My Hetherington ancestors from Fermanagh, Northern Ireland

I’ve decided I would like to blog more often, rather than wondering about whether it is of interest to anyone else. So, if it is interesting to me, I’m going to yack about it. Hopefully it will be of interest to someone else too!

My Mum’s maiden name is HETHERINGTON, and until recently we all assumed that the Hetherington’s were from England. Not quite, it would seem, they were from County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. I was excited when I discovered this because they were the first, and even now the only, ancestors I have from Northern Ireland.

Through shipping records I could see that my 3xgreat grandfather Noble HETHERINGTON came to Australia in 1863 when he was 57. He is listed in the records as a Widower, and as travelling with his daughter Ann (27), son George (my 2xgreat grandfather, aged 24), his wife Jane and their first child John (aged less than 1).

I have spent most of time researching my direct ancestors, but there is only so far you can go via the web, and without visiting local repositories of historical information. I would love to be able to discover all the details myself, (must be the reference librarian gene in me!), but I finally decided I should give in and ask for some help from the professional service provided by the Family History Centre at the Kiama Local Library. They provided me with a huge packet of information that included many pieces of information I am still digesting, 4 months later! One thing that did stand out was that Noble, Ann and George were assisted in their move to Australia by another daughter of Noble’s,¬† Mary who emigrated 7 years earlier.

My discovery earlier this week however, completely surprised me, although I think I probably should have expected it considering where and when these ancestors of mine headed to Oz. Looking at the fantastic Fermanagh GOLD Members Genealogy Pages which I found trawling through mailing lists, I found a transcription of a Lowtherstown Workhouse record from 1847 which suggest that Noble’s eldest children, Mary, Thomas and Ann were “placed” in the workhouse, without their parents. There is no “release” date, and I have done no further research to try to find out when they left the workhouse, but can only imagine the horror that was their life inside – hopefully it wasn’t any worse outside…

Mary, as I already knew, had come to Australia and sponsored her father and siblings to emigrate too. With Mary on that trip came Thomas, who until now I hadn’t paid much attention to until I realised he had been in Lowtherstown Workhouse too – I don’t know why, but somehow this made him more real to me. I know what became of Noble, he passed away in Gerringong 10 years later, and presumably was a little more comfortable than he had been previously.

Noble’s daughter Ann who accompanied him from Nth Ireland I was very curious about now, and decided to see if she had married. By the time she reached Australia she was nearly 28, so I wondered if she had married at all, but quickly found that she had married Charles WILEY in Kiama in 1868. They had 2 sons, Joseph and Samuel, and when I found that, I felt a little more hopeful that she had had a happier life for coming to Australia. I was extremely surprised to make my next discovery, that Ann is buried in the cemetery of the town I live in. I checked this a few times, but here she was! I haven’t been there yet to take my own photo, as I only discovered this in earlier this week in the dead of night, (and I think I will try to go without my small children who could fall down the numerous bunny holes that also litter this cemetery), but think it would be very funny if she is lying close to where my father’s great grandparents are buried – the ones who indirectly started me in earnest on this adventure.


13 thoughts on “My Hetherington ancestors from Fermanagh, Northern Ireland

  1. Hi Tanya, my name’s mick and i moved to Tasmania a while ago. My grt grt grandfather John and his wife Jane and his brother Christopher arrived in Sydney onboard the ‘crescent’ in 1840 from Nth Ireland. They owned the Fermanagh hotel in Kiama, John and Jane had a son also called Christopher who selected land near lismore and established a property called laureldale[i think] then moved near to casino and had a property called ‘haughwood’ or something similar. I’m at the libary and can’t look at my info. cheers, mick

      • this is correct, i am a direct decendent of Christopher, he would be my 2nd greatgrandfather if anyone has any info they could pass onto me for my research that would be fantastic, tanya this is great to read thanks for posting it, would like to hear more from that pile of info they gave you at kiama

      • Hi Nick, wish my Hetheringtons were the same as your’s! Were any in Kiama? If you have some names I can check my info and let you know anything relevant.

