Are You Irish?



For 15 years I have worked on the family tree and the whole journey started with one question…

“Are You Irish?”

You may remember in my blog “A Journey of A Thousand Miles” this question came from my father-in-law and I was unable to give him an answer because I didn’t know… Well that one brick wall has stood until today, because of one man – Convict #3944 John AKA James, Frederick Joseph Brady…. Was he Irish?

In the beginning no-one in my direct family knew of John Brady the Convict that started our Brady line in Western Australia. My great grandfather William George Brady had grown up estranged from the rest of his siblings and mother. This seemed to be due to the fact that at 4 years old after the death of his father, Convict John Brady, William and his siblings were placed in an orphanage. This shaped the rest of Williams’s life and he hardly spoke of his parents or siblings to his children.

So when I found the information of our convict connection and went with my father to my late grandfather William Frederick Brady’s house to ask him about it, he was just as surprised as us. Sitting with him and going over the information he did confirm the orphanage info and the stories of my great-grandfathers siblings but was unsure why they were in the orphanage in the first place.

Tracking down the other children of John Brady gave me a bunch of new family and many more connections to our convict. Finally I came upon a person who had collected some family legends passed down from Henry Brady, youngest son of John the convict.

“Henry maintained that his father, Frederick Brady, came from County Cork, Ireland”

It’s believed from research done by Norman John Miller that Frederick Brady was born in Inishcarra, County Cork, Ireland in 1835. He was baptised on 21st July 1835. His mother Elizabeth new his father as “Brady.



…. So now to prove or disprove this before going all the way to Ireland early next year.


 Time to enlist the skills of a local Irish researcher to help, so I placed and advertisement….


BRADY – County Cork – Looking for a researcher that can help?
Wanting to find out if my John BRADY was really from Inishcarra, Cork, Ireland
I have started putting together his Convict Info

I’m in Western Australia but would like to come to Ireland next year
if I can pin down a location for my John Brady

… and after sorting through the assortment of basic replies and helpful links, one person has stood out way above the rest in her detailed, friendly, helpful and obvious very methodical approach to research.

Dear Darryl

Thank you for your enquiry.  You have a lot of information and an interesting story, although a very sad one for the family of John  / James / Frederick.

I am aware that another researcher found a baptismal record for James / Frederick / John but you don’t seem to be convinced that this is the right record.  Frederick would be a very unusual name in an Irish family and sounds more like a name that would have been adopted later, maybe when he emigrated.  But that would not account for his father also being called Frederick.  Maybe the family were of English origin or had Protestant connections although the name Brady in Munster (the southernmost province of Ireland) could be used as a substitute for the Irish name O’Grady.  Brady has also been found to be interchangeable with the name Bradley in parts of Cork although they are two distinct and unrelated names, Bradley in Cork being used as a substitute for the Irish name O’Brallaghan.

Avine, the name of the farm, is interesting.  At first glance it looks like the girl’s name, Avine, but it is possible that it might be a substitute for the place names Aubane or Aghavine.  Aubane is in north-west Cork in the parish of Millstreet / Drishane, while Aghavine is in East Cork in the parish of Ballymacoda / Kilmacdonagh.  (Inniscarra is mid-Cork.)  Or was the area already called Avine ?

When I search a parish for a family, I often search the surrounding parishes as well because usually parish boundaries are like jigsaws (no straight lines) so a family might go to one parish church sometimes and the rest of the time go to another.

I would suggest searching Inniscarra and the surrounding parishes for all Brady records.  Should the family be found, the search would be extended back in order to find the marriage record of James / John’s parents, Frederick and Elizabeth and, depending on the availability of the records, for their baptismal records.  The search would include siblings in both cases.  Record keeping began :

  • Inniscarra                                        baptisms and marriages in 1814
  • Ballinamona & Grenagh               baptisms and marriages in 1829
  • Donoghmore                                    baptisms 1803, marriages 1790
  • Aghabulloge                                    baptisms and marriages in 1820
  • Ovens                                             baptisms and marriages in 1816.

This would be a 5 hour search although it might not be completed in 5 hours. Some searches can be done very quickly while others can be very slow making it difficult to cover everything.

