Shine and Sheehy family of Co Limerick and
the Burke and Coffey family of Co Clare

A story of chain migration from County Limerick and County Clare, Ireland to Australia


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This family tree is not only the work of the compiler - special thanks must go to Freddy Burke, Yardfield, Clonlara, Co. Clare, Ireland (researching Burke family).
John Burke, 95 Walnut Rise, Griffiths Avenue, Dublin. Co Dublin, Ireland (researching Burke family).
Peggy Cockran 71 Manning Baptist Village, 8 Robinsons Road, Baxter, Victoria 3911 Australia  (researching Burke and Shine family).
David Moloney Ireland; Stephanie Moloney Ireland  (researching Burke and Moloney family).
Paul Robert Herstein, USA  <>  (researching Burke family).
Linda Burke, 9011 Maritime Court, Springfield, Virginia 22153 USA <>.  Linda has more information on this family and would pleased to be assist others with research  (researching Burke family).
Tony Martin Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.  e-mail <> (researching Dowling and Burke family).s

Marie Boyce (dec. 2007), 15 Fairy Street, Warrnambool, Victoria 3280. Australia (researching Sheehy and Shine family).
Padraig Kenny, Drumcoura, Drumshanbo, Co. Leitrim, Ireland. (researching Hanrahan and Shine family).  <>
Terry Shine, RMB 1420, McAlinden, Via Colie WA 6225 Australia (researching Hanrahan and Shine family). <>
Bernie & Gail Quigley, 2895 Glenlake Rd., Victoria BC Canada V9B 4A9.  (researching Shine family). <>\
Jeni Vanyai, Morwell, Victoria, 3840 Australia (researching Hanrahan and Shine family).  <>
Michael Raleigh, 49 Willmington St. Newmarket. Qld. 4051 (Tel. 07 33564482) email <> (researching Shine family).
Dr. Gerard  M. Vaughan  .Melbourne Victoria, Australia (researching Vaughan family. <>
Pam Boyle Towradgi, Woolongong NSW 2518
Cathy Tyma <>
Kathleen Mason, 4/20 Orchard Rd., Bass Hill. NSW 2197 aAustralia  <>
Helen Bowes <>
Mike & Robyn Coffey 20 Bushlark Street, Aroona, QLD 4551 Australia

This tree was compiled by Kate Press, 71 Claremont Avenue, Malvern Victoria 3144 Australia. It is not complete and is an on going project. Notes and photos will be added as time permits. The author welcomes correspondence, corrections and comments. 


Many birth dates had to be estimated and where this occurs ten years either side of the given date is assumed to be a probable date of birth.  Prior to civil registration Christening/Baptism dates have been used.  Christening/Baptism dates most usually occur within twelve months of the birth but not always. Sometimes a Christening/Baptism will occur many years after the birth.  

The original family data was organised using The Master Genealogist program and the web site using the new TMG web page generator, Second Site. This program  allows fast and simple fine tuning of many TMG (ver 4 and 5) features.

  Burke and Shine family photos [indicated by a graphic in the photo index]


Parish history and description coming soon

St Senan's Roman Catholic Church





Understanding errors in records  

In genealogy one of the first things to understand is that the information given in primary and secondary source records is not always correct. These records include:

Names, dates, places, age and relationships, found on birth, death, and marriage certificates, census forms, wills and probate documents, gravestone inscriptions, shipping lists, naturalization records, school records, employment forms etc.

This occurs for a variety of reasons. Our ancestors were not interested in providing information to the authorities English or otherwise And they were not into providing information for future family historians. The cold hard facts are that they were trying to survive and make their way in very difficult times or, as emigrants, were cutting out and improving their future in a new homeland.

The marriage certificate is considered to be the most accurate because they are filled out by bride and groom but if they were unable to read or write or if one party had something to hide the information may be incorrect. Other errors in a early church records occurred when the priest/vicar filled in the information after the event sometimes a month after the event. My great-great-grandparents, John Robinson and Mary Collins, were married on 20th Jan 1814 but the entry was transposed with the marriage of James Parsons and Mary Buck. See In the example below:

(entry number no 9 in the parish register)
20th Jan 1814 Marriage of James Parsons (bachelor) and MARY COLLINS (spinster) both of this parish,

(entry number 10 in the parish register)
20th Jan 1814 Marriage of JOHN ROBINSON (bachelor) and Mary Buck (spinster) both of this parish 

From the above it appears that the entries 9 and 10 were filled in after the event and the parties to the marriage were inadvertently mixed up.

Death records are the most notorious for errors as they are filled in by an informant who may or may not be related and even the relatives get the information incorrect, particularly elderly relative whose memories are clouded. Other errors occur because some people hide the truth or are ashamed of their humble beginnings.

Birth records also contain errors and omissions. Sometimes a date of marriage is altered to hide the date of conception or a place name spelt incorrectly. The most misleading error I have encountered was a birth certificate which included a spouse, his occupation, date of marriage and location when in fact, the marriage never occurred. That sent me off on a very wild goose chase.

Baptismal names were often Latinised e.g. Maria for Mary, Eugenius for Owen and Anna for Anne.  

