Grahame Thom’s Ancestors

My Byrne and Lattin Ancestors

John Byrne

As explained on another  page, click here, I am reasonably satisfied my great grandfather was John (Francis) Byrne, second son of John Byrne and Margaret Lattin.  John was born on 14 December 1870 in Hobart, Tasmania. His father John was described as a labourer of Argyle Street, Hobart (1).

As a youngster, John moved with his parents to Sydney prior to August 1882 and resided in the St Leonards/North Sydney area. Otherwise nothing is known about his early life. His father John died in February 1883 and his death certificate states he was a storekeeper living at Hill Street, St Leonards. 

There is no obvious marriage entry for John in the online marriage index of the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, and for births of any children to John in the births index.

On 13 April 1909 John’s brother James died at North Sydney and was buried in Gore Hill Cemetery, Sydney. He was aged 47 years, a cook and married to Mary Collins. They had four children and his father was named as John Byrne, butcher, and mother Margaret Latten (sic). Importantly the informant was his brother John, of Buttabone Station, Warren NSW (2). 

Buttabone Station is about 500 klms NW of Sydney, and today is about  29,000 hectares. In 1908 advertisements for shearers to work at Buttabone appeared in the Wagga Wagga newspaper The Worker. 

In 1913 John Byrne was living with his mother Margaret, and his possible wife Marion, in Ryde, as recorded in the 1913 Commonwealth electoral roll. The entries reveal the following :- 
Margaret Byrne, Parramatta Road, Ryde, domestic duties
John Byrne, Parramatta Road, Ryde, labourer
Marion Ada Florence Byrne, Parramatta Road, Ryde, domestic duties (3)

From the following it is reasonable to assume that John and Marion did not marry. Also it is unlikely that there were two females in New South Wales at that time with the given names of Marion Ada Florence. I could not find another.

Marion Ada Florence Allsop (var) was born in Goulburn in 1869, the daughter of John Allsop and Mary Ann Aldridge. She married Thomas James Allen in 1896 in Yass, NSW. They had at least three children – Ella A born 1897 in Yass, William C born 1899 in Sydney and Matthew J born 1900 in Ryde (4). 

In 1911 Marion tried to divorce her husband Thomas but the Judge decided to dismiss the petition because of the lack of evidence (5). Probably some time between 1909 and 1912 she was living with John Francis Byrne in Ryde. From evidence found in his service records of enlisting in NSW country towns, it is likely John and Marion had separated in about 1915, see below.

Marion succeeded in divorcing Thomas in 1930 in the Sydney Divorce Court (6). She died at her daughter’s residence in Hurstville in 1938, under the name Marion Ada Florence Allen (7). 

I could find no items in the Sydney papers between 1880 and 1920 about John Byrne junior, except for when John’s mother Margaret died. In the Sydney Morning Herald of 15 April 1914, page 11, there is a funeral notice for Margaret that makes mention of Mr and Mrs John Byrne.  The funeral left the home of son-in-law James Ryan, 6 Church Street, North Sydney. James was the husband of John’s sister Margaret.

John tried to enlist for service in the army overseas in World War One. He completed his enlistment documents on 2 August 1915 at Cootamundra NSW, and was allocated to the 6th Reinforcement, 18th Battalion. He stated that he was born in Hobart and was aged 44 years and 7 months, a labourer, and gave his wife as next of kin – Marion Ada Florence Byrne of 6 Broughton Street, North Sydney.

John was 5 feet 7 inches tall, 133 lbs, chest 36 inches, dark complexion, blue eyes, grey hair and Roman Catholic.

On 22 September 1915 John was examined by Dr Robertson in Lane Cove Road, North Sydney, probably at the behest of his wife. Dr Robertson’s certificate states “I certify that Mr J F Byrne is suffering from muscular rheumatism and bronchial catarrh and is unfit for drill.” Two days later Marion  spoke to the officer commanding the 6th Reinforcements asking for John’s discharge and handed over the doctor’s certificate. 

This resulted in John being discharged on 30 September. He had served 56 days in camp. Note that he had not been allocated a service number. Usually this happened soon after enlistment and to me indicates that the officers in the camp had some question marks about John’s suitability.

Then on 25 March 1918 at Wagga Wagga, NSW, John tried to enlist for the second time. He stated he was a contractor and that his address was care of  Mrs J Ryan, West Street, North Sydney. This was his sister Margaret Ryan, wife of James Ryan. It is interesting to note, as a small child I lived with my parents in West Street from about 1940 for six years.

John stated he was married and aged 44 years three months. A preliminary medical report rated John as unfit as he was “physically overage” The maximum age was 45 years and John was understating his age by three years. This concluded his attempts to serve in World War One, perhaps much to his disappointment (8). 

