Maurice Lynch and Mary Moynihan

According to <a href="">1852 Griffiths Valuation</a>, the Lynch Family lived in a dwelling in Glanafhuca which appears to have been right in the heart of Listowel, near Church Street.
According to 1852 Griffiths Valuation, the Lynch Family lived in a dwelling in Glanafhuca which appears to have been right in the heart of Listowel, near Church Street.

Maurice Lynch and his wife, Mary Moynihan, lived in Listowel, a town near the Southwest coast of Ireland in County Kerry.

In 1831, according to “A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland”, the total number of houses was 273, many of them well built…

and there are two good hotels. Fairs are held on alternate Wednesdays, and also on May 13, July 25 and October 28, chiefly for cattle, sheep and pigs. Behind the castle, on the River Feale, are extensive flourmills…there are smaller mills at Island Ganiff also on the Feale. A chief constabulary police force is stationed in the town; the seneschal of Listowel every third Tuesday, and petty sessions hold a manorial court every Thursday. There is a neat bride well, and it is contemplation to erect a courthouse.

By the mid 1840s conditions in the town had improved. According to “The Parliamentary Gazetteer of Ireland”, Listowel was

long a very poor little town, but has of late been much improved; and it now enjoys considerable trade and thoroughfare in consequence of the formation of new roads through the north of Kerry.

According to his son’s gravesite, Maurice worked as a Barrack Master.

A family historian, “Ger” notes…

Being a descendant of Glanphuca residents (surnames Connor and Stack)I stumbled across this page. I don’t know if you have already started using but on the off-chance you haven’t, it contains freely-available parish records for County Kerry, including Listowel, since June this year. Jim, in you own case it has listings for baptisms of 6 kids of Maurice Lynch and Mary Moynihan (Dermot 1805, Patrick 1813, Maurice 1814, Margaret 1820, Andrew 1823) but it’s missing Hannah and any between 1805 and 1813.

Over the next twenty years, several of their children also moved to Australia.


Maurice Lynch: Known as “Morty”, “Marty” or “Maurice” (full name Maurice Minahan OR maybe Moynihan Lynch) a convict. Aged 20 and working as a Shoemaker, on November 7, 1837 in County Kerry, he was found guilty of larceny and sentenced to seven years transportation. On board the “William Jardine”, he left Dublin on November 4 1838. and after a fairly unpleasant trip , arrived in Sydney. He was declared “free” on November 23, 1844. While there are no known photographs of the family, the Certificate of Freedom for “Morty” refers to him as 5 feet 5 inches tall with a ruddy and freckled complexion, black hair and dark hazel eyes. It was also noted that is nose was a little cocked and that he had a mole on the back of his lower left arm.

In The Sydney Monitor on Friday 18 May 1838 it was reported…

A convict named Maurice Lynch, employed as a labourer on board the Government Schooner Isabella, was given into custody’by the Chief Officer on Saturday, for attempting to steal. The manner in which the attempt was frustrated was rather strange. The biscuit was kept in bags below, within a bulkhead where the Chief Oficer was at the time; the prisoner was at work in the forehold, and had made a hole through the bulkhend near a bag of biscuit,’ and had thrust through his arm to help himself. The mate who witnessed the transaction, gave the arm a pretty severe blow and went round to examine the men. Lynch’s wrist bore evident marks of recent injury; he was asked with the matter and acknowledged it. He was sentenced to fifty lashes.

An extract from Lighting the Way by Dianne Johnson which mentions Billy Lynch ISBN: 9781862874275 Publisher: Federation Press
An extract from Lighting the Way by Dianne Johnson which mentions Billy Lynch ISBN: 9781862874275 Publisher: Federation Press

According to Jim Smith, ‘Lynch, William (Billy) (c. 1839 – 1913)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Supplementary Volume, Melbourne University Press, 2005, pp 242-243, Morty (1819-1888) was a shoe-maker and bagpipe-repairer.

He reportedly had a relationship with a Gundungurra woman (whose name was not recorded) resulting in the birth of William Lynch (c. 1839-1913), (Aboriginal name Mawiack) born near Bannaby (Bonamby Station), south of the Wombeyan Caves. The Lynchs participated in the community life of the Megalong Valley and the developing town of Katoomba. Billy tracked down lost tourists and sold bush honey, rabbits and possum-skin rugs in the town.

Although there is an 1846 record for a Maurice Lynch marrying Catharine Ryan, I am unaware if this is the same Maurice Lynch. If it is the case, it appears they had only one child together who possibly died at birth or soon afterwards, as it would appear did Catharine.

As family historian, Robyn Wright notes…

Maurice Lynch and Catherine (nee Ryan) had just one child,a daughter – Mary Jane born 20th July 1847 (probably in Hartley) as she was baptised in Hartley on 29th August the same year. She grew up to be a school teacher and married a widower & miner, Edward Ryan at Lambton NSW on Sept 15th 1878. She was my Great Grandmother! She went on to have 6 children (3 died at birth or soon after.

Maurice died 1888 at Lithgow (9852/1888)

Hannah Lynch: My line of descendancy comes though their daughter Hannah. The shipping records for Hannah indicate that by 1854, both Maurice and Mary were both dead (perhaps because of the Great Irish Famine), but that Hannah’s brothers, Andrew and Maurice (a former convict) were already in Australia and living in Hartley, near Lithgow.

Andrew Lynch died 1863 at Burrangong (6619/1863), the site of one of the golfields at Young,

Mass Grave, Listowell Ireland
Mass Grave, Listowell Ireland

I received the following information from County Kerry Library, following a request for information about Glanafhuca

I have checked Griffith’s Valuation Books for this and Glanaphuca is included in the Town of Listowel and it was obviously quite a large street as 99 people are listed as leasing property there in 1852. The Earl of Listowel and a Michael Quirke are the principle owners of these properties.
However when I looked at the 1901 Cenus index for the town of Listowel there was no Glanaphuca so obviously the street had changed name by then. I have looked at a number of chapters in Anthony Gaughan’s book “Listowel and its Vicinity” and it confirms that this area changed its name between the time of Griffith’s Valuation in 1852 and the recording of the 1901 census. The area now known as Convent Street/Lane was in the 1800s known as Upper Glanafhuca and the street today now known as Market Street was known as Lower Glanafhuca. In 1900 there were public fountains in the town and one of them was located at Glanafhuca. There are many variation to the spelling Glanafuca, Glanafhuca, Glanaphuca.

Gaughan writes

“Glanafhuca runs west from Pound Lane. It is named after a spirit which (tradition alleges) at one time haunted this area. It extends on one side as far as the Ballybunion Road and on the other almost to a point opposite the presentation Convent.”

Sharing Around: Please feel free to copy any of the information on this page which may help you in your own research. My feeling is that family research is hard enough, without the need to constantly re-invent the wheel. It would be great, however, if you’d leave a comment below just to say “hi”.


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