1826 Conyngham

[On many records, historical as well as contemporary, Conyngham and Cunningham spelling are used.]



        Three Conyngham brothers (Patrick, Edward and their young brother William) and a Conyngham cousin (George) setout to the Colony New South Wales from Dublin at different times between 1826 and 1833. 


 Patrick, (1801-1871), was sentenced to seven years transportation and arrived on the “PHOENIX” in December 1826. His wife, Honora Kelly (1801-1831), emigrated from Ireland in1827 in the “MARY HOPE”. Following her death , Patrick married Eliza Quinn (1824-1899).

His story is here.

His Descendant Tree is here.


Edward, (1805-1868) (my great great grandfather) emigrated in July 1828 on the “LETITIA”. He was shipwrecked  at St Jiago in the Cape Verde Islands in the Atlantic, made his way on a second ship (“HESPERUS”) to Rio de Janiero, from where he travelled on a third ship (“ANNE”) via Hobart to Sydney, arriving twelve months after leaving Ireland.  Edward married Currency Lass, Mary Ann MARSHALL (1815-1844) in 1830. Widowed, he married Mary Anne GREENWOOD (1825-1886) in 1845.

His story is here.

His Descendant Tree is here.

The story of the shipwreck and the passengers’ onward travel to Hobart and Port Jackson is here.


William (1811-1828), having emigrated from Ireland with his brother Edward on the “LETITIA”, sadly died en route between Cape Verde Islands and Rio de Janiero. See the shipwreck story;


George (1805-  ), their cousin, emigrated in December 1832 on the “LAVINIA”.We have minimal detail about George’s life in NSW. When George Mathias, Edward’s son, was born, he was a sponsor at the baptism in February 1833, a mere two months after arrival. The only other possible connection is a George Conyngham signature on a Sydney 1843 “Petition to the Queen complainijng of the exclusion of 68 Roman Catholics from Special Jury List, State Trials Dublin 1843” Nothing more! He may have returned to Ireland. The only brother left behind in Ireland was also named George., he would have been only 13 in 1832. Thus it is more likely that it was the cousin George – 27 in 1832 – who travelled. But do others have a different view?




      The Conyngham family lived in Dublin. Records of baptisms over at least three generations prior to those recorded against the above names. Their church was St Catherine’s in Meath Street. Genealogy research is generally limited to such 18th Century church records.  Edward and Patrick and William, whose grandparents were John Conyngham and Mary Egan, were thrthree of eight children of Edward Conyngham (Snr) and Catherine Field. Their younger brother, William, left Ireland with Edward but, on the “Hesperus’ between Cape Verde and Rio,  succumbed (in September 1828 along with six others  – see the shipwreck story) to fever picked up during the enforced stay on Cape Verde.



        Unfortunately, it has not been easy to learn about the lives, professions or activities of these families. A few directories which list Conynghams have enabled me to speculate, and I do so here hoping future researchers can build on the information. A search through trade and city Directories of the period does give some indication of the presence of Conyngham/Cunningham families in Dublin. The 1798 Gentleman’s and Citizen’s Almanack by John Watson Stewart lists Thomas and Edward Cunningham as Hoop and Wire Manufacturers at 7 Bridgefoot St. This is instructive:


  1.          As will be seen on the Outline Descendant Tree below, our Edward’s father and uncle, Edward and Thomas, would have been 25 and 21 respectively.
  2.          Bridgefoot Street is very close to St Catherine’s Church in Meath Street.
  3.          Edward declared himself to be a ‘wireworker’ on his Sydney immigration record on his arrival in 1829.



As another example, the Dublin Directory of 1820 lists relevant names. See Edward Conyngham (our Edward’s father – 46 years?) in Bridgefoot Street, which is very close to St Catherine’s in Meath Street. Note also that John Cunningham (our Edward’s uncle?) was a wireworker, a trade which, as noted above, our Edward declared himself to be on his Sydney arrival papers

      Cunningham John; Fancy Wire worker, 138 Abbey Street;

      Cunningham Bryan; Oil & Dye Stuff warehouse, 107 Coombe;

      Cunningham M. A.; Stamp Seller & Milliner, 141 Dorset Street;

      Cunningham Thomas; Tallow Chandler, 6 Bride Street;

      Cunningham Edward; Timber merchant, 70 Bridgefoot Street; and

      Cunningham Patrick; Tobacco pipe maker, 136 Francis Street.