No record of John was found during the period 1919 to 1922. A newspaper report on 30 April 1923 stated, “at the police court this morning, John Francis Byrne (50), was fined 5/- for being drunk in Lee Street (main street in Wellington, NSW), and an additional £1 for using indecent language.” (9) 

John died on 9 February 1925 in Wellington NSW, and his death certificate states his occupation was an oil expert, and his wife was Ada Allsop, but no mention of children. His parents are recorded as John Byrne and Margaret Latten (sic). He was buried in the Catholic Cemetery in Wellington. There appears to be no headstone (10).  

John’s father

John’s father, John Byrne, from his death certificate (16), was said to have been born in Ireland in about 1837. While his marriage certificate (12) gives his age as 25 years in 1860, meaning his birth year to be about 1835. The informant (not named) stated John’s parents as James (sic) Byrne and Catherine, surname unknown.

His future wife Margaret’s family lived in Rathvilly, County Wicklow. And a witness at Margaret’s wedding in 1827 was a Henry Byrne. A search of Catholic baptisms on revealed the baptism of Henry at Carlow on 10 January 1803, father Joseph Byrne, mother Catherine Hayden.

A general search revealed many entries for Byrne and Lattin/Latten living in Rathvilly and surrounding parishes. One particular Catholic baptism found on for Carlow parish could be our John Byrne, namely John baptised on 23 June 1834, parents James Byrne and Catherine Lynah.

All this tends to indicate the possibility that John Byrne senior and Margaret Lattin knew each other, or perhaps their parents knew each other before .

As to his arrival in Australia, John’s death certificate (16) states he had been in NSW (sic) for 23 years, which seems to indicate an arrival year just before his marriage in 1860 in Hobart. There are  number of men named John Byrne who arrived in either Sydney or Hobart in about 1859. But it is reasonable to assume he arrived in Tasmania between 1853 (when he turned 18 years of age) and 1860.

It is likely that “our” John arrived on the Commodore Perry in Launceston in April 1855. This large  ship made the voyage from Liverpool in 85 days with 747 passengers including 50 Irish labourers, sent out for the Fingal Road Trust. 

On board were two young men named John Byrne, including one aged 22 years. This man is likely to be our John Byrne. He could have raised his age to be over 21 years, so as to be accepted as an adult. The ship arrived at the mouth of the Tamar River off George Town on 7 April but passengers had to wait on board until the 13th when a local steamer brought them up the Tamar to Launceston (11),

On 24 September 1860, John Byrne, bachelor, labourer, aged 25, married Margaret Lattin, spinster, servant, aged 21, by banns in the Catholic Church, St, Hobart (12). John and Margaret had four boys and three girls in Hobart :-

Maria born 30 August 1861, Hobart, father labourer, Macquarie St

Margaret born 4 October 1863, Hobart, father labourer, Collins St

James Joseph born 14 September 1866, Hobart, died 12 Sept 1909. North Sydney, buried Gore Hill, Sydney

Elizabeth born 8 June 1868, Hobart, father porter, Liverpool St

John born 14 December 1970, Hobart, father labourer, Argyle St

Michael born 4 August 1873, Hobart, father storeman, Argyle St

Patrick born 15 June 1876, Hobart (13)

It is likely most of the Byrne family moved to Sydney some time before August 1882, as Margaret was present at the wedding of their daughter Margaret who married James Ryan at St Leonards, Sydney in August 1882. Margaret senior gave her permission for the marriage as daughter Margaret was under age (14).

Daughter Maria married Thomas Kirkham at St Joseph’s, Catholic Church, Hobart, on 2 December 1882 and a witness was John Byrne (15).

John Byrne senior died on 14 February 1883 at Hill Street, St Leonards. His details included, storekeeper, aged 46, born Ireland, 23 years in NSW (sic), father James Byrne – farmer, mother Catherine (no surname recorded), married St Joseph, Sydney (sic), to Margaret Latten (sic), 4 males and 3 males living, informant, Margaret Latten, wife, Hill Street. He died of heart disease and dropsy and was buried in Gore Hill Cemetery, witnesses James Byrne and Angelina Harris. It is assumed the witness James Byrne was John and Margaret’s son even though he was aged 16 years (16).

John had probably been ill for some time and probably did not attend the marriage of their daughters Margaret and Maria, see above. Note that Margaret’s mother gave her permission for daughter Margaret to marry. Perhaps it was John junior who attended his sister Maria’s wedding in Hobart.