Naturalization Records: emigrants filled out these documents well if they could.  If not, they probably had the clerk in the court house do it for them and if the clerk understood the accent, they might be correct..

Errors can occur when calculating an ancestors age from shipping records as some emigrants put their ages down to gain cheaper fares.

Another dilemma is caused by dates given in different records that do not agree.  For example: the year of birth calculated from the age given on a shipping manifest differs from the year of birth calculated from age at death given on a death certificate.

Also difficulties can also occur because of the lack of precise information: for example: when an ancestor just stages his age to the nearest 5 or 10 years.  

Locating a birthplace can be difficult; problems often occur because the emigrant and/or the authorities did  not consider it important to provide the precise birthplace. For  example, an ancestor from Co Limerick would just state Limerick as his/her birthplace  but not identify if this was Limerick city or a village within Co Limerick.

The possible list of reasons for errors is enormousso at the end of the day we really need to add:  

"from the information available all the dates given are a true and accurate record as can be estimated".



 Go to Index to West Limerick Families Abroad
         by Kate Press  & Valerie Thompson

 Index (only) to Poverty to Promise 
        by Dr Christoper O'Mahoney 
        & Valerie Thompson

 Book Review:  
   West Limerick Families Abroad 
        by Kate Press and Valerie Thompson

The Lure of Limerick

In 1853 as the parents of Mary Barrett of Shanagolden, County Limerick had both died, she took advantage of sponsorship offered by local landlord, Lord Monteagle to travel to Victoria, Australia on the Monteagle. She soon was employed by Mrs Hollis of South Bourke Street, Melbourne for 25 a year plus rations.  

Like many other Irish settlers, out of her wages Mary remitted 6 to Ireland to assist with the fares of her siblings Bridget, Ellen, Catherine, Michael and John. Other relatives, Catherine and Mary Corbett, also made the long journey. Lord Monteagle advanced the remaining sum needed for their deposits while Lady Monteagle used her influence to ensure that the family travelled together at a time when, due to the gold rushes, assisted immigration for single males into Victoria was not generally permitted. After arriving in Geelong on the Chandenagore on 21 June 1854, Mary's family went to Collingwood to join their sister.

Mary Barrett's story came to light in documents associated with the 'Monteagle emigrants'. These were Australian-Irish who had previously lived within the influence of a local parliamentary member for Limerick (and later, Cambridge), Thomas Spring Rice and his family around his estate at Mount Trenchard overlooking the Shannon Estuary. (This is the same man who during his term as Secretary of State for the Colonies applied for leave to bring in a bill to establish criminal courts on Norfolk Island in the 1830s.) The history of this migration between 1838 and 1858, was told in a 1994 book, Poverty to Promise, written by Limerick researcher, Dr Christopher O'Mahony and Australian social historian, Valerie Thompson.

Following the success of this volume which identified about 736 of the settlers, Valerie Thompson now has joined forces with Kate Press of Melbourne to broaden the study to include West Limerick people who left the area up to the end of the nineteenth century including those seeking homes in places other than the two largest Australian colonies. The new quarto sized book, West Limerick Families Abroad, is most comprehensive, offering ready identification of over 1,000 family names, showing not only their Irish origins but also their issue in the new countries of residence.

Quite apart from the 214 pages allocated to West Limerick families' biographies, several appendices supplement the text contributing prolific references for anyone researching this particular county. A chronology of Irish history is augmented by a time-line for appropriate records before a more detailed listing of local sources ranging from census, histories, journals and directories, to gravestone inscriptions and graveyard records. Valuable schedules including the Limerick newspapers with their dates of publication as well as parish structures -covering the Roman Catholic, civil, and Church of Ireland equivalents and dates - appear in alphabetical groupings under both civil and Roman Catholic headings. Further amplification is offered by the reproduction of the section dealing with the Monteagle property in the 1844 Enquiry into the Occupation of Land in Ireland in addition to the inclusion of numerous Limerick entries that appeared in The Search for Missing Friends: Irish immigrant advertisements placed in the Boston Pilot, published by the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston, Massachusetts. Following a section on faction fighters and a couple of entries on convicts, the List of Contributors provides contact details for genealogists eager to link families. This well illustrated volume, of which only 1,000 copies were printed, is an essential reference book for libraries and society collections. West Limerick Families Abroad, by Kate Press and Valerie Thompson, Melbourne, 2001 is available from Data Tree Publishing, contact Tony Press, 71 Claremont Avenue, Malvern, Victoria, 3144 for A$28.95 plus postage and packing (within Australia) of A$11.00.


The Shine and Sheehy family of Co Limerick and the Burke and Coffey family of Co Clare
A story of chain migration from Co Limerick and Co Clare, Ireland to Australia

Kate Press, C/O Tony Press, 71 Claremont Avenue, Malvern Victoria 3144 Australia.


Each time we gently blow away the ashes of time by researching our ancestors, they Live Again

Genealogy Excellence Award from 
"They Live Again"
 for the dual effort of researching genealogy AND putting together a web site to share information with your visitors


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Last updated 4 May 2009