This week’s theme is Luck of the Irish. This week, I have decided to use one of my husband’s Irish ancestors, Dora Mansfield.
Dora Mansfield married James Smith on 26 February 1873 at Nuntin in the colony of Victoria. Her marriage certificate showed she was 24 years old, and had been born in Tralee, Ireland, and her parents were John Mansfield and Mary O’Keefe. A family tree that was given to me at the beginning of my research showed that her father had come to Australia as well, as he was buried in 1882 in the Sale Cemetery.
The Unassisted Passengers lists show that a Mansfield family travelled to Australia on the “Gipsy Bride” in March 1857. There was Thomas age 40, Mary age 40, William age 25, Catherine age 22, Mary age 18, John age 17, Dora age 10, Richard age 8 and Thomas age 6. Although there are some discrepancies, this appears to be our family.
I have the death certificate for John’s wife Mary O’Keefe. Mary died in 1891, and her death certificate listed her children as Matthew 57, Catherine 55, Charles 53, John 52, Dora 50, Richard 48, and Thomas 45.
As I knew that a lot of Irish records had not survived, I had not tried to find any more information on this family, until earlier this year, when I discovered the Irish Genealogy website, and in particular the Church Records. Although not all records have survived, this is where the Luck of the Irish comes in – some of the records for the Mansfield family at Tralee are available, and this included the baptism for Dora, on 31 March 1844 at Tralee.
This website also helped me to find baptism records for most of her siblings, although I still haven’t been able to find a marriage record for her parents.