9 March 2013

Stephen Tobin- Ch:2- Tobins in Tipperary

Stephen Tobin’s Birth

(Birth and Marriage information on birth record of Stephen and Mary Tobin's son Herbert Patrick Tobin b. 2/6/1875- notably their stated ages were incorrect)

Stephen Tobin was born in 1825 at or near the small townland of Newcastle in southern Tipperary, Ireland, close to the Waterford and Cork borders.  In a statutory declaration dated 18 January 1894 (re his sister Ellen Koch’s estate[i]- see the full document at the end of this chapter) Stephen made a statement and presented a certificate showing that he was ‘baptised’ on 29 December 1825, to parents John Tobin and Elizabeth O’Brien. However, a baptism record for the Catholic Parish of Ardfinnan  has the baptism of:

Stephen Tobin, father John Tobin, mother Eliza Brien, on the 29 June 1826’, sponsors William Plott and Ellen Long.[ii]

His death notice[iii] (Sydney Morning Herald Oct 26, 1904) stated he was ‘79 years 10 months’, which indicates a birth in December 1825. The coincidence of the matching names in a sparsely populated area in Southern Tipperary would suggest that this baptismal record applies to our Stephen, and that he was born in December 1825 and baptized in the Catholic church in the following June. Stephen's obituary in the Freeman's Journal (Sat 5 Nov 1904 p.29) stated that he was "born at Ardfinnan County Tipperary", which confirms the above baptismal record.

Map of Tipperary Ireland 1878
Tobin homeland in Iffa and Offa West near Waterford Cork border (purple area)
Also Clonmel in Iffa and Offa East (yellow area)

Map of Iffa and Offa West in southern Co. Tipperary
Townlands mentioned in Tobin Family history:
Newcastle (1), Clogheen, Ballyporeen, Araglin, Ardfinnan, Clonmel
Newcastle (1)-Clogheen- 11km (<7ml)
Clogheen-Ballyporeen- 6 km (3 ½ ml)
Newcastle (1)-Ardfinnan- 5 km (<3ml)
Ballyporeen-Araglin- 6 km (3 ½ ml)
Newcastle (1)- Clonmel (direct)- 10 km (<6ml)
Ballyporeen- Clonmel- 30 km

However, there are two townlands named Newcastle in this small area of Co Tipperary. A smaller townland or farmland named Newcastle is situated just north of  the townland of Ballyporeen, and is also close to Skeheenaranky. This area was also associated with Tobins in the Griffiths Valuation and the Tithe Applotment Books which will be discussed further on. So Stephen may have been born in the Newcastle that is shown in the map below.  To distinguish the two townlands, I will refer to them as Newcastle (1), and Newcastle (2) near Ballyporeen.

Ballyporeen, Newcastle (2) and Skeheenaranky (NB. has various spellings)

Ballyporeen- Newcastle (2)- 1km
Newcastle (2)- Skeheenaranky- 5 km

An abandoned house in Newcastle (1) Tipperary

However, as Stephen was baptised in the Parish of Ardfinnan which is only 5 km from Newcastle (1), it would indicate that his birthplace was near Newcastle (1). Catholic Church baptism records for Newcastle only began in 1846, whereas baptisms at Ardfinnan began in 1809. No baptismal records have yet been found for his siblings. 

In the same Statutory Declaration, Stephen stated that the order of birth of his siblings were:
Mary, Catherine, Stephen, Ellen, William and John.
They were born between 1821 and  before 1836.

Stephen also stated that by 1894, only Stephen and his brother John remained alive.
Records suggest that Catherine was born c.1822/23 and Ellen in 1832. There is a six year gap between Stephen and Ellen’s births which could suggest deaths of children at birth or miscarriages, or father John Tobin was away from home for a period of time.

In 1889, Stephen placed an advertisement in "Our World" newspapers (an Irish Immigrant Newspaper published in the USA (ref: newspaper articles on the Tipperary Genealogy website- www.igp-web.com/tipperary/newspapers- Our World newspapers contributed by Kate Hanley):
The Personals: In search of:
published in Irish Immigrant publications 1889
TOBIN- Information wanted of WILLIAM TOBIN, who was said to have died somewhere in the U.S. about 9 years ago (ie. c. 1880). He was a native of Tipperary, parish of Ardfunane, and left there in the early 1840's for the US. In the family there were three brothers, Stephen, William and John TOBIN. And three sisters, Mary Catherine and Ellen TOBIN. Father's name was John TOBIN, mother's Elizabeth TOBIN. Any information on any of the above mentioned relatives will be most thankfully received by his brother Stephen TOBIN, Mulgoa, Sydney, NSW, Australia.
This advertisement confirms that the family came from the Parish of Ardfinnan Tipperary and that his mother was named Elizabeth. Importantly it revealed that William emigrated to the USA, when he was very young and in his early teens. Whether he accompanied another family member, such as his elder sister Mary, is not known.
Looking at US immigration records, there were numerous Tobins by the name of William who arrived in the 1840's from Ireland, so finding him would be impossible. Presumably he married and left issue.

Stephen's sister Catherine emigrated to Australia in 1842 at the age of 18 years, marrying quickly and settling in Gerringong. Their younger sister Ellen also emigrated, to Adelaide in 1849 at the age of 16 years as part of the Irish Orphan Emigration scheme, having been chosen from the girls in the Clonmel Workouse. (see chapters on these two girls who led interesting lives.)
Nothing is known of siblings John and Mary. 
The Clonmel Property Valuations 1837 lists a 'Mrs Tobin at Sherlocks Lane; property- a house, value £5, Notes- paupers'. Whether this is Eliza Tobin and her children is unknown, but given this was the year her husband died, it seems possible. The value of the house was comparatively very low, probably a one roomed hovel. (ref: IGP Archives- Tipperary website)

Stephen claimed in his deposition that his solicitors had engaged the services of “Longfield Kelly and Armstrong” of Dublin to search the Record Office in Dublin “where old parish records are transferred and also the census papers for the year 1821 and that they state that the Parish Registers in Ireland have not been preserved as they should have been and no marriage of his parents or birth records of his siblings were found.”
The fact that the 1821 Census was asked to be checked implies that his parents were married by that date and that possibly his eldest sister Mary was born.

