Monthly Archives: December 2015

Casey Origins Part 1

With genealogy, there are two attributes you need more than anything else … patience and persistence!

Searching one’s family tree is nowhere near as easy as the Who Do You Think You Are? TV series and the many advertisements depict. Instead, it is only through patience and persistence that you eventually break down the brick walls of your research. And these two attributes are even more important if you are researching Irish ancestors.

As early as 1992 (when I undertook my first trip to Ireland), I knew that the Casey line originated in Cork, Ireland. What I wasn’t able to ascertain was whether it was the city of Cork – or the county of Cork – until my fourth visit there in 2013.

Daniel Casey arrived in Sydney, Australia, in the 1880s per the steamship Potosi. He had paid for his passage in steerage (third class) which meant that, unlike government assistant immigrants, there is no information recorded on the passenger list regarding his birthplace or parentage.

In 1887 Daniel, a pastry cook resident in Pitt Street, Sydney, married the 21-year-old Mary Jane Cushley, a domestic servant living at St Johns Road, Glebe. Daniel recorded his age as 25 years and listed his birthplace as Yorkshire England.1

After welcoming their only child in 1888, Daniel succumbed to tuberculosis and died on 22 September 1891 at Liverpool Asylum. Asylums were the precursor to today’s hospitals as we know them, and were used for many years to care for destitute and infirm persons.

Liverpool Hospital c1876 - Wikipedia Commons

Liverpool Hospital c1876 – Wikipedia Commons

The Register of Inmates for Liverpool Asylum stated that Daniel Casey was:

[aged] 30 years; a Roman Catholic; born in Bradford; came out 8 years ago on SS Potosi
as a passenger; married with one child; a cook last employed by the Sydney Catering Co.
3 months ago; been living at 277 Liverpool St; suffered from Phthisis [tuberculosis]; had a brother, J Casey (address unknown) living in Australia; and died 22 September 1891.2

Further information gleaned from the hospital register stated he was married with no property, had been in the Sydney Infirmary 22 days prior to admission at Liverpool Asylum, and had worked for the Sydney Catering Co. for 12 months.

Sydney Infirmary, 1870 / [attributed to Charles Pickering] the image is from the collections of the State Library of NSW SPF / 176

Sydney Infirmary, 1870  [attributed to Charles Pickering] the image is from the collections of the State Library of NSW SPF / 176

Tracing backwards, Daniel was born 20 March 1859 at 2 Craven Street, Bradford, Yorkshire – the second son, and fifth of seven children, born to Daniel and Maria Casey (nee Dempsey). His father, Daniel Casey Snr, was recorded on his son’s birth certificate as being a power loom/worsted weaver.3

The first English census held following Daniel’s birth was that for 1861 and the two-year-old Daniel was easily found living with his family at 2 Craven Street. Also enumerated on the census schedule was an elder, married, brother of Daniel Snr named Joseph. This census schedule recorded the first evidence that the Casey family originated in Cork, Ireland.4

The 1861 UK Census Schedule showing the 2-year-old Daniel Casey living with his family at 2 Craven Place, Bradford, YKS

The 1861 UK Census Schedule showing the 2-year-old Daniel Casey living with his family at 2 Craven Place, Bradford, YKS

Ten years later, the 12-year-old Daniel Casey was recorded in the 1871 census as working as a worsted spinner along with several of his siblings.5 The place of birth recorded for the elder Daniel was only listed as Ireland, so a definitive place of origin in Ireland was still not known.

By the 1881 census Daniel Casey was no longer living at home; his father had died, and his widowed mother was recorded as being head of the household.6 Maria Casey recorded her place of birth as simply, Ireland.

Daniel was eventually found in the 1881 census, at Weymouth in Dorset where he was recorded as being a private with the 1-14th Regiment.7 At some stage, Daniel had obviously decided that a life in the army had to be better than that of a worsted mill worker. More research needs to be done on Daniel’s life in the army, but for his stay at Weymouth we can assume he was housed at the Red Barracks. And perhaps it was from his military life that Daniel learned the occupation of pastry chef.