It is very likely that James / John was born earlier than believed.  Very few people kept their own records with the result that hardly anyone knew how old they were. If asked, they had to guess, usually guessing wrongly, usually under-estimating their age and so were almost always older than they thought.  Top find that someone’s age was out by 2 to 5 years hardly counts it is slight and so common, 10 years is not unusual and sometimes the discrepancy can be as much as 20 years or more, unlikely though this may seem.  In these cases, it is probably because they were only asked so late in life.  It was a much less bureaucratic age.  It doesn’t help matters that in England, the census enumerators tended to round ages up or down to the nearest 5 or 0 except for children.  Because of this, while the search would start with the period 1830 to 1835, it would probably be necessary to extend it back to 1825.

I charge 50 euro per hour, payable in advance (or the equivalent in your own currency, please check exchange rates), certain fees (from the Valuation Office, Registry of Deeds, or sometimes the General Register Office if a great many birth, marriage and death records are needed to progress a search), where they apply, to be billed separately.  Most fees are absorbed into the total cost of the search.  I usually work in units of 3, 5, or 8 hours, 3 hours minimum.  You would get a full report detailing everything found and explaining all relevant records.  Copies or transcripts will be obtained wherever possible.  Copies of church records are not always available, only transcripts.  Unfortunately, the success of a search can never be guaranteed.   

While every effort is made to complete research within the time allowed, this may not always be possible due to the condition or quality of the records.  Faded ink, mould, bad handwriting and, sometimes, poor quality micro-films can slow down the progress of the search considerably, although every effort is made to cover as much as possible.  The amount of information given depends on the actual records, e.g. church records vary from parish to parish.  Sometimes it may not be possible to complete a search of all recommended records in the time allowed, while other times it may be possible to cover a longer period than expected in the selected records, or to move onto other relevant records.

Sometimes, it may be advisable to change the direction of a search depending on what has been found and what it points to.

If you have any queries or if there is anything that you would like clarified, please let me know.

Kind regards
Rosaleen Underwood MAPGI



Stay tuned for part 2 of “Are you Irish?”



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10 thoughts on “Are You Irish?”

  1. Merry Christmas, good work on your searching.
    Danny Brady

    • Thanks Danny, Here’s hoping the New Year brings new information on our Brady line. As Rosaleen said “No Guarantee”. Norm Miller has also done a lot of work on trying to track down John Brady. I feel that if we find nothing then we have done the best we can at this point in time.

  2. The only Irish on the Tissott side is that Harry Tissott married Mary Lindsay, grand-daughter of Margaret Casey Wells who was supposed to have come to VDL from Ireland as a free woman. I know she was Catholic but none of us have been able to find the ship she came on. It may well have been the “Boadicea”, but there’s no proof.

    • Frustrating isn’t it Rosemary, I have waited 15 years for the info to surface on John Brady. It maybe that it just does not exists but if it does its hidden well…

  3. Great granddad Frederick Brady had a variety of names. When he was found guilty of robbery in Liverpool in 1854 the court referred to him as John Brady. His name on a ticket of leave granted in W.A. in 1860 was James. On his Marriage Certificate in 1876 at “Dongarra” he was Frederick (He noted in this marriage certificate that his father was Frederick Brady) My grandfather, Harry, who never saw his father because he was born four months after his death listed his father on his marriage certificate in 1919 as Francis. Harry’s birth certificate in 1887 listed his father as Frederick Brady. Interestingly his mother’s maiden name is listed as Dean. Because his mother couldn’t read or write the person completing the certificate wrote down what he thought he heard. Her name was Frances Mary Dee.

  4. I want to say a big thank you to you Norm for all the info you have given me and the help in getting this far. I just hope that the info is out their… If it is we will find it one day!

  5. All the best with your search for John Brady. My Brady line based on the information provided by James Denis Brady on his marriage certificate and what he told his family has proved to be a dead end . I had a search done in Nenegah Tipperary and no Brady’s have ver been recorded their let alone a farmer named John Denis Brady father of James Denis Brady.

  6. Good luck for your search and I wish you well

    Just one suggestion that probably isnt applicable but worth keepng in mind.

    I followed a line that went to the Pancras Foundling Hospital and found that when children (not just babies) were taken into the hospital, they were baptised and given new names, sometimes the name of the Matron or the supervisor. I am not sure if this was a common practise but have you identified the orginal orphanage they came from and checked the records in case?

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