He further stated that they had found a document of “the Register of Interments of Prospect (Glasnevin) Cemetery Parish of St Paul, showing the burial of his father John Tobin who died in the year 1837”.
Having now received this document, the record of his burial states: [iv]

John Tobin, died 6 May 1837, aged 37, lived in Townsend Street (one of the streets in central Dublin, parallel with the river on the southern side, originally called Lazers Hill before being renamed in the 18th century). John was buried in an unmarked grave with many others in the Section of Glasnevin Cemetery called ‘Garden’ (Grave No. K 109.5).

Glasnevin Cemetery Dublin
Garden section marked in area around O'Connell Circle

An Irish researcher checked on this record and reported back:
On further enquiry, they informed me that this was an unpurchaseable (sic.) plot and that other people were buried in it. It was not in the 'poor' section as such, nevertheless, the plot could never be bought by an individual, and did not have a headstone. On further enquiry they informed me that no other Tobin family member was buried in this plot. This was the only John Tobin buried in Prospect Cemetery (now called Glasnevin)  in the year 1837, so the above information is obviously pertinent to your ancestor.

When John Tobin died in 1837, he left a wife with three infant children and three in their early teens. Stephen was just 12 years of age, and as the eldest son, he was now the ‘man’ of the family. It would appear that this had a profound effect on the development of a strong commanding character.
Why John Tobin was buried in the city of Dublin, whereas his son Stephen was born and baptized in Tipperary and also married in Tipperary twenty years after his father’s death, is not explained. No mention was made of his mother Elizabeth, and it is unknown if she and the children were in Dublin when John died, or had remained in Tipperary. Oddly, Stephen names his mother as Elizabeth in the Stat. Dec., and his baptismal record gives the name Eliza, yet on his death certificate, she is named as Ellen.

Map of Townsend Street Dublin

Townsend Street Dublin in 1800's

Ancestral search- Records of Tobins in southern Tipperary

John Tobin’s burial record in 1837 states he was aged 37, ie. born in 1800. The only baptism record for a ‘John Tobin’ in the Waterford and Lismore Baptism records which covers that southern area of Tipperary, is for a:

John Tobin baptism/birth 4 August 1800, Parish St Mary’s Clonmel, father Patrick Tobin, mother Ann Lynch, sponsors Michael Toomey and Mary Butler.

It has to be noted that Catholic records for this period are quite rare, so John Tobin's baptism may not be recorded. The name of John appears to be common in the Tobin family in this area in which there are numerous records of John Tobins living during this period of time, 1800-1860. Whether they were all related is unknown, but likely.

Records of Tobins in Clonmel and surrounding district

A record has recently been released which reveals the names and some details of many Irishmen living in 1848 which is of interest to genealogists. The William Smith O’Brien Petitions gathered in 1848, records the names, addresses and political loyalties of over 80,000 people from all over Ireland and parts of England (mostly Irish immigrants and Chartists). Ruth Lawler nee Folan wrote about the petitions (for Find my Past):
It is one of the first mass political petition movements which aimed to save the life of this rebel leader after his conviction for high treason and sentence of death. He was the younger son of Baron Inchiquin of Co. Clare who joined Daniel O’Connell’s repeal movement in 1843 which sought to overturn the Act of Union between England and Ireland. He joined the revolutionary Young Irelanders in 1846 who were committed to Irish independence. After leading an abortive rising in Co. Tipperary he was arrested and tried for high treason at a special sitting of the district court at Clonmel and sentenced to death on 10 October 1848. Meetings were organized all over Ireland to get people to sign petitions pleading for clemency. There are 166 different petitions. The occupations of the majority of signatories were literate farmers, tradesmen, artisans, etc. On 5 June 1849 Smith O’Brien’s death sentence was commuted to transportation to Australia for life, and he was sent to Van Diemen’s Land aboard the Swift. In 1854 he was granted a Conditional Pardon, and a Full Pardon two years later.
Looking at the geographic distribution of the signatories, 42,560 Dubliners signed (nearly 50%), and of the counties, by far the greatest number of signatories came from the two home counties of the O’Brien/ Inchiquin clan, viz. Co. Clare 4,636, and Co. Tipperary 4,393.
Several Tobins signed the petition sent by the inhabitants of St Mary’s Clonmel. Notably several had the same forename:
Thomas Tobin- Ref. No. CRF 1848 O 16/2/134; Sheet 2
Edmond Tobin- Ref. No. CRF 1848 O 16/2/133; Sheet 2
John Tobin – same Ref.; sheet 4
Joseph Tobin- same ref.; sheet 3
Wm Tobin- same; sheet 3
Michl Tobin- same; sheet 4
Michael Tobin- same; sheet 3
John Tobin- same; sheet 5
James Tobin- same; sheet 5
William Tobin- same; sheet 5
John Tobin- same; sheet 4
Thm Tobin- same; sheet 5V
Tom Tobin- same; sheet 4V
Wam Tobin- same; sheet 5V
Plus several Tobins from Carrick on Suir in Co. Tipperary, a few miles east of Clonmel.

The Header of the Petition by the inhabitants of St Mary's Clonmel

The record reveals there were quite a large number of families of Tobins living in St Mary’s Clonmel at the time. Whether they were closely, or only distantly related is unknown.