1 New South Wales Registry of Births, Deaths, Marriages: Daniel Casey Marriage Certificate No. 2641/1887
2 State Records New South Wales: Health Department, Register of Inmates, Government Asylums for the Infirm & Destitute, 7/3801-3, microfilm 2848
3 General Register Office (UK): Daniel Casey Birth Certificate, Bradford Registration District, 1859 Jun Qtr, Vol 9b Pg 56
4 The National Archives (UK): 1861 England Census Schedule RG9/3320/72/23
5 The National Archives (UK): 1871 England Census Schedule RG10/4460/58/27
6 The National Archives (UK): 1881 England Census Schedule RG11/4449/107/33
7 The National Archives (UK): 1881 England Census Schedule RG11/2104/19/31


Christmas’ Past

As another Christmas arrives far too quickly, it is interesting to look back on Christmas’ past and recall the fond memories of my childhood: of my sister, brother and I tearing from our beds to see what Santa had brought, wildly unwrapping our goodies, and, racing next door to our neighbours to compare presents with their four children. Between them and us there would be seven kids riding up and down in front of our houses on an assortment of new bikes, scooters and skateboards – and all before 8am!

Then, of course, there was lunch

xmas 68As a child growing up in the 1960s, the cold seafood buffets and barbecued lunches we enjoy today in Australia weren’t even a figment of our imagination back then. Instead, we sat through a variation of the typical English Christmas dinner of a roast and baked vegetables. I say a variation because my stepfather was Italian and this meant that we sat through a MASSIVE Christmas lunch. If it was only our immediate family for lunch it would start with either, soup, or pasta, followed by roast lamb AND chicken with the usual baked vegetables, including at least two types of beans, as well as peas or zucchini. Dessert, if we wanted it, was usually Neapolitan ice-cream.

But if we were having Christmas lunch at Aunty Giovanna’s, or another of my stepfather’s siblings’ homes, there was ALWAYS antipasti first, followed by pasta which would either be lasagne or cannelloni, then the roasts – often veal and chicken (and more often than not, a fish dish too) and a ton of cooked vegies. Eventually, dessert would appear hours after sitting down to eat. I have to admit I don’t really remember the desserts – as kids, my sister, brother and I were always too full to eat our dessert – but I do remember there were always ricotta cannolis, pistachio cakes and Amaretti biscuits to take home.

Needless to say, there wasn’t much running around done in the afternoons/evenings after one of these feasts. In fact, looking back, I expect mum and dad really needed the quiet time to rest up following what must have been only a couple of hours sleep the night before. On Christmas Eve, we always attended Midnight Mass at a small Catholic church located at the end of our street. Following church it must have been a nightmare trying to get us kids to sleep so that they could put out the presents and catch a few zzzz’s before the three of us ran amok with Christmas present excitement.

William Edenborough

The following obituary appeared in the Morning Post of 21 November 1865:

DEATH OF A VETERAN SURGEON – On the 15th inst., Mr William Edenborough, formerly of Coleman-street, departed this life at his residence, Upper Holloway, after much suffering, in his 86th year. Mr Edenborough was one of the oldest, if not the oldest, as he was also (up to his retirement from active life, 10 years ago) one of the most respected and best known City medical practitioners. The deceased, a native of Nottingham, was articled to Mr Hunt of Loughborough, a man of much eminence in his day. So far back as the commencement of the present century, Mr Edenborough entered St Thomas’s and Guy’s, where he made the acquaintance of the eminent surgeon, Mr Cline, and also that of Sir Astley Cooper, who was then commencing his distinguished career. Mr Edenborough had a large and successful practice for nearly half a century, and included amongst his patients many of the first bankers and merchants and other celebrities of the City. He was a man of great decision and indomitable energy, and, as a consequence, rarely failed in accomplishing any object of benevolence on which he once set his heart. His extensive practice – ranging over so lengthened a period – naturally presented numerous cases of distress to his notice, to which he ever lent a ready ear, and generally afforded effective aid. The deceased has left a widow to mourn his loss.

74 Coleman Street, London - surgery premises of William Edenborough

74 Coleman Street, London, 2013 – surgery premises of William Edenborough