Over the next 30 years, Margaret probably remained in Sydney so that she could be close to her children and the growing band of grandchildren. 

Maria and Thomas Kirkham had eight children, Lucy 1882, Hobart; James 1884, Catherine 1886, Maria 1889, Thomas 1891, Albert 1894, Margaret 1896, John 1899 (17).

Margaret and James Ryan had eight children, Mary 1883, Margaret 1885, John 1887, William 1888, James 1890, Thomas, 1893, Eileen 1902, and Kathleen 1906.

Elizabeth and Thomas Carroll married in 1885 and had eight children, John 1886, Michael 1888, William 1890, Kathleen, Elizabeth 1894, Thomas 1896, Arthur 1898 and Augustine 1900. Following Thomas’ death in 1927 Elizabeth  married James Curtis.

James and Mary Collins married in 1895 and had at least four children, Arthur 1886, Margaret 1888, Winifred 1890 and Elizabeth 1897.

John from my research had one child with Adeline Margaret Bullivant, namely Margaret Adeline Bullivant in 1890 (my grandmother). He then lived with Marion Ada Florence Allen (nee Allsop). They appear not to have had any children.

Michael and Edith James married in 1898 and had twelve children, Agnes 1898, Eileen 1899, Robert 1900, James 1902, Francis 1905, Marjorie 1906, Veronica 1908, Geoffrey 1910, Kathleen 1912, Allen 1916, Laurence 1917, and Edward 1920

Patrick and Mary Ellis married in 1898 and had sons, John 1898, William 1900, Henry 1903, Frederick 1906, Phillip 1908, Thomas 1910.

Most of the above events took place in the St Leonards and North Sydney area with the year of event found in the NSW BDM online indexes. 

Above indicates that Margaret Byrne, nee Lattin, had at least 44 grandchildren when she died on 13 April 1914 in the Newington Asylum at Granville, Sydney, aged 72 years (actual age 79 years). Later another three grandchildren were born. Her death certificate states that she was born in Dublin, Ireland and that her father was John Button (I consider this is an incorrect translation and should be Lattin). The informant was the Assistant Superintendent of the Asylum who probably obtained the information from one of Margaret’s children. She died of syncope and rheumatism and was buried in Gore Hill Cemetery with her husband. The witnesses were Patrick and Michael Byrne (18).

John’s mother Margaret Lattin and her sisters.

During the period 1854 to 1864 four Lattin sisters emigrated to Tasmania. 

The first to do so were Mary Ann and Bridget Lattin who arrived in Hobart on 29 September 1854 on the ship Caroline Middleton from Liverpool with 371 assisted immigrants on board (19). Mary Ann was aged 22 years and Bridget 18 years, both were Roman Catholic, they could read, and were from County Wicklow. Mary Ann was described as “cook well, 5yrs cooking, laundry service 3 yrs, thorough servant”. Bridget was described as “Thorough servant, not cook, housemaid 2 yrs”. No sponsor was recorded.

On 6 October 1856 Mary Ann, aged 21, servant, married James Thornton in Hobart. Her sister Bridget was a witness (20).

Mary Ann then sponsored her sister Margaret who arrived on 2 December 1856 in Hobart on the ship Sir W F Williams from Liverpool with 336 assisted immigrants on board (21). Margaret was aged 20 years, was described as tall, black brown hair, oval face, eyes gray, could read, native place County Wicklow, gentleman’s servant, cost of voyage £16.

Esther had married William Fleury in Ireland and they sailed to Melbourne with their three children (John, Andrew and Michael) on the ship Great Australia arriving on 13 January 1864, after leaving Liverpool with 426 immigrants   Esther’s name was recorded as Bessy Flury aged 26 years, she could read and write, Roman Catholic, and was from County Wicklow. The family was sponsored by Robert James Huxtable. The voyage cost £52. They then probably sailed to Hobart of the ship Tasmania (22). Robert John Huxtable was the husband of Esther’s sister Bridget.

Note they all sailed from Liverpool. Many immigrants from Ireland sailed from Liverpool. The Lattin girls probably went overland from home at Downings to Dublin, then by boat to Liverpool, possibly escorted by a male member of the family.

On 24 September 1860, Margaret Lattin, spinster, servant, aged 21, married John Byrne, bachelor, labourer, aged 25, by banns in the St Joseph’s, Catholic Church, Hobart. This marriage was witnessed by John Lattin and Bridget Lattin (12). Her baptism is recorded below and her children are recorded above.

In Ireland

Based on the above information, research of baptisms in Ireland for a suitable Lattin family in County Wicklow revealed the following children of John Lattin (Latten), residence Downings, County Wicklow, and Margaret Mullin (Mullins), of Kiltegan County Wicklow, married 28 November 1827, at the Rathvilly Church, County Carlow, Ireland (23). 