The 1839 Shearman’s Directory, for Clonmel lists the following Tobins:

Patrick Tobin,  Dowd’s lane- Publicans (p.32)

Laurence Tobin, 48,  Main street, Woolen Draper (p36)

Michael Tobin, 19,  Main street, Boot and Shoemaker (p21)

Richard Tobin, 37,  Dublin street, Huxters and Provision Dealers (p.27)

In the 1853 Griffiths Valuation there were 11 Tobins listed in the Parish of St Mary's, Clonmel, all in the “townland area” adjacent to Clonmel, described as “Burgagery- Lands west without the Municipal boundary:

William Tobin, Clonmel, house and garden 10s

Michael Tobin, Main Street, part of house (with a Miss Wade), and shop, £15.15s (NB. the shoemaker in the Shearman's Directory)

Thomas Tobin, Salmon Lane, House and garden, £2.18s

Richard Tobin, Dublin Stret- house and office and yard, £13.10s (NB. the Huxter and Provision Dealer in the Shearman's Directory)

Maurice Tobin, 3 adjacent properties leased in Main street- a) house and offices £13.10s

b) House and offices £22.10s;

c) Back house, offices and garden £4.10s;

4th property adjacent to others, owned by Tobin and leased to John Shanahan, £21.7s.

John Tobin, Irishtown, house, £7.5s

Bridget Tobin, Irishtown,

David Tobin, Irishtown, house, £2.18s

Philip Tobin, Blind Street, house and garden, £1.2s

Richard Tobin, Dowd’s Lane, office, £27 (NB possibly the public house of Patrick Tobin in the Shearmans Directory above)
Patrick Tobin, Bagwell Street, house, offices, yard, £15

Map showing Clonmel, Burgagery West and Irishtown

In the 1853 Griffiths Valuation, several records under the name of John Tobin owned and leased some considerable property in the Newcastle (1) area:
At Curraghcloney, a few miles SE of Newcastle (1)- leased 58 acres of land offices and house, 46 acres of Mountain pasture, and 27 acres of land, total rateable value  ₤43. He also owned a house and garden, with 2 rds 13 per value ₤1, which was leased out.
A John Tobin also leased 14 acres of land at Augharanlomaun, a couple of miles south the Curraghcloney. Notably his neighbour was James O’Brien, who rented 22 acres of Mountain pasture.
This John Tobin could not be Stephen’s father who was deceased, or his brother who would have been too young, but whether this John Tobin was a close relative in unknown. He may have been the same John Tobin (and James O'Brien) named in the records below, at Skeheenarinky and  Newcastle (2).

The 1823-1837 Tithe Applotment Books list a John Tobin at Skeenerinky/Skeheenarinkey, Templetenny Parish (about 5 km north of Ballyporeen and Newcastle), as well as a Michael Tobin at Araglin on the Tipperary Cork Waterford border, the significance of which will become apparent.
Several O’Briens (Thomas, Michael, Patrick and William) also lived at Araglin, as well as an Edmund and James White.
A Patrick Tobin is listed at Lyrefune/Lyrefoun about 2 miles north of Araglin, and just south of Ballyporeen. In the 1853 Griffiths Valuation, Patrick Tobin was leasing a small property at Barnahown, between Lyrefoun and Araglin.
The Catholic Parish for this area was historically known as Templetenny. The Catholic church and clergy based in Ballyporeen serviced both communities of Ballyporeen and Skeheenarinky.

There is also a Stephen Tobin, born c.1802, named in the Irish Prison Registers for Clonmel Co. Tipperary, charged on 8 June 1842 with being “concerned in the conspiracy to murder Robert Butler Bryan Esq of Co. Wicklow”. Stephen was discharged on 11th June. He was also registered in the Waterford Prison Register for the same charge and same date. This record states he was sent to Wexford Gaol. (The murder took place in Ferns Co Wexford, over a land dispute. Robert Butler Bryan, a Dublin lawyer owned large quantities of land in the Barony of Scarawalsh Co. Wexford- two local Wexford men by the name of Thomas Butler and Patrick Dwyer were also charged and found not guilty of the murder, at the Wexford assizes in March 1841.) Whether this was a brother or close relation of John Tobin is unknown. The only baptismal record found for a Stephen Tobin around 1800 is for:
Stephen Tobin, Trinity Without Parish, R.C. Church of Ballybricken, Waterford City on 15 January 1800, father Edmund Tobin, mother Elizabeth Tobin.
This record probably relates to the same Stephen Tobin named in the prison register.

The Clonmel Birth Death Records have a Stephen John Tobin, who died at 14 days old, on 9 Jan 1869, living at Kilgrainy Upper, which is a couple of miles east of Newcastle (1)  towards the mountain area near the Waterford border. It is also very close to Curraghcloney and Aughavanlomaun., which are a couple of miles south.

As to Stephen’s mother, Elizabeth O’Brien- the O’Briens/Briens were numerous to this area of Ireland, their supposed progenitor Brian Boru, a famous warrior king who lived in the tenth and eleventh centuries, part of Irish folklore. Whether she was related to the Henry O'Brien,  landlord of the village of Ballyporeen in the 1850's is unknown, or the James O'Brien  landlord of Newcastle (2)  (see history of Ballyporeen below)

The Tithe Applotment Books of 1823-1837 lists all landholders in Ireland who are required to pay tithes. At the time, the landlord for this area was the Earl of Kingston.
The Newcastle (2) books list only two names- James O'Brien held 83 acres of 1st class land and a Patrick Bourke held 14 acres of 2nd class land.
The Skeheenarinky books contain a large number of inhabitants. They include several O'Briens- Henry, Michael, Denis, William, John, and two widows- Catherine O'Brien and Ellen O'Brien widow of David O'Brien.
It also names a John Tobin (twice), an Edward Tobin, and interestingly a Denis Carney. John Tobin's  daughter Catherine supposedly married a Denis Carney. Denis Carney was also named at Dangan adjacent to Newcastle (2) and a kilometre from Ballyporeen, in the 1853 Griffiths Valuation. This therefore discounts him as Catherine Tobin's first husband, however, she may have married his son of the same name.

The widow Catherine O'Brien may be of relevance- she may have been the mother of Elizabeth O'Brien (married to John Tobin- mother of Stephen), which would account for the naming of John and Elizabeth Tobin's  second daughter Catherine. However, as Stephen claimed he was born in Newcastle which was held by James O'Brien, he may be his mother Elizabeth's father. 


