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PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 12:24 pm 
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Am seeking further information on the family of Michael McNamara who as born was born in 1845 on a farm at Ballymacdonnell, a townland some two miles from Bodyke, Co Clare. In 1864, he emigrated to Melbourne, Australia, where he was destined to become part of Australian royalty when his daughter Sarah became First Lady to Australian Prime Minister James Scullin, another child of Irish émigrés.
In 1874, he was married in Ballarat to Sarah Simcocks. Born in Killarney, Co Kerry, in 1843, Sarah was twelve years old when she sailed for a new life in Australia with her family. They too settled in Ballarat where her father George Eyre Simcocks served as a Civil Engineer.
Sarah was evidently ahead of the game when it came to women’s suffrage. In 1891, the 48-year-old Kerrywoman was one of 30,000 women who signed a petition urging the Victorian State Government to concede that ‘Women should Vote on Equal terms with Men'.
The McNamaras had eight children between 1874 and 1889. During this time, it is assumed that Michael received word from home regarding the infamous Bodyke evictions of 1887 in which eighty year old widow Margaret McNamara was one of two people evicted from Colonel John O’Callaghan’s estate. It is not yet known how Margaret McNamara was related to Michael.
Michael McNamara passed away in 1909, two years after Sarah’s marriage. His widow Sarah survived him until 1924.
Sarah Marie McNamara, the fourth child, was born on 21st April 1880. She was working as a dressmaker in Ballarat at the time of her marriage to James Scullin (1876-1953) on 11th November 1907. He was the son of John and Ann (née Logan) Scullin, a Catholic couple from Londonderry. His father worked on the Irish railways before he emigrated to Australia in his 20s.
A passionate supporter of the evolving labour movement in the early 20th century, he became a lynchpin of the Australian Workers Union. In 1906, the ALP put him up as the candidate for Ballarat against Prime Minister Alfred Deakin. Scullin inevitably lost but he impressed the party with his vigorous efforts to win.
The following year he married Sarah McNamara. The marriage was childless but Sarah was a pivotal player in his subsequent political career, particularly as his mentor and protector when the ill health that plagued him in his childhood returned to torment him. An active and well informed member of the Labour party on her own account, she often filled in for her husband at social events were he was too sick to attend. She also made her presence felt at parliamentary sessions, a rarity amongst the wives of Australia’s political elite at that time.
During the war, Sarah’s brother Thomas Francis McNamara served at the Somme.
He served as Australia’s 9th Prime Minister (and 1st Labour PM) from 1929 to 1932. On 28th November 1930, the Scullins visited Bodyke, nearly seventy years after Sarah’s father had emigrated from there. The Clare Champion remarked: ‘The heroine of a modern Sentimental Journey, she had travelled from the Antipodes to visit for the first time the home of her ancestors and to make the acquaintance of a host of cousins hitherto unknown to her except through the medium of letters or through her recollection of the remarks made by her father concerning them.’


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 11:49 am 
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I cannot confirm whether the widow Margaret McNamara is from Ballymacdonnell. Michael McNamara, father of Sarah, was the great uncle of my father Patrick, who was born in the same house in 1927. His father was Michael McNamara, who was born in 1882 and died in 1945 and lived in the same house throughout his life. His widow, also Margaret McNamara, died in 1961. Both my father and his parents are buried at Killuran cemetery. According to a cousin who has researched this, Denis McNamara (Sarah's uncle and my great grandfather) was born on 19th August 1842 to Patrick and Margaret McNamara (nee Considine) who were married at Newmarket-on-Fergus on 29th May 1829. Denis died in 1925 aged 83. Denis, his wife Mary and their surviving children feature on the 1901 and 1911 census returns. As far as I can see, the property has been in continuous ownership over the years.
Michael McNamara


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:30 pm 
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My wives g/mother was Margaret McNamara daughter of Denis, married in O'Callaghans Mills to Timothy Moloney. Would you know if this is part of the same family?

regards,
Danny


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 3:47 am 
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Hi Danny, Yes, Margaret was the sister of my grandfather,Michael. According to a relative who searched the O'Callaghan's Mills parish records, Timothy was from Main Street, Feakle. He also found information on Margaret & Michael's brothers & sisters as follows: twins Margaret and Bridget were born in 1872 and died in infancy; Margaret, your wife's grandmother, was born in 1874; Bridget was born in 1875; Mary, who became a nun, was born in 1877;
Patrick born in 1878, died in infancy; then Anne who was born in 1880, later emigrated to the USA; Michael, my grandfather, was next - 1882; Catherine was born in 1884; Denis was born in 1886.
(He married Delia Coffey in 1922 & ran a pub on Dock Road in Limerick. Both died in 1953. They had eight children. One, Birdie, died in Limerick in 1943 at the age of 17; and the others all emigrated to the UK.)
After Denis, Patrick was born in 1888.
(He married Sarah Ryan in 1933, & farmed in Ballygreen near Killaloe.)
Lastly, Ellen was born in 1890.
My grandparents, Michael & Margaret, had ten children. Four are still alive: Mary, who is 90 in July; Peggy, who is 86; Bridget, who is 84; and Kitty, who is 81. Denis, Nora, Jimmy, Patrick (my father), and Michael are all buried in Kiluran cemetery near Ballymacdonnell. John is buried in Dublin. I am one of six. We were all born in England. Two still live there, two of us are here in Ireland, one is in USA, & one in the Netherlands.
I hope you find this information of value.
mcpmcnamara@yahoo.com


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2017 2:52 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2015 2:09 pm
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This email does not work ? Is there another ?
I have a DNA link to a descendant of these McNamara of Bodyke.
I am descended from Hogans of Bodyke and an Ellen McNamara born c1830 was married into the Hogans. I was wondering if anybody has read the Clare Champion article , is the a mention of a connection with Paddy Hogan , the then minister of Agriculture and Prime-minister's Scullion' wife?

regards
G Madden


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