      • Hi tanya,
        Honestly didnt expect a response so soon, my 2nd great grandfather was christopher hetherington, he was born in 1844 in riversdale he was the operator of the fermenagh hotel in kiama as his mother jane (Grey) hetherington, held the licence, they too came out from northern ireland abord the Cresent along with christophers father john hetherington . He then moved north where he eventually bought the haughwood farm near Coraki in the 1860s NSW where i grew up, my family still owns most of the property where he and his family lived but the original house and such was sold not too long ago. Christopher had a family (he had quite a few kids) one of his sons was albert victor, his son alexander was my grandfather he owned the family property untill his passing in 1985, 3 years before his son peter had me, my grandmother Claire hetherington is 81 this feb 22nd she was alexanders wife, she is still a live and well.

        Sorry if i got carried away on some minor details but if any of this sounds relevent id like to hear from you, my email is Thanks, nick

      • Hi Tanya,
        I’m fairly certain that your Noble Hetherington had a brother named John..
        In the 1821 census fragment for Derryvullan in the townland Clanaghisle (on-line) is…

        Francis Hetherington 54 Weaver 5
        Susan Hetherington 42 wife 5
        Mary Hetherington 18 daughter 5
        Elizabeth Hetherington 12 daughter 5
        Jane Hetherington 6 daughter 5
        Noble Hetherington 15 son 5
        John Hetherington 10 son 5

        actual document ( spelling appears as Hitherington

  2. From Co Fermanagh, there was Christopher H. (b. End of 1700s) who married Mary. They had a son, Noble H. approx 1821. Noble married Elizabeth Lunney and moved to Hamilton, Lanarkshire, Scotland. Noble and Elizabeth had 7 children, including Mary (b 1861) and George (b 1871). George married Ann Willet McCubbin and had 4 children, Noble, Elizabeth, margaret, and, Violet. Noble moved to the New York in 1925, married Isabella Fair. Noble Jr was born in 1942, and I in 1979.
    Your Noble may have been a brother of my Christopher, since a name like Noble is likely to stay with family. Do you have any more info about your Fermanagh family? I have hit a wall at Christopher, and dont see going to Ireland anytime soon!

    • I happen to have the index for the marriage of Noble Hetherington to Eizabeth Lunney (researching Lunneys).On the 6th of May 1856 at Bellanalack C.I ,Nobel
      Hetherington ,full age,bachelor,farmer ,(abode) Sydone ,father Chris.(farmer)
      married Elizabeth Lunny,full age,spinster,(abode)Toneyteige.father William (farmer) .Witnesses are John Lunny and Thos.Birney .
      Our group thought “Sydone” was the scribes version of Sydney .
      I supplied the word abode as my chart did not have headings but I know from all my other marriages that it’s where they are from (not where they’re born)
      Hope this helps .. if not enjoy the confusion! Pam

    • I am very curious about this Heatherington family in Fermanagh. I descend from a
      family of Sheas (Protestant) who originated in County Cavan near the town of
      Belturbet next door to Fermanagh. Two brothers, Thomas and James left for Canada around 1840 and had large families. One of these was my grandfather,
      George Heatherington Shea. I know of others with the name Heatherington.
      Since we don’t know the name of the mother of the two original brothers, could she have been a Heatherington? We think her Christian name was Ann and her
      husband was John Shea. Ann died at age 40 in Shancorn Townland, Anna Parish,
      County Cavan. Does this ring a bell with anyone?
      Clark Shea, Surrey, British Columbia, Canada

  3. Its been great reaching family history, Christopher hetherington son of john hetherington and Eleanor Hamilton, who had a daughter Ann Jane married James wright, their daughter Ann married Samuel Russell, my great grandfather. It was interesting researching the hetherington linage.

    • Thanks Wendy. It seems that more are researching Christopher Hetherington’s ancestry than the Hetheringtons I am looking for – having said that, it is all interesting!

  4. My husband’s great grandmother Jane Hetherington arrived as an assisted immigrant on the “Commodore Perry’ which arrived Melbourne 25 August 1859 from Liverpool, UK. She was aged 20 (born c 1839) and was to work for Michael O’Rielly of Belfast, Victoria as a nursemaid. Shipping records show her native county as Fermanagh. She was C of E, and could read. Although her marriage certificate states she was born Manchester her death certificate says she was born Ireland. According to records Jane’s parents were William Hetherington, a tailor, and Anne Elliott.

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