Stephen Tobin married Mary Driscoll (b.c.1835-39, Tipperary) on 22 July 1857 at Clonmel, Co. Tipperary,[v] the same year they emigrated to Australia c.1857.[vi] (see above record)

Clonmel is the nearest large town to this region of Tipperary.

Clonmel in the late 1800's 

Mary Driscoll's death certifricate states that she was born or baptised c.1839 at Clogheen Tipperary  to parents Timothy Driscoll and Mary ‘Whitehead’:

(Mary Tobin's death certificate, naming parents)

However, there is a baptismal record for:

Mary Driscol, baptised 18 May 1835 in the Parish of Ballyporeen, address- Araglin; father Timothy Driscoll, mother Mary White, sponsors Edmund Lane and Ellen Quirk.[vii]

The reference to her birth at 'Clogheen' in several BDM records, probably refers to the Clogheen Union which incorporates Araglin.

The only Edmund/Edmond Lanes (the sponsor)  found in the Tithe Applotment Books of 1825-30 were two Edmund Lanes listed a few kms south of Rathcormick, about 15 kms SW of Araglin (at Walshtown Beg and Cousane), in the county of Cork.

Timothy Driscoll and Mary White had seven children in this area between 1830 and 1845 (note for 2 records, viz. for daughters  Margaret and Ellen, the mother is named as Margaret White not Mary White- a clerical error). Notably, with the exception of their eldest child who was born a few miles north of Araglin, all of the other children were born at Araglin or Barnahown which is adjacent to Araglin (NB. a Patrick Tobin was living at Barnahown in the 1853 Griffths Valuation).


1.Eleanor Driscoll, baptised 25 Feb 1830, parish of Clogheen, address Kilcarroon ( a couple of kms SE of Ballyporeen); sponsors Robert Fennell and Mary Smith

2.Patrick Driscoll, bap. 23 Feb 1833, parish of Ballyporeen, address Araglin; sponsors Michael Meagher and Mary Denlay

3.Mary Driscoll, BAP. 18 May 1835, parish of Ballyporeen, address Araglin; sponsors Edmund Lane, Ellen Quirke

4.Ellen Driscoll, bap. 15 Oct 1837, parish of Ballyporeen, address Barnahown (adjacent to Araglin, on the TIpperary side of the border); sponsors James Hennessy and __ Parnell

5.Thomas Driscoll, bap.1 April 1839, parish of Ballyporeen, address Araglin; sponsors David Quirke and Honora Lane

6.Margaret Driscoll, bap. 12 Sept 1841, parish of Ballyporeen, address Barnahown; sponsors Denis Foley and Mary Ahearn

7.Catherine Driscoll, bap. 7 Feb 1845, parish of Ballyporeen, address Araglin; sponsors John Ahearn and Elizabeth Condon

Notably the sponsors named as Ahearn and Denis Foley  were substantial landholders at Barnahown.
(source: RootsIreland.ie- Waterford Genealogy http://waterford.rootsireland.ie/index.php )

The NSW Australian Immigration Deposit Journals (State Records NSW- on Ancestry.com) have the following records for two of Mary's siblings:
Return for month of June 1867 of Monies paid to be returned to the Depositors: Depositor Stephen Tobin- Nominees Patrick Driscoll Defaulted from the 'Burlington' £7 (ship arrived 16 Feb 1867); Margaret Driscoll Defaulted from the 'Light Brigade' (arrived 21 May 1867), £4.

Nominee: Margaret Driscoll, age 20, Amt paid in colony towards passage:
£4. Note: Had Embarkation for the 'Burlington' and the 'Light Brigade' but from the latter vessell giving notice of her intention not to proceed. (SRNSW; Series 5266, Reel 2669)

Nominee: Patrick Driscoll, 18, b.c.1840, laborer; Where living: Newcastle, Clonmel Co. Tipperary; Depositor Mary Whelan; Name of person of note to whom reference can be made respecting the Emigrants- the Parish Priest, Date 1858 (SRNSW; Series 5264, Reel 2669)

The fact that Stephen Tobin was named as the 'Depositor' for two of Mary's siblings confirms that her mother was named Mary 'White', not 'Whitehead'.

Mary Driscoll's death certificate  describes her father Timothy Driscoll as deceased, possibly referring to the time she left Ireland in 1857. In the same record her mother is not described as 'deceased' so may have still been alive when she left Ireland. 
However, there is a record of a death of a Timothy Driscoll in 1865, aged 65 (b.1800) at Midleton (east of Cork city) which is only a few miles south of Sheepwalk (see records and second map below). There are numerous Timothy Driscolls in Cork so this record may be irrelevant, but can't be dismissed. (Death record- Volume 9 p522 Reg. District Middleton Cork).

There is also a record in the Irish Petty Sessions Court Register (1828-1912), dated 13 June 1857, of a Timothy Driscoll, address Clonmel St Marys, charged at the Clonmel Boro Court of "drunk and disorderly behaviour on public streets", and found guilty. This occurred just a month before Mary's marriage to Stephen.
(Petty Session Order Books CSPS, 1/2852- FindMyPast):

Whether this is the same Timothy Driscoll is inconclusive but seems likely.

Map showing Araglin, Ballyporeen, Newcastle, Barnahown, Kilcarroon and Lyrefune

Araglin is about 6 kms south of Ballyporeen (6 kms west of Clogheen) on the junction of the borders of Tipperary, Waterford and Cork, and is actually situated over the Cork border, but  Mary Driscoll  was baptised at Ballyporeen in Tipperary which is in the Lismore Waterford Baptismal Parishes. (from Clogheen, go into Ballyporeen and turn left following the road all the way to Araglin which is a very small farming community on the Araglin River- refer to MAP above). Ballyporeen would have been the closest townland to Araglin with a Catholic church, and was on the main road between Cork and Dublin.

