Clare County Library
Clare Genealogy

Donated Material: Family Histories
The Barron Brothers in Mackay, Queensland.
By Declan Barron, Newpark House, Ennis, Co. Clare.

Edmund and Michael Barron came from Co. Clare, Ireland. They were the sons of Edmund Barron of Lahardan, Tulla and Sarah (Sally) Quinn of Drumline, Newmarket-on-Fergus, who were married in February 1836 at Newmarket-on-Fergus, Co. Clare. Edmond Junior was born at Lahardan, in 1838 (He had an older sister, Bridget, born there also in 1836).[1] Shortly after his birth his family left Lahardan. Family lore says they were evicted but a more likely scenario is that, possibly due to a change in landlord, Edmund lost his job as herdsman and with it the use of the herdsman’s cottage.[2] The family were said to have lived by the roadside for several years and it was by the roadside, at Kilnacrandy, Quin, in 1847, in the depth of the famine, that Thady (Timothy), my great-grandfather was born.[3] There is no record of Thady’s birth or baptism. The next record is the baptism of Eliza who was born in 1851, at Kilnacrandy (another sister, Margaret was born there in 1852). It is my assumption that Michael was born here also and like Thady he was not recorded.

By circa 1855 Edmund Senior had a lease of 17 acres in Kilnacrandy from the landlord Crosdaile Molony.[4] He held the lease here until circa 1857.[5] In 1857 he had a run in with the law. The Clare Freeman reported that he was brought to court for “digging a dyke on the side of the public road and taking away some bog-stuff. It was alleged by Barron that he did it for the purpose of erecting a fence to his land”. The case was adjourned “awaiting the report of the County Surveyor’s inspection thereof”.[6] It is unclear what the result of this case was as there was no follow up report in the paper.

From 1857 to Edmund Senior’s death in 1878 there is no record of the family. On his death record his address was given as Ardkyle, Sixmilebridge but the land records for this area do not mention the family here until 1906.[7] The likely reason for this is that Edmund, and Thady after him, as herdsmen were probably living in a herdsman’s cottage.

Edmund Junior left Ireland in the late 1860s and arrived in Mackay where in 1869 he set up what was one of the first Aerated Water Manufacturing bussiness.[8] On the 8th October 1873 Edmund’s brother Michael disembarked from the INDUS at Moreton Bay.[9] He went to Warwick where he worked in farming for four years and then to Cookstown where he gained business experience in cordial making.[10] He then joined his brother in Mackay and appears to be running the business by 1881.[11]

Edmund married, in 1884, Mary Griffin, the daughter of Thomas Griffin and Bridget Quinn. Mary was born in Knockbrack, Miltown Malbay, also in Co. Clare. They had two children, Thomas Patrick, who was born in 1886 and Sarah Catherine, who was born in 1887. Edmund died in 1887. In 1895/1900 Mrs. M. Barron is recorded in the Post Office Directory as the proprietor of the Gympie Hotel, Victoria Street, Mackay. Mary died in 1930 and is buried in Mackay cemetery (1534A).

In 1917 Thomas married Clara Margaret Byrne and they had a daughter Mary who did not marry. Thomas died in 1954, Clara in 1969. Sarah Catherine never married either and died in 1951 and is buried in Mackay Cemetery (1277B).

Michael married, in 1883, Bridget Fennell, daughter of John Fennell and Bridget Keating of Fodera, Co. Clare. They had ten children:-
1. Edmund Patrick, b.1884, d.1892.
2. John Joseph, b.1885, d.1901 and buried in Mackay cemetery (2488).
3. Michael, b.1887.
4. Sarah Ellen, b.1888, d. unmarried in 1958, buried in South Brisbane cemetery (25 T 31C). At her death she was living at 21 Riding Road, Hawthorne, Brisbane with her sister Mary Agnes.
5. Patrick Paul, b.1890, d.1957, buried in South Brisbane cemetery (25 T 31L) At his death he was lining at Herbert Street, Rosalie.
6. Catherine Cecilia, b.1891, d. unmarried in 1966, buried in Mackay cemetery (3293B).
7. Edmund Raphael, b.1894. Married late in life and had no family.
8. William, b.1895. In 1957 he was living at 55 Fenton Street, Fairfield, Brisbane.
9. Honor Elizabeth, b.1897. d. unmarried in 1981. Buried in Warwick cemetery.
10. Mary Agnes b.1900, d. unmarried in 1979. Buried in Warwick cemetery. In 1958 she was living at 21 Riding Road, Hawthorne, Brisbane with her sister Sarah Ellen. A Mary Barron visited Co. Clare and her relatives in the 1970s. Her address in Australia at this time was 23 Peach Street, Greenslopes, Brisbane.

