O'Donoghue, Malachi (1800-1867)This is a featured page

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Following was recieved from Malachi O'Donoghue.

Malachi O’Donoghue (1800-1867) and Annie O’Neill (1800-1880)

Malachi O’Donoghue was born in 1800 in Clonlea, Kilkishen in County Clare, Ireland to Patrick O’Donoghue and Ellen Hale. He was the second son, his brother John was born three years earlier. Little is known of Malachi’s early life but he enlisted in the Clare Militia in 1820 and served in the British army, with the 23rd Foot Regiment. In one of these two services he appears to have risen to the rank of captain[1]. A letter from Bridget O’Donoghue, the daughter of Joseph (the son of Malachi and Ann O’Neill), notes an address that she found in an old notebook as Captain O’Donoghue of Michane (?) St, Carrigaholt, County Clare, Ireland[2]. Around 1821 Malachi married Ann O’Neill, the daughter of John O’Neill and Catherine Fahey, and they had seven children: John (c.1823), Thomas (c.1825), Malachi (c.1830), Elizabeth (b.1831), Joseph (b.1838), Catherine (b.1841), and Annie (1842)[3]. He served on a tour of duty which took him to Gibraltar where at least one child, Malachi was born. The date of his son’s birth is disputed but a baptismal record from Gibraltar lists the baptism of a Malaquias O'Donajue 18 Nov 1830 in St. Mary, The Crowned, Gibraltar. On the record both the mother and father’s names has also been Iberianised as Ana O'Donajue and Malaquias [4]. Malachi was probably discharged on pension at aged 42 in 1843.[5]

Although one family legend has it that he came to Australia transporting convicts, his grandson Thomas referred to him the ‘flagellator’ to get a rise out of his sister Elizabeth, he arrived in Australia on the Sydney on the 19 February 1846 as an unassisted migrant.[6] Accompanying him were his wife Anne 40, listed as Nancy, his sons Malachi 14(?), Joseph 8, and daughters Elizabeth 12, Catherine 5, and Anne. His other sons, Thomas 16, and John 18, a nail maker, had migrated earlier on 14 May 1841 with Malachi’s brother John on the Orestes[7]. A descendant, reports that when Malachi left the military he cut off the buttons from his officer’s coat and gave one to each of his offspring. One family still has their button which has been mounted as a brooch to be worn by all the women in the family when they married.

Malachi Donoghue's uniform button made into a brooch

The mounted button from Malachi O'Donoghue's uniform which has been made into a brooch.

Malachi & Ann Donoghue's headstone in Rylstone Cemetery

Malachi died on 7 August 1867 in Combermelon, Rylestone from a stricture of the urethra and was buried in Rylestone Cemetery. [8] The headstone still stands. His wife, Ann lived on until 27 September 1880 when she died in Spring Valley of old age and was buried in the same grave as Malachi.

[1]. Theoretically Catholics could not become officers in the British Army until the repeal of the Test Act of 1829 but most public offices including commissions in the military but excepting membership of Parliament, were open to Catholics from 1791 onward with the passing of the Roman Catholic Relief Act.
[2] Letter from Bridget O’Donoghue, the daughter of Joseph, written in 1920 about the Hayes of Shamrock Hotel. In it she mentions that Brother Malachy of the De La Salle Catholic order has a pair of rosary beads brought from Ireland by one of the Rylestone O’Donoghue pioneers. She notes that many a prayer has been said on them and that the rosaries had suffered because many babies had cut their teeth on them and chewed them off. Unbleached calico had been used to substitute for the wooden ones. A reference to the notebook also appears in an Irish genealogical site http://www.curiousfox.com/history_Ire/clare_2.html
[3] BDM Register reports compiled by Phyl O’Donoghue
[4] Gibraltar Births and Baptisms, 1704-1876: Index Project Batch Number C89937-4; Source Film Number 1729828
[5] Chelsea Pensioners Records (?)
[6] Online' microfilm of shipping lists; NSW State Government Records Repository
[7] Online' microfilm of shipping lists; NSW State Government Records Repository

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