Ireland with free immigrants intending to join their convict or emancipated convict husbands in New South Wales.
On 18th April, after only eight days in Sydney, Hanora petitioned the Governor, Lieutenant General Ralph Darling praying her husband Patrick Flynn may be granted to her as her assigned servant as she had three children she was unable to provide for. George Blackett, the Superintendent at Rooty Hill stated that Patrick Flynn had been under his superintendency since 19th December 1823, “during which period I have found no fault in his conduct have been very attentive to his duty and all along demeaned himself in a manner much to my satisfaction.”
Hanora again petitioned the Governor in October 1829. That your Memorialist has now five children viz. 3 female and 2 male whereas 4 of which are now looking to their mother for support. That your Memorialist on arrival was immediately allowed the indulgence of taking her husband Patrick Flynn off the stores, he then stationed at Rooty Hill Establishment....My husband’s character since his arrival in the colony will bear the strictest enquiry as your Excellency will see, should your Excellency be pleased to have his character investigated.
That your Memorialist since her arrival and with the industry and help of her husband has obtained 27 head to horned cattle for which with the exception of a few milch cows has to play for the grazing of the same, not having any land to graze them on. Your Memorialist therefore most humbly soliits your Excellency will be pleased to allow her a certain portion of land for the run of her cattle, for such a period of time as to your Excellency’s wisdom and goodness shall seem meet, which favour will be considered by Memorialists for ever and of infinite service to her infant children......... Hanora Flynn I reside at No 47 Kent Street Sydney.
The Rev John Dunmore Lang replied to this petition. Though I am not personally acquainted with the applicant, I am enabled to state from information which I can place with confidence that the statements contained in this ? are ???? to recommend the prayer of the memorialist to his Excellency the Governor.
Although the Rev John Dunmore Lang did not have a personal connection to the Flynns, his assigned servant Thomas Moylan did. Banns for the marriage of Thomas Moylan and Anne Flinn were published on 14th June 1828. As his master, the Rev Mr Lang gave permission for Thomas to marry.
When Patrick Flynn received his Ticket of Leave on 27th November 1830 he was living at Pittwater. He received his conditional pardon five years later on 21st November 1835.
Two further children were born to the couple, John who was baptised on 12th January 1834 and Michael who was baptised on 26th May 1836.
Patrick Flynn is mentioned several times in Shelagh and George Champions book Profiles of the pioneers in Manly, Warringah and Pittwater.Martin Burke leased 40 acres of land at Little Mackeral Beach to Patrick Flynn for 999 years, for 2/- a year, upon trust for his daughter Ellen. (What a shame they later sold the lease!!). Although Patrick applied for land at Narrabeen Lagoon and Coaster’s Retreat he did not proceed with these,