Notably no Driscolls are recorded at Araglin in the 1853 Griffiths Valuation or the 1823/37 Tithe Applotment books which suggests that Timothy Driscoll was not from the area originally, although the first child born there was in 1833. 
As previously mentioned an Edmund and a James White lived at Araglin in 1823/37, which may be relevant, one of whom was possibly Mary White's father.

The closest record of a Timothy Driscoll in the 1853 Griffiths Valuation was at Sheepwalk (Parish of Dungourney) in Co. Cork,  SE of Fermoy, and about 20 km  S of Araglin. Notably, Sheepwalk is also less than 5 km from  Edmund Lane (baptism sponsor) living at Walshtown Beg. Timothy Driscoll leased  75 acres of land valued at £52. However, he is not listed there in the Tithe Applotment Books of 1823-37.

Ballyporeen was the ancestral home of US President Ronald Reagan whose great grandfather Michael Regan was baptized there in 1829, and lived in the village until 1851 when he emigrated to London then the United States in 1857. A David and Bryan Regan lived at Skeheenarinky as well. 

The Clogheen Union included Cahir, Newcastle, Ardfinnan, Skeheenarinky,  Clogheen, Ballyporeen, Araglin and Kilbehenny.

Ballyporeen is thought to have begun sometime after  a small earlier settlement grew around the castle at Newcastle just north of the current village. The castle is of unknown date but likely the 15th or 16th century. The village was on the main coach road between Cork and Dublin in the 18th century and this would have led to passing trade and the provision of boarding houses and inns for travellers. A mill, thought to be  a dye works, known as Kingston's Mills, was in the lower Main Street, and this provided employment until at least 1809. The main landlord in the area, the  King family , Earls of Kingston, whose seat was Mitchelstown Castle, owned the market rights to the estate. Large open air markets were held in the village in May, August and December each year. The 2nd Earl initiated an ambitious building program across the estate in the late 1700's. Rents were nominal in the village to attract shopkeepers and tradespeople. Samuel Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of Ireland 1837 describes Ballyporeen as being on the coach road from Cork to Dublin containing 113 houses and 513 inhabitants.

Ballyporeen in the 1960's

The Great Famine of 1845-50  had a devastating effect in the area and hundreds died of malnutrition or committed themselves to the Workhouse at Clogheen, emigrated, or died of starvation. After the famine, the Kingstons were forced to sell off much of their estate in the 1850's  including the village itself which became the property of Henry O'Brien.
The Griffiths Valuation records of 1853  show many properties owned by Henry O'Brien in Ballyporeen, leased to others including some  by the name of O'Brien (John, James, Thomas, and Eleanor) and a Maurice Tobin. Henry O'Brien personally had 34 acres plantation, 52 acres house, offices and land, and a further 15 acres of land, total value about £78.
(Notably, James O'Brien has descendants living in Australia.)
The sell-off of the Kingston estate could explain why the Tobins left the area. The Tithe Applotment Books of 1823-1837 also name Henry O'Brien in this area, notably in Skeheenaranky, and a James O'Brien was the landholder of most of Newcastle.

Skeheenarinky was once the location of an mansion called Galtee Castle, built for the 2nd Earl of Kingston dated from the late 18th century (demolished in 1941). As mentioned, the Tithe Applotment Books of 1823-37 name a John Tobin at Skeheenarinky. The 1853 Griffiths Valuation has a John Tobin Senior and a John Tobin Junior named there, but as Stephen's father John Tobin died in 1837, these records therefore may be irrelevant. 

The Driscolls (O’Driscoll or O’Hederiscoll) were an ancient Irish family who ruled County Cork, and parts of County Kerry for many centuries. The name Timothy is common in the Driscoll family heritage. There are numerous ‘Timothy Driscolls’ in Co. Cork records, but none of that name are to be found in early nineteenth century records in Tipperary or near Araglin in Co Cork. In the 1823-37 Tithe Applotment Books there are numerous references to Timothy Driscolls (often shortened to ‘Tim’ or Timy’), many of them appear to refer to the same man due to the close proximity of the properties named. All of them are concentrated in the SW corner of Co. Cork, with many in the area between Bandon and Enniskean, south near Clonakilty, and others down in the far west peninsulas (Mizen Head and Brow Head, and SheepsHead, and the Beara Peninsula), and near Bantry, and around Skibbereen, all within about 100 kms distance (ie. baronies of West and east Carbery). One or two lived in Cork city.

County Cork

The Irish Petty Sessions Court Registers name numerous Timothy Driscolls from Cork, and there are also several references in County Tipperary during the 1850's- the earlier ones (1853-1857) are mostly from the town of Tipperary, and later ones in the 1860s in Nenagh in north Tipperary, and their relevance is doubtful. However, the record for a Timothy Driscoll in Clonmel St Marys (see above)  is probably relevant.


Not much is known of Stephen’s life in Ireland- he was 32 years of age when he left Ireland. His elder sister Catherine had emigrated to the colony of New South Wales in 1842 when she was 18 years of age. Sometime before 1849, his younger sister Ellen had been placed in the Clonmel Workhouse. Whether her mother and two younger brothers were also in the workhouse is unknown. At the age of 17 years, Ellen was chosen as one of 190 young  'orphan' girls to emigrate to Australia under Earl Gray's Orphan Emigration Scheme, arriving in Adelaide South Australia in December 1849. (see chapter on Ellen Tobin)

There is a record in the Irish Petty Sessions which may be relevant:
Irish Petty Sessions Court Registers 1857
Date: 9 September 1857: No. 125
Complainant: Eliza Tobin of St Mary's Clonmel
Defendent: Rebecca Mach(?) St Mary's
Complaint: Refusing to pay complainant five shillings for work and labor done at Clonmel.
Order: To pay to Complt. five shillings for work done and for costs

If this relates to Stephen's mother Eliza Tobin, she was still alive and living in St Mary's Clonmel after his departure for Australia, and working for her living.

