Friday, January 14, 2011


JOHANNAH MULCAHY was one of three daughters of JAMES MULCAHY and MARY DONOGHUE of KILROSS,a tiny place approximately 10 kms. south-west of the town of TIPPERARY in the county of TIPPERARY in Ireland. Johannah was born around 1831 and her older sisters MARY MULCAHY and CATHERINE MULCAHY were born around 1827 and 1829 respectively.

TIPPERARY is " a county fashioned by the Galtee Mountains, The River Suir and lush green landscape."

" "To emigrate, or to remain at home? For many it was the most far-reaching decision of a lifetime;indeed, it is doubtful whether later generations have had to make up their minds on an issue so final in its implications." ( "The Long Farewell" by Don Charlwood.)

It is known that MARY, CATHERINE and JOHANNAH'S mother MARY DONOGHUE had died when they departed Ireland. As their father JAMES MULCAHY was a gardener by trade, one must assume that, as this was at the time of the potato famine, the decision for the sisters to emigrate was based on the necessity to survive.

By what means the sisters travelled from their home in Tipperary to Dublin is not known, but walking would not have been out of the question. Once in Dublin, accommodation would most likely have been in a hotel accommodating fellow emigrants, awaiting their vessel's departure to commence the 12-14 hour trip across the Irish Sea to Liverpool, England.

"From the 1820s onward, ‘Liverpool was connected with all the main Irish ports by a fleet of relatively fast, cheap steam vessels, mainly paddle-driven but some screw-driven […]. The leading company of the Dublin-Liverpool trade was the Dublin and Liverpool Steam Packet Co. According to the company’s estimate, ‘they carried more than 100,000 passengers from June 1853 to June 1854’" [Pr├ęteseille 1999].

JOHANNAH MULCAHY (aged 22) and her sisters MARY MULCAHY(aged 26) and CATHERINE MULCAHY
(aged 24) departed Liverpool, England on the vessel " BLOOMER " on 20 March 1853 as assisted immigrants and they arrived in Sydney, Australia on July 8, 1853. JOHANNAH MULCAHY and CATHERINE MULCAHY were shown on the shipping record as" Dairymaids" and MARY MULCAHY was shown as a"Kitchenmaid".

JOHANNAH MULCAHY and her sisters were just three of the Irish emigrants who departed the country in 1853 - 14,000 departed COUNTY TIPPERARY alone in that year!

"The BLOOMER was a vessel of 887 tons under the command of Master THOMAS BARRY ALLEN. The full passenger complement comprised 128 English, 43 Scottish, 104 Irish and 2 other passengers, and included 63 children and infants."

"The BLOOMER took 110 days to reach Melbourne, arriving on 5th July in mid-winter. One of the 2nd class cabin passengers was F.W.LEIGHTON, a 28 year old man, who kept a journal from which we learn something of the nature of the voyage. An outward passage of 110 days was not by any means a fast voyage. BLOOMER encountered at least two severe storms, which the passengers found terrifying, and periods of calm, each of several days during which no way was made. Despite a shortage of water in the later weeks, the BLOOMER was a healthy ship; by the end of the voyage there had been only four deaths at sea."
( Extract from: "The Family of John Kyle and their Emigration to Australia" by Len Williams May 2001.)

The vessel " BLOOMER " was named in honour of MRS. AMELIA BLOOMER, the American who devised the liberating female garment named after her.

( NOTE: Spelling variations between MULCAHY and MULCAHEY occur on documents. Wedding documents indicate MULCAHY as does shipping arrival document.)

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