Esther Lattin baptised 17 April 1830, parents John Lattin and Margaret Mullins, sponsors Peter Mullins and Mary Toole, Rathvilly, County Carlow, Ireland, witness present Henry Byrne, James Gannan and Ellen Brien, residence Downings,

Mary Ann Latten baptised 1 April 1832, parents John Latten and Margaret Mullins, sponsors Michael and Betty Cullen, residence Kilranda, Rathvilly, County Carlow Ireland

Margaret Latten baptised 9 June 1834, parents John Latten and Margaret Mullins, sponsors Patrick and Eliza Murray, residence Greenville, Rathvilly, County Carlow, Ireland 

Bridget Mary Lattin born c 1836, County Wicklow, Ireland

Michael Lattin baptism 27 October 1837, parents John Lattin and Margaret Mullins, sponsors Mathew Reily and Bessy Mullin, Rathvilly, County Carlow, residence Downings,

John Latten baptised 11 October 1839, parents John Latten and Margaret Mullen, sponsors Martin and Honor Carty, Rathvilly, County Carlow, residence Downings. It is reasonable to assume John died soon after birth.

John Lattin baptised 18 April 1841, parents John Lattin and Margaret Mullen, sponsors William and Jane Heggison, Rathvilly, County Carlow, residence Downings (24). 

Eliza Lattin baptised 30 Aprol 1843, parents John Lattin and Margaret Mullin. sponsors John Mullin and Betty Campbell, Rathvilly, County Carlow, Ireland, residence Downings (25).

Note that the village of Rathvilly is located in County Carlow close to the border of County Wicklow, with the Townland of Downings just inside County Wicklow.

John Lattin – Father

John was baptised on 7 January 1802, in the Roman Catholic Church at Colvinstown, Rathvilly, County Wicklow, parents John and Hester Latten, and sponsors William and Anne Stanbridge (26).

As above John then married Margaret Mullins in 1827 and they had eight children in County Wicklow over the period 1827 to 1843. Margaret had been baptised at Rathvilly, County Carlow on 21 March 1808 (27). It is not known when Margaret died but it is possible she died in the late 1840s. Also it is not known with certainty when John came to Australia.

A John Lattin immigrated to Adelaide on the ship Stebonheath arriving on 11 May 1849 after leaving Plymouth on 31 January 1849, with 373 assisted passengers (28). There was no evidence that this John Lattin remained in South Australia in checking old newspapers, birth, death and marriage  records and family trees online. 

By 1859 John was in Victoria for the ship Tasmania arrived in Hobart on 23 June 1859 from Melbourne, and the passenger list includes John Lattin, see below (29). 

As mentioned above, in September 1860, in Hobart, John was a witness at the marriage of his daughter Margaret, Then on 22 November 1860 in Hobart, his daughter Bridget married Robert John Huxtable, occupation smith and joiner. Again John was a witness (30).

On 3 January 1861 a John Lattin received a grant of 1 rood 3 perches in Macquarie Street in the parish of Hobart, for £16 (31). It is not certain that this is “our” John Lattin, although around that time he appears to be the only person named John Lattin in Tasmania. 

On 28 March 1868 in Hobart, John was charged with “Indecency” and he was sentenced to 12 months in gaol. When he was discharged in October 1868 it was recorded that he had arrived in Tasmania on the ship Tasmania, his native place was Wicklow, Ireland, aged 65 years, height 5 foot 7.5 inches, grey hair, and the remainder of his sentence was remitted (32).

The Tasmanian Times on Saturday 11 June 1870 (page 2) reported that John Lattins (sic) took court action against Honora Tracey for “abusive language to him in the public streets, calculated to produce a breach of the peace. The evidence on the complainant in this case was heard but the case being of a very trivial nature was dismissed.”

John died on 1 October 1878 in Hobart. His death record states he lived in the Brickfields Invalid Dept, Pauper, aged 75 years, occupation brick maker, cause “old age”, and the informant was the undertaker Thomas McLoughlin of Elizabeth Street, Hobart. Buried at Cornelian Bay Cemetery, Roman Catholic Section A No 89, Public Grave (33)

His death notice in the Hobart Mercury states that John Lattin died on 1 October, native of Wicklow, Ireland, in the 75th year of his age, and that the funeral left the residence of his daughter, Mrs. Fleury, Argyle-street, on Thursday, at 2 p.m on 3 October (34).