There is also a record in the Griffiths Valuation of Ireland, for County Cork which may be relevant. Most of the valuations in Co. Cork were done between 1850 and 1852, completed in 1853. There was a Stephen Tobin who leased two pieces of land at Gortgarriff on the far east coast of Cork, on the northern coast of  Beara Peninsula (opposite Caherdaniel on the map above). And significantly, a Timothy Driscoll leased the adjacent block.

Gortgarriff, parish of Kilcatherine, Bears, Cork- leased from the Earl of Bantry:
No. 11b- Timothy Driscoll, with John Leary and Patrick Sullivan- House, offices and land totaling 27 acres, value £6.8s
No 13- Stephen Tobin- House and land 8 acres, value £4.15s
No. 17 (Kilcatherine adjacent to Gortgarriff)- Stephen Tobin- Land 9 acres value £4.8s
A James Driscoll leased No. 1.

Griffths Valuation- Gortgarriff & Kilcatherine land plots
11= Timothy Driscoll; 13 & 17= Stephen Tobin

He may have leased these properties during his military service time. However, this may be just a coincidence as the name is quite common in Ireland- there are numerous ‘Stephen Tobins’ named in various counties in the Griffiths Valuation, although not in Tipperary.


Stephen's obituary would describe him as "intellectually and physically, a splendid specimen of Irish manhood, and his tall, soldier-like figure and his cheery voice will long be pleasantly remembered."
In a statement Stephen Tobin made in 1897, he said he was “for years Sergeant in the British Army (The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate (Parramatta), Sat. 28 August 1897)
An article in the Freeman's Journal (Sydney- Saturday 19 December 1896 p.28) stated that Stephen carried with him credentials from Sir Henry Norman (then Governor of Queensland) with whose regiment he served in India.  

During the height of the Irish famine in the 1840's, many desperate young Irish men joined the British army, or the private armies of the East India Company. At this time, Britain was not involved in any major conflicts, apart from  the Anglo-Sikh War in 1845/6 and 1848/9 in the Punjab, resulting in complete annexation of the Punjab by the East India Co. The East India Company ruled the beginnings of the British Empire in India. Formed to pursue trade with the East Indies, the company ended up trading mainly with the Indian subcontinent, China and the NW Frontier Province. The East India Company came to rule large areas of India with its own private armies, exercising military power and assuming administrative functions. The Company's rule in India lasted until 1858, when, following the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the Government of India Act of 1858 led the British Crown to assume direct control of India in the new British Raj. Before the Indian Rebellion, the three independent armies of the company's Presidencies, with some locally raised irregular forces, expanded to a total of 280,000 men by 1857. The Bengal Army was the army of the Bengal Presidency, and its main source of recruitment were high caste Brahmans and Rajputs, under the command of British officers. During the 1840's and early 1850's numbers of Nepalese Gurkhas and Sikhs from the Punjab were accepted, serving in separate units.

To understand Tobin's role in India, we can outline Sir Henry Norman's well documented army career.
Field Marshall Sir Henry Wylie Norman was a senior Indian Army officer who served in the Second Anglo-Sikh War. He joined the family merchant firm in Calcutta in 1842 and then persuaded his father to let him join the Bengal Army. He was commissioned as ensign in the 31st Bengal Native Infantry in March 1845. He was posted to Lahore in 1846 and, having been promoted to lieutenant in December 1847, took part in the Battle of Ramnagar in November 1848, the Battle of Chillianwala in January 1849 and the Battle of Gujrat in February 1849 during the Second Anglo-Sikh War. Having attracted the favourable notice of Sir Colin Campbell, Norman was selected by Campbell to accompany an expedition against the Kohat Pass Afridis in 1850 as officiating brigade-major. 
As a subaltern he was noted for a splendid deed of gallantry, heading a rescue of some badly injured men who had been descending a precipitous mountain under fire in the pass of Kohat and had taken shelter under some rocks. Under fire from the enemy, Norman and Ensign Murray of the 70th NI and some sepoys ascended the rocks in defiance of the enemy and brought the wounded men down. Norman served in numerous frontier expeditions between 1850 and 1854 and in the suppression of the Santhal rebellion of 1855 to 1856 before becoming assistant adjutant general in India in May 1856. The 31st Bengal Native Infantry escaped the mutiny in 1857 and the subsequent disbandment to survive into the post-Mutiny army.

At which of the above campaigns Tobin served is not known, but he must have been a sergeant in the 31st Bengal Native Infantry under his officer, Lt. Henry Norman. He was the same age as Henry Norman who was born in December 1826, so presumably joined the army around the mid 1840's.

The Second Anglo-Sikh War, or, the Punjab Campaign- 1848-49
 The President in Lahore sent two officers to Multan to compel the local viceroy to pay increased taxes and to relieve him, at his own request, of the fortress. The officers were murdered by the garrison and this encouraged an uprising of rebellious troops against  the Sikh government. After some initial actions, the British East India Company sent a substantial force under Sir Hugh Gough. Major battles at Chillianwala and Gujerat led to the surrender of the Sikhs. The British annexed the Punjab and the child MahaRaja Duleep Singh went into exile.

Army of the Punjab- order of battle (part) 
Commander in Chief: Major-Gen Sir Hugh Gough; 
1st Infantry Division under Lt-Gen Sir Walter Gilbert- 
2nd Brigade under Brigadier Godby 
          -2nd European Light Infantry, 31st Bengal Native Infantry, 70th Bengal Native Infantry.

Battle of Ramnuggur- fought on 22 November 1848

Battle of Chillianwallah (now part of Pakistan). The battle in January 1849 was one of the bloodiest fought by the British East India Company and a Sikh victory. After the disastrous 'Charge of the Light Brigade, Lord Lucan remarked "This is a most serious matter", to which General Airey replied, " it is nothing to Chillianwallah." The battle was a shock to British military prestige.

