A Crockett family history - from Cairns to Tamlaght via Derry

VLUU L100, M100  / Samsung L100, M100
VLUU L100, M100 / Samsung L100, M100

This summer saw June Baldwin of Cairns in Queensland, Australia visit the North West with her brother Bob and his wife Ninette in the hope of tracking down their Crockett ancestors in the region. Thanks to the help of Derry’s genealogist and regular ‘Journal’ contributor Brian Mitchell, their quest was a success. Here, June recounts her experiences especially for the ‘Derry Journal’...

Thanks to my eldest brother, Brian Crockett and my father’s sister who was still alive at the time plus the Internet I was able to find a lead.

The Crockett family gravestone in Australia. (91012JC3)

The Crockett family gravestone in Australia. (91012JC3)

Once I established that I was addicted, I have spent many years tracking down my family history and after a recent and very successful visit to Ireland I now know where my Ancestors originated.

The breakthrough came when I found the death certificate of my Great Great Grandfather as it gave me so much information. On the certificate it stated that he was born in Tamlaght, County Derry.

I had the opportunity this summer to travel to Ireland with my brother Robert Crockett and his wife Ninette. I took with me the death certificate thinking it may help to find where my ancestors came from.

Finding Tamlaght

Brian Mitchell the Derry Genealogist who we visited to find out where Tamlaght was, directed us to the village of Tamlaght O’Crilly in south Derry. After arriving there we went into the little general store and asked a few questions.

We asked the storeowner if he knew of any Crocketts in the area. He did and then directed us to Billy Crockett’s house. Billy had done his family tree and we found our line on his tree. Billy was able to take us round and show us the area where a lot of the Crocketts came from.

George Crockett (Great Great Grandfather) was born in a very small village of Tamlaght O’Crilly, County Derry. On the 17th November 1849, George and his wife Elizabeth and five children migrated to Australia on the Vessel “Nelson”.

They went to live at Maldon, Victoria, which is in the Bendigo area. They bought land there on the Loddon River. They farmed the land and George was also known to be a preacher at the Wesleyan Church.

The eldest son Henry who was a farmer married Mary Jane Corrigan in 1853, together they had four children three of whom died, one son when he was 8 years old and twins shortly after birth. After an illness, Henry died, he was just 29 years of age, his wife Mary Jane was pregnant at the time, she then had a son, named him Henry and he went on to be a school teacher.

John Crockett, second son of George and Elizabeth, born County Derry never married. He also owned land in Maldon and he belonged to a Temperance Group called The Loddon Total Abstinence Society. He died in 1897, aged 62 years, and is buried in Lilydale, Victoria.

Sarah Crockett, born in Londonderry in 1835, was listed as a house servant. Sarah was 89 years of age when she died and is buried at the Brighton Cemetery, Victoria.

Another son George, my Great Grandfather was born in Letterkenny, Ireland in 1838. He was also a farmer at Maldon. He married in 1869 to Anne Williamson from Melbourne. After their marriage they moved to Smeaton, Victoria.

They had twin boys Charles (My Grandfather) and Ernest. After they got married they farmed and worked together until Charles died. He is buried in Sydney, New South Wales.

James Crockett, youngest son of George and Elizabeth, born 1840 in Derry, Ireland married in 1878 to Edith Bilson. They went on to have 6 children who later moved to all parts of Victoria.

The eldest daughter of George and Elizabeth, Nancy did not migrate to Australia, as she was married at the time.

This is a very small overview of The Crockett Family that migrated to Australia during the hard times of the Famine in Ireland.

After travelling to Derry and with the tremendous help from Brian Mitchell at the Derry Genealogy Centre I would encourage anyone wanting to find their ancestors to travel to Ireland and take as much information with them as possible and visit the Genealogy Centre.”