Francis Nicholls – Australia

People involved:

  • Francis Nicholls b. ??????
  • Eliza …… b. ?????
  • Joseph Henry Nicholls b. 1870 Patricks Plains d. ?????
  • Francis James Nicholls b 1873 Buxton d 1953 Mayfield???  Married Violet Barnes 1909 in Tamworth.


My Grandfather Arthur Harold Nicholls was the son of Francis James and Violet Barnes and was born in Tamworth in 1918.

I am trying to find out more about his family. His father Francis James was born in Buxton (Maitland area) and I believe he died in 1953 in Mayfield although I am not positive about this. I believe he had a brother who was born in 1870, Joseph Henry Nicholls, but I have found no further information on him.

I have not been able to find much information on Francis and Joseph’s father, Francis Nicholls or their mother Eliza.

There is a Francis Nicholls on the enrolment list at Mary Anne Creek, Patricks Plains in 70/71, 73/74 but not in 75/76 or later. There was a Francis Nicholls who died in the Newcastle district in 1873 with parents William and Mary but this is a bit of a stretch.

I would love to know any information on any of these family members. In particular on how this family came to Australia and where they were from. I will update this post as more information comes in.

Keep smiling …

Michael Dooner

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John Dooner and his brothers???? Part 2

People involved:

  • John Dooner b. 1817 (Seven Churches, Kings County) d. 1886
  • Michael Charles Dooner b. 1831? (Shannon Bridge, Kings County) d. 1904 — Married Elizabeth Parker and had 2 children William John  and Mary Jane.
  • Patrick Dooner b. 1825 (Shannon Bridge, Kings County) – Married Hannah from Hollywell/Holywell Wales and one child Thomas
  • Thomas Dooner b. 1831 ?????????
  • Joseph Dooner b. ABT 1819 d.????


Thanks to using 2 weeks free access to a genealogy site I have found some more information on the family of John Dooner.

I am confident that Michael Charles Dooner was the brother of John Dooner. John Dooner is down as paying a deposit to have Patrick and Michael immigrate to Australia on the Hotspur in 1862.

Dooner Immigration Deposit

Michael and Patrick are then found on the Hotspur passenger lists with their families. Using past newspapers I have been able to track the movements of Michael and his family. He went by Charles Dooner at times and his name may be Michael Charles William Dooner. He went to Victoria and then Yorketown in South Australia until moving to Coolamon near Naranderra where he died in 1904.

Screen Shot 2013-01-17 at 6.29.25 PM

Patrick who had a letter waiting for him from his brother at the Braidwood diggings (John was the only Dooner in Braidwood at the time) and his family seem to disappear when they arrive on the Hotspur. I have found no record for Patrick, Hannah and Thomas. The children of Michael and Patrick were born in Manchester. Looking at the 1861 Census of England I found a Joseph 42 (from Kings County), Hannah 45 (also from Holywell, Wales) and a nephew Thomas.

1861Census - Hannah Dooner

Not many Dooner’s came from Kings County and it seems likely that Thomas is the son of Patrick. It is strange that both Thomas and Joseph were married to Hannah’s from Holywell, Wales. I wonder if someone lied on the immigration details to help Hannah out to Australia if Joseph had died.

There is a Patrick Dooner who died in 1881 but it does not seem like he is any relation although his family believe he came out on the Hotspur. He has a different mother and father and came from a different county.

There is no evidence there is a brother Thomas other than one reference in someones family tree.

If you have any information on this Dooner branch it would be appreciated. I will update this post as more information comes to light.

Keep smiling …

Michael Dooner

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John Dooner and his brothers???

People involved:

  • John Dooner b. 1816 d. 1886
  • Michael Charles Dooner b. 1829 d. 1904
  • Patrick Dooner b. 1830 d. ???1881
  • Thomas Dooner b. 1831 d. ?


John Dooner immigrated to Australia on the James Mathieson in 1841. He was from Seven Churches, Kings County, Ireland. His father was Martin Dooner and his mother was Bridget Pillion (deceased in 1841). He married Mary Ann Coleman in 1851 in Goulburn and settled around Braidwood.

There is some evidence from other researchers that Michael, Patrick and Thomas were his brothers. Michael and Patrick arrived in Australia with their families on the Hotspur in 1862. The passenger log states they were from Shannon Bridge, Kings County. There is a newspaper clipping asking Patrick from the Hotspur to collect a letter from his brother at the Braidwood diggings. (John Dooner?) Michael’s death certificate has Martin as his father but Bridget Sheridan as his mother. I don’t know what happened to Thomas.

I am unsure if these Dooner’s are related, as many trees have suggested, and would love to know any information about them. Looking at the birth dates, where they were from and other information they may be step brothers, with Martin marrying two different Bridgets or there was an administration error.

Again any information will be appreciated and I will update this post as more information comes to light.

Keep smiling …

Michael Dooner

Note: Mother Bridget Pillion.

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Stepping back to our past.

With the my recent marriage and the birth of my son I have a renewed interest in finding out who our ancestors are and maybe some of the stories of their lives. This blog is a way of tracking my progress and maybe getting some help with my research and making connections to family members or others searching into their past.

Thanks for taking the time to have a look.

Keep smiling …

Michael Dooner

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