Battle of Gujurat - this was a decisive battle in the Second Anglo-Sikh War, fought on 21 February 1849. The Sikh army was defeated by the British regular and Bengal Army forces of the British East India Company. After it capitulated a few days later, the Punjab was annexed to the East India's Companies territories and the child Maharaja Duleep Sigh was deposed.

Three battle honours were awarded to the 31st Bengal Native Infantry during the 2nd Anglo-Sikh War including two at the battles of Chillianwallah and Gujarat.

A recommended online book about the Second Sikh War (at Archive Books):
James Henry Lawrence-Archer, Commentaries on the Punjab Campaign 1848-1849. Including some additions to the history of the Second Sikh War, pub. London: WH Allen, 1878.      https://archive.org/details/commentariesonpu00lawr

This book also gave some statistics of the numerical strength of the various corps engaged in the several actions during the Punjab Campaign (pages 133-135):
1. Ramnuggur- all ranks in the 31st BNI: 949 (taken from the Quarterly Return  1 Oct 1848)
2. Sadoolapore- all ranks in the 31st BNI: 756
3. Chillianwallah- all ranks in the 31st BNI: 983 (Quarterly Return 1 Jan 1849)
4. Goojerat- all ranks in the 31st BNI: 804

(page 166-167) Return of killed and wounded and missing in the army of the Punjab in the action with the Sikh forces at Chillianwallah on 13 January 1849.
The British forces consisted of: 1 Horse Artillery Brigade; 1 Foot Artillery Brigade; 2 Cavalry Division Brigades; and 7 Brigades in the 2nd Infantry Division

In the 2nd Infantry Division- 3rd Brigade:
31st Regiment of Native Infantry
         killed- 1 havildar, 2 rank and file
         wounded- 1 European officer, 2 havildars, 12 rank and file
(havildar= non commissioned officer in the Indian army, equivalent rank to sergeant)
TOTAL killed and wounded in the 2nd Infantry Division, 3rd Brigade:
killed- 4 European officers, 7 native ditto, 24 sergeants or havildars, 1 drummer, 138 rank and file
wounded- 26 European officers, 16 native ditto, 43 sergeants or havildars, 9 drummers, 725 rank and file
missing- 2 havildars, 42 rank and file

When Stephen returned to Ireland from India is unknown, but probably in the mid 1850's. He must have returned before the Indian Rebellion in May-June 1857, following which, the East India Company's armies were disbanded and some were incorporated into the British army.


Having married at Clonmel in July 1857,  Stephen and Mary soon  boarded a migrant ship, probably at Cork, heading to New South Wales. They are not on the Bounty lists and therefore were self-funded, and the name of the ship has not yet been discovered. As they were established in New South Wales by April 1858 when their child was born, and given that ships took between 3 to 5 months to sail to Australia, they left Ireland between August and December 1857.

After arrival in New South Wales and settling on the Berry estate at Gerringong, NSW, the first of their eleven children was born. As daughter Mary was born nine months after their marriage, it would indicate that Mary was pregnant during the four to five month voyage from Ireland which must have been very uncomfortable for her. 

The choice of Gerringong must have been made on the advice of Stephen's elder sister Catherine who had settled in Gerringong, on the Berry Estate, with her husband Timothy Guinea in 1848. Catherine must have communicated with Stephen, recommending this beautiful farming area and the opportunities available in this new country.