Consequently, the Dublin generations herewith, at this stage of the search:


1 John CONYNGHAM b: Abt. 1716


… + Elizabeth McCABE b: Abt. 1718


……2 Margaret CONYNGHAM b: 01 Feb 1741 in Baptised St Catherine’s RC, Dublin, Ireland


……2 John CONYNGHAM b: 20 Feb 1743 in Baptised St Catherine’s RC, Dublin


…… + Mary EGAN


………3 John CONYNGHAM b: 1770 in Dublin, Ireland


………3 Patrick CONYNGHAM b: 23 Feb 1772 in Dublin, Ireland


……… + Rose BRADY


…………4 Rose CONYNGHAM b: 24 Jun 1803 in Dublin, Ireland


………3 Edward CONYNGHAM b: Abt. 1774 in Dublin, Ireland, d: Ireland


……… + Catherine FIELD b: 11 Jan 1778 in Ireland, d: Ireland


…………4 Mary CONYNGHAM b: 15 Dec 1799 in Dublin, Ireland


…………4 Patrick J CONYNGHAM b: 08 Mar 1801 in Dublin, Ireland, d: 09 Aug 1871 in 53 George Street, Redfern, NSW


………… + Honora KELLY b: 18 Mar 1801 in Dublin IRE; Baptism, m: Bef. 1826 in Ireland, d: 28 May 1831 in Sydney NSW


………… + Eliza QUINN b: Abt. 1824, m: 25 Dec 1837 in Emu Plains NSW, d: 02 Oct 1899 in Sydney NSW


…………4 Catherine CONYNGHAM b: 24 Jul 1803 in Dublin, Ireland


…………4 Edward CONYNGHAM b: 23 Jun 1805 in Dublin, Ireland, d: 28 Oct 1868 in Ulladulla NSW


………… + Mary Ann MARSHALL b: 24 Mar 1815 in Sydney NSW, m: 11 Jan 1830 in St. Mary’s RC, Sydney, d: 02 Jul 1844 in Sydney NSW


………… + Mary Anne Stephen(s) GREENWOOD b: 1825 in Jamaica, m: 26 Jul 1845 in St. Lawrence Cof E, Sydney NSW, d: 27 Jul 1886 in 16 Enmore Rd., Newtown


…………4 Margaret CONYNGHAM b: 20 Dec 1807 in Dublin, Ireland


…………4 Julia CONYNGHAM b: 25 Mar 1810 in Dublin, Ireland


…………4 William CONYNGHAM b: 22 May 1811 in Dublin, Ireland, d: 1828 in At sea, on US Ship “Hesperus” en route from Cape Verde to Rio.


…………4 George CONYNGHAM b: 28 Nov 1819 in Dublin IRE


………3 William CONYNGHAM b: Abt. 1775 in Dublin, Ireland


……… + Mary McMULLEN


…………4 Teresa CONYNGHAM b: 09 Mar 1802 in Ireland


…………4 George CONYNGHAM b: 18 May 1805 in Ireland, d: Unknown in NSW or returned to Ireland.


………3 Thomas CONYNGHAM b: Abt. 1777 in Dublin, Ireland


……… + Ann PURFIELD


…………4 Mary CONYNGHAM b: 08 May 1799


………3 Eleanor CONYNGHAM b: 1780 in Dublin, Ireland


……2 Mary CONYNGHAM b: 10 Nov 1745 in Baptised St Catherine’s RC, Dublin, Ireland


……2 Catherine CONYNGHAM b: 21 Jun 1747 in Baptised St Catherine’s RC, Dublin, Ireland



[NOTE: . My own enquiries re the pre-emigration period, have been supplemented by intensive searches through church and other records by Brendan Keys of Co Meath, as well as my sister Joan Dawes, and Patrick Conyngham researcher Mary Hollis.]