Monday, November 2, 2020

Saving Reverend Ryan

 On Saturday I shared the story of Michael Harrington Ryan, my GGGUncle who was a pioneer priest in Australia, at The Society of Australian Genealogists event : In search of ... My Irish Ancestor.

My Presentation - Slide 1

Although I have been researching my Ryan line since the 1980s it was not until 2012 that serendipity found Michael for me, I was immediately captivated by his story. In my presentation I talked about my discovery of Michael and the chase to find and verify his life story. I shared a few highlights of Michael's life, read excerpts from some of his letters and showed how and where I saved all of the information I have gathered on Michael.

When I volunteered to do this talk I said that I would do a 30 minute presentation, in retrospect I should have been brave and put my hand up for 60 minutes and given a more sedate and complete presentation. Having sat through so many boring presentations about other people's ancestors over the years I was concerned about spoiling the day with a lengthy, tedious talk.

While I tried to mention the many resources I have used in tracking Michael and his family and learning about his life and times I neglected to share a proper list for attendees. The following list details some of the places visited and resources used in my hunt for Michael.  Although incomplete it may be of use to other researchers. It clearly demonstrates that you can't do it all online

As for the future I will continue to chase Michael and try to get access to the Catholic Diocesan Archives in Sydney, Hobart, Maitland/Newcastle and Westminster (England) which I suspect have many letters to and from Michael and accurate details of his postings. As these repositories aren't too fond of family historians I will need to spin a good yarn to see their files.


Books and Journal Articles

  • Abbott, Vincent  A Parish called Westmeath.  Mullingar,Westmeath :Vincent Abbott, n.d.
  • All Hallows' College centenary celebrations at Sydney and Bathurst. [Australia : Catholic Church], 1942 
  • Atkinson, Alan Camden : farm and village life in early New South Wales. Oxford University Press, 1988
  • Birt, Henry Norbert Benedictine pioneers in Australia. London : Polding, 1911?
  • Camden pioneer register : 1800-1920 3rd ed. Camden, N.S.W. : Camden Area Family History Society, 2008.
  • Campbell, Harold The Diocese of Maitland, 1866-1966. Maitland, N.S.W. : Th. Dimmock Printers, 1966. 
  • Clerke, Ron The churchyard cemetery of St John's Camden. Wollongong [N.S.W.] : Illawarra Family History Group, 1989.
  • Condon, Kevin  The Missionary College of All Hallows, 1842-1891.  Dublin : All Hallows College, 1986. (Also available online:
  • Connell, Gretta  Tracing Your Westmeath Ancestors, Glenageary, Co. Dublin Flyleaf Press, 2012.
  • Coyne, J. Stirling The Scenery and antiquities of Ireland. London : Mercury Books, 2003
  • Crow, Vincent  A history of St Mary's Cathedral Schools. Sydney : Christian Brother's High School, St. Mary's Cathedral, 1984.
  • Dunleavy, John All Hallows College, Dublin: The alma mater of the church in Victoria.   Footprints, Vol. 28, No. 1, Jun 2013: 20-25
  • Grenham, John Tracing your Irish ancestors : the complete guide. 4th ed. Dublin : Gill & Macmillan, [2012]
  • Gwynne, Aubrey Father John Joseph Therry : founder of the Church in Australia. Dublin : "Irish Messenger" Office for St. Joseph's Young Priests' Society, 1924
  • McCormack, Stan Kilbeggan Past and Present. Kilbeggan, Co. Westmeath?] : Stan McCormack, Jim Remembering All Hallows College. Maynooth:St Pauls Publishing, 2017
  • McCullough, Joseph A Pocket History of Ireland. Dublin : Gill & Macmillan, 2010.
  • McDevitt, John Father Hand: founder of All Hallows Catholic College for the foreign missions : the story of a great servant of God. Dublin : M.H. Gill & Son, 1885. 
  • McIntyre Ireland townlands 1901. CDRom. [Spit Junction, N.S.W.?] : PR Ireland, c2009.
  • Moore, Edmund With Dr Polding to Australia. Downside Review Volume: 32 issue: 1, page(s): 69-92, published: March 1, 1913
  • Moran, Patrick Francis History of the Catholic Church in Australasia from authentic sources. Sydney : Oceanic Publishing Co., [189-?]
  • O'Donoghue, Frances The Bishop of Botany Bay : the life of John Bede Polding, Australia's first Catholic Archbishop. London ; Sydney : Angus & Robertson, 1982.
  • O'Donnell, Thomas Centenary of All Hallows College. Studies: An Irish Quarterly Review , Dec., 1942, Vol. 31, No. 124 (Dec., 1942), pp 429-437.
  • O'Farrell, Patrick St. Mary's Cathedral, Sydney, 1821-1971. [Surry Hills, N.S.W.] : Devonshire Press for St. Mary's Cathedral, 1971.
  • Reid, Richard Not just Ned : a true history of the Irish in Australia. Canberra : National Museum of Australia Press, 2011.
  • Records of All Hallows College, Dublin (as filmed by the AJCP) : [M871-874], 1842-1956. [Microform] Canberra : Australian Joint Copying Project, [19--].
  • Reid, Richard Farewell My Children : Irish Assisted Emigration to Australia 1848-1870. Spit Junction, NSW : Anchor Books Australia, 2011.
  • Sheehan, Jeremiah  South Westmeath : farm and folk. Dublin : Blackwater, c1978.
  • Sheehan, Jeremiah  Westmeath, as others saw it :being excerpts from the writings of 35 authors, who recorded their observations on various aspects of Westmeath and its people, from 900 AD to the present day. Avila, Moate, Westmeath : J. Sheehan, 1982
  • Sheehy, P J Archpriest Therry : the pioneer priest who founded the first Catholic Church in Australia, October 29, 1821. Melbourne : A.C.T.S., [1921]
  • Waldersee, Catholic Society in Australia 1788-1860. Sydney : Sydney University Press, 1974.
  • Woods, James  Annals of Westmeath, ancient and modern. Sealy, Bryers & Co.: Dublin, 1907.
  • Wynne, Roger From Portland Bay to Moreton Bay. Australian Catholic Record, Vol 53 July 1976. pp275-284. 


1 comment:

Jennifer Jones said...

I would have loved to hear your talk Jill. Was planning on attending until I realised the date didnt work for me. This is a great list of sources. I’m can see it’s been quite a chase.


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