Bridget died in 1939 and Michael in 1909, they are both buried in Mackay cemetery in plots (3487A) and (3339) respectively.

Here are some excerpts from a letter written by Sr. M. Joseph (Kathleen Higgins), Dalton Gardens Retirement Village, Convent of the Maternal Heart, 50/678 Victoria Rd., Ryde 2112, NSW in 2001. Her aunt was Bridget Fennell.

"Michael and Bridget had 10 children. None of the girls married and of the 6 boys, I think only 3 married. Only one girl came from them and I never knew her. One boy, I think Edmund, died of pnuemonia as a small child. Bill (William) married late in life and I once met him and Ciss, his wife, in Brisbane, in my teens.

The Barron family were well established as a successful business and social identity, in mackay, highly respected. I remember some of my mother’s stories how they entertained a lot and were well known for their hospitality, especially with the Clergy. The girls were all very skilled in the finer arts. Katie, the eldest, stayed at home with her mother. Honor worked in the Post Office, Sarah moved south to Brisbane and was a trained nurse, going on to become a triple-certified nurse, much sought after for private confinements amoung the well-to-do.

When Honor retired she also came south. When my parents retired in 1949 and moved to Warwick, Mary and Honor came to live with them.

My mother died in 1967 and my father 2 and a half years later. Honor and Mary bought a house in town and moved there. They were well occupied with many friends and church activities. They both took weekly watches before the Blessed Sacrament in Warwick Church where Perpetual Adoration was established decades earlier. Mary died of a heart attack in October 1979 and Honor from a stroke in 1981. They are both buried in Warwick Cemetery.

One other relative was Brian Barron whom I met briefly in Melbourne in 1940. Mary said he was a cousin. He would have been 40-50.”

Edmund and Michael did have a first cousin, Daniel Barron, who went to Melbourne. Daniel was born in 1853, the son of James Barron and Margaret Murphy of Lahardan. He married in 1901 Annie Frances Garvey, also from Co. Clare. They had a son James Eustace b.1902 and a son John Daniel b.1904. Daniel was a publican here and ran a bar named Labour in Vain at 197a Brunswick Street, Fitzroy. Daniel d.1935, Annie d.1953, John Daniel d.1969 and James Eustace d.1979. Daniel, Annie and John Daniel are buried in the same plot in Fitzroy cemetery.

I have not listed sources for the Australian information as much of this information came to me by email without the sources being given.

I wish to acknowledge the help I received from Clare Local Studies Library, Sr. M. Joseph, Margaret Jones, Glen Hall, The Daily Mercury, Jennifer Lambert Tracey, Camille McEwen, Carmel Halligan, John Fordyce, Jennifer Harrison and Jennifer Henderson

[1] Tulla and Newmarket-on-Fergus Parish Registers.
[2] Edmund is recorded as a herdsman on his death in 1878 – Civil records. A new herdsman was appoimted in Lahardan in 1838 – ‘135 Years Ago’ in Clare Champion 17 Sept 1999.
[3] Told to me by my father Earnan Barron.
[4] Griffith’s Valuation circa 1955.
[5] Griffith’s Valuation Transfer Books.
[6] Clare Freeman 23 July 1857.
[7] Civil records.
[9] Index of Assisted Immigrants Arriving Queensland 1870-1879. Vol.1.
[10] The Daily Mercury 4 Oct 1944. It is possible the farm he worked on in Warwick was that of the Higgins family in Leslie. This was the property of his future wife’s brother-in-law’s family.

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