Lattin Grandchildren in Australia

Esther and William John Fleury had seven grandchildren

Mary Ann and James Thornton had six grandchildren

Margaret and John Byrne had seven grandchildren

Bridget and Robert John Huxtable had eleven grandchildren

DNA Testing

In relation to DNA testing, I have fourteen good matches to my Byrne ancestors that include John Byrne and Margaret Lattin, as well as matches to their daughters Esther Fleury (nee Lattin) (14 cMs) and Mary Ann Thornton (nee Lattin) (36 cMs). 

General Comments

As yet we are not able to confirm the arrival of John Byrne to Tasmania in about the mid 1850s. Nor his birth and native place in Ireland. When did John Lattin arrive in the colonies? Was the immigration of sisters Mary Ann and Bridget Lattin sponsored? 

And a big thank you to my cousin Margaret Miller of Sydney for her assistance.


  1. Birth Certificate. online State Library of Tasmania, Tasmanian Names Index, 1556/1871

2.  NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Deaths 11905/1909

3. – Commonwealth Electoral Rolls records, Ryde, 1913

4.  NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, online indexes

5.  Trove – Dailey Telegraph Friday 29 September 1911 page 15

6.  Trove – Goulburn Evening Post Thursday 20 February 1930 page 3.

7.  Trove – The Propeller Thursday 5 Nov 1938

8.  His war records are available online on the website for the National                  Archives of Australia – Series No B2455 – Item No 3179614

9.  Trove – Wellington Times, Monday 30 April 1923, page 2

10. NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Deaths 4474/1925

11. Libraries Tasmania – Family History – CB7-12-1-12, pages 6 and 12, and Trove – Examiner 4 April 1905 page 5

12. Libraries Tasmania, Tasmanian Names Index, Hobart marriages, image 144, I attended services at St Joseph when I lived in Hobart 1991-1995. 

13. Birth certificates online Libraries Tasmania – Tasmanian Names Index, several under the surname Burn or Burns.

14. NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Marriage 3026/1882

15. Libraries Tasmania online, Family History – Tasmanian Names Index – Hobart marriages – image 241

16. NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Death 1883/4812

17. The seven children after Lucy were all born in St Leonards, a Sydney suburb. For some reason, probably connected to the fact that Lucy was born before her parents were married, they moved to Sydney in about 1882/84. Also James‘ birth was registered with the surname Karkhan and his later siblings with the surname Karkham.

18. NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Death 1914/6065.

19. Website Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild, Trove – Colonial Times (Hobart), Tuesday 3 October 1854, page 2

20.  Libraries Tasmania online – Family History – RGD37/1/15 No 485

21. Trove – The Courier, (Hobart), Wednesday 3 December 1856, page 2, Libraries Tasmania online – Family History, CB7-12-1-6 BK43 page 306

22. Trove – The Age, Thursday 14 January 1864, page 4, Libraries Tasmania online – Family History – CB7-12-1-11 BK85 page 138

23.  National Library of Ireland website – Roman Catholic Church Rathvilly, microfilm 4189/08

24.  All the above baptisms were found on – Ireland, Select Catholic Birth and Baptism Registers 1763-1917, Carlow, Rathvilly 1797-1842

 25.  National Library of Ireland website – Roman Catholic Church Rathvilly, microfilm 4189/07

26.  Roots Ireland website and – Ireland, Select Catholic Birth and Baptism Registers, 1763-1917, Carlow- Rathvilly 1787 – 1842

27. National Library of Ireland website – Roman Catholic Church Rathvilly, microfilm 4189/06. Margaret was the daughter of Arthur and Elixabeth Mullin. Her sponsors were John Mullin and Mary Byrne

28.  Trove – South Australian Gazette. Thursday 17 May 1849, page 3 

29.  Libraries Tasmania online – Family History – MB2/39/1/24 page 40. Most of the family trees online show that John travelled to Tasmania in 1859 from Melbourne. One tree states he arrived in Hobart as a convict in 1841 having been convicted in Westmoreland, England earlier in 1841. There are two good reasons why this man is not the father of the Lattin children born in Ireland. First this convict was born in about 1789, around 14 years before the Irish John Lattin, and second, the last born child of the Irish Lattin family was baptised in County Carlow in 1843.

30.  Libraries Tasmania online – Family History – RGD37/1/19, No 294

31.  Libraries Tasmania online – Family History – AD956/1/1 page 88 and RD1/1 Book 48, page 92

32.  Ancestry,com Reports of Crime, Tasmania 1861-1883

33.  Libraries Tasmania Online – Family History – RDG35/1/9 No 1463 and AF35-1-1 (BU 2201)

34.  Trove – The Mercury, Wednesday 2 October 1878, page 1

December 2023

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