Works in progress!

We all have them – some call them brick walls, but to me they are just stumps.  Clearing them can be a challenge, but by taking it slowly and chipping away a piece at a time, our stumps can be removed in order for new leaves and branches to grow.


Other times they’re so stubborn, that no amount of poking and prodding seems to make a even the slightest mark.

Did Google bring you here? Are you researching the same people?  Please feel free to get in touch if you have any information that may help, or would like further details on anyone listed (I have a bunch of research, newspaper clippings, records not available online etc that I’m more than happy to share).  🙂


William Thomas Bishop (c1823 – 1911)

William is believed to have arrived in Tasmania on the ship Bolivar in 1842 as a 19-year old. He married Ann Mahoney in Franklin Village in 1853, where they remained and raised their family. When he died in 1911, William’s age was recorded as 96, and his reputed birthplace as simply, ‘England’.

So not only was there an eight year discrepancy as to his age (if correct at marriage, he would have only been 88 when he died), but where in England remains a mystery. He was a 2nd Class Farm Servant on arrival, and the middle name Thomas only started to appear later – seemingly around the same time another William Bishop was also at Franklin Village (a blacksmith, and possibly a brother to Joseph, Samuel and Sarah Bishop – grandchildren of Joseph Moore).

Where was he born? Who were his parents?

BDM records from his time in Tasmania have provided no further information.

Was he connected to the other Bishop family at Franklin Village?

If you are missing a William Bishop from your tree that might fit (perhaps he disappeared after the 1841 Census…), or have any information on ‘my’ William, I’d love to hear from you.


Ann Mahony (c1823 – 1884)

Ann is possibly my favourite stump. The more I look, the more roadblocks she puts up. A convict from Ireland, Ann arrived on the Arabian in 1847.

Was John Mahony really her father? Was she really born in County Limerick? Who was her mother, and why didn’t she state the names of any siblings on arrival?

I’ve found a few possible baptisms – including one in Emly, Tipperary (right on the border of County Limerick), but have been unable to verify this. On this record, Ann’s parents were John Mahony and Cath Rourke. Tracing them further, they married in Bruff, Grange and Gilnogra, Limerick in 1810 and had at least two other children, Margaret (born 1820) and Honora (born 1831).

In the earliest crime report I could find (June 1846) Ann was given the name M’Mahon and described as being from ‘the Milk-market in this city’ (Limerick).

Tipperary Vindicator, 20 June1846
Tipperary Vindicator, 20 June1846

Later reports (and convict records) have either Ann Mahony or Mahoney. Another spelling I’ve come across is Mahorney. I’ve tried them all, and other variations.

If you have any information at all regarding Ann’s birth / baptism, please get in touch.

For the beginnings of Ann’s story, click here.


More stumps to come…