Issue of Stephen and Mary Driscoll

Stephen Tobin and Mary Driscol had the following children:
1. MARY TOBIN was born on 26 April 1858 in Gerringong, NSW.(NSW 8026/1958). She died on 23 Dec. 1938 in North Perth, W.A. (WA 23/1938). She married ALEXANDER McPHERSON DUNCAN 8 July 1900 W.A. (WA 527/1900); At her death, she was a widow. Buried with sister Alice at Karrakatta Cemetery Perth, Sect. HA No. 0807 
No issue.
2. ELIZABETH (Lizzie) TOBIN was born in c.1860 (Sydney according to her marriage certificate; age calculated from death cert.). She died on 3 Aug. 1928 in Swan View, Perth, WA. (WA 68/1928). She married DR. KARL AUGUST EDWARD ROMMEIS in 1881 Qld. (QLD 1881/C691)- he died 3 Oct 1901.
Both buried Karrakatta Cemetery Perth with mother Mary Tobin, Historical Section AA, No. 0368
Issue- Christian Frederick b.1882 d.1943; Mary Dorothy b. 1884 d.infancy; Stephen Edward b.1886 d.1891; Eunice Elizabeth b.1887 d.1894; Dorothy Mary b.1889 d.?  m. 1915 to R. Farrar; Joyce Alice b. 1890 d.1894; Monica/Mona b. 1892 d.1972 m. 1913 William L. Hoops; Edward b/d 1896; Edward Anslem b/d 1897.
3. LOUISA TOBIN was born  20 Sept 1861 in Gerringong, NSW(NSW 8278/1861). She died 7 Aug. 1931 in Bundanoon NSW (NSW 13648/1931); unmarried.
4. ELLEN VERONICA (Nellie) TOBIN was born in 1863 in Gerringong, NSW (NSW 8553/1863). She died 13 Aug. 1942 in Parkerville, W.A. (WA 107/1942). Married 10 Dec. 1883 WILLIAM PHILPOTT in Brisbane QLD (QLD 1883/B8616). He died 22 Aug 1925 aged 81. Buried together Karrakatta Cemetery Perth, Sect. DA No. 0530. 
Issue: Frances Mary b.1884 d.1928; Noel William b. 1886 d?; Beryl Vyvyan b.1888 d.1911; Adrian Wylde b.1890 d.1918.
5. KATHERINE MARY TOBIN was born 8 April 1865 in Gerringong, NSW (NSW 9690/1865). She died on 16 Aug.1901 in Waverley, Sydney, NSW (NSW 11806/1901). She married FERDINAND ADOLPH GEORGE POULSEN on 19 May 1886 in Brisbane QLD (QLD 1886/C959), son of Lars Poulsen and Charlotte Fredrikke Gudmundsen of Denmark. He was born 3 July 1860 in Copenhagen Denmark (Danish BDM Records online). He died 8 July 1932 in Sydney, NSW (NSW 13563/1932). Buried in family grave at Waverley Cemetery- Graves No. 2281 and 2282.
Issue: Marjorie Vaughn b.1887, m. 1913 Arthur te Kloot; Eileen Beatrice b.1888, m.1924 William Spain; Theodore Sylvestor b.1890 d.1965, m.1915 Maude Leydon; Myra Lillian b.1892 d.1949, m. 1916 Philip Nott; Raymond Horace b.1894, d 1922, unm.; Nellie b/d/1896
6. JOHN CONWAY TOBIN was born in 1866 Gerringong/Kiama, NSW (NSW 9637/1866). He died 10 June 1944 in Shenton Park WA (WA 1184/1944). He married 1906 ANNIE KIERSE (of Ballarat) in WA (WA 387/1906). Buried Karrakatta Cemetery Perth, Sect. KC NO. 0123
No issue.
7. ALICE GABRIELLE TOBIN was born 20 July 1868 in Gerringong NSW (NSW 10657/1868). She died on 29 Aug. 1952 in Mt Lawley WA (WA 2107/1952). She married 12 July 1897 GEORGE NEEDOM HYDE in WA (1082/1897), son of Thomas Hyde Esq. of 'Fairview' KIlkenny Ireland. George died in Bendigo 1957 aged 90. Alice buried Karrakatta Cemetery with sister Mary, Sect. HA No. 0807.
Issue: Brian b.1897; Patricia b.c.1910.
8. STEPHEN WILLIAM TOBIN was born on 23 Dec. 1870 in Queensland (probably Nerang) (QLD 1871/B12063). He died in 1924 Sth Melbourne VIC (VIC 2681/1924). He married ANN MARY AUSTIN in 1911 Victoria (VIC 9603/1911).
No known issue.
9. CHARLES FREDERICK TOBIN was born 16 May 1873 in Tallebudgera Creek, Qld (QLD 1873/C1768). He died 9 January 1925 Darwin N.T. (Northern Territory Times and Gazette, 9 Jan 1925, p.4). He married MARY MANFORD (aka Grace Emily Mitchell- 1877-1956) on 6 Nov. 1907 at Coolgardie WA (WA 14/1907). Mary Tobin buried Karrakatta Cemetery Sect. ZN No. 0289.
Issue: John Eric b.1907 at Menzies WA., d. 1979 at Northam WA, married 1945; Frederick Charles Anthony b.1910 d.1995, m. 1943 Carola Aloyisa Folly (1910-1989).
(NB. some Ancestry.com records have Charles married to Grace Emily Mitchell-   all Electoral Rolls and newspaper articles name his wife as 'Mary'. However, John Eric's death record names his mother as 'Grace' and father as 'Jack', yet her burial at Karrakatta Cemetery names her as Mary, grantee: Frederick Charles Tobin.)
10. HERBERT PATRICK TOBIN was born 2 June 1875 at Tallebudgera Qld (QLD 1875/C1878). He died 17 July 1956 in Perth WA (WA 1829/1956). He married 21 Oct. 1899 EVA MADELINE MACFARLANE in WA (WA 1626/1899) She died 30 January 1933 . Buried together in family grave at  Karrakatta Cemetery Perth, Historical Sect. AA, No. 0218A, with son Harold
Issue: Dorothy Louise b.1900 d.1988; Alfred Herbert b.1901 d.1930; Harold Victor b.1906 d.28/10/1993 (burial Karrakatta Cemetery); Stephen William b.1913 d.22/9/1970 (aka Cedric William Tobin- see burial record  of Stephen Wm at  Karrakatta Cemetery); Lillian May Josephine d.?; Eva Jean d.?
11. LILY MARGARET TOBIN was born 25 May 1877 in Tallebudgera Qld (QLD 1877/C3136). She died 10 Nov. 1955 in Mossvale NSW (NSW 32624/1955). She was unmarried.

Statutory Declaration made by Stephen Tobin
(QLD State Archives, N11667, dated 15/2/94)

© B A Butler

Contact email: butler1802 @hotmail.com (NB. With no spaces)

Link back to Introduction:

Links to all other chapters in this blog:

Tobin and Driscoll family in Tipperary Ireland

Tobin family settle in Gerringong, NSW, Australia in 1857

Tobin family settle in Tallebudgera Queensland in 1870

Life at Tallebudgera for the Tobin Family until 1892

Tobin family move back to NSW and Western Australia- deaths of Stephen and Mary

Stephen Tobin's sister Catherine Tobin- marriage to Timothy Guinea

Bushrangers in the family

Stephen Tobin's sister Ellen Tobin- an Irish female orphan immigrant in 1850

Stephen Tobin's daughter Katherine Tobin- marriage to Adolph Poulsen

Sons of Stephen Tobin and Mary Driscoll

Daughters of Stephen Tobin and Mary Driscoll

Irish Roots of Tobins, Driscolls, O'Briens, and Whites

[i] State Archives QLD
[ii] Irish Family History Foundation www.rootsireland.ie- Records for this area of southern Tipperary are held in the Diocese Waterford Lismore Parish Registers for RC Church (Parish Ardfinnan).
[iii] Sydney Morning Herald Oct 26, 1904, p.6
[iv] Glasnevin Cemetery Trust, No. W41078
[v] As stated on the birth record of Herbert Patrick QLD 1875/C1878
[vi] Calculated from birth of 1st daughter Mary in April 1858 at Gerringong NSW.
[vii] Irish Family History Foundation, op.cit., (Parish Ballyporeen)
[viii] NSW 8026/1958
[ix] WA 23/1938
[x] WA 527/1900
[xi] Age calculated from death certificate WA 68/1